Asia in 2016: Australia

Asia in 2016: AustraliaAfter a decade of political instability in Australia – the prime-ministership has changed hands five times since 2007 – last year might have brought a dose of normality to the country’s national affairs. Instead, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull fought a close election that was marked by a surge of right-wing populism that saw stridently anti-immigrant…

Australia-US  Immigration Deal is “One-off”

Australia-US  Immigration Deal is “One-off”Despite evident dangers, irregular maritime migration through Southeast Asia tripled between 2012 and 2014, with countless people dying. Often, rather than finding refuge, these people are sold into sex slavery or other forms of modern-day servitude by people smugglers. Indeed, human traffickers have profited greatly in trafficking in this human misery.  In recent years, few…

A New Global ‘Patrimonial’ Art Emerges

A New Global ‘Patrimonial’ Art EmergesToday’s art world is a well-mapped-out universe consisting of a few thousand leading galleries, museums, a few hundred influential curators and art fair organizers, writers and critics, wealthy collectors and institutions, and of course, the artists themselves. It is a US$64 billion-a-year industry in which sadly today’s definition of good art is its saleability and…

Australia and the Cringe Mentality

Australia and the Cringe MentalityAustralia says and does most of the right things to please its US and Japanese allies and friends in Southeast Asia when it comes to South China Sea issues. But Chinese money and a new version of Australia’s long-noted “cringe” mentality are replacing past cringes to the US and before that the UK, making huge…

Opinion: Sydney Siege: Why Didn’t the Snipers Shoot?

Opinion: Sydney Siege: Why Didn’t the Snipers Shoot?The Sydney siege at the Lindt Chocolate Café in Martin Place ended in the early hours of Dec. 15 with 3 fatalities and 3 injured. But why did it have to conclude with any fatalities besides that of the gunman? It is now known that it was Man Haron Monis, an apparently-deranged gunman called by…

Professor as Pretender

Professor as PretenderThere is a crisis in a widely misconstrued world academia in which the hierarchy in which the professorial class needs to be restructured to be able to lead into the next century. The perceptions of what a professor is thought to be tends to be are wrapped up in the narratives of public images around…

Can Climate Change Hurt Your Health?

Can Climate Change Hurt Your Health?The Australian Academy of Science has gathered 60 researchers who seek to investigate concerns about climate change as it relates to public health. The main purpose of the newly formed think-tank is to influence government responses, but also to raise public awareness about what increases in temperature and changes in weather patterns can mean for…

Religious Leaders Seek to Cope with AIDS

Religious Leaders Seek to Cope with AIDSFor believers, religious faith has a paramount influence on their lives. At the 20th International AIDS Conference, during the inter-faith session the message from different religious leaders was that homophobia is a choice, and that homosexuality is not; and that religious scriptures should teach compassion and acceptance. Phumzile Mabizela, an African religious leader openly living…

The Right to Free Speech in Australia

The Right to Free Speech in AustraliaAustralia is caught in a dialogue of the deaf over words that are construed to display prejudice or harm. Attorney-General George Brandis has released a draft "Freedom of Speech Bill" which would remove references to offending, insulting and humiliating people or groups and instead would outlaw vilification and intimidation. Those who consider that the law…

Australia’s Aging Tsunami

Australia’s Aging TsunamiAlthough the focus on aging across Asia is on countries like Japan, Singapore and China, Australia, regarded as a land of the young, is aging as fast as any, and its care for its elderly approaches a national disgrace. Today, many elderly people are being moved out of their homes into aged care facilities. With…
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