Five reasons terror laws wreck media freedom and democracy

Federal Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and Lieutenant General Angus Campbell (AAP Image/Quentin Jones)

Federal Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and Lieutenant General Angus Campbell (AAP Image/Quentin Jones)

By Mark Pearson, Griffith University

The Abbott government’s latest tranches of national security and counter-terrorism laws represent the greatest attack on the Fourth Estate function of journalism in the modern era. They are worse than the Gillard government’s failed attempts to regulate the press.

Unlike most other Western democracies, Australia has no constitutional instrument protecting free expression as a human right. Few politicians can resist the temptation to control the flow of information if the law permits.

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Australian Government assistance to refugees: fact v fiction

Introduction

This article is a direct republication from the Australian Parliamentary Library. 

In recent years a series of emails have been widely circulated throughout Australia claiming to describe the social security entitlements of refugees compared with those of other Australian residents. A common claim in these emails is that refugees in Australia receive higher social security benefits than age pensioners. Some also suggest that refugees receive free gifts such as houses. Claims of this kind are erroneous and appear to have caused some confusion in the community. They are often brought to the attention of senators and members by their constituents.

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The 10 stuff-ups we all make when interpreting research

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The 10 stuff-ups we all make when interpreting research

I have republished this article with permission from The Conversation. You can read the original article HERE

By Will J Grant, Australian National University and Rod Lamberts, Australian National University

UNDERSTANDING RESEARCH: What do we actually mean by research and how does it help inform our understanding of things? Understanding what’s being said in any new research can be challenging and there are some common mistakes that people make.

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Telling kids homophobia is wrong won’t stop bullying in schools

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This article appears HERE in The Conversation. It is shared with permission and I did not contribute to this article.

By Mary Lou Rasmussen, Monash University; Fida Sanjakdar, Monash University; Kathleen Quinlivan, University of Canterbury, and Louisa Allen, University of Auckland

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There is no doubt that homophobic bullying is a problem in Australian schools. The latest Writing Themselves in report published by Gay and Lesbian Health Victoria reports 80% of young gay, lesbian or questioning teens experience gender and sexuality-based bullying in the form of physical and verbal assault while at school.

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Indonesia aims to free the mentally ill from their shackles

Indonesia aims to free the mentally ill from their shackles

A new law aims to eliminate the national practice of shackling people with mental disorders. Akaris Tafoei/Shutterstock

A new law aims to eliminate the national practice of shackling people with mental disorders. Akaris Tafoei/Shutterstock

By Hervita Diatri, University of Indonesia and Albert Maramis, The Conversation

Academic Rigour, Journalistic Flair

Academic Rigour, Journalistic Flair

On July 8, a day before Indonesia held its presidential election, the parliament passed the bill on mental health into law. The election coverage drowned the news of the new law, but not its significance.

Thousands of people in Indonesia are subjected to shackling by families who lack knowledge and resources in caring for people with mental disorders. The new law aims to stop this.

The legislation spells out a more comprehensive approach to mental health treatment and creates a legal obligation for the government to protect people with mental disorders.

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Biennale of Sydney 2014: Artists Threaten Boycott Over Offshore Detention Of Asylum Seekers.

The debate surrounding the processing of asylum seekers in offshore detention centres threatened the staging of the 19th Biennale of Sydney art exhibition.

Boycott Biennale Sydney 2014

Boycott Biennale Sydney 2014

In February 2014, a group of twenty-eight, out of ninety exhibiting artist, wrote an open letter to the board of Biennale urging them to immediately sever ties with their major sponsor, Transfield Holdings. This was in response to the federal government awarding a contract to provide security and logistics service for asylum seekers to Transfield Services. Offshore processing centres on Nauru and Manus Island are a major concern. This policy abrogation of the deontology of asylum seekers dehumanises and places them in oppressive conditions. It was these policies that compelled the artists to take this action. The purpose of this essay is to analyse the alternative opinions expressed about the action of the artists, and the journalists framing of their articles.

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Cutting oestrogen could lead to fewer women undergoing preventative mastectomy

Academic Rigour, Journalistic Flair

Academic Rigour, Journalistic Flair

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By Kyle Matchett, Queen’s University Belfast

 

Keeping hold of them. Caitlinator

Source The Conversation: Keeping hold of them. Caitlinator

Angelina Jolie made the decision to have a double mastectomy after discovering she carried a faulty copy of the hereditary gene BRCA1 and was told she had an 87% chance of developing breast cancer. Jolie was a high-profile case, but many other women face this very difficult dilemma.

