On Friday, Tony Abbott raised Australia’s terrorist threat level to high, readying the country for a new normal of intensified anti-terror policing and security screenings. Less noticeable amid the media noise surrounding terrorism and the IS was the fact that two days earlier, vice-chancellor Michael Spence did the on-campus equivalent, by citing a hastily commissioned ‘security assessment’ to ban a visitor to Sydney University.
A 2006 paper by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies showed that cancer cases doubled among Aborigines near Australia’s biggest uranium mine, the Ranger mine in Kakadu National Park. During the past twenty years, the mine’s health impact on the local Indigenous community has not been investigated despite over 120 leaks of contaminated water.
The last time Ng Shui Meng saw her husband, Sombath Somphone, alive was early in the evening of Saturday, 15 December 2012. Sombath was driving his old jeep home. Shui Meng, who was travelling in her own vehicle in front of his, noticed him being stopped at a police post on Thadeua Road, a main thoroughfare in Vientiane, the capital of Laos.
But it is on the Left that the most comprehensive split has emerged, based on two competing interpretations: one, that Scottish independence would mean the liberation of a country that has been under an imperial yoke, disguised as union, for three centuries (and under its dominance for a millennium); and the other, that the break-up of the UK would be a division of the working class of the Union, making it easier to defeat them with money and power.
After the panel was over, a senior academic put up his hand and said, ‘These papers were all excellent, but one thing struck me – why are you all so conservative?’ I agreed to the point of formulating a clap or two. None of the three early career academics who had been asked to talk about ‘the future of the humanities’ at this ‘sandstone’ university were angered. One, a French literature academic, even embraced the comment.