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  • Carolina Gottardo (right) pictured with Behrouz Boochani in Port Moresby.

    A visit among the men of Manus

    • Carolina Gottardo
    • 18 November 2019
    7 Comments

    I recently visited Port Moresby as part of a delegation of Catholic leaders. I have worked with refugees and migrants for more than 20 years in different countries. I have been part of many serious and confronting human rights struggles. Nonetheless, I was not expecting what I saw and heard in PNG, and it deeply touched me.

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  • A man dances at an an anti-government protest on 30 October 2019 in Martyrs' Square, Beirut, Lebanon. (Photo by Sam Tarling/Getty Images)

    Hope and trepidation amid Lebanon unrest

    • Daniel Sleiman
    • 07 November 2019
    3 Comments

    Like many Lebanese Australians I've been watching the mass protests in Lebanon with hope and trepidation. Hope that government reforms, or a change of government, will bring about meaningful transformation in economic management, transparency and public services. Fearful because of the possibility of civil war.

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  • Russian President Vladimir Putin in August 2018. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

    Stories about the Russia you thought you knew

    • Justin Glyn
    • 06 November 2019
    8 Comments

    A casual reader, picking up Tony Kevin's book without much background knowledge on the events which it covers, might assume that the work was alarmist conspiracy theory, so wildly is it at odds with the standard fare which one reads in the papers about Russia and contemporary politics in general. Frighteningly, it is not.

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  • Oblique angle of an Australian Federal Police badge. (Credit: Getty Images)

    Secret trials in the Australian 'police state'

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 26 November 2019
    13 Comments

    It sounds like a police state effort. An author makes an attempt to assist a pseudonymously named prisoner publish a memoir. The effort is scotched by the authorities. The police spring into action raiding the cell of that prisoner, and that of his brother. All take place without the knowledge of the Australia media or public.

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  • Gerard Manley Hopkins portrait

    Gerard Manley Hopkins on advocacy and pests

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 25 November 2019
    4 Comments

    Hopkins' words highlight how difficult it is for poets or lesser human beings to focus consistently on the particularity of each human being, let alone of each being in the world. Yet this is a necessary condition for recognising the claim that each person and the world make on us. It is no wonder that we sometimes falter in our commitment.

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  • Chris Johnston cartoon contrasting a society that cares for it's children, to one that imprisons it's kids, and neglects the environment.

    Getting serious about children's rights

    • Bree Alexander
    • 22 November 2019
    4 Comments

    From strip searches to a needlessly low minumum age of criminal responsibility, Australia continues to be a menacing place for children encountering law enforcement. The need to be seen as 'tough on crime' plagues the major parties and precludes nuances within the criminal justice sphere including the protection of the rights of the child.

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  • John Henry Newman

    The light in John Henry Newman's darkness

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 15 November 2019
    6 Comments

    Dad is out watering the garden, but all the front windows are open, so he can hear the piano and his wife and two daughters singing. He often hums along to our repertoire, which is a mixture of Anglo-Celtic songs, Australian numbers — and, memorably, 'Lead, Kindly Light', written by the recently canonised St John Henry Newman.

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  • Woman sitting on public bench with brown bag over her head (Credit: Francesco Carta fotografo)

    Light and life found in humiliation

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 November 2019
    19 Comments

    Might the experience of humiliation open the possibility of turning out to others instead of in on oneself? Might it seed compassion for others in their humiliation, and lead in turn to a society more sensitive to the wounds that humiliation causes both to the humiliated and the bystanders?

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  • Portaits of the El Salvador martyrs by Mary Pimmel.

    El Salvador reality upends justice romance

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 November 2019
    16 Comments

    Thirty years ago this month, the Salvadorean Armed Forces murdered two women and six Jesuits at the Universidad Centroamericana El Salvador. For me it was a significant stage on the journey from fascination with the romance and the rhetoric of the struggle for justice to recognition of the hard, unyielding daily reality that it involved.

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  • Hands presenting a wrapped gift. (Credit: Kseniya Ovchinnikova / Getty Images)

    The power of gift-giving without the waste

    • Cristy Clark
    • 21 November 2019
    3 Comments

    As we pare back more and more, I have started to realise that there is a risk in taking things too far. The consumer orgy of the past may have been unsightly, but gift giving itself also serves a valuable social function, and we may be at risk of throwing out the baby with the bath water.

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  • Nuclear waste transport map (Credit: Kim Mavromatis, compiled from information in documents released by the federal government.)

    Farmers and Traditional Owners decry SA nuclear vote

    • Michele Madigan
    • 20 November 2019
    11 Comments

    The Minister was delighted to announce that in Kimba the long awaited vote to host a permanent facility for national low level radiactive waste and storage for intermediate level radioactive waste had concluded. The result: 61.17 per cent voted in favour. Unsurprisingly, he failed to mention that voting rights in the poll were severely restricted.

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  • Tent and car by a lake. (Photo by Francine Crimmins)

    A mystical intrusion in nature

    • Francine Crimmins
    • 20 November 2019
    3 Comments

    Johnson describes this encounter as one of grandeur, the same feeling some adherents of religion experience when they visit a sacred site or enter a holy place of worship. In this way, nature is a mystical experience. It's the closest feeling I get to an overwhelming presence that is all encompassing and all forgiving at the same time.

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  • Gosse's Bluff, called Tnorala by the Western Arrernte. Image by Dementia via Flickr

    The theatre of distance

    • John Allison
    • 25 November 2019
    1 Comment

    I dreamed Thoreau told me that whenever I was lost, if only I'd remember that it was not I but simply those familiar places of the world that were lost then I would realise at last the trick of standing upright here ... Everywhere, departure opens wide its gates into the nothing that awaits us in the dusk

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  • Fern fronds (Photo by Adamo Boccitto)

    Near Ferntree Gully

    • Chris Wallace-Crabbe
    • 18 November 2019
    3 Comments

    Staring toward the stringy picture through a linguistic lens I have begun to see that the elderly magic, deplored by most religions, was a daughter of coincidence mathematically robed in some downright glorious colours.

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  • Storm clouds over sea, Melbourne (Credit: Wolf Cocklin / Getty)

    The crime scene that is Australia

    • Libby Hart
    • 11 November 2019
    1 Comment

    It's difficult to move in this landscape. Haunted and fragile and tragic, there's no place that is benign. A cursed house, the Greeks might say.

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