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  • AUSTRALIA

    Q&A fails smart women

    • Moira Rayner
    • 10 March 2015
    23 Comments

    Annabel Crabb chaired it all really well, but the next day I realised that not only our Foreign Minister, but not one panelist, got one question about their extraordinary achievements. Bishop was managing partner of a big law firm. She has unique experiences and must have views on the world’s problems and their impact on Australia. But nobody asked.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    How to be a gym junkie and a food junkie at the same time

    • Isabella Fels
    • 10 March 2015
    5 Comments

    How I love sweating in the gym. I frantically try to keep going on the treadmill to burn off as many of the naughty calories as I can. I can really feel myself spinning, almost like a spiritual awakening. My personal trainer is my motivator, and in many ways I feel like I have already won the battle of the bulge just by turning up.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What drives young Australian Muslims to join IS

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 February 2015
    41 Comments

    I fear for those Muslim young people driven into the arms of ideological extremists so unnecessarily. I'm prompted to recall my school years, when Soviet troops were invading Hungary to put down the brief revolution. I wondered uneasily whether it was not perhaps my duty to go to Hungary to fight for freedom there. For an idealistic young man whose Catholicism was tightly intertwined with anti-communism, the thought was natural.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The case for defending children and their advocates

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 24 February 2015
    10 Comments

    Children have always suffered and been exploited. Only recently have been regarded as being children at all, rather than mini-people. Reformers like Dickens raised consciousness beginning in the 19th century. Bombs are raining on children in Syria and elsewhere. Not so Australia, but many are being damaged nonetheless. The Australian Human Rights Commission is having to defend its report on Immigration Detention from critics that include the Prime Minister.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Don't keep calm and carry on

    • Tony Kevin
    • 23 February 2015
    29 Comments

    On Monday, Tony Abbott made his finest speech as prime minister. Yet it was also scare-mongering, heavy handed and intimidatory. It reminded members of the Muslim Community that the Australian Government has the power to control and punish them. It may be a vote winner for a while, but for long term effect it’s worth contrasting it with the British Government’s successful calming messaging during the 1969-97 terror campaign.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Making a difference in the age of high-speed politics

    • Zac Alstin
    • 16 February 2015
    11 Comments

    The ancient Chinese text the Zhuangzi tells of a kingdom where the people rose up and killed their ruler three times in succession. Australia has seen two of its rulers 'killed' in succession since 2010, with a third now perilously close to extinction. Are we approaching a point where the highest expression of political wisdom would be not to run for leadership at all?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Asylum seeker Ali's successful day in court

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 12 February 2015
    23 Comments

    Former Immigration Minister's Scott Morrison's ruthless determination to prevent refugees arriving by boat from getting permanent residence has been successfully challenged. On Wednesday, the High Court ordered the current Immigration Minister to grant a permanent protection visa to a Pakistani Hazara 'S297'. Such an instruction is almost unheard of, as usually the Minister is asked to re-make the decision lawfully.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Strong' leadership misses the mark

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 11 February 2015
    19 Comments

    Tony Abbott and Campbell Newman prided themselves on strong leadership. They assumed voters would think the country was in good hands if it was ruled by a strong-willed leader who gives priority to pushing through programs rather than signalling, explaining and defending them. A more effective way forward in politics could be to forget slogans and will-power and instead give priority to communication and action that is based on reason.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    ISIS not the only enemy for Iraqi Kurds

    • Vanessa Powell
    • 10 February 2015
    6 Comments

    In Northern Iraq, foreign owned oil companies have been moving in. As locals are turfed from their land to make way for oil production, they must fight for their rights and their environment. They say poisonous gases are causing crop failure. Australians bear some of the responsibility.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Self-righteous road use causes accidents

    • Anthony James
    • 10 February 2015
    26 Comments

    Better infrastructure such as dedicated bike lanes helps to avoid cyclists being injured. But the road is not a battleground and increased armoury is not the answer to our need for safer roads. A more gracious attitude to each other on the part of both motorists and cyclists is just as important.  

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Pope's Romero move could heal Latin American divisions

    • Antonio Castillo
    • 09 February 2015
    19 Comments

    Forces inside the Vatican stalled and blocked it for 20 years. But earlier this month, Pope Francis issued the declaration that Salvadorian Archbishop Oscar Romero was murdered 'in hatred of the faith' and not for political reasons. He is no longer officially suspected of being a Marxist sympathiser. In fact liberation theology itself has been undergoing a quiet rehabilitation during Francis' pontificate.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Archbishop of Canterbury's advice for Joe Hockey

    • Michael Mullins
    • 08 February 2015
    8 Comments

    As a former business executive, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby speaks with particular authority on economic issues. He has just given a landmark speech on the ‘Good Economy’ in which he stresses that everybody including the marginalised has a role to play. As our Coalition MPs undergo soul searching in order to reconnect with the Australian people, they might consider the virtues of a reduced pace of economic growth that has more universal benefit.    

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