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Federal election 2019: Australian Electoral Commission needs real powers to fight false claims

The Australian Electoral Commission says it is very keen to ensure that you are not misled during the current campaign to select our next Federal government. Paul Murray The West Australian So it is flooding social media with messages telling electors to be vigilant about misinformation as part of its Stop and Consider initiative. The problem is the commission also says it has absolutely no power to be a campaign umpire. “Under the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, there are no ... Read More »

Tackling rising inequality

High inequality is likely to undermine democracy, promote corruption and cronyism. Reduction of inequality on the other hand will lead to faster reduction of poverty a goal sought by both the Congress party and… Jayshree Sengupta ORF In the ongoing election, the ruling Bharathiya Janata Party (BJP) has focused on the concept of ‘New India’ and India’s future. Glorifying India’s past and promising progress in all economic fields are usually very attractive propositions for the average Indian who is sick ... Read More »

To Counter China and Russia, U.S. Mulls Inviting Hungary’s Orban to D.C.

Team Trump is trying to pull Hungary back from its cozy relationship with Moscow and Beijing. But it comes at a cost, critics say. By Robbie Gramer, Amy Mackinnon FP The Trump administration is expected to invite Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to Washington this month in what would be a public relations coup for the Central European leader, who has flouted democratic norms and… According to four current and former U.S. officials familiar with internal talks, Orban is expected ... Read More »

It’s time to vote for happiness and well-being, not mere economic growth. Here’s why:

As the federal election approaches, we’re expected to drown in slogans like “lower taxes”, “wage growth”, “franking credit reform” or “negative gearing reforms”. Authors: The Conversation These mostly assume voters are as obsessed as the politicians with economic and financial issues, rather than, say, the kind of Australia they want their grandchildren to live in. There’s no doubt we value a healthy economy and it can be argued Australia has enjoyed a “remarkable run” over the past 50 years. But ... Read More »

Picking Up the Pieces After Venezuela’s Quashed Uprising

A failed uprising by Venezuelan National Assembly Chair Juan Guaidó has emboldened President Nicolás Maduro and deepened the country’s political deadlock. ICG However difficult, outside actors should continue to press the two sides to form a transitional cabinet, stabilise Venezuela’s economy and hold elections. The events that shook Caracas on 30 April remain shrouded in mystery, but their immediate impact seems clear: further polarising a political stand-off and raising the likelihood of domestic or… They began with the… Picking Up ... Read More »

Is the Assange indictment a threat to the First Amendment?

A British court sentenced Julian Assange on May 1 to almost a year in prison for jumping bail. Ofer Raban The Conversation That’s not the end of Assange’s legal travails: he still faces the possibility of an extradition to the U.S. After a brief initial hearing, the matter will be taken up again at a hearing on May 30 in London. The American government has many reasons to dislike Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks, who is responsible for the dissemination ... Read More »

Julian Assange sentenced to 50 weeks

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail by a London court on May 1 for skipping bail to enter the Ecuadorean embassy where he was holed up for almost seven… LONDON- Reuters Hurriyet Judge Deborah Taylor read out the sentence as Assange, in a black jacket and grey sweatshirt, looked on. Taylor said Assange had exploited his privileged position to flout the law and express… He was convicted last month of skipping bail in June 2012 after an extradition order to Sweden over ... Read More »

Moral injury: violating your ethical code can damage mental health – new research

Should a soldier shoot the child who is pointing a gun at them and their colleague? Authors: The Conversation Should a photographer film the aftermath of a terrorist attack or help the injured? Many situations present professionals with ethical dilemmas – and the decisions made can have profound psychological consequences. For many years, researchers have looked at the impact of traumatic events and the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). But until recently, feelings of deep shame and guilt, stemming ... Read More »

Three months on from the medivac bill, refugee and journalist says ‘nothing has changed’

Iranian-Kurdish refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani has criticised the federal government’s medivac bill three months after it came into effect, saying a list of sick refugees he… Hannah Barry The Age Speaking at Perth’s Curtin University’s fourth annual human rights lecture on Monday, Boochani delivered the keynote address via video link and spoke about colonialism’s impact on… Boochani spoke from Port Moresby, where he is temporarily based for an interview with United States officials, and said it was important for ... Read More »

Majority of voters want action on women’s issues, new polling shows

A majority of voters believe childcare should be a tax deductible expense, that many of our politicians are sexist, that women should comprise at least half of parliamentarians, and that the… Jacqueline Maley Brisbane Times The survey of 1065 voters, split almost evenly between men and women, commissioned by independent lobby group WomenVote and conducted by YouGov Galaxy, shows large… Seventy-one per cent believe the government should be doing more to address the gender pay gap, and 75 per cent ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Guaidó accused of coup attempt by government

Venezuelan authorities say they are putting down a small coup attempt after opposition leader Juan Guaidó announced he was in the “final phase” of ending President Nicolás Maduro’s rule. BBC He appeared in a video with uniformed men, saying he had military support. Mr Guaidó, who declared himself interim president in January, called for more members of the military to help him end Mr Maduro’s “usurpation” of power. But military leaders appeared to be standing behind Mr Maduro. Venezuela’s defence ... Read More »

Why Europe Needs a Security Council

In the new world of great power competition, European cooperation is vital for survival.  That’s why a new institution is needed. Ulrich Speck Berlin Policy Journal The end of any hope for liberal convergence; the tougher tone in international affairs; the United States’ focus on competition with China, and also with Russia; Donald Trump’s ruthlessness toward… Europeans increasingly realize that to leave defense and strategic leadership largely to the US and to focus mainly on domestic affairs isn’t going to ... Read More »

Sri Lanka Bombings: A New Pattern of Transnational Terror

The recent attacks are part of Islamic State’s global expansion through local ‘franchises.’ By Angshuman Choudhury and Sarral Sharma The Diplomat On Easter Sunday morning, April 21, the world witnessed one of the century’s biggest terror attacks. The multiple suicide bombs that ripped through three churches and three luxury hotels in Sri Lanka ended the lives of at least 259 people. As the massive death toll indicates, the attack was not an ordinary one by any measure. The Islamic State ... Read More »

Council of Despair? The Fragmentation of UN Diplomacy

Wracked by divisions and political infighting, the UN Security Council is failing to respond to some of the world’s most pressing crises. ICG To overcome dysfunction and retain credibility, the council’s members should prioritise the few cases where international cooperation is still possible. What’s new?  Longstanding doubts about the effectiveness of the UN Security Council are intensifying, due to deepening tensions among the U.S. and its allies and between Western powers and Russia and China. Why does it matter?  As ... Read More »