General interest

  • 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. — 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 — 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

  • The debate that has gone on far too long

    I had previously believed that we had passed the age of believing that video games were the source of your child’s anger or aggression. But as time goes on, I continue to see news articles and stories that show me that we are indeed not past this phase; and for some odd reason, parents continue to believe that video games and violent television are a significant issue in society. Now, while I do believe too ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 18-24 March 2018

    Story of the week Trump signs $60 billion tariff memo US President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum on Thursday, potentially imposing tariffs on up to US $60 billion worth of imports from China. The move comes as a push to combat the $486 billion goods trade deficit with China, and China’s “state-led market-distorting” violations of US intellectual property rights. The terms of the memorandum direct US Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer to propose tariff increases ... ► Read more

  • Online shopping tax under consideration

    The Federal Government is considering introducing a $2-$7 tax on overseas products bought online, according to the ABC, in a proposal spearheaded by the Department of Home Affairs. Australians are buying more and more goods online which is increasing number of packages that require screening. The tax will supposedly balance out the cost of checking the items. The tax is already in place for products over $1000. Approximately 40 million low-value parcels arrived in Australia ... ► Read more

  • #DeleteFacebook: Mark Zuckerberg admits Facebook “made mistakes” with Cambridge Analytica

    Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apologised for what he calls “a major breach of trust” in relation to the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and has said his organisation has failed in its “basic responsibility” to protect users’ data. In an interview with CNN, Mr Zuckerberg said Facebook is implementing measures to ensure better protections for users’ information. This will be done primarily by limiting app developers’ access to user data and making sure there “aren’t ... ► Read more

  • Society’s unhealthy obsession

    In today’s fast-paced, modern era, we are all connected to our smartphones and devices more than ever. We are saturated with internet stars, movie stars, and musicians all over our news feeds and social media pages. In a world where even chefs can be regarded as celebrities, it is no surprise that a large portion of society looks up to these people as idols or role models, and feel connected to them in some way. ... ► Read more

  • Ice Cube set to light up Vivid

    Founding member of infamous rap group NWA, Ice Cube, will make his Sydney Opera House debut in several performances coinciding with Sydney’s Vivid festival commencing on May 25. Ice Cube will be the first rapper to perform in the prestigious concert hall. However, he isn’t the only American this year spearheading the festival — US songstress Solange will also be taking the Opera House stage. It is speculated that Ice Cube will be playing hits ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 11-17 March 2018

    Story of the week Russia-UK relations plummet sparking speculation of a Cold War 2.0 Relations between Russia and the UK have plummeted after the Kremlin did not meet a deadline to provide an explanation as to how a Soviet-made nerve agent was used in the attack on a former Russian double agent in England. Speaking in Parliament on Wednesday, British Prime Minister Theresa May directly blamed the Russian Government for the attack on Sergei Skripal ... ► Read more

  • 10 interesting facts that you probably haven’t heard

    Image credit: Wolfgang Rieger The world is a pretty incredible place. With so many people and so much to see, it is no surprise that there are some pretty fascinating things to learn about our little planet. From people doing incredible things to strange anomalies, our planet is filled with incredible information. In this article I’ll be sharing 10 of some of the most fascinating and interesting facts I have come across. 10.  According to ... ► Read more

  • Eliza and the Delusionals: Who cares what people say, just do you

      Hailing from Queensland, Eliza and the Delusionals are a delight. With a fresh indie rock sound, combined with a prominent personal spark, we immediately felt a strong connection and appreciation for this band. When on stage, Eliza and the Delusionals are an enigma. All members of the band add an integral part to the sound; however, you can’t look past frontwoman Eliza, as she is an electric force belting out tunes. We were lucky ... ► Read more

  • The Week in Brief: 4 March – 10 March

    Story of the week Donald Trump to meet Kim Jong-Un by May US President Donald Trump has agreed to meet with Kim Jong-Un by May, following an unprecedented invitation from the North Korean leader. South Korean National Security Advisor Chung Eui-Yong announced the news at the White House on Friday, adding that Mr Kim has committed to ceasing nuclear and missile testing by his country. “[Mr Kim] expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as ... ► Read more

