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Indigenous Australia

Abuse survivors welcome settlement over Retta Dixon home
Compensation for years of physical and sexual abuse at a notorious home for Aboriginal children will provide relief but will never erase the trauma of what happened, former residents say.  

Detainee recounts journey from bush childhood to Don Dale
"I'd changed a bit. I thought Don Dale was going to make me better, but I think it just made me tougher. I was on the streets and I was mad."
The vulnerable witness, known only by the pseudonym AU, gave evidence to the Royal Commission into Youth Detention in the Northern Territory on March 23, writes Ben Millington for the ABC.  

Environment

Adani mine a line in the sand in climate change battle
There is nowhere else on the planet right now where the dichotomy between two potential futures – one where we address the climate change crisis, one where we ignore this momentous threat and continue with business as usual – is playing out in such a dramatic and explosive way as Australia.  

Refugees and Migrants

State of the nation: refugees and migrants in Australia
The world is in the midst of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Yet Australia's approach in recent years has been to punish people seeking asylum, while increasing the numbers of refugees it resettles. This contrasting approach threatens the long and proud history Australia has of successful integration of refugee communities. So says the Refugee Council of Australia in its report released last month.  

The Death Penalty

Philippines urged to choose restorative over punitive
The Lower House of Congress in the Philippines has passed a death penalty bill. Unfortunately, vengeance and revenge for wrongdoing has become the driving force in the thinking of legislators. Compassion, rehabilitation, and eventual mercy and forgiveness are not in their hearts and minds, writes Shay Cullen.  

The Political Community

'Decolonising the mind': using Hollywood celebrities to validate Islam
When Terry Holdbrooks Jr, converted to Islam in 2003, he was inundated with death threats and labeled a 'race traitor'.
If a religious conversion ever deserves to be admired, Holdbrooks' conversion does, and not because Islam has 'won' yet another convert, but because the new convert was assigned the very role of subjugating his Muslim prisoners in Guantanamo, writes Palestinian journalist and author Ramzy Baroud.  

Israelifying airports
Last month, the Royal Jordanian Airlines satirically tweeted twelve recommendations to its passengers because of the U.S. and U.K.'s respective governments' ban of electronic devices larger than "smart" phones on planes flying to those countries, writes Mahmoud Zidan for the Palestine Chronicle.  

Use It

Time to draw the line
The Australian Government announced in January 2017 that it would negotiate a permanent border for the maritime boundaries which will determine oil and gas treaties between the two nations. The negotiation of permanent equitable boundaries for oil and gas is critically important for Timor-Leste to ensure that our nearest and tiniest neighbour receives just royalties from these lucrative resources.
To find out about a documentary film about the disputed maritime boundaries, click here  

From the editor

The dirtiest coal power station in the developed world shut down last month as Australia grapples with the need for electricity and an apparent perception (at least in government circles) that saving the planet is optional.

Hazelwood in Victoria has stopped its turbines, but the debate rages over a new mega-coal mine, the Adani Carmichael mine in Queensland, set to be the biggest in the world. Meanwhile, renewable energy guru Elon Musk has offered to sell the batteries that would open the door to enough renewables to run the country.  

Cecily McNeill
Editor

Quote of the month

"The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she 'groans in travail' (Rom 8:22)."

Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ #2

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