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  • Children on a train with their mother look at children in a house. Illustration by Chris Johnston
    environment

    Climate justice includes secure public housing

    • Andrew Jackson
    • 21 February 2020

    As the bushfires raged and air quality worsened, we were constantly told to stay indoors, keep cool and be alert for emergency orders on our phones. But with each public service announcement, we continued to leave some of our most vulnerable behind.

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  • Independent MP Zali Steggall leaves the House of Representatives after a division at Parliament House on February 11, 2020 in Canberra. (Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)
    australia

    The problem with taking politics out of climate change

    • Jeff Sparrow
    • 21 February 2020

    The common-sense enthusiasm for depoliticising environmentalism — voiced most recently in relation to the bill proposed by the conservative independent Zali Steggall — pushes in entirely the wrong direction.

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  • An Aboriginal flag waving against a stormy sky (Getty Images/ Sean Garnsworthy)
    australia

    The unfinished business of colonisation

    • Kate Galloway
    • 17 February 2020
    2 Comments

    Despite claims to the contrary, the decision in Love and Thoms affirms the standing of the common law, including the unassailable power of the Australian State to make and enforce law. It upholds the centuries-long common law principle of accommodation of Indigenous laws in a colonial context.

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  • Hong Kong street during the daytime, people wearing masks (Photo by Jocelin Chan)

    Trauma revisited: Coronavirus in Hong Kong

    • Jocelin Chan
    • 11 February 2020
    2 Comments

    The coronavirus transfixed everyone; I couldn’t ride a lift or have New Year dinner or go hiking without hearing a conversation about the coronavirus. The demon of the past had reared its head again.

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  • President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan leaves following a meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson at number 10 Downing Street on December 3, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

    Conflict in Middle East continues to heat up

    • Justin Glyn
    • 05 February 2020
    3 Comments

    The multi-front war in the Middle East continues to heat up. After the American assassination of Iran’s Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani and the deputy leader of the Iraqi military’s Popular Mobilisation Committee at the start of the year, and the subsequent refusal of the US to heed the Iraqi Parliament’s request to end its occupation, the focus has recently moved back to the Syrian front.

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  • President Trump Meets with Israeli PM Netanyahu at The White House (Photo by Sarah Silbiger)

    Sham Palestinian peace plan is business as usual

    • Daniel Sleiman
    • 04 February 2020
    8 Comments

    The Palestinians, and Arabs more generally, have gotten used to this sham of semantics and pretences of peace, watching on as America continues to fund and support Israel’s occupation of Palestine and its projection of military power in the region with impunity.

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  • Victorian newspapers in the Right to Know coalition blacked out their front pages (Getty Images/Quinn Rooney)

    ABC raid legitimised by Federal Court

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 20 February 2020
    1 Comment

    The Australian Federal Police raid on the 5th of June last year shook the Fourth Estate and, according to managing director David Anderson, ‘was seen for exactly what it was: an attempt to intimidate journalists for doing their jobs.’ It saw an unprecedented closing of ranks between journalists across the political spectrum, pursuing a campaign that came to be known as The Right to Know. Convincing the courts about this principle would prove to be something else.

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  • Exterior of the High Court of Australia (Getty Images/kokkai)

    Indigenous is not alien, High Court decides

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 17 February 2020
    8 Comments

    At its heart, the question was whether an Indigenous Australian who was eligible for citizenship but had never formalised it could be regarded as an alien and therefore subject to removal. In a landmark judgment, a 4:3 majority of the Court found that Indigenous Australians were not aliens, even if they were not citizens.

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  • Boy sitting with his head down in a hallway (Getty Images/fiorigianluigi)

    Still a long way to go in ending family violence

    • Felicity Rorke
    • 14 February 2020
    3 Comments

    The Royal Commission into Family Violence conducted by the Victorian Government in 2015, told many of us what we fundamentally already knew — that family violence is a widespread issue for many women across this state, and that our services, systems, institutions and communities are not doing enough to effectively support victim survivors.

