Humanity

Duke Ellington’s melodies carried his message of social justice

At a moment when there is a longstanding heated debate over how artists and pop culture figures should engage in social activism, the life and career of musical legend Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington offers a… Authors: The Conversation Ellington was born on April 29, 1899 in Washington, D.C. His tight-knit black middle-class family nurtured his racial pride and shielded him from many of the difficulties of segregation in the… Washington was home to a sizable black middle class, despite prevalent ... Read More »

Will 2020 Democrats condemn the Armenian genocide?

Only four lawmakers running for president have signed on to remembrance resolutions Niels Lesniewski Roll Call Whether the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 amounted to a genocide is still a fraught political question for U.S. presidential candidates more than a century later. The question for now is how many of the growing field of candidates might weigh in on Wednesday for the annual commemoration. April 24, 1915 is generally considered to mark the start of actions that led ... Read More »

Christchurch attack survivors to be offered New Zealand residency

Survivors of the Christchurch mosque attacks and their families who had been living in the country will be offered New Zealand residency under a special visa. AAP – SBS New Zealand is set to grant permanent residency to all survivors of the mass shooting at two Christchurch mosques. Fifty people were killed and 50 others wounded at Friday prayers in the country’s worst peacetime mass shootings. Suspected white supremacist, Australian Brenton Tarrant, was charged with 50 counts of murder. The government ... Read More »

Blind Victorians illegally denied service because of guide dogs

Chris Gould has been accosted by staff at his local supermarket at least five times because of his guide dog Simba. Rachel Eddie The Age Instead of walking the block from his Malvern East home to that store, the Melbourne man who is legally blind once walked 1.5 kilometres to buy groceries in peace. Mr Gould, 30, was born with a degenerative genetic disorder called retinitis pigmentosa, which ultimately led to his diagnosis as legally blind in 2017 – though ... Read More »

Turkey’s Killing Fields

“The Thirty-Year Genocide” Turkey’s Destruction of Its Christian Minorities, 1894-1924 By Benny Morris and Dror Ze’evi By Bruce Clark The New York Times Using the word “genocide” to describe an episode of mass killing has consequences. If the horrors are unfolding now, it invites other countries to intervene and punish the perpetrators. If the unspeakable events are in the past, the word’s use can affect the way they are discussed, by historians or ordinary people. Once the term “genocide” has ... Read More »

US threatens to veto UN resolution on rape as weapon of war, officials say

Exclusive: US warns it will reject measure over language on sexual health in latest example of hardline abortion stance Julian Borger The Guardian The US is threatening to veto a United Nations resolution on combatting the use of rape as a weapon of war because of its language on reproductive and sexual health, according to a senior UN official and European diplomats. The German mission hopes the resolution will be adopted at a special UN security council session on Tuesday on sexual ... Read More »

Anzacs witnessed the Armenian genocide – that shouldn’t be forgotten in our mythologising

We have a chance to build a more honest and genuine tradition James Robins The Guardians ”It is universally admitted,” the great psychologist Sigmund Freud wrote as the 19th century turned to the 20th, “that in the origins of the traditions and folklore of a people, care must be taken to eliminate from the memory such a motive as would be painful to the national feeling.” In Australia and New Zealand, the most popular tradition of all is Anzac Day, ... Read More »

Sri Lanka’s Easter Bombings: Peaceful Coexistence Under Attack

The lethal Easter bombings in Sri Lanka have stunned a country still recovering from decades of internal war. Alan Keenan ICG Political and religious leaders alike should reject the rhetoric of collective blame and reaffirm the island’s strained but living tradition of intercommunal amity. Sri Lankans from all ethnic and religious groups – Sinhalese and Tamil, Muslim, Buddhist, Christian and Hindu – lived through terrible violence during the decades of war and terrorism that ended ten years ago. Still, no ... Read More »

