Society

Handful of multinationals behind 26.3% growth in GDP

Surprising growth figures affected by number of one-off factors in tech and aircraft leasinγ.. A handful of multinational companies in the tech, pharma and aircraft leasing sectors were responsible for an extraordinary jump in Ireland’s headline rate of economic growth last year… Source: Handful of multinationals behind 26.3% growth in GDP Read More »

What other industries can learn from the failures of greyhound racing

By Roger Burritt, University of Kassel and Katherine Christ, University of South Australia Those in the greyhound racing industry were surprised by Premier of New South Wales Mike Baird’s announcement on the banning of the industry in NSW from July 1, 2017, which was closely followed in the ACT. But the writing has been on the… Source: What other industries can learn from the failures of greyhound racing – SmartCompany Read More »

New studies explore why ordinary people turn terrorist

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Research in the Iraqi war zone point to key characteristics among ISIS soldiers and their opponents Bruce Bower ScienceNews Fierce combat erupted in February 2016 at the northern Iraqi village of Kudilah. A Western-backed coalition of Arab Sunni tribesmen, Kurds in the Iraqi army and Kurdish government forces advanced on… New studies explore… Read More »

Estimated cost of Hinkley Point C nuclear plant rises to £37bn

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Critics point to volatility of scheme but energy department says price ‘will not affect bill payers’.. The total lifetime cost of the planned Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant could be as high as £37bn, according to an assessment published by the UK government. The figure was described as shocking by critics of the scheme, who said it showed just how volatile and uncertain the project had become, given that the same energy department’s estimate 12 months earlier had been ... Read More »

Zimbabwe shuts down in protest over ‘economic collapse’

Zimbabweans carry out nationwide strike and protests in the capital against the economic conditions in the country.. Police in Zimbabwe have fired tear gas and warning shots at demonstrators as a strike against the government’s economic policies closed businesses and crippled public transport. Wednesday’s strike, named “stay-away day”, followed days of unrest over the government’s failure to pay civil servants’ salaries, a currency shortage, import restrictions and police road blocks that were allegedly extorting cash from commercial drivers… Source: Zimbabwe shuts ... Read More »

When Australia goes to war, public trust depends on better oversight

The world is absorbing the implications of the long-awaited release of the Chilcot inquiry into the United Kingdom’s decision to go to war in Iraq. Australia, however, has spent comparatively little time learning lessons from the deployment of thousands of troops to fight overseas in recent years. An official war history has just been commissioned; if past form is any guide, it will be at least a decade before it is completed. In any event, its brief is to recount ... Read More »

A rational nation ruled by science would be a terrible idea

Neil deGrasse Tyson imagines a country called Rationalia, a society where policy is based on the weight of evidence. That’s a bad idea, says Jeffrey Guhin.. By Jeffrey Guhin Imagine a future society in which everything is perfectly logical. What could go wrong? “Scientism” is the belief that all we need to solve the world’s problems is – you guessed it – science. People sometimes use the phrase “rational thinking”, but it amounts to the same thing. If only people ... Read More »

Dear volunteers in Africa: please don’t come help until you’ve asked yourself these four questions

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Recently, research has suggested that voluntourism can often do more harm than good. Sian Ferguson Voluntourism has been linked to damaging local economies and commodifying vulnerable children. It also can perpetuate harmful stereotypes about the so-called “third world”, while also promoting neo-colonialistic attitudes. I don’t recommend… Dear volunteers in… Read More »

Dick Ahlstro: the genetically modified human – has its time come? 

It should be possible to improve our immunity against viruses and cancer.. Learning how to read DNA, the blueprint for life, has revolutionised science and medicine. It gave us new ways to intervene in disease, a deeper understanding of evolution and relatedness and the potential to introduce modifications in humans, animals and plants. Now a group of US scientists argue it is time to move on from just reading an existing genome, to writing the genetic code… Source: Dick Ahlstrom: ... Read More »

A Real Estate Developer Can Go Bankrupt. A President Can’t.

After the recent Brexit vote in Britain, Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, commented on the fallout: “I don’t want to have a plummeting pound. But if it does plummet, I do well.” Similarly, in 2006, before the collapse in the housing market, Mr. Trumpsaid, “I sort of hope that happens because then people like me would go in and buy.”… Source: A Real Estate Developer Can Go Bankrupt. A President Can’t. – The New York Times Read More »

‘Blair is world’s worst terrorist’: families of Iraq war victims react to Chilcot report

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Relatives of military personnel killed in conflict welcome findings while some say former PM must face consequences.. Tony Blair has been described as “the world’s worst terrorist” by a woman who lost her brother in the Iraq war. Sarah O’Connor broke down in tears as she answered questions on the long-awaited Chilcot report, which concluded that Blair had gone to war before “peaceful options for disarmament” had been exhausted… Source: ‘Blair is world’s worst terrorist’: families of Iraq war victims ... Read More »

‘Credibility of Europe’s trade policy at stake’

Commission dubbed ‘traitors’ for handing over approval of Canada trade deal to national parliaments.. If there was ever such a thing as an easy trade deal for the EU, Canada was supposed to be it. As Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s trade minister, put it last month: “If the EU cannot do a deal with Canada, I think it is legitimate to say: Who the heck can it do a deal with?”… Source: ‘Credibility of Europe’s trade policy at stake’ – POLITICO Read More »

Why Are American Jews Abandoning Israel?

The price of assimilation has been Jewish identity.. Dov Waxman, Trouble in the Tribe: The American Jewish Conflict over Israel(Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016) 328 pp., $29.95. ON APRIL 19, three days before this year’s start of Passover, the Jewish holiday celebrating the Israelites’ exodus from bondage in ancient Egypt, six protestors were arrested at the Boston office of AIPAC, “America’s pro-Israel lobby.” They had chained themselves to a mock Seder table. Their group, IfNotNow, claims to “seek an American ... Read More »

Obama hails Elie Wiesel as ‘conscience of the world’ amid leaders’ tributes

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The Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate, who died on Saturday, is praised by world leaders past and present, including the Clintons and Netanyahu.. Barack Obama led tributes to the Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, who died on Saturday at the age of 87, saying the author had been “a living memorial” and a clear voice against injustice in the world… Source: Obama hails Elie Wiesel as ‘conscience of the world’ amid leaders’ tributes | US news | The ... Read More »

UN condemns internet access disruption as a human rights violation

The United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a non-binding resolutioncondemning countries that intentionally disrupt citizens’ internet access. The resolution builds on the UN’s previous statements on digital rights, reaffirming the organization’s stance that “the same rights people have offline must also be protected online,” in particular the freedom of expression covered under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights… Source: UN condemns internet access disruption as a human rights violation | The Verge Read More »

ECB asks Italian lender to cut bad loans by 40%

Monte dei Paschi may have to raise capital quickly to meet the ECB’s target.. The European Central Bank has asked Italy’s third-largest lender, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, to slash its bad debts by 40 per cent to €14.6 billion over three years, heaping more pressure on Rome and Brussels to stabilise the Italian banking system… Source: ECB asks Italian lender to cut bad loans by 40% Read More »