Humanity

School autism project improving attendance and changing lives of children, families

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Until recently, four-year-old Hussain Hussain communicated with his mother by pulling at her and pointing to what he wanted. Rebecca Carmody ABC He managed the odd word but could not put two together. His mother, Sohaila Ibrahim, suspected something was wrong and was not surprised when Hussain was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in late 2017. As devastating as it was, the diagnosis turned out to be a blessing, making it possible for Hussain to attend a new school ... Read More »

How the Shin Bet Got Unlimited Power to Decide Which Palestinians Are Allowed Into Israel

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Israel’s rules for issuing work permits to Palestinians are a mystery, but sociologist Yael Berda asserts it’s not about security at all, but about controlling the local population Shany Littman – Haaretz Why these Palestinians are desperate to be declared ‘clean’ by Israel Israel condemns hundreds of Palestinians to unemployment – due to their last name The Israeli army snatched a Palestinian boy from his bed and arrested him – then realized it’s a mistake How the Shin… Read More »

Why remembering matters for healing

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April 12 marks Holocaust Remembrance Day. Each year communities and schools plan various events such as reading the names of Holocaust victims and survivors, forums of Holocaust survivor speakers, or panel discussions with historians. Nancy Berns The Conversation These events run through an entire week of remembrance. Such formal days of remembrance are important. As a sociologist who studies grief and justice, I have seen how these events and permanent memorials can be both healing and inspirational. I will share ... Read More »

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern bans oil exploration

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is defending her Government’s dramatic ban on offshore oil exploration, saying the transition to a zero-carbon economy “must start somewhere” and promising that no jobs will be lost. Isaac Davison NZ Herald “Unless we make decisions today that will essentially take effect in 30 or more years’ time, we run the risk of acting too late and causing abrupt shocks to communities and our country,” she said at a press conference in Wellington this morning. “I ... Read More »

The U.S. Has Accepted Only 11 Syrian Refugees This Year

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The Trump administration has condemned a suspected chemical weapons strike in Syria and is considering military action. Deborah Amos Parallels “We are very concerned, when a thing like that can happen, this is about humanity,” President Trump said earlier this week. But humanitarian organizations are challenging the president’s commitment to humanity when it comes to Syrian civilians — particularly those seeking refuge in the United States. In 2016, near the end of Barack Obama’s presidency, the U.S. resettled 15,479 Syrian ... Read More »

Berlin to change street names over brutal African colonial past

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Berlin is poised to strip the names of streets linked to atrocities committed during its occupation of Namibia and dedicate them to liberation fighters, part of a late reckoning with Germany’s brutal colonial history in Africa. BERLIN – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet After more than a decade of debate, the three biggest parties in the Berlin Mitte district assembly voted Wednesday night to recommend new names for streets in the so-called African Quarter in the northwest of the German capital, spokeswoman ... Read More »

Preventing Boko Haram Abductions of Schoolchildren in Nigeria

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Four years after the abductions in Chibok, and months after more kidnappings in Dapchi, over 100 schoolgirls are still missing. Nigeria must act to make schools safe – beefing up security, learning from past mistakes and, ultimately, working to end the Boko Haram insurgency. What’s new? In February, a faction of the jihadist Boko Haram movement, seized 113 children from Dapchi in north east Nigeria. ICG It later released 107 of them. Five reportedly died; one remains captive. This comes ... Read More »

Why North Korea’s Human Rights Abuses are Being Ignored

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Despite the reactions of the United States and South Korea to the North’s human-rights abuses, North Koreans are left behind. Min hee Jo, Quinn Marschik The National Interest Human rights form a pillar of most democratic countries’ foreign policies and play a major role in their international relations. When it comes to totalitarian North Korea, which is among the worst human-rights abusers in modern history, the United States and South Korea under the Trump and Moon administrations respectively have employed similar but ... Read More »

Memo from a South African: Peter Dutton is entrenching racist white privilege

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My child eyes witnessed racism daily in South Africa. I could escape because I’m white Shelley Davidow The Guardian This year marks the 70th anniversary of the implementation of the racist legislation known as apartheid in South Africa. In 1948, laws were signed into effect that forever changed the lives of South Africans, leaving a devastating legacy, which many of us across the world still live with and struggle against. I am a white former South African living in Australia, ... Read More »

Turned away

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On thin evidence, Britain declares its biggest source of refugees safe after all NIYAT DYMOTT’S last months in Eritrea were a “living hell”. The Economist The 19-year-old wanted to go to university after finishing school but was drafted into a brutal and indefinite military service. To flee, she spent four days trekking across the western deserts to Sudan, hiding at night to avoid border guards with orders to shoot escapees on sight. At Port Sudan an uncle paid $5,000 to ... Read More »

Fifteen years after looting, thousands of artefacts are still missing from Iraq’s national museum

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On April 10 2003, the first looters broke into the National Museum of Iraq. Staff had vacated two days earlier, ahead of the advance of US forces on Baghdad. Craig Barker The Conversation The museum was effectively ransacked for the next 36 hours until employees returned. While the staff – showing enormous bravery and foresight – had removed and safely stored 8,366 artefacts before the looting, some 15,000 objects were taken during that 36 hours. While 7,000 items have been ... Read More »

How to be a giving person without burning out

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When you hear someone say “She’s such a great parent. She does everything for her kids”, or “The CEO cares more about this company’s success than her own”, what’s your reaction? ABC Do you think about how selfless and committed that person is, and how successful they must be? Well, recent research suggests you might be wrong. When it comes to sharing your time and energy, giving selflessly (at the expense of your own goals and motivation) does not always ... Read More »

Syrian government accused of chemical attacks on civilians in eastern Ghouta

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Medical relief organisation says a chlorine bomb hit a hospital, killing six people, with total death toll from chemical attacks at 41 Reuters The Guardian A Syrian rebel group has accused government forces of dropping a barrel bomb containing poisonous chemicals on civilians in eastern Ghouta and a medical relief organisation said at least 41 people had been killed in chemical attacks on the… Syrian state media denied claims by Jaish al-Islam that government forces had launched any chemical attack ... Read More »

Leading human rights barrister Julian Burnside examines asylum seeker policies worldwide

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World Premiere of Border Politics The Human Rights Arts and Film Festival will screen the world premiere of Border Politics on 15 May in Melbourne. Border Politics follows human rights barrister Julian Burnside as he crosses the globe to examine the treatment of refugees. Georgia Rowles. Pic: James Dryburgh Tasmanian Times The documentary highlights refugee and asylum seeker policies enforced in developed countries. Julian Burnside compares the attitudes of these countries to demonstrate the role political leadership plays in refugee ... Read More »

Medical cannabis is legal. That does not mean it works

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These days, when Deb Lynch reads that medical cannabis is legal, she just laughs and laughs. “We used to get annoyed about that,” she says. Liam Mannix The Canberra Times “Not any more.” Ms Lynch expected legalisation would mean she could access the drug to treat her autoimmune disease. But, like many, she has been knocked back and told there is no evidence it would help her. For medical cannabis, some experts believe the hype has surged way past the ... Read More »

The plight of Rohingya women

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As the minority Rohingya people flee persecution in Myanmar, none face greater hardship and suffering than Rohingya women. By Imran Mohammad. The Saturday Paper I write this as a Rohingya man, a refugee, looking at an unacknowledged reality in the upheaval of my people. The majority of Rohingya women have never had the opportunity to express themselves. It is like their lives begin and end inside four walls. They can be made to commit to a virtual stranger in an ... Read More »