Society

Indonesia’s Papua Cover-Up Reflex Prompts Police Dormitory Raid

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Authorities Cite ‘Hidden Activities’ to Cancel Screening of Papuan Film Michelle Winowatan HRW Dozens of Indonesian military and police personnel raided a student dormitory in Surabaya on July 6 to stop the screening of a documentary about security force atrocities in Papua. It’s the latest example of the government’s determination not to deal with past abuses in the country’s easternmost province. Security forces carried out the raid following social media postings about the planned screening of “Bloody Biak.” The film documents the ... Read More »

More than half of WA kids’ calls to helpline were dropped last year

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Questions posed in the WA parliament have revealed over half of the calls made to the Kids Helpline last year were dropped. Hannah Barry WAtoday Greens MP Alison Xamon asked the question of Minister Sue Ellery in parliament in May this year, regarding how much the state government had committed to service provider Yourtown between 2012 and 2017, how many calls were made by WA young people to the helpline and… Ms Xamon received answers during a Legislative Council sitting ... Read More »

Cultural appropriation, you just can’t be too careful

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We all agree that racism is a terrible, unforgivable thing but even the most enlightened of us are sometimes guilty of what could be called inadvertent racism – I refer, of course, to cultural appropriation. Russel Grenning OnLineOpinion Put as simply as possible, cultural appropriation is a concept dealing with the adoption of elements of a minority culture including, for example, cultural and religious traditions, fashion, symbols, language and songs by those of a dominant culture. Critics of the practice ... Read More »

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg clarifies Holocaust comments after outcry

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Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, recently defended the company’s decision to keep on its platform the site Infowars, a prominent right-wing outlet known for spreading conspiracy theories and… Hamza Shaban Brisbane Times / The Washington Post Zuckerberg said in an interview published by Recode on Wednesday that Facebook has a responsibility to curb the viral spread of hoaxes and blatant misinformation. But he maintained Facebook should not ban publishers for spreading false claims, a position he described as “too extreme.” “The ... Read More »

Burundi: African Union Shouldn’t Tolerate Banning Pregnant Girls from School

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In June, Burundi joined a small group of African countries that ban pregnant girls from continuing with formal education in government schools. Agnes Odhiambo and Elin Martinez allAfrica Burundi’s Education Ministry banned the boys who get the girls pregnant as well as the girls themselves from going to public or private school. Burundi’s ban is contrary to the country’s constitution and many domestic laws , and undermines the state’s education goals . Indeed, Burundi’s law against gender discrimination protects girls’ ... Read More »

Building on Afghanistan’s Fleeting Ceasefire

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The end-of-Ramadan truce in Afghanistan was brief but encouraging, demonstrating that both Afghan government soldiers and the Taliban rank and file will respect ceasefire orders from above. ICG Both sides, alongside the U.S., should now seize the opportunity to edge closer to meaningful talks about peace. What’s new? The Afghan government, international forces, and Taliban insurgents all observed a temporary ceasefire during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. The truce was unprecedented in Afghanistan’s long war, brought a remarkable decline in violence ... Read More »

Lebanon: Same-Sex Relations Not Illegal

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Homosexuality Not an ‘Unnatural Offense,’ Appeals Court Rules (Beirut) – A district court of appeal in Lebanon issued a groundbreaking ruling on July 12, 2018, that consensual sex between people of the same sex is not unlawful, Human Rights Watch said. HRW The ruling follows similar judgments from lower courts that have declined to convict gay and transgender people of “sexual intercourse contrary to nature” in four separate rulings between 2007 and 2017. It is the first such ruling from ... Read More »

Waleed Aly obliterates Malcolm Turnbull in report on so-called African gangs

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The Project‘s Waleed Aly has launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, writing off his recent comments about Sudanese gangs as a last-ditch votes grab before Super Saturday byelections next… Genevieve Rota The Age In an eight-minute editorial package written with The Project producer Tom Whitty, Aly on Thursday presented a number of statistics that placed question marks on recent claims by several politicians that violent African gangs were “wreaking havoc” in… “This week the Prime Minister said something interesting,” ... Read More »

