Humanity

Violent Crackdown in West Papua: An Interview With Independence Leader Benny Wenda

Right now, the Indonesian military are carrying out a violent crackdown in the Ndgua regency of occupied West Papua. Reports have been emerging about the ongoing assault, which is a reprisal over an incident involving the deaths of a… Paul Gregoire Sydney Criminal Lawyers The Indonesian Armed Forces have been reportedly bombing the highland region. While Indonesian security affairs minister Wiranto has denied that explosives were used, he confirmed grenade launchers have been. West Papuan people are reporting having been shot and ... Read More »

Making Yemen’s Hodeida Deal Stick

On 17 December, the UN announced a ceasefire in the contested governorate of Hodeida. Peter Salisbury ICG Thus far, after some initial wobbling, it has held. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s senior Yemen analyst Peter Salisbury unpacks the ceasefire and assesses its prospects. What does the ceasefire mean? The Hodeida ceasefire is a first step toward implementing an agreement reached at UN-led talks between Yemen’s internationally recognised government and Huthi rebels in Sweden on 13 December to demilitarise Hodeida city ... Read More »

Informal networks of generosity are supporting asylum seekers on both sides of the border

When a woman I’ll call Elisa and her 15-year-old daughter, Ana, journeyed from their home in Honduras to Tijuana, Mexico, they survived due to the generosity of a friend who gave them bus tickets, strangers they met aboard the bus headed north and a… Jamie Lynn Goodwin The Conversation Once they arrived, they stayed in a shelter at a local church whose congregation provided food, toiletries and free health care. Elisa also helped others, by cooking, cleaning the shelter’s common ... Read More »

UK and German immigration: a tale of two very different laws

While Britain seems to put politics above the economy, Germany’s new law welcomes foreign job-seekers Jon Henley The Guardian Two European countries announced radical overhauls of their immigration rules on Wednesday, but there the similarity ended. Britain, where concerns about long-term impacts of immigration helped drive the 2016 vote to leave the European Union, billed its stricter regime as “a route to strengthened border security and an end to free movement”. Germany, however, facing such a shortage of workers that is threatening economic ... Read More »

New Zealand backs UN migration deal as Australia says no

While the UN Compact on Migration was adopted by 164 governments, New Zealand has been mulling its options amid lobbying from across the political spectrum. Source AAP – SBS New Zealand won’t be joining Australia in refusing to sign a non-binding United Nations migration agreement and has called claims the deal would undermine its national sovereignty “falsehoods”. The Morrison government last month said it would not be signing the UN Global Compact on Migration, despite having been actively negotiating the wording ... Read More »

What makes someone an ‘illegal immigrant’?

After months of negotiations and some controversy, a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was agreed by 164 countries in early December. Tendayi Bloom The Conversation In the final text of this agreement and in the process that led up to it, distinguishing between “legal” or “regular” and “illegal” or “irregular” migration was presented as central to a… But what does it mean for a state to identify somebody as an “illegal immigrant” – or even as an “immigrant” at all? ... Read More »

Intensifying climate change protests ‘could rival Vietnam War activism’

Mass protests of the scale held during the Vietnam War are just around the corner for people concerned about climate change, environmentalists have warned, as a growing number of activists turn their… Malcolm Sutton ABC Activists on Sunday disrupted Labor’s national conference in Adelaide to oppose oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight and the Adani coal mine in Queensland — two proposals considered “lightning rods” for… It happened weeks after thousands of school students defied Prime Minister Scott Morrison ... Read More »

Who is responsible for migrants?

President Donald Trump tends to portray migrants as a foreign problem that has suddenly – and unfairly – been “dumped” at America’s doorstep. Felipe A. Filomeno The Conversation Migration “is a way they get certain people out of their country and dump in U.S.,” he wrote on Nov. 25 about a caravan of mostly Honduran women, children and young men seeking asylum in the United States. He is not alone. The flow of refugees and asylum-seekers from poor countries to ... Read More »

Climate action must now focus on the global rich and their corporations

The latest UN climate talks, known as COP24, have just concluded. Nicholas Beuret The Conversation The supposed story this time was one of a grinding victory by the EU and developing nations over recalcitrant petro-states – Russia, the US, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. These four, condemned as “climate villains” over the past week, worked to block the adoption of a critical IPCC report that detailed how woefully inadequate current international action was for limiting future climate change to 1.5C. Building ... Read More »

Chinese activists shave heads to protest persecution of partners

The partners of four of China’s most prominent rights lawyers and activists are now bald, in protest over what they call the “persecution” of their husbands by the Government. ABC Reuters Since taking office in 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping has overseen a crackdown on dissent, with hundreds of rights lawyers and activists being detained, arrested and jailed. Four wives of lawyers detained during a July 2015 sweep known as the 709 crackdown gathered in the central park of a ... Read More »

How a World Order Ends

And What Comes in Its Wake Richard Haass Foreign Affairs A stable world order is a rare thing. When one does arise, it tends to come after a great convulsion that creates both the conditions and the desire for something new. It requires a stable distribution of power and broad acceptance of the rules that govern the conduct of international relations. It also needs skillful statecraft, since an order is made, not born. And no matter how ripe the starting conditions ... Read More »

Ramsay Centre degree in Western civilisation to be offered at Wollongong University after rejection from ANU

The University of Wollongong (UOW) is set to become the first institution to deliver the controversial Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation degree. By Danuta Kozaki and Jamie McKinnell ABC The Ramsay Centre will provide about 150 scholarships for the new course, to be funded by a bequest by the late health pioneer, Paul Ramsay. The partnership is worth more than $50 million over eight years. The centre was knocked back earlier this year by the Australian National University, which ... Read More »

German arms export policy condemned by church organization

The German government is not keeping its promises of restricting arms exports to countries fighting in Yemen, a church organization has said. Arms firms are selling weapons to Saudi Arabia via foreign subsidiaries. Ben Knight DW A German church organization representing both the Catholic and Protestant churches has condemned the country’s arms exports, as criticism mounts of Angela Merkel’s decision to allow old Saudi weapons orders to be fulfilled, despite a recent promise to put exports to Saudi Arabia temporarily on hold. ... Read More »

North Cyprus journalist takes on Turkey’s mighty Erdogan

“There is always a price you pay for freedom of expression” AFP Arab News NICOSIA: Jail time, angry mobs and assassination attempts — editor Sener Levent has paid a price for challenging Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and authorities in breakaway northern Cyprus through his tiny newspaper. Alongside the stacks of old papers on his desk in northern Nicosia, a luminous screen displays footage from security cameras at his office’s entrances. The cameras are part of protective measures in place ... Read More »

What can Philosophy teach Machine Learning?

A Journey from Socrates to AI via Cognitive Science From Socrates to Cognitive Science Federico Castellano Towards Data Science Since Socrates asked Thrasymachus for a definition of the concept of justice, philosophy posed for the very first time one of the most challenging philosophical questions: what is a concept? For many hundred years, inquiries concerning the nature and structure of concepts caught the attention of the world’s finest minds; yet it wasn’t until the sixteenth and… Empiricists argued that concepts are ... Read More »

Move to call abortion and assisted suicide ‘human rights’ is ‘evil’, says Princeton professor

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has been accused of elevating individual freedom above moral considerations after recently including abortion and assisted suicide among the… Christian Today The committee’s ‘General Comment’ on the right to life, issued at the end of October, argued for the decriminalisation of abortion and the removal of restrictions that could subject women or… It also put the rights of women and girls seeking an abortion before the rights of medical practitioners with conscientious objections to performing ... Read More »