More Than Just Bread

The genetics of intelligence: Ethics and the conduct of trustworthy research

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Hastings Center special report examines controversies in research on the genetics of intelligence and recommends ways for it to avoid the ‘vortex of classicism and racism.’ The Hastings Center – EurekAlert! With the advent of new genomic sequencing technologies, researchers around the world are working to identify genetic variants that help explain differences in intelligence. Can such findings be used ... Read More »

Julian Burnside: What sort of country are we?

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This piece is based on the 2015 Hamer Oration, delivered by Julian Burnside on September 28, 2015. The Conversation – Julian Burnside, Adjunct Professor, Australian Catholic University  Disclosure statement: Julian Burnside is a patron of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. He does not accept any fees when acting for asylum seekers, and any offers of payment for other services in ... Read More »

Greece could sure use a philosopher-king right about now

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Plato’s paradox As Greece approaches yet another election—its fifth in six years—the country’s philosophical forefathers can only be smirking. QUARTZ - Written by Mark Y. Rosenberg Plato and his teacher Socrates famously warned about the pitfalls of democracy: social disorder, economic turmoil and, eventually, a disillusioned turn towards tyranny. As governments based on the will of the masses lurch from ... Read More »

The Rubble of Palmyra

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ISIS did not merely blast apart old stones—it attacked the very foundations of pluralistic society. The Atlantic Leon Wieseltier If the ruined ruins of Palmyra could speak, they would marvel at our shock. After all, they have been sacked before. In their mute and shattered eloquence, they spoke for centuries not only about the cultures that built them but also ... Read More »

Antigone, a Greek tragedy plays out in Paris and Melbourne – review

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ABC – A war-time incident that pitted the authority of the state against a community’s need to mourn their dead is the real life backdrop for two updated versions of the Greek tragedy Antigone. One is slightly sentimental, the other is great, unforgiving theatre, writes Alison Croggon. Last month, a grim drama played out on the Habur border between Turkey ... Read More »

Mauritania anti-slavery law welcomed by campaigners

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BBC - Campaigners have welcomed Mauritania’s new anti-slavery law which makes the offence a “crime against humanity”. It has also doubled the prison term for offenders to 20 years. Activists hope the law will encourage more slaves to take legal action to secure their freedom and will encourage the courts to punish slave owners. Mauritania abolished slavery in 1981, but ... Read More »

Serco and Border Force bring cruety to new levels

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The cruelty and indifference of Serco and Border Force continue to astound. By Julian Burnside Mojgan Shamsalipoor was taken out of her class at school in Brisbane and was taken into detention. She was marched out of the school, in front of her horrified classmates, by a bunch of Border Force people. Although she and her husband (a permanent resident) ... Read More »

The immoral housing bubble

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Letter from London Britain’s property market is an enemy of democracy. Politico - By Amol Rajan LONDON — I don’t know how many readers of POLITICO have had the misfortune to try buying a house in London over the past few months — as I have (and am still doing) — but short of war, famine and Donald Trump’s company, a less pleasant ... Read More »

Cancer patient becomes Colombia’s first legal euthanasia case

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A 79-year old Colombian man has become the first person in the country to die legally by euthanasia. BBC – Ovidio Gonzalez was suffering from terminal throat cancer and said he had been suffering unbearable pain. Colombia’s Catholic Church has said euthanasia is morally unacceptable and it has threatened to close its hospitals across the country. Colombia is one of ... Read More »

Andrew Wilkie Blasts The Liberal And Labor Parties, Calls Australia’s Refugee Policy “A Crime Against Humanity”

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Last night the government, with the support of the Opposition, rushed a bill through Parliament’s House of Representatives specifically designed to fend off an impending High Court challenge that could have ruled Australia’s offshore processing regime illegal. Junkee – By Alex McKinnon, The Human Rights Law Centre is challenging offshore processing in court on the basis that Australia doesn’t have the ... Read More »