World

Fraser Anning staffer and alleged Nazi enthusiast employed by Home Affairs

The political staffer accused of writing Fraser Anning’s infamous “final solution” speech and holding an obsession with Nazi Germany is employed by the federal government agency managing Australia’s immigration program, it… Nicole Hasham The Age The staffer, Richard Howard, is on unpaid leave from the Department of Home Affairs and has left the door open to returning should Senator Anning fail to be re-elected in May. However Home Affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo on Friday said if any staff member was ... Read More »

Super worm moon – in pictures

Wednesday night’s rare occurrence of a super worm moon coincided with the equinox. Matt Fidler The Guardian  The name is a nod to the emergence of worms from the soil around the time of the March full moon The super worm equinox moon rises behind the Statue of Liberty in New York. Photograph: Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu/Getty Images… Super worm moon – in… Read More »

Sanders, Harris, Biden… can anyone beat Donald Trump to become the next US president?

No sooner had the US midterm elections for Congress concluded than jockeying began for the presidential elections in 2020. Dennis Altman The Conversation Barring either impeachment, which seems unlikely, or a health crisis, Donald Trump will seek re-election. Although the last sitting president not to be re-elected was George Bush Sr in 1992, polls suggest Trump is consistently disliked by a majority of Americans. Democrats see a remarkable opportunity to regain the White House. It’s all about the Electoral College ... Read More »

Eminent Byzantinist Dr. Speros Vryonis, Jr., Supporter of Armenian Studies, Dies

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Eminent Byzantinist and historian Dr. Speros Vryonis, Jr. passed away on March 11 peacefully in his sleep at the age of 90. Aram Arkun The Armenian Mirror-Spectator Vryonis wrote extensively on Byzantine, Balkan and Greek history. Secondarily, he contributed to the advancement of Armenology through his research in Byzantine history, his unwavering stand against shoddy scholarship and… Incongruously, or at least unexpectedly, combining a Southern twang and courtesy with ancient Greek aphorisms, Vryonis was witty and gregarious. ... Read More »

NT to pass new youth justice laws that contradict Don Dale findings

Northern Territory laws to clarify how and when guards can use force, restraints and isolation on children Lorena Allam and Helen Davidson The Guardian The Northern Territory is set to pass controversial youth justice laws that clarify how and when guards can use force, restraints and “separation” (isolation) on children in its two detention centres, Don Dale and Alice Springs. “This is about backing our frontline staff and their ability to make decisions under difficult circumstances,” the territory families minister, Dale Wakefield, ... Read More »

Fog of War Clouds India’s Stocks Rally

Military posturing has revived animal spirits. Cooler heads will suggest the gains are unlikely to last. Anjani Trivedi Bloomberg It’s amazing what a bit of chest-beating and military posturing can do. India’s war of words with and air strikes on Pakistan have reinvigorated the re-election campaign of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Opinion polls (if you believe them) are predicting a bigger margin of victory for Modi’s National Democratic Alliance than they were two months ago. A creeping skepticism that had ... Read More »

The sudden shift that should have all of us worried about the global economy

The markets’ responses to the latest US Federal Reserve Board’s interest rate and balance sheet decisions were telling. Stephen Bartholomeusz Brisbane Times The immediate reaction of the share market was to mark stocks up, before a more considered assessment sent them back down. Bond rates eased and the US dollar slid against its major trading partners’ currencies. The nature of the Fed’s announcements – a majority of the members of its Open Market Committee expect no rate increases this year and the Fed ... Read More »

Brexit: Tusk statement raises fears UK could crash out of EU with no deal next week

May will address British public tonight to explain delay of Brexit until June 30th A short Brexit extension is possible but only if the UK approves the withdrawal agreement next week, according to Donald Tusk, president of the European Council. The Irish Times In a move which puts pressure back on British prime minister Theresa May, Mr Tusk’s brief statement ahead of Thursday’s EU Council meeting explicitly ties an extension of the Article 50 process to the passage through the House of Commons ... Read More »

