Humanity

Italy, France call for refugee processing centres in Africa

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Giuseppe Conte hosted by Emmanuel Macron amid bid to bury hatchet following diplomatic row over rejected refugee ship. Al-Jazeera The leaders of Italy and France have urged the European Union to set up asylum processing centres in Africa to prevent refugees and migrants from undertaking the journey across the Mediterranean. French President Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s new populist Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte met in Paris on Friday in a bid to bury the hatchet after a bitter diplomatic squabble erupted this week over Rome’s ... Read More »

Violent crime against older people is at record levels — here’s why

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Crime statistics have traditionally suggested that people aged 60 or over are less likely to be the victims of violent crime than the rest of the population. Hannah Bows The Conversation But while national victimisation surveys consistently report lower levels of victimisation among those aged 60 and over, these figures don’t necessarily capture the full picture. This is in part because most victimisation surveys exclude certain groups in society from participating – including those living in “institutions” such as care ... Read More »

Illegal trade in antiquities: a scourge that has gone on for millennia too long

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Looting of artefacts has always been a sign of military might or economic power. Evangelos Kyriakidis The Conversation Over millennia, conquering generals would take away with them trophies to adorn their cities. In more recent centuries, the wealthy upper classes would make “grand tours” of classical sites and acquire – through whatever means – anything from vases to statues to entire temple friezes to show off at… Owning a piece of antiquity was seen as demonstrating wealth, a love of ... Read More »

‘Stay safe’: why women are enraged by advice to steer clear of violent men

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This week, a man allegedly raped and murdered a young woman – emerging comedian Eurydice Dixon – as she walked home from a comedy gig. 19-year-old Jaymes Todd has since been charged with one count of murder and one count of rape. Bianca Fileborn The Conversation In the wake of yet another tragic – but, importantly, not unavoidable – loss of a woman’s life, police predictably advised people to “stay safe” by engaging in a range of “protective” strategies. The ... Read More »

Bavaria’s man in Berlin pushes Merkel to brink

BERLIN, GERMANY - JUNE 14: German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer and leader of the Bavarian Christian Democrats (CSU) prepares to take an elevator during a day of wrangling at the Bundestag between the CSU and the German Christian Democrats (CDU) of Chancellor Angela Merkel on June 14, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Merkel is at odds with Seehofer over migration policy. While Merkel wants a European-wide approach to migration, Seehofer is insisting that Germany be able to unilaterally turn away asylum seekers when they first reach the German border should they not meet asylum criteria.  (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Horst Seehofer puts home state election first in clash with chancellor. Janosch Delcker Politico BERLIN — Horst Seehofer may be Germany’s interior minister but he’s doing Bavaria’s bidding. The 68-year-old’s career looked to be on the slide when he was ousted as premier of the southern state at the end of last year. Yet he is center stage once again after pushing Angela Merkel’s government into crisis with his plan to toughen Germany’s asylum policies. By threatening to implement his plan even without Merkel’s ... Read More »

From the St Louis to the Aquarius: the history of refugee boats as archipelagos of misery

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The Aquarius, a rescue ship in the Mediterranean carrying 629 people, is now on its way to Spain, after being refused docking in Italy and Malta. Simone Gigliotti The Conversation The crisis has caused a diplomatic row between France and Italy and highlighted the stalemate within the EU on asylum policy. Sadly, there have been many historical examples of boats laden with refugees, that were refused docking. In the aftermath of World War II, the historian Eugene Kulischer wrote: “The ... Read More »

‘Not equal before the law’: Why regional drug addicts are often sent to jail, not rehab

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A retired judge has backed calls for more drug rehabilitation centres in the bush, warning addicts in regional areas are too often thrown behind bars. Background Briefing – By Bronwyn Adcock ABC John Nicholson SC served as a New South Wales District Court judge for more than a decade and regularly presided over sittings in Dubbo, where drug-related crime is high. When sentencing offenders, Mr Nicholson told Background Briefing there were times he had no choice but to impose a jail ... Read More »

