A nuclear arms race in East Asia?

It is a place where most nations deeply distrust their neighbours, and where old-style nationalism still reigns supreme.. by Andrei Lankov Andrei Lankov is professor of Korean Studies at Kookmin University, Seoul. He is the author of “The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia”. Recently, news from the Korean Peninsula has been dominated by missiles: as satellite images confirmed, the North Koreans have been busy preparing another test launch of “BM-25 Musudan”, their intermediate-range missile… Source: ... Read More »

Could Roz Ward keep her job if she liked the Australian flag a little?

The suspension of Roz Ward is the culmination of a McCarthyist campaign against an academic who’s done nothing wrong.. On 9 June 1954, the lawyer Joseph N. Welch stood up before Joseph McCarthy, the senator from Wisconsin who’d built a political career by denouncing real and imagined communists… Source: Could Roz Ward keep her job if she liked the Australian flag a little? | Jeff Sparrow | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

Why we should close women’s prisons and treat their crimes more fairly

Sentencing systems around the world should be radically reformed to start with the assumption that women should not be sent to prison for their crimes.. Women almost never scare us; commit random acts of serious violence; violate our sexual integrity; or form organised crime networks and yet their prisons numbers are now the highest in recorded history… Source: Why we should close women’s prisons and treat their crimes more fairly | Mirko Bagaric | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

Rahmani, Neda

Neda Rahmani

A child of the revolution, born in Iran to Persian and Mauritian Parents. Neda grew up in Australia enjoying the freedom to perform and develop as one of Australia’s strong live female performers. A seasoned percussionist and natural performer, she is also now establishing herself as an actress and story teller. Her main band is called Neda – All Colour Project. She is Melbourne Festival’s and Multicultural Arts Victroria’s Cultural ambassador and her career has been in collaborating and delivering ... Read More »

Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece

The new late night deal in the Eurogroup on the new bailout for Greece is another blatant hypocrisy by the dominant European Union powers, their partner-cum-competitor IMF (aka the US) and the Greek establishment (now represented by the SYRIZA government). The new deal is an uneasy compromise subject to a continuing tug-of-war between the US (through its proxy, the IMF) and the EU… Source: Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece Read More »

Ancient crayfish and worms may die out together

Research suggests that bizarre, tentacled worms which live attached to crayfish in the rivers of Australia are at risk of extinction – because the crayfish themselves are endangered. It would be an example of coextinction, where one organism dies out because it depends on another doomed species. Just a few millimetres long, the worms eat even tinier animals in the water or inside the crayfish gill chamber… Source: Ancient crayfish and worms may die out together – BBC News Read More »

The Left on the Run in Latin America

In 2004, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, launched the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our Americas, a regional alliance of leftist leaders designed to subvert a hemispheric free trade agreement that the United States had been pushing for a decade. In the years that followed, Washington’s hope of a trade pact of 34 nations faded, and its clout in the region diminished as… Source: The Left on the Run in Latin America – ... Read More »

One day at Agkalia (Embrace)

Embrace 1a LL

One day at Agkalia *(Embrace) we encountered group of seemingly tough young men. By Giorgos Tyrikos-Ergas * Μια μέρα στην Αγκαλιά… They set themselves apart from the other groups with the families and were just sitting around and loitering making comments about the volunteers, all kinds of insinuations about the women volunteers, and in general: they looked like trouble. When we started giving away food they did not wait in line. They cut in and grabbed it. To my request ... Read More »

No Quick Fix for Russian Economy

This year got off to a bad start. Oil prices fell to below $30 per barrel and a budget deficit of at least 5 percent seemed inevitable. But now Russia’s political elite is breathing a sigh of relief. Oil is up to more than $40 per barrel and experts are predicting that prices are more likely to continue climbing than to collapse, as they did in winter. Of course, oil price trends cannot be forecast with any certainty. But financial officials recently stated that if oil ... Read More »

Resettling refugees in Papua New Guinea: a tragic theatre of the absurd

Papua New Guinea is an extraordinary country very close to my heart, but I can say with absolute surety that it is not an appropriate country in which to resettle refugees.. Ihave recently spent six weeks in the city of Lae in Papua New Guinea, with unique access to the first group of refugees resettled from Manus Island, and have been able to experience their resettled life first-hand… Source: Resettling refugees in Papua New Guinea: a tragic theatre of the ... Read More »

Stealing From Ebola to Fight Zika

Nobody should be surprised when the present House of Representatives, dominated by penurious reactionaries, produces a stingy response to a danger that calls for compassionate largess. But for sheer fecklessness it’s hard to top the House’s response this week to the Zika virus. The salient feature is that in providing money to fight one health menace, it steals from other funds meant… Source: Stealing From Ebola to Fight Zika – The New York Times Read More »

JK Rowling was right: free speech is for everyone, not just your friendsan

Kauka 2b

We need to welcome dissent, because we grow from it. If you have to silence the other side, your own arguments can’t be very strong.. Αs the president of PEN America, I was deeply honored to have JK Rowling attend our gala to receive the PEN/Allen Foundation Award for Literary Service. Rowling gave a brief but exquisite address in which she lauded free speech in the broadest terms, saying, “The tides of populism and nationalism… Source: JK Rowling was right: ... Read More »

Western governments have mishandled refugee crisis for decades

IT was near midnight on October 6, 1998 when the dilapidated 40-foot clinker pushed off from northern Lebanon into the eastern Mediterranean. There were 75 passengers on board, including 10 adult women and 24 children (one born just two days earlier). Each person had been charged $2,000 per head. People traffickers promised them safe passage and refuge in Italy. Their mode of transportation was later described as “barely a floating coffin”… Source: Western governments have mishandled refugee crisis for decades – ... Read More »

Four Years as Green Party Leader: It’s Been a Privilege and an Honour | Natalie Bennett

Huf 1a

I know some will find my decision not to re-stand for the leadership hard to understand, and I’ve been moved by the generous words of support from many party members and supporters urging me to continue, but I hope that my decision will help make it clear that the Green Party doesn’t operate like other political parties, with a steep hierarchy up which many are seeking to scramble, while those at the top defend their positions. We’re a team, we ... Read More »

Multiculturalism: not an ideal, but a reality

We need to create human societies from people of many different backgrounds.. I’m reading Stan Grant’s book Talking To My Country. A journalist with Aboriginal and Irish heritage, Grant wrote an article last year at the height of the Adam Goodes drama, which proved very telling. The story was both simple and complex. In expressing the historic principle at stake with dignity and clarity while also illuminating the complexities of the issues of Aboriginal identity it raised, Grant was in ... Read More »

Could Different Borders Have Saved the Middle East?

THERE probably aren’t many things that the Islamic State, Jon Stewart and the president of Iraqi Kurdistan agree on, but there is one: the pernicious influence of the Sykes-Picot Agreement, a secret plan for dividing up the Middle East signed by France and Britain, 100 years ago this week. It has become conventional wisdom to argue, as Vice President… Source: Could Different Borders Have Saved the Middle East? – The New York Times Read More »