Story of the week Joyce Saga: tensions rise in the Coalition Tensions in the Government have soared after it was revealed Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce had an affair with a former staffer and is the father of her unborn child. Speaking on Thursday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull condemned Mr Joyce’s behaviour, […]
If there’s one thing corporations dislike, it’s tax. No one really likes paying tax regardless of which way they lean — there are those who feel it is a societal duty and those who feel it is a burdensome waste, but neither actually enjoy giving their money away. When the Government announced plans to lower […]
Hot on the heels of the recent “Change the Date” debate regarding Australia Day, has come the debate over flying the Australian Aboriginal Flag along side of the Australian National Flag. NSW Labor is backing the online campaign by a young indigenous woman named Cherie Toka, to permanently have the Aboriginal Flag fly alongside the […]
Story of the week The Cabinet Files: Nightmare on Parliament Drive Classified government documents have been uncovered by the ABC after being located in a second hand ex-government filing cabinet in a Canberra shop. Now dubbed the “Cabinet Files”, the documents consist of thousands of pages of “top secret” or “AUSTEO” (AUSTralian Eyes Only) material. […]
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will meet with US President Donald Trump in another official visit on February 23. The White House confirmed the state visit in a statement on Friday. The two leaders will discuss a range of issues including terrorism, economic growth expanding security and defence cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region. From the @WhiteHouse: […]
The so-called “Cabinet Files” obtained and published by ABC News have caused quite the stir in Canberra today, with intelligence agency ASIO securing the documents in early morning operations in Canberra and Brisbane, and former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd launching legal action against the public broadcaster. At around 1:00am, ASIO officers delivered government safes to […]
Australia welcomes 13,000 new citizens on Australia Day 2018 As millions across the country marked Australia Day with celebrations and protests, around 13,000 migrants attained Australian citizenship. The new citizens come from 129 different countries. Speaking on the shores of Lake Burely Griffin on Friday, Mr Turnbull said: “We do not define our national identity, […]
Australia Day used to be a day off from work, filled with beach, barbeques, fireworks, flag-wearing and other festivities. For decades now there have been protests from the indigenous community against this celebration, declaring it either a Day of Mourning or Invasion Day. Are the indigenous groups accurate in their assessment of what Australia Day […]
What makes a national day? In the United States, as with the majority of nations, it is a commemoration of defiant independence. France celebrates the storming of a fortress – a moment of fire and blood that gave way to the Republic. Over the border, it is a day of unification, when East and West […]
After copping criticism over the spread of “fake news” via Facebook during the 2016 US Presidential Election, Mark Zuckerberg has announced Facebook is introducing measures that will prioritise “trusted” and “informative” news sources in users’ Facebook News Feeds. According to Mr Zuckerberg: “There’s too much sensationalism, misinformation and polarization in the world today. Social media […]
US Government shuts down The US federal Government shut down at 12:01am on Saturday after the US Senate did not pass a spending measure to continue federal government funding before the midnight deadline. The Senate voted 50-49 in favour of the measure (which passed the House of Representatives on Thursday and would have kept the government […]
Recently I’ve read a lot about whether US President Donald Trump referred to countries in Africa, as well as Haiti and El Salvador as “shitholes”. I’ve also read a lot of criticism levelled at the President that assumes he did use the term. Now, I wouldn’t put it past Donald Trump to use such a […]
The events in Hawaii last week brought to the fore the numerous ways in which maintaining a nuclear deterrent can sometimes go awry. It’s worth reflecting that the lack of a nuclear winter has been a close run thing at several moments throughout history. So, in the spirit of laughing because we cannot cry, we’ve […]
Another summer, another lamb ad. Every time a lamb ad is launched it is followed by controversy. Someone, somewhere is always offended and feels the need to vent on social media. It appears Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) latest attempt will be no different. Ok so #lambad is…well…annoying. 2.5 minutes of awkward political satire to […]
Delegations from North and South Korea met for the first time in two years yesterday. While discussions between the nations were predictably cautious, they have agreed to hold future talks and the North-South military hotline will today be restored. The talks, which took place at Peace House in the border village of Panmunjom, resulted in […]
Crises are almost unavoidable when under the scrutiny of the public eye. People will always be offended by something, an action will always be interpreted differently, and accidents will always happen. It will always be a struggle for public entities and high-profile individuals to build and maintain trust. All that can be done is to […]
US President Donald Trump has issued a statement regarding former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon. Read the full statement below: Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after […]
Image credit: Vborodinova (Pixabay) – CC0 After a year of rising tension on the Korean Peninsular and war seemingly at breaking point, 2018 may signal the beginning of better relations between North and South Korea. In his new year address, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said it was vital to lower military tensions in the […]
Unless you’ve been living under a rock of late, or have been taking a break from social media, you’ll likely have heard of the engagement of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle (of Suits fame). Their wedding day is already confirmed as May 19, about six months after they were engaged. Not having had such an event for […]
Image credit: Kaboompics (Pixabay) — CC0 public domain dedication. Anti-nuclear weapons group wins Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a group founded in Australia, was last Sunday awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017, “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use […]
Embattled Labor Senator Sam Dastyari will not return to the Senate in 2018 after fresh allegations of links to China are levelled against him. In a media conference on Tuesday morning, Mr Dastyari said: “Today, after much reflection, I’ve decided that the best service I can render to the federal parliamentary Labor Party is to not […]
Photo credit: Australian Associated Press. The issue of marriage equality has finally been resolved in Australia, after the federal Parliament passed legislation on Tuesday to allow two people to marry regardless of their sex or gender. After four days of debates and discussion of many proposed amendments, the House of Representatives voted in favour of […]
United States President Donald Trump will tomorrow recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, in a move that is expected to add to the conflict in the Middle East. The United States will consequently move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Protests have already begun in the West Bank over the decision. Israel annexed Jerusalem in 1967, and since then it has served as the de facto capital. An important city for Muslims, Jews and Christians, Jerusalem is not formally recognised by the international community as the capital of Israel, and the United States will be the first and only country to have its embassy there.
