Society

Tessa Jowell’s farsighted vision for media literacy was ahead of its time

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The untimely death from cancer of former UK Labour cabinet minister, Dame Tessa Jowell, has triggered a wave of tributes from across the political spectrum. Richard Wallis The Conversation Her vision for securing the 2012 Olympics for London, her formative role in New Labour’s flagship Sure Start scheme, and most recently, her campaign for cancer research, have all been given many column inches. By contrast, Jowell’s less certain legacy as principal advocate for media literacy is barely given a mention. ... Read More »

Italy’s populists seek collision course with Brussels

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‘Italexit is back’ as League and 5Stars prep for government. By JACOPO BARIGAZZI AND GIULIA PARAVICINI Politico Promise the sky during the campaign. Come back down to earth when it’s time to actually govern. That’s the timeless political strategy adopted by office-seekers across the globe. Not this week in Italy. The two populist parties seeking to form a government spent the months before the March election sanding down their rhetoric against the euro. But as they get ready to take charge, their… Italy’s populists ... Read More »

Why Deadly Thunderstorms And Dust Storms Are Wreaking Havoc Across India

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On Sunday, Delhi-NCR was hit by a thunderstorm. At 4 in the evening, the sky went black with winds blowing, powerful enough to wreak havoc. Shweta Sengar India Times Three days later, on Wednesday, Delhiites woke up to a dust storm as strong winds and rain lashed the national capital in early hours. Worse, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned several north Indian towns — Aligarh, Meerut, Panipat, Bagpat, Alwar, Rohtak and their adjoining areas would be hit by ... Read More »

Law Society: ‘Antiquated laws’ compromise safety of sex workers in SA

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Measures to fully decriminalise sex work in South Australia has been welcomed by two of the state’s legal representative bodies, who say that sex workers should be afforded the same rights and protections as employees in any other industry. Melissa Coade Lawyers Weekly The Statutes Amendment (Decriminalisation of Sex Work) Bill 2018 was introduced in the South Australian parliament last Wednesday. The effect of the legislative change will mean that sex work would be fully decriminalised in the state; it ... Read More »

Indonesian terror attacks highlight an often forgotten truth

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The recent spate of horrific terrorist attacks in Indonesia highlights a number of unfortunate, and often overlooked, truths about this global epidemic of violent slaughter. Editorial The Canberra Times The first is that by far the greatest number of terror attacks carried out by so-called Islamic extremists occur in Muslim countries. A second is the attackers, who appropriate the name of a worthy and long-established faith that espouses tolerance, justice and civil harmony, have about as much to do with ... Read More »

‘More than 19’ Cameroon athletes seeking refuge after going missing at Commonwealth Games

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More than 19 Commonwealth Games athletes and team staff who went missing during the Gold Coast event are now seeking asylum in Australia, refugee advocates have said. 9news Sydney’s Refugee Advice and Casework Service principal solicitor Sarah Dale said the organisation had helped a number of people lodge applications for protection, before their federally approved games visas expired on Tuesday night. Initially, it was believed 11 participants had not returned home, including five boxers and three wrestlers from Cameroon, two ... Read More »

Can Turkey’s opposition finally unite and challenge Erdoğan?

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June 24, 2018 instead of late 2019: that’s the date decided for Turkey’s “snap presidential and parliamentary elections”, called by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s political partner from Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Devlet Bahçeli. Authors: The Conversation The elections are needed by the incumbent president, who wants to maintain his position and stay in power. AKP’s weaknesses Erdoğan has to deal with several issues that have recently weakened his party and leadership both domestically and abroad. Turkey’s military intervention in Syria has ... Read More »

Assam’s Elephant Emergency

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In northeastern India, human-elephant conflict is getting worse as forest resources dwindle. Bikash Kumar Bhattacharya The Diplomat One sultry afternoon in October 2002, a small paddy farmer (who prefers not to be named) in Sonitpur district in the northeastern Indian state of Assam bought a few packets of Demecron, an organophosphorus-based pesticide. Demecron was then banned in the district; however, the lethal pesticide was still abundantly available in the black market as it continued to fetch buyers like him among ... Read More »

