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Melbourne priest Paul Grasby moves to Malaysia to pursue ‘young Asian men’ while on paid leave

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EXCLUSIVE A Catholic priest stood down amid child sexual abuse allegations has moved to Malaysia, where he is using a gay dating website to seek the company of “young Asian men” while on paid leave. The Age – Nino Bucci, Crime reporter for The Age Father Peter Grasby, who is suspected of abusing boys from at least two Melbourne parishes during almost 40 years as a priest, also propositioned a former parishioner on a gay dating website, it can be revealed. Father Grasby, ... Read More »

Oil Prices and ISIS Ruin Kurdish Dreams of Riches

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The civil war in Syria and Iraq and the rise of Islamic State (Isis) has brought the 30 million Kurds in the Middle East new terrors and fresh opportunities. CounterPunch – by Patrick Cockburn In Syria, the conflict has led to the creation of a Kurdish quasi-state between the Tigris and Euphrates that fields a powerful army supported by US air power. In northern Iraq, the defeat of the Iraqi army by Isis in 2014 enabled the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to seize territory long ... Read More »

Turkish forces accused of ‘massacre’ over Cizre raid

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Conflicting reports about death toll and identities of victims in raid on building by Turkish security forces #TurkeyAtWar Middle East Eye – Alex MacDonald Scores of people are reported to have been killed in the southeastern Turkish town of Cizre following a raid by security services on a building allegedly harbouring Kurdish separatist fighters. State-run TRT reported late on Sunday that 60 “terrorists” had been “neutralised” following the raid on the building in the Cudi neighbourhood of Cizre. News sources in ... Read More »

Dealing With Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program

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A diplomatic effort to cap missile development is the next necessary step. The National Interest – William LuersThomas PickeringGreg Thielmann Building on the momentum from the successful pursuit of the nuclear deal with Iran, the P5+1 should now combine pressure and diplomacy to deal with Iran’s missile program. Missiles became an essential component of Iran’s military posture during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, in which Iran received intensive Iraqi missile and air bombardments. Tehran started to build a missile arsenal ... Read More »

UN Security Council holds emergency session on North Korea after rocket launch

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Defiant North Korea launches ‘space rocket’ ‘Successful’ nuclear bomb test a strategic move Was North Korea’s hydrogen bomb test a deliberate distraction? New York: The United Nations Security Council began an emergency meeting on North Korea’s rocket launch on Sunday, with diplomats expecting the 15-nation body to condemn Pyongyang and redouble efforts to agree on new sanctions. The Canberra Times – Louis Charbonneau * Speaking to reporters ahead of the closed-door session, France’s UN ambassador, Francois Delattre, described North Korea’s launch of a long-range ... Read More »

Sri Lanka, not Sri Lankans, the OHCHR agenda

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There is a continuum in the unfolding of events in Geneva. If we fail to comprehend the bigger picture, underestimate Sri Lanka’s strategic importance, and refuse to see ourselves as Sri Lankans, we will find ourselves, again, in a fratricidal war that will provide fertile ground for marauding invaders. It is urgent that the people of Sri Lanka regain their sovereign right to govern themselves from those who, in Geneva, betrayed their trust by surrendering the authority accorded to them ... Read More »

Are we causing longer, more intense bushfire seasons?

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Opinion If you think bushfires are becoming both more common and more fierce, you’re right. And the science says it’s not just because of natural climate variations, writes John Connor. ABC – The DRUM – By John Connor Over summer we have yet again witnessed frightening, destructive bushfires in South Australia and Western Australia. Now, in Tasmania, we face the global tragedy of bushfires continuing to burn in extremely vulnerable world heritage alpine old growth forests, incinerating 1,000-year-old trees. Ancient ecosystems ... Read More »

Republican debate: ‘I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,’ says Donald Trump

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Trump booed, Rubio roughed up by rivals Awkward start to debate: candidates fail to respond to name call WASHINGTON: Seven years after the United States banned waterboarding as an interrogation tactic, two Republican presidential candidates say they would revive its use. The Sydney Morning Herald – Ginger Gibson * One of them, billionaire businessman Donald Trump, would go even further. “I would bring back waterboarding and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding,” Trump said during Saturday night’s ... Read More »

