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Decision on coal mine ‘defies reason’

The decision on Sunday to approve mining leases for Queensland’s Carmichael coal mine is akin to “evil”, according to one of the world’s foremost marine scientists. “It defies reason,” said Dr Charlie Veron, former chief scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science. “I think there is no single action that could be as harmful to the Great Barrier Reef as the Carmichael coal mine.”… Source: Decision on coal mine ‘defies reason’ Read More »

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi drops two ministerial jobs, takes on presidential spokeswoman role

Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi drops plans to run two major ministries, but will act as spokeswoman for the President.. Banned from becoming president by a junta-era constitution, Ms Suu Kyi has cemented control over the country’s first civilian-led government in… Source: Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi drops two ministerial jobs, takes on presidential spokeswoman role – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Read More »

Greens pledge to scrap capital gains tax discount and raise $119.5bn in decade

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Labor’s plan to halve capital gains tax discount would generate just $32.1bn over decade, but both parties say their policies will slow increase in housing prices.. The Greens have announced the detail of a plan to phase out capital gains tax discount over five years, raising much more revenue than Labor’s plan to halve it. Investors now get a 50% discount on the tax they pay on capital gains when… Source: Greens pledge to scrap capital gains tax discount and ... Read More »

What’s Behind the Flare-up in Nagorno-Karabakh?

The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has long been regarded as a tinderbox in the heart of the South Caucasus – with serious implications for the wider region including Russia, Turkey and Iran. Each spring, when low-level violence tends to break out, policymakers worry about incidents spiraling out of control due to miscalculation or escalation by leaders in […] Source: What’s Behind the Flare-up in Nagorno-Karabakh? | Crisis Group Read More »

Fishing freedoms on the hook in Indonesia-China legal stoush

Western and Asian governments and commentators have pilloried the Chinese government for its inscrutability on the so-called ‘nine-dash line’ in the South China Sea. Because the nine-dash line allegedly lacks a basis in international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), they… Source: Fishing freedoms on the hook in Indonesia-China legal stoush | East Asia Forum Read More »

Why Are Christians Leaving the Holy Land?

People who reflexively blame the wrong party for criminal acts are either misinformed or disingenuous. The sad truth is that in the Palestinian territories, Christians are forced to live like dhimmis — second-class citizens who survive largely by the… Source: Why Are Christians Leaving the Holy Land? Read More »

Subverting Myanmar’s Constitution for Its Own Good

Democracy needs flexibility.. When the first act of a new legislature is to circumvent its country’s written constitution, it’s usually a bad sign. Not so in Myanmar, where the democratically elected parliament moved last week to create the post of “state counselor” and give the job to Aung San Suu Kyi, the… Source: Subverting Myanmar’s Constitution for Its Own Good – Bloomberg View Read More »

The “Drowning” Argument

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Abbott, Morrison, Turnbull and Dutton are not to be believed when they express concern about people drowning in their attempt to reach safety.  Their policy (which Labor basically supports) seems to be this: “We are so concerned about you drowning, that we will punish you if you don’t drown.” The Federal election campaign of 2013 was the first time in our political history that… Source: The “Drowning” Argument | Julian Burnside Read More »

Turkey Releases ISIS Suspects

Last month Turkey released seven suspects accused of being major figures in the Islamic State in Turkey. Now all 96 ISIS suspects have been freed. Late last month, a Turkish court released the last seven suspects who had been arrested on suspicion of being members of the Turkish branch of ISIS… Source: Turkey Releases ISIS Suspects Read More »

Turkey’s Erdogan says Obama spoke ‘behind my back’ on press freedom

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused U.S. counterpart Barack Obama of going behind his back for criticizing Turkey’s press freedom record and linked it to efforts to “divide” Turkey, media reports said on Sunday… Source: Turkey’s Erdogan says Obama spoke ‘behind my back’ on press freedom | Reuters Read More »

WA Conservation Council campaigns for fracking to become election issue

The WA Conservation Council has launched a new anti-fracking campaign to highlight the issue in the lead up to next year’s election, but its comments have angered the industry. The Frack Free Future campaign is being launched on the back of a survey of 600 people from around the state… Source: WA Conservation Council campaigns for fracking to become election issue – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Read More »

Asylum seeker children still in detention despite claims all have been released

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Peter Dutton tells News Ltd all children released after immigration department reclassifies sections of centres as ‘community detention’. The government has reclassified sections of detention centres as “community detention” in order to be able to claim that all children have been released from immigration detention… Source: Asylum seeker children still in detention despite claims all have been released | Australia news | The Guardian Read More »

Separatists reject Azeri ceasefire claim on Nagorno-Karabakh

At least 30 dead as Armenian-backed troops and Azerbaijan clash over disputed region. Azerbaijan’s defence ministry has announced a unilateral ceasefire against the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, but the claim was promptly rejected by rebel forces. Fighting in what has been a mostly dormant… Source: Separatists reject Azeri ceasefire claim on Nagorno-Karabakh Read More »

Azerbaijan to stop fighting Armenian-backed troops over Nagorno-Karabakh

Azerbaijan said on Sunday it would stop fighting Armenian-backed troops over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region after two days of renewed clashes killed dozens and drew international calls for an immediate ceasefire… Source: Azerbaijan to stop fighting Armenian-backed troops over Nagorno-Karabakh Read More »