Tag Archives | Australia

International Young Water Professionals Discuss Water Fears

This week in Australia, the International Young Water Professionals meet to discuss the repercussions of climate change, war, and other factors on our water supply. In the driest continent, 25 countries are represented to voice concerns and contemplate solutions so that our growing populations and destructive habits don’t put an end to our tap water. Phil Mercer of The National covers:

Experts from Oman, Kenya and Austria joined others from across the world to discuss sustainability and how communities in drier regions must adapt to warmer temperatures to safeguard precious supplies into the future.

The meeting dealt with basic issues of survival, said Katerina Ruzicka, a research assistant at the Institute of Water Quality at Vienna’s University of Technology.

“A huge problem we are facing besides climate change is water for food,” Ms Ruzicka said. “We have to feed a growing population and you need water to produce food.

“Somehow we will be able to cope with it because humans do always somehow cope with huge challenges in one way or another.”

Ensuring that supplies continue to flow to the nation’s homes and businesses has been a pressing concern for authorities in Australia.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Mel Gibson’s Racist Rant Caught On Tape

Mel Gibson's mugshot from his 28 July 2006 arrest for DUI.

Mel Gibson's mugshot from his 28 July 2006 arrest for DUI.

It’s no secret that Mel Gibson is a racist and anti-semite, if admittedly a decent actor and filmmaker. The question is, why does he keep flaunting it in public? Is it an Aussie macho thing? From RadarOnline.com:

In one of the most explosive, racist and vile outbursts by a celebrity ever caught on tape, Mel Gibson told the mother of his love child that the way she was dressed would get her “raped by a pack of n***ers,” RadarOnline.com has learned exclusively.

It’s a shocking and blockbuster development in the couple’s bitter legal battle, and Mel’s disgusting words are on audio tape. His racist, misogynist statement is one of the secrets lurking in his war with his former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva.

RadarOnline.com has heard the tape, which also includes Mel telling Oksana he will burn down her home.

Drunken Mel previously shocked the world with his anti-Semetic comments when busted for DUI.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Democracy Needs Reform — The Cruelty Of Poll-Driven Politics In Australia

Kevin Rudd

Kevin Rudd

After a series of sudden and drastic moves initiated by a handful of people within some factions of the Australia Labor Party on Wednesday evening,  Australians woke up the next morning (24 June 2010) watching their elected Prime Minister (Kevin Rudd) cry in front of the TV screen after he was told by the dozens of his colleagues he was finished as prime minister. (Herald Sun, 25 June 2010)

The cause of his down fall was mainly due to the fact that his popularity has plunged dramatically over the last 6 months. This in part was the direct result of the mining companies’ $100 million advertising campaign against his government intention to imposed a Super Mining Tax in 2012 to give the average Australian a fairer share of the profit from the resources digging out from Australian soil and seabed. The opposition has sided with the miners over the Super Mining Tax and benefited from a huge amount of political donation.… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Fish With “Hands” Found to Be New Species

Photo: Karen Gowlett-Holmes

Photo: Karen Gowlett-Holmes

Carolyn Barry writes in National Geographic:

Using its fins to walk, rather than swim, along the ocean floor in an undated picture, the pink handfish is one of nine newly named species described in a recent scientific review of the handfish family.

Only four specimens of the elusive four-inch (ten-centimeter) pink handfish have ever been found, and all of those were collected from areas around the city of Hobart, on the Australian island of Tasmania.

Though no one has spotted a living pink handfish since 1999, it’s taken till now for scientists to formally identify it as a unique species.

The new-species determinations were made based on a number of factors, including number of vertebrae and fin rays, coloration, the presence of scales and spines, and proportional body measurements, according to review author Daniel Gledhill of Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, or CSIRO.

Read More: National Geographic

Read the rest

Continue Reading

‘Gay Dog’ Refused Entry To Australian Restaurant

Sparkey The Gay DogSeriously, WTF?! Did the dog sound like George Clooney, what was the tip-off? Sarah Mennie writes in the Herald Sun:

A restaurant in a northwest suburb of Adelaide that refused a blind man entry because it thought his guide dog was “gay” was ordered by the Equal Opportunity Tribunal to pay him $1500.

