Australasia

Australia ends direct aid to Palestinian Authority

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Australia has ceased providing direct aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA), with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop saying the donations could increase the self-governing body’s capacity to pay Palestinians convicted of politically motivated violence. ABC Ms Bishop said funding was cut to the World Bank’s Multi-Donor Trust Fund for the Palestinian Recovery and Development Program after writing to the Palestinian Authority in late May seeking assurance that Australian funding was not going to Palestinian criminals. Australia sends about $10 million in ... Read More »

I found slaves in our supply chain

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Business support for new regulations? Unheard of. But that’s exactly what business leaders just did. Andrew Forrest * The Sydney Morning Herald We unanimously supported the introduction of the Modern Slavery Bill to the Parliament last week. All of us in business face the risk of modern slavery in our supply chains – I found it in my own – and it is now widely accepted that inaction, and hiding our head in the sand, are no longer options. Modern ... Read More »

Sexual abuse, harassment and discrimination ‘rife’ among Australian academics

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Sexual abuse, harassment and discrimination pervade parts of Australian universities, according to survey results released today by the Australian Women’s History Network. Authors: The Conversation Of the 159 academics who completed our voluntary survey, from more than two dozen universities around Australia, 48.7% reported sexual abuse or harassment in the workplace. Sexual or gender-based discrimination were even more common, reported by 66.2% of respondents. Women made up 90.6% of the responses (of these, 50% reported abuse or harassment and… Sexual ... Read More »

What does it mean to reclaim a place?

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It was Eurydice Dixon who drew us here on a cold winter night. We stood in the thousands, with her name in our thoughts, and images of her that have flooded the public domain. We created a wreath of floral bouquets and candle flames. Arnold Zable The Age We came to pay tribute to a woman many of us did not personally know. Her chosen vocation was to make people laugh – and think. And we came here to reclaim ... Read More »

Liberal senator Lucy Gichuhi relegated to unwinnable spot on SA preselection ticket

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Liberal senator Lucy Gichuhi has suffered a devastating blow in today’s preselection as she is relegated to the fourth spot on the South Australian senate ticket for the next election. Michael Owen The Australian Kenyan-born senator Gichuhi — Australia’s first African senator — was endorsed by John Howard and Malcolm Turnbull. But a strong challenge from Adelaide City councillor and SA Liberal Party vice-president Alex Antic saw her relegated to an unwinnable spot on the senate ticket. Mr Antic, backed by elements ... Read More »

Australia prepares to block Japanese bid to kill whales for profit

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Australia and other anti-whaling nations are set for a showdown with Japan amid reports it will formally seek to lift a ban on commercial whaling so it can slaughter the animals for profit. Nicole Hasham Brisbane Times Japanese officials have reportedly confirmed the country will propose the resumption of commercial whaling at an International Whaling Commission meeting in Brazil in September, on the condition only whales with healthy population numbers are killed. Japan’s current so-called “research” program kills whales in ... Read More »

Push for slavery victims to have national redress scheme

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Victims of forced marriages, human trafficking and other forms of modern slavery would be able to apply for up to $100,000 in compensation under a national scheme being considered by federal MPs. Farrah Tomazin The Canberra Times Days after the Turnbull government introduced laws requiring large companies to report annually on the slavery risks in their supply chains, both major parties are being urged to offer bipartisan support for a Commonwealth redress scheme for survivors. The idea is being pushed ... Read More »

‘We’ve turned a corner’: farmers shift on climate change and want a say on energy

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National Farmers’ Federation head Fiona Simson says people on the land can’t ignore what is right before their eyes Katharine Murphy The Guardian Out in the bush, far from the ritualised political jousting in Canberra, attitudes are changing. Regional Australia has turned the corner when it comes to acknowledging the reality of climate change, says the woman now charged with safeguarding the interests of farmers in Canberra. Fiona Simson, a mixed farmer and grazier from the Liverpool plains in northern ... Read More »

