Humanity

American colonisation killed so many people it triggered climate change, study suggests

‘Genocide-generated drop in CO2’ resulted from abandoned farmland turning into forests that sucked climate-warming gas from atmosphere Josh Gabbatiss Independent The arrival of Europeans in the Americas left a trail of death in their wake that also triggered a period of climate change, according to a new theory proposed by British scientists. A University College London team estimates that 55 million indigenous people died following the conquest of the Americas that began at the end of the 15th century. The majority of these ... Read More »

Behrouz Boochani wins $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature

The winner of this year’s $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature couldn’t be at the awards presentation on Thursday evening. Jason Steger The Sydney Morning Herald He was unavoidably detained elsewhere – on Manus Island, where he has been incarcerated for more than five years. Kurdish refugee Behrouz Boochani’s​ poetic memoir, No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison (translated by Omid Tofighian), not only won Australia’s richest writing prize, but also the $25,000 non-fiction prize in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, ... Read More »

The whitewashing of Japan’s Naomi Osaka was no accident

This week, Naomi Osaka became the face of Japan to the world. By capturing the 2019 Australian Open, she has raced to No. 1 in the tennis world rankings, becoming the first Asian to ever achieve that honor. Baye McNeil The Washington Post But even as this exceptionally talented biracial, multinational and (as she phrased it) obviously tan woman was displaying why she’s a champion, one of her sponsors, the Japanese food brand Nissin, released an anime-style advertisement portraying Osaka ... Read More »

Hakeem Al-Araibi’s case is a test of world soccer’s human rights credentials. Here’s why

Hakeem Al-Araibi is a refugee from Bahrain who plays semi-professional soccer in Melbourne for Pascoe Vale. Sarah Joseph The Conversation He is a former member of the Bahraini national football team. He is currently detained in Thailand, the subject of an extradition request by Bahrain. His extradition to that country would breach his human rights against refoulement (the forcible return of refugees) and torture. Al-Araibi’s case has become a crucial test of world football’s commitment to human rights. Is this ... Read More »

Persecution of Christians across the Globe independent review: Foreign Secretary’s launch speech

Speech Jeremy Hunt made remarks at the official launch of the review that will be conducted by the Bishop of Truro, Philip Mounstephen. From: Foreign & Commonwealth Office and The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP Archbishop, bishop, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, a very warm welcome this morning to this very important occasion and very significant launch. Last Sunday, many people here will have been going to church, as indeed was the case in the Philippines at the Cathedral of ... Read More »

Europe’s refugee crisis explains why border walls don’t stop migration

President Trump has long called migration a security crisis, but in recent weeks he has also referred to the situation along the southern border as a humanitarian crisis. Eleanor Paynter The Conversation As he ended the government shutdown in a televised speech on Jan. 25, Trump reiterated his claim that a border wall between the United States and Mexico would save the lives of Central American migrants, many of whom are women and children. “Walls work,” he said. “They save ... Read More »

Catholic Church orders nuns who protested Indian bishop accused of rape to leave state

Catholic nuns who protested against an Indian Bishop accused of rape have been ordered to leave the state of Kerala and serve the community from others parts of the country. Salvi Manish SBS A group of nuns who led a historic protest in the southern Indian state of Kerala that made the headlines worldwide last year have been issued with transfer notices by the Catholic Church. In response, the nuns have produced a letter to the Chief Minister of Kerala ... Read More »

‘I pay taxes, I play football, I love Australia’: Hakeem al-Araibi speaks

Bangkok: Refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi has begged the Australian government to “keep fighting for me” and stop his extradition to Bahrain on what supporters say are politically-motivated charges. James Massola The Age Sixty-three days after arriving in Thailand for a one week honeymoon with his wife, the Melbourne man – who remains in detention pending an extradition request to his birth country – says “I am not good, I am afraid and alone and I miss my wife”. In an ... Read More »

Centre-left Italian mayors are refusing to implement a government decree targeting migrants

