Opinion

Picking Up the Pieces After Hanoi

The collapse of last month’s summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was perhaps the inevitable result of a process in which the two leaders dominated, optimistic about their personal relationship and confident in their abilities. Richard N. Haass Project Syndicate The question is what to do now. NEW YORK – When last month’s summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without a deal, the result was not surprising. ... Read More »

Australia has a long history of protests. Our rights should be better protected

We also have a history of governments trying to suppress protest. It’s time this changed Hugh de Kretser The Guardian The deputy prime minister recently told school students they should be in school “learning about Australian history” instead of joining the global student strike for climate action on Friday. Half of what he said was good advice. For if the students researched Australia’s protest history, they would learn that protest has been critical to so many social advances that we often now ... Read More »

The mental health crisis among America’s youth is real – and staggering

The first signs of a problem started to emerge around 2014: More young people said they felt overwhelmed and depressed. College counseling centers reported sharp increases in the number of students seeking… Jean Twenge The Conversation Even as studies were showing increases in symptoms of depression and in suicide among adolescents since 2010, some researchers called the concerns overblown and claimed there simply isn’t enough good… The idea that there’s an epidemic in anxiety or depression among youth “is simply ... Read More »

Opinion: After Cardinal Pell verdict, Catholic Church must reform

Pope Francis once made George Pell one of the Vatican’s most powerful men. Now, the cardinal is headed to prison for sexual abuse. It is time for the Catholic Church to reform itself, says DW’s Christoph Strack. Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third-highest ranking official who once served as the pope’s finance chief, was sentenced to six years behind bars on Wednesday for child sex abuse. The Australian is the most senior Catholic to ever be convicted of such crimes. Pell’s lawyers ... Read More »

China’s growing Latin America ties also matter for Australia

When China’s increasing links to Latin America are discussed, Australia might not be the first country that comes to mind. Erin Watson-Lynn the interpreter Lowy Institute But for Australian policy makers, Beijing’s push into Latin America matters. Australia must do more itself to strengthen its otherwise nascent relationships with the region, especially as China works to fill the vacuum left by the United States’ absence in the region. Two important developments make this need clear. Rethinking Australia’s geographic proximity It ... Read More »

Pell verdict: Judge Kidd got it absolutely right with the sentence

After the deafening storm of publicity surrounding the conviction of Cardinal George Pell, finally there was silence. Duncan Fine The Age For one hour Chief Judge Peter Kidd delivered his sentencing and the reasons behind it. Courtroom 3.3 of the Victorian County Court went quiet. Pell stood calmly, with his arms behind his back. The sentence was six years with a non-parole period of three years and eight months. Immediately, the storm started up again. Some groups representing abuse survivors ... Read More »

‘Total devastation’: the cost of getting shot in America

New York: Jay Wilson’s memory of that sunny Thursday morning in October is disturbingly clear. Rachel Olding The Sydney Morning Herald He had pulled up outside a unit block in the small city of Forsyth, Georgia, wondering if he was at the right location. He was only stopping by briefly to help a friend prepare for a job interview before heading on to a meeting with the first client for his fledgling PR business and then accompanying his father to a… ... Read More »

Will the US and Turkey break up over Russian S-400?

WASHINGTON, DC – Fans of diplomatic history realize the importance of dates: They mark milestones, turning points, make-or-break moments. ekathimerini Endy Zemenides Those who follow Turkey are keenly aware that a new era in the country’s diplomatic history is taking shape before us. March 4 and 5, 2019 are sure to become important dates in this new diplomatic history. This past Monday, reversing a trend of handling issues with Ankara quietly and in private, US President Donald Trump sent a ... Read More »

Far-right parties poised to double seats in EU Parliament: poll

Far-right parties are set to double their seats in the European Parliament election in May, according to a new poll. The survey showed far-right parties were ahead in countries like France, Italy and Poland. Deutsche Welle A new poll released by Germany’s Bild newspaper on Saturday, conducted in six countries in late February and early March, showed the far-right Europe of Nations and Freedom Group (ENF) was likely to win 67 seats in the… Europeans go to the polls on May 23-26 to ... Read More »

BBC caught up in the West’s crisis of values – Joyce McMillan

The “post-war consensus” about fundamental values which formed the basis for one of the most sustained periods of growing prosperity and social equality in Western history has been broken, leaving a society without a sense of shame, writes Joyce McMillan. The Scotsman It was a brief Twitter storm, by 2019 standards; but it was a vehement one, and fairly typical of the daily shouting matches that now dominate large areas of our social media. Last weekend, a Scottish newspaper announced ... Read More »

Burnside: why I have decided to stand at the next election

I’ve always said I wouldn’t go into politics. “Don’t wrestle with a pig,” the saying goes, “because you both get covered in mud and the pig loves it.” Julian Burnside The Canberra Times But I am breaking that vow because our political system is broken. I have been a critic for too long: it’s time to throw my hat in the ring. Representative democracy depends on our parliamentarians actually representing us. Unfortunately, that’s just not happening at the moment. Far ... Read More »

It’s time for a Green Lent

Many churchgoers have yet to seriously engage with the topic of climate change Tomas Buitendijk The Irish Times Imagine a second global flood, occurring tomorrow. A modern Noah, having spent weeks aimlessly drifting across the world’s oceans, releases a dove in search of land. To his surprise, the animal returns within two minutes and has found something. It is carrying a slightly faded, but otherwise completely intact, soaking wet Tesco shopping bag. On its side, Noah reads: “Use me again!” You’ll know ... Read More »

Tough times for shining light into dark corners

These are difficult times for people who want to shine light into dark corners, hold the powerful to account and, more specifically, exercise freedom of journalistic expression. James Chessell The Canberra Times The threats to an independent press are most acute in places such as China, Turkey and Egypt where journalists are now detained (and worse) in record numbers for doing their jobs. From Syria to Myanmar to Venezuela despotic administrations trot out the term “fake news” to dismiss legitimate ... Read More »

Renewing Europe

European citizens need to learn from the Brexit impasse and apply those lessons ahead of and after the European Parliament election in May. Emmanuel Macron Project Syndicate That means embracing reforms that advance the three goals that lie at the heart of the European project. PARIS – Never, since World War II, has Europe been as essential. Yet never has Europe been in so much danger. Brexit stands as the symbol of that. It symbolises the crisis of Europe, which ... Read More »

My anger with George Pell has been replaced by immense sadness

I don’t see a monster. I see all the women and children and men and nuns and priests destroyed by shame, fear and lies Christos Tsiolkas The Guardian I  have been angry with Cardinal George Pell for a long time. That anger was first stirred by his absolute disdain for extending compassion to people living with Aids, and also by his refusal to accept queer people into Catholic fellowship. I was also made furious by his perverting of the teachings ... Read More »

The most dangerous thing about democracy

It fascinates me that, while you and I live snarled in the barbs and infuriations of petty bureaucracy – arbitrary speeding fines, council refusals of backyard follies, strata-bodies’ vengeance feuds, the brute humiliations of the Centrelink crawl and the perpetual requirement to choose medical insurers, super funds and… The Sydney Morning Herald Threats of criminal action? Oh I’m so dreadfully sorry, let me resign forthwith (on my multi-million pension). Tax? Pah. Tax is what the poor pay and the rich ... Read More »