Multiculturalism

How to Save the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program

Amid the largest displacement crisis since World War II, President Donald Trump’s administration has cut the U.S.’s annual intake of refugees in half. ICG It should reverse course, and future administrations should strive to put refugee admissions on a stronger political and operational footing. What’s new?  Through various forms of bureaucratic strangulation, the Trump administration is working to squeeze the life from a program that has helped resettle three million refugees in the U.S. since 1980. Why does it matter?  The current ... Read More »

Russia is cracking down on minority languages – but a resistance movement is growing

Russia has spent the last several years aggressively advocating for the rights of Russian minorities abroad, and in particular for the “protection” of the Russian language. Guzel Yusupova The Conversation Whenever a country takes any step that can be construed as suppressing or marginalising Russian speakers, the Kremlin is quick to respond in the most strident of tones. In October 2017, when Latvia’s government made Latvian the default language of education, Sergey Zheleznyak, the member of Russia’s State Duma Committee ... Read More »

Hungary’s Viktor Orban accuses EU of ‘abuse of power’

The Hungarian premier has told EU lawmakers that Brussels’ actions against Budapest “violates the EU treaty.” Viktor Orban is facing pressure to correct measures that have undermined “fundamental values” of the EU. DW Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Tuesday told the European Parliament that potential disciplinary measures against his country are a “moral decision” that amounts to “abuse of power.” Under pressure from the European Commission, Orban is facing a vote that could see Hungary lose its voting rights in the bloc ... Read More »

The cost of Sweden’s silent consensus culture

Mainstream parties’ failure to break taboos on crime and immigration has empowered country’s far right. Tino Sanandaji Politico STOCKHOLM — Swedish elections are rarely exciting or unpredictable events. This year, things are looking rather different. The rise of the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats has put the taboo subjects of crime and immigration front and center in the campaign, forcing the mainstream parties to reckon with their failure to address the issues — and the connection between them — amid an unmistakable rise in crime and gang ... Read More »

Brexit racist? UK is Europe’s ‘ONLY member’ not to have anti-immigrant party in parliament

BRITAIN has the most positive view of immigration in the European Union despite claims on the Continent that the Brexit vote was fuelled by racism and xenophobia, Dan Hannan has declared. Harvey Gavin Express Much of the bloc now sees the UK as “intolerant, introverted and unwelcoming” to Europeans – but in fact the opposite is true, the leading Brexiteer said. Mr Hannan said the British electorate has rejected populist, anti-immigrant politics and is the only EU member to not have a ... Read More »

Ashes to ashes: Britons follow David Bowie in choosing direct cremations

Demand for simpler services grows as tastes change and cost of lavish funerals increases Rupert Jones The Guardian The “cost of dying” is continuing to rise, figures out next week are expected to show. But the good news for those on a tight budget, or who simply don’t want a big fuss made, is that the cost of the very… “Direct cremation” is a low-cost, no-frills option where there is no funeral service and mourners aren’t present. In its most ... Read More »

Can this Egyptian actor’s photo in bed with another man send him to prison?

CAIRO — A photo and a gay pride flag on a T-shirt has spurred controversy and eventually a legal case in Egypt last month, targeting actor Khaled Abol Naga and the international clothing brand Bershka. Ahmed Fouad Al-Monitor Lawyer Ahmed al-Ganzouri told Al-Monitor that both Abol Naga and Bershka risk facing legal charges under Article 294 of the Egyptian Penal Code. The article stipulates six months to three years of imprisonment for inciting adultery, immorality and prostitution, verbally, by implication, by signs or any similar means. The Egyptian ... Read More »

How Brexit has revived controversy over the Elgin Marbles in Britain

The Parthenon Sculptures have been the subject of debate for more than 200 years. With Theresa May scurrying around the EU trying to deliver Brexit, Greece is quite right to probe the possibility of bringing the treasures home. Dominic Selwood Independent It seems unlikely that several hundred tonnes of marble from Mount Pentelicus near Athens could have a significant role to play in Brexit. But, following a letter from the Greek government to Jeremy Wright, the culture secretary, that is exactly what is now happening. Lydia ... Read More »