Around 500 people will be evicted from a large refugee reception centre in Castelnuovo di Porto, a town close to Rome, before the end of January. Authors: The Conversation The move follows the adoption of a new “security decree” in early December 2018 by the Italian parliament, which reduces the rights of migrants and asylum seekers. The decree was spearheaded by Matteo Salvini, the deputy prime minister and leader of the right-wing Northern League, currently governing Italy in coalition with ... Read More »

Pope says weary Church ‘wounded by her own sin’ in reference to abuse

Panama City: Pope Francis said on Saturday the Roman Catholic Church was weary and “wounded by her own sin,” in an apparent reference to the global sexual abuse crisis. Reuters The Canberra Times Francis made the comment in the homily of Mass for priests, nuns, and members of Catholic lay organisations in Panama City’s newly renovated cathedral of Santa Maria Antigua, the first in mainland America, which was completed in 1716. The pope has called a summit of the heads of ... Read More »

Angola decriminalises homosexuality

Angola’s parliament has also voted to ban discrimination against sexual orientation with offenders facing up to two years in prison. AFP-SBS Angola’s parliament has decriminalised homosexuality, removing a notorious “vices against nature” provision in its penal code and banning discrimination against sexual orientation, in a reform hailed by rights watchdogs. On Wednesday, 155 parliamentarians voted for Angola’s first overhaul of the criminal statute books since independence, while seven abstained and one voted against. “Angola has finally shed the… Angola decriminalises… Read More »

‘Shock and dismay’: Thai pop idol condemned for Nazi swastika T-shirt

A member of Thailand’s most popular all-girl band wore a shirt portraying Nazi Germany’s state flag with a swastika emblazoned across it during a televised rehearsal. AFP – SBS A member of Thailand’s most popular all-girl band has apologised for wearing a shirt with a Nazi flag featuring a swastika, after her TV appearance Friday drew “shock and dismay” from the Israeli embassy. Images of Hitler, swastikas and other Nazi regalia are fairly commonplace on T-shirts and memorabilia in Thailand, ... Read More »

Fight for Europe – or the wreckers will destroy it

The continent faces its biggest challenge since the 1930s. We urge European patriots to resist the nationalist onslaught Bernard-Henri Lévy, Milan Kundera, Salman Rushdie, Elfriede Jelinek, Orhan Pamuk and 25 others Europe ‘coming apart before our eyes’, say 30 top intellectuals The Guardian The idea of Europe is in peril. From all sides there are criticisms, insults and desertions from the cause. “Enough of ‘building Europe’!” is the cry. Let’s reconnect instead with our “national soul”! Let’s rediscover our “lost identity”! This is the agenda shared ... Read More »

Guzmán trial: Drug lord tortured and murdered rivals, says witness

Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán personally tortured and murdered his rivals, his former bodyguard has said at a trial in New York. BBC In the most gruesome testimony to date, Isaias Valdez Rios described seeing “El Chapo” brutally beat at least three men before shooting them. Guzmán denies charges including trafficking and money laundering. If guilty, he could be jailed for life. The ex-boss of the Sinaloa cartel was held in 2016 after escaping from jail. He used ... Read More »

The cave rescue you didn’t hear about — and its tragic outcome

Indian authorities have recovered one body from a flooded mine shaft where 15 miners were trapped in the northern state of Meghalaya last month. Siobhan Heanue ABC For 40 days loved ones hoped for good news, but there was little media coverage of the disaster, even in India. Rescuers struggled to pump water out of the mine after it flooded on December 13, and Indian navy divers were called in to help. The rescue operation was compared with the successful ... Read More »

Exclusive: U.N. expert to lead international inquiry into Khashoggi murder

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions told Reuters on Thursday she will travel to Turkey next week to head an “independent international inquiry” into the… Stephanie Nebehay Reuters Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post and a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed and dismembered by Saudi agents at its consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2, provoking an international outcry. Earlier on Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said ... Read More »