Culture

  • Week in Brief: 14 April – 20 April 2019

    2019 election: Morrison and Shorten to debate on 29 April Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will go head-to-head in a debate set for 29 April. See OPMagazine’s coverage of this story here. Fire tears through Notre Dame Notre Dame’s spire has collapsed after a fire engulfed the iconic Parisian cathedral on Monday (local time). See OPMagazine’s coverage of this story here. North Korea tests new “tactical” weapon, says DPRK state media ... ► Read more

  • Macron pledges to restore Notre Dame in five years

    French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral in five years. A fire ravaged the Parisian landmark on Monday evening (local time), causing the cathedral’s roof and 90 metre spire to collapse. In a televised address, Mr Macron said: “We will rebuild Notre-Dame even more beautifully and I want it to be completed in five years, we can do it. “It is up to us to convert this disaster into an opportunity ... ► Read more

  • Fire tears through Notre Dame

    Notre Dame’s spire has collapsed after a fire engulfed the iconic Parisian cathedral on Monday (local time). With billows of smoke rolling across Paris, onlookers watched in shock as flames that began in the early evening tore through the landmark’s roof, causing the 90 metre spire to collapse. Despite the severe damage, authorities say the cathedral’s two towers have been protected and that the structure was “saved from total destruction”. Paris Fire Brigade chief Jean-Claude ... ► Read more

  • Facebook to crack down on white nationalist content

    Facebook has announced on Wednesday that it will ban praise or support for white nationalism, which will extend to image-sharing service Instagram. The ban will be enforced from next week, with its rules against hateful content being revised to include white nationalism and white separatism. “It’s clear that these concepts are deeply linked to organised hate groups and have no place on our services,” the company said in a statement. Facebook explained that while it ... ► Read more

  • One Nation sought millions in political donations from US National Rifle Association

    An investigative report conducted by Al Jazeera has revealed senior One Nation figures met with representatives of the powerful American National Rifle Association (NRA), as well as Koch Industries, in a bid to secure donations. Pauline Hanson’s Chief of Staff James Ashby and One Nation Queensland leader Steve Dickson were secretly filmed during the meetings in Washington DC back in September. Mr Ashby and Mr Dickson are seen during a meeting with the NRA seeking ... ► Read more

  • Sydney bars to hold election eve drink freeze

    About 34 Sydney bars will stop serving drinks for up to 15 minutes at 6:00pm tonight to draw voters’ attention to the future of Sydney’s night-time economy, ahead of tomorrow’s state election. The New South Wales Government has been criticised for introducing lockout laws and additional restrictions of liquor licensing, which has become a key election issue. In a statement Sydney’s Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) said the bars involved will “turn up the lights” ... ► Read more

  • Erdogan’s Christchurch comments “taken out of context”

    The senior spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the leader was “unfortunately taken out of context” in comments in which he appeared to threaten violence to Australians and New Zealanders after the Christchurch massacre. Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a white supremacist, was charged with murder after a lone gunman opened fire in attacks on the two mosques during Friday prayers, killing 50 people. In a campaign rally ahead of local elections on 31 ... ► Read more

  • The psychology of fear and hate, and what each of us can do to stop it

    As an immigrant to New Zealand, I am saddened and outraged by the events in Christchurch. The apparent innocence of New Zealand has been stripped away by acts of cowardice and evil. Police remain on high alert and authorities are still responding to events following the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch that took the lives of 50 people and seriously injured many more. Three people have been arrested, and one, an Australian living in ... ► Read more

  • Israeli warplanes bomb gaza

    Explosions were heard in the Gaza Strip early Friday and Palestinian witnesses said Israeli planes bombed two Hamas security positions. The Israeli military said it was attacking “terror sites” in Gaza, hours after it said two rockets were launched from the enclave at the Tel Aviv area. The attacks were taking place in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, about 25km south of Gaza City. An OPMagazine contact in Khan Younis said the bombing ... ► Read more

  • George Pell sentenced to 6 years in gaol

    Cardinal George Pell has been sentenced to six years in prison for sexually abusing two choirboys during his tenure as Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s. Mr Pell, 77, will serve a minimum of three years and eight months before he is eligible for parole. County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd described the cardinal’s offences as “a brazen and forcible sexual attack on the victims”. “The acts were sexually graphic, both victims were visibly and ... ► Read more

  • Privacy pivot: Facebook wants to be more like WhatsApp. But details are scarce

    Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg delivered a 3,000+ word post last week, spelling out a new vision for the social network. It prompts just one small question: Facebook, who are you? Zuckerberg’s essay, entitled “A privacy-focused vision for social networking”, signals a radical shift. Since its launch in 2004, Facebook has encouraged openness, connection and sharing. But now, it would be “privacy-focused”, featuring encrypted services and content that “won’t stick around forever”. Facebook will, says Zuckerberg, transform from open ... ► Read more

  • The internet is now an arena for conflict, and we’re all caught up in it

    Most people think the internet operates as a kind of global public square. In reality, it’s become a divided arena where conflict between nation states plays out. Nation states run covert operations on the same platforms we use to post cat videos and exchange gossip. And if we’re not aware of it, we could be unwittingly used as pawns for the wrong side. How did we get here? It’s complicated, but let’s walk through some ... ► Read more

  • Over 15,000 Russians protest “sovereign internet” bill

    Thousands of people took to the streets of Moscow and two other cities on Sunday to rally against tighter internet restrictions, in some of the biggest protests in the Russian capital in years. Lawmakers last month backed tighter internet controls contained in legislation they say is necessary to prevent foreign meddling in Russia’s affairs. But some Russian media likened it to an online “iron curtain”, and critics say it can be used to stifle dissent. ... ► Read more

