Opinion

Podcast: The necessity of Indigenous constitutional recognition

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On this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Jerome Doraisamy is joined by Sydney-based barristers Simeon Beckett and Susan Phillips. In this episode, Mr Beckett and Ms Phillips explain why it is so important for the Australian constitution to acknowledge the First Nations peoples and what change will emerge as a result, why the Bar Associations are so supportive of such a change, and the role of member associations across our national legal profession on sociocultural or… Podcast: The necessity… Read More »

Julian Burnside Oration: Fear is the great threat to multiculturalism in Australia

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Last night, the human rights lawyer Julian Burnside QC gave the annual Walter Lipmann Oration at the Melbourne Town Hall presented by the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria. Julian Burnside Daily Review His speech is reproduced in its entirety below. In it, Burnside charts Australia’s inconsistent, if not volatile, approach to multiculturalism and how the John Howard Tampa affair has shaped the last 17 sorry years of our treatment of refugees. He argues that the Tampa episode, coupled with the terror attack of ... Read More »

It’s Not Too Late to Prevent a Russia-China Axis

Chinese troops parade at the end of the day of the Vostok-2018 (East-2018) military drills at Tsugol training ground not far from the borders with China and Mongolia in Siberia, on September 13, 2018. (Photo by MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Here’s how the U.S. can avoid driving the two countries together. Anja Manuel The Atlantic Chinese tanks splashed through the mud, while a few dozen helicopters flew in formation overhead in eastern Russia, and a young Chinese military recruit explained, “I have never experienced an overseas deployment of this scale.” The scene neatly summed up the much-written-about, enormous Russian military exercises that took place this week. Participants included 300,000 Russian and 3,200 Chinese soldiers. They deeply rattled the… It’s Not ... Read More »

Why Rahul Gandhi is wrong on the issue of lynching

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According to a recent survey, Indian National Congress (INC) President Rahul Gandhi is the favorite alternative candidate to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, way ahead of other opposition stalwarts like Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee and… Sagarneel Sinha Asia Times But despite this, his poor logic continues to hurt his image. His recent comment in Germany that incidents of lynchings are attributable to demonetization, unemployment and the GST (Goods and Service Tax) is surely not something that is expected from ... Read More »

‘It makes us all sick’: I don’t care what you think, and neither should you

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There’s too much news this week. If we lived in a time of any sort of leadership, of any standard of decency in the national discourse, we would have stopped for a while, after Sunday. Glynn Greensmith WAtoday Another family, another community, ripped apart by violence. Tiny children brutally murdered. In our world, in our towns. Again. It stings the eyes, it punctures the soul. But with unconscionable haste we chase straight after the next controversy, the next chance to ... Read More »

An Offensive Plan for the Balkans That the U.S. Should Get Behind

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A Kosovo-Serbia land swap would be peaceful ethnic cleansing. But at least it would bring peace. Charles A. Kupchan * The New York Times The Balkans remains in strategic limbo. Kosovo declared independence from Serbia 10 years ago, but Serbia has yet to come to terms with its loss — refusing to recognize Kosovo and stirring trouble between the country’s ethnic Serbs and the ethnic Albanian majority. Almost two decades after the… A breakthrough may now be in the making. ... Read More »

New book offers vital background on the Iran nuclear deal

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Wendy Sherman may not have the highest name recognition outside of Washington — but that’s what you might expect from a former top State Department official whose job included delicate negotiations with old adversaries and… Jason Rezaian The Washington Post Now she has just come out with a new memoir that fills a valuable gap in recent history by providing a detailed look at the talks that led to the Iran nuclear deal. Sherman was the lead negotiator for the ... Read More »

What the Herald Sun’s Serena Williams cartoon reveals about Australia’s racial history

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In the aftermath of Serena Williams’s controversial defeat at the U.S. Open, a cartoon from Australia, drawn by Mark Knight and published in the Herald Sun, made global headlines. Bo Seo The Washington Post The cartoon showed the contours of Williams’s body enlarged and fixed in a brutish pose. Critics compared it to Jim Crow caricatures such as “Little Black Sambo” and placed the cartoon in a genealogy of American blackface. Author J.K. Rowling criticized Knight for “reducing one of the greatest ... Read More »

