Society

Each time Australia delays bringing a sick child from Nauru, the stakes get higher

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The government is playing a dangerous game with the lives of refugee children Ben Doherty The Guardian Last week, three children held in Australia’s offshore immigration regime on the island of Nauru were moved to Australia following court order or threat of legal action. In six months, eight cases have been brought before the Australian courts of children suffering life-threatening psychological or physical illness that cannot be properly treated on Nauru. Every one of those cases has been won. Children have been ... Read More »

Is Facebook the future of the national census?

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Every ten years, governments around the world conduct their national census: a count of the resident population. Francisca Grommé The Conversation This is no easy task. The 2011 Chinese census, for instance, was a vast operation relying on six million enumerators taking census questionnaires from door to door. Knowledge of a population’s composition is crucial for government planning, for example in terms of investing resources in elderly care. In some countries, it is the basis for dividing parliamentary seats over ... Read More »

Why do the media demonise African Australians?

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Calling out the media for its biased reporting of crimes committed by African Australians is not about defending criminals or failing to sympathise with victims. Nyadol Nyuon WAtoday No African Australian I know supports criminal activity, thinks it is OK or wishes to excuse it in any way. What we are trying to do, however, is to highlight that the media consistently reports crimes committed by black people vastly differently from the way it reports crimes committed by white people, ... Read More »

We all suffer when government fails to intervene early

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A jury could not agree last month on whether accused Bourke Street killer Dimitrious “Jimmy” Gargasoulas was mentally fit to stand trial. Matt Tyler & Peter Willis The Age Gargasoulas has said he is the messiah, a saviour, and the illuminati are to blame for the horrific attack that saw 34 pedestrians mowed down in Melbourne in January 2017. Following the attack, police spoke about Gargasoulas’ history of illicit drug use, robbery and violence. Gargasoulas’ devastating choices were his own. While ... Read More »

Voices of Idlib

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Humanitarian Fallout of Conflict ICG The Syrian war grinds lethally on, as regime forces move to recapture rebel-held areas. In our first-ever illustrated commentary, Crisis Group explores one holdout, Idlib, where three million Syrians – many already displaced – chafe at jihadist rule but dread the coming onslaught. Voices of Idlib… Read More »

Game changing game changes

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‘Stochastic games’ can resolve Tragedy of the Commons Harvard University All it took for rewriting the rules of understanding evolution of cooperation was a series of chance encounters between Martin Nowak, Krishnendu Chatterjee and Christian Hilbe. Chatterjee, a computer science professor at IST Austria, mentioned the idea of stochastic games – games which can change based on players’ actions – during his first visit to Harvard in 2008, and the idea sent Nowak down a… “People who study evolution of ... Read More »

Erdogan’s New Dynasty Makes Turkey Uninvestable

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The president has given investors every reason to turn away. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unfortunately is a man of his word. Marcus Ashworth Bloomberg He promised to take greater control of monetary policy during the election campaign, and he has wasted no time in doing so. He has snipped the last threads in Turkey’s safety net — and he has made his nation all but uninvestable. Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek and Finance Minister Naci Agbal have both departed. They were the kinds ... Read More »

What it’s like to be trapped in a cave

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The experience can be harrowing, even when you know what you’re doing By Laura Demarest — Washington Post Gulf News I’d been swaddled in a cold, sopping-wet trash bag for approximately 20 hours, listening to six other cavers shivering and breathing quietly. We were huddled close on the hard ground of a muddy crawlway, a space barely tall enough for sitting up, in an Indiana cave system. Despite my cosy wetsuit socks and the light of a tiny tealight candle, ... Read More »

What is Roe v Wade and why could abortion soon become illegal in many US states?

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Donald Trump has just named Judge Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Alle McMahon ABC If confirmed by the Senate, he is likely to be a reliable conservative vote and may be less receptive to abortion than Justice Kennedy was. Now experts say it’s possible the Supreme Court could reverse the landmark ruling that legalised abortion nationwide in America more than 40 years ago. The ruling is known as “Roe v Wade”. ... Read More »

Happiness helps football players do better, and it could help economies too

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World Cup football teams with a higher proportion of players smiling in their official portraits have scored more goals on average in all group phases since 1970. Authors: The Conversation The authors of this study argue that smiling is a reflection of confidence. Greater confidence results in a greater capacity to overcome complex situations and score more goals. We decided to explore whether this same smiling-creativity link holds for entire societies by looking at the relationship between happiness and creative… ... Read More »

Who is more powerful – states or corporations?

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Who holds the power in international politics? Most people would probably say it’s the largest states in the global system. Authors: The Conversation The current landscape of international relations seems to affirm this intuition: new Russian geopolitics, “America First” and Chinese state-led global expansion, among others, seem to put state power back in charge after decades of globalisation. Yet multinationals like Apple and Starbucks still wield phenomenal power. They oversee huge supply chains, sell products all over the world, and ... Read More »

The murders we don’t hear about — and why

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When a 68-year-old father shot dead his teenage son and daughter at the home where they lived with their mother, media organisations were justifiably transfixed: the cold-blooded killing, described by police as a “planned attack”, has horrified readers, viewers and… The Signal By Stephen Smiley and Angela Lavoipierre ABC But since that calculated crime was committed in West Pennant Hills in Sydney on Thursday, there have been at least three other murders that have received much less attention: a 76-year-old ... Read More »

Israeli Crypto Startup Bancor Loses $13.5 Million to Hacking

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Bancor reported the incident in a tweet on Monday. A digital coin valued at $23.5 million was stolen, with Bancor eventually retrieving $10 million worth of its own coin, BNT Amarelle Wenkert C Tech On Monday, Israeli crypto coin trading platform Bancor announced in a tweet it had been the victim of a security breach which has resulted in the theft of $13.5 million in crypto coins, mostly Ethereum. The company said that no user wallets were compromised in the event. ... Read More »

Reflections on how far ATSI women in law have come

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With NAIDOC Week kicking off this week, Lawyers Weekly spoke with two trailblazing women lawyers about their experiences, what issues are still being faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women in law, and… Jerome Doraisamy The theme for this year’s NAIDOC Week is “Because of her, we can”, and Kate George — who was the first Aboriginal person to study law at The University of Western Australia and was WA’s… “When I commenced my tertiary studies, there were very ... Read More »

Boris Johnson Has Ruined Britain

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“He knows that the verdict of history is about to come down on him — and bury him.” Jenni Russell The New York Times LONDON — For the second time in three years, Boris Johnson, a politician whose ambition and superficial charm far outstrip his ability, judgment or principles, is destabilizing the British government and… On Monday, Mr. Johnson, in protest against Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans for Brexit, resigned from his post as foreign secretary. Now Mrs. May’s authority, longevity ... Read More »

Abortion and the human person

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The fall of Christendom and the rise of secularism has profound consequences for our understanding of the human person. Peter Sellick OnLineOpinion The latter would have it that humanity is but a species among species. This is so because nature is taken as the primary source of our being. Evolutionary theory and the discovery that we share a large amount of our DNA with other species underlines the point. Human beings are biological. The other view of humanity is that, ... Read More »