General interest

  • 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

  • Sydney fog prompts weather alert, domestic flight delays

    Sydney motorists are being urged to drive with extreme care following a road weather alert issued by the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) this morning. Fog has blanketed most suburbs but is heaviest in the west. BOM says the fog has been caused by clear skies, light winds and high humidity from recent showers. “There’s a number seeing visibility down to the 100 to 200-metre mark, which is why there’s a road weather alert out,” forecaster ... ► 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

  • WATCH: HBO releases Game of Thrones season 8 trailer

    With just over one month to go before its premiere, Game of Thrones is finally giving fans a peek at what to expect in its final season. The HBO hit series has released a full trailer for its eighth and final season, showing new footage and underscoring the stakes as the White Walkers launch their long-awaited assault on the Seven Kingdoms. From the look of things in the trailer, the show plans to be going ... ► 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

  • Week in Brief: 17 February – 23 February 2019

    Liberals, Nationals, Labor targeted in “sophisticated” cyber attack, says PM The Liberal, National and Labor parties were all targeted in a recent cyber attack on Federal Parliament, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday. See OPMagazine’s coverage of this story here. ABF admits “human error” contributed to Hakeem al-Araibi’s detention Australian Border Force (ABF) officials have admitted “human error” in their agency’s handling of Melbourne refugee Hakeem al-Araibi’s case, saying processes that might have prevented ... ► Read more

  • Four questions with FETES

    We first heard of the killer project that is FETES when we stumbled upon Cristian Campano after seeing him and his band Food Court play. We are big fans of Food Court and seized the opportunity to talk to the lead singer about the music industry, why Food Court didn’t play “I’ve been wrong” and FETES, all while Cristian generously shared his jug of beer with us. Through hearing FETES’ music, we decided this music is something ... ► Read more

  • BOM: Tropical Cyclone Oma could hit southern Queensland coast

    Severe Tropical Cyclone Oma could possibly cross the southern Queensland coast, after changing direction overnight, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says. The category three system is currently off New Caledonia, about 1,120 kilometres north-east of Brisbane. BOM said it was no longer expected to turn south-east towards New Zealand over the weekend. Forecaster Sam Campbell said instead the system was moving south-west. He said a cyclone watch may be issued this afternoon ahead of gale ... ► 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

  • Rare black leopard confirmed in Africa for first time in over a century

    A team lead by Kenya-based biologist Nick Pilford has captured images of a juvenile black leopard, marking the first time since 1909 that a sighting has been confirmed. Using camera traps deployed throughout the bushlands of Loisaba Conservancy in central Kenya in early 2018, the team now has proof of a rare melanistic leopard — commonly referred to as a black panther, an umbrella term for any melanistic big cat. The juvenile female was travelling ... ► Read more

  • Super Bowl 2019: did you catch the game within the game?

    It’s that time for the year again to dissect the NFL extravaganza — the Super Bowl of 2019. For the record, the Patriots beat the Rams in a dour defensive display. But this article isn’t about the game or the much debated halftime performance by Maroon 5. The real game is played in the ad breaks, or at least that’s what ad executives think. Companies spend just over $US5 million ($AU7 million) for a 30 second ... ► Read more

  • BOM: January Australia’s hottest month on record

    The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has declared January Australia’s hottest month on record, with the nationwide mean temperature last month exceeding 30°C. “We saw heatwave conditions affect large parts of the country through most of the month, with records broken for both duration and also individual daily extremes,” BOM Senior Climatologist Andrew Watkins said, as cited by AAP. The extended heatwave that defined January was caused by a high pressure system in the Tasman Sea ... ► 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

  • Sir David Attenborough: climate change crisis “difficult to overstate”

    Sir David Attenborough has told Prince William that people have never been more “out of touch” with the natural world than they are today. In an interview with the Duke of Cambridge at the World Economic Forum, the naturalist warned: “We can wreck it with ease, we can wreck it without even noticing.” Sir Attenborough said people must care, respect and revere the natural world. Heeding his words, Prince William said: “Work to save the ... ► 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

