Society

6 Reasons Why This Week’s ‘Our Ocean’ Conference In Malta Was So Important

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World leaders, EU representatives and the Prince of Wales were among those attending The Our Ocean conference is a major annual event aimed at encouraging countries and businesses to make concrete commitments to protect the marine environment. David Grech Urpani  Lovin Malta This year, it was Malta’s turn to host the global summit for its fourth edition, and very important points were raised. Among leaders from more than 100 nations and a large number of local and international NGOs in attendance, ... Read More »

GNPC spent $9.7 million on ITLOS maritime boundary dispute

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23rd September, 2017 will forever be one of the memorable days in the history of Ghana. The flag of the Nation soared high. GhanaWeb Ghana was victorious in the landmark Maritime Boundary dispute case involving its Western neighbor La Cote d’Ivoire at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, ITLOS in Germany. It was a “sweet victory” for Ghana. The triumph came at a price. The Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, GNPC financed Ghana’s defense team and other activities ... Read More »

Why Europe Needs a New Deal, Not Breakup

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The EU is facing a crisis of legitimacy—but retreating to the nation-state will only benefit the far right By Yanis Varoufakis and James K. Galbraith * The Nation The American New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt’s first two terms combined the goals of financial stabilization, reconstruction, conservation, and employment—jobs for the jobless; public works; power systems and new industries, especially in the South; soil conservation and reforestation to battle the Dust Bowl; and a potent mix of regulations and insurance to assert ... Read More »

Christians and Yazidis see a bleak future in a proposed independent Kurdish state

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BASHIQA, Iraq — Shortly after the Islamic State was pushed out of his home town last year, Ivan Abdulla bought a new house in the traditionally Yazidi enclave. It was an investment in the place where generations of his family were raised, he said. Tamer El-Ghobashy  The Washington Post But the father of three already regrets his decision.The hilltop town of mostly Yazidis and Christians — two of Iraq’s most vulnerable minorities — has become the focus of a tug of war ... Read More »

If Catalonia goes independent, these places could be next

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Catalonia might be the separatist region making headlines at the moment but Europe has many other separatist movements that are closely watching developments in northeastern… Holly Ellyatt  CNBC Separatist movements in Europe can range from small townships to entire regions and the motivations for wanting to go it alone are equally as diverse encompassing linguistic and cultural differences as well as economic and historical… While some separatist movements harbor dreams of gaining just a bit more autonomy from the national ... Read More »

Brexit Raises Questions About U.K. Sovereign Bases on Cyprus

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Cyprus and the U.K. will begin talks next week on the status of the two British sovereign bases on the eastern Mediterranean island after Brexit, Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said. By Georgios Georgiou and Paul Tugwell Bloomberg “It matters for Cyprus if it’s a hard or soft Brexit,” Kasoulides said in a telephone interview. Agreement between the U.K. and Cyprus on the status of the bases will be part of the withdrawal deal, Kasoulides said. The two sovereign bases, ... Read More »

Spain court quiz Catalan police officers in sedition case

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Spain’s National Court questioned on Oct. 6 two senior officers of Catalonia’s regional police force and the leaders of two pro-independence civic groups who have been placed under investigation for sedition. Hurriyet The case is linked to demonstrations Sept. 20-21 in Barcelona, when Spanish police arrested several Catalan government officials and raided offices in a crackdown on preparations for an Oct. 1 referendum on independence. Spanish authorities say the demonstrations hindered the Spanish police operation, and that Catalan police didn’t ... Read More »

In Canada, an Immigration Minister Who Himself Is a Refugee

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TORONTO — He arrived in Toronto, an exhausted 16-year-old, carrying nothing but a small gym bag packed with a change of clothes. As a Somali, he applied for asylum and was jettisoned into adulthood. Catherine Porter The New York Times  He registered for high school, learned to cook and landed his first job all on his own. Over the next 25 years, he put himself through college and law school, worked his way up from pouring coffee to advising one ... Read More »

Let’s face it, we’ll be no safer with a national facial recognition database

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A commitment to share the biometric data of most Australians – including your driving licence photo – agreed at Thursday’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting will result in a further erosion of our privacy. That sharing is not necessary. It will be costly. Bruce Baer Arnold The Conversation But will it save us from terrorism? Not all, although it will give people a false sense of comfort. Importantly, it will allow politicians and officials to show that they are ... Read More »

Locking up 10-year-olds without trial barbaric, says human rights group

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The revelation that under new laws 10-year-olds could be held without charge for a fortnight shows politicians are badly failing to defend freedom while claiming to uphold it. In making this comment today, the president of the human rights group Liberty Victoria, Jessie Taylor, joined the Law Council of Australia and others in condemning this decision by federal, state and territory leaders. Justice Minister Michael Keenan says police have no powers to act against an 11-year-old would-be terrorist. Said Ms ... Read More »

The Oceans – a Challenged Resource

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The world’s oceans facilitate global transportation. They also offer a unique source of food: one that continues to give. Provided we manage this source responsibly, of course. Sustainable harvest must be combined with prudent Kåre R. Aas * HuffPost Based on an American initiative, the world’s maritime nations came together yesterday and today (Oct 5 and 6) for the 4th annual Our Oceans conference to discuss how to achieve this balance. The United States has hosted twice. This year, the chair ... Read More »

From Manus to London: how two strangers made a landmark movie together

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This weekend, audiences at the London Film Festival will watch a film about the men detained on Manus Island Behind this film lies a tale about a friendship and a creative partnership, formed across oceans, between two people who are yet to… Arnold Zable The Sydney Morning Herald In mid-2016, Netherlands-based Iranian filmmaker Arash Kamali Sarvestani planned to make a film about children and their feelings for  the sea. At the same time, he began hearing of the immigration detention centres on ... Read More »

Kazuo Ishiguro: Nobel Literature Prize is ‘a magnificent honour’

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British writer Kazuo Ishiguro has won the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature The novelist was praised by the Swedish Academy as a writer “who, in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world”. BBC His most famous novels The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go were adapted into highly acclaimed films. He was made an OBE in 1995. The 62-year-old writer said the award was “flabbergastingly flattering”. ... Read More »

Government risks over reach on tougher national security laws

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While, at first glance, uploading all of Australia’s drivers licence photos into a central data base in the name of national security seems logical, it is not without some serious… Editorial The Canberra Times The worst is the obvious potential for “big brother” style surveillance of individuals who may not represent threats to the safety of the realm through the rapidly growing national network of CCTV cameras in shopping centres, on streets and… Critics, including members of the Australian Privacy ... Read More »

LCA calls for funding to support lawyers’ ‘staggering’ pro bono efforts

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The millions of free hours lawyers across the country have dedicated to everyday people during their time of greatest need have been lauded by the Law Council of Australia Melissa Coade Lawyers Weekly “Staggering” is how the Law Council of Australia (LCA) has described 2.86 million free hours provided by lawyers since 2007. Responding to a new report published by the Australian Pro Bono Centre, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC said that contributions of such scale were unique to the ... Read More »

Miners leave themselves open to corruption, report finds

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US President Donald Trump described it as “draining the swamp”, a political promise he made to rid business and politics of deep-seated bribery and… Adele Ferguson The Sydney Morning Herald It could equally be applied to Australia, which has had its fair share of scandals and political capture in the past few… But understanding where the risks lie can be a useful first step in tackling the problem. Following a string of mining scandals, Australia’s biggest mining states Western Australia and ... Read More »