Australasia

Nauru hunger strike: 12-year-old boy at imminent risk of dying

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Island staff report a looming children’s health crisis ahead of Pacific Islands Forum Ben Doherty The Guardian A 12-year-old refugee boy on hunger strike on Nauru for more than a fortnight is at imminent risk of dying, medical staff on the island say, but efforts to move him to hospital care in Australia have foundered. He is one of several critical child cases on the island – including a 14-year-old boy with muscle wastage so severe he may never walk normally again, ... Read More »

Qld senator unapologetic for racist speech

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Queensland Senator Fraser Anning has no regrets and won’t apologise after calling for a “final solution” to immigration in his widely-criticised first speech. Daniel McCulloch msn But senior minister Josh Frydenberg, whose parents were Jewish immigrants, has demanded The Katter’s Australia Party member immediately retract his “ignorant and insensitive” remarks. But Senator Anning, who joined KAP after leaving One Nation, is unapologetic about using a phrase historically associated with the World War II Nazi Germany plan to murder Jewish people ... Read More »

New data access bill shows we need to get serious about privacy with independent oversight of the law

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The federal government today announced its proposed legislation to give law enforcement agencies yet more avenues to reach into our private lives through access to our personal communications and data. Greg Austin The Conversation This never-ending story of parliamentary bills defies logic, and is not offering the necessary oversight and protections. The trend has been led by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, with help from an ever-growing number of security ministers and senior officials. Could it be that the proliferation of ... Read More »

Horse’s act of defiance carries message for all of us

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Perfectly healthy, prize-winning horse Chautauqua is refusing to race and pundits are perplexed. “A dapple grey horse”, the proverb goes, “will sooner die than retire”. Not so this eight-year-old gelding. Andy Marks Brisbane Times Sometimes a simple act of defiance brings home the absurdity of relatively unquestioned conventions, like — for instance — forcing animals to perform for sport. At best, Chautauqua, clearly one of the world’s most ideologically astute and politically active horses, will be put to pasture. At ... Read More »

Refugees are integrating just fine in regional Australia

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As the Australian population surpassed the 25 million mark last week, another immigration debate emerged over the burden newcomers are placing on Melbourne and Sydney in terms of congestion and… Authors: The Conversation With government data showing 87% of skilled migrants settled in either of the two cities in the past year, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Minister Alan Tudge made an urgent appeal to… New research being released publicly on Tuesday suggests Tudge is spot-on in his argument that regional Australia ... Read More »

The high price of ‘white genocide’ politics for Australia

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When Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton suddenly became concerned at the plight of South African farmers earlier this year, he may not have been aware that he was echoing ideas and memes not only of the alt-right, but also potentially of a… Chris Zappone Brisbane Times Publicity around the persecution of white farmers can be traced back through the alt-right, which has embraced it, to the well-worn conspiracy theories of white supremacists. In recent years, however, the alt-right has used ... Read More »

A man on a mission to capture the Great Barrier Reef

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Welcome to the underwater world of photographer Gary Cranitch who has spent decades documenting the Great Barrier Reef and work of scientists trying to protect it. Tony Moore Brisbane Times It is called a mantis shrimp and “pound for pound” it is one of the strongest creatures on planet Earth. It is one of the Queensland Museum photographer Gary Cranitch’s favourite images from his extensive portfolio. “It goes back quite a few years and I probably photographed it on Heron ... Read More »

Why do so many friendships dissolve as we age?

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What are we without friends, those who know us warts and all but love us anyway? Yet many friendships drift away as we age, leaving us beating on, boats against the current, borne back into the past… Frank Robson The Canberra Times Even now, with our friendship effectively over, I still picture Damian* as he was long ago when we met as reporters on the shameless Melbourne Truth. More specifically, I visualise him crawling triumphantly from a dumbwaiter on the 15th ... Read More »

Fresh blood: Australia is still lucky, thanks to our young migrants

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Reserve Bank governor Dr  Philip Lowe thinks Australia’s strong population growth in recent years is a wonderful thing, and he sings its praises in a speech this week. Ross Gittins WAtoday I’m not sure he’s right. Like most economists and business people, Lowe is a lot more conscious of the economic benefits of population growth than the economic costs. As for the social and environmental costs, they’re for someone else to worry about. But whatever your views, you’ll be heaps better informed ... Read More »

‘Stand up if you’re an asylum seeker’: the night corporate Australia made me cry

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A networking night, a LinkedIn profile, a new suit: these white collar acts that seem so banal may change the life of an asylum seeker Brigid Delaney The Guardian In the foyer of the building off Martin Place there is a corporate networking event in full swing. People in suits are talking to other people in suits (while juggling a beer and a rice paper roll) about jobs and internships and degrees and experience: all the stuff that people at ... Read More »

When your name peaked in popularity

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There was a time in living memory when one in every 11 boys born in Victoria was called John. Compare that with today, when Oliver has been the most popular boys’ name since 2014, but only one in every 67 young boys answers to it. Conal Hanna & Alexander Gluyas The Age Names have always come and gone out of fashion but nowadays our most common names are far less common than they used to be. The reason is an ... Read More »

Australian media are playing a dangerous game using racism as currency

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It has been quite a week for race-laden discourse in the Australian media. There was Blair Cottrell, a notorious pro-Hitler extremist, appearing on Sky News and calling for a race-based immigration policy. Denis Muller The Conversation There was Andrew Bolt in the Herald Sun sounding the tocsin about how “there is no ‘us’ anymore”, how Australia was being overwhelmed by a “tidal wave of immigration” and ethnic “colonies”: Jews, Indians, Chinese, Muslims, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Italians. A speech in London last ... Read More »

Hardship Is Not A Competition: Supporting Our Farmers Doesn’t Mean We Can’t Support Our Neighbours

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With all of NSW now drought declared, and other states fast heading in the same direction, calls for more support for farmers is welcome. But slashing spending to help neighbours we’ve abused for decades is not the way to get there, writes Hayley McQuire. New Matilda I support Australian Farmers. What I don’t agree with is the constant argument about “Why are we giving so much in foreign aid yet not supporting our farmers?” This is a common theme that ... Read More »

Car bursts into flames after phone left on seat

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A fire that burned out a rental car could have been sparked by a Samsung phone left on the passenger seat. Darwin dad Matthew Mansfield had rented the car and said he had parked it in the shade. 9news The phone in question is a Samsung Galaxy Core Prime, purchased two years ago from a phone store in Tasmania. In 2016, Samsung issued a major recall of their Galaxy Note 7 over faults that caused several to catch fire. The ... Read More »

The devastating reality of Australia’s crippling drought: Shocking maps show just how parched the country has become as desperate farmers continue to pray for rain – but experts say it’s only going to get WORSE

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Australia has been suffering one of the most intense droughts of the past century, and meteorologists believe that it is only going to get worse. Laura Hedges DailyMail These maps from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) show how the country has been getting increasingly dry since 2010. The latest – and most shocking – map from BoM shows next to no average rainfall across the majority of the country from 1 April to 6 August this year. It has ... Read More »

Andrew Bolt got his facts wrong. But that’s not the only thing wrong with his column

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Bolt’s column illustrates the steady and sinister drift of Australia’s national conversation towards a permissible racism Robert Manne The Guardian Last week four Murdoch tabloids – the Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun, the Courier Mail and the Adelaide Advertiser – published an opinion column by Andrew Bolt. The headline the Telegraph chose, “The Foreign Invasion”, was not inaccurate. According to Bolt, Australia was losing its identity. The principal cause was “a tidal wave of immigrants” who refused to assimilate and treated Australia not ... Read More »