News you can use - Iranian actress gets 90 lashes for starring in Australian film
Who's saying what
The UN's refugee agency has declared the Malaysia Solution as better for refugees than indefinite detention in Australia, which will undoubtedly be leapt upon as an expression of support by Gillard et al, but does strike me as a rather backhanded gesture. A knife edge vote on the measure is due Thursday. If they lose, it will be the first time a Government has been defeated in the House of Representatives since 1929. Which is a hell of a stat to consider.
The latest Newspoll has shown a slight lift in the Government's support, but this has been twinned with a collapse in people's belief in their capacity to do anything. To wit, confidence over their handling of the economy has plunged from 43 to 28 percent. This in the same time as we danced recklessly through another incipient financial crisis, received glowing report after glowing report from international observers and saw our sitting Treasurer awarded Best Treasurer in the world. WHAT DO YOU PEOPLE WANT? BLOOD?!
A general and perhaps not entirely deserved sense of buoyancy has gripped international markets over the last couple of days, propelling the Australian dollar back to parity with the US. After hitting almost one $1.11 in July, it had dropped back to a measly $0.93 by last Wednesday, so it's good to see us getting our groove back, especially as I'm busy booking flights in US dollars...
Remember the hole in the ozone layer? Seems like so long ago that it was our primary environmental concern, but you'll be pleased to know that it's still there and at almost record levels.
The Guardian, always at the forefront of online journalism, is conducting a strange and perhaps temporary experiment where they will release certain segments of their newslist to the public in the hope that the public will contribute leads and angles based on their own personal experience. Citizen journalism in a newly formal fashion.
The Nobel Prize madness continues with the Economics Prize going to two vaguely linked American professors who have been, uh, conducting "empirical research on cause and effect in the macroeconomy.” ... Go on. From the New York Times article: "Dr. Sargent and Dr. Sims developed statistical methods to organize historical data and disentangle these many variables." I... see. Well, um, goodie for you guys.
Egypt's much vaunted anti-Mubarak unity is well and truly shattering, after 24 people ended up dead in the aftermath of a church burning in the country's south. Everything seems a bit confused, with the Christians angry at the ongoing military rule, some Muslims marching with them in support and other Muslims coming out to defend order. All in all though, the military's seeming reluctance to cede power can certainly be blamed for quite a bit of the unpleasantness. One just hopes it won't involve a return to the chaos of February.
An actress in Iran has received a sentence of 90 lashes and time in prison for starring in an Australian backed film named My Tehran for Sale. Made with the support of the Adelaide Film Festival, it is, rather ironically due to be shown at the Amnesty International women's rights film festival later this year.
The battle for Sirt continues apace, with the gritty business of going street to street and taking out snipers continuing into a third day. When Sirt falls, the battle for Libya will essentially be over, but as Gaddafi's hometown and a place where he spent quite a bit of money, there is a little residual loyalty still flying around. And after that, Libya will be a happy, functioning democracy, right?
40 women wounded in Yemen as they celebrated Nobel Peace Prize win. Well, that's just delightful, that is.
The Syrian protest movement grinds ever onward, with the recently formed opposition Syrian National Council starting to pick up the odd diplomatic contact around the world. President Assad has threatened unspecified retaliation should any nation actually recognise them a la Libya's own NTC, although as an impoverished nation that can barely control its own borders let alone anyone else's, it is hard to know exactly what they mean by this. Meanwhile, 31 people were killed over the weekend, although this was about 50-50 army/civilian. Which is... good... I guess.
Well, it's been a month and still nobody seems to have any idea who the German kid who claims to have lived in a forest for five years actually is. Just thought you'd appreciate an update.
A little more Steve Jobs for you: Glenn Greenwald investigating the links between Steve Jobs' genius and his LSD use; and Stephen Fry pretty much saying everything that needs to be said. Natch.
A few bits and pieces on the burgeoning Occupy Wall Street movement: Ezra Klein's pretty exhaustive profile of the 99 percent; a curious blog post that analyses the content of protester signs in order to synthesise their goals; and this slightly creepy video message from Anonymous.
So, apparently Melbourne is sitting on top of a hundreds of kilometres large Argentinian ant colony. I know, I'm scared too.
Scientists have made the first steps towards being able to watch what happens inside your mind. I know, I'm scared too.
Speaking of scared: SCARED BROS IN A HAUNTED HOUSE IS A PRETTY GREAT PHOTO SET.
A former Democratic representative named Alan Grayson goes on Bill Maher's Real Time and proceeds to provide a watertight one minute summation of the Occupy Wall Street protests while absolutely wiping the floor with a smug Republican asshole. What is there not to like?
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