UN rights chief calls for major probe into Kashmir abuses

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The U.N. human rights chief on June 14 called for a major investigation into abuses in Kashmir, as his office released its first-ever report on violations committed by both India and Pakistan in the… GENEVA – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said he would urge the Human Rights Council, which opens a new session next week, “to consider establishing a Commission of Inquiry [COI] to conduct a comprehensive independent international investigation into… A COI is one of the UN’s highest-level probes, generally reserved for ... Read More »

Nazi flags and war crimes? Our armed forces need better leadership

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The culture of the defence forces has allowed some nasty aspects of our society to take hold in the junior ranks Bridget Clinch The Guardian I never expected to wake up to the news that a special forces vehicle had been flying a swastika flag on operations in Afghanistan in 2007 and, I imagine, neither did the Australian public. We have entrusted these soldiers to defend us and our way of life, not to become the monsters we have fought ... Read More »

U.S. expected to retreat from main U.N. rights forum: activists, diplomats

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GENEVA (Reuters) – Talks with the United States over how to reform the main U.N. rights body have failed to meet Washington’s demands, activists and diplomats say, suggesting that the Trump administration will quit the… Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Alison Williams A U.S. source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the withdrawal appeared to be “imminent” but had no details. Diplomatic sources said it was not a question of if but of when the United States retreats ... Read More »

Young refugees share what it’s like trying to finish school, find work and get married

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In 2012, at 10 years of age, Daahir sat in his school classroom in Mogadishu, Somalia. The sounds of gun shots piercing the air interrupted the lesson. Laura Prazeres The Conversation As Daahir ran back home, he overheard that fighting had erupted between government forces and the militant group Al-Shabab. Daahir arrived home to find his father dead from gunshot wounds. Faced with further threats and imminent violence, Daahir and his family, along with many others, fled their… According to ... Read More »

We won’t use new regulations to outlaw rough sleepers: city council

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UPDATED: The Adelaide City Council says it will not outlaw rough sleepers in the CBD after Anglicare raised concerns that changes to its by-laws that could be used to move homeless people on. Bension Siebert InDaily The council on Tuesday night endorsed a change to three of its by-laws, which would make it illegal to “obstruct any cubicle, walkway or public area”. The phrase would be added to council regulations concerning local government land, Rundle Mall and roads. Documents presented ... Read More »

EU Should Push to Protect Rights in Diamond Trade

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Next week (June 18-22) the European Union hosts governments, the diamond industry, and nongovernmental groups in the diamond-trading city of Antwerp to take stock of the Kimberley Process, the certification process set up nearly two decades ago to end the trade in “blood.. Juliane Kippenberg HRW But the Kimberley Process is not up to the task. The European Union-currently the chair of the Kimberley Process-should push for change to improve the protection of human rights starting with mining and throughout ... Read More »

Catholics defend the secrecy of confession amid pressure over child abuse royal commission

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Catholic Church is holding firm against calls to lift the veil of secrecy on confession amid calls from victims and advocates to force priests to report alleged abusers. By political reporter Matthew Doran ABC Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull delivered the Federal Government’s response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse in Canberra on Wednesday. Last year 122 recommendations were delivered to the government, including calls to throw out the sanctity of the confessional. In a statement ... Read More »

Asylum seekers are now political pawns in a disharmonious EU

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The fate of the Aquarius, a Doctors without Borders rescue ship left stranded for hours in the Mediterranean carrying 629 African migrants, is a stark reminder of the EU’s ongoing stalemate on asylum policy. Ruvi Ziegler The Conversation The new Italian interior minister, Matteo Salvini, ordered ports to refuse docking to the ship, prompting a rhetorical revolt by several Italian mayors. Malta also refused docking, claiming that the rescue occurred in the Italian search and rescue zone. As the ship’s ... Read More »

Australia sexual abuse: PM accepts landmark inquiry proposals

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The Australian government has accepted almost all recommendations from a landmark inquiry into child sexual abuse as it prepares to deliver a national apology to victims. BBC The five-year inquiry found tens of thousands of children had suffered abuse in Australian institutions. PM Malcolm Turnbull said that his government would act on 104 of 122 official recommendations. The remaining 18 had not been ruled out, he… He will make the apology on 22 October. “The survivors have told their stories ... Read More »