  • Six people charged over alleged million dollar baby formula ring

    A “lucrative” organised crime ring that allegedly sold baby formula stolen from around Sydney on the black market overseas raked in $1 million in just 12 months, police say. Six people have been charged after police received information about coordinated thefts of formula and vitamins from major retailers last year. Detective Superintendent Daniel Doherty said the “unscrupulous activity” was fuelled by greed, and had been operating for years. “Police will continue to pursue these people ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 13 January – 19 January 2019

    Theresa May: Government has confidence of Parliament, time to deliver Brexit British Prime Minister Theresa May has called for bipartisan talks to develop a Brexit deal that will pass the House of Commons. See OPMagazine’s coverage of this story here. 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 ... ► Read more

  • Prince Philip left unscathed after car accident

    The Duke of Edinburgh has been involved in a car crash while driving near the Queen’s Sandringham estate, Buckingham Palace has said. Prince Philip, 97, was not injured in the accident, which happened as he drove a Land Rover out of a driveway onto the A149 shortly before 15:00 GMT (02:00 AEDT). The other car involved was a Kia. Two women in it needed hospital treatment but have since been discharged. Eyewitnesses said the Duke’s ... ► Read more

  • Heatwave set to peak over coming days

    Tennis players are sweating, toxic ozone warnings are out for Sydney and fruit is cooking on the branches — this is a heatwave, Australia. Sarah Fitton is an extreme weather meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), who said the heat would peak over the next few days. There is expected to be a slight reprieve over the weekend before the heat starts to build again across southern Australia early next week. It reached 40C in ... ► 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

  • Astronomers detect mysterious radio bursts from deep space

    Astronomers have detected 13 high-speed bursts of radio waves coming from deep space, spurring some experts to suggest it is evidence of advanced alien life. The bursts were first stumbled upon in 2007, yet the cause has since remained a mystery. Based on estimations of the known range of the frequencies and understanding of activity in the universe, scientists believe that nearly a thousand of them happen everyday, but to date, only a handful have ... ► Read more

  • HBO reveals full cast for Game of Thrones prequel

    American cable network HBO has released the full cast and directors of the upcoming prequel series of hit show Game of Thrones. The prequel, which will be set thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, will include the two lead stars, Naomi Watts and Josh Whitehouse and an array of other talent, such as Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: Episode IX), Denise Gough (Angels in America), Jamie Campbell Bower (The Twilight Saga), Sheila ... ► Read more

  • Alqunun declared refugee by UNHCR clearing way for Australia to offer asylum

    The UN refugee agency has referred the case of a Saudi woman claiming asylum to Australia for consideration. 18-year-old Rahaf Alqunun flew into Thailand from Kuwait, saying she had a ticket onwards to Australia where she had hoped to seek asylum over fears her family would kill her for renouncing Islam. But when she arrived in Bangkok she said a Saudi diplomat met her at the airport and tricked her into handing over her passport ... ► Read more

  • Drone sighting disrupts flights at London’s Heathrow

    Departures at Heathrow were temporarily stopped on Tuesday (local time) after a drone sighting was reported. Flights from the west London airport resumed about an hour after police said a drone had been seen. A Heathrow spokeswoman said it was a “precautionary measure” to “prevent any threat to operational safety”. It comes after last month’s disruption at Gatwick Airport which saw thousands of people stranded when drones were sighted. The spokeswoman said Heathrow was working ... ► Read more

  • Indonesia tsunami: death toll rises to 222

    At least 222 people have been killed and 843 left injured on the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra when a tsunami struck areas around the Sunda Strait late on Saturday, following an undersea landslide caused by a volcano. Emergency agency spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said the disaster was caused by “a combination of an undersea landslide resulting from volcanic activity on Anak Krakatoa and a tidal wave”. Not all the affected areas have been ... ► Read more