Photo credit: John Barilaro (website). New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro has described Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull “completely out of touch” and called for his resignation before Christmas. During an interview on radio 2GB, Mr Barilaro said: “Turnbull is the problem, the Prime Minister is the problem. He should step down, allow for a clean […]
War punctuates human history with a monotonous regularity. Although typically terrifying and tragic to those who live, die and fight through wars, great things can grow from these seemingly inevitable conflicts. The English Civil War (1642–49) and Glorious Revolution (1688–89) laid the groundwork for modern democracy, while the American and French Revolutions (1775–83 and 1789–99 respectively) made substantial contributions to the development of what are today recognised as fundamental human rights. In more general terms, the vast empires established by conquest throughout history have aided the spread of ideas, albeit usually at the expense of native populations. War, while bad, can lead to good or at least useful results.
Is your country under threat? Is your youth unemployment rate getting too high? Does your economy need a pick-me-up? Wouldn’t it be good if I could tell you one way to achieve a highly skilled, experienced and employable workforce with a strong work ethic, while also being able to protect your nation and boost its economy? […]
Democracy: it is the pinnacle of a free society, the ideal governing system for any nation. We enjoy it so much that we wish every other country could enjoy it; a government for the people, by the people. Democracy is the greatest system any nation could ask for … on paper. In a democratic society, […]
Regardless of your own faith or beliefs, there is no denying that religion has been a major influence on human societies since the beginning of time and continues to be to this day. Religion continues to dictate the foods people eat, the choices they make, and how they spend their free time. Ultimately, how one […]
The result of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey was in favour of legalising same-sex marriage, and it now falls to Parliament to enact the required legislation. Senator Dean Smith’s Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 has long been the preferred option of most politicians, and on the afternoon the result of the […]
Photo credit: Australian Associated Press. After a highly emotional public debate riddled by misinformation and forced justification, the Australian people have voted ‘Yes’ to legalise same-sex marriage. The ABS announced on Wednesday morning 61.6% of eligble voters ticked ‘Yes’ in the non-binding, non-compulsory $122 million postal survey, with 38.4% of voters ticking ‘No’. Photo credit: […]
Tasmanian Senator Jacquie Lambie will resign after it was confirmed she has dual UK citizenship. Senator Lambie’s father was born in Scotland which grants her British citizenship by decent. The announcement comes after a review of her father’s family history, prompted by the recent revelation of former Senate President Stephen Parry’s dual British citizenship. Senator […]
For nearly a year-and-a-half before voting even began, the 2016 US Presidential Election dominated headlines. And arguably for good reason: there were more scandals and controversies than all 7000 episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful. Walls, glass ceilings, emails, Larry David lookalikes, Muslims, the KKK, free tertiary education — it was like the media’s […]
The events of last Thursday made the Parliamentary sitting week seem a year long, with late night developments and round the clock coverage leaving a Minister embattled and an Opposition calling for blood. Senator Michaelia Cash, Minister for Employment, is still facing down calls to resign after giving misleading evidence to a Senate estimates hearing […]
Before I launch into this, necessary proviso: the views expressed herein are my own, and not necessarily the views of any church or company that I am a part of or affiliated with, et cetera, et cetera. All good? Bueno. You have, by this stage, probably read post after post about the “postal vote” on […]
Photo credit: Alex Proimos (Flickr) — CC BY 2.0 licence The long awaited High Court judgement on the so-called “Citizenship Seven” has disqualified Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, Senators Fiona Nash and Malcolm Roberts, and former Senators Scott Ludlum and Larissa Waters from Parliament. Senators Nick Xenophon and Matthew Canavan have not been disqualified. A by-election […]
Maltese investigative journalist and anti-corruption activist Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb near her home in Mosta on Monday evening. She was reportedly leaving her home when the blast occurred, sending the vehicle wreckage airborne and into an adjacent field. Ms Caruana Galizia was responsible for uncovering links between Malta and the […]
Photo credit: Martin Kingsley (Wikimedia) — CC BY 2.0 licence Unions have lost an appeal to overturn the Fair Work Commission’s penalty rates cuts for hospitality, retail and fast-food workers. The Federal Court found the Commission’s decision to cut Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for full-time and part-time workers is legal. United Voice and […]
