Opinion

Lose Newspapers and You Lose Your Democracy

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Without independent journalism, Trump and other charlatans will thrive. Eric Alterman The Nation I had a different column when I woke up on deadline day, but I wrote this one, not because any major news had broken—yes, the FBI raided the office of President Trump’s personal lawyer—but because our country and our democracy are in the midst of an ongoing emergency, and our embattled media is unable or unwilling to explain it. What inspired my switch was Politico’s publication of ... Read More »

Some German medicine for Trump

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As global stock markets have taken a tumble with recent pronouncements of a potential trade war between the U.S. and China, it is clear that investors bank on trade between the world’s two largest economies as vital to global… Alexis Crow The Washington Post As statements from the campaign trail snowball into larger declarations and potentially more tariffs, it is important to take a step back and examine a basic fact that seems to be overlooked. While much of the ... Read More »

Don’t wait for the Western Balkans to blow up again. The U.S. and the E.U. must act.

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It has been more than two decades since I worked with Richard Holbrooke and our team to negotiate an end to the war in Bosnia. NATO deployed and then acted to halt Serb ethnic cleansing in Kosovo. Wesley K. Clark The Washington Post Today, three Western Balkan states (Croatia, Albania and Slovenia) have become members of NATO. Croatia and Slovenia have joined the European Union. Kosovo is now an independent nation. Most Americans and Europeans have mentally filed away that ... Read More »

Memo from a South African: Peter Dutton is entrenching racist white privilege

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My child eyes witnessed racism daily in South Africa. I could escape because I’m white Shelley Davidow The Guardian This year marks the 70th anniversary of the implementation of the racist legislation known as apartheid in South Africa. In 1948, laws were signed into effect that forever changed the lives of South Africans, leaving a devastating legacy, which many of us across the world still live with and struggle against. I am a white former South African living in Australia, ... Read More »

Are middle-aged white men losing their grip on power?

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There was another flutter in the middle aged white man dovecotes last week. An article in The Guardian, a segment on ABC’s The Drum,  and derision over another all white male panel had the usual suspects wailing into the wind over the near extinction of middle aged white men in positions of power. Jane Gilmore Brisbane Times Are they right? Are middle aged white men really being silenced and oppressed by a horde of ravening minority groups determined to destroy ... Read More »

Fifteen years after looting, thousands of artefacts are still missing from Iraq’s national museum

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On April 10 2003, the first looters broke into the National Museum of Iraq. Staff had vacated two days earlier, ahead of the advance of US forces on Baghdad. Craig Barker The Conversation The museum was effectively ransacked for the next 36 hours until employees returned. While the staff – showing enormous bravery and foresight – had removed and safely stored 8,366 artefacts before the looting, some 15,000 objects were taken during that 36 hours. While 7,000 items have been ... Read More »

What’s Lust Got to Do With It?

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Why would a woman go home with a man, decide she’s not attracted to him but have sex with him anyway? Maureen Dowd The New York Times WASHINGTON — I’ve noticed a weird pattern, in fiction and life, about sexual encounters: Women decide they’re not attracted to a guy they’re nestling with. Limerence is not in the cards. But they go ahead and… First, we have college student Margot in The New Yorker’s much-discussed short fictional story “Cat Person” who recoils as ... Read More »

Putting Trump’s Trade Bombast to the Test

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President Trump’s recent threat to escalate his trade skirmish with China into a full-scale trade war is a foolish gambit with little historical precedent. Editorial Board The New York Times It is also hard to take seriously, given how quickly Mr. Trump changes his mind and how rarely and clumsily he tends to follow through on tough talk. Mr. Trump said on Thursday that he wants to slap tariffs on an additional $100 billion in Chinese imports in response to Beijing’s plan ... Read More »

Latest report on indigenous incarceration must be the last

Candles are lit outside Parliament House Canberra. Monday, Feb 11 to commemorate the apology to the stolen generation on Wednesday.(AAPImage/Alan Porritt) NO ARCHIVING

The latest report into Australia’s shameful rates of indigenous incarceration requires immediate action, writes Law Council of Australia president Morry Bailes. Morry Bailes InDaily Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are among the most imprisoned people in the world as a percentage of the population. Three decades ago the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody established the key factors of the disproportionate rate of Indigenous incarceration: entrenched disadvantage and poverty combining with an endemic cycle of trauma and… The ... Read More »

Hungary’s war on democracy is a war on democracy everywhere

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As Hungarians vote on Sunday, Britain is shamefully courting the Orbán regime as it tries to get a favourable Brexit deal Owen Jones The Guardian Is Hungary still a democracy? It was a question I posed to Nóra Köves, an activist with the pro-democracy Eötvös Károly Institute, in the Castro Bistro café in central Budapest. “I wouldn’t say that, no. Not, I think, any more. We are heading to a kind of dictatorship, but we are not there yet. We are ... Read More »

Uluru, reconciliation and republic: a chance to reimagine Australia?

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The Australian republic ought not be so divorced from the cry out of Uluru last May for an Indigenous voice to parliament and truth-telling Paul Daley The Guardian Most of us old enough to vote will remember where we were when our republic, with Malcolm Turnbull as helmsman, burbled down a whirlpool of acrimony and division to the rock bottom of public consciousness for almost a generation. I was on my way to East Timor. Indonesia and its proxies had ... Read More »

What King, Kennedy, Obama’s great speeches have in common

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Two of history’s great rhetoricians – Martin Luther King, Jr and Robert F Kennedy – were assassinated 50 years ago. Their words have resonance today, writes Benjamin Ramm. Benjamin Ramm BBC Popular volumes of great speeches celebrate the mastery of the art of persuasion. These tomes are full of rhetorical flourishes, of stirring appeals to universal ideals, with elevated cadences and effortless assurances. But two of the most significant rhetoricians of the 20th Century, both of whom were assassinated 50 ... Read More »

Bring back the sensible centre

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It will not surprise many that a new study of attitudes shows Australian voters are deserting the centre ground and moving to the fringes and extremes. Editorial The Sydney Morning Herald As we have reported, an analysis of time-series data collected in the Australian Election Study after every federal poll since 1987 shows more voters are thinking of themselves as either “left” or “right” in political terms. Where in 1996 54 per cent of voters described themselves as in the ... Read More »

How do you make poverty sound better? Rebrand it!

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Having to take several jobs and sending kids to work used to be a sign of living precariously – now it’s just a question of what your ‘side hustle’ is Arwa Mahdawi The Guardian Listen carefully. I am about to divulge the secret of financial success. I have deduced a failsafe way to amass a lot of money, even if you earn very little. It doesn’t involve cutting down on avocado toast, crocheting your own clothes or working eight jobs; it’s ... Read More »

In Hungary, the exploitation of a mythical enemy is poisoning politics

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Viktor Orbán’s almost certain re-election relies on an anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim manifesto Nick Cohen The Guardian You may think Hungary is a faraway country. Small and landlocked, it has a baffling Finno-Ugric language few outsiders master. What do its corruptions and conspiracy theories have to do with us? When I was last in Budapest in August, I met Marta Pardavi. I worried about her and her friends in the Hungarian human rights movement, but I did not think I needed to transfer ... Read More »

Saudi Arabia has to face a pro-Iranian Turkey

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The unpredictable Middle Eastern geopolitical landscape is heading toward new dynamics, where the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is positioning itself against a… By KHALID IBN MUNEER Asia Times Since the consolidation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s power through a referendum in April 2017, Turkey is once again gearing up for the revival of Ottoman-era dominance in the… But this swift resurgence of Turkey is not being seen through the lens of admiration in the… The history of the confrontation between Arabs ... Read More »