Roundup: Military strategy, human dignity, Ann McCallum, Afghanistan, same-sex marriage, RIO+20

Roundup: Military strategy, human dignity, Ann McCallum, Afghanistan, same-sex marriage, RIO+20

Social summit lightens Rio+20 gloom

Thousands of citizens joined business leaders, NGOs, government representatives and digital media players yesterday in a global online conversation to discuss the “future we want”, as the UN Conference on Sustainable Development gets under way in Rio.

Church’s fight to control marriage

The church fears same-sex marriage because it feels its power waning.

What 11 years of war has accomplished

The lives of four Afghans provide a lens on how America’s longest conflict has changed a nation – and the divisions and dangers that persist.

Defending dignity: Law, religion and the elements of good society

Rowan Williams opens up some questions about the nature of political representation and real political accountability and raises the larger question of whether we can shift current debates towards a greater seriousness around the question of the foundations of human dignity.

Free thinker was enveloped in brilliance

Ann McCallum, a free thinker, a social worker by profession, a non-believer who served church social welfare organisations, was a stimulus for such development. In the words of one of her extended family, she demonstrated throughout her life ‘‘great compassion, wisdom, generosity, patience, humour, energy and joy’’, providing a home with ‘‘ever-widening circles of family and friends’’.

Shadow wars

A series of recent news stories, largely based on anonymous sources, reveals an emerging new US military strategy. After more than ten years of long, bloody ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Obama administration is turning to what one report called “shadow wars”.

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