Australasia

Some inmates should have the right to euthanasia

After decades behind bars, Frank Van Den Bleeken has been granted the right to die under Belgium's euthanasia laws (Image: Virginie Lefour/Belga/Press Association Images)

Should convicted prisoners facing life behind bars get the right to die on the grounds of their tortured existence? Sometimes, says a doctor with experience of treating inmates who have attempted suicide In high-security prisons the world over, small numbers of prisoners are serving lifelong sentences, deprived of all but the minimum of human contact and confined for most of ... Read More »

It’s time to teach climate change in school. Here’s how

Can you teach kids about climate change? A) Yes, or B) yes, and it’s past time to start. Photograph: Image Source/Alamy

We need to give our kids the tools to observe and understand the effects of a changing climate – for their future and ours Why is it so difficult to teach climate change in our classrooms? My kids hear climate change discussed in the news as a very real threat, but it is largely absent from school science curricula. In ... Read More »

Abbott dismisses ‘stupid’ call for Australia burqa ban

Hundreds of police raided homes in Australia in a sweeping counter-terrorism operation (Reuters)

Terror raids in Australia prompt “stupid” call by government MP for a burqa ban, with leaders warning acts of vilification will only play into the hands of extremists Australia’s prime minister has defended the right of Muslims to wear a burqa after one of his MPs said the face and body covering was “a shroud of oppression and flag of ... Read More »

Website of the day: BBC iWonder

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Imagine a place where you could go with those nagging questions. The ones that keep you awake just a little later than you’d like. The ones that get you and your friends into heated discussions around the water cooler or pub table. Well, you might think that the internet is just the place, right? Yes and no. Some of it ... Read More »

What is it like to be a doctor in immigration detention centres?

Wheelchair & old lady at CI 1a LLLL

As a GP who worked on Nauru and Christmas Island, I’ve seen men with their lips sewn closed, women drinking from bottles of shampoo and children with weeping sores  Jump to comments I am often asked questions about my work as a general practitioner in the Christmas Island and Nauru immigration detention centres. Are the conditions as bad as they ... Read More »

Unpacking the Propaganda: Why Australia is Sending Troops to the Middle East

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On Sunday Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that 400 air personnel and 200 military personnel from Australia’s armed forces would be going to the Middle East to assist in the fight against ISIL in Iraq. The Labor opposition party supports the decision.  In his speech and the press conference that followed, Abbott tried to describe both the war he would ... Read More »

Major Super Fund Rejects Thermal Coal – But Read The Fine Print

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There’s more to a recent announcement that one of Australia’s largest superannuation funds has ‘gone green’ than meets the eye. James Fernyhough explains. On Friday the $28 billion superannuation fund HESTA announced it was restricting its investments in companies involved in thermal coal. For one of the largest super funds in the country to do this sends a strong message. Super ... Read More »