Monday, January 29, 2018

Australia to ramp up arms exports

Australia will become a major international arms exporter under a new government plan to boost weapons and arms materiel manufacturing. At a press conference on Sunday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke of his desire to create “a strong exporting defence industry”. Turnbull announced $3.8 billion in funding to help local arms companies finance international sales, as well as the creation of a Defence Export Advocate position to promote Australian-made weapons to overseas buyers, including in South-East Asia, the Middle East and the United States. Defence industry minister Christopher Pyne has been vocal in the past about his desire to increase Australian arms exports, visiting Saudi Arabia in December 2016 to sell arms there despite United Nations allegations of Saudi war crimes in the ongoing Yemen conflict.

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer has won the Australian Open, securing his 20th grand slam title and cementing his status as the greatest men’s player of the modern era. Federer, 36, beat Croatian challenger Marin Cilic in a gruelling five-set bout at Rod Laver Arena, where the roof was closed to keep out Melbourne’s 37-degree heat. The victory continued a late-career renaissance for Federer, who was considered past his prime until he revamped his game and won the Australian Open in last year’s tournament. Only three other players have more grand slam titles: Margaret Court, Serena Williams and Steffi Graf.

Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman has formally set a date for the Tasmanian state election, sending voters to the polls on March 3. Speaking on Sunday, Hodgman pledged not to enter into governing arrangements with any minor parties, saying the Tasmanian Liberals would “govern alone or not at all”. Hodgman is seeking a second term in office against Labor’s Rebecca White, who has also promised not to enter a coalition. Opinion polls suggest ($) the Greens and the largely untested Jacqui Lambie Network will likely win enough seats under the state’s Hare-Clark electoral system to ensure a hung parliament, forcing either Hodgman or White to break their word to form a government.

Former prime minister Julia Gillard has said she would work with former US Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to encourage more women to run for office. In an interview with Fairfax, Gillard said she and Clinton had often discussed the impact of sexism and misogyny on their careers, and that she was “hopeful there are some things we can do together in the future on these questions of leadership and gender”. In an interview with BBC Radio 5 last week, Gillard said that female world leaders would often share frustrations at their treatment by male counterparts and the media in the women’s bathrooms of major summits.

And Compton rapper Kendrick Lamar has won radio station Triple J’s Hottest 100 online music poll. The first black artist to top the poll, Lamar reached #1 with his single HUMBLE., while Australian outfits Gang of Youths, The Jungle Giants and Methyl Ethel featured strongly. Triple J moved the countdown to January 27 this year after calls from musicians and listeners to cut perceived links with January 26 celebrations of Australia Day. If you are confused and upset at your lack of contemporary musical knowledge after perusing the countdown, consider that I am 26 and have no idea who any of them are either.

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I don’t think the Australian flag will ever be changed.

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The newlyweds

“Under the authority of the state, love marriages are permitted in India; according to tradition, they are forbidden. In villages across the north, khap panchayats, councils of unelected wealthy elders, resolve local disputes, issue diktats about daily life, and enforce the caste system above the rule of law. Each caste has its own khap to represent its interests.” harper’s magazine

Read the judge’s emotional remarks in sentencing of US gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar

“There’s something I don’t understand and I want to make clear. Sir, you knew you had a problem. That is clear to me. You knew you had a problem from a very young age, even before you were a doctor. You could have taken yourself away from temptation. And you did not. But worse yet there isn’t a survivor who hasn’t come in here and said how world-renowned you were. I trust what they say. You could have gone anywhere in the world to be treated.”  fortune

Is RuPaul’s Drag Race the most radical show on TV?

Drag Race has become a staple of modern television for the way it skewers expectations and attitudes about gender, much as a show like Black-ish works to challenge stereotypes about black families in America ... Each season is imbued with a sense of optimism in the face of relentless adversity; Charles believes that is central to the gay and queer experience. Amid the glitz and glamour of drag, the show doesn’t obscure the violence and terror that accompanies the life of the marginalised.” the new york times magazine



Why is Charles Waterstreet a guest on Q&A’s upcoming #MeToo episode?

“Charles Waterstreet has defended an upcoming appearance on the ABC’s Q&A program, arguing he has just as much of a right to discuss the #MeToo movement as anyone else. The Sydney barrister, who denies allegations he sexually harassed a 21-year-old law student last year, said he hoped to use his upcoming appearance to debate the merits of the #MeToo movement.”   fairfax


The panel will certainly have plenty to talk about.

“Waterstreet currently stands accused of harassing a number of former female employees, including giving a book containing a naked image of himself to a UNSW law student, Genevieve Wilks, on her first day of work with him, and showing a video of himself being masturbated to 21-year-old Sydney University Law student, Tina Huang, during a job interview in August last year. That video was later obtained by New Matilda and Huang has signed an affidavit in the presence of lawyers confirming it is the same footage she was shown. Mr Waterstreet continues to deny any wrongdoing.”  fairfax


and finally:

T-shirt tribes: political fashion slogans in pictures

“New York-based artist Susan Barnett has been documenting slogans and images she has seen on people’s clothing across the country since 2009. One thing she noticed was the sharp rise of political messages over the last few years. ‘There are many, many more’, she says. ‘Pro-Republican, pro-Trump, Bernie T-shirts, Hillary T-shirts. You see a lot more anger, a lot more swear words.’ ” the observer



Win a double pass to Sweet Country

The Saturday Paper invites readers to enter the draw to win one of 25 double passes to Sweet Country, directed by Warwick Thornton. Simply email your name, postal address, and phone number to [email protected]. Entries will close at 11.59pm AEDT on Tuesday, January 30 and winners will be notified by Wednesday, January 31.