Australasia

A Mass Shooting of, and for, the Internet

Before entering a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, the site of one of the deadliest mass murders in the country’s history, the accused gunman paused to endorse a YouTube star in a video that appeared to capture the shooting. Kevin Roose The New York Times “Remember, lads, subscribe to PewDiePie,” he said. To an untrained eye, this would have seemed like a bizarre detour. But the people watching the video stream recognized it as something entirely different: a meme. Like ... Read More »

Christchurch Shooting Updates: 40 Are Dead After 2 Mosques Are Hit

Forty people were killed in shootings at two mosques in central Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday, in a terrorist attack that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described as “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.” The New York Times • Officials said that four people were in custody, and that a number of explosive devices were found attached to vehicles that they had stopped. • A Muslim leader in New Zealand said the attack was especially shocking as it took place ... Read More »

‘This is New Zealand’s darkest day’: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern responds to Christchurch shootings

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed the man responsible for the horrific New Zealand mass shooting was Australian-born, labelling him an “extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist”. Shannon Molloy, news.com.au Townsville Bulletin Addressing reporters in Sydney, Mr Morrison extended his sympathies to all New Zealand people and “particularly those of Islamic faith”, following the Christchurch attacked that claimed at least 40 lives. “Australia and New Zealand — we’re not just allies, we’re not just partners. We’re family. As family members… we grieve, ... Read More »

Drought-hit Toowoomba eyes Brisbane water

A drought-affected Queensland city may be forced to take millions of litres from Brisbane’s water supply via a yet-to-be-used pipeline. Brisbane Times AAP Toowoomba’s three dams were at 35.7 per cent on Thursday – the lowest level since before the 2011 floods. When the level falls below 40 per cent, the Regional Council is permitted to take water from Wivenhoe Dam – the main reservoir for Brisbane and Ipswich – via the $187 million Toowoomba Pipeline. While the council has ... Read More »

The ‘R’ word: Are Australians really getting poorer?

Is it the recession you have when you’re not having a recession? Tory Maguire The Age With an election looming, treasurer Josh Frydenberg is just weeks away from delivering his first, and possibly last, federal budget. Last week, OECD data revealed that the Australian economy has fallen into a ”per-capita recession” for the first time since 2006, with global and Australian growth predicted to slow even further. The announcement prompted scepticism from critics. Ross Gittins called it a scare tactic – that any ... Read More »

Lowe tells banks slow payment rollout could limit competition

Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe last year asked chief executives of the big four banks to confirm they were putting enough resources into rolling out a high-speed payment system, amid concerns the… Clancy Yeates WAtoday The central bank on Thursday published emails Dr Lowe sent in September to ANZ Bank chief executive Shayne Elliott, Commonwealth Bank chief Matt Comyn, Westpac chief executive Brian Hartzer, and then… It declined to release the responses from each of the CEOs, saying these were exempt from FOI ... Read More »

Opinion: After Cardinal Pell verdict, Catholic Church must reform

Pope Francis once made George Pell one of the Vatican’s most powerful men. Now, the cardinal is headed to prison for sexual abuse. It is time for the Catholic Church to reform itself, says DW’s Christoph Strack. Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third-highest ranking official who once served as the pope’s finance chief, was sentenced to six years behind bars on Wednesday for child sex abuse. The Australian is the most senior Catholic to ever be convicted of such crimes. Pell’s lawyers ... Read More »

In Manus, theatre delivers home truths that can’t be dodged

How to review a play whose relationship with matters of fact is so serious and politically culpable it overwhelms the critical distinctions that might normally be used to judge it? Julian Meyrick The Conversation Where is Stanislavski’s “magic if” (if I were a refugee locked up for six years by the Australian government …)? What are the “given circumstances” (near-drowning at sea, a sun-beaten island at the end of the earth)? Or the “inciting incident” (political oppression, military destruction, despair ... Read More »

