Humanity

Hybrid World Adelaide: Connecting the dots to spark AI consciousness

What is consciousness? It’s an age-old mystery that’s long frustrated scientists, yet one that could be partially answered, subjectively speaking, when a hi-tech festival opens in Adelaide during July. ABC Radio Adelaide By Malcolm Sutton Among speakers at the second annual Hybrid World Adelaide tech conference will be Phillip Alveda, a former program director of the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). He started a program at DARPA to develop its brain-machine interface beyond just using implants that connect ... Read More »

Need an urgent medical transfer from Nauru? Forget it.

The former Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF), Roman Quaedvlieg, made a remarkable admission last week. It occurred in an exchange on Twitter with a former senior medical officer who had worked with refugees on Nauru. In a tweet, Quaedvlieg admitted that during his tenure the ABF had deliberately obstructed and thwarted the… Spencer Zifcak John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations “It’s true to say that the threshold for medical repatriation to Australia is high. It’s an issue which ... Read More »

‘A race to the bottom’: how Australia imported its asylum seeker policies from the US

At the height of the Tampa crisis, Australia turned to a US bureaucrat and asked for advice Ben Doherty The Guardian In August 2001, at the height of the Tampa crisis – 433 rescued asylum seekers on board a freight ship seeking landfall in Australia – the Australian government made a call to an American bureaucrat, then in Geneva, and asked him to the embassy. Years earlier, the bureaucrat had been a key architect of America’s policies towards boat-borne asylum ... Read More »

Jacinda Ardern vows to get all NZ homeless off the streets before winter

The New Zealand government has vowed to find shelter for the country’s homeless population in time for winter. Nick Baker SBS New Zealand will attempt to get its entire homeless population off the streets during the colder months. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Housing Minister Phil Twyford on Friday announced a $100 million homelessness funding package which included $37 million “to urgently increase housing supply this… “There’s no reason why there should be homelessness in a country like New Zealand. ... Read More »

Lawsuits present challenge for neo-Nazi Daily Stormer site

Daily Stormer’s growing legal challenges come at a time of isolation and internal disarray in the US far right. Patrick Strickland AlJazeera A slew of lawsuits has compounded problems for the Daily Stormer, a widely read neo-Nazi websiteknown for its violent rhetoric and vocal support for US President Donald Trump. Along with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, former American University (AU) student Taylor Dumpson filed a federal lawsuit against Andrew Anglin, the Daily Stormer’s publisher, for allegedly launching a ... Read More »

Daily Express: what a difference a new owner has made (especially if you are a migrant)

Downright offensive and Islamophobic: these words were used to describe the Daily Express – not from the usual left-leaning critic but directly from the mouth of the newspaper’s latest editor. Paul Broster The Conversation Gary Jones pulled no punches when quizzed by MPs over the editorial stance of the right wing mid-market tabloid. “Cumulatively, some of the headlines that have appeared in the past have created an Islamophobic sentiment which I find uncomfortable,” Jones told the home affairs select committee, ... Read More »

Tsunami of Homelessness and Poverty set to hit on June 4

We are facing a tsunami of poverty and homelessness within a month. Home Affairs have two planned waves designed to hit the people in the community who are going through the visa process, first singles and then followed by a second wave to target families with children. Julian Burnside This Dutton designed program of poverty is underway. Key dates for implementation cascade through May and the Tsunami is designed to hit on June 4 when families will be told that ... Read More »

The final move

Dr David Goodall’s life has been one of teaching, learning and discovery. Now the 104-year-old academic has departed on the last journey he will ever make. Charlotte Hamlyn ABC As a group of family and friends gathers on a busy Wednesday afternoon in the departure hall of Perth Airport, it could be mistaken for just your regular farewell. The group clusters around a frail-looking man in a wheelchair, smiling, sharing a joke and a hug, as he prepares to board ... Read More »

