Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kakadu archaeological find rewrites history

Archaeologists working in Kakadu have uncovered proof Aboriginal people have been in Australia for at least 65,000 years. Working at the Jabiru mining lease east of Darwin, the archaeological team uncovered a stone axe 18,000 years older than any evidence of human activity in Australia found before it. The find, published in the journal Nature ($), has overturned scientific assumptions of humanity’s migration out of Africa, and confirms Aboriginal people undertook history’s first large-scale ocean migration. Mirarr traditional owners, on whose land the dig sits, maintain possession of all artefacts and discoveries according to an agreement with researchers.

A new study has found Australia’s superannuation system fundamentally discriminates against women, leaving them with about half the retirement savings of men at the end of their working lives. The report, commissioned by the Australian Services Union, found women were left worse off, as they were more likely to work in casual, contract or non-traditional employment. Researcher David Heatherington said the super system operated on the outdated assumption that “the benefits of superannuation would largely flow to women through their male partners”.

The government has declined to explain why the May budget includes a $30 million handout to pay TV outlet Foxtel. The budget papers say the money is to “support the broadcast of underrepresented sports on subscription television”, but a Freedom of Information request by the ABC has found no documents exist to explain or justify the expenditure. Neither Foxtel nor communications minister Mitch Fifield have given an explanation, but Australian Shareholders Association president Stephen Mayne suggests the money was part of a handshake deal to keep the Murdoch media onside “because the free to air networks were all getting a licence fee cut in the budget”.

And – stop me if you’ve heard this one before – former prime minister Tony Abbott has used his regular guest spot on Sydney’s 2GB to question government policy and suggest he would have done things differently. Calling the new national security super-ministry a “massive bureaucratic change”, Abbott revealed he received advice as prime minister that a Home Office-style umbrella ministry was unnecessary and encouraged Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to reveal “the official advice that he’s had on this”. Abbott said that “as a former prime minister I’ve got not just a right, but a duty, to speak out where I think it’s important”, despite assurances that it’s really fine if he refrains from doing that every once in a while.

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July 2013 Agreement with PNG was for 1 year only. Refugees should’ve been resettled in Oz by Abbott/Turnbull 3 yrs ago

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‘Submit to your husbands’: Women told to endure domestic violence in the name of God

“While it is generally agreed that inequality between the sexes can foster and cultivate environments where men seek to control or abuse women, in Australia there has been very little public debate about how this might impact people in male-led congregations and religious communities, especially those where women are told to be silent and submit to male authority ... Concern has been growing amongst those working with survivors of domestic violence about the role the Christian church of all denominations can either consciously or inadvertently play in allowing abusive men to continue abusing their wives.” abc

How Uber’s hard-charging corporate culture left employees drained

“Before its months-long implosion, Uber was one of the great success stories of the modern tech boom, a young company that swiftly devastated the taxi industry and grew to a staggering $69 billion valuation in the process. Even today, it is the most valuable tech startup in the world. As interviews with more than two dozen former and current Uber employees show, the company reached such great heights by asking forgiveness, never permission, and pushing to the limits everything that it could: laws, municipalities, markets – and workers.” buzzfeed

Partying with Trump associate Emin Agalarov: Inside the surreal world of Moscow’s moneyed music scene

“This world may have held a touristy allure for me, but Emin was fully of it, and so were the Trump kids. It made absolute sense to me that, when Emin’s publicist Rob Goldstone would approach Don Jr. to offer dirt on Hillary Clinton on the Russians’ behalf, Don Jr. wouldn’t even perceive this offer as issuing from a foreign, let alone hostile, actor. The Trumps can’t see these types of Russians as foreigners because they belong to the same global class, that of the second-rate nightclubby strivers; they are all compatriots in a supranational state of poshlust.” billboard



Why do some of these recommendations sound so familiar?

“All states and territories should end the practice of jailing for fines, introduce a statutory custody notification system and introduce automatic parole in an effort to reduce Indigenous incarceration rates, the Australian Law Reform Commission says. The commission has also proposed all states and territories support Indigenous interpreter services, change bail laws to ensure bail officers consider issues that arise due to a person’s Aboriginality and abolish laws that allow the indefinite detention of people deemed mentally unfit to plead.”   guardian australia


Because they’re 26 years old and still haven’t been rolled out yet.

“At the time of the royal commission’s final report in 1991, Aboriginal people were 8 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-Aboriginal people. A decade after the report was handed down they were 10 times more likely to be imprisoned. In the 2010s, they were 15 times more likely ... A 2015 report by law firm Clayton Utz found that the bulk of the commission’s 339 recommendations remained unimplemented or only partially implemented.”  creative spirits


and finally:

Paleoart: The strange history of dinosaurs in art – in pictures

“Since the early 19th century, artists have depicted colourful – if sometimes fictional – dinosaurs and prehistoric environments, mingling science with unbridled fantasy. This art is the subject of a new book: Paleoart.” the guardian