Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Ministers resign after voting for Dutton

Multiple federal government ministers have offered their resignations after voting against prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in an unsuccessful Liberal party room challenge. Health minister Greg Hunt, trade minister Steve Ciobo, law enforcement minister Angus Taylor, international development minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and assistant ministers Zed Seselja, Michael Sukkar and James McGrath offered their resignations after voting for frontbencher Peter Dutton in a surprise leadership spill on Tuesday morning. Liberal parliamentarians voted 48-35 to retain Turnbull as head of the party, prompting Dutton to resign as home affairs minister and move to the backbench. Veterans’ affairs minister Darren Chester warned that he and at least three other Nationals MPs may move to the crossbench if Dutton became prime minister, leaving the government without a parliamentary majority in the House of Representatives, while crossbenchers Rebekha Sharkie and Cathy McGowan have refused to guarantee confidence and supply should the Liberals change leader.

A 12-year-old refugee child on Nauru suffering from resignation syndrome has been flown to Australia for medical treatment with members of his family. The child, who cannot be named, was flown by air ambulance to Australia on Tuesday afternoon, along with his mother, stepfather and sister. The boy had been on a hunger strike for 20 days, only weighs 36 kilograms, and cannot stand or sit up. Doctors on Nauru refused to sedate the boy to forcibly feed and hydrate him, as a previous attempt resulted in his refusal of further treatment. Speaking to Guardian Australia, a medical official on the island said needless delays in the boy’s treatment “added to the family’s distress by making them choose between each other, being told they have to leave someone behind, to perhaps never see them again”.

Newly sworn-in Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi has taken aim at racism and the use of “dog-whistling and race-baiting as an electoral tactic” in her first parliamentary speech. Speaking on Monday, Faruqi said “my presence in the Senate is an affront for some”, and that many people “are offended that people of colour, and Muslims, have the audacity to not only exist, but to open our mouths and join the public debate”. Faruqi took aim at both major parties’ response to United Australia Party senator Fraser Anning’s first speech last week, noting that “you can’t condemn racism and then, in a warm glow of self-congratulation, allow deep-rooted structures of discrimination to remain in access to healthcare and public services, in our prisons and justice system, and in our immigration system”. A former academic and engineer, Faruqi served in the New South Wales upper house before becoming the first Muslim woman in the Senate.

And the federal government’s bill to cut company tax has passed a second reading in the Senate after One Nation leader Pauline Hanson failed to turn up for a crucial vote. While One Nation senator Peter Georgiou voted against a government motion to have the tax cut bill read a second time on Tuesday, the absence of his party leader meant the motion passed 35-34, rather than being defeated in a 35-35 tie. The government attempted to secure One Nation’s support on Monday by announcing that the “big four” banks would be exempt from the lower tax rate, but the party reiterated its opposition to the proposal.

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They’ve got houses, school bills, cars that they’ve set up for themselves on the basis that they’re earning $200,000 plus. What do they do if they’re suddenly out of work?

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The great Chinese art heist

“For much of the 20th century, China’s leaders hardly seemed to care about the country’s lost and plundered antiquities. Art was a symbol of bourgeois decadence, fit for destruction rather than preservation. By the early 2000s, however, China was growing rich and confident, and decidedly less Communist. The fate of the country’s plundered art was seized upon as a focus of national concern and pride.”  gq

The untold story of the world’s first photograph

“Every time we snap a phone pic, we join a spectrum, a continuum, that started with Daguerre, even if the chemistry has been replaced by pixels and the chemicals by electricity. We are calling into being an image that meets the demands of a certain just-this-side-of-godlike fidelity to what one would have seen had one been there, or did see because one was.”airbnb magazine

Mourning my lost dark as a blind artist

“The first time I realised I didn’t need lights on anymore was about a year ago. I stepped out of the shower, dried off, and then moved to shut off the light before leaving the bathroom. The switch was down, never having been turned on. I felt startled and strangely ashamed. I was now that blind person who sighted people would find doing things in the dark – washing dishes, writing, sewing, things they could never think to do without light.” catapult



Where does this lack of respect for our elected representatives come from?

“Putting out thematically appropriate veggies has rapidly become a tradition in Australia’s all-too-frequent leadership spills. Cast your mind back to 2015, when Aussies called on one another to #PutOutYourOnions in tribute to Tony Abbott when he was rolled in a leadership spill by Malcolm Turnbull. In that case, onion was the obvious choice, given Abbott’s infamous penchant for just biting into raw onions with the skin on. For Dutton, the obvious choice is a potato.”  junkee


Can’t possibly guess.

“Anti-corruption researchers say the ‘the time is now’ to create a strong and independent federal integrity body, after new research showed most Australians believe federal politicians are corrupt ... About 85 per cent of respondents said they believed some, most or all of the federal members of parliament were corrupt, a nine percentage point increase from the previous year.”  guardian australia


and finally:

Police call for restrictions on bikie club over alpaca allegations

“The clubhouse for a western Sydney bikie gang should have restrictions placed upon it because it supplies alcohol without a licence, used to have a ‘stripper pole’ and was the location of ‘sexual intercourse with an alpaca’, police have alleged in court ... Acting Sergeant Nathan Trueman from Strike Force Raptor said police received information in April 2014 ‘that the Gypsy Jokers had stolen an alpaca and were having sexual intercourse with it’.”  fairfax