Unicef urges Coalition to resettle asylum seeker children from Nauru by end of year

Nicole Breeze says Australia’s offshore processing system is ‘in crisis’ and Coalition should appoint minister for children.. The UN’s children’s agency has called on the Turnbull government to commit to a timetable that would see all asylum seeker and refugee children off Nauru by the end of the year… Source: Unicef urges Coalition to resettle asylum seeker children from Nauru by end of year | Australia news | The Guardian Read More »

Dick Ahlstro: the genetically modified human – has its time come? 

It should be possible to improve our immunity against viruses and cancer.. Learning how to read DNA, the blueprint for life, has revolutionised science and medicine. It gave us new ways to intervene in disease, a deeper understanding of evolution and relatedness and the potential to introduce modifications in humans, animals and plants. Now a group of US scientists argue it is time to move on from just reading an existing genome, to writing the genetic code… Source: Dick Ahlstrom: ... Read More »

30,000 Syrian children ‘starving’ on Jordan border

Nearly 70,000 Syrians, mostly women and children, are being denied food and water by Jordanian authorities.. More than 30,000 Syrian children are facing starvation in Jordan after authorities in Amman suspended life-saving food and medical aid to refugees living along its northeastern border with Syria… Source: 30,000 Syrian children ‘starving’ on Jordan border – News from Al Jazeera Read More »

Why it is right to legalise physician-assisted death

The path to legalising physician-assisted death is now open.. The Victorian Parliament’s upper house committee of inquiry into “End of Life Choices” has produced a remarkably comprehensive and erudite report. The public and institutional response to the inquiry has been greater than for any previous inquiry. There were 925 individual submissions and 112 from organisations. In addition, the majority of committee members took the trouble to visit countries where jurisdiction allowed some form of assisted dying. Notably, the dissenting members of ... Read More »

‘I am gay – but I wasn’t born this way’

Is sexuality purely the result of our biology? Brandon Ambrosino argues that simplistic explanations have ignored the fluid, shape-shifting nature of our desires.. By Brandon Ambrosino / Images by Ignacio Lehmann “You can’t be gay.” She was on top of me… Source: BBC – Future – ‘I am gay – but I wasn’t born this way’ Read More »

Creationism Banned From UK Schools

The United Kingdom government has banned the teaching of creationism as a scientific theory in free schools and academies, which are the equivalent of a ‘public’ school in the United State. The move was done in the interests of having a “broad and balanced curriculum,” according to UPI. The remarkable decision was part of a document published on June 9th that laid out new clauses for church academies and stated that creationism is not widely accepted as a scientific theory. ... Read More »

A more humane Australian foreign policy

Australia is committed to a better world,” said Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in announcing Australia’s bid for a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council last year. The bid was originally launched by the Labor government and is for a two year term commencing in 2018. In announcing support for the bid, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop stressed Australia’s record of support for human rights, and spoke of five pillars underlying the bid: “freedoms of expression and of religion; good ... Read More »

Pope Francis speaks of ‘genocide’ in Armenia

During his visit to Yerevan, leader of the Catholic Church describes 1915 killing as great catastrophe of last century.. Pope Francis has denounced the mass killing of Armenians a century ago by Ottoman forces as “genocide”, risking strong reaction from Turkey as he met Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan… Source: Pope Francis speaks of ‘genocide’ in Armenia – News from Al Jazeera Read More »

‘Fact and reason’ needed in abortion debate: Trad

Amy Remeikis Queensland’s abortion debate is heating up in the backrooms of Parliament, ahead of the review into whether the procedure should be decriminalised, with calls for “fact and reason” to over-ride “hysteria and emotion”. The state’s abortion law has remained relatively unchanged since 1899, with amendments focussing on attempts to protect medical professionals from criminal charges, rather than removing the procedure from the criminal code… Source: ‘Fact and reason’ needed in abortion debate: Trad Read More »

We need to talk about Manus before Australia votes

Australian politicians are studiously ignoring the reality that the PNG Supreme Court’s 26 April ruling that the detention of asylum seekers in Manus was illegal and unconstitutional will force a change to the offshore processing policy and remove a key plank of Australia’s deterrence strategy in managing irregular migration… Source: We need to talk about Manus before Australia votes Read More »

Mehdi Savari: Actor, Prisoner, And Improbable Star Of Manus Island

Famous throughout the camp and the island, Mehdi’s dramatic skills have provided solace to the men imprisoned in Australia’s detention centre. On the night locals attacked the compound, his reputation may also have saved his life. Behrouz Boochani, a journalist detained on Manus, reports. I had not met him yet. I had only heard… Source: Mehdi Savari: Actor, Prisoner, And Improbable Star Of Manus Island – New Matilda Read More »

Don’t Elect Dangerous Derryn Hinch: The Case For Treating Criminals Humanely

The Human Headline’s march towards a Victorian Senate seat should concern progressives everywhere, writes David Heslin. Of all the minor party candidates competing in this year’s federal election, none seem to have enjoyed quite as much good fortune as Derryn Hinch. Not only has his Justice Party received high preferences from both major… Source: Don’t Elect Dangerous Derryn Hinch: The Case For Treating Criminals Humanely – New Matilda Read More »

Asylum seekers: Dangerous voyage a test of decency

The fate of a small boat stranded in Indonesia with 44 Sri Lankans on board looms as a test of human decency, for Australia as much as Indonesian authorities. The vessel has been marooned almost a fortnight on the beach in Aceh Besar near the western port of Lhoknga, apparently after a perilous open ocean voyage from southern India. It is far from clear whether the men, women and children on board are seeking asylum from persecution, or – as ... Read More »

Australian psychologist gives account of life inside Manus Island and Nauru detention centres

An Australian psychologist who has worked at offshore detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru gives an account of life inside the facilities.. Psychologist and traumatologist Paul Stevenson has treated field trauma for 25 years — including in the aftermath of the Bali bombings and the Boxing Day tsunami — and visited the Manus Island and Nauru offshore detention centres on 16 occasions, for two to three weeks at a time, between 2014 and 2015… Source: Australian psychologist gives account ... Read More »

Refugees around the world can now take online classes for free

Of the myriad troubles that come with being displaced from one’s home country, losing educational credentials may seem small. But it isn’t. Refugees who resettle in other countries often find themselves unable to continue on their previous career path due to a new set of employer standards or skills requirements. The US State Department is posing a solution: online learning… Source: Refugees around the world can now take online classes for free | SBS News Read More »