Insight will tonight take a look at one of the more nuanced areas of Australian relationships as it examines arranged marriages, hearing directly from those who are living in them or who have experienced them.
The Federal Government is considering laws to prevent forced marriages, after a number of cases of young Australian women being pressured to wed or forced to marry abroad.
But, of course, marriages arranged by parents and family aren’t always forced. Some cultural groups in Australia – among them Indian and Lebanese – are choosing to keep the tradition alive, and their children are happily allowing their spouses to be chosen for them. Some people, however, are agreeing to the marriages because of family pressure.
Take a sneak peek of the program which airs on SBS One tonight:
The organisation Reporters Without Borders has placed Australia on a list of countries to watch as it keeps a close eye on mandatory Internet censorship laws the Australian Government has refused to back away from. Other countries on the watch list include South Korea, Russia, Sri Lanka and Egypt as nations that are considered to be a threat to democracy and freedom of information.
Australia was added to a list of countries that were “under surveillance” due to the Federal Government’s unwillingness to officially scrap its national censorship scheme, despite its massive unpopularity.
The non-transparency of the filtering scheme and the fact that the Government has broadened the scope of its “classified criteria” was also a cause for concern.
Harvard University has been studying the effects of red meat consumption on 120,000 people for years now and says it offers some of the clearest evidence yet that it can lead to a premature death. “This study provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death,” said Frank Hu, senior author of the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Fairfax reported:
Researchers gleaned their data from a study of 37,698 men who were followed for 22 years and 83,644 women who were tracked for 28 years.
Subjects answered surveys about their eating habits every four years.
Those who ate a card-deck-sized serving of unprocessed red meat each day on average saw a 13 per cent higher risk of dying than those who did not eat red meat as frequently.
And if the red meat was processed, like in a hot dog or two slices of bacon, that risk jumped to 20 per cent.
The authors said between 7 and 9 per cent of all deaths in the study “could be prevented if all the participants consumed fewer than 0.5 servings per day of total red meat”.
And he’s already on the attack. Bob Carr arrived in Canberra today ahead of his official swearing in as a Senator and called Opposition leader Tony Abbott a cheap trickster.
“I thought of this over breakfast: Tony Abbott is like a cheapskate hypnotist in a rundown circus,” he said.
“He’s saying to the electorate, Look into my eyes, you are growing weaker: No more boats.
“Look into my eyes you are growing weaker: end Labor’s big bad tax. Look into my eyes you are growing weaker: debt and deficit.
“He’s trying to hypnotise the electorate with these slogans. It’s a very cheap performance.
“And if you paid five bucks to get into Wirths Circus and that’s all you got from the hypnotists, you’d ask for your money back.”
Oregon couple Ariel and Deborah Levy have won a court case for the wrongful birth of their daughter in 2007. She was born with Down syndrome despite a pre-natal test showing she was apparently developing routinely. The couple said they would have aborted had they known of the condition and sued the administrator Legacy Health for the ongoing costs of her care. They say they love their daughter very much, but weren’t prepared for caring for a Down syndrome child.
Fairfax has reported exclusively this morning an entire elite Australian Special Air Service (SAS) squadron is hunting for terrorists in Africa, out of uniform, without the usual backing of intelligence officials and at the ‘outer reaches’ of Australian and International law. The news is especially interesting because Australia is not at war with any nation in Africa. The squadron, the existence of which has never been publicly announced, has run missions in Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Kenya. The main role of the troops has been intelligence gathering, particularly on cases where Australian civilians have been captured. Fairfax reported concerns the soldiers did not have adequate legal coverage should they be caught. That’s usually stronger when the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) are involved but in this case they’re not attached to the squadron.
Not that she needed it, but superstar Madonna has come to the defence of British sensation Adele after designer Karl Lagerfeld called her a ‘a little too fat’. She said: “That’s horrible. That’s ridiculous, that’s just the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. I don’t like it when anybody says anything bad about anyone – I don’t like it. Adele’s a great talent and how much she weighs has nothing to do with it.”
Madonna then proceeded to offer career advice.
“The thing for Adele to remember is at the end of the day, whether you rise or fall, it has so much to do with how you sustain yourself and keep your integrity and your inner strength.
“It is all about who you surround yourself with – friends and people who really do care about you, and care about your well-being beyond being a superstar. That’s the most important thing.”
Swimming Australia is dealing with the thorny issue of how much money it is using to support comeback swimmers like Ian Thorpe, Libby Trickett and Michael Klim ahead of the London Olympics this year. It is rumoured Ian Thorpe, who has been posting poor times in the lead-up to the big event, alone has been given more than $100,000 in support – far and beyond what the ‘regular’ swimmers on the Australian team have received. Swimming Australia denied this saying no cash had been paid but the three stars had been given support, ‘like all other athletes’. Head coach Leigh Nugent said of the concern:
“I really can’t understand why it would (cause instability). These guys are multiple gold medallists of recent times, multiple world record holders, and they are going to contribute if they make it (onto the Olympic team), to the performance of that team, and maybe help some of the other members win relay medals, and bring experience, and bring stability. I can only see positives in this.
“I think you would be a pretty ungrateful person and a pretty ungrateful Australian to not assist our proven, best performers.”