Features

Donald Tusk’s call to defeat ‘Bolsheviks’ marks Polish political return

The power of ‘those who want to disintegrate Europe’ is growing, said the European Council president. By MICHAŁ BRONIATOWSKI Politico ŁÓDŹ, Poland — The Polish people should rise up and “defeat today’s Bolsheviks” in the country’s ruling Law and Justice party, European Council President Donald Tusk told a crowd of over a… The former Polish prime minister’s call — on the eve of the country’s independence centenary — to form an opposition movement against the government, is his first mass ... Read More »

Could consciousness all come down to the way things vibrate?

Why is my awareness here, while yours is over there? Why is the universe split in two for each of us, into a subject and an infinity of objects? Tam Hunt The Conversation How is each of us our own center of experience, receiving information about the rest of the world out there? Why are some things conscious and others apparently not? Is a rat conscious? A gnat? A bacterium? These questions are all aspects of the ancient “mind-body problem,” which ... Read More »

Is a U.S.-China Clash Over Taiwan Inevitable?

With Beijing long viewing Taiwan as a red-line and Washington continuing to consider the defense of Taiwan as a core component of its Asia policy, the room for error is getting dangerously slim. Daniel R. DePetris The National Interest At a time when the trade war between Washington and Beijing shows no signs of abating and China’s policy in the South China Sea remains a major irritant in the bilateral relationship, events like the U.S.-China Diplomatic and… Defense Secretary Jim ... Read More »

Democracy is at risk in Latin America and the far right is moving in – here’s how it went wrong for the left

Latin American democracy is in peril, a crisis driven by rising social polarisation and a growing intolerance of dissent. Pia Riggirozzi The Conversation Institutional mistrust is also rising and risks deepening the disconnect between citizens and government. According to the Latin American Economic Outlook 2018, three out of four Latin Americans have very low confidence in institutions and show little or no confidence in their national governments. Likewise, a recent survey published by Intal/Latinbarometro, found that people believe that the most reliable ... Read More »

Origins and implications of the caravan of Honduran migrants

Honduras is a wonderful place for a short visit, despite its reputation as a one of the most dangerous places on the planet. Sharon McLennan The Conversation It is a small, beautiful country with an abundance of natural resources and a warm, welcoming culture. But it is a very hard place to live. I first travelled there nearly 20 years ago to do volunteer work, meeting my Honduran husband in the process. I have visited multiple times since then, including ... Read More »

Women return to abusive partners as low welfare payments force them into poverty

SINGLE mothers are returning to abusive relationships because miserly welfare payments are forcing them and their children into poverty, they say. Lauren Novak The Advertiser Women representing the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children told a federal parliamentary inquiry in Adelaide yesterday that almost a quarter of mothers it recently surveyed had returned to an abusive partner because they could not survive… This was largely because the federal welfare system cuts payments to single parents when their youngest ... Read More »

Human rights lawyer Julian Burnside flips support for Wynne to Greens

Planning Minister Richard Wynne has lost a high profile supporter as he battles to defend his inner city seat of Richmond from the Greens at the state election. Noel Towell The Age Barrister and asylum seeker advocate Julian Burnside QC, a long-time supporter of Mr Wynne, has defected to the Greens and written to Richmond residents calling on them to vote for the party’s challenger in the seat Kathleen Maltzahn. Mr Burnside will not be voting for either candidate in Richmond, ... Read More »

Australians are the richest people in the world

The United States is home to more millionaires than any other country in the world. But whether the country is truly the wealthiest in the world depends on how you measure. Shayanne Gal & Hilary Brueck Business Insider A report released by Credit Suisse in October says the US is “in the lead” when it comes to global wealth. But a closer look at the numbers in that report reveals a different story. While it’s true that wealth in the US is growing faster ... Read More »

