keywords: Balance Of Power

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Emboldened Netanyahu maintains hard line against US-Iran deal

    • Tony Kevin
    • 20 March 2015
    6 Comments

    In coming days, a major US-Iran negotiation will conclude in success or failure. As long as the US and Iran remain opposed, the US is much less effective in working for peace and inter-communal harmony in Iraq and Syria. Israel is indifferent to these wider concerns and, fresh from this week's convincing election vistory, a newly invigorated Benjamin Netanyahu will continue to stress that the Iranian nuclear issue is ‘existential’ for Israel.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Oil and gas redraw world strategic alliance map

    • David James
    • 16 February 2015
    3 Comments

    Sanctions against Russia have pushed Russia and China much closer together. Russia is set to provide two fifths of China’s gas needs after the completion of two massive pipelines. This will easily replace what they have lost in supplying Europe and deliver what the Chinese most crave: security of supply. Meanwhile, Russia has cut off 60 per cent of its supplies of gas into Europe, re-routing it to Turkey, and saying that Europe will have to build its own infrastructure to transport it to the Continent.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Oscar Romero's cinematic sainthood

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 12 February 2015
    6 Comments

    The late Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, who as of this month is one step closer to beatification, has long been regarded as one of modern history's great champions of the poor. In 1989 he was 'canonised' on celluloid. The production has not aged well but is elevated by the late Raul Julia, whose conflicted, heroic portrayal of Romero is surely as iconic as the man himself.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The financial crisis the Government wants us to have

    • Colin Long
    • 09 February 2015
    19 Comments

    The Coalition Government falsely claims that Medicare co-payments and cuts to welfare and publicly funded institutions such as the CSIRO and the ABC are necessary to 'fix Labor's mess'. There are indeed structural problems with the economy, but essentially the plan is to strip the public sector by cutting universal access to a range of services that also includes tertiary education, to create a dominant free market that marginalises Australians on low incomes.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Obama misfires on Russian 'threat'

    • Tony Kevin
    • 28 January 2015
    15 Comments

    In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama drew rare bipartisan applause with his anti-Russian rhetoric when he said the US was ‘upholding the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small’. The Cold War ended 25 years ago, yet the desire to weaken Russia has never gone away. This is nonsense. Russia poses no threat to the west. It is just another country trying to make its own way in an unfriendly world.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Pope Francis celebrates a homeless man's 50th

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 November 2014
    29 Comments

    Last week the Pope's almsgiver installed showers in St Peter's Square, for people who are homeless. This followed his meeting a homeless man, discovering it was his 50th birthday, and inviting him to dinner in a local restaurant, only for the man to decline on the grounds he smelled. The gesture was seen to have Pope Francis’ finger prints all over it, and it illuminates the differences of perspective between him and other church leaders.

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  • RELIGION

    Restorative justice for child sexual abuse victims

    • Vic O'Callaghan
    • 17 November 2014
    15 Comments

    Total focus on designing the right professional standards policy could be creating a hole, where all that is heard is a droning 'let's move on' message. Where are the stories of people gathering to help mend and heal themselves and the victims of this horrific episode in our history?

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Putting Putin's record into perspective

    • Justin Glyn
    • 17 November 2014
    17 Comments

    Amid talk of whether Vladimir Putin would leave the G20 early and numerous reports of frosty encounters between him and other summit leaders, Western media coverage has portrayed him as an erratic and dangerous dictator whose rule damages the once-great country he leads. But it would be foolish to pretend that the West did not take advantage of the weakness of the former Soviet states in the 1990s. Russia was looted of its assets, many of which found their way abroad.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hun Sen's Cambodia a mirage on the Mekong

    • Tony Kevin
    • 14 November 2014
    1 Comment

    Phnom Penh is a lively, bustling, often happy city of energetic and industrious people, with amazing growth statistics. In 2004 half of Cambodians lived in poverty, and by 2011 the figure had dropped to 20%. But this belies the terrible state of public health, the corruption in education, the abuse of human rights, and much more.

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  • RELIGION

    Which bishop is challenging the bank on fossil fuels?

    • Jill Sutton
    • 12 November 2014
    3 Comments

    There has been an avalanche of divestment, including from the Rockefellers and the ANU, as they discern a lack of concern for environmental, social and governance issues. Shareholders attending Wednesday’s Commonwealth Bank AGM will hear a resolution requesting more transparency about the bank’s fossil fuel investments. But the bank’s response can seem like a game whose rules only become clear to its participants as they play it. Banks and other powerful organisations can still exploit any lack of clarity. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Overplaying the Immigration Minister's trump card

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 29 October 2014
    7 Comments

    Former Immigration Minister Senator Chris Evans once expressed concern about how much personal power was vested in his position when making decisions about particular cases. The current Minister, on the other hand, is trying to increase the number of such powers, and is much more likely to use the ministerial trump card to avoid judicial scrutiny. In a parliamentary system that relies on the checks and balances between the Parliament, Executive and Judiciary, one arm of government should not be able to overrule another.

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  • ECONOMICS

    Australia's new secret police

    • Brian Toohey
    • 10 October 2014
    7 Comments

    Suppressing information can actually damage national security. President Kennedy intervened to get the New York Times to withhold sensitive details from a report about the imminent invasion of Cuba by CIA sponsored exiles in April 1961. Times executives said Kennedy later told them, 'If you had printed more about the [CIA] operation, you would have saved us from a colossal mistake.'

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