Australasia

Why do politicians get away with peddling porkies and ‘alternative facts’?

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Analysis In my house, if you claim to know something, you’d better be correct. It’s become a common reflex to ask whether the dispenser of facts is 100 per cent certain of their veracity. Emma Alberici ABC Such is the quest to be first with knowledge that serious familial opprobrium rains on those who dare to insist they’re right when they are not. So when I recently declared that I was 110 per cent confident that Uluru was the town ... Read More »

The Poisoned Chalice: Breakthrough WA Study Shines A Light On Global Water Contamination

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When deep-well bore water arrived in Australian bush communities people thought the big thirst was over. Jeff McMullen New Matilda Jeff McMullen reports that a decade long study shows unsafe water is now cutting lives short. If a baby is fed unsafe water contaminated with chemical nitrates, the child turns blue. The striking colouring occurs particularly around the eyes and… The Poisoned Chalice… Read More »

Home ownership remains strong in Australia but it masks other problems: Census data

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The great Australia dream of owning your own home is still alive despite the various problems plaguing housing affordability, new Census data shows. Wendy Stone Kath Hulse Margaret Reynolds Terry Burke The Conversation Even though the overall home ownership trend remains strong, it’s masking other issues. The latest 2016 Census data assesses what the national home ownership and rental rates are and how these vary location. It also gives us a picture of mortgage and… Home ownership remains… Read More »

Work for the dole racially discriminatory in remote areas, inquiry told

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Community development program forces Indigenous Australians into what should be fully paid jobs, legal groups say Helen Davidson in Darwin The Guardian The federal government’s remote work-for-the-dole scheme is racially discriminatory and fails to address the key issues behind high unemployment in remote Indigenous communities, legal… The Human Rights Law Centre and the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency both provided submissions to the… Work for the… Read More »

A tougher language test would punish women like my mother, who have lost everything

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My mother studied Australian history and politics for months to pass the citizenship test. It was painful, to say the least Abdul Karim Hekmat The Guardian It’s easy for an English-speaking, white politician to legislate a language test for Australian citizenship that even someone born in Australia would find hard to pass. The biggest impact would be on migrants or refugees – my mother, for example. Khal Bibi Hekmat never… A tougher language… Read More »

Jill Singer, passionate journalist was face of Today Tonight

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Jill Singer, who transformed news coverage when she hosted Today Tonight on Channel 7 in the mid-90s, has died of a rare heart and blood condition at the age of just 60. Peter Craven The Sydney Morning Herald She had extraordinary intelligence, courage and vivacity. She lived tremendously and always fought for the people and things she believed in. She was a great beauty with a lovely voice. Sometimes though she could sound like a… Jill Singer, passionate… Read More »

Chris Kourakis: Trashing judicial independence and the rule of law has grave consequences

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WHY is the independence of the judiciary important? In all spheres of life we depend on common agreement on ground rules which are well known in… Chris Kourakis The Advertiser We rightly complain if the goal posts are constantly changed. Without an ordered and level playing field, sporting games would become all-in… Ground rules only work if enforced by officials who know the rules, are independent and rational, and have the character to withstand outside… Chris Kourakis: Trashing… Read More »

A health issue, not a crime: it’s time to scrap outdated abortion laws

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Archaic abortion laws are still oppressing women in Australia. We should finally step up to medical developments and social expectations Caroline de Costa Heather Douglas The Guardian On Wednesday the Queensland law reform commission (QLRC) received a reference to consider how Queensland should amend laws relating to termination of pregnancy and remove abortion offences from the criminal code. The QLRC has 12 months to report on how to repeal these archaic Queensland laws dating back to… A health issue… Read More »

Nicole Rogerson says she was “appalled” at Pauline Hanson’s comments on children with autism

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Disability advocates and politicians have slammed One Nation senator Pauline Hanson’s call for children with autism and disabilities to be removed from mainstream classrooms, saying the “hurtful” idea would amount to “segregation”. ABC Duration: 5min 10sec Nicole Rogerson says… Read More »

Prohibition didn’t work for alcohol and it’s failing for marijuana

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Decriminalising marijuana would be a small step and free up resources that could be put to better use elsewhere. So where’s the push for legalisation? Jeff Sparrow The Guardian Why haven’t we legalised marijuana already? It’s a question brought to mind after reading Fairfax crime writer John Sylvester’s recent report on Melbourne as, in the words of assistant commissioner (crime) Steve Fontana, “the engine room of the… Sylvester takes the reader behind the scenes of the old-style anti-pot… Prohibition didn’t ... Read More »

Get autistic students out of mainstream classrooms: Pauline Hanson

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Pauline Hanson has called for disabled students to be removed from mainstream classrooms and attacked teachers as “do-gooders” in a bizarre speech lamenting the state of Australia’s education… Luke Henriques Gomes  The New Daily It comes as the Turnbull government appears to have won enough Senate support to pass its controversial Gonski 2.0 schools funding… In offering her support to the government, Senator Hanson expressed concern that teachers were struggling to deal with disabled students in mainstream… Get autistic students… Read More »

‘We’re not immune’: The Project’s host Waleed Aly warns Australian Muslims could be killed by terrorists and claims far-right extremists are like Islamists after London mosque attack

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The Project’s Waleed Aly asked about an Australian anti-Muslim terror attack The Muslim TV presenter likened London mosque attack to Islamist terrorism Conservative Jewish activist Avi Yemini said it was wrong to compare the two Muslim Labor MP Anne Aly said attacks on Muslims shouldn’t be called ‘revenge’ The Project‘s Waleed Aly has suggested far-right extremists could soon kill Muslims in… Stephen Johnson For Daily Mail Australia In his daily editorial, the… ‘We’re not immune’.. Read More »

Government can support public interest journalism in Australia – here’s how

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Independent journalism’s importance to healthy democracies is undisputed. Johan Lidberg The Conversation In a time of rising autocratic tendencies around the world, this independent check on power is more needed than ever. This is well illustrated by US President Donald Trump’s disrespect for the balance-of-power doctrine in general and for the US judiciary in… Government can support… Read More »

Malcolm Fraser’s widow Tamie condemns Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s treatment of refugees in Australia

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Tamie Fraser AO, refugee advocate and wife of the late former Prime Minister Malcolm, has used World Refugee Day to criticise the current Liberal government’s stance on… ABC – Jon Faine “Last year I didn’t talk about this because there was an election coming up, but I can’t look at it any longer and say it’s OK. It’s not ok to treat refugees as they’re being treated in Australia at this… Mrs Fraser, who affectionately described herself on… Malcolm Fraser’s ... Read More »

Iranian asylum seeker Mojgan Shamsalipoor faces deportation after visa denied

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Lawyers for Brisbane woman – whose campaign was supported by ministers and fellow former pupils – say decision will ‘rip her away’ from her… Naaman Zhou The Guardian Iranian asylum seeker Mojgan Shamsalipoor has been given six months to leave Australia despite a long-running national campaign for immigration minister Peter Dutton to intervene and… The former Yeronga state high school student had her application for a… Iranian asylum seeker… Read More »

What does the Anna Stubblefield case teach us about sentencing and sexual assault?

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Analysis A former chair of philosophy at Rutgers University had sex with a man who can’t speak. RN By Eleanor Gordon-Smith for The Philosopher’s Zone ABC The resulting court battle raised questions about when and why suffering matters in sentencing — and Anna Stubblefield went to jail. You might remember reading about it in the New York Times. For a minute it looked like the story would end there: Stubblefield looking open-mouthed over her shoulder in the black and… What ... Read More »