Features

How 9/11 and China’s plan for blanket surveillance created a wave that CCTV camera makers Hikvision and Dahua rode to huge success

Hangzhou’s Binjiang district is home to three of China’s biggest surveillance camera makers Hikvision, Dahua and Uniview benefited from rise in demand for surveillance after 9/11 terror attacks China is famous for its one-industry towns. Gurao in southern Guangdong province is known for making bras. Qiaotou in Zhejiang province produces most of the world’s buttons. Sarah Dai South China Morning Post The city of Tianjin to the north is a major manufacturer of bicycles. Then there is Hangzhou’s Binjiang district, ... Read More »

Alabama passes bill banning abortion

Alabama has become the latest US state to move to restrict abortions by passing a bill to outlaw the procedure in almost all cases. BBC Supporters say they expect the law to be blocked in court but hope that the appeals process will bring it before the Supreme Court. They want the court, which now has a conservative majority, to overturn the 1973 ruling legalising abortion. Sixteen other states are seeking to impose new restrictions on abortion. Earlier this year ... Read More »

So you’re thinking of going into a nursing home? Here’s what you’ll have to pay for

This week at the aged care royal commission hearings, the CEOs of three aged care providers called for a change in the way residential aged care is funded to improve the quality of care. Laura Davy The Conversation This followed a plea from Aged Care Services Australia for the government and opposition to address what it called a “crisis in residential aged care funding”. But while most residential aged care funding comes from government, residents also have to contribute. So ... Read More »

Cate Blanchett to star in Stateless, a new TV series about immigration detention in Australia

Jai Courtney, Asher Keddie, Fayssal Bazzi and Yvonne Strahovski sign on to appear in ABC six-part drama series The Guardian Cate Blanchett has co-created and will star in a new television drama about Australia’s onshore immigration detention regime. Stateless, a six-part drama series for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, will focus on four characters whose paths cross when they are caught up in Australia’s immigration system and held in one of Australia’s desert-based detention centres. The characters include a flight attendant fleeing a ... Read More »

Britain divides but doesn’t rule

Westminster is too busy fighting itself to exploit Franco-German Brexit rift. Paul Taylor Politico PARIS — Britain has finally managed to split France and Germany over Brexit after nearly three years in which the two continental powers marched in lockstep. The trouble for the U.K. is that it is too busy fighting itself over the future it wants with the European Union to take advantage of the rift. Cracks between French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared last month, after British Prime Minister ... Read More »

What are our courts doing about firearms offences?

In March, Victoria had the highest number of fatal shootings in a decade. Five people were shot dead in less than a fortnight. By Arie Freiberg and Anusha Kenny * The Age Data published by The Age suggests there has also been a surge in non-fatal shootings over the same period. The unlawful possession and use of firearms is a significant and growing problem. There are some 132 firearms offences in Victorian law relating to such matters as the acquisition, ... Read More »

Russia will target the European elections – this radical idea could turn a threat into opportunity

Over the past three years, Russia has been repeatedly accused of infiltrating democratic elections in the West. Nicholas Ross Smith The Conversation It is suspected of supporting anti-establishment movements on both the left and right through a mixture of financial support, intelligence sharing, and, perhaps, even through the use of cyber weapons. Russia has undergone a staggering transformation in this time. It was once something of an afterthought in international affairs with seemingly no credible public diplomacy capabilities. Now, it ... Read More »

Alarm after Discovery of Plastic Fish!

