UN Report Documents Genocide Against Rohingya: What Now?

Earlier this month, the United Nations released a searing report that details Myanmar’s state violence against an ethnic and religious minority in that country known as the Rohingya. The report demands that top leadership in Myanmar’s powerful military be held accountable for genocide and other international crimes. As co-directors of the Institute for Genocide and…

How Ancient Cultures Explained Comets and Meteors

Comets and meteors have fascinated the human race since they were first spotted in the night sky. But without science and space exploration to aid understanding of what these chunks of rock and ice are, ancient cultures often turned to myth and legend to explain them. The Greeks and Romans believed that the appearance of…

Everyone Knows About Karl Marx, But What About Friedrich Engels?

Backgrounding Marx is hard to do, especially when 2018 is the 200th anniversary of his birth and a huge number of global events are focusing on the great man. This is his usual “leader of the orchestra” position, with his life-long friend, constant benefactor and sometime co-author Engels in his usual role as second fiddle….

In Defence of Conspiracy Theories (And Why The Term Is a Misnomer)

Before 2012, if you had voiced suspicions that the Australian government had been anything but open and honourable in dealing with East Timor – its newly independent but impoverished neighbour – you would likely have been dismissed as a conspiracy theorist. But it was then revealed Australian Secret Intelligence Service agents had bugged East Timor’s…

Why Trade Unionism Must Fight the Export of Domestic League Football

When you think about the big beneficiaries of trade unionism, professional football might not immediately spring to mind. But, according to one observer, writing in The Guardian, it is “in British professional football that we find one of the most successful examples of modern trade unionism”.

Three Years On, Lebanon’s ‘You Stink’ Movement Finds Fresh Reasons To Protest

New protests by Lebanon’s “You Stink” movement erupted in Beirut after authorities announced they will move ahead with incinerator plants in order to solve the city’s chronic trash crisis. Protesters marched towards Lebanon’s parliament and the environment ministry offices on August 29, the day of the third year anniversary of the Beirut-born, youth-led movement. In 2015, “You…

Michael Foot Spy Allegations and Why MI6 Should Come Clean About The Past

According to The Times the late Michael Foot, the former leader of the Labour Party, was a Soviet “confidential contact” on the payroll of the KGB to the tune of £37,000 (in today’s money). This might come as something of a shock to followers of British espionage news, who have long assumed that such claims were nonsense – especially after this was found to be the case in the High Court in 1995.

Braziliansplaining: Brazilian Far-Right Revision of Nazism

Over the past few years, it has become a trend in Brazil to assert that Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party were leftists. The idea is based on the simple—and quite literal—fact that the party’s full name translates as German Workers’ National Socialist Party. And “socialist” equals left, correct?

Can a Hacker Stop Your Car Or Your Heart? Security and the Internet of Things

An ever-increasing number of our consumer electronics is internet-connected. We’re living at the dawn of the age of the Internet of Things. Appliances ranging from light switches and door locks, to cars and medical devices boast connectivity in addition to basic functionality. The convenience can’t be beat. But what are the security and privacy implications?…

Deepfakes: What Fairies and Aliens Can Teach Us About Fake Videos

“Deepfake” is the name being given to videos created through artificially intelligent deep learning techniques. Also referred to as “face-swapping”, the process involves inputting a source video of a person into a computer, and then inputting multiple images and videos of another person. The neural network then learns the movements and expressions of the person in the source video in order to map the other’s image onto it to look as if they are carrying out the speech or act.