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  • Some Practical Advice for Government to Truly Support Innovation

    Olga Sawtell     |      September 21, 2009

    One of my proudest professional achievements has been the success rate of the start-up companies that were supported during my time as Director of the Federal Government Industry Research and Development Board.

  • Kill a Chicken to Scare the Monkeys

    Sonia Han     |      September 21, 2009

    You would not expect the Australian ambassador to China Geoff Raby to appear at a small university festival concert among a crowd of less than a hundred and stay for the whole four hours till midnight on a Friday night.

    Unless of course it’s Askar Grey Wolf, a rock band from Xinjiang province in China, with eight Uyghur and Han musicians, who performed at the University of Sydney’s Verge Art Festival on September 4.

    There are tensions between the two countries. Then we saw the cautiousness from Australia.

  • China Already Stepped Back but Australia Misunderstood

    Xue Han     |      September 21, 2009

    The tense relationship between China and Australia has been heated up tenfold by an Australian Government request to meet with the Dalai Lama.

    A signed US $41 billion deal for liquefied natural gas earlier was seen as a turning point in bilateral relations. Obviously, Kevin Rudd’s government misunderstood China’s one-step back.

    But China might make concessions again in order to uphold a One-China policy; the most important policy on China.

  • Gold Coast Hospital Fighting for its Life

    Alana Jones     |      September 18, 2009

    2012 will see the opening of a $1.52 billion University Hospital in Parkwood on the Gold Coast.

    This facility will provide 750 new beds for Gold Coast residents. However, with population increase and the already dismal state of the region’s health care facilities, it will be inadequate for the future; unless the Queensland Government alters their plans and keeps the Southport Gold Coast Hospital in full operation.

  • Firewall of Lies

    Alexandra Roach     |      September 18, 2009

    The glaring technical flaws of the proposed mandatory internet filter scheme are bad enough, but it is the lies that have been used to sell it which should alarm us the most.

    American Senator Boise Penrose once stated that “public office is the last refuge for the incompetent”. Harsh words, but few in the political sphere have done much to contradict such assumptions.

  • NATO Air Strike Leads to Restructured Western Alliance

    Uli Kammerer     |      September 18, 2009

    Eight years after 9/11, a war that started as a swift counterattack has turned out to be a long-term muddy mission.

    The death toll is at a high since the start of the war 2001. The United Nations-backed election commission found "clear and convincing evidence of fraud" in Afghanistan’s presidential elections and the Taliban keep attacking NATO forces and gaining influence at the frontier regions of nuclear power Pakistan.

  • Frogs in the Melting Pot

    Gang Shen     |      September 18, 2009

    Some 547,000 overseas students help create an A$ 15.5 billion annual industry for Australia.

    However the countries third-largest export industry, following only coal and iron ore exports, is under threat as Australia ignores the calls of international students for better safety and fair treatment following a re-emergence of racist attitudes.

    Hundreds of students took to the streets on 2 September 2009 in Sydney; again, to protest against racism. They urged the Australian government to take seriously students’ grievances; including concerns about safety, accommodation, visas, transport concessions and shonky institutions.

    To be frank, none of these problems are new.

    For a long time an inefficient bureaucratic system and ingrained racist attitudes have allowed all of these problems to remain unsolved in Australia.

    The situation is similar to putting frog in slowly heated water.

  • Drawing the Political Curtains in Myanmar

    Monica Schubert     |      September 18, 2009

    To the junta, international relations are an unwanted side-effect of politics. Dumping critical attention on Myanmar’s doorstep only seems to alarm its agoraphobic leaders. 

  • German Climate Politics: All that Glitters not Gold

    Nina Drewes     |      September 18, 2009

    Germany is often seen as an international leader in terms of Climate Protection, and deservedly so. Year after year, it takes one of the first positions on the Climate Change Performance Index, which compares the emission trends and climate protection policies of the world’s Top CO2 Emitting Nations.

    But all that glitters is not gold, and the country might be less exemplary than it seems. 

  • How History Has Been Erased in China

    Open Forum     |      September 18, 2009

    Glorious as China’s 60th National Day may be, people the world over still remember the image of a single defiant protester halting a convoy of tanks in Beijing Tiananmen Square 20 years ago.

    But Chinese youngsters born in the 1980s may not, owing much to the government’s control over domestic media.

    Heavily influenced by the western media, Chinese youngsters will probably not get an objective view over this historical event. Thereafter, they may be used by some as tools for an anti-China purpose. If this is not what people expect, why cannot they be given the chance to have their own interpretation with all-round information?

  • Cambodian Land-Grabbing Epidemic

    Katie Scott Aiton     |      September 18, 2009

    On the horizon of Cambodia’s future lies a mish-mash of high-rise casinos and five star beach resorts juxtaposed between swelling refugee camps and rubbish dump homes; a ‘justified’ vital makeover for the adolescent democratic kingdom.

  • Typhoon Morakot the Aftermath

    Yao Tong     |      September 17, 2009

    Typhoon Morakot has not only brought a deadly natural disaster to southern Taiwan, but also sees President Ma Ying-jeou face his toughest challenge since taking power.