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Encryption and liberties on the 'ungovernable' internet

6 Comments
13 July 2017 | Binoy Kampmark

WhatsApp and Facebook iconsTurnbull's attitude echoes the fear all autocracies have: that control is slipping away, and that citizens cannot be trusted to behave in a modern communications environment without government intrusions. Arguments are repeatedly made that such enlarged powers are never abused - a charmingly naive assumption - and that law enforcement authorities merely need the 'capacity' to have them. These can either abate, or be extended, after a review. The reality tends to be different.


Victory claimed in Mosul, but other battles loom

2 Comments
13 July 2017 | William Gourlay

An operation to retake western Mosul, 6 March 2017With ongoing celebrations in Baghdad and scenes of devastation in Mosul, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced the 'liberation' of Iraq's second-largest city from ISIS. This moment, after an umbrella force of military units fought for nine months to relieve Mosul of the ISIS yoke, represents a victory for the people and government of Iraq. However, many challenges loom, among them reconciling conflicting interests amongst Iraq's peoples and restoring the ravaged landscape.


Stock images strengthen chronic fatigue stigma

4 Comments
13 July 2017 | Evan Young

Silhouette in mistIf used without thought, stock images can misrepresent and trivialise serious issues. I have the displeasure of living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, a hugely misunderstood and devastating condition. When I see an article on CFS, it is almost always beneath a stock photo of somebody yawning or with head in hands. These images contribute to society's misapprehension that CFS is exclusively related to sleep, making it even tougher for patients to live in a world already hard enough to live in.


Search for the meaning of afterlife

2 Comments
12 July 2017 | Tim Kroenert

C is waiting for something; for the meaning of his truncated life, perhaps, and of his marriage to M, to become clear. Divorced from linear perceptions of time, he rushes into the future, to witness the cityscape that replaces the suburban neighbourhood; and into the past, where he views the aftermath of the massacre of a colonial family. Amid this in-folding of time, and the evidence of death and transience, the partygoer's nihilistic prognostications echo fiercely. But they do not satisfy the truth-seeking C.


Why 'white' isn't a racist slur

10 Comments
12 July 2017 | Sonia Nair

Scene from Dear White PeopleI hung out with a group of Indian-Australians while I was a university student who called themselves 'curries', but the unspoken camaraderie that ensued from this self-identification stood in stark contrast to that time I was called a 'f***ing curry' by a passing car full of white people. You often hear from white people that they can't be called 'white' because that too is racist language. This reflects a flawed assumption that societal structures advantage and disadvantage people in the exact same way.


Jane Goodall's quest to stem the human plague

7 Comments
11 July 2017 | Catherine Marshall

Jane Goodall and Catherine MarshallRevered for her groundbreaking study of chimpanzees in Tanzania's Gombe Stream, Goodall has spent the past three decades travelling the world in an effort to alert its human inhabitants to the alarming news: we are destroying the planet. The message seems to have been lost on those in a position to halt the change, for research scientists have just reported that a mass extinction is currently underway, a biological annihilation in which billions of regional or local populations have already been lost.


Bookending Australia's history

9 Comments
11 July 2017 | Andrew Hamilton

Colonising AustraliaModern Australian history is bookended by the arrival of white settlers in which Indigenous Australians were expelled to the margins, and by the arrival of people seeking protection who were also expelled to the margins. Between these bookends lie the events, the people, the relationships, the enterprises and the experiences that compose the story of Australia. The bookends, though, are a bit shonky: not ideal for supporting proudly the heft of the history that lies between them. They need fixing.


ChatterSquare: Jonathan Green on Australian journalism in transition

10 July 2017 | Podcast

Chattersquare logoThe latest exodus from The Age has again drawn attention to shifts in the media industry. Are Fairfax papers indispensable? What does the future hold for Australian journalists who have lost their job? If the business model for newspapers is no longer viable, what does that mean for the value we place on journalism? Jonathan Green joins us on ChatterSquare to ponder these and other questions.


Is there an Asian Australian culture?

6 Comments
10 July 2017 | Tseen Khoo

Asian AustraliansThe short answer is 'no'. There is no single Asian Australian culture, just as there is no single 'Australian culture'. As well as an unfortunate tendency to flatten differences, trying to talk about particular groups can serve a broader political and cultural project. I run a research network focused on Asian Australian Studies. The topics we cover strive to give depth and detail to otherwise stereotyped, shallow representations of Asians and Asian Australians that surround us.


Climate revolutionaries of East Africa

3 Comments
10 July 2017 | Paul O'Callaghan

xxxxxThe world's poor are bearing the brunt of global warming yet they have done the least to cause it. African countries have some of the lowest carbon emissions rates in the world, but their fields are drying up and their pastureland is vanishing. Still, all is not lost. If we want to find the answers to climate change, many of them exist within the communities already being impacted. These people understand the urgent threat posed by global warming and they are banding together to find solutions.


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