In their biggest week of the year, the AFL and NRL have had to respond to reports that they are using footballs stitched by Indian child labourers who are paid mere cents for the work.
Child labour is a serious evil and needs to be combated everywhere. Not only are child labourers exploited economically, but their health and safety is often endangered, and they are deprived of the chance to get an education.
I would expect the football codes and clubs to take this issue seriously and I am pleased they have done just that. The AFL, and North Melbourne in particular, pride themselves on social responsibility. So it must have come as a shock for North when The Age reported that commemorative balls to be given away at their Grand Final Breakfast had been made with child labour. The club has acted quickly and decisively, redirecting payments for these footballs to World Vision, their charity partner.
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If you’ve wondered why Channel Nine’s The Golden Mile painted such an endearing portrait of its leading “Underbelly” character, King’s Cross figure John Ibrahim, it might well be because he’s had a hand in how he was portrayed in the script.
Ibrahim – who paints himself as a publicity shy businessman annoyed by the fame generated by the show – was so concerned about his portrayal in Golden Mile, The Punch can reveal he even confronted an actor who turned down the chance to play the lead in the Channel 9 hit series.
Young Australian actor Les Chantery - star of 2009 Australian film Cedar Boys about Lebanese-Australian drug dealers in Sydney’s Western suburbs - rejected the opportunity to audition for the starring role of John Ibrahim in The Golden Mile out concern of having himself and other Lebanese-Australians typecast as thugs.
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Around a third of Australian road fatalities are the direct result of drink-driving. Add to that the millions of random breath tests that occur across the country every year and you’re looking at some fairly good reasons not to drink-drive.
Not that you’d know that from the statistics; the percentage of alcohol-fuelled road fatalities has remained constant in the past two decades. In fact, our collective apathy toward the separation of alcohol consumption and motor vehicle control is so great as to warrant its own show on the Nine Network.
Premiering last Sunday, RBT is Nine’s attempt at discouraging drink-driving or, depending on your point of view, an attempt to capitalise on the inability of Australian drivers to understand that driving home after six beers is probably a bad idea.
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Last night The Punch took a flight from Canberra to Melbourne and settled in for a viewing of Qantas’ in-flight news bulletin provided by Channel Nine.
Slowly recovering my obligatory takeoff fear of dying next to some guy in a Ralph Lauren t-shirt and blond tips in his hair, it occurred to me that the entire bulletin had not mentioned the biggest news story of the last few days: the failed terrorist attack aboard the Northwest Airlines flight to Detroit.
Absolutely nothing was reported in an almost half hour long broadcast about a failed terrorist attack aboard a passenger plane which a little group called Al-Qaeda have now claimed responsibility for. A story that still commanded high priority during their national news broadcasts that evening.
This wasn’t some shocking editorial oversight by a confused news editor, rather it’s very intentional Qantas policy not to inform it’s passengers of airline disaster related news stories.
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A brilliant strategic investment or a Machiavellian ploy, driven by revenge, to mess with the mind of a bitter enemy? The only thing certain about Kerry Stokes’ stunning raid on James Packer’s Consolidated Media this week is that billionaire long maligned as “Little Kerry” will be loving the wild speculation about his motives and intentions.
On Wednesday, Stokes’ Seven Network pounced on 15% of ConsMedia, giving the famously self-absorbed media industry something to talk about after an unusually long period of ownership stability.
The move also opened the third round of the epic Packer v Stokes slugfest.
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