Opinion

Being BAME often means being over qualified and under paid – here’s how pay reporting could help

As companies with more than 250 employees submit their gender pay figures to the government for the second year in a row, it’s become an increasingly accepted way to combat the gender pay gap. Tolu Olarewaju The Conversation Similar plans are being considered for ethnicity pay. This is because the UK government’s Race Disparity Audit has showed widely varying outcomes in areas including education, employment, health and criminal justice between Britain’s white and ethnic minority populations. Mandatory pay reporting could ... Read More »

Are China and Russia going to dominate the Mediterranean Sea?

As NATO celebrated its 70th anniversary in Washington, one compelling security issue received insufficient attention: Chinese acquisitions of critical European infrastructure, especially ports. Trudy Rubin The Inquirer Chinese state-controlled firms now hold stakes in more than a dozen European ports on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, from Belgium to Spain to ownership of the legendary Greek port of Piraeus. Already, one-tenth of Europe’s container terminal capacity is under Chinese control. A week ago, defying allies, Italy became the first major ... Read More »

Why We Stand With NATO

“There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies, and that is fighting without them.” Tim Kaine and Cory Gardner The Atlantic On April 4, 1949, Johannes Kaiv, the acting consul general of Estonia’s government-in-exile, sent a letter to Secretary of State Dean Acheson, which read: I have the honor to offer my best wishes to the signatories of the North Atlantic Pact, and to express my confidence that they, inspired by the ideals of democracy, of individual liberty, ... Read More »

Bring Behrouz home to Australia: he is one of us

There is a pivotal moment in Behrouz Boochani’s book, No Friend but the Mountains. In late August, 2013, a propeller-driven plane stands waiting on a strip on Christmas Island, to take asylum seekers to a faraway destination. Arnold Zable The Age Each man is escorted at two-minute intervals, 50 metres from a bus to the plane. They are held by the arms between two officers. At the base of the stairs, they are handed over to a second pair of officers, ... Read More »

A public register of child sex offenders will do more harm than good

If politicians are looking for a sure fire vote winner then anything that punishes people convicted of sex offences does the trick. Greg Barns The Canberra Times So there is likely to be little resistance to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s budget announcement of $7.8 million to establish a National Public Register of Child Sex Offenders. Dutton is proposing that this register would allow all Australians to see names, aliases and photographs of sex offenders, as well as their date ... Read More »

Why are Kenyans starving in food-secure Kenya?

The country has more than enough food to feed its population; yet dozens are starving in its drought-stricken north. Patrick Gathara Al Jazeera As a biting drought cuts through a swath of suffering across much of the north and northeastern parts of Kenya, imperilling nearly a million people, government officials and journalists have been locked in an obscene public relations battle over… Despite the heart-wrenching pictures and footage of emaciated villagers published on newspaper front pages, broadcast on TV channels ... Read More »

Children face reduction in life expectancy of 20 months ‘due to air pollution’

New research shows how a child born today could be affected by highly polluted air The Irish Times The life expectancy of a child born today will be reduced by an average of 20 months due to health damage caused by air pollution, researchers said on Wednesday. In South Asia, where air pollution levels are highest, the life expectancy for children born in countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh is forecast to fall by more than 30 months, according to the annual State of Global Air ... Read More »

Climate Change Drives Collapse Of Baby Corals In Great Barrier Reef

The catastrophic die-off from recent ocean heat waves severely affected the reef’s ability to produce new corals and bounce back. Chris DÁngelo HuffPost The deadly back-to-back bleaching events that hammered Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in 2016 and 2017 led to a collapse in the recruitment of new corals, severely affecting the ecosystem’s ability to recover from the devastation. That’s according to a new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature, which found that the number of juvenile corals that settled ... Read More »

Turkish democracy is the winner in these momentous local elections

By toppling the AKP in Ankara and Istanbul, the opposition has shown that Erdoğan’s ruling party is not an invincible force Sinan Ülgen The Guardian Sunday’s local elections in Turkey resulted in a major setback for the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his ruling alliance. The ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) and nationalist MHP coalition lost Turkey’s major cities to an opposition ushering in an era of change at the local level. The political transitions in Istanbul and Ankara ... Read More »

A randomised route to better government

An evaluator-general would help policymakers understand which policies work, and which to drop. Andrew Leigh The Canberra Times In the mid-1990s, researchers embarked on a massive clinical trial. More than 16,000 post-menopausal women volunteered to be assigned randomly to a treatment group, receiving hormone-replacement therapy, or to a control group. Many expected that the study would back the common view – based on observational studies – that taking estrogen plus progestin was good for these women’s health. Five years in, ... Read More »

Brexit, the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas

An Open Letter addressed to the President of the Republic of Cyprus and the President of the European Commission Klearchos A. Kyriakides Assistant Professor, Cyprus Campus, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan Cyprus) 2 April 2019 Brexit, the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas Published by Agora Dialogue on 2 April 2019 Read More »

The Catholic Church is not exempt from the laws of Australia

How much will it take for the Catholic Church to accept, openly, that it is, and always will be, subject to the laws of Australia? The Canberra Times ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsey was right to excoriate Catholic Archbishop Christopher Prowse, after the latter, currently head of the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese, confirmed his priests would not break the seal of confession to report child abuse. Archbishop Prowse told parishioners the priest hearing the confession would instead encourage the person to report the ... Read More »

The Critical Role of the Exclusive Economic Zone in the Greek-Turkish Dispute

The legal regime for the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) is enshrined in the Unites Nations Law Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNLOS) on December 10, 1982. Theodore C. Kariotis Part V of that Convention (more precisely, articles 55 to 75) provides for an EEZ “extending 200 nautical miles seaward from the coast.” If all coastal states thus exercised their jurisdiction over their own EEZs, some 38 million square nautical miles would become their “economic patrimony.” The oceans represent ... Read More »

Government faces tense week over Brexit border plans

Cliff Taylor: Government would support long UK extension to avoid a no-deal nightmare The Irish Times The United Kingdom was meant to have left the European Union at 11pm last night. Now you can take your pick on Brexit day. April 12th. Later in April or early May. May 22nd. The end of the year. Some time in 2020. Another date of your choosing. Never. As this all develops over the next 10 days, there are tricky times ahead for the Irish ... Read More »

The dying art of conversation – has technology killed our ability to talk face-to-face?

What with Facetime, Skype, Whatsapp and Snapchat, for many people, face-to-face conversation is used less and less often. Melanie Chan The Conversation These apps allow us to converse with each other quickly and easily – overcoming distances, time zones and countries. We can even talk to virtual assistants such as Alexa, Cortana or Siri – commanding them to play our favourite songs, films, or tell us the weather forecast. Often these ways of communicating reduce the need to speak to ... Read More »

Erdogan Is Weak. And Invincible.

Turkey’s president has rarely been so unpopular. He’s likely to dominate this week’s local elections anyway. Steven A. Cook FP No one ever prospered by predicting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s political demise, but on the eve of Turkey’s local elections this weekend, he and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) seem weaker than ever. If he were not feeling political pressure, he would not be featuring the grotesque video of the Christchurch mosque massacre at campaign rallies, nor would ... Read More »