Humanity

Muslims Surround Toronto Synagogues With Protective ‘Rings Of Peace’

“We want them to know that we will always be there for them.” Liz Haq HuffPost People from various faiths came together in a moving act of solidarity for the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, as well as a show of strength and protection for Jewish people across Canada. Numerous “Rings of Peace” were formed around Toronto synagogues on Friday night and Saturday morning, made up of multi-faith worshippers standing shoulder-to-shoulder and ... Read More »

‘The most intellectual creature to ever walk Earth is destroying its only home’

Introducing the Guardian’s new series The Age of Extinction, the renowned primatologist describes the dramatic vanishing of wildlife she has witnessed in her lifetime – and how we can all play a… Jane Goodall The Guardian During my years studying chimpanzees in Gombe national park in Tanzania I experienced the magic of the rainforest. I learned how all life is interconnected, how each species, no matter how insignificant it may seem, has a role to play in the rich tapestry ... Read More »

Asia Bibi blasphemy case: Husband pleads for asylum

The husband of a Pakistani Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy after eight years on death row has pleaded for asylum from the UK, US or Canada. BBC Asia Bibi’s husband, Ashiq Masih, said they were in great danger in Pakistan. The Supreme Court overturned Asia Bibi’s conviction on Wednesday, saying the case against her was based on flimsy evidence. Her acquittal sparked violent protests, and the government has now agreed to try to stop her leaving the country. On Saturday, ... Read More »

George Soros on the new world disorder

His enemies paint him as all-powerful, but the billionaire philanthropist believes his political legacy has never been in greater jeopardy. Michael Steinberger Brisbane Times * On a clammy Tuesday morning in Paris at the end of May, George Soros, the world’s second-most-vilified New York billionaire (but worth many billions more than the other one), is addressing the European Council on Foreign Relations, an organisation he helped found a… Described by the woman who introduces him as a “European at heart”, ... Read More »

Former UN climate chief says world doesn’t need Australia’s ‘toxic’ coal

Former United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres has repudiated Australian mining giant BHP for its refusal to stop mining coal, suggesting the decision is uneconomic and poor nations do not need the “toxic” and “expensive” fossil fuel. Nicole Hasham The Canberra Times BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie said this week the company is “not going to move away from coal mining”. His position comes despite a warning last month by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that coal must be ... Read More »

Greek islanders to receive inaugural John McCain Prize for refugee crisis response

The people of the Greek island of Lesvos are poised to receive the inaugural John McCain Prize for Leadership in Public Service for their response to the refugee crisis, Politico has reported. ekathimerini According to its daily briefing, the American news site said that the announcement was made by Cindy McCain, the widow of the respected US statesman who died on August 25. The award will reportedly be bestowed on the residents of the Aegean island that has been on ... Read More »

Four ‘invisible countries’ that could redraw the world map

No matter where you are on the Earth’s landmass, you are almost certain to be in a country. ABC – RN – By Joey Watson for Saturday Extra But what makes a country a country? Agreed legal definitions are surprisingly loose, but an internationally recognised government, citizens, and the exclusive authority over a piece of land are among the universal ingredients. However, these principles of nationhood, refined over the centuries, are being challenged by war, technology, and climate change. Here are four examples ... Read More »

Israel settlers dump sewage on Palestinian school in Qalqiliya

Israeli settlers dumped their sewage on a Palestinian school in the northern occupied West Bank district of Qalqilia yesterday. MEMo The Azzun Beit Amin School playground was flooded with sewage for the second time in two months as a result of the settlers’ actions. Principal Alaa Marabeh said it would take more than ten days for the sewage water to dry and this has caused a foul smell to spread across the school building and risks damaging the students’ health. ... Read More »

Pakistan Islamists block roads to protest acquittal of Christian

Karachi:  Pakistan’s ultra-Islamist party blocked roads in major cities for a third day on Friday in protest against the acquittal of a Christian woman on death row for blasphemy allegations. The Age Reuters Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) said talks with the government have failed, and called upon its followers to get ready for a show down. “Talks have completely failed, Federal and provincial representatives and an Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) General Faiz took part in talks,” Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of TLP ... Read More »

Homelessness: how other countries can avoid a US-style crisis

Homelessness is a growing problem in the UK, where the number of people sleeping rough has doubled since 2010, yet it is dwarfed by the scale of the issue in the US. Andrea Gibbons The Conversation More than 500,000 homeless were found across the US during just one night, compared to the UK’s 2017 count of 4,751. Changes in the definition of homelessness and flawed methodologies suggest that the true number for the US could be anywhere from 2.5 to 10.2 times greater. Millions more live in overcrowded ... Read More »

Power, privilege and public good

What does it really take to be aware of power and to give it up? I’ve been thinking a lot lately about power. Kristy Muir The Mandarin Who has it, who doesn’t; who knows it, who is blind to it and the consequences of how it is consciously and… In September, I had the privilege of moderating a couple of sessions at the Philanthropy Australia conference. Besides an incredible event with hundreds of people and some great sessions, it pressed ... Read More »

All asylum seeker children to leave Nauru: Brandis

London: George Brandis has confirmed the Australian government is aiming to have all child asylum seekers off Nauru by the end of the year, after being grilled on an influential London radio station about Australia’s… Latika Bourke The Sydney Morning Herald The former Attorney-General, now Australia’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom, brushed aside repeated questions during his interview with Shelagh Fogarty on talkback station LBC and said… On Monday, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said there were 50 children left on the ... Read More »

A Flawed European Ruling on Free Speech

The European Court of Human Rights invoked “religious peace” as a reason to limit criticisms of the Prophet Muhammad. Simon Cottee The Atlantic According to dominant Islamic traditions, the Prophet Muhammad’s third wife Aisha was six years old at their marriage and nine at its consummation. Muslims, as Graeme Wood has pointed out, have debated the issue of Aisha’s age for a very long time, and critics of Islam seemingly can’t keep off the subject. In the fall of 2009, a woman referred to as ... Read More »

Tanzania: Anti-gay crackdown in Dar es Salaam

A Tanzanian governor has announced the creation of a surveillance squad dedicated to hunting down gay people. BBC Paul Makonda, governor of the economic capital Dar es Salaam, told reporters round-ups would begin next week. The team will scrutinise social media in order to track down and arrest people in same sex couples, he added. Homosexual acts are illegal in Tanzania, where anti-gay rhetoric has been on the rise since President John Magufuli’s election in 2015. Many gay, lesbian and ... Read More »

Queenslanders will soon be protected under a Human Rights Act. Here’s what that means for you

After years of lobbying, Queenslanders will soon be protected under a Human Rights Act, to replace a patchwork of legislation under a new framework to ensure freedom of speech, safety, privacy and equality. Josh Bavas ABC Michael Cope from the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties said Australian states were some of the last in the Western world to be covered by such an act. “We know from history that democracies can quickly change from being democracies to something else,” Mr ... Read More »

Asia Bibi: Pakistan court overturns blasphemy death sentence

Christian woman to be freed after being sentenced in 2010, accused of insulting the prophet Muhammad Memphis Barker The Guardian Pakistan’s supreme court has struck down the death sentence for blasphemy handed down to Christian woman Asia Bibi, in a long-delayed, landmark decision that has seen the judiciary praised for its bravery in the face of threats of violence and protest from the country’s Islamist groups. The court, in a three-member bench led by chief justice Saqib Nisar, released the ... Read More »