Bitcoin Pioneer Who Gave Away Over $100 Million Has No Regrets

Jeff Garzik started writing software code for Bitcoin after reading a blog postabout the digital currency in July 2010. Olga Kharif Bloomberg At the time, he was working remotely for open-source powerhouse Red Hat Inc. from an RV parked in an empty lot in Raleigh, North Carolina. He soon became the third-biggest contributor to Bitcoin’s code after the cryptocurrency’s anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto and developer Gavin Andresen, and remained so through 2014. Looking back 10 years after its creation, Garzik says he is ... Read More »

Craig Kelly MP mocks climate change ‘exaggeration’ in presentation to Liberal party members

Fossil fuels make us ‘safe from’ climate change, says MP who is working with Tony Abbott to move Liberals to the right Anne Davies The Guardian Coral bleaching has been happening for centuries, threats of rising sea levels to countries such as the Maldives and Tuvalu are greatly exaggerated and temperature gains have been grossly exaggerated by scientists. These are the assessments of the member for Hughes, Craig Kelly, who is part of a Tony Abbott-led speaking campaign to pull the Liberal party back ... Read More »

Under poaching pressure, elephants are evolving to lose their tusks

In Mozambique, researchers are racing to understand the genetics of elephants born without tusks—and the consequences of the trait. Dina Fine Maron National Geographic The oldest elephants wandering Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park bear the indelible markings of the civil war that gripped the country for 15 years: Many are tuskless. They’re the lone survivors of a conflict that killed about 90 percent of these beleaguered animals, slaughtered for ivory to finance weapons and for meat to feed the fighters. Hunting ... Read More »

What mass shootings do to those not shot: Social consequences of mass gun violence

Mass shootings seem to have become a sad new normal in the American life. They happen too often, and in very unexpected places. Concerts, movie theaters, places of worship, schools, bars and restaurants are no longer secure from gun violence. Arash Javanbakht The Conversation Often, and especially when a person who is not a minority or Muslim perpetrates a mass shooting, mental health is raised as a real concern or, critics say, a diversion from the real issue easy access ... Read More »

German politicians remember Nazi Kristallnacht pogrom

Germany is marking the 80th anniversary of attacks on Jews that foreshadowed the Holocaust. November 9 has been a fateful date for Germany in other regards as well. Ben Knight DW German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for “democratic patriotism” as the country commemorated three fateful moments of German history that occurred on November 9. In a speech to the Bundestag on Friday morning, Steinmeier said the date was “marked by ambivalence” for Germany. “On November 9, we Germans remember both things — the light and the shadows ... Read More »

World War I: Europe and the politics of remembrance

Exactly 100 years ago, World War I came to an end. France and the UK will be holding major commemorative events, and high-ranking German leaders will be attending. What does this tell us about our respective cultures? Christoph Hasselbach DW On the morning of November 11, 1918, at 10:59, American soldier Henry Nicholas Gunther stormed towards a German machine gun position and was killed — exactly one minute before the armistice that ended World War I came into effect. Gunther was ... Read More »

‘One China’ means different things to different people. It also might mean war

The “One China” policy means there is only one Chinese nation and that it is governed from Beijing. ABC – RN – By Antony Funnell for Rear Vision Right? Wrong. In fact, the policy allows for the existence of two separate Chinese entities, not one. They are People’s Republic of China (PRC), governed by the Communist Party from Beijing, and the Republic of China (ROC), based on the island of Taiwan and governed by the Democratic Progressive Party. If that sounds confusing, it’s because ... Read More »

‘Bionic mushrooms’ which generate electricity could power our future lighting, say scientists

White button mushrooms have been developed into a new source of green power Sally Guyoncourt The Scotsman Ordinary white button mushrooms have been transformed into ‘bionic’ fungi capable of producing eco-friendly electricity with a little help from some bacteria and nanotechnology. Researchers at the Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey have added cyanobacteria (commonly known as blue-green bacteria) and graphene nanoribbons to the cap of the mushrooms to generate and… Manu Mannoor, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the… ... Read More »