Humanity

42 Fijians to provide security on Manus Island as tension mounts over imminent closure

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A Papua New Guinea company has hired Fijian personnel to work at the controversial Manus Island detention centre, scheduled for closure next Tuesday. NewsWire The group, recruited by PNG-based Paladin Solutions, will depart Fiji on Monday pending clearance from the employment ministry. Paladin’s local agent, Isireli Tamanituakula said his team would stay outside the detention centre fence and only patrol the outer boundary.“There are 42 personnel, partly military, ex-police officers, ex-prison officers, and civilians. They have been chosen to serve under Paladin Solutions Papua ... Read More »

Days before the forced closure of Manus, we have no safe place to go

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As refugees we are faced with the threat of either the navy occupying the detention centre if we stay or angry locals if we leave Only a few days remain until the Australian government meets its self-imposed deadline and closes the prison that it created on Manus Island. Behrouz Boochani The Guardian On 31 October the imprisoned refugees are supposed to be transferred from the regional processing centre (RPC) to the small town of Lorengau. It is a place that ... Read More »

After years in dangerous limbo the men on Manus must be brought to safety

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While my Australian friends share photos of weddings and work, the posts from Manus depict fear and mistreatment. We’re at a crisis point Georgie Bright “People have lost hope,” Aziz tells me. The Guardian “What energy they have – they want to use it to survive. They are desperate and powerless. They never think about their future.” I look across the table at the man in front of me – at 24 he is about my age, wearing the same ... Read More »

Wanted: 11 million professionals to save Africa from ‘disaster’

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Africa needs 11 million more doctors, nurses and teachers by 2030 to prevent a “social and economic disaster” that could propel millions to migrate, the United Nations said on Oct. 26. LONDON – Reuters Hurriyet It said the 11 million were needed to help the continent cope with a booming population, with the number of children set to increase by 170 million to 750 million in the next 13 years. “We are at the most critical juncture for Africa’s children,” ... Read More »

Will anyone protect the Rohingya?

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Since August, the Rohingya, an ethnic minority in Myanmar, has faced what a United Nations official called “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” Vincent A. Auger  The Conversation Recent reports describe a campaign by Myanmar security forces to drive the Rohingya from the country permanently. Hundreds of thousands have fled to camps in neighboring Bangladesh, creating a new refugee crisis. This is exactly the type of atrocity that the United Nations vowed to combat in 2005, when it asserted a ... Read More »

Slavery thrives because it’s hidden: we need to learn to ask questions, says CofE bishop

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The CofE bishop who is leading the Church’s efforts to help to tackle modern slavery has called for ‘improvement in police practice’ in the wake of a highly critical report which found that police are failing in the area. James Macintyre Christian Today A new report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services found that police forces are failing to tackle modern slavery and human trafficking because the cases are too difficult and senior officers believe the ... Read More »

Up to 40 per cent of aged care residents get no visitors, minister Ken Wyatt says

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Up to 40 per cent of people in aged care homes never get visitors, Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt has told the National Press Club. Louise Yaxley  ABC “It saddens me immensely,” Mr Wyatt said. He said it was a figure he had heard rather than a solid statistic, but Mr Wyatt said he was dismayed that older people were left on their own without family contact. “Our love should not be conditional on a point in age, or because ... Read More »

Kurdish Fears of New Iranian-Backed Genocide ‘Must Be Taken Seriously,’ Expert Urges

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Kurdish warnings that they face a potential genocide at the hands of the Iranian-backed forces that have swept through Iraqi Kurdistan over the last ten days “need to be taken seriously,” a leading expert on Kurdish affairs said on… Ben Cohen  Algemeiner “There is a great fear among the Kurds that they could face another genocide at the hands of the Iraqi government and the Shia militia forces backed by Iran,” Julie Lenarz — the executive director of the Human ... Read More »

Assisted dying is one thing, but governments must ensure palliative care is available to all who need it

