Historical

Germany’s heated asylum debate has dark parallels to events 30 years ago

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It was a moment that has defined Angel Merkel’s chancellorship of Germany ever since. In early September 2015, she allowed thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Syria and Iraq to enter… Constantin Eckner The Conversation Merkel promised her people that Germany would be able to handle the growing influx of asylum seekers, but her decision provoked a… Since then, German politics has been largely dominated by that one controversial matter – asylum policy. In early September 2018, xenophobic riots rocked ... Read More »

Podcast: The necessity of Indigenous constitutional recognition

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On this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Jerome Doraisamy is joined by Sydney-based barristers Simeon Beckett and Susan Phillips. In this episode, Mr Beckett and Ms Phillips explain why it is so important for the Australian constitution to acknowledge the First Nations peoples and what change will emerge as a result, why the Bar Associations are so supportive of such a change, and the role of member associations across our national legal profession on sociocultural or… Podcast: The necessity… Read More »

Julian Burnside Oration: Fear is the great threat to multiculturalism in Australia

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Last night, the human rights lawyer Julian Burnside QC gave the annual Walter Lipmann Oration at the Melbourne Town Hall presented by the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria. Julian Burnside Daily Review His speech is reproduced in its entirety below. In it, Burnside charts Australia’s inconsistent, if not volatile, approach to multiculturalism and how the John Howard Tampa affair has shaped the last 17 sorry years of our treatment of refugees. He argues that the Tampa episode, coupled with the terror attack of ... Read More »

It’s Not Too Late to Prevent a Russia-China Axis

Chinese troops parade at the end of the day of the Vostok-2018 (East-2018) military drills at Tsugol training ground not far from the borders with China and Mongolia in Siberia, on September 13, 2018. (Photo by MLADEN ANTONOV / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Here’s how the U.S. can avoid driving the two countries together. Anja Manuel The Atlantic Chinese tanks splashed through the mud, while a few dozen helicopters flew in formation overhead in eastern Russia, and a young Chinese military recruit explained, “I have never experienced an overseas deployment of this scale.” The scene neatly summed up the much-written-about, enormous Russian military exercises that took place this week. Participants included 300,000 Russian and 3,200 Chinese soldiers. They deeply rattled the… It’s Not ... Read More »

‘Boat person’ Frank Lowy calls for more migrants

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Billionaire Sir Frank Lowy has warned Australia would be “moving in the wrong direction” if calls for a lower migrant intake are heeded. Richard Wood 9news The Central European-born businessman last night gave the 15th annual address of the think tank he founded, the Lowy Institute. Mr Lowy, 87, told a gathering of business and political figures he backed a “big Australia”, but noted his views on expanding the country puts him at odds with many. The Wesfield co-founder was ... Read More »

Dangerous Democracy: The Problem With ‘The Will Of The People’

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Westerners don’t really live in democracies, at least not ones where the true majority prevails, writes Stuart Rees. New Matilda Characters in Australia who advocate government by plebiscite think that such a voter mechanism would represent the will of the people and would therefore be truly democratic. A quick look at the political impasse in the ol’ mother country shows the absurdity of such thinking. To justify exiting Europe, Britain’s Brexit politicians keep repeating that they are following ‘the will ... Read More »

Macron to admit French torture during Algerian War

French President Emmanuel Macron gestures as he delivers a speech on stage next to a placard reading "do more for those who have less" during the presentation of an anti-poverty plan, in Paris, on September 13, 2018. - French President Emmanuel Macron has unveiled a 8 billion euro plan focusing on education and getting the unemployed back to work in an effort to combat poverty. Placard reads "make more for those who have less". (Photo by Michel Euler / POOL / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MICHEL EULER/AFP/Getty Images)

French president will recognize that the French military tortured and ultimately killed Maurice Audin. Zachary Young Politico PARIS — France was responsible for the disappearance of a pro-Algerian activist in 1957, Emmanuel Macron is set to acknowledge Thursday. Maurice Audin, a mathematician and member of the Algerian Communist Party (ACP), disappeared in Algiers in June 1957 after having been arrested in his home by French military. French intelligence suspected him of sheltering soldiers from the ACP’s guerrilla wing during the… ... Read More »