  • Nationals President pushes for female to replace Andrew Broad

    The National Party will have a better chance at holding on to Andrew Broad’s rural Victorian electorate of Mallee in next year’s election if the party’s replacement candidate is a woman, according to the Nationals President. Mr Broad has confirmed he will not contest the 2019 election after the ‘sugar baby’ scandal dominated headlines this week, putting the Nationals leadership under pressure to explain what they knew about the MP’s behaviour and when. New Idea exposed ... ► Read more

  • Pedestrian killed in major Sydney truck crash

    A pedestrian has been killed after a B-double truck ran off the road in Sydney’s inner south Wednesday morning, in what authorities have described as an “absolutely horrific” incident. Emergency services responded to reports of a truck crash south of Green Square railway station just after 7:45 am. The truck, carrying bricks, was travelling southwards on Botany Road when it veered into the northbound lanes before hitting a power pole, a bus stop, a building ... ► 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

  • 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

  • Week in Brief: 2 December – 8 December 2018

    Government faces defeat on critical refugee legislation Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing a humiliating defeat as his Government may be unable to block a bill that would expedite medical treatment for refugees held in offshore detention centres. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. Labor backs down, supports Federal Government’s controversial encryption laws Law enforcement and intelligence agencies will gain greater access to encrypted messages — such as Facebook messages — after a Labor ... ► 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

  • Survey: 82% of Australians support immigration

    An annual national survey tracking public opinion on immigration and population issues has found a strong majority of Australians still see benefits in immigration despite heightening concern over population growth. The 2018 Mapping Social Cohesion survey, conducted by the philanthropic Scanlon Foundation, found more than four in five Australians see benefits to immigration. The survey, which canvassed the views of 1,500 randomly chosen Australians, also found 52% of Australians consider the current intake of migrants ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 25 November – 1 December 2018

    Julia Banks moves to the crossbench, denounces Coalition’s “reactionary right wing” The Morrison Government has been dealt a major blow, with moderate MP Julia Banks revealing she will quit the Coalition and join the crossbench. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. Federal Government under fire for scheduling only 13 sitting days before budget Labor has attacked the Federal Government for scheduling just 13 parliamentary sitting days before the federal budget is released in April ... ► Read more

  • George HW Bush dies at age 94

    George HW Bush, the 41st president of the United States, has died at age 94. Mr Bush served one term as president from 1989 to 1993. He also served as a congressman, CIA director, and Ronald Reagan’s vice-president. As the last US president to have served in World War II and the country’s last Cold War leader, the end of Mr Bush’s time in the White House marked the end of a political era. But ... ► 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

  • Sydney in chaos as eastern NSW receives over 100ml

    Greater Sydney is experiencing intense rainfall from Illawara to Katoomba and north to Gosford, causing severe flooding in residential areas and flight delays and cancellations. The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) has made a dozen flood rescues after drivers became stuck in rising waters across Sydney as an unprecedented downpour saw a month’s worth of rain fall in two hours. The SES received more than 280 calls for help as a line of severe thunderstorms ... ► Read more

  • NASA’s InSight touches down on Mars

    US space agency NASA has landed a new robot on Mars after a dramatic seven-minute plunge to the surface of the Red Planet. The InSight probe aims to study the deep interior of Mars, and make it the only planet — apart from Earth — that has been examined in this way. The touchdown confirmation came through shortly after 06:50 AEDT on Tuesday. It ended an anxious few minutes in which the robot radioed home updates on ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 19 November – 24 November 2018

    Ivanka Trump used personal email account for government business The daughter of US President Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, last year used a personal email account to discuss or relay official White House business, according to emails released by a nonpartisan watchdog group. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. Dozens of homes at threat as NSW bushfire flares up A bushfire emergency has been declared in NSW’s Hunter region with homes threatened at Salt Ash ... ► Read more

  • NSW Government issues health warning as dust storm hits Sydney

    A dust storm that has blanketed parts of regional NSW has reached Sydney, prompting the State Government to issue an air quality warning. The storm, which stretches about 500 kilometres, reduced visibility to just metres in some far western areas yesterday, including Darling River and Broken Hill. The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) said light dust was beginning to impact Sydney by 8:00am, however the main band remained around the Great Dividing Range. The dust was ... ► 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

