Humanity

Justice Reinvestment Key To Reducing Indigenous Incarceration: Tom Calma

Crime rates are dropping, but jailing rates – particularly of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people – are sky-rocketing. A new approach is needed, and already well known writes Professor Tom Calma. New Matilda The Australian Law Reform Commission’s Pathways to Justice report tabled last week is one of a long line to address the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in prison, and not the first to point to justice reinvestment as a… Almost 10 years ago, in my ... Read More »

Religious freedoms should include spiritual beliefs too

Nearly a third of Australians at the last census checked “None” when asked about their religion, up from 19% in 2006. What many people might not realise is that while some “Nones” are indeed atheists or agnostics, a substantial percentage do have faith. Jeremy Patrick The Conversation It’s just not in mainstream religion as we generally understand it. The number of people identifying as “spiritual but not religious” appears to be rising in the western world. A 2017 McCrindle report ... Read More »

Kamila Shamsie wins Women’s prize for fiction for ‘story of our times’

Home Fire, which reworks Sophocles’ Antigone to tell the story of a British family caught up by Isis, takes £30,000 award Alison Flood The Guardian Kamila Shamsie’s Home Fire, which reworks Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone to tell the story of a British Muslim family’s connection to Islamic State, has won the Women’s prize for fiction, acclaimed by judges as “the story of our times”. The British Pakistani author’s seventh novel riffs on the ancient Greek play in which Antigone is forbidden ... Read More »

The Ethnic Cleansing of Northern Cyprus

Confessions of a Turkish-Cypriot Mass Murderer “Why is there not peace yet? How can we make peace when we have rabid murderers living among us? Instead of prosecuting them, we enable them to appear on TV and to boast about their murders…. If you do not even bring to account a murderer who says, ‘killing was my art,’ who will you bring to account?” — Şener Levent, the editor-in-chief of the Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika. So far, these “rabid murderers” have ... Read More »

UK’s Labour Party Leader Vows to Return Parthenon Marbles to Greece

The leader of the UK’s labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, is the latest public figure to declare that colonial-era objects that were taken unlawfully should be returned to their country of origin. ArtForum If elected prime minister in the next general election, which will take place in 2022, Corbyn has pledged to return the famous Parthenon Marbles to Greece. Also known as the Elgin Marbles, the fifth-century sculptures—made under the sculptor Phidias—were taken from the Parthenon, an ancient temple dedicated to ... Read More »

Syrian refugees in America: The forgotten psychological wounds of the stress of migration

War in Syria and the refugee crisis have been the subject of a heated debate in United States politics, leading to a travel ban and drastic reduction in the number refugees to the U.S. this year. Arash Javanbakht The Conversation We occasionally hear about brutal deaths and starvation of civilians in Syria from the news, as a far concept happening in another world. This is a group of people who may justifiably feel betrayed by the world. But what do ... Read More »

Here’s How Higher Education Dies

A futurist says the industry may have nowhere to go but down. What does the slide look like? Adam Harris The Atlantic Maybe higher education has reached its peak. Not the Harvards and Yales of the world, but the institutions that make up the rest of the industry—the regional public schools who saw decades of growth and are now facing major budget cuts and the smaller, less-selective private colleges that have exorbitant sticker prices while the… Higher ed is often ... Read More »

Are You a Tax Time Donor?

Tax time is an opportunity to consider what you have done for others in the last year, writes Sally Cunningham from Frontstream. ProBono If you have seen any commercial TV lately you’ll know it’s close to tax time. Car dealerships are having run-out sales, department stores are slashing prices and charities are asking you to dig deep this winter and give to people in need. I can’t advise you on a new car or other luxury goods, but I have ... Read More »

The art of healing: five medicinal plants used by Aboriginal Australians

People have lived in Australia for at least 65,000 years. In all those generations the land provided original Australians with everything they needed for a healthy life. Beth Gott The Conversation At least half the food eaten by the first Australians came from plants, and it was the task of women to collect them. Fruits, seeds and greens were seasonal, but roots could usually be dug up all year round, because the earth acted as a natural storage cupboard. The ... Read More »

Northern Ireland abortion debate LIVE: ‘We don’t protect women by criminalising them’, MP Stella Creasy says

MPs from all sides call for legal reform to give women right to choose Benjamin Kentish anf Peter Stubley Independent MPs are debating lifting the Northern Ireland abortion ban after Labour backbencher Stella Creasy was granted permission for an emergency debate. The motion relates to repealing the Offences Against the People Act, which initially outlawed abortion. It follows the Republic of Ireland’s referendum on abortion, which saw 66 per cent of voters back lifting the ban in that country. The three-hour debate could culminate ... Read More »

Jeremy Corbyn vows to give Elgin Marbles back to Greece

Jeremy Corbyn has promised to return the Elgin Marbles to Greece if he is elected prime minister. The Times Speaking to a leading Athens newspaper, the Labour leader urged Theresa May to begin “constructive discussions” with Greece to repatriate the ancient masterpieces, which have been in the British Museum since they were removed from the Parthenon by the 7th Earl of Elgin in the early 19th century. He told Ta Nea: “As with everything stolen or removed from a country ... Read More »

Why the Supreme Court’s ‘gay wedding cake’ ruling won’t resolve religious freedom issues

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued its long-anticipated ruling in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In a 7-2 decision, the justices sided with a Denver bakery owner who refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple. David Mislin The Conversation The couple took the case to court in 2012 after the Christian baker turned down their business. A lower court ruled the baker violated Colorado’s public accommodations law, which forbids discrimination by businesses serving the ... Read More »

Michael Pollan Drops Acid — and Comes Back From His Trip Convinced

Michael Pollan has long been concerned with the moral dilemmas of everyday life. Tom Bissell The New York Times “Second Nature,” his first book, was ostensibly about gardening, but really about ways to overcome our alienation from the natural world. “A Place of My Own,” his second, chronicled the “radically unhandy” Pollan’s construction of his writing studio. “The Botany of Desire,” his third and possibly greatest book, put him back in the garden, though in a more global state of ... Read More »

Corbyn says he wants to hand the ‘stolen’ Elgin Marbles back to Greece if he becomes Prime Minister

Jeremy Corbyn has insisted he wants to hand the Elgin Marbles back to Greece if he becomes Prime Minister. By James Tapsfield, Political Editor For Mailonline The Labour leader made clear he viewed the ancient statues as ‘stolen’ and they should be returned. Many Parthenon sculptures have been housed in the British Museum since 1816 after they were bought by the government from Lord Elgin. Greece has long campaigned for their repatriation, but supporters insist they were purchased legitimately and ... Read More »

Jeremy Corbyn would give British Museum’s Elgin Marbles back to Greece

The UK should start “constructive talks with the Greek government on the return of the sculptures”, Mr Corbyn says. SkyNews Jeremy Corbyn has said he would give the Elgin Marbles back to Greece if he became prime minister. The Labour leader told Greek newspaper Ta Nea “the Parthenon sculptures belong to Greece” when asked whether he would consider returning the carved figures and stelae. The Parthenon sculptures, as they are also called, have been housed in the British Museum since ... Read More »

NSW chooses timber over koalas, critics of habitat plan claim

The great bulk of new reserves set aside by the Berejiklian government for koala habitat offer no new protection for an animal whose numbers are plummeting in some regions of the state, new mapping analysis shows. Peter Hannam Brisbane Times The government last month hailed the release of its $45 million koala strategy as “the biggest commitment by any state” to protect the “national treasure”. But mapping details obtained by environmental groups show 82 per cent of the reserves being set aside ... Read More »