Search Results: Russia

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Signs that East Ukraine has averted mass human tragedy

    • Tony Kevin
    • 11 August 2014
    12 Comments

    On Sunday morning Australian time, we learned that the destructive civil war raging in East Ukraine seemed to be drawing to a close, essentially on Kiev’s terms. It appears that the tense test of wills between Russia and the West generated by the crisis, which briefly last week risked a wider war, has ended in a tacit backdown by Moscow.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The return of the Jesuits

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 August 2014
    31 Comments

    Everyone knows the Jesuits have had a rocky history. They were fabulously successful in educating the European elite for quite some time. But things went off the rails badly in the eighteenth century, and in 1773 Pope Clement XIV issued a decree to 'abolish and suppress the oft-mentioned Society'. Eventually his successor Pope Pius VII issued a papal bull restoring the Society, two hundred years ago this week.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ukraine endgame?

    • Tony Kevin
    • 31 July 2014
    11 Comments

    The shooting down of MH17 by insurgent anti-aircraft missiles has now been swallowed up in the wider drama of the fierce civil war raging in Ukraine's pro-Russian eastern region. On 24 July, the International Committee of the Red Cross proclaimed Ukraine to be in a state of civil war, appealing to all those involved to respect the humanitarian rules of war or face later indictment as war criminals. The burning question now is, what will Putin's Russia do?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    How to trap a terrorist

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 31 July 2014
    2 Comments

    The German port city of Hamburg was the place where Mohammed Atta and his collaborators planned the September 11 attacks. A sense of hyper-vigilance stems from this fatal embarrassment and pervades the current events. Betrayal is weighed against betrayal, and ethics and morality are calculated using the sliding scale of a greater good that is dubbed, not without irony, as 'making the world a safer place'. But safer for whom?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The enemy is AIDS, not those who live with it

    • Michael Mullins
    • 28 July 2014
    23 Comments

    Rates of HIV infection are rising, while stigma is in decline. Some believe the only way to contain the virus is to maintain the stigma against those living with it. But the majority view is that those suffering should be empowered. If the law and the media support them, there is hope that the community will move rationally towards an end to the crisis. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Beware of political posturing after MH17 tragedy

    • Justin Glyn
    • 22 July 2014
    13 Comments

    The horror of the crash that killed 298 people was not a day old before blame was being vigorously assigned by all sides. Not only is this deeply unhelpful and disrespectful, it obscures the fact that, whatever actually happened, a terrible tragedy is at risk of being compounded by the hot-heads on all sides calling for more war and escalation of a conflict in which both Russia and the United States have acted with rank opportunism.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia's diplomatic role amid MH17 fallout

    • Tony Kevin
    • 22 July 2014
    11 Comments

    Initially I was uneasy about Abbott's strong anti-Putin rhetoric. Why was Australia so upfront, so early? I thought he was jumping to conclusions too soon. It is clear now though that his response was based on the same satellite imagery intelligence that John Kerry and Hilary Clinton cite as evidence that it was a Russian missile fired from Russian-supported insurgent territory. He was right, and Bill Shorten is correct to support him.

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  • EDUCATION

    Soccer as a Jesuit plot

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 July 2014
    11 Comments

    One of the more unlikely pieces of speculation to emerge from the World Cup concerned the origins of soccer in Brazil. A historian of the game claimed that it had been introduced by the Jesuits. According to the thinking of the Jesuits at St Louis School in Itu, near São Paulo, 'all the muscles [would] work harmoniously, and the moral lessons imbibed from sportsmanship [would] be assimilated by the students.'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    As close as we ever came to the Navy

    • Brian Doyle
    • 02 July 2014
    2 Comments

    When I was young, I thought that men and women in the military were violent and foolish. Now I understand that they are braver than I was, brave enough to admit and acknowledge our ancient addiction, and in many cases do astounding things to bring it to an end; the most eloquent and articulate agents for peace I ever met are those who've been in wars, and the most strident agents for wanton butchery are those who never knew it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott's Australia beds American Calvinism

    • Lawrence Cross
    • 27 June 2014
    30 Comments

    While a number of Cabinet ministers are Christian, their policies seem to lack any Christian emphasis on caring for the poor and disadvantaged. America's interpretation of Christianity is heavily influenced by the doctrine of the theologian John Calvin, according to whom the rich who work hard for their wealth are preparing themselves for heaven, while the poor not only deserve their plight, but may well be abandoned by God.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Waiting room blues

    • Brian Matthews
    • 23 May 2014
    6 Comments

    In the specialist’s waiting room, I usually while away the hours with quality BYO literary fare. But one day I had left my book in the car, and I searched the reading rack for reading matter on subjects more interesting than the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s Australian holiday. Succumbing at last to extreme boredom I got up, slid Soap World from under its ragtag competitors, and all was revealed.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ukraine races towards civil war

    • Tony Kevin
    • 06 May 2014
    19 Comments

    Tim Judah, highly regarded historian of the post-Yugoslavia wars of secession, predicted things were about to go very badly in Ukraine. He wrote that in the east he witnessed 'the same brave talk, euphoria, and delusions' that beset Yugoslavs before they 'tipped their country into catastrophe in the 1990s'. Just two weeks later, Ukraine races towards civil war, prompted largely by the provocative clumsiness of Kiev and its Western cheerleaders.

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