Opinion

Behind Greece’s Deadly Fires

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The deadly fires in Greece reflect the vulnerability caused by decades of irresponsible, unregulated development. Yanis Varoufakis Project Syndicate Still, over the course of the last ten years, Greece has lost many more people to the tragedy caused by the EU establishment than to any flood or wildfire. ATHENS – A biblical calamity befell Attica last Monday. I saw its first sign in the late morning at Athens airport, where I was seeing off my daughter to Australia. A strong ... Read More »

Clueless companies create cybercrime risk for customers

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The email looked authentic: a virus-protection software provider said my subscription was overdue and about to expire; there had been a credit-card billing problem. Tony Featherstone Brisbane Times I knew that my subscription was due about then, so clicked on a payment link. Thankfully, some loose grammar in the email caught my attention and aroused suspicion that it was a phishing site designed to steal personal information. Crisis averted. Later that day, a friend complained about a phone scam doing ... Read More »

We’re racist towards robots, too, study finds

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Have you ever wondered why you rarely see a brown or black robot? A couple of researchers at Monash University in Melbourne and Canterbury University in New Zealand were having trouble finding any — why were all the robots white? RN Drive – By Barbara Heggen and Mariella Attard – ABC It led them to investigate whether people ascribe race to robots, and if this changed their behaviour towards them. What they discovered was that humans carry their racial biases over to ... Read More »

WSU Researchers see positive policing changes after cannabis legalization

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Clearance rates improve for burglaries, vehicle thefts Washington State University EurekAlert! PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers have found that marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington has not hurt police effectiveness. In fact, clearance rates for certain crimes have improved. Clearance rates — the number of cases solved, typically by the arrest of a suspect — were falling for violent and property crimes in the two states before they authorized retail sales of marijuana late in 2012. The rates ... Read More »

Why Vietnam is quitting Facebook

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Activists, dissidents and writers are gravitating to other social media platforms as Facebook appears to acquiesce to government censorship demands David Hutt Asia Times When logging onto Minds, an open-source social media platform, it is hard to miss the huge number of posts written in Vietnamese. Of the platform’s over one million users, about 10% hail from Vietnam, according to recent media reports. What’s more, roughly 100,000 of those Vietnamese users signed up in the period of just one week, ... Read More »

Justice for the next Generation? The Collapse of Values.

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I was honoured to be invited to give the 2018 Hobart Oration. Julian Burnside It is sponsored by the Bob Brown Foundation. Here is what I said. Hobart Oration 23 July 2018:  Justice for the next Generation?  The Collapse of Values. The two great issues our generation is leaving the next are climate change and the treatment of refugees. Climate change I have no hesitation in saying that climate change is the number one issue today: refugees are a second-order issue, ... Read More »

Neither stoking fears nor sugar-coating will help solve crime problem

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While overstating the scale of the problems created by the criminal activity of some members of the African-Australian community in Melbourne is unhelpful and damaging, so is denying that any issue exists. Editorial The Age As with so much in life, the truth tends to lie somewhere in the middle. The death of 19-year-old Laa Chol in a CBD apartment block on Friday night has yet again placed the spotlight squarely on this community. The statistics tell us crime in ... Read More »

No EU country has given such damaging casino concessions

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That the Republic of Cyprus will allow a large number of its citizens becoming victims of gambling addiction is already statistically a fact. Nicos Rossos * CM According to the World Health Organisation gambling addiction has been defined a sickness. On March 19, 2018 the Cyprus National Betting Authority held a press conference and announced the results of a National Prevalence Study according to which 13 per cent (51,967) persons are considered as having developed a possible problematic gambling addiction. ... Read More »

Nine activists defending the Earth from violent assault

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On a planet of billions, nine represent the strong minority battling murder in the global corruption of land rights Jonathan Watts The Guardian Individually, they are stories of courage and tragedy. Together, they tell a tale of a natural world under ever more violent assault. The portraits in this series are of nine people who are risking their lives to defend the land and environment in some of the planet’s most remote or conflict-riven regions. From the Coral Triangle and ... Read More »

David Mundell: There’s no alternative to the Brexit White Paper

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Today marks 250 days until the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. The day we will deliver on the result of the referendum and the decision of people in the UK to take back control of the UK’s laws, borders and money. David Mundell * The Scotsman Much has been achieved by the UK government as we prepare for exit day on 29 March, 2019. We have published our Future Partnership White Paper – a comprehensive and ambitious vision for ... Read More »

Cultural appropriation, you just can’t be too careful

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We all agree that racism is a terrible, unforgivable thing but even the most enlightened of us are sometimes guilty of what could be called inadvertent racism – I refer, of course, to cultural appropriation. Russel Grenning OnLineOpinion Put as simply as possible, cultural appropriation is a concept dealing with the adoption of elements of a minority culture including, for example, cultural and religious traditions, fashion, symbols, language and songs by those of a dominant culture. Critics of the practice ... Read More »

Waleed Aly obliterates Malcolm Turnbull in report on so-called African gangs

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The Project‘s Waleed Aly has launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, writing off his recent comments about Sudanese gangs as a last-ditch votes grab before Super Saturday byelections next… Genevieve Rota The Age In an eight-minute editorial package written with The Project producer Tom Whitty, Aly on Thursday presented a number of statistics that placed question marks on recent claims by several politicians that violent African gangs were “wreaking havoc” in… “This week the Prime Minister said something interesting,” ... Read More »

What is happening on Nauru should shock the conscience of every Australian

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It is important that we all know the truth of what our government is doing to innocent people Julian Burnside The Guardian In the middle of 2016 Guardian Australia published the Nauru files: more than 2,000 incident reports recording things that had happened in Australia’s refugee gulag on Nauru. The incident reports – made by people directly or indirectly employed by the Australian government – contained reports of assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm and child abuse. They gave an insight into the ... Read More »

Men who murder v men who abuse: Queensland research aims to find the difference

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Researchers will interview Queensland prisoners in the hopes of discovering the difference between men who abuse their intimate female partners versus men who murder them. Lucy Stone Brisbane Times Griffith University professor Paul Mazerolle hopes the project could provide much-needed practical information on the reasons behind the escalation from violence to murder. “A number of years ago we undertook the Australian Homicide Study, so we have an existing data set of 302 people who have murdered somebody, and a subset ... Read More »

Five human rights we should enjoy – while we still can

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In case warnings of impending fascism have merit, here’s a bucket list of rights to tick off Van Badham The Guardian Fascism is a political philosophy. It exalts the supposed supremacy of a particular national identity or racial group above individual freedoms, social equality and the collective social good. And these ideas seem frightfully trendy right now. I’m not saying that today’s Poland, America, Russia, Turkey or Hungary are fascist countries. I’m saying fascism seeks to establish an authoritarian government headed by ... Read More »

Forcing priests to report abuse not a breach of human rights: Watchirs

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New laws that will force priests to break the seal of confession to report child abuse are not in breach of the ACT’s human right laws, despite concerns about the impact on religious freedoms, the ACT’s Human Rights Commissioner says. Katie Burgess The Canberra Times Under the territory’s expanded reportable conduct scheme, priests in Canberra will be required to report allegations, offences or convictions related to children to the ACT Ombudsman within 30 days from March… But the Australian Catholics Bishops ... Read More »