  • PM pledges $328 million to fight domestic violence

    The Morrison Government has pledged an extra $328 million to combat domestic violence, with much of that funding going towards safe houses and frontline services. The three-year funding commitment represents the fourth and final stage of the National Action Plan that was developed, in consultation with the states, in 2010. Announcing the “record Commonwealth investment”, Prime Minister Scott Morrison will also unveil a new prevention strategy to target the negative attitudes that lead to violence. ... ► Read more

  • Institutional structures create monsters like Pell

    For those who haven’t heard, the verdict on Cardinal Pell has just come out. Shocker — he’s been found guilty. If you’ve been living under a rock, Cardinal George Pell — the highest ranking member of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia — was accused of sexually assaulting underage boys a while ago. Strangely enough, he denied this claim. Back in December he was found guilty, and now that verdict has been released to the public. It’s ... ► Read more

  • Sailor in Life’s iconic Times Square kissing photo dies

    George Mendonsa had a seizure on Sunday (local time) after falling at an assisted living facility in Middleton, Rhode Island, his daughter Sharon Molleur said. In the famous image, one of four taken by Alfred Eisenstadt for Life magazine, Mr Mendonsa is seen ecstatically kissing a woman in a white nurse’s uniform. The picture was published by Life as V-J Day in Times Square, referring to the day Japan surrendered to the US. The iconic ... ► Read more

  • Polish PM calls off Israel visit after Netanyahu’s holocaust collaboration comment

    Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has cancelled a high-level visit to Israel after Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu said that “Poles collaborated with the Nazis”. Mr Netanyahu’s comment sparked outrage in Poland, which suffered the murders of millions of both Jewish and ethnic Poles during Nazi occupation. The Israeli Prime Minister’s office has said Mr Netanyahu was “misquoted” by Haaretz, the oldest and one of the most-read newspapers in Israel. “Netanyahu spoke of Poles and not ... ► Read more

  • Macedonia officially changes name to North Macedonia

    The Macedonian Government says the balkan country is now officially renamed North Macedonia, under an agreement to normalise relations with Greece that also allows it to enter NATO. A Government press release says that as of Tuesday, the country is officially called the Republic of North Macedonia. An official said the decision would be published in the Government’s gazette later on Tuesday (local time). As of Wednesday (local time), the new name will be incorporated ... ► Read more

  • Byron Bay Bluesfest director threatens to move festival interstate

    Peter Noble, the director of the iconic Byron Bay Bluesfest, has threatened to move the festival out of New South Wales, claiming new State Government guidelines are threatening the viability of the event. Mr Noble said strict licensing and safety guidelines could cost organisers hundreds of thousands of dollars. “We are the industry professionals, we are the people that are presenting events at the highest levels,” Mr Noble said. “Bluesfest has just been inducted into ... ► Read more

  • Filthy Crew: Curating a show near you

    Today we bring to you someone we admire and want you all to appreciate too! Initially we had met said person, Luka Flanagan, at the beginning of 2018. It was in a fit of smoke, music, and lots of giddy laughter from your dopey twins. In further conversing with our newest friend, we were beyond shocked to believe that this guy had just turned 18. He was two years our junior, and he had such ... ► Read more

  • Universal sues Clive Palmer over use of Twisted Sister hit

    Universal Music is suing Clive Palmer for copyright infringement, after the businessman used a reworked version of Twisted Sister’s 1984 hit “We’re Not Gonna Take It” to promote the United Australia Party. Universal bought the publishing rights to the song from Twisted Sister’s frontman and songwriter Dee Snider in 2015, and filed the suit last week. The band has publicly denounced the cover, with band manager and guitarist John Finch saying that the band “have ... ► Read more

  • Pope Francis makes historic visit to Abu Dhabi

    Leader of the Catholic Church Pope Francis has landed in Abu Dhabi for a historic three-day visit to the Arabian Peninsula. Upon arriving in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Pope was greeted by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and then Dr Ahmed Al Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al Azhar Al Sharif University and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders. Ahead ... ► Read more

  • Australia retains ranking in anti-corruption index

    Australia has kept its ranking in Transparency International’s annual anti-corruption index among the top 20 cleanest countries in the world. Denmark, New Zealand and Finland took first, second and third respectively, with Australia sitting just between the UK and Austria at 13th. Transparency International’s 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index shows more than two-thirds of countries scoring below 50 — 100 being very clean and 0 being very corrupt. Australia has maintained its 2017 ranking of 77/100. While ... ► Read more

  • Anti-semitic protests at Auschwitz on Holocaust Memorial Day

    A small group of hardline Polish nationalists gathered in protest at the Auschwitz concentration camp on Sunday, as officials and survivors commemorated the 74th anniversary of the camp’s liberation. The two groups gathered in different parts of the camp and did not encounter each other. At the official ceremony on Sunday — which is also International Holocaust Victims Remembrance Day — government officials, including Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, were joined in prayer by some of ... ► Read more

  • St Petersburg marks 75th anniversary of Leningrad siege end

    Saint Petersburg marked the 75th anniversary of the lifting of the Siege of Leningrad over the weekend with a military parade in the centre of the city and commemorations of the fallen. The World War II siege, which lasted for 872 days and killed an estimated one million people, is remembered every year on January 27 — the day it was lifted by Soviet troops in 1944. The parade in Russia’s second-largest city was the ... ► Read more

