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7 Friday news bites + Week in Pics (Sep 30)

Gisele Bundchen modelling some of the Hope range

1. Does this ad reinforce the idea of ‘women as sex objects’?

Brazil’s Ministry of Women is attempting to suspend a raunchy ad campaign featuring the world’s highest paid supermodel Gisele Bundchen which shows her dressed in scant lingerie and high heels in an attempt to distract her husband from a damaged car and maxed out credit card. The Ministry said the ad ‘reinforces an erroneous stereotype of women as sex objects and ignores the progress made in ending sexist practices. It also represents discrimination against women’ and showed that ‘sensuality can melt any man’.

Here’s the ad:

2. Breastfeeding cop wins discrimination case

A Queensland police officer will likely receive $10,000 in compensation from the Queensland Police Service and the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission after she was forced to stop breastfeeding so she could return to work. “In reality I was left with no choice,” Senior Constable Tammy O’Connell told Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal. “It seemed that the only issue of substance that inhibited me from returning to my substantive position on a part-time basis as proposed, was that I needed to complete a half-day weapons training course to requalify me to carry a handgun. However, it was asserted . . . that it was a long-standing policy of the QPS that breastfeeding mothers (of which I was one at the time) are prohibited from undertaking weapons training on safety grounds.”

3. Coalition signals possible change to race discrimination law

Following the saga of columnist Andrew Bolt and his columns breaching the Racial Discrimination Act for insinuating some fairer skinned Aborigines were claiming Indigenous status for gain, the Federal Coalition has signaled its view that the current laws are inadequate. “The fact is today in Australia we are not free and journalists, commentators, ordinary citizens are not free, to make critical or unpopular remarks in the course of ordinary political exchange and I think that’s a terrible thing. The law as it was declared by the Federal Court yesterday certainly contains an unacceptable limitation on freedom of political discussion in Australia and we would not like to see the law remain in its current form.”

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4. Abbott tours factory … photographer captures boobs

Insert boob related pun here.

This isn’t anything much except just a bit of an oops moment. Usually there’s a press sec around to stop this kind of stuff happening. But maybe he or she just didn’t care? The Opposition Leader Tony Abbott was touring a factory in Brisbane yesterday when the photograph was taken.

5. Are we spending enough on maths and science education?

The President of the Australian Academy of Science, Suzanne Cory, says Australia isn’t spending nearly enough on maths and science education – or education in general – for young children which is in turn leading to a downturn in the ‘inspiration’ our economy needs to thrive. She says we spend less on average for education than other advanced economies. She also called for a special science fund to increase spending on research to three per cent of the Gross Domestic Product. It is currently at 2.2 per cent. So, are we doing enough?

6. Study of Tasmanian jurors find ‘victim blaming’ is alive and well

Researchers were allowed access to Tasmanian jurors for the first time, who shared their deliberations in sex assault cases and revealed that even when juries found the defendants guilty there were still large elements of victim blaming against women who pressed charges. The jurors openly discussed their feelings toward the women in different cases assessing them on scales from ‘virgin’ to ‘slut’ and whether the men involved were ‘real rapists’ or not.

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7. What’s the catchiest song of all time?

We are the Champions, by Queen. That’s according to researchers who meticulously studied the various elements such as pitch, rhythm, lyrics and so on of popular songs. Scientists said singing along to a song was a subconscious war cry for most. So, what song is an earworm for you?

News today brought to you by Rick.

Now it’s time for the week in pictures. Enjoy.

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