7 Wednesday news bites (Sep 28)

Minister Kate Ellis released a report which found women were subjected to 'mindless bias' at work

1. Lawyers for an elderly man accused of raping his wife ask court to dismiss the charges because it was not a crime in the ’60s.

An 80-year-old man has been ordered to stand trial for raping his wife in the 1960s.  The interesting thing here is that the man’s actions weren’t illegal at the time – common law principles back then meant marriage amounted to consent. His lawyer has argued that present-day values are irrelevant in the case. “One cannot apply contemporary values to apply what the law was. That would be a total oxymoron.,” he said. What do you think?

2. Australian women will join the fight on the frontline

Women in the Australian Defence Force will be able to serve on the frontline within the next five years. Minister for Defence Stephen Smith said cabinet had approved the measures that will allow women to join frontline units in combat. Currently only 93 per cent of Defence Force positions are open to women and the other seven per cent of positions – which make up 17 per cent of employment and include roles such as mine disposal divers and air force defence guards – exclude women “on the basis of sex”. The move will end the Defence Force’s exemption from Australia’s Sex Discrimination Act.

3. Women paid less because they’re women

An Australian Government report has found women are unconsciously excluded from leadership roles on account of being women. The report found that most of the 17 per cent earnings gap between men and women was explained by ”being a woman or by being a man”. Speaking at the launch of the report, the Status of Women Minister Kate Ellis said, ”We are saying very clearly to corporate Australia, we want to work in partnership with you to change this – and it’s an offer that I hope corporate Australia will take up and we don’t have to take that conversation any further.”


4. Rebecca Black says be careful what you post online

Think twice before you upload. That’s the advice from 14-year-old Rebecca Black, who earlier this year uploaded a video of her song Friday, which soon went viral. “What you put on there is permanent, so make sure you have very much pride in what you put on,” Black said, although she maintained she didn’t regret posting the clip. Meanwhile, she’s set to release an album in November. Stay tuned. Or not.

5. Kevin Rudd calls himself Prime Minister, blames the slip on jet lag

Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister?

Kevin Rudd got himself into an awkward position during an ABC interview yesterday when he accidentally referred to himself as the Prime Minister. When he was asked about a recent poll which suggested Mr Rudd would lead the Labor party to the next election, Mr Rudd responded with “You know what? I’m a happy little vegemite being Prime Minister.” But the Foreign Minister quickly corrected himself. “Your question was about being Prime Minister – there, you’ve caught me getting off a plane being jet-lagged,” he said.


6. Chlamydia numbers “very concerning”

An expert has advised young people to go to the doctor and be tested for STIs at the start of a new relationship. The warning comes in the wake of a new Australian report, which showed the number of people with chlamydia – an easily transmissible infection that can leave women infertile – rose by 17 per cent last year, which points to a decline in condom use. “It is important they practise safe sex and also discuss testing and previous history with partners,” Associate Professor David Wilson said.

7. Adopt a magical dog

The dog from the third Harry Potter movie needs a home

The German Shepherd who starred in the third installment of the Harry Potter movies needs a home. Berry, known to millions of fans as as Padfoot from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, can no longer be looked after by his owner who says he spends too much time away from home to care for the 10-year-old pooch. In his adoption profile Berry says “Many dog years ago I played the part of Padfoot in a big film that was watched by many people all around the world (or so my Dad told me). I haven’t seen it personally but apparently I looked pretty mean in it sometimes.” Tempted?

Today’s news brought to you by Lucy.

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