Society

Trump Knew Just What He Was Getting With Manafort: A Crook

Judge Ellis credited Manafort with an “otherwise blameless life.” That couldn’t be more wrong. Kenneth F. McCallion Daily Beast The 47-month sentence meted out to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort by Judge T.S. Ellis in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, last Thursday was little more than a slap on the wrist, considering the… Manafort was facing up to 25 years in prison for having carried out several complex banking fraud schemes that defrauded both banks and the U.S. government ... Read More »

In Manus, theatre delivers home truths that can’t be dodged

How to review a play whose relationship with matters of fact is so serious and politically culpable it overwhelms the critical distinctions that might normally be used to judge it? Julian Meyrick The Conversation Where is Stanislavski’s “magic if” (if I were a refugee locked up for six years by the Australian government …)? What are the “given circumstances” (near-drowning at sea, a sun-beaten island at the end of the earth)? Or the “inciting incident” (political oppression, military destruction, despair ... Read More »

String of British firms switch over to four-day working week

Exclusive: small companies tell the Guardian of the impact of ending ‘Friday fatigue’ Robert Booth Social affairs correspondent and Matthew Holmes The Guardian A string of small British firms have switched their workers over to a four-day week, the Guardian can reveal, amid mounting political interest in the idea that working less could deliver higher productivity and better balance between life and work. A lingerie manufacturer, a lighting design firm and a landscape architect are among a wave of employers experimenting with ... Read More »

Salvaging South Sudan’s Fragile Peace Deal

The truce in South Sudan is holding but could break down at any time. ICG To stave off renewed civil war, external actors should urge the belligerents to strike new bargains on security and internal boundaries – and accept a third-party protection force for the capital. What’s new? South Sudan’s new peace deal is nearing its first critical test: the formation of a unity government in May 2019. But steps toward key interim benchmarks – unifying a national army and ... Read More »

Silk Road opens a rift in Italy’s government

Washington and Brussels fear Rome is getting too close to China. Silvia Sciorilli Borrelli Politico ROME — Italy’s government has split over whether to sign onto China’s landmark “One Belt, One Road” infrastructure program that runs across Asia to key European trade hubs. Some 13 EU countries have signed up to China’s new Silk Road plan, but Washington and Brussels are deeply concerned that the involvement of G7 heavyweight Rome could lend greater credibility to a project that they view as a… Prime ... Read More »

Hidden women of history: Australia’s first known female voter, the famous Mrs Fanny Finch

In this series, we look at under-acknowledged women through the ages. On 22 January 1856, an extraordinary event in Australia’s history occurred. Kacey Sinclair The Conversation It is not part of our collective national identity, nor has it been mythologised over the decades through song, dance, or poetry. It doesn’t even have a hashtag. But on this day in the thriving gold rush town of Castlemaine, two women took to the polls and cast their votes in a democratic election. ... 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 »

Brazil: two ex-police officers arrested over murder of Marielle Franco

Franco, an outspoken critic of police violence against favela residents, was killed in 2018, prompting international outrage Dom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro The Guardian Two former police officers have been arrested over the murder of the Rio de Janeiro councillor Marielle Franco, two days before the first anniversary of her death, which prompted international outrage. Franco, a groundbreaking politician who was born in one of Rio’s largest favelas and became a voice for disadvantaged people in the city, was killed in ... Read More »

Spotting the signs of strangulation could save a life. But they’re not always obvious

It’s been described as a “last warning shot” before death. RN By Ben Hays and Damien Carrick for The Law Report ABC Women who survive strangulation are up to seven times more likely to go on to die at the hands of their partner, according to recent studies in the US. And there are side effects that aren’t always obvious to treating doctors, paramedics or police officers — everything from voice changes to blood clots, strokes and paralysis. Survivors and ... Read More »

Venice is facing multiple tourism threats and many Venetians now want controls on visitors

They used to say “see Venice and die”. The impossible city-on-the-sea has long been a bucket list staple for travellers lured by its water and its stone. Foreign Correspondent – By Samantha Hawley and Bronwen Reed in Venice But now Venetians are questioning whether the city itself will survive long enough for coming generations to experience. Venice is facing multiple threats but, as Foreign Correspondent discovers, the sheer weight of visitors is the one that many locals find the most overwhelming. ... Read More »

Brexit vote: What just happened?

Theresa May’s planned Brexit deal has suffered a major defeat in the UK parliament, leaving the Brexit process in disarray. BBC Mrs May began the day with renewed hope after securing last-minute changes to her withdrawal deal with the EU. But MPs roundly defeated her proposals, 391 votes to 242, weeks after her first attempt to pass the deal met the same fate. Had the vote gone her way, the UK would be preparing to leave the EU on 29 ... Read More »

Brexit: ‘Legally binding’ changes to EU deal agreed

Theresa May says she has secured “legally binding” changes to her Brexit deal, a day ahead of MPs voting on it. BBC But European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned if the deal was voted down there was “no third chance”. They spoke at a joint press conference in Strasbourg after a late meeting. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the prime minister’s negotiations had “failed” and the announcements did not contain “anything approaching the changes” she had promised Parliament. Cabinet Office ... Read More »

US withdrawing last of its embassy personnel from Venezuela

The United States announced on March 11 that it is pulling the remaining staff from its embassy in Venezuela, citing the deteriorating situation in the South American nation. CARACAS- The Associated Press Hurriyet Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the decision as Venezuela struggles to restore electricity following days of blackouts around the country and a deepening political crisis. The U.S. has led an international effort to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro and replace him with opposition leader Juan Guaido, who vows to hold a ... Read More »

Human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh jailed ‘for 38 years’ in Iran

Lawyer sentenced to decades in prison and 148 lashes, husband writes on Facebook Reuters in Geneva The Guardian Nasrin Sotoudeh, an internationally renowned human rights lawyer jailed in Iran, has been handed a new sentence that her husband said was 38 years in prison and 148 lashes. Sotoudeh, who has represented opposition activists including women prosecuted for removing their mandatory headscarf, was arrested in Juneand charged with spying, spreading propaganda and insulting Iran’s supreme leader, her lawyer said. She was jailed ... Read More »

‘Consumers must act’: Jane Goodall’s plea to avoid a ‘bleak’ future

Individuals everywhere must make different choices if humanity – and many of the world’s other species – are to avoid a “bleak” future, leading environmental campaigner Jane Goodall says. Peter Hannam The Sydney Morning Herald Dr Goodall, who is heading to Australia in May for a series of talks dubbed Rewind the Future, said “the consumer must take responsibility”, adding “the accumulation of millions of ethical choices will certainly make a… The renowned naturalist, who turns 85 next month, said the increase in ... Read More »

Why Americans Don’t Cheat on Their Taxes

The weirdly hopeful story of how the U.S. came to be a leader in tax compliance Rene Chan The Atlantic If such a thing as American exceptionalism remains, maybe it can be found in this: Despite deep IRS budget cuts, an average audit rate that has plunged in recent years to just 0.6 percent, and a… Even more remarkable, most of us feel obliged to pay. To quote the findings of a 2017 IRS survey: “The majority of Americans (88%) ... Read More »