Opinion

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 »

What the stunning success of AfD means for Germany and Europe

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The radical right party profited from the fact immigration was the number one election issue. But can its breakthrough last? Cas Mudde The Guardian n 1991 Belgium had its (first) black Sunday, when the populist radical right Flemish Block gained 6.8% of the national vote. Since then many other western European countries have gone through a similar experience, from Denmark to Switzerland. And now, even the ever stable Germany has its own schwarzer Sonntag, and it’s blacker than most people ... Read More »

Solidarity between good and justice keeps a society together

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Since ancient times, philanthropy or unconditional contribution, and reciprocity or retribution, such as “an eye for an eye,” have been and remain common human actions. SOKA University EurekAlert! Thus far, many researchers support the promotion of reciprocity and the suppression of philanthropism, as the latter is favorable to evil. However, Soka University researcher Isamu Okada and his collaborators Tatsuya Sasaki (University of Vienna) and Yutaka Nakai (Shibaura Institute of Technology) have found that the solidarity of philanthropism and reciprocity is ... Read More »

Ireland must devise a better, kinder way than direct provision

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‘Imagine your child locked in camps with endless rules, depressed and isolated’ My husband and I, with our four children, have been living as Nigerian asylum seekers in direct provision for three years and nine months. Christiana Obaro The fanatical Muslim group Boko Haram forced us to flee from two homes. Finally we had to flee the country. The Irish Times Throughout trouble and tragedy, my husband always struggled to give me and the children the best in life. He became one of the ... Read More »

How to Help Iraq’s Religious Minorities

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Trump should undo an Obama policy that largely blocks them from getting U.S. aid. As Islamic State heads toward defeat in Iraq, Christian and Yazidi survivors of genocide should be returning to their hometowns in Nineveh province. WSJ Rodi Said/Reuters Instead, these fragile minority communities mostly remain stranded at displacement shelters in Kurdistan without the means to rebuild their villages. Many are fleeing Iraq, and the country now risks losing these religious minorities entirely. The Trump administration is making the ... Read More »

Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis Meets Reality

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The news coverage of Myanmar over the past several months has led many people to conclude that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of the country, has abandoned her responsibility to protect human rights. Kevin Rudd * The New York Times Hundreds of thousands of people from the Rohingya ethnic minority are being expelled by the military from lands in western Myanmar, where they have lived for centuries. By any standard, we are witnessing the most fundamental ... Read More »

Donald Trump wheels jumble of contradictions onto world stage at UN

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Washington: March into the United Nations, name-calling and threatening destruction, and the chances are there’ll be push-back. Paul McGeough The Age Going one up on George W. Bush’s three-strong “axis of evil”, US President Donald Trump went after a four-strong “small group of rogue regimes” in his first speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. The inward rhetoric of his campaign notwithstanding, Trump issued a contradictory demand for patriotism and sovereignty for all nations that would be policed by his administration. If he ... Read More »

Legalising assisted dying would be a failure of collective human memory and imagination

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We can judge the ethical tone of a society by how it treats its weakest and most in need. With euthanasia we offer them death instead of loving care. Margaret Somerville  The Guardian Dying and death is not a new phenomenon: we have always become ill, suffered, were going to die and someone else could have killed us. So why now, at the beginning of the 21st century, after prohibiting euthanasia for thousands of years and when we can do ... Read More »