Australasia

It’s time to vote for happiness and well-being, not mere economic growth. Here’s why:

As the federal election approaches, we’re expected to drown in slogans like “lower taxes”, “wage growth”, “franking credit reform” or “negative gearing reforms”. Authors: The Conversation These mostly assume voters are as obsessed as the politicians with economic and financial issues, rather than, say, the kind of Australia they want their grandchildren to live in. There’s no doubt we value a healthy economy and it can be argued Australia has enjoyed a “remarkable run” over the past 50 years. But ... Read More »

Is the Assange indictment a threat to the First Amendment?

A British court sentenced Julian Assange on May 1 to almost a year in prison for jumping bail. Ofer Raban The Conversation That’s not the end of Assange’s legal travails: he still faces the possibility of an extradition to the U.S. After a brief initial hearing, the matter will be taken up again at a hearing on May 30 in London. The American government has many reasons to dislike Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks, who is responsible for the dissemination ... Read More »

Julian Assange sentenced to 50 weeks

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail by a London court on May 1 for skipping bail to enter the Ecuadorean embassy where he was holed up for almost seven… LONDON- Reuters Hurriyet Judge Deborah Taylor read out the sentence as Assange, in a black jacket and grey sweatshirt, looked on. Taylor said Assange had exploited his privileged position to flout the law and express… He was convicted last month of skipping bail in June 2012 after an extradition order to Sweden over ... Read More »

Three months on from the medivac bill, refugee and journalist says ‘nothing has changed’

Iranian-Kurdish refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani has criticised the federal government’s medivac bill three months after it came into effect, saying a list of sick refugees he… Hannah Barry The Age Speaking at Perth’s Curtin University’s fourth annual human rights lecture on Monday, Boochani delivered the keynote address via video link and spoke about colonialism’s impact on… Boochani spoke from Port Moresby, where he is temporarily based for an interview with United States officials, and said it was important for ... Read More »

Majority of voters want action on women’s issues, new polling shows

A majority of voters believe childcare should be a tax deductible expense, that many of our politicians are sexist, that women should comprise at least half of parliamentarians, and that the… Jacqueline Maley Brisbane Times The survey of 1065 voters, split almost evenly between men and women, commissioned by independent lobby group WomenVote and conducted by YouGov Galaxy, shows large… Seventy-one per cent believe the government should be doing more to address the gender pay gap, and 75 per cent ... Read More »

Family of Aboriginal woman who died in custody want coroner to consider ‘systemic racism’

If application accepted, Tanya Day’s case will be first time in Australia that systemic racism has been considered as a contributing factor to a death in custody Calla Wahlquist The Guardian The family of an Aboriginal woman who died in custody in Victoria have applied for the coroner to consider systemic racism as a factor in her death. If Victorian deputy state coroner Caitlin English accepts their application, it will be the first time in Australia that systemic racism has been considered ... Read More »

Migrants to the rescue of Victoria’s economy as housing slump digs in

Victoria’s population boom, with nearly 85,000 overseas migrants settling here in the 12 months to September 2018, is keeping the state’s economy out of trouble as the property market… Noel Towell The Age More than a third of Australia’s 240,000 overseas migrants last year made their way to Victoria, with most of the new arrivals settling in Melbourne and keeping the state’s economic engines… But there are worrying signs that the housing slump is eating away at consumer confidence, according ... Read More »

Access to justice and election agendas

With just three weeks to go, Lawyers Weekly has taken a look at what the major parties think of access to justice as a federal election issue. The Bar Grace Ormsby Lawyers Weekly Liberal Party According to the Liberal Party’s website, there is no consideration of the justice system specifically as an election policy. Despite this, the current government, now in caretaker mode until the election takes place, has cited the “combating of violence against women and children as remaining ... Read More »

The very big business of organised crime costing Australians millions a year

Australians were tricked out of nearly half a billion dollars by scammers in 2018 with reported losses the “tip of the iceberg”, said Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) deputy… Julie Power The Age/The Sydeney Morning Herald/The Canberra Times She attributed a 44 per cent spike in losses – a $149 million increase – by consumers and businesses to increasingly sophisticated scammers: “They’re organised crime, they’re very big business and they’re very tech… To avoid detection by banks and money ... Read More »

‘We didn’t bring our children here to die’: Natalina Angok remembered at second Melbourne vigil

Bunches of pink flowers clasped in shivering hands burst through a sea of black coats and grey scarves at the vigil for Natalina Angok at Federation Square last night. By Matilda Boseley and Joe Hinchliffe The Age Pink was Ms Angok’s favourite colour. Around 200 people attended a vigil at Federation Square for Ms Angok, a 33-year-old Geelong woman whose body was discovered in a Chinatown alleyway on Wednesday morning. Her aunt, Teresa Kau, said the family had to trust Ms Angok ... Read More »

Nauru counsellor escaped a refugee camp only to put himself back in a detention centre

Riziki Saidi has plenty of reasons to never want to set foot in a refugee camp again. Instead, he decided to return to work as a torture and trauma counsellor at the Australian Government’s detention centre on Nauru. Gabriella Marchant ABC He would like to go back there again after recently finishing a 12-month contract on the Pacific island. Mr Saidi spent eight years raising six children in a camp with his wife, Mwajemi, after a harrowing journey fleeing their ... Read More »

Traditional storytelling taking over the mindfulness manual in Perth

Nestled in the giant trees and winding streets of Sawyers Valley lies a property surrounded by nature and absolute quiet. Rhiannon Holmes WAtoday Once a month, The Sound Temple runs storytelling nights where participants can sit gently for an hour and enjoy the lost art of oral storytelling before being treated to a homemade feast. Storytellers will recite Nordic legends, medieval myths, Maori fables and stories from ancient cultures as you sit back and become completely taken over by an ... Read More »

Morrison brings immigration centre stage with freeze on refugee intake

Scott Morrison will seek to bring the debate over immigration and refugees to the centre of the election campaign, with an announcement that a Coalition government would freeze the humanitarian… Michelle Grattan The Conversation He will contrast this with Labor plans for an increase in the humanitarian component, claiming this would cost many billions of dollars and challenging Bill Shorten to produce more detail… So far immigration has not had a prominent place in the campaign. The border security issue ... Read More »

It’s time political parties started taking data protection seriously

When the major political parties were spared the tedium of complying with the Privacy Act in 2000, the then-Howard government argued their exemption would enhance political communication and free up the democratic process. David Wroe Brisbane Times It was a controversial enough view at the time, but it has become almost ludicrously counterproductive in the years since. Technology in 2019 means malign actors can steal data and then use it to manipulate elections. That includes data on individual voters. So ... Read More »

Will 2020 Democrats condemn the Armenian genocide?

Only four lawmakers running for president have signed on to remembrance resolutions Niels Lesniewski Roll Call Whether the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 amounted to a genocide is still a fraught political question for U.S. presidential candidates more than a century later. The question for now is how many of the growing field of candidates might weigh in on Wednesday for the annual commemoration. April 24, 1915 is generally considered to mark the start of actions that led ... Read More »

Christchurch attack survivors to be offered New Zealand residency

Survivors of the Christchurch mosque attacks and their families who had been living in the country will be offered New Zealand residency under a special visa. AAP – SBS New Zealand is set to grant permanent residency to all survivors of the mass shooting at two Christchurch mosques. Fifty people were killed and 50 others wounded at Friday prayers in the country’s worst peacetime mass shootings. Suspected white supremacist, Australian Brenton Tarrant, was charged with 50 counts of murder. The government ... Read More »