Australian politics, society & culture

The Shortlist Daily

The best reads from around the world

26th of July 2016

Crisis on high “Deep in the Himalayas sits a remote research station that is tracking an alarming trend in climate change, with implications that could disrupt the lives of more than 1 billion people and pitch the most populated region of the world into chaos. The station lies in the heart of a region called the Third Pole, an area that contains the largest area of frozen water outside of the North Pole and South Pole. Despite its relative anonymity, the Third Pole is vitally important; it is the source of Asia’s 10 largest rivers – asdf including the Yellow, the Yangzi, the Mekong, the Irrawaddy and the Ganges – and their fertile deltas. Flows from the glaciers that give the pole its name support roughly 1.3 billion people in China, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, and the glaciers are melting fast. Chinese authorities have opened up a remote research station on the Qinghai Tibetan Plateau and revealed alarming research on the pace of global warming. Half a century of research shows the temperature has increased by 1.5 degrees in the area, more than double the global average. More than 500 glaciers have completely disappeared, and the biggest ones are retreating rapidly.”


25th of July 2016

Evidence of ‘torture’ of children in Darwin detention centre uncovered “Video of the tear gassing of six boys being held in isolation at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin in August 2014 exposes one of the darkest incidents in the history of juvenile justice in Australia. Footage reveals a pattern of abuse, deprivation and punishment of vulnerable children inside Northern Territory youth detention centres. The tear-gassing incident was described as a ‘riot’ at the time, with media reporting multiple boys had escaped their cells in the isolation wing of the prison, known as the Behavioural Management Unit (BMU), and threatened staff with weapons. But CCTV vision and handy-cam recordings made by staff show only one boy escaped his cell after it was left unlocked by a guard.”


22nd of July 2016

Russian Olympic ban upheld; Moscow denounces ‘crime against sport’ “Sport’s highest tribunal rejected on Thursday Russia;s appeal against a doping ban for its entire athletics team from the Rio Olympics starting in 15 days’ time, drawing swift and angry condemnation from Moscow. The decision by the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) increases the possibility that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will now exclude Russia from all sports, not just track and field, in Rio de Janeiro. That would mark the deepest crisis in the Olympic movement since the US and Soviet boycotts of the 1980s, and would be a grave blow to a nation that prides itself on its status as a sporting superpower. ‘CAS rejects the claims/appeal of the Russian Olympic Committee and 68 Russian athletes,’ CAS said in a statement that backed the right the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to suspend the Russian athletics federation. Russian officials, and many ordinary people in the country, have interpreted the doping allegations as part of a conspiracy inspired by Western governments who fear Moscow's growing influence.”


21st of July 2016

Erdogan declares 3-month state of emergency in Turkey “Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has declared a three-month state of emergency in the country in the aftermath of the coup attempt last Friday. The decision, announced in a televised press conference on Wednesday night, came after marathon meetings of the country’s national security council and the cabinet in Ankara. It also comes as concerns grow over the scale of the ensuing crackdown that has targeted thousands of judges, civil servants, teachers, police officers and soldiers, and amid widespread fears of growing authoritarianism on the part of Erdoğan. Some 60,000 bureaucrats, soldiers, policemen, prosecutors and academic staff have come under the government’s spotlight, many of them facing detention or suspension over alleged links to the Gülenist movement and the coup plotters.” (Also: The Erdogan loyalists and the Syrian refugees)

The Guardian

20th of July 2016

It’s official: Republican Party nominates Donald Trump for president “Donald Trump supporters celebrated their once unthinkable capture of the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday night as state delegates took turns to count up the votes from his remarkable sweep of the party’s 2016 primary election. Crossing the threshold of 1,237 votes, Trump officially became the Republican party’s nominee for president. The official confirmation of the 2016 nominee was in little doubt after a last-minute procedural rebellion was quickly killed off on Monday, but the ceremonial ‘call of the roll of states’ served as a powerful reminder of the scale of his victory over 16 competing candidates with the largest ever vote haul in a Republican primary. ‘It is my honour to throw Donald Trump over the top with 89 delegates,’ said his son Donald Trump Jr as he announced the results from his home state of New York. ‘Congratulations Dad, we love you.’” (Also: Day 2 of the Republican Convention)

The Guardian

19th of July 2016

How the haters and losers made Donald Trump “I had chronicled a couple of days spent inside the billionaire’s bubble and confidently concluded that his long-stated presidential aspirations were a sham. He had tweeted about me frequently in the weeks following its publication — often at odd hours, sometimes multiple times a day — denouncing me as a ‘dishonest slob’ and ‘true garbage with no credibility’ … As Trump completed his conquest of the Republican Party this year, I contemplated my supposed role in the imminent fall of the republic — retracing my steps; poring over old notes, interviews, and biographies; talking to dozens of people. What had most struck me during my two days with Trump was his sad struggle to extract even an ounce of respect from a political establishment that plainly viewed him as a sideshow. But what I didn’t realize at the time was that he’d felt this way for virtually his entire life — face pressed up against the window, longing for an invitation, burning with resentment, plotting his revenge.” (Also: Chaos at the Republican National Convention and Is Donald Trump working for Russia? And The end of a Republican party and Trump’s ghostwriter tells all and How Trump won)


18th of July 2016

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan mourns coup casualties – and vows retribution “Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan broke down in tears on Sunday evening as he paid his respects to supporters who died during a botched coup attempt this weekend – and ominously vowed to cleanse the Turkish state of dissidents after the arrest of at least 6,000 people, including 29 of the country’s top generals. ‘We march in our funeral shrouds, and we will deal with these assassins, this cult, these followers of Fethullah,’ Erdoğan said, referring to the dissident movement run by exiled Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen, who he accuses of orchestrating the coup.” (Also: Conspiracy theorists claim power grab attempt was faked by Erdogan and The purge begins in Turkey and What does Fethullah Gülen want? and Oil flows through Turkey energy corridor unhindered as coup ends)

The Guardian

15th of July 2016

Truck rams Bastille Day crowd in Nice killing at least 70 “At least 70 people were killed and around 100 more were injured when an armed man drove a lorry at full speed into a crowd who had gathered to watch the Bastille Day fireworks display over the seafront in Nice on Thursday night. French anti-terror police are investigating after the driver careered into the dense crowd and continued to drive into them for a distance of 2km. The French interior ministry confirmed that the driver was shot dead by police, who are investigating whether the lone driver had acted alone or had accomplices. A police source told Le Monde that the driver was armed. Christian Estrosi, head of the local region, said there were explosives in the van. The date of the attack – France’s national day of celebration – was seen as symbolic coming after 130 people were killed in November’s coordinated Paris attacks on a stadium, bars and a rock gig at the Bataclan concert venue.

The Guardian

14th of July 2016

The takeover “It was one of the world’s largest and most secure paedophile networks – an online space where tens of thousands traded horror. The website dealt in abuse; video and images of children, swapped and boasted about on a dark-web forum, accessible only through an encrypted browser. Membership was tightly managed. Quiet accounts raised suspicion and could be suddenly terminated. Those who stayed had to upload new material frequently. More than 45,000 people complied. But what those thousands never realised, even as heavy users began to disappear, was that the site was being run by police. For six months in 2014, inside a pale office block in Brisbane, an elite squad of detectives were administering the site: analysing images, monitoring conversations, connecting users with their crimes. By the time they pulled the plug on the forum 85 children had been rescued and hundreds of people across the globe arrested.”

The Guardian

13th of July 2016

How technology disrupted the truth “Twenty-five years after the first website went online, it is clear that we are living through a period of dizzying transition. For 500 years after Gutenberg, the dominant form of information was the printed page: knowledge was primarily delivered in a fixed format, one that encouraged readers to believe in stable and settled truths. Now, we are caught in a series of confusing battles between opposing forces: between truth and falsehood, fact and rumour, kindness and cruelty; between the few and the many, the connected and the alienated; between the open platform of the web as its architects envisioned it and the gated enclosures of Facebook and other social networks; between an informed public and a misguided mob … Increasingly, what counts as a fact is merely a view that someone feels to be true – and technology has made it very easy for these ‘facts’ to circulate with a speed and reach that was unimaginable in the Gutenberg era (or even a decade ago).”

The Guardian