Tuesday, October 09, 2018

UN’s dire climate change warning

The United Nations has warned the world must eliminate coal-fired power in the next 32 years and undergo “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society” to avoid global warming beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report on global warming, authored by 91 climate scientists, found that between 70 and 90 per cent of coral reefs worldwide would be lost if the earth warmed 1.5 degrees by 2100, while warming of 2 degrees would see the Arctic Circle free of sea ice in summer once every 10 years. Former UN Framework Convention on Climate Change chief executive Christiana Figueres said “the illustrations of mounting impacts, the fast-approaching and irreversible tipping points are visceral versions of a future that no policy-maker could wish to usher in or be responsible for”.

Cancer Council Australia has called for an independent review into the safety of weed killer Roundup after a United States court found it caused cancer. Cancer Council Australia chief executive Dr Sanchia Aranda said the peak body was “concerned that this issue's not being taken seriously enough in Australia, particularly by the agricultural industry”. Agriculture giant Monsanto is facing thousands of lawsuits in the US from people who claim glyphosate, the chemical in Roundup, contributed to them contracting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In August, California man Dewayne Lee Johnson won a landmark US$289 million suit against Monsanto after a jury found his use of Roundup as a school groundskeeper contributed to his terminal cancer.

Family violence hotlines and women’s shelters struggled with a spike in demand on the weekend of the AFL and NRL grand finals. Speaking to Guardian Australia, a Victoria Police spokesperson said “public holidays and major events have the potential to create a number of stressors on relationships that may increase the possibility of family violence”. Family violence counselling service 1800Respect experienced a 10 per cent rise in calls compared to previous weeks, while welfare agencies also reported an increase in families seeking help. Six women have been killed ($) in the past week, with 52 women dying as a result of violence against women so far in 2018.

And in Brazil, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro has won a convincing victory in the country’s presidential elections, while falling short of the required majority needed to avoid a runoff. Bolsonaro garnered more than 46 per cent of the vote, well ahead of his nearest rival, Fernando Haddad of the left-wing Workers’ Party, who won just under 30 per cent. The candidates will face off in a runoff election on October 28. Haddad now needs to attract voter support from those who favoured a coalition of unsuccessful candidates and their parties if Bolsonaro is to be defeated.

1800Respect: 1800 737 732



“India’s sterilisation campaigns for both men and women have been part of international campaigns intended to control the nation’s population. Long after Indian independence, these measures were – and continue to be – rooted in imperialist ideas, and in long-held Western attitudes about Indian manhood and womanhood.”


“Valentina isn’t a social worker or a therapist or a lawyer. She is an immigrant who opens her home to women whose husbands or boyfriends abuse them. The women who come are waitresses, saleswomen, fruit and vegetable pickers, housecleaners ... Most are undocumented, and before President Trump’s election, they went to Valentina when they didn’t know their rights or when shelters didn’t have space.”


“In 1868, seven young Scottish stowaways on a ship bound for Canada were subjected by the crew to acts of sadistic cruelty. Two of them died after being abandoned on floating ice. Over 150 years their story was forgotten by all but their families. Only now are efforts being made to commemorate them.”



“Former Labor leader Mark Latham has ‘sensibly’ cut dozens of pages from his written defence in a defamation battle with journalist Osman Faruqi, a Federal Court judge has said, and the case should now proceed swiftly to trial. In a widely-shared judgment in August, Federal Court Justice Michael Wigney described Latham's original defence – which numbered more than 70 pages – as an ‘extraordinary’ document.”


“Faruqi, by his various utterances and conduct set forth in Part G of this pleading, portrayed Latham as: a person whose literary tastes and interests do not rise above the level of providing manual sexual stimulation to horses; a ‘white supremacist’; a person who talks in an ‘idiotic way’; a person whose literary style is inexcusable; a person who publishes the same column over and over; a ‘lunatic’.”


“Brexit might have set a lot of tongues wagging since the referendum but it was the tails doing the talking on Sunday as thousands of dogs and their owners descended on Parliament. From small and fluffy to big and barking, the canines and their companions took part in a march in London, which started at Waterloo, to call for a second EU referendum.”

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor.