Australasia

Chilling documentary exposes the grim truth behind China’s one-child policy

A horrific legacy of forced sterilisation, child abandonment and state-sponsored kidnappings has been exposed in a haunting new doco. Ben Graham News.Com.Au It wasn’t until acclaimed documentary-maker Nanfu Wang moved to the US and had a child of her own that she began to look at her upbringing in China in a whole new light. In a harrowing and deeply personal new documentary — One Child Nation — that’s screening at this year’s Sydney Film Festival, she describes the rush ... Read More »

Silenced.

Australian children are being placed in harm’s way by the legal structure designed to determine their best interests — the family law system. By Emily Clark and Heidi Davoren ABC James* says the earliest memories of his childhood involve being sexually and physically abused by his father. Also etched into his memory are the occasions he tried to tell someone what was going on and the system that didn’t believe him. James told his mother about the alleged abuse and ... Read More »

Australia’s refugee policy is out of step with global standards and breaks international law: report

A world-leading research centre on refugee law says no one thought about how offshore detention of refugees and asylum seekers would end when it was introduced almost 20 years ago. Maani Truu SBS Now, a plan has been released to pave the way towards a more sustainable and humane future. The government needs to take several steps to bring Australia’s refugee policy in line with other countries around the world and to comply with its international obligations, a… The University ... Read More »

Nearly a billion people facing high exposure to climate change effects, Global Peace Index finds

Nearly a billion people are facing climate change hazards globally, with the Asia-Pacific region housing twice as many people living in areas with high exposure than all other regions combined, a… The World By Tracey Shelton and Yvonne Yong ABC In the annual Global Peace Index released on Wednesday, the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) said an estimated 971 million people — including more than 2.4 million Australians — live in areas with high or… The top nine countries ... Read More »

Australia’s asylum seeker policy history: a story of blunders and shame

We know very little about the kind of government Scott Morrison runs. Carolyn Holbrook The Conversation After beating Peter Dutton and Julie Bishop to the prime ministership in August last year, most commentators assumed Morrison was keeping the chair warm until Labor’s Bill Shorten won the 2019 election. Following the Coalition’s unexpected victory, it’s time to ask more searching questions, not only about Scott Morrison’s political values and policy aspirations, but about his prime ministerial style. Recent history suggests processes ... Read More »

Farmed salmon is now a staple in diets – but what they eat matters too

Salmon is not only tasty but is prized for being low fat and high in rich omega-3 oils. In recent times, salmon has been a staple of the national diet, so much so that wild salmon has given way to a huge global farmed industry, worth US$15.4 billion. Authors: The Conversation Salmon are farmed in net pens suspended from floating collars in the sea. Like other types of farming, quality varies and the industry has sometimes come in for criticism ... Read More »

Three good reasons to be grateful for whistleblowers

Australia’s new whistleblower protection legislation means many charities might need to change their approach to managing disclosures. PRObonoAustralia But some of us also might need to change how we think about whistleblowing, writes Oliver May. Australia has just passed new whistleblower protection legislation, with significant implications for many Australian organisations. This has led to interesting conversations with my clients about how best to respond to the legislation, and how to protect whistleblowers. But what is… Three good reasons… Read More »

Meet the drain sock — a simple pollution solution taking the world by storm

Cities across the globe are looking to Australia for a simple pollution solution to stop rubbish from spoiling creeks and river systems. By Gian De Poloni ABC The City of Kwinana, south of Perth, has generated international interest for its drain socks. In March 2018, nets were fitted to the mouths of two local stormwater drains to trap litter and debris that washed into the system after a rain storm. Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said more than 25 million people ... Read More »

Refugee sets fire to himself on Manus Island

A man has set himself on fire on Manus Island, the latest in more than 70 self-harm or suicide attempts at the former detention centre, sources say. AAP – SBS A refugee on Manus Island has set himself on fire, marking the latest in a rapidly rising number of suicide and self-harm attempts at the former site of the Australian-run detention centre. The Somalian man, aged about 30, set himself on fire while in the East Lorengau camp on Monday, ... Read More »

Tiananmen Square anniversary shows Mao’s legacy lives on

I lived and worked in China for the best part of a decade, and I’ve never forgotten the words of one of my closest Chinese friends: “No Mao, no China. No Deng, no China open”. By global affairs analyst Stan Grant ABC He was, of course, referring to the revolutionary Mao Zedong and one of his successors, Deng Xiaoping — two giants of the 20th century. Mao established Communist Party rule and Deng launched the economic reforms that set China ... Read More »

‘They will eventually get me’: Surgeon Charlie Teo threatens to quit

Celebrity brain surgeon Charlie Teo has launched an extraordinary attack on the medical establishment, describing its governing bodies as “the enemy” and accusing the… Eryk Bagshaw The Sydney Morning Herald In comments that will spark controversy at the very top of Australian medicine, Dr Teo said he will quit if concerns raised by other surgeons and regulators about his fees and methods continue. The neurosurgeon has been embroiled in a spat with surgical colleagues, the College of Surgeons and the Australian ... Read More »

‘He is innocent’: Assange ally Ola Bini imprisoned in Ecuador takes case to UN

A close friend of Julian Assange was arrested in Ecuador in April and remains behind bars without charge. SBS Supporters of a Julian Assange ally who is imprisoned in Ecuador without charge have called his ongoing detention “illegal” and want the United Nations to investigate the case. Swedish national Ola Bini, 36, was arrested while trying to leave Ecuador for Japan on 11 April – the day the country withdrew its offer of asylum to Mr Assange, who had taken ... Read More »

Australia’s raids on journalists reflect a creeping surveillance state

This week, Australians woke up to the alarming realization that their government has been quietly promoting a creeping surveillance state at the expense of press freedom and democratic values. Emily Howie The Washington Post It should mark a moment of reckoning for the country and its entire approach to media and public transparency. On Wednesday, officers from the Australian Federal Police appeared at the Sydney headquarters of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the country’s national broadcaster. Armed with a warrant over a 2017 ... Read More »

Tim Costello slams middle-class Australians for their ‘huge sense of victimhood’

Tim Costello has used his last day with World Vision Australia to call out middle-class Australians and their ‘huge sense of victimhood’. Cait Kelly The New Daily Speaking to The New Daily, Mr Costello said Australians had lost ‘perspective’ of what’s important. “Middle-class people think they’re doing it tough – the sense of victimhood is huge. We’ve got a whining middle-class culture. “We are blessed, we’re the third-richest country per capita in the world. When you lose that perspective, you ... Read More »

‘Pendulum has swung too far’: Senator pushes for US-style press freedom protections

The Centre Alliance Party is drafting a bill to enshrine US-style press freedom protection in the constitution. By Rosemary Bolger, Amanda Copp SBS Key crossbench senators will push to amend the constitution to include a US-style press freedom protection in the wake of two unprecedented police raids targeting Australian journalists. Centre Alliance senators Rex Patrick and Stirling Griff will introduce legislation proposing an amendment similar to the First Amendment to the United States constitution when Parliament returns next month. “A ... Read More »

Grattan on Friday: Media freedom joins the current ‘freedoms’ agenda

Scott Morrison is very concerned to protect freedom of religion, and many Liberals tell us we don’t have enough safeguards for freedom of speech. Michelle Grattan The Conversation Now the prime minister has on his hands a massive, unexpected and, for him, unwelcome argument about media freedom. The public’s right to know is one issue at stake in the furore over the police raids on the home of a News Corp journalist and on the ABC’s Sydney headquarters, as is ... Read More »