Humanity

What today’s anti-immigrant populists could learn from Homer about kindness to strangers

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Troy, a new BBC adaptation of Homer’s Iliad, shows the enduring interest we have in Ancient Greek myths. Aleardo Zanghellini The Conversation Today, Homer’s epic works remain both politically and ethically relevant. The Greek poet’s insight into why law and legality matter is particularly enlightening in the context of contemporary debates about immigration, which loom large amid the rise of right-wing populism on both sides of the Atlantic. Those who object to immigration and demonise immigrants argue that the West’s ... Read More »

Anger mounts as Israel begins detention and deportation of African asylum seekers

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Around 20,000 Israelis and African migrants took to the streets in Tel Aviv on February 24, protesting against a government policy of detaining and deporting African asylum seekers who refuse to leave the country. Tanja R. Müller The Conversation A few days earlier, a group of Eritrean asylum seekers held at a detention centre in Israel went on hunger strike in protest against their imminent expulsion from the country. In early Feburary, Israel began issuing expulsion orders to African migrants ... Read More »

Five reasons why being kind makes you feel good – according to science

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Everybody can appreciate acts of kindness. But when it comes to explaining why we do them, people often take one of two extreme positions. Jo Cutler Robin Banerjee The Conversation Some think kindness is something completely selfless that we do out of love and care, while others believe it is just a tool that we cunningly use to become more popular and reap the… But research shows that being kind to others can actually make us genuinely happy in a ... Read More »

Monica Lewinsky: Emerging from “The House of Gaslight” in the age of #MeToo

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On the 20th anniversary of the Starr investigation, which introduced her to the world, the author reflects on the changing nature of trauma, the de-evolution of the media, and the extraordinary hope now provided by the #MeToo movement. BY MONICA LEWINSKY Vanity Fair How do I know him? Where have I seen him? The Man in the Hat looked familiar, I thought, as I peered over at him a second time. It was Christmas Eve 2017. My family and I were about to ... Read More »

‘I see death’: Christian asylum seekers fear return to Egypt

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Two young asylum seekers fear for their lives if they are deported to their native Egypt when their visas expire within weeks. Carolyn Webb The Sydney Morning Herald  The cousins, along with eight other Coptic Christian asylum seekers in Melbourne, are appealing directly to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to show mercy and let them stay. Michael Ramzy, 31, was bashed and his mobile phone shop gutted in an attack by Muslim extremists in the village of Al Gharizat, 500km south ... Read More »

US welcomes Saudi-led coalition’s humanitarian efforts in Yemen

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JEDDAH: The US on Saturday has welcomed the Saudi-led coalition’s humanitarian efforts in Yemen. Arab News A statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “The coalition released a humanitarian operations plan on Jan. 22, 2018, and as part of that plan, it has agreed to transfer $930 million to United Nations agencies in support of the 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan by March 31. Four World Food Programme (WFP) mobile cranes funded by the United States have ... Read More »

Women with HIV abused by partners, rejected by society

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Shunned by relatives, doctors and the community, Ukrainian women struggle to survive and protect their children. by Madeline Roache Al Jazeera Kiev, Ukraine – “At first, it was just emotional abuse. Then he started to beat me, especially after he had been drinking. It was always worse then,” says 31-year-old Hanna Lilina, a Donetsk-native. In October 2012, she was told she had HIV during a pre-natal check-up. When she found out, she felt confused. “I started to clean my apartment obsessively, ... Read More »

Why the world’s view of migrants is wrong-headed

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We are bombarded daily with images of poor, desperate migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea in makeshift boats, bodies washed up on shores, concentration camps, and even slave markets in Libya for desperate Africans fleeing poverty and war. Hafed Al-Ghwell Arab News Countless studies, speeches by politicians, and press releases by human rights organizations have filled the pages of traditional and new media. All of this happens, however, without even a hint of an end to this human tragedy, or any ... Read More »