  • Remains of explorer Matthew Flinders found under London’s Euston Station

    The remains of explorer Matthew Flinders have been found underneath London’s Euston Station during construction work on the HS2 high-speed rail project. In 1802 Flinders was the first European to circumnavigate the Australian continent, accompanied by indigenous explorer Bungaree of the Kuringgai people. Flinders died at the age of 40, on the day after his book A Voyage to Terra Australis was published, and was interred in St James’s cemetery on 23 July 1814. St James’s grew rapidly, but ... ► Read more

  • HMS Endeavour replica to circumnavigate Australia to mark 250 years since Cook’s arrival

    A multi-million dollar journey to mark Captain James Cook’s first voyage to Australia in 1770 will improve public understanding of the historical event, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says. The Federal Government will give $6.7 million to the Australian National Maritime Museum so its replica of the Endeavour can circumnavigate the country, stopping at 39 different spots along the way. Mr Morrison initially referred to the voyage as a “re-enactment”, but later clarified that he was ... ► Read more

  • Did MAGA hat-donned kids mock a Native American elder?

    A video picked up by media at the weekend showing young male students wearing Make America Great Again (MAGA) caps surrounding and drowning out a Native American elder does not reveal the whole picture. Social media lit up when footage circulated online of the confrontation at a rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. The video showed a young student in a red MAGA cap standing directly in front of elder Nathan Phillips, who was ... ► Read more

  • Outrage grows over MAGA hat-donned teens mocking native American elder

    A video showing a crowd of teenagers surrounding a Native American elder and other activists and mocking them after an Indigenous Peoples March has sparked global outrage. Videos of the confrontation show a smiling young man in a red Make America Great Again hat standing directly in front of the man, who was playing a drum and chanting. Other kids could be seen laughing, jumping around and making fun of the chants. “I did not ... ► Read more

  • Morrison’s Pacific trip needs to be more than a one-off

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has kicked off the new year by visiting our Pacific neighbours Vanuatu and Fiji in a bid to bolster relations. It is undeniable that China’s growing influence in the region is at the core of this highly unusual trip. China’s expansion in the Pacific is unnerving to say the least, and the last prime ministerial visits to Vanuatu and Fiji were in 1990 and 2006 respectively, both of which were to ... ► Read more

  • Fijian workers able to work on Australian farms under expanded Pacific Labour Scheme

    Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will today announce that Fijian workers will be able to work on Australian farms under the expanded Pacific Labour Scheme. “We will work with Fiji to help them access the Pacific Labour Scheme this year, boosting both economies while helping Australian farmers,” Mr Morrison said ahead of his visit. Under the expanded scheme, workers from certain Pacific countries are able to work in rural and regional Australia for up to ... ► Read more

  • Chechnya: two people killed and 40 detained in LGBT purge, activists say

    At least two people have died and 40 others detained by the Republic of Chechnya in Russia in a crackdown against the gay community, LGBT+ activists charged on Monday (local time). The new allegations follows reports that emerged in 2017 claiming that more than 100 gay men were arrested and subjected to torture, with some of them killed, in the conservative republic. “Widespread detentions, torture and killings of gay people have resumed in Chechnya,” Igor ... ► Read more

  • Gillette toxic masculinity ad sparks calls for boycott

    Some customers say they are throwing their Gillette razors out in disgust at the shaving supply company’s latest ad campaign challenging men to “shave their toxic masculinity”. The ad, called ‘We Believe’, is among the first to address the #MeToo movement head on and urges society to no longer use the excuse “boys will be boys” for bad behaviour — but not everybody is on board. On social media, some people have claimed the ad demonises ... ► Read more

  • NSW Coroner to investigate musical festival deaths

    A directions hearing will be held next Tuesday as the NSW Coroner opens an inquest into recent deaths at music festivals in the state. The inquest will focus on five deaths since September 2018: Diana Nguyen and Joseph Nguyen Nhu Binh Pham at the Defqon 1 festival on 15 September 2018. Callum Brosnan, who died after attending the Knockout — Games of Destiny festival on 9 December 2018. Joshua Tam, who died following the Lost ... ► Read more

  • Actor Rose McGowan pleads no contest, avoids imprisonment for cocaine possession

    American actor Rose McGowan has been ordered to pay US $2,5000 after pleading no contest to a charge of misdemeanour possession of a controlled substance. The Loudoun County Circuit Court also gave her a 12-month suspended sentence, meaning she will not go to prison unless she commits another offence in that period. “Sometimes you have to lose the battle to win the war,” Ms McGowan told Washington DC broadcaster WTOP Radio. “I’m in it for ... ► Read more

  • NSW Premier under pressure amid fresh calls for pill testing

    NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is standing firm on her opposition to pill testing, despite pleas from the family of a teenager who died of a suspected overdose after taking drugs at a music festival. Alex Ross-King, 19, died after she was rushed from the FOMO festival at Parramatta Park to Westmead Hospital on Saturday night. It was the fifth such death in NSW since mid-September. “Premier please can we have this pill testing done,” her ... ► Read more

  • Kevin Spacey Pleads Not Guilty to 2016 Sexual Assault Allegation

    Actor Kevin Spacey pleaded not guilty of sexual assault when the Oscar winner appeared in court to answer to allegations that he groped a teenager at a bar in Massachusetts in 2016. The case is the first against Mr Spacey to reach court, after a series of sexual assault allegations were made against him at the end of 2017. The former House of Cards actor was not asked for his plea during the arraignment, but ... ► Read more

