Thursday, May 17, 2018

Government’s gender woes continue

Government MP Ann Sudmalis is battling to retain Liberal preselection for her marginal seat, setting the scene for another showdown over the government’s dearth of female representatives in parliament. Sudmalis, who holds the New South Wales south coast seat of Gilmore by a margin of 0.73 per cent, is being challenged by real estate agent and former Australian Federal Police officer Grant Schultz. While Sudmalis is expected to win preselection, Schultz reportedly has the backing of state parliamentary secretary for the Illawarra, Gareth Ward. The challenge to Sudmalis continues the government’s struggle with female representation, following the surprise ousting of assistant minister for disability services Jane Prentice from her Queensland seat of Ryan.

Former Malaysian opposition leader and deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim has been released from prison with a full pardon, paving the way for his ascension to the prime ministership. In a statement, representatives of King Sultan Muhammad V said the king “has allowed a full pardon and given an immediate release for ... Anwar bin Ibrahim”. Anwar met with the king and newly installed Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad at the Istana Negara, Malaysia’s national palace in Kuala Lumpur, shortly after being released. Anwar will not immediately join the government, saying he needs “time and space” to rest and recover from prison before serving.

North Korea has cancelled talks with Seoul, raising fears a planned meeting between North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un and United States president Donald Trump may fall through. Speaking through North Korea’s central media agency, first vice minister of foreign affairs Kim Kye Gwan said any US “demand for us to give up our nukes” would doom the talks before they began. Kim also hit out at US national security advisor John Bolton, who joined the Trump administration in April and has urged a pre-emptive strike against North Korea in the past. "We do not hide our feeling of repugnance towards him”, the vice minister said.

And food delivery riders have protested against low pay and a lack of workplace protections, identifying food delivery companies Foodora, UberEats and Deliveroo as major offenders. The Sydney protest, coinciding with a Fair Work Commission annual review of award wages, heard from riders alleging that hourly rates and delivery fees had dropped significantly in recent years. Transport Workers Union national secretary Tony Sheldon said “Deliveroo, Foodora and UberEats are really carrying out wage theft”, claiming the companies were “stealing from hardworking people, who are delivering to our homes right around our country, by underpaying them”.

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The fact that the government is now moving to effectively make beer cheaper is a strong thing showing they are listening to young people.

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A silver thread: Islam in eastern Europe

“In the Middle Ages, Europe meant Christendom, and, in this sense, Islam arrived in eastern Europe before Europe itself arrived. Muslim traders were already crisscrossing these still-pagan lands before Christian missionaries had set foot there. The written testimonies they left behind are some of our only surviving sources for what Eastern Europe was like before the coming of the priests. The Spanish traveler Ibrahim ibn Yaqub was the first to record his impressions of Prague and Krakow.” los angeles review of books

Cashgate: How a scandal started with a poor housemaid and ended up taking down the most powerful woman in Africa

“Inside a Toyota Fortuner, police discovered 80 million kwacha, and in a Toyota Vitz another 32 million. When they searched the house, they found 121,000 in South African rand and $32,000. The police arrested Sithole for possession of stolen property and illegal possession of foreign currency. The total value of the money discovered at his house amounted to roughly $380,000. It would have taken Sithole 263 years to earn that much with his government job.” latterly

The race to stop the best Mario Kart 64 player from securing every world record

Mario Kart 64 speedrunning (as opposed to its multiplayer racing scene, although there’s lots of overlap) is split into several categories. Some people focusing on finishing Grands Prix, but the most prestigious categories are individual, no-shortcut time trials. Of these, each track is split into best time overall and best lap time. Despite Rustemeyer’s meteoric rise through a scene that’s existed for decades (Mario Kart 64 originally came out in 1997), a sweep of all 32 prized world records has so far eluded even him.”kotaku



Why are people walking away from private health insurance?

“A quarter of a million Australians did not renew their private health insurance in the past year, a new survey shows. An ongoing Roy Morgan survey involving 50,000 face-to-face interviews every year found 256,000 Australians who had health insurance at some point in their lives chose not to renew it in the year to March 2018.”  fairfax


Because why wouldn’t you, honestly.

“Nearly one in six (15.5 per cent) of members who didn’t renew said that ‘Medicare suits my needs’, up from only 5.3 per cent last year. It appears that there are an increasing number of people seeing no real value in having private health insurance, given its cost and perceived benefits over simply relying on Medicare. There was also an increase in concerns regarding service, with 11.6 per cent saying that they didn’t renew because of ‘poor service’.”  roy morgan research


and finally:

Last stop: Melbourne’s retired trams up for adoption for $1000 each

“Melbourne’s yellow and green trams are being offered for adoption to community groups and businesses who want to give them a forever home. A total of 134 retired trams, both Z- and W-class, will be put to tender at the end of the month. Interested people are invited to fill out a questionnaire in which they specify which class of tram they want to adopt, what, if any, seating arrangements they will require, and agree to pay a $1,000 flat purchase fee.” guardian australia