Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Australia training Myanmar military

Australia’s defence department plans to spend almost $400,000 training Myanmar’s military, the Tatmadaw, despite accusations of genocide against the country’s Rohingya minority. Defence will spend $398,000 on English lessons and Myanmar’s participation in multilateral military exercises in 2017-18. In a briefing note, the department said the money was “designed to expose the Tatmadaw to the ways of a modern, professional defence force and highlight the importance of adhering to international humanitarian law”. Tatmadaw soldiers have systematically massacred Rohingya, often burying their victims in hastily dug mass graves. While the United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom have suspended military co-operation with Myanmar over the situation in Rakhine state, the Australian government has no such plans.

The Northern Territory government has released an “action plan” in response to the rape of a two-year-old girl in Tennant Creek. The territory government has allocated $1 million for violence prevention services and $450,000 for youth activities, as well as funding to support additional welfare workers. Speaking to The Australian, chief minister Michael Gunner said ($) “government can’t fix everything, social service providers can’t fix everything, the community can’t fix everything. The only way to ­actually get a solution is if all three respond and all three are strong in responding.”

The former City of Melbourne councillor who accused former Melbourne mayor Robert Doyle of sexual harassment has criticised the Herald Sun’s coverage of the controversy. On Twitter, lawyer Tessa Sullivan said News Corp’s reporting sought “to undermine my serious claims of assault”. Addressing Herald-Sun editor Damon Johnston directly, Sullivan said “After two victims of sexual harassment bravely came forward, you published an ‘anonymous’ person called [sic] me a ‘party animal’ to discredit me. I’m a mother of three, and a survivor of sexual assault, please take this article down.”

And Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water won best picture at the 2018 Oscars. Gary Oldman won best actor for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, while Frances McDormand won best actress for her turn in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Tarana Burke, one of the founders of the #MeToo movement, said attendees had noted the absence of disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein. “I have heard from actresses who’ve said, ‘You don’t understand how strange it is that he’s not here because he was ever-present’,” Burke said. Additionally, some people wore clothes.

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Meet the politician getting death threats for campaigning for womens rights in Italy

“The threats against Laura Boldrini have gone on for so long they rarely make news ... She’s derided by critics as shrill and unlikeable, and applauded by supporters as principled and uncompromising. But there’s wide agreement that she is on the receiving end of the worst of Italy’s political culture. Her most noxious opponents stand a good chance of being in government, while she will be likely be demoted to a rank-and-file member of Parliament from a minor opposition party.” buzzfeed

Burning out: what really happens inside a crematorium

“The bodies arrive in caskets, occasionally made of wood but more commonly cardboard. They remain in these containers during the entire stay. There are health reasons for this, such as protecting the technicians from infectious diseases ... Bodies typically remain a day or two in the cooler, because most states require a 24-hour waiting period between when someone dies and cremation can occur. When something is so final, you want to take a pause.”popular mechanics

The lonely life of a professional YouTuber

“In a survey of over 13,000 British primary school children (one of the largest of its kind), kids were asked to draw a picture of the job they want when they grow up. The fourth most popular job across all children was ‘social media/gaming’. For boys, it was now second, ahead of policeman, scientist, doctor, teacher, firefighter and any form of military employment. Being a YouTuber, the report explained, has all but replaced the classic childhood fantasies of becoming a famous film or TV star. But what is the life of a YouTuber?” vice



What? Donald Trump broke a promise to Australia?

“Donald Trump ‘emphatically’ promised to exempt Australian steel and aluminium from US tariffs during a meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last year, it can be revealed ... This revelation explains why the Australian government has been stunned by Mr Trump’s declaration last week that the tariff regime will be enforced, and subsequent statements by Mr Ross that country-specific exemptions are unlikely.”  abc



“In the 406 days since he took the oath of office, President Trump has made 2,436 false or misleading claims, according to The Fact Checker’s database that analyses, categorises and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the president. That’s an average of six claims a day. When we first started this project for the president’s first 100 days, he averaged 4.9 claims a day. Slowly, the average number has been creeping up.”  THE WASHINGTON POST


and finally:

Why do media organisations like News Corp, Reuters and The New York Times still use words like ‘Aborigines’?

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have different ways in which they like to be referred to, but all can agree on a few basics when it comes to language. ‘Aborigine’ is offensive and ‘Indigenous’, when referring to First Australians, is a proper noun. However major media companies operating in Australia and internationally, including Reuters, Australian Associated Press, News Corporation titles The Australian, the Herald Sun and several others persist in using ‘indigenous’ as a common noun when referring to First Australians, and some the offensive term ‘Aborigine’.” nitv



Win a double pass to Rodrigo y Gabriela

Our readers have the chance to win one of two double passes to see Mexican instrumental virtuosos Rodrigo y Gabriela perform in Melbourne (March 10 at the Forum Theatre), Perth (March 13 at the Astor Theatre), Sydney (March 15 at the Enmore Theatre), and Brisbane (March 16 at The Tivoli). Having sold 1.5 million albums globally and known for their dynamic live performances, they are returning to Australia after two years.
The competition closes at 5pm AEDT on Thursday, March 8 and winners will be notified by 5pm AEDT on Friday, March 9. Enter Here

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