Monday, November 27, 2017

Don Burke’s Weinstein moment

Former Burke’s Backyard host Don Burke has been accused of sexually assaulting, harassing and bullying multiple women who worked with him. A joint Fairfax-ABC investigation, which interviewed former Channel Nine producers, crew members, researchers, writers and chief executives, claims Burke was a “psychotic bully”, a “sexual predator” and “a vile human being” who regularly groped Burke’s Backyard’s female staff members, made graphic sexual comments and showed women videos of people having sex with animals. Two interviewees recalled Burke trying to take advantage of intoxicated young women while on tour, while one claimed Burke bragged about groping a 14-year-old child visiting the Burke’s Backyard set on a school trip. Speaking to Fairfax’s Kate McClymont, a former crew member said “every single person in management ... has known about Don Burke”, but “they didn't really give a damn” due to his popularity and celebrity status. Burke denied the allegations in a statement, saying he was “deeply hurt and outraged at the false and defamatory claims”, saying they stem from “a few ex-employees of CTC Productions who bear grudges against me”.

Queensland Labor has likely won a second term in government after securing the most parliamentary seats at the state election on Saturday. While neither major party secured an outright majority on election night, subsequent counting on Sunday saw Labor win enough seats to likely retain government. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said plans would begin for a new Labor ministry “as soon as every vote is counted”, as up to 400,000 postal votes are yet to be tallied. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation underperformed despite securing 13 per cent of the vote, only winning the seat of Mirani and losing leader Steve Dickson and high-profile candidate Malcolm Roberts. Bob Katter’s Australia Party picked up two seats in north Queensland, while the Greens were in the running to win the inner-Brisbane seat of Maiwar.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has promised to “respond with brute force” after an Islamist terror attack on a mosque in North Sinai killed 305 people. Roughly 30 militants detonated a bomb as people left the Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed after finishing Friday prayers, before firing on survivors. While no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, the Egyptian military has been fighting an Islamist insurgency on the Sinai Peninsula since 2011. The president is expected to run for re-election next year, and has been heavily criticised for jailing journalists and political dissidents.

Médecins Sans Frontières Australia has been refused access to refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island. MSF Australia president Stewart Condon said the health nonprofit had received information that “there are injured men who need medical attention” inside the accommodation centres where the former inmates of Australia’s offshore detention compound were forcibly moved on Friday. Protests around the country on Sunday organised by progressive activist group GetUp! urged the federal government to bring the men on Manus and Nauru to Australia, with marchers in Sydney holding a minute’s silence for the detainees.

And Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has lost preselection for her Senate spot, virtually ensuring she will leave parliament at the next federal election. Rhiannon was challenged for the top spot on the Greens’ New South Wales Senate ticket by state parliamentarian Mehreen Faruqi, who won over 60 per cent of the vote. The party has historically underperformed in NSW, all but guaranteeing Rhiannon will be unable to secure enough votes to stay in parliament at the next poll. In a statement, Rhiannon hit out at “those who denigrated myself and the political tradition of the Greens NSW so blatantly in the mainstream media”. Rhiannon clashed with the party’s federal leaders, most recently Richard Di Natale, and was suspended from the Greens party room earlier this year for going against party policy on the Gonski 2.0 education reforms.

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Rugby league fans will need to pray Luke Foley does not panic at the inevitable calls to can the Homebush Bay redevelopment and spend the cash instead on schools and hospitals.

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Hardly anyone showed up to a brain-melting anti-LGBT conference in Texas

“Paul, a clean-cut young fellow in slacks and a tie, takes the stage, carrying two sizeable, multicolored flags. A syncopated Christian pop song starts playing and he begins to dance, twirling the fabric around him in spirals and circles. Despite the name of the event, the average age in the room is about 45. Attendees watch quietly as Paul hops and spins around the stage, whipping the flags around him as the song’s crescendo builds. It’s skillful choreography. The audience politely, and quickly, applauds.” texas observer

What do we do with the art of monstrous men?

“They did or said something awful, and made something great. The awful thing disrupts the great work; we can’t watch or listen to or read the great work without remembering the awful thing. Flooded with knowledge of the maker’s monstrousness, we turn away, overcome by disgust. Or … we don’t. We continue watching, separating or trying to separate the artist from the art. Either way: disruption. They are monster geniuses, and I don’t know what to do about them.” the paris review

What lies beneath: Why do archaeological fraudsters work so hard to deceive us?

“There is a reason that we keep buying into hoaxes such as the ‘Shroud of Turin’ or the ‘Wife of Jesus’ fragment. Bad science makes for good stories. The fossilised remains of a sea-serpent are much more interesting when you call them a dragon. And bad science is good for business. More important, it’s tempting to assign ourselves a larger role in the grand narrative of history, just as it’s tempting to go hunting for ancient proof of our most dearly held convictions.” aeon



How did Malcolm Roberts take the forseeable end of his political career?

“One Nation’s bid to parachute Malcolm Roberts into the Queensland election at the eleventh hour has failed, with the former senator trailing Labor in Ipswich. Mr Roberts, who was a senator until being forced to resign from federal parliament over dual citizenship, was drafted in to run for Ipswich in October, only a month out from the election.”   abc


Oh, you know the answer to that.

“When told early in the evening by members of the Nine Network’s election night panel that he was toast in the electorate of Ipswich and that he had rather less than half the vote of the ALP’s candidate, he plain refused to believe it. ‘We’ll see when the count is finished’, he said, and launched into a rant about the Labor Party ‘just wanting to hold power’. ‘It’s been telling lies’, he seethed, fixing those laser eyes of his on the TV camera, their intensity threatening to melt the lens.”  brisbane times


and finally:

Queensland election: Inside One Nation leader Pauline Hanson’s night from hell

“Late in the night, after all the sunlit expectations had turned to shock and tears, Pauline Hanson disappeared into the night clutching a bottle of Bundaberg Black rum ... As the sun went down and the blithe One Nation crowd retreated to the double garage of a suburban house for what was supposed to be a down-home celebratory evening, reality kicked in, Less than an hour after polls closed, joy had fled. Trump wouldn’t be turning up.” fairfax



Win a double pass to Feist performing in Brisbane and Melbourne

Our readers have the chance to win one of five double passes to see Feist in Brisbane at The Tivoli on Tuesday, November 28, or in Melbourne at The Forum on Friday, December 1. The four-time Grammy-nominated singer is returning to Australia for the first time in five years with a full band and a new album, Pleasure.
Email your name, phone number and which city’s concert you’d like to attend to [email protected] by 5 pm AEDT on Sunday, November 26, and you’ll go into the draw for a double pass.
Winners will be notified by 4pm AEDT on Monday, November 27.