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6,700 Rohingya killed in first month of Myanmar violence: MSF

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“At least 6,700 Rohingya, in the most conservative estimations, are estimated to have been killed, including at least 730 children below the age of five,” MSF said Dec. 14. YANGON – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The group’s findings come from six surveys of more than 11,426 people in Rohingya refugee camps and cover the first month after the crisis erupted. “We met and spoke with survivors of violence in Myanmar, who are now sheltering in overcrowded and unsanitary camps in Bangladesh,” ... Read More »

Bach: The Art of Fugue review – a striking, perfectly shaped performance

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Accademia Bizantina/Dantone (Decca) In The Art of Fugue, “Bach plays to God and himself in an empty church”, the critic and composer Wilfrid Mellers memorably wrote. Andrew Clements The Guardian The sequence of 20 fugues and canons, grouped according to the contrapuntal devices they employ, remains one of the most enigmatic works in the history of western music, not only left unfinished at Bach’s death in 1750, with its final fugue incomplete, but also lacking any indications as to how it might be ... Read More »

British troops breached Geneva conventions in Iraq, high court rules

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Court says soldiers subjected civilians to cruel and inhuman treatment, in cases that may determine handling of further claims Ian Cobain The Guardian British troops breached the Geneva conventions and subjected Iraqi civilians to cruel and inhuman treatment by hooding them and taking turns to run over their backs, the high court has ruled. Furthermore, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) breached the conventions as well as the 1998 Human Rights Act in the way in which it detained civilians after the 2003 invasion, the ... Read More »

Why rights must trump politics if new global plans on refugees and migrants are to make a difference

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The world has a chance to strike a bold agreement in 2018 that could improve the lives of refugees and migrants, but only if world leaders put aside the politics that often plagues debate on these issues and focus on people’s fundamental rights. Heaven Crawley Katharine Jones It’s been more than a year since leaders came together in September 2016 at the UN to try and bolster international cooperation on migration and refugee issues. The Conversation The resulting New York ... Read More »

Pick up a book and share it with a child: it’s the key to success in an uncertain future

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Parents often ask me what they ought to do to prepare their children for a future they can scarcely imagine, in a world that’s changing before their eyes. Alan Finkel ABC I say that there’s a brilliant learning technology already on the shelf. It builds vocabulary, conveys knowledge, fosters creativity, improves concentration, develops skills of reasoning and pattern recognition, calms anxiety and opens discussions … all this, while nurturing love and… Pick up a… Read More »

The missing Alzheimer’s pill

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When it comes to some of the biggest diseases America faces in the future, our drug system is set up to fail. DAVID H. FREEDMAN Politico What needs to happen? If there’s a dream of what a new drug is supposed to do, it might look something like Kalydeco. In 2012, the new light-blue pill from Vertex Pharmaceuticals rocked the world of cystic fibrosis, a fatal disease that affects 30,000 people in the United State. It’s best known for its ... Read More »

London theatre axes Rita, Sue and Bob Too amid harassment claims

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Play which had been due to run at Royal Court shelved after co-director steps down over misconduct allegations Alexandra Topping The Guardian The Royal Court theatre has shelved its planned production of Rita, Sue and Bob Too after the Guardian revealed its original co-director Max Stafford-Clark had been forced to step down after allegations of sexual harassment. The play, which tells the story of two teenage girls who have a sexual relationship with an older married man, has been on a UK tour and ... Read More »

After Dastyari’s downfall we must question the hold of big money on any political party

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Irrespective of a donor’s nationality, what are the effects of politicians hobnobbing with billionaires on the democratic process? Jeff Sparrow The Guardian We need to be very careful about the political narrative emerging to explain Sam Dastyari’s downfall. In Fairfax, Mark Kenny argues that, by resigning over his connections with billionaire Huang Xiangmo, Dastyari “reinforced to Beijing, and to its wealthy business and political surrogates here, that Australia will safeguard its sovereignty as jealously as does… That’s all very well. But surely ... Read More »

When will Australian politics have its Weinstein moment?