Brazil gunmen shoot at convoy carrying nuclear fuel in Angra dos Reis

Gunmen have attacked a convoy of trucks carrying uranium fuel to a nuclear power plant near the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, police say. BBC The convoy came under attack as it drove past a community controlled by drug traffickers in Angra dos Reis, a tourist city 145km (90 miles) from Rio. Police escorting the convoy responded and a shootout followed. No-one was injured or detained. The convoy reached the Angra 2 plant safely 20 minutes after the attack. ... Read More »

Harmony in Australia Means Stop Racist Dog-Whistling

Long History of Politicians Stoking Fears Over Refugees Elaine Pearson HRW Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, known in Australia as Harmony Day. It’s especially relevant given last Friday’s attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, where an Australian right-wing extremist gunned down at least 50 people and wounded dozens more in two mosques. The attacker livestreamed the shootings and… New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, has shown leadership with compassion and… Harmony in Australia… Read More »

Huge fish found washed up along the Coorong near mouth of the Murray River

A sunfish has been found washed ashore near the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia over the weekend, and one expert believes it is the Mola mola species. By Camron Slessor ABC The gigantic fish is known for its sheer size and odd body shape, often distinguished by its flattened body and fins. A photo of the creature was posted on social media on Monday, with two fishermen standing over it on the sand. Linette Grzelak, who posted the ... Read More »

Big gods came after the rise of civilisations, not before, finds study using huge historical database

When you think of religion, you probably think of a god who rewards the good and punishes the wicked. Authors: The Conversation But the idea of morally concerned gods is by no means universal. Social scientists have long known that small-scale traditional societies – the kind missionaries used to dismiss as “pagan” – envisaged a spirit world that cared little about the… Their concern was less about whether humans behaved nicely towards one another and more about whether they carried ... Read More »

Walking Is About More Than 10,000 Steps – Here’s How It Can Change Your Life

Got a pair of shoes that don’t rub? You’re ready. Rachel Moss HuffPost It’s something many of us take for granted, but the simple act of walking has the power to transform both our physical and mental health. The cheapest form of exercise you’ll find, walking doesn’t require specialist boots, trainers or fitness clothing. If you’ve got a pair of shoes that don’t rub, you’re ready. Still need a little convincing? Read on to find out more about the proven benefits of putting ... Read More »

Vestager faces brutal obstacle course to succeed Juncker

The EU’s high-profile antitrust chief will struggle to secure Denmark’s nomination to remain in the commission. By CHARLIE DUXBURY AND MAÏA DE LA BAUME Politico Margrethe Vestager’s quest to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president kicks off on Thursday, but the EU’s high-profile competition chief risks falling at the first hurdle. While Vestager’s battles against U.S. tech giants such as Google and Apple have won her wide support in Brussels — and make her the female superstar candidate in Europe’s liberal camp — ... Read More »

Anzac travel under review as Scott Morrison slams ‘insult’ by Turkish President Recep Erdogan

National security agencies are reviewing whether it is safe for Australians to travel to Gallipoli for Anzac Day services, as Prime Minister Scott Morrison considers expelling Turkey’s ambassador over “highly offensive and highly reckless” comments by Turkish President Recep… Max Koslowski The Sydney Morning Herald Mr Morrison met the ambassador, Korhan Karakoc, at Parliament House on Wednesday morning and asked for Mr Erdogan to withdraw his remarks. Mr Morrison was wary of heightening tensions just one month out from Anzac Day, ... Read More »

Bridging the Gap in the Nile Waters Dispute

Ethiopia is building a mighty dam on the Blue Nile, promising economic benefits for both itself and Sudan. ICG But Egypt fears for its freshwater supply. The parties should agree on how fast to fill the dam’s reservoir and how to share river waters going forward. What’s new?  Ethiopia is moving ahead with construction of Africa’s largest dam, despite Egypt’s worry that it will reduce the downstream flow of the Nile, the source of around 90 per cent of its ... Read More »