In this commentary, Gareth Evans describes Australia’s new policy for handling seaborne asylum seekers. Evans depicts this policy, proposed by a panel of experts as balanced, as being “aimed at reducing both ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors driving refugee flows.”
But the expert panel did not truly follow its own terms of reference – which emphasized the need to prevent people from drowning at sea. Instead, the panel focused on deterrence, penalizing asylum seekers who survive the journey to Australian shores by sending them to Nauru or Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, to wait their turn to be processed. But, given that this policy relies on their arriving by boat, many will still die at sea. Indeed, while the policy is still new, boat arrivals have shown no sign of diminishing.
The government has won support for this punitive approach by convincing the public that it is the only option for reducing the number of deaths at sea. But policymakers seem to have forgotten that when people are fleeing for their lives, when their family and friends have been brutalized, imprisoned, or killed, no democratic government’s deterrent can match the fear that drives them to try their luck on the high seas, packed into rickety boats.
Read the rest of former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser's counterargument, "Australia's Abdication on the High Seas," here: http://www.project-syndicate.org/online-commentary/australia-s-abdication-on-the-high-seas-by-malcolm-fraser
Despite independent journalists uncovering more details about last year's nerve-gas attack against Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, public sentiment in the country remains unmoved. The primary reason is not that Russian citizens don't know about the crime; it is that too many just don't care.
Alexei Navalny's coming return to Russia is forcing an examination of Russians' tolerance of flagrant abuses of power.
Although the plight of major US public pension funds is nothing new, the gap between actual and assumed returns is widening faster than ever, owing to today's ultra-low interest rates. But these funds also have inherent advantages that, if used wisely, can place them on a much sounder financial footing.
explains how struggling institutional investors can meet their goals in today's financial environment.