Editorial

Sorry, Mr. Trump, the Attorney General Is America’s Lawyer

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With his latest attack on Jeff Sessions, the president shows his real problem isn’t with the Justice Department but with the rule of law. By The Editorial Board The New York Times By now, few might lift an eyebrow at President Trump’s crusade to delegitimize his own Justice Department and, specifically, his attorney general, Jeff Sessions. It long ago became clear that Mr. Trump regards federal law enforcement — as he sees all of government — as a political tool ... Read More »

The Ally That Isn’t

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Almost two years ago, the American Presbyterian minister Andrew Brunson was taken hostage by the Turkish government. The Editors Weekly Standard The charges against him—“political or military espionage” and “support for a terrorist group”—are absurd. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants the Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen extradited from the United States—he holds a paranoid grudge against Gülen, whom he blames for a coup attempt in 2016—and erroneously thought the… President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have both paid ... Read More »

Migrant kids were stripped, drugged, locked away. So much for compassion.

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WHEN ACCOUNTS of abuse emerged in June from a detention center for migrant minors in Virginia — children as young as 14 stripped naked, shackled, strapped to chairs, their heads encased in bags, left for days or longer in solitary confinement, and in some cases beaten and… Editorial Board The Washington Post This institution, the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center, near Staunton, couldn’t possibly be in America. And if it was, it had to be an extreme outlier — a place ... Read More »

Neither stoking fears nor sugar-coating will help solve crime problem

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While overstating the scale of the problems created by the criminal activity of some members of the African-Australian community in Melbourne is unhelpful and damaging, so is denying that any issue exists. Editorial The Age As with so much in life, the truth tends to lie somewhere in the middle. The death of 19-year-old Laa Chol in a CBD apartment block on Friday night has yet again placed the spotlight squarely on this community. The statistics tell us crime in ... Read More »

Waleed Aly obliterates Malcolm Turnbull in report on so-called African gangs

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The Project‘s Waleed Aly has launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, writing off his recent comments about Sudanese gangs as a last-ditch votes grab before Super Saturday byelections next… Genevieve Rota The Age In an eight-minute editorial package written with The Project producer Tom Whitty, Aly on Thursday presented a number of statistics that placed question marks on recent claims by several politicians that violent African gangs were “wreaking havoc” in… “This week the Prime Minister said something interesting,” ... Read More »

The Guardian view on regulating elections: democracy needs a tougher defence

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The campaign for Brexit now looks dishonest and discredited. Its dodgy legacy casts a shadow over Theresa May’s government Editorial A healthy democracy has many mechanisms to hold politicians to account, but none as mighty as the ballot box. The government that fails to fulfil its promises can be expelled from power. This contract between electorate and elected is one reason why many democrats are suspicious of referendums. The danger is that they elevate a one-off verdict above the normal ... Read More »

First the presidency, now the judiciary

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Concern is mounting in the US and throughout the industrialised world that hard-won liberties and rights would be eroded were President Donald Trump to capitalise on the sudden opportunity he has been handed to cement a conservative majority in the… Editorial The Sydney Morning Herald Potential targets of emboldened conservatives include women’s access to abortion, people’s right to seek asylum, some of the queer community’s manifold anti-discrimination rights, protections for minorities, and the… The retirement of… First the presidency… Read More »

Turkey’s future just got a whole lot scarier

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In a region where democracy is scarce, it just got scarcer — with Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan claiming victory in last weekend’s presidential election and vowing to “rapidly” usher in a new era of presidential authoritarian rule. By Post Editorial Board New York Post Turks will suffer. Since a 2016 coup attempt, Erdogan has operated under a state of emergency, jailing journalists, political foes and members of the military. One of his foes, Selahattin Demirtas, of the pro-Kurdish People’s ... Read More »

The Crazy Talk About Bringing Back Asylums

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When President Trump mused that the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., in February might have been prevented if the United States had more mental institutions, he revived a not-quite-dormant debate: Should the country bring back asylums? The Editorial Board The New York Times Psychiatric facilities are unlikely to prevent crimes similar to the Parkland shooting because people are typically not committed until after a serious incident. Still, a string of news articles, editorials and policy forums have noted that plenty of mental ... Read More »

Police deliver another blow to public trust

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The revelation of breathtaking bad behaviour by police who have faked more than a quarter of a million roadside blood alcohol tests has further undermined already battered public faith in public institutions. Editorial The Age This scandalous practice compromises data on drink-driving and brings into question the ability to police and diminish the road toll. This is corruption, even if no bribery or personal financial incentive is involved, as it meant lying about statistics to serve personal interests, rather than ... Read More »

Religious freedom should be protected for all Australians

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More needs to be done to ensure fundamental human rights are protected for all Australians, including freedom of religion. The Canberra Times However, if new laws are introduced it must not result in an erosion of current legislation that protects human rights, like those implemented in the ACT and Victoria. The ACT is ahead of the curve when it comes to laws protecting basic human rights, after the welcome introduction of the ACT Human Rights Act in 2004. Victoria followed ... Read More »

Indonesian terror attacks highlight an often forgotten truth

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The recent spate of horrific terrorist attacks in Indonesia highlights a number of unfortunate, and often overlooked, truths about this global epidemic of violent slaughter. Editorial The Canberra Times The first is that by far the greatest number of terror attacks carried out by so-called Islamic extremists occur in Muslim countries. A second is the attackers, who appropriate the name of a worthy and long-established faith that espouses tolerance, justice and civil harmony, have about as much to do with ... Read More »

Enough is enough: s44 needs to go to a referendum as soon as possible

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It’s time for section 44 of the constitution to be put to the people with a view to amending what has turned out to be an outdated and cumbersome citizenship requirement that is out of step with who Australians are in the 21st century. Editorial The Canberra Times It is even out of step with who Australians were in the 19th century given any citizen of the British Empire, regardless of whether they had been born in New Zealand, Canada, ... Read More »

Putting Trump’s Trade Bombast to the Test

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President Trump’s recent threat to escalate his trade skirmish with China into a full-scale trade war is a foolish gambit with little historical precedent. Editorial Board The New York Times It is also hard to take seriously, given how quickly Mr. Trump changes his mind and how rarely and clumsily he tends to follow through on tough talk. Mr. Trump said on Thursday that he wants to slap tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese imports in response to Beijing’s plan ... Read More »

Bring back the sensible centre

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It will not surprise many that a new study of attitudes shows Australian voters are deserting the centre ground and moving to the fringes and extremes. Editorial The Sydney Morning Herald As we have reported, an analysis of time-series data collected in the Australian Election Study after every federal poll since 1987 shows more voters are thinking of themselves as either “left” or “right” in political terms. Where in 1996 54 per cent of voters described themselves as in the ... Read More »

SMH editorial: Defamation laws long overdue for overhaul

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Australia’s defamation laws were built for a different age. The last comprehensive national review of defamation laws was in 1979, almost 30 years before Facebook was launched in February 2004 and the first tweet was sent in March 2006. The Sydney Morning Herald The laws are increasingly unworkable and in desperate need of overhaul as slurs on social media and other digital platforms take off as a growing source of defamation claims. A five-year review of Australian defamation cases covering ... Read More »