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One year before the Weinstein allegations and the #MeToo phenomenon, political journalist Karen Middleton wrote an article about sexual harassment in Australian politics. Jane Gilmore The Canberra Times It was not so much a personal account of her own experiences as a description of an entrenched culture in Canberra’s hothouse of politicians and journalists. If her description of this culture is still accurate, politicians, and the profession supposed to hold them to account, are living in a culture that normalises criminal behaviour. ... Read More »

The Sultan and the Sultan

CBDRWN Sultan Abdul Hamid II, Ottoman Sultan of Turkey as Sick Man of Europe. Cover of French Satirical Magazine, 'Le Rire', May 1897

Faced with a vast, decaying empire, the Ottoman Sultan Abdülhamid II ruled with an iron fist, curtailing press freedom, promoting Islam and severing ties with the West. William Armstrong Miscellanies History Today His similarities with Turkey’s current president have not gone unnoticed. Turkey’s relationship with the West is in the middle of a slow-motion car crash. After years of tension, the country’s rift with its western allies has widened since an attempted military coup against the government of the country’s ... Read More »

Omarosa Manigault Is Out At The White House

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The former Apprentice villain and one of the most prominent black women in the administration is leaving the Trump administration By David Mack (BuzzFeed News Reporter) Talal Ansari (BuzzFeed News Reporter) Darren Sands (BuzzFeed News Reporter) Omarosa Manigault, the former reality TV star turned political aide to President Trump, has resigned from her administration position, the White House announced Wednesday. Manigault resigned on Tuesday “to pursue other opportunities,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. Her resignation will not be effective until Jan. 20, 2018 — ... Read More »

Cabin pressure: Are airline contractors cutting corners on safety to earn business?

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Former and current pilots at Air Georgian, which annually handles 62,000 Air Canada Express-branded flights, allege it has a troubling approach to safety and maintenance, but the airline said it is one of the country’s most audited airlines, and the results of those evaluations put it in “the top tier” of Canadian operators. Financial Post Staff Financial Post Tom Blackwell Alan Eugeni had been flying at Air Georgian for only a month when he said the first one happened. Landing ... Read More »

Our Border Protection Spin Isn’t Fooling The World, UN Docs Reveal

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The international community is not fooled by Australia’s human rights offending immigration policies, writes Kellie Tranter. New Matilda In January this year, Treasurer and former immigration minister Scott Morrison told Australians: “We are the envy of the world when it comes to strong border protection policies that protect the integrity of our immigration system.” Yet heavily redacted documents released under Freedom of Information laws relating to our bid for the United Nations Human Rights Council suggest that in diplomatic circles, ... Read More »

US national security adviser: Qatar and Turkey are new sponsors of radical ideology 

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General HR McMaster attributed the rise of the Justice and Development party in Ankara to Turkey’s growing problems with the West Joyce Karam The National US national security adviser HR McMaster condemned Qatar and Turkey for taking on a “new role” as the main sponsors and sourcesof funding for extremist Islamist ideology that targets western interests. “Radical Islamist ideology isa grave threat to all civilised people,” Gen McMaster said. The US national security adviser said this threat has been identified “myopically” ... Read More »

Barnaby Joyce says New Zealand should ‘back off’ on offer to resettle refugees

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Deputy PM says Jacinda Ardern’s pledge to resettle up to 150 refugees from Manus Island could jeopardise the countries’ relationship Ben Doherty The Guardian Recently renounced New Zealand citizen Barnaby Joyce has said his former homeland should back off on its offer to resettle refugees from Australia’s offshore detention regime. In an interview with Newstalk ZB in New Zealand, the recently-reinstalled deputy prime minister of Australia issued a veiled threat to the NZ prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, that her commitment ... Read More »

‘Feminism’ is Merriam-Webster dictionary’s word of year

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A leading US dictionary has named “feminism” as its word of 2017 following a surge in online searches BBC Merriam-Webster said interest in the term was driven by women’s marches, new TV shows and films on women’s issues and the string of news stories on sexual assault and harassment claims. The number of people searching for the word was up 70% on 2016, it said. The dictionary defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic and social equality of ... Read More »