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People Rallies in Australia after Proposal to house Refugees locally drew People both For and Against the Measure

Pro-refugee supporters, part of the group "Welcome to Eltham," carried colorful signs that read “Eltham says yes to refugees”

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FILE - Protestors against asylum seekers being deported, gather for a rally in Sydney, Australia, Feb. 4, 2016. VOA

November 5, 2016: Hundreds of people rallied in Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday after a proposal to house refugees locally drew people both for and against the measure.

Protesters belonging to anti-Islam groups said they were against a plan to settle 120 refugees from Syria and Iraq at a senior housing facility in the Eltham neighbourhood.

Anti-immigration demonstrators carried Australian flags and marched near the Eltham’s Andrew Park. Police presence kept groups separated to avoid clashes.

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Pro-refugee supporters, part of the group “Welcome to Eltham,” carried colourful signs that read “Eltham says yes to refugees.”

“Most people sort of, keep to themselves. A lot of them are in their eighties and nineties and yes, they just keep to themselves. They are a bit concerned about it but they will just wait and see,” John Conroy, resident of Saint Vincent’s Care Services, said.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that locals were discussing the idea to settle refugees in the St. Vincent’s facility, but mostly they were not happy that people from other areas were flooding to Eltham to demonstrate.

Australia has a tough immigration policy and asylum-seekers trying to reach the continent are sent to camps on Nauru or Papua New Guinea, where their status as refugees are either accepted or rejected.

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Protesters react as they hold placards and listen to speakers during a rally in support of refugees in central Sydney, Australia, Oct. 19, 2015. VOA
Protesters react as they hold placards and listen to speakers during a rally in support of refugees in central Sydney, Australia, Oct. 19, 2015. VOA

In 2015, the Australian government announced a one-time proposal to accept 12,000 refugees who were running away from areas of conflict such as Iraq and Syria.

But last week, officials announced a plan to permanently ban asylum seekers who try to reach the continent by boat from entering under any visa category.

Meanwhile in Sydney others decided to rally for the closing of detention centers—places that have been heavily criticized by human rights groups.

“The detention centers are no suitable environments for the health of all detainees, but the effects on children are far worse,” Brian Owler, president of the Australian Medical Association, said in a statement.

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According to immigration figures as of August 31, there are close to 1,589 asylum-seekers among them 1,382 men, 114 women and 93 children being held on Manus Island and Nauru.

Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the government is maintaining a dialogue with other countries, such as the Philippines, to settle refugees. (VOA)

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Researchers found a new Drug to Reduce Alcohol Addiction in Teenagers

The drug is (+)-Naltrexone can reduce the drinking habit in teenagers.

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A new drug can reduce Alcohol addiction in teenagers
A new drug can reduce Alcohol addiction in teenagers. Pixabay
  • Researchers have found a new drug that may eventually help to reduce alcohol addiction in adults who used to binge during their adolescent years.

A new drug found which can reduce Alcohol addiction in teenagers

“During our teen years, the brain is still in a relatively immature state. Binge drinking worsens this situation, as alcohol undermines the normal developmental processes that affect how our brain matures,” said lead author Jon Jacobsen, a Ph.D. student at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

“Therefore, when an adolescent who has been binge drinking becomes an adult, they’re often left with an immature brain, which assists in the development of alcohol dependence,” Jacobsen added.

For the study, published in the Journal Neuropharmacology, researchers observed that adolescent mice involved in binge drinking behavior developed an increased sensitivity to alcohol as adults and engaged in further binge drinking.

The researchers were able to prevent some of these detrimental behaviors observed in adulthood, by giving mice a drug that blocks a specific response from the immune system in the brain.

The drug is (+)-Naltrexone, known to block the immune receptor Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4).

“This drug effectively switched off the impulse in mice to binge drink. The mice were given this drug still sought out alcohol, but their level of drinking was greatly reduced,” says senior author Professor Mark Hutchinson, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics at the University of Adelaide.

“We’re excited by the finding that we can potentially block binge drinking in an adult after they have experienced such behavior during adolescence, by stopping the activation of the brain’s immune system. It’s the first time this has been shown and gives us hope that our work has implications for the eventual treatment of alcohol addiction in adults,” Hutchinson noted.(IANS)

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Seven Safe Solo Female Travel Destinations To Check Out

Below are some travel destinations which you shouldn't miss out.