  • Melbourne CBD’s Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar reopens following terror attack

    Melbourne’s Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar reopened on Tuesday for the first time since co-owner Sisto Malaspina’s death in Friday’s terror attack. The stool at the bar where the 74-year-old would sit is empty. A coffee, newspaper and candle sat on the bench as scores of people lined up for a coffee to pay their respects after the doors opened just before 8:00am. “It’s been a good experience, a strange experience. I see today as the beginning ... ► 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

  • Nearly $100,000 raised for man who charged terrorist with trolley

    An online fundraiser has raised over $100,000 for a homeless man who confronted the Bourke Street terrorist with a shopping trolley during the attack on Friday. Michael Rodgers has drawn widespread attention since he repeatedly pushed a trolley at Hassan Khalif Shire Ali while the 30-year-old man attempted to stab police. “I ran, threw the trolley straight at him, got him, but didn’t get him down,” Mr Rogers told 7 News. “I did that motion ... ► Read more

  • Queensland woman to face court over strawberry contamination

    A Queensland woman has been charged over the strawberry needle crisis that forced supermarkets to pull fruit from shelves and farmers to dump it by the truckload. The woman, from Caboolture in Brisbane’s north, was charged on Sunday evening with seven counts of goods contamination. Police say one occasion of aggravation contamination will be alleged, meaning the 50-year-old woman will face a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted. She was arrested amid a ... ► Read more

  • Spice Girls announce reunion tour without Victoria Beckham

    The Spice Girls have announced their first tour for a decade, with six UK stadium dates in June next year. Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Geri Horner and Melanie Chisholm revealed details of the reunion tour in a video on social media on Monday. Victoria Beckham, however, will not be taking part. According to a press release, Ms Beckham will not be joining the tour because of “business commitments”. The girl group will kick off the ... ► Read more

  • Google employees walk out in protest of sexual harassment policies

    Google employees worldwide have walked out in protest of the tech giant’s sexual harassment policies. Employees gathered in major cities around the world — including Silicon Valley, New York, London, Berlin, Hyderabad, Singapore and Sydney — in response to a report in The New York Times last week that Google had paid millions of dollars in exit packages to executives accused of misconduct, while staying silent about the complaints. “I am here because what you ... ► Read more

  • Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect pleads not guilty

    Robert Bowers, the alleged perpetrator of a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that left 11 dead, pleaded not guilty to 44 charges on Thursday (local time). Mr Bowers, 46, requested a jury trial for charges including murder, hate crimes, and obstructing religious practices, for the attack that took place at the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for what authorities have described as the worst anti-Semitic incident in American ... ► Read more

  • Tourism Australia rollout another Hemsworth as US tourist numbers dwindle

    Tourism Australia is spending an extra $5.8 million on a new Dundee campaign featuring Luke Hemsworth, as it tries to drive up the number of American tourists visiting Down Under. New figures from Tourism Australia reveal spending from US tourists in Australia fell approximately $100 million in 2017/18 compared with the year before, marking its lowest point since the height of the global financial crisis. Total US spending was $3.7 billion, down from $3.8 billion ... ► Read more

  • UK immigration to fast-track Australians from 2019

    Australians will be able to be fast-tracked through immigration upon arriving in the UK from next year, the British Government has announced. Chancellor to the Exchequer Philip Hammond made the surprise announcement when delivering the UK’s budget at the House of Commons, saying those with electronically-enabled passports will be able to pass through e-gates at airports. “We’ll open the use of ePassport gates at Heathrow and other airports, currently only available to EEA nationals, to ... ► Read more

  • All British military roles now open to women

    Women in the British armed forces are able to apply for any role in the military including the elite Special Air Services (SAS), it was announced on Thursday (local time). UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed that the “armed forces will be determined by ability alone and not gender” for the first time in British history. Speaking at the Salisbury army demonstrations this week, Mr Williamson said that “opening all combat roles to women will ... ► Read more

