Multiculturalism

I have made no false promises on Brexit – I’m free to tell you the truth

Those who persuaded a deceived population to vote to be weaker and poorer will never be forgiven John Major The Guardian Until now, every US president I have known has considered [the UK’s] relevance to America to be enhanced by our membership of the European Union. Yet very soon – on our current course – we will no longer be able to argue from within the EU for Anglo-American beliefs in free trade, open markets and strong defence. Our friends, the ... Read More »

Xinjiang top official defends Uighur ‘internment camps’

The top official in China’s Xinjiang region has given the most detailed description yet of the alleged use of internment camps for Uighur Muslims. BBC In an interview with state media, Shohrat Zakir said the “vocational education” centres were proving effective in staving off terrorism. He said “trainees” were grateful for the opportunity to change their ways and make their lives more “colourful”. China’s massive security crackdown in Xinjiang has sparked widespread alarm. Rights groups say Muslims are being detained ... Read More »

Universities should tolerate ‘offensive’ ideas

It goes without saying – or at least it ought to – that freedom of speech should be a core value of universities. As a scholar of freedom of speech and a university academic, it has been gratifying to see so many vice-chancellors (and a… Adrienne Stone Brisbane Times This attention to freedom of speech is a response to recent controversies on campus. Bettina Arndt’s university tour met with rowdy and obstructive demonstrations. Students have accused each other of bullying ... Read More »

Viral letter to PM shows the people are united

The Prime Minister’s rejection of the Australian Medical Association’s call for the transfer of the asylum seeker and refugee children and their families off Nauru has been swift but it hasn’t deterred us. Dr Sara Townend Brisbane Times Now, just over two weeks later, more than 5600 doctors and medical students from around the country say they agree. They’ve signed an open letter to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison. A letter we felt compelled to write because the situation on ... Read More »

Biggest split in modern Orthodox history: Russian Orthodox Church breaks ties with Constantinople

In the biggest rift in modern Orthodox history, the Russian Orthodox Church has cut all ties with the Constantinople Patriarchate, effectively splitting from it after it granted independence to the… RT The Holy Synod, the governing body of the Russian Orthodox Church, has ruled that any further clerical relations with Constantinople are impossible, Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the… “A decision about the full break of relations with the Constantinople Patriarchate has been taken at a Synod meeting” that is currently ... Read More »

World has been slow to wake up to Saudi depravity

It’s reassuring to see that the Western world still has the capacity to be outraged at the abuse of human rights. Specifically, a government that appears to have murdered a journalist. Peter Hartcher Brisbane Times The Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into a Saudi consulate in Turkey two weeks ago. He was a critic of the Saudi dictator and living outside his home country for his safety. By setting foot in a Saudi diplomatic property to pick up marriage papers ... Read More »

Turkey’s Future is at Stake: Forgotten Children of Turkey

Nowadays, protecting and even improving the rights of the children are among the key requirements of being a democratic country. Deniz Zengin PoliTurco It is an incontestable right for the children, who are a part of the social life, to take part as individuals in the community. The convention on the rights of the children, which contains the most extensive regulation about legitimatizing and protecting the rights of the children in international law, is based on the fact that the ... Read More »

My Fiancé Jamal Khashoggi Was a Lonely Patriot

His ideas will reverberate from Turkey to Saudi Arabia and beyond. Oppression never lasts forever. Tyrants eventually pay for their sins. Hatice Cengiz The New York Times Jamal Khashoggi and I met at a conference in Istanbul in May. I was familiar with his work because I am interested in the Middle East and the Gulf region. We spoke for about half an hour about politics. Jamal talked about the extraordinary transformation taking place in Saudi Arabia, his native country, ... Read More »

Religious freedom not under threat, but we should debate limits

The immediate eruption of controversy over the selective leaking of recommendations from the Ruddock report on religious freedom shows both why the government has sought to avoid releasing the report, and… Simon Cowan Brisbane Times It is a major issue, notwithstanding that marriage equality has been one of the few direct challenges to freedom of religion in Australia in recent years. And, while there have been major court cases in the US and the UK testing the limits of free ... Read More »

Racial Preference on Trial as Harvard Goes to Court

In 2003, the Supreme Court hoped the use of racial preferences would last no more than 25 years. They are becoming permanent. Stuart Taylor Jr. the weekly Standard The discrimination lawsuit against Harvard College that goes to trial in federal court on October 15 may well put a momentous choice before the Supreme Court, and the country, within the next few years. Should the Court allow racial preferences in university admissions to continue forever? Or should it ban them as ... Read More »

Decoding the music masterpieces: Debussy’s only opera, Pelléas and Mélisande

Claude Debussy’s Pelléas and Mélisande holds a unique place in the repertoire of turn-of-the-century France. Madeline Roycroft The Conversation For his only completed opera, Debussy rejected the musical and dramatic conventions of the genre, crafting a work that is as captivating as it is perplexing. For years, Debussy had searched for the perfect text upon which to set his first opera. In 1899, he described his ideal librettist (the person who writes the words for an opera) as “a poet ... Read More »

Guy Verhofstadt stands his ground

As Rutte and Macron work toward new political alliance, the liberal leader targets nationalists. By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN Politico Guy Verhofstadt is fighting back — against nationalism. French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte are working toward a new political alliance that could oust Verhofstadt from his longtime post as leader of the Liberal group in the… The group, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), might even dissolve and be re-created under a new name, officials ... Read More »

The man who lost Bavaria

The Bavarian premier’s tough line on migration may not save his party from losing votes on Sunday. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico INGOLSTADT, Germany — Markus Söder’s uncanny depictions of characters as varied as Shrek and Marilyn Monroe during Bavaria’s annual Carnival celebrations earned the German politician a reputation as a master of disguise. Portraying the real-life leader of Bavaria has been a tougher role. Barring a minor miracle, Söder’s Christian Social Union, which has dominated Bavarian politics for decades, will ... Read More »

We asked the British public what kind of Brexit they want – and the Norway model is the clear winner

It is now more than two years since Britons voted to leave the EU. But what has been learned in that time about what British people want for their future relationship with the EU? Authors: The Conversation Those on the hard right argue that Britons voted to sever existing treaties with the EU. Others argue that leaving the single market was never part of the plan. The referendum outcome tells us very little about what people actually wanted. But our ... Read More »

36 Hours in Athens

From the ancient Acropolis to a daring Renzo Piano-designed cultural center, the Greek capital is luring record numbers of tourists to explore its monuments, new and old. Chaney Kwak The New York Times There are cities that count their age by years; then there’s Athens, which can tabulate its history by millenniums. From battles and setbacks this ancient metropolis has rebounded again and again, proving itself to be resilient like no other. Sitting on a parfait of civilizations, the Greek ... Read More »

Farewell to Fariborz: Australian burial for refugee who killed himself on Nauru

Family and friends of Fariborz Karami, 26, gathered at Mount Gravatt cemetery in Brisbane to say goodbye Helen Davidson and Saba Vasefi The Guardian Last Friday relatives of Fariborz Karami finally said goodbye to the 26-year-old, an athletic and intelligent dentistry student who had married just a short time before taking his life inside a tent on Nauru. It had been more than three months since he died, and many years since doctors first raised concerns about his mental health ... Read More »