Society

Politics podcast: John Blaxland on new foreign interference laws

The Conversation 2b logo LLLL

The government’s new foreign interference laws propose broad changes to political donations, counter-surveillance, and lobbying in Australia. Michelle Grattan John Blaxland ANU professor John Blaxland has some real concerns about the unintended consequences of the legislation for academic debate. The Conversation He says there’s a real chance that good people engaging intellectually with issues might get caught up in the broader crackdown. On the controversy surrounding Sam Dastyari’s dealings with a Chinese businessman, Blaxland says its been a “sobering” lesson ... Read More »

Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

Why 9i

US President Donald Trump called Jerusalem the capital of Israel on Wednesday and began the process moving his country’s embassy to the city Zena Tahhan & Farah Najjar AlJazeera The move sparked global condemnation from world leaders. Israel occupied East Jerusalem at the end of the 1967 War with Syria, Egypt and Jordan; the western half of the holy city had been captured in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war. Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem effectively put the entire city under de facto Israeli control. Israeli jurisdiction and ownership of Jerusalem, however, is not ... Read More »

Ten things Australia can do to be a human rights hero

Papal 1a

Sunday is Human Rights Day. December 10 marks 69 years since the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. Carolien van Ham Lisa Hill Louise Chappell With the 70th anniversary coming up in 2018, the UN has launched Stand Up 4 Human Rights, a year-long campaign to bring the ideals of the declaration closer to reality. The Conversation As a leader in the framing of the UN declaration and one of the ... Read More »

Ed Sheeran means well but this poverty porn has to stop

Papal 9i

Aid adverts featuring ‘white saviours’ may bring in cash but they remove all dignity from those who are suffering Afua Hirsch  The Guardian It was almost exactly five years ago that I realised something was changing A video landed on my phone – I was living in Ghana then – raising awareness of “this time of need for Norway”. This “need” was winter, and the video was hilarious. Amid scenes of blizzards, vehicles overturned in snow, and children battling through ... Read More »

Brexit: SNP minister wants united Holyrood voice for single market bid

Uze 7g

Scotland’s Brexit minister has called on rival parties to unite and “speak with one voice” in a bid to keep the UK in the single market as political turmoil continued over Britain’s departure from the European… Russel Jackson The Scotsman Mike Russell said there was “overwhelming support” for this both at Holyrood and among the public as he urged Labour and the Tories to back the whole UK remaining in both the European single market and customs… He spoke out ... Read More »

America Can’t Win the Drug War in Afghanistan

Papal 4d

Twenty-four of Afghanistan’s thirty-four provinces now are directly involved in illicit drug production. Ted Galen Carpenter  As if the United States needed more evidence that its sixteen-year mission in Afghanistan is an exercise in futility, a new United Nations report provides an additional reason for depression. The National Interest The 2017 Afghanistan Opium Survey from the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime, released on November 15, confirms that Washington’s effort to curb illicit narcotics trafficking in the country has failed. Almost every ... Read More »

Lindsay Shepherd: My Laurier interrogation shows universities have lost sight of their purpose

Qua 3c

How can humanities departments justify charging students tuition if they are not teaching them to think critically? Lindsay Shepherd National Post One of the research paper topics that students from Communication Studies 101 at Wilfrid Laurier University can choose to write about this semester is communication bubbles. Communication bubbles refer to the phenomenon of people becoming entrapped in ideological echo chambers as a result of only seeking out, or being fed, news that confirms their existing beliefs. This trend has ... Read More »

Thucydides and the Long War Problem

Peme 3c

Is there anything left to say about Thucydides? Joshua Rovner In a year dominated by concerns over modern technologies — ballistic missiles, nuclear warheads, and cyber weapons — scholars have spent a remarkable amount of time arguing about a very old conflict. War On The Rocks Thucydides’ classic history of the Peloponnesian War documents the catastrophic fight between Athens and Sparta from 431–404 BC. It was a horrendous affair. Conventional combat, gruesome disease, mass murder, and civil war tore apart ... Read More »

The true origins of Myanmar’s Rohingya

Hosne Ara, 4, a Rohingya refugee who fled Myanmar two-months ago listens to children singing at a children's centre in the Kutupalong refugee camp near Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, November 5, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo      SEARCH "POY GLOBAL" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "REUTERS POY" FOR ALL BEST OF 2017 PACKAGES.    TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

