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Rafal’s “LOTS OF NEWS” Weekly Breakdown: 6 – 11 June 2020

Rafal is here to share her take on the events of the week, providing all the news and commentary you will need.

Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed in this piece are not necessarily indicative of the views of the editorial board

Welcome to the Lots of News Update: these were the headlines for the June 6 to June 11.

You can check out the video version below. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers please note that the video contains images of the long-deceased:

 

IN TERTIARY NEWS

  • Monash University is forecasting a $350 million downturn in revenue this year. (The Age)
  • The Faculty of Law will now supervise home exams via webcam and require two devices before students can complete the exam. Students object to these new rules with a petition. (Change.org)
  • Monash has responded to the international student society’s request for fee reductions, given the lost access to campus facilities, and they said no. (Facebook)
  • La Trobe Uni staff voted yes to take a pay cut to hopefully save jobs, but the uni is still going to fire about 400 people. (The Age)
  • Meanwhile, at Melbourne University, 64% of voters voted no to a similar proposal. (NTEU)
  • Monash has climbed the rankings of international universities, landing on number 55 this year. Unfortunately, the second-highest performing subject for Monash is mining. (Monash)
  • Here’s a joke: where do mining students study? Monash Coalfield! We’re all going to drown, which neatly segues into…

 

IN AUSTRALIAN NEWS

  • On Thursday, BHP quickly walked back their evil plan to destroy 40 Aboriginal sites of historical and cultural significance after national outrage. (The Guardian)
  • Last weekend saw tens of thousands of people show up for Black Lives Matter protests across the country.
  • In Sydney, pepper spray was used on protestors at Central Station after police kettled in protestors, meaning they formed a line and physically forced demonstrators into the station, sparking outrage and viral videos. (Reddit/Junkee/The New Daily)
  • Australia’s Finance Minister calls BLM protesters “incredibly selfish” and “self-indulgent” in an interview on boomer channel Sky News. (Reuters)
  • Protestors hit back, pointing out that although the pandemic is a big deal, racism is also a pretty big deal, and that at the same time as the protests occurred, social distancing was not observed at huge shopping centres, with much less scrutiny.
  • One protestor who attended the BLM protests in Melbourne has tested positive to the virus. People who attended the protests are urged to self isolate as much as possible for the next two weeks. (Nine News)
  • The Prime Minister suggested that future protestors for the Black Lives Matter movement should be charged. (SBS)
  • Since the last update, the Aboriginal deaths in custody count has risen from 432 to 437. This is 437 too many. (The Guardian)
  • The Prime Minister shamelessly tells bald-faced lies to the nation on boomer radio 2GB, claiming that there was no slavery in Australia. Yes there was. (SMH/Canberra Times)
  • UPDATE: Scott Morrison has apologised for his comments. For some reason, he wouldn’t come out and say the word “slavery”. He said there were “all sorts of hideous practices” and dodged questions about the specific nature of slavery in Australia. (The Guardian)
  • An employee at Big W in South Australia grabbed a four-year-old Aboriginal girl by the hoodie and pulled her back because they “thought she was shoplifting”. The family is considering a lawsuit. (ABC)
  • There is a campaign lead by a woman from Birpai (pronounced Bir-ah-pie) Country in NSW to remove a statue of Australia’s first prime minister, installed in 2001, from an Aboriginal burial site with remains from more than 1,800 years ago. (ABC)
  • There is another campaign lead by two elders on Darumbal (pronounced Derr-um-bull) land in QLD to change a racist creek name. (ABC)
  • Sunrise’s Sam Armytage and Seven Network are being sued over a racist segment which praised the first Stolen Generation and suggested it was time for another one. (Pedestrian)
  • Netflix has removed specific programs from its site which have featured blackface or brownface, including Summer Heights High and The Mighty Boosh. This has caused a legitimate debate about whether this is unacceptable censorship or inevitable social progress. (Radio Times)
  • There is a separate move to remove overtly positive depictions of police on cop shows. (New York Times)
  • China encourages its citizens not to visit Australia, tells Australia to do some “soul-searching” on racism against Chinese students. The PM says this is a political retaliation against Australia’s push for a global inquiry on COVID-19. (The Australian)
  • Parliament is debating whether or not to extend JobKeeper payments past September. (7 News)
  • The Finance Minister doesn’t rule out keeping higher JobSeeker Centrelink payments permanently. (The New Daily)
  • A NSW court has “prohibited” a refugee rally planned for Saturday, meaning protestors could be arrested. (ABC)
  • AFL, the football one, is back on TV. (The West)
  • A Rugby League presenter could not pronounce some Pacific Islander names, so she put on a Polynesian accent and mocked their names instead. She has refused to apologise. (Yahoo Sports)

