Opinion

Western governments have mishandled refugee crisis for decades

IT was near midnight on October 6, 1998 when the dilapidated 40-foot clinker pushed off from northern Lebanon into the eastern Mediterranean. There were 75 passengers on board, including 10 adult women and 24 children (one born just two days earlier). Each person had been charged $2,000 per head. People traffickers promised them safe passage and refuge in Italy. Their mode of transportation was later described as “barely a floating coffin”… Source: Western governments have mishandled refugee crisis for decades – ... Read More »

Four Years as Green Party Leader: It’s Been a Privilege and an Honour | Natalie Bennett

I know some will find my decision not to re-stand for the leadership hard to understand, and I’ve been moved by the generous words of support from many party members and supporters urging me to continue, but I hope that my decision will help make it clear that the Green Party doesn’t operate like other political parties, with a steep hierarchy up which many are seeking to scramble, while those at the top defend their positions. We’re a team, we ... Read More »

Multiculturalism: not an ideal, but a reality

We need to create human societies from people of many different backgrounds.. I’m reading Stan Grant’s book Talking To My Country. A journalist with Aboriginal and Irish heritage, Grant wrote an article last year at the height of the Adam Goodes drama, which proved very telling. The story was both simple and complex. In expressing the historic principle at stake with dignity and clarity while also illuminating the complexities of the issues of Aboriginal identity it raised, Grant was in ... Read More »

Could Different Borders Have Saved the Middle East?

THERE probably aren’t many things that the Islamic State, Jon Stewart and the president of Iraqi Kurdistan agree on, but there is one: the pernicious influence of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, a secret plan for dividing up the Middle East signed by France and Britain, 100 years ago this week. It has become conventional wisdom to argue, as Vice President… Source: Could Different Borders Have Saved the Middle East? – The New York Times Read More »

How the Coalition has failed on three key economic promises

Better growth, a smaller deficit and higher wages have failed to materialise, giving the lie to the Liberals’ claim to be superior managers.. Just under three years ago, Tony Abbott launched the Liberal’s 2013 election campaign. The Coalition duly swept to victory, creating a surge of optimism about the economy partly on the back of the promises made during the campaign… Source: How the Coalition has failed on three key economic promises | Stephen Koukoulas | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

Baird’s Civil Liberties Crackdown Will Be Felt In Day-To-Day Life

OPINION: New laws extend the government’s draconian program to a level that will be felt by all. No liberal democracy cans sustain assaults such as these, writes Angus Reoch. The Baird Government has officially rendered New South Wales a police state. As if coming out of an Orwellian cocoon, the NSW State Government has eclipsedMore… Source: Baird’s Civil Liberties Crackdown Will Be Felt In Day-To-Day Life – New Matilda Read More »

Trump and Taxes

This seems to be the week for Trump tax mysteries. One mystery is why Donald Trump, unlike every other major party nominee in modern times, is refusing to release his tax returns. The other is why, having decided that he needs experts to clean up his ludicrous tax-cut proposals, he chose to call on the services of the gang that couldn’t think straight… Source: Trump and Taxes – The New York Times Read More »

Sadiq Khan and the Future of Europe

WASHINGTON — As the votes in London’s mayoral election were being counted on May 5, almost every British Muslim I know seemed to have only one thought: Would Sadiq Khan pull it off? He did. Mr. Khan, the son of Pakistani immigrants, was elected as the first Muslim mayor of a Western capital city, with more than 1.3 million votes, in… Source: Sadiq Khan and the Future of Europe – The New York Times Read More »

80 percent of world’s city dwellers breathing bad air, says UN

Over 80 percent of the world’s city dwellers breathe poor quality air, increasing their risk of lung cancer and other life-threatening diseases, a new World Health Organization (WHO) report warned May 12. Urban residents in poor countries are by far the worst affected, WHO said, noting that nearly every city (98 percent) in low- and middle-income countries has air which fails to meet the U.N. body’s standards… Source: 80 percent of world’s city dwellers breathing bad air, says UN – ... Read More »

How Turkey Became A De Facto Dictatorship

The forced resignation of Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu suggests only one thing—President Erdogan, who is totally absorbed by his lust for power, will tolerate no one in his government to deviate from any of his political positions. Prime Minister Davutoğlu was no exception. Although the Turkish constitution grants the Prime Minister executive powers while leaving the role of the president largely ceremonial, this is not what Erdogan had in mind when he asked then-Foreign Minister Davutoğlu to form a ... Read More »

Talking Point: Ocean acidity rising at the most rapid rate in 300 million years

IN the week of Scott Morrison’s first budget, 330 scientists in Hobart were focusing on the astonishingly rapid shift in global ocean chemistry. The fourth international conference on “the ocean in a high-CO2 world” looked at how rising carbon dioxide levels are affecting oceans… Source: Talking Point: Ocean acidity rising at the most rapid rate in 300 million years | The Mercury Read More »

Hotline blab: the latest way to Muslim identity from the inside and out

I won’t be advising the Muslim community to use a new hotline set up for parents who fear their children are being radicalised.. The attorney general’s department, tasked with “countering violent extremism”, often comes up with ideas that objectively seem sound, but in the context of growing and rampant Islamophobia, are actually rather daft… Source: Hotline blab: the latest way to Muslim identity from the inside and out | Mostafa Rachwani | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

Fintan O’Toole on an astonishing ideological volte-face

Maybe we’ve just seen the greatest ideological reversal in Irish politics. I genuinely hope so’.. Who wrote this scathing attack on the nature of the Irish State? “We have previously enjoyed and wasted prosperity before. WhileIreland has been a wealthy country for a generation, the gap between rich and poor has remained far too large. Even before the economic collapse, Ireland had the highest rate of jobless households in Europe, facilitated by… Source: Fintan O’Toole on an astonishing ideological volte-face Read More »

The choice for Europe: rescue Greece or create a failed state

It’s no longer about austerity. This is a battle for the soul of Europe.. Between now and mid-June the European political elite must give its answer to an existential question. Will it honour the deal it made to rescue Greece last July; or will it push the radical left government into default –effectively creating a failed state in Europe?… Source: The choice for Europe: rescue Greece or create a failed state | Paul Mason | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

Majority of Germans ‘have limited contact’ with Muslims

Reports by pollster YouGov said 62 percent had no Muslims in their private friendship and family circles.. The majority of Germans have limited contact with Muslims and know very little about their religion, according to a new poll… Source: Majority of Germans ‘have limited contact’ with Muslims – AJE News Read More »

In Turkey we can’t even laugh at our politicians any more

Under President Erdoğan our nation is divided. The prime minister has stepped down, and free speech and secularism are under threat.. Amid the political turmoil in Turkey this week, culminating in the prime minister’s announcement that he’ll stand down within days, it was Oscar Wilde who became the subject of a heated debate in the Turkish… Source: In Turkey we can’t even laugh at our politicians any more | Elif Shafak | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »