Monday, October 15, 2018

Neo-Nazis infiltrate Young Nats

The New South Wales Young Nationals has suspended processing new memberships and expelled several members with ties to fascist and neo-Nazi groups. Last week the ABC revealed members of the youth wing’s executive were also members of private Facebook groups where people advocate genocide, glorify Adolf Hitler and the Holocaust. Other NSW Young Nationals members attended meetings of The Lads Society, a group that hosts weekly “fight clubs” and is run by high-profile white nationalists such as former United Patriots Front leader Blair Cottrell. Anti-fascist group the White Rose Society previously reported that nearly two dozen alt-right extremists had joined the party to promote people who shared their ideologies into positions of power. In a statement, the NSW Young Nationals said “the National Party rejects all forms of racism and hatred” and “such radical ideologies have no place within our Party”.

The federal government will move to ban religious schools from expelling or refusing to take students on the basis of sexuality after a backlash to the Ruddock review into religious freedom. Prime minister Scott Morrison reversed his support for the recommendation last week, while attorney-general Christian Porter has pushed state and territory governments to abolish their own religious-based exemptions to anti-discrimination law. LGBT rights advocates are pushing to strike down similar exemptions allowing religious schools to fire teachers and staff on the basis of sexuality, with deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek saying the question was “a good conversation to have as a community”. Several polls released today show overwhelming opposition ($) to the Ruddock review’s original recommendation.

Queensland parliament will vote on whether to decriminalise abortion this week, with pro-choice advocates increasingly confident of success. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has refused to reveal how she will vote on the issue, despite previously expressing support for decriminalisation. Pro-choice and pro-life groups held marches in Brisbane at the weekend, with pro-life activists protesting outside the office of deputy premier Jackie Trad as she walked with a pro-choice rally. Both major parties have granted their MPs a conscience vote on the issue, likely ensuring a close vote in Queensland’s one-house parliament, where Labor holds a slim majority.

And one in six Australian children are living in poverty, according to a new study from community service provider UnitingCare. The University of Canberra report on child social exclusion, to be launched at Parliament House today to mark the beginning of Anti-Poverty Week, found that 17.2 per cent of children aged 14 and younger lived in poverty, with rates highest in the rural Northern Territory, rural Victoria and New South Wales outside Sydney. UnitingCare Australia national director Claerwen Little said the report, which drew on census data on education, socioeconomic status, housing and health, showed “disadvantage is much more than just poverty or lack of financial security”.


“The charity would raise over $8 million, including almost $600,000 from the U.S. government. Meyler would enter a rarefied world of globe-trotting problem-solvers. MTM’s footprint in Liberia would multiply to 19 schools teaching 4,000 students. Yet some of the girls present that September day had a secret. Far from being saved from sexual exploitation, they were being raped by the man standing beside Meyler on the stage.”


“Using his growing legal acumen, he would become the most dangerous man in the cloistered and labyrinthine Texas prison system—a danger not to the other prisoners but to those with real power: the officers and the wardens, and George Beto, the director of the Texas Department of Corrections. As unlikely as it would have seemed as Fred Cruz sat in solitary in the winter of 1967, he would see to it that many of those men’s careers ended in disgrace. The effort would fundamentally alter prison systems across the country.”


“For the uninitiated, kawaiicore – a mix of the Japanese word for cute, ‘kawaii’, and the ‘core’ from ‘hard-core’ – combines saccharine Japanese pop and extreme metal. A song with a silken, upbeat intro, set to the strains of a clean and uplifting guitar or keyboard line, will often descend into triple-time blast beats and guttural screaming or esophagus-busting shrieks during the chorus.”


“Foreign affairs minister Marise Payne has expressed serious concerns for the welfare of Saudi Arabian dissident Jamal Khashoggi, who mysteriously disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey last week ... ‘Australia is deeply concerned about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’, Payne said in a statement from Papua New Guinea, where she was travelling.”


“The Australian government must ensure that its military exports are not contributing to violations of international law by the warring parties in Yemen, Save the Children, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch said in a joint letter to the ministers of foreign affairs and defence ... The government has been unwilling to disclose the details of its military exports to Saudi Arabia and other coalition members, despite repeated requests by human rights organisations since 2015.”


“As Princess Eugenie left the car, revealing the design of her gown, to walk up the chapel steps, a BBC presenter said: ‘What a beautiful dress’. However, in an unfortunate error, the subtitles on screen during the Victoria Derbyshire programme read: ‘What beautiful breasts… Absolutely fitting her perfectly…’”

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor.