© Reuters. Gwenda Stanley, an Indigenous Australian of Gomeroi descent, stands by a campfire at the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, a site of protest since 1972, in Canberra, Australia, May 4, 2022. Picture taken May 4, 2022. REUTERS/Loren Elliott
By Praveen Menon
CANBERRA (Reuters) – Activists at one of the world’s longest-running protests for the rights of indigenous people are not pinning their hopes for change on Australia’s May 21 general election.
The election campaign has been dominated by debate about rising prices, COVID-19 and climate change, with the plight of Australia’s 700,000 or so indigenous people, who track near the bottom of its 25 million citizens on almost every economic and social indicator, far from the top of the agenda.
“I don’t vote and wouldn’t vote until we have our own voice,” said Gwenda Stanley, an activist living at the “aboriginal tent embassy” camp of shelters on a lawn across from the old parliament building in Canberra.
The site was first occupied 50 years ago to protest against Australia’s treatment of its indigenous people, who trace their roots back 65,000 years before British colonialists arrived.
While there may be cynicism about the election, indigenous activists are taking advantage of the campaign to remind political parties of their core demand – that Australia for the first time recognises its original inhabitants in its constitution.
The constitution makes no reference to indigenous people, whose leaders have struggled for generations to win recognition for injustices suffered since the beginning of European colonization in the 1700s.
Denied the vote until the mid-1960s, indigenous people face a 10-year gap in life expectancy compared with other Australians and make up 30% of the prison population. Aboriginal deaths in police custody have been a problem for years despite a Royal Commission looking into the issue since 1991.
The government only issued a formal apology for all injustices in 2008.
Campaigners are seeking a referendum, which is required to make changes to the constitution, on recognising indigenous minorities in the constitution and mandating governments to consult Aboriginal people on decisions that affect their lives.
Activists launched an information campaign last week running on all major television networks calling on political parties to back a referendum in 2023.
‘NO MORE DELAY’
Constitutional recognition is a complex issue in a country that only started counting its indigenous people as part of its population in 1967.
But Australians are coming around in ever greater numbers in support of change. Public broadcaster ABC News said last week that 73% of people agreed there should be constitutional change to give indigenous Australians a greater say over their lives.
This was higher than the 64% of voters agreeing to a referendum in the 2019 election.
A successful referendum would bring Australia in line with Canada, New Zealand and the United States in formally recognising indigenous populations.
But the big political parties are divided on how to handle the demand.
Campaigning for the polls, Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week refused to back a referendum saying instead his government’s policy was to establish indigenous representation in parliament through legislation.
The ruling coalition had promised in 2019 to hold a referendum and allocated $160 million for the process but little came of it.
Morrison’s office did not respond to a request for comment on its views and plans on the issue.
The opposition Labor Party, however, has promised a referendum, a demand first enshrined in a 2017 Uluru Statement at a convention that brought together more than 250 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders at the sacred monolith in central Australia.
“Five years after the Uluru Statement was presented to the Australian people, there should be no more delay. We believe the Australian people are ready,” a Labor spokesperson told Reuters.
‘BEGGING FOR RIGHTS’
Constitutional change requires approval through a referendum, with the backing of a majority of votes in a majority of states – a rare feat achieved only eight times in 44 attempts since 1901.
But it’s the only way to bring about real reform, analysts say.
“If we want to see true structural change that changes how our country works then we need to have a referendum,” said James Blackwell, research fellow in Indigenous Diplomacy at the Australian National University, who belongs to the Wiradyuri people.
“It’s disappointing in many aspects that we have to keep coming back begging for rights, begging for recognition. But it is the way our system works,” said Blackwell, a member of the Uluru Dialogue group of community leaders, legal scholars and activists.
The activists at the Canberra protest are staying put as the politics plays out.
“That’s the whole point of this embassy … to remind the government and the rest of the world that we are still oppressed people,” said Stanley, who is from the Gomeroi people.
“We are staying here forever.”
‘I mean Ukraine’: Former U.S. president George Bush calls Iraq invasion ‘unjustified’
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President George W. Bush reacts to a question after a man threw a shoe at him during a joint statement with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad, Iraq December 14, 2008. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (IRAQ)/File Photo
By Kanishka Singh
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. President George W. Bush mistakenly described the invasion of Iraq as “brutal” and “unjustified” before correcting himself to say he meant to refer to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Bush made the comments in a speech during an event in Dallas on Wednesday, while he was criticizing Russia’s political system.
“The result is an absence of checks and balances in Russia, and the decision of one man to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq,” Bush said, before correcting himself and shaking his head. “I mean, of Ukraine.”
He jokingly blamed the mistake on his age as the audience burst into laughter.
In 2003, when Bush was president, the United States led an invasion of Iraq over weapons of mass destruction that were never found. The prolonged conflict killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced many more.
Bush’s remarks quickly went viral on social media, gathering over three million views on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) alone after the clip https:// was tweeted by a Dallas News reporter.
The former U.S. President also compared Ukranian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy to Britain’s wartime leader Winston Churchill, while condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin for launching the invasion of Ukraine in February.
More Ukraine fighters surrender in Mariupol, Russia says
© Reuters. Buses carrying service members of Ukrainian forces who have surrendered after weeks holed up at Azovstal steel works drive away under escort of the pro-Russian military in the course of Ukraine-Russia conflict in Mariupol, Ukraine May 17, 2022. REUTERS/Al
By Max Hunder
KYIV/MARIUPOL, Ukraine (Reuters) -Moscow said nearly 700 more Ukrainian fighters had surrendered in Russian-held Mariupol as it shored up a key gain in the south, while the United States became the latest Western country to reopen its embassy in Kyiv.
Ukraine has ordered its garrison in Mariupol to stand down, but the ultimate outcome of Europe’s bloodiest battle for decades remains unresolved.
Top commanders of Ukrainian fighters who had made their last stand at the Azovstal steelworks in the port city are still inside the plant, according to the leader of pro-Russian separatists in control of the area, Denis Pushilin, quoted by local news agency DNA on Wednesday.
Ukrainian officials have declined to comment publicly on the fate of the fighters.
“The state is making utmost efforts to carry out the rescue of our service personnel,” military spokesman Oleksandr Motuzaynik told a news conference. “Any information to the public could endanger that process.”
Ukraine confirmed the surrender of more than 250 fighters on Tuesday but did not say how many more were inside.
Russia said on Wednesday an additional 694 more fighters had surrendered, bringing the total number to 959. Its defence ministry posted videos of what it said were Ukrainian fighters receiving hospital treatment after surrendering at Azovstal.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the Red Cross and the United Nations were involved in talks, Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boichenko said, but gave no details.
Mariupol is the biggest city Russia has captured so far and allows Russian President Vladimir Putin to claim a rare victory in the invasion it began on Feb. 24.
Moscow has focussed on the southeast in recent offensives after pulling away from Kyiv, where, in a further sign of normalisation, the United States said it had resumed operations at its embassy on Wednesday.
The U.S. Senate approved veteran diplomat Bridget Brink as ambassador to Ukraine, filling a post that has been vacant for three years.
Canada, Britain and others have also recently resumed embassy operations.
Moscow says it is engaged in a “special military operation” to demilitarise and “denazify” its neighbour. The West and Kyiv call that a false pretext for invasion.
On the battle front, Russian forces pressed on with their main offensive, trying to capture more territory in the eastern Donbas region which Moscow claims on behalf of separatists.
Ukraine’s general staff said in a statement on Thursday that Russia’s attacks were focused on the Donetsk region in the Donbas.
Around Slovyansk to the north of Donetsk, Russian forces “suffered significant losses” around the settlement of Velyka Komyshuvakha, it said.
Ukrainian forces shelled a border village in Russia’s western region of Kursk at dawn on Thursday, killing at least one civilian, regional Governor Roman Starovoit said.
Reuters was unable to verify the reports.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said Ukrainian saboteurs had blown up railway tracks ahead of an armoured train carrying Russian troops in the occupied southern city of Melitopol.
“The partisans got it, although they did not blow up the armoured train itself,” he said in a video posted on social media, contradicting an earlier statement from Ukraine’s territorial defence force that the train had been blown up.
Arestovych said the incident showed that the partisan movement was actively disrupting Russian forces.
Finland and Sweden formally applied for NATO membership on Wednesday, a decision made in the wake of the Ukrainian invasion and the very kind of expansion that Putin cited as a reason for attacking Ukraine.
U.S. Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith called for an expedited accession process that could be “done in a couple of months”, but NATO member Turkey said its approval depended on the return of “terrorists”, namely Kurdish militants and Fethullah Gulen followers.
Finland and Sweden were both militarily non-aligned throughout the Cold War.
Although Russia had threatened retaliation against the plans, Putin said on Monday their NATO membership would not be an issue unless the alliance sent more troops or weapons there.
Russia could, however, cut off gas supplies to Finland this week, Finland’s state-owned energy provider Gasum said.
The European Commission announced a 210 billion euro ($220 billion) plan for Europe to end its reliance on Russian oil, gas and coal by 2027.
Meanwhile, Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) became the latest big Western company to pull out of Russia, saying its local unit had filed for bankruptcy and was forced to shut operations after its bank accounts were seized.
($1 = 0.9550 euros)
More work to resume in Shanghai’s zero-COVID areas from June
© Reuters. Women carry boxes of food on a street during lockdown, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Shanghai, China, May 18, 2022. REUTERS/Aly Song
SHANGHAI (Reuters) -The COVID-19-hit financial hub of Shanghai will start to allow more businesses in zero-COVID areas to resume normal operations from the beginning of June, a deputy mayor said on Thursday as the city looks forward to the end of lockdown.
Shanghai, fighting China’s biggest ever coronavirus outbreak, has been steadily allowing more businesses to reopen and letting larger numbers of residents leave their homes for the first time in nearly seven weeks.
The city was “striving to achieve a full resumption of work and production as soon as possible”, deputy mayor Zhang Wei told a media briefing.
“The rhythm of work resumption” would be based on the epidemic prevention situation, he said, adding that for the rest of May, many workers would remain in “closed loops”, which often involves staff living at their work places.
Shanghai’s stable energy, water and information infrastructure throughout the outbreak “guarantees that the city’s pulse has the strength to beat after the slowdown, and also supports the continuous recovery of the city’s economy”, he said.
After nearly two months of disruptions, cargo deliveries were gradually returning to normal, Zhang said, with daily container throughput at Shanghai’s ports now at about 90% of levels a year ago.
Pudong Airport cargo throughput had reached 70% of last year’s levels, while freight vehicles entering and leaving the city was back to two thirds.
Yu Fulin, an official with Shanghai’s transportation commission, told the briefing the city would start to restore main cross-district public transport on May 22. The priority would be reopening routes connecting the city’s airports, railway stations and hospitals, he said.
Shares slide as global growth fears mount
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – An investor sits in front of a board showing stock information at a brokerage office...
‘I mean Ukraine’: Former U.S. president George Bush calls Iraq invasion ‘unjustified’
3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. President George W. Bush reacts to a question after a man threw a shoe...
China lifts curbs on Canadian canola, demand seen muted
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Canola seeds ready for shipping off the Sterling Hilton farm are seen near Strathmore, Alberta, Canada,...
Analysis-Crypto crash leaves El Salvador with no easy exit from worsening crisis
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – A sign reading “Pay with Bitcoin here” is set in a furniture store in San...
Gold Down, Weighed Down by Aggressive Fed
© Reuters. By Gina Lee Investing.com – Gold was down on Thursday morning in Asia, with a steady dollar and...
Generali posts smaller-than-expected net profit drop after Russia impairments
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The emblem of Italy’s insurer Assicurazioni Generali is pictured in Rome, May 13, 2013. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini...
Sri Lanka central bank holds rates; reiterates need for political stability
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk past the main entrance of the Sri Lanka’s Central Bank in Colombo, Sri Lanka...
Some in Shanghai allowed out to shop; end of COVID lockdown in sight
4/4 © Reuters. Customers wearing face masks use self-checkout counters at a reopened Carrefour supermarket amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)...
Analysts assess the aftermath of the Terra (LUNA) collapse | Cointelegraph interview
Analysts assess the aftermath of the Terra (LUNA) collapse | Cointelegraph interview Financial commentator Frances Coppola is convinced that algorithmic...
Rogue trader, euro zone crisis and war, Socgen’s CEO ends ‘bumpy’ ride at top
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: French bank Societe Generale Chief Executive Officer Frederic Oudea attends a news conference to present...
Oil Up as Economic Growth Worries Continue
© Reuters. By Gina Lee Investing.com – Oil was up on Thursday morning in Asia, recovering from early losses as...
Investors jolted as U.S. retailers show inflation hitting consumers
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Shoppers are seen wearing masks while shopping at a Walmart store, in North Brunswick, New Jersey,...
Oil prices recoup early losses on China hopes, global supply fears
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Workers walk as oil pumps are seen in the background in the Uzen oil and gas...
Money for Ukraine to top G7 agenda; inflation, food a concern
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Service members of pro-Russian troops wait before the expected evacuation of wounded Ukrainian soldiers from the...
Aussie jumps, safe-haven dollar and yen ease amid Shanghai reopening signs
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. one dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration taken February 8, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration//File...
Deutsche Bank enters new era as chairman’s rocky decade ends
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Chairman of the board Paul Achleitner delivers his speech during the annual shareholder meeting of...
More Ukraine fighters surrender in Mariupol, Russia says
© Reuters. Buses carrying service members of Ukrainian forces who have surrendered after weeks holed up at Azovstal steel works...
A manual for grief: How to handle loss at work
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Buddhist monks from Dieu Ngu Temple in Westminster, California, chant during a candlelight vigil to mark...
Russia will inevitably legalize crypto payments says trade minister
Russia will inevitably legalize crypto payments says trade minister Russia will legalize crypto payments “sooner or later” according to the...
Citi promotes Asia-based banker Valderrabano as global wealth COO
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Citigroup Inc (Citi) in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 19, 2017. Picture taken October 19, 2017....
North Korea weapons threat casts shadow on Biden visit
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missiles take part in a nighttime military parade to mark the 90th anniversary...
China’s zero-COVID policy dashes global hopes for quick economic return to normal
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A worker in a protective suit walks on a closed bridge during lockdown, amid the coronavirus...
Analysis-Rare double whammy hits investors: steep slumps for both stocks and bonds
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Wall Street sign outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York City, New York,...
Woodside shareholders approve BHP petroleum merger
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo for Woodside Petroleum, Australia’s top independent oil and gas company, adorns a promotional poster...
Dollar Down, but Investor Sentiment Remains Fragile Over Recession Fears
© Reuters. By Gina Lee Investing.com – The dollar was down on Thursday morning in Asia. Safe-haven currencies pressed paused...
Singapore Airlines sees no big growth risk from Boeing 777X delays
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past a Singapore Airlines (SIA) logo at a ticketing booth at Changi airport...
Guatemalan congress approves $500 million loan from World Bank
© Reuters. GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – Guatemala’s congress approved on Wednesday a $500 million loan from the World Bank that...
‘Grim Reapers’ financial crimes unit revived to investigate Terra collapse
‘Grim Reapers’ financial crimes unit revived to investigate Terra collapse Legal troubles are mounting for the co-founder of failed Terra...
Biden visits Japan, South Korea carrying warning to China
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attends a virtual meeting with the U.S. President Joe Biden at...
$3B flows to Metaverse and Web3 gaming this month as A16z’s tips in $600M
$3B flows to Metaverse and Web3 gaming this month as A16z’s tips in $600M Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z)...
- Coronavirus6 months ago
Biden administration still seeking agreement from Mexico on return of asylum seekers
- Cryptocurrency6 months ago
NFT World Records: CryptoDragons Sold Out 500 Eggs in Its Primary Pre-Sale in Тhe Тwinkling of аn Еye!
- Economy6 months ago
Analysis-Europe’s big payday remains elusive even as inflation surges
- Cryptocurrency7 months ago
Crypto.com is the #1 app in the Google Play Store in the US
- Cryptocurrency6 months ago
The Next Web 3.0 Social Media Will Be Built on Solana
- Cryptocurrency6 months ago
Binance.US aims for ‘mega funding,’ reveals CZ
- Forex6 months ago
Dollar Consolidates After Strong Gains; Tapering Could Be Speeded Up
- Economic Indicators6 months ago
Australia third-quarter business investment slips, outlook surprisingly resilient