Opinion

The potential of refugee entrepreneurs is huge. But they need our help

Refugees are already equipped with the key skills to succeed in business and their contribution can be worth billions of dollars Philippe Legrain The Guardian Kinan Al Halabi arrived in Australia in 2016 as a refugee from the civil war in Syria. He spoke English, had a university degree, had taught computer science in Syria and had experience working for Swedish telecoms company Ericsson. Yet his qualifications weren’t recognised in Australia and obtaining an Australian degree would have taken three ... Read More »

Big win for women’s reproductive freedom, but still a long way to go

This week saw a big win for women’s rights in Australia in the High Court. It is an historic step forward in the long journey for reproductive freedom for women in Australia. It’s also a timely reminder of how far we have to go. Adrianne Walters The Age In the 1970s, my nan, as a member of the Women’s Electoral Lobby, pushed for the decriminalisation of abortion. She knew what it felt like to discover a pregnancy and be powerless ... Read More »

The outlook for the global economy goes from bright to precarious

The latest IMF report should provide sobering reading for both major parties ahead of the federal election Greg Jericho The Guardian The IMF has downgraded forecasts for economic growth across the world in its latest world economic outlook released this week. The report should provide sobering reading for both major parties ahead of the federal election as a substantial slowdown in the world economy could severely affect revenue forecasts and the ability to deliver spending commitments and tax cuts while also balancing ... Read More »

It Is Time to Revise Russia–Turkey Relations for a More Stable Future

With ongoing debates on Russian-made S-400 deliveries to Turkey, fate of continuing cooperation of Russia, Turkey and Iran in Syria and future of Ankara’s relations with the European Union and NATO, it is high time to make an honest review of Russian-Turkish relations, define weaknesses of bilateral cooperation and try to sketch a framework for a… Timur Akhmetov ModernDiplomacy Inspection of historical legacy and nature of current ties may be of big value for those who want to grasp contours ... Read More »

Opinion: Deadly effects of Rwandan genocide still felt today

The Rwandan genocide began 25 years ago. However, the deadly repercussions are still being felt. Dirke Köpp Deutsche Welle One only has to look to the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, writes Dirke Köpp. Stroll through the Rwandan capital, Kigali, today and you’ll encounter well-kept streets, new skyscrapers and business centers — a modern city. And yet, 25 years ago, these same streets — and roads throughout the country — were lined with hundreds of thousands of corpses. The putrid ... Read More »

How to cure America’s debt addiction (and invest in the future)

Under current policies the federal debt will rise from 78% to almost 180% of U.S. GDP in three decades. William G. Gale and David Wessel Brookings In his new book, “Fiscal Therapy: Curing America’s Debt Addiction and Investing in the Future,” Brookings Senior Fellow William Gale explores policies to raise revenue, control spending, and increase public investments, and solve our debt problem. In this episode, Senior Fellow David Wessel interviews Gale about his new book and policy ideas. Also, Christen Linke Young, a ... Read More »

Being BAME often means being over qualified and under paid – here’s how pay reporting could help

As companies with more than 250 employees submit their gender pay figures to the government for the second year in a row, it’s become an increasingly accepted way to combat the gender pay gap. Tolu Olarewaju The Conversation Similar plans are being considered for ethnicity pay. This is because the UK government’s Race Disparity Audit has showed widely varying outcomes in areas including education, employment, health and criminal justice between Britain’s white and ethnic minority populations. Mandatory pay reporting could ... Read More »

Are China and Russia going to dominate the Mediterranean Sea?

As NATO celebrated its 70th anniversary in Washington, one compelling security issue received insufficient attention: Chinese acquisitions of critical European infrastructure, especially ports. Trudy Rubin The Inquirer Chinese state-controlled firms now hold stakes in more than a dozen European ports on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, from Belgium to Spain to ownership of the legendary Greek port of Piraeus. Already, one-tenth of Europe’s container terminal capacity is under Chinese control. A week ago, defying allies, Italy became the first major ... Read More »

Why We Stand With NATO

“There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies, and that is fighting without them.” Tim Kaine and Cory Gardner The Atlantic On April 4, 1949, Johannes Kaiv, the acting consul general of Estonia’s government-in-exile, sent a letter to Secretary of State Dean Acheson, which read: I have the honor to offer my best wishes to the signatories of the North Atlantic Pact, and to express my confidence that they, inspired by the ideals of democracy, of individual liberty, ... Read More »

Bring Behrouz home to Australia: he is one of us

There is a pivotal moment in Behrouz Boochani’s book, No Friend but the Mountains. In late August, 2013, a propeller-driven plane stands waiting on a strip on Christmas Island, to take asylum seekers to a faraway destination. Arnold Zable The Age Each man is escorted at two-minute intervals, 50 metres from a bus to the plane. They are held by the arms between two officers. At the base of the stairs, they are handed over to a second pair of officers, ... Read More »

A public register of child sex offenders will do more harm than good

If politicians are looking for a sure fire vote winner then anything that punishes people convicted of sex offences does the trick. Greg Barns The Canberra Times So there is likely to be little resistance to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s budget announcement of $7.8 million to establish a National Public Register of Child Sex Offenders. Dutton is proposing that this register would allow all Australians to see names, aliases and photographs of sex offenders, as well as their date ... Read More »

Why are Kenyans starving in food-secure Kenya?

The country has more than enough food to feed its population; yet dozens are starving in its drought-stricken north. Patrick Gathara Al Jazeera As a biting drought cuts through a swath of suffering across much of the north and northeastern parts of Kenya, imperilling nearly a million people, government officials and journalists have been locked in an obscene public relations battle over… Despite the heart-wrenching pictures and footage of emaciated villagers published on newspaper front pages, broadcast on TV channels ... Read More »

Children face reduction in life expectancy of 20 months ‘due to air pollution’

New research shows how a child born today could be affected by highly polluted air The Irish Times The life expectancy of a child born today will be reduced by an average of 20 months due to health damage caused by air pollution, researchers said on Wednesday. In South Asia, where air pollution levels are highest, the life expectancy for children born in countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh is forecast to fall by more than 30 months, according to the annual State of Global Air ... Read More »

Climate Change Drives Collapse Of Baby Corals In Great Barrier Reef

The catastrophic die-off from recent ocean heat waves severely affected the reef’s ability to produce new corals and bounce back. Chris DÁngelo HuffPost The deadly back-to-back bleaching events that hammered Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in 2016 and 2017 led to a collapse in the recruitment of new corals, severely affecting the ecosystem’s ability to recover from the devastation. That’s according to a new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, which found that the number of juvenile corals that settled ... Read More »

Turkish democracy is the winner in these momentous local elections

By toppling the AKP in Ankara and Istanbul, the opposition has shown that Erdoğan’s ruling party is not an invincible force Sinan Ülgen The Guardian Sunday’s local elections in Turkey resulted in a major setback for the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his ruling alliance. The ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) and nationalist MHP coalition lost Turkey’s major cities to an opposition ushering in an era of change at the local level. The political transitions in Istanbul and Ankara ... Read More »

A randomised route to better government

An evaluator-general would help policymakers understand which policies work, and which to drop. Andrew Leigh The Canberra Times In the mid-1990s, researchers embarked on a massive clinical trial. More than 16,000 post-menopausal women volunteered to be assigned randomly to a treatment group, receiving hormone-replacement therapy, or to a control group. Many expected that the study would back the common view – based on observational studies – that taking estrogen plus progestin was good for these women’s health. Five years in, ... Read More »