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A terrifying new arms race

4 Comments
06 August 2017 | Todor Shindarov

xxxxxToday’s highly technological era amazes us with possibilities for human growth and innovation, but in our amazement we often forget to tackle various pitfalls. Arguably, the biggest risk is the emerging military technology, about which there are many unanswered questions. We are faced with many uncertainties: security risks due to loss of competitiveness, potential control over advanced weapons by terrorists and, most importantly, reduced comprehension by the wider society—let alone any participation in the decision making process, as the frenzied pace of technological development increases.


Obamacare not in 'death spiral' because people value it

6 Comments
22 July 2017 | Lesley Russell

xxxxxObamacare, although imperfect, was soundly constructed and thoughtfully implemented. It has withstood constitutional challenges and survived endless Congressional votes to repeal and amend it. Republicans talk only about its problems and the Trump Administration has worked hard to sabotage it further, but the fact is that Obamacare is not in a 'death spiral'. It is working surprisingly well.


Judaism and dissent

20 Comments
19 July 2017 | Na'ama Carlin

xxxxxSpeak out against Israeli policies towards Palestinians and you are betraying fellow Jews. This narrative is common, and we see it today in relation to human rights organisations in Israel. It is not new. The same thing occured decades ago, when scholar Gershom Scholem accused Hannah Arendt, the author of Eichmann in Jerusalem, of lacking 'love of the Jewish people'.


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.


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.


North Korea, Trump and war

6 Comments
09 July 2017 | Binoy Kampmark

Kim Jong-unThe DPRK's options in terms of defending itself against the US and its allies were always limited, leaving the way open for an assortment of pantomimes. The arsenal of the threat became normal: that, for instance, of incinerating Seoul, the possibility that Tokyo or Alaska might be targets. The show seems to be moving beyond the next boundary of what is deemed acceptable, largely because Trump deemed it impossible Pyongyang would have a viable ICBM option that could reach the US.


Grenfell Tower laying inequalities bare

4 Comments
27 June 2017 | Saman Shad

Grenfell TowerThe Lancaster West Estate, which contains Grenfell Tower, is among the top ten per cent of the most deprived areas in England, but is located within the wealthiest local authority. As a former resident of the area the disaster has validated what I knew all along: that events such as these bring out both the best and the worst in people, and that this little corner of West London is a microcosm for greater society and an increasingly unequal world where the poor suffer while the rich increasingly prosper.


Respect and tranquility in a Japanese tea ceremony

8 Comments
18 June 2017 | Penny Garnsworthy

Tea ceremonyIn 15th Century Japan a young man named Murata Shukou, who was studying for the priesthood, began to practice Zen philosophy. His teacher explained that the spirit of Zen was also present in the practice of tea-making, so Shukou began a journey of discovery into making and serving tea. There are almost 40 steps involved in this ancient ritual; time stops and I am mesmerised by the rhythm and the silence, as if I am separated from the world and nought exists save for the movement.


The forgotten people of the Flint water crisis

7 Comments
18 June 2017 | Cristy Clark

Flint bottled brown waterLast Wednesday, five Michigan officials were charged with involuntary manslaughter for their role in the unfolding health crisis in Flint, Michigan - a crisis that has included at least 12 deaths from Legionnaires' disease, in addition to the possible lead poisoning of a whole population. The people of Flint were aware that something was wrong from the moment their water was switched over to the Flint river in April 2014. They just couldn't get anyone to listen.


Lessons for ALP in UK Labour fightback

17 Comments
08 June 2017 | Jeff Sparrow

Teresa May totters while Jeremy Corbyn smiles onWhen Corbyn invoked the many against the few, he did so while advocating free education, the renationalisation of utilities and a break from the US alliance. By contrast, Blair coined the phrase in a speech where he urged listeners to put behind them 'the bitter political struggles of left and right that have torn our country apart for too many decades. Many of these conflicts have no relevance whatsoever to the modern world - public versus private, bosses versus workers, middle class versus working class.' We all know which version sits closer to Shorten's heart.


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