Society

Lose Newspapers and You Lose Your Democracy

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Without independent journalism, Trump and other charlatans will thrive. Eric Alterman The Nation I had a different column when I woke up on deadline day, but I wrote this one, not because any major news had broken—yes, the FBI raided the office of President Trump’s personal lawyer—but because our country and our democracy are in the midst of an ongoing emergency, and our embattled media is unable or unwilling to explain it. What inspired my switch was Politico’s publication of ... Read More »

Autism advocacy and research misses the mark if autistic people are left out

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Autistic people have been routinely misunderstood, ignored, and excluded for decades – including from campaigns designed to promote awareness of autism itself. But this is beginning to change. Liz Pellicano The Conversation Autistic self-advocacy organisations and autistic activists have long criticised autism awareness initiatives. The criticism is they too often emphasise the “deficits”, or difficulties of autism, rather than the profound possibilities of autistic lives. In part, this is because those campaigns are designed by non-autistic people, rather than by ... Read More »

Some German medicine for Trump

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As global stock markets have taken a tumble with recent pronouncements of a potential trade war between the U.S. and China, it is clear that investors bank on trade between the world’s two largest economies as vital to global… Alexis Crow The Washington Post As statements from the campaign trail snowball into larger declarations and potentially more tariffs, it is important to take a step back and examine a basic fact that seems to be overlooked. While much of the ... Read More »

Why North Korea’s Human Rights Abuses are Being Ignored

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Despite the reactions of the United States and South Korea to the North’s human-rights abuses, North Koreans are left behind. Min hee Jo, Quinn Marschik The National Interest Human rights form a pillar of most democratic countries’ foreign policies and play a major role in their international relations. When it comes to totalitarian North Korea, which is among the worst human-rights abusers in modern history, the United States and South Korea under the Trump and Moon administrations respectively have employed similar but ... Read More »

Provocative, political, speculative: your guide to the 2018 Stella shortlist

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Six years ago, The Stella Prize burst onto the Australian literary scene with an air of urgency. The A$50,000 award was the progeny of the Stella Count – a campaign highlighting the under-representation of women authors in book reviews and awards lists. Camilla Nelson The Conversation In the years since, the prize has challenged the gendered ways in which we think about “significance” and “seriousness” in literature. Judging a literary award is invariably a contest of aesthetics and politics. And ... Read More »

From Greece to Gettysburg: Edward Everett, American Patriot

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Best known for being upstaged by Abraham Lincoln at the Gettysburg Address, Edward Everett was also the first American to receive a PhD and a classicist who became an unlikely spokesperson for Greek revolutionaries. Johanna Hanink History Today It is astonishing to think that when, in 1821, Greece declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire, its first appeal to America for recognition and support was not to the US government, but to a classicist. Yet, after the Greek War of ... Read More »

Drug test developed in SA could become routine practice for residential properties

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Would you like to know if the property you were about to move into had been used as a drug lab? By Candice Prosser and Camron Slessor ABC Last week, the National Wastewater Analysis Drug Monitoring Program report revealed Adelaide has the biggest capital city ice problem. Now, an Adelaide-based company is set to launch a new test which could give buyers, renters and landlords extra peace of mind. While it’s not the first company to conduct meth testing in ... Read More »

Memo from a South African: Peter Dutton is entrenching racist white privilege

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My child eyes witnessed racism daily in South Africa. I could escape because I’m white Shelley Davidow The Guardian This year marks the 70th anniversary of the implementation of the racist legislation known as apartheid in South Africa. In 1948, laws were signed into effect that forever changed the lives of South Africans, leaving a devastating legacy, which many of us across the world still live with and struggle against. I am a white former South African living in Australia, ... Read More »

Marketing and the Delegitimization of Elections

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The core issue is not one of marketing but of citizenry. George Friedman GPF Last week, I wrote about the use of marketing in elections. This week, as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg faces a congressional hearing on how Facebook data was used during the 2016 presidential election, I will address one of the critical consequences of marketing. It is a tool used on a global basis to delegitimize elections and, with it, democracy. As I argued last week, the use ... Read More »

Are middle-aged white men losing their grip on power?

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There was another flutter in the middle aged white man dovecotes last week. An article in The Guardian, a segment on ABC’s The Drum,  and derision over another all white male panel had the usual suspects wailing into the wind over the near extinction of middle aged white men in positions of power. Jane Gilmore Brisbane Times Are they right? Are middle aged white men really being silenced and oppressed by a horde of ravening minority groups determined to destroy ... Read More »

Brussels NO DEAL fears

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REVEALED: EU panic as UK set for TOTAL control of waters EUROPEAN Union fears of a no-deal Brexit intensified tonight after officials admitted it would mean Britain would regain TOTAL control of its fishing waters. Joey Millar Express Brussels has spent much of the months-long negotiations demanding the UK jump through hoop after hoop, reminding Theresa May and her Brexit ministers on several occasions: “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.” The prospect of a no-deal situation has been repeatedly ... Read More »

Folau’s free speech under attack

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Israel Folau’s tweet that gays will go to hell “unless they repent of their sins and turn to God” is causing a storm in the Twittersphere with critics accusing the Australian rugby player of being insensitive and homophobic. Brisbane Times Kevin Donnelly Such is the adverse reaction that Rugby Australia has scheduled a meeting with Folau later today in an attempt to limit the adverse fallout. And the latest controversy follows Folau’s statement last year that marriage should only ever ... Read More »

Turned away

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On thin evidence, Britain declares its biggest source of refugees safe after all NIYAT DYMOTT’S last months in Eritrea were a “living hell”. The Economist The 19-year-old wanted to go to university after finishing school but was drafted into a brutal and indefinite military service. To flee, she spent four days trekking across the western deserts to Sudan, hiding at night to avoid border guards with orders to shoot escapees on sight. At Port Sudan an uncle paid $5,000 to ... Read More »

EU Council President brands Brexit ‘one of the saddest moments’ in recent European history

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EU top dog Donald Tusk said Britain’s departure made him “furious”, adding bluntly: “I don’t like Brexit” Michael McHugh & Dan Bloom Mirror Brexit is “one of the saddest moments” in recent European history, the President of the European Council has declared. EU top dog Donald Tusk said Britain’s departure made him “furious”, adding bluntly: “I don’t like Brexit .” In a speech in Dublin today, he called on Europe to unite and warned it would take little time for its structures of ... Read More »

‘Cartel deal’ legal challenge against internet ad ban grows

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The Russian, Chinese and Korean battle against the Google, Twitter, Facebook and Yandex crypto-related advertisement ban has now been joined by groups in Switzerland, Armenia and Kazakhstan. Asia Times The legal challenge against Google, Twitter, Facebook and Yandex for not allowing crypto-related ads is growing. Initially, three organizations – the Russian Association of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain (RACIB), the Korea Venture Business Associations, and LCBT, a Chinese association of crypto investors – created the Eurasian Association of Blockchain in March to ... Read More »

Less Than Meets the Eye

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The Russia-Turkish-Iran Axis If an alliance is forming between Ankara, Moscow, and Tehran, it’s a flimsy one at best. Dimitar Bechev The American Interest While the U.S. mulls how to calibrate its policy in response to the use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad last week, a set of leaders are hoping that President Trump stays the course and decides to withdraw from Syria. The past week saw Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani and Vladimir Putin sharing the stage in Ankara ... Read More »