Young and resilient

The first study of young refugees settling in Australia suggests they are adapting well to their new country By Dr Winnie Lau and Professor Meaghan O’Donnell, University of Melbourne Pursuit For people fleeing war and persecution, forced migration is an arduous and risky journey. But even for those who find new hope in a different country, adapting to a new culture is a… And of the 68.5 million people around the globe displaced by war and political conflict, over half ... Read More »

First Nations dancers are stepping into the void left by Australia’s politicians

In the space of a few short weeks, I have seen two world premieres of dance theatre by First Nations artists: Le Dernier Appel (The Last Cry) and plenty serious TALK TALK. Both put front and centre the lived experience of Indigenous peoples at a… Justine Shih Pearson The Conversation Australians are still waiting for a serious political conversation in response to last year’s momentous Uluru Statement from the Heart. This has been topped off, most recently, by the appointment ... Read More »

No more ‘leaning in’ – the neoliberal myth of the superhero businesswoman holds us all back

We’ve read the stories and seen the figures. We know that women are still underrepresented at the decision making table. Melissa Yoong The Conversation We know women across professional fields get paid less than their male peers for doing the same job. We know about the #MeToo movement. Yet, those who call for structural reforms are still often dismissed as whiners or unreasonably demanding. This could be partly due to the pervasiveness of neoliberalism and post-feminism. Traditionally understood as the ... Read More »

The case to set aside one day of the year to remember our great artists

In Australia, we hold state funerals for political leaders, however divisive or unloved they may have been while they lived.  And we grieve the departure of sporting greats. Julian Burnside Daily Review Perhaps we should set aside one day each year to remember great Australian artists who have died during the past year. So far in 2018, a significant number of great creative Australian talents have died: painters Charles Blackman (b. 1928) and Mirka Mora (b.1928); photographer Polixeni Papapetrou (b. 1960); cartoonists: Jeff Hook ... Read More »

German far right fuels Muslim ‘takeover’ fears

A series of violent crimes committed by refugees is unsettling the nation. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico BERLIN — Can Germany survive Islam? That question is once again at the center of the country’s public discourse amid the violent protests that followed last week’s brutal killing of a German man, allegedly at the hands of two Muslim refugees, and the publication of a new book titled “Hostile Takeover, how Islam halts progress and… On Saturday, about 11,000 people (8,000 right-wing and far-right protesters ... Read More »

Brazil museum fire: ‘incalculable’ loss as 200-year-old Rio institution gutted

The Museu Nacional houses artefacts from Egypt, Greco-Roman art and some of the first fossils found in Brazil Dom Phillips The Guardian Brazil’s oldest and most important historical and scientific museum has been consumed by fire, and much of its archive of 20 million items is believed to have been destroyed. The fire at Rio de Janeiro’s 200-year-old National Museum began after it closed to the public on Sunday and raged into the night. There were no reports of injuries, ... Read More »

The Mystery of People Who Speak Dozens of Languages

What can hyperpolyglots teach the rest of us? Judith Thurman The New Yorker One researcher of language acquisition describes her basic question as “How do I get a thought from my mind into yours?” Last May, Luis Miguel Rojas-Berscia, a doctoral candidate at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, in the Dutch city of Nijmegen, flew to Malta for a week to learn Maltese. He had a hefty grammar book in his backpack, but he didn’t plan to open it ... Read More »

‘Sword and Scimitar’ Offers In-Depth Study of Landmark Battles Between Islam and the West

..Middle East Forum director Gregg Roman recently interviewed Raymond Ibrahim, formerly the associate director of the Forum and currently the Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow. By Raymond Ibrahim Middle East Forum Ibrahim’s new book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West—a featured selection of the History Book Club and current best seller in several Amazon categories—was released earlier this week and is… ‘Sword and Scimitar… Read More »