As Israel turns 70, many young American Jews turn away

Natalie Portman, the Oscar-winning actress, recently kicked off a massive storm of controversy when she pulled out of a prestigious award ceremony in Israel because, she said, she “did not want to appear as endorsing Benjamin Netanyahu.” Dov Waxman The Conversation The response to Portman’s refusal to appear alongside Israel’s prime minister was intense. She was denounced by right-wing Israeli politicians. One labeled Portman’s decision as borderline anti-Semitic. Another suggested that her Israeli citizenship should be stripped. Born in Israel, ... Read More »

Women should have right to reject pregnancy

Laws should not force women to risk death and injury by having a baby, according to a QUT legal academic in Australia who has says abortion can be decriminalized without society and governments making a moral judgment Queensland University of Technology EurekAlert! Laws should not force women to risk death and injury by having a baby, according to a QUT legal academic who has says abortion can be decriminalised without society and governments making a moral judgement. Dr Andrew McGee, ... Read More »

‘A disaster within a disaster’: aid groups brace for Bangladesh monsoon

Jakarta: Global aid agencies are warning that nearly a million Rohingya refugees face significant health risks from flooding and water-borne diseases when the full-force of Bangladesh’s monsoon rains hit over-crowded camps next… James Massola The Age The UN refugee agency has estimated there are 876,000 Rohingya refugees in the tiny Cox’s Bazaar district of Bangladesh. About 700,000 of those Rohingya people, including nearly 400,000 children, fled persecution in Myanmar and escaped to Bangladesh between August 25 and December last year. ... Read More »

Gaia’s Map of 1.3 Billion Stars Makes for a Milky Way in a Bottle

Call it a galaxy in a bottle. Last Wednesday, astronomers in Europe released a three-dimensional map of the Milky Way. Dennis Overbye The New York Times It is the most detailed survey ever produced of our home galaxy. It contains the vital statistics of some 1.3 billion stars — about one percent of the whole galaxy. Not to mention measurements of almost half a million quasars, asteroids and other flecks in the night. Analyzing all these motions and distances, astronomers ... Read More »

The best anthem for Workers’ Day? ‘Stimela’ – a tale about apartheid’s migrant labour system

What is the ultimate song to celebrate Workers’ Day? Many will suggest “The Internationale” which had its roots as a poem written in the aftermath of the Paris Commune in 1871 by Eugène Pottier, a transport worker. Andries Bezuidenhout The Conversation Set to music a few years later, it became the anthem for the wider progressive movement. It served as the Soviet Union’s anthem after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, making it more closely associated with the communist movement. But ... Read More »

There’s No Escape From Australia’s Refugee Gulag

One branch of Canberra’s notorious offshore detention system has closed. But the men who were imprisoned there are now stranded on a remote Pacific island that doesn’t want them. Mark Isaacs FP ΜANUS ISLAND, Papua New Guinea — When I first entered the Manus Island detention center in early November 2017, I was confronted with an apocalyptic scene. Toilets overflowed with urine and feces; campfires burned in litter-filled corridors; blood-red graffiti riddled the walls; and zombielike figures lay slumped at ... Read More »

Young and old need a new social contract

Providing healthcare for the elderly and homes for the young requires a major shift in thinking Torsten Bell The Guardian We need to follow the lead of Britain’s families and put in the hard work to renew the contract between the generations You don’t get a better Britain by chance – you have to build it. Nor are we likely to overcome the divides facing our country by accident – we have to unify it. But when it comes to ... Read More »

Rohingya demand justice as UN delegation visits Bangladesh camps

Hundreds of Rohingya refugees stage protest during UN Security Council delegation visit to Bangladesh camps. AlJazeera and News Agencies Rohingya refugees have demanded guarantees for a safe return to Myanmar during a visit to refugee camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district by a United Nations Security Council delegation. Representatives from the 15 member countries of the UN organ on Sunday spoke with some of the 700,000 people who fled what the UN has called“ethnic cleansing” in neighbouring Myanmar in a… At Kutupalong, hundreds ... Read More »