Thursday, June 13, 2019

Tear gas, rubber bullets rain down on Hong Kong protestors

Hong Kong's Hospital Authority says dozens of people have been injured in the city’s protests, which escalated yesterday as police fired rubber bullets and tear gas to push back crowds away from the Legislative Council Complex. Demonstrators took shelter in shopping centres and used umbrellas to shield themselves from tear gas. Tens of thousands of protestors continue to flood the streets to stand against controversial legislation that would allow extradition to China. Critics of the bill say democracy activists, journalists and fugitives would be handed over to mainland China if the bill were to come into law.

In Russia, hundreds of protestors, including a number of journalists, have been arrested and detained during a peaceful protest in Moscow. About 1500 people marched calling for police officers to be charged for planting drugs on investigative journalist Ivan Golunov, who was facing 20 years in prison until the case was dropped on Tuesday due to lack of evidence. The demonstration was not approved by authorities and took place on Russia Day, a public holiday commemorating Russia’s independence from the Soviet Union.

A new study analysing lease terminations data of public housing has found that housing authorities are evicting domestic violence victims for the abuse they suffer, labelling it “nuisance” and a breach under tenancy laws. The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute study found women, often the sole leaseholder in these situations were carrying the burden of controlling “the misconduct of male partners and children”. Other findings revealed that a zero-tolerance approach was disrupting drug and alcohol treatment and that children were only a “marginal consideration” in cases, often being evicted into homelessness with the parents.

The Adani Carmichael mine faces a fresh hiccup in its plans after the Australian Conservation Foundation won its legal challenge to the federal government’s assessment of the north Galilee water scheme. The government admitted that it failed to properly consider responses from the public and also lost a number of submissions. This leaves the government no choice but to reopen the project for public comment and federal environment minister Sussan Ley to reassess the proposal. However, Adani will still be able to begin its construction of the coal mine if it receives approval for groundwater plans from the Queensland government.  

The Western Australian opposition leader Mike Nahan stepped down from the party leadership overnight after several months of media speculation. Talking to ABC News, Nahan said it was always his intention to step aside. "I have decided to step down because I am confident we are in a good position with a number of leadership aspirants and after the Federal Election we are in a good position," he said. Nahan, who took the helm after a crushing Liberal defeat in the 2017 state election, will remain in parliament. The ABC says sources within the Liberal party regard deputy leader Liza Harvey as the frontrunner to replace Nahan.  



“I found out the hard way just how lacklustre are Australia’s laws around online speech. After being subjected to a barrage of violent, racist abuse – including death threats – I researched the legal framework around online hate speech for the ABC’s investigative documentary program Background Briefing. I was surprised and disturbed to learn that the one law that’s supposed to capture offensive and intimidating conduct online was written in 2004, before Facebook had launched in Australia and before Twitter even existed. I also discovered that police often don’t even know about the law’s existence – or are unwilling to enforce it.”


“Once a Nazi airbase, it was annexed by Soviet forces in 1945 and over the decades was steadily expanded to house regiments of fighter-bombers, dozens of hardened aircraft shelters and a nuclear alert shelter as the superpowers threatened each other with annihilation. After reunification, a private company bought the base and designed futuristic heavy-lifting airships. The company went bankrupt in 2002, but not before building the dome at a cost of €78 million. In 2003, the site was purchased by Tanjong Public Limited Company, a Malaysian pan-national with vast resources and a crazy dream. They would use the shell of the airship hangar to build a place styled as ‘Europe’s largest tropical holiday resort’.”


“This need to locate her place in the world and contribute drove Rankin to conceive an event called Climate Hour, hosting a panel of climate experts ahead of her glittering adolescent fever dream of a concert at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre. ‘I don’t feel like an expert at all, but I’m super ready to ask dumb questions on behalf of whoever needs them asked.’ A pop artist holding court on the climate emergency may prompt scepticism, but Rankin forged her music career with ulterior motives sketched out from the beginning.”


“The energy minister, Angus Taylor, has not ruled out the Morrison government reversing the nuclear energy ban, if a “clear business case” showed the economics were sound as he dodged questions about how Australia would meet its Paris agreement targets.”


“People are evacuated from an Exclusion Zone, animals are shot, and the very earth itself is dug up for 100 square kilometres to be buried elsewhere. The lessons are terrible but instructive: stemming the damage is not the same as fixing the problem. Chernobyl has been an unlikely success with viewers, growing its American audience with each episode and becoming the top-rated show on the website”


“It's incredibly depressing and anyone with half a brain is wondering what do we do now?! But if you think you're miserable, imagine being a climate scientist.”

Join The Saturday Paper editorial team at the Byron Writers Festival, as they dissect, analyse and decide the events that should be covered and how. Featuring Erik Jensen, Maddison Connaughton, Paul Bongiorno, Maxine Beneba Clarke and Karen Middleton.

Saturday, August 3 at 10am in The Saturday Paper marquee at the main festival site.

Full program out now.

Trade war now
As the trade war escalates between China and the United States, it’s the US that has become the radical actor.

Anna Horan
is a Melbourne-based editor and writer.