Opinion

Destroying the notorious Camp X-Ray at Guantánamo is a huge mistake

Sev 4d

Preserving sites with the most shameful or contested histories is critical for building democracy Liz Ševčenko The Guardian The Pentagon this week announced it will tear down Camp X-Ray, the first temporary facility at Guantánamo where “enemy combatants” were imprisoned in 2002. Despite a US federal court’s preservation order, the Pentagon argued it did not need to preserve the physical site because the FBI has created a 3D digital reconstruction. Such a virtual tour is in no way a substitute for preserving the original ... Read More »

Migration is a successful climate adaptation strategy

Ruse 2b

Governments across the world should legalise and regulate temporary climate migration, rather than try to prevent it. Alex Randall Al Jazeera After a particularly bad year for rainfall, Miguel told a group of researchers that he was leaving Mexico for the US. This wasn’t a permanent move he explained, he would be back. In fact, he’d made the move several times before. “The only solution is to go away, at least for a while. Each year, I’m working for three to five ... Read More »

Is Trump falling into Kim’s trap?

Axe 7g

Donald Trump is not the cause of America’s most serious problems. But could he be part of some solutions? Peter Hartcher Brisbane Times The news that he’d agreed to meet North Korea’s dictator is something new in dealing with an old problem. No US president has ever met his North Korean counterpart while in office. Till now, the US has always set preconditions too onerous for the North Koreas to accept. It’s not entirely clear, but it doesn’t seem that ... Read More »

Presidents Club dinner reveals fatal flaws in how we think about ethics

Rena 7g

The event was bad, the timing was worse. As one industry after another was being exposed for sexism, the #metoo campaign gathered momentum and the British celebrated the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote, the Presidents Club in London held a black tie charity dinner. Nick Spencer Brisbane Times For men only. An undercover journalist snuck in as one of the many specially-hired young table “hosts” at the dinner in January, wearing near-identical skimpy black dresses. Through the night ... Read More »

Why China’s Xi is not ‘Putin-plus’

Axe 2b

Xi Jinping is not following in Vladimir Putin’s footsteps. He’s carving his own path. Maria Repnikova Al Jazeera The recently announced constitutional amendments in China, ending term limits and paving the way for Chinese leader Xi Jinping‘s indefinite rule, have sparked quite a lot of debate and speculations in Western media. Some commentators went as far as comparing Xi to Russian President Vladimir Putin, claiming that China is now turning into a Russia-style autocracy. While the phrase “Putin-plus“ sounds catchy, the comparison does not reflect the ... Read More »

Empty threats won’t worry Russia. Britain needs a better approach

Putin & Borris Johnson 1a LLLL

The threat posed by the Kremlin can be reduced if Britain refuses to handle its dirty money and takes on a PR offensive Mark Rice-Oxley The Guardian Oh, Russia! Even before we point fingers over poison and speculate about secret agents and spy swaps and pub food in Salisbury, one thing has become clear: Russia appears lost, a global menace, a moral vacuum, a far greater threat than it ever was during the cold war. Its agents pop over for murder and shopping, ... Read More »

Sensory aspects of speech linked to language issues in autism

Spek 4d

Children with autism pay just as much attention to speech that doesn’t match lip movements as to speech in which sight and sound are coordinated, according to a new study1. Hannah Furfaro Spectrum Typical children prefer speech in which the sensory cues are in sync. Some people with autism have trouble learning to speak and understand words. Some people with the condition have minimal verbal skills or don’t speak at all. The new work suggests that these problems may be partially rooted ... Read More »

US Tariffs: ‘Aluminum Companies Will Benefit, Everyone Else Will Lose’ – Analyst

Spat 2b

Trump’s decision to introduce higher tariffs on steel and aluminum imports would be detrimental to both the US and the EU. Sputnik This is what French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has stated, noting that the US measures would have a major impact on the European economy. Sputnik discussed this with Simon Lester, Trade Policy Analyst at Cato Institute. Sputnik: What is your take on President Trump’s statement that the US has been suffering from unfair trade, is that really the case? ... Read More »

