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More people are dying from overdosing on prescription opioids

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Rising numbers of Australians are dying from accidentally overdosing on prescription drugs morphine, codeine, oxycodone and fentanyl, the latest drug deaths data shows. Kate Aubusson The Sydney Morning Herald Australia has so far been spared the magnitude of the opioid “epidemic” in the US and its emerging fentanyl crisis, but drug experts were closely monitoring the creeping death rates linked to the synthetic drug. A total of 1045 people from 15 to 64 years old died from opioid overdoses in ... Read More »

Julian Meyrick on why numbers and culture don’t add up

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It’s not so much a barbecue stopper as an appetite killer. Tell people you are researching “the problem of value” in arts and culture and the conversation turns soporific. Why not just experiencethem? As if engaging in culture weren’t hard enough in these STEM-obsessed, FANG-addled times. Julian Meyrick The Sydney Morning Herald Typically, the answer is “for strategic reasons”, which in policy-speak means, “for money”. For artists and arts organisations, faced with an endless tsunami of application forms, acquittals reports, program ... Read More »

If anyone should want to ban Muslims it would be me – but I don’t

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Why is a Queensland senator with a 19 first-preference vote so obsessed with banning Muslim immigration? Alpha Cheng Brisbane Times If anyone should be spiteful at Muslims, many would say that it would be me. A 15-year-old Muslim shot my dad in cold blood outside the NSW Police Headquarters in Parramatta. If anyone should be marching upon Parliament House to demand an end to Muslim immigration, it would be me because a 20-year-old Muslim was sentenced to 44 years for planning the attack. ... Read More »

Brexit: Ford warns UK it will take ‘whatever action is needed’ after profits hit

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The car company blamed withdrawal from the EU for a £760m drop in profitability in 2017 Joe Watts Independent Car manufacturer Ford has issued a Brexit warning to British politicians that it will take “whatever action is needed” to protect its business. The ominous words came after the American car giant blamed uncertainty over Brexit for a colossal £760m drop in its European earnings in 2017. The firm pointed the finger at plummeting confidence in the UK since the Brexit referendum and raised fears of ... Read More »

Countless refugees have been saved at sea by their life jackets — now a Minnesota startup is selling them as bracelets to spread messages of hope

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The striking orange life jackets have protected hundreds of thousands of refugees who have braved the Mediterranean Sea on packed, flimsy boats, seeking safety in Europe. Michelle Mark Business Insider Now, the mountains of used jackets discarded on Greek shores have been repurposed — carefully handcrafted into bracelets and bearing a message of hope imprinted on the wristband: “Building humanity piece by piece.” That’s the idea Mohamed Malim, a 22-year-old entrepreneur and former Somali refugee, wants to share with Americans. ... Read More »

Can Manila get a good joint exploration deal with China in the West PHL Sea?

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NOW that the ball has started rolling for the possible joint exploration by the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea, analysts are wary of the risks it will bring. Bernadette D. Nicholas Business Mirror At the same time, however, they see that this can be averted if the technical working group (TWG) entrusted with the hard task of crafting the nitty-gritty of such an initiative will do its job well. Experts also believe that the TWG must ensure ... Read More »

‘It’s NOT too late!’ Ex-civil service boss claims it’s NECESSARY to rethink & DELAY Brexit

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BRITAIN may have to “pause” it’s exit from the European Union and “re-examine” its decision to leave the bloc if the Government is unable to strike a deal with Brussels, claimed the former head of the… Charlotte Davis Express Remainer Lord Kerslake claimed it is “necessary” to delay Brexit and insisted it is “not too late” to “reopen the question” on whether the UK should proceed with Brexit. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme on Saturday, Lord Kerslake hit out at the Government’s ... Read More »

Could different cultures teach us something about dementia?

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Picture two different families, each dealing with a diagnosis of dementia in one of its members. Authors: The Conversation In one case, the patient is a retired executive, whose family tries as long as possible to keep the diagnosis secret, relying primarily on professional caregivers and eventually a nursing home. In another case, the patient is a grandmother. As soon as the diagnosis is suspected, her family pulls together, bringing her into their home and surrounding her with affection. These ... Read More »

China can’t selectively choose its interests from Law of the Sea – del Rosario

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China cannot selectively choose what is convenient for their interests when it comes to interpreting the rule of law in the South China Sea, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del… Frances G. Mangosing Inquirer In his speech in a forum on rules-based international system organized by the Stratbase ADR Institute in Taguig City, the former top diplomat said that China has continuously rejected the rule of law by snubbing the… He said the Asian superpower’s militarization of the disputed waters ... Read More »