The furious debate over when the ethnic group first arrived in Rakhine state will not easily be resolved CARLOS SARDIÑA GALACHE Asia Times The recent visit of Pope Francis to Myanmar provoked a storm of controversy over his decision to avoid using the term “Rohingya”, with some accusing the pontiff of unwittingly emboldening ultra-nationalist forces who refuse to accept the term. Others defended the pope’s blatant omission of the word as sound diplomacy at a delicate juncture. The highest authority ... Read More »

Aus must preserve legal protections despite real threat of terrorism, academic warns

Justice 5e white LLLL

A Victorian-based professor of law has warned that national counterterrorism measures should not erode the “essential tenets” of Australia’s legal system. Melissa Coade Lawyers Weekly Days after the arrest of a man alleged to have been planning a New Year’s terrorist attack in Melbourne last week, Deakin University’s Professor Sandeep Gopalan has called for caution in the way that laws and institutions are adapted to respond to the national threat of terrorism. “The risk that lone-wolf actors – inspired by ... Read More »

Milo Has A Platform Because He Upholds The Status Quo, Which Speaks Volumes About Australia

Kont 3c

The current tour of neo-nazi supporter Milo Yiannopoulous will give a lot of Australians pause for thought about our national values New Matilda Just not Australians who happen to work in commercial media, writes Michael Brull. Milo Yiannopoulos has landed in Australia. An array of media platforms have been offered to him, such as Alan Jones’s radio show, a friendly appearance without any critics on Channel 7, continued friendly coverage in the Daily Mail, an interview on the Kyle and ... Read More »

Turkey jails activist couple of Armenian origin for social media posts

Uze 5e

Two political activists of Armenian origin have recently been arrested by Turkish police due to social media posts that were critical of the Turkish government Uzay Bulut Providence An author and environmental activist, Cemil Aksu, was arrested on October 25 in the city of Artvin for allegedly “praising crime and criminals” in his social media posts. Aksu is the local co-chair of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), and is one of the editors of the Gor-Hemshin cultural magazine. His wife, Nurcan Vayiç Aksu, ... Read More »

Attacks on Manus refugees is Australia’s Christmas shame, says human rights group

Liberty Victoria 1a logo

Australia’s name for decency and a fair go has been permanently stained by the latest sickening violence on Manus Island, Liberty Victoria said today. Reports of attacks on refugees with metal poles and other weapons to force them to a new unfinished prison after three weeks of resistance shames the nation, said Liberty president Jessie Taylor. “Our leaders seem deaf to the appeals by Australians of the Year, religious leaders and people going into the street,” she said. Award-winning journalist ... Read More »

Do the Numbers Lie? Mistrust and Military Lockdown after Honduras’ Disputed Poll

Papal 7g

With massive protests, armed clashes and a government-declared state of emergency, Honduras is in social and political chaos after the 26 November general elections. Sofía Martínez Fernández  ICG In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s Northern Triangle Analyst Sofía Martínez explains what has sparked the crisis and its potential effect on armed violence. What is happening in Honduras? Honduras has entered a political crisis that is turning increasingly violent following the disputed results of the 26 November general elections. In a climate ... Read More »

State home-building scheme only way to tackle crisis

Krae 1a

Housing crisis: Time ripe for cost-rental plan in the interests of all our Republic’s citizens Nessa Ní Chasaide The Irish Times Budget 2018 confirmed the continuation of the Government’s failing housing strategy: that of supporting private developers and landlords as the main providers of housing. How so? Significant funding in Budget 2018 will not go toward new builds but be channeled to subsidising escalating rents to private landlords through the Housing Assistance Payment. Where the Government is establishing loan funds ... Read More »

When should you unfriend someone on Facebook?

Laun 2b

The nature and ethics of “fake news” has become a subject of widespread concern. Alexis Elder The Conversation But, for many of us, the issue is much more personal: What are we to do when a cranky uncle or an otherwise pleasant old friend persists in populating our news feeds with a stream of posts that can run deeply contrary to our own values? One option is to unfriend people who share material that conflicts with our values. But a ... Read More »