13 Feb 2020

What we're reading this week — February 13, 2020

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An Indigenous community in remote Queensland seeks to Close the Gap. Is our faith in America faltering? The coronavirus is damaging China's economy and a new dam threatens the Nile.

These are some of the stories that caught our eye this week.

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The billion-dollar disinformation campaign to reelect the president

The Atlantic / McKay Coppins

"After the 2016 election, much was made of the threats posed to American democracy by foreign disinformation. Stories of Russian troll farms and Macedonian fake-news mills loomed in the national imagination. But while these shadowy outside forces preoccupied politicians and journalists, Trump and his domestic allies were beginning to adopt the same tactics of information warfare that have kept the world’s demagogues and strongmen in power."

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How I lost my faith in America

The Atlantic / Michael Fullilove

"The world still wants to believe in America," writes the executive director of the Lowy Institute. "But we need Americans to help."

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The dissonance of a land acknowledgment at the Oscars

The New Republic / Nick Martin

Acknowledging Indigenous land owners is routine in Australia and New Zealand. For American audience it's less common. Oscar winning director Taika Waititi's acknowledgement was a first for the Academy. Will it catch on?

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Myanmar's LGBT people are taught how to fight back by woman judo champ in country where homosexuality is still illegal and homophobes abound

South China Morning Post / Lorcan Lovett

"Myanmar’s politicians barely mention the issue of same-sex relations and the nation’s LGBT activists face significant cultural and political obstacles. But an unlikely hero has emerged in the nation – a woman who helps the community fight back against discrimination."

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Hope amidst the heartache: Closing the gap in remote Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald / Ella Archibald-Binge and Rhett Wyman

In Lockhart River, a remote Indigenous community 800 kilometres north-west of Cairns, local leaders are working to improve health, education and economic outcomes for the community.

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For thousands of years, Egypt controlled the Nile. A new dam threatens that

The New York Times / Declan Walsh and Somini Sengupta

"Ethiopia is staking its hopes on its $4.5 billion hydroelectric dam. Egypt fears it will cut into its water supplies. President Trump is mediating."

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NSW bushfires unlike any disaster ABC cameraman has witnessed in 30 years of newsgathering

ABC News / Greg Nelson

"The grief is raw for everyone here. Hearts are broken. The hurt and fear that people are feeling are palpable everywhere. What can we do as reporters? We can bear witness and give them a voice."

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Podcasts prove a competitive daily ritual

The Australian / Nicholas Adams-Dzierzba

What makes a good podcast? Good preparation, production, drafting and editing, says one podcast host. But that takes time, expertise and money.

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In depth: How coronavirus outbreak has hurt China's economy

Caixin / Luo Guoping, Zeng Lingke, Jia Tianqiong, He Shujing, Peng Yanfeng, Qu Hui and Mo Yelin

You've seen the images of empty streets But what's the impact on China's economy as people stay home?