Humanity

Michele Renouf investigated over Holocaust remarks at neo-Nazi rally in Germany

Berlin: German police are investigating an Australian-born British woman for suspected incitement after she questioned the Holocaust during a far-right protest in the eastern city of Dresden. The Canberra Times AAP A spokeswoman for Dresden police says Michele Renouf was one of two people being investigated for remarks made at the neo-Nazi rally on Saturday commemorating those killed in the 1945 Allied bombing of the… Videos of the rally posted online show Renouf saying the only Holocaust perpetrated in Europe was ... Read More »

Museum of Australian Democracy exhibition looks at migration through Holocaust survivors’ eyes

The story begins with a toy koala – furry, life-sized and huggable – and ends with the poignant reminders of the bottomless traumas of the Holocaust. Sally Pryor The Canberra Times But in exploring the different experiences of migration to Australia, an exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in Canberra has a single shining theme: human resilience. In 1949, an eight-year-old girl named Isobel Saxelby was presented with a toy koala when she arrived in ... Read More »

Dani Garavelli: Oxfam crisis doesn’t absolve us of our debt

If there is one thing the past few years have taught us, with their many revelations of abuse, it is that wherever there is a power differential, there will be sexual exploitation. Dani Garavelli The Scotsman Counter-intuitively, or perhaps not, the risk seems to increase in those institutions in which the public has traditionally invested most trust: schools, hospitals, churches, the BBC. With Jimmy Savile we learned the hard way that engaging in good works was a perfect cover for ... Read More »

Poland is trying to rewrite history with this controversial new holocaust law

Anyone suggesting that Poland was complicit in the Holocaust could face fines or even imprisonment of up to three years under a controversial new law approved by president Andrzej Duda. Svenja Bethke The Conversation The law makes it illegal to accuse the Polish nation of having taken part in the atrocities and the systematic mass murder of the Jews committed by the Germans during World War II. Initially, the law was designed to criminalise the use of the phrase “Polish ... Read More »

Myanmar says it’s ready to take back Rohingya Muslims

A Myanmar minister told Bangladesh’s president that Myanmar is ready to take back Rohingya Muslims who fled violence, though Bangladesh said it wanted the hundreds of thousands of refugees to have a safe and dignified return. DHAKA – The Associated Press Hurriyet Myanmar’s Home Minister Kyaw Swe, on a three-day visit to Bangladesh, told President Abdul Hamid that Myanmar was ready to take back Rohingya under a deal the countries signed late last year, presidential spokesman Joynal Abedin said on ... Read More »

Netherlands passes bill introducing opt-out organ donation

Vote ‘real breakthrough’, says Dutch Kidney Foundation Senators in the Netherlands have approved a new law making all Dutch adults organ donors after death, unless they opt out. Harriet Agerholm The Independent The bill narrowly passed in the upper house of the Dutch parliament, more than a year after MPs passed the legislation. Pia Dijkstra, who drafted the bill, said under the new system every person over 18 who is not yet registered as a donor will receive a letter asking if they want to donate their organs after… ... Read More »

What’s Actually Behind Cape Town’s Water Crisis

Blame austerity-obsessed technocrats, irresponsible development, and willful ignorance. RICHARD POPLAK The Atlantic The city of Cape Town was plonked by its founders onto a peninsula not far from where the Indian and Atlantic oceans merge, often violently, beneath the imposing banks of Table Mountain. To its north lie the fertile fruit and wine farms that weigh down the city’s restaurant tables with unimaginable bounty. Every day when the clock strikes noon, a cannon blast echoes from Signal Hill, a reminder ... Read More »

Turnbull announces sex ban – and signals Joyce should consider his position

Malcolm Turnbull has announced that, from now, sexual relations between ministers and their staff will be prohibited under a change he has made to the ministerial code of conduct. Michelle Grattan The Conversation Addressing a news conference late on Thursday, Turnbull also strongly hinted he would like to see Barnaby Joyce step down. Joyce had made “a shocking error of judgement in having an affair with a young woman working in his office”. In doing so he had set off ... Read More »

Ai Weiwei on the project that awoke his political voice – The Start podcast

The artist and activist tells how investigating schoolchildren’s deaths in the Sichuan earthquake of 2008 spawned his mammoth installation, Remembering Produced by Eva Krysiak with sound design by Chris Wood and original music by Stephen Fiske The Guardian In 2008, an earthquake devastated Sichuan province in China, claiming the lives of more than 69,000 people. Following accusations from parents that substandard construction caused the collapse of schools across in the region, the artist Ai Weiwei set upon a political investigation that would name every missing student ... Read More »

Churches unite to propose Religious Freedom Act

Major submission to Ruddock panel calls for a new legal “right” John Sandeman Eternity A wide range of Evangelical and Pentecostal Christian churches have spoken with one voice to the Ruddock panel on religious freedom, whose call for submissions closed today. They have received 13,500 submissions: “I think it is safe to say that people are concerned about religious freedom,” says Michael Kellahan, executive director of Freedom for Faith (FFF), a Christian legal think tank. The federal government has set ... Read More »

Israeli Knesset Rejects Bill Recognizing the Armenian Genocide

JERUSALEM (A.W.)—The Israeli Knesset (Parliament) rejected a bill on Wednesday, which would have recognized the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian Weekly Sponsored by Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid, the bill was rejected in a preliminary vote. “There is no reason that the Knesset, which represents a nation that went through the Holocaust, shouldn’t recognize the Armenian Genocide and have a remembrance day for it,” Lapid was quoted by the Jerusalem Post as saying. “The Israeli leadership diminishes itself by so ... Read More »

Why our obsession with GDP ignores harm done to welfare and the world

One of the first things economics students learn about is Gross Domestic Product (GDP) GDP is also a central concept in many political debates, including Brexit. The Converstion Will it rise? Will it fall? What effect will this have on our lives? Gross Domestic Product measures the total value of goods produced and services provided in a country, calculating the net value added by each economic “actor”. So if you produce a car sold for £10,000 but you bought parts ... Read More »

Emotional intelligence: What it is and why you need it

When emotional intelligence first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70% of the time. Travis Bradberry World Economic Forum This anomaly threw a massive wrench into what many people had always assumed was the sole source of success—IQ. Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. Emotional ... Read More »

Oxfam scandal: development work is built on inequality but that’s no reason to cut foreign aid

Revelations that Oxfam workers paid for prostitutes in Haiti as the organisation was supporting survivors of the earthquake in 2011, have reopened a longstanding debate about foreign aid in the UK. The Conversation Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary, suggested government funding to Oxfam could be cut if it could not show “moral leadership”. The scandal raises challenging questions about the conduct of aid workers, yet public outrage reveals a deeper problem in how British society thinks about the development ... Read More »

NGOs need to step up and keep children safe – here’s what they can do

The wave of reports about abuses perpetrated by aid sector workers in Haiti and elsewhere, including allegations of the abuse of children, should sadly come as little surprise. Rosa Freedman The Conversation International actors frequently fall into the gaps between national, regional and international law, and therefore need internal measures to ensure that they adhere to international standards. And of all the players in international interventions, NGOs perhaps need them the… Unlike militaries, intergovernmental organisations or even private sector actors, ... Read More »

Cape Town drought declared a ‘national disaster’

South Africa has declared the drought which has seen Cape Town hurtling towards “Day Zero” a national disaster. BBC The government made the announcement after reassessing the “magnitude and severity” of the three-year drought. It has badly affected three of the country’s nine provinces. The decision came as Cape Town announced its water saving measures, which require each citizen to use less than 50 litres a day, had successfully pushed back “Day Zero” to 4 June. Just a matter of ... Read More »