The Baird government has targeted domestic violence with a $60m package to prevent abuse and minimise reoffending.
Prevention of Domestic Violence Minister Pru Goward said the initiative will be the first to introduce a domestic violence police team, and monitor perpetrators. “For a lot of women the thought that their partner, their husband, might go to jail puts them off giving evidence and being co-operative with the police,” she said. The scheme follows a federal government initiative that allocated $100m to fight domestic abuse.
Australian middle-class wealth drops in world rankings
The Australian middle-class is no longer the world’s wealthiest according to Credit Suisse analysts, falling behind Switzerland and New Zealand. The annual report considered factors like average household wealth, wages, and “real” assets. At 66 per cent, Australia has the highest proportion of its population considered middle-class, but failed to make the top 20 in a list of overall millionaires. Australia’s average wealth of $A504,982 ($US364,900) was followed by the United States, Norway and the United Kingdom.
Greens MP slams data retention laws
Greens MP Scott Ludlam has denounced the Federal Government’s metadata retention laws which came into effect yesterday, saying that they “had no place in a democracy like Australia”. Ludlam said the laws infringed on Australian citizens’ privacy and would damage telecommunications companies. Many telcos are reportedly unprepared to comply with the law which requires them and Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) to collect and hold customers’ metadata for up to two years. Security agencies such as the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) will be able to access that data to help fight terrorism and stop child abuse.
Playboy to stop publishing naked women
The adult magazine Playboy will stop publishing images of naked women after chief executive Scott Flanders labelled them “passe”. Flanders admitted that online pornography had contributed to poor magazine sales for the publication, with circulation decreasing to only 800,000 people. Playboy’s new-look magazine will still feature women in suggestive poses, and will focus more on investigative journalism and in-depth interviews.
Australia and the US announce naval cooperation in South China Sea
Australia has joined forced with the US to “enhance naval cooperations across all domains” following tension in the South China Sea. Both countries have expressed concern about China’s construction of artificial islands. The waters, which Beijing claims as its own, are a crucial highway for trillions of dollars of international trade. China has said it would not tolerate violations of its territory, but did not plan to expand its military presence in the area. In a joint statement after the meeting, Australia and the US “expressed strong concerns over recent Chinese land reclamation and construction activity”. – Compiled from news sources by Sergio Magliarachi
Top photo from Eva Rinaldi’s Flickr photostream.