Society

If only we cared about refugees as much as strawberries!

If only the asylum seekers and their children on Nauru and Manus were strawberries. Perhaps they would have more of a chance of grabbing the attention of the Prime Minister. Perhaps they wouldn’t try to kill themselves, as a… Warwick McFadyen The Age If they were able to miraculously turn into strawberries, then it is more than likely they might see and hear this: Prime Minister Scott Morrison leaping to their aid. A press conference to the nation. A declaration, ... Read More »

Nauru blocking refugee evacuations a problem of Australia’s creation – judge

Commonwealth ‘created this situation’ by setting up regional processing deal with another sovereign state, Justice Debra Mortimer says Helen Davidson The Guardian Nauru’s attempts to block court-ordered medical evacuations of refugees is a problem of the Australian government’s creation, a federal court judge has said in a damning ruling. Justice Debra Mortimer made the comments early last week while ordering the urgent transfer of a young woman who was ill after trying to take her own life, after she was ... Read More »

Indonesian incest rape victim, 15, could be sent back to jail for having an abortion

An appeal against the acquittal of a 15-year-old rape victim who was charged with illegal abortion in Indonesia has been condemned by local activists, who say the move is a backward step for the protection of women. Tasha Wibawa ABC A regional prosecution office launched the appeal, saying it wanted the case to serve as a lesson to others considering aborting a pregnancy, the Jakarta Post reported. The girl — who fell pregnant after being raped by her brother — ... Read More »

Turkey Must Choose the Tough Option and Leave Syria

Ankara doesn’t want to leave, but it doesn’t want armed conflict either. On September 17, Erdoğan reached an agreement with Putin at a meeting in Sochi to create buffer zones between government forces and those of the opposition confronting each other in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib in a… Mohammed Ayoob The National Interest This may have postponed the military showdown for the moment but is unlikely to lead to a lasting solution as the regime of President Bashar al-Assad ... Read More »

Obesity ‘to be linked to more female cancers’ than smoking

Obesity is set to overtake smoking as the biggest preventable cause of cancer in UK women by 2043, a Cancer Research UK report predicts. BBC Currently, 12% of cancers in women are linked to smoking, and 7% to being overweight and obese. But with the number of smokers falling and obesity rates projected to rise, the charity estimates that gap will disappear in 25 years time. The figures assume that current trends will continue. Cancer Research UK’s projections calculate that ... Read More »

The United Nations has entered its darkest hour

If the United Nations were a stock or an index fund, you might want to short it. Founded in 1945 to “maintain international peace and security,” the UN in recent years has been powerless to stop slaughter in Syria, Yemen and Myanmar. James Gibney Brisbane Times Bloomberg Civil conflicts are nearing post-Cold War highs. The number of displaced people has hit a new record. After decades of improvement, more of the… The gap between what the UN seeks and receives ... Read More »

Influence in Australian politics needs an urgent overhaul – here’s how to do it

Public policy should be made for all Australians – not just those with the resources or connections to lobby and influence politicians. And mostly it is. Authors: The Conversation But sometimes bad policy is made or good policy is dropped because powerful groups have more say and sway than they should. Australia’s political institutions are generally robust, but many of the “risk factors” for policy capture by special interests are present in our system. Political parties are heavily reliant on ... Read More »

Washington’s Farcical “Certifications” Enable the War Crimes of Allies

And violate U.S. law. Ted Galen Carpenter The National Interest Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s certification that the Saudi-led military coalition in the Yemen war was taking adequate steps to avoid inflicting civilian casualties may have achieved a new low in U.S. foreign-policy ethics. There is abundant evidence of multiple atrocities that Riyadh and its United Arab Emirates (UAE) junior partner have committed and continue to commit. The coalition’s war strategy has created a famine as well as a cholera ... Read More »

Turkey went on a building spree as its economy boomed. Now the frenzy is crashing to a halt.