Union election funds to be slashed under NSW Government plan

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The New South Wales Government is again going into battle against unions, to try to slash their influence on election campaigns. Sarah Gerathy ABC Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday announced an overhaul of electoral funding laws, which would more than halve the amount of money unions and other third parties are allowed to spend on state elections. Under current laws, the amount that third parties can spend on election campaigns is capped at $1.2 million each, but the legislation proposes ... Read More »

The “Israel”-Hellenic Alliance That May Push Turkey to Cut Ties With Tel Aviv

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The Turkish government has just announced the effective expulsion of Eitan Na’eh, “Israel’s” Ambassador to Ankara. According to the Daily Sabah, Adam Garrie EurasiaFuture “Na’eh was asked to leave Turkey indefinitely by the Turkish ministry of foreign affairs following the Israeli bloodshed and his tweets”. The move comes as Erdogan has openly challenged other nations that have formal relations with the occupier entity to question whether such relations are beneficial to the Muslim world. The clear targets of… The “Israel”-Hellenic… Read More »

In squats by the Serbian border, young men trying to enter the EU live in dangerous limbo

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Just 300 metres from the border crossing between Serbia and Hungary, a gateway to the European Union, around 30 men are standing in the middle of a field. Karolina Augustova The Conversation It’s late January and the temperature is near zero. Nearby are several abandoned buildings where they are temporarily living. An open fire, made of wood, tires, and plastic, serves as the only source of warmth, but it creates heavy and poisonous air inside the squat. They are waiting ... Read More »

To Free a Human Rights Defender in Russia’s Chechnya

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Daughter of Chechnya’s Slain Rights Worker Pleas for Freedom of Mother’s Successor Tanya Lokshina HRW Today, my late friend’s daughter published a video calling on the public to petition Russia’s President Putin to free Oyub Titiev, the Chechnya director for Russia’s leading human rights organization, Memorial. Titiev has been jailed since January, pending trial on trumped-up drug possession charges. My late friend, Natasha Estemirova, was Chechnya’s most prominent rights defender. In summer 2009, a group of security officials kidnapped her ... Read More »

One day, two students: What college looks like from opposite ends of the income gap

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A college degree has long been touted as society’s great leveler, essential for entry into the middle class. Rachel Kurzius andHarrison Smith The Washington Post Nearly 20 million students enrolled in an undergraduate program in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Movies and television tend to portray an idealized college experience, featuring 18- to 21-year-olds who attend four-year institutions and live on campus. But in reality the college experience is far more varied. Only 15 percent of the undergraduate ... Read More »

Israel At Seventy: Time To Celebrate And Time To Lament

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At seventy, Israel has every reason to celebrate its remarkable achievements that every Israeli can take pride in, as they witnessed the redemption of the Jews they have been dreaming of, but never though they could realize. Alon Ben-Meir – Institute Israel’s accomplishments in various walks of life have made the country a global power; it did so with one hand tied behind its back as the country fought wars, battled violent extremism, and struggled economically, while wrestling against all ... Read More »

Maria Agnesi, the greatest female mathematician you’ve never heard of

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The outmoded gender stereotype that women lack mathematical ability suffered a major blow in 2014, when Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman to receive the Fields Medal, math’s most prestigious award. Authors: The Conversation An equally important blow was struck by an Italian mathematician Maria Gaetana Agnesi, born 300 years ago this month. Agnesi was the first woman to write a mathematics textbook and to be appointed to a university chair in math, yet her life was marked by paradox. ... Read More »

Australia’s biggest solar farm switches on in Port Augusta

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Australia’s biggest solar farm – the 220MW (AC) Bungala solar project near Port Augusta in South Australia – has begun production marking the important first stage of the transformation of a former coal city into a… Giles Parkinson REnewEconomy The first output from Bungala – which could end up being a 300MW project if all three stages are built – was injected into the local grid last week, as final commissioning of the 110MW first stage continues. Bungala, located 12kms from ... Read More »