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The Double Threat to Liberal Democracy

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Illiberal democracy – or populism – is not the only political menace confronting Western countries. Liberal democracy is also being undermined by a tendency to emphasize “liberal” at the expense of “democracy.” Dani Rodrik Project Syndicate CAMBRIDGE – The crisis of liberal democracy is roundly decried today. Donald Trump’s presidency, the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, and the electoral rise of other populists in Europe have underscored the threat posed by “illiberal democracy” – a kind of authoritarian politics ... Read More »

The UK’s Hidden Hand in Julian Assange’s Detention

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It now emerges that the last four years of Julian Assange’s effective imprisonment in the Ecuadorean embassy in London have been entirely unnecessary. Jonathan Cook CounterPunch In fact, they depended on a legal charade. Behind the scenes, Sweden wanted to drop the extradition case against Assange back in 2013. Why was this not made public? Because Britain persuaded Sweden to pretend that they still wished to pursue the case. In other words, for more than four years Assange has been holed up ... Read More »

Guide to the classics: Sappho, a poet in fragments

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For those who have read the fragmented remains of the Greek poet, Sappho the loss of most of her poetic corpus is something to regret. Marguerite Johnson The Conversation With a mere two complete poems extant from nine books of verse, much is left to the imagination in the reconstruction of the output (and life) of this most mysterious of ancient poets. In a world dominated by male voices whose view of life, the universe and everything was the loudest and most ... Read More »

The Female Quran Experts Fighting Radical Islam in Morocco

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“The women scholars here are even more important than men.” DINA TEMPLE-RASTON The Atlantic Morocco is in a region vulnerable to terrorist recruitment, but it hasn’t had a significant attack on its own soil since 2011, when terrorists bombed a Marrakesh café. Yet ethnic Moroccans have been at the center of ISIS attacks in Europe. The only alleged survivor of the 2015 Paris rampage is a Frenchman of Moroccan origin; his trial began last week. The men behind the Brussels ... Read More »

Three reasons why the gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians aren’t closing

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This year’s Closing the Gap report tells a more positive story than the 2017 report on the seven measurable gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in the areas of health, education and employment. Francis Markham Nicholas Biddle The Conversation According to the government’s figures, the targets relating to Year 12 attainment, early childhood education, and child mortality are on track to be closed. In last year’s report, Year 12 attainment was on track, but child mortality wasn’t. Early childhood education is a ... Read More »

Archaeologists trace lost settlements of Glencoe destroyed after 1692 massacre

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Archaeologists are to trace the lost settlements of the Glencoe Massacre for the first time and place the human story of the atrocity back into one of Scotland’s most visited landscapes. Alison Campsie The Scotsman National Trust for Scotland has carried out initial survey work at three former settlements which fall within its property at the glen with more detailed studies due to follow. Glencoe was the scene of one of Scotland’s most infamous murders of the clan era when ... Read More »

Big Data, Large Concerns

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Consent and accountability should be at the core of the new privacy law. The Supreme Court recently affirmed a fundamental right to privacy. by Amba Kak , Jason Schultz The Indian Express The government is now moving to enact a data privacy law, the Justice Shri Krishna Committee has released a comprehensive report and the consultation process is coming to a close. Multiple legal challenges against Aadhaar — many involving citizens’ privacy — are being heard before the Supreme Court. The government is keen to ... Read More »

Turkey’s ‘New Nationalism’ Amid Shifting Politics

Turkish National flags and CCTV cameras and spikers seen in the main roundabout of Kumluca.
On Wednesday, 11 October 2017, in Kumluka, Turkey. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Further Analysis of Polling Results By Max Hoffman, Michael Werz, and John Halpin  Center for American Progress Introduction and summary From the outside, Turkey has the hallmarks of a consolidating authoritarian regime. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan exercises near absolute control through the parliamentary majority of his Justice and Development Party (AKP), his influence over a politicized judiciary, and a stranglehold on news media and political dissent. President Erdoğan was further granted expansive emergency powers by Turkish Parliament in the wake of the July 15, ... Read More »