  • TIME announces its Person of the Year

    TIME Magazine has named four journalists and a newspaper as its 2018 Person of the Year for what it says is standing up for the truth in the face of persecution and violence. The group, which TIME called “the guardians”, consists of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi; the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, where five people were shot dead at the newspaper’s offices in June; Philippine journalist Maria Ressa, who has been arrested; and Reuters journalists ... ► Read more

  • Cabinet plans to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

    The Morrison Government will formally recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital after a cabinet meeting but it won’t be announced until the COAG meeting on Wednesday, according to The Australian. Citing sources, The Australian reports that the decision will be ratified by the cabinet at a meeting on Tuesday after the national security committee approved it on Monday night. However, the Australian embassy won’t be moved from Tel Aviv just yet. Instead a consular office will be ... ► Read more

  • Summer season song starters

    Even though we have only just entered summer, we are in the most jovial mood for the summer sounds to come. We have been absolutely spoilt with amazing songs this year, and these three months are no exception! Here are some tracks we have been frothing that have lead us into our fav season! The Buoys: “Make It Clear” Opening with a low, gritty guitar riff, “Make It Clear” instantly grabs your attention and forces ... ► Read more

  • Knockout Games of Destiny death renews calls for pill testing

    Another Sydney music festival death has renewed calls for pill testing at major events but the NSW Premier is standing firm against the measure. A 19-year-old man died in Concord Hospital early on Sunday while two women, aged 19 and 25, and a man are in critical but stable conditions at Westmead Hospital after suspected drug overdoses at the Knockout Games of Destiny dance party at Sydney Olympic Park on Saturday night. NSW Police Assistant ... ► Read more

  • Buzzcocks lead singer Pete Shelley dies at age 63

    Buzzcocks lead singer Pete Shelley has died at 63 of a suspected heart attack. The punk band are best known for their hit, “Ever Fallen in Love”. Their management told the BBC that Mr Shelley died on Thursday (local time) in Estonia where he was living. The band tweeted: Pete's music has inspired generations of musicians over a career that spanned five decades and with his band and as a solo artist, he was held ... ► Read more

  • UNESCO adds reggae to list of intangible cultural heritage

    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has recognised reggae music as a global treasure by adding the genre to its list of intangible cultural heritage. Originating in Jamaica in the 1960s, reggae became popular worldwide thanks to artists such as Bob Marley and the Wailers, Prince Buster and Jimmy Cliff, and it has influenced generations of musicians outside Jamaica. “Its contribution to international discourse on issues of injustice, resistance, love and humanity ... ► Read more

  • Amy Shark, 5SOS big winners at 2018 ARIA Awards

    Amy Shark and 5 Seconds of Summer are the biggest winners at the 2018 ARIA Awards, which has seen Australian music royalty brave Sydney’s inclement weather to herald their best and brightest. Ms Shark, whose debut album Love Monster went to number one on the charts this year, won Best Pop Release — one of nine awards the 32-year-old Queenslander was nominated for. She also took home Best Female Artist and Album of the Year, becoming ... ► Read more

  • Uncontacted Indian tribe kills young American explorer

    Members of one of the world’s last tribes untouched by modern civilisation have killed an American who ventured illegally onto their remote island, Indian police said on Wednesday (local time). John Allen Chau, 27, was hit by a hail of arrows as he set foot on North Sentinel Island, part of the Indian Andaman Islands, last Saturday, official sources told Agence France Presse (AFP). “He was attacked by arrows but he continued walking. The fishermen ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 10 November – 18 November 2018

    UK, EU agree on draft Brexit deal In a diplomatic breakthrough, UK and European Union officials have agreed the draft text of a Brexit agreement after months of negotiations. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. Morrison reverses “foolish” decision to cut Foodbank funding Prime Minister Scott Morrison has intervened to boost the Government’s food relief budget to ensure a charity that feeds 710,000 people a month retains its funding. See OPMG’s coverage of this ... ► Read more

  • Amyl and the Sniffers: it’s still passion

    Amyl and the Sniffers are an enigma. The very first time we got the pleasure of seeing these guys play was when they were opening for cult favourites Cosmic Psychos in Sydney. We stood watching the stage for the space of what felt like a millisecond before being electrocuted into the world the Sniffers projected. It was unreal. After showcasing our over excited, mountain-goat-style jumping up and down and ridiculous dance moves for the duration ... ► Read more

  • Stan Lee dies aged 95

    American writer, Marvel co-creator and pop culture revolutionary Stan Lee has died at age 95. Mr Lee passed away early on Monday morning in Los Angeles after being rushed to hospital, his daughter told entertainment outlets. He had battled multiple illnesses in recent years. Mr Lee was the mind behind hundreds of Marvel characters from Iron Man and Thor to Spider Man and Black Panther. Tributes to the comic book great have surfaced across social ... ► Read more

  • Judge rejects Daily Telegraph’s request to call mystery witness in Rush defamation trial

    In the Federal Court today, Justice Michael Wigney rejected The Daily Telegraph’s request to call a new witness to give evidence in the defamation case brought against the newspaper by actor Geoffrey Rush. Mr Rush is suing the newspaper over two articles and a newsagent poster that alleged he was involved in “inappropriate behaviour” toward a fellow actor during a production of King Lear in 2015–16. Justice Wigney said that he would not permit the ... ► Read more