We’re All Fascists Now

Zub 7g

Christina Hoff Sommers is a self-identified feminist and registered Democrat with a Ph.D. in philosophy and a wicked sense of humor. She is also a woman who says bad things. Bari Weiss The New York Times Things like: Men and women are equal, but there are differences between them. Or: The gender gap in STEM fieldsisn’t simply the result of sexism. Or: Contrary to received wisdom, the American school system actually favors girls, not boys. When such a person steps foot on ... Read More »

Lessons From Cuba

Erod 3c

Cuba’s own experience when Soviet aid was suddenly lost shows that a country that relies on its people has nothing to fear from self-reliance – and everything to gain… Will Podmore CounterPunch The withdrawal of Soviet aid in 1990 left Cuba’s economy on a knife-edge. Cubans lost all their markets in sugar. They ceased to receive foodstuffs, fuel, wood, soap, raw materials. Calories and protein intake were reduced by half. Plans for nuclear energy had to be abandoned. The US ... Read More »

Franchise failure fix urgent as staff suffer

Erod 8h

Australia’s $170-billion-a-year franchise industry is rotten. It is riddled with companies that gouge their retailers, some of whom in turn underpay and exploit many of the sector’s 460,000 employees, most of whom are vulnerable students and immigrant workers. Opinion – Editorial The Age The issue is not whether there is an endemic problem, but how best to deal with it. The malfeasance has been widely documented, primarily because of whistleblowers and years of investigative work led by The Age’s Adele ... Read More »

Trump the Deal-maker and the Middle East

Trump 1a source White House LLLL signing papers

Casting himself as the best friend Israel could hope for, President Donald Trump is promising, some may say threatening, to unveil his grand plan for a peace “deal” to end the so-called “Middle East problem”. Amir Taheri Gatestone Institute Trump has always fancied himself as a deal-maker; he has even written a book on the subject. It is, therefore, no surprise that he might want to put his skill to use on an issue which has defied numerous deal-makers for ... Read More »

Meet the MP who actually wants to know what works

Guen 1a

A house in the Canberra suburb of Narrabundah had suffered multiple burglaries. For the sixth time someone had broken in through a window and taken things from the bedroom of a nine-year-old boy. Peter Martin The Canberra Times This time the offender was caught red-handed, with a pillowslip full of the Lego – he was the nine-year-old boy from next door. When police officer Rudi Lammers arrived, he decided not to follow the usual procedure. Instead, he sat down with ... Read More »

Should you send a text or email? Here’s some advice from Aristotle

Kene 5e

Suppose you want to get in touch with a friend. Once, your options for doing so might have been sparse: pick up the phone or write a letter. Alexis Elder The Conversation But these days, you have to decide: Should you call or text, use Snapchat, or reach out on Twitter, Messenger or Skype? Other considerations, whether it’s an old friend or new acquaintance, or whether you’re asking a favor or checking in, as well as your own conversational tendencies ... Read More »

Theresa May’s Brexit speech: our writers give their verdict

Aua 2b

Four writers react to the prime minister’s latest Brexit plans, unveiled in London today Polly Toynbee, Katy Balls, Maya Goodfellow and John Redwood The Guardian Polly Toynbee: The same conundrums, but no new answers No one waited with bated breath for Theresa May’s speech once we knew the cabinet had vetted it. Anything that the “team” that has stuck us in the verbal bog of “managed regulatory divergence” all agree on can never take us forward. Unify the country? Show us a united cabinet first. Her ... Read More »

Turkey Is Turning Into the Next Pakistan

Meta 3c

The U.S. should make clear to ersatz allies that betrayal has consequences. Eli Lake Bloomberg There isn’t much that Turkey’s president can do these days to further debase his reputation in the West. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has crushed peaceful protests at home and abroad, closed newspapers, threatened American soldiers, and collectively scapegoated Kurds. But over the weekend, Erdogan managed to go even lower. At a rally at Kahramanmaras, the Turkish leader brought a trembling 6-year-old girl on stage dressed in military garb and told her she ... Read More »