Photo credit: Adam Roberts (website) Mass shootings in the United States are inevitably accompanied by fierce political debate about gun control, and the Las Vegas Strip Shooting has been no exception. Seemingly before the bodies were even cold, spokespeople from both sides of the debate popped up on television arguing for more restrictions or fewer […]
Photo credit: Yuri Samoilov (Flickr) — CC BY 2.0 licence An Australian defence contractor’s computer system was inflitrated by hackers in what could be a state-sanctioned cyberattack. The attackers had access to the contractor’s IT network for an extended period and reportedly stole large amounts of data. The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) discovered the […]
Photo credit: Australian Government (Wikipedia) — CC BY 2.0 licence. An assylum seeker held in Australia’s offshore detention centre on Manus Island has reportedly died. The Sri Lankan Tamil man is believed to have taken his own life at a hospital in the township of Lorengau on Monday. “We had a suicide of a refugee […]
Now that the High Court prepares to hear cases concerning the dual citizenship status of seven current and former parliamentarians, it is important to reflect on the reasons why section 44(i) of the Australian Constitution exists. What exactly is it meant to prevent? Is it doing its job?
Photo credit: Stefan Krasowski (Flickr) — CC BY 2.0 licence. North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho has accused United States President Donald Trump of delcaring war on the rogue state. Speaking to reporters in New York on Monday, Ri said, “Last weekend Trump claimed that our leadership wouldn’t be around much longer and declared […]
Photo credit: FelixMittermeier (Pixabay) — CC0 public domain dedication Angela Merkel will serve a fourth term as German Chancellor after the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian counterpart, the Christian Social Union (CSU), secured 33% of the vote in Germany’s national election on Sunday. The Social Democrats (SPD) led by Martin Schulz received 20.5% […]
Australia stands almost alone in the Anglosphere in its lack of marriage equality, with only Northern Ireland to keep it company. Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, most of the United Kingdom, and the United States have all achieved marriage equality over the past decade-and-a-half, through a variety of judicial and legislative mechanisms. Australia is […]
Photo credit: Aitoff (Pixabay) — CC0 public domain dedication Everywhere online, political commentators use the terms “left” and “right” to describe various, often conflicting, movements. This trend is an unfortunate development, as it seems to be destroying the distinctions and subtleties that make the political landscape — and the societies it reflects — so diverse. […]
There were a few initial hints that the turnout would be as massive as it turned out to be — the snatches of overheard conversation on the train into Town Hall, the mass of people a full thirty-five minutes early crowding the narrow construction bollards and milling around in the square near St. Andrew’s, selling […]
Photo credit: StockSnap (Pixabay) — CC0 public domain dedication The High Court has dismissed the challenges to the same-sex marriage (SSM) postal survey. The ruling means that the postal survey will go ahead as planned, with ballots being mailed out from Tuesday 12 September 2017. The challenges were made by SSM advocates, Independent MP Andrew […]
In 1953 the Council of Europe adopted the European Convention on Human Rights, establishing a regional system to protect human rights in its member states, complete with domestic and regional courts to enforce it. Regional systems have also developed in the Americas through the Organisation of American States, and through the African Union. This leaves Asia and the Pacific as the only region without a human rights system.
The recent spate of referrals to the High Court about dual citizenship has put quite a few political careers on the line, and has made for some pretty interesting news in the meantime. But can we expect things to get resolved anytime soon? Not likely — at least not before the High Court starts considering cases in October. Either way, the path forward on the citizenship issue is rocky, and is a bit different for each House of Parliament.
In Part 1, we had a look at the definition of free speech according to two United Nations instruments, and some common principles that give rise to exceptions for it. In this article, we’ll be looking in more detail at how this applies to a country — namely Australia — and then how everything changes once you jump online.
Photo credit: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen (Website) — CC BY-SA 3.0 licence. Swiss President Doris Leuthard has said Switzerland is prepared to mediate talks between North Korea and the United States. Ms Leuthard noted that Swiss troops were deployed in the Korean Demilatarised Zone and that the country had a long history of neutral diplomacy. “We […]
Here in Australia, we consider ourselves quite ‘lucky’. I can put pretty much what I like on Facebook, and know that police won’t be showing up at my door. Unless I start posting about bombs, or assassination, or terrorism, perhaps – but even then, it depends on the context. I could be talking about water bombs, the mafia card game, and Counterstrike.