Some of Australia’s biggest brand names, including Coles, Bunnings, Vodafone, McDonalds, Ford and Blackmores have clarified their advertising boycott of Kyle Sandilands’ 2DayFM show, saying it extended into 2012 and in some cases was permanent. Ford said: “Ford won’t be advertising with the Kyle & Jackie O show or other Austereo programs with which Kyle is involved (such as the Top 40 for example) at all going forward. Our action to withdraw that advertising was permanent.” Blackmores said: ““We have put all our advertising with the Austereo network on hold until we have a conversation with their management about how they will handle this situation. There has been no movement on this, our situation still stands.” You can view a complete status list of brands here. So far in 2011 60 advertisers have pulled their support at an estimated cost of $8 million. More than 26,500 people have signed the online petition.
With the spotlight now on the Opposition regarding same sex marriage, former leader Malcolm Turnbull has become the first to speak up. After Labor changed its policy to support same sex marriage at the weekend but kept its commitment to a conscience vote, the only hope of the measure passing is if Tony Abbott allows his MPs to vote freely … and if enough of them vote yes. Mr Abbott has said the Coalition will make a decision when it sees the legislation, but hasn’t ruled in or out allowing Liberal and Nationals MPs a conscience vote on the issue. “My view is there should be a conscience vote,” he told ABC Radio. Analysis suggests even if a free vote is granted for everyone in Parliament, there may still not be enough ‘yes’ votes to make it law.
UPDATE: The little girl has reportedly told Gold Coast police she made the story up.
A 10-year-old girl is home safe after an attempted abduction on the Gold Coast. She knew how to handle the situation, however, after Bruce and Denise Morcombe visited the school just a week earlier. The Morcombes, as part of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, have been visiting schools teaching students about the dangers of child abductions and what to do if they are targeted. The girl in question kicked her would-be abductor in the genitals after he grabbed her arm and attempted to drag her into his car. Bruce and Denise Morcombe have been named Australian of the Year finalists.
Giuliana, 36, is fighting breast cancer after recently being diagnosed. But lumpectomies (where only the affected tissue and some surrounding areas are removed) have failed to completely eradicate the cancer so Giuliana is opting for a double mastectomy which will remove both her breasts. “For me, it was important to get the cancer out. That’s what I wanted to do, just get it out.” She appeared on the American Today Show to talk about the disease. People reported: The couple’s desire for children did play a part. The years of medication that follow the lumpectomy-radiation option would have meant delaying parenthood for several years. But the real decision was more basic than that. “At the end, to be honest, all it came down to was just choosing to live, and not looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life,” Rancic said. She said her husband’s support was crucial in reaching the decision. “Bill said to me, ‘I just need you around for the next 50 years, kid,’ ” she said. “He said, ‘I don’t care what you look like, I don’t care about the physical portion of this. I just need you around for the next 50 years. So, let’s just get you healthy.’ And that certainly helped me come to a decision.”
New South Wales has one of the worst organ donor rates in the country but an overhaul of the system may soon change that. The proposed changes would remove the right for families to veto the organ donation wishes of a dead relative, making the system far more weighted in favour of the intentions of the donor. Despite poor rates now, New South Wales has the highest rate of people who say they want to be a donor. There are currently 1600 people awaiting a transplant. Last year, there were just 309 donors in Australia. What’s your take on organ donation?
Children as young as six years old are being given mobile phones so they can be contacted in cases of emergency, but psychologists warn the devices can be putting them in harm’s way. Some say even with parental locks children can still access material that may be considered harmful. Dr Michael Carr-Gregg reckons developing a system of mandatory phone licences at schools which would test a child’s understanding of mobile phone dangers before allowing their use should be put in place. But will that really work?
The man behind the worldwide WikiLeaks phenomenon has been granted an appeal by London’s High Court to fight extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges. He said he was ‘thankful’ and that the court made the right decision. Mr Assange has previously expressed fears that he would be sent to the United States from Sweden to face charges for WikiLeaks’ release of hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic cables and other secret documents which embarrassed governments around the world. WikiLeaks won the award for outstanding contribution to journalism at the 2011 Walkley Awards.