  • Pope Francis open to visiting North Korea

    Pope Francis has indicated that he is open to an official visit to North Korea, a country recognised as the worst in the world for persecuting Christians. South Korean President Moon Jae-in relayed an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the Pope during a private audience at the Vatican on Thursday. The South Korean presidential office said President Moon “conveyed [Kim’s] desire for a papal visit to North Korea”, and that a formal ... ► Read more

  • Duke and Duchess of Sussex land in Sydney ahead of Invictus Games

    Prince Harry and his wife Meghan have arrived in Sydney for their debut royal tour. The couple had a modest reception consisting mostly of media and security and were briskly bundled into a car bound for Admiralty House at Kirribilli. Prince Harry gave a quick thumbs up as he and Meghan departed Sydney airport, as they begin their tour ahead of The Invictus Games. Follow @tendailyau for details on the Aussie royal tour #TenNews #royalsdownunder ... ► Read more

  • Week In Brief: 7 – 13 October 2018

    Government promises to fast track company tax cuts ahead of federal election The Morrison Government has promised to fast track company tax cuts ahead of the next federal election, with legislation to be introduced to Parliament in the next fortnight. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. AFP raids Home Affairs Dept over au pair scandal leaks Federal Police are raiding the Department of Home Affairs over suspected leaks in relation to the au pair ... ► Read more

  • Prosecutors drop one of three sexual assault charges against Harvey Weinstein

    Prosecutors have dropped one of the three sexual assault charges against Harvey Weinstein, after evidence emerged that a police detective coached a witness to stay silent about evidence that cast doubt on the account of one of his accusers. The 66-year-old former movie mogul continues to face other allegations that he raped an unidentified woman in a hotel room in 2013 and performed a forced sex act on another woman in 2006. He has pleaded ... ► Read more

  • Religious schools shouldn’t expel gay students, Prime Minister says

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he would “not be comfortable” with gay students being expelled from religious schools, he said in response to leaked recommendations of the Ruddock review into religious freedoms. A list of 20 recommendations leaked to the media on Friday included the recommendation that amendments be made to the Sexual Discrimination Act to ensure religious schools can discriminate against both students and staff “on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or ... ► Read more

  • Controversy over planned use of Opera House as billboard to promote horse race

    The New South Wales Government’s plan to use the Sydney Opera House as a digital billboard to promote the $13 million Everest Cup horse race has proved controversial, despite being backed by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Late last week the Premier intervened after broadcaster Alan Jones publicly criticised Opera House executive Louise Herron, who said that words or branding promoting the Everest Cup should not be projected onto the Opera ... ► Read more

  • Evidence that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, Turkish officials claim

    Turkish officials claim to have concrete evidence that missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to collect papers for his upcoming wedding. Mr Khashoggi has not been seen since since Tuesday last week when he entered the consulate. Despite Saudi officials saying he left shortly afterwards, his fiancée, who was waiting outside, said he never came out. The 59-year-old contributor to The Washington Post was once close to ... ► Read more

  • Chin-Leong Tan appointed as next Race Discrimination Commissioner

    Former lawyer Chin-Leong Tan has been appointed as Australia’s next Race Discrimination Commissioner, and says he will not hesitate to call out racism in the role. Mr Tan has held a number of diversity-focused leadership roles and will take up his new post on Monday, replacing departing Commissioner Tim Soutphomassane, who in August warned that “race politics” is back in Australia. Although Mr Tan said he’s “not in the business of criticising people”, he said ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 23 – 29 September 2018

    Judge Brett Kavanaugh faces second sexual misconduct allegation United States Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh has been accused of sexual misconduct by a second woman, following allegations last week that he sexually assaulted a woman at a party in 1982. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. Trump boasts met with laughter by UN General Assembly United States President Donald Trump gave a wide-ranging speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, which ... ► Read more

  • Nyiyaparli community wins 20-year native title battle

    The Nyiyparli community has won a 20-year legal battle to be recognised as the native title holders of approximately 40,000 square kilometres of land in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, which includes the mining town of Newman. The Aboriginal community lodged its first claim on 29 September 1998, and Federal Court Justice Michael Barker handed down his decision — which has not yet been published — in an on-country at Coondiner Pool (Kuntinha) hearing ... ► Read more

  • Bali announces crack down on “insolent” tourists

    Authorities on the Indonesian resort island of Bali will issue new rules on visiting religious sites, a Hindu leader said on Wednesday, after disrespectful behaviour by foreign tourists sparked anger among adherents. The Balinese provincial government is preparing a decree to regulate temple visits in order to preserve the sanctity of the holy sites, according to I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, chairperson of the Bali-based Indonesian Hindu Society. A working group comprising of government representatives and ... ► Read more

  • Business group says Indigenous public holiday could cost $3 billion

    The creation of a public holiday to recognise Indigenous Australians could cost the economy $3 billion, according to Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive James Pearson. On Tuesday Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded to growing calls that Australia Day be moved from 26 January by suggesting the creation of a separate holiday to recognise and celebrate Indigenous Australians. But Mr Pearson says that the potential cost in foregone economic activity must be taken ... ► Read more

  • Bill Cosby sentenced to three to 10 years for sexual assault

    American entertainer Bill Cosby has been sentenced to at least three years imprisonment for sexual assault. Judge Steven O’Neill handed down the sentence following a two-day hearing at the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown, Pennsylvania on Tuesday (local time). In April 2018 Mr Cosby was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault for drugging and molesting Andrea Constand in 2004, but had to wait until September to be sentenced. Judge O’Neill sentenced Mr Cosby ... ► Read more

