Search Results: Middle East

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Dickens' song for the poor

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 30 April 2014
    8 Comments

    While Dickens, staunch champion of the poor and of children, reportedly hoped that A Christmas Carol might encourage the restoration of social harmony, his narrative line can also be seen as a convenient plot device. It is a deeply Christian story, not just about Christmas, but about life itself, about actions and their consequences, the need for wrongs to be made right, and the desire for hope and potentiality of renewal.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Palmer power! Lessons from the Senate by-election

    • Ray Cassin
    • 11 April 2014
    2 Comments

    The most insidious outcome of the WA Senate election is the bargaining power it has delivered to Clive Palmer, the Queensland mining magnate who dominates the party on which he has bestowed his name. He massively outspent all his rivals, raising yet again the question of whether limits should be placed on private financing of political campaigns. It is a question that, because of his newfound clout, will not be answered anytime soon.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Harsh home truths for returned asylum seekers

    • Paul White
    • 07 April 2014
    13 Comments

    Returnees to the Congo have been harassed, imprisoned and tortured by state authorities. Some have disappeared altogether. Forced returnees to Sri Lanka are routinely detained and quite often suffer torture. Hazaras returned to Afghanistan are persecuted due to their ethnicity and their adherence to the Shi'a sect. Australia continues to forcibly return asylum seekers, placing them in tremendous danger, ignoring a 2000 Senate Committee recommendation.

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Be selfish, save the planet

    • Megan Graham
    • 02 April 2014
    3 Comments

    Just a few days after we marked the annual observance of Earth Hour, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its latest report, emphasising the likelihood of an increase in extreme and irreversible damage. In light of this, the fact that we deem Earth Hour to even be necessary seems akin to prompting a dog to notice its kennel is on fire. Unless the dog is in very bad health, it would do what it needs to do to save itself.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Mistaken for Jewish in cold, grand Moscow

    • Howard Willis
    • 19 February 2014
    6 Comments

    On the occasions I got into detailed discussions with strangers in Moscow, a pattern emerged. Saying I was Australian prompted a polite request for clarification: 'But your ancestry?' The reply that I was fifth-generation Australian was treated as an evasion, or met with the assumption that my ancestors were 'bandits'. Generally, Muscovites took a second look at me and the box they ticked was 'Jew'.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Advancing human rights in the market

    • Frank Brennan
    • 11 February 2014
    1 Comment

    'The market for disability services will need to be underpinned with a strong and robust internal risk management framework. There will be an increasing number of for-profit operators in the sector. Hopefully the not-for-profit operators will make the necessary adaptations competing in the market and providing the ethos for the market to deliver services in a dignified, fair and transparent manner.' Frank Brennan's Leading the Way Seminar for the National Disability Service

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Vulnerable victims of government hit-and-run

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 04 February 2014
    7 Comments

    Each time I see a Melbourne driver wait for a pedestrian, it seems they can barely restrain the urge to run the poor person over. Similar observations could be made about how our politicians confront the most vulnerable individuals.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fawlty thinking about the aftermyth of war

    • Ray Cassin
    • 29 January 2014
    15 Comments

    'Don't mention the war!' admonishes John Cleese as the hapless hotelier Basil Fawlty in the classic television comedy series Fawlty Towers. With a string of war-related anniversaries to take place over the next four years, beginning this year with the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, we may soon find ourselves sharing Fawlty's sentiments.

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