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The Roots of Right-Wing Dominance in Israel

Most commentators have focused on Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s personal qualities to explain what looked to many to be an unlikely election victory. Shlomo Avineri Project Syndicate But there are important structural reasons for Likud’s durability in power, and a strong economy is just the start. JERUSALEM – Binyamin Netanyahu’s latest electoral success, winning a fifth term as Israel’s prime minister, is by any measure a remarkable achievement for him and his right-wing Likud party. Serious corruption charges did ... Read More »

Why Notre Dame matters, in one Victor Hugo passage

What Victor Hugo wrote to save Notre Dame when it was on the brink of destruction. Constance Grady Vox Notre Dame is on fire, and its spire has fallen. As of Monday afternoon, we don’t know for sure how the fire began or how extensive the damage is, but the world has responded to the news with an outcry of horror and grief. “Paris is beheaded,” one man told the New York Times as the spire fell. If we lose Notre ... Read More »

The End of the American Century

What the life of Richard Holbrooke tells us about the decay of Pax Americana George Packer The Atlantic What’s called the American century was really just a little more than half a century, and that was the span of Richard Holbrooke’s life. It began with the Second World War and the creative burst that followed—the United Nations, the Atlantic alliance, containment, the free world—and it went through dizzying lows and highs, until it expired the day before yesterday. The thing ... Read More »

Poverty as a moral question: do we have the collective will to end it?

How did we get here, and why does Australia, allegedly the land of the fair go, fail to make progress on lifting the bottom 10% out of poverty? Gay Alcorn The Guardian Ronald Henderson, the chair of Australia’s only comprehensive inquiry into poverty, had what a friend called “an offended conscience”. His inquiry, whose main report was released a few months before the Whitlam government was dismissed in 1975, did as much as any single act before or after it ... Read More »

George Pell media contempt case could have ‘chilling effect’ on open justice, court hears

Lawyers for 36 Australian news organisations and journalists accused of committing contempt of court over their coverage of Cardinal George Pell’s sex abuse trial have told a hearing the case could have a… Emma Younger ABC The news outlets and individuals, including the editors of The Age and Herald Sun newspapers, are accused of breaching a suppression order which banned reporting on Cardinal Pell’s first trial until the… Barrister Matt Collins QC, representing the accused media, told the first hearing ... Read More »

How we will rebuild trust in Irish banking

A new independent body will have a dedicated focus on banking culture John Hedigan The Irish Times Trust in the Irish banking system is at an all-time low. This is an unsustainable situation which damages not only the banking sector but the general public interest. To address this problem, banking culture in Ireland needs to change. For that change to be authentic and sustainable, it must come from within. If regulation were enough, the necessary change would have come about ... Read More »

Watch: Moment Notre Dame Cathedral’s spire comes crashing down amid fire

A Twitter user captured the moment the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral’s spire came crashing to the ground amid a raging fire. Emma Beswick euronews A “significant fire” broke out around 7 pm CEST local time at the landmark in central Paris, according to the national police. The spire fell roughly an hour after this. Smoke could be seen billowing out from the top of the medieval cathedral, as flames leapt out beside its two bell towers, a Reuters witness said. ... Read More »

Leonardo joined art with engineering

Leonardo da Vinci’s remarkable capacity for careful observation made him an astonishing artist and a brilliant scientist. Ben Shneiderman The Conversation He was able to compare the speed of a bird’s wing movement downwards and upwards. He noticed the differences between arteries carrying blood from the heart and the veins bringing the blood back, so as to draw accurate models of the human circulatory system. His portrait paintings were groundbreaking because Leonardo was the first to show accurate musculature in ... Read More »

Assange will cooperate with Sweden, but fight US warrant: lawyer

Julian Assange would cooperate with Swedish authorities if they reopen a rape case against him but will continue to resist any bid to extradite him to the United States, his lawyer said on April 14. LONDON – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet “We are absolutely happy to answer those queries if and when they come up,” Jennifer Robinson told Sky News television about the rape claims. “The key issue at the moment is U.S. extradition, which we have warned about for many years,” she added. The WikiLeaks ... Read More »

China takes Australia’s Huawei 5G ban to global trade umpire

Beijing: China has complained to the World Trade Organisation about Australia’s ban on Huawei participating in the 5G network. Kirsty Needham WAtoday The complaint, made at a WTO meeting in Geneva on Friday, does not mention Huawei by name but refers to Australia’s “discriminatory market access prohibition on 5G equipment”, according to the meeting’s agenda seen by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. The complaint has been lodged with global trade umpire as the federal government has entered caretaker mode ahead of the ... Read More »

Australia needs stronger laws to deal with hate speech

The attack on the Al Noor mosque began at 1.40 in the afternoon, when most of those in attendance were at prayer. Forty-two people, ranging in age from three years old to 77 years old, died. By Gillian Triggs and Julian Burnside The Sydney Morning Herald The attack resumed about 15 minutes later at the Linwood Islamic Centre, a few kilometres from the Al Noor mosque where eight people died. A 28-year-old Australian has been charged with 50 murders. He ... Read More »

‘I did as I was told’: $1 million lawsuit against Knox for child sex abuse

Greg Dubler was just 10 years old when he was sent to board at Knox, the prestigious private school on Sydney’s upper north shore. Peter FitzSimons and Rick Feneley The Sydney Morning Herald His parents were having marriage troubles and wanted to travel to Europe together to try to work things out. Their three sons, Martin, Robert and Greg, who had been Knox day boys, were sent to board at the school for three months in 1975. Greg was the ... Read More »

A Voice Of Reason: Why Christopher Hitchens Matters

Hitchens emerges as a voice of resistance that echoes through the twenty first century. Fahad Zuberi Outlook It matters today because totalitarianism has created precedence in world politics, and newer totalitarian ideas are on the rise. ‘Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. The grave will supply plenty of time for silence.’ And having lived true to what he said for sixty-two years, Christopher Eric Hitchens remained anything but a silent spectator. It would not be an exaggeration to ... Read More »

Prominent Australian journalist Mary Kostakidis speaks out for Assange

Mary Kostakidis, a prominent Australian journalist, attended the Socialist Equality Party’s rally in Sydney yesterday, called to oppose the illegal arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and… Oscar Grenfell wsws Kostakidis has been a leading figure in the media industry for many years. Kostakidis was the main presenter for the national television program “SBS World News” for over two decades, until 2007. She is known and respected by millions of people across the country. The journalist has a lengthy record ... Read More »