keywords: Tension

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hope, not nihilism, is the antidote to bleak times

    • Fatima Measham
    • 15 September 2016
    3 Comments

    In Mexico, a 12-year old boy walked onto the road to stare down an 11,000-strong anti-LGBTQ protest. In Italy, a small town has been revived by the arrival of refugees and migrants. In the US, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has pulled the issue of police brutality into apolitical spaces, using symbolic gestures to draw out the history of racialised oppression. As Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine puts it, 'If you want to be right, be a pessimist, if you want to do right, be an optimist.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fat facts lay waste to sugar's sins

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 15 September 2016
    3 Comments

    According to the New York Times, historical documents show that in the 1960s the sugar industry paid scientists to downplay the link between heart disease and sugar consumption, and to pin the blame on saturated fat instead. The consequences of this unethical behaviour are scandalous: five decades of nutrition research tainted by the sugar industry's interference. I'd already reached my own conclusion about the dangers of sugar when my then-17-year-old son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Fraught existence of a fantastic family

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 08 September 2016
    2 Comments

    Don't mistake this for an idyll. Incongruently, the youngest child has built a bone shrine to Pol Pot. The father oversees a rigorous physical exercise regime; later he will boast that they have the fitness levels of elite athletes. Yet during a rock climbing expedition, Ben is unsympathetic when one of them injures himself, insisting the boy draw on his personal resources to extricate himself from very real peril.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Anger in the face of despair in Kalgoorlie

    • Kate Galloway
    • 06 September 2016
    5 Comments

    This is the scandalous state of Indigenous affairs in Australia. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their communities literally face a life and death struggle against the state itself. These are not isolated incidents. They represent the intrinsic failure of our society to heed the concerns of communities themselves, and to engage with fellow citizens in a dignified and respectful way. The failure is so grave that state treatment meted out to Indigenous Australians is actively harmful on a large scale.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The Catholic Church's view on human rights

    • Frank Brennan
    • 05 September 2016
    1 Comment

    'I am a Jesuit amongst Dominicans contemplating the Church's view of human rights. I am a human rights practitioner rather than a theologian, aware that human rights discourse is increasingly more universal and secular. Contemplating, preaching and enacting human rights in the 21st Century Church and World, I come asking two questions.' Frank Brennan's keynote presentation in Salamanca Spain to the International Congress of Dominicans in the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights: Past, Present, Future on the occasion of their 800th anniversary.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Mack Horton vs the People's Republic of China

    • Jeremy Clarke
    • 17 August 2016
    3 Comments

    Horton desired to highlight the need for more stringent application of doping policies but in the process he enabled Chinese nationalists to bolster their inflated national pride, at his and Australia's expense. That he used his concern about drug use as a competitive tactic lessened its effectiveness, and only enabled Chinese nationalists to once more don the mantle of victim. Any chance for reform around issues like drugs in sport got caught in the wake of wounded egos and jingoistic pride.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Prisoners of their own stories

    • Brian Matthews
    • 25 July 2016
    10 Comments

    Holocaust survivor Primo Levi wrote If This is a Man to carry out what he saw as the critical task of bearing witness, and he became one of the greatest writers of the 20th century as he continued to bear witness one way and another in later books. Some day, one of Australia's asylum seekers will, like Levi and with the same sense of dread and horror, tell his or her story to ensure that someone bears witness; and to confirm that all of us are implicated.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    School walk in German winter

    • Tracy Ryan
    • 05 July 2016
    3 Comments

    Our one star has departed. We're wholly dark. The clouds are shedding pretension to friendliness, flake by flake. Which of us guides the other across this glassine surface that blanks every letter, deadening words. Who is that figure, globe-headed, dirndl-skirted, vacant hand-holder. The street-sign makes Mother, her little familiar. When you were born the ground had taken more than a dusting. We were locked in, but not forever. Now you are thirteen, age of reversible prime ...

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Angst and insecurity in public school battle of wills

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 09 June 2016

    Vice-principal Rickard claims the credit for having lifting the status of the once struggling public school, and sees in the smart but troubled new student Mark both the potential to do well and a danger to his own legacy. For his own part Mark, who was previously kicked out of the private school to which he had earned a scholarship, sees in Rickard a misguided do-gooder and, later, something a little more dangerous: an ambitious man whose ego is the flipside of insecurity.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Engaging portraits of the men who would be PM

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 02 June 2016
    8 Comments

    David Marr describes Shorten at work in the claustrophobic world of the Labor factions and the unions where great haters abound. Annabel Crabb has a lighter touch, describing the career of Turnbull, with all its energy, intellectual and tactical brilliance, and victories with obvious enjoyment and in sunlit prose. The accounts raise two questions: Do the qualities of leaders matter much? And what insight do the leaders' stories provide into the likely achievements of the government they would lead?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What kind of society does this budget enable?

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 May 2016
    5 Comments

    It is important constantly to move from the budget to consider the plan it enables. If the budget is for the whole nation, it should look to the good of all, with each person and business having a responsibility for the good of others, particularly the most vulnerable. When budgets are constructed in such a way that the cost of their balancing is gross inequality and the exclusion of vulnerable people from participation in society, they should be rejected. They do not serve but betray the economy.

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  • RELIGION

    The past, present and future of the Easter Rising 1916

    • Frank Brennan
    • 02 May 2016
    2 Comments

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