news round-up 21.10.15
In future news…It’s Back to the Future Day! Today is the day Marty McFly and Doc travelled to from 1989. While we’re lacking in hover boards and double-ties, check out this piece from the BBC on how close we’ve come to some of the predictions from the film.
In Australia…Our woeful human rights record continues to disappoint as the Border Force confirms the death of asylum seeker Khodayar Amini by self-immolation. The man, who identified as Hazara Afghan, had been living in Melbourne on a bridging visa. At the time of the incident he was on a video call to refugee advocates where he expressed his fears about being returned to Afghanistan before committing suicide.
In Parliament…Senator Bill Heffernan claims he has obtained a police document listing 28 suspected paedophiles – including a former prime minister. He accused the Attorney-General, Phillip Ruddock and his predecessors of having full knowledge of the document but not acting on it.
In Canada… Trudeaumania is sweeping across Canada with a landslide victory of Liberals’ Justin Trudeau over Conservative Stephen Harper. The son of the former Prime Minister says his first steps will be to raise taxes for the rich, tackle climate change, and legalise marijuana. If that hasn’t got your vote, then this gif of Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire, nailing the election night victory dance should just about seal the deal:
In mental health news…A new report claims that young women are up to twice as likely to suffer from mental illness compared to young men. The report, published by the Black Dog Institute and Mission Australia, showed that while young men were more likely to commit suicide, women are more likely to suffer mental distress from external factors such as stress, school and study, and body image.
In Europe…The EU announced today they have already hit their 2020 Emissions Targets. While our government grapples with a cut of 20% by 2030, Europe are set to overtake their original target with a predicted reduction of around 25% within five years time. This is promising news ahead of the Paris Climate Talks in December – talks which could set a global agenda for fighting climate change, or go a different way altogether…
In Japan…The Health Ministry today have confirmed a 41 year old man involved in the Fukushima clean up has been diagnosed with leukaemia. The government had previously denied the danger of radiation exposure to workers at the ruined reactor. However, the government’s position has previously been challenged by reports that children in Fukushima are experiencing thyroid cancer rates 20 to 50 times higher than the average.
Finally, rumour is…The UN may be planning to call for the global decriminalisation of drugs. That is, according to Richard Branson. The bazillionaire businessman claimed in a blog post that the UN Office on Drugs and Crime are planning to call for their own redundancy at the International Harm Reduction Conference in Malaysia. Branson claims he is delighted for the news, and will rollout alternative menus accordingly on all Virgin flights. Ok, I made up the last bit.