(Image: The Satanic Temple)

FROM THE FOREIGN DESK

A smoking gun on Trump’s Ukraine scandal emerges — a deal so toxic even John Bolton hated it. Politico Europe goes inside Emmanuel Macron’s foreign policy. The racist right is on a roll around the world — politically and culturally. And from the Endless Wars Continue To Be Endless file: US interventionists want to use oil as a cover to continue attacking Iranian forces in Syria (meantime, the Pentagon is planning what to do if Trump decides to tweet that he’s leaving Afghanistan). America’s foreign policy tradition is one of wreaking havoc on the world — and its history of betraying allies goes back to WW2, says an American Conservative contributor.

LAW AND ORDER

Want to play judge? Here’s a simulator that lets you use a US algorithm that’s used to determine whether defendants are jailed or released. Can you make it fairer than it currently is? Therein lies a problem that provides a unique insight into the racial bias built into US criminal justice systems. Meanwhile, surveillance technology developed for the US border eventually makes its way into the suburbs of America — and opponents of increased surveillance say nothing. How France officially forgot the mass murder of Algerians by police in Paris in October 1961. And in Mississippi, a new memorial to Emmett Till has had to be made bulletproof to resist vandalism.

WORKING HARD?

A new book argues that underemployment is the defining feature of contemporary capitalism and at the heart of our current economic malaise (note that the RBA has been thinking along similar lines, albeit nowhere near as radically). Blaming automation for wage stagnation and increasing inequality misses the point that union-busting, high immigration and job-shifting are more important, a reviewer argues. And here’s more evidence that de-unionisation has been crucial in surging inequality — and that we’ll be stuck with the latter. Now, have you ever actually said “workin’ hard or hardly workin’?”

PAST AND PRESENT

New Catholic Saint John Henry Newman (Image: Wikipedia)

They predicted the death of car ownership. Instead, car ownership is increasing (in Australia as well). Modern Ottomanism: a revisionist history of the late Ottoman Empire, its desperate efforts to reform and the impact of western imperialism. A brief history of how games have been demonised as a threat to society. Rowan Williams, former archbishop of Canterbury, considers John Henry Newman, recently canonised by the Catholic Church. And what happened to the women who came forward and shared their stories as part of the Me Too movement? The Cut examines the profound damage inflicted on them.

MEDIA DILEMMAS

How Fox News struggled to cope with Trump’s Syrian debacle. A new book blames profit-obsessed media with dividing America — but does it overreach? The Spectator faces the dilemma of whether to criticise UK Muslims who are homophobes, and limps to finding fault on all sides. Paul Bongiorno has written the best thing on the Right To Know campaign. And are you old enough to remember the old modem sound? Ever wondered what it meant?

NEWS OF THE WEIRD

Go Navy! A group of Satanist US Navy midshipmen want facilities for their religion and, it being America, they’ll have them at Annapolis. You may know Michael Sheen from such films as The QueenFrost/Nixon and Tron: Legacy, but did you know he claims his home town is a UFO hotspot? I vaguely recall as a youth reading in that authoritative guide to Japanese culture, Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice, that Japanese people hated handkerchiefs — a thought that mortified me, given I was raised to always carry a hankie (thanks mum). As it turns out, according to the Japan Times, they love hankies — just not for anything to do with the nose.

FINALLY

Dogs are the nearest thing to a panacea, new research reveals. Which means, of course, a dog video. Only a short one… but wait for the second “woo”.

Peter Fray

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