Opinion

Why Europe shouldn’t follow Australia’s lead on asylum seekers

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Australia’s harsh asylum policies have been touted as a possible solution to Europe’s so-called refugee crisis. Daniel Ghezelbash The Conversation Politicians in the UK, France, Holland, Denmark, Austria and Belgium have advocated for an Australian-style approach aimed at blocking asylum seekers from accessing Europe. But there are a few reasons Europe should be wary of following this lead. Australia’s practice of turning back boats and offshore processing have attracted the most interest. When Australia can’t safely turn back a boat, ... Read More »

Welcome to a world no longer led by Moscow and Washington

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Scott Gilmore: While America slinks into isolation and Russia jokes on Twitter, Beijing is shaping the world order Scott Gilmore Macleans In Moscow, yesterday, the news must have arrived at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs quickly and caused a stir. In retaliation for a nerve agent attack against a former double agent living in the United Kingdom, Russian diplomats around the world were being declared persona non grata in droves. Canada announced four were to be sent home. In Australia ... Read More »

Cheating at cricket just one of the unthinkable things Aussies do now

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I can’t see why people are so shocked to discover our cricketers have been cheating. Surely that’s only to be expected in a nation that’s drifted so far from our earlier commitment to decency, mateship and the fair go. Ross Gittins The Sydney Morning Herald Such behaviour is unAustralian? We do, or condone, many things that used to be thought of as unAustralian. There was a time when it would have been unthinkable for Australians to stand by while an ... Read More »

A New Cold War Is Not Inevitable

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Top NATO and Russian military commanders have agreed to meet. Here’s what they need to discuss. James Stavridis Bloomberg When I served as Supreme Allied Commander at NATO from 2009 to 2013, I developed a friendly relationship with the head of the Russian armed forces, General Nikolai Makarov. He was a short, barrel-chested man with a congenial personal style, and given my own somewhat compact physique, I could at least tell my boss, Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, that I ... Read More »

Cambridge Analytica: They ‘Got Trump Elected’, We Should Worry About What Else They’ve Done

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The scandal that is wiping billions of dollars in value off the world’s richest company is about much more than just social media and data mining, writes Michael Brull. New Matilda British news program on Channel 4 has exposed Cambridge Analytica and Facebook for what has become an international scandal. However, due to the size and complexity of the issues raised, I don’t think their significance or implications have received the analysis they warrant. In this two part series, I’m ... Read More »

SMH editorial: Defamation laws long overdue for overhaul

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Australia’s defamation laws were built for a different age. The last comprehensive national review of defamation laws was in 1979, almost 30 years before Facebook was launched in February 2004 and the first tweet was sent in March 2006. The Sydney Morning Herald The laws are increasingly unworkable and in desperate need of overhaul as slurs on social media and other digital platforms take off as a growing source of defamation claims. A five-year review of Australian defamation cases covering ... Read More »

Truth, Power, and the Academy: A Response to Hal Brands

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Academic expertise should guide U.S. foreign policy. Unfortunately, it does not really work that way. John Glaser War On The Rocks On a host of issues, there is an enormous gap between scholarship on international relations and the policy consensus in Washington. The United States persistently pursues foreign strategies that run contrary to the policy implications of the academic consensus. And on questions that are hotly debated in academia, Washington displays inviolable bipartisan unity. Hal Brands addressed the gap in ... Read More »

Australia’s real leadership failures are in politics, not cricket

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Where’s the national outrage over a terrified boy being abandoned to violent despair by our political leaders? Van Badham The Guardian Australian cricketer Cameron Bancroft has been caught on video shoving some yellow sticky tape into his underpants. Fortunately – or unfortunately – there was a cricket match in play at the time. The image of him shoving sticky tape into his underpants was broadcast live to the crowd at the Newlands ground in South Africa, and they booed. “I ... Read More »

Everyday heroes compelled to break the law when government fails to protect us

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What does it say about the state of our democracy when it falls upon everyday people to stop a billionaire building the largest coal mine in the southern hemisphere? Julian Burnside * The Sydney Morning Herald And what does it say about our politicians that they will let Adani’s mine proceed when the vast majority of Australians don’t want it, and scientists are urging us to keep coal in the ground to avoid more dangerous climate change? This month, nine ... Read More »

Will the Putin-Xi era supersede the Western liberal (dis)order?

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Perhaps a Confucian path would be the right direction toward Eurasian integration Pepe Escobar Asia Times The Chinese constitutional amendment allowing Xi Jinping the possibility of further presidential terms — staying in power long enough to bring “national rejuvenation” combined with the Russian election re-confirming Vladimir Putin in the presidency have assured consistency and continuity for the Russia-China strategic partnership way into the… This will facilitate the interaction between the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and… Will the Putin… Read More »

Why I’m taking the fight for teenage girls worldwide to Canberra today

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Today, I will walk into Parliament House on a mission. I want to change the lives of half a billion teenage girls and young women like me. Courtney Green Brisbane Times Australia’s foreign policy and aid budgets are lacking any representation or commitment to girls and so it’s only fitting that it’s a girl who changes that. I am no stranger to overcoming the challenges that are presented to me because of my gender. I use my activism to close ... Read More »

What if we have got it wrong on Alzheimer’s?

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Science is about getting it wrong, until you get it right. What if we’re refusing to admit we’re wrong about a horrifying disease? Liam Mannix The Sydney Morning Herald “The hard but just rule is that if the ideas don’t work, you must throw them away,” wrote astronomer Carl Sagan. But when your career and everything you’ve ever worked for is on the line, admitting you might be wrong is very hard to do. Despite decades and billions of dollars ... Read More »

Time running out to save the Earth’s plants and animals

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Five new reports unveiled at a UN biodiversity summit in Colombia are sounding the alarm over the rapidly deteriorating state of biodiversity on our planet. Dave Keating DW But they also provide the tools to fight back. Delegates at a major international summit on biodiversity in Medellín, Colombia have been rattled after being presented with stark new evidence about the state of the world’s biodiversity. The 750 delegates from 115 countries are meeting for the sixth plenary of the Intergovernmental ... Read More »

If you’re a white English speaker and non-Muslim, welcome to Australia

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I have had a pen pal for the last two years, one actually write to by hand; yes, that’s right, that old-fashioned habit where we write to each other using a pen and paper. Nicola Philp The Canberra Times But it’s a little different to how I used to write to pen pals when I was a child because when I address the envelope to my friend instead of writing his name I have to write his code and instead ... Read More »

ALHR: Government must do more to protect reproductive health rights

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The leading advocacy group for human rights law in Australia has called on the federal government to better ensure the country is meeting its international obligations to protect women and girls when it comes to processes such as abortion. Jerome Doraisamy Lawyers Weekly Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) spoke earlier this week in response to comments from Nationals MP George Christensen and incoming Senator Amanda Stoker, who – at an anti-abortion rally held in Queensland this past Sunday – ... Read More »

South African farmers are trapped in a brutal reality – and my family is a victim of it

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My father-in-law was beaten to death last September on his sugar-cane farm, 60 kilometres from Pietermaritzburg, a regional city in South Africa. Glenn Freeman Brisbane Times Civil rights group AfriForum suggests there is, on average, 680 farm attacks and 94 farm murders in South Africa each  year – almost two attacks a day and two murders a week over 18 years. Critics of Peter Dutton’s latest contentious proposal – a special humanitarian intake of South African farmers – should consider ... Read More »