Australasia

Shocking video emerges after two women and child ‘racially abused’ on Melbourne train

Ugly footage has emerged after a woman allegedly verbally abused a mother and child over their religion on a Melbourne train before yanking the hijab off a passenger who tried to help. Joe Hinchliffe The Age Fahima Adan, 20, appeared on Nine News on Sunday night sporting bruises and scratches on her arm following the incident which occurred shortly after midday on Saturday on a train from Dandenong, ending in the arrest of a… Ms Adan, from Dandenong, said she ... Read More »

Family of ‘beautiful’ teen plead for pill testing after suspected festival drug overdose

The family of the latest young person to die of a suspected overdose at a music festival has pleaded with NSW Premer Gladys Berejiklian to show ”strong leadership” and introduce pill testing. Sarah Keoghan & Lucy Cormack The Age Central Coast teenager Alex Ross-King, 19, died after taking a suspected dose of pills at the FOMO festival in Parramatta at the weekend. Family members of the teenager have pleaded with the government to introduce pill testing in “legacy” of her death, ... Read More »

‘Real risk’ of refugees freezing to death in Syria after rains destroy shelters

As temperatures fall, aid workers warn of danger to at least 11,000 people across Idlib, with storms also battering camps in Lebanon Rebecca Ratcliffe The Guardian At least 11,000 child refugees and their families are facing a weekend of freezing temperatures with no shelter, after torrential rains across Syria’s Idlib province swept away tents and belongings. Aid workers warn there is a real risk people will simply freeze to death as temperatures have already dropped to -1C, amid a shortage of ... Read More »

Rahaf and Hakeem: why has one refugee captured the world’s attention while another is left in jail?

When it comes to Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun and Hakeem al-Araibi, the reasons are varied but likely include the age-old non-science of what makes news and what doesn’t Helen Davidson The Guardian Australia, Thailand and the Gulf states have been inextricably linked in two global news stories lately, when two young people faced being forcibly returned to the places and people they fled simply because they happened to step foot in Bangkok. Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, an 18-year-old Saudi woman, was on ... Read More »

Why Australia should not have a public register of child sex offenders

To many, “sex offender” conjures a specific image: stranger abduction, child victim, sexual assault, murder. Danielle Harris Brisbane Times Such horrible things do happen but’s it extraordinarily rare. It’s so horrible that it makes the news. And it happens so rarely that it makes the news every time it happens, and when it happens it shakes us to our core. As a child, I was keenly aware of the fates of Sian Kingi and then of Ebony Simpson, and of ... Read More »

Are women escaping family violence overseas considered refugees?

Saudi teenager Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun’s story has travelled around the world this week, highlighting Saudi Arabia’s repressive treatment of women and that not only those who seek asylum by… Tamara Wood The Conversation For now, al-Qunun remains in Thailand, and it’s been reported the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) has deemed her to be a refugee. Australia has said it will consider granting her asylum. Reports say al-Qunun fears, if she is returned to Saudi Arabia, she will be abused and ... Read More »

Australia’s 2018 Human Rights Performance Slammed

The Australian government’s human rights approach to refugees, Indigenous people and those with disability has been slammed by an annual review, which warns that Australia is at risk of … Luke Michael ProBono Australian Lawyers for Human Rights’ (ALHR) 2018 Human Rights Report Card scored Australia poorly on key areas including Indigenous rights (F-), refugees and people seeking asylum (F) and… While the federal government was praised for introducing a Modern Slavery Act, the review noted Australia faced persistent criticism by multiple United ... Read More »

Fraser Anning slammed for attending St Kilda far-Right rally

Labor leader Bill Shorten has joined Prime Minister Scott Morrison in condemning the far-Right extremists who participated in a wild rally in St Kilda on… Annika Smethurst, Brianna Travers, Kaitlyn Offer and Anthony Galloway, Sunday Herald Sun “In the corrosive and fragmented climate of public debate, it’s become unfortunately common for some to seek out attention by picking on minorities, the less powerful, by attacking in the most vile terms, normally someone who… “Here and around the world, right-wing extremists ... Read More »

Why is Victoria the far-right protest capital of Australia?