  • Video: David Schwimmer responds to hunt for lookalike beer thief

    Actor David Schwimmer has responded after social media users drew attention to an alleged thief who bears a resemblance to his character in the US sitcom Friends. Police in Blackpool posted on Facebook asking for witnesses to identify a suspect pictured leaving a restaurant in Blackpool carrying what appeared to be a carton of cans. Facebook users quickly piled into the comments section, pointing out the suspect’s likeness to Mr Schwimmer’s character Ross Geller in ... ► Read more

  • Joachim Rønneberg: Norwegian who thwarted Nazi Germany’s nuclear ambitions dies aged 99

    Joachim Rønneberg, a former Norwegian resistance fighter who sabotaged Nazi Germany’s nuclear weapons ambitions, has died aged 99. In 1943 Mr Rønneberg led a small group of commandos on a top-secret raid to sabotage a hydroelectric plant at Vemork, in Norway’s southern region of Telemark. The raid was successful in halting the production of deuterium oxide — heavy water — which Germany needed in its attempts to develop nuclear weapons. “He is one of our ... ► Read more

  • Government moves to set default power prices

    The Government has announced it will follow a recommendation made by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to set a default price for electricity in an effort to reduce the burden of energy costs. The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) will act on Tuesday to require power retailers to set their prices against a default market price. This could help households save hundreds of dollars, and businesses thousands. “The default offer will ensure customers are ... ► Read more

  • Clean Up Australia founder Ian Kiernan dies aged 78

    Environmental campaigner and co-founder of Clean Up Australia Ian Kiernan has died aged 78, having been diagnosed with cancer in late July. Clean Up Australia co-founder Kim McKay said Mr Kiernan “lived life hard and lived it well.” “It’s quite a shock to a lot of people because Ian was only diagnosed with the cancer [quite recently] and it took hold of him quite rapidly,” Ms McKay told the ABC. “He was a larger-than-life figure, ... ► Read more

  • Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has died in Seattle at the age of 65. Mr Allen, who founded the billion-dollar company alongside his childhood friend Bill Gates back in 1975, had received treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma since 2009. Earlier this month, he said that the cancer had returned. Paul Allen’s company Vulcan Inc. issued a statement saying he died on Monday morning (local time). Mr Gates also released a statement expressing his sadness at the passing ... ► Read more

  • Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against Trump fails

    A United States federal judge has dismissed porn star Stormy Daniels’ defamation lawsuit against President Donald Trump. US District Judge S. James Otero issued the order on Monday (local time) in Los Angeles. Ms Daniels alleges she had an affair with Mr Trump in 2006 and sued him in April. The lawsuit came after the President tweeted about a composite sketch of a man Daniels says threatened her in 2011 to keep quiet about the ... ► 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

  • Nike offers professional contract to athlete with cerebral palsy

    Justin Gallegos has become Nike’s first professional athlete with cerebral palsy, after the sports brand offered him a contract when he completed a marathon. Mr Gallegos, a student at the University of Oregon, was met at the finish line by a video crew and Nike’s Insights Director John Douglas. Although he thought the cameras were there to film the event, Mr Gallegos was surprised when Mr Douglas offered him the contract, breaking down in tears ... ► Read more

  • Astronomers may have identified first extrasolar moon

    Astronomers at Columbia University in New York may have identified the first moon outside our solar system, according to research published in the journal Science Advances on Wednesday. Using the Kepler and Hubble space telescopes, Alex Teachey and David Kipping found signs of a large extrasolar moon orbiting the planet Kepler-1625b, some 8,000 light years away. Although more studies are required to confirm its existence, Teachey says it’s an “extraordinary” discovery that “defies easy explanation”. ... ► 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

  • Federal Government giving Catholic schools 10 times what they need, claims Grattan Institute

    The Federal Government’s controversial plan to give independent schools a funding boost of $4.5 billion would give Catholic schools more than 10 times what they need to remain an “affordable choice” for parents, the Grattan Institute claims. Under the proposal championed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan, $1.2 billion of the funding injection will form a “choice and affordability” fund to help prevent an escalation of fees in the private ... ► 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

