Australasia

Stopping the boats is a futile, cynical exercise

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On the day US President Donald Trump launched his air strike on Syria almost a month ago, the Australian government touted the 30th turnback of an asylum seeker boat under Operation Sovereign Borders. Violeta Moreno-Lax Brisbane Times Australian authorities returned the 25 Sri Lankan nationals aboard the boat, with the… According to Australia’s Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, “about 765… Stopping the boats… Read More »

Nauruans jailed over political protest to appeal sentence in Australia

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Lawyers for three men who had their sentences increased on appeal announce intention to appeal to high court of Australia Ben Doherty The Guardian Three Nauruans charged over a 2015 protest at the suspension of opposition MPs from parliament, have had their prison sentences increased up to seven-fold on appeal, but… In an episode that has exposed long-running political tensions within Nauru’s… Nauruans jailed over… Read More »

Kim Dalton accuses ABC TV of shifting funds from Australian content

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Former ABC TV head says lack of transparency, more than budget cuts, is to blame for neglect of local drama, and Indigenous, documentary and… Amanda Meade The Guardian The ABC’s budget for local drama, Indigenous, documentary and children’s TV has been quietly shrinking since 2013 as management siphons off millions of dollars into other areas of the… In an essay published on Monday Dalton said ABC management and boards were… Kim Dalton accuses… Read More »

Legal battles over, controversial doco The Opposition finally gets home debut

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It began as a student film project but soon morphed into something much larger – including an unexpected and bruising legal battle. Karl Quinn The Age Dame Carol Kidu didn’t recognise the young Australian woman who said she wanted to make a film about her life in New… But she has no trouble remembering Hollie Fifer now. It’s amazing how an ugly legal battle can jog the… Legal battles over… Read More »

Australian politics explainer: the MV Tampa and the transformation of asylum-seeker policy

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Some time before August 23 2001, a small Indonesian fishing boat, the KM Palapa 1, left Indonesia en route to Christmas Island with 438 asylum seekers aboard. Alex Reilly  The Conversation Like many before them, the asylum seekers hoped to reach Australia and apply for permanent protection visas. The Palapa’s engines failed in international waters between Indonesia and… Australian politics explainer… Read More »

John Safran says Australia’s far right movement is a ‘melting pot’

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Members of Australia’s far-right movement are not all white-skinned neo-Nazis, but instead from a diverse range of backgrounds, including recent migrants and… Lateline ABC After attending a United Patriots Front rally in Victoria, Safran said he was surprised to see a racially diverse mix of members and… The result is his latest book, Depends What You Mean By Extremist, in which he… John Safran says… Read More »

Remembering fallen war heroes is insincere if it excludes those suffering today

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Yassmin Abdel-Magied does not deserve nastiness – many Muslim Australians know the tragedy of war better than… Mariam Tokhi The Guardian As a first-generation Muslim Australian, I’ve often wondered what Anzac Day should mean to… The furore (and social media savagery) over Yasmin Abdel-Magied’s seven words have reignited that… Remembering fallen war… Read More »

Australia’s first ‘rescued food’ supermarket opens today

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Reducing food waste and supporting the community, The OzHarvest Market operates on a ‘take what you need, give if you… Win-win, really. Siobhan Hegarty SBS The average Australian household puts $1,036 worth of groceries in the bin every… It might be a brown banana here and a sprouting potato there, but our overzealous shopping habits – or forgetful fridge recall – add up both financially and literally, in… Meanwhile, the… Australia’s first ‘rescued… Read More »

Children are being damaged in detention – Australia’s day of reckoning will come

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In the tangle of debate about asylum seekers some things are… Katie Robertson The Guardian There is no excuse for damaging children in our… It’s been just over three years since I met her for the first time on a frantic visit to Christmas… Given just a small window of time by the department of immigration to see her family among many suffering under the conditions of… Children are being… Read More »

‘Sadness will last forever’: Living with the Van Gogh legacy

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As he lay on his death bed, having apparently shot himself, Vincent Van Gogh is said to have uttered the final words, “The sadness will last… Patrick Wood ABC It’s hard to imagine a bleaker prophecy from the famed and deeply troubled Dutch… And yet, more than 125 years later, the Van Gogh family can attest to a fulfilling life that is, in part, devoted to honouring his work and… ‘Sadness will last… Read More »

Grim warning on North Korea missile threat as Julie Bishop blasts regime

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As military tensions on the Korean Peninsula escalated further on Sunday, defence experts said Pyongyang could have the ability to strike Australia with an… James Massola Kirsty Needham The Sydney Morning Herald, with AAP, Reuters Foreign Minister Julie Bishop delivered a blistering rebuke to the hermit kingdom after it threatened a nuclear strike against Australia for “blindly and… And the Rodong Sinmun, the newspaper of the… Grim warning on… Read More »

Why should immigrants speak perfect English when Australians can’t?

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How does Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull expect migrants to achieve functional standards of speech when most Australians can’t even pronounce the… Dean Frenkel The Sydney Morning Herald While it appears that Turnbull has been motivated to attract more Pauline Hanson voters with his new citizenship test requirements, he is attacking the… We have a serious communication skills problem in Australia glued to a… Why should immigrants… Read More »

North Korea accuses Australia of ‘blindly toeing US line’, warns of nuclear strike

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North Korea has issued a stern message to Australia, accusing the Government of “blindly toeing the US line” and warning of a… Exclusive by defence reporter Andrew Greene ABC The comments came after Foreign Minister Julie Bishop earlier this week said on the ABC’s AM program that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program posed a… A spokesman for the North Korean Foreign Ministry accused Australia of “spouting a… North Korea accuses… Read More »

New citizenship test to focus entirely on the value of negative gearing

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After a day of heavy consultation throughout the suburb of Point Piper, Malcolm Turnbull has announced that Australia’s citizenship test will focus entirely on the… CHARLES FIRTH The Chaser Immigrants wanting to become citizens will now be required to understand how they can reduce their marginal tax rate, obtain discounts on capital gains tax and… They will also be required to speak the language of Sydney property prices before they… New citizenship test… Read More »

MONA’s David Walsh defends ‘slaughter’ art show, says public outrage good for business, Tas economy

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David Walsh, millionaire founder of Tasmania’s acclaimed Museum of Old and New Art, responds to the controversy surrounding an upcoming performance a… James Dunlevie ABC Walsh suggested the backlash to a three-hour “installation” directed by Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch, titled 150 Action, had served his purposes and “spiked a… The work is described by MONA as “a… MONA’s David Walsh… Read More »

Out of Taiwan

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Legislator Kolas Yotaka and academic David Blundell will give talks on Saturday about Taiwan’s impact on Austronesian language and culture and… Noah Buchan Taipei Times David Blundell will give a lecture on Saturday titled “Taiwan roots of the Austronesian Language and Culture,” at the Legislative Yuan, sharing the… Blundell, a professor at National Chengchi University who has been… Out of… Read More »