While the Biden presidency pushes forward international climate action, both the Morrison government and its Labor opposition are fractured over emissions policy.After a hiatus caused by coronavirus, the twin issues of climate change and energy have resumed their place, secured over two decades, as the most intractable and dangerous in Australian politics.
Refugee and asylum seeker children held in immigration detention are increasingly suffering from a rare syndrome associated with lengthy confinement. Speaking to BuzzFeed Australia, an unnamed health professional recently on Nauru said children with the condition “take to their beds and they stop eating, stop drinking, stop toileting themselves, stop talking … it’s like when you visit a hospice and you watch people who are dying in a hospice”. Child psychologist Louise Newman said resignation syndrome ‒ a condition diagnosed in hundreds of refugee children slated for deportation in Sweden in 2017 ‒ was “a form of escape or dissociation; they go into a state where they look semiconscious”. At least nine legal challenges brought against the federal government by human rights groups this year have resulted in judges ordering immigration authorities to fly seriously ill detention centre detainees to Australia for treatment,
Melbourne mayors have called for political and media restraint when discussing South Sudanese Australian communities. Meeting in Brunswick on Monday, mayors representing eight Melbourne councils and community leader Maker Mayek urged politicians and media outlets to move away from the “African gangs” rhetoric that has dominated coverage of crime and unrest involving people of South Sudanese descent. “We are here to show our politicians that communities are standing together united against the media frenzy of sensationalist reporting that is hurting African-Australian people and their communities,” Mayek said.
Greenpeace has warned the federal government to ban sales of the weedkiller Roundup after a United States court ruled it contributed to a man’s terminal cancer. Dewayne Johnson, 46, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014 after using the herbicide for years in his work as a school groundskeeper. Awarded US$289 million in damages on Saturday, Johnson said he hoped his suit against agricultural chemical and biotech giant Monsanto would set a legal precedent for thousands of other people who believe Roundup caused their cancer. Monsanto has consistently denied a link between glyphosate ‒ the active ingredient in Roundup ‒ and cancer, despite the World Health Organisation classifying glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” in 2015. Monsanto will lodge an appeal.
And a national survey has found one in seven university students regularly go without food due to financial pressures. Released on Monday, the Universities Australia Student Finances Survey 2017 found that “financial hardship faced by some groups of students – particularly for some Indigenous students and some from the poorest one-fifth of Australian households – is particularly stark”. Half the students surveyed said paid work affected their university performance, while one in three regularly missed classes to go to work. Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson told Fairfax “students studying full-time are only living on $18,000 a year – that’s well below the poverty line”.