More Than Just Bread

Torture is never the right thing to do

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Editorial Torture does not work. Worse, it encourages extremists and damages the moral credibility and international authority of those using it. Societies such as Australia and the United States are founded on ideals and principles that are reflected in law. Governments that exploit grey areas and loopholes in law to torture and abuse people ignore these beliefs and undermine the ... Read More »

Where to from here?

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Now that the government has passed its Migration amendments through the Senate, many people are asking: “What can we do now?” – Julian Burnside I have put some ideas at the foot of this document.  But beyond everything else, remember: Never give up; never give up. First, some background to where we are and how we got here.  Bear with ... Read More »

Modern Slavery Grows

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Editorial  The Editorial Board Global slavery has become a profitable growth industry generating an estimated $150 billion a year in illicit profits. Modern-day slaves include construction workers in the Persian Gulf, girls from Nepal trafficked into prostitution, shrimp fishermen on Thai ships, children in India working in brick kilns and garment workers in Bangladesh. Slavery is also present in prostitution rings, ... 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. ... Read More »

Pope denounces euthanasia as ‘sin against God and creation’

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VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has denounced the right to die movement, saying it’s a “false sense of compassion” to consider euthanasia as an act of dignity when it’s a sin against God and creation. Pope Francis made the comments to the Association of Italian Catholic Doctors on Saturday. Earlier this month, the Vatican’s top bioethics official condemned as “reprehensible” ... Read More »

Medicine, morality and magnanimity in death

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In May this year, in these pages, Peter Short wrote a forthright opinion piece declaring he was dying of oesophageal cancer, had a supply of Nembutal and would end his own life at a time of his choosing. In January this year, his doctors gave him six months to live. He is still very much alive and is campaigning vigorously ... Read More »

Right to die: Choosing an end to life

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The desperation of the dying is something Melbourne woman Catherine Ringwood knows intimately. Much of her adult life has been spent in its company, first as a nurse then later as a counsellor for the pro-euthanasia organisation, Exit International. It became personal 15 years ago when she was diagnosed at just 49 with leukaemia. Since then, Ringwood has fought hard for ... Read More »

Julian Burnside: fighting from the bar

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Julian Burnside, QC, a wealthy and successful barrister and powerful and respected human-rights advocate, this week won the Sydney Peace Prize, largely for his pro bono work with asylum seekers. “I’d love to think it would help the cause of refugees,” says Burnside, “but I doubt that it will.” Burnside is savagely candid. “I’m more honoured to receive the Sydney ... Read More »

Was van Gogh Killed? New Research Says He Was Shot


The troubled life and demise of Vincent van Gogh follows a well-known trajectory: the precocious genius, the art world’s indifference, the onset of angst and madness, and then, tragically, his suicide at age 37. Or so we thought. But according to the groundbreaking research of Pulitzer Prize-winning biographers Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, the painter didn’t shoot himself: he was ... Read More »

Pussy Riot On Art, Activism, and Their Name’s Hilarious Russian Translation


On November 2nd, Pussy Riot members Masha Alekhina, Nadya Tolokonnikova, and Petya Verzilov joined Klaus Biesenbach for a discussion at MoMA PS1, in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibition, “Zero Tolerance“, which features the group’s work. After making an unsurprisingly badass entrance in colored sunglasses (sans facemasks) and a pause to take an Instagram photo from the stage, the trio dropped some ... Read More »