Society

Power without the People: Averting Venezuela’s Breakdown

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Violence is escalating in Venezuela, killing 70 people in over two months of ever-angrier popular protests against a government that is abandoning representative democracy. ICG Regional states should avert a humanitarian catastrophe by pressuring the Maduro regime to withdraw plans to elect a phony constituent assembly on 30 July. I. Overview Venezuela is in turmoil after more than two months of almost daily mass… Power without the… Read More »

Let Us Not Ignore Our Ocean, EEZ’

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Minister for Fisheries, Semi Koroilvesau spoke to more than 50 Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) personnel at the RFMF Training Centre in Vatuwaqa over the weekend on Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and… FijiSun “Ideally, this topic should of concern to every Fijian as it is this important geographical feature that has given us the greater bounds within which we have derived great values and… “Fiji, like any other island state, is surrounded by the… Let Us Not… Read More »

Mixed media: how Australia’s newspapers became locked in a war of left versus right

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We are living through a period of fragmentation and polarisation in public discourse on a scale mankind has not before experienced. Denis Muller The Conversation By far the greatest fragmenting and polarising force is social media. An increasing proportion of the population, especially those under 40, get their news from social media, overwhelmingly from Face… The algorithms that tailor what Facebook prioritises for… Mixed media: how… Read More »

Facebook and Twitter are being used to manipulate public opinion – report

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Nine-country study finds widespread use of social media for promoting lies, misinformation and propaganda by governments and individuals Alex Hern The Guardian Propaganda on social media is being used to manipulate public opinion around the world, a new set of studies from the University of Oxford has… From Russia, where around 45% of highly active Twitter accounts are bots, to Taiwan, where a campaign against President Tsai Ing-wen involved thousands of… Facebook and Twitter… Read More »

How long will it take for your job to be automated?

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We’re often told that machines one day will be able to do our jobs – but when, exactly. is that likely to happen? Richard Gray BBC The world is widely considered to be on the cusp of a fourth industrial revolution – one where machines will be able to do many of the jobs currently performed by humans, and perhaps even do them… It is a future that promises greater efficiency and cheaper services, but one that also could herald ... Read More »

Japan PM Abe’s support slumps amid doubts about school scan

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Support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe slumped more than 10 points to 44.9 percent in a public opinion poll published on June 18, amid opposition party suspicions he used his influence unfairly to help a friend set up a… Reuters Hurriyet Abe has repeatedly denied abusing his authority to benefit his friend. His grip on power is not in danger, given his ruling coalition’s huge majority in parliament, but the affair looks unlikely to… The education ministry… Japan PM ... Read More »

Georgia special election hurtles toward nail-biting finish

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Polls in the most expensive House race in history suggest it’s too close to call. Steven Shepard Politico As the most expensive House race in history rushes toward the finish line Tuesday, the latest public polls are unanimous: The Georgia special election between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel is too close to call. The race for the suburban Atlanta seat, closely watched for clues about the shape of the 2018 midterm elections, appears to be within a… Georgia ... Read More »

I love our nanny state. I bet you do too

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ONCE, the notion of a building fire was one of the rational fears of life: another thing to keep all our fretful grannies awake at night. Now, it’s an obscenity. Claire Harvey Daily Telegraph The sight of a flaming tower-block in London — the city that has been devastated by fire a dozen times in its two thousand-year history, most famously in 1666 — does not make sense to our modern… It looks too outlandish to exist outside a bad ... Read More »

Ten years since the global financial crisis, world still suffers ‘debt overhang’

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It is almost exactly 10 years since the financial world began a wobble that would swing into what we now know as the global financial crisis. Nassim Khadem Brisbane Times On June 22, 2007, the public downfall of New York-based global investment bank Bear Stearns began in earnest. America’s then fifth-largest investment bank was among a number of Wall Street giants exposed to bad bets on the US subprime mortgage… Ten years since… Read More »

California Approves Millions for Armenian Museum and Genocide Education

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ANCA-WR Praises State Legislators GLENDALE, Calif.–The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR) praised California Legislators for their efforts in securing funding for the Armenian American Museum and… The Armenian Weekly On June 15, the California State Legislature adopted a budget with considerable attention given to the… “The Armenian National Committee of America Western Region (ANCA-WR) is very… California Approves Millions… Read More »

UN agency ranks Australia 39 out of 41 countries for quality education

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Australia has been ranked 39 out of 41 high- and middle-income countries in achieving quality education, in the latest international report to find that the country is falling behind in basic measures of… Pallavi Singhal The Age Only Romania and Turkey were ranked below Australia in education in the latest United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report… The report looks at the performance of 15-year-olds in reading, maths and… UN agency ranks… Read More »

Talking Point: Gun law reform soft on crime, hard on owners

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WHEN someone proposes a solution to a problem that does not exist, you can suspect they have an agenda. Carlo Di Falco Mercury The recent mail-out to Tasmania’s 38,000 shooters about the storage of firearms requirements fall into this category. Last year, the Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management released the regulatory impact statement and draft regulations about the… Talking Point: Gun… Read More »

China’s fitness revolution

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Beijing is launching a National Fitness Plan that will attempt to incorporate regular physical exercise into the weekly routine of more than one billion people, and a new workout craze from Australia intends to be part of the… CHARLES WONG Asia Times Deng Xiaoping, the architect of modern China, changed world history with a raft of economic reforms that were launched with his now famous rallying cry: “To get rich is glorious.” And China did get richer. And heavier. Almost ... Read More »

Mexico’s Worsening War without a Name

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The “war on drugs” has morphed into a new rash of killings in Mexico. Froylán Enciso ICG The deadly violence of increasingly well-organised, business-minded criminal groups risks being aggravated by government inaction, corruption and bombastic U.S. rhetoric – exactly what caused the problem in the first place. Murder rates in Mexico have hit a… Mexico’s Worsening War… Read More »

Is it fair that rich EU countries pay for the development of poorer EU countries?

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Should more money be taken from the rich to give to the poor? However we dress it up, this is arguably the most fundamental issue in any democratic system. Debating Europe It’s even more relevant today as global inequality continues to rise. Yet, as the collapse of the Venezuelan economy illustrates, it’s not exactly straightforward. Things become even more complex when transfers of wealth are taking place across borders, where a sense of national solidarity is not at… Is it fair… Read More »

‘Purposeful leaders’ are winning hearts and minds in workplaces, study finds

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People are happier and more productive when their leaders show strong morals, a clear vision and commitment to stakeholders, a new study has… University of Sussex EurekAlert! The growing importance of what is being described as ‘purposeful leadership’ for the modern workplace is outlined today in a new report for the CIPD, the professional body for HR and… When modern managers display ‘purposeful’ behaviours, employees are less… ‘Purposeful leaders’ are… Read More »