Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Dutton’s untimely citizenship crisis

Home affairs minister Peter Dutton may be ineligible to sit in parliament due to his stake in two childcare centres that receive Commonwealth funding. Ten Daily reported on Monday that the Dutton family trust’s interest in two Brisbane childcare centres may put him in breach of Section 44(v) of the Constitution, which disqualifies any person with “any direct or indirect pecuniary interest with the Public Service of the Commonwealth” from holding public office. University of Sydney constitutional professor Anne Twomey said “there are at least questions to be answered” about Dutton’s pecuniary interests.

Besides the thought of Peter Dutton running childcare centres, the citizenship claims came as conservative government MPs worked to destabilise prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership in favour of Dutton. A Liberal party room meeting today will deal with the fallout from Turnbull effectively abandoning the National Energy Guarantee that was agreed to in a joint party room meeting only last week. Speaking on Monday, Turnbull said the revised NEG would contain no emissions reduction targets, saying “in politics you have to focus on what you can deliver”. Business and industry groups reacted angrily to the news, with Investor Group on Climate Change chief executive Emma Herd warning that “an NEG without emissions reduction targets will further undermine the establishment of a credible, scalable, and enduring energy and climate policy framework”.

The Australian Border Force has refused to allow a dying 12-year-old boy to travel to Australia for medical treatment, as he has refused to leave Nauru without his stepfather. Doctors on the island have warned the boy, who has been on a hunger strike for almost three weeks, “needs urgent evacuation by air ambulance” as “he is not fit to travel on a commercial flight”. Several attempts to airlift the boy from Nauru have failed, as he refuses to leave without his stepfather and the ABF refuses to let the man accompany him.

And artist Charles Blackman has died a week after turning 90. One of Australia’s most renowned painters, Blackman was best known for his Alice in Wonderland series, and was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1977 for services to Australian art. In a statement, his daughter Bertie said “it has been a privilege and an honour to have the opportunity to wander through the windows and chasms of such an intricate and incredibly deep feeling mind”.

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How a transplanted face transformed Katie Stubblefield’s life

“The face lies on a surgical tray, eyes empty and unseeing, mouth agape, as if exclaiming, ‘Oh!’ Sixteen hours ago surgeons in Operating Room 19 at the Cleveland Clinic began the delicate work of removing the face from a 31-year-old woman who was declared legally and medically dead three days earlier. Soon they will take it to a 21-year-old woman who has waited more than three years for a new face. For a moment, the face rests in its astonished solitude.”national geographic

Fighting the vanilla thieves of Madagascar

“A barefoot farmer is making his way through a forest. Quiet drops of rain tumble steadily through the night, picked out in the light from his torch. The rusty machete he holds isn’t for cutting down vines or chopping away stubborn branches – it is a defence against thieves ... The men need weapons to guard against robbers who roam the countryside looking for one thing – Madagascan vanilla.”  bbc

On the other side

“For Kim Ga Young, a 27-year-old North Korean student who moved to Seoul in 2013, the first step toward assimilation was to dye her hair caramel brown and buy new makeup. It was daunting. At the store, with a seemingly endless array of products all around her, she felt paralysed. ‘I thought, If I can’t even pick one lipstick, how can I live here? ’ Her friend opened a bottle of nail polish and, not knowing what it was, smeared it across her mouth.” the california sunday magazine



Did someone hit The Daily Telegraph on the head on Sunday night?

“In the past five years more than 40 stateless babies have been born to asylum seekers in the offshore processing centre – the compound their parents have lived in since they arrived in Australia by boat ... Photographs and video, taken on behalf of World Vision, show the Nauru-born children, now aged up to five, playing on the rocky remnants of a phosphate mine and staring through the wire fences of the camp.”  the daily telegraph ($)


Because this is not how they usually report on asylum seekers.

“The Australian Press Council has considered a complaint about material in The Daily Telegraph, Sydney, on 26 November 2011. Front-page headings, ‘OPEN THE FLOODGATES – Exclusive: Thousands of boat people to invade NSW’, were followed by two paragraphs which commenced ‘Thousands of boat people will be released into Sydney’s suburbs as the government empties detention centres’.”  australian press council (from 2012)


and finally:

Vatican on sex abuse report: ‘Listen, no normal person is going to sign up to be a priest’

“ ‘Look, we ask an awful lot of ordained priests and make them follow all these bizarre rules, so it shouldn’t be surprising that we have trouble finding people who aren’t degenerate creeps’, said Pope Francis, adding that although the Vatican would encourage members of the clergy to stop engaging in child abuse, there ultimately wasn’t that much they could do since the Church’s mandate of celibacy and its tacit acceptance of child abusers ‘basically turns away all well-adjusted, reasonable people at the door’.”  the onion