Society

China could occupy more areas in WPS — expert warns

MANILA, Philippines — China may end up occupying more areas in the West Philippine Sea if it would be allowed to unilaterally rehabilitate coral reefs in the disputed region, a maritime expert warned. Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) Jay Batongbacal, director of the UP Institute for Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, said China’s announcement that it would carry out coral reef rehabilitation and restoration in the South China Sea should be taken with a… “Interested states should take ... Read More »

Why is Victoria the far-right protest capital of Australia?

Victoria has become the noisiest, most active battleground for far right-wing groups in Australia, so why has the state largely regarded as Australia’s most progressive become such a hot bed of this activity? Anthony Colangelo The Canberra Times Saturday’s “Reclaim St Kilda” rally – organised by United Patriots Front leaders Blair Cottrell and Neil Erikson and attended by federal Senator Fraser Anning – is the latest headline-grabbing protest in a series of demonstrations by far… While extreme right political activism ... Read More »

I know all the risks but I’m still going to take drugs at festivals

For many, the solution to drug related deaths is much simpler than pill-testing: just stop taking them. By Anonymous The Age Anyone who has been to a festival in the past few years would quickly realise that as long as this attitude continues, deaths will continue. There’s a large degree of truth to the old stereotype of young people believing they’re invincible. In my group of friends, almost all of whom regularly take drugs at festivals, news of another drug related ... Read More »

Taxpayers to pay for Fraser Anning’s flights to far-right rally in Melbourne

Queensland Senator Fraser Anning says he was representing his constituents at the Melbourne rally. AAP – SBS Taxpayers will foot the bill of Queensland Senator Fraser Anning’s return flights to Melbourne to attend a rally involving both right-wing extremists and anti-fascists. The Queensland senator insists he was representing his local constituents on the interstate trip as his state is experiencing violence from African gangs. The controversial senator is adamant the rally was attended by “ordinary working people” rather than radicals ... Read More »

Belgium Bans Religious Slaughtering Practices, Drawing Praise and Protest

BRUSSELS — A Belgian ban on the Muslim and Jewish ways of ritually slaughtering animals went into effect on New Year’s Day, part of a clash across Europe over the balance between animal welfare and… Milan Schreuer The New York Times With both animal rights advocates and right-wing nationalists pushing to ban ritual slaughter, religious minorities in Belgium and other countries fear that they are the targets of bigotry under the guise of … “It is impossible to know the ... Read More »

India’s Muslims: Rich Hunting Ground for Middle Eastern Rivals

How Turkey’s President Erdogan is seeking to expand his leadership claim in the Islamic world in India. James M. Dorsey The Globalist Indian Muslims, 180 million strong, constitute the Islamic world’s second-largest community, after Indonesia, and well ahead of Turkey and ten times larger than Saudi Arabia’s population. Thus, when the ever expansionist and ambitious President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently declared that Turkey was “the only country that can lead the Muslim world,” it stands to reason that he wasn’t ... Read More »

Malala’s new book brings voices of world’s displaced to the fore

As we ascend the lift in the Melbourne hotel where Malala Yousafzai is staying, we have a stowaway on board. Miki Perkins The Sydney Morning Herald Ten-year-old Dante Ascui is a capable assistant to his father, Age photographer Luis Ascui, carrying the tripod as we emerge into a large room with a view of the Yarra River. But for Dante, today is not about work. When his dad discovered his first booking of the day was to photograph Yousafzai, he doubled back ... Read More »

Ireland loves exactly what Britain hates about Europe

London and Dublin’s mental geographies have embarked on different trajectories Bobby McDonagh The Irish Times Although Ireland will be deeply affected by Brexit, we have to an extraordinary extent been unaffected by the Brexit debate. The main arguments and fears of the Brexiteers are essentially alien to us. We don’t share their wish to return to an imagined past. Unlike the UK today, we are confident about our ability to promote our interests in the modern interdependent world. Xenophobia in ... Read More »

