Abortion Ban in Northern Ireland Likely to Worsen Mental Health Crisis

Northern Ireland (Conversation) – Northern Ireland is one of only two regions in Europe where abortion effectively remains illegal (Malta being the other). This is a confirmed breach of human rights – one that threatens to deepen the mental health crisis of women in Northern Ireland. Abortion is not allowed in Northern Ireland unless the life of the mother is in danger. There is no access to abortion in cases of rape or fatal foetal abnormality. Under the current law, woman have to declare suicidal intent in order for abortion…

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Technology is Both a Weapon and a Shield For Those Experiencing Domestic Violence

Australia (Conversation) – With growing recognition that domestic violence can be perpetuated using technology, there has been an increase of news stories that focus on how abusers use it to coerce and control victims. For example, when a man stole his ex-partner’s laptop so he could monitor her private Facebook messages. Or when a husband installed a GPS tracking device in his daughter’s doll to monitor his wife’s whereabouts without her knowledge. But there’s also considerable potential for victims to use new technologies to hold abusers accountable. Technology as a…

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Playing This Board Game will Challenge Your Ideas About Refugees

(Conversation) – When immigrants come to Canada, they have to quickly adapt and they have much to learn. Many of them need to learn a new language and a new culture. The Canadian government defines integration as a two-way street. Newcomers strengthen the Canadian economy by bringing diverse perspectives which can lead to better workplace outcomes, innovation and strong community connections. As an educator working with newcomers for the past decade, I have seen a need not just for newcomer education (such as language classes, settlement services and community orientation)…

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Why Domestic Abuse and Anti-gay Violence Qualify as Persecution in Asylum Law

United States (Conversation) – Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently upended decades of U.S. legal precedent by asserting that women fleeing domestic violence will not generally qualify for asylum. To do so, he challenged the principle that women victims of domestic violence are members of a “particular social group.” This phrase – “particular social group” – is critical to the work of immigration lawyers like myself. It allows us to argue that women, LGBTQ people and other vulnerable groups face specific kinds of persecution based on who they are. If left…

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The rise of resistance and resilience to tear gas

(WNV) – All around the world people invent, adapt and share techniques for resilience and resistance to tear gas. In doing so, they care for each other. They transform this weapon into a collectivizing tool. There is a growing transnational solidarity of tear gas resilience, aided by social media and mobile technologies that help protesters circulate relief remedies, gas mask designs and grenade throwback techniques. Displaying what social movement researcher Gavin Grindon has called “grassroots cultural diplomacy,” these tips are tweeted from Greece to New York, from Palestine to Ferguson, from…

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Marine Heatwaves are Getting Hotter, Lasting Longer and Doing More Damage

(Conversation) – On land, heatwaves can be deadly for humans and wildlife and can devastate crops and forests. Unusually warm periods can also occur in the ocean. These can last for weeks or months, killing off kelp forests and corals, and producing other significant impacts on marine ecosystems, fishing and aquaculture industries. Yet until recently, the formation, distribution and frequency of marine heatwaves had received little research attention. Marine heatwaves occur everywhere in the ocean. Eric Oliver/Dalhousie University Long-term change Climate change is warming ocean waters and causing shifts in…

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Why Unschoolers Grow Up to Be Entrepreneurs

(FEE) – Almost by definition, entrepreneurs are creative thinkers and experimental doers. They reject the status quo and devise new approaches and better inventions. They are risk-takers and dreamers, valuing ingenuity over convention. They get things done. It shouldn’t be surprising to learn that many unschoolers become entrepreneurs. Able to grow up free from a coercive classroom or traditional school-at-home environment, unschoolers nurture interests and passions that may sprout into full-fledged careers. Their creativity and curiosity remain intact, uncorrupted by a mass education system intent on order and conformity. Their…

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Preventing Sexual Violence: Lessons from Rebel Armies in Burundi and Uganda

(Conversation) – War zones and conflict sites are incredibly dangerous for anyone living in them, but women are often particularly vulnerable in these spaces. Consider how, in recent years, Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq have systematically abducted and abused thousands of women and girls. This reality may make my research focus seem strange. It deals with wartime sexual violence – but more specifically the absence of it. My focus is on armed political actors that have committed little sexual violence and have a…

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For the First Time in 24 Years the Federal Bench is Becoming Less Diverse

United States (Conversation) – President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in the Senate are pushing through nominations for federal judges at an unusually fast pace ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. That’s when the GOP could lose its majority and end the easy path to confirmation for Trump’s nominees. As political scientists who study diversity and the federal bench, we keep an eye on nominations and confirmations. As of early June, Trump has the opportunity to fill 216 vacant seats out of 890, or almost 25 percent of the…

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HART: Homeland Security’s Massive New Database Will Include Face Recognition, DNA, and Peoples’ “Non-Obvious Relationships”

United States (EFF) – So why do we know so little about it? The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is quietly building what will likely become the largest database of biometric and biographic data on citizens and foreigners in the United States. The agency’s new Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology (HART) database will include multiple forms of biometrics—from face recognition to DNA, data from questionable sources, and highly personal data on innocent people. It will be shared with federal agencies outside of DHS as well as state and local law enforcement and foreign governments….

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