New data paint an unpleasant picture of poverty in the US

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On Sept. 12, the U.S. Census Bureau released national poverty data for 2017. The headline was that 39.7 million people were poor in 2017. This works out to 12.3 percent of the population or one in eight Americans. The good news is that the U.S. poverty rate has fallen since 2010, when it hit 15.1 percent, and… The bad news is that poverty still exceeds the 11.3 percent rate of 2000 and far too many people are poor in a ... Read More »

The Indian tribe that gave up hunting to save forests

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A tribe in the north-eastern Indian state of Nagaland gave up their ancient tradition of hunting to protect wildlife. Photographer Sayan Hazra chronicles life in the village years after it banished the practice. BBC At one time, 76-year-old Chaiyievi Zhiinyii was a skilled hunter. But he stopped hunting in 2001. The Khonoma tribe gave up what was an important source of livelihood some 20 years ago in order to create a more stable ecosystem for future generations. For centuries, many ... Read More »

How the Far Right Conquered Sweden

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A bastion of social democracy, the country refused to deal with the realities of mass immigration. Jochen Bittner The New York Times STOCKHOLM — To understand why Sweden, a bastion of social democracy, might end up with a far-right party in government after national elections on Sunday, you need to take a walk with Ahmed Abdirahman. An American-educated Somali immigrant who works as a policy analyst at the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Abdirahman grew up and now lives in ... Read More »

A new and more efficient payments system will be a magnet for fraud. Here’s how to prepare

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Most credit card fraud takes place online or over the phone. It’s not the cards that are stolen, but the details. The Conversation, By Steve Worthington ABC The Australian Payments Network finds they are used to amass 85 per cent of the money stolen using Australian credit cards, without the need to steal the cards themselves. Usually, we are not liable for the money lost. It is reimbursed through our card provider if we have quickly reported the breach and ... Read More »

Young and resilient

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The first study of young refugees settling in Australia suggests they are adapting well to their new country By Dr Winnie Lau and Professor Meaghan O’Donnell, University of Melbourne Pursuit For people fleeing war and persecution, forced migration is an arduous and risky journey. But even for those who find new hope in a different country, adapting to a new culture is a… And of the 68.5 million people around the globe displaced by war and political conflict, over half ... Read More »

Why Does the U.S. Support War Crimes in Yemen?

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Washington should rethink its blind support for Riyadh. Paul R. Pillar The National Interest The war in Yemen has been for some time one of the worst current man-made humanitarian disasters. Now comes a report , from the United Nations Human Rights Council and based on extensive investigations by a group of experts examining the past four years of the… By far the most destructive offenses have been committed by the principal external intervenors—Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—and the titular ... Read More »

Time to limit ministerial discretion in the immigration system

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Peter Dutton’s use of ministerial discretion to grant visas to two foreign au pairs raises large questions about the propriety of his actions as minister for immigration. Shawn Rajanayagam The Age But, more importantly, the ongoing debate presents Parliament with an opportunity to introduce real limits on ministerial discretion in the immigration system so as to prevent those discretions from being used inequitably and… In granting visas to the au pairs, it seems that Mr Dutton exercised a power under ... Read More »

An open letter of complaint to the Guardian

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An Open Letter Addressed to the Readers’ Editor of the Guardian newspaper in London, dated 5 September 2018 Dear Sir Re: Image accompanying an article published by the Guardian on 3 September 2018 I am writing to make a complaint about the image of the Eastern Mediterranean accompanying an article by Elif Shafak entitled ‘Even as Turkey pulls away, the west must help its people to resist’ (hereafter ‘the Image’). The Image was published online by the Guardian on 3 September 2018 (at www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/03/turkey-west-erdogan-democracy-civil-rights?CMP=share_btn_tw). I do not know whether the Image was also published in the hard copy of ... Read More »