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Refugee rift piques PNG's anti Australian sentiment

21 September 2017 | Ann Deslandes

Manus Island detention centreOne senior development consultant, an Australian with decades of experience in the region, told me they've never seen such significant anti-Australia sentiment in PNG public discourse. This makes sense. A former colony of Australia, PNG grapples with social problems on a scale unknown to our prosperous country. Why should they now have to also absorb the costs of resettling refugees who sought asylum in Australia?

What we think we know about the Syrian war

18 September 2017 | Justin Glyn

Deir ez-ZorYou could be forgiven for never having heard of Deir ez-Zor. There is virtually no mention of it in the Western press, except by British journalist Robert Fisk. Yet this ancient Syrian city of just over 200,000 people on the banks of the Euphrates is the site of what looks to be the final defeat of the dream of ISIS of creating an ethnically cleansed, sectarian caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

Letter from Yangon

18 September 2017 | Peta Fresco

YangonMuch has been reported on the plight of the Rohingya in Rakhine state in Myanmar's west, where violence has seen more than 400,000 Rohingya Muslims cross into Bangladesh. Elsewhere in the country, local villagers continue to suffer the effects of a four cuts strategy, and are targeted if they are suspected of helping ethnic armies. In the country's north, aid has been slow to reach 20,000 Kachin villagers living in former gambling dens and warehouses along the China border.

Is Medicare-for-all an idea whose time has come?

1 Comment
17 September 2017 | Lesley Russell

Bernie SandersMedicare-for-all is best seen as aspirational: it is shorthand for policy ideals and papers over political realities. With Republicans in control of Congress, there is obviously no immediate chance of Sanders's bill becoming law any time soon. But with Republicans and the President viewed as ineffectual in implementing their healthcare commitments and uncaring about voters' concerns, it is advantageous for Democrats to be seen to have solutions to the problems that confront their constituents.

The cost of living in the kingdom of fear

07 September 2017 | Justin Glyn

Chris Johnston cartoonFranklin Delano Roosevelt famously said that 'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.' From the roots of ISIS to Russiagate to North Korea to border control in Australia, current trends both international and at home bear this out.

Nuclear North Korea and the dangers of panic

03 September 2017 | Binoy Kampmark

Mushroom cloudIn Australia, the reactions have been far from mild. Malcolm Turnbull was less than reassuring, suggesting the un-testable notion that the Korean peninsula was closer to conflict than at any time since the Korean War. The converse, if counter-intuitive argument can be made: that the peninsula is being made safe from war through this aggressive pursuit of nuclear arms. This is not a view deemed acceptable to officials in Washington and Canberra but is entirely realistic given Pyongyang's aims.

Immigration and the baby shortfall

24 August 2017 | Sean Cowan

ABC logoIt seems like immigration hasn’t been seen in a positive light of late. Control over immigration has been a central theme in the successful Brexit bid in the United Kingdom. America elected a president who suggests tougher laws and screening for immigrants. Syrian refugees were welcomed by the thousands into Canada (46,700 in 2016 alone to be exact) not without considerable controversy.

Getting some perspective on Charlottesville

16 August 2017 | Fatima Measham


Instead of refining his initial remarks about a Nazi rally in Charlottesville, which brutally claimed the life of a counter-protester, Donald Trump has doubled down. At a heated news conference in New York, he demanded that journalists define 'alt-right', invoked the idea of an 'alt-left', and lay blame on 'both sides'.

The rationality of Kim Jong Un

14 August 2017 | Justin Glyn

xxxxxThe ongoing talk of war with North Korea and the threat of nuclear weapons has everybody dusting off their copies of Dr Strangelove and rewatching that classic black farce of innuendo, misunderstanding and paranoia in an age of Mutually Assured Destruction.

The empty moral calculus of Turnbull and Trump

09 August 2017 | Andrew Hamilton

xxxxxThe Turnbull-Trump tapes took one back. For some, it was back to the Watergate Tapes and the innocent years of Richard Nixon. For those of us of a certain age and faith, it was back to the primitive and unenlightened world of Abraham.

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