Opinion

Religious freedom should be protected for all Australians

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More needs to be done to ensure fundamental human rights are protected for all Australians, including freedom of religion. The Canberra Times However, if new laws are introduced it must not result in an erosion of current legislation that protects human rights, like those implemented in the ACT and Victoria. The ACT is ahead of the curve when it comes to laws protecting basic human rights, after the welcome introduction of the ACT Human Rights Act in 2004. Victoria followed ... Read More »

Inquests are wasting our time

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Steven Freeman, a young Aboriginal man, died in the Alexander McConachie Centre of an overdose of methadone in May two years ago. Jack Waterford The Canberra Times Last month, one of the ACT Coroners, Robin Cook, made findings about the death. This week, his findings were published, having previously been unavailable to the public while he was redacting his findings to remove any material that could have revealed prison security arrangements. This further delay was entirely typical of the… Inquests ... Read More »

Richard Glover: In need of some moral support

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I’ve just signed a contract for a new book and – for the first time – there’s a clause demanding that I be morally upstanding. Richard Glover The Canberra Times It notes that the “commercial value of the work” is intrinsically linked to the “standing in the community of the author” and, therefore, if I misbehave they have a right to seize back the modest advance and – presumably – burn all copies of the… This puts a lot of ... Read More »

‘Measuring success differently’: New Zealand budget’s shift in economic thinking

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The Ardern government in New Zealand is articulating a bigger role for government in society, talking up wellbeing over traditional economic measures — while still playing on the standard “fiscal… David Donaldson TheMandarin New Zealand’s Labour-led coalition government has handed down its first budget, highlighting health, education and housing as areas of focus. “Our priorities are different from the previous government. We are determined to turn the page on the ideology of individualism and a hands-off approach to our economy ... Read More »

Indonesian terror attacks highlight an often forgotten truth

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The recent spate of horrific terrorist attacks in Indonesia highlights a number of unfortunate, and often overlooked, truths about this global epidemic of violent slaughter. Editorial The Canberra Times The first is that by far the greatest number of terror attacks carried out by so-called Islamic extremists occur in Muslim countries. A second is the attackers, who appropriate the name of a worthy and long-established faith that espouses tolerance, justice and civil harmony, have about as much to do with ... Read More »

Team Trump places Pakistan in a paradox

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Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in Kabul recently has raised expectations about the viability of the peace process between Kabul and Islamabad while highlighting India’s success in peeling Kabul away from dependency on Pakistan’s ruling… William Holland Asia Times As well, the meeting served to cement US regional policy goals: If realpolitik supplants rigid ideology, then policymakers in Islamabad will need to rethink their approach to China, India and the US while… In April, ... Read More »

Israel At Seventy: Time To Celebrate And Time To Lament

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At seventy, Israel has every reason to celebrate its remarkable achievements that every Israeli can take pride in, as they witnessed the redemption of the Jews they have been dreaming of, but never though they could realize. Alon Ben-Meir – Institute Israel’s accomplishments in various walks of life have made the country a global power; it did so with one hand tied behind its back as the country fought wars, battled violent extremism, and struggled economically, while wrestling against all ... Read More »

Study on South China Sea arbitration awards published

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BEIJING, May 14 (Xinhua) — A study on the South China Sea arbitration awards, compiled by the Chinese Society of International Law (CSIL), was published by the Foreign Languages Press Monday. Editor: Xiang Bo The book, titled “The South China Sea Arbitration Awards: A Critical Study,” has both Chinese and English versions, according to a press release issued on the CSIL website. The Aquino III administration of the Philippines unilaterally initiated an arbitration on disputes between China and the Philippines ... Read More »

Erdogan’s visit to the UK: open letter to Prime Minister May

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Lobby for Cyprus * open letter to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Dear Prime Minister President Erdogan’s visit to the UK will take place against the shadows cast by his destruction of democracy in Turkey, his government’s appalling human rights record, his country’s gunboat diplomacy and the enduring consequences of the two Turkish invasions of the Republic of Cyprus in 1974. Having ethno-religiously cleansed and colonised 36 per cent of the territory (and 57 per cent of the ... Read More »

Tessa Jowell: my friend who never forgot the ‘human-sized picture’

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She declared war on cancer; we must take her death as an injunction to action Matthew dÁncona The Guardian She was my friend. It was one of the great privileges of my life to know Tessa Jowell well, and one I shared with so many. At the dinner table, at the tea party to celebrate her introduction to the House of Lords, at book launches, at Labour conferences, she was always surrounded by friends, making new ones, and bringing together previously unconnected ... Read More »

US should put the breaks on China’s expansion into South China Sea

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With North Korea dominating the headlines out of Asia, not enough attention is being paid to major developments dealing with the South China Sea – the major cause of tensions in the larger Indo-Pacific region before North Korea started testing its… Harry J. Kazianis FoxNews China recently placed advanced anti-ship missiles and air-defense batteries on islands it has built in the South China Sea – yes, China has built its own islands from almost nothing, using some of the world’s ... Read More »

Final donation for man whose blood helped save 2.4 million babies

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For every regular blood donation, three lives could be saved; an ordinary plasma donation could save 18. But James Harrison is extraordinary. Kate Aubusson The Age His blood has helped save the lives of 2.4 million babies. The 81-year-old’s plasma contains a potent antibody used to create a remarkable treatment known as Anti-D that protects unborn babies from the potentially deadly Rhesus D Haemolytic Disease (HDN). On Friday, after more than 60 years and 1173 donations, Mr Harrison made his ... Read More »

Criminally minded … and how you can change it all

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When a person becomes “criminally minded”, the circumstances that brought them to that place are many, varied and complicated. No one is ever truly out of reach of help but once a person thinks like a criminal they can usually see no options apart from the “easy” way out. Mental illness of any degree plays a huge role in shaping how someone deals with any given situation. Stephen Menadue* Pic: Flickr, Alan Cleaver Tasmanian Times If you’re someone that says ... Read More »

Toward a free and open Indo-Pacific

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The U.S. administration of President Donald Trump has launched a new Asia policy, known as the Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP). Yoichi Funabashi The Japan Times Trump clearly laid out the strategic concept underlying the FOIP during his remarks in Danang, Vietnam, last November: “Today, I am here to offer a renewed partnership with America to work together to strengthen the bonds of friendship and commerce between all of the nations of the Indo-Pacific, and together, to promote our prosperity ... Read More »

Why Does Art Matter? Why Should We Support The Arts?

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Economic rationalists would point out that most artists are economically unviable. That is true, unfortunately. Julian Burnside Daily Review Creative artists generally have miserable incomes from their art, and survive by teaching or waiting on tables. Performing artists do not have it much better; depending on their speciality, they may have just as difficult a time as creative artists. Economic rationalists would argue that pouring money into the arts makes no sense unless the consumer considers the transaction to deliver ... Read More »

Hostility towards minorities can be contagious

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If people act hostile towards other ethnic groups, they easily find imitators Max-Planck-Gesellschaft EurekAlert! Inter-ethnic conflicts often escalate surprisingly quickly. In a recent study, researchers have investigated the influence of the environment on peoples’ hostility against minorities with the help of experiments. They found that hostility towards members of other ethnic groups is much more often imitated than hostility towards co-ethnics. Whether in Bosnia, Liberia, or Rwanda, violent conflicts have suddenly broken out between… So far, there… Hostility towards minorities… Read More »