Monday, July 22, 2019

Ardern’s refugee resettlement offer still stands

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the offer to resettle 150 refugees from Manus Island and Nauru still stands, despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s rejection of the proposal. Ardern told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that the offer remained if the Australian government changed its mind. Protests over the weekend calling for the release of refugees on Manus Island and Nauru marked the sixth anniversary of the Rudd Labor government’s reintroduction of off-shore processing of asylum seekers. Thousands turned out in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Hobart and Darwin to demand an end to off-shore processing and to bring asylum seekers to Australia. Greens senator Nick McKim, who was visiting Manus Island to mark the anniversary, was deported from Papua New Guinea after requesting to enter the East Lorengau transit centre. He said of the situation on Manus that it “worse than it has ever been” because people “have lost hope for the future”, and called on the prime minister Scott Morrison to agree to New Zealand’s offer to resettle the refugees.  

Britain has described Iran’s seizure of a British oil tanker in the Gulf as “unacceptable” and a “hostile act”. A video posted online shows masked and armed Iranian troops boarding the Stena Impero tanker, mirroring tactics of British Royal Marines who captured an Iranian tanker Grace 1 two weeks ago for violating Syrian sanctions. Iranian foreign minister says Iran’s actions were to uphold international maritime rules and accused the UK of being an accessory to United States’ “economic terrorism”. British newspaper The Telegraph reports that UK foreign minister Jeremy Hunt will announce sanctions on Iran in retaliation.

A former NASA intern has cashed in on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, selling three original video tapes of the event for close to $2 million. Gary George bought the tapes in 1976 at a government surplus auction for $US217. The tapes are described as the “earliest, sharpest and most accurate surviving video images of man’s first steps on the Moon”, and sold through Sotheby’s for $US1.82 million. 

In the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, the Australian Diamonds lost the final to New Zealand’s Silver Ferns by a single goal. New Zealand’s 52-51 win prevented Australia the Diamonds from claiming a fourth successive crown at the World Cup. In the Women’s Ashes, Australia has retained the trophy after a draw with England in a rain-delayed Test match. Although another afternoon of play was available, Australian skipper Meg Lanning opted for the draw rather than chase an outright win, the team having already started the series with three wins in limited-overs games. 

China’s military and the plan for dominance
As China seeks to assert dominance, Australia finds itself upping the stakes in a game it doesn’t want to play. Hugh White on the gamble with China’s military dominance.


“Once a compulsory public health insurance system was up and running, however, the optional private system with dubious benefits and an unclear role proved less popular. Propped up at great expense by a series of subsidies and policies by successive governments, PHI has limped along ever since. Never quite dying but always one step from terminal.”


“‘Uptown Funk’ was the perfect distillation of Ronson’s particular brand of retro revivalism, a piece of ’80s pastiche that spoke to basically every generation in one way or another. You would forgive Ronson for trying to re-create that unlikely ubiquity; there’s no doubt that kind of commercial success is intoxicating. But for Late Night Feelings, his fifth solo album, the British producer has taken a different tack. Across a set of 13 heady heartbreak songs, Late Night Feelings does away with all the trappings of ‘Uptown Funk’ and Ronson’s early work. This record is so taut in its execution, so steadfast in its identity, that it obliterates all memory of what came before.”


“The big contest in Australia is as it has always been: individualistic libertarianism versus a more inclusive social liberalism. In politics, this contest between the two factions of liberal thought is managed through the party system. But increasingly in sport, the factions line up much more awkwardly: while administrations represent one faction, the other is found among fans (and Israel Folau).”


“King singled out three members of the media for what he said was their role in perpetuating the racism Goodes experienced on the football field: News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt, football commentator Sam Newman, and Collingwood Football Club president Eddie McGuire. ‘Andrew Bolt was just ferocious and horrible in his comments,’ King said. ‘Sam Newman was disgusting and terrible, with what he was having to say. And Eddie McGuire, who continues to squirm out from any horrible comments he makes and still survives every day.’”


“McGuire said there were plans to screen the documentary at his son's school and he would conduct a Q&A session afterwards. He also encouraged people to watch a second documentary on the Adam Goodes saga – from broadcaster Stan Grant – when it comes out later this year.”



“But there’s a darker, little-known backstory behind the track, a summer bop that led to years of litigation, backbiting over credit, and the eventual ending of a musical friendship. And that’s before you even get into how different it feels now to listen as Bega euphemistically rattles off the names of his sexual conquests. ‘A little bit of Sandra in the sun. A little bit of Mary all night long.’ For his part, Bega thinks the song is not problematic, but it’s clear he’s thought about it.”


Anna Horan is a Melbourne-based editor and writer.