Hidden women of history: Australia’s first known female voter, the famous Mrs Fanny Finch

In this series, we look at under-acknowledged women through the ages. On 22 January 1856, an extraordinary event in Australia’s history occurred. Kacey Sinclair The Conversation It is not part of our collective national identity, nor has it been mythologised over the decades through song, dance, or poetry. It doesn’t even have a hashtag. But on this day in the thriving gold rush town of Castlemaine, two women took to the polls and cast their votes in a democratic election. ... Read More »

China’s growing Latin America ties also matter for Australia

When China’s increasing links to Latin America are discussed, Australia might not be the first country that comes to mind. Erin Watson-Lynn the interpreter Lowy Institute But for Australian policy makers, Beijing’s push into Latin America matters. Australia must do more itself to strengthen its otherwise nascent relationships with the region, especially as China works to fill the vacuum left by the United States’ absence in the region. Two important developments make this need clear. Rethinking Australia’s geographic proximity It ... Read More »

Pell verdict: Judge Kidd got it absolutely right with the sentence

After the deafening storm of publicity surrounding the conviction of Cardinal George Pell, finally there was silence. Duncan Fine The Age For one hour Chief Judge Peter Kidd delivered his sentencing and the reasons behind it. Courtroom 3.3 of the Victorian County Court went quiet. Pell stood calmly, with his arms behind his back. The sentence was six years with a non-parole period of three years and eight months. Immediately, the storm started up again. Some groups representing abuse survivors ... Read More »

Spotting the signs of strangulation could save a life. But they’re not always obvious

It’s been described as a “last warning shot” before death. RN By Ben Hays and Damien Carrick for The Law Report ABC Women who survive strangulation are up to seven times more likely to go on to die at the hands of their partner, according to recent studies in the US. And there are side effects that aren’t always obvious to treating doctors, paramedics or police officers — everything from voice changes to blood clots, strokes and paralysis. Survivors and ... Read More »

‘Consumers must act’: Jane Goodall’s plea to avoid a ‘bleak’ future

Individuals everywhere must make different choices if humanity – and many of the world’s other species – are to avoid a “bleak” future, leading environmental campaigner Jane Goodall says. Peter Hannam The Sydney Morning Herald Dr Goodall, who is heading to Australia in May for a series of talks dubbed Rewind the Future, said “the consumer must take responsibility”, adding “the accumulation of millions of ethical choices will certainly make a… The renowned naturalist, who turns 85 next month, said the increase in ... Read More »

‘Give them a chance’: employing refugees not as complicated as many think

New guide outlines the benefits of hiring a refugee, including documented high loyalty and lower turnover rates Helen Davidson The Guardian Armed with two masters degrees and substantial work experience, Sarah* didn’t expect it would be so difficult to find work in Australia. Forced to abandon a PhD when she fled her home country, Sarah arrived in Australia hoping to find similar work to the senior project officer role she’d left. But she got few interviews, apart from an experience ... Read More »

‘No More Winter’: How Hot Your Home Town Will Be In 30 Years

Do you hate winter? Well, you may soon not have one. And a new tool developed by the Australian National University shows exactly how warm things are going to get. Victoria Quested 10daily Your Climate 2050 — developed by academics from ANU’s SoA&D and the Climate Change Institute —  shows how many degrees the average temperature will rise in more than 4,000 locations by the year 2050. It’s a tool designed to communicate the impacts of climate change to the average ... Read More »

Massive artwork unveiled at the Exhibition Building

A beautiful 26-metre-tall artwork, Sylph of Spring, has been unveiled over the facade of the Exhibition Building. Kerrie O’Brien The Age Usually seen inside the World Heritage-listed building, the piece is part of a work on the interior dome, designed by John Ross Anderson for the opening of federal parliament in 1901. The Sylph has been reinterpreted and printed on to shade cloth, to hide the construction underway as part of the building renovations. Once complete, the renovations will allow ... Read More »