Australasia

Malcolm Turnbull speech: Libs a centrist party of freedom but not at cost of security

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THE tenor of our times is change, and at a pace and scale utterly unprecedented in human history. Malcolm Turnbull, The Courier-Mail And in such times, what price political labels? The truth is the labels have lost almost all meaning in the furious outrage cycle of social media politics, long cast adrift to be appropriated, often cynically, by one politician or… At the heart of our political tradition, whether we describe it as the tradition of the… Malcolm Turnbull speech… Read More »

UN criticism of Australian human rights record welcomed by lawyers

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Lawyers who are part of a coalition of NGOs have welcomed the wide-ranging findings made by a UN committee about Australia’s human rights record and are calling on the government to address the nation’s poor… Melissa Coade Lawyers Weekly Australia has been taken to task by the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in a new report released last… The committee assessed how well Australia has managed to meet its commitments under the International Covenant on Economic, Social… ... Read More »

Islamophobia is still raising its ugly head in Australia

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The existence and scale of Islamophobia in Australia has been hotly debated. While Muslims insist it is real and of significant scale, it has been either denied or downplayed in wider circles. Mehmet Ozalp The Conversation The main reason why Islamophobia has not been taken seriously could be due to the lack of quality data on the… Most research to date focused on surveys conducted on the negative sentiments of non… But our new study reports on actual Islamophobic incidents, ... Read More »

Beware of outrage fatigue, there are good reasons to be angry

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I have the great honour of teaching a class of media students every week and always look forward to discussing the day’s news with… Wendy Squires Brisbane Times They are bright, engaged and opinionated, and the discussions are usually lively and passionate. Until recently that is. As someone who wakes each day then reaches for my phone beside my bed cringing at the thought of what Trump might have got up to overnight, but having to check nevertheless, I usually ... Read More »

FOI documents confirm government holding almost one year’s worth of pollution data

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The federal government has been keeping almost a year’s worth of pollution data secret, despite it being scheduled for release in May, documents obtained under freedom of… Lucy Cormack The Age Independent estimates suggest Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions have risen sharply since the government last released its quarterly data in December – a trend that would make the… Quarterly updates by the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, described as “up-to… FOI documents confirm… Read More »

Elon Musk’s big battery brings reality crashing into a post-truth world

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For months, politicians and fossil fuel industry have lied about the viability of renewables. Tim Hollo  The Guardian Now Tesla’s big battery in South Australia will prove them wrong • Tesla to build world’s biggest lithium ion battery in South Australia Elon Musk’s agreement to build the world’s largest battery for South Australia isn’t just an extraordinary technological breakthrough that signs coal’s death warrant. It’s potentially a game changer in the way we do… Elon Musk’s big… Read More »

Internal crime perpetrating through law firms

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An increasing number of law firms are leaving themselves open to internal crime, despite many stating that pre-employment screening is… Emma Ryan Lawyers Weekly A new report conducted by Lawyers Weekly and InfoTrack surveyed 216 Australian legal professionals to better understand the perceived impact of internal crime as well as the processes law firms have put in place to protect against… Firstly, the survey asked respondents where they see the greatest value in pre-employment… Internal crime perpetrating… Read More »

New map records massacres of Aboriginal people in Frontier Wars

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After years of painstaking research, an online map marking the massacres of Aboriginal clans across Australia’s colonial frontier has… By national Indigenous affairs correspondent Bridget Brennan ABC More than 150 sites have been recorded along the east coast, where violent attacks on Aboriginal people took place for decades after the First Fleet… Historian and conjoint Professor at the University of Newcastle Lyndall Ryan believes it will be one of the most comprehensive maps of the Frontier Wars ever… New map ... Read More »

ATO fraud scandal: just how big is the public service’s nepotism problem?

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Public servants’ conflicts of interest remain ineffectively monitored. Richard Mulgan The Canberra Times The recent resignation of Tax Office deputy commissioner Michael Cranston, along with allegations of impropriety against other senior ATO officials, raises important questions about public sector ethics and… The accusations arose out of extensive inquiries into a tax fraud involving Plutus Payroll Australia, a company providing payroll services for large… ATO fraud scandal… Read More »

Border Force illegally sent two Australian citizens to Christmas Island

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New Zealand-born men released when error was realised in episode reminiscent of Cornelia Rau and Vivian Solon cases Ben Doherty The Guardian Australian Border Force illegally detained two Australian citizens and sent them to Christmas Island in an episode reminiscent of the Cornelia Rau and Vivian Solon cases of more than a decade ago. Guardian Australia understands the two men are New Zealand-born but hold dual Australian… Border Force illegally… Read More »

Calls on surveillance partnership of intelligence agencies to respect strong encryption

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Liberty Victoria is one of 83 organisations and experts from 5 nations demanding “Five Eyes” respect strong… On Friday 30 June 2017, 83 organisations and individuals from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States sent letters to their respective governments insisting that government officials defend strong… The letter comes on the heels of a meeting of the “Five Eyes” ministerial meeting in Ottawa, Canada last… Calls on surveillance… Read More »

Politics podcast: Anna Krien on the climate wars

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Melbourne-born author Anna Krien’s latest Quarterly Essay explores the debates on climate change policy in Australia and the ecological effects of not acting. Michelle Grattan The Conversation She interviewed farmers, scientists, Indigenous groups, and activists from Bowen to Port Augusta. She says climate change denialism has transformed into “climate change nihilism”. Krien says the Finkel review provides another opportunity in a… Politics podcast: Anna… Read More »

‘I’m doing something good’: From construction worker to people smuggler

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Omar* is a husband and father of four. He used to work in construction, but these days he’s a people smuggler. The Age * Under the cover of darkness, he and his small band of fellow smugglers guide their Syrian customers along paths through the mountains where they sit and wait for precisely the… “Theoretically, it’s wrong to have a job like this, and illegal. But from a practical… ‘I’m doing something… Read More »

Pope sacks cardinal in charge of sex abuse cases, a conservative critic

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Rome: Pope Francis has sacked the head of the Vatican office that handles sex abuse cases, just days after he released Australian cardinal George Pell to return home to face charges of historical sexuael assult. Nicole Winfield The Canberra Times AP, Reuters, New York Times The developments underscored how the Catholic Church’s sex abuse crisis had caught up with Francis, threatening to tarnish his legacy. Francis on Saturday declined to renew the mandate of Germa cardinal… Pope sacks cardinal… Read More »

Could there be a link between genocide and suicide?

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Genocide and suicide are connected in some contexts. Sometimes the connection is direct; occasionally it is indirect. Colin Tatz The Conversation This relationship hardly figures in suicide studies. Only a handful of case studies are to hand – and they tell us little. We can start with Namibia (1904 to 1906), then the Armenian genocide (1915 to 1923), move to the Holocaust (1933 to 1945), and then to Rwanda and Bosnia in the… We know very little about suicide and ... Read More »

Watching Out

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reflections on justice and injustice Julian Burnside Praise for Watching Brief‘A fascinating read for anyone who burns with a passion for human decency and an interest in ethics.’ Sunday Telegraph ‘As we look up from the political abyss in these appalling times, Burnside is a glowing light on a distant hill. His writing is lucid, poignant, powerful. He distinguishes between law and justice, urging us to be both compassionate and analytical, collecting evidence, making rational conclusions, acting on them courageously, ... Read More »