  • Prime Minister calls for special day to celebrate Indigenous Australians

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suggested the creation of a new national holiday to honour and recognise Indigenous Australians in response to growing calls for Australia Day to be moved from 26 January. His suggestion comes after his government stripped Byron Shire Council of its right to hold citizenship ceremonies for moving its Australia Day festivities, with Immigration Minister David Coleman saying the date should “not be politicised”. Mr Morrison wants a special day to ... ► Read more

  • “Advance Australia Fair”: we might not be responsible for the past, but we can do better for the future

    This is a response to “Harper Nielsen’s protest is nothing more than virtue signalling” by Greg Dewberry. It’s true that current generations are not to blame for the actions of their predecessors, but this does not mean that current generations should be complacent when it comes to correcting the effects of historical wrongs. I have to refuse to accept any blame for the effects of colonialism on Australia, because if I did it would undoubtedly ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 16 – 22 September 2018

    Government, aged-care sector to establish royal commission scope The Government will work with aged-care providers to determine the terms of reference for the newly announced royal commission into the sector, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters on Sunday. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. China levies new tariffs in response to US tariff hike China has announced it will levy tariffs on about US $60 billion worth of American imports in response to the ... ► Read more

  • Wreck of Cook’s HMS Endeavour may have been found

    Marine archaeologists believe they have identified the resting place of HMS Endeavour, the ship commanded by James Cook to Australia on his first voyage of discovery. The ship was scuttled along with a number of others in Newport, Rhode Island during the American Revolution, and its wreck is of historical significance to several countries, including Britain, New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. The potential discovery of the wreck has raised hopes that the vessel’s ... ► Read more

  • Government, aged-care sector to establish royal commission scope

    The Government will work with aged-care providers to determine the terms of reference for the newly announced royal commission into the sector, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters on Sunday. Mr Morrison announced the royal commission in response to findings of widespread non-compliance and abuse of elderly people at aged-care facilities. According to the Minister for Health Greg Hunt, there was a 177% increase in the number of aged-care homes where a serious risk to ... ► Read more

  • Harper Nielsen’s protest is nothing more than virtue signalling

    “Australians all let us rejoice” — that is the opening line of “Advance Australia Fair”, our national anthem in Australia, and to me it speaks for itself. It calls for every Australian to rejoice. I’m an Australian. My great-great-grandparents moved here in 1844. Eddie, the Chinese man who has owned the house next door to mine for 45 years — he’s an Australian. Bill, the Greek man who lives on my other border and drinks at my ... ► Read more

  • Julie Bishop: ‘Aren’t the public justified in feeling contempt for all of us?’

    Former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has criticised her parliamentary colleagues, saying she has witnessed “appalling” behaviour she never would have accepted while running a major law firm 20 years ago. Speaking at a Women’s Weekly awards event in Sydney, Ms Bishop discussed her experience of being a senior woman in the Turnbull Government and addressed a number of issues, including the lack of female MPs within the Liberal Party, bullying from male colleagues, and the adversarial nature ... ► Read more

  • New study: women are becoming increasingly drawn to right-wing populist parties

    A new study has shown that women are becoming increasingly drawn to right-wing populist parties, often showing more radicalism than men. According to the study conducted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (FES), which is affiliated with Germany’s centre-left Social Democratic Party, the number of women drawn to right-wing populist parties is increasing. The report examined right-wing populist voters in Germany, France, Greece, Poland, Sweden and Hungary. Elisa Gutchse, who edited the FES study, argued that ... ► Read more

  • Aus. Government threatens to deny whistleblower Chelsea Manning a visa

    The Australian Government has threatened tour organisers with a visa denial for convicted classified document leaker Chelsea Manning ahead of her upcoming tour. Think Inc., the tour organisers, announced on Thursday that it had received a notice of intention from the Government to deny Chelsea Manning entry to Australia for her speaking tour which is scheduled to start in Sydney on Sunday. The group is now calling on Ms Manning’s supporters to lobby new Immigration Minister ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 19 August – 25 August 2018

    Scott Morrison wins leadership spill Scott Morrison has won Friday’s Liberal leadership spill, clearing the way for him to become Australia’s 30th Prime Minister. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. Government instability in the wake of leadership challenge Malcolm Turnbull’s coalition government was rocked by turmoil following Tuesday’s unsuccessful leadership challenge by former Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. Trump warns American economy would crash if he ... ► Read more

  • Australia’s population: it isn’t so bad

    On 7 August 2018 Australia hit the wonderful milestone of growing to a population greater than 25 million. Australia’s population still remains fairly small in comparison to other nations even with smaller landmass. So, while you may believe we are taking in a record number of refugees, or that foreigners are taking all your jobs, here are a couple of reasons why you should be thankful about our population size and perhaps realise that it ... ► Read more

  • Idris Elba fuels speculation that he may be the next James Bond

    Idris Elba has fueled speculation that he will be the next James Bond by posting a photo of himself on Twitter on Sunday night with the caption, “my name’s Elba, Idris Elba”. my name’s Elba, Idris Elba. pic.twitter.com/kEyyaVg8JX — Idris Elba (@idriselba) August 12, 2018 Rumours around who will play the suave MI6 agent after Daniel Craig’s 12 year run as Mr Bond have continued to circle throughout the media and the internet. However, the rumour ... ► Read more

  • Australia’s population will hit 25 million tonight, claims Bureau of Statistics