 

IN BLACK LIVES MATTER NEWS

  • The protests in the USA continue forcefully with no signs of slowing down.
  • George Floyd’s brother addressed the US Congress in an emotional speech. (CNN)
  • William Barr, Trump’s Attorney General, said he doesn’t think there is systematic racism in law enforcement. (New York Times)
  • Many police officers in the US are obscuring their badge numbers or name tags on orders from above, making it harder to hold people accountable for their actions. (CNN)
  • Banksy supports the BLM movement with a new artwork. (Instagram)
  • A 75-year-old demonstrator was pushed onto the pavement and hit his head, where he lay bleeding as police officers walked past. Two officers were charged with assault, and 57 police officers subsequently quit in support, saying the officers were following orders. (New York Times)
  • Tuscon City Council in Arizona made it illegal for citizens to film the Tuscon police because they allege some filmers deliberately provoke police. After significant pushback, they say they will reconsider. (AZPM)
  • The New York Times has consistently received criticism over its coverage of the protests. First, they published the headline “AS CHAOS SPREADS, TRUMP VOWS TO ‘END IT NOW'”, changing it after widespread criticism, so it was less propagand-y. (The Atlantic/Twitter)
  • Then, they published an opinion piece titled “Send in the Troops” by Republican Tom Cotton, who advocated the aggressive use of military force against protestors, even amid a flood of videos of police brutality. The editorial page editor has since resigned. (The Age/New York Times)

 

IN STATUE NEWS

  • UK BLM protestors tip a statue of slave trader Edward Colston into Bristol Harbour. It has been retrieved by the local council and will be displayed in a museum. (The Conversation)
  • Other confederate statues and monuments to slavery in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and elsewhere have been defaced or targeted. (Washington Post)
  • One graffitied statue caught the particular attention of right-wing news – the statue of Matthias Baldwin, an abolitionist, had “coloniser” sprayed onto it. There are currently no details about who is responsible for the graffitti or why, although it appears to have happened during the protests. Right-wing news insists that it was an “Antifa mob”. (National Review)

 

IN OTHER NEWS

  • JK Rowling has posted more negative comments about trans people on Twitter and in an essay. (Pedestrian)
  • Floods have devastated South and Central China. (ABC)
  • The UN expresses horror at the discovery of at least eight mass graves in war-torn Libya. (Al Jazeera)
  • North Korean state media says it sees no point in talks between Kim and Trump to continue. (Al Jazeera)
  • The USA hits two million coronavirus cases. (John Hopkins University)
  • Zara closes 1,200 stores as it faces a 44% downturn in sales. (The Guardian)
  • In Papua New Guinea, there was a viral video that shows a rugby star being beaten by her partner, sparking demands for better action on domestic violence. (The Guardian)
  • In Tunisia, 39 people are dead after an immigrant boat sinks. (The Guardian)
  • The Guardian reports that a man bequeathed land to two elephants rather than his wife in India. No woman anywhere on the planet is surprised. (The Guardian)

 

Thank you for listening to Lots of News, that was my take on the headlines for this week, I’m Rafal Alumairy, stay cool Monash.

Rafal Alumairy

The author Rafal Alumairy

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