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Australia’s asylum seeker policies ‘draconian': HRW

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Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers has been condemned by Human Rights Watch, which described the country’s immigration policies as ‘draconian’. SBS - By Stephanie Anderson In its annual report issued this week, the international organisation said that Australia was failing to respect international standards regarding the protection of asylum seekers and refugees. In contrast to the country’s solid record of protecting civil ... Read More »

The Salt of the Earth

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More than 300 million in the world have access to fresh water thanks to desalination, a process that removes salt and other minerals from saline water, making it suitable for human consumption. The process is effective but it also has side effects. Desalination is extremely energy-consuming and creates by-products such as brine, which returns to the sea and damages local ... Read More »

Falling for Niki de Saint Phalle

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PARIS — I have never particularly admired French-American artist Niki de Saint Phalle’s overly familiar and obvious Nanas (French slang for “broads”) — the gaudy, plump, joyous everywoman figures that made the artist’s case for female affirmation. Nor am I a huge fan of the Stravinsky Fountain at the Centre Pompidou, her collaboration with her husband, the artist Jean Tinguely. ... Read More »

Amal Clooney accuses Turkey of hypocrisy on freedom of speech in Armenian genocide trial

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The human rights lawyer, representing Armenia, criticised Turkey’s double standards on freedom of expression By Bruno Waterfield, Strasbourg and Raziye Akkoc – The Telegraph Amal Clooney, the human rights barrister, has accused Turkey of double standards on freedom of expression for defending a Turkish Leftist who described the Armenian genocide an “international lie”. Mrs Clooney, who is representing Armenia on ... Read More »

Greek Election Results

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Why The Election Of A Far Left Government Is Giving Greeks Hope For The First Time In Years Loukas Mexis ( askmen ) The votes are done being counted and the results are in: For the first time since 1974, Greece has voted a radical left party into power. Syriza, led by 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, is the political force that swept the ... Read More »

‘PC culture’ isn’t about your freedom of speech. It’s about our freedom to be offended

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If the worst thing ‘PCness’ does is make people occasionally feel uncomfortable when they do and say terrible things, we can all live with that The Guardian – Jessica Valenti When a writer like New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait feels it necessary to whine in print about his and other (mostly well-remunerated) writers’ inability to write offensive tripe without consequence, I ... Read More »

Cumberbatch controversy is ridiculous, says Selma star David Oyelowo

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David Oyelowo has defended fellow British actor and friend, Benedict Cumberbatch, for using the term “coloured” during an interview. By Natalie Jamieson – BBC Newsbeat entertainment reporter Cumberbatch has apologised and said he was “devastated to have caused offence” after using the word on a US TV show to describe black actors. “I think it’s ridiculous,” Selma star Oyelowo told Newsbeat. ... Read More »

The Three Hierarchs

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In the top drawer of my desk resides a stained chromolithograph icon of the Three Hierarchs. This was given to me by my grandmother when I was studying for my first exam in year seven. Informed that it belonged to my father and was the sole reason that my father was able to complete his studies, I secreted same in ... Read More »

Yemen Conflict Alert: Time for Compromise

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Sanaa/Brussels | ICG | Yemen’s UN-backed transition has unravelled and the country has entered a new, highly unstable phase. On 22 January President Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the prime minister resigned after Huthi fighters seized the presidential palace and consolidated control of the capital. This has upended the troubled transition and raises the very real prospect of territorial fragmentation, economic ... Read More »