Can a Senator Be Expelled from the Federal Parliament for Offensive Statements?

Australia (Conversation) – In the wake of comments about the Christchurch massacre, members of the public have raised the question of whether a senator can be expelled from the Senate for making offensive statements. It is now well known that members of parliament can have their seat vacated in the parliament due to their disqualification under section 44 of the Constitution for reasons including dual citizenship, bankruptcy, holding certain government offices or being convicted of offences punishable by imprisonment for one year or longer. But there is no ground of…

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Why so Many Rape Investigations in the UK Are Dropped Before a Suspect Is Charged

United Kingdom (Conversation) – Even after 15 years serving as a police officer, Fay still vividly remembers the first rape investigation she took part in. The survivor, a 17-year-old girl, had been raped by a man in his twenties at a party. A video-recorded interview and a medical examination took place within six hours. The suspect was swiftly located and arrested. The next day, the survivor withdrew the allegation, traumatised and frightened of repercussions, feeling that she was not strong enough to see the case through. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the…

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The Mental Health Crisis Among America’s Youth Is Real – and Staggering

United States (Conversation) – The first signs of a problem started to emerge around 2014: More young people said they felt overwhelmed and depressed. College counseling centers reported sharp increases in the number of students seeking treatment for mental health issues. Even as studies were showing increases in symptoms of depression and in suicide among adolescents since 2010, some researchers called the concerns overblown and claimed there simply isn’t enough good data to reach that conclusion. The idea that there’s an epidemic in anxiety or depression among youth “is simply…

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How Women Wage War – a Short History of IS Brides, Nazi Guards and FARC Insurgents

World Wide (Conversation) – The names of American-born Hoda Muthana and Brit Shamima Begum have appeared in countless headlines in the United States and Europe since these two female members of the Islamic State group were discovered in a large displaced persons camp weeks ago. The women were among the holdouts in Islamic State’s last stronghold in Baghouz, Syria. When they were found by journalists, one was pregnant and the other was caring for her young child. In the four years that these women lived as part of IS, they…

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Violent Crime: Decades of Research Shows Punishing ‘Risky’ Young People Does Not Work – Here’s What Does

United Kingdom (Conversation) – Violent crime among young people has reached a worrying high in parts of the UK over recent years. There’s been a year-on-year increase in knife offences committed by young people since March 2014. In 2017/18 alone, there were more than 100 knife-related homicides with victims under 24 years old. London, in particular, has experienced a surge in knife-related incidents in 2019. Politicians, journalists and activists all agree that this rise in violence (particularly knife crime) must be tackled as an absolute priority. While there have been…

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Phoenix Fashion Show Shines Spotlight on Refugees and Their Contributions

Arizona, United States (Cronkite) – The audience watched in awe as models wearing ornate, handmade gowns with intricate trimmings walked the runway. Camera flashes illuminated their robes, inspired by styles from around the world. The HOPE Couture Global Fashion Experience provided the backdrop for this world of fashion last month. Held at MonOrchid on Roosevelt Row north of downtown, it showcased art and fashion created by seven refugees living in metro Phoenix. About 100 people attended the event, which was organized by the International Rescue Committee in Phoenix, part of a…

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Veterans Are Concerned About Climate Change, and That Matters

United States (Conversation) – News that the Trump administration plans to create a panel devoted to challenging government warnings about climate change has been met with opposition from members of the U.S. military. Citing concerns about the effects of climate change on national security, more than four dozen top-ranking military officials came out in opposition to the Trump administration’s plan. Military concern about the effects of climate change on national security is not new. Months before former Secretary James Mattis left the Defense Department in January 2019, he acknowledged that…

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Sexism Has Long Been Part of the Culture of Southern Baptists

United States (Conversation) – Recent media reports have revealed decades of abuse by Southern Baptist pastors. Denominational leaders are offering apologies and calling the sexual abuse “evil,” “unjust” and a “barbarity of unrestrained sinful patterns.” Many Southern Baptist leaders are considering action. As a scholar who has written a book on Southern Baptist women and the church, I’d argue that this scandal has its origins in how Southern Baptists have long and purposefully pushed back against women’s progress. The ‘woman question’ Since the Southern Baptist Convention’s founding in 1845, Southern…

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A Chimpanzee Cultural Collapse Is Underway, and It’s Driven by Humans

Africa (Conversation) – Language, music, and art often vary between adjacent groups of people, and help us identify not only ourselves but also others. And in recent years rich debates have emerged and spawned research into culture in non-human animals. Scientists first observed chimpanzees using tools more than half a century ago. As this complex behaviour appeared to differ across different populations, researchers concluded that tool use in apes was socially learned and therefore a cultural behaviour. This was the beginning of exploring what behaviours in other species might be…

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Sex Trafficking in the US: 4 Questions Answered

United States (Conversation) – New England Patriots CEO Robert Kraft’s criminal charges in a suspected sex trafficking case in southern Florida draw new attention to this serious problem. Sex trafficking, as the federal government defines it, is “the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act” by means of “force, fraud, or coercion.” This is a form of modern-day slavery. Found in massage parlors, escort services, residential brothels and street prostitution, some might be victims for weeks and others for years….

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