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Catholics offer burial spaces to Muslims as Sydney cemeteries fill up

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Muslim community leader Kazi Ali was distressed to see the nearly full Muslim section at Rookwood Cemetery that he helped transform 40 years ago from paddock to an oasis of palms. Julie Power The Sydney Morning Herald Many who helped Mr Ali build the cemetery in the 1980s are among the 6000 Muslims buried there now. A friend’s daughter was buried behind a white picket-style fence. Mr Ali pointed to a grave of his former teacher. “Our tradition is to ... Read More »

The rise and fall of AMP’s Catherine Brenner

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It all started to go wrong for Catherine Brenner the day that Jack Regan walked into the witness box at the Financial Services Royal Commission in Melbourne. Deborah Snow WAtoday The date was Monday, April 16, and Regan, the head of advice at financial giant AMP, was due to give his much-anticipated evidence under the hawk-eyed gaze of presiding justice Kenneth Hayne. Forty-seven year old Brenner, the well-remunerated chairman of AMP, logged on to follow the webcast live from Japan. ... Read More »

Police deliver another blow to public trust

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The revelation of breathtaking bad behaviour by police who have faked more than a quarter of a million roadside blood alcohol tests has further undermined already battered public faith in public institutions. Editorial The Age This scandalous practice compromises data on drink-driving and brings into question the ability to police and diminish the road toll. This is corruption, even if no bribery or personal financial incentive is involved, as it meant lying about statistics to serve personal interests, rather than ... Read More »

Crop exports to wilt as autumn rains fail over much of Australia

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Australia’s third-driest May on record has compounded the misery facing many of the nation’s farmers, with the window for winter plantings closing fast. Peter Hannam The Canberra Times Projections by Rabobank released on Friday indicate 21.6 million hectares of winter crop will be planted this year. While down 2 per cent on the previous year, the drop in Queensland and NSW will be much more severe at 11 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively. Rainfall last month was down ... Read More »

Your personal space is no longer physical – it’s a global network of data

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In the digital world, any action we do generates data – whether browsing the internet, answering emails or messaging our friends. Translated into radio waves, this information can travel almost effortlessly through space in a split second. Silvio Carta The Conversation Data are all around us, invisibly occupying the space between ourselves and other objects in the built environment. My colleagues and I conducted a study to understand how the presence of all this data alters our understanding of personal ... Read More »

‘Non-heterosexuals’ message causes stir in Colombia

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A video posted by Colombia’s former president Alvaro Uribe Velez has been widely criticised on social media after he described the LGBTI community in Colombia as “non-heterosexuals”. By Paul Harrison and Matilda Welin BBC UGC and Social News and BBC Monitoring Mr Uribe posted a video message on his Facebook and Twitter accounts on Thursday night, encouraging gay people to vote for Ivan Duque, a conservative presidential candidate, and Marta Lucia Ramirez, Mr Duque’s vice-president pick, in the second round of the Colombian ... Read More »

The Desperation to Keep Turkey Different

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With an election looming, secularists are on the defensive to protect their way of life. Donna Abu-Nasr and Cagan Koc Bloomberg It’s the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, but in Istanbul smokers huddle outside offices, couples sip beer and sex workers call out to young men from balconies. The contrast with some Arab countries that penalize people for publicly breaking the dawn-to-dusk abstention from food and drink couldn’t be more striking in and around the city’s central Taksim Square. And supporters of that Turkish way ... Read More »

The U.S. to bar sale of fighter aircraft to Turkey

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During the debates on the draft National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA), both chambers of the US Congress took parallel initiatives to bar the delivery of F-35 advanced fighter aircraft to Turkey. Yaşar Yakış Ahval In the Senate Armed Services Committee, Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Senator Thom Tillis submitted an amendment asking the secretary of defence to prepare a plan to exclude Turkey from the F-35 programme. Tillis said the amendment was proposed as a reaction to Turkey’s detention ... Read More »

In Praise of Extreme Moderation

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Why does it seem like you can’t throw a paper airplane in some offices without hitting a person who is training for a marathon, planning a 10-day silent meditation retreat, or intending on scaling Kilimanjaro? Avivah Wittenberg-Cox Harvard Business Review On top of working 24/7 for a company that doesn’t pay overtime? Extremism is becoming the norm not only in our professional lives but increasingly in our personal lives as well, from politics and parenting to food and fitness. Extreme ... Read More »

5 takeaways from the overthrow of Mariano Rajoy

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy attends a session at the Lower House of Parliament in Madrid on May 30, 2018, two days before the assembly will debate a no-confidence motion against his government. - The Socialists filed the motion seeking Rajoy's ouster in parliament, a day after a court fined his Popular Party for benefiting from illegal funds in a massive graft trial. Spain's National Court said it had uncovered a vast system of bribes given to former PP officials in exchange for lucrative public contracts between 1999 and 2005. (Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP)        (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

The new prime minister will have an even weaker minority government than his predecessor, but won’t be in a hurry to call elections. Diego Torres Politico MADRID — Mariano Rajoy is out. Pedro Sánchez is in. Welcome to a new era in Spain. Sánchez, leader of the Socialists, won enough backing in parliament on Friday for a motion of no confidence in Rajoy, shortly after a court ruling in a graft scandalinvolving former officials from the prime minister’s Popular Party. It was ... Read More »

How Greece’s Busiest Port Reveals the Perils of Privatization

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Dockworkers say the same “harsh neoliberal experiment” that reduced their wages will spread to the rest of Europe. Alexander Saeedy The Nation Around 7 am at the Port of Piraeus near Athens, deckhands dressed in white began to unmoor the cruise liners and yachts filled with thousands of sleepy travelers ready to cross the Aegean Sea. But as the tourist trade picked up in the passenger and cruise terminals, some of the hundreds of dockworkers in the port’s northern cargo ... Read More »

Aboriginal reconciliation and what we can learn from a French philosopher

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What can a French historian and philosopher tell us about reconciliation between black and white in Australia? More than a century ago, when in Australia it was still widely presumed that Aboriginal people were a dying race, Ernest Renan was grappling with the question, what is a nation? By Matter of Fact host Stan Grant ABC It remains one of the most profound and powerful statements of identity, written in 1882 in the shadows of the French Revolution. Renan sought to ... Read More »

Misery as Strategy: The Human Cost of Conflict

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In conflicts across the world, levels of displacement and hunger are increasing. The tactics used by leaders, governments and non-state armed groups have much to do with that misery. Caroline Flintoft ICG From Syria to Yemen, from South Sudan to Venezuela, war and political crisis are causing human anguish on a scale unseen in a generation. That conflict and crisis take a high human toll is hardly new, of course. Yet the scope of suffering today is striking. The number ... Read More »

Friday essay: how do you measure remorse?

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The first court case I ever observed belonged to a woman guilty of murder. She had deliberately run over a young man with her car. Kate Rossmanith The Conversation I had followed news reports of the trial, for the story seemed so strange, and had seen grainy CCTV footage: the vehicle lunging at the 21-year-old who darts out of its way; the car reversing and charging once more, striking him, thrusting him underneath. Anyone can attend court. You scan the ... Read More »