  • 90th Academy Awards (2018)

    As always, the Academy Awards — better known as the Oscars — are highly sought-after and much-contested, and their presentation is looked forward to with enormous anticipation by those both within and outside the film industry. People all around the world lean in to see which of their favourite films, actors and directors are awarded a coveted Grouch — er, Oscar. We’ve put together the list of winners of the 90th Academy Awards! Best picture: The ... ► Read more

  • Five songs that made our summer

    As the end of February approaches, it is with angst that we must say goodbye to summer. This summer we found ourselves doing a lot of new things and having lots of fun experiences. While doing so we had a lot of songs that we regularly listened to, and more we discovered along the way. We have compiled five songs that, in their own way, made our summer a memorable and joyful one. Camp Cope — ... ► Read more

  • The Week in Brief: 18-24 February

    Story of the week Barnaby Joyce announces resignation Barnaby Joyce has announced he will be stepping down from his positions as Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister on Monday. The decision comes after a fortnight of intense pressure following revelations that Mr Joyce had an affair with a former staffer and is the father of her unborn child. The affair led to the end of Mr Joyce’s marriage, and the two are now partners. In ... ► Read more

  • Courtney Barnett’s raw take on harassment

    I’m a huge sucker for Courtney Barnett — my dreams came true when she collaborated with Kurt Vile — so when I saw the sudden release of a single from Courtney’s upcoming album Tell Me How You Really Feel coming out May 18, I was beyond excited to give it a listen. I know, I know, I sound very biased as I am already a big fan of Courtney’s work, but I can honestly say that I ... ► Read more

  • Love is in the … wallets?

    February 14th — a day of sending people red roses, and heart-shaped cards, and boxes of chocolates big enough that they don’t mind that you’re not actually there, right? A day following in the tradition of St Valentine, who did…er…something to do with romantic love? Well, while many are worried about their wallets when Valentine’s Day comes around, I thought it would be interesting to look at the history of the day. Most people know that ... ► Read more

  • Super Bowl 2018: did you catch the game-within-the-game?

    Image credit: Cable News Network (CNN International) Super Bowl 2018 has just finished and for many of us it is time to pore over the results and strategies, and think about who the winners and losers were and why. If you thought that this article would evaluate the big game between the Eagles and the Patriots, you were wrong. The game-within-the-game is the advertising extravaganza that often gets nearly as much attention as the event ... ► Read more

  • The Week in Brief: 28 January to 3 February 2018

    Story of the week The Cabinet Files: Nightmare on Parliament Drive Classified government documents have been uncovered by the ABC after being located in a second hand ex-government filing cabinet in a Canberra shop. Now dubbed the “Cabinet Files”, the documents consist of thousands of pages of “top secret” or “AUSTEO” (AUSTralian Eyes Only) material. The revelations in the Cabinet files include the following: 400 national security files, from the National Security Committee of the ... ► Read more

  • Optimistic Nihilism: the positives of being negative

    If you have read some of my other articles, I’m sure you may have come to the realisation that my opinions and views can be quite negative and depressing. Although it may be true that I usually hold a pessimistic outlook on life, and that my expectations and hopes for humanity are currently at an all-time low; I personally am actually quite happy. I am entirely content with my personal life and the way things ... ► Read more

  • Nick Nuisance and the Delinquents: Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary

    With an abstract and off-beat take on the mundanity of everyday life, Nick Nuisance and the Delinquents are a fresh perspective with a killer sound, leaving the boredom of everyday life behind one tune at a time. The combination of a garage rock sound as well as a minimalistic approach so eloquently conducted, is what makes the sound of Nick Nuisance and the Delinquents so appealing to us and many others. When watching the band ... ► Read more