A statement given by restaurant owners Hong Hoa Thi To and Anh Hoang Le said one of the restaurant’s waiters said that Mr Jolly’s partner Ms Chris Lawrence stated “she wanted to bring a gay dog into the restaurant.”

Mr Jolly and Ms Lawrence were refused entry to the restaurant – which displays a “guide dogs welcome” sign — even after providing staff with a guide dogs fact card.

At an Equal Opportunity Tribunal conciliation hearing on Friday, the restaurant agreed to provide Mr Jolly with a written apology and attend an Equal Opportunity education course, in addition to paying him $1500.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Net Filter Patronises the Digital Generation

From the Syndey Morning Herald:

Would somebody please not think of the children. At least not while we are discussing internet censorship. This may sound like an odd request given that, historically, almost all censorship debates have pivoted around children and the need to protect them. But moral panics and fear-mongering campaigns concerning “the helpless children” often muddy what could otherwise be rational, evidenced-based debates.

And there is no easier way to get an otherwise progressive, reasonable parent to endorse an illogical, anti-democratic censorship regime than by appealing to (and exploiting) their deep-seated fears concerning their children.

But here’s the thing. Censorship debates over child safety have little to do with actual flesh and blood children. If they did then they would acknowledge and include the voices and views of young people and they would recognise the competencies and strengths that children bring to online interactions.

[Read more at the Syndey Morning Herald]

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Axis of Awesome: What Would Jesus Do?

Since those of you in these gents' vicinity might be wide-awake right now, here's a question for you. What is the chance of the Axis of Awesome going on American TV with this song? Thanks for the input, Disinfo readers around the globe. My take is I'd never see these guys on American network TV with this song, or basic cable (but they may have a shot on the pay-extra cable networks). Good luck to them...
Continue Reading

The Brutal Truth About Rio Tinto’s Bribery Case

Rio Tinto's Australian headquarters are located in the 120 Collins Street building in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Canley (GNU)

Rio Tinto's Australian headquarters are located in the 120 Collins Street building in Melbourne, Australia. Photo: Canley (GNU)

[disinformation editor's note: the author's native language is not English and he makes numerous spelling and grammar errors. We chose to publish the article notwithstanding this and hope that readers will value the author's opinions nonetheless.]

After nine months of media allegations, finger pointing based purely on hearsay, speculation surrounding the reasons behind the arrest of the four Rio Tinto executives in Shanghai on 5 July 2009, the truth about the actual background of the arrest has finally outweighed the disinformation relentlessly generated by the mainstream media in Australia.

We now know that:

1) The four Rio Tinto executives admitted taking bribes (The Australian, 23 March 2010).

2) One should note that, it was only after the four Rio Tinto executives admitted taking bribes on the 23 March 2010, we then learn on the following day that, ’Secret Rio Tinto probe cleared company but left Stern Hu in doubt’ (The Australian, 24 March 2010).… Read the rest

Continue Reading

Pasta Recipe Containing ‘Salt And Freshly Ground Black People’

Pasta BibleAs book publishers, the gang at disinformation® understand typos happen to everyone, but this one wins a prize for Penguin Australia: their Pasta Bible contains a recipe calling for “salt and freshly ground black people.”  What clinches the prize for Penguin is it’s executive’s statement that “why anyone would be offended, we don’t know” (via the Sydney Morning Herald):

Penguin Group Australia turns over $120 million a year from printing words but a one-word misprint has cost it dearly.

The publishing company was forced to pulp and reprint 7000 copies of Pasta Bible last week after a recipe called for ”salt and freshly ground black people” – instead of pepper – to be added to the spelt tagliatelle with sardines and prosciutto.

The exercise will cost Penguin $20,000, the head of publishing, Bob Sessions, said. At $3300 a letter, it’s a pricey typo.

Stock will not be recalled from bookshops because it would be ”extremely hard” to do so, Mr Sessions said.

Read the rest
Continue Reading