Opinion

The Oceans – a Challenged Resource

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The world’s oceans facilitate global transportation. They also offer a unique source of food: one that continues to give. Provided we manage this source responsibly, of course. Sustainable harvest must be combined with prudent Kåre R. Aas * HuffPost Based on an American initiative, the world’s maritime nations came together yesterday and today (Oct 5 and 6) for the 4th annual Our Oceans conference to discuss how to achieve this balance. The United States has hosted twice. This year, the chair ... Read More »

Government risks over reach on tougher national security laws

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While, at first glance, uploading all of Australia’s drivers licence photos into a central data base in the name of national security seems logical, it is not without some serious… Editorial The Canberra Times The worst is the obvious potential for “big brother” style surveillance of individuals who may not represent threats to the safety of the realm through the rapidly growing national network of CCTV cameras in shopping centres, on streets and… Critics, including members of the Australian Privacy ... Read More »

America’s freedom fundamentalism impervious to death

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Around the world, people are aghast at the latest atrocity in the US, involving military-grade weapons, easily acquired, often lawfully owned. Mark Kenny Flummoxed at how such unspeakable brutalities are allowed to occur, and then simply occur again. The Age The Las Vegas mass shooting is “the worst in US history” but so what? This is mere headline. Nobody pretends it will be the last. The unknowns about next time are not if but where, when, and how many? If ... Read More »

Helping someone die well is the final act of caring I can give as a doctor

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Supporting assisted dying takes nothing away from anyone, but provides enormous comfort to a very small group of people Nick Carr The Guardian Claire and Bob have been together so long it’s impossible to imagine one without the other. He’s a walking – well, waddling – textbook of modern medicine. With his impressive girth, arthritic hips, diabetes, hypertension and gout, I get to see a lot of Bob. So it was unusual when it was Claire who presented with some ... Read More »

Why Spain needs to negotiate with Catalonia

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There is a Spanish proverb that a difficult choice puts one between the sword and the wall (entre la espada y la pared) Ryan D Griffiths ABC Spain is currently facing such a choice with Catalonia Should it negotiate with Catalonia knowing that doing so may result in the secession of the region and set a precedent for others? Or should it continue to stand firm in the face of the independence demands while the tension builds, conflict continues, and ... Read More »

How Tasmanians have four times more power than voters in NSW and Victoria

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There’s a creeping disparity in Australia’s democracy that gets surprisingly little attention Population growth patterns mean votes cast in our biggest states are becoming less potent at the federal level compared to votes cast in smaller states. Matt Wade Analysis by economist Terry Rawnsley of how many federal members of parliament there are per person in each state has underscored the discrepancy. The Canberra Times In Tasmania, the smallest state, there are just over 30,000 people for each federal seat ... Read More »

North Korea Called Me a ‘War Maniac.’ I Ignored Them, and Trump Should Too.

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Smart diplomacy backed by the threat of force, not Twitter bluster, is the way to deal with Kim Jong Un. The last time events on the Korean Peninsula were in a state of crisis as urgent as what we are experiencing now was in 1994, when President Bill Clinton drew a… William J. Perry * Politico The regime in Pyongyang responded by threatening to turn the South Korean capital into a “sea of flames” and calling the U.S. defense secretary ... Read More »

We should beware of ceding tobacco to the criminals

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No one who has watched a loved relative die of a smoking-induced disease will have much sympathy for the tobacco industry To see someone with emphysema fighting for every breath, or to watch the painful decline of someone with lung cancer – these are harsh lessons that change lives. Editorial The Sydney Morning Herald Smoking doesn’t just kill; it kills with pain, horror and indignity. Many people will thus understand and sympathise immediately with Andrew Forrest’s new anti-smoking campaign, intended ... Read More »

Only a partitioned island will bring the dispute between Turkish and Greek Cypriots to an end

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In one of its worst strategic decisions ever, the European Union (sadly, with UK acquiescence) had agreed that Cyprus should join the EU on 1 May 2004, whether agreement had been reached with the Turkish Cypriots or not Jack Straw * Earlier this summer the 11th international effort to strike a deal between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots was rejected by the Greek-Cypriot government – as every previous one has been. Independent So, whatever its terms, will the next, and the ... Read More »

Why didn’t I blow the whistle on harassment? Because I knew I’d never work again

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There seems to be one resounding question surrounding the controversial dismissal of Channel Seven Adelaide cadet reporter Amy Taeuber​, who was allegedly sacked after she made a complaint of sexual harassment, and that is: “How can this still be happening?” Wendy Squires The Canberra Times Well, I have an answer that comes in the form of another question, and that is: “How aren’t we hearing about instances like this more?” Because, in my near-on 30 years in the media, not only have ... Read More »

Zuckerberg’s Preposterous Defense of Facebook

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Responding to President Trump’s tweet this week that “Facebook was always anti-Trump,” Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Facebook, defended the company by noting that Mr. Trump’s opponents also criticize it — as having aided Mr. Trump. Zeynep Tufecki The New York Times If everyone is upset with you, Mr. Zuckerberg suggested, you must be doing something right. “Both sides are upset about ideas and content they don’t like,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “That’s what running a platform ... Read More »

I called Hugh Hefner a pimp, he threatened to sue. But that’s what he was

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Now that he’s dead, the old sleaze in the Playboy mansion is being spoken of as some kind of liberator of women. Quite the opposite Suzanne Moore The Guardian Long ago, in another time, I got a call from a lawyer. Hugh Hefner was threatening a libel action against me and the paper I worked for at the time, for something I had written. Journalists live in dread of such calls. I had called Hefner a pimp. To me this ... Read More »

Euthanasia a choice for people with disability? It’s a threat to our lives

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Offering people with disability euthanasia is no act of equality It’s a cruel one-way exit when we’re locked out of basic healthcare. Craig Wallace The Guardian Legislation has been introduced into the Victorian and New South Wales parliament seeking to become the first jurisdictions to legalise euthanasia since the Northern Territories brief window in the… Like the rest of the community, people with disability debate euthanasia with many views, but a number of us are genuinely concerned that legalised suicide ... Read More »

Gillian Triggs: Australian law has fallen prey to ‘isolation and exceptionalism’

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Triggs uses Michael Kirby Oration to argue governments have taken advantage of the fear caused by terrorism Calla Wahlquist The Guardian Gillian Triggs has criticised the expansion of executive powers in Australia, saying Australian law has fallen prey to “isolation and exceptionalism” that has weakened democracy and… In a draft copy of her Michael Kirby Oration, delivered at Victoria University on Wednesday night, Triggs said governments had taken advantage of the fear caused by terrorism to introduce laws that were ... Read More »

Catholicism’s influence is very much alive in Ireland

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The faith still has significant public and private sway despite blows to the church A few years ago, Eugene O’Brien and I started work on a book of essays entitled Tracing the Cultural Legacy of Irish Catholicism: From Galway to Cloyne and Beyond. Eamon Maher The Irish Times We approached contributors from different disciplines and shades of opinion to provide as balanced an overview as possible of what is an emotive topic. The timespan covered in the book is revealed, somewhat obliquely, in ... Read More »

The Dying Art of Disagreement

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This is the text of a lecture delivered at the Lowy Institute Media Award dinner in Sydney, Australia, on Saturday, Sept. 23. The award recognizes excellence in Australian foreign affairs journalism. Bret Stephens The New York Times Let me begin with thanks to the Lowy Institute for bringing me all the way to Sydney and doing me the honor of hosting me here this evening. I’m aware of the controversy that has gone with my selection as your speaker. I ... Read More »