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Café Review: Cicco Chocolaterie, Broadway

Cicco Chocolaterie Broadway

Cicco Chocolaterie Broadway

How do you find the best coffee in a large shopping centre: follow the beautiful people of course…

Today is a dine-in review of Cicco Chocolaterie Café on the third floor of Broadway Shopping Centre, Sydney.

Cicco Chocolaterie is in the middle of the atrium just outside the Apple Store.

Read my full review HERE

Six foods that increase or decrease your risk of cancer

The original article appears HERE in The Conversation

Academic Rigour, Journalistic Flair

Academic Rigour, Journalistic Flair

Associate Professor Tim Crowe

Associate Professor Tim Crowe

By Tim Crowe, Deakin University

If you believe cancer is a disease that strikes from nowhere with little in your control to prevent it, you’d be mistaken on both counts. Most cases of cancer are considered preventable by positive nutrition and lifestyle choices.

Six new nutrition cancer prevention guidelines published today in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition reinforce some sound advice, but also include a surprise or two.

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I Have This Teacher…

I have this teacher. He is from a very conservative part of the Middle East. In Australia, He would be described as “of Middle Eastern Appearance.”

Despite His conservative surroundings, He is quite radical, in a very peaceful sort of way. I want to tell his story to confound some preconceived ideas that people usually have of Him.

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Explainer: what is Alzheimer’s disease?

Academic rigour, journalistic flair

Academic rigour, journalistic flair

The original article first appeared online at The Conversation and can be read HERE.

I did not contribute to this article in any capacity.

By Lauren Bartley, Neuroscience Research Australia and Yue Huang, Neuroscience Research Australia

Alzheimer’s disease causes progressive damage to the brain, resulting in problems with memory, cognition, social engagement, and, ultimately, a person’s ability to care for themselves.

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HECS: Female Graduates Get Hit Hardest?

HECS upon you: NATSEM models the real impact of higher uni fees

Academic rigour, journalistic flair

Academic rigour, journalistic flair

Original Story in The Conversation By Ben Phillips, University of Canberra. Read the original story HERE

Post-budget, everyone’s speculating about likely higher education fee and debt scenarios. AAP

Various organisations have modelled the likely fees and debts students are likely to face in a deregulated environment since the release of the budget last month. The National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), the Greens, education minister Christopher Pyne’s office and Universities Australia have all released modelling on likely outcomes.

The Conversation has asked NATSEM to look at the various modelling attempts and how they came about, and do some numbers of our own.

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Health Check: fish oil, anyone?

Health Check: fish oil, anyone?

The Conversation Header

By Jonathan Foster, Curtin University writing for The Conversation 23 June 2014.

An estimated one in four Australians currently take fish oil supplements daily because of its perceived benefits.

There are suggestions that fish oil is good for a range of health conditions including arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, mental health and heart disease. It’s even been suggested that fish oil might make people smarter, so should we all be taking supplements?

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Malicious Damage

We are all entitled to have a sense of security and peace of mind about our personal safety and our personal property. However, like all things to which we feel entitled, there are external forces at play, intent on shattering this illusion.

Damaged Window

Smashed Cargo Window

Over the weekend our car was damaged and a first aid kit stolen from it. Though a huge inconvenience, and some cost, we feel fortunate that nobody was injured.

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Why we needn’t fear the end of the Four Pillars policy

The Conversation

The Conversation

This article is a repost by Rodney Maddock, Monash University on The Conversation website and can be viewed HERE.

Revelations by whistleblower organisation Wikileaks of secret global negotiations to further deregulate global financial services, has led to speculation that such pact could signal the end of Australia’s “Four Pillars” banking policy.

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Is Abbott Selling Australia’s Banks?

Is Abbott Selling Australia’s Banks?

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Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey

In the recent Commonwealth budget, the one essential to repairing our “Budget Emergency”, that one where all Australians have been co-opted into lifting, not leaning, we are all doing our part, making sacrifices to restore budget integrity. We will bring our budget back into the black by reducing Labor’s reckless, Global Financial Crisis shielding, economy saving debt.

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