General interest

  • Man confirmed dead after NT mine wall collapse

    A man who was buried under a collapsed wall of dirt and rock at the Bootu Creek mine in the Northern Territory has died, his employer confirmed on Monday. In a statement, Singapore-based OM Holdings Ltd (OMH) — the parent company of OM (Manganese) Ltd (OMM), which runs the Bootu Creek mine — confirmed the death. The man, 59, was fatally injured when a wall failed at the Tourag pit of the mine, some 110 kilometres ... ► Read more

  • Blade Runner star Rutger Hauer dies aged 75

    Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, best known for portraying Roy Batty in Blade Runner, passed away at his home in the Netherlands last Friday, aged 75. Mr Hauer starred alongside Harrison Ford as the replicant Roy Batty in Ridley’s Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner in which the actor himself wrote much of the dialogue for his “like tears in rain” speech. He was cast in a number of Dutch television programmes and films from the late 1960s ... ► Read more

  • Prosecutors drop charges against Kevin Spacey

    Prosecutors have dropped a case accusing Kevin Spacey of groping an 18-year-old man at a Massachusetts resort island bar in 2016. Mr Spacey was accused of getting an 18-year-old man drunk and then groping him at a bar and restaurant in Nantucket where the teen worked as a bus boy. Mr Spacey denied the allegations. Mr Spacey’s accuser used the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution to protect himself from self-incrimination. He also refused ... ► Read more

  • Game of Thrones receives record-breaking 32 Emmy nominations

    The final season of Game of Thrones has received a record-breaking 32 Emmy nominations — the most of any show in a single year. The previous record was held by NYPD Blue, which had 26 nominations in 1994. HBO earned 137 Emmy nominations, in total, in large part thanks to Game of Thrones’ final season. This was an increase from 108 nominations for HBO in 2018. Game of Thrones was nominated for categories such as Outstanding ... ► Read more

  • Over one million people join the satirical ‘Storm Area 51’ event

    Over one million people have joined the satirical Facebook event to “storm Area 51” on 20 September at 3:00am. The Facebook event, which was created by the anonymous administrators of the public meme page Shitposting cause im in shambles and Twitch streamer SmyleeKun, is titled Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All Of Us. The description of the event says: “If we naruto run, we can run faster than their bullets. “Lets see them aliens.” ... ► Read more

  • Google says employees listen to people’s conversations through Google Assistant

    Google employees listen to conversations that happen between users and their Google Assistant, such as the Google Home smart speaker, the company has revealed. A report from Belgian public broadcaster VRT NWS reveals how contractors are paid to transcribe audio clips that are recorded by the device. The snippets are used to help improve the device’s voice recognition technology, Google said. These audio clips are also used to help further develop the Google Assistant artificial ... ► Read more

  • Tom Gleeson wins Gold Logie

    Comedian Tom Gleeson gave a controversial acceptance speech after taking out the Gold Logie at the Logie Awards last night. “I’m in a tricky spot because I like it and I hate it at the same time,” Mr Gleeson said on the win. “If this went to the most popular personality on Australian TV it’d go to someone from Married at First Sight or a Rugby League player in the State of Origin.” Mr Gleeson ... ► Read more

  • YouTube to ban videos from supremacist groups

    YouTube has announced it will be “specifically prohibiting” supremacist content, as well as videos “denying that well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, took place.” In a statement released on Wednesday (local time), the Google-owned company specifically referred to videos that promote or glorify Nazi ideology as content that would be targeted by the new policy. “We’re taking another step in our hate speech policy by specifically prohibiting videos alleging that ... ► Read more

  • D–Day: leaders gather to commemorate 75th anniversary of landings

    World leaders have gathered in the United Kingdom to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings. Among those gathered yesterday at Portsmouth on the United Kingdom’s southern coast were Queen Elizabeth, the Prince of Wales, British Prime Minister Theresa May, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Donald Trump, concluding his state visit to the UK. A second day of commemoration will be ... ► Read more

  • Uber may ban passengers with poor ratings

    Uber passengers who regularly leave rubbish behind or disrespect their drivers may soon lose access to the app. The American company announced on Tuesday that passengers with “significantly below average” ratings could be banned from the service under the company’s updated community guidelines. Uber said that passengers would receive several notifications before they lose access to the app, and will have opportunities to improve their rating. According to the company users can boost their ratings ... ► Read more

  • Man dies inflight after ingesting almost 250 packets of cocaine

    A Japanese man has died en route from Colombia to Japan after ingesting 246 packets of cocaine, authorities say. The man’s Aeromexio flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Hermosillo, northern Mexico on Friday (local time) after the man began having seizures and convulsing. He boarded the plane in Mexico City after arriving from Bogota, Colombia, and was headed for Narita, Japan. The office of the Attorney-General for Sonora issued a statement confirming ... ► Read more

  • Remains of last US transatlantic slave ship identified on Alabama coast

    Researchers on the northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico have identified the wreck of the last ship known to have carried slaves from Africa to the United States. In a statement on Wednesday the Alabama Historical Commission said the remains of the schooner Clotilda had been identified and verified near the port city of Mobile, after months of assessment. “The discovery of the Clotilda is an extraordinary archaeological find,” said Lisa Demetropoulos Jones, executive ... ► Read more

  • Jamie Oliver’s UK restaurant chain collapses

    Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is “devastated” after his restaurant group entered administration, putting 1,000 people out of work. “I’m devastated that our much-loved UK restaurants have gone into administration,” Jamie Oliver tweeted. “I am deeply saddened by this outcome and would like to thank all of the people who have put their hearts and souls into this business over the years.” The group includes the Jamie’s Italian chain, Barbecoa and Fifteen, with 22 of the ... ► Read more

  • Man scales Eiffel Tower prompting evacuations

    The Eiffel Tower was evacuated on Monday (local time) after a man climbed it and refused to descend for several hours. The man did not have any equipment when he scaled the Parisian landmark, almost reaching the top. Police said the man was eventually convinced by negotiators to return to the ground with specialists from the Paris Fire Brigade. The tower’s management said the popular tourist attraction would be reopened on Tuesday morning as usual ... ► Read more

  • Man killed in Bavarian crossbow murder-suicide led medieval sex cult

    The 53-year-old man killed in a crossbow murder-suicide pact in Bavaria, Germany, led a cultish group based around medieval folklore and treated the women around him like slaves, according to reports. Torsten W and two women — Kerstin E, 33 and Farina C, 30 — were found dead in a hotel room in Passau on Saturday, impaled with crossbow bolts. Three crossbows were found in the room, two of which had been used. Torsten W ... ► Read more

  • Two more bodies found in connection with German crossbow deaths

    A further two bodies have been found as police investigate the deaths of three people discovered in a Bavarian hotel room who had been impaled with crossbow bolts. The two women were found dead at a flat in Wittingen, Lower Saxony, which belongs to one of the three people killed almost 700 km away at the hotel in Passau, Bavaria on Saturday. Police said they were unable to immediately identify the additional bodies, but confirmed ... ► Read more

  • Three bodies impaled with crossbow bolts found in German hotel

    Three bodies were found impaled with crossbow bolts in a hotel room in Germany on Saturday (local time). A maid on cleaning duties at the hotel in Passau, Bavaria, found the bodies and two crossbows in the room. The victims were a 53-year-old-man and two women aged 33 and 30, all German citizens. The relationship between the guests has not yet been established, but the 30-year-old woman was from Lower Saxony and the other two ... ► Read more

  • Peter Mayhew, actor who played Chewbacca, dies aged 74

    Peter Mayhew, the actor who played Chewbacca in the Star Wars films, has died of a heart attack aged 74. He passed away at his home in Boyd, Texas on 30 April, a statement issued by his family said. The British-born actor played the role of Wookiee co-pilot and resistance fighter Chewbacca in the original Star Wars trilogy from 1977–1983, as well as the prequel Return of the Sith (2005) and sequel The Force Awakens (2015). After he retired due to health ... ► Read more

  • Facebook bans prominent controversial figures in hate speech crackdown

    Facebook has permanently banned several prominent controversial figures in a crackdown on hate speech on the social network. In a statement on Thursday (local time), Facebook said it has “always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology.” Among the most notable figures banned are far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who called the Sandy Hook school massacre in the United States “completely fake”; far-right political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, ... ► Read more

  • Sydney’s median house price to drop below $1 million, say analysts

    Sydney’s median house price has continued its slow fall, with leading real estate website Domain saying it is on track to dip below $1 million for the first time in four years. According to Domain’s latest house price report, Sydney’s median house price is $1,027,962 — down 3.1% over the past three months and 11.5% over the last year. The company’s senior research analyst Nicola Powell said that prices are likely to drop below $1 ... ► Read more

  • Film director John Singleton dies at 51

    American Oscar-nominated director John Singleton has died at age 51 following a stroke last week that left him in a coma. “John passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends,” Mr Singleton’s family told CNN in a statement. “We want to thank the amazing doctors at Cedars-Sinai Hospital for their expert care and kindness and we again want thank all of John’s fans, friends and colleagues for all of the love and support they ... ► Read more

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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