Society

Chemical Weapons 2017: What Just Happened In Syria?

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Yet again, on cue, the Western corporate press is on fire with stories of “Assad’s brutality,” and “chemical weapons” attacks against… Australian National Review Obviously, the United States, NATO, and their media mouthpieces are united in condemnation of the Assad government and the Syrian military despite their… Indeed, the Western powers may blame Assad all they want but all the… Chemical Weapons 2017… Read More »

The obscure religion that shaped the West

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It has influenced Star Wars and Game of Thrones – and characters as diverse as Voltaire, Nietzsche and… Joobin Bekhrad BBC So what is Zoroastrianism? Joobin Bekhrad finds out. Talk of ‘us’ and ‘them’ has long dominated Iran-related politics in the… At the same time, Christianity has frequently been used to define the identity and values of the US and Europe, as well as to contrast those values with those of a… Yet, a brief glance at an… The obscure ... Read More »

Banks Join NFP Job Programs to Help Refugees

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Two major Australian banks are pushing their social responsibility activities into assisting refugees into work – and while one is celebrating a… Pb Welfare not-for-profit the Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ are celebrating a 10 year partnership which has supported 170 people from refugee and… Brotherhood executive director Tony Nicholson said the… Banks Join NFP… Read More »

Mafia of the Poor: Gang Violence and Extortion in Central America

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Central American gangs are responsible for brutal acts of violence, abuse of women and forced displacement of… ICG Governments must go beyond punitive measures and address the social and economic roots of gang culture, tackle extortion schemes and… Executive Summary Born in the aftermath of civil war and… Mafia of the… Read More »

Why you shouldn’t take the kids out of school to go on holidays

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Irish schools unlikely to object too forcefully over kids missing week or… Mark Hilliard The Irish Times Bringing your children to a supermarket to add up prices, examine ingredients and understand the value of money has educational merit but you are unlikely to let them miss… Some parents argue that going on holiday during term time can be… Why you shouldn’t… Read More »

Britons expected to send 235m items of clothing to landfill this spring

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Study finds three-quarters of consumers throw away rather than recycle or donate unwanted… Rebecca Smithers Consumer affairs correspondent The Guardian A predicted 235m items of Britons’ unwanted clothing are expected to end up in landfill unnecessarily this spring, according to new… Three-quarters of consumers admit to binning their discarded garments, usually because they do not realise that worn-out or… Britons expected to… Read More »

Thai king endorses new constitution, 20th since 1932

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Critics say the charter is undemocratic and will allow the military to keep its grip on power even after… Al Jazeera Thailand’s King Maha Vajiralongkorn endorsed the country’s new constitution on Thursday, an essential step towards holding an election to restore democracy after the… The constitution is the nation’s 20th since the absolute monarchy was abolished in 1932, but critics say it will still give the… Thai king endorses… Read More »

Recognising Aboriginal Australia is still in the too-hard basket

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Julia Gillard started it, Tony Abbott vowed to “sweat blood” to finish it, and Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten are committed to it, but the task in question is proving more daunting than… Michael Gordon Brisbane Times More than six years after Australia began a process to finally recognise Indigenous Australians in the constitution, there is a very real prospect that… Recognising Aboriginal Australia… Read More »

We had slavery in our supply chains, says Andrew Forrest

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The Fortescue Metals chairman says he was appalled by the conditions of some workers connected to… Paul Farrell The Guardian One of Australia’s best-known business figures says he uncovered slavery in at least 12 suppliers as he tried to… Speaking at a forum in Sydney, Andrew Forrest said he told suppliers to his Fortescue Metals Group that they had to… We had slavery… Read More »

Amber Harrison’s barrister Julian Burnside rebuked in dispute with Channel Seven

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The prominent silk acting for the former lover of Seven West Media boss Tim Worner has been rebuked by a Supreme Court judge for claiming she… Michaela Whitbourn The Sydney Morning Herald Amber Harrison, a former executive assistant at the media company, has been locked in a bitter court battle with Seven since she went public with embarrassing details of her affair with Mr… Amber Harrison’s barrister… Read More »

Chinese university to open in Oxford despite ideological crackdown at home

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Peking University buys stately home for nearly £9m and says it will house a campus designed for students from both Europe and… Tom Phillips in Beijing The Guardian One of China’s top universities is preparing to open a campus at the heart of British academic life, just months after President Xi Jinping called for Chinese universities to… Peking University, an… Chinese university to… Read More »

Patriot power: How France’s alt-right seeks to sway election

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France, despite its reputation as a beacon of progressive liberalism, has been at the forefront of a burgeoning pan-European far… Henri Astier BBC Marine Le Pen, an anti-immigration Eurosceptic who may well top the first round of France’s presidential election on 23 April, is… Its themes are familiar in the era of Donald Trump and Brexit: concern for… Patriot power: How… Read More »

5 takeaways from France’s chaotic presidential debate

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The main candidates were joined by a motley collection of other contenders, making for lively… NICHOLAS VINOCUR Politico PARIS — Eleven candidates for the French presidency faced off in a debate Tuesday that was more lively and more chaotic than previous… Frontrunners Marine Le Pen, François Fillon and Emmanuel Macron took… 5 takeaways from… Read More »

A ‘stranglehold’ on the data that could help explain political extremism

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The advent of social media has led to a vast increase in the amount of social information that we see about others’ political behaviour and… Oxford University Professor Margetts, Director of the Oxford Internet Institute, says getting access to more data from Facebook, or the platforms it owns such as… Professor Margetts highlights why such data is ‘crucial’: Social… A ‘stranglehold’ on… Read More »

How Should Art Address Human Rights?

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Artists who call attention to victims of conflict and violence must strike a balance between self-expression and respect for their subjects Jacoba Urist The Atlantic Last month marked six years since the start of the Syrian war, which has forced millions of people to flee their homes in one of the largest humanitarian crises in modern history. Perhaps the artist who has most visibly used his work to draw attention to the conflict is Ai Weiwei, whose political activism has earned him ... Read More »

When a drug epidemic’s victims are white

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How racial bias and segregation molded a gentler response to the opioid… German Lopez Vox When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie discusses his compassionate approach to the ongoing opioid epidemic, he frequently brings up a close friend from law… He describes this friend as perfect — incredibly smart, with a… When a drug… Read More »