Opinion

Dr Azeem Ibrahim: Where the far-right goes wrong about Pakistani paedophile gangs

Ethnicity does not seem to play a significant role in rates of child sex abuse despite recent high-profile cases involving men of Pakistani origins; instead, what is unusual about their behaviour is the… Dr Azeem Ibrahim The Scotsman Shocking grooming scandals involving Pakistani men have created another tense moment in the history of race relations in the UK, And there really is a deep problem here – it is not just about the… Soon after the news of that case, ... Read More »

Italy’s beggar’s nationalism

The populist government’s reckless budget relies on other countries being ready to bail it out. Alberto Mingardi Politico MILAN — One of the bestselling books in Italy right now is a novel based on the life of Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator who invented fascism.   “M” by Antonio Scurati aims to be the first in a trilogy. Though several historical inaccuracies have been spotted, the novel captures well the spirit of the troubled times in which Mussolini came to power. ... Read More »

Cities Should Stop Playing the Amazon HQ2 Bidding Game

There is no economic benefit to huge tax incentives to lure new companies, so why do cities keep offering them? Bryce Covert The New York Times It’s official: Amazon has anointed New York and Northern Virginia as locations for a major expansion, involving at least 25,000 employees and an investment of $5 billion. The announcement is the culmination of an intense bidding war among 238 cities for Amazon’s promise of $50 billion in investment and 50,000 high-paying technology jobs. To land that deal, cities ... Read More »

Factbox: Greece’s territorial waters and Turkey

Following his resignation from the post of foreign minister, Nikos Kotzias said that Greece was ready to extend its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea to 12 nautical miles. Angelos M. Syrigos * ekathimerini This came as surprise to Greece’s political parties and drew a strong reaction from Turkey, which claimed that any extension of Greece’s territorial waters in the Aegean would be considered a casus belli. Here I would like to examine some of the most important questions related ... Read More »

His face was that familiar, his presence in so many lives that real

“Let’s go get coffee at Pellegrini’s” is about as Melbourne a thing to say as “Meet you under the clocks at Flinders Street” – maybe more so if you had fallen under the cultural sway of the Italian immigrants who helped make Melbourne’s urban fabric more urban-seeming in the… Matt Holden The Age There was a time not so long ago when there weren’t that many places to go for a coffee in the CBD, especially outside the nine-to-five. But ... 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 »

Is a U.S.-China Clash Over Taiwan Inevitable?

With Beijing long viewing Taiwan as a red-line and Washington continuing to consider the defense of Taiwan as a core component of its Asia policy, the room for error is getting dangerously slim. Daniel R. DePetris The National Interest At a time when the trade war between Washington and Beijing shows no signs of abating and China’s policy in the South China Sea remains a major irritant in the bilateral relationship, events like the U.S.-China Diplomatic and… Defense Secretary Jim ... Read More »

Australians are the richest people in the world

The United States is home to more millionaires than any other country in the world. But whether the country is truly the wealthiest in the world depends on how you measure. Shayanne Gal & Hilary Brueck Business Insider A report released by Credit Suisse in October says the US is “in the lead” when it comes to global wealth. But a closer look at the numbers in that report reveals a different story. While it’s true that wealth in the US is growing faster ... Read More »

‘Bionic mushrooms’ which generate electricity could power our future lighting, say scientists

White button mushrooms have been developed into a new source of green power Sally Guyoncourt The Scotsman Ordinary white button mushrooms have been transformed into ‘bionic’ fungi capable of producing eco-friendly electricity with a little help from some bacteria and nanotechnology. Researchers at the Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey have added cyanobacteria (commonly known as blue-green bacteria) and graphene nanoribbons to the cap of the mushrooms to generate and… Manu Mannoor, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the… ... Read More »

Norway’s $1 Trillion Wealth Fund Has a First-World Problem

The world’s biggest SWF wants to cut back on the diversification of its fixed-income portfolio. It deserves a hearing, whatever the experts say. Marcus Ashworth Bloomberg It’s the very definition of a first-world problem, but Norway’s $1 trillion sovereign wealth fund is wrestling with whether to make its investment portfolio less diverse. It’s a subject that cuts to the heart of the “active manager versus passive index” debate. As part of a long-running review, which will lift the fund’s equity ... 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 »

The Possibility of US Withdrawal from the INF Treaty

It is no secret that the modern globalised world is increasingly dependent on the quality of states implementing international agreements that regulate relations between countries. ISF This is of particular importance in fields such as human rights, the environment, and, of course, disarmament and Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) prohibition. On October 20 Donald Trump stated that the US decided to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and to start developing weapons prohibited under the treaty. This ... Read More »

For millions of Europeans, the war did not end in 1918

Our narrative of the armistice is not the only one. In the east conflict continued, fuelled by the crumbling of empires Natalie Nougayrède The Guardian Emmanuel Macron is on a six-day tour of France’s first world warbattleground sites to commemorate the centenary of the armistice. Anyone who’s spent time in places where the 1914-18 bloodbath unfolded will know this could be an emotional visit. The fields and forests still bear the scars: the long sinuous furrows formed by the remains of ... Read More »

Diplomatic thaw shows Beijing eager for friends, experts say

Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne’s crucial visit to Beijing this week shows the Chinese government is eager to get its relationship with Australia back on a friendly footing after a year of diplomatic frostiness, China experts… David Wroe The Age Senator Payne’s planned visit – the first by an Australian foreign minister since Julie Bishop in 2016 – comes as the Trump administration cranks up pressure on Beijing over issues such as… Richard McGregor, a China expert at the Lowy ... 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 »

A cure for cancer: how to kill a killer

Revolutionary work on the body’s immune system and a host of new drug trials mean that beating cancer may be achievable Charles Graeber The Guardian Last month, the Nobel prize in medicine was awarded for two breakthrough scientific discoveries heralded as having “revolutionised cancer treatment”, and “fundamentally changed the way we view how cancer can be managed”. One of them went to a charismatic, harmonica-playing Texan named Jim Allison for his breakthrough advances in cancer immunotherapy. His discovery had resulted in transformative outcomes for ... Read More »