Thursday, May 24, 2018

Victorian Labor to debate offshore detention

Victorian Labor will debate a motion to end offshore immigration detention. The motion, drafted by Labor for Refugees, is destined for the state conference at the weekend, and would seek to bind federal Labor to “close offshore detention centres, transit centres and other camps on Manus and Nauru within the first 90 days, and to bring all the children, women and men who are refugees or seeking asylum remaining there to Australia” if it wins government. The renewed debate around offshore detention comes after the death of Salim, a Rohingya refugee on Manus Island. Asylum Seeker Resource Centre CEO Kon Karapanagiotidis claimed yesterday that an ASRC representative who contacted Salim’s wife to comfort her inadvertently broke the news of her husband’s death, unaware that the home affairs department “had not rang her to let her know her husband had died”. A home affairs representative said the incident was “a matter for the PNG Government”.

In New South Wales, state parliament’s upper house will vote today on whether to establish safe access zones around abortion clinics. The bill, co-sponsored by Labor’s Penny Sharpe and the Nationals’ Trevor Khan, would ban anti-abortion protesters from operating within 150 metres of a clinic, with people breaching the zone facing potential jail time. NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian, who supports the bill, said on Tuesday that she would grant government MPs a conscience vote on the issue, likely securing the bill’s passage through the Legislative Council. Khan said “there seems to be considerable support for a bill” among his Nationals colleagues, saying it was “about dignity, respect and privacy for women”.

The ABC has dismissed a second round of complaints by federal government ministers about its chief economics correspondent, Emma Alberici. Earlier this month prime minister Malcolm Turnbull sent the ABC a list of 11 complaints about a television segment Alberici presented on government spending on research and innovation. After an internal review, the ABC found “the story was accurate, newsworthy, in the public interest and presented in context. “ABC News stands by the story,” the broadcaster said in a statement. Turnbull, communications minister Mitch Fifield and other government MPs have criticised Alberici in recent months, with Turnbull calling her reporting “confused and poorly researched” in Question Time in February. It is unclear if Turnbull has anything else that needs doing.

And in the United States, author Philip Roth has died, aged 85. The author of works such as Portnoy’s Complaint, American Pastoral and The Human Stain, Roth twice won the National Book Award and was awarded the National Humanities Medal by Barack Obama in 2011 for his services to American letters. In a New York Times interview in January, Roth said “in just a matter of months I’ll depart old age to enter deep old age, easing ever deeper daily into the redoubtable Valley of the Shadow”. He also described US president Donald Trump as “a massive fraud, the evil sum of his deficiencies, devoid of everything but the hollow ideology of a megalomaniac”.

Open Quotemarks

There must be a better way for the Qld Police to deal with a tragic pedestrian death than to shut down the entire northern side of Brisbane and create total and utter chaos extending more than 5km from the CBD.

Close Quotemarks

Episode 16: Lest we forget our sponsors
Join Richard Denniss and special guest, ANU professor Frank Bongiorno, for a discussion of the cultural and historical reasons we remember war in the way we do.


How Britains first mission to China went wrong

“The earnest paraders arrived around ten in the morning at their designated quarters, a low-slung palace of wood and stone with eight great steps leading up to it. But no one was there to greet them. Macartney had been given to believe that he would be welcomed on arrival by the imperial minister of state, a Manchu named Heshen whom the British knew as the ‘Grand Choulaa’ (there was in fact no such title, though it would take Western diplomats about fifty years to confirm that).” china channel

Ancient Rome’s collapse is written into Arctic ice

“A team of archaeologists, historians, and climate scientists have constructed a history of Rome’s lead pollution, which allows them to approximate Mediterranean economic activity from 1,100 b.c. to 800 a.d. They found it hiding thousands of miles from the Roman Forum: deep in the Greenland Ice Sheet, the enormous, miles-thick plate of ice that entombs the North Atlantic island.” the atlantic

Vanity foul

“One hundred years after the puff piece floated into our consciousness, it is being swept aside by a new kind of celebrity profile, developed within a newly engaged culture. It may be no less calculating than its predecessor, but its purpose is the opposite. Rather than meaning nothing, it means everything. The power piece positions itself as the celebrity profile as activism, and sometimes it even succeeds.”the baffler



When is a racist not a racist?

“Aaron Schlossberg, who became the most villainous man in New York last week after he verbally abused workers for speaking Spanish in a midtown Manhattan restaurant, has finally commented on his outburst ... he assured people that his outburst was ‘not the person I am’, and the video ‘did not convey the real me’, bolding up the word ‘not’ for extra contrition points.”  the guardian


When they say so, of course!

“The attorney who became the Big Apple’s Public Enemy No. 1 for hurling hate speech at Spanish-speaking restaurant workers was involved in a similar incident two years ago, video footage shows. That 2016 incident, which took place on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, involved a man named Willie Morris, who claims Schlossberg attempted to shove him on the street before the lawyer exploded at him.”  new york post


and finally:

Judge praises 30-year-old son’s legal research, boots him from parents’ house anyway

“Michael Rotondo would have to move out, the judge ruled. He also ordered adult protective services to investigate, expressing concern about what was going on. That order capped a surreal 30-minute court appearance in which Rotondo didn’t deny that his parents had given him multiple orders to leave their 408 Weatheridge Drive home. But Rotondo wasn’t going to leave without a legal battle.”