Society

‘Feminism’ is Merriam-Webster dictionary’s word of year

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A leading US dictionary has named “feminism” as its word of 2017 following a surge in online searches BBC Merriam-Webster said interest in the term was driven by women’s marches, new TV shows and films on women’s issues and the string of news stories on sexual assault and harassment claims. The number of people searching for the word was up 70% on 2016, it said. The dictionary defines feminism as “the theory of the political, economic and social equality of ... Read More »

Wanted for genocide, Sudan leader welcomed by Erdogan at Jerusalem summit

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Omar al-Bashir is alleged by ICC to have committed war crimes in conflict that UN says killed at least 300,000 and displaced more than 2.5 million AFP The Times of Israel  ISTANBUL — Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted on charges of genocide and war crimes, attended an emergency summit of the world’s main pan-Islamic group in Istanbul, Wednesday. Bashir was among leaders who responded to a call by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to attend the meeting after ... Read More »

Bangladesh arrests cleric over fatwa against women farming

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A Muslim cleric accused of issuing a fatwa banning women from working on farms has been arrested in Bangladesh, police said on Dec. 13. DHAKA Hurriyet The imam and five mosque officials face charges after their announcement prompted locals in the western town of Kumarkhali to try and prevent women from going to work in the fields. “They took the decision after prayers on Dec. 8, banning women from going out of their homes,” local police chief Abdul Khaleque told ... Read More »

Most Australians support a federal anti-corruption commission: research

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Most Australians want the government to create a federal anti-corruption commission, make its national agencies more independent and set four-year parliamentary terms, according to a new report led by one of the nation’s most respected former public… Doug Dingwall The Canberra Times The findings come as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for the first time suggested he was prepared to consider creating a federal anti-corruption watchdog, but said he was not yet persuaded the case had been made for such a… While the discussion paper released ... Read More »

Democracy in meltdown as East Timorese PM denounces ‘coup’

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The prime minister of East Timor is refusing to allow parliament to reconvene because he will face a vote of no confidence. What next? Professor Damien Kingsbury. Crikey international affairs commentator As East Timor went to elections this year, the country was the most peaceful and united it had been in its short history. The CNRT-Fretilin government of national inclusion had functioned well, it appeared that the ‘Generation of ‘75’ exemplified by Xanana Gusmao, was stepping back from politics and, with the ... Read More »

UNGA Adopts Resolutions on Oceans

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6 December 2017: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted two resolutions that aim to advance implementation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and support the conservation and management of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks and marine life in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). Catherine Benson Wahlén SDG Knowledge Hub | IISD Member States also discussed an international legally binding instrument under UNCLOS, and other documents related to the law of the sea.   A ... Read More »

Three reasons Australians should be concerned that NGOs’ voices are not being heard

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A healthy democracy is built on the premise that public debate should allow for many and diverse voices to be heard as part of the contest for ideas that informs policymaking. Andrea Carson Sarah Maddison If Australians want this to be the case, the current state of play offers three reasons for concern. The Conversation NGOs are self-silencing The first is the finding in our research, released today, that Australian NGOs are self-silencing. Our data show that many not-for-profit organisations, ... Read More »

The Arctic – The Arctic Russia’s plan for the world’s newest ocean

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There’s a new ocean at the top of our globe In just the past three decades, global warming has shrunk the size of the Arctic Ocean’s summer ice by half. Vox The region is now more accessible than it’s been in 1,000 years, and governments around the world have taken notice. The melting of the Arctic has grave implications for global weather patterns and rising sea levels, and most of the world sees it as a looming disaster. But for ... Read More »

World trade is going through a seismic shift — and nobody knows how it will end up

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NAFTA, Brexit, countries around the world are redefining their trade relations, bringing uncertainty the global economy does not need Special to Financial Post Gordon Isfeld OTTAWA — In the gaps between NAFTA negotiations and U.S.-Canada interest-rate ponderings, Brexit remains a painfully present problem that could fill any economic void with even greater global uncertainty. At the same time, the slow slog of talks on the make-up of a new free-trade pact between North America’s three economies seems to have lost some of its direction ... Read More »

Government moves to curb modern slavery

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Slavery is the world’s second-biggest illicit market In the past, slaves were shackled in metal chains. Editorial Today, they are exploited in supply chains. The Sydney Morning Herald It might have been thought that slavery was a shameful but pretty much closed chapter of history. It’s not. It is the world’s second-biggest illicit market, behind drugs, with an estimated 45 million children, women and men treated as commodities (average price about $90). Forced labour generates an estimated $US150 billion  ($199b) ... Read More »

Sexual abuse survivors fear being ‘deserted’ after royal commission ends

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Advocates say commission’s closure will create ‘sense of loss’ and express concerns there will be insufficient support Melissa Davey The Guardian Survivors of sexual abuse and their advocates have spoken of their fears of being left in the lurch once the child abuse royal commission’s work officially draws to a close. On Friday the royal commissioners will deliver their final report to the governor general in Canberra, marking the end of their five-year inquiry into how abuse was able to ... Read More »

A confident and upbeat Putin goes on Mideast ‘victory’ tour

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Ρussian President Vladimir Putin declared “victory” in Syria during a surprise visit Monday to a military base there, then traveled to Egypt and Turkey, where he celebrated Moscow’s deepening ties with those key regional powers. Hamza Hendawi and Vladimir Isachenkov Associated Press Chicago Tribune The tour highlighted Russia’s expanded reach in the Middle East and the global clout of its leader, who announced last week he is seeking re-election for another six-year term in March. Speaking to Russian troops on ... Read More »

West Face files claim against mortgage lender Home Capital

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West Face claim says ‘investors who purchased common shares of Home Capital to close out a short position were excluded from compensation under settlement terms’ of a class action suit Barbara Shecter Financial Post Alternative asset manager West Face Capital Inc. has formally filed a lawsuit against Home Capital Group Inc. and three former executives, seeking $70 million in damages over claims the mortgage lender’s public disclosure was “inaccurate, incomplete and misleading.” In a 17-page statement of claim filed in ... Read More »

Netanyahu: Palestinians must face reality over Jerusalem

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Israel’s prime minister has said Palestinians must “get to grips with” the reality that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital in order to move towards peace. BBC Benjamin Netanyahu said Jerusalem had been the capital of Israel for 3,000 years and had “never been the capital of any other people”. He spoke amid ongoing protests in the Muslim and Arab world at a US decision recognising Jerusalem as the capital. Violence flared near the US embassy in Lebanon and elsewhere on Sunday. ... Read More »

Locals threaten violence against Manus Island asylum seekers at new accommodation

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Asylum seekers on Manus Island say local people are threatening to kill them after they moved into new accommodation in the island’s town Eric Tlozek ABC The men have provided video evidence of local men — who appear to be drunk — coming to their accommodation and threatening them. In one incident, in the early hours of the morning on December 10, a group of four men approached the main gate of the West Haus accommodation compound. A video filmed ... Read More »

The Roma are yet again scapegoats for society’s ills

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Lurid claims of child sexual abuse have emerged just as they are becoming free of the grip of predatory landlords Kevin McKenna The Guardian In Govanhill, a little network of streets and avenues on Glasgow’s South Side, the besmirching of another immigrant community is in full spate. A century ago, it was the poor Irish, fleeing famine and persecution by the British government, who were being demonised. Now it’s the turn of the Roma people. Britain’s largest concentration of Roma ... Read More »