Opinion

‘It’s OK to be white’ is not a joke, it’s careless politicians helping the far right

The far right lies, sows confusion, and hides its intentions in order to mainstream its messages Jason Wilson The Guardian The Australian Senate almost passed a motion affirming that “it’s OK to be white”. This probably sounds innocuous enough to the casual or incurious observer — and that’s exactly what the white supremacists who devised the slogan intended. To understand how and why the slogan came to be voted on by the Senate, you need first to engage with the ... Read More »

I have made no false promises on Brexit – I’m free to tell you the truth

Those who persuaded a deceived population to vote to be weaker and poorer will never be forgiven John Major The Guardian Until now, every US president I have known has considered [the UK’s] relevance to America to be enhanced by our membership of the European Union. Yet very soon – on our current course – we will no longer be able to argue from within the EU for Anglo-American beliefs in free trade, open markets and strong defence. Our friends, the ... Read More »

The Revenge of Hard Power Politics

The liberal world order was never an inevitability. Only five years ago, the world still looked like a liberal internationalist’s dream. Andrew A. Michta The American Interest Although jihadist terror periodically tested the resilience of governments and societies across the globe, open borders and free trade were widely touted as the way forward. In the context of post-Cold War unipolarity, many in academia, think tanks, and the media wanted to believe that the “first universal nation” could shape world politics ... Read More »

More than three million Australians living in poverty, Acoss report reveals

Peak welfare body calls for overhaul of employment services and at least two days a week of subsidised early childhood care Gareth Hutchens The Guardian Poverty has become a consistent feature of Australian life, with millions still living below the breadline despite 27 years of uninterrupted economic growth, the Australian Council of Social Service says. A vital circuit-breaker is needed, including a complete overhaul of Australia’s employment services, a commitment to “full employment” and a guarantee of at least two days ... Read More »

Stephen Hawking’s last warning from beyond the grave

Acclaimed physicist Stephen Hawking’s last message to the universe is a plea for unity in the “isolated and insular” age of Brexit and Trump, and his fear that a “global revolt against experts” might get in the… Nick Miller msn Hawking’s family gathered at London’s Science Museum on Monday to launch his last book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions, which he began but did not finish before his death in March, aged… With tears in her eyes, Lucy Hawking ... Read More »

Universities should tolerate ‘offensive’ ideas

It goes without saying – or at least it ought to – that freedom of speech should be a core value of universities. As a scholar of freedom of speech and a university academic, it has been gratifying to see so many vice-chancellors (and a… Adrienne Stone Brisbane Times This attention to freedom of speech is a response to recent controversies on campus. Bettina Arndt’s university tour met with rowdy and obstructive demonstrations. Students have accused each other of bullying ... Read More »

Viral letter to PM shows the people are united

The Prime Minister’s rejection of the Australian Medical Association’s call for the transfer of the asylum seeker and refugee children and their families off Nauru has been swift but it hasn’t deterred us. Dr Sara Townend Brisbane Times Now, just over two weeks later, more than 5600 doctors and medical students from around the country say they agree. They’ve signed an open letter to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison. A letter we felt compelled to write because the situation on ... Read More »

World has been slow to wake up to Saudi depravity

It’s reassuring to see that the Western world still has the capacity to be outraged at the abuse of human rights. Specifically, a government that appears to have murdered a journalist. Peter Hartcher Brisbane Times The Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi walked into a Saudi consulate in Turkey two weeks ago. He was a critic of the Saudi dictator and living outside his home country for his safety. By setting foot in a Saudi diplomatic property to pick up marriage papers ... Read More »

Turkey Is Not Exactly a Model Citizen, Either

Releasing one prisoner, and helping investigate the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, doesn’t excuse other Turkish transgressions. Eli Lake Bloomberg One irony of the crisis over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is the opportunity it has provided Turkey to polish its image. It’s not just that a Turkish court on Friday finally released the American pastor Andrew Brunson, who had been detained for nearly two years. The Turkish authorities have blown the whistle on the Saudis, leaking surveillance footage and dossiers of ... Read More »

In Defense Of Autonomous Weapons

The development of artificial intelligence and ethics for their use must go hand-in-hand. Otherwise, such weapons will be built without regard for morals or the laws of war. Ryan Khurana The National Interest In July 2018, the Future of Life Institute (FLI), an organization dedicated to mitigating existential risks from artificial intelligence (AI), published a pledge to ban the development of lethal autonomous weapons… FLI is one of the most respected institutions in the AI risk domain, having on its board such ... Read More »

My Fiancé Jamal Khashoggi Was a Lonely Patriot

His ideas will reverberate from Turkey to Saudi Arabia and beyond. Oppression never lasts forever. Tyrants eventually pay for their sins. Hatice Cengiz The New York Times Jamal Khashoggi and I met at a conference in Istanbul in May. I was familiar with his work because I am interested in the Middle East and the Gulf region. We spoke for about half an hour about politics. Jamal talked about the extraordinary transformation taking place in Saudi Arabia, his native country, ... Read More »

For Popular Sovereignty, Beyond Absurdity

It is disgusting almost beyond words that the onetime sexual predator and obvious dissembler Brett Kavanaugh will render judgement on matters of solemn legal, political, and societal relevance in… Paul Street CounterPunch Troubling as the noxious Kavanaugh’s personal history and untruthfulness are, however, it was even more depressing to see the highly personalized soap opera over his past behavior trump momentous questions of… Equally distressing was our continuing abject failure to address the authoritarian absurdity of core political and judicial ... Read More »

Religious freedom not under threat, but we should debate limits

The immediate eruption of controversy over the selective leaking of recommendations from the Ruddock report on religious freedom shows both why the government has sought to avoid releasing the report, and… Simon Cowan Brisbane Times It is a major issue, notwithstanding that marriage equality has been one of the few direct challenges to freedom of religion in Australia in recent years. And, while there have been major court cases in the US and the UK testing the limits of free ... Read More »

As doctors working on Nauru, we thought we were helping. Now I know we were not

The ongoing human rights travesty that is indefinite mandatory offshore detention is antithetical to medical ethics Nick Martin The Guardian When I worked on Nauru as a medical officer for refugees and asylum seekers, I never saw myself as part of the problem. But since I returned to Australia I have increasingly come to question my role in a system that is antithetical to medical ethics. The ongoing human rights travesty that is indefinite mandatory detention and the treatment of asylum seekers there never ... Read More »

Award of Honorary Doctoral Degree to Prof. Van Coufoudakis – Acceptance Speech

Ceremony for the Award of Honorary Doctoral Degree to Prof. Van Coufoudakis University of Nicosia Honorary Degree Acceptance Speech October 11 2018 Honored Guests, President Kartakoulis, Rector Pouyioutas, Dean Emilianides, my old friend Andreas Theophanous, members of the faculty, dear friends.  I am told that “modesty is a Greek virtue”. It is in this spirit that I accept the honor bestowed on me tonight. This award has special meaning given my thirty year association with Intercollege. The  founders of Intercollege were ... Read More »

Over 50 million child marriages could be prevented if girls finished school

More than 50 million child marriages could be prevented by 2030 if all girls finished secondary school, the charity Save the Children said on Oct. 11 to highlight problems on the International Day of the Girl Child. London / Istanbul Hurriyet Campaigners say children married young tend to leave school, have limited economic opportunities, are vulnerable to abuse and mental health problems and are more likely to live in poverty than… According to UNESCO estimates, 130 million girls between the age of 6 and 17 are out of school and 15 million girls of primary-school age —half of them in sub-Saharan Africa— will never enter ... Read More »