Apartheid State: Compensation For Sexual Abuse Victims, Betrayal For Stolen Generations

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The Turnbull Government has responded swiftly and justly to the final report into the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses To Child Sexual Abuse. Chris Graham New Matilda And then there’s the response to the Bringing Them Home report, and the stolen wages scandal across two decades, and successive governments. The double standard is there in black and white, for anyone who cares to look. Chris Graham reports. One of the really useful things about the #changethedate campaign is that it serves as ... Read More »

Cornered in the shower and assaulted: the torment of a prisoner with disabilities

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I was interviewing prisoners in a male prison in Western Australia, on a sweltering afternoon, when Coen (not his real name) walked in, in his faded green prison uniform. Kriti Sharma The Sydney Morning Herald  For the first five minutes all he could say was, “It’s too shameful. I can’t tell you.” Coen, an Aboriginal man in his early 20s with a cognitive disability, had only been in prison for a few months but he looked defeated. With tears rolling ... Read More »

Turkey and the Law of the Sea: some facts

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IN HIS interview with “Kathimerini” on February 4, 2018, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu asserted certain positions on the Law of the Sea in relation to Cyprus, which cannot remain unanswered. Andrew Jacovides * Cyprus Mail The legal position of Cyprus on the Law of the Sea is solidly based on the provisions of UNCLOS III of December 10 1982, in which the Republic actively participated. Article 121, Regime of Islands, expressly provides in Paragraph 2 that “the territorial sea, contiguous ... Read More »

Who is Asma Jahangir ?

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Known for maintaining a resolute stance in the face of extreme pressure and opposition, Jahangir will be remembered as a champion for the disenfranchised The Indian Express Eminent lawyer and human rights activist Asma Jahangir passed away in Lahore after she suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday, according to Pakistan media. She was 66. “Asma suffered heart attack today morning and she was rushed to Hameed Latif Hospital Lahore where she breathed her last. Doctors tried to save her life ... Read More »

How Reading Changes Your Brain Can Actually Make You A Better & More Positive Person

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I’m in grad school right now, and we’ve been reading three of Irish writer Samuel Beckett’s very challenging novels. By Annakeara Stinson Elite Daily TBH, the reading sort of makes me feel like my mind is crawling through a maze to understand the words, simply because the prose is so dense, and the ideas are pretty damn existential. While I enjoy it, it also legit makes my brain hurt as I’m taking notes and trying to process everything. But you know ... Read More »

Outraged by the Attacks on Yazidis? It Is Time to Help.

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Three years ago I was one of thousands of Yazidi women kidnapped by the Islamic State and sold into slavery Nadia Murad The New York Times I endured rape, torture and humiliation at the hands of multiple militants before I escaped. I was relatively lucky; many Yazidis went through worse than I did and for much longer. Many are still missing. Many have been killed. Once I escaped, I felt that it was my duty to tell the world about ... Read More »

Tillerson’s Turkey visit: Will it help mend ties?

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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited Turkey twice during his first year in office, but his third trip due next week may well be the most important. Rosiland Jordan Al Jazeera Turkish-US relations were strained during former President Barack Obama‘s tenure. Some observers say they’ve only become worse during President Donald Trump‘s administration – and they fear the NATO allies could clash militarily in Syria. Tillerson’s mission is to reduce the tensions. Like Obama before him, Trump is backing ... Read More »

Tony Wright’s column: Life is brief. Pluck the day and share it with friends

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A valued mate is celebrating his 70th birthday next month. He’s been insisting I attend the dinner he is giving to mark this venerable achievement. Tony Wright The Age The thing is that he has taken himself across the world, and is living in the exotic city of Tangier, Morocco. Too far, I figured. Too difficult. Haven’t got the time. Or the spare cash. Dithering, it became easy to offer excuses to myself. And yet. My friend will never have ... Read More »