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Solo Female Travel Destinations
Travel destinations where women can go for solo trips. Pixabay

Oct 06, 2017: Women in the 21st century have achieved success in almost every professional. The Information Technology (IT) in India itself has more women than men. And now, the defense of this country is also being handled by a woman. If they can do so much then why to restrict from travelling solo? Shun the world and start a trend. After all; you are your best company. Below are seven solo female travel destinations to check out!

1. Reykjavik, Iceland

Solo female travel destinations
Reykjavik, Iceland. Wikimedia.

The Global Peace Index of 2016 notes Iceland the safest country in the world. This European country has got this title for six times. But, the safety reason is not just the only thing why one should visit this place. There is a lot more added to the place’s beauty. Along with the place’s attractive touristy points, there are a lot interesting outdoor activities one can catch-up with. This quality of Reykjavik makes undoubtedly makes it one of the best solo female travel destinations.

Attractive tourist spots/ restaurants:

National Museum of Island- Exhibition of materials from the settlement age to the current age can be seen in here.
Hallgrímskirkj- A sheer beauty and the largest church in Iceland.
Perlan- A revolving domed shaped classy and fine dining restaurant in the city.

2. Copenhagen, Denmark

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Copenhagen, Denmark. Pixabay.

Scandinavian countries have regularly been coming in the highest ranks`in the United Nation’s (UN) World Happiness Index. Along with being a happy country, the country is low on crime rates. The place is extremely safe for women. The Danish lifestyle is beautiful, and the people of the nation are amicable.

Attractive tourist spots:

The Little Mermaid- It is a beautiful bronze mermaid structure made by Edvard Eriksen.
Amalienborg- It is the home of the Danish royal family.
Strøget- The pedestrian street is one of the longest in Europe. The road is full of fantastic shops- from budget-friendly chains to the world’s most expensive brands.

Also ReadSeven Best Places To Visit In October In India

3. Stockholm, Sweden

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Stockholm, Sweden. Pixabay.

One of the most beautiful, safest and happiest spaces on Earth, Stockholm is one of the best solo female travel destinations. The city has beautiful shopping destinations. From costly brands to budget-friendly local shops, the place has it all.

Attractive tourist spots:

Vasa Museum-  It is a maritime museum, which is located on the island of Djurgården, and displays the only almost fully intact 17th century ship, which has ever been salvaged.
Stockholm Palace- The palace is the residence of the Swedish monarch

4. Bergen, Norway

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Bergen, Norway. Pixabay.

Norway is presently the world’s happiest nation, and the country witnesses the huge amount of tourists and travelling visiting the beautiful cities every year. Bergen is one such beautiful place in Norway where you can have a lovely vacation, and a peaceful one.

Attractive tourist spots:

Bergenhus fortress- It is located at the entrance to the harbor in the city, and is one of the oldest preserved castles of the country.

5. Melbourne, Australia

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Melbourne, Australia. Pixabay.

Melbourne city tops the country’s solo travel destinations list because of its exciting live music, museums, theatres, galleries and restaurants. Well, what else do you want in a vacation? The hipster haven of Brunswick Street is filled with bars, restaurants and vintage shops.

Attractive tourist spots:

Royal Botanic Gardens- One of the most renowned botanical gardens, the place’s beauty is wonderful.
Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium- It is a home to more than 10,000 Aquarius animals.

6. Queenstown, New Zealand

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Queenstown, Australia. Pixabay.

New Zealand is a beautiful oceanic country. It is one of the countries which have the lowest crime rates. You’ll be safe, happy and make the most your vacation in this land of beauty. This should definitely be added to the list of solo female travel destinations.

 Attractive tourist spots:

Skyline Gondola- Ride the skyline to catch some of the most stunning views of the city. You will definitely find heaven on Earth.
Glenorchy is a great place in the city to enjoy skydiving, horse riding, and kayaking. It is in a beautiful location.

7. Montreal, Canada

Solo Female Travel Destinations
Montreal, Canada. Pixabay.

The Multiculturalism which is found in Montreal can be nowhere else in this world. People here are known to be extremely friendly and happy-go-lucky. From its art, food, cuisine and architecture, to its scenic beauty, everything is just mind-blowing.

