Humanity

The high price of ‘white genocide’ politics for Australia

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When Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton suddenly became concerned at the plight of South African farmers earlier this year, he may not have been aware that he was echoing ideas and memes not only of the alt-right, but also potentially of a… Chris Zappone Brisbane Times Publicity around the persecution of white farmers can be traced back through the alt-right, which has embraced it, to the well-worn conspiracy theories of white supremacists. In recent years, however, the alt-right has used ... Read More »

Can military-style tactics help save the African rhino?

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These magnificent beasts are facing annihilation from ruthless poachers, but environmentalists hope that military-style operations to move the animals across borders may help save the species. Todd Pitock The Age As the sun drifts down on the rolling hills in the heartland of South Africa, Manie Van Niekerk sits with his fingers clasped in his lap. At 52, he wears his hair cropped, which along with a solid physique gives the impression of a man who cannot be easily shaken. ... Read More »

Why do so many friendships dissolve as we age?

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What are we without friends, those who know us warts and all but love us anyway? Yet many friendships drift away as we age, leaving us beating on, boats against the current, borne back into the past… Frank Robson The Canberra Times Even now, with our friendship effectively over, I still picture Damian* as he was long ago when we met as reporters on the shameless Melbourne Truth. More specifically, I visualise him crawling triumphantly from a dumbwaiter on the 15th ... Read More »

Monsanto ordered to pay $289m damages in Roundup cancer trial

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Chemical giant Monsanto has been ordered to pay $289m (£226m) damages to a man who claimed herbicides containing glyphosate had caused his cancer. BBC In a landmark case, a Californian jury found that Monsanto knew its Roundup and RangerPro weedkillers were dangerous and failed to warn consumers. It’s the first lawsuit to go to trial alleging a glyphosate link to cancer. Monsanto denies that glyphosate causes cancer and says it intends to appeal against the ruling. “The jury got it ... Read More »

Argentina retains strict abortion laws by rejecting elective procedures

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Argentina’s decision to retain its stringent abortion laws has left Latin America and the Caribbean with some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the world. ABC Argentine senators this week narrowly rejected a bill to legalise abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, overcoming support for a surging abortion rights movement in the homeland of Pope Francis. The Senate’s 38-31 vote against the proposed legislation could echo across Latin America, where anti-abortion forces remains strong even if the ... Read More »

Tennessee carries out execution of Billy Ray Irick with controversial lethal injection drugs

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Tennessee has carried out the execution of a man condemned for the 1985 rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl, marking the first time the state has applied the death penalty in nearly a decade. ABC Inmate Billy Ray Irick, 59 — convicted in 1986 in the death of Paula Dyer, a Knoxville girl he was babysitting — was the first to receive a controversial new three-drug lethal cocktail. Irick had been a boarder in the home where the girl ... Read More »

‘Stand up if you’re an asylum seeker’: the night corporate Australia made me cry

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A networking night, a LinkedIn profile, a new suit: these white collar acts that seem so banal may change the life of an asylum seeker Brigid Delaney The Guardian In the foyer of the building off Martin Place there is a corporate networking event in full swing. People in suits are talking to other people in suits (while juggling a beer and a rice paper roll) about jobs and internships and degrees and experience: all the stuff that people at ... Read More »

Iran’s Judiciary Threatens Executions for Economic ‘Crimes’

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Implementing the Death Penalty is Wrong Response to Economic Crisis Tara Sepehri Far HRW Iran’s senior officials are attempting to head off a looming economic crisis – triggered by the return of US sanctions – with threats of new rights-abusing policies. Tehran’s prosecutor, Jafari Dolatabadi, on Wednesday warned that importers who abuse government subsidies could be charged with “corruption on earth,” which carries a possible death sentence. Several hardliner newspapers and parliamentarians have echoed Dolatabadi’s call to execute people found ... Read More »

Are Turkey’s Christians as ‘fine’ as they say?

