Opinion

A health issue, not a crime: it’s time to scrap outdated abortion laws

Ektr 1a

Archaic abortion laws are still oppressing women in Australia. We should finally step up to medical developments and social expectations Caroline de Costa Heather Douglas The Guardian On Wednesday the Queensland law reform commission (QLRC) received a reference to consider how Queensland should amend laws relating to termination of pregnancy and remove abortion offences from the criminal code. The QLRC has 12 months to report on how to repeal these archaic Queensland laws dating back to… A health issue… Read More »

Hugh Linehan: Is it time for publicly funding serious journalism?

Flaux 9i

Threat to public-interest journalism from market decline raises issue of State support Hugh Linehan The Irish Times The first regular commission I had with this newspaper was writing the Film of the Day for the TV listings page. It was only 50 words, but I do recall being pleased when someone pointed out market research which showed it was the most-read page in the… I wonder whether that’s still the… Hugh Linehan: Is… Read More »

Prohibition didn’t work for alcohol and it’s failing for marijuana

Marijuana 3c Alamy Stock Photo

Decriminalising marijuana would be a small step and free up resources that could be put to better use elsewhere. So where’s the push for legalisation? Jeff Sparrow The Guardian Why haven’t we legalised marijuana already? It’s a question brought to mind after reading Fairfax crime writer John Sylvester’s recent report on Melbourne as, in the words of assistant commissioner (crime) Steve Fontana, “the engine room of the… Sylvester takes the reader behind the scenes of the old-style anti-pot… Prohibition didn’t ... Read More »

The cycle of violence that will leave the whole world toothless and blind

The Canberra Times 3c L

Monday’s cowardly and murderous terrorist attack outside London’s Finsbury Park Mosque is the latest manifestation of the tragic cycle of retributive violence Ghandi and… Editorial The Canberra Times Coming as it did almost a year to the day after British MP, Jo Cox, was murdered in equally cowardly attack by a white supremacist terrorist who opposed her liberal views on tolerance and… One can only hope the legions of xenophobic trolls who… The cycle of… Read More »

Supreme Court unanimously reaffirms: There is no ‘hate speech’ exception to the First Amendment

Upl 2b

From today’s opinion by Justice Samuel Alito (for four justices) in Matal v. Tam, the “Slants” case: [The idea that the government may restrict] speech expressing ideas that offend … strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Speech that demeans on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, disability, or any other similar ground is hateful; but the proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the… Eugene Volokh The Washington Post Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote ... Read More »

How Did Health Care Get to Be Such a Mess?

$ & + 1a

The problem with American health care is not the care. It’s the insurance. CHRISTY FORD CHAPIN The New York Times Both parties have stumbled to enact comprehensive health care reform because they insist on patching up a rickety, malfunctioning model. The insurance company model drives up prices and fragments care. Rather than rejecting this jerry-built structure, the… How Did Health… Read More »

Facebook and Twitter are being used to manipulate public opinion – report

Mobil 1a Philip Toscano PA

Nine-country study finds widespread use of social media for promoting lies, misinformation and propaganda by governments and individuals Alex Hern The Guardian Propaganda on social media is being used to manipulate public opinion around the world, a new set of studies from the University of Oxford has… From Russia, where around 45% of highly active Twitter accounts are bots, to Taiwan, where a campaign against President Tsai Ing-wen involved thousands of… Facebook and Twitter… Read More »

I love our nanny state. I bet you do too

Cur 3c

ONCE, the notion of a building fire was one of the rational fears of life: another thing to keep all our fretful grannies awake at night. Now, it’s an obscenity. Claire Harvey Daily Telegraph The sight of a flaming tower-block in London — the city that has been devastated by fire a dozen times in its two thousand-year history, most famously in 1666 — does not make sense to our modern… It looks too outlandish to exist outside a bad ... Read More »