ISTANBUL — Inside the Ozdilek Park mall, Dogukan Altin arrives for his shift at a men’s clothing store. Today is a national holiday and almost everyone has the day off. But almost no one has come to Ozdilek. David J. Lynch The Washington Post “It’s generally just empty. There’s too many malls,” says Altin, 34, sporting a close-cropped beard along with a dark tie and white shirt. “Because there’s three malls right next to each other, none of them make ... Read More »

60 Minutes: ‘A catastrophic loss of faith in democracy’

“Why do so many Prime Ministers get replaced?” The question posed by a primary school student from Sydney’s western suburbs on a visit to Parliament House tested his local MP. Chris Uhlmann 9news And since Malcolm Turnbull was deposed at Australia’s 29th Prime Minister, just a month ago, there has been no answer to why the fourth leader in a decade has been cut down by his own party. But here’s something we do know. There has been a catastrophic ... Read More »

There Could Be a Financial Crash Before End of Trump’s First Term, Experts Say, Citing Looming Debts

Financial experts noted several ominous economic indicators, including skyrocketing student loans and U.S. household debts, that could predict a crash “worse than the Great Depression,” according to a… Benjamin Fearnow Newsweek Goldman Sachs predicted that this year’s U.S. fiscal outlook would be “not good,” and that U.S. household debt had been increasing since the 2008 housing crisis led to American taxpayers bailing out the… In 2018, experts said, a $247 trillion global debt will be the greatest cause of the next cataclysmic financial crash. Additionally, low ... Read More »

Strategic lawsuits against public participation – fight or flight?

Lawsuits that purport to limit public input are commonly used to silence critics and hinder freedom of expression, writes World Law Forum co-founders Joslyn Ma and Pratik Bakshi. By: Joslyn Ma and Pratik Bakshi Lawyers Weekly Imagine taking a flight and being terribly bothered by the poor customer service of the airline. You publish a blog against the airline and provide factual accounts of your experience. Soon after, the airline threatens to take legal action against you for alleged defamation ... Read More »

So Much Like Home: From Palestine To Central Australia

In December 2016, New Matilda editor Chris Graham travelled to the Middle East, his first visit to Palestine. What he found shocked him, but not so much for the depth of poverty and oppression, but rather for how much it reminded him of the… Chris Graham New Matilda In his 2013 documentary Utopia, Australian journalist John Pilger looks at the state of Aboriginal Australia following the Northern Territory intervention, a cynical government policy launched in the lead up to the… The ... Read More »

Chinese medical vessel docks in Venezuela

The humanitarian tour will provide medical help to the crisis-ridden country, but Venezuelan officials said it was also part of a “strategic defense operation.” Medication prices have soared as the currency tanks. DW The Chinese army medical vessel “Peace Ark” arrived in Venezuela’s La Guaira port on Saturday, as the country faces a deep economic crisis that has devastated its public health services. It is the latest stop for the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s ship in its 11-nation “Mission Harmony” ... Read More »

How to use Queensland’s new container recycling scheme

There are doubts within the waste industry that Queensland’s new recycling scheme can be ready for launch at the start of next month. Tony Moore Brisbane Times From November 1, Queenslanders can claim a 10-cent refund for most plastic drink containers, beer bottles and aluminium cans at one of 232 collection points from Coen to Coolangatta. The state’s first-ever container exchange refund scheme is run by a not-for-profit company called COEX (Container Exchange) and branded as Containers for Change. Recycling companies see ... Read More »

This pains me, but it’s time to compromise on Australia’s cruel asylum seeker policy

Vacating the moral high ground is part of ending the most terrible act perpetrated by the Australian state during my lifetime Robert Manne The Guardian In the past 30 years Australia has crafted an almost uniquely cruel asylum seeker policy. Our only competitor is the proudly illiberal Hungary. When Malcolm Turnbull outlined our current policy to Donald Trump in their notorious telephone conversation, the US president was mightily impressed. “You are worse than I am.” No more evidence about the ... Read More »