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As tensions simmered between Ankara and Washington over detained American pastor Andrew Brunson, the leaders of Turkey’s non-Muslim minorities issued a joint statement July 31 to deny that they faced any oppression in the country. Fehim Tastekin Al-Monitor The timing of the move was rather remarkable, and for Garo Paylan, an ethnic Armenian lawmaker for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), the issuance of such a declaration was “in itself a proof that we are not free.” The 18 Christian and Jewish community leaders ... Read More »

Meet the researchers designing the death of plastic

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Urbana, Illinois: Adam Feinberg had no sooner made a bright yellow thin sheet of plastic than he had to shred it into little pieces. He chose an “I”-shaped mould. Then, he filled it with the plastic bits and stuck it in a hot oven. Xiaozhi Lim The Sydney Morning Herald New York Times “I opened up the mould and there was this beautiful yellow ‘I,'” he recalled. His new plastic passed the first test — it was moldable with heat like ... Read More »

Profit, not free speech, governs media companies’ decisions on controversy

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For decades, U.S. media companies have limited the content they’ve offered based on what’s good for business. The decisions by Apple, Spotify, Facebook and YouTube to remove content from commentator Alex Jones and his InfoWars platform follow this same pattern. Amanda Lotz The Conversation My research on media industries makes clear that government rules and regulations do little to limit what television shows, films, music albums, video games and social media content are available to the public. Business concerns about ... Read More »

Trees are made of human breath

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Outside my office window, two skilled workers complete a hard and dirty job. They’re cutting the felled trunk of a tree into small enough pieces to be thrown into the back of a truck with the rest of the chipped remains. Cris Brack The Conversation I know that this act was ultimately for my own safety. I, like tens of thousands of others over the past 50 years, regularly walked beneath the canopy of that tree. But recently it was ... Read More »

Australian media are playing a dangerous game using racism as currency

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It has been quite a week for race-laden discourse in the Australian media. There was Blair Cottrell, a notorious pro-Hitler extremist, appearing on Sky News and calling for a race-based immigration policy. Denis Muller The Conversation There was Andrew Bolt in the Herald Sun sounding the tocsin about how “there is no ‘us’ anymore”, how Australia was being overwhelmed by a “tidal wave of immigration” and ethnic “colonies”: Jews, Indians, Chinese, Muslims, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Italians. A speech in London last ... Read More »

What philosophers have to say about eating meat

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WeWork, a co-working and office space company, recently made a company policy not to serve or reimburse meals that include meat. Joan McGregor The Conversation WeWork’s co-founder and chief culture officer, Miguel McKelvey, said in an email that it was the company’s attempt at reducing its carbon footprint. His moral arguments are based on the devastating environmental effects of meat consumption. Research has shown that meat and dairy production are among the worst culprits when it comes to the production ... Read More »

Venezuela crisis: Brazil briefly shuts border to migrants

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Brazil has re-opened its northern border with Venezuela to those fleeing economic and political turmoil there, after briefly closing it. BBC The Supreme Court overturned an earlier order to shut the frontier until Brazil could put in place the right conditions to receive the huge influx of people. Authorities in the state of Roraima in Brazil’s Amazon region say some 500 Venezuelans cross the border every day. The border was re-opened to Venezuelan migrants after a few hours on Monday. ... Read More »

Andrew Bolt got his facts wrong. But that’s not the only thing wrong with his column

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Bolt’s column illustrates the steady and sinister drift of Australia’s national conversation towards a permissible racism Robert Manne The Guardian Last week four Murdoch tabloids – the Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun, the Courier Mail and the Adelaide Advertiser – published an opinion column by Andrew Bolt. The headline the Telegraph chose, “The Foreign Invasion”, was not inaccurate. According to Bolt, Australia was losing its identity. The principal cause was “a tidal wave of immigrants” who refused to assimilate and treated Australia not ... Read More »