Society

How a charter of rights could protect Australians’ fundamental freedoms

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Australia’s record of human rights protection in areas such as Indigenous people, asylum seekers and freedom of speech are perennial topics of debate. The focus of these discussions is now shifting to whether Australia can take steps to establish a stronger legal framework for protecting human rights. How a charter of rights could protect Australians’ fundamental freedoms George Williams Daniel Reynolds The Conversation One reason for this is Australia is in the final stages of defending its record in a ... Read More »

Why Baltimore’s Cease-Fire Effort Wasn’t a Failure

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Baltimore’s grassroots effort was the unexpected flash of light in a long, dark tunnel of cyclic mayhem. Maggie Ybarra The National Interest Baltimore’s streets are pockmarked with tragic and violent incidents. Shootings, stabbings and other cruel crimes sparked by rage, retaliation and opportunity mar the street corners and buildings of the city. Sometimes deflated balloons tied to a streetlight are the only small sign that someone was loved and lost, but their memory never truly left behind. Sometimes city developers ... Read More »

Inquiry into The Status of the Human Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief

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Time did not permit Liberty Victoria to address in full all aspects of the Terms of Reference for this Inquiry. Liberty Victoria Submitted To: Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Our concerns therefore centred on “3 — The relationship between the freedom of religion or belief and other human rights, and the implications of constraints on the freedom of religion or belief for the enjoyment of other universal human rights” (ToR 3). In particular we considered the balancing of freedom ... Read More »

Kosovo Roma seek justice for lead-poisoned children

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Kosovo’s Roma minority “are not treated as humans,” laments Florim Masurica, who is seeking justice for his disabled son, one of the children suffering from suspected lead-poisoning contracted at post… MITROVICA – Agence France Presse Hurriyet Kosovo’s pro-independence ethnic Albanian rebels saw Roma people as guilty of cooperation with Serbs during the 1998-1999 conflict – a gratuitous accusation as Roma largely kept out of the fighting. But some of them faced summary executions, while others were forced to flee from ... Read More »

Will China be a Factor in the Upcoming NAFTA Negotiations?

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Beijing is incentivizing Mexico City and others in Latin American to rethink their traditional trading relationships. Bill Bray Miyako Yerick The National Interest The first round of NAFTA renegotiations is set to take place in Washington, DC August 16–20 and one of the primary U.S. objectives is reducing its $63 billion trade deficit with Mexico. Mexico is in a position to drive a harder bargain than many would think, however. Unlike thirty years ago, Mexico today can leverage China’s growing foreign direct ... Read More »

Anti-Semitic Academics: Where is the Outrage Against Turkey?

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In Turkey, academics are currently at the mercy of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who demands their compliance and threatens dissenters. A.J. Caschetta Gatestone Institute After last July’s failed coup (for which Erdogan blamed an American scholar), a series of emergency decrees have specifically targeted Turkish academia. One would think this assault would raise ire from the ivory towers, but as Turkey slides deeper into totalitarianism, academia yawns. The failure of many professors to stand up vigorously and publicly for what they ... Read More »

Vietnam backs off South China Sea drilling at behest of Beijing

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Suspension of project near border of exclusive economic zone another victory for Beijing Asia Unhedged Asia Times Spanish energy firm Repsol has suspended oil drilling off the coast of Vietnam in waters claimed by China, after Hanoi came under pressure from Beijing to stop, Reuters reported this week. “We are working with the PetroVietnam and with the Vietnamese authorities and the only comment is that right now, operations have been suspended,” Repsol’s chief financial officer, Miguel Martinez, was quoted as ... Read More »

Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?

