Friday, June 23, 2017

Federal ministers to make ‘abject’ apology


It is believed that federal ministers Alan Tudge, Greg Hunt and Michael Sukkar will today, through their lawyers, make a special, “abject” apology to the Victorian judiciary. In comments expressed on social media and to The Australian, the trio condemned Victorian judges for perceived leniency – the result of “ideological experimentation” – and have since been making their way through various stages of contrition as they faced the threat of being charged with contempt and of scandalising the court. The men will hope that today’s special court hearing will end the matter. 

The fallout from One Nation leader Pauline Hanson’s comments in the Senate continues. Arguing that children with disabilities should be educated separately, Hanson said: “Most of the time the teacher spends so much time on them they forget about the child who is straining at the bit.” Hanson dismissed criticism of her comments in the Senate as “grandstanding” but the outrage hardly seems confected.  

In a Turkish court overnight, Neil Prakash, the Melbourne-born man accused of recruiting foreign fighters for Daesh, expressed remorse $ and pleaded not to be extradited to Australia to face terror charges. “I joined Daesh, then I realised that it was a mistake,’’ media reports from Turkey state. “I escaped from Daesh. While I was trying to enter Turkey through the Elbeyli county of Kilis I was caught by security forces. I regret that I have joined Daesh. But I did not commit any crimes, I did not kill anyone.” Prakash, a failed rapper with a criminal history $, has been the Australian face of the terror organisation since joining it more than two years ago. 

Last night in the AFL, struggling Hawthorn beat flag favourite Adelaide, confirming this season as the least predictable in recent memory, and it was announced that Western Bulldogs forward Travis Cloke would take an indefinite break from footy to “manage mental health issues”. Meanwhile, the Socceroos drew 1-1 with African champions Cameroon in the Confederations Cup, a result that just about extinguishes Australian hopes of making the semi-finals of the tournament in Russia. 

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The political kindling of the Grenfell fire

“London’s enviable self-confidence, its robust financial services sector, and glittering facade, obscure the devastating inequality that plagues the U.K. While the city is Britain’s lone representative among the 10 richest regions in northern Europe, the country also includes a stunning nine of northern Europe’s 10 poorest regions. The fire that ripped through Grenfell Tower in west London was a horrific reminder of the violent contradictions on which this city and country rest.” the atlantic

When the man who abuses you is also a cop

“If domestic abuse is one of the most underreported crimes, domestic abuse by police officers is virtually an invisible one. It is frighteningly difficult to track or prevent – and it has escaped America’s most recent awakening to the many ways in which some police misuse their considerable powers. Very few people in the United States understand what really happens when an officer is accused of harassing, stalking, or assaulting a partner.” huffpost highline

How to end a life

“When assisted dying became legal – after decades of activism, years of litigation and months of government debate – the new law pleased almost no one ... Right-to-die organizations were dismayed that the government had opted for such a narrow interpretation of assisted death. Those opposed to euthanasia were appalled that the decision had been rushed into law.” toronto life



How did smashed avocado become a cultural touchstone?

“In the decades before they became a cultural phenomenon, Australians consumed avocados in but two dishes: accompanying prawn cocktails, or served with salad ... Avocados are not native to Australia. Their seeds were first brought here in 1840, before being planted in Sydney’s Royal Botanical Gardens. Almost immediately, nothing happened. They sat there for a century, and nobody really did much with them.”   abc


Plenty of reasons, but Instagram didn’t hurt its chances.

“Over the last decade, per capita consumption has tripled (from 1.2kg to 3.5kg), production has more than doubled (to 60,000 tonnes) and the gross value of the industry has nearly quintupled (from $100 million to $460 million) ... In the age of wellness bloggers on Instagram, the avocado has an advantage: its flesh is bright green. Avocados are grown year-round in every state of Australia. This regularity makes them an attractive product for Australia’s main retail game: the supermarket duopoly.”  abc


and finally:

Found: A 3,000-year-old prosthetic toe

“Sometime around 3,000 years ago, a priest’s daughter in Egypt lost her big toe. After she died, she was buried in a shaft tomb not far from Luxor, in a cemetery reserved for elite members of the community. For the past year and a half, scientists from the University of Basel, in Switzerland, have been studying this place, and as part of their research, they found the burial place of the priest’s daughter, along with the prosthetic toe that was crafted to replace her missing digit.” atlas obscura

Martin McKenzie-Murray
is The Saturday Paper’s chief correspondent.