keywords: The National Conversation

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Trump joins the game of Kurdish betrayal

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 14 October 2019
    2 Comments

    While expecting an indefinite US presence in Syria was unrealistic as part of bargaining for a homeland, the Kurdish forces are right in feeling the sting of yet another historical abandonment. They have been more than useful fighters, a point that is also held against them. The question now is how bloody this next chapter will prove for them.

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  • RELIGION

    The good words of John Henry Newman

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 09 October 2019
    16 Comments

    Of English saints the newly canonised John Henry Newman is the most intellectual and active in public life since Thomas More. When conversation turns to faith it is common to regard the gift of finding good words as no more than a decoration on the hard reasoning that faith demands. Newman stands as a reproach to that view.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    My brush with robodebt

    • Bree Alexander
    • 26 September 2019
    2 Comments

    I was heartened by the announcement Gordon Legal is pursuing a class action for robodebt victims. I am one of hundreds of thousands of people who has gone through the robodebt process. I too felt the exercise of a reverse burden of proof; guilty until proven innocent.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Robodebt at the vanguard of government power grab

    • Kate Galloway
    • 12 September 2019
    7 Comments

    A policy genuinely in support of moving into employment would not seek to capitalise on the ambiguity of accounting in the year of transition from welfare to work — which is effectively what robodebt does.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Fiddling while the Amazon burns

    • Denise Frizzo
    • 03 September 2019
    3 Comments

    Bolsonaro has no interest in stopping the fires. As a declared anti-environment leader, he sees the largest rainforest of the world as a huge potential for investment. He promised to open the region to the development of agribusiness, so the fires consuming the Amazon are just part of the deal.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A bad week for Aboriginal rights

    • Celeste Liddle
    • 23 August 2019
    12 Comments

    According to anecdotal evidence, Pauline Hanson arrived at Uluru, climbed up to 'chicken rock', slid back down on her backside and then, later, met with some Anangu elders to 'get permission' to climb Uluru. The disrespectful farce was but one illustration of how the week went when it comes to showing respect for Indigenous rights and views.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    India embraces 'might is right' in Kashmir move

    • Brian Toohey
    • 20 August 2019
    4 Comments

    The changes India is making in Kashmir go well beyond a border dispute with Pakistan. When taken in conjunction with the Modi government's policy of removing large numbers of Muslims from their homes in India, the implementation of its philosophy of Hindu supremacy is drastically changing the character of India.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Picture is still bleak for people with disability

    • El Gibbs
    • 15 August 2019
    3 Comments

    Disabled people in Australia are being locked up, dying young and living in poverty, because they are disabled, and particularly if they are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. It's been 11 years since Australia ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, yet disabled people are far from being equal to non-disabled people.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Ovarian transplant pitch demonises menopause

    • Kate Galloway
    • 13 August 2019
    5 Comments

    As a society we have tended to ignore ageing women, and menopause has been read as a signal of our descent into decrepitude. The sales pitch for a procedure to delay menopause buys into this way of thinking. For many women menopause is not a burden, but a gift: no more menstruation, no more pregnancy, new purpose.

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  • RELIGION

    Plenary Council rocket science a matter of trust

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 05 August 2019
    48 Comments

    The inclusive and consultative processes in the early stages of preparation for the Plenary Council are a vast improvement on previous practice. They express the desire to involve Catholics in the council. If they are simply dropped on completion and not kept alive in the church, however, the trust they have engendered will be lost.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Why are we so soft on wage theft?

    • Nicola Heath
    • 05 August 2019
    14 Comments

    Cook and television presenter Adam Liaw attributed the widespread underpayment of hospitality workers to the complexity of the award system. In my experience, underpayment was simply part of the business model. The mentality was take it or leave it. There was always another uni student ready to take your place.

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  • MEDIA

    The thief, the party and WikiLeaks

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 02 August 2019
    4 Comments

    The running themes of the Department of Justice charges against Assange are that he is a hacker, an agent of espionage and a danger to necessary secrecy. In so slanting their case, the DOJ hopes to avoid the application of the First Amendment covering press freedoms. The reasoning of District Judge Koeltl suggests this might well fail.

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