The climate movement charges on, even without the US

Eifel green 1a LLLL

Developing nations lay claim to the mantle of leadership for a fairer, safer world. Winnie Byanyima Al Jazeera President Donald Trump has proved again how beholden our politics are to the interests of the super-rich elite. The conniving, rich oilmen that were so desperate to prevent and frustrate the Paris Agreement found cheerleaders in Mr Trump and his… They choose to protect their profits from a flailing fossil fuel industry over human lives and a… The climate movement… Read More »

Decoding the music masterpieces: Liszt’s Piano Sonata in B minor

Lux 5e

Opinion Clara Schumann, the wife of the great composer Robert Schumann, wrote in her diary on May 25, 1854: Liszt sent Robert today a sonata dedicated to him and several other things with a friendly letter to me. But the things are dreadful! The Conversation By Zoltán Szabó, Sydney Conservatorium of Music ABC [Johannes] Brahms played them for me, but they made me utterly wretched … This is nothing but sheer racket — not a single healthy idea, everything confused, ... Read More »

Talking Point: Gun law reform soft on crime, hard on owners

Guns in safe 1a LLLL

WHEN someone proposes a solution to a problem that does not exist, you can suspect they have an agenda. Carlo Di Falco Mercury The recent mail-out to Tasmania’s 38,000 shooters about the storage of firearms requirements fall into this category. Last year, the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management released the regulatory impact statement and draft regulations about the… Talking Point: Gun… Read More »

Beyond Blades of Grass

Xre 2b

The other night, mowing my lawn for the first time this spring, I was instantly transported back to my childhood. PAUL BOGARD The New York Times “I love that smell,” I later said to my fiancée, and didn’t have to explain; we were two suburban-raised Minnesota kids for whom the scent of freshly cut grass has long confirmed winter’s end. Like many an American teenager, I had a monopoly on mowing my neighborhood’s lawns, coming… Beyond Blades of… Read More »

Y-chromosomal analysis of Greek Cypriots reveals a primarily common pre-Ottoman paternal ancestry with Turkish Cypriots

Fraux 6f

Genetics can provide invaluable information on the ancestry of the current inhabitants of Cyprus PLOS A Y-chromosome analysis was performed to (i) determine paternal ancestry among the Greek Cypriot (GCy) community in the context of the Central and… Our haplotype-based analysis has revealed that GCy and TCy patrilineages derive primarily from a single gene pool and show very close genetic affinity (low genetic differentiation) to Calabrian Italian and… In terms of more recent (past millennium) ancestry, as… Y-chromosomal analysis of… ... Read More »

Patriot shame: new citizens deserve respect, not contempt

Prausf 6f

Peter Dutton has introduced the citizenship bill. It’s supposed to infer loyalty to Australia but in reality means we can all be mates as long as we’re the same. Tasneem Chopra  The Guardian Βlend in or butt out. Speak up, but stop being confronting. Come forward, but only so far. By perpetually redefining the parameters of what it means to be Australian, the new citizen ideal has morphed into a farce. And now, there’s no coding of intentions; it’s clear ... Read More »

‘Purposeful leaders’ are winning hearts and minds in workplaces, study finds

EurekAlert 2b logo LLLLLL

People are happier and more productive when their leaders show strong morals, a clear vision and commitment to stakeholders, a new study has… University of Sussex EurekAlert! The growing importance of what is being described as ‘purposeful leadership’ for the modern workplace is outlined today in a new report for the CIPD, the professional body for HR and… When modern managers display ‘purposeful’ behaviours, employees are less… ‘Purposeful leaders’ are… Read More »

Let’s call child sexual abuse in the church what it is: Catholic extremism

Ux 9i

I’m taken with Abbott’s notion that we need to correctly name a challenge in order to meet it. Kristina Keneally The Guardian Bland labels allow abusers to hide behind their institution. Call it the Abbott Test for Moral Action. We can’t defeat a threat until we properly identify and name it, and the most important threats are those that have already proven… Former prime minister Tony Abbott led a chorus of voices last week demanding that political leaders define recent ... Read More »