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Central American ganglands spark child refugee crisis

22 July 2014 | Antonio Castillo

A Special Forces officer of the Grupo Reacion Policial guards an alley during a raid against gang members in El Salvador.The exodus of thousands of unaccompanied and undocumented children from Central America countries to the US — via Mexico's unforgiving northern border — has become a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented dimensions. While organised crime continues, economic violence remains unresolved and the US doesn't get its migration policy right, such children will keep risking their lives.

Beware of political posturing after MH17 tragedy

21 July 2014 | Justin Glyn

MH17 wreckageThe horror of the crash that killed 298 people was not a day old before blame was being vigorously assigned by all sides. Not only is this deeply unhelpful and disrespectful, it obscures the fact that, whatever actually happened, a terrible tragedy is at risk of being compounded by the hot-heads on all sides calling for more war and escalation of a conflict in which both Russia and the United States have acted with rank opportunism.

Australia's diplomatic role amid MH17 fallout

21 July 2014 | Tony Kevin

Putin Initially I was uneasy about Abbott's strong anti-Putin rhetoric. Why was Australia so upfront, so early? I thought he was jumping to conclusions too soon. It is clear now though that his response was based on the same satellite imagery intelligence that John Kerry and Hilary Clinton cite as evidence that it was a Russian missile fired from Russian-supported insurgent territory. He was right, and Bill Shorten is correct to support him.

Bittersweet victory for the Mothers of Srebrenica

1 Comment
20 July 2014 | Binoy Kampmark

Women hold a banner that reads SrebrenicaLast week the Dutch Supreme Court found that the Netherlands was liable for the deaths of over 300 Bosnian Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica in Bosnia-Hercegovina in July 1995. They had been part of a group of 5000 refugees, who had been sheltering with Dutch UN peacekeepers known as Dutchbat and were handed over to Serb forces in exchange for 14 Dutch peacekeepers. A historical arrangement had been writ in blood.

Elegy for the 298 of MH17

20 July 2014 | Andrew Hamilton

Malaysian airlinerThe deepest questions raised by the deaths of those on the plane shot down over the Ukraine are the unavoidable questions that face us all: questions about the patent precariousness and vulnerability of our lives, about what matters to us when our grasp on the future is so tenuous, about the mysterious conjunction of love, loss, pain and gift, and about the capacity of the human heart for evil and the terrible consequences that follow.

Time to break from Gaza reruns

17 July 2014 | Raff Piccolo

Gaza invasion is 'Likely', The AgeThe latest round of attacks on Gaza is not an isolated incident or bout of violence. It is part of a larger ongoing trend that has persisted for over 60 years. Thus it will come to an end soon, and the Palestinians will begin the process of rebuilding their lives. Like the violence, it is a process to which they have unfortunately grown unaccustomed. To break the cycle Israel must abandon the rhetoric of 'national security' and find a new approach.

Two state solution does not depend on words

07 July 2014 | John Kilcullen

'Two state' ribbonThe recent controversy about whether the Australian government regards East Jerusalem as Occupied, occupied, or disputed, at least made it clear that the Australian government still supports the ‘two state solution’. Now is the time to do something positive to bring the second state into existence.

Australia should be worried about a Prabowo presidency

06 July 2014 | Pat Walsh

Prabowo SubiantoBoth candidates for Indonesia's 9 July presidential election – Jokowi and Prabowo – have said Australia does not seem to trust Indonesia, but they would continue President SBY’s good neighbour policy. Prabowo later repeated this assurance to the media and diplomats. His message is that Australia and the international community have nothing to worry about from a Prabowo presidency. The prospects are very different. 

The beautiful game needs better stewards

01 July 2014 | James O'Brien

2014 World Cup promotional graphicFIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 is in the knockout stages. Brazil’s team is through to the quarter finals, much to the joy and delight of home fans. Yet to what extent can Brazilians actually celebrate? The tournament has come at much social and economic cost.

Australia's hypocrisy in Greste verdict protest

24 June 2014 | Justin Glyn

Peter GresteAustralians are understandably shocked at the sentencing of Peter Greste in Egypt. They may wonder what the Government can do for those caught up in the vagaries of a foreign legal system. The answer is, not much. The international order is still largely based on national sovereignty. We do not need to look to Egypt to see how this can allow a multitude of injustices to go unpunished — we need only ask our neighbours, the Indonesians.

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