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All asylum seeker children to leave Nauru: Brandis

London: George Brandis has confirmed the Australian government is aiming to have all child asylum seekers off Nauru by the end of the year, after being grilled on an influential London radio station about Australia’s… Latika Bourke The Sydney Morning Herald The former Attorney-General, now Australia’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom, brushed aside repeated questions during his interview with Shelagh Fogarty on talkback station LBC and said… On Monday, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said there were 50 children left on the ... Read More »

A Flawed European Ruling on Free Speech

The European Court of Human Rights invoked “religious peace” as a reason to limit criticisms of the Prophet Muhammad. Simon Cottee The Atlantic According to dominant Islamic traditions, the Prophet Muhammad’s third wife Aisha was six years old at their marriage and nine at its consummation. Muslims, as Graeme Wood has pointed out, have debated the issue of Aisha’s age for a very long time, and critics of Islam seemingly can’t keep off the subject. In the fall of 2009, a woman referred to as ... Read More »

Tanzania: Anti-gay crackdown in Dar es Salaam

A Tanzanian governor has announced the creation of a surveillance squad dedicated to hunting down gay people. BBC Paul Makonda, governor of the economic capital Dar es Salaam, told reporters round-ups would begin next week. The team will scrutinise social media in order to track down and arrest people in same sex couples, he added. Homosexual acts are illegal in Tanzania, where anti-gay rhetoric has been on the rise since President John Magufuli’s election in 2015. Many gay, lesbian and ... Read More »

Georgian presidential front-runner aims at multilateralism to thaw frozen conflicts

Born in exile, the career diplomat Salome Zurabishvili faces a runoff vote after a narrow lead in the first round. Zhanna Nemtsova In an interview with DW, she stressed the importance of democracy and multipartyism in her country. Salome Zurabishvili is an independent candidate for the Georgian presidency endorsed by the Georgian Dream party. Born in Paris to a family of Georgian emigres, she was educated in France and served as a career diplomat, and was appointed ambassador of France ... Read More »

Why Europe still needs Merkel

Even the German leader’s biggest critics are worried about what will happen when she goes. By MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG Politico BERLIN — Europe’s queen is dead! But is she really? And if so, will there be a new queen? Or maybe a king? As if Europe didn’t have enough to worry about at the moment (Italy, Brexit, Poland, Hungary, populism … Italy!), Germany is back on the boil. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision this week to step aside from the leadership of her Christian Democrats may ... Read More »

Brazil’s incomplete democratic transition

In 1986, just a year after Brazil shed over two decades of military rule, the famed Império Serrano samba school in Rio de Janeiro brought a new song to the… By Vinicius Mariano de Carvalho The Washington Post “Eu quero, a bem da verdade” (“I want, for the sake of the truth”) immediately enthralled the public, with lyrics that spoke to the basic desires of all Brazilians. “Give me what’s mine / 20 years were taken from us,” rang the chorus, ... Read More »

Queenslanders will soon be protected under a Human Rights Act. Here’s what that means for you

After years of lobbying, Queenslanders will soon be protected under a Human Rights Act, to replace a patchwork of legislation under a new framework to ensure freedom of speech, safety, privacy and equality. Josh Bavas ABC Michael Cope from the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties said Australian states were some of the last in the Western world to be covered by such an act. “We know from history that democracies can quickly change from being democracies to something else,” Mr ... Read More »

Asia Bibi: Pakistan court overturns blasphemy death sentence

Christian woman to be freed after being sentenced in 2010, accused of insulting the prophet Muhammad Memphis Barker The Guardian Pakistan’s supreme court has struck down the death sentence for blasphemy handed down to Christian woman Asia Bibi, in a long-delayed, landmark decision that has seen the judiciary praised for its bravery in the face of threats of violence and protest from the country’s Islamist groups. The court, in a three-member bench led by chief justice Saqib Nisar, released the ... Read More »

Religion and refugees are deeply entwined in the US

Robert Bowers lashed out at what he believed to be a Jewish plot to bring more refugees and asylum seekers to the U.S. before allegedly murdering 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Stephanie J. Nawyn The Conversation Bowers’s claim that HIAS, a prominent Jewish humanitarian organization, was bringing migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala northward to commit violence was false. But it is true that many religious communities in the U.S., including American Jews, have long supported refugees and asylum-seeking migrants who ... Read More »

Christians’ crisis of faith threatens Norwegian government

Kingmakers torn over prospect of ousting conservatives and installing center-left alliance. Anca Gurzu Politico The future of Norway’s conservative-led government has been thrown into doubt by a small Christian party, which will decide on Friday whether to keep supporting the ruling coalition or push the country to the left. The Christian Democratic Party (KrF) is not formally part of Prime Minister Erna Solberg’s minority administration but backs the government in key parliamentary votes. KrF leader Knut Arild Hareide shocked the country at the end of… Christians’ ... Read More »

Humanity Has Wiped Out 60% Of Animals Since 1970 Report Finds

A major report has found humans have wiped out approximately 60% of the population of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970. 9GAG The estimate was the result of a report produced by the Zoological Society of London for the WWF, which included the work of 59 scientists across the globe. The report, named the Living Planet Index (LPI), revealed the ever-increasing consumption of food and resources demanded by the global population, is destroying life which has been billions of ... Read More »

Sri Lanka: Stepping Back from a Constitutional Crisis

The return to power of controversial former President Mahinda Rajapaksa as Sri Lanka’s prime minister is unconstitutional and destabilising. ICG International actors should make future security and economic cooperation contingent on parliament reconvening immediately to select a prime minister through legal channels. What’s new? On 26 October, Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena abruptly dismissed the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and appointed controversial former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the premier’s post, in a move that contravenes the constitution and threatens to destabilise ... Read More »

After a deadly month for domestic violence, the message doesn’t appear to be getting through

On average, at least one woman is killed every week at the hands of a current or former partner in Australia. Silke Meyer The Conversation Last month, the numbers were even more alarming. Nine women were killed in October – sevenallegedly in the context of a current or former intimate relationship, the other two also suspected to have died at the hands of male perpetrators. While these deaths are a disturbing reflection of the pervasive nature of violence against women in Australia, they ... Read More »

America Isn’t the ‘Only Country’ With Birthright Citizenship

The president incorrectly claims that America is the “only country” that gives citizenship to all babies born within its borders. Yasmeen Serhan and Uri Friedman The Atlantic “We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States … with all of those benefits.” So said Donald Trump this week, in explaining why he may sign an executive order ending the right to citizenship for those born ... Read More »