Multiculturalism

Matteo Salvini: Italian ports closed to migrants

Two charities sought permission to drop off people rescued off the Libyan coast. By THIBAULT LARGER Politico Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini on Sunday reiterated his stance that migrant vessels are not welcome at the country’s ports, following requests from NGOs to allow two rescue ships to dock. “Italian ports are CLOSED,” the right-wing leader tweeted in one of a series of posts on social media. “The traffickers of men and their accomplices know that our ports are closed, STOP!” he said. Two ... Read More »

Frank-Walter Steinmeier: Our democracy is as strong as we make it

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has urged the people of Germany to address tensions in society by engaging with each other. Christoph Strack DW The country must not be allowed to drift apart, he says in his annual Christmas speech. Political and societal dissent in Germany have grown louder and more intense in 2018. There is much talk of social division, of alienation between politicians and ordinary people. Many express anger, especially on so-called “social” media, where there’s often no real interest ... Read More »

Overtourism: too much of a good thing

The global tourism boom isn’t slowing down. What can travelers do to keep things in balance and aid in sustainability? Jonathan Tourtellot National Geographic Reykjavík isn’t what it used to be. The Icelandic capital’s main shopping street, Laugavegur, now belongs to tourism. Shops bill themselves in English, not Icelandic: Icemart, Chuck Norris Grill, a “Woolcano” gift shop. A lone hardware store has survived the wave of touristification. The term “overtourism”—too many tourists—has been moving from travel-industry jargon into the mainstream, ... Read More »

After More Than Two Decades of Work, a New Hebrew Bible to Rival the King James

The pre-eminent scholar Robert Alter has finally finished his own translation. Avi Steinberg The New York Times One morning this fall, at his home high in the Berkeley hills, the literary critic and translator Robert Alter chatted with me about the dilemmas he faced while translating the Hebrew Bible. Alter, who is 83, sat on a sofa with a long-limbed, feline watchfulness. Behind him, a picture window looked out onto a… He occasionally cast a probing eye on his brand-new, ... Read More »

UK and German immigration: a tale of two very different laws

While Britain seems to put politics above the economy, Germany’s new law welcomes foreign job-seekers Jon Henley The Guardian Two European countries announced radical overhauls of their immigration rules on Wednesday, but there the similarity ended. Britain, where concerns about long-term impacts of immigration helped drive the 2016 vote to leave the European Union, billed its stricter regime as “a route to strengthened border security and an end to free movement”. Germany, however, facing such a shortage of workers that is threatening economic ... Read More »

New Zealand backs UN migration deal as Australia says no

While the UN Compact on Migration was adopted by 164 governments, New Zealand has been mulling its options amid lobbying from across the political spectrum. Source AAP – SBS New Zealand won’t be joining Australia in refusing to sign a non-binding United Nations migration agreement and has called claims the deal would undermine its national sovereignty “falsehoods”. The Morrison government last month said it would not be signing the UN Global Compact on Migration, despite having been actively negotiating the wording ... Read More »

What makes someone an ‘illegal immigrant’?

After months of negotiations and some controversy, a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration was agreed by 164 countries in early December. Tendayi Bloom The Conversation In the final text of this agreement and in the process that led up to it, distinguishing between “legal” or “regular” and “illegal” or “irregular” migration was presented as central to a… But what does it mean for a state to identify somebody as an “illegal immigrant” – or even as an “immigrant” at all? ... Read More »

Ramsay Centre degree in Western civilisation to be offered at Wollongong University after rejection from ANU

The University of Wollongong (UOW) is set to become the first institution to deliver the controversial Bachelor of Arts in Western Civilisation degree. By Danuta Kozaki and Jamie McKinnell ABC The Ramsay Centre will provide about 150 scholarships for the new course, to be funded by a bequest by the late health pioneer, Paul Ramsay. The partnership is worth more than $50 million over eight years. The centre was knocked back earlier this year by the Australian National University, which ... Read More »

