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Deakin Speaking

Time running out to avoid Western Sahara war

The world has many almost forgotten trouble spots, where conflict has not been resolved but appears to have been contained. In Western Sahara and Morocco, that may be about to change, with potentially wider implications. The western-most corner of Algeria, near the border with Morocco, Western Sahara and Mauritania, is a desolate and unforgiving place, […]

Greece’s socialist government confronts limited economic choices

Signs of plenty in Athens continue to be on public display; long lunches at cafes, an apparent lack of necessity to work, all of the signs of a relaxed life that have long characterised what is often perceived by outsiders as indicators of a relaxed Mediterranean life. But no street café, no train or street […]

Aceh’s peace agreement under threat

Approaching the tenth anniversary of what has otherwise been described as one of the most successful peace agreements of recent times, Indonesia’s province of Aceh is on the verge of again being plunged into bloody conflict. Indonesia’s Defence Minister, the former hardline general Ryamizard Ryacudu, has threatened to return Aceh to military conflict status following […]

Social media – a powerful tool against terrorism

This article was first published in the The Age http://www.theage.com.au/comment/social-media-role-in-fight-against-global-terror-must-be-recognised-and-matched-as-is-wields-new-weapons-20150314-141ydk.html Social media role in fight against global terror must be recognised and matched as IS wields new weapons We live with a constant overflow of media stories warning of the dangers surrounding us; from plane crashes and natural disasters to violent conflicts and terrorist attacks […]

One Euro

The Athens suburb of Koukaki is pleasant, it’s once working class roughness having long since given way to gentrification. Athens’ middle class might be doing it tough in these times of austerity and near economic collapse, but there’s not a lot of that to be seen here. That is probably why it attracts the under-employed […]

Islamic State child soldiers

I post these attachments without comment other than the idea that there are Indonesian and probably Malaysian child soldiers being training by IS in Syria is deeply disturbing for many reasons. My purpose is to disseminate this information, and its origins: http://www.shoutussalam.com/ http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache%3Ab4XLefjBqBMJ%3Ash… The text is in Indonesian, which can be machine translated at http://www.toggletext.com/

Three Spanish Women Golfers in Australia – Recari just a little bit Korean

An English translation of my article published in El Pais, Madrid on the experiences of Spanish golfers Mireia Pratt, Belen Mozo and Beatriz Recari in Australia. Life as a professional golfer is not all glory. Far from the multi-million dollar smiles of American TV, Mireia Prat, has been living the life of a golfing backpacker […]

Bureaucratic murder

I feel a heavy weight in the pit of my stomach as I write this. Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have been moved to Nusa Kambangan, where Indonesia’s prisoners are executed. They are killed by firing squad. Their death is now +-3 days away. After many years, the bureaucratic wheels are now moving more quickly. […]

East Timor’s domestic and foreign policy after the resignation of Gusmao

The resignation of East Timor’s Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao, and the appointment of a new cabinet marks a fundamental change in the young country’s political landscape. Gusmao’s resignation was expected, having been initially flagged during the passing of the budget almost a year ago, but has raised questions about the country’s future direction. Gusmao’s successor […]

Death row: a tragic reminder for Australian travellers

The execution in Indonesia of six death row prisoners early last Sunday, including five foreigners, convicted of drug smuggling and the refusal by president Joko Widodo to grant clemency from the death penalty for Myuran Sukumaran has cast into sharp relief his likely fate and that of fellow death row prisoner Andrew Chan. Chan’s appeal […]