section: Australia

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Christine Milne's chance to scupper an Abbott Senate

    • John Warhurst
    • 02 May 2012
    25 Comments

    To prevent Tony Abbott from having total control of the Senate after the next election, the Greens need to attract votes from otherwise non-Labor voters rather than the easier task of picking up disappointed Labor defectors. The 15 per cent of Coalition-leaning Greens is generally forgotten altogether.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    A tale of two refugee movement speeches

    • Kerry Murphy
    • 01 May 2012
    23 Comments

    Tony Abbott did not mention the term 'human rights' in his 3000 word speech to the Institute of Public Affairs on Friday. 'Illegal' appeared 11 times and 'asylum' once. In February, Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees gave a 3000 word speech to the Lowy Institute. A search of that speech finds 'human rights' five times, 'asylum' 21 times and no use of 'illegal'. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rupert Murdoch an example for older Australians

    • Michael Mullins
    • 30 April 2012
    20 Comments

    There is a lot not to admire about the business practices of Rupert Murdoch, but he stands tall as an elder who is able to maintain his stature in the face of great challenge. The Federal Government's new aged care blueprint has the potential to ensure that more Australians will retain their dignity in old age.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    To catch a despot

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 30 April 2012
    4 Comments

    Former Liberian president Charles Taylor's conviction by an international criminal court for crimes against humanity is the first conviction of a head of state since World War II. It does little to change the fact that it remains notoriously difficult to bring heads of state to trial for grave crimes.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Unlocking the culture of clergy sex abuse

    • Michael Mullins
    • 23 April 2012
    27 Comments

    Victoria's parliamentary committee has much it could learn from Ireland's Murphy Report into clerical sex abuse, which identified the 'don't ask, don't tell' culture under which bishops did not talk about it even among themselves and were unaware of how widespread the problem was.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Greens moral vision safe in Milne's hands

    • Tony Kevin
    • 19 April 2012
    28 Comments

    Retiring Greens leader Bob Brown is not the avuncular teddy-bear politician some paint him as. He and new leader Christine Milne share the same steel and political acumen. The next promising generation of Greens leaders will be nurtured and grow under Milne's leadership. And there are many of them.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Fund facts about living with disability

    • Patricia Mowbray
    • 18 April 2012
    5 Comments

    At the end of each day, one of our three adult sons will ask, 'What's on tomorrow?' They don't ask this lightly. They have Down syndrome. Whether they participate in the community, go to work or remain at home depends on what funding we can access.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The best and worst of international aid

    • Duncan MacLaren
    • 17 April 2012
    4 Comments

    Rumour has it the Government's projected aid budget increases will be cut to ensure a surplus. Some aid doesn't work: I was horrified as a young aid worker in the '80s being told that an open sewer in an Addis Ababa slum was a World Bank project. But aid does work if it is underpinned by a few key principles.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Philip Adams in schism with the Dawkinsonians

    • Michael Mullins
    • 16 April 2012
    14 Comments

    In the shadow of the blockbuster Q&A and Global Atheist Convention was a poignant encounter between atheist broadcaster Philip Adams and Jesuit theologian Gerald O'Collins. The instant bond between the two may have a flipside in an affinity between fanatical atheists and fundamentalist religious believers.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    HSU corpse fouls Julia's nest

    • Moira Rayner
    • 12 April 2012
    16 Comments

    Most of the media bazookas are trained on her for refusing to condemn Craig Thomson, whose warm seat is toasting the shapely behind of the Gillard Government, which is one parliamentary vote ahead of oblivion. But Thomson's status as 'innocent until proven guilty' is a critical element of the rule of law.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Raising boys who play with dolls

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 10 April 2012
    14 Comments

    For every girl who feels she is being forced to choose between a thousand shades of pink, there's a boy hemmed in by society's expectations of what a boy should be. Female empowerment will lose its value unless women take men on the journey with them.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What Australia doesn't want East Timor to know

    • Pat Walsh
    • 05 April 2012
    10 Comments

    The famine of 1977–79 cut a swathe through East Timor's civilian population. Having failed to subdue the Timorese, the Indonesian military opted to starve them out. Details from that little-understood period are contained in cables that Attorney-General Nicola Roxon has blocked from public access.

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