Humanity

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Blasphemy law is repealed in Ireland, enforced in Pakistan – and a problem in many Christian and Muslim countries

The citizens of Ireland voted recently, in a nationwide referendum, to remove a clause from their constitution that had made blasphemy a criminal offense. Steve Pinkerton The Conversation Ireland’s now-defunct Defamation Act of 2009 prohibited the “publication or utterance of blasphemous matter.” Just last year, in fact, Irish police opened a brief investigation into whether comedian Stephen Fry had broken the law when he described God as “capricious, mean-minded, stupid” and “an utter maniac” during a televised interview. The case was closed, however, as the… ... Read More »

South Sudan faces collapse if peace pact fails again. This can be averted

South Sudan is arguably the most fragile state in the world. Lacking an institutional legacy at its creation in 2011, political, security, economic, and social indicators have all deteriorated amid civil conflict. Luka Kuol The Conversation As state legitimacy has eroded, the number of armed factions and tribal militias has increased rapidly, now exceeding 40 such groups. One consequence of the prolonged conflict is that South Sudan – a nation of over 13 million people – is now one of the main sources of ... Read More »

‘I don’t have dreams’: my pen pal on Manus Island

I sent a letter to a refugee and five years later he found me on Facebook Five years ago I wrote someone I didn’t know a letter. It was a bit awkward. Sophie Trevvit, with Mustafa Golem The Guardian I didn’t know what to say. I described my family. I said I was studying law at university. I wrote that I thought what our government was doing to refugees was wrong. I included my address so the someone I was ... Read More »

Eerie recording reveals moment the guns fell silent at the end of WWI

On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, the guns fell silent. It brought an end to four years of war which crippled Europe, leaving 17 million dead including 888,246 British or Colonial servicemen. Jen Mills Metro As we approach the centenary of the Armistice on November 11, the Imperial War Museum has released a recording of the moment the war ended, patched together using recordings from their collections. The artillery activity it illustrates was recorded ... Read More »

Australia calls on China to end its ‘alarming’ mass detention of Muslims

The Australian government has expressed “alarm” at China’s crackdown against Muslim minorities and called for an end to the detention of up to 1 million people in indoctrination… Fergus Hunter WAtoday, with Reuters In the strongest Australian intervention yet on the Chinese government campaign, officials delivered a statement at the United Nations highlighting reports that minority groups and… “Australia shares the UN [Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s] alarm at numerous reports of detention of large numbers of ethnic Uighurs ... Read More »

Mexico mothers search for mass graves after tip-off

A group of Mexican mothers looking for their missing children is digging up a site in the eastern state of Veracruz in search of mass graves. BBC A spokeswoman for the group, called Solecito, said the mothers had received an anonymous tip-off. The mothers fear that more than 400 people could be buried in shallow graves in the area. Hundreds of bodies have already been found in other nearby clandestine graves in the past two years. Solecito was founded two ... Read More »

‘Perth, we’re in trouble’: Scaffidi’s tweet and the standard we walk past

If the standard you walk past is the standard you accept, might I respectfully suggest Lisa Scaffidi raises her standards? Kate Hedley WAtoday On Sunday, the City of Perth’s suspended Lord Mayor tweeted two photos. Shown in the images were two men, at two different inner city locations. They were both asleep with their meagre possessions nearby. One had a couple of small suitcases with him, the other had not much more than a yoga mat and a dirty old pillow. ... Read More »

Indigenous groups slam ‘pathetic, divisive’ Hanson for land rights comments

Pauline Hanson thinks Indigenous people “milk” the issue of land rights and the One Nation Senator says it really annoys her. Nick Baker SBS Indigenous organisations have slammed One Nation leader Pauline Hanson for making “ridiculous” and “divisive” comments around land rights. On Sunday, Ms Hanson blasted Indigenous groups for “milking” land rights claims. Senator Hanson told Sky News she gets upset when Australia is referred to as Aboriginal land, arguing “I didn’t steal it”. “This is what’s happened in the… Indigenous ... Read More »