Opinion

Donald Trump suppressed report into coal mining’s risk to public health, accuses world-leading Nature scientific journal

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Scientists have voiced fears that the United States could become like Soviet Russia where ideology was more important than hard evidence Ian Johnston The Independent  One of the world’s leading scientific journals has accused the Trump administration of suppressing a major study into the public health risks of coal mining, saying it raises the prospect of researchers being prevented from making discoveries that the US government does not like. Donald Trump, who has dismissed climate change as a “hoax”, has ... Read More »

World leaders have failed refugees. Can ordinary citizens teach them a lesson?

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Two years ago an image of a little boy in a red T-shirt, face down on a Mediterranean beach, brought home the full horror of the humanitarian crisis unfolding on Europe’s shores. Charmain Mohamed World Economic Forum Alan Kurdi, from the Syrian town of Kobani, was just three years old when he, together with his mother and his older brother, drowned on the dangerous crossing from Turkey to Greece. While the crisis was not news, it briefly seemed that the ... Read More »

Strangers R Us: Why Drug Testing Welfare Recipients Is Bitter, Stupid And Counter-Productive

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If you think our society is ‘too soft’ on the vulnerable, you probably need to find another society, writes Sue Stevenson. New Matilda It’s apparently easy to persuade lots of people to be cool with their government treating others like criminals. All you need to do is wedge yourself in underneath the bitterness of their life, and then use it as a lever to fling them really hard into the idea that other people are getting an easy ride. That’s ... Read More »

Defeated by high legal costs: the terrible injustice most of us could face

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It’s one of the most glaring gaps between theory and practice in our community, a huge disconnect between our democracy and our economy. A terrible injustice most of us could face. Everyone knows about it, but it’s rarely discussed. Ross Gittins Brisbane Times What is it? The prohibitively high cost of justice. We’re all supposed to be equal before the law, but you ain’t anything like equal if they can afford a lawyer and you can’t. The president of the ... Read More »

Dutton should learn to live with lawyers helping in matters of life and death

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Mandatory detention and boat turn-backs have been proposed – and rejected – in the past. How have we moved from a humanitarian approach to this cruelty? Claire Higgins The Guardian <linkrel=”stylesheet”type=”text/css”href=”https://assets.guim.co.uk/stylesheets/4c4e9fc6f6275cf538d9f9f274cb7afd/content.css”/> Lawyers who defend asylum seekers, the immigration minister believes, are ”un-Australian”. Peter Dutton is not the first minister to level criticism at asylum seeker advocates. But history shows that things could – and should – have turned out very differently. Speaking in the wake of news that the Turnbull ... Read More »

The Promise of Fiscal Money

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ATHENS – Western capitalism has few sacred cows left. It is time to question one of them: the independence of central banks from elected governments. Yanis Varoufakis Project Syndicate The rationale for entrusting monetary policy fully to central banks is well understood: politicians, overly tempted during the electoral cycle to create more money, pose a threat to economic stability. While progressives have always protested that central banks can never be truly independent, because their autonomy from elected officials increases their ... Read More »

The Balkans Between Competing Poles

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MADRID – Few world regions are more culturally and politically complex than the Balkans. And there may be no clearer illustration of the region’s freighted past and present than the life and legacy of one of its exceptional sons: the physicist and inventor Nikola Tesla. Javier Solana Project Syndicate Born into an Orthodox Serbian family in 1856 in a town that is now part of Croatia, Tesla’s nationality remains an object of debate in the region. Tesla believed that scientific ... Read More »

Ben Quilty: it’s time to acknowledge our colonial terrorism

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For the past few days I have listened to people I admire and people I don’t, talk about the challenge of facing up to our colonial past. Ben Quilty The Age One comment that struck me the hardest on radio was that “none of Australia’s first Europeans were as bad as their Confederate counterparts in the United States”. John Batman is widely known as the founder of Melbourne. He makes the American Confederates look friendly. As a bounty hunter in ... Read More »

