Say no to increasing force against detainees

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One of the most disturbing aspects of Border Force’s takeover of detention camps has been the militarisation and increased use of force against people seeking asylum. Women have been especially targeted by SERCO and Border Force. Eureka Street – Pamela Curr * Next week in the Senate, the Government is seeking even more powers to use against women, children and men in detention. Detention Examples of existing measures include the use of electronic scanners plus physical pat-downs on women before ... Read More »

Australia slams Japan’s whaling resumption

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Japan cannot unilaterally decide to start whaling in the Antarctic Ocean again against the advice of scientists, says Environment Minister Greg Hunt. Japan is set to ignore an International Court of Justice ruling that last year prompted Tokyo to cancel the bulk of its whaling for the 2014-15 season. The Japanese Fisheries Agency has notified the International Whaling Commission that it will resume whaling in the 2015-16 season under a revised plan. ‘Australia strongly opposes the decision by Japan to ... Read More »

Why did it take Turkey just 17 seconds to shoot down Russian jet?

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Ankara has delivered an incendiary message to Moscow, and while there may be too much at stake for the conflict to spill out of control it also won’t go away The Guardian – Mark Galeotti Even if Turkey is right that a Russian fighter jet strayed into its airspace, the plane was within Ankara’s borders for just 17 seconds before being attacked – and was making no hostile moves against the Turks. Airspace incursions, granted usually in less politically tense ... Read More »

Why It’s Time For A Free Kurdistan

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Self-Determination It’s spread across several de facto “states,” but Kurdish nationalism has become a reality as the rest of the Middle East crumbles. The Daily Beast – Written by Aliza Marcus  and Andrew Apostolou * It’s time to stop debating whether or not the Kurds deserve an independent state. There are around 40 million Kurds across Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria—the largest ethnic group without self-determination. Kurds have long sought independence, but the states in which they live have always ... Read More »

An open letter to Barack Obama

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Mr. Obama, I am writing this letter as a journalist leading a life in exile in the United States of America. I face life imprisonment in connection with four articles I wrote. These articles essentially drew attention to the fact that Turkey should refrain from posing for the same photo with terrorist organizations. I noted that I was concerned about the articles that appeared in Western media outlets concerning al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), ... Read More »

Russia is already exacting its revenge on Turkey

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Just more than 24 hours after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on after claiming the jet had violated Turkish airspace, Moscow is already exacting its revenge — albeit subtly. Business Insider – Natasha Bertrand “We’re not going to wage a war against Turkey. … But we will seriously reconsider our agreements with the Turkish government,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a press call on Wednesday, according to The Associated Press. “Our attitude to the Turkish people hasn’t ... Read More »

Turkish journalists charged with spying over weapons report

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Two prominent Turkish journalists have been charged with espionage after alleging that Turkey’s secret services sent arms to Islamist rebels in Syria. By Selin Girit BBC News, Istanbul Can Dundar, the editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet daily, and Erdem Gul, the paper’s Ankara bureau chief, face life imprisonment if found guilty. Their report and video footage attracted a political storm in Turkey and a lawsuit filed by the president. Turkey faces severe criticism over its press freedom record. The journalists, who deny ... Read More »

Fifth refugee secretly moved from Nauru to Cambodia under $55m deal

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The ethnic Rohingya man from Myanmar arrived in Phnom Penh last week under the resettlement arrangements, as Cambodian political divisions deepen The Guardian – Lauren Crothers in Phnom Penh and Ben Doherty A fifth refugee from Nauru has been secretly moved to Cambodia, arriving last week under Australia’s controversial $55m deal with the south-east Asian nation. The man, understood to be an ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar, arrived in Phnom Penh as always-fractious political tensions inside Cambodia escalated further, and the ... Read More »

A refugee, like me: why the Golden Rule matters in an era of mass migration

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As the refugee crisis worsens, various “destination” countries, including Australia, are engaging in internal debates around multiculturalism, integration and tolerance. People are worried about cultural cohesion, racial divides and religious differences. The Conversation Author: Rivka T. Witenberg, Honarary Research Fellow in Psychology , Australian Catholic University Disclosure statement: Rivka T. Witenberg receives funding from Large ARC SPIRT Grant; Department of Psychology Research Support Scheme, University of Melbourne and Australian Catholic University; Centre for Education for Human Values and Tolerance, Bar ... Read More »

Turkey’s Diplomatic Dogfight

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MADRID – Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane risks opening a new front in the violence engulfing Syria, thereby dashing the hopes for a rapprochement between Russia and the West that had arisen in the wake of the Paris massacre. With Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan now engaged in a war of words, and given the nightmare scenario of something far worse, it is more important than ever that the European Union do all that ... Read More »

Electric skateboards bans in SA prompt call to rethink Christmas shopping list

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A ban on the use of electric skateboards on roads and footpaths in South Australia has prompted a call for parents to rethink their Christmas shopping list. ABC – 891 ABC Adelaide By Sarah Scopelianos, staff Under a recent law change in SA, bike riders of all ages can ride on the footpath. However, the state bans the use of powered scooters, skateboards and mini motorcycles on roads and footpaths. Those caught face hefty fines, including $412 for having an ... Read More »

Abortions Decline to Historic Low: CDC Report Shows 31,000 Babies Saved From Abortions

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The Centers for Disease Control released its national abortion report on Wednesday and the new figures how the number of abortions in the United States has declined to a historic low.  – National – Steven Ertelt Although approximately 699,000 babies lost their lives in abortions in 2012, the latest year CDC has produced figures for, that represents a decline of about half since the highs of more than 1.5 million in the late 1980s, when the effect of legalizing abortion in ... Read More »

These Syrian refugees became SES volunteers within a month of arriving in Australia

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Less than a year after arriving in Australia, with their bullet-riddled Aleppo home a fading memory, Johnny and Carol Bilouna pulled on matching orange jumpsuits and prepared to help patch a stranger’s roof somewhere in the peaceful, if storm-damaged, Illawarra. Daily Life – Angela Thompson Life in Syria’s largest city had been good. The couple had lots of friends and family living nearby, two prosperous businesses to run, two young children and their own apartment. When the war came near to their doorstep in July, 2012, they ... Read More »

Michael Brand’s plan for the Art Gallery of NSW is about money, not art

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Art Gallery of NSW director Michael Brand has spent most of his term of office constructing a gigantic spoof against the civic core of Sydney’s most public and important open space – the Domain and Botanic Gardens. The Sydney Morning Herald – Paul Keating * Brand wishes to construct a vast function centre and observation platform – a megaplex made feasible only by appropriating open space across an expressway and on land belonging to the Botanic Gardens. And the aim of this land ... Read More »

Sweden slams shut its open-door policy towards refugees

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‘We simply can’t do any more,’ prime minister says in announcing Sweden’s asylum regime will revert to EU minimum The Guardian – David Crouch in Gothenburg Video – Sweden’s deputy prime minister cries while announcing refugee U-turn Sweden needs “respite” from the tens of thousands of refugees knocking at its door, the government has said, announcing tough measures to deter asylum seekers in a sharp reversal of its open-door policy towards people fleeing war and persecution. The country’s generous asylum ... Read More »

Booze much ‘worse’ than NT Ice crisis

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ST JOHN paramedics treated more than 6600 people in NT for alcohol-related issues – and just 230 patients with amphetamines as the drug of concern – in the first six months of 2015. ELLIE TURNER From: NT News The Ice Select Committee said: “The Territory needs to ensure it is well equipped to manage the impact of ice. But witnesses impressed on the committee it was important not to lose sight of the fact alcohol is a far greater problem ... Read More »