Australia officially announces $26B frigate contract. Here are the build details

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MELBOURNE, Australia ― Australia will acquire nine high-end anti-submarine warfare frigates from the end of the next decade under a deal with BAE Systems worth AU$35 billion (U.S. $26 billion). Nigel Pittaway Defense News The announcement was formally made Friday at the ASC shipyard in Osborne, South Australia, by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Defence Marise Payne and Minister for Defence Industry Christopher… A version of BAE Systems’ City-class Type 26 ASW frigate, now under construction for the British ... Read More »

Julian Burnside: Every Immigration Minister since 2002 is guilty of human rights abuses

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We need to recognise that the human rights abuses of asylum seekers is our nation’s awful legacy, and Julian Burnside knows who is to blame. Paul Gregoire The Big Smoke The Norwegian freighter MV Tampa entered Australian waters on 29 August 2001, carrying 433 asylum seekers who’d been stranded in a fishing boat in the Indian Ocean. The vessel crossed the maritime boundary close to Christmas Island, despite having been refused entry by Australia. After a period of being detained at ... Read More »

Bringing history to life: the intriguing world of war re-enactors

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Some local re-enactors like dressing up in Anzac uniforms and re-creating war scenes. While they’re certainly bringing history to life, others are less sure it’s an ideal way to honour the fallen. Mark Dapin WAtoday It is like gatecrashing a gathering of ghosts. At a table outside Les Halles cafe in Ypres, Belgium, in September 2017, sit four beer-drinking Anzacs, dressed for the Western Front. One hundred years before, 5770 Australian troops were killed or wounded to the east of ... Read More »

‘Bringing reusable bags has been a challenge’: Woolworths backflip on plastic bags

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Woolworths has backflipped on its plastic bag ban after irate customers refused to pay for plastic bags at the checkout. Melissa Cunningham Brisbane Times The supermarket giant will hand out free reusable plastic bags for 10 days, after stores were inundated with complaints from customers who refused to pay for bags or did not have enough of their own stored up. It comes a week after Woolworths issued a ban on single-use plastic bags in stores across Victoria, New South Wales, ... Read More »

If politicians want more trust from voters, they need to start behaving with civility and respect

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It is a paradox of our modern democracy that we have the conditions and tools to enable our political system to work better than ever before, yet all that seems to be discussed today is its dysfunction. Michelle Grattan The Conversation In this country, people are, for the most part, relatively well educated and prosperous. In theory, that should encourage an interested and alert citizenry. The communications revolution empowers the electorate — or should. So much more information is available ... Read More »

It’s not personal, but Twiggy is making life hell for Gina

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As the Queen and Prince of Australia’s iron ore industry, Gina Rinehart and Andrew Forrest going head to head in a fight over junior producer Atlas begs the question of whether the battle is personal or strategic. Elizabeth Knight The Sydney Morning Herald Given the history of animosity between these two big personalities – one which exploded into the public arena during the mining tax saga – there is undoubtedly an element of the personal involved in this contest. There has been ... Read More »

‘Witness K’ and lawyer Bernard Collaery charged with breaching intelligence act over East Timor spying revelations

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A Canberra lawyer whose client exposed a secret Australian spying operation in East Timor has described the prosecution against them both as an attack on freedom of… By defence reporter Andrew Greene and Lucy Sweeney ABC On Thursday, using parliamentary privilege, independent MP Andrew Wilkie revealed the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions recently filed criminal charges against Bernard Collaery and… Witness K had raised concerns about a covert Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) operation he ran to bug East Timor’s cabinet in 2004 ... Read More »

One story, two languages: sign and spoken language share the theatre stage

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This article was co-authored by Kellye Bensley. Would you go and see a bilingual or multilingual show if you only spoke one of the languages staged? What if by going, you could open your mind not just to a new language, but also a new culture? Authors: The Conversation In New Zealand, it is rare to see theatre performed in New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), and rarer still to see it performed through the hands of a first language user. ... Read More »