Friday, October 04, 2019

Dutton backed over climate activist crackdown

A number of Liberal National Party MPs have supported Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s call to strip welfare payments from climate protesters and jail them. Employment Minister Michaelia Cash told The Australian ($): “Taxpayers should not be ­expected to subsidise the protests of others.” Other supporters include ($) Scott Buchholz, the assistant minister for road safety. Their backing comes after Dutton agreed with the 2GB radio host Ray Hadley that welfare payments of climate protesters should be cut and added: “they should be jailed until their behaviour changes”.  The Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, told the ABC that Dutton was starting to “sound more like a dictator than he is an elected politician. Because somebody says something that he doesn’t like, that he doesn’t support, he’s saying we’re going to strip away income support.” Some activists have taken leave from their jobs to protest against government inaction on climate change. The Morrison government is also seeking to require Newstart recipients who fail drug tests to use cashless welfare cards.

Violence against women: The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald report that the fate of Codey Herrmann, who raped and murdered Israeli exchange student Aiia Maasarwe, could be determined by the outcome of Jaymes Todd's appeal against a life sentence for raping and killing Eurydice Dixon. The Crown has urged Victorian Supreme Court judge Elizabeth Hollingworth to deliver to Herrmann the same life sentence handed to Todd, highlighting the similarities between the cases. The news comes as it emerges there was a domestic abuse link to the shooting spree in Western Sydney on Wednesday night. Bodybuilder Daniel King, who was killed in a shootout with police outside Penrith police station, had earlier fired his weapon at the home of Stacey Taylor, who is pregnant with King’s unborn child. King had repeatedly threatened her over the pregnancy, which he wanted terminated.   

Paris knife attack: A 45-year-old IT assistant wielding a knife has killed at least four people in an attack at the police headquarters in Paris. The attacker, who worked in the building, killed three police officers and an administrative worker before being shot dead by an officer. Police union leader Jean-Marc Bailleul described the incident as "criminal" rather than an act of "terror". The attack came one day after thousands of police officers marched in the city in protest against low wages, difficult working conditions, and escalating suicide rates. Lifeline 13 11 14 

Trump impeachment: President Donald Trump on Thursday publicly urged China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden regarding his son Hunter’s involvement with an investment fund that raised money in the country. Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry over pressuring Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Biden, who is seeking to become the Democratic nominee for president. 

In sport: A number of AFLW players are threatening to reject a deal with the AFL because of a dispute over the number of games per season. Maurice Blackburn lawyer Jacinta Lewin said there was "widespread dissatisfaction" among players about the AFL’s refusal to schedule enough games in a season for every club to play each other once.

Trump, Morrison, money and the drought
As Scott Morrison tried to shift Australia’s focus to the drought, and the cash rate fell below 1 per cent, Donald Trump’s paranoia followed the prime minister home.


“Chris Brooks does not mince his words. By his reckoning, the Murray–Darling Basin Authority (MDBA), the body that regulates Australia’s most important river system, is ‘absolutely inept and grossly negligent’. The politicians who oversee the MDBA are a ‘mob of morons’, and the party they belong to, the Nationals, is thoroughly ‘in the pocket’ of big agribusiness mates who are, in turn, ‘stupid, greedy, hungry, selfish bastards’.” 


“ASIS installed listening devices in the government offices of newly independent Timor-Leste to eavesdrop on its internal discussions during oil and gas negotiations with Australia ... the Timor operation diverted precious ASIS resources away from the war on terror. On September 9, 2004, Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists succeeded in bombing the Australian embassy in Indonesia. To make matters worse, the Timor bugging occurred under cover of an aid project, jeopardising the safety of Australian aid workers everywhere.”


“Over the years, there have been great hip-hop albums that speak to black identity, but American hip-hop generally feels quite parochial – a conversation for black people in America. But with Diaspora, GoldLink is opening up that conversation with the diaspora – and where he seems unsure, he brings others along to fill in those gaps. ‘What’s the point of African-American artists having a conversation with each other?’ he asks. ‘Where does that go?’”


“White Ribbon Australia closed its doors on Thursday after the company announced it was in liquidation. In a statement, the organisation said the decision ‘became necessary’ after an analysis of its future sustainability. It is with profound sadness that the board of White Ribbon Australia informs the community and supporters that it has taken the very difficult decision to close its doors,’ the statement said.”


“In just over a week, six people have been charged with the deaths of seven women who were allegedly known to them. In Australia one in six women and one in 16 men will experience physical domestic or family violence (DFV) and it is estimated to cost the economy $22 billion a year.”



“What we hide, and from whom, is often a way to trace shifting power dynamics in different contexts. Hidden-compartment furnishings held a special appeal for women in the past, as the Denver Sun reported in 1905: such furniture is well-suited for the woman who does not have the ‘fireproof deposit safe or a safe place in the office’ to store secret documents like her male counterpart. On the other side of the world, in a different era, the photographer Li Zhensheng, one of the most thorough documentarians of China’s Cultural Revolution, stored ‘negative’ negatives of the photographs he took as a propaganda photographer in the secret compartment of his work desk.”


Max Opray is Schwartz Media’s morning editor and a freelance writer.