  • Kalashnikov takes on Tesla with new electric concept car

    Russian arms manufacturer Kalashnikov unveiled on Thursday (local time) a new electric concept “supercar” it says will rival Elon Musk’s Tesla. Based on the body of the Soviet-era Izh hatchback, Kalshnikov’s CV-1 has a 90 kilowatt hour battery which offers a range of 350 kilometers. The vehicle can accelerate from 0 kph to 100 kph in six seconds, according to the arms company. Kalashnikov spokesperson Sofia Ivanova told Russia’s RBC that the CV-1 would compete directly “with ... ► Read more

  • Aretha Franklin dies at age 76

    Aretha Franklin’s family have confirmed the legendary R&B singer has died at age 76. Ms Franklin died at 9:50 am (local time) on Thursday in her Detroit home, surrounded by family and friends, according to a statement released by Ms Franklin’s longtime publicist Gwendolyn Quinn on behalf of the singer’s family. The “official cause of death was due to advanced pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type, which was confirmed by Franklin’s oncologist, Dr Philip Phillips of Karmanos ... ► 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

  • Week in Brief: 5 August – 11 August 2018

    Pence unveils details on Space Force United States Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday (local time) unveiled details of how the Trump Administration will build the so-called Space Force which is set to become the sixth branch of the US military, saying the “time has come” to prepare for “the next battlefield.” See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. Emma Husar will not recontest seat at next federal election Labor MP Emma Husar announced on ... ► Read more

  • Robert Redford announces retirement after latest film

    Robert Redford has announced that he will retire from acting after his latest film, The Old Man & the Gun.  On Monday (local time), the 81-year-old Oscar-winning actor confirmed that he will have his last on-screen performance, according to The New York Post. “Never say never, but I pretty well concluded that this would be it for me in terms of acting, and [I’ll] move towards retirement after this ’cause I’ve been doing it since ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 29 July – 4 August 2018

    Trump’s offer to meet with Rouhani rebuked on both sides US President Donald Trump’s offer to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been shot down both from within his own administration and senior figures in Iran. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. Trump on Mueller investigation: “Stop this rigged witch hunt right now’ US President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter to condemn special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in ... ► Read more

  • Apple now the first US company to reach $1 trillion in market value

    Apple is now the first US company in history to reach $US1 trillion ($1.4 trillion) in market value despite slowing sales, heavy regulation, and tariffs. The tech company hit the milestone early this morning when its stock crossed $207.05 per share at 11.48am (ET). While reaching the $1 trillion mark is an achievement that will not soon be forgotten, the tech market is volatile, according to OPMG’s Chief Editor, meaning that Apple may not stay ... ► 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

  • Week in Brief: 22 – 28 July 2018

    Nine Network to takeover Fairfax Media The Nine Network will takeover Fairfax Media in a deal rumoured to be worth around $4 billion, Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood announced on Thursday morning. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. Greece declares state of emergency as lethal wildfires rage near Athens Greece has declared a state of emergency after two separate wildfires raged through towns near its capital Athens, killing at least 20 people, injuring over 100 ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 15 to 21 July 2018

    Trump clarifies position on alleged Russian interference in 2016 election US President Donald Trump has clarified remarks he made in Helsinki on Monday (local time) regarding alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, amid a media storm and condemnation from both sides of politics as well as the intelligence community. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. Theresa May scrapes through parliamentary vote leaving her party divided British Prime Minister Theresa May has scraped ... ► Read more

  • Australian nurse killed in 2017 London Bridge attack receives bravery award

    South Australian nurse Kirsty Boden has been posthumously honoured with the Queen’s Commendation for Bravery for her heroic attempts to help other victims of last year’s London Bridge terrorist attack. The 28-year-old “Angel of London Bridge”, as British media dubbed her, was one of two Australians killed in the attack that claimed eight lives. Terrorists drove a van along the pavement, ramming into pedestrians before stabbing others near Borough Market on the night of 3 ... ► Read more