North Cyprus journalist takes on Turkey’s mighty Erdogan

“There is always a price you pay for freedom of expression” AFP Arab News NICOSIA: Jail time, angry mobs and assassination attempts — editor Sener Levent has paid a price for challenging Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and authorities in breakaway northern Cyprus through his tiny newspaper. Alongside the stacks of old papers on his desk in northern Nicosia, a luminous screen displays footage from security cameras at his office’s entrances. The cameras are part of protective measures in place ... Read More »

Brexit pressure rises, but UK government says no to second vote

Britain’s government is not preparing for a second referendum on Brexit, ministers said on Dec. 16, sticking to the script that Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal could still pass through parliament with a… LONDON – Reuters Hurriyet May delayed a vote last week on her agreement to leave the European Union because she was set to lose in parliament and has tried to secure “assurances” from the bloc to try to better sell it to… Brussels said last week it was ready to help ... Read More »

Move to call abortion and assisted suicide ‘human rights’ is ‘evil’, says Princeton professor

The United Nations Human Rights Committee has been accused of elevating individual freedom above moral considerations after recently including abortion and assisted suicide among the… Christian Today The committee’s ‘General Comment’ on the right to life, issued at the end of October, argued for the decriminalisation of abortion and the removal of restrictions that could subject women or… It also put the rights of women and girls seeking an abortion before the rights of medical practitioners with conscientious objections to performing ... Read More »

Australia has much to celebrate – and to fear

An acquaintance was walking his dog along the promenade at Sydney’s Manly beach one beautiful morning recently. Peter Hartcher WAtoday He describes the golden sun sparkling on the waves, the mild breeze, the grace of the surfers, the people strolling and jogging, enjoying the early calm under the soaring Norfolk pines. He happened to pass one of the many park benches overlooking the ocean, where three older blokes sat contemplating the scene, pudgy hands clasped across substantial bellies. “Yeah,” he overheard ... Read More »

China: Repression of Christian Church Intensifies

Protestant Pastor, Dozens of Congregants Detained (New York) – Chinese authorities should immediately release the pastor and scores of members of an independent Protestant church in the southwestern city of Chengdu, Human Rights Watch said today. HRW Authorities should also return church properties and allow the members to resume worship services. On December 9 and 10, 2018, police officers in Chengdu took into custody Pastor Wang Yi and more than 100 congregants of the Early Rain Covenant Church from the ... Read More »

Confront Turkey’s ethnic cleansing and stop indulging it

Every April, Turkish diplomats and members of the Congressional Turkey Caucus scramble to avert a resolution recognizing as genocide the World War I-era Ottoman massacres of Armenians. Washington Examiner Turkish officials oppose any resolution holding Turkey responsible both because the Republic of Turkey was not formally declared until 1923 and because they hold that what happened was not deliberate but… Other Turkish historians and politicians hold that the evidence upon which genocide historians rely is exaggerated if not fraudulent. Lost ... Read More »

‘You welcome them with hatred’: Malala’s disappointment at Australia

When asylum seekers looked to an affluent Australia for hope, it was disappointing to see some were treated with “hatred” and weren’t even allowed to set foot on its shores, said activist Malala Yousafzai. Julie Power The Sydney Morning Herald Yet when the Taliban came for Ms Yousafzai’s family in Pakistan, her family was given sanctuary by friends, family, strangers, true to the country’s culture of welcoming those in need. The 21-year-old activist – who in 2014 became the youngest ... Read More »

Four journalists, one newspaper: Time Magazine’s Person of the Year recognises the global assault on journalism

Time Magazine has just announced its “Person of the Year” for 2018, and for once, it isn’t one person. This time it is four people and a newspaper. Prof. Peter Greste The C0nversation Collectively calling them “The Guardians”, Time has awarded the accolade to the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Filipino journalist Maria Ressa who edits the Rappler news website, two… Time’s Person of the Year cover is reserved for those who the magazine judges have had “the greatest impact ... Read More »