SNP activists to hold ‘day of action’ on independence referendum

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The SNP is to hold a national “day of action” on Scottish independence later this month, taking the temperature of the nation as it continues its preparations for a second referendum. Chris Green The Scotsman The party’s depute leader Keith Brown said MPs, MSPs and activists would be given a target of speaking to 50,000 people across the country on 29… Revealing the plans in an interview with The Scotsman’s sister title inews.co.uk, he said the party would be “making ... Read More »

UN Secretary-General: American Power Is in Decline, the World Is ‘in Pieces’

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Is Democracy Dying? António Guterres confronts the “reemergence of irrationality” in global politics. Uri Friedman The Atlantic For the past two years, the secretary-general of the United Nations, António Guterres, has watched as President Donald Trump upends American foreign policy, engaging in trade wars while simultaneously disengaging from international agreements and… And now Guterres has reached a verdict: The United States, once the guarantor of global stability, is losing its ability to influence world events. “I think that the soft ... Read More »

New book offers vital background on the Iran nuclear deal

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Wendy Sherman may not have the highest name recognition outside of Washington — but that’s what you might expect from a former top State Department official whose job included delicate negotiations with old adversaries and… Jason Rezaian The Washington Post Now she has just come out with a new memoir that fills a valuable gap in recent history by providing a detailed look at the talks that led to the Iran nuclear deal. Sherman was the lead negotiator for the ... Read More »

National anthem protest: 9yo refuses to stand because anthem is for ‘white people of Australia’

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Teachers at a Brisbane primary school have disciplined a nine-year-old girl for refusing to stand for the national anthem during assembly. By Talissa Siganto and staff ABC Primary school student Harper Nielsen was given a lunch time detention on Friday for peacefully protesting against the song she said is “wrong”. “When it says ‘we are young’ it completely disregards the Indigenous Australians who were here before us for over 50,000 years,” she said. “When it was originally written, Advance Australia ... Read More »

If Britain Opts for Corbyn, Then the New Prime Minister Will Clash with Trump Over Israel

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Is the Middle East ready? Lawrence J. Haas The National Interest The signs of breakdown in the liberal international order are mounting, and they’re coming from disparate directions: Washington battles its closest allies on trade, Beijing and Moscow come together more closely militarily in an anti-U.S. alliance, and Beijing seeks to make its territorial expansion a… But the liberal order is as much about values as about alliances and power plays. In that sense, the most striking recent manifestation of ... Read More »

World politics explainer: Pinochet’s Chile

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General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, a career military officer, was appointed Commander in Chief of the Chilean army by President Salvador Allende on August 1973. Peter Read The Conversation Eighteen days later, with the connivance, if not the assistance, of the US, he authorised a coup against Allende’s Socialist government. To be clear, Pinochet’s rule was not the first, last or worst dictatorship in the history of Latin America. But it did grip the attention of western countries because of Chile’s ... Read More »

The Indian tribe that gave up hunting to save forests

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A tribe in the north-eastern Indian state of Nagaland gave up their ancient tradition of hunting to protect wildlife. Photographer Sayan Hazra chronicles life in the village years after it banished the practice. BBC At one time, 76-year-old Chaiyievi Zhiinyii was a skilled hunter. But he stopped hunting in 2001. The Khonoma tribe gave up what was an important source of livelihood some 20 years ago in order to create a more stable ecosystem for future generations. For centuries, many ... Read More »

How Brexit has revived controversy over the Elgin Marbles in Britain

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The Parthenon Sculptures have been the subject of debate for more than 200 years. With Theresa May scurrying around the EU trying to deliver Brexit, Greece is quite right to probe the possibility of bringing the treasures home. Dominic Selwood Independent It seems unlikely that several hundred tonnes of marble from Mount Pentelicus near Athens could have a significant role to play in Brexit. But, following a letter from the Greek government to Jeremy Wright, the culture secretary, that is exactly what is now happening. Lydia ... Read More »

World politics explainer: the assassination of John F. Kennedy

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At precisely 1pm on November 22, 1963, the 35th president of the United States was pronounced dead at Parkland Hospital Trauma Room 1 in Dallas, Texas. Lloyd Cox The Conversation John F Kennedy’s personal physician stated the cause of death was a gunshot wound to the head. This was officially announced to a stunned public half an hour later. The shock waves of the president’s assassination, the fourth in US history, continue to reverberate today. What happened? While the events ... Read More »