Friday, November 24, 2017

PNG authorities storm Manus

Papua New Guinea police and immigration authorities have stormed the former offshore detention centre compound on Manus Island, arresting Kurdish Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani and destroying refugee accommodation and possessions. Boochani, who has extensively covered the deteriorating conditions inside the Manus compound, tweeted that he was arrested and handcuffed “for more than two hours” after initially hiding from PNG police in one of the centre’s toilets. Speaking on Sydney’s 2GB radio, immigration minister Peter Dutton claimed refugees on Manus “had basically their own personal butlers and cleaning maids up there for years”, saying “they have trashed the facility” and that “under no circumstance will these people be coming to Australia”. Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance chief executive Paul Murphy said Boochani’s arrest was “an egregious attack on press freedom” and pledged to bring the incident “to the immediate attention of the International Federation of Journalists”. More than 300 refugees remain in the centre.

Foreign minister Julie Bishop has opened the door to a formal investigation into cabinet leaks after reports earlier this week revealed the government briefly considered dropping its opposition to a royal commission into the banking sector. The Daily Telegraph reported ($) on Wednesday that several ministers had agitated for a policy reversal at Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, revealing that at least one minister has leaked confidential cabinet discussions to the press. Bishop denied claims from columnist Andrew Bolt that she benefited from the leak, saying she would support “a formal investigation”. Peter Dutton said he had “a gut feeling” as to the leaker’s identity, but would “leave it to that person to out themselves”.

Former Liberal MP for Bennelong John Alexander has apologised after footage of him making jokes involving rape was published by BuzzFeed. The footage, taken at a Brisbane pub by former Gladiators contestant Alex Sanz in 1995, shows Alexander telling a joke about "a black guy in Chicago" who "is witness to a rape and ... been called into court". In a statement, Alexander said “I apologise unreservedly”, saying “there is no place for jokes about violence against women”. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said it was “a measure of the man and of the dignity of the man that he has acknowledged that those remarks were unacceptable”. Alexander’s campaign to win his former seat has been marred by embarrassing blunders, including a campaign photo that went viral after it was pointed out that none of the phones supposedly used to “chat to local residents about creating jobs” were plugged in.

And Queensland treasurer Curtis Pitt has released a plan to raise taxes on foreign land purchases, luxury cars and online gambling companies ahead of the Queensland election tomorrow. Debt, the Adani coal mine and One Nation have dominated the campaign, with opposition leader Tim Nicholls refusing to rule out using One Nation support to form government. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has taken a conciliatory tone toward the proposed Carmichael mine, conceding that public money may be used to help the mine’s viability. Galaxy polling for the Courier-Mail has Palaszczuk’s Labor government eking out a narrow victory, while One Nation’s support has declined from 18 per cent to 12 per cent over the course of the campaign.

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Open Quotemarks

I have  I think the nice version of saying it would be  no shits left to give?

Close Quotemarks
YASSMIN ABDEL-MAGIED RETURNS TO OUR SHORES, SPARKING A COLLECTIVE ANEURYSM IN NEWS CORP OFFICES ACROSS THE LAND
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Rise of the robots

“The prospect of eliminating drivers recalls the plight of the elevator operator. Tens of thousands of people across North America were once employed to shuttle office workers up and down buildings. It was, for decades, a well-paying job. A 1945 elevator-operator strike in Manhattan showed New York City how important these workers were, as people in more than 1,500 buildings were left struggling with the stairs. Elevator operators were essential to society until, a few years later, they weren’t.” the walrus

The beginning of silent reading changed Westerners interior lives

“For centuries, Europeans who could read did so aloud. The ancient Greeks read their texts aloud. So did the monks of Europe’s dark ages. But by the 17th century, reading society in Europe had changed drastically. Text technologies, like moveable type, and the rise of vernacular writing helped usher in the practice we cherish today: taking in words without saying them aloud, letting them build a world in our heads.” quartzy

Why Russia is sending robotic submarines to the Arctic

“Far below the skin of sea ice that waxes and wanes with the seasons, this inhospitable ocean is hiding a treasure trove of natural resources – one that’s largely untapped by mankind. The Arctic Ocean is estimated to hold billions of barrels of oil, and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas – accounting for 16-26% of the Earth’s undiscovered reserves. And there’s a superpower scrambling to beat all others in the race to exploit this chilly mother lode of polar resources: Russia.” bbc

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Q. 

Would $1 bet limits on pokies really have an effect?

“The Woolworths chairman Gordon Cairns doubts $1 bet limits on poker machines would help problem gamblers. The supermarket chain is one of Australia’s largest poker machine operators, through its ownership of more than 330 hotels. Shareholders and anti-gambling advocates peppered Cairns with questions and criticism of the company’s poker machine operations during Thursday’s annual general meeting.”   guardian australia

A. 

Couldn’t make things any worse.

“The Australian Gambling Research Centre’s latest report, released on Thursday, looked at gambling activity throughout 2015. It found 6.8 million Australians placed up to 10 bets a month on lotteries, scratchies, pokies, races, sports, keno, casinos, bingo, poker or private wagers – classifying them as ‘regular gamblers’ ... Problem gamblers were more likely to be young, single, male, unemployed, Indigenous, renters, welfare recipients and from low socio-economic areas.”  sky news

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and finally:

New Zealanders have a nationwide Secret Santa

“New Zealand’s nationwide Secret Santa has been going since 2010, but NZ Post took the reins in 2013. It now has a warehouse to facilitate gift exchanges, and there are more than 3,500 Secret Santa participants this year — you just need a Twitter account to enter, and a Twitter handle is the only clue you’ll receive for gift ideas for your recipient. Even the country’s new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, is getting involved” mashable

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor, and a former editor of Junkee.