Attractive tourist spots:

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts- It is the most prominent art museum of Canada.
Saint Joseph’s Oratory- It is the country’s largest church.

-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. 

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Listening for Well-being : Arun Maira Talks About a Democracy in Crisis, Unsafe Social Media and More in his Latest Book

Maira asserts that we must learn to listen more deeply to 'people who are not like us' in our country because of their history, their culture, their religion, or their race.

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Arun Maira
Arun Maira (extreme left), during a public event in 2009. Wikimedia
  • Former Planning Commission member Arun Maira’s latest book is titled ‘Listening for Well-Being’
  • Maira observes that physical and verbal violence in the world and on social media is continuously growing
  • He also highlights the importance of ‘hearing each other’ in order to create truly inclusive and democratic societies

New Delhi, September 5, 2017 : Former Planning Commission member Arun Maira contends that “physical violence” in the real world and “verbal violence” on social media against people whom “we do not approve of” are increasing today. With such trends on the rise, the very idea of democracy finds itself in a crisis.

The solution?

“We need to listen more deeply to people who are not like us,” said the much-respected management consultant, talking of his latest book, “Listening for Well-Being”, and sharing his perspective on a wide range of issues that he deals with.

“Violence by people against those they dislike, for whatever reason, is increasing. It has become dangerous to post a personal view on any matter on social media. Responses are abusive. There is no respect for another’s dignity. People are also repeatedly threatened with physical violence.”

He said that gangs of trolls go after their victims viciously. “Social media has become a very violent space. Like the streets of a run-down city at night… not a safe space to roam around in.”

At the same time, streets in the physical world are becoming less safe too. “Any car or truck on the road can suddenly become a weapon of mass destruction in a ‘civilised’ country: in London, Berlin, Nice, or Barcelona,” Maira told IANS in an interview.

Maira said that with the rise of right-wing parties that are racist and anti-immigrant, there is great concern in the Western democratic world — in the US, the UK and Europe — that democracy is in a crisis.

In the US, for example, supporters of Donald Trump, Maira said, believe only what Trump says and watch only the news channels that share a similar ideology. On the other side are large numbers of US citizens who don’t believe what Trump says but they too have their own preferred news sources.

“They should listen to each other, and understand each other’s concerns. Only then can the country be inclusive. And also truly democratic — which means that everyone has an equal stake and an equal voice,” he noted.

In “Listening for Well-Being” (Rupa/Rs 500/182 Pages), Arun Maira shows his readers ways to use the power of listening. He analyses the causes for the decline in listening and proposes solutions to increase its depth in private and public discourse.

Drawing from his extensive experience as a leading strategist, he emphasises that by listening deeply, especially to people who are not like us, we can create a more inclusive, just, harmonious and sustainable world for everyone.

But it would be wrong to say that the decline in listening is only restricted to the Western world.

“We have the same issues in India too. We are a country with many diverse people. We are proud of our diversity. However, for our country to be truly democratic, all people must feel they are equal citizens.

“The need for citizens to listen to each other is much greater in India than in any other country because we are the most diverse country, and we want to be democratic. So, we must learn to listen more deeply to ‘people who are not like us’ in our country because of their history, their culture, their religion, or their race,” he maintained.

Maira also said that India is a country with a very long and rich history. And within the present boundaries of India are diverse people, with different cultures, different religions, and of different races.

“So, we cannot put too sharp a definition on who is an ‘Indian’ — the language they must speak, the religion they must follow, or the customs they must adopt. Because, then we will exclude many who do not have the same profiles, and say they are not Indians. Thus we can falsely, and dangerously, divide the country into ‘real Indians’ and those who are supposedly non-Indians. Indeed, such forces are rising in India,” he added.

Maira, 74, hoped that all his readers will appreciate that listening is essential to improve the world for everyone. He also maintained that it is not a complete solution to any of the world’s complex problems but by listening to other points of view, we can prevent conflict and also devise better solutions.

Born in Lahore, Arun Maira received his M.Sc. and B.Sc. in Physics from Delhi University’s St Stephen’s College. He has also authored two bestselling books previously, “Aeroplane While Flying: Reforming Institutions” and “Upstart in Government: Journeys of Change and Learning”. (IANS)