  • MLA’s summer lamb ad is a definite flop

    Another summer, another lamb ad. Every time a lamb ad is launched it is followed by controversy. Someone, somewhere is always offended and feels the need to vent on social media. It appears Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) latest attempt will be no different. Ok so #lambad is…well…annoying. 2.5 minutes of awkward political satire to try sell people a dead animal. Seems like a good strategy? #definitelyisnt — Joseph O'Sullivan (@jjosullivan) January 11, 2018 Tone ... ► Read more

  • 21 things I learned in 21 years

    When I started writing for OPMG, I had so many ideas for the coming articles I was going to write. For me having a platform where I could be myself and say what I felt was like a dream come true. Two months before my birthday, in a conversation with OPMG’s Chief Editor, I pitched the idea of writing a list of 21 important lessons I have learned in 21 years. He loved the idea ... ► Read more

  • My new year resolution: To live in the now

    As I sat on the beach in the final days of 2017, listening to the sounds of the waves, surrounded by smiling, joyful people, I pondered on the time we spend reflecting on the passing year and thinking about the year to come. In 2016 I had spent this time in another country, another city. I remember standing in front of Central Park thinking, “2017 is going to be about making my dreams come true.” ... ► Read more

  • How a Portugese novel turned me into a reader

    My whole life, I’ve wanted to be that girl. The girl who could sit in a library and not be kicked out for laughing too loud. The girl who could read a book for more than five minutes and not zone out or fall asleep. The irony is that I love to write; and you’d think that someone who likes to put words together and wants to live and breathe the art of writing would ... ► Read more

  • The Week in Brief: 10–16 December 2017

    Image credit: Kaboompics (Pixabay) — CC0 public domain dedication. Anti-nuclear weapons group wins Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a group founded in Australia, was last Sunday awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2017, “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons“. Beatrice Fihn, the group’s ... ► Read more

  • Amyl and The Sniffers: It’s all passion

    Currently based in Melbourne, four piece punk-rock band Amyl and The Sniffers are a force to be reckoned with! We finally got the chance to see these guys play live when they opened for Cosmic Psychos here in Sydney, which they will continue to do for the Better in the Shed Tour spanning across November and December. We were met with nothing but pure energetic passion from the quartet as they belted out their well ... ► Read more

  • Australian Music T-Shirt Day

    Today we thought we’d write about a day we love: Triple J’s Australian Music T-shirt Day which was held on 3 November. Apart from just being a bit of fun, it’s a day to celebrate Aussie music culture, and to get behind and show support for some pretty amazing artists by wearing their band shirts. We are donning our band shirts and wanted to each do our own little plug on an Australian band that we’ve seen this year that has had an impact on us. ► Read more

  • A match made in heaven: Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile amaze with ‘Lotta Sea Lice’

    When I heard whispers that Aussie sweetheart Courtney Barnett was in the States working with alternative rocker Kurt Vile, I instantly knew that this pairing was a match made in heaven. I can't believe I hadn’t seen these two as potential collaborators before! Released on 13 October, Lotta Sea Lice was a very long time coming for me, even though it was released just months after the two artists announced they were working together. I couldn’t wait! And I must say, I wasn't disappointed. ► Read more

  • Five up and coming acts from Sydney you need to see

    Sydney’s music scene is crawling with talent. Going to live gigs and performances is a great way to engage, discover and admire said talents — but how do you choose? Here is a list of five up and coming Sydney-based artists you need to see! ► Read more

  • “Ocean & Montana” hits the spot

    “Ocean & Montana”, the latest collaborative EP from Pharrell protege Buddy and Montreal Hip Hop producer Kaytranada hits the spot. Although only 16 minutes and spanning 5 songs, Buddy makes a great impression, leaving listeners wanting more. Kaytranada’s smooth production combined with Buddy’s delivery makes this EP a must listen.   Buddy had a huge buzz following the initial Pharrell co-sign, but his rise has been steady as he has grown as a performer and ... ► Read more