SPOTLIGHT: AUSTRALIA'S REFUGEE PROBLEM

While Europe's migrant crisis has made headlines over the past year, another continent's treatment of refugees has received far less scrutiny — until now. In a joint report published yesterday, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch took the Australian government to task over what they describe as the "appalling abuse" and "neglect" of refugees.


An agreement between Australia and the South Pacific island of Nauru allows migrants to be detained on the tiny island nation before they reach Australia by boat. Nauru apparently charges foreign journalists more than $6,000 for a visa so global media coverage of the topic has been weak. Last month, however, researchers from the two rights groups managed to spend 12 days there and conducted scores of interviews.


The watchdogs report that refugees on the detention facility live in crowded and suffocating vinyl tents where temperatures can reach 50 °C (122 °F). The researchers note that refugees receive minimal health care and often face abuse from locals. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch accuse the Australian government of willfully ignoring, and even condoning, the miserable conditions in an effort to deter other refugees from trying to reach the country.


Migration is a defining issue of our time and investigating stories about refugees in depth from across the world should be a key area of media coverage.



WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY

  • Although the opening ceremony for the Rio Olympics is on Friday, the women's soccer competition between U.S. and New Zealand kicks off today.
  • Tropical Storm Earl is expected to strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall in Belize.


LARGEST REBEL OFFENSIVE IN ALEPPO

Intense fighting continues in and around Aleppo, where the largest ever rebel offensive is trying to break a government siege of the Syrian city. The siege is estimated to have cut off 250,000 civilians from basic supplies.


NORTH KOREA FIRES MISSILE IN JAPAN WATERS

The ballistic missile landed in or near Japanese-controlled waters this morning, Reuters reported. The launch is the latest in a string of tests that are in violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution passed in March.


EXTRA!

Colombian police destroyed 104 FARC cocaine laboratories in the nation's thick southeastern jungle. See how Colombian daily El Tiempo featured the major drug bust on its front page here.


NICARAGUA'S ORTEGA ADDS WIFE TO PRESIDENTIAL TICKET

Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega picked wife Rosario Murillo as running mate for the Nov. 6 election in the Latin American country. As Ortega's spokesperson, Murillo has long been the regime's face. The independent news website El Confidencial describes her as a "de facto co-president."


— ON THIS DAY

This famous Milan landmark turns 238 today! Check it out — and more — in your 57-second shot of History.


BRIDGE IN INDIA COLLAPSES ...

A bridge on the highway between Mumbai and Goa collapsed, killing at least two people. Dozens more are feared dead after the colonial-era bridge gave way, reportedly causing vehicles to plunge into the river below.


… WHILE PLANE FROM INDIA CRASHES IN DUBAI

An Emirates plane carrying 282 passengers and 18 crew members from Thiruvananthapuram "crash-landed" at Dubai's airport today. All passengers were evacuated safely, according to airport authorities.


— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD

Club Med In The Mountains — Axamer Lizum, 1972


63

An Australian woman became the country's oldest first-time mother at age 63. The world record still belongs to a Romanian woman who gave birth at age 66 back in 2005.


— WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

A meeting with shamans in Colombia allows El Espectador"s Pablo Correa to experience an "indescribable" ritual: "As the shamans chant litanies, the only lit bulb is turned off and this seemed to enhance the sound. Two youngsters moved around with incense while those seated in the room, cloaked in ponchos, were still as rocks. ... I closed my eyes. When I opened them, everything around me seemed to have changed its consistency. The universe seemed to be made up of a different material. Time had stopped. I remember seeing the moon edge a little to the right, like a clock hand."

Read the full article, A Hallucinogenic Plant, Two Indigenous Tribes And A Trip To Remember.


MORE STORIES, EXCLUSIVELY IN ENGLISH BY WORLDCRUNCH

RAINBOW PEN

Remember when you thought you were one of the cool kids with your 4-color BIC pen? The Verge just launched one of the most innovative crowdfunded projects to date: "Cronzy," a pen that would allow you to scan colors in real life — and then draw them.

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Society

Germany's Legendary Clubbing Culture Crashes Museum Space

The exhibition “Electro” in Düsseldorf is an unlikely tribute to a joyful and uninhibited club culture, with curators forced to contend with limits of a museum setting ... and another COVID lockdown.

A woman with a "Techno" tattoo in front of the famous Berghain

Boris Pofalla

DÜSSELDORF — The last party at the Berghain nightclub in Berlin lasted from Saturday evening until Monday morning. On the first weekend of December, some clubbers lined up for nine hours outside the former power plant – and still didn’t make it past the doormen. A friend said that dancing in the most famous techno club in the world on its last evening was like landing a spot in the last lifeboat to leave the sinking Titanic on 14 April 1912.

It is surely a coincidence that the first comprehensive exhibition charting the 100-year history of electronic music in Germany opened in the same week that nightclubs across the country were forced to close. It wasn’t planned that way, but it’s like opening an exhibition about the cultural history of alcohol the day after the introduction of prohibition.

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