After a study carried out recently by Nefertiti Sibaja, a student of biological sciences of the National University of Costa Rica (UNA), serious remains of plastic waste were found in the fish of our coast. MENAFN – The Costa Rica News It is a circumstance that, once again, ignites the alarms of the authorities. Prior to this research, UNA has been emphatic in developing a series of activities and research where a large amount of micro-plastic has been found in ... Read More »

Jeremy Corbyn warned ‘learn IndyRef lessons or face Labour wipeout in EU elections’

Ian Murray MSP says the party leader risks being ‘washed away’ in a repeat of the party’s 2015 election disaster in Scotland. Torcuil Crichton Daily Record Jeremy Corbyn was warned last night to learn the lessons of the Scottish independence referendum or face being “washed away” in next week’s European elections. During a furious encounter, Corbyn was told by Ian Murray that he risked a repeat of the party’s 2015 election wipeout in Scotland, which left the Edinburgh South MP as Labour’s only Westminster representative ... Read More »

Duterte’s Tokyo visit to help boost PH-Japan ties – Palace

Malacañang confirmed on Tuesday President Duterte’s visit to Tokyo, Japan by the end of the month to further boost relations between the two countries. By Argyll Cyrus Geducos Manila Bulletin Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President will make his third visit to Japan before the month ends. “Sure na pupunta siya doon. Tinext ko si CP, Chief Protocol Robert Borje, wala pa siyang sagot kung kailan exact date (President Duterte will surely go to Japan. I texted Chief of ... Read More »

Helen Garner’s musical metaphors come alive in a new production of The Children’s Bach

A new production of an Australian opera is an unusual event. Michael Halliwell The Conversation The performance of Andrew Schultz and Glenn Perry’s 2008 opera, The Children’s Bach, as part of the Canberra International Music Festival, was refreshing and welcome. Perfectly suiting the central thematic strand of the Festival – the music of Johann Sebastian Bach – the opera is based on the 1984 novella by acclaimed Australian writer, Helen Garner. The title is derived from a book of relatively ... Read More »

Let’s put Turkey’s EU membership back on track

Brussels needs Ankara as much as Ankara needs Brussels. By MEVLÜT ÇAVUŞOĞLU Politico ANKARA — Some 30 years ago, on the occasion of Turkey’s formal membership application to the EU, then Prime Minister Turgut Özal likened the process of joining the bloc to “a long and narrow road,” referring to a famous verse by the folk-poet Aşık Veysel. Time has proven that the road has, indeed, been not just long and narrow, but also bumpy. Turkey-EU relations were overshadowed in the ... Read More »

Serbia and NATO’s Shameful Legacy

An interview with Živadin Jovanović, distinguished author and former Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1998-2000), President of the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals By Živadin Jovanović and Maurizio Vezzosi Global Research Maurizio Vezzosi: Remembering the 1999’s bombing over Belgrade, some days ago Serbian president Vucic stressed that Serbia isn’t going to join Nato. How do you comment it? Živadin Jovanović: Serbia is a peace loving country, never belonged to any military block, never sought other countries’ ... Read More »

How is climate change affecting fishes? There are clues inside their ears

Climate change affects all life on Earth, but it poses unique challenges for aquatic species. Karin Limburg The Conversation For example, as water warms it holds less dissolved oxygen than cooler water. As a result, the world’s oceans, coastal seas, estuaries, rivers and lakes are undergoing a process known as “deoxygenation.” When dissolved oxygen levels fall to about 2 milligrams per liter – compared to a normal range of roughly 5 to 10 mg/L – many aquatic organisms become severely ... Read More »

Charging asylum application fees is the latest way the US could make immigrants pay for its red tape

The Trump administration wants to make people fleeing persecution in their home countries pay for something they’ve long gotten for free: the right to apply for asylum in the United States. Sarah R. Sherman-Stokes The Conversation As an immigration attorney and a law professor who has represented people seeking asylum for over a decade, I believe this change, which could go into effect as soon as the summer of 2019, would be not just cruel but also unusual. At present, ... Read More »

It’s Time For A New Story

In a less than a week, Australians will register their feelings at the polling booth. What will most influence our voting choices? Mike Dowson thinks it’s the stories we believe. New Matilda Bad decisions, like our persistent failure to act on the big challenges of our time, are a product of bad stories. But that may be about to change. One summer, Helen and I were driving home from the country. We stopped in a small town, filled the tank, ... Read More »