    According to projections from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia’s population will reach 25 million tonight, with net migration continuing to increase faster than births. Australia’s population currently increases at about one person every minute and 23 seconds, and the new record is expected to be set at about 11:00 pm. Author and political commentator George Megalogenis said that the 25 millionth person will most likely be a young female Chinese student or skilled worker, ... ► Read more

  • Craig Emerson quits Sky News over Blair Cottrell interview

    Craig Emerson resigned from his regular commentary spot on Sky News on Monday in protest of the network’s interview with far right ‘activist’ Blair Cottrell on Sunday night. The former Labor front-bencher announced his resignation from Sky via Twitter, saying the broadcaster’s interview “Neo-Nazi Blair [Cottrell]…was another step in a journey to normalising racism & bigotry in our country.” Mr Emerson tweeted: I have advised @SkyNewsAust that I have quit as a Sky commentator. My father ... ► Read more

  • Remains of ancient public library unearthed in Germany

    The remains of an ancient Roman public library that may have held up to 20,000 scrolls have been discovered in Cologne, western Germany. Dating to the second century AD, the walls were first uncovered in 2017 during an excavation on the grounds of a Protestant church in the city centre. Archaeologists were initially mystified by niches in the walls, but have now identified their purpose. “It took us some time to match up the parallels ... ► Read more

  • Lee Lin Chin signs off on her final SBS broadcast

    Veteran broadcaster and fashion icon Lee Lin Chin hosted her final bulletin for SBS on Sunday night, after announcing her resignation last week. At the end of the program, Ms Lin addressed viewers, saying: “As we approach the end of this evening’s news, my final bulletin on SBS, I take my leave with sadness.” “Over the years, all my colleagues have featured very prominently and positively in both my life at the network and in ... ► Read more

  • TEDx’s talk labelling pedophilia a ‘sexual orientation’ is disgusting and dangerous

    We live in a divided world. We live in a world where people will disagree on anything, while people fight for their rights, support their politicians and back their own sides; there is few things that we can all agree on. Now, while it is often said that you cannot make everyone happy, and that may be true, what most functioning human beings can agree on whether you’re left-wing or right-wing is that pedophilia is ... ► Read more

  • Kuwaiti Insta-influencer upset migrant workers allowed four days off a month

    Kuwaiti beauty blogger Sondos Alqattan has received criticism for her comments regarding the rights of Filipino migrants to have one day off a week. Kuwait’s new Kafala system provides one day off work a week for Filipino migrant workers, a change that sparked racist comments from the 27-year-old social media influencer. The system, which sponsors unskilled workers in much of the Middle East, has been under fire from the Human Rights Watch and the international ... ► Read more

  • Trevor Noah faces calls for boycotts after 2013 racist clip resurfaces

    Trevor Noah is currently facing criticism for a 2013 video that has resurfaced which shows the comedian and television presenter making racist jokes about Australian Aboriginal women. “All women of every race can be beautiful,” he said during a 2013 stand-up routine. “And I know some of you are sitting there now going, ‘Oh Trevor… I’ve never seen a beautiful Aborigine.’ But you know what you say? You say, ‘Yet.’ Because you haven’t seen all ... ► Read more

  • Archaeologists discover hidden shrine in Aztec pyramid

    Archaeologists in Mexico have discovered a shrine hidden in the remains of the great pyramid of Teopanzolco, near Cuernavaca. The shrine was discovered during the ongoing clean-up efforts following a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on 19 September 2017. Archaeologists from Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) discovered the shrine while using radar technology to scan the pyramid for structural damage. Atop the pyramid are the remnants of two temples, one dedicated to the Aztec ... ► Read more

  • Sarah Palin slams comedian Sacha Baron Cohen for “truly sick” humour after being tricked in an interview

    Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has slammed British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen after he duped her during an interview while posing as a disabled war veteran for his upcoming television series Who Is America? Ms Palin attacked Mr Cohen on Facebook on Tuesday night, writing: “Mock politicians and innocent public personalities all you want, if that lets you sleep at night, but HOW DARE YOU mock those who have fought and served our country. ... ► Read more

  • Our safety is not your choice

    We often walk home in the very early hours of the morning as a pair. On one particular walk home we were being yelled at by two adult men. They had gotten off the train like we had and were both much larger than the two of us. They were jeering and commenting on our appearances, and how exciting it was that we are identical twins. Of course we couldn’t ignore them, but we couldn’t ... ► Read more

  • European Parliament reopens debate on controversial copyright directive

    The European Parliament voted to reopen debate on the controversial Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market on Thursday, giving Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) more time to debate the directive ahead of another vote in September. The directive is part of a bundle of proposed legislative measures to harmonise certain aspects of copyright law across the European Union’s member states. Copyright owners, creators, publishers, record labels, journalists, and their respective representative industry ... ► Read more

  • Australian stars push for streaming service local content investment quota

    High profile Australian actors, writers and directors have urged the Government to mandate a local content investment quota for streaming services such as Netflix. Stars such as Judy Davis, Richard Roxborough and 30 others, told politicians — including Minister of Communications and the Arts Mitch Fifield — that the the local screen industry is under dire threat and could be wiped out by the new streaming services. Andrew Knight, the writer of hit television series Jack ... ► Read more

  • Macedonian President refuses to sign off on landmark name change deal

    Macedonia’s President says he will not sign-off on a historical deal reached with Greece on changing his country’s name. The refusal by President Gjorge Ivanov has dashed hopes of ending a 27-year dispute with Greece, which has blocked Macedonia’s entry into the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). On Tuesday, a deal was reached between Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsparis and Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev to officially change Macedonia’s name to ... ► Read more

