Historical

Humanity Has Wiped Out 60% Of Animals Since 1970 Report Finds

A major report has found humans have wiped out approximately 60% of the population of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970. 9GAG The estimate was the result of a report produced by the Zoological Society of London for the WWF, which included the work of 59 scientists across the globe. The report, named the Living Planet Index (LPI), revealed the ever-increasing consumption of food and resources demanded by the global population, is destroying life which has been billions of ... Read More »

America Isn’t the ‘Only Country’ With Birthright Citizenship

The president incorrectly claims that America is the “only country” that gives citizenship to all babies born within its borders. Yasmeen Serhan and Uri Friedman The Atlantic “We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States … with all of those benefits.” So said Donald Trump this week, in explaining why he may sign an executive order ending the right to citizenship for those born ... Read More »

Jerusalem embassy move ‘could land Australia in the International Court of Justice’

A top international law expert has warned Australia could face legal action in The Hague if it went ahead with moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison doubles down on the… David Wroe The Age The Palestinian Authority has already filed a suit with the International Court of Justice against the United States after President Donald Trump shifted his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, whose territorial status remains unresolved in the… Don Rothwell, a professor of international law ... Read More »

What Thucydides Knew About the US Today

On the morning after the 2016 presidential election I tried to distract myself by reading some pages of Thucydides that I had assigned for a class the next day, and found myself reading the clearest explanation I had seen of the… Edward Mendelson The New York Review of Books In the third book of his History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides describes the outbreak of civil war on the northern island of Corcyra in 427 BC: There was the revenge taken in ... Read More »

Brian Wilson: Leipzig shows how history’s giants bring people together

In Leipzig, Brian Wilson finds evidence of the greatness of German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, who took an extraordinary decision that helped make the reunification of Germany a success. Brian Wilson The Scotsman It is surely a paradox of history that so much time now has to be spent resisting efforts to create new borders when most of the past couple of centuries’ heroes are those who brought people together. This week, I was in two German cities – Berlin for ... Read More »

Diarmaid Ferriter: Nuns’ side of story needs to be heard

Silence and selective recounting of history reinforces caricature of ‘bad nuns’ Diarmaid Ferriter The Irish Times Just what is the nuns’ story? That is a question I’ve often pondered when absorbing the revelations of recent years about Ireland’s reliance on institutions, the things that went on within them and the social, economic and cultural currents that… There has been much testimony from survivors of abuse and numerous declarations of sorrow from politicians reacting to the publication of the reports of ... Read More »

Millions of women to share pensions windfall

MILLIONS of women are in line for a pension boost following a landmark multi-billion pound High Court ruling. Lloyds Bank was told yesterday it had to equalise pensions benefits for men and women, in… By SARAH O’GRADY Express The ruling by Mr Justice Morgan could cost Lloyds £150million and the pension industry collectively around £20billion. Employees Angela Sharp, Judith Cain and Susan Dixon by their trade union BTU, claimed they faced sex discrimination because their guaranteed minimum pension increased at a ... Read More »

Why believing in ghosts can make you a better person

Halloween is a time when ghosts and spooky decorations are on public display, reminding us of the realm of the dead. Tok Thompson The Conversation But could they also be instructing us in important lessons on how to lead moral lives? Roots of Halloween The origins of modern-day Halloween go back to “samhain,” a Celtic celebration for the beginning of the dark half of the year when, it was widely believed, the realm between the living and the dead overlapped and ghosts ... Read More »

When America Was Great, Savage White Un-Settlers Raped a Continent and Assaulted a Planet

Your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings…are…a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of these United States, at this very hour. – Frederick Douglass, July 4th, 1852 Paul Street CounterPunch “Together,” Donald “Make America Great Again” Trump told U.S. Naval Academy graduates last May, “there is nothing Americans can’t do, absolutely nothing. In recent years, ... Read More »

History of Pictish stones ‘rewritten’ by breakthrough research

The history of Pictish symbol stones in Scotland is being “rewritten” with new research finding the mysterious monuments were being created hundreds of years earlier than previously thought. Alison Campsie The Scotsman A breakthrough in the understanding of the ancient stones has been made following excavations at Dunnicaer sea stack, the site of a Pictish fort just south of Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire. It is now believed that the site is home to the oldest Pictish stones in Scotland with a ... Read More »

Israel’s Netanyahu meets Sultan Qaboos in surprise trip to Oman

Visit by Israeli prime minister forms part of policy of ‘deepening’ ties with the states of the region, statement says. Al Jazeera Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made an unannounced trip to Oman, according to his office, in an apparent sign of warming ties between the two countries. Netanyahu and his wife Sara were joined by Mossad intelligence chief Yossi Cohen, who has reportedly been responsible for clandestine talks with Gulf Arab governments, and… The Israeli delegation reportedly flew to Oman ... Read More »

Don’t Mention The War In Wentworth: Dr Peter Slezak

The furore over the Morrison government’s ‘riffing’ on moving Australia’s embassy in Israel has distracted from the even greater crimes being perpetrated against Palestinians. Dr Peter Slezak explains New Matilda Despite the storm of local and international condemnation, Prime Minister Morrison’s willingness to consider moving Australia’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem is a significant public relations win in the larger political scheme of things. Whether or not the harshest criticisms of the proposal are warranted, the furore over the embassy issue has ... Read More »

Magnum China: Panoramic portrait of a global superpower

Photographers at Magnum Photos have had a long-standing cultural engagement and fascination with China. BBC Co-founders Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson first covered the country on photography assignments in the 1930s and 40s, marking the beginning of a relationship with the country that has continued throughout the decades. Magnum’s photos provide a panoramic portrait of China and its people through the changes and upheavals in its recent history. Here is a small selection from the… Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1949 Henri Cartier-Bresson’s… ... Read More »

Late night text messages reveal Indonesia’s anger over Jerusalem embassy announcement

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi’s late-night flurry of angry text messages to Australian counterpart Marise Payne was the first direct contact between the two over the Morrison government’s… David Wroe The Canberra Times Extraordinary exchanges in a Senate estimates hearing on Thursday morning have also revealed the government decided to announce its review of Australia’s stances on Jerusalem and the Iran nuclear deal without consulting a… Foreign Minister Marise Payne acknowledged under questioning from Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong ... Read More »

Not one government official was consulted about Australia’s major Israel foreign policy shift

Just after lunchtime on Monday last week, the head of Australia’s Foreign Affairs Department, Frances Adamson, took a call about the government’s planned Jerusalem announcement. David Wroe WAtoday Public servants, even the most seasoned, aren’t unimpeachable, but they are the government’s bedrock for advice on major and complex issues. So it must have been a surprise for the nation’s most senior diplomat that the call from Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s office wasn’t so much asking for her input as letting ... Read More »

The Double Battle

Frederick Douglass’s moral crusade. Eric Foner The Nation Let me begin on a personal note. Over half a century ago, my uncle, the historian Philip S. Foner, rescued Frederick Douglass from undeserved obscurity. Beginning in 1950, he edited four volumes of Douglass’s magnificent speeches and writings, each with a long biographical introduction that chronicled his rise to international renown as a… It is difficult to believe, given his prominence during his lifetime, but Douglass was virtually unknown outside the black ... Read More »