Humanity

What makes a good friend?

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Good friendships seem worth celebrating. But for many of us, tensions can appear from time to time between being a good friend and doing “the right thing.” Alexis Elder The Conversation When faced with, for example, a situation where it’s tempting to lie to cover for a friend, it can seem as though friendship and morality are on a collision course. I am an ethicist who works on issues involving friendship, so this tension is of great interest to me. ... Read More »

Your choice of holiday destination is a political act

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Tickets, money, passports! We all know what to check for during that last minute packing panic. Brendan Canavan The Conversation But preparing for your holidays is about more than what you squeeze into your suitcase. It is about making a political choice. Tourism is an industry tied up with national and international politics like no other. Tourists are a source of foreign exchange, governments promote themselves through visitors, and politicians quite often worry about the social freedom that tourism can ... Read More »

Undeterred by violence, students close Dhaka’s roads to demand justice

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Dhaka: Thousands of Bangladeshi students have vowed to stay on the streets protesting until their government agrees to demands for improved road safety and justice for those who died in… Julfikar Ali Manik The Canberra Times Thousands of students paralysed parts of Bangladesh’s capital on Sunday to protest the country’s abysmal road safety conditions. Teenagers dressed in school uniforms erected checkpoints across the city, forcing the police and government ministers to observe traffic laws that are otherwise poorly enforced. Shahidul Alam, ... Read More »

If Other Countries Knew How Australia Stops The Boats It Could Damage Foreign Relations, Peter Dutton Told

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The minister’s 245-page incoming brief has been obtained by BuzzFeed News. Josh Taylor Revealing Australia’s role in turning back boats and other border enforcement operations could affect Australia’s relationship with other countries, home affairs minister Peter Dutton was told by his department. Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB) is a military operation initiated under the Abbott government in 2013 to stop the flow of boats bringing asylum seekers to Australia. The operation works in secrecy and very little information about what is ... Read More »

Children who have lost a parent to family violence need to be listened to

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Around the world, at least one in seven homicides are committed by a current or former intimate partner. Eva Alisic The Conversation In the United States, estimates suggest that, each year, a child may be more likely to lose a parent (the mother, in most cases) to intimate partner homicide than to be diagnosed with leukaemia. Many of these children witness the killing or its direct aftermath, often involving graphic scenes. Some try to intervene in whatever way they can. ... Read More »

Slow down, get real.

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In trying to understand the threat of fake news, a strange thing is occurring. We seem to have accepted without challenge the purity of that which is threatened. This is an edited version of a speech delivered at the annual conference of the Society of Risk Analysis Europe held at Mid Sweden University earlier this month. Nicholas Karides * How well did the media system work before this fakeness appeared? How real has real news been? The historian Noah Yoval ... Read More »

My Health Record can store genomic data but critics say it’s not ready

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The federal government’s My Health Record system is capable of storing genomic information, such as a person’s genetic risk of developing cancer, which could turbocharge medical research but has intensified privacy and… Esther Han The Age Fairfax Media can reveal Sydney-based whole genome sequencing company Genome.One developed “necessary infrastructure” in order to upload highly sensitive genomic information onto My Health… The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA), which for weeks has been deflecting privacy and… My Health Record… Read More »

Race politics is back – and the far-right are loving it

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Race politics is back. Right now, it feels like there has never been a more exciting time to be a dog-whistling politician or race-baiting commentator in Australia. Tim Soutphommasane Brisbane Times Five years ago, when I began my term as Race Discrimination Commissioner, I wouldn’t have said it was likely that we would see the resurgence of far-right politics. I wouldn’t have expected that the biggest threats to racial harmony would come from within our parliaments and media. Race looms ... Read More »

This Knocks the Legs Out from Under the Atom Bomb Revisionists Who Criticize Truman for Hiroshima

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The best way to get across the situation that Czarist Russia and then the Soviet Union faced in the Far East is to make it clear that the Maritime Provinces and their principal port, Vladivostok, were far, far more vulnerable than even the tenuous US position in the Philippines at the time of Pearl Harbor. D. M. Giangreco History News Network The lifeline upon which so much depended for the Russians was the Trans-Siberian Railroad and the chief of the US Military ... Read More »

Migrant kids were stripped, drugged, locked away. So much for compassion.

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WHEN ACCOUNTS of abuse emerged in June from a detention center for migrant minors in Virginia — children as young as 14 stripped naked, shackled, strapped to chairs, their heads encased in bags, left for days or longer in solitary confinement, and in some cases beaten and… Editorial Board The Washington Post This institution, the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center, near Staunton, couldn’t possibly be in America. And if it was, it had to be an extreme outlier — a place ... Read More »

Report: Church leaders pressured victims, cops over abuse

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A grand jury investigating clergy sex abuse in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses found that church leaders were more interested in preventing scandal than… Mark Scolforo RNS The grand jury’s full, nearly 900-page, report is expected to be released in the next two weeks. But a court filing made public Friday, resolving one of many legal disputes over the report, included excerpts from the… According to the document, the grand jury concluded that victims were “brushed ... Read More »

Julian Assange: What next for the Australian-born hacker, who may soon face eviction from Ecuadorian embassy

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Julian Assange’s six-year stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London is drawing to a close, with Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno signalling progress on a deal with the United Kingdom to evict the… The Signal – By Stephen Smiley and Penny Timms ΑΒC Mr Assange has been living in the embassy in the Knightsbridge neighbourhood of London since 2012, when he first sought asylum there while on bail awaiting a possible extradition to Sweden to face an… The Swedish investigation was dropped ... Read More »

This Man Is Making Cannabis Oil And Giving It Out For Free To Help Terminally Ill People

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It is estimated that over a million people in the UK rely on medical marijuana for pain relief. In an unassuming suburban home in a nondescript modern housing estate in Birmingham, Satnam Bains*, a 42-year-old property developer, quietly distills litres of his own cannabis oil in a… Amardeep Bassey HuffPost Bains made it his business to learn how to make oil after his younger brother was diagnosed with a rare kidney cancer last year. “It came from nowhere and floored ... Read More »

‘Medicare for all’ is a pipe dream

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A new study released by Charles Blahous at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University has received a lot of attention this week. Dr. Marc Siegel The Hill It concludes that the “Medicare for all” proposal endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and others would “increase federal budget commitments by approximately $32.6 trillion during its first 10 years of full implementation.” The study goes on to point out that “doubling all currently projected federal individual and corporate income tax collections would be insufficient to ... Read More »

Can you be Christian and support the death penalty?

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Pope Francis has declared the death penalty “inadmissible.” This means that the death penalty should not be used in any circumstance. Mathew Schmalz The Conversation It also alters the Catholic Catechism, a compendium of Catholic doctrine, and is now binding on Roman Catholics throughout the… But in spite of his definitive statement, Pope Francis’ act will probably only deepen the debate about whether Christians can support capital punishment. As a Catholic scholar who writes about religion, politics and policy, I ... Read More »

Four Years on, Evidence of ISIS Crimes Lost to Time

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Iraq Should Exhume Yezidi Mass Graves Before Islamic State (also known as ISIS) fighters descended on Sinjar, Iraq in August 2014, the area was home to 360,000 Yezidis. Belkis Wille HRW Today, at least 90 percent of the Yezidi population has been displaced, after fleeing an ISIS onslaught that killed between 2,000 and 5,500 Yezidis. Additionally, ISIS fighters abducted an estimated 6,300 Yezidis and even forced their women and girls into a system of organized rape and sexual slavery… Four Years on… Read More »