Humanity

‘This smells’: Ethics expert slams SEQ council deal as key details removed from website

Moreton Bay Regional Council has removed from its website all information about its controversial outsourcing deal with a financial backer of its mayor and other councillors – its biggest single procurement – but… Mark Solomons Brisbane Times It comes as a national expert on public sector ethics and governance raised serious questions about the deal, some aspects of which are the subject of an investigation by the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission, saying the… Queensland local government regulations require councils ... Read More »

How I ended up as a modern-day slave in the middle of NYC

Living in a cramped concrete house in the heart of Liberia’s sweltering capital, 8-year-old Famatta Massalay always dreamed of seeing snow. Gabrielle Fonrouge New York Post One day, her mother told her she was about to get her chance. But first, “we have to play a game,” Massalay’s mother said. The mom taught the girl how to write a name that wasn’t hers and to tell authorities she was 10, not 8. Then she took her daughter to the immigration ... Read More »

“Nobody Wants Us”: The Alienated Civilians of Eastern Ukraine

With living conditions worsening, and crossfire still claiming casualties, people residing in eastern Ukraine’s conflict zone feel increasingly abandoned by the central government. ICG Reintegrating the area requires Russian withdrawal, but in the meantime Kyiv can and should better protect civilians and meet humanitarian needs. What’s new?  Ukrainians in Donbas, the country’s eastern conflict zone, are in their fifth year of a humanitarian crisis deepened by Russian intervention – and also by Ukrainian government policies. Many complain that their country ... Read More »

Why do people work? Respect trumps money in South Africa case study

In South Africa, more than 50% of working age adults don’t have jobs. But is the country asking the right questions when it comes to understanding what drives people’s employment-related decisions? Christine Jeske The Conversation Research on unemployment mostly focuses on getting wages right. But there are also many non-monetary reasons that motivate South Africans’ work-related decisions. My research, conducted over the period of a year in KwaZulu-Natal province, sought to understand these decisions. My work included interviews and observations ... Read More »

Bob Inglis, a Republican believer in climate change, is out to convert his party

Inglis is doubling down on the beliefs that cost him his seat in Congress: Climate change is real, and Republicans must act. James Rainey nbc news CHARLESTON, S.C. — Eight years ago, Bob Inglis ran for a seventh term in the U.S. House of Representatives and didn’t even make it out of the Republican primary. He lost by nearly 3 to 1. His estrangement from South Carolina voters ran deep, friends-gone-missing and allies-turned-enemies deep. The chief reason Inglis was rejected ... Read More »

Restore the Parthenon marbles to their full beauty in Athens

Janet Suzman wants the marbles joined to their other half in Athens, Benedict Birnberg also argues for their return from London, and Pete Eiseman-Renyard reflects on their care. Letters The Guardian Re the letter from Richard Lambert, chair of the British Museum trustees (Trust us to look after the Parthenon marbles, 27 September), I understood that the museum was there for the people as well as the… As an ordinary person, albeit interested in the return of the Parthenon marbles to their original home, I ... Read More »

Australia must demand Myanmar war crimes tribunal, says investigator

The Morrison government should use its regional clout to demand a peacekeeping mission and war crimes tribunal in response to humanitarian crimes in Myanmar, says a top Australian investigator. Nick McKenzie & Nicole Precel The Age Michael Stefanovic, an Australian seconded to the US State Department’s Myanmar inquiry, said he was horrified by the evidence he had gathered. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is grappling whether to use the term genocide to describe the Myanmar military’s attack on members ... Read More »

The destructive American fad Australia needs to avoid

Politics since World War II has been dominated by the ideological struggle along Marxist economic lines. The working class versus the capitalist class. In the Australian labelling, Labor against Liberal. Peter Hartcher The Sydney Morning Herald That framework is in the process of being overlaid, and even overwhelmed. Politics increasingly is becoming a clash of identities. The US is leading the way, with Europe close behind. Because there’s no American fad too stupid for Australia to ape, we’d better pay ... Read More »

Escalating Global Effort for Safe, Legal Abortion

A Day to Highlight Women’s Struggle Margaret Wurth HRW Today is International Safe Abortion Day. Today, and every day, women and girls in countries where access to abortion is heavily restricted, or banned, risk their lives trying to end unwanted pregnancies. But the fight around the world for access to safe and legal abortion is escalating. The day has particular significance this year for the United States, as the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the ... Read More »

Costa Rica Launches Initiative on Environment and Human Rights

“For All Initiative” Promotes Gender Equality in Global Environmental Treaties Marcos Orellana HRW Today, Costa Rica will launch an initiative aiming to make gender equality and human rights integral components of global environmental agreements. Costa Rica’s Vice President Epsy Campbell Barr will launch the For All Initiative at the United Nations General Assembly’s high-level segment. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, and the Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, are expected to join the launch in New… ... Read More »

Canada MPs vote to strip Aung San Suu Kyi of honorary citizenship

Canadian MPs have voted unanimously to revoke the honorary citizenship of Myanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. BBC Passing the motion was a response to her failure to stop the persecution of the Rohingya minority in her country. Ms Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her efforts to bring democracy to Myanmar – also known as Burma – which was then under military rule. A UN report last month said Myanmar military leaders must be investigated ... Read More »

EU human rights defenders alarmed at Ukraine’s surge in religious discrimination

European human rights organizations are concerned about the predicament of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church believers MOSCOW, September 28 / TASS European human rights organizations are concerned about the predicament of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church believers, Bishop Victor of Baryshevka, a vicar of the Kiev Diocese, said on Friday in an interview with the Church’s Information Department, following a Warsaw meeting of the Organization for Security and… “This year, a great number of international organizations focused on the… EU human rights… Read More »

‘MeToo must become WeToo’: Jacinda Ardern’s speech to UN rebuts Trump

New Zealand prime minister called for collective action and multilateralism in address that was applauded at the UN in New York Eleanor Ainge Roy The Guardian The prime minister of New Zealand has been met with thunderous applause at the UN for her speech espousing global cooperation and kindness from world leaders, in stark contrast to Donald Trump’s portentous rejection of globalism earlier in the week. Jacinda Ardern’s national statement was viewed by many commentators as a direct rebuttal to the US ... Read More »

Why abortion should not be a crime

As a doctor who has worked in the field of reproductive healthcare for many years, I could list so many evidence-based and peer-researched studies and reasons on why abortion should be decriminalised. Philip Goldstone Brisbane Times But the most profound and overriding reason for me is to end the shame and stigma that we heap onto women accessing this health service each and every day. Shame and stigma is something that I am familiar with; I have worked in the ... Read More »

Friday essay: how the moral panic over ‘sexual sadists’ silenced their victims

Between the 1920s and the 1950s, sexual sadism was widely discussed in Australian newspapers. Ironically, attempts to ban the Marquis de Sade’s books gave journalists an excuse to write about them, thus spreading knowledge of this “perversion”. Joanna Bourke The Conversation Public awareness of sadism also incited social panic, provoked by a series of highly publicised murders of Australian women. One of these was the mutilation and killing of Dorothy (“Dot”) May Everett in Newcastle in November 1937. Everett was ... Read More »

Remarks by Donald Tusk to the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

The European Union is fighting intensely to preserve the rules-based international order, which is currently under great strain, in terms of trade, security, climate change or human rights. Donald Tusk Voltaire We say this not only as countries strongly supporting the United Nations, but as a continent that cares deeply about respect, mutual understanding and solidarity between nations. As leaders, we must equip the United Nations with the means to fulfil its mandate successfully. More unity and collective action are ... Read More »