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More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis. JEAN M. TWENGE The Atlantic One day last summer, around noon, I called Athena, a 13-year-old who lives in Houston, Texas. She answered her phone—she’s had an iPhone since she was 11—sounding as if she’d just woken up. We chatted about her favorite songs and TV shows, and I asked her what she likes to do with ... Read More »

Australian mining company in prosecution spotlight for role in Congo massacre

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The African Commission on Human and People’s Rights has urged the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo to re-open the criminal investigation into the role an Australian company, Anvil Mining, played in a massacre of 70… HRLC In the landmark ruling, the African Commission found the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo responsible for the 2004 massacre in the southeast of the country, but it also highlighted Anvil Mining’s role in supplying logistical support to the… Anvil Mining operated a ... Read More »

Exclusive: EU migrants under age of 30 could be given 2-year visas to live and work in UK after Brexit

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EU migrants who are under the age of 30 could be handed two-year visas that give them the right to live and work in the UK after Brexit under plans being considered by a Government-commissioned review. Steven Swinford  The Telegraph The Migration Advisory Committee, an independent body, has been commissioned by ministers to review the economic costs and benefits of EU migration and examine potential border controls. In a call for evidence published yesterday the committee suggested that Britain could ... Read More »

Vietnam, Yielding to Beijing, Backs Off South China Sea Drilling

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HONG KONG — Vietnam appears to have retreated in a high-stakes maritime gambit against China, suspending a gas-drilling project that it had approved in the South China Sea but that was said to have irritated Beijing. Mike Ives The New York Times The drilling, by a subsidiary of the Spanish energy company Repsol, had started in June off the southern Vietnamese coast, analysts said. The offshore block where the drilling was occurring straddles the border of Vietnam’s 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic ... Read More »

Trump’s Base of Support Is Collapsing

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The president never had a proper mandate, but the resistance is no longer a voice of opposition. It now speaks for the great American majority. John Nichols The Nation Donald Trump did not win the presidency by the standard measures of democracy. Fifty-four percent of the Americans who cast ballots on November 8, 2016 favored someone else, and Hillary Clinton won almost 3 million more votes than Trump. Only an antiquated remnant of an 18th-century instinct toward oligarchy—an Electoral College designed by Trump’s Base ... Read More »

Isis: UN study finds foreign fighters in Syria ‘lack basic understanding of Islam’

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Research shows economic factors and ‘lack of meaning’ in life makes warzone attractive Lizzie Dearden Independent Young men who leave their homes to fight for terrorist groups in Syria mainly come from disadvantaged backgrounds, have low levels of education and “lack any basic understanding of the true meaning of jihad or even the Islamic faith”, according to a new report. A study for the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism found that despite claiming to protect Muslims, most of the returned fighters were “novices” ... Read More »

Unemployment in Europe has fallen to its lowest level since 2009

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Unemployment in the Eurozone has now fallen to its lowest level since early 2009, as the single-currency area continues along a road of economic recovery one year after the Brexit vote rattled confidence in the bloc’s future. Robin Bowman World Economic Forum In June this year, euro-area unemployment dropped to 9.1%, down from 9.2% the previous month, and from 10.1% in the same month in 2016. This pattern reflects a trend seen across the EU as a whole, where the ... Read More »

GOP clash looms over raising the debt ceiling

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Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are planning to push for a hike without accompanying spending cuts — a position at odds with GOP orthodoxy. SEUNG MIN KIM and RACHAEL BADE Politico Republican congressional leaders are quietly preparing to pass a “clean” debt ceiling increase, according to multiple senior GOP sources — setting the stage for a high-risk showdown with rank-and-file Republicans this… Trump administration officials, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are imploring Congress to raise the $19.8 trillion debt limit with ... Read More »

More than Myth: Ancient DNA Reveals Roots of 1st Greek Civilizations

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The Minoans and Mycenaeans were the first advanced, literate civilizations to appear in Europe. They left archaeologists with a wealth of material to pore over: palaces, golden jewelry, wall paintings, writing (some of it still undeciphered) and, of course, burials, in what is today Greece. Megan Gannon LiveScience Now, new research on Bronze Age skeletons could shed light on the origins of the Minoan and Mycenaean people. The study of ancient DNA suggests that there is genetic continuity between the ... Read More »