Israel passes controversial ‘Jewish nation-state law’, stripping Arabs of self-determination right

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Israel has passed a law to declare that only Jews have the right of self-determination in the country, something members of the Arab minority have called racist and verging on apartheid. ABC The “nation-state” law, backed by the Government, passed by a vote of 62-55 and two abstentions in the 120-member Parliament after months of political argument. Some Arab politicians shouted and ripped up papers after the vote. “This is a defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the ... Read More »

What is happening on Nauru should shock the conscience of every Australian

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It is important that we all know the truth of what our government is doing to innocent people Julian Burnside The Guardian In the middle of 2016 Guardian Australia published the Nauru files: more than 2,000 incident reports recording things that had happened in Australia’s refugee gulag on Nauru. The incident reports – made by people directly or indirectly employed by the Australian government – contained reports of assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm and child abuse. They gave an insight into the ... Read More »

Why attorneys represent immigrants for free

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Scores of lawyers, paralegals and law students are volunteering to help immigrant families caught in the crosshairs of the Trump administration’s bid to drastically reduce the number of people without papers in the U.S. Eduardo Capulong The Conversation One of these movement’s highest priorities is assisting the more than 2,500 children separated from their parents in government custody. Mobilized by the American Bar Association, nonprofits like Lawyers for Good Government, the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Immigration Lawyers ... Read More »

Wife’s despair as asylum seeker deported by Australia is arrested in Sri Lanka

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Karthika Gnaneswaran says she and her 10-month-old daughter have been devastated by Thileepan’s removal Ben Doherty The Guardian The wife of deported Tamil asylum seeker Thileepan Gnaneswaran says she is devastated by her husband’s forced removal from Australia and arrest in Sri Lanka, and says her baby daughter faces a future where she might never see her father again. “We are all so depressed; my daughter is very upset, she misses her father,” Karthika Gnaneswaran told the Guardian. “My husband is ... Read More »

Men who murder v men who abuse: Queensland research aims to find the difference

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Researchers will interview Queensland prisoners in the hopes of discovering the difference between men who abuse their intimate female partners versus men who murder them. Lucy Stone Brisbane Times Griffith University professor Paul Mazerolle hopes the project could provide much-needed practical information on the reasons behind the escalation from violence to murder. “A number of years ago we undertook the Australian Homicide Study, so we have an existing data set of 302 people who have murdered somebody, and a subset ... Read More »

‘Politics of fear’: Obama gives Trump sharp rebuke in Mandela address

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Johannesburg: Former US President Barack Obama took aim at “strongman politics” in his highest-profile speech since leaving office, urging people around the world to respect human rights and other values now under threat in an impassioned address marking the 100th anniversary of anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela’s birth. AP WAtoday While not mentioning his successor by name, Obama’s speech in South Africa countered many of President Donald Trump’s policies, rallying people to keep alive the ideas that Mandela worked for including democracy, ... Read More »

‘Collective punishment’: Israel blocks fuel shipment to Gaza

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Israel further tightens its blockade on the strip while rights group denounces measure as ‘morally depraved’. AlJazeera Israel has further tightened its blockade on the Gaza Strip, preventing gas and fuel deliveries through its only commercial crossing with the Palestinian besieged enclave a week after Israeli authorities announced the closure of the crossing. The Kerem Shalom crossing, known to Palestinians as Karem Abu Salem, was shut down on July 9 and initially, only items deemed as “humanitarian” would be allowed to enter Gaza, ... Read More »

Australia deports Tamil asylum seeker, separating him from baby daughter

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Thileepan faces permanent separation from his wife and child, who have been granted safe haven visas Ben Doherty The Guardian A 30-year-old Tamil asylum seeker faces permanent separation from his wife and 10-month-old Australian-born daughter, after being deported more than six years after arriving in Australia. Thileepan (like many Tamils he only uses one name) had been in Australia since arriving by boat in June 2012. He lived in the community for most of his time in Australia, marrying in ... Read More »