Bans on full-face Muslim veils spread across Europe

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Washington: Earlier this month, Denmark became the fifth country in Europe to introduce a ban on face coverings in public places. Rebecca Tan The Age Washington Post The policy is widely viewed as being targeted at Muslim women who wear veils such as the niqab. Despite protests in the capital, Copenhagen, police have started enforcing the law in earnest. On August 3, a 28-year-old wearing the niqab, which covers the entire body except the eyes, was attacked by another Danish woman ... Read More »

Filthy Rich and Homeless: How Finland solved its homelessness crisis

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“Homelessness is not going to be solved with any paper. You need to act.” Sarah Malik SBS Finnish expert Juha Kaakinen’s advice to resolve homelessness is simple: Action. “Life depends on action. There’s more action needed. Homelessness is not going to be solved with any paper. You need to act,” Kaakinen told the Filthy Rich and Homeless live audience on Thursday night. As head of the Y foundation, Kaakinen knows what is he is talking about. The group was one of the national developers of ... Read More »

US ‘picking and choosing’ from the Law of the Sea

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A recent article argues that China is ‘selectively choosing the parts of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) that it likes and is ignoring or reinterpreting the parts that it does not like or… Mark J Valencia EastAsiaForum The argument is made on the basis that China sent a ‘spy ship’ to observe the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, the world’s largest joint naval exercise, held in June and July 2018. But this account ignores that ... Read More »

Photos of the Week: Sun Biter, Solar Probe, Belgian Bovines

Tim Delaney steadies his dog, Midnight, before tossing a ball while working on retrieving training in the Presumpscot River, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, in Windham, Maine. Swimming holes and beaches have been popular spots as a stretch of hot and humid weather lingers in Maine. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Flowers carpet Brussels, an alt-right rally is met with overwhelming opposition in Washington, D.C., City2Surf takes off in Sydney, the Women’s Softball World Championship is underway in Japan, a farewell is bid to Aretha Franklin, the Obon prayer is made in Japan, abandoned share bikes find homes in Germany, record-setting hot dogs are lined up in Mexico, a cardboard Viking church collapses in Liverpool, a bridge collapses in Italy, a newborn gibbon shows off in Prague, and much… Alan Taylor ... Read More »

This new Defense Department map shows how China says one thing and does another with its military operations at sea

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China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea and its broad interpretations of international law often lead it to protest what many other countries consider to be normal naval maneuvers in the area. Christopher Woody Business Insider But farther afield, Beijing’s activity indicates that it doesn’t abide by the standard it applies to others. China frequently protests military operations by US and other countries in its Exclusive Economic Zone, which can extend up to 230 miles from a country’s coast. ... Read More »

Vatican expresses ‘shame and sorrow’ over abuse of 1,000 children by more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania

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The Vatican has expressed ‘shame and sorrow’ after a report detailed decades of abuse in the Catholic Church Chris Riotta Independent The Vatican has expressed “shame and sorrow” in its first response to a groundbreaking US Grand Jury report detailing decades of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The report accuses over 300 “predator” priests throughout Pennsylvania of abusing nearly 1,000 children — and the Church of conducting a systematic cover-up. However, the actual number of total abuses in those dioceses since 1947 ... Read More »

Macronomics hits speed bump

epa06907395 The then French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron (C) of the 'En Marche' political movement, flanked by security staff Alexandre Benalla (R), speaks with employees of the Whirlpool plant in Amiens, northern France, 26 April 2017 (reissued 24 July 2018). A video has been released on 19 July 2018, allegedly showing Alexandre Benalla, French President Emmanuel Macron's deputy chief of staff, wearing a riot helmet and police uniform, while attacking protesters during street demonstrations on 01 May 2018. Media reports on 24 July state that Benalla has been fired and the prosecution is officially investigating the case.  EPA-EFE/CHRISTOPHE PETIT TESSON

Slowdown in French growth risks causing political trouble for president. Zachary Young Politico PARIS — After the surge, the sputter. Last year, as Emmanuel Macron swept to power pledging business-friendly policies, France’s economy zoomed ahead to post growth of 2.2 percent. This year, even with signature Macron reforms such as a rewrite of the labor code and the partial elimination of France’s wealth tax taking effect, things aren’t looking so good. Budget Minister Gérald Darmanin has backed away from the government’s earlier projection of 2 percent growth ... Read More »