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Queenslanders will soon be protected under a Human Rights Act. Here’s what that means for you

After years of lobbying, Queenslanders will soon be protected under a Human Rights Act, to replace a patchwork of legislation under a new framework to ensure freedom of speech, safety, privacy and equality. Josh Bavas ABC Michael Cope from the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties said Australian states were some of the last in the Western world to be covered by such an act. “We know from history that democracies can quickly change from being democracies to something else,” Mr ... Read More »

Asia Bibi: Pakistan court overturns blasphemy death sentence

Christian woman to be freed after being sentenced in 2010, accused of insulting the prophet Muhammad Memphis Barker The Guardian Pakistan’s supreme court has struck down the death sentence for blasphemy handed down to Christian woman Asia Bibi, in a long-delayed, landmark decision that has seen the judiciary praised for its bravery in the face of threats of violence and protest from the country’s Islamist groups. The court, in a three-member bench led by chief justice Saqib Nisar, released the ... Read More »

Religion and refugees are deeply entwined in the US

Robert Bowers lashed out at what he believed to be a Jewish plot to bring more refugees and asylum seekers to the U.S. before allegedly murdering 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Stephanie J. Nawyn The Conversation Bowers’s claim that HIAS, a prominent Jewish humanitarian organization, was bringing migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala northward to commit violence was false. But it is true that many religious communities in the U.S., including American Jews, have long supported refugees and asylum-seeking migrants who ... Read More »

Christians’ crisis of faith threatens Norwegian government

Kingmakers torn over prospect of ousting conservatives and installing center-left alliance. Anca Gurzu Politico The future of Norway’s conservative-led government has been thrown into doubt by a small Christian party, which will decide on Friday whether to keep supporting the ruling coalition or push the country to the left. The Christian Democratic Party (KrF) is not formally part of Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s minority administration but backs the government in key parliamentary votes. KrF leader Knut Arild Hareide shocked the country at the end of… Christians’ ... Read More »

Humanity Has Wiped Out 60% Of Animals Since 1970 Report Finds

A major report has found humans have wiped out approximately 60% of the population of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970. 9GAG The estimate was the result of a report produced by the Zoological Society of London for the WWF, which included the work of 59 scientists across the globe. The report, named the Living Planet Index (LPI), revealed the ever-increasing consumption of food and resources demanded by the global population, is destroying life which has been billions of ... Read More »

Sri Lanka: Stepping Back from a Constitutional Crisis

The return to power of controversial former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka’s prime minister is unconstitutional and destabilising. ICG International actors should make future security and economic cooperation contingent on parliament reconvening immediately to select a prime minister through legal channels. What’s new? On 26 October, Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena abruptly dismissed the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and appointed controversial former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the premier’s post, in a move that contravenes the constitution and threatens to destabilise ... Read More »

After a deadly month for domestic violence, the message doesn’t appear to be getting through

On average, at least one woman is killed every week at the hands of a current or former partner in Australia. Silke Meyer The Conversation Last month, the numbers were even more alarming. Nine women were killed in October – sevenallegedly in the context of a current or former intimate relationship, the other two also suspected to have died at the hands of male perpetrators. While these deaths are a disturbing reflection of the pervasive nature of violence against women in Australia, they ... Read More »

America Isn’t the ‘Only Country’ With Birthright Citizenship

The president incorrectly claims that America is the “only country” that gives citizenship to all babies born within its borders. Yasmeen Serhan and Uri Friedman The Atlantic “We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States … with all of those benefits.” So said Donald Trump this week, in explaining why he may sign an executive order ending the right to citizenship for those born ... Read More »

Beware: China may be reading your email

A new report alleges China uses key internet vulnerabilities to hijack traffic amid claims its technological success is ‘dependent on massive expropriation of foreign R&D’ Chris Taylor Asia Times A recent academic report claims that China has been routinely and systematically hijacking internet traffic from the United States, Canada, Europe and other countries through security flaws in the deep structure of the internet. To put it simply, somebody in Beijing may be receiving and reading your emails before you do, as ... Read More »

Angela Merkel’s African business summit marred by protest

The German chancellor welcomed 11 African leaders to Berlin to introduce them to the CEOs of Germany’s biggest firms. Ben Knight DW Outside, protesters demanded Germany stop doing business with dictatorships across the continent. “Africa is open for business.” South African President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa couldn’t have made the basic purpose of the G20 investment summit any clearer. Ramaphosa was one of 11 African leaders in Berlin on Tuesday for what the German government said was the biggest African event ... Read More »

Antigone and African gangs: How an ancient Greek tragedy helped a community fight a stereotype

When the “African gangs” narrative ramped up in Australian media earlier this year, Irene Bakulikira was forced to modify her behaviour. ABC Arts – By Hannah Reich and Barbara Heggen for The Hub on Stage “Obviously everywhere you go, you’re African so you have to be very, very careful. I’ve never had to be careful in my whole life but I am now because of what it is going on,” she said. Bakulikira, whose background is Congolese, said that when she visits stores she now ... Read More »

Europe’s AI ethics chief: No rules yet, please

Define ethical principles and let the courts correct problems as they come up, says Pekka Ala-Pietilä. Janosch Delcker Politico HELSINKI — In a global race to dominate artificial intelligence technology, Europe needs to keep its urge to regulate under control — at least for now. That’s the main message from Pekka Ala-Pietilä, a former president of Nokia and tech entrepreneur who is overseeing EU efforts to draw up principles that will underpin any future regulation of the technology. At the ... Read More »

How Brazil’s left should respond to Bolsonaro

SÃO PAULO — Brazilians have now democratically elected a far-right president who is obsessed with death and torture and brags about his love of firearms. Rosana Pinheiro-Machado The Washington Post The flagship policies of president-elect Jair Bolsonaro, a former army captain, involve harsher penalties for criminal offenses and legalizing firearms. “Good citizens,” he argues, must be able to defend themselves against “bandits,” a term he uses loosely. He has called left-wing and liberal activists “red outlaws” who must be “banished ... Read More »

Jerusalem embassy move ‘could land Australia in the International Court of Justice’

A top international law expert has warned Australia could face legal action in The Hague if it went ahead with moving its Israel embassy to Jerusalem, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison doubles down on the… David Wroe The Age The Palestinian Authority has already filed a suit with the International Court of Justice against the United States after President Donald Trump shifted his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, whose territorial status remains unresolved in the… Don Rothwell, a professor of international law ... Read More »