Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Indonesian plane crash search continues

A representative of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency has conceded it would take “a miracle from God” to find any survivors from a passenger plane that went missing on Monday. A total of 189 people were aboard the Lion Air flight from Jakarta to the city of Pangkal Pinang when it went missing shortly after take-off. While debris from the plane has been recovered near the likely crash site, the plane’s main body and black box are still missing, as are the bodies of crew and passengers. Australia’s department of foreign affairs and trade advised that “government officials and contractors have been instructed not to fly on Lion Air” until “the findings of the crash investigation are clear”.

More than one-third of international students, backpackers and temporary migrant workers in Australia are paid about half the legal minimum wage. Wage Theft In Silence, a new report from the Migrant Worker Justice Initiative, found that almost half of migrant workers were paid less than $15 an hour, while 91 per cent of underpaid migrant workers did not seek to recover unpaid wages. Co-author Bassina Farbenblum said there was “a culture of impunity for wage theft in Australia”, saying “the scale of unclaimed wages is likely well over a billion dollars”. The report came as hospitality union Hospo Voice claimed that five venues in popular Melbourne laneway Degraves Street were systemically underpaying their staff.

Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro has won Brazil’s presidential election in a run-off ballot. A self-declared “proud homophobe” who has described black people as “animals” and once told a female politician “I wouldn’t rape you because you don’t deserve it”, Bolsonaro won 55 per cent of the vote against the left-wing Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad. Bolsonaro’s popularity skyrocketed in September after he was stabbed at a campaign rally, while popular former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was barred from running in August because of a corruption conviction. Bolsonaro’s pledge last week that “delinquent Reds will be banned from our homeland” has sparked fears his tenure will see a rise in politically motivated violence.

And federal Labor’s Left faction will agitate for the party to support stronger labour safeguards in international trade deals at the party’s national conference in December. Left-leaning Labor members and trade unions have expressed reservations at the party’s support for trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, citing lax employment standards and workers’ rights in many signatory nations.



“There’s the potential that someone used Nizamdeen’s notebook to plan a series of terror attacks and happened to leave it at Nizamdeen’s desk, or that his notebook and workspace were used deliberately in an attempt to frame him for planning an attack.”


“We are living through an interesting moment for television comedy. At least since Louie first aired in 2010, though arguably as far back as The Larry Sanders Show, the push has been into darker, more genre-defying areas ... Perhaps this is one of the reasons that NBC’s The Good Place has always seemed a little anachronistic. In a world of unromantic rom-coms and otherwise pitch-black comedies, it really is content to crack wise.”


“‘This is pretty nice, right?’ Maya Rudolph says, slouching onto an overstuffed couch and slipping a butter-yellow cushion under her arm. The lauded Saturday Night Live alumnus and actress, known for her crafted and inimitable impersonations, has been smiling since she sat down. Here, glancing out of floor-length French windows onto a Beverly Hills street lined with palms so tall they bend in the wind, she seems content.”


“Crossbench MPs have warned the government they will use the balance of power in the lower house to push for a federal anti-corruption commission ... The government has never ruled out a push from Labor to establish an anti-corruption commission, but attorney general Christian Porter has given a strong indication the government opposes the idea.”


“An independent review of Cricket Australia has delivered a scathing report on the governance and culture of the organisation ... The review was commissioned in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March. Captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner received 12-month bans while Cameron Bancroft has two months remaining on his nine-month ban.”



“The first tenant of the building, in 1900, was a dentist named Dr. Clarence Whittington, which is the closest thing to a possible explanation that has been offered as to why there were that many – or any! – teeth inside of the wall.”

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor.