I felt an overwhelming sadness looking at the beautiful face of Sarah Cafferkey. Bearing an uncanny resemblance, in its light, beauty and openness, to the other young Melbourne woman, Jill Meagher, who also lost her life as a result of a senseless and thuggish attack. Can anybody tell me why?
Sarah Cafferkey was all of 22 years of age. She’ll never even know how it feels to celebrate her 30th birthday. As her mother, Noelle Dickson said in a statement this morning.
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For too long, world leaders have tried appealing to our better angels to bring about a solution to climate change. It’s time they aimed a little lower, at our hip pockets.
Far from being the greatest moral challenge of our times, as Kevin Rudd framed it, climate change is shaping up as one of the greatest economic challenges of our times. Paying more under a carbon tax? You’ll pay even more if the business-as-usual climate change scenario is allowed to play out.
Soaring food prices, water prices and home insurance premiums - these things are already happening to some degree. You can add to that the widespread destruction of jobs in agriculture, fishing, forestry and tourism industries. These are just some of the warnings contained in a report released this week by the world’s most venerable and conservative economic body, the World Bank.
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Yesterday at almost the same time two men who had done a bad thing, one very much worse than the other, used almost identical excuses.
In Sydney Paul Douglas Peters, the so-called “Collar bomb hoaxer” was sentenced to 13 years in jail for the 10 hours of sheer terror and year of tough recovery he unleashed on 18-year-old schoolgirl Madeleine Pulver in her family home last year.
In Melbourne champion jokey Damien Oliver copped an 8-month ban from racing after he admitted betting $10,000 against his own ride - a cardinal sin of the track.
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There are clever ads that manage to cut through the noise and really make you think—like Metro Trains’ viral smash Dumb Ways to Die ad which just hit eight million views—and then there are stupid, thick-headed ads whose only ability is to peeve just as many people.
Please excuse the awful quality of the pic (below) of the advertisement I am talking about, which is plastered across the Alfred Hospital helipad, I took it on my phone. Its message is ‘Spend ‘his’ money wisely’.
It is apparently attempting to convince us women shoppers that a certain online fashion site is worth a visit and a few hundred of ‘his’ bucks. I know there are worse examples of companies just not getting the need to treat women as thinking beings (for example the shocker bikini girl Jeep fiasco this week), but the messages in this one are also insidious.
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Is David Beckham coming to Australia? Who cares? I don’t. His overly tattooed torso, has-been right foot and toothpick wife can come to Australia if they like, or not. I couldn’t give a stuff, and we shouldn’t either. But we do. We really, really do.
Personalities drive the public’s interest in a sport, especially when it’s a public not already familiar with that sport, but those personalities rarely have the same effect on the field as they do off it.
The result is sports reporting that focuses on the mediocre effects of a darling or bad boy, which disregards the superior play of a comparatively unknown, or a team effort. Since they haven’t married a starlet, kicked goals overseas, or been involved in a drug or sex scandal. (Insert cheap Bulldogs, Sharks, Premier League etc joke here).
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It’s 25 years since the manufacture of asbestos stopped in Australia but the shadow it has cast over the lives of thousands of families is as dark as ever.
The asbestos tragedy we have seen in Australia is repeating itself in countries like India and Laos, and this time we don’t have ignorance as an excuse to do nothing.
Those who watched “Devil’s Dust” on ABC last week will have been reminded of the toll asbestos has taken, and the story is not finished yet.
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With small businesses across Australia increasingly under threat from the games that can be played by shopping centre landlords, franchisors and larger businesses, it’s certainly time for all small businesses to have access to an independent small business commissioner in their particular state or territory.
With Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and New South Wales all having a state-based small business commissioner to help their small businesses, businesses in Tasmania, Queensland, the North Territory and the ACT are certainly missing out on the considerable benefits that a state or territory small business commissioner could bring at very little cost.
And no one should get too excited about the so-called new federal Small Business Commissioner. We have had lots of talk of a federal small business commissioner during the year, but it has only just been created. Obviously the Federal Labor Government is a big talker.
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Police have seized three garbage bags full of cannabis leaves left on the side of a road with a sign saying “Free dope smoke. Mull up”.
A member of the public called police when he saw the haul on Bolong Rd, Bomaderry, on NSW’s south coast about 10am on Saturday morning.
What’s on your mind?
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Eight months. That’s jockey Damien Oliver’s laughably soft penalty for bringing an entire sport into disrepute. He won’t even miss a Spring Carnival. That’s like suspending a football player for the off-season. What a joke.
In 2010, the AFL suspended a lowly interchange steward for a whole year after he placed a whopping total of $9 in bets. It was heavy-handed, but it sent the clear message that anyone employed by the AFL, no matter how tangentially, must not bet on it.
Racing had the chance to send an even stronger message today. When one of the most famous names in your sport bets the equivalent of an overseas trip on a rival horse, it’s a rare opportunity to go medieval.
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The highest-rating story on News.com.au today, by some margin, is about the retired naval commander Nick Crews and his letter to his three children.
He describes his “bitter disappointment” in their inability to hold down jobs and relationships. In the process, he’s incurred the wrath worldwide of everyone who blames their failure in life on a strict upbringing.
The central question arising from the story is this: If you’re a dole-bludging no-hoper, do your parents have the right to tell you? Of course, the acceptable answer is no, but deep down I suspect many of us empathise with Mr Crews. I certainly do.
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