Medical staff on Nauru have warned a 12-year-old boy in immigration detention is at serious risk of dying if he is not transported to Australia for medical treatment. Speaking to Guardian Australia, an unnamed medical official on the island said “a child is going to die. Every day we get closer. It’s never been so critical.” The boy, who has been on Nauru for nearly five years along with his family, has been on a hunger strike for more than a week. Detention centre officials have sedated the boy and are feeding him intravenously to keep him alive. Another boy, 14, has severe muscle wastage after not leaving his bed for more than four months, while a two-year-old boy was placed in the care of medical staff after his mother attempted suicide.
Senior bureaucrats in the Western Australian health system have been caught in a wide-ranging corruption scandal. In a report released on Thursday, the WA Corruption and Crime Commission found officials in the North Metropolitan Health Service accepted tens of thousands of dollars in “gifts of interstate and overseas travel and accommodation from contractors … expensive restaurant meals, entertainment, alcohol and other gratuities in return for awarding work,” as well as “thousands of dollars in cash payments”. The commission also found officials colluded with contractors to defraud the NHMS for the cost of travel, accommodation, entertainment and – in one case – $170,000 in home renovations. The report recommended criminal charges against three former health officials and 10 private sector workers, saying “the brazenness of the conduct, the number of contractors involved and the apparent indifference by all concerned” raised concerns corruption may not be “confined to NMHS”.
A Queensland parliamentary inquiry into wage theft has heard dozens of stories of employers systematically underpaying workers and failing to pay superannuation, overtime and penalty rates. Speaking to news.com.au, Young Workers hub co-founder Martin de Rooy said wage theft was especially prevalent against young workers, as “young workers aren’t taught how to read a pay slip, how to check they’re being paid correctly, how to check their super is being paid”. In a submission to the inquiry, National Retail Association chief executive Dominique Lamb warned against stronger penalties for wage theft, saying “the Office of the Fair Work Ombudsman has all the legislative tools it needs to be an effective regulator” and that “wage non-compliance will never be eradicated”.
And American singer Aretha Franklin has died of advanced pancreatic cancer. Feted as the “Queen of Soul”, Franklin, 76, released and performed some of the most recognisable songs of the 20th century, including “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “Chain of Fools”. Besides winning 18 Grammy Awards and selling more than 75 million records, Franklin was a committed activist who lent her voice and status to the American civil rights movement. In 1987 she became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2009 she performed at Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration. Obama paid tribute to Franklin on Twitter, saying “Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade ‒ our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. May the Queen of Soul rest in eternal peace.”
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Hatebook: Inside Facebook’s Myanmar operation
“The poisonous posts call the Rohingya or other Muslims dogs, maggots and rapists, suggest they be fed to pigs, and urge they be shot or exterminated. The material also includes crudely pornographic anti-Muslim images. The company’s rules specifically prohibit attacking ethnic groups with ‘violent or dehumanising speech’ or comparing them to animals. Facebook also has long had a strict policy against pornographic content.”reuters investigates
BDS: how a controversial non-violent movement has transformed the Israeli-Palestinian debate
“The movement for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel – known as BDS – has been driving the world a little bit mad. Since its founding 13 years ago, it has acquired nearly as many enemies as the Israelis and Palestinians combined ... The emergence of the BDS movement has revived old questions about the legitimacy of Zionism, how to justify the privileging of Jewish over non-Jewish rights, and why refugees can return to their homes in other conflicts but not in this one.” the
It’s never too late to be a reader again
“Reading is hard. Not the act, but the pursuit. There’s always something else to do – something easier, something bigger or louder, something that makes you feel better, something that makes you feel worse. (Looking at you, social media.) But none of that changes the fact that we all want to be readers. That’s why Goodreads elicits hope and inadequacy in equal measure; it’s why you keep that paperback in your bag even if you haven’t opened it since you bought it two months ago.” wired
What’s Parliament been up to since condemning Fraser Anning and ending racism forever?
“Anning’s provocation posed a test to the Australian Parliament. It passed ... That great palace of partisanship on a hill, famous for its inability to agree on anything much, was actually drawn together. One after another, the political leaders stood to renounce Anning’s words and to reaffirm the common identity of Australians regardless of colour or creed.” fairfax
Voting to keep refugees on prison islands. But at least it doesn’t stand for racism.
“The Coalition and Labor have voted together to retrospectively amend a flawed piece of asylum legislation in a bid to ensure the detention of up to 1600 asylum seekers was lawful ... only the Greens MP Adam Bandt and independents Andrew Wilkie and Cathy McGowan voted against the Migration (Validation of Port Appointment) Bill 2018, which seeks to retrospectively authorise an unlawful declaration of Ashmore Reef as a ‘port’, with the intention of excluding asylum seekers from making protection claims.” guardian
Guernsey woman uses 1000-year-old law which appeals to a Norman Duke in attempt to halt roadworks
“Rosie Henderson invoked the ‘Clameur de Haro’ by kneeling near the construction site and shouting ‘Haro! Haro! Haro! A l’aide, mon Prince, on me fait tort’, then ‘Come to my aid, my Prince, for someone does me wrong’, before reciting the Lord’s Prayer in Norman French. The law dates back to the 10th century and was traditionally used to protect law and property rights. ‘My Prince’ is believed to refer to Rollo, the first Duke of Normandy, but since the Duchy ceased to exist the appeals are heard by the court.” the telegraph
Win a double pass to Extended Play
The Saturday Paper invites New South Wales readers to enter the draw to win one of 20 double passes to Extended Play at City Recital Hall on Saturday, August 25. Extended Play is a 12-hour festival that explores and celebrates new music in every format imaginable, featuring New York–based ensemble Bang on a Can All-Stars as well as Ensemble Offspring, Alon Ilsar, Topology and many more. Entries close on Sunday, August 19, at 11.59pm AEST and winners will be notified by Monday, August 20. Enter