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His face was that familiar, his presence in so many lives that real

“Let’s go get coffee at Pellegrini’s” is about as Melbourne a thing to say as “Meet you under the clocks at Flinders Street” – maybe more so if you had fallen under the cultural sway of the Italian immigrants who helped make Melbourne’s urban fabric more urban-seeming in the… Matt Holden The Age There was a time not so long ago when there weren’t that many places to go for a coffee in the CBD, especially outside the nine-to-five. But ... Read More »

Labour condemned for rise of antisemitism in UK – ‘Friends and neighbours are afraid’

THE ORGANISATION which represents Jews in Europe has discussed issuing a “collective expression of concern” over the rise of antisemitism in Britain linked to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of Labour. David Maddox Express The annual conference of the European Jewish Association (EJA), with representatives from most countries on the continent, devoted a significant part of its first day to hear about the problems in Britain. Gideon Falter, chairman of the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism, told delegates that since Mr Corbyn had become ... Read More »

Out for a good time? Yes. Dressed to be raped? No

Susan McKay: How women choose to dress can never be taken as an invitation for assault Susan McKay The Irish Times In October 1978 five thousand women came from all over Ireland to take part in a protest march through the centre of Dublin organised by the new Dublin Rape Crisis group. Anne Connolly led the chant: “Yes means yes and… Forty years later, last week, in the closing stages of a rape trial in Cork, a barrister for the ... Read More »

Study finds ‘huge’ fall in FGM rates among African girls

Rates of female genital mutilation (FGM) have fallen dramatically among girls in Africa in the last two decades, according to new research. BBC The study, published in BMJ Global Health, cited a “huge and significant decline” among under-14s. The practice involves removing all or part of a girl or woman’s external genitalia, including the clitoris. Some societies treat it as a rite of passage, but human rights groups say it is inhumane and physically dangerous. In the worst cases, victims ... Read More »

Trump signs order to deny asylum at border

President Donald Trump has signed a proclamation that effectively will suspend the granting of asylum to migrants who cross the US border with Mexico illegally for up to 90 days. © AP 2018 9news The order, which goes into effect on Saturday, means that migrants will have to present themselves at US ports of entry to qualify for asylum. Immigrant advocates say the administration has deliberately slowed the processing of migrants at official ports, forcing them to wait for days ... Read More »

Labor promises $160m republic ballot as first step to constitutional change

Australians will be asked to vote on a republic in a $160 million national plebiscite under a Labor plan that rejects a postal survey in favour of a public ballot to resolve decades of dispute. David Crowe Brisbane Times Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has signed off on the funding plan to ask voters a “yes or no” question in the next term of Parliament, without any funding for official campaigns for or against the change. The plan assumes the same ... Read More »

Rouhani says new U.S. sanctions have no effect on Iran economy

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Nov. 10 that U.S. sanctions announced last week have had no effect on Iran’s economy because Washington had already practically reimposed them earlier. DUBAI – Reuters Hurriyet The restoration of sanctions is part of a wider effort by U.S. President Donald Trump to force Iran to curb its nuclear and missile programs as well as its support for proxy forces in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon… “The sanctions have had no impact on our economy because America had already used all the weapons at its disposal and there was nothing ... Read More »

Wins By Democratic Attorneys General Threaten To Multiply Climate Suits Against Big Oil

The oil and gas industry’s expensive victories in the midterm elections could come at a price. By Alexander C. Kaufman HuffPost Democrats scored a string of state attorney general victories on Tuesday night, ousting loyal oil and gas allies and threatening to add to mounting lawsuits against the industry over climate change. The party flipped four states and held 13, re-electing incumbents in seven of them. in an election sweep that secured Democrats 27 states that represent over 58 percent of ... Read More »

‘I felt like I failed’: Michelle Obama opens up on miscarriage, IVF

Michelle Obama says she felt “lost and alone” after suffering a miscarriage 20 years ago and she and Barack Obama underwent in vitro fertilization to conceive their two daughters. The Canberra Times AP “We were trying to get pregnant and it wasn’t going well,” Mrs Obama, 54, writes in her upcoming memoir. “We had one pregnancy test come back positive, which caused us both to forget every worry and swoon with joy, but a couple of weeks later I had ... Read More »

‘We didn’t expect all 13 out alive’: Inside the Thai cave rescue

Twelve boys and their coach trapped deep within a cave complex. An international team of divers planning one of the most dangerous missions ever to bring them out. And time was running out. By James Massola The Age Summer rains were about due on the hot, humid Saturday afternoon of June 23 in the remote northern Thai border town of Mae Sai. The 12 young members of the Wild Boars soccer club and their 25-year-old-coatch, Ekapol ”Ek” Chantawong, rode their ... Read More »

Donald Tusk’s call to defeat ‘Bolsheviks’ marks Polish political return

The power of ‘those who want to disintegrate Europe’ is growing, said the European Council president. By MICHAŁ BRONIATOWSKI Politico ŁÓDŹ, Poland — The Polish people should rise up and “defeat today’s Bolsheviks” in the country’s ruling Law and Justice party, European Council President Donald Tusk told a crowd of over a… The former Polish prime minister’s call — on the eve of the country’s independence centenary — to form an opposition movement against the government, is his first mass ... Read More »

Is a U.S.-China Clash Over Taiwan Inevitable?

With Beijing long viewing Taiwan as a red-line and Washington continuing to consider the defense of Taiwan as a core component of its Asia policy, the room for error is getting dangerously slim. Daniel R. DePetris The National Interest At a time when the trade war between Washington and Beijing shows no signs of abating and China’s policy in the South China Sea remains a major irritant in the bilateral relationship, events like the U.S.-China Diplomatic and… Defense Secretary Jim ... Read More »

Democracy is at risk in Latin America and the far right is moving in – here’s how it went wrong for the left

Latin American democracy is in peril, a crisis driven by rising social polarisation and a growing intolerance of dissent. Pia Riggirozzi The Conversation Institutional mistrust is also rising and risks deepening the disconnect between citizens and government. According to the Latin American Economic Outlook 2018, three out of four Latin Americans have very low confidence in institutions and show little or no confidence in their national governments. Likewise, a recent survey published by Intal/Latinbarometro, found that people believe that the most reliable ... Read More »

Origins and implications of the caravan of Honduran migrants

Honduras is a wonderful place for a short visit, despite its reputation as a one of the most dangerous places on the planet. Sharon McLennan The Conversation It is a small, beautiful country with an abundance of natural resources and a warm, welcoming culture. But it is a very hard place to live. I first travelled there nearly 20 years ago to do volunteer work, meeting my Honduran husband in the process. I have visited multiple times since then, including ... Read More »