The World Could End AIDS if It Tried

The world has made so much progress in reducing the spread of AIDS and treating people with H.I.V. that the epidemic has receded from the public spotlight. Yet by any measure the disease remains a major threat — 1.1 million people died last yearfrom AIDS-related causes, and 2.1 million people were infected with the virus. And while deaths are down over the last five years, the number of new infections has essentially reached a plateau… Source: The World Could End ... Read More »

Breda O’Brien: Irish need to be as good with the dying as we are with death

Unbearable suffering and assisted suicide are far from the only options at the end of life.. Recently, I read Séamus O’Mahony’s occasionally grumpy, sometimes bleakly humorous and always thought-provoking book, The Way We Die Now. O’Mahony, a consultant physician in Cork University Hospital, is suspicious of the idea of the “good death”. It is not that he does not believe that it is possible. He provides several examples in his book. He is… Source: Breda O’Brien: Irish need to be ... Read More »

Hatful of Hollow: Christian Philosophy’s Dogmatic Slumber

In the mid-1980s The Smiths released their first compilation album, Hatful of Hollow. Although it was not a traditional studio work but a compilation of BBC radio sessions, non-album singles and B-sides, the album is highly regarded by fans and critics alike – indeed, I rate it as their finest. I bring it up here as a necessary antidote to some of the remarks, as well as the general tenor, of the article written by Father Isidoros Katsos in response ... Read More »

Sweden’s solidarity is needed on the UN Security Council

On November 4th Americans will elect a new President. José Ramos-Horta  As for me, from the little country of Timor-Leste I am already invoking God and all Christian Saints and Animist Spirits to deliver to us Hillary Rodham Clinton. Timor-Leste owes much to William Jefferson Clinton, who as President in 1999 played a central role in getting the UN to authorize an international peace force to be deployed to our island, quelling the violence in our countryside and paving the ... Read More »

Imagine Europe in chaos, and freedom just an empty slogan

Ten years after the vote, I fear an EU unravelled and nationalistic ghosts ruling its former members.. It’s 2026. Ten years have passed since the British voted to pull out of the European Union. In London, the Ukip prime minister has organised ceremonies to mark the anniversary of the “sovereignty referendum”. What does the world look like? How have Britain and Europe fared?… Source: Imagine Europe in chaos, and freedom just an empty slogan | Natalie Nougayrède | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

A nuclear arms race in East Asia?

It is a place where most nations deeply distrust their neighbours, and where old-style nationalism still reigns supreme.. by Andrei Lankov Andrei Lankov is professor of Korean Studies at Kookmin University, Seoul. He is the author of “The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia”. Recently, news from the Korean Peninsula has been dominated by missiles: as satellite images confirmed, the North Koreans have been busy preparing another test launch of “BM-25 Musudan”, their intermediate-range missile… Source: ... Read More »

Could Roz Ward keep her job if she liked the Australian flag a little?

The suspension of Roz Ward is the culmination of a McCarthyist campaign against an academic who’s done nothing wrong.. On 9 June 1954, the lawyer Joseph N. Welch stood up before Joseph McCarthy, the senator from Wisconsin who’d built a political career by denouncing real and imagined communists… Source: Could Roz Ward keep her job if she liked the Australian flag a little? | Jeff Sparrow | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

Why we should close women’s prisons and treat their crimes more fairly

Sentencing systems around the world should be radically reformed to start with the assumption that women should not be sent to prison for their crimes.. Women almost never scare us; commit random acts of serious violence; violate our sexual integrity; or form organised crime networks and yet their prisons numbers are now the highest in recorded history… Source: Why we should close women’s prisons and treat their crimes more fairly | Mirko Bagaric | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

Rahmani, Neda

A child of the revolution, born in Iran to Persian and Mauritian Parents. Neda grew up in Australia enjoying the freedom to perform and develop as one of Australia’s strong live female performers. A seasoned percussionist and natural performer, she is also now establishing herself as an actress and story teller. Her main band is called Neda – All Colour Project. She is Melbourne Festival’s and Multicultural Arts Victroria’s Cultural ambassador and her career has been in collaborating and delivering ... Read More »

Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece

The new late night deal in the Eurogroup on the new bailout for Greece is another blatant hypocrisy by the dominant European Union powers, their partner-cum-competitor IMF (aka the US) and the Greek establishment (now represented by the SYRIZA government). The new deal is an uneasy compromise subject to a continuing tug-of-war between the US (through its proxy, the IMF) and the EU… Source: Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece Read More »

Ancient crayfish and worms may die out together

Research suggests that bizarre, tentacled worms which live attached to crayfish in the rivers of Australia are at risk of extinction – because the crayfish themselves are endangered. It would be an example of coextinction, where one organism dies out because it depends on another doomed species. Just a few millimetres long, the worms eat even tinier animals in the water or inside the crayfish gill chamber… Source: Ancient crayfish and worms may die out together – BBC News Read More »

The Left on the Run in Latin America

In 2004, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela and the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, launched the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our Americas, a regional alliance of leftist leaders designed to subvert a hemispheric free trade agreement that the United States had been pushing for a decade. In the years that followed, Washington’s hope of a trade pact of 34 nations faded, and its clout in the region diminished as… Source: The Left on the Run in Latin America – ... Read More »

One day at Agkalia (Embrace)

One day at Agkalia *(Embrace) we encountered group of seemingly tough young men. By Giorgos Tyrikos-Ergas * Μια μέρα στην Αγκαλιά… They set themselves apart from the other groups with the families and were just sitting around and loitering making comments about the volunteers, all kinds of insinuations about the women volunteers, and in general: they looked like trouble. When we started giving away food they did not wait in line. They cut in and grabbed it. To my request ... Read More »

No Quick Fix for Russian Economy

This year got off to a bad start. Oil prices fell to below $30 per barrel and a budget deficit of at least 5 percent seemed inevitable. But now Russia’s political elite is breathing a sigh of relief. Oil is up to more than $40 per barrel and experts are predicting that prices are more likely to continue climbing than to collapse, as they did in winter. Of course, oil price trends cannot be forecast with any certainty. But financial officials recently stated that if oil ... Read More »

Resettling refugees in Papua New Guinea: a tragic theatre of the absurd

Papua New Guinea is an extraordinary country very close to my heart, but I can say with absolute surety that it is not an appropriate country in which to resettle refugees.. Ihave recently spent six weeks in the city of Lae in Papua New Guinea, with unique access to the first group of refugees resettled from Manus Island, and have been able to experience their resettled life first-hand… Source: Resettling refugees in Papua New Guinea: a tragic theatre of the ... Read More »

Stealing From Ebola to Fight Zika

Nobody should be surprised when the present House of Representatives, dominated by penurious reactionaries, produces a stingy response to a danger that calls for compassionate largess. But for sheer fecklessness it’s hard to top the House’s response this week to the Zika virus. The salient feature is that in providing money to fight one health menace, it steals from other funds meant… Source: Stealing From Ebola to Fight Zika – The New York Times Read More »