Opinion

No kids on Nauru is a milestone worth marking – but it’s hardly one for the trophy cabinet

Within days, no refugee child will be left on the island of Nauru. That this is a milestone worth marking – or even celebrating – should be a shock and a shame. Michael Koziol Brisbane Times These kids and their families had been there more than five years. Two thousand days. It had been so long that many people here in Australia finally seemed to agree enough was enough. Peter Dutton has always proclaimed – rightly – that he didn’t ... Read More »

House punts on full transparency

The Massachusetts House this week overwhelmingly declined to adopt a full ban on the use of nondisclosure agreements by its members in sexual harassment cases — again. Editorial Boston Globe In stark contrast, the state Senate voted to eliminate their use altogether. In rejecting a sensible, basic measure, the House further entrenched a culture of secrecy that has no place in government. House rules currently allow the use of so-called NDAs only if victims of sexual harassment request them. Typically ... Read More »

Reuniting the Parthenon marbles is nothing to do with nationalism

Alexi Kaye Campbell responds to Jonathan Jones’s article on the British Museum director’s claim that the marbles’ removal from Greece in the 19th century could be seen as ‘a creative act’. The Guardian Plus letters from Pierre Makhlouf and John AK Huntley As a member of the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles who recently argued (and happily won) against Jonathan Jones at the UCL debate which he mentions in his recent article (Let’s not lose our marbles over the British ... Read More »

Brexit: Capital takes flight from UK amid crisis – leader comment

EU will not compromise its fundamental values so British MPs need to stop opposing everything and make a choice between May’s deal and a second referendum. The Scotsman An answer to the Irish border question posed by Brexit could risk the Good Friday Agreement and the integrity of the European Union’s single market. So when MPs decided to send Theresa May back to Brussels to renegotiate not the answer itself, but the ‘backstop’ arrangement in the event that one cannot ... Read More »

The Threat of a Eurozone Recession

The eurozone may fall into a new recession by the end of this year, with potentially nasty political consequences. Lucrezia Reichlin Project Syndicate In addition to countering the cyclical slowdown, pro-European forces must urgently address the continent’s long-term structural economic problems. LONDON – National statistical offices and international organizations are busy revising down their growth forecasts for Europe this year and next. Although they are doing the same for the rest of the world as well, and for China in ... Read More »

The whitewashing of Japan’s Naomi Osaka was no accident

This week, Naomi Osaka became the face of Japan to the world. By capturing the 2019 Australian Open, she has raced to No. 1 in the tennis world rankings, becoming the first Asian to ever achieve that honor. Baye McNeil The Washington Post But even as this exceptionally talented biracial, multinational and (as she phrased it) obviously tan woman was displaying why she’s a champion, one of her sponsors, the Japanese food brand Nissin, released an anime-style advertisement portraying Osaka ... Read More »

Europe’s refugee crisis explains why border walls don’t stop migration

President Trump has long called migration a security crisis, but in recent weeks he has also referred to the situation along the southern border as a humanitarian crisis. Eleanor Paynter The Conversation As he ended the government shutdown in a televised speech on Jan. 25, Trump reiterated his claim that a border wall between the United States and Mexico would save the lives of Central American migrants, many of whom are women and children. “Walls work,” he said. “They save ... Read More »

Unhappy, unhealthy lives aren’t fair exchange for higher incomes

In his Australia Day address, social researcher Hugh Mackay said that “the Australia I love today – this sleep-deprived, overweight, overmedicated, anxious, smartphone-addicted society – is a very different place from the Australia I… Ross Gittins Brisbane Times He identified three big changes: the gender revolution, increasing disparity in wealth, and social fragmentation. He approves of the first, but laments that we’re “learning to live with a chasm of income inequality” and that social fragmentation means Australians are become “more ... Read More »

Fight for Europe – or the wreckers will destroy it

The continent faces its biggest challenge since the 1930s. We urge European patriots to resist the nationalist onslaught Bernard-Henri Lévy, Milan Kundera, Salman Rushdie, Elfriede Jelinek, Orhan Pamuk and 25 others Europe ‘coming apart before our eyes’, say 30 top intellectuals The Guardian The idea of Europe is in peril. From all sides there are criticisms, insults and desertions from the cause. “Enough of ‘building Europe’!” is the cry. Let’s reconnect instead with our “national soul”! Let’s rediscover our “lost identity”! This is the agenda shared ... Read More »

We need a robust patriotism, not ‘my country, right or wrong’

Love can be hard to explain. There’s no formula to how it works, but you know it when it’s there. You know when it moves you, or when it gets you worked up. Tim Soutphommasane The Age What’s true for a love of a person is also true for a love of country. Most of us will have an affection for Australia. It isn’t always something we find easy to express. Emotions rarely are. Patriotism comes in many forms. The ... Read More »

Why I Am a European Patriot

The bond that binds the West is freedom. Patriotism is to nationalism as dignity is to barbarism. Roger Cohen The New York Times When I covered the war in Bosnia I got to know Nermin Tulic, a prominent Sarajevo actor. He had his legs blown off by a Serbian shell on June 10, 1992. He raged. He begged me not to look at his stumps. He wondered how he had ever taken his wife, who was half-Serb, in his arms. He told me ... Read More »

Every day is Survival Day in the colony of Australia

January 26 is redneck Christmas and white supremacist festivus rolled into one Scott Trindall for IndigenousX The Guardian When you think about it you realise that Australia’s only really got a couple of holidays that aren’t religion-based or coincide with the local show. And, given that Aussies love taking a day off – we lead the world in chucking sickies – you can start to appreciate why so many white people have such a strong affinity with January 26 and ... Read More »

Half Of Canadians Think The U.S. Is Full Of Nazis: Survey

The study also found our Holocaust knowledge is not very good. Sara Boboltz HuffPost Nearly half of all Canadians believe the United States has a Nazi problem, according to a survey about Holocaust remembrance released Thursday. It’s no mystery where they got that perception. Last year, a group of neo-Nazis received the red-carpet treatment from U.S. law enforcement as they traveled to Washington for a rally. A respected Holocaust scholar seriously comparedcertain American elected officials to those in Germany during the rise of ... Read More »

The Real Issue Behind the Border Wall Debate

For the United States, immigration has always been a necessity and an agony. The debate over a wall separating the United States and Mexico goes to the heart of American society. The wall itself is about preventing illegal immigration, but the debate inevitably flows to the question of immigration in general, as it always has in American history. George Friedman Geopolitical Futures An Agonizing Experience The American nation was forged from fragments of other nations. The English, Scotch-Irish, Swedish, Germans, ... Read More »

The impact of any no-deal Brexit upon the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas in the Island of Cyprus

An Open Letter addressed to the President of the European Commission, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas By Klearchos A. Kyriakides Published by Agora Dialogue on 21 January 2019 at  http://agora-dialogue.com/ Date: 21 January 2019 Dear President Juncker, President Anastasiades, Prime Minister May and Major General Illingworth Re: The impact of any no-deal Brexit upon the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas ... Read More »

How to navigate dinner conversations about pill testing

Here are some answers for you to put the arguments against pill testing in their scientific resting place David Caldicott, Matt Noffs and Gino Vumbaca The Guardian The support for pill testing continues to grow. Polling released this week shows pill testing is supported by a majority of Australians, including a majority of Liberal-National voters. Europeans have been successfully conducting pill testing at music festivals for over two decades. Despite this, a few pollies are adding some straw man arguments ... Read More »