Opinion

For Eurydice’s sake, we need to do more than go to vigils

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Of all the violent deaths of women, the death of Eurydice Dixon, the 22-year-old rising comic, is one we can embrace when we signal our opposition to violence against women. Jenna Price The Canberra Times We see it’s not her fault. A stranger allegedly killed her and no one could predict that. It could not have been her fault. In the contemporary era, the story of Eurydice Dixon begins with Anita Cobby, the kind and… Janine Balding. Jill Meagher. Even ... Read More »

Our democracy is more important than Facebook’s profits

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No one realised it at the time, but in 2004 a poison was created that is now spreading through and threatening the stability of democratic countries around the world. Lucy Battersby Brisbane Times The poison isn’t attacking government’s directly. Instead it infects the information flowing through society to the point that citizens are confused and misled away from making proper decisions. At its worst, this poison, this disinformation, prompts people to hunt down and hurt perceived enemies. Disinformation is spread ... Read More »

Bring Julian Assange Home

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The persecution of Julian Assange must end. Or it will end in tragedy. The Australian government and prime minister Malcolm Turnbull have an historic opportunity to decide which it will be. John Pilger CounterPunch They can remain silent, for which history will be unforgiving. Or they can act in the interests of justice and humanity and bring this remarkable Australian citizen home. Assange does not ask for special treatment. The government has clear diplomatic and moral obligations to protect Australian ... Read More »

Curious link between world peace and gender equality

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Whatever comes of Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un’s curious get-together in Singapore it brought a welcome focus: peace. Matt Wade Brisbane Times If the optimists are right the meeting has paved the way for “major disarmament” on the Korean peninsula over the next few years. But, even if that happens, how much more peaceful would the world really be? Sadly, not that much. An ambitious number crunching exercise by the Sydney-based international think tank, the Institute for Economics and… ... Read More »

Harvard scientists: Trump environmental policies could result in 80,000 more deaths per decade

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A new essay from two Harvard University scientists concluded that the Trump administration’s environmental policies could result in an additional 80,000 deaths per decade. Avery Anapol The Hill The research, from public health economist David Cutler and biostatistician Francesca Dominici, pointed specifically to the health impacts of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) policies on air pollutants and… “This sobering statistic captures only a small fraction of the cumulative public health damages associated with the full range of rollbacks and systemic actions proposed ... Read More »

Parliament’s problem isn’t anti-Brexit protests outside. It lies within

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Activists wanted answers from Arron Banks at his select committee hearing. But MPs just aped his smug jocularity Ian Jack The Guardian On every day that parliament has sat since September last year, Steven Bray has positioned himself across the road from Downing Street or the Palace of Westminster and shouted “STOP BREXIT!” whenever a suitable target presents itself: usually a black ministerial car ferrying a… His voice is loud and commanding, and sometimes he stretches the syllable in the ... Read More »

Violent crime against older people is at record levels — here’s why

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Crime statistics have traditionally suggested that people aged 60 or over are less likely to be the victims of violent crime than the rest of the population. Hannah Bows The Conversation But while national victimisation surveys consistently report lower levels of victimisation among those aged 60 and over, these figures don’t necessarily capture the full picture. This is in part because most victimisation surveys exclude certain groups in society from participating – including those living in “institutions” such as care ... Read More »

Action against Russian meddling cannot threaten our civil liberties

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The greatest threats to civil liberties often occur in the name of “national security.” Alex Baiocco The Hill History has shown that free political speech is almost always among the first rights to be curbed. In the ongoing debate surrounding appropriate remedies and responses to foreign election campaign interference, we must remain skeptical of any proposal that risks repeating this shameful history. This brings us to the Honest Ads Act. The bill’s sponsors in Congress are pitching their proposal as a… Action against ... Read More »

It’s time to stop giving more rights to global corporations

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The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has published new research that shows that increased market power of global corporations is driving global income inequality. Dr Patricia Ranald Brisbane Times It notes that “in 2009–2015, the surplus profits of the top 1 per cent of publicly listed firms in a new UNCTAD firm-level database represented 55 per cent of recorded operating profits,” and recommends a… This research supports the case against giving corporations greater legal powers to sue governments over changes to domestic ... Read More »

The legality of off-shore detention

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In 2002 Australia, along with more than 80 other nations, acceded to the Rome statute by which the International Criminal Court was created.  The court is the first permanent court ever established with jurisdiction to try war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide regardless of the nationality of the perpetrators and regardless of the place where the offences occurred. Julian Burnside John Menadue – Pearls and Irritations As part of the process of implementing the International Criminal Court ... Read More »

North Korea’s Kim Jong-un rewrites the book on the art of the deal with shrewd handling of Donald Trump in Singapore

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Kim shows poise and diplomatic flourish to walk away with a win on one of the biggest points of contention Lee Jeong-ho and Kinling Lo South China Morning Post For a 34-year-old who made his first state visit in just the last few months, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un seemed to hold his own in Tuesday’s high-profile summit setting with US President Donald Trump. Kim had already surprised many observers with shrewd strategic manoeuvring before the talks and the Singapore ... Read More »

What Is Sadness, and What Is Depression?

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I stood onstage as an audience of over a thousand people applauded and cheered. My hosts placed an award in my hands. I nodded to the crowd, and they all rose to their feet. Hooray for you, the strangers shouted. Hooray! Jennifer Finney Boylan The New York Times Less than a week later, I sat up in bed in my house in Maine. A voice said: “You’re nothing. You’re a joke. They’d never have given you that award if they ... Read More »

Security bill will muzzle human rights activists

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In this era of so-called “fake news”, civil society plays a critical role in holding governments to account. Claire O’Rourke Brisbane Times And yet, with Labor capitulating to the government on the proposed National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Bill, it may soon become a crime to hold the Australian government to account on its human rights record. The truth itself would not be a defence. By joining regimes around the world in passing new, restrictive laws attempting ... Read More »

Jo Palmer | Price of our free speech

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Why do we hate being told what to do? Even when we don’t mind doing it, we still do not like someone telling us it needs to be done. TheExaminer We hate drivers that push in, but feel good about letting a vehicle slip in front of us. The exact same result is achieved, a nice flow of traffic, but the emotions are so different. My husband actually likes splitting the wood. He gets out in the backyard with his ... Read More »

The Insatiable and Unknowable Anthony Bourdain

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Anthony Bourdain devoured the world. That’s not hyperbole. It’s not even metaphor. Frank Bruni The New York Times There was no place that he wasn’t curious to explore, no food that he wasn’t determined to try, no cap on his hunger and no ceiling, or so it always seemed, on his joy. In his writing and especially on his TV shows, most recently CNN’s “Parts Unknown,” he exhorted the rest of us to follow his lead and open our eyes ... Read More »

Keep calm – the Top Guns of Brexit have got our backs

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Here’s hoping the EU negotiations can be fixed with a little psychopathic machismo. Because the Tories are awash with it. Marina Hyde The Guardian Barely two weeks after Russian phone pranksters taped him being indiscreet, I see Boris Johnson’s been the victim of another leaked recording. Speaking at a private dinner for Conservative Way Forward, the foreign secretary asked his audience not to panic during the coming Brexit “meltdown”, warned we may not get the Brexit we want, and… Secret recordings are the… ... Read More »