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Helen Garner’s musical metaphors come alive in a new production of The Children’s Bach

A new production of an Australian opera is an unusual event. Michael Halliwell The Conversation The performance of Andrew Schultz and Glenn Perry’s 2008 opera, The Children’s Bach, as part of the Canberra International Music Festival, was refreshing and welcome. Perfectly suiting the central thematic strand of the Festival – the music of Johann Sebastian Bach – the opera is based on the 1984 novella by acclaimed Australian writer, Helen Garner. The title is derived from a book of relatively ... Read More »

Let’s put Turkey’s EU membership back on track

Brussels needs Ankara as much as Ankara needs Brussels. By MEVLÜT ÇAVUŞOĞLU Politico ANKARA — Some 30 years ago, on the occasion of Turkey’s formal membership application to the EU, then Prime Minister Turgut Özal likened the process of joining the bloc to “a long and narrow road,” referring to a famous verse by the folk-poet Aşık Veysel. Time has proven that the road has, indeed, been not just long and narrow, but also bumpy. Turkey-EU relations were overshadowed in the ... Read More »

Serbia and NATO’s Shameful Legacy

An interview with Živadin Jovanović, distinguished author and former Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1998-2000), President of the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals By Živadin Jovanović and Maurizio Vezzosi Global Research Maurizio Vezzosi: Remembering the 1999’s bombing over Belgrade, some days ago Serbian president Vucic stressed that Serbia isn’t going to join Nato. How do you comment it? Živadin Jovanović: Serbia is a peace loving country, never belonged to any military block, never sought other countries’ ... Read More »

How is climate change affecting fishes? There are clues inside their ears

Climate change affects all life on Earth, but it poses unique challenges for aquatic species. Karin Limburg The Conversation For example, as water warms it holds less dissolved oxygen than cooler water. As a result, the world’s oceans, coastal seas, estuaries, rivers and lakes are undergoing a process known as “deoxygenation.” When dissolved oxygen levels fall to about 2 milligrams per liter – compared to a normal range of roughly 5 to 10 mg/L – many aquatic organisms become severely ... Read More »

Charging asylum application fees is the latest way the US could make immigrants pay for its red tape

The Trump administration wants to make people fleeing persecution in their home countries pay for something they’ve long gotten for free: the right to apply for asylum in the United States. Sarah R. Sherman-Stokes The Conversation As an immigration attorney and a law professor who has represented people seeking asylum for over a decade, I believe this change, which could go into effect as soon as the summer of 2019, would be not just cruel but also unusual. At present, ... Read More »

It’s Time For A New Story

In a less than a week, Australians will register their feelings at the polling booth. What will most influence our voting choices? Mike Dowson thinks it’s the stories we believe. New Matilda Bad decisions, like our persistent failure to act on the big challenges of our time, are a product of bad stories. But that may be about to change. One summer, Helen and I were driving home from the country. We stopped in a small town, filled the tank, ... Read More »

Getting Aid to Separatist-held Ukraine

The front lines in eastern Ukraine are slowly freezing in place, as is civilian deprivation in the conflict zone. Anna Arutunyan ICG An embargo, bureaucracy and distrust conspire to keep humanitarian aid out. Russia and Ukraine should find politically neutral ways to unblock the flow of assistance. After five years of war, a humanitarian crisis drags on in the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics (L/DPR), the parts of eastern Ukraine nominally governed by Russian-backed separatists. More than 3.5 million ... Read More »

Sweden to reopen rape case against WikiLeaks’ Assange

Swedish prosecutors said on May 13 they are reopening a rape case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a month after he was removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. STOCKHOLM-The Associated Press Hurriyet Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden‘s deputy director of public prosecutions, told a news conference in Stockholm that “there is still a probable cause to suspect that Assange committed a rape.” She added: “It is my assessment that a new questioning of Assange is required.” Swedish prosecutors filed preliminary charges – a step short of formal… ... Read More »

Greens within striking distance in Josh Frydenberg’s seat of Kooyong, poll finds

Exclusive: treasurer is just in front of Greens’ star candidate Julian Burnside 52% to 48% on a two-party preferred basis Katharine Murphy The Guardian A new poll in the Victorian seat of Kooyong puts the Liberals ahead, but the Greens within striking distance of taking the blue-ribbon seat from the treasurer and deputy Liberal leader… A poll of 1,741 respondents taken for the Greens by Environmental Research+Counsel this month has Frydenberg on a primary vote of 41%, the Greens candidate, ... Read More »

Maritime issues prompt Coast Guard to review law of the sea

To address pressing maritime issues, the Philippine Coast Guard conducted a seminar aimed to review the law of the sea. Betheena Unite Manila Bulletin The one-day seminar was organized by the Office of the Deputy Chief of Coast Guard Staff for Maritime Security Services last May 9 in a bid to refresh their knowledge of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the… According to Capt. Glenda Pereyra, deputy chief of Coast Guard Staff for Maritime Security Services, maritime ... Read More »

Their Islands Are Being Eroded. So Are Their Human Rights, They Say.

Indigenous Australians from low-lying islands in the Torres Strait argue that the government, by failing to act on climate change, has violated their fundamental right to maintain their… Livia Albeck-Ripka The New York Times MASIG ISLAND, Australia — Every weekend, Yessie Mosby visits the sandy, washed-out graves of his ancestors to gather their scattered bones. Their shallow burial place, just yards from the shore of Masig Island, north of mainland Australia, has been eroded by rising seas. “Other parents around the world ... Read More »

Mounting evidence the tide is turning on News Corp, and its owner

There is mounting evidence that Australia is sick of Rupert Murdoch and the political propaganda machine he runs in the guise of a news organisation. Denis Muller The Conversation In January, Bill Shorten rebuffed an open-ended offer to meet Murdoch whenever the opposition leader was in the United States. According to the ABC’s 7.30 political editor, Laura Tingle, Shorten replied that any dealings he had with News Corp would be conducted with the company’s representatives in Australia. This was a ... Read More »

Mena Mangal: Journalist and women’s rights campaigner shot dead in broad daylight in Kabul

‘This woman had already shared that her life was in danger. Why did nothing happen? We need answers’ Abby Young-Powell The Independent An Afghan journalist and political advisor, who was vocal about women’s rights in the country, has been gunned down in broad daylight, just days after saying she believed her life was in danger. Mena Mangal was shot dead on Saturday morning in a public place while she was on her way to work in the capital city of Kabul. ... Read More »

Turkey on collision course with Egypt over drilling off Cyprus

Cairo’s reaction also shows anger at the destabilising role that Turkey has been playing in the region and its interference in Egypt’s affairs and those of other countries in the region. Amr Emam The Arab Weekly CAIRO – Relations between Egypt and Turkey are expected to deteriorate after Cairo warned Ankara against drilling off Cyprus. The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said May 4 that it followed “with concern Turkish plans to drill off the western coast of Cyprus,” warning of ramifications ... Read More »