section: International

There are more than 200 results, only the first 200 are displayed here.

  • INTERNATIONAL

    No Buddhist bullets in Thai turmoil

    • Paul Kay
    • 24 January 2014
    4 Comments

    It's often said in Thailand that the three pillars of Thai society are Buddhism, the monarchy and the nation, or political system. In recent months I've witnessed many noisy anti-government protests in Bangkok where political groups have been very visible. But amid the turmoil, Buddhism and the monarchy are notably absent. The low profile of the monarchy is easily explained. The absence of Buddhism is more puzzling.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The war on asylum seekers

    • Justin Glyn
    • 22 January 2014
    32 Comments

    The current dispute with Indonesia over border incursions by the Australian Navy is symptomatic of a deeper problem — the militarisation of political discourse. Von Clausewitz famously claimed that 'war is politics by other means': in other words, that military force is employed in service of political ends. In Australia, as elsewhere in the West, this is being taken to an extreme not previously seen outside authoritarian societies.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Best of 2013: My Philippines typhoon fury

    • Fatima Measham
    • 17 January 2014
    1 Comment

    I may have gotten extremely sweary on social media. Part of it was due to gut-deep fear for people to whom I am personally connected, but also generally for a country that runs in my veins. The other part of it was fury that the growing reality of extreme weather events is still being characterised as natural by climate change sceptics who have the luxury of speculating and refuting links outright.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Best of 2013: Mandela crosses the burning water

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 15 January 2014
    1 Comment

    I said my own private goodbye almost two years ago, when I visited Robben Island on a trip back to my homeland of South Africa. That journey across Table Bay, towards the tiny green cell in which you lived for much of your 27-year incarceration, took me not so much to an outpost of apartheid as to the birthplace of democratic South Africa.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Best of 2013: Margaret Thatcher versus the Scots

    • Duncan MacLaren
    • 10 January 2014

    While any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind', I must admit to pouring a glass of good malt at the news of Thatcher's passing. The Southern English may laud her as the greatest prime minister after Churchill but for us Scots she was a hate figure who in the last days of her premiership scarcely dared to cross the border for fear of being assassinated.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Best of 2013: Transformed by a boring Brussels Mass

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 07 January 2014

    The coughing is getting worse; it sounds like the pew behind me is hosting a cardiac arrest. English theologian James Alison described mass as 'a long term education in becoming unexcited', a state that allows us to dwell 'in a quiet place' that 'increases our attention, our presence'. In Brussels, becoming 'unexcited' seems important.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Stop the world, Scotland wants to get on

    • Duncan MacLaren
    • 18 December 2013
    17 Comments

    After six years in Australia, I am returning home to Scotland to work for the next year's referendum, which will ask if Scotland should become an independent country. It is essentially a contest between the present insular, Little Englander nightmare and a place in the world as a sovereign state. That's worth leaving Australia for!

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    US gun lobbyists miss the logic of feeling

    • Fatima Measham
    • 13 December 2013
    14 Comments

    I woke up to the news on a Saturday morning. One year ago tomorrow, a man walked into the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and opened fire. In the aftermath, gun lobbyists seethed with high indignation that President Barack Obama was politicising a tragedy. It goes to show that the ones who complain about the politicisation of tragedy tend to be the ones who do not want to do anything about it.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Human rights walking tall

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 December 2013
    4 Comments

    The Declaration of Human Rights exists as a standard by which we can judge our national life and priorities. By these criteria Australian public life displays grounds for concern. In the case of asylum seekers, prisoners and bikies, governments spend more effort on seeking to evade the claims of human rights than to uphold them. In the 'nonsense on stilts' stakes the unfettered appeal to national interest walks far taller than advocacy of human rights.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Standing on Mandela's shoulders

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 12 December 2013
    6 Comments

    People respond well to heroes, especially those people who have had their rights subjugated by others. But Obama, with his swagger and rhetoric, was basking in the reflected glow of Mandela's hard-won glory. His address fulfilled the collective expectation that the almost-saint Mandela be eulogised by a man of comparable stature, but it also afforded him a global platform on which to polish his own ego, to reinforce his importance on the world stage. 

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Greek and American barbarians

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 11 December 2013
    7 Comments

    I knew nothing about Kavafis until I came to Greece, but his presence in my mental and literary life is one of the many presents migration has given me. He was part of the cultivated Greek diaspora in Alexandria, where he spent most of his life working at his day jobs: those of journalist and civil servant. He was a relentless perfectionist who polished and reworked his 154 poems, which were read initially only by his friends.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Mandela crosses the burning water

    • Catherine Marshall
    • 09 December 2013
    13 Comments

    I said my own private goodbye almost two years ago, when I visited Robben Island on a trip back to my homeland of South Africa. That journey across Table Bay, towards the tiny green cell in which you lived for much of your 27-year incarceration, took me not so much to an outpost of apartheid as to the birthplace of democratic South Africa.

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