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Assisted dying moved one step closer to reality in Victoria last week with the authorising bill passing the lower house with a comfortable 47-37 majority Stephen Duckett Throughout the debate, many MPs spoke of terrible personal experiences of the deaths of family members. The Conversation Such harrowing stories were also present in submissions to the parliamentary inquiry into end-of-life choices, that recommended an assisted dying regime leading to the… These terrible deaths were most often used to argue in favour ... Read More »

Cambodian refugee deal a ‘bad joke’, says former foreign affairs minister Gareth Evans

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The $55 million deal to resettle refugees in Cambodia is a “joke in bad taste” that has undermined Australia’s diplomatic influence, says former Labor foreign affairs minister Gareth Evans. Liam Cochrane ABC Mr Evans said Australian diplomacy has been hobbled by the refugee deal at a time when something needs to be done to address Cambodia’s slide into authoritarianism. The deal with Cambodia was struck three years ago under then immigration minister Scott Morrison, but at last count, just three ... Read More »

Canberra Death Talking Evening aims to remove stigma from dying

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Philippa Haas would like her remains scattered into the sea. Judith Barnes wants her ashes spread over a nice spot in Jugiong. Emily Baker  The pair don’t want to die – but they’re happy to talk about what should happen when they do. The Canberra Times “I find death as exciting as birth,” Ms Barnes, an “end-of-life doula”, said. “It’s the next big thing. Birth’s the first big thing, death’s the next big thing, and there’s all this wonderful circus ... Read More »

Former presidents take stage at hurricane benefit concert

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All five of America’s living former presidents took the stage on Oct. 21 at a benefit concert in Texas to raise money for victims of the hurricane-ravaged southern United States and Caribbean COLLEGE STATION – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter appeared together onstage at Texas A&M , praising Americans for their willingness to help fellow citizens and urging them to do more. The effort by the three ... Read More »

The Church’s child abuse record doesn’t disqualify it from opposing same-sex marriage

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Author Anna Krien’s recent condemnation of the church’s apparent hypocrisy (The Age, 17/10) in arguing that heterosexual marriage is best for children while being guilty of failing to address historical child abuse appears convincing Kevin Donnelly Brisbane Times A closer reading, though, reveals it for what it is. While Krien’s argument is emotionally persuasive she fails to provide a rational argument linking the two. Yes, the church clearly opposes same-sex marriage but to simply dismiss its arguments because of its ... Read More »

Australia’s “chronic non-compliance” “completely off the charts” says UN

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Overnight Australia was slammed by the UN Human Rights Committee for its “chronic non-compliance” with, and disengagement from, that Committee’s work. Australia’s record on human rights was found lacking as part of the Committee’s review into Australia’s protection of civil and political rights HRLC Professor Yuval Shany, Vice Chair of the Committee, said Australia’s track record was “incredible” for a country that claims to be a leading voice on human rights. Mr Shany directly contradicted Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s previous ... Read More »

Fintan O’Toole: The lie that poverty is a moral failing was buried a century ago. Now it’s back

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George Bernard Shaw knew that the rich are no better than the poor. But though the argument seemed settled then, it now rages more fiercely than ever. Fintan O’Toole The Irish Times If you know Alfred Doolittle only from Stanley Holloway’s infinitely lovable portrayal of him in My Fair Lady, you might not realise that he’s a bit of a monster. In George Bernard Shaw’s original play, Pygmalion, he arrives in high dudgeon at the home of Henry Higgins, who ... Read More »

‘It’s able to create knowledge itself’: Google unveils AI that learns on its own

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<link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”https://assets.guim.co.uk/stylesheets/282073db076992a654b86d39036af719/content.css”/> In a major breakthrough for artificial intelligence, AlphaGo Zero took just three days to master the ancient Chinese board game of Go … with no human help Ian Sample The Guardian Google’s artificial intelligence group, DeepMind, has unveiled the latest incarnation of its Go-playing program, AlphaGo – an AI so powerful that it derived thousands of years of human knowledge of the game before inventing better moves of its own, all in the space of three ... Read More »