This week’s column is a public response to an email sent to me from Darwin resident Ian*.

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Maria, I am fed up with looking at your smug face in the newspaper you ugly Greek hag. Did somebody tell you that your wog bitch opinion is important? F*ck off. Ian, Darwin Dear Ian, Thanks for your email. I always appreciate fan mail. I also make it a priority to respond to readers who have taken the time to send me a message, no matter how ideologically opposed our views may be. But the thing is Ian, it appears ... Read More »

Iran’s Rouhani urged to release student activist Bahareh Hedayat

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Leading academic figures write open letter to Iranian president asking for jailed student activist to be released The Guardian – Saeed Kamali Dehghan More than 30 leading university professors have signed an open letter urging Iran’s president and its chief of judiciary to release the respected student activist Bahareh Hedayat, who has spent more than six years in jail. Hedayat, arrested in 2009, was expected to be released this summer after serving her original sentence in full, but it has ... Read More »

Obama: The Courage to Say ‘We Were Wrong’

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This article is cross-posted on thecommunity.com. Some months ago 11 other Nobel Peace Prize laureates and I co-signed an open letter to President Obama on the use of torture by the U.S. Two days ago I received a response from the President. (See both letters here.) The Huffington Post – José Ramos-Horta, Former President, East Timor, 1996 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Most of Obama’s letter contained information we already know. One of his first acts in office was to sign ... Read More »

 Austerity Has Failed: An Open Letter From Thomas Piketty to Angela Merkel

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” Five leading economists warn the German chancellor, “History will remember you for your actions this week.” The Nation – By Thomas Piketty, Jeffrey Sachs, Heiner Flassbeck, Dani Rodrik and Simon Wren-Lewis The never-ending austerity that Europe is force-feeding the Greek people is simply not working. Now Greece has loudly said no more. ””” Global campaign group Avaaz organized this open letter to Angela Merkel on the back of a petition, signed by over half a million Europeans, demanding an end to the ... Read More »

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ article in Der Tagesspiegel: German taxpayers are not paying for Greek pensions

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Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ article in Der Tagesspiegel: German taxpayers are not paying for Greek pensions During a negotiation, an exchange of arguments is legitimate so long as there is sincerity and good faith between the parties. Otherwise, when the dialogue is ongoing with no end in sight then the methods used are akin to those described by the great German philosopher Schopenhauer in “The Art of Always Being Right”! For example, it is unfair to selectively use statistical indexes ... Read More »

You Are Not a North Cyprus Girl

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An open letter in response to Martina Cole’s recent article in Woman and Home Magazine, where she discusses her home in the north of Cyprus. My quotations are from Martina Cole’s 2012 Daily Mail article and her 2015 feature in Woman and Home magazine, (both concerning Cyprus) and from her Twitter account. I address her portrayal of Occupied Cyprus as a charmed land and a tourist destination. By rhiannoneva My grandmother was a North Cyprus girl. Her village was as far north ... Read More »

Nick Xenophon’s plea to Indonesia on Bali nine clemency

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Nick Xenophon has written an open letter in Bahasa Indonesia to our northern neighbours calling for clemency for the Bali nine duo. The Age – Nick Xenophon Permohonanku kepada Rakyat Indonesia Tetangga kami yang baik, Bangsa Indonesia, Anda tidak mengenal saya, namun di antara umat manusia yang berpihak pada kemauan baik, kita tidak mengenal istilah “orang asing”, kita hanyalah teman-teman yang belum pernah bertemu. Minggu yang lalu, saya berada di negara Anda yang indah bersama Mufti Agung Australia, Yang Mulia Profesor ... Read More »

An Open Letter On Mandatory Data Retention To Opposition Leader Bill Shorten

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How are you? Good? I hope you’re well — it looks like you’ve been in a good mood lately. Seems like the opinion polls are treating you kindly. Keeping all those zingers warm and ready for Tony’s next fumble, hopefully. Either way, I hope you’re feeling better than a lot of your supporters are right now. Junkee. – By Jeremy Stevens It’s a little disappointing to learn that you and your colleagues within the Labor Party are helping the Coalition pass ... Read More »