Turkey ‘Searching for Ways to Reconcile With Assad’ Amid Situation in Idlib

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Lately, Turkey has been actively engaged in contacts with regional states and allies, discussing the situation in Syria. Leading political observer Zeynep Gürcanlı, from the Sözcü newspaper told Sputnik Turkey that the attempt to alter foreign policy strategy and seeking a thaw with Damascus could be behind Ankara’s recent diplomatic efforts. Sputnik “Currently, perhaps the most significant steps have been made in the country’s [Turkey’s] foreign policy in terms of departing from the traditional 16-year political strategy  of the ruling the Justice and Development Party ... Read More »

China now patrolling Philippines sea, air space

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China now patrols Philippine seas and air space. Its coast guard controls entry into and the vicinity of Scarborough Shoal, 120 miles off Luzon. Jarius Bondoc The Philippine Star Paramilitary fleets increasingly are fishing in the Philippines’ 200-mile exclusive economic zone. Warships venture close to Zambales and Mindoro in the West Philippine Sea. Chinese aircraft regularly confront Philippine flights to Pag-asa Island in Palawan’s Kalayaan Island Group. Maritime research vessels are exploring the Philippine western seabed as well as Benham ... Read More »

5 important facts about China’s alleged incursion in Pag-Asa Island

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Not long after the Philippines hosted the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ministerial meetings, reports emerged that Chinese vessels have been gathering near Pag-Asa (Thitu) island in the West Philippine… RICHARD JAVAD HEYDARIAN GMA News The source of the information is reportedly the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), which has been monitoring Chinese activities close to our land features in the area. Magdalo Party-List Rep. Gary Alejano, a former decorated soldier with extensive contacts to former AFP colleagues, ... Read More »

Universities are broke. So let’s cut the pointless admin and get back to teaching

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The meaningless tasks and faux-business strategies prioritised by British universities have skewed their real role André Spicer The Guardian As students have been celebrating their exam results, pundits from across the political spectrum have been commiserating the state of British universities. Andrew Adonis, an education minister during the Blair years, has excoriated universities for offering costly courses while jacking up the pay of their senior leaders. Nick Timothy, Theresa May’s ex-advisor, thinks UK universities are an unsustainable “Ponzi scheme”. The ... Read More »

Why Britain’s voters must have a second referendum on Brexit

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Leavers’ dreams of a country cast free of Brussels are unravelling as reality and the risks of going it alone set in Vernon Bogdanor The Guardian Last week, the government set out key elements of its strategy for achieving Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. It seeks a soft landing to a hard Brexit. It wants a time-limited transition period after March 2019, when Britain is due to leave the bloc. During that period, the government hopes for a ”close ... Read More »

Harvard study strengthens link between breast cancer risk and light exposure at night

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A new study from Harvard has found greater risk of breast cancer in women who live in neighborhoods that have higher levels of outdoor light during the night. Richard G. “Bugs” Stevens The Conversation The findings are based on the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), which has for decades been advancing our understanding of risks to women’s health. For this study, epidemiologist Peter James and colleagues followed nurses in the NHS for breast cancer occurrence from 1989 to 2013. The home ... Read More »

Remove Him Now

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How can this nation endure another 41 months of this man? We have endured Donald Trump for seven months. Although he has had few legislative victories, he has almost single-handedly destroyed the moral authority of the presidency of the United States at home and abroad; brought us to the brink of a nuclear war without consulting anyone; and sown division and hatred. Robert Reich * HuffPost He has given encouragement and legitimacy to the ugliest in America. How can this ... Read More »

When voters mistake stupidity for authenticity, we are all in danger

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Are we at war yet? Newspaper deadlines being what they are, you may, at the time of reading, be in a better position to answer that question than this column. Janet Daley Telegraph, London The Sydney Morning Herald With startling suddenness, the world has reached one of those moments when catastrophic news seems imminent: in which, indeed, the chief actors actually appear to be willing events to take the most devastating, unthinkable course. Or is it all just noise? Belligerent, ... Read More »