Search Results: Assad

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Christians and Muslims exchange Middle East kindness

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 31 July 2014
    5 Comments

    As an Arab-Australian it's difficult to watch the events in Syria, Iraq and Gaza without a sense of guilt and shame. To outside eyes, it must appear that the Middle East is driven by hatred and bloodlust. In fact there is a long history of persecuted members of one Middle Eastern faith finding safety in the places of worship of those that are often cast as their enemies. This is the Middle East, at once unconscionably cruel and unbearably kind.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ukraine endgame?

    • Tony Kevin
    • 30 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia's diplomatic role amid MH17 fallout

    • Tony Kevin
    • 21 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    A case of the Ramadan blues

    • Irfan Yusuf
    • 10 July 2014
    12 Comments

    We’re in Ramadan, a time when you’re supposed to be nicer than you normally are. In recent times my mob hasn’t received much niceness from certain quarters. Some of the nasties have been inspired by hysteria related to a proposal to build a mosque in Bendigo. I’m not quite sure what Bendigo’s largely university-based Muslim community did to deserve so much vitriol. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia supplying alleged refugee persecutors

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 10 July 2014
    6 Comments

    While Immigration Minister Scott Morrison sits with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and hands over customs vessels to the Sri Lankan Government for use in preventing people escaping Sri Lanka, Australia's High Court is deciding whether a group of 158 Sri Lankan asylum seekers can be returned to the Sri Lankan Government. How did we get to the stage where we are supplying the alleged persecutors with the means of stopping people from escaping and seeking our protection?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Australia should be worried about a Prabowo presidency

    • Pat Walsh
    • 06 July 2014
    3 Comments

    Both candidates for Indonesia's 9 July presidential election – Jokowi and Prabowo – have said Australia does not seem to trust Indonesia, but they would continue President SBY’s good neighbour policy. Prabowo later repeated this assurance to the media and diplomats. His message is that Australia and the international community have nothing to worry about from a Prabowo presidency. The prospects are very different. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Hillary Clinton's bloodless memoir

    • Barry Gittins
    • 03 July 2014
    2 Comments

    This was akin to reading a carefully vetted resume. An intelligent and formidable first lady, senator and Secretary of State, and no shrinking violet, the author presents a largely passionless, desiccated record. There's the odd poignant reflection. Absurd depictions of Mel Brooksian secure rooms (and the reading of documents with a blanket over her head in non-secure rooms). But, overall, Clinton draws pictures without drawing blood.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    High Court backs ministerial power over asylum seekers

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 19 June 2014
    6 Comments

    Over the last few years the High Court has made several decisions which found the Government wanting when making decisions regarding asylum seekers. Inevitably the cases are decided on the basis of whether a power was correctly applied or interpreted. Sometimes the results favoured asylum seekers, sometimes they upheld the position of the Government. A case this week in which the applicant lost may have significant consequences.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Let's be good neighbours with Timor

    • Frank Brennan
    • 20 May 2014
    10 Comments

    In 2006 Australia and Timor Leste hastily signed the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS) at a time of considerable political instability in Timor. After last year's revelation of evidence of Australian spying on the Timorese during the negotiation of CMATS, the Timorese decided to challenge its validity, and in March this year they had a spectacular win in the International Court of Justice that caused great embarrassment to Australia.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Border control shake-up takes us into dangerous waters

    • Tony Kevin
    • 12 May 2014
    46 Comments

    Scott Morrison has announced the formation of a powerful new paramilitary force with its own ideology, training and rank structure, answerable only to an immigration minister. There is a disturbing comparison that may be drawn between this new agency, apparently with no legal or constitutional checks and balances outside itself, and the Schutzstaffel security service established by Hitler and answerable only to him as leader.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ukraine races towards civil war

    • Tony Kevin
    • 05 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's boat people psychopathy

    • Tony Kevin
    • 29 April 2014
    36 Comments

    Ministers and officials structured on Manus a sustained deterrence scenario intended to be so awful as to choke off the flow of boat people. The impeccable logic of the plan reflects the logic of psychopathy. Psychopaths are highly intelligent, good planners, manipulative, with expert knowledge of human nature, yet lacking in empathy. Whatever their motivation, the planning of the Australian ministers and officials ticks all these boxes.

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