Tuesday, February 06, 2018

New Senator shared anti-Muslim videos

New Liberal senator Jim Molan is under fire for sharing inflammatory and misleading anti-Islam videos from British far-right group Britain First. Fairfax reported on Molan’s promotion of the videos via his Facebook page just hours after Molan was sworn in yesterday. The videos became the subject of controversy in November after being retweeted by United States President Donald Trump, who has since apologised. While the group has claimed the videos show Muslims committing acts of sectarian violence, at least one of the videos has since been proven to be fake. Molan shared two of Britain First’s videos in March 2017, prompting many of his Facebook followers to respond with comments such as “machine gun them down, take back the streets” and “drown the rounds in pigs blood before using them though, that'll piss em off”. A spokesperson for Molan said “the senator often posts material in order to generate debate. The sharing of any post does not indicate endorsement.”

Asbestos manufacturer James Hardie has been accused of avoiding its compensation obligations to former employees dying of asbestos-related illnesses. Yesterday’s episode of the ABC’s 7.30 profiled numerous people who claimed Hardie delayed court-ordered payments from its dedicated asbestos compensation fund until their loved ones died. The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency told the ABC that about 4000 people die from asbestos-related illnesses each year, a number feared likely to rise as home renovations uncover asbestos materials.

The Senate select committee on the future of public interest journalism has recommended making subscriptions to reputable news outlets tax deductible, overhauling Australia’s defamation laws and reviewing national security laws that restrict reportage. The inquiry, started in May 2017 after Fairfax journalists went on strike over job cuts, presented its final report to parliament last night. The committee was weakened by the departure of founding Senators Scott Ludlam, Sam Dastyari, Jacqui Lambie and Nick Xenophon, while government committee members James Paterson and Jonathon Duniam issued brief additional comments dismissing most of the committee’s findings as “grandstanding”.

And the Philadelphia Eagles have won Super Bowl LII, beating favourites the New England Patriots 41-33 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Stand-in Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was awarded Most Valuable Player, edging out Patriots quarterback and five-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady. The Patriots, the NFL’s most successful team in recent years and a favourite of Donald Trump, were widely expected to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy for the third time in four years, but were unable to close an eight-point gap in the final minutes. Philadelphians took to the streets in celebration, bringing down light poles, breaking windows on shopping thoroughfares, tipping cars and, in one case, reportedly stealing a police horse.

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Not gonna lie, Kenny Powers as Crocodile Dundee would be the best thing to home [sic] out of Hollywood in decades.

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Local links run the world

“Nowhere is the decisive influence of local interactions easier to see than in ants. The local is all an ant knows. A colony operates without central control, based on a network of simple interactions among ants. These are local by necessity, because an ant cannot detect anything very far away. Most ant species can’t see, and all of them rely on smell, which they do with their antennae. The important interactions are when ants touch antennae, smelling each other, or the ground, smelling chemicals deposited by other ants.” aeon

Dressing for two

“Dressing an unfamiliar body is hard, rationalising a financial investment in a temporary wardrobe is stressful, and the fear that this temporary state could be even more temporary than it’s supposed to be – if we lose the pregnancy – is real ... pregnancy remained something to hide for decades. A bow-riddled maternity dress in the mid-’80s didn’t look a whole lot different from a bow-riddled maternity dress in the mid-’50s.” racked

The search for Jackie Wallace

“One foot in front of the other, the hulking old man trudged up the ramp to the Pontchartrain Expressway. A cold wind stiffened his face, so he bundled tighter and kept walking. His decision was made. A life full of accolades and praise meant nothing to him now. A man who was once the pride of his New Orleans hometown, his St. Augustine alma mater and his 7th Ward family and friends was undone. He was on his way to die.” the times-picayune



Is there a better way to showcase Australia to the world than with a fake movie?

“It turns out it was all an elaborate ruse by Australia’s national tourism body, Tourism Australia ... The Super Bowl spot was part of a broader $27 million marketing campaign, created by ad agency Droga5, to target US tourists. It’s the group’s most expensive marketing effort since original Crocodile Dundee actor, Paul Hogan, starred in a pitch for the government agency in 1984, Tourism Australia said.”   quartz


Yes: with a livefeed of some bloke’s backyard bird feeder.

“Professor Darryl Jones is an urban ecology expert and a bird feeder. That combination is incredibly unusual in Australia ... The Brisbane-based ecologist tracked the magpies around his neighbourhood and found that they were being fed mince, salami, cheese, diced heart and even steak by local residents ... ABC Wild Oz is streaming Australia’s native animals live. Check into the feed to see what they’re up to.”  abc


and finally:

The Philadelphia Eagles and Meek Mill: It’s a Philly thing and a story of support

“Rapper Meek Mill, the incarcerated Philadelphia native – whose situation typifies problems with sentencing guidelines, criminal justice reform advocates say – has helped fuel the Eagles’ first Super Bowl appearance in 13 seasons, providing the team’s unofficial anthem. And in turn, the Eagles have bolstered Mill’s spirits while he serves his sentence for violating probation stemming from a 2008 gun and drug case. Mill is still confined to a medium-security prison in Chester, Pennsylvania. But he was with the Eagles in spirit, players said.” the undefeated