Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Britain’s terror struggle continues

London’s Metropolitan Police have charged 47-year-old Cardiff man Darren Osborne with terror offences after he drove a rented van into a crowd of Muslims leaving prayers in north London. One person was killed and eight were injured after Osborne drove his van into a crowd of worshippers outside Finsbury Park’s Muslim Welfare Centre, where many had gathered after a night-time Ramadan service. Shouting “kill me” and “I want to kill all Muslims” before waving to bystanders as he was detained, Osborne was physically protected from an angry crowd by the imam of Finsbury Park Mosque, Mohammad Mahmoud. While Osborne has no history of involvement with far-right organisations, neighbours and Cardiff locals reported Osborne had made derogatory and threatening comments to Muslims in the days before the attack. London police recorded a spike in Islamophobic attacks in the days following the London Bridge terror attack earlier this month.

Back home, the royal commission into juvenile detention in the Northern Territory has heard that child protection cases have more than doubled following the 2007 emergency intervention. Research from Charles Darwin University’s Menzies school of health research presented to the commission shows half of all Aboriginal children in the NT have been exposed to child protection services by age 10, and one in 12 have been placed in out-of-home care. Menzies researcher Professor Sven Silburn told the commission that those figures in public health terms would be seen “as a public health if not a humanitarian crisis”.

The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association will be the focus of a new Senate inquiry into wage deals between the union and large employers that have left hundreds of thousands of workers underpaid. SDA agreements with companies like Woolworths, Coles and McDonald’s have paid many workers less than the minimum award wage and allowed big employers to pay cut-price penalty rates. The Senate inquiry, moved by Nick Xenophon and supported by the government, Labor and the Greens, will examine whether the Fair Work Act should be changed to guarantee employees receive more than the award.

And international development minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells has criticised former prime minister Tony Abbott for his contradictory statements on climate change policy since being removed from the top job. Last week Abbott told 2GB radio that the carbon abatement targets Australia agreed to as part of the Paris Accord in 2015 were “aspirational”, and voiced his opposition to recommendations made by the Finkel energy security review despite not having read it. Speaking to ABC Radio’s PM, Fierravanti-Wells said Abbott’s recent remarks were “in direct contradiction” to what he said as prime minister and advised him to stay silent. "Any former prime minister will be judged on what they've actually done when they were in government, not on what they say they should have done or could have done subsequently", Fierravanti-Wells said. "Credibility is a very important commodity in politics”.

Open Quotemarks

I'm going to ask on national TV, to Pauline Hanson: go on, condemn this. Are you going to condemn this? Are you going to speak up against it?

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‘A reckoning for our species’: the philosopher prophet of the Anthropocene

“Morton’s theories might sound bizarre, but they are in tune with the most earth-shaking idea to emerge in the 21st century: that we are entering a new phase in the history of the planet – a phase that Morton and many others now call the ‘Anthropocene’. For the past 12,000 years, human beings lived in a geological epoch called the Holocene, known for its relatively stable, temperate climes. It was, you might say, the California of planetary history. But it is coming to an end. Recently, we have begun to alter the Earth so drastically that, according to many scientists, a new epoch is dawning.” the guardian

This secret Catholic exorcist cult in Brazil is making a deal with the Devil

“In death, Dr. Plinio is said to be in close contact with Satan, who supposedly can be channeled by Brazilian exorcists. He also apparently rules the so-called afterlife to such an extent that his followers are convinced he controls climate change and is working toward the death of Pope Francis ... By getting rid of Pope Francis, some of the doctor’s followers believe, the way would be open for the Catholic Church to elect a more conservative leader in line with their more traditional practices.” the daily beast

The fake hermit

“An aura of mystery still hangs over Thomas Pynchon today. The canonical and brilliant writer – whose books have made the best-seller lists in the United States since the 1990s – has never given interviews. If you Google his name, you’ll find only six photos of him. The most recent, taken in 1957, shows the author in a sailor’s uniform (he was serving in the Navy at the time), front teeth protruding, dark hair, and thick eyebrows.” Piauí



According to Andrew Bolt, ‘up to half of child are gay’. Which half?

“Hilariously titled ‘Safe Schools Founder: Up To Half Of Child Are Gay’, Bolt’s latest reveals his understanding of grammar is about on par with his understanding of gender and sexuality. The guy equates Roz Ward, the founder of the Safe Schools program, estimating that, ‘40-50 percent of young people who are not ­exclusively attracted to the opposit­e sex’, with ‘HALF OF CHILD ARE GAY’, as if a) bisexuality does not exist or b) exactly half of one child, in particular, is gay.”   junkee


Opinion is divided, because anatomy-based sexuality is a rich spectrum.

“Speaking as a bi, I would have to say my gayness is divided diagonally from my right earlobe to my left foot, with all the gay occupying my top half.”  junkee


and finally:

Turtle guts and vulture vomit: Biologists debate the worst smells they’ve ever encountered

“David Steen, a biologist who specializes in research involving amphibians and reptiles, tweeted out a quick, cheeky request to all his scientist followers: ‘RT if you’re a field biologist and you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why do I smell bad?” ’ Along with 167 of the retweets he was craving, Steen provoked a few fascinating and truly disgusting anecdotes of the things that were making his colleagues smell awful.” the av club