Japan finds a huge cache of scarce rare-earth minerals

Japan looks to replace China as the primary source of critical metals Rare earth elements are a set of 17 metals that are integral to our modern lifestyle and efforts to produce ever-greener technologies. Robby Berman Big Think The “rare” designation is a bit of a misnomer: It’s not that they’re not plentiful, but rather that they’re found in small concentrations, and are especially difficult to successfully extract since they blend in with and resemble other minerals in the ground. ... Read More »

‘Money has never interested me’: Mexican President shows near empty wallet

Mexico’s President has just $23,000 in the bank and virtually no other assets. AFP – SBS Mexico’s austerity-crusader President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday his official declaration contained virtually no assets, showing his nearly empty wallet to reporters as evidence. Lopez Obrador, an anti-establishment leftist who took office last month, has delighted supporters – but also fueled criticism – with his aggressive austerity measures. They include slashing his own salary, disbanding the presidential security detail and flying commercial airlines ... Read More »

The euro at 20: An enduring success but a fundamental failure

New Year’s Day 1999 saw the largest monetary changeover in history. Barry Eichengreen The Conversation On that date, just 20 years ago, 12 members of the European Union formally adopted a brand-spanking-new currency, the euro. Today seven additional EU member states use it, along with Montenegro, Kosovo, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City. If survival is the ultimate gauge of success, then this grand monetary experiment can be said to have succeeded. But as investment advisers say, past performance ... Read More »

Citizen Murdoch’s critical grip on democracy

This year will be an important year for three of the world’s oldest, continuing democracies – the United States, the UK and Australia. Kevin Rudd Brisbane Times The US will decide, post-Mueller, whether Trump’s presidency is terminal. The UK will decide whether to tear up a half a century of European integration. And Australia faces a general election. It will also be an important year for the Murdoch media where its power in these three democracies is formidable, and in ... Read More »

How A Facebook Page Helped Two Women Enter The Sabrimala Shrine

As a conservative backlash sought to silence women who wanted to visit Sabrimala, they turned online to find each other. K.A. Shaji HuffPost THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Kerala —Forty two-year-old law professor Bindu Ammini, a law professor, and 44-year-old Kanakadurga, assistant manager of a state-run grocery store, first met online in… In the early hours of January 2 this year, the two women entered the shrine under heavy police protection, prompting a violent backlash from those opposed to allowing women “of… The two ... Read More »

There’s no excuse for justifying the racist attitudes that plague Australia

We must name white supremacist beliefs, whether they come from the fringes or the Senate Luke Pearson The Guardian 2018 had a lot of moments of hope despite the rising tones of white supremacy in Australia and abroad. The Liberal party voted in favour of Pauline Hanson’s “It’s OK to be white” motion (and no, it wasn’t an “administrative error”), but quickly backtracked when media started to point out the… Just that in itself was significant in many ways. Australia doesn’t ... Read More »

Washington Trained Guatemala’s Mass Murderers—and the Border Patrol Played a Role

Now two Guatemalan children have died under Border Patrol custody. But the agency’s role in Latin American oppression has a long history. Greg Grandin and Elizabeth Oglesby The Nation John P. Longan was an agent with the US Border Patrol in the 1940s and ’50s, working near the Mexican border, where two Guatemalan migrant children fell mortally ill last month in the custody of the Border Patrol—7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquín, who died on December 8, and 8-year-old Felipe Gómez Alonzo, ... Read More »

The new generation of Filipino women rejecting skin whitening

“Growing up as a kid, I used to hate my skin as I was teased a lot because of it.” Kirsten Jelinek SBS Whitening lotion, whitening soap, whitening deodorant, and even capsules of glutathione – an antioxidant which purports to prevent skin cells from producing darkening melanin – fill the bustling shopping centres of Manila. The Philippines beauty standard of whitening goes by many names – skin lightening, skin evening, skin-fading and even skin brightening. Avon boutique owner Mary Anne ... Read More »