Victoria has become the noisiest, most active battleground for far right-wing groups in Australia, so why has the state largely regarded as Australia’s most progressive become such a hot bed of this activity? Anthony Colangelo The Canberra Times Saturday’s “Reclaim St Kilda” rally – organised by United Patriots Front leaders Blair Cottrell and Neil Erikson and attended by federal Senator Fraser Anning – is the latest headline-grabbing protest in a series of demonstrations by far… While extreme right political activism ... Read More »

I know all the risks but I’m still going to take drugs at festivals

For many, the solution to drug related deaths is much simpler than pill-testing: just stop taking them. By Anonymous The Age Anyone who has been to a festival in the past few years would quickly realise that as long as this attitude continues, deaths will continue. There’s a large degree of truth to the old stereotype of young people believing they’re invincible. In my group of friends, almost all of whom regularly take drugs at festivals, news of another drug related ... Read More »

There’s no excuse for justifying the racist attitudes that plague Australia

We must name white supremacist beliefs, whether they come from the fringes or the Senate Luke Pearson The Guardian 2018 had a lot of moments of hope despite the rising tones of white supremacy in Australia and abroad. The Liberal party voted in favour of Pauline Hanson’s “It’s OK to be white” motion (and no, it wasn’t an “administrative error”), but quickly backtracked when media started to point out the… Just that in itself was significant in many ways. Australia doesn’t ... Read More »

Prakash citizenship revocation could jeopardise extradition chances, says Law Council

Australia’s peak body for lawyers says the “premature” announcement that Islamic State member Neil Prakash has been stripped of his citizenship could jeopardise efforts to see him face justice in this country. David Wroe The Canberra Times Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses, SC, has said that Turkey – where Prakash is currently in jail facing terrorism charges – would take into account whether or not he was an Australian in considering an… “I am troubled that this potentially ... Read More »

‘It unnerved us’: John Howard admits he mishandled the High Court’s Wik decision

Former prime minister John Howard has admitted his government mishandled its response to the High Court’s Wik decision, saying it created the impression the government was “drifting” and… Stephanie Peatling The Sydney Morning Herald In December 1996, the High Court upheld a decision in a case brought by the Wik and Thayorre people of Queensland against the Queensland government. It decided that native title is not necessarily extinguished by the grant of a pastoral lease and that native title can co-exist ... Read More »

Howard govt feared slow Y2K bug preparations, cabinet documents reveal

Predictions of a chaotic IT collapse brought on by the Y2K bug had the Howard government fearing Australia was unready for the worst, previously classified documents reveal. Doug Dingwall Brisbane Times As the year 2000 approached, the federal government in 1997 took seriously the warnings that the new millennium’s arrival could play havoc with electricity, hospitals and traffic lights. The “millennium bug”, cast by some as a looming apocalypse, brought on hundreds of billions in estimated spending worldwide to avoid catastrophe. ... Read More »

Organ donor ‘opt-out only’ policy could mean fewer transplants

A proposal to automatically make people organ donors could reduce the number of available organs, the authority in charge of the system says. ABC Sunshine Coast – By Alex Easton and Sheridan Stewart ABC The idea of forcing people who do not want to donate their organs to opt out of the organ donor register is one of several aimed at combating an illegal international black-market trade that has some organs selling for hundreds of thousands of… The idea was raised in the recommendations of a report to ... Read More »

NSW institutions can now be sued for abuse

The NSW government has eliminated a legal defence used by churches to avoid being sued by victims of child sex abuse. SBS AAP Victims of child sex abuse in NSW can now sue the church after the state government removed a legal roadblock used by institutions to avoid compensating survivors. From January 1 churches will no longer be able to use the “Ellis defence” as a way of avoiding paying compensation. In 2007 former altar boy John Ellis lost a ... Read More »