Slavery: Australia’s hidden shame is being uncovered

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IT HAPPENS behind closed doors in homes all around Australia with increasing regularity and the numbers are simply staggering. WARNING: Graphic. Rohan Smith News. WARNING: Graphic WHAT Graeme John Slattery did to a woman in his garage will go down as one of the sickest crimes in Australian history. Slattery, from Warrnambool on Victoria’s south-west coast, kept a slave against her will and forced her to drink motor oil and stand on her head while naked. He paraded his victim ... Read More »

Young people can’t change US gun law alone – but they could tip the balance

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From the civil rights movement to the Florida schoolchildren’s protest, youthful energy has proved a powerful force Gary Younge The Guardian In May 1963 a white police officer in Birmingham, Alabama, tried to scare some black children as they went to protest against segregation. As fellow policemen turned hoses and dogs on black youngsters nearby, the kids made it plain they knew what they were doing and continued marching towards the demonstrations. A reporter asked one of them her age. ... Read More »

Syria: ‘Unlawful’ civilian deaths in Afrin condemned as Assad forces raise stakes in Kurdish-Turkey conflict

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More than 100 civilians have died in month-old-offensive, Human Rights Watch says, as new presence of Syrian government allied forces complicates battle Bethan McKernan Beirut Independent Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned Turkey’s offensive on a Kurdish held area of northern Syria as causing unnecessary civilian casualties, as some counts put the toll as high as 120. The statement on Friday cited three attacks in the contested canton of Afrin in late January that killed a total of 26 civilians, including 17 children. The Turkish military… Syria: ‘Unlawful’ civilian… Read More »

Archbishop of Canterbury says Islamic rules are incompatible with Britain’s laws which have Christian values

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Justin Welby said Sharia law should never become part of the UK legal system His predecessor Lord Williams had said Sharia law could be incorporated Welby said British law had ‘values and assumptions’ rooted in Christian traditions By Steve Doughty Social Affairs Correspondent For The Daily Mail MailOnLine Sharia law should never become part of the British legal system, the Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday. Justin Welby said the Islamic rules are incompatible with Britain’s laws, which have developed over 500 ... Read More »

Nauru mould problem was of ‘epic proportions’, microbiologist says

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Dr Cameron Jones, who was contracted by Transfield, says his 225-page report on the problem was covered up Ben Doherty The Guardian The microbiologist contracted to assess the mould in the Nauru immigration centre says the contamination was “of epic proportions” and presented a serious health hazard to those in the camp, but that his report on the problem was covered up. Former staff have said they have been left with cognitive impairment and chronic lung infections after living and ... Read More »

Poland-Israel Holocaust dispute hits the court of viral YouTube videos

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Amid the diplomatic feud over Poland’s new ‘anti-defamation’ law, Jewish activists push back on the Polish government for ‘white-washing’ anti-Semitism By MATT LEBOVIC The Times of Israel In crisp black-and-white film footage, policemen with Stars of David on their armbands beat up elderly Jews on the streets of the Warsaw Ghetto. Elsewhere in the open-air prison, the Nazi-appointed Jewish cops herd crowds of ghetto inmates from one point to another and help move withered corpses to mass graves. Although these scenes ... Read More »

Autism genes abound in DNA regions involved in learning

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The same processes that enable the brain to store new memories may also control many autism genes, a new study suggests1. BY JESSICA WRIGHT   Spectrum Candidate genes for autism are more than three times as prevalent in the genetic regions that become active after mice learn a new task as would be expected by chance, the researchers found. This connection between learning, memory and autism could explain why many children with autism have intellectual disability. “We are trying to understand the ... Read More »

Dutch parliament recognizes 1915 Armenian ‘genocide’

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The Dutch parliament has voted to recognize the deaths of Armenians during World War I as genocide. The decision is likely to enrage Turkey amid already strained relations with the Netherlands Chase Winter (with AFP, dpa) DW The Dutch parliament has overwhelmingly voted to recognize the World War I massacre of Armenians as genocide, in a vote that may stoke further tensions with Turkey. Dutch lawmakers voted 142 to 3 “that parliament in no uncertain terms speak about the Armenian genocide.” ... Read More »