More than one in five Australian children have gone hungry in the last year, according to a new report from food relief not-for-profit Foodbank. The report, Rumbling Tummies, found that cost of living was the main cause of food insecurity, leading to 9 per cent of children going at least one day a week without food. Parents from food-insecure households reported their children were more likely to be unhappy, had difficulty sleeping and exhibited more “outbursts or tantrums” without enough food, while parents were likely to report skipping meals so their children could eat but felt shame at being unable to provide for their families. Foodbank chief executive Brianna Casey said “as a mother myself, I find the picture that emerges both heartbreaking and unacceptable”.
Recently released Census data has revealed almost 11,000 tertiary students are homeless, making up nearly 10 per cent of all homeless Australians. Council to Homeless Persons chief executive, Kate Colvin, told Fairfax “it’s almost impossible for students on low incomes to afford housing”. The figures come amid a renewed focus on homelessness endured by younger Australians. The State of Homelessness in Australia’s Cities report, prepared for the Alliance to End Homelessness by the University of Western Australia’s Centre for Social Impact, found veterans and Indigenous people were more likely to be homeless than the general population, were more likely to suffer from preventable medical conditions, and be victims of assault.
In the United Kingdom, opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn has criticised Prime Minister Theresa May for ordering air strikes on Syria without consulting Parliament. May and French President Emmanuel Macron ordered their military forces to support United States President Donald Trump’s strikes against Syrian chemical weapons facilities, with May saying “it was both right and legal to take military action, together with our closest allies, to alleviate further humanitarian suffering”. Corbyn said the “legally questionable action” risked further destabilising the region, saying “bombs won’t save lives or bring about peace”. Trump ordered the strikes after more than 80 people were killed in a Syrian government chemical attack on the rebel-held town of Douma earlier this month.
And Channel 7 commentators have criticised the Commonwealth Games’ refusal to let them broadcast footage of athletes during the closing ceremony. Seven Network commentators Johanna Griggs and Basil Zempilas apologised to viewers after the ceremony, with Griggs saying she was “furious” Games organisers did not allow the network to show pictures of athletes entering Carrara Stadium. Zempilas criticised the emphasis on speeches from dignitaries as “self-indulgent”, noting “we’ve never seen a stadium as empty as this, so soon after the conclusion of a closing ceremony”. Aboriginal protesters, meanwhile, were barred from entering the stadium by security, capping off 11 days of protest against the “Stolenwealth Games” at the Camp Freedom tent embassy.