Humanity

Labour condemned for rise of antisemitism in UK – ‘Friends and neighbours are afraid’

THE ORGANISATION which represents Jews in Europe has discussed issuing a “collective expression of concern” over the rise of antisemitism in Britain linked to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of Labour. David Maddox Express The annual conference of the European Jewish Association (EJA), with representatives from most countries on the continent, devoted a significant part of its first day to hear about the problems in Britain. Gideon Falter, chairman of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, told delegates that since Mr Corbyn had become ... Read More »

Out for a good time? Yes. Dressed to be raped? No

Susan McKay: How women choose to dress can never be taken as an invitation for assault Susan McKay The Irish Times In October 1978 five thousand women came from all over Ireland to take part in a protest march through the centre of Dublin organised by the new Dublin Rape Crisis group. Anne Connolly led the chant: “Yes means yes and… Forty years later, last week, in the closing stages of a rape trial in Cork, a barrister for the ... Read More »

Study finds ‘huge’ fall in FGM rates among African girls

Rates of female genital mutilation (FGM) have fallen dramatically among girls in Africa in the last two decades, according to new research. BBC The study, published in BMJ Global Health, cited a “huge and significant decline” among under-14s. The practice involves removing all or part of a girl or woman’s external genitalia, including the clitoris. Some societies treat it as a rite of passage, but human rights groups say it is inhumane and physically dangerous. In the worst cases, victims ... Read More »

Trump signs order to deny asylum at border

President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation that effectively will suspend the granting of asylum to migrants who cross the US border with Mexico illegally for up to 90 days. © AP 2018 9news The order, which goes into effect on Saturday, means that migrants will have to present themselves at US ports of entry to qualify for asylum. Immigrant advocates say the administration has deliberately slowed the processing of migrants at official ports, forcing them to wait for days ... Read More »

‘I felt like I failed’: Michelle Obama opens up on miscarriage, IVF

Michelle Obama says she felt “lost and alone” after suffering a miscarriage 20 years ago and she and Barack Obama underwent in vitro fertilization to conceive their two daughters. The Canberra Times AP “We were trying to get pregnant and it wasn’t going well,” Mrs Obama, 54, writes in her upcoming memoir. “We had one pregnancy test come back positive, which caused us both to forget every worry and swoon with joy, but a couple of weeks later I had ... Read More »

‘We didn’t expect all 13 out alive’: Inside the Thai cave rescue

Twelve boys and their coach trapped deep within a cave complex. An international team of divers planning one of the most dangerous missions ever to bring them out. And time was running out. By James Massola The Age Summer rains were about due on the hot, humid Saturday afternoon of June 23 in the remote northern Thai border town of Mae Sai. The 12 young members of the Wild Boars soccer club and their 25-year-old-coatch, Ekapol ”Ek” Chantawong, rode their ... 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 »

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 »