  • Macedonia changes its name ending a 27-year dispute with Greece

    Greece and Macedonia have reached an historic agreement that will change the name of Macedonia, ending a 27-year long dispute that has kept the smaller, younger country out of international organisations such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). The Balkan country will be officially recognised both nationally and internationally as the Northern Republic of Macedonia, a transition that was announced by Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsparis and his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev on Tuesday. ... ► Read more

  • God save our long weekend

    It’s the moment when my daughters’ eyes begin to silently roll upwards; the moment when I, like all dads, begin a sentence with “When I was a boy…”. Well, when I was a boy, the long weekend in June was about one thing — spending all of our pocket money, as well as any extra we could wrangle out of our parent’s pocket, on fireworks. In the 1960s the bigger kids in the street would spend ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 3–9 June 2018

    Australia Victoria on track to enact indigenous treaty law The Victorian Government has agreed to make amendments to its Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Bill 2018 to ensure it is passed by both houses of the Victorian Parliament. The bill establishes a framework and system of representation within which treaties with Aboriginal Victorians can be negotiated. The amendments will add a definition of ‘treaty’ in the bill, define ‘traditional owners’ (who will be ... ► Read more

  • Predictions for the near future

    As humans, it is natural to contemplate and plan for the future. Whether that be with optimism or pessimism, we have an obsession with the future, and often worry about it. Obviously, it is impossible to predict the future with pinpoint accuracy; however, experts and theorists for many years have continued to try their hand at determining what the future for civilisation may hold. From self-driving cars to the food we consume, the work of ... ► Read more

  • Weinstein to face trial over sex crime allegations

    American film producer Harvey Weinstein has been indicted for sex crimes by a grand jury in New York and will face a full criminal trial, following a flood of accusations that began in October 2017. Mr Weinstein, 66, is charged with one two counts of rape and one count of committing a criminal sexual act, which allegedly occurred in 2004 and 2013. He faces between five and 25 years imprisonment for each offence. The charges ... ► Read more

  • San Diego Zoo’s Maori dancer blunder could have been avoided so easily, it’s laughable

    One may wonder whether to laugh or be worried by San Diego’s Zoo cultural mix-up this week. During the opening of an Australian exhibition, typically featuring iconic ‘Aussie’ creatures including kangaroos and wallabies, there was another element that was definitely incongruous with that Australian theme: Maori dancers. The mix-up has sparked outrage, but the first and strongest reaction has been incredulity. Is it fair to assume that a zoo, whose job is to exhibit animals of the ... ► Read more

  • Political correctness VS free speech: we’re heading down a dangerous path

    Image credit: Newtown grafitti (Flickr) We are all familiar with the old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”. Well it appears that in a post-political correctness world, words are all you need to do all the damage you’d like. I enjoy free speech, and I am a firm believer that this is a very important piece to the way modern society operates. However, I cannot foresee a ... ► Read more

  • Australia’s oldest scientist ends his life through assisted suicide in Switzerland

    Professor David Goodall has fulfilled his wish and ended his life at the age of 104 through an assisted suicide program in Switzerland on Thursday (local time). The professor was surrounded by his family, including five of his grandchildren who travelled from the US and France to say their farewells. “I’m feeling very emotional but at the same time I’m at peace,” daughter Karen Goodall-Smith told the ABC on the eve of his death. Mr ... ► Read more

  • Stormy Daniels makes a surprise appearance on comedy show SNL

    Stormy Daniels has made a surprise appearance on the hit comedy show Saturday Night Live (SNL), warning US President Donald Trump that a storm is coming. Ms Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, is suing Mr Trump and his former lawyer Michael Cohen over a non-disclosure agreement that she signed to keep quiet about an alleged affair with the President, and claims that Mr Cohen intimidated her. Appearing alongside actor Alec Baldwin, who plays ... ► Read more

  • The stupidity of “cultural appropriation”

    Today’s society is a confused one. We currently live in a world where we simultaneously do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings and all feel included, but also want to segregate ourselves and claim things that we can enjoy, but others cannot. I am of course referring to what some call “cultural appropriation”. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “cultural appropriation” is defined as “the act of taking or using things from a culture that is ... ► Read more

  • First Australian pill-testing trial a success

    The trial for pill-testing at music festival Groovin the Moo in Canberra has uncovered some lethal and obscure ingredients in what attendants thought to be party drugs. The festival, which spans over the course of one weekend, is the first instance where pill-testing has been attempted in Australia. A total of 85 substances were tested by the Safety and Testing and Advisory Service at Festivals and Events (STA-SAFE). The most troubling discovery was of two extremely ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 22–28 April 2018

    Story of the week Historic meeting between Korean leaders Kim Jong-un became the first leader of North Korea to step over the military demarcation line into South Korea for 65 years last Friday. The meeting between Chairman Kim and South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, is the first inter-Korean summit in over ten years. After stepping over the line into South Korea, Kim also invited Moon to step back over into North Korea with him, which ... ► Read more

  • The animal hierarchy

    Image credit: Daniel Stockman (Flickr) Animals have played an integral part in the lives of humans since the beginning of time. We have since learnt to domesticate and live alongside some animals, and many households today couldn’t imagine their lives without the companionship of their family pets. According to Canstar Pet Insurance, over 62% of Australian households own some kind of pet, whether it be a cat or a dog, a bird or a rabbit. ... ► Read more