Global Issues

After 115 years, Scotland is coal-free : Renew Economy

After some 115 years, Scotland has burned its last lump of coal for electricity. The Longannet power station, the last and largest coal-fired power plant in Scotland, ceased operations last Thursday. What once was the largest coal plant in Europe shut down after 46 years before the eyes of workers and journalists, who gathered in the main control room. “Ok, here we go,” said one worker moments… Source: After 115 years, Scotland is coal-free : Renew Economy Read More »

Egypt’s human rights in the firing line amid crackdown on NGOs, cultural centres

Egypt’s increasing intolerance of dissent and diversity is often obscured by the regional challenges facing this country of 90 million people. But new attempts to curb foreign funding of non-government organisations (NGOs) and other human rights groups have again brought it into sharp international focus…. Source: Egypt’s human rights in the firing line amid crackdown on NGOs, cultural centres – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Read More »

Time to reform electoral funding laws

EDITORIAL As Australia enters the early stages of what is likely to be a lengthy federal election campaign, it is imperative that all candidates for political office and those behind their party machines commit to exceed, not just meet, the legal requirements on funding disclosures. It is the spirit of those laws that matters most, and the goal is transparency. The fundamental purpose of… Source: Time to reform electoral funding laws Read More »

Fiona Richardson tells Australian Story of violent alcoholic father

Victoria’s first Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence Fiona Richardson has revealed that her father was a violent alcoholic, who beat her mother and siblings. Ms Richardson, who is also the state’s Minister for Women, returned to her birth country of Tanzania with her family for an ABC TV Australian Story program about her violent family history. The program was aired just a day before the… Source: Fiona Richardson tells Australian Story of violent alcoholic father Read More »

The Obama Doctrine: Why Islamism Isn’t Like Communism

The struggle against jihadist terrorism isn’t the same as the struggle against communism—and it’s dangerous to conflate them. The two leading Republican presidential candidates both suggest that America has a problem with Islam. Donald Trump and Ted Cruz sometimes frame the… Source: The Obama Doctrine: Why Islamism Isn’t Like Communism – The Atlantic Read More »

A proper comparison might show Italy is more hospitable to refugees than Sweden

European countries’ acceptance rates say more about where migrants come from than where they are headed. THE latest European asylum statistics seem to offer good news for refugees. They show the acceptance rate jumping by ten percentage points to 60% in the final quarter of 2015—the highest rate ever. Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands all granted asylum in record numbers… Source: A proper comparison might show Italy is more hospitable to refugees than Sweden | The Economist Read More »

Turkey violated right to a fair trial in anti-terror case, says ECHR

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled Turkey violated the right to legal assistance and the right to examine witnesses in a 2003 court ruling which sentenced an alleged member of a terror organization to 18 years and nine months of imprisonment… Source: Turkey violated right to a fair trial in anti-terror case, says ECHR – CRIME Read More »

Holyrood 2016: Greens propose 60p tax rate for highest earners

THE Greens have set out plans to introduce a new top rate of income tax of 60p for Scotland’s highest earners. But the party pledged everyone earning £26,500 a year or more would get to keep more of their cash under its “progressive” income tax plans It would scrap the… Source: Holyrood 2016: Greens propose 60p tax rate for highest earners – The Scotsman Read More »

The democratic case for splitting Queensland in two

As state governments do less and less, there ought to be more and more of them. The renewed push to split Queensland into two states should be just the beginning, writes Chris Berg. “Most persons think that a state in order to be happy ought to be large,” wrote Aristotle in his Politics, “but even… Source: The democratic case for splitting Queensland in two – The Drum (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Read More »

Careless Donald Trump is a danger to Australia and Asia

Donald Trump has made an idiotic and potentially incendiary claim about one of the world’s most flammable strategic tinder boxes. Asia has serious strategic problems. It needs serious strategic solutions. Instead, on the weekend it got the thoughts, if that’s what you can call them, of Donald Trump… Source: Careless Donald Trump is a danger to Australia and Asia Read More »

Hecs loans repayment threshold should drop to $42,000, report says

Grattan Institute recommends dropping threshold from $54,000 to $42,000 to save budget $500m, and finds ‘unscrupulous providers’ contribute to $10bn debt. Default rates on government education loans have increased after a massive uptake of loans for vocational education and training, including courses pushed by “unscrupulous… Source: Hecs loans repayment threshold should drop to $42,000, report says | Australia news | The Guardian Read More »

Opinion: Don’t Miss the Boat on Australian and U.S. Policy in the South China Sea

Australia’s 2016 Defense White Paper expresses concern over “friction” in the South China Sea (SCS) arising from U.S.-Chinese naval interactions, and it worries that territorial disputes have created “uncertainty and tension.” Those statements, which show Canberra (like the rest of the states in the Indo-Pacific region) is slowly coming around to the gathering threat posed […] Source: Opinion: Don’t Miss the Boat on Australian and U.S. Policy in the South China Sea – USNI News Read More »

Magistrate sacked for opposing same-sex adoption is suspended by NHS

Richard Page suspended as non-executive director by Kent and Medway trust after being struck off from bench. A Christian magistrate who was sacked after voicing his opposition to adoption by same-sex parents has been suspended as a non-executive director by an NHS trust… Source: Magistrate sacked for opposing same-sex adoption is suspended by NHS | Society | The Guardian Read More »

The Long Battle for Palmyra

Syrian government forces have regained control of the historic city after a months-long siege by the Islamic State. Syrian government forces have regained control of Palmyra, the historic Syrian city that was overrun by the Islamic State in May of last year. Syrian state media reported Sunday that government troops, backed by Shia… Source: The Long Battle for Palmyra – The Atlantic Read More »