Tag Archives | Australia

‘X’ Now A Gender Option In Australian Passports

737450-3x2-940x627A forward-thinking move, as the gender-ambiguous can now classify themselves as ‘X’. Still no “android” or “monkey-man” passport options, though. Associated Press reports:

Australian passports will now have three gender options – male, female and indeterminate – under new guidelines to remove discrimination against transgender and intersex people, the government said Thursday. Intersex people, who are biologically not entirely male or female, will be able to list their gender on passports as “X.”

Previously, gender was a choice of only male or female, and people were not allowed to change their gender on their passport without having had a sex-change operation. The U.S. dropped the surgery prerequisite for transgender people’s passports last year.

Any country that complies with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s specifications for machine-readable passports can choose to introduce a gender “X.”

“‘X’ is really quite important because there are people who are indeed genetically ambiguous and were probably arbitrarily assigned as one sex or the other at birth,” Pratt said.

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Inside Australia’s Reincarnated Jesus Cult

Alan Miller is an affable young Aussie who claims to be Jesus Christ returned to Earth. (And his girlfriend says she's Mary Magdalene to boot.) Miller has amassed several dozen worshipers, "television soap stars" among them, who have moved onto his sixteen-acre woodland compound in Queensland to be closer to their prophet. Being the son of God, he naturally has some entertaining life stories up his sleeve, including the time he gave relationship advice to Gandhi (in heaven). Add in a George Harrison hairdo, and you can see the appeal:
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Evidence of Murdoch’s Newspapers Distorting News to Fuel Racism

Media disinformation and negativity against non-Western cultures in Australia is a terminal disease spreading into the bloodstream of the mainstream media industry in Australia. The following incident demonstrated how easy it is to demonize a Chinese restaurant in Melbourne through the manipulation of news using the techniques of factual omission, misleading heading, misleading bullet-point-highlight, misleading bold-highlight and the editorializing of content using a series of subjective and strong wordings to sell the personal opinion of the journalist or editor as news.

How did Murdoch’s Newspapers demonise a Chinese Restaurant in Melbourne?

Can you tell the problem with the following report by the Herald Sun?

St Kilda Chinese restaurant food bill handed to man in ambulance

By Jessica Craven    From: Herald Sun April 26, 2011 7:21PM

  • Man suffered seizure while dining at Chinese restaurant
  • Man given bill as he was being loaded into ambulance
  • Restaurant manager said someone had to pay for meal

A CHINESE restaurant that slapped a customer with the bill as he was being loaded into an ambulance has defended its actions.

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Australia’s Military Loses Its UFO X-Files?

Truth Is Out ThereVia Reuters:
Australia's military has lost its X-Files, detailing sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects, or UFOs, across the country, a newspaper report said on Tuesday. After a two-month search in response to a newspaper Freedom of Information (FOI) request, which forces government officials to release documents of public interest, Australia's Department of Defence had been unable to locate the files, the Sydney Morning Herald said. "The files could not be located and Headquarters Air Command formally advised that this file is deemed lost," the department's FOI assistant director, Natalie Carpenter, told the paper. Defence officials could not be contacted by Reuters. The only file Defence had been able to locate was a folder called: "Report on UFOs/Strange Occurrences and Phenomena in Woomera," a military weapons testing range in the center of Australia's vast outback, Carpenter said.
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Australia’s ‘Kill A Camel’ To Cut Pollution Concept

800px-Camel_in_the_Thar_Desert

Photo: Dan Searle (CC)

How can we curb the emission of greenhouse gases? Get rid of a bunch of camels, apparently. Via Physorg:

Australia is considering awarding carbon credits for killing feral camels as a way to tackle climate change.

The suggestion is included in Canberra’s “Carbon Farming Initiative”, a consultation paper by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, seen Thursday.

Adelaide-based Northwest Carbon, a commercial company, proposed culling some 1.2 million wild camels that roam the Outback, the legacy of herds introduced to help early settlers in the 19th century.

Considered a pest due to the damage they do to vegetation, a camel produces, on average, a methane equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide a year, making them collectively one of Australia’s major emitters of greenhouse gases.

In its plan, Northwest said it would shoot them from helicopters or muster them and send them to an abattoir for either human or pet consumption.

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For Those Sharks About To Swim, AC/DC Loves You … (Video)

What can I say, true believers, it is science. Daniel Fraser reports on ABC News:
Eyre Peninsula's Matt Waller has added another tip to the 'don't get eaten' handbook with his discovery that Great White's are much less aggressive when listening to AC/DC: particularly 'You Shook Me All Night Long'. A South Australian charter boat operator has made a fascinating discovery whilst conducting research into what kinds of music affect the behaviour of Great White Sharks.
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Video: Disturbing Abuse Of Australian Cattle At Slaughterhouses

Animals Australia and RSPCA Australia have launched a public campaign against the torture cattle endure during live export. The campaign asks the Live Export organization to reconsider the trade of living animals because of the cruel way they are treated before being slaughtered. Note, they are not necessarily advocating vegetarianism or the elimination of slaughterhouses (although there are many benefits to reducing industrialized slaughterhouses including cutting down on pollution, increase agricultural land and reduction of animal cruelty), but they argue the unfair treatment of live animals being exported to other countries. Warning: The video below include graphic material that may be difficult to watch.
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Crikey! Aussies To Be Fined For Swearing

350px-Profanity.svgWhat the f*#^? The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Australians may have a love of plain speaking but new laws are set to curtail some of their more colourful language with police issuing on-the-spot fines for obnoxious swearing.

The country’s second most populous state Victoria is due to approve new legislation this week under which police will be able to slap fines of up to Aus$240 (US$257) on people using offensive words or phrases.

Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark said the penalties, similar to those issued for speeding or parking illegally, would free up police time.

“This will give the police the tools they need to be able to act against this sort of obnoxious behaviour on the spot, rather than having to drag offenders off to court and take up time and money in proceedings,” he said.

But even the state’s top lawyer admitted to swearing sometimes. “Occasionally I mutter things under my breath as probably everybody does,” he told ABC radio.

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