Friday, March 09, 2018

Convictions for Stolen Generations overturned

Victoria’s Labor government will expunge historic criminal convictions given to Stolen Generations survivors. An NITV investigation in 2017 uncovered a systemic practice of Victorian police charging and convicting Indigenous children taken from their parents, many of whom were in their infancy. Victorian attorney-general Martin Pakula said the state government would issue a formal apology to those wrongly charged, saying “no one should have a criminal record as a result of being forcibly removed from their home or for needing state care when they were a child”.

The Victorian and New South Wales state governments have agreed to laws that would offer counselling and financial restitution to victims of institutional child sexual abuse. The agreement brings a national redress scheme recommended by the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse closer to fruition, with most other states expected to follow suit. In a joint statement with Victorian premier Daniel Andrews and NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said offering financial redress was “about healing and moving forward” rather than “compensation”. Major churches and charitable institutions have been asked to join the scheme voluntarily so survivors do not have to pursue payments through the courts.

Queensland’s Labor government will re-introduce native vegetation protections in an effort to reduce the state’s high rates of land clearing. Deforestation has soared in Queensland since the Newman Liberal National Party government abolished land clearing protections in 2013, with 400,000 hectares of land cleared in 2015-16. Speaking in Queensland Parliament, state natural resources and mining minister Anthony Lynham said the law was designed to “protect our climate, our wildlife and our Great Barrier Reef, and the tens of thousands of jobs that depend on the Reef”. Deforestation spiked in 2015 the last time the Palaszczuk government tried to restrict land clearing, suggesting landholders engaged in “panic clearing” before the laws could be changed.

And Tasmania’s newly re-elected Liberal government has been criticised for delaying the release of hundreds of policies until four days after Saturday’s election. The state’s department of treasury and finance released costings of 161 Liberal policies on Wednesday, many of which were revealed only to select stakeholders before the March 2 election. Liberal campaign manager Michael Ferguson said the “sheer volume of policies released during an election campaign makes it impractical to widely promote all of them during the campaign period”, while independent member of the legislative council, Ruth Forrest, said a government that claimed a mandate for policies it failed to clear with the public “may as well live in a dictatorship”. Former Liberal premier Tony Rundle warned the Hodgman government against rolling back gun control laws “in any shape or form”.

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Ball breakers

“Women have been playing billiards since the sport’s earliest days, when it was a hobby for European royals in the 15th century. Mary, Queen of Scots, complained about being deprived of the game while imprisoned, and her body was covered with the cloth from her billiards table after her execution in 1587. But until the 1970s, there were few women’s tournaments, and decorum prevented most female players from spending time in pool halls with men.” topic

The story of the internet, as told by Know Your Meme

“Know Your Meme set itself apart by approaching memes with journalistic integrity and rigour long before most people thought they deserved such treatment – or even knew what they were. The website has since become the go-to encyclopedia for internet culture, an ever-expanding library of memes and other internet phenomena that gets cited by publications like The Atlantic and The Washington Post, and receives fact-checking calls from The New York Times.”the verge

For 10 years, I read the comments

“I’ve moderated more than 75,000 comments on my photo essays at The Atlantic since my arrival in 2011. At the Globe, we used a different commenting system, that attracted more engagement: A good estimate for my three years there would be 120,000 moderated comments. I’ll call that an even total of 200,000 comments moderated over 10 years. That’s an average of 55 comments a day, or one new comment to read, evaluate, and approve or delete every 15 to 20 minutes that I’ve been awake since May of 2008.” the atlantic



What is it with Nationals politicians working through their insecurities by picking fights with movie stars?

“Australian Nationals politician George Christensen described women as ‘stupid’ with ‘no bloody brains’ for liking the ‘mega-bonkable’ actor and singer Will Smith, in an article he wrote for a conservative student magazine in 1998. At the time, Christensen was a 20-year-old journalism student at Central Queensland University and editor of conservative newsletter the Student Advocate ... Apparently, Will Smith is one of the sexiest men alive’, Christensen wrote in the article, headlined ‘Big Willie’s Style’.”  buzzfeed australia


There’s a thesis to be written here.

“Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce was left blushing at the suggestion that his threat to euthanise actor Johnny Depp’s dogs was driven by jealousy at the two-time ‘Sexiest Man Alive’, during a cheery television interview on The Project on Thursday night, as news of his bizarre announcement made headlines around the world ... ‘Mr Depp, God bless him, “Sexiest Man Alive” and all that, Jack Sparrow, he’s got to abide by the laws of the nation, otherwise the dogs have got to go.’ ”  fairfax (from 2015)


and finally:

Michael B. Jordan offers to buy retainer for teen who broke hers staring at his bod

“Michael B. Jordan has quite the forceful presence on screen. So much so that his shirtless body in Black Panther reportedly caused 18-year-old Sophia Robb to clench her teeth hard enough that she broke her dental retainer. It was a situation her orthodontist found so funny that he wrote about the emergency repair, without mentioning his patient’s name, on Tumblr ... As humiliating as it was to tell her orthodontist the story of the broken retainer, Sophia said it got really crazy when she learned of his Tumblr post. She turned herself in with a tweet.” the huffington post