Search Results: military

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The Lord's Resistance Army is alive and well

    • Dorothy Horsfield
    • 25 August 2015
    1 Comment

    For almost twenty years, across the settlements and subsistence farms of Central Africa the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has preyed upon civilian populations with exceptional cruelty, emerging from the bush in small units to commit unspeakable atrocities. These days there is a common assumption that the LRA has been decimated and scattered and that its leader Joseph Kony is in hiding and probably ineffectual. But visiting activist Sister Angelique Namaika insists this optimistic assessment is misguided. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Thai turmoil continues

    • Michael Kelly
    • 24 August 2015
    4 Comments

    Thailand's chronic political instability intensified with the bomb that exploded last week in the middle of a major Bangkok tourist district. With 20 dead and still counting, the event is a decisive rebuttal of the military dictatorship's promise to restore 'happiness' to Thailand. Because Thailand's public life revolves around the frail and ageing king and the military, a brighter future awaits the outcome of royal succession.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Dyson Heydon and the PM's quest for political purity

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 24 August 2015
    14 Comments

    The spectacle is a strange one. Heydon has to rule on an application that directly concerns his own fitness to be in the position. It recalls the situation Lord Hoffmann found himself in after his links with Amnesty International perceptibly compromised his views on extraditing Chile's former military ruler Augusto Pinochet. Even the best jurists can fall foul of the bias rule.

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  • If Ignatius hadn't missed the boat ...

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 July 2015
    3 Comments

    Ignatius of Loyola, whose feast day is on 31 July, is remembered for founding the Jesuits, for his Spiritual Exercises and for the effect Jesuits had on European history and in overseas missions. He was a man who made a difference. But during his life that reputation was not a done deal. One often overlooked event, more accurately an event that failed to happen, shaped decisively how he has come to be remembered.

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  • Social activist will be sadly missed

    • John Falzon
    • 22 July 2015
    3 Comments

    Tony Thornton, former National President of the St Vincent de Paul Society in Australia, was a great lover of humanity and fighter for social justice. The persistence of poverty and homelessness in prosperous Australia affected him deeply. He was never willing to accept a status quo that included the wholesale rejection of people who were made to feel the sharp edge of inequality.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Cold War blinkers threaten MH17 truth

    • Tony Kevin
    • 19 July 2015
    9 Comments

    A Russian investigative committee continues to claim that MH17 was most likely to have been downed by an air-to-air missile that was not Russian-made. For their part, Western commentators became increasingly impatient and scornful of Russian ‘conspiracy theories’ on who downed MH17. Whether the identity of who actually shot down MH17 becomes known in the fullness of time could depend upon the extent to which our political leaders can resist using MH17 to prosecute their Cold War enmities.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Terrorist or criminal? Why it matters

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 16 July 2015
    7 Comments

    How we name someone makes a big difference. Criminals are subject to the criminal justice system. They can access legal aid and the prosecution must prove its case. Whereas terrorists can have their citizenship cancelled under the proposed changes to the Citizenship Act if they are a dual national, even without a conviction.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Foreign fighter with the 'Anzac spirit'

    • Tim Robertson
    • 12 July 2015
    7 Comments

    It's hard not to admire Reece Harding, whose sense of social justice, idealism and internationalism led him to take up arms against an organisation he seemingly believed lived up to Tony Abbott's characterisation as a 'death cult'. The Federal Government has warned Australians against travelling to the Middle East to fight on any side. But these calls are drowned out by decades of contradictory rhetoric that has seen the Anzac legend placed at the fore of our history and culture.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    When life and death break into the game

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 July 2015
    8 Comments

    Because football and other large sports are an image of life, they are safe spaces in which loss is never final and youth is never lost. But occasionally, as in the death of Philip Hughes and Phil Walsh, real life breaks into the image. Death and horror have to be grappled with.

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  • The challenge of education for social justice

    • Frank Brennan
    • 07 July 2015
    3 Comments

    I suspect Pope Francis had some of our Jesuit alumni in mind when he wrote in his encyclical Laudato Si: 'A politics concerned with immediate results, supported by consumerist sectors of the population, is driven to produce short-term growth... True statecraft is manifest when, in difficult times, we uphold high principles and think of the long-term common good. Political powers do not find it easy to assume this duty'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Border Force Act's disquieting parallels

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 July 2015
    32 Comments

    On July 1 the Australian Border Force Act 2015 became law. Detention centre staff are now forbidden to speak about human rights abuses, with a two year jail penalty applying. It is perhaps appropriate to recall the secrecy of the security apparatus of Stalinist Russia, Apartheid South Africa, and Chile and Argentina under the Generals, where victims were denigrated and information prevented from leaking out.

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  • Maintaining the humanity of the public square

    • Greg O'Kelly
    • 30 June 2015
    3 Comments

    The phrase 'the public square' is peppered throughout Frank Brennan's work. The 1988 film Cinema Paradiso depicts the public square in a Sicilian village over 30 or so years, and its slow and subtle change from a place where human beings gather to laugh, play and discuss. Billboards and garish signs appear and it becomes a car park bereft of its humanity.

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