Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Death of Indigenous teen reveals tensions

The Supreme Court of Western Australia has heard that a 55-year-old Kalgoorlie man ran over and killed 14-year-old Elijah Doughty in August last year after chasing the youth down a dirt track in his four-wheel drive. The man, who cannot be named, pursued Doughty for 100 metres, hitting him at nearly 70 km/h and killing him instantly. While the man’s lawyer told the court Doughty “veered in front” of his client “without warning” on a dirt bike, police are pursuing a manslaughter charge for the man’s “gross negligence” in failing to take reasonable action to prevent hitting the teenager. Doughty’s death triggered protests around the country demanding justice for Elijah’s death, and exposed deep racial divisions in Kalgoorlie, where racism towards young Indigenous men and boys manifested in violent and threatening social media posts.

The Referendum Council on Indigenous constitutional recognition has recommended Parliament adopt the Uluru Statement from the Heart and call a referendum to enshrine an “Indigenous Voice” in the constitution that would “enable the First Peoples of Australia to speak to the Parliament and to the nation about the laws and policies that concern them”. Referendum Council co-chairs Mark Leibler and Pat Anderson said Parliament should either adopt the Council’s recommendation, which was delivered to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten yesterday, or abandon the pursuit of constitutional recognition entirely. The council did not consider the Uluru statement’s call for a Makarrata commission leading towards a treaty, as treaty falls outside its purview of constitutional reform. Turnbull responded cautiously to the recommendation, warning against a “heroic failure”, while Shorten said he did “not believe” the change was “beyond us”.

The government’s planned Home Office-style national security department will have to make a case for its own existence if it is to overcome substantial opposition in Cabinet. Foreign minister Julie Bishop, defence minister Marise Payne, attorney-general George Brandis and justice minister Michael Keenan are all reportedly against the idea, as are senior bureaucrats in ASIO and the Australian Federal Police. Critics of the idea say existing security and intelligence agencies are working well together and consolidating them under one person’s authority would raise significant oversight concerns. An independent review of Australia’s intelligence apparatus, which Turnbull is expected to make public later this week, is believed not to support the idea.

Turnbull’s public case for the super-agency got off to a rough start, with criticism that his press conference in the presence of masked soldiers wielding submachine guns politicised the military. On the ABC’s Q&A last night, British Al Jazeera host Mehdi Hasan said seeing the Prime Minister “standing surrounded, flanked, by six special forces soldiers with masks on their faces” made him “uncomfortable”. Labor shadow minister Terri Butler claimed Turnbull had broken “a long bipartisan approach to not using the military for campaigning purposes”.

And the family of an Australian woman shot dead by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota say they “demand answers” from American police and authorities. Justine Damond, 40, was shot by officer Mohamed Noor after reporting a disturbance in an alley behind her home and approaching a police vehicle in her pyjamas. Minneapolis mayor Betsy Hodges said the shooting had left her “heartsick and deeply disturbed”, and said she has “questions about why the bodycams weren’t on”, echoing the concerns of the American Civil Liberties Union.

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Agro is very refugee, Indigenous, gay and lesbian friendly. I don’t think One Nation would be interested in him.

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The Selfie Monkey goes to the Ninth Circuit

“Photographer David Slater left camera equipment lying around in an Indonesian rainforest, and a Sulawesi crested macaque took a photo of themselves. The ‘selfie’ went viral on the internet. When the photo was uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, Slater complained. Wikimedia reviewed the photo and determined that Slater did not have a copyright in the photo, because the author is actually the monkey. But the monkey is an animal and animals can’t own copyrights. Ergo, the photo is in the public domain. Slater was not pleased.” motherboard

A team of their own

“Most girls who play youth baseball are steered away from the sport before they reach double digits in age. As the only all-girls youth travel baseball team in the country, comprised of players from different states, each time GTB takes the field the girls prove it doesn’t need to be this way. Ultimately, GTB wants to create a pipeline to the United States women’s national baseball team. But it also gives these girls the confidence to dream bigger.” bleacher report

Instagram food is a sad, sparkly lie

“Over-the-top, intensely trend-driven, and visually arresting, Instagram food is almost always something to be obtained, rather than cooked or created. It’s elusive and aspirational, something instantly recognisable yet only minimally available. Its appearance in your timeline signals status: You went to the place. You got the thing. You’re the kind of person who lives that kind of life. This is why Instagram stunt food works: It transforms an indulgent meal or snack from a physical activity to a status performance.” eater



Can we trust Peter Dutton to run a quasi-militaristic super-ministry?

“A super-ministry where one minister oversees border security, the federal police and the spy agency ASIO is expected to be considered by Cabinet ... The new proposed ministry is likely to mirror the Home Office in the United Kingdom which oversees all domestic security agencies. Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton is widely tipped to be in charge of the new department.”   abc


Remember how he did in the Health portfolio?

“Doctors have overwhelmingly voted Peter Dutton the worst health minister in living memory, according to a poll conducted by Australian Doctor magazine. Forty-six per cent of the nearly 1,100 survey respondents voted Dutton the worst health minister in the last 35 years ... The Australian Doctor article quotes Tasmanian GP Dr Donald Rose as saying: ‘Dutton will be remembered as the dullest, least innovative and most gullible’.”  guardian australia (from 2015)


and finally:

A deep dive into Face/Off: the best, most absurd action film ever made

Obsessed with bringing terrorist Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) to justice, FBI agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) tracks down Troy, who has boarded a plane in Los Angeles. After the plane crashes and Troy is severely injured, possibly dead, Archer undergoes surgery to remove his face and replace it with Troy’s. As Archer tries to use his disguise to elicit information about a bomb from Troy’s brother, Troy awakes from a coma and forces the doctor who performed the surgery to give him Archer’s face. That is the plot of the 1997 movie Face/Off. The film turned 20 this year. Let’s go.” shortlist