Humanity

Rohingya crisis: US diplomat quits advisory panel

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Veteran US diplomat Bill Richardson has resigned from an international panel set up by Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi to advise on the Rohingya crisis He claimed the panel was a “whitewash” and accused Ms Suu Kyi, his long-time friend, of lacking “moral leadership”. BBC Myanmar said he should “review himself” over the “personal attack”. More than 650,000 Rohingya people, from a mostly-Muslim minority in Buddhist Myanmar, fled to Bangladesh last year in the face of a military crackdown. ... Read More »

A life in quotes: Ursula K Le Guin

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The award-winning fantasy and science fiction author on politics, death, writing and gender • News report: Ursula K Le Guin dies at 88 Calla Wahlquist The Guardian Ursula K Le Guin, award-winning fantasy and science fiction author and pioneer of feminist speculative fiction, has died age 88. Her extensive catalogue of published works includes novels, essays, poetry and children’s books. Here are some of her most memorable quotes. On mortality: ”You will die. You will not live forever. Nor will any ... Read More »

Science has a gambling problem

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Researchers and government agencies pay too little attention to pathological gambling. This must change. editorial nature Pathological gambling is thought to affect as many people as autism and schizophrenia. It disrupts employment, relationships and health, and places an enormous burden on the state. It is the only behavioural addiction formally recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, appearing in the fifth edition of the organization’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) in 2013. And what is the contribution of science to ... Read More »

“Don’t let Afrin become another Kobane”

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Academics and international human rights activists launched a petition calling upon world powers to act against Turkish aggression against Afrin ANF The petition, signed by academics and activists like Noam Chomsky, Michael Hardt and Debbi Bookchin, called for prevention of further Turkish attacks on Afrin. The full text of the petition reads as follows: “We, the undersigned academics and human rights activists, insist that the leaders of Russia, Iran, and the U.S. ensure that the sovereignty of Syrian borders is ... Read More »

Australia’s human rights record attacked in global report for ‘serious shortcomings’

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Human Rights Watch criticises Indigenous incarceration rate, counter-terrorism laws and detention centre abuse Helen Davidson The Guardian The Australian government must act on the “serious shortcomings” in its human rights record if it wants to be a credible leader on the global stage, Human Rights Watch has said in its annual world report. The Australian chapter of the HRW world review said that despite a strong tradition of protecting civil and political rights, “Australia has serious unresolved human rights problems” ... Read More »

Angela Merkel’s Austrian frenemy

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Sebastian Kurz is the leader many German conservatives wish they had By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico BERLIN — Angela Merkel pursed her lips and smirked. “Many people in your own ranks are excited about the Austrian chancellor, who is young, dynamic, direct, out of the ordinary,” a German journalist said to Merkel Wednesday as she stood next to Austria’s political boy wonder. “Is this the type of politician that’s missing here?” At 63, Merkel is twice as old as Sebastian Kurz, the new ... Read More »

Explainer: the evidence for the Tasmanian genocide

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At a public meeting in Hobart in the late 1830s, Solicitor-General Alfred Stephen, later Chief Justice of New South Wales, shared with the assembled crowd his solution for dealing with “the Aboriginal problem”. Kristyn Harman The Conversation If the colony could not protect its convict servants from Aboriginal attack “without extermination”, said Stephen, “then I say boldly and broadly exterminate!” Voluminous written and archaeological records and oral histories provide irrefutable proof that colonial wars were fought on Australian soil between ... Read More »

Freedom House reduces Turkey’s status to ‘not free’ in annual report

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U.S.-based non-governmental organization Freedom House has reduced Turkey’s status from “partly free” to “not free” in its latest annual report. Hurriyet The “Freedom in the World” 2018 report, published on Jan. 16, ruled that Turkey’s “political rights rating” had declined from 4 to 5 and its “civil liberties rating” had declined from 5 to 6. Specifically referring to the “deeply flawed” April 2017 referendum on shifting to an executive presidential system, the report also blasted the mass dismissals of state ... Read More »