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  • Stained glass windows emit a rainbow glow (Getty Images/ Chip Somodevilla)

    Religious freedom bill needs more work

    • Neve Mahoney
    • 13 February 2020
    13 Comments

    I don’t need someone to tell me at work that because I’m queer I’m going to hell. Years of church and Catholic schooling and marriage equality debate have already made the coded language very clear when I’m not welcome.

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  • Illustration of a bishop (Credit: Ojimorena / Getty)

    Australian bishops have a transparency problem

    • John Warhurst
    • 28 January 2020
    57 Comments

    Australia's bishops have yet to demonstrate the new openness to the Catholic community necessary for a successful Plenary Council. Their inclination to secrecy remains an impediment. They just don't get transparency as a virtue and they have twice demonstrated their adherence to old ways of doing things in recent months.

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  • The Carmel chapel contains the tomb of Saint Thérèse.

    Wash Day at Le Carmel, Lisieux, circa 1895

    • Rita Tognini
    • 28 January 2020
    5 Comments

    It's definitely the flesh and blood you, Thérèse, not the Little Flower of church statues and holy pictures, milky with sanctity. It's the frank-faced-child-in-lace-trimmed-dress-and-sturdy-boots you. It's the fourteen year old, hair-atop-head-in-a-bun-to-look-older-for-the-Bishop-so-he'll-let-you-take-the-veil you.

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  • Quokka on Basin Beach at Rottnest Island (Getty Images/bennymarty)

    Call to revive Australian tourism

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 20 February 2020
    1 Comment

    This communal outpouring during the bushfires has an opportunity to perpetuate itself indefinitely, even though the embers have been extinguished and those not directly affected by the fires have gotten on with their workaday lives. For even as the fires burned, Tourism Australia was mounting a campaign to encourage Australians to holiday locally instead of taking their patronage abroad, and to persuade international tourists to visit, too.

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  • Comedian Celeste Barber on stage at Fire Fight concert (Getty Images/Cole Bennetts)

    A sustainable response to disaster

    • Eliza Spencer
    • 19 February 2020
    4 Comments

    In the midst of bushfire relief events and community raffles, concerns about how those in need can be best supported continue as emotions run high. While the nation grieves the loss of life and land, we need to begin the conversation of how we can respond mindfully to disaster and find sustainable solutions for disasters to come.

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  • The Australian Parliament house is hardly visible behind a dense smog. (Photo by  Daniiielc/Getty Images)

    Why business as usual is so scary

    • Cristy Clark
    • 13 February 2020
    8 Comments

    Shortly after Christmas Day, the sky disappeared. It was only then that I realised I’d always taken it for granted. The sky, and the air. I’d always taken the air for granted too, and now it was hazardous.

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  • Shoshannah Stern on stage at NYWIFT awards ceremony (Getty Images/Lars Niki)

    The anatomy of hope

    • Fiona Murphy
    • 18 February 2020
    4 Comments

    Over a decade ago, when applying to study physiotherapy, I carefully read through the application form. It contained a brief but troubling caveat: all students must be physically able to participate in the coursework. I felt nervous, even scared. The answer seemed clear cut to me, but would the university agree?

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  • An aerial shot of Earth (NASA)

    I am part of it

    • David L Falcon
    • 17 February 2020
    1 Comment

    Beyond sunlit planes of sea and sand/Like the shade on my front lawn/Nightshadow creeps over continents/Cities light up in glowing clusters/While the deserts hide their campfires.

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  • A person looking into a mirror, with a skeleton relflected back at them (Illustration by Chris Johnston)

    Coming soon or late

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 14 February 2020
    12 Comments

    That’s it. People in mid-life fear death for many reasons, but disappointment must be one of them, for there are always so many things to do, so much in the world to see and to experience, a whole host of people to get to know, various ambitions to be realised, a great number of projects to be finished.

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