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Eamonn Mallie: With Gerry Adams nothing is what it seems

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Sinn Féin’s outgoing president is a master strategist who took risks for peace Ascribing the favourable adage “E pluribus unum” – “One out of many” – to Gerry Adams will doubtlessly aggravate some readers. Eamonn Mallie The Irish Times Yet even as a teenager the outgoing president of Sinn Féin was marked out by his elders for higher things. The old Official IRA leader in west Belfast Jim Sullivan once told me, “We always got young Adams to draft the ... Read More »

When the US locked up white Australian immigrants like Australia does to asylum seekers

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Lurking behind the debates about offshore processing lies a little-known historical irony: white Australians were once locked up in immigration centres that bore a striking resemblance to the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres, which were recently harshly criticised by the UN Human Rights Committee. Anne Rees  The Conversation And unsurprisingly, they were far from happy about it. Back in 1921, the United States introduced immigration restrictions based on national quotas. The quotas were tightened in 1924, and again in ... Read More »

Personal responsibility: a gesture of love sends the wrong message

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I suffer from chronic pain; the kind that you tell people is an ache in your knee but actually feels like someone has started squeezing your spine Paige Burton Brisbane Times It’s the kind of pain that starts in your back but shoots into your joints until you’re dizzy and can’t talk, can’t think, can’t do anything but breathe and wait for it to pass. I’m fairly lucky. I am usually able to go about my work, study, and life ... Read More »

How to Avoid an ISIS 2.0 in Iraq

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Washington and Baghdad have a golden opportunity, but it is slipping away. Michael O’Hanlon Sara Allawi With Mosul and other key cities now liberated from the horrible scourge of ISIS, Iraq stands at a crucial crossroads. The National Interest Iraqis and Americans have squandered historic opportunities to build a new, stable and prosperous country together before. We must not let that happen again. The key danger, as before, is this: extremism combined with sectarianism build on each other in a vicious ... Read More »

Glitter Is Banned From This Nursery for What Is Actually a Great Reason

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Oh, glitter. We’ll miss you. Glitter is great, right? Particularly now that it’s getting dark and cold and a bit depressing outside. Imogen Calderwood  But, as much as we love glitter for making everything look festive, a chain of children’s nurseries in the UK might actually have a point. Global Citizen Tops Day Nurseries has decided that glitter has to go, for the sake of the environment. Take action: Fight Waste to Protect Our Oceans Just like microbeads — which have ... Read More »

5 Points On The Cleric Targeted In Mike Flynn’s Shady Dealings With Turkey

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The focus of former national security adviser Mike Flynn’s tangle of business dealings with Turkey is one man: Fethullah Gulen, an ailing septuagenarian Muslim cleric who lives in a Pennsylvania compound. Allegra Kirkland Talking Points Memo Plenty of ink has been spilled about the hundreds of thousands of dollars Flynn received to produce negative PR materials about Gulen and about Flynn’s alleged discussions with Turkish officials about forcibly removing him from the U.S. What’s received less attention is why Turkey would ... Read More »

Cambodia faces int’l action after opposition party ban

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The United States promised “concrete steps” against Cambodia and the European Union raised a threat to vital trade preferences after the main opposition party was banned ahead of elections. PHNOM PENH – Reuters Hurriyet The Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) was dissolved by the Supreme Court on Nov. 16 at the request of the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen, whose rule of more than three decades faces a major challenge at next year’s general election. The ban on the ... Read More »

The evolution of Turkish-Russian relations

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The past decade has seen considerable change in Russia’s Middle East policy, with greater involvement in regional crises and engagement in good relations with key countries and non-state actors. Sinem Cengiz Arab News Russia’s policy at times converges with Turkey’s, and at other times challenges it. Turkish-Russian relations have survived several crises, the most severe being in November 2015 when Turkey shot down a Russian jet along its border with Syria. Neither Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan nor his Russian ... Read More »

We have the tools to fight climate change. It’s time to start using them

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Stepping in to the COP23 climate talks in Bonn, Germany, is like wandering through an alternative reality. Johan Rockström Amy Luers At no point in these vast cavernous rooms are you confronted with the sheer urgency or the scale of transformation required to reduce the risk of a fossil-fueled catastrophe. World Economic Forum Meanwhile, back on Earth the Global Carbon Project announced on Monday that greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels are expected to grow approximately 2% this year. This comes as startling news ... Read More »

New York Gallerists Counter Art-World Elitism by Showing Every Work They’re Sent

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The premise of the open call was simple: Any person, regardless of age, training, or reputation could submit an artwork and every submission received would be included in the show. Ariela Gittlen Artsy The only restriction specified was that the work must fit into a 16-by-20-inch envelope. Curator Jamie Sterns and gallery founder Andrew Edlin dubbed the experiment “Et Tu, Art Brute?” They announced that submissions were open, and waited, not really knowing what to expect. “We were saying if ... Read More »

Erasing modern slavery is a slow process, but it catches on in Australia

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An important part of any legislation would require businesses to report what goes on in their supply chains And already, the battle lines are drawn Richard Ackland The Guardian Quite smartly human rights are back on the front page, thanks to Wednesday’s outcome of the voluntary postal survey on marriage equality. It should pave the way to a bigger infusion of rights, with the next milestone a Human Rights Act for the entire nation. Possibly, there would have been no ... Read More »

RIP Edward Herman, Who Co-Wrote a Book That’s Now More Important Than Ever

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Edward Herman, the co-author (with Noam Chomsky) of Manufacturing Consent, has died. By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone He was 92. rsn His work has never been more relevant. Manufacturing Consent was a kind of bible of media criticism for a generation of dissident thinkers. The book described with great clarity how the system of private commercial media in America cooperates with state power to generate propaganda. Herman’s work was difficult for many to understand because the nature of the American media, then ... Read More »

Why Did Israel Support the Kurdish Referendum?

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An independent Kurdistan would have created the possibility for Israel to reap a major strategic advantage: a well-positioned ally. Ari Heistein  The National Interest Israel was alone in its support for the Iraqi Kurdish referendum in September, and it has since become evident that KRG President Masoud Barzani miscalculated in deciding to hold the vote then. The Kurds overestimated both U.S. support for their independence movement and their own internal solidarity, while simultaneously underestimating the intensity and the near unanimity of the… ... Read More »

‘Yes’ campaign must keep its promises after 5 million people voted ‘No’ in same-sex marria

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Five million Australians is the number of people who voted “no” in the postal survey for the same reasons I did – because we are concerned about the impact on basic freedoms of speech, conscience and religion – freedoms that we expect to be upheld in our democratic country in accordance with human rights… Karina Okotel * The Canberra Times What has surprised me following the postal survey results is the “yes” campaign’s sudden turnaround to effectively ignore the need ... Read More »