‘Every day I am crushed’: the stateless man held without trial by Australia for eight years

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A UN body says Said Imasi should be released and compensated. But he still faces a potentially limitless detention Ben Doherty The Guardian Said Imasi is a man without a past: a man, it seems, without a future. He doesn’t know where he was born, or when. He has few documents to demonstrate who he is or where he comes from. He believes, but cannot prove, he was born in Spain’s Canary Islands, to a mother from Western Sahara – ... Read More »

African states demand Trump apologise for racist remark

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The African group of ambassadors to the United Nations has demanded an apology from Donald Trump, after the US president reportedly aimed a racist remark at some Caribbean nations and Africa. AlJazeera Trump criticised immigration to his country from El Salvador, Haiti and the African continent, by calling the group “shithole countries” at a meeting with Congress members at the White House on Thursday, according to US media. “The African Union mission to the UN is extremely appalled at, and strongly condemns the outrageous, racist ... Read More »

Deadly ‘long-lost disease’ diphtheria rages through Rohingya camps

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In a makeshift bamboo clinic, small children struggle to draw breath through surgical masks, victims of a forgotten but deadly disease that has torn through the teeming Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh. UKHIA, Bangladesh Hurriyet Diphtheria had been all but eradicated in Bangladesh until last year, when more than 650,000 Rohingya poured across the border fleeing a bloody military crackdown in neighboring Myanmar. Packed into an area meant for a much smaller number of refugees and with little sanitation or ... Read More »

Meet the theologian who helped MLK see the value of nonviolence

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After this last tumultuous year of political rancor and racial animus, many people could well be asking what can sustain them over the next coming days: How do they make the space for self-care alongside a constant call to activism? Paul Harvey The Conversation Or, how do they turn off their phones, when there are more calls to be made and focus instead on inward cultivation? As a historian of American race and religion, I have studied how figures in ... Read More »

Trump calls Haiti a ‘shithole’as Haitians remember anniversary of devastating earthquake that killed thousands

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On the day Haitians everywhere remembered the thousands of lives lost and the devastation caused by the earthquake eight years ago, President Donald Trump delivered another blow to the country, reportedly calling it a “shithole.” Beatrice Dupuy Newsweek The remark, the latest disparaging comment from the president about Haiti, did not fall on deaf ears. Haitians and Haitian Americans were once again outraged by the president who had reportedly once said Haitians “all have AIDS.” Haitian government officials Friday said the president’s comments reflected ... Read More »

Cypriot veterans win right to claim damages over UK torture claims

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Government’s arguments against claim rejected, paving way for ex-guerrillas to sue for alleged abuse during independence fight Helena Smith The Guardian A high court judge has opened the way for 34 Greek Cypriots to seek damages from Britain, following claims of torture and human rights abuses at the hands of colonial forces during the island’s struggle for independence in the 1950s. Passing judgment at the Royal Courts of Justice, Mr Justice Kerr dismissed the British government’s argument that Cypriot law applied in ... Read More »

NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio: Do Not Tear Salvatorian Families Apart

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UPDATED | This week, the federal Department of Homeland Security announced it was ending a humanitarian program called Temporary Protected Status for people from El Salvador. Bill De Blasio Newsweek TPS has provided these men, women and children the ability to live and work legally in the United States since 2001, when a series of earthquakes destabilized their homeland. This is not American. This is not what conforms to our longstanding values and our beliefs. We should not accept it, ... Read More »

Global warming will expose millions more to floods

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Global warming is expected to unleash more rain, exposing millions more people to river flooding particularly in the United States and parts of Asia, Africa and central Europe, researchers have said. MIAMI – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The study in the journal Science Advances calculates how much more flood protection will be needed to keep the risks of high-end floods constant in the next 25 years. Unless actions are taken – such as enhancing dykes, boosting building standards, relocating settlements and ... Read More »