Hundreds of people have marched in the Western Australian town of Kalgoorlie in protest at the possible release of the man who killed a 14-year-old boy. Elijah Doughty died in 2016 after being run over by a 56-year-old man in a four-wheel-drive, pursuing him over what he believed was a stolen motorbike. Elijah’s grandfather Alfred told the ABC the prospect of the man gaining parole “sends a message that you can kill a black kid and get away with it”, and that “justice hasn’t been done”. Threatening flyers reading “if a thief was to steal my motorbike … I would run him down” were posted along the march’s route.
Veteran affairs minister Michael McCormack is set to become Australia’s new deputy prime minister when the federal National Party convenes to choose a new leader today. New South Wales MP David Gillespie withdrew from leadership contention on Sunday, while Queensland minister David Littleproud released a statement yesterday confirming he would not contest the leadership for “the good of the party”. Speaking on Sunday, acting leader Bridget McKenzie urged the Nationals to unite behind one contender, saying “convention has been in previous times that we only ever have one candidate”. McCormack’s past comments as a newspaper editor in the 1990s denigrating LGBT people have resurfaced, and will likely overshadow his tenure as deputy PM.
The National Farmers Federation has thrown its support behind the woman accusing former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce of sexual harassment. The identity of Joyce’s accuser was revealed by The Weekend Australian against her wishes on Saturday, prompting anger from NFF president Fiona Simson, who accused the Nationals of leaking details of the complaint to the media. Acting Nationals leader Bridget McKenzie said there was “no evidence to suggest” the leak came from the party, while prominent rural women expressed support for Joyce’s accuser via the #IStandWithMaz hashtag.
And a new report into sexual assault and harassment at Australian universities claims to have found evidence of widespread abuse, hazing and sexual predation at residential colleges. “The Red Zone”, a report from End Rape on Campus Australia, found male students at University of Sydney colleges subjected female first-year students to “sexual and sadistic” rituals that were designed to “groom” younger women for sex with older men. Speaking to the ABC’s 7.30, report author Nina Funnell said she uncovered a practice at the university’s St Andrew’s College where men would “masturbate into the shampoo and hair conditioner bottles of girls”. Ralph and Kathy Kelly, whose son Stuart took his own life after allegedly being bullied at St Paul’s College, have used the report to call for college hazing to be outlawed. If you or someone you know is at risk, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.
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Some of the world’s biggest lakes are drying up. Here’s why.
“We were driving on the lake bottom, yet we were more than 12,000 feet above sea level. The spring air was lip-chapping dry. Many of the fishing villages that have relied on Lake Poopó for thousands of years have emptied too, and we drove past clusters of abandoned adobe homes. In the distance we spotted several small aluminum boats that seemed to be floating on water. As we drove closer, the mirage receded, and we found the boats sitting abandoned in the silt.”national
What I saw treating the victims from Parkland should change the debate on guns
“In a typical handgun injury that I diagnose almost daily, a bullet leaves a laceration through an organ like the liver. To a radiologist, it appears as a linear, thin, grey bullet track through the organ. There may be bleeding and some bullet fragments. I was looking at a CT scan of one of the victims of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who had been brought to the trauma center during my call shift. The organ looked like an overripe melon smashed by a sledgehammer, with extensive bleeding.” the atlantic
Remember their names
“The first so-called Native American Renaissance dates to the 1970s and ’80s, when authors James Welch, Joy Harjo, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Louise Erdrich first became nationally recognised. But the phrase, even then, was contentious: With its connotation of a ‘rebirth’, the word ‘renaissance’ suggests there had been a lack of indigenous storytelling – which was never the case. The narratives just weren’t necessarily in English, or intended for mainstream consumption, or made to hew to the (white) expectations of what constitutes ‘literature’.” buzzfeed
Should we take George Christensen’s latest threat seriously?
“George Christensen has used the resignation of Barnaby Joyce to call on the National party to formally end its coalition with Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberals. The outspoken Queensland MP posted on Facebook that in the absence of an elected federal leader, the National party should push ‘the reset button’ and slash the ties of their 95-year partnership with the Liberals. He labelled the Turnbull government an ‘aimless party’ of ‘leftward drift’ that was ‘shackling’ the Nationals.” guardian australia
“Nationals MP George Christensen privately told me, Peta Credlin and Cory Bernardi that he would quit the Turnbull government if Malcolm Turnbull was still prime minister this week ... He told me that he meant his threat and that I should report it without fear that he’d back down and make me look like a party to mischief. Now he’s piked, and I must say he has behaved very badly. I cannot now trust his word.” herald sun (from december)
Possums of Parliament House offered new homes with even better view
“When night falls on Canberra’s house on the hill, a different species takes charge of the grounds of Parliament. Possums, not politicians, are in power as they prowl the perimeter of the building. The nocturnal marsupials perch in Parliament’s least glamorous galleries: Gardening sheds, tyres, and on top of air-conditioning units.” abc
Win a double pass to Sarah Blasko and a signed vinyl copy of her new album
Our readers have the chance to win one of four double passes to see Sarah Blasko in Sydney at The Metro Theatre on Friday, June 1, or in Melbourne at 170 Russell on Friday, June 22. The ARIA Award–winning, AMP-shortlisted singer is touring nationally in support of her new album, Depth of Field. Winners will also receive a signed vinyl copy of the album.
The competition closes at 5pm AEDT on Tuesday, February 27 and winners will be notified by 5pm AEDT on Wednesday, February 28.