Greece Can Teach The World A Needed Lesson

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This story appears in the March 23, 2015 issue of Forbes. By Steve Forbes, Forbes Staff DEAR PRIME MINISTER Tsipras and Finance Minister Varoufakis: You may have won a four-month reprieve of sorts from your creditors, but your situation is desperate, and everyone knows it, most particularly Europe’s paymasters, the Germans. As you just painfully learned, your ability to blackmail your creditors is a fraction of what it once was. Businesses, banks and others have had plenty of time to prepare for ... Read More »

Open Letter To The German Readers

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Greece president Alexis Tsipras’ “open letter” to German citizens was published first in Handelsblatt, a leading German language business newspaper. The Moroccan Times Most of you, dear Handesblatt readers, will have formed a preconception of what this article is about before you actually read it. I am imploring you not to succumb to such preconceptions. Prejudice was never a good guide, especially during periods when an economic crisis reinforces stereotypes and breeds biggotry, nationalism, even violence. In 2010, the Greek ... Read More »

Artists protest against Cuban artist Tania Bruguera’s detention


Group of 14, including four Turner prize winners, condemns arrest and legal charges over free speech performance piece in Havana Hannah Ellis-Petersen The Guardian Fourteen of the world’s most prominent artists, including Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor and painter Howard Hodgkin, have publicly condemned the detention of Cuban artist Tania Bruguera. In an open letter to the Guardian on Monday, the group of artists – which includes four Turner prizewinners – collectively expressed their concern at Bruguera’s arrest and the subsequent ... Read More »

Eight former Australians of the Year call for release of asylum seeker children

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Indefinite detention of children, who are not accused of any crime, is ‘inhumane and unnecessary’, write former winners in an open letter The Guardian – Ben Doherty @bendohertycorro Eight former Australians of the Year have used Australia Day to call for the immediate release of all refugee and asylum seeker children from immigration detention. In an open letter published on Monday morning, the Australians of the Year write that the indefinite detention of children, who are not accused of any crime, is ... Read More »

Legal scholars’ statement in support of Gillian Triggs

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Australian Human Rights Commission President Gillian Triggs has been the subject of unusually fierce criticism by sections of the media and government, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Senior Australian academics in human rights law have jointly drafted a letter in support of Gillian Triggs and expressing their disgust at the public attacks. The letter is published here in full. John Watson, Editor at The Conversation We, the undersigned, are concerned about recent public criticism of one of Australia’s most respected independent ... Read More »

Open Letter to the French President

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By A Palestinian Journalist in Ramallah Gatestone Institute Your Excellency, many Palestinians nearly fell off their chairs upon seeing their president march at the front row of a rally in your capital to protest against terrorism and assaults on freedom of the media. Undoubtedly, you are unaware of the fact that President Abbas is personally responsible for punishing Palestinian journalists who dare to criticize him or express their views in public. Every day we see that the Western media, including French ... Read More »

What is our crime?

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Open Letter From A Mother Who Is To Be Deported From Detention In Australia To Nauru With Her Australian Born Baby 25 babies born in Australia – and their siblings – (making up 44 children) are to be deported to Nauru as per the recent passing of the Migration Bill by the Senate. Open Letter: What is our crime? What have we done to be punished like this? We know we came by ‘illegal way’ but then we didn’t have ... Read More »

Stella Young’s letter to herself at 80 years old

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I learned the truth at 17. That I was not wrong for the world I live in, writes Stella Young. This piece was originally published in late November, we are republishing it now in light of the news of Stella Young’s death. Dear eighty-year-old me, Eighty, hey? Eighty. Eighty is a long way from where I write to you now. Fifty years, in fact. To be honest, I’ve never thought a great deal about you, eighty-year-old Stell. I tend not ... Read More »