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Sports Diplomacy in the Korean Peninsula

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The opening of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games represents an opportunity for diplomacy to help reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula Christopher Green ICG North Korea’s decision to dispatch Kim Jong-un’s younger sister Yo-jong to South Korea (Republic of Korea, ROK) as part of a delegation to the PyeongChang Winter Olympics has opened up the possibility for the past month of sports diplomacy to garner something more substantive and… With all parties to the Korean peninsula conflict sending senior delegations ... Read More »

Arrest rates soar as WA ‘bucks trend’

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WA recorded the biggest increase in the number of people caught breaking the law in Australia last financial year, with the rise being driven by assaults. Shane Wright The West Australian The number of alleged offenders aged 10 and over arrested by police rose 5 per cent, to 41,678, with 16 per cent of them juveniles — the highest proportion of youth offenders nationally —according to figures released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Since 2013-14, when the number ... Read More »

New Eni Discovery ‘Confirms’ Extension of Zohr Like Play in Cyprus EEZ

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Eni has made a ‘promising’ gas discovery offshore Cyprus, which it says confirms the extension of a ‘Zohr like’ play in the country’s exclusive economic zone. RigΖone The Calypso 1 well, located in block 6, was drilled in 6,800 feet of water depth and reached a final total depth of 12,555 feet. Calypso 1 encountered an ‘extended’ gas column in rocks of Miocene and Cretaceous age, with the Cretaceous sequence showing ‘excellent reservoir characteristics’, Eni said in a company statement. Detailed ... Read More »

When judges wear wigs and robes, what’s so offensive about a niqab?

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The statue representing justice is blindfolded for a reason – to symbolise that all people are treated equally in our courts no matter their wealth, position in society or religious beliefs. Duncan Fine The Age Sometimes the courts fail to live up to that ideal. This week Justice Christopher Beale in the Victorian Supreme Court banned a woman who was wearing a niqab from sitting in the public area of the court where her husband is facing a trial on ... Read More »

Rules to ban sex between politicians and staff suggested by independent MP Cathy McGowan

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A ban on sex between politicians and their staff is being suggested by independent Federal MP Cathy McGowan. By political correspondent Louise Yaxley ABC Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has insisted on his right to privacy over his relationship with a former staff member who is now expecting his baby. But his situation has prompted a debate about the appropriateness of relationships between politicians and their staff. “Good workplace practice includes clear expectations about behaviour,” Ms McGowan said. She noted ... Read More »

A lonely death in Adelaide’s leafy suburbs

A male refugee, bloodied by razor wire, cries out moments before a breakout from the Woomera Detention Centre in Outback Australia, Friday, March 29, 2002. More than a dozen refugees managed to breakout of the detention center after about 500 protestors broke through an outer fence to demonstrate withing meters (yards) of the detainees. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

Opinion At a small and heartbreaking funeral in suburban Tusmore, Adelaide lawyer Mal Byrne says he grasped the full horror of the damage wrought by Australia’s immigration detention system. Mal Byrne / Tindall Gask Bentley In Daily His name was Aref. He died in November 2017 at the age of 47. He was my client. He died alone in his unit tucked away in the leafy eastern suburbs of Adelaide. It was several days before his body was found. He ... Read More »

Reserve Bank governor rules out interest rate hikes until wages rise

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The Reserve Bank governor has dismissed any chance of a rate hike any time soon, after a week of financial turmoil sparked by fears of rapidly rising inflation and interest rates in the United States. By business reporter Carrington Clarke ABC Philip Lowe said the recent market volatility would not have any impact on the growth outlook for Australia, which remains at “a bit above 3 per cent over the next couple of years”. But he also intensified his calls for higher ... Read More »

Brexit: ‘no deal would cut Scottish GDP by 9%’

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A ‘no deal’ Brexit would cut Scottish economic output by 9%, according to leaked UK Government analysis. Russell Jackson  The Scotsman The predicted hit to Scotland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal has been detailed in regional breakdowns that emerged on Wednesday. The figure is worse than the 8.5 per cent cut to GDP predicted by a Scottish Government study last month. At the time, the Scottish Government figure was described as “completely over-the-top scaremongering” by the ... Read More »

Justice Without Borders for Venezuela

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With Venezuela’s humanitarian catastrophe worsening by the day, governments in the region and beyond are pondering how to respond. But it may be civil society that needs to invent new ways of taking action. Ricardo Hausmann Project Syndicate TIRANA – As Venezuela’s humanitarian catastrophe worsens by the day, governments in the region and beyond ponder how to respond. It may be time for civil society to invent new ways of taking… According to estimates from MIT’s Billion Prices Project, month-on-month food ... Read More »

Julian Assange loses challenge to UK arrest warrant, court to rule on new bid next week

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Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has lost one legal bid to have a UK arrest warrant against him quashed but immediately launched another, to have the British authorities halt any action against him on public interest grounds. ABC Judge Emma Arbuthnot said she would give her decision on February 13. A ruling in Mr Assange’s favour could pave the way for him to leave the Ecuadorean embassy in London where he has been holed up for more than five years. Mr ... Read More »

If democracy is failing, why do so many lay claim to it?

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A higher ideal, despite failures along the way Patricia Roberts-Miller, University of Texas-Austin The Conversation Democracy is always being pronounced dead by those who are trying to kill it. Perhaps because it has tended toward ambitious claims of its origins and possibilities, democracy is held to higher and often different standards from other models of governance. Democracy certainly has its instances of disastrous decisions – from supporting the Sicilian Expedition to our current problem of citizens wanting lower taxes and ... Read More »

The Cost of Escalating Violence in Afghanistan

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Taliban attacks in Kabul in late January 2017 are part of an escalation in violence in Afghanistan, where the civilian population is bearing the brunt of a particularly intense winter of fighting. Borhan Osman ICG Over one week, as many as 130 people, the overwhelming majority civilians, were killed in twin attacks claimed by the Taliban in Kabul. On 20 January, five Taliban suicide bombers attacked the Intercontinental Hotel, killing at least 22 people, mostly foreigners, after breaching the security of ... Read More »

Why is it so hard for Jim Molan to apologise for sharing Britain First material?

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London: Jim Molan says he is anti-violence. This is precisely why he should admit that reposting Britain First material on Facebook was wrong. Latika Bourke The Sydney Morning Herald As anyone who has spent time in the UK recently knows, it is a… Founded in 2011 by a Scottish anti-abortionist called Jim Dowson, Britain First’s short history is already tied to several politically-motivated attacks. “Britain first, keep Britain independent, Britain will always come first,” Thomas Mair was heard yelling as he stabbed ... Read More »

Truth about toxic banking culture may never be told

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Year after year, scandals revealing the ongoing unethical behaviour of banking senior management have shown the need for scrutiny of wrongdoing in our nation’s finance sector Julia Angrisano Brisbane Times The royal commission is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on these hidden practices, to improve the experiences of customers and finance workers. However, shadows are being cast over the process of the banking royal commission before it has even begun. Legal schemes that banks use to silence their staff ... Read More »