‘There was utter chaos’: Sri Lanka left reeling after wave of bombings

Nearly 300 dead and hundreds more wounded as churches and luxury hotels targeted in series of attacks Jason Burke – The Guardian Sri Lanka bombings: stay up to date on our live blog At a glance: what we know so far Set back from a strip of golden sand and the shimmering sea, beyond the groves of palm trees heavy with coconuts, the… Then on Sunday morning, St Sebastian’s became a place of chaos, pain and death. At about 8.45am, ... Read More »

Mike Gravel: The Cambodia Genocide is Part of Henry Kissinger’s Legacy

Forty-four years ago last week, Cambodia was taken over by the Khmer Rouge. From 1975 to 1979, in what is referred to as the Cambodian Genocide, a quarter of the country’s entire population was wiped out. Mike Gravel Florida Daily There is some debate over the exact number: 1.6 million dead? 2.5 million? In the 2000s, Cambodia held a national tribunal. Two prominent party members were convicted for crimes against humanity. But someone else should have been tried, too. And ... Read More »

‘A beacon of tolerance, love and peace’: Jacinda Ardern mural to be painted on Brunswick silos

A silo in Brunswick will feature a large mural of New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern hugging a woman in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings. Tom Cowie The Age More than $11,000 was crowdfunded in just over a day for a street artist to paint the Tinning Street silos with a photo of the leader wearing a hijab and the Arabic word for peace written underneath. The mural was orchestrated by the architecture firm behind the sustainable Nightingale ... Read More »

Polish Judas ritual ‘anti-Semitic’ – Jewish congress

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) has voiced outrage over a Polish town’s ritual beating of a Judas effigy which looks like a caricature Orthodox Jew. BBC The Good Friday ritual in Pruchnik, south-eastern Poland, was filmed and posted by a Polish news website. “Jews are deeply disturbed by this ghastly revival of medieval anti-Semitism that led to unimaginable violence and suffering,” the WJC said. More than three million Polish Jews were murdered during World War Two. In total, Nazi Germany murdered about… ... Read More »

EU’s two-faced ‘values’

Does it really make sense to talk about ‘European values’? Proponents of the European project like to talk about a core set of “European values” for which it stands. Hans Kundnani Politico At a time when the European Union is threatened from within and without, the idea is particularly tempting. It lifts the EU from an entity that simply pursues its own interests — like any other state or group of states — and makes it a “normative power” that can ... Read More »

Sri Lanka says international network involved in attacks

Sri Lanka said on April 22 it was invoking emergency powers in the aftermath of devastating bomb attacks on hotels and churches, blamed on militants with foreign links, in which 290 people were… COLOMBO- Reuters Hurriyet The emergency law, which gives police and the military extensive powers to detain and interrogate suspects without court orders, went into effect at midnight on April 22, the president’s office… Colombo, the seaside capital of the Indian Ocean island, was jittery. Police said 87 bomb ... Read More »

Gina Rinehart company revealed as $4.5m donor to climate sceptic thinktank

Billionaire’s company gave significant donations to the Institute of Public Affairs in 2016 and 2017 Graham Readfearn The Guardian Australia’s richest person, mining magnate Gina Rinehart, has been revealed as a key funder of the rightwing thinktank the Institute of Public Affairs – a consistent promoter of climate science scepticism. Rinehart’s company, Hancock Prospecting, donated $2.3m to the IPA in 2016 and $2.2m in 2017, according to disclosures made to the New South Wales supreme court. As part of a long-running legal ... Read More »

Our leaders are ignoring global warming to the point of criminal negligence. It’s unforgivable

Humanity survived the cold war because no one pushed the button. On climate change, the button has been pushed again and again Tim Winton The Guardian I’ve been asking myself a question – and even posing it makes me queasy. Is it too late – are we beyond saving? As a culture and a polity, when it comes to climate change, have we arrived at a point where we are now expected – even trained – to abandon hope and ... Read More »