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Politically and Socially Speaking

Travelling overseas? What to do if a border agent demands access to your digital device

New laws enacted in New Zealand give customs agents the right to search your phone.  New laws enacted in New Zealand this month give border agents the right to demand travellers entering the country hand over passwords for their digital devices. We outline what you should do if it happens to you, in the first part of a series...

Peer mentoring program shows promise for preventing African youth violence

Participants in a new peer mentoring outreach program aimed at reducing crime in the African community in Western Australia.  Author provided Recent episodes of violence among Australian youth of African descent have been a topic of mounting concern for politicians, the police and African communities alike. The Australian public is divided on the issue. Some believe these violent acts are isolated cases...

Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege for campaigns against sexual violence

Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege: campaigners against sexual violence against women. EPA-EFE/PATRICK SEEGER Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege have been awarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize for their work in trying to end sexual violence during war and armed conflict. There are many tragedies in war and among the worst are victims of sexual violence. Women’s bodies have become battle sites and...

Explainer: what is Pentecostalism, and how might it influence Scott Morrison’s politics?

The deeply religious Scott Morrison is Australia’s first Pentecostal prime minister. Mick Tsikas/AAP Since Scott Morrison became prime minister last month, much has been made about his religious beliefs and the impact they are likely to have on his leadership. Understanding Morrison’s faith and how it influences his worldview requires some basic knowledge about Pentecostalism and how it differs from...

Why a separate holiday for Indigenous Australians misses the point

Invasion Day protests have been growing in size and number across the country in recent years. Glenn Hunt/AAP Prime Minister Scott Morrison has floated the idea of a new national holiday to recognise the achievements of Indigenous Australians. The proposal is a pre-emptive strike against what he called the “indulgent self-loathing” of those who want to shift Australia Day from...

Grattan on Friday: ABC’s challenge is to ‘keep calm and carry on’

It has been a turbulent week for the ABC, with questions still to be answered, particularly by the board. Shutterstock The spectacular implosion of the top reaches of the ABC has left a battlefield littered with casualties, and one of Australia’s most important and respected institutions damaged and in shock. Coincidentally, an Essential poll published this week, asking about trust in...

If privacy is increasing for My Health Record data, it should apply to all medical records

Everyone was up in arms about a lack of privacy with My Health Records, but the privacy is the same for other types of patient data. from www.shutterstock.com In response to the public outcry against the potential for My Health Record data to be shared with police and other government agencies, Health Minister Greg Hunt...

Planned trade deal with Europe could keep medicine prices too high

Extending pharmaceutical monopolies would substantially increase costs for taxpayers. Shutterstock The United States’ withdrawal from the Trans Pacific Partnership and the recent US-China tariff wars have flamed concerns that international trade is becoming unstable. Trade talks between Australia and the European Union – Australia’s second-largest trading partner – launched in June this year to much...

Grattan on Friday: Morrison aims to make agility his prime ministerial trademark

Morrison’s brush strokes on his own portrait are designed to create the image of a leader tuned to the voters’ concerns, rather than the “Canberra bubble”. Lukas Coch/AAP Strawberries and hay have provided unlikely lenses for an insight into how Scott Morrison will conduct his prime ministership from now to the election.

After a long struggle, the Uniting Church becomes the first to offer same-sex marriage

For some, this recent decision is a source of celebration and perhaps even symbolic, finally, of full equality in the church for gay and lesbian members. Wes Mountain From Friday, September 21, the Uniting Church (UCA) will be the first of the three major Australian Christian denominations to endorse same-sex marriage, and thus the first to offer gay and lesbian Christians the...

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