Opinion

Why Australia’s small businesses are hiring migrants

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About 42 cents of every dollar on average spent at a small business is reinvested back into the local community, new research shows. Rashida Yosufzai SBS A new survey has found almost half of every dollar spent at a small business is reinvested back into the local community. The survey also shows more than a quarter of small business owners say foreign workers drive innovation within their business. Twenty six per cent of small business owners polled in the independent ... Read More »

A basic income for everyone? Yes, Finland shows it really can work

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Mark Zuckerberg, Bernie Sanders and Elon Musk back the idea And trials suggest it can liberate jobless people from a life of humiliation Aditya Chakrabortty The Guardian In a speck of a village deep in the Finnish countryside, a man gets money for free. Each month, almost €560 (£500) is dropped into his bank account, with no strings attached. The cash is his to use as he wants. Who is his benefactor? The Helsinki government. The prelude to a thriller, ... Read More »

Dangers of Twitter storms highlighted by Weinstein fallout

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Social media users who dislike the law should campaign to have it changed Kathy Sheridan As a rookie journalist, I once accused a group of gentlemen providing a certain tourist service of an outrageous rip-off. The Irish Times Having been stupendously overcharged, I busily acquired dozens of anecdotes to back up my outrage. Not good enough. Where a group is clear, small and identifiable and members stand accused of something fairly heinous, there are rules. Individuals must be named, witnesses ... Read More »

Study shows voting does not reduce crime

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New Haven, Conn.– A new study casts doubt on a promising application of the timeworn theory — posited by thinkers such as Rousseau, Alexander de Tocqueville, and John Stuart Mill — that political engagement, such as voting, fosters good citizens and makes people more likely to obey the law. EurekAlert! The study, published in the journal Political Behavior, confirms prior research that those who vote are much less likely to be convicted of crimes than non-voters, but it also shows ... Read More »

The 100-year-old promise

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The international community enabled the birth of Israel In theory, who doesn’t believe in self-determination, the idea, developed in the 19th century, that all nations have a right to sovereignty? Clifford D. May The Washington Times By the early 20th century, President Woodrow Wilson was insisting that “National aspirations must be respected; people may now be dominated and governed only by their own consent.” In theory, self-determination is today a fundamental principle of international law. In practice, not so much. The ... Read More »

Slavery is a bigger problem now than when it was ‘abolished’ — and it’s happening here

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Slavery. The word conjures images of people in leg irons. Edward Santow We think of the abolitionists who toiled centuries ago in lands far away to abolish this horrific practice. ABC Yet two things should shock us. First, slavery is more common today than when it was “abolished”. In fact, there are more slaves now than at any time in human history. Secondly, our region — the Asia Pacific — is home to about half of the world’s 45.8 million ... Read More »

Barnaby Joyce farce another reason why we need to rip up our failed constitution

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Twenty-five years ago I received the same news Barnaby Joyce heard on Friday In an astounding High Court decision I’d been ruled ineligible to sit in the Parliament and told I was no longer the independent member for the prized seat of Wills, Bob Hawke’s old seat, which I’d won eight months earlier in an exhilarating byelection. Phil Cleary The Canberra Times The euphoria of our victory party in Coburg that night was put into stark relief by the High Court decision. By day’s end I was told to ... Read More »

Andy Pollak: Vacuous Brexit talk could yield to creative solution

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Regulatory line of Irish Sea far easier and less disruptive than land border The challenge of preventing a “hard” border between the two parts of Ireland is among the obstacles preventing the UK and the EU moving on to the second phase of Brexit talks, the future trading relationship that the former is so desperate to find agreement on. Andy Pollak The Irish Times When they think about Ireland at all, the British side is still talking vacuously about a ... Read More »

Days before the forced closure of Manus, we have no safe place to go

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As refugees we are faced with the threat of either the navy occupying the detention centre if we stay or angry locals if we leave Only a few days remain until the Australian government meets its self-imposed deadline and closes the prison that it created on Manus Island. Behrouz Boochani The Guardian On 31 October the imprisoned refugees are supposed to be transferred from the regional processing centre (RPC) to the small town of Lorengau. It is a place that ... Read More »

After years in dangerous limbo the men on Manus must be brought to safety

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While my Australian friends share photos of weddings and work, the posts from Manus depict fear and mistreatment. We’re at a crisis point Georgie Bright “People have lost hope,” Aziz tells me. The Guardian “What energy they have – they want to use it to survive. They are desperate and powerless. They never think about their future.” I look across the table at the man in front of me – at 24 he is about my age, wearing the same ... Read More »

Russia: 100 years without a revolution

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In Oscar Wilde’s story, Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime, the main character wanted to blow up one of his relatives. Roman Dobrokhotov Al Jazeera Because he didn’t know anything about bombs, he decided to turn to someone with experience. Who in London could he ask for advice? A Russian nihilist, of course! In the late 19th century, Russians were always thought to be associated with revolutionary struggle and political terrorism. There is nothing surprising about that. Crowds of Russian anarchist intellectuals living ... Read More »

Newton Emerson: Catalan crisis a double-edged sword for Sinn Féin

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Making comparisons with Spanish situation only serves to show how accommodating UK is The Dáil debated the Catalan crisis on Tuesday at Sinn Féin’s request. Newton Emerson The Irish Times How long before the republican party realises this topic is a double-edged sword? The worse the crisis in Spain becomes, the more it undermines separatist positions inside the UK – and that applies to Scottish nationalists as much as to Irish republicans. Yet both are clinging ever more tightly to ... Read More »

Talking Point: Prevent crime for a safer society

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Do we care about our community safety or is it that we only want bad behaviour and criminal behaviour punished, no matter what? Grant Herring Do we really understand the real cost of crime and punishment? The Mercury Do we care about the outcomes of imprisonment? These are not simple questions when the complexity of their resolution is steeped in that Anglo-Saxon culture which transported wrongdoers from a nation with jails so overcrowded that prison hulks were deployed. Is imprisonment ... Read More »

Martyn McLaughlin: National park idea has fallen from favour

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It’s 14 years since the second national park was created, and it’s likely to be the last, writes Martyn McLaughlin For a nation spoilt with an abundance of breathtaking landscapes, it is perhaps surprising that Scotland had to rely on a Welshman to alert the wider world to its… Martyn McLaughlin The Scotsman When Thomas Pennant, a naturalist and antiquarian, set out on his travels in the summer of 1769, he was ploughing a lonely furrow. Few people wished to ... Read More »

There is a bright spot amid the world’s problems and we should mark it

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It’s easy to get a bit depressed by the state of the world’s problems, so we should take a moment to mark the triumphs. Peter Hartcher  One of the world’s most malicious and vicious groups, Daesh, which wants to be called Islamic State, has just been crushed. The Sydney Morning Herald  It’s been crushed in the Middle East and, simultaneously, crushed in South East Asia. To its credit, Australia is one of only three countries that joined the effort in ... Read More »

High court proves we have free speech against environmental wreckers

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Adani and the loggers should watch out – we have a right to peaceful protest to protect our environment Bob Brown The Guardian The high court has drawn a line in the sand against laws which burden the right of Australians to peaceful protest. The court made no judgement on Tasmanian premier Will Hodgman’s decision to flatten the Lapoinya state forest in northwest Tasmania against the wishes of the local community. But it struck down his Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) ... Read More »