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What is driving the current Israel-Hamas conflict

The escalating battle between Israel and Hamas has raised questions as well as tensions.

With the Middle East in a state of flux, why did Israel strike at Hamas military leader? More importantly, why did Hamas respond in a way sure to invite an Israeli attack that it could not possibly fend off?

While Hamas’ military commander, Ahmed al-Jabari, had long been on Israel’s hit list and had, consequently, kept out of sight, his killing may be a calculated attempt to derail the Oslo peace accords, linked with trying to stymy the Palestinian Authority’s bid for UN recognition, due on the 29th of this month.

Israel’s leaders would have been all too aware that al-Jabari’s death would escalate regional tensions.

Sharp rise in youth homelessness shatters stereotypes

The number of Australians who were homeless on census night increased by 17% to 105,237 in the five years to August 2011. When adjusted for population growth, the increase the increase is still worryingly high, at around 8%. It’s clear we need a stronger commitment to address this significant social issue.

How doctors and lawyers can help vulnerable patients

By James Farrell, Deakin University and Peter Noble, The Conversation

Medical-legal partnerships have broken down the barriers to accessible legal services for people experiencing health issues in the United States. Such programs demonstrate the health benefits of effective legal advocacy on behalf of patients and Australia could learn from this model to improve access to justice and deliver better health outcomes.

From stalker to dobber: parenting on social media

My research and thinking, and even my identity with regard to social networking has evolved, but not in a way I have anticipated. Over the past three years, I have offered a number of conference addresses and keynote presentations focussed on the use of social media and networking in education. I have co-authored chapters in books about the challenges, potentials and pitfalls, and often humorously reflected upon myself as s stalker-mum or stalker-teacher.

'No Spring without flowers'

'The solution to women’s issues can only be achieved in a free and democratic society in which human energy is liberated, the energy of both women and men together. Our civilization is called human civilization and is not attributed only to men or women.'

(Yemeni political activist and Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, Tawakkol Karman, 2011)

Student assessments that bring tears to my eyes: The next generation of teachers

Assessment in Higher Education can be a punishing and torturous time in an academic’s life. It is punishing as a large volume of student work is expected to be graded and their results uploaded in extremely short periods of time. Such expectations demand that this work is done over hours which extend well beyond when our loved ones are sleeping, as well as when they are awake and expect some love. Assessment can also be torturous, as if the tasks are not well considered and creatively constructed the monotonous recount of key quotes or really important information retold more than three hundred times can be mind numbingly painful. This piece however, focuses on the joy of assessment, and my recent immersion into the thinking of our future teachers.

Speech Limitations, Social Media and Women's Rights

 

 

'There is a belief that is alarmingly wide-spread that you can say what you want on the internet without any consequences, and while I'm an advocate for freedom of expression, I know that's absolutely not the case' (Julie Posetti).

 

The case of murdered Melbourne woman Jill Meagher has received unprecedented media attention. Many people became aware of her story and were traumatised by its tragic end. In the wake of Jill's death some people turned to social media to express their grief and anger, but after being told their comments could affect the trial people faced the question of what they could and should say online. 

 

'Freedom of speech for a more just environment': WikiLeaks

'We've exposed the worlds secrets. Been attacked by the powerful. For 500 days now I've been detained without charge, but that hasn't stopped us' (Julian Assange in the opening to The Julian Assange Show).

 

The Assange story has fascinated people around the world - so much so that we now have documentaries, shows and books that tell his story. However, with much media coverage increasingly focusing on Mr Assange's presence at the Ecuadorean embassy in London (and accusations that he is an 'enemy of the state' in the US), it is possible that our attention has been diverted away from what he has sacrificed his personal safety and security for. 

 

“The Armstrong Stench – Surely the Sgt Schultzes of Cycling Australia Must Have Smelt It”

How did Lance Armstrong get away with it?

It is a question for the ages, and one that is a key to a lot of doors that have sat quietly locked for years, but which are now being thrown wide open.

It is a matter of little White lies, and great big black ones more than it is about the blood, or the science of drug testing and evading that testing.

Above all, the stench of a hidden hand, or maybe a not so hidden hand, remains.

It is clear to all except maybe Blind Freddy that Lance Armstrong ran the most managed and professional doping system ever seen in professional sport.

The Armstrong Effect and above all the Armstrong Stench … surely The Sergeant Schultzes of Cycling Australia must have smelt it?

Why are Tamils Fleeing SRi Lanka?

Among the many claims that about ‘boat people’ that are made in order to fulfil particular political agendas, one is that when a war is officially concluded then people who live in the once afflicted area have nothing more to worry about. As a result, they do not have a legitimate claim for protection against persecution.

If people flee such an area, the assumption is that they are ‘economic’ refugees, hoping to ‘queue jump’ in order to secure a better life for themselves. This has been the claim made about refugees fleeing Sri Lanka. This claim is morally wrong and it is wrong in fact.

From 1983 until 2009, a number of Tamil groups, eventually coming under the banner of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (Tamil Tigers), fought a bitter, bloody and often ruthless war to establish a separate ethnic Tamil state in Sri Lanka’s north and east. The war was a consequence of earlier anti-Tamil rioting.

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