  • Comcast drops bid for 21st Century Fox assets paving the way for Disney

    American telecom giant Comcast has dropped out of its pursuit to attain 21st Century Fox’s film and television assets, leaving Disney as the sole bidder to acquire content such as Avatar and X-Men. Comcast says it will now focus on its bid for Sky, a pan-European satellite broadcaster which, like Fox, is also owned by billionaire media mogul, Rupert Murdoch. Disney has recently raised its offer for Fox’s entertainment assets to $71 billion, surpassing Comcast’s ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 8 – 14 July 2018

    Rocky NATO Summit as Trump attacks allies US President Donald Trump has demanded NATO members contribute 4% of their GDP to the military alliance, accusing allies of owing “tremendous amounts of money” to the US, calling them “delinquent” and labelling Germany a “captive” of Russia. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. Thai soccer team all rescued The Thai soccer team Wild Boars, comprising of 12 boys and their coach, were rescued on Tuesday from ... ► 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

  • Greenpeace activists crash ‘superman drone’ into French nuclear facility to show security flaws

    This!French campaigners @greenpeacefr have flown a #Superman drone over a #NuclearPlant located 30km from Lyon, in France, and voluntarily crashed it against a wall of the building to show how vulnerable nuclear plants are.#Greenpeace#Nuclearpic.twitter.com/y90ZezSDX6 — J.N. PAQUET ✒ (@jnpaquet) July 3, 2018 Greenpeace activists have crashed a ‘superman drone’ into a French nuclear facility in an effort to expose its security flaws. The activists said, “at no time was the drone intercepted or even worried ... ► Read more

  • ‘He’s a handsy guy’: Guy Pearce on Kevin Spacey in Andrew Denton interview

    Acclaimed Australian actor Guy Pearce has revealed that American actor Kevin Spacey was “handsy” when he was working with him on the 1997 film LA Confidential. Guy Pearce appeared on Andrew Denton’s television show Interview on Tuesday night, where he discussed his career, divorce and family relationships. However it was the comments he made about Kevin Spacey that stole the show and stunned Mr Denton into silence. Mr Denton asked Mr Pearce about his personal views on ... ► Read more

  • 10 more interesting facts you’ve probably never heard!

    10. The African fork-tailed drongo feeds by earning the trust of meerkat families and then tricking them into thinking they are under attack. Found in sub-Saharan Africa, this bird is known for its thieving ways. The drongo will first gain the trust of other animals, such as meerkats, by acting as a sentry and letting out an alarming cry when a predator is nearby, allowing the animals to quickly reach safety. But the drongo will ... ► Read more

  • China’s Weibo bans John Oliver after Xi Jingpin segment

    China’s version of Twitter, Weibo, has blocked and deleted all content referring to John Oliver after the comedian criticised China for its human rights abuses and mocked its president, Xi Jinping, in a 20 minute segment on his show, Last Week Tonight. Mr Oliver took aim at China’s moves to end presidential term limits and preserve “Xi Jinping Thought” in its constitution, describing Mr Xi’s consolidation of power as being driven by a “leadership cult”. ... ► Read more

  • Queen’s Birthday Honours 2018: Here are all the recipients

    Companion in the General Division (AC) Prof. Rose AMAL, Malabar, NSW. For eminent service to chemical engineering, particularly in the field of particle technology, through seminal contributions to photocatalysis, to education as a researcher and academic, and to women in science as a role model and mentor. Ms Jill Elizabeth BILCOCK, East Brunswick, Vic. For eminent service to the Australian motion picture industry as a film editor, to the promotion and development of the profession, as ... ► Read more

  • 104 year old Australian scientist has no hesitations in final hours before he ends his life

    Professor David Goodall, Australia’s oldest scientist at 104 years of age, held a press conference in the Swiss city of Basel to discuss his plans to end his life through a voluntary assisted suicide program in Switzerland. The end of life clinic has approved Professor Goodall’s application, following an assessment of the Professor’s mindset on Tuesday. Professor Goodall appeared before a large crowd of international media reporters, a sight which he was surprised to see. ... ► 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

