How will the US respond to the ISIS beheading?

foley-photo-syriaThe Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has responded to US attacks on Iraq with the brutal beheading of American journalist James Foley and a threat to execute another journalist, Steven Sotloff, if the US does not call a halt to air strikes. The militant group says the US is no longer fighting an insurgency, but an Islamic army, and a state that has been accepted by a large number of Muslims worldwide. But will the threat affect US tactics in Iraq?
Image: James Foley. Source: The Global Post

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Dr Anthony Billingsley, Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of New South Wales

This story first appeared on The Wire

A new push to end slavery in Australia

lauraIt may come as a shock that slavery still exists right here in Australia. And it’s not just in the sex slave trade. More and more the figures are reflecting a trend towards forced labour, where workers are either brought into the country to work as slaves or existing residents are coerced into work for no pay. And there’s nothing stopping Australian businesses importing goods that have, somewhere along the line, been made by slaves. Now campaigners are saying enough is enough. Today is the first United Nations World Day against Trafficking in Persons and the Salvos want you to commit to help end slavery. They’ve launched a new initiative called The Freedom Partnership to End Modern Slavery.

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Jenny Stanger, National Manager, The Freedom Partnership to End Modern Slavery
Associate Professor Jennifer Burn, Director of Anti-Slavery Australia, at the University of Technology, Sydney

This story first appeared on The Wire

What an East Timorese activist can teach Australian farmers

 

ego lemosFaced with pressure from first Indonesia, then Aid Organisations and finally the new East Timorese government to modernise farming practices, many East Timorese farmers found that instead of bringing them wealth and security, modern farming denigrated their land and they were losing skills and knowledge. But an encounter with an Australian Permaculture activist changed all that… and now environmental campaigner Ego Lemos is here to share what he has learned with our farmers.

Featured in story: Environmental campaigner and permaculture activist, Ego Lemos

This story first appeared on The Wire

 

Women launch Lock out Hate campaign after self-harm reports

lockouthateWomen across Australia are putting up padlocks on public fences, not in dedication to lovers, but to declare they want to “lock out hate” of asylum seekers. The campaign was launch by feminist group “Destroy the Joint” after reports that mothers on Christmas Island have been self-harming and attempting suicide in an attempt to draw attention to their sick children.

 

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Ian Rintoul, Spokesperson, Refugee Action Coalition
Jenny Hill, Director, Destroy the Joint

This story first appeared on The Wire 

Disability head exits job with a few home truths

graham innesOutgoing Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes has spoken out strongly as he steps down from the job. He says the idea of calling Australia ‘lifters or leaners’ takes the focus off any real attempt to help people with disabilities find jobs.

Featured in story: Graeme Innes, outgoing Disability Discrimination Commissioner

This story first appeared on The Wire

 

The degrading of a Prime Minister

gravityWhen a political leader breaks ground, their role is bound to be examined and analysed, with judgement ultimately cast in history books yet to be written. When that leader is Julia Gillard, the intrigue, scheming and sheer nastiness that surrounded her reign only adds to the desire to understand just how things went so wrong for our first female Prime Minister. So how will history judge Julia? And who was the person behind the “Ice Queen” persona?

This is what former Victorian Labor MP and author Mary Delahunty wanted to find out. Luckily for her, she was granted unique access to the PM in her last year in office. She got to see Julia Gillard in both public and private moments,and ask her how she kept going in the face of relentless degrading abuse.

Featured in story: Author and journalist Mary Delahunty

This story first appeared on The Wire

 

The history of slang – how a criminal code became everyday speech

jonathon-green-language-500-years-of-the-vulgar-tongueSlang was once the language of thieves and beggars – a criminal code that helped them communicate with each other and organise crime from the streets to behind bars. Like a puzzle we need to solve, it’s held a fascination for us for centuries; a sometimes salacious desire to be in on its secrets and be part of the “in crowd”. Slang lexicographer Jonathan Green draws on thirty years research to trace the history of slang in a follow-up to his slang dictionary.

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Author and Lexicographer, Jonathan Green

This story first appeared on The Wire

 

Australia’s economy at risk if we fail to act on climate change

CEDAAt the upcoming G20 forum in Australia 19 countries plus the European Union will discuss their future economic prospects and and any threats to our prosperity. Missing from the agenda though, is climate change, which the Committee for Economic Development of Australia says poses a serious threat to our economy. In a report released today CEDA argues that falling behind on reducing greenhouse gas emissions leaves Australia’s economy vulnerable, and it is business and the community who will pay the price.

CEDA CEO, Stephen Martin, says it is inappropriate for Australian businesses to assume the international response to regulate and control emissions will have no influence on their activities. He is calling for the government to take stronger action on climate change, and wants to see a National Risk Register established to help business assess the likely impact of climate change such as increasing extreme weather events, droughts and bush fires.

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Professor The Honourable Stephen Martin, Chief Executive, CEDA

This story first appeared on The Wire

The Economics of Climate Change 2014 Report

Chaos in Iraq as Islamists take major city of Mosul

mosul_040705Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has declared a state of emergency after militant Islamist group ISIS captured the city of Mosul in the country’s North, declaring they were liberating the city. But the hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the violence feel anything other than liberated. It’s a significant victory for the Radical Sunni Muslims, and a worrying development for Iraq and the region. Why? Because ISIS have their hands on all the latest weapons – straight from the US.

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Dr Benjamin Isakhan – Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University.

This story first appeared on The Wire

Fears of homelessness as housing affordability schemes slashed

housing-affordabilityHousing affordability was the focus in Senate Estimates Committee hearings today after over half a billion dollars was cut in the budget from programs designed to address Australia’s housing affordability crisis. Charities say homelessness will rise and families will suffer after funding for the National Rental Affordability Scheme was stripped. Greens Senator Scott Ludlam says it’s not the only housing program affected.

The National Rental Affordability Scheme is no longer being funded, the Housing Supply Council was abolished in November 2013, along with the Prime Minister’s Council on Homelessness and the COAG body co-ordinating funding between the Commonwealth and the States. When asked how many people would be made homeless by the cumulative effect of budget cuts, Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells was unable to provide an answer.

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Greens Senator Scott Ludlam
Director of Advocacy and Research at Anglicare Sydney, Sue King
Dr John Falzon, CEO, St Vincent De Paul

This story first appeared on The Wire