Tagged With politics

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I read an email the other day that contained this bummer of a statement: "Cigarettes are the only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill half of all long-term users."

It's not news, but it's true.

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Yesterday the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists pushed the Doomsday Clock forward to two minutes from midnight. The last time the Bulletin got this grim was in 1953, after the US and USSR tested their first hydrogen bombs.

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A humanitarian crisis is unfolding on Manus Island, where more than 600 people remain at a now shuttered detention facility cut off from water, food, power and important medications and health services. Most of these people have already been found to be refugees. Watching this entirely avoidable disaster of the Australian government's creation, it's easy to feel both helpless and culpable as an Australian resident. Here's how you can take action.

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President Trump's campaign chairmen, Paul Manafort, was indicted yesterday and ordered to surrender to authorities. According to the New York Times, he is charged with funelling "millions of dollars through overseas shell companies and the money to buy luxury cars, real estate, antiques and expensive suits." His associate Rick Gates was also charged. The Times notes that this represents "a significant escalation in a special counsel investigation that has cast a shadow over Mr. Trump's first year in office."

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After 900 failed attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (that number may be a little off, it's been a long year), US President Trump took two actions yesterday that could destroy insurance markets. US citizens will still be able to buy an "Obamacare" plan for next year and their current insurance will still work. But this portends some very bad news.

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Now more than ever it's important to be able to tell when you're reading #FakeNews. However, determining whether something is fake or real isn't always easy. Think you know your stuff? Give Factitious a try.

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If you look at social media a lot, as I do, you might be startled by how many people were... unbothered by Nazis and white supremacists marching in Charlottesville two weeks ago. In the days after the clashes in Virginia that led to the killing of Heather Heyer and the beating of DeAndre Harris, a good number of people popped up in my social media feeds, countering that "Antifa" and Black Lives Matter activists were equally as violent as the Nazis and white supremacists who came to a "peaceful" rally armed with semi-automatic weapons.

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Anti-fascist action, more popularly known as “antifa”, can be best described as international socialism on amphetamines. Driven by progressive ideology and “workers’ rights”, it has adopted violence and intimidation as a tactic to quash conservatives and nationalists – in Australia, Europe and, most recently, the US.

Antifa, or militant progressives, have always existed and flourished in democracies. Militant progressives were part of the the 1960s and 1970s counter-culture, and were active during the anti-globalisation protests of the 1990s and 2000s.

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With a heated global political climate and the threat of nuclear war seeming to loom over our heads, it's hard not to be stressed right now. But you don't have to sit there and stare at your news feed in agony.

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There was a time when Snopes was the most trusted mythbuster on the internet. Whatever dumb or funny or shocking thing you were laughing at, if somebody posted a Snopes link, the laughing stopped. You'd been had. Thanks, Snopes.

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There is about a tonne of plastic for each person living in the world today -- that's 8300 million tonnes of plastic produced since 1950, most of which has become waste and ended up in landfills. Even worse, plastic production is increasing and half of all the plastic on Earth was created in the past 13 years. But you can reduce your own impact by cutting back your plastic consumption. Here are eight steps you could take.

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Earlier this week, the US Supreme Court ruled that parts of Donald Trump's travel ban were acceptable, leading the State Department to create a set of new guidelines on the ban, which applies to nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, with a few exceptions. To travel to the US from those six Muslim-majority countries, travellers must prove they have a "bona fide relationship" with "a person or entity in the United States" that was "formed in the ordinary course, rather than for the purpose of evading" the ban. The guidelines are now being enforced as of this morning.