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11 October 2016 |
You'd swear, from men's outrage in response to Trump's remarks, that such behaviour is rare, committed only by the truly reprobate and swiftly condemned. But, no: the volume of assault and harassment stories shared on Twitter with the hashtag #notokay, 27 million by Monday afternoon, prove that sexual assault and harassment is common. If women in their millions are relating their experiences of sexual harassment and assault, there must be men in their millions committing these crimes.
09 October 2016 |
Colombia has been on a massive political and emotional roller coaster. A peace accord to end the 52 years civil war was signed on 26 September, only to be rejected in a referendum on 2 October. A few days later President Juan Manuel Santos, whose referendum was rejected, received the 2016 Nobel Peace. All of this happened not in a hundred years, but in the space of a few weeks. Yet for those who know a bit about Latin American politics the defeat of Santos in the referendum was not unexpected.
06 October 2016 |
The new situation was rammed home to me in a recent trip to a conference in Salamanca, where there is a Scottish seminary, and Madrid, where I have Spanish friends. Everyone I met was shocked at the news and it was as if there had been a death in the family. On the flight back to Edinburgh, it became clear to me that the Brexiteers were about to take my European nationality away from me and replace it with a Little Englander mentality that sees foreigners through a prism of otherness
06 October 2016 |
The man's grandparents were from Ithaca, the storied isle, but he himself had always lived in Athens. I learned he had not been driving a cab for very long, but had taken to it when his business failed because of the continuing financial crisis. A familiar tale in the Greece of today, alas. But he acknowledged he was lucky to have a job at all, and went on to say that he had no complaints, because he had realised his ambition. I asked what this was. He replied: 'I have educated my children.'
03 October 2016 |
Who owns a cultural object? Who has the right to determine cultural values? And how can public institutions exercise cultural responsibility? It's a timely set of questions as we consider the implications of the National Gallery of Australia's return of ancient Indian sculptures, the British Museum's refusal to return Indigenous objects, or Lionel Shriver's rejection of minority cultural identities. Each of these unleashes complex, painful consequences that can undermine cultural value or cultural safety.
28 September 2016 |
Trump predictably resorted to insinuation to mask his deficiencies. After the first presidential debate, he said: 'They gave me a defective mic. Did you notice that ... was that on purpose?' It is hilarious until you realise how it would be received by supporters. It captures something of contemporary politics, where the line between conspiracy theory and legitimate anti-establishment criticism is more smudged than ever. A deficit of trust is one thing; a detachment from truth is something else.
26 September 2016 |
Timor has scored another win in the international legal forum, this time before a five-member Conciliation Commission convened under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration. In response, George Brandis and Julie Bishop regurgitated the Canberra mantra: 'We have a strong interest in Timor-Leste's stability and growing prosperity, and in providing a stable and transparent framework for investment in the Timor Sea.' They have no idea just how patronising this sounds in Dili.
19 September 2016 |
Labour exploitation in Australia is a massive problem and becoming worse. And it's not like our parliamentarians are unaware of the facts. In March a senate report, titled 'A National Disgrace: Exploitation of Working Visa Holders', provided evidence of significant exploitation of vulnerable workers and made 33 recommendations to address these issues and work towards change. Yet, not one of these recommendations has been taken up and there is no sign yet that they will be.
13 September 2016 |
I don't speak Spanish but I knew I had to try to ask someone. It wasn't an appealing idea. The crowds of people roaming here were the bereaved. They were here to visit their loved ones, not help me tick a box on my tourist adventure. However, I had little choice. I stopped a friendly looking middle aged man. 'Victor Jara,' I said. 'Donde?' He smiled and said a lot of things in Spanish while gesturing in a particular direction. I thanked him and headed the way he had pointed.
04 September 2016 |
'I am a Jesuit amongst Dominicans contemplating the Church's view of human rights. I am a human rights practitioner rather than a theologian, aware that human rights discourse is increasingly more universal and secular. Contemplating, preaching and enacting human rights in the 21st Century Church and World, I come asking two questions.' Frank Brennan's keynote presentation in Salamanca Spain to the International Congress of Dominicans in the Promotion and Defence of Human Rights: Past, Present, Future on the occasion of their 800th anniversary.
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