American Aggression Against China

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On January 30th the United States committed a deliberate act of aggression against China when it sent the guided missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur within the 12 nautical mile territorial limit of one of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. New Eastern Outlook – Author: Christopher Black The islands are claimed historically by China, though Vietnam also has filed claims to the islands under the Law of the Sea Convention. The Americans state that Taiwan also claims the islands ... Read More »

Capital flight, not debt, could shock China’s economy: BTIM’s Gor warns

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Capital outflows leading to the exhaustion of China’s foreign exchange reserves are a bigger trigger for a hard landing in the Chinese economy than its enormous pile of debt, warns one of Australia’s most prominent fund managers. WAtoday – Vesna Poljak, Senior Reporter China reported a lower-than-expected $US100 billion drop in the value of its foreign exchange reserves on Sunday, reducing its stockpile to $US3.23 trillion last month, the lowest level since May 2012, according to central bank figures. That rate of depletion is ... Read More »

China’s currency reserves plunged in January

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China’s foreign currency reserves plunged by $99.5bn in January, the People’s Bank of China reported. BBC China has been running down its vast foreign currency reserves in an attempt to boost the value of its own currency and stem a flow of funds overseas. At $3.23 trillion, China still has the world’s biggest reserve of foreign currency holdings. But that has declined by $420bn over six months and stands at the lowest level since May 2012. “While the remaining reserves ... Read More »

Progress in the global war on poverty

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Almost unnoticed, the world has reduced poverty, increased incomes, and improved health more than at any time in history. The Christian Science Monitor – By Steven Radelet, Contributor Washington — The headlines on any given day suggest a world under siege. War. Terrorism. Refugees. Disease. Recession. Famine. Climate change. But beneath these often very real problems, something remarkable has been happening, something on a more epochal level that has gone almost completely unnoticed. Global poverty has fallen faster during the past ... Read More »

Mathematics should be compulsory during all of high school, ADMA says

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Mathematics should be compulsory during all of high school to help address a skills gap in analytics in the marketing industry, according to Association of Data-driven Marketing and Advertising chief executive Jodie Sangster. Brisbane Times – Max Mason, Media Reporter Ms Sangster, who also represents the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia (IAPA), said there has been constant feedback from members who are having problems filling jobs with people who have the right skill sets in data and marketing. “The outcome ... Read More »

Ecuador conveys ‘unease’ over use of force by Turkish president’s guards

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Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry has conveyed its “unease” over the use of force against its citizens by guards of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a demonstration in the capital of Quito, Turkish officials have confirmed. Hurriyet – Emine Kart – ANKARA The incident subject to Ecuador’s diplomatic moves took place on Feb. 5 as a group of demonstrators protested Turkey’s ongoing military operations against the outlawedKurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as Erdoğan was speaking at the National Higher Studies Institute in Quito. ... Read More »

Why we’re not safe from Grexit yet

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Letter From Athens Between economic recovery and an escalating migration crisis, Greece faces a tumultuous year ahead. Politico – By Megan Greene ATHENS — A team of analysts from one of the main credit rating agencies smiled condescendingly across a boardroom table one recent afternoon, when asked about the likelihood of a Greek exit from the euro. It was clear they dismissed the idea. There is virtually no chance of Greece leaving the eurozone, they assured me. This is not the first ... Read More »

Academia in Turkey ‘reminds me of Ceauşescu’s Romania’, says exiled scholar

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Political theorist Andrei Stavilă explains how a comment on a friend’s Facebook page led to exit from Turkish university Times Higher Education By Jack Grove Twitter: @jgro_the A politics lecturer has alleged that he was forced to resign from a Turkish university after making a Facebook comment criticising government efforts to intimidate and silence academics. Andrei Stavilă had recently been informed that his one-year contract at Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University, in eastern Turkey, would be renewed for two more years ... Read More »