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Refugees in Uganda: The value of a million human lives

Uganda is a front runner when it comes to forward-looking refugee policy. But financial aid from abroad only trickles in and the situation is worsening. Who should pay — Uganda or the international community? Silja Fröhlich DW In the first half of November, 1,750 new refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan entered Uganda. This brings the total from these two countries for this year to 100,000. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 1.4 million refugees live ... Read More »

Mike Pence announces US-Australia military pact to expand Manus Island naval base

United States Vice-President Mike Pence has declared his nation will partner with Australia and Papua New Guinea to boost operations at a Manus Island naval base amid rising tensions over China’s growing influence in the Pacific. Nicole Hasham WAtoday The federal government had been working with PNG to develop the strategically important base at Lombrum, announcing in September a $5 million contract to upgrade wharf and shore-based infrastructure. Mr Pence told a meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in ... Read More »

France fuel protest: One dead in ‘yellow vest’ blockades

One protester has died and more than 200 were injured as more than a quarter of a million people took to the streets of France, angry at rising fuel prices. BBC The female protester who died was struck after a driver surrounded by demonstrators panicked and accelerated. The “yellow vests”, so-called after the high-visibility jackets they are required to carry in their cars, blocked motorways and roundabouts. They accuse President Emmanuel Macron of abandoning “the little people”. Mr Macron has ... Read More »

Xi warns of dangers of conflict while Pence lets fly

Beijing: Tensions between China and the United States were on full display at the APEC CEO summit in Port Moresby, with Chinese President Xi Jinping warning of the need to uphold the global institutions pivotal to peace shortly before US Vice-President Mike Pence launched a blistering attack on China to the same audience. Kirsty Needham Brisbane Times Warning of the painful lessons of World War II, Xi said: “History has shown that confrontation, whether in the form of a cold war, a ... Read More »

‘A cancer on democracy’: the battle to end gerrymandering in America

New York: US politics in the age of Donald Trump may seem wild, but David Daley still remembers how feral and dysfunctional things were five years ago. Matthew Knott The Sydney Morning Herald Barack Obama was just beginning his second term as president and the anti-government fervour of the Tea Party was roiling the Republican Party. Among the 2013 lowlights: a two-week federal government shutdown because of Republican opposition to the Affordable Care Act (better known as “Obamacare”). And Congress failed to pass gun ... Read More »

‘A disaster’: Forest deals reignite tension between loggers and conservationists

Dejan Stojanovic was aghast. The biologist had pulled to the side of a remote dirt road in southern Tasmania, expecting to find the stately blue gum forest he’d frequented for years. Nicole Hasham The Age He had come in search of the rare swift parrot, known to nest in the nooks of old local trees. But the bulldozers had got there first. Only disfigured brown earth remained. “I was enraged,” Stojanovic says, recalling the day in November last year. “This ... Read More »

White House Says Cutting Meals on Wheels Is ‘Compassionate’

President Trump’s new budget would increase defense spending by $54 billion — while slashing funding for medical research, climate science, public housing, education, aid to the indigent, infrastructure, and… Eric Levitz Intelligencer On Thursday morning, the White House’s budget director Mick Mulvaney explained that these changes were inspired by one, simple question: “Can we ask the taxpayer to pay for this?” Here’s what he said:.. “When you start looking at places that we reduce spending, one of the questions we asked ... Read More »

Wayne Johnston got lost in The Odyssey: 12-hour reading offers your chance

Actress Kate Kendall is among the high-profile Melburnians taking part in a 12-hour reading of Homer’s classic. John Bailey The Sydney Morning Herald Carlton football legend Wayne “The Dominator” Johnston would rather read the form guide than The Odyssey, but actor Kate Kendall noticed some similarities between her footy veteran husband and the leading man of Homer’s classic. Both are orphans. Both have lost a son. And while the footy field is far from the battleground, it left Johnston with enough ... Read More »

Why Norman Geras’s essay ‘Our Morals’ should be essential reading for politics students – not a subversive threat

Politics students at the University of Reading were reportedly told to “take care” when reading an essay by the late political theorist, Norman Geras. Stephen De Wijze The Conversation The Observer newspaper reported the students were warned about the essay – which was on their reading list – in order not to fall foul of Prevent, the UK’s counter-terrorism strategy. I worked closely with Geras, who was a professor at the University of Manchester for most of his career. The ... Read More »

US only country in the world to vote against work of UN refugee agency

‘We will detain and prosecute those who enter US territory illegally,’ American ambassador says Harry Cockburn Independent The US has rejected a United Nations resolution on the work of the organisation’s refugee agency (UNHCR), amid American concerns over the document’s provision for immigrants and refugees. It was the only country to block the resolution on Tuesday, with US ambassador for economic and social affairs Kelley Currie saying it would not accept the draft text because parts of the document did ... Read More »

Rebuilding the Gaza Ceasefire

A ceasefire agreement has brought Israel and Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas back from the cusp of yet another calamitous war. ICG However fragile, it offers a rare opportunity for all parties to finally break the cycle of recurring hostilities that has killed thousands since 2007. What’s new?  For the first time since the 2014 war, a plan for a long-term ceasefire between Hamas and Israel started to take hold in early November, only to be disrupted by the… The ceasefire ... Read More »

Wesfarmers, Coles bosses throw support behind immigration

As the debate over the immigration rate rages, the managing directors of two of Australia’s biggest companies have voiced their support for migrants. Hamish Hastie WAtoday Speaking after the Wesfarmers AGM in Perth on Thursday, Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott and Coles managing director Steve Cain both said immigration played an important role in economic growth. In 2017-18 162,417 migrants were welcomed under the Australian immigration program, well below the government ceiling of 190,000 and more than 20,000 fewer than the 183,608 ... Read More »

Seafood industry calls for Senate inquiry into seismic testing

Members of the Australian seafood industry are persisting in their calls for an inquiry into seismic testing, despite the Senate having twice rejected the idea. ABC West Coast SA By Samantha Jonscher Seismic surveys, which are used to search for undersea oil and gas deposits, involve firing intense soundwaves into the ocean floor, which fishers worry could disrupt the behaviour of marine life. Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association President Brian Jeffriess said not enough is known about the impacts of ... Read More »

Cards Against Humanity buys area of US border to prevent Trump building his wall

A novel effort to block the President’s agenda A foul-mouthed card game has joined Democrats, environmentalists and immigrant advocates in fighting Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. Jeremy B White Independent “If you voted for Trump,” a website launched by Cards Against Humanity said, “you might want to sit this one out.” The company behind a game that involves matching cards with humorously offensive phrases announced it had bought a piece of land on the US-Mexico border with the explicit aim of hindering Mr Trump’s signature ... Read More »