Thursday, June 21, 2018

Doctors urge care for dying refugee

Thousands of doctors have signed an open letter urging home affairs minister Peter Dutton to allow a dying man on Nauru to be brought to Australia for palliative care. The 63-year-old Hazara Afghan man, who has been formally recognised as a refugee, has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and is zoning in and out of lucidity due to lesions on his brain. Dr Nick Martin, who worked on Nauru in 2016 and 2017, told BuzzFeed News the man’s “only chance of a good death is to come to Australia so that he can have both community and medical expertise”. The letter, signed by more than 2000 doctors, says the man “faces a potentially catastrophic death, without medical expertise to ease his pain and symptoms”.

The federal government will likely pass its $144 billion personal income tax cuts today after securing support for the package in the Senate. One Nation senator Pauline Hanson told Sydney radio station 2GB on Wednesday she would not oppose the package, saying “we voted with the Libs on the package they actually put forward”. Centre Alliance senator Stirling Griff told Fairfax his party would decide on the package today, saying “we will decide which way we go on the floor”. The Australian Council of Trade Unions will release a research paper today claiming little to no correlation between company tax cuts and wage growth, seeking to influence a separate vote on the government’s planned lowering of the corporate tax rate.

United States president Donald Trump has signed ($) an executive order ending the forcible separation of children from their families at the US-Mexico border, bowing to public anger over the policy. Images and audio footage of crying children in cages outraged politicians of both major parties, with senior Democrats calling on Department of Homeland Security secretary Kristjen Nielsen to resign and human rights advocacy group Amnesty International describing the separations as “nothing short of torture”. Republican House of Representatives speaker Paul Ryan said the House would vote on a bill amending immigration law to keep families together on Thursday.

Natalie Joyce, the estranged wife of former deputy prime minister Barnaby, has spoken to the media for the first time since her husband admitted fathering a child with his former staffer. In an unpaid interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly, Joyce described her husband’s $150,000 interview with Channel 7’s Sunday Night as “an absolute disgrace”, saying “it was all we could do to watch it without throwing a brick at the TV”. Joyce said she was speaking publicly for her four daughters “so the girls feel empowered, and know their mum stood up and defended our fine name”.

Optus has surrendered the broadcast rights to all FIFA World Cup group stage games after widespread complaints about its Optus Sport streaming service. Public broadcaster SBS will stream and air World Cup games until June 29, while Optus Sport subscribers will be refunded the cost of subscriptions. Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull personally complained to Optus CEO Allen Lew about the poor quality of Optus Sport’s World Cup streaming, while a bizarre comedy segment on the service, titled “Ethnic Dad”, was panned as racist and out-of-touch by soccer fans. Opposition leader Bill Shorten seized on the news, claiming funding cuts to SBS forced the broadcaster to sell the rights and demanding prime minister Malcolm Turnbull “apologise ... for his cuts to the SBS”.

And Canada’s parliament has voted to legalise recreational marijuana use, becoming the second nation after Uruguay to allow citizens to buy and consume cannabis. The Cannabis Act, passed by Canada’s Senate on Wednesday, will establish a system to regulate producers and suppliers, and permits Canadians to grow up to four plants in their homes. A buffer period allowing provinces to set up dispensaries and regulatory boundaries will ensure marijuana will be available for purchase by September. South of the border, nine separate US states and the District of Colombia have legalised recreational cannabis use, while 29 have legalised medicinal marijuana.

Open Quotemarks

I'm at the point of walking out and resigning but I have given Lesley a lift, so it’s awkward.

Close Quotemarks

The news you need. Delivered free to your inbox. 7am weekdays.


City of spies: How the battle for Catalonia divided Barcelona

“From at least 2014, he claims, the police force of Catalonia, which was controlled by the pro-independence regional government, started working on an extraordinary initiative: developing its own secret intelligence service to rival that of the Spanish state. Furthermore, he says, this force has been used to spy on lawyers, politicians, professors, journalists and civil-society groups deemed opponents of the independence process.” financial times

Break up Google

“Google accounts for about 90 percent of all Internet searches; by any honest assessment, it holds a monopoly at the very gateway to information in the modern world. From there, the company’s power radiates outward, dominating everything from maps to smartphone operating systems to video distribution – vacuuming up huge quantities of highly specific data about users along the way.”the boston globe

How to spot a perfect fake: the world’s top art forgery detective

“Thirty years ago, the highest auction price for a painting was $10.4 million, paid by the J Paul Getty Museum for Andrea Mantegna’s Adoration of the Magi in 1985. In contrast, while the $450 million paid for Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi in 2017 counts as an outlier, abstract expressionists and impressionists frequently come, in auctions or private deals, with nine-figure price tags. In lockstep, the incentive to be a proficient forger has soared; a single, expertly executed old master knockoff can finance a long, comfortable retirement.” the guardian



Who was William Cooper, after whom the seat formerly known as Batman has been renamed?

“Electoral commissioner Tom Rogers said that the augmented Electoral Commission had adopted the majority of the names proposed by the Redistribution Committee for Victoria with the following alterations: retaining the name of the Division of Corangamite (previously proposed to be renamed the Division of Cox); and renaming the Division of Batman to ‘Cooper’, to recognise the contributions of William Cooper.”  australian electoral commission


He’s something of an improvement on John Batman, put it that way.

“On 6 December 1938 – almost 80 years ago – during a warm summer evening in Melbourne one man led a protest in an attempt to protect a marginalised people on the other side of the world. A protest that was truly ahead of its time in its courage and foresight. That man was William Cooper, a Yorta Yorta activist, Secretary of the Australian Aborigines League, and by then a 77-year-old elder. Throughout Cooper’s life, he fought for his own Yorta Yorta people’s rights, national Aboriginal rights, and ultimately, fighting for all marginalised people, in late age.”  nitv


and finally:

11 things you definitely don’t know about Nirvana, you idiot

“2. ‘Nirvana’ is also a name for the highest state of self-realisation in Buddhism, but Buddhism never sold 30 million copies of its major-label debut and changed the face of American radio and fashion — so, when you see someone wearing a shirt that says NIRVANA, it’s probably the band.” mcsweeney’s



Win a double pass to William Tell

The Saturday Paper invites Victorian readers to enter the draw to win one of two double passes to the opening night of Victorian Opera’s production of William Tell at the Palais Theatre in St Kilda on Saturday, July 14. William Tell is conducted by Richard Mills, AM, directed by Rodula Gaitanou, and stars an incredible line-up of Australian and international singers. Entries will close at 5pm AEST on Thursday, June 21 and winners will be notified by Friday, June 22. ENTER HERE