  • Former US President George H W Bush hospitalised the day after wife’s funeral

    Former US President George H W Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital on Sunday morning after contracting an infection that spread to his blood, according to family spokesperson Jim McGrath. Mr McGrath stated in tweet on Monday that Mr Bush, 93, is “responding to treatments and appears to be recovering.” This admission was just a day after the funeral of his wife of 73 years, Barbara Bush, who died at home in Houston on ... ► Read more

  • Third royal baby is born

    The birth of the third child of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was announced on Monday. Kensington Palace announced in a tweet that the Duchess, Kate Middleton, gave birth to a boy at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington on Monday at 11:01 am local time, seven hours after going into labour. Both the mother and child are said to be healthy and in good spirits. The tweet confirmed that the Duke, Prince William, was ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 15–21 April 2018

    Story of the week ‘Disturbing’ revelations from Banking Royal Commission hearings This week showed a marked change in the nature of the hearings of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. While previous hearings have uncovered relatively minor misconduct coupled with incompetent levels of oversight, this week’s hearings have ranged from tedious to absurd, revealing that the industry is riddled with systemic fraud and misconduct. In previous hearings the ... ► Read more

  • Facebook: Users must accept targeted ads

    Image credit: Downloadsource (Flickr) Facebook said on Tuesday that users would have to accept targeted advertising as a condition if they still wanted to use the platform, despite a new European Union privacy law that will take effect next month. The EU law will enforce strict monetary penalties if Facebook collects or uses personal data without permission. Facebook deputy chief privacy officer, Rob Sherman, said that the platform would begin asking European users’ permission this ... ► Read more

  • Commonwealth Games: Chairman says ‘we got it wrong’ about closing ceremony

    Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Chairman Peter Beattie has said that “we got it wrong” after the closing ceremony barely focused on athletes and instead featured long speeches by dignitaries. Many patrons began to leave the event only one hour into the ceremony after athletes entered the stadium, only to stand on the fringes of the stage in darkness. The ceremony included several speeches, including one from Mr Beattie which many viewers say took the focus ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 8–14 April 2018

    Story of the week US, UK and French missile strikes begin after Douma chemical attack, Russia says Douma attack staged US President Donald Trump has authorised missile strikes against Syria, after a week of escalating and walking back threats to do so following a chemical attack in Syria’s southwest, as Russia claims the attack was staged by the United Kingdom. The chemical attack, which left 78 people dead according to the Syrian American Medical Society, ... ► Read more

  • The problem with [insert stupid idea here] challenges

    Image Credit: Jason Chen (Youtube) They say that with each year you grow a little older and a little wiser. However, in a broader societal sense, that seems to be quite the contrary. In our modern world we are lucky enough to be blessed with the internet, a magnificent tool that has expanded the realm of possibility for society and made information more readily available than ever before. However, instead of learning new skills, researching ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 1-7 April 2018

    Australia Commonwealth Games kicks off on the Gold Coast Image credit: Dan Mullan (Getty Images) The 2018 Commonwealth Games kicked off this week on the Gold Coast, with athletes arriving from all across the Commonwealth to compete in the multi-sport event. The opening ceremony drew a nationwide television audience of over two million to Channe 7—a record number for 2018. While most enjoyed the ceremony which explored Australia’s 65,000-year history and featured an indigenous smoking ... ► Read more

  • OPMG Collective: Facebook and Cambridge Analytica

    This is a new segment that we’ll be doing semi-regularly, where each of the editors will weigh in on a topic or story with their own thoughts and opinions. We hope that it will help to promote discussion around the various issues, as well as display the range of perspectives that there are on a topic, as well as within OPMG itself. Without further ado, our first collective article — on the story of Facebook and ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 25-31 March 2018

    Story of the week Russia expels 59 officials following diplomatic expulsions from West Following the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the West over the Sergei Skripal nerve agent attack, Russia has hit back by expelling 59 diplomats themselves. The United States, Australia and more than a dozen European countries contributed to the initial round of diplomatic expulsions. The United States expelled 60 diplomats; Australia expelled two diplomats suspected of being undeclared intelligence operatives; Britain expelled 23; Canada ... ► Read more