1. New figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal that the gender pay gap has increased over the past year. The weekly wage for women has increased from $1193, to $1252. But men’s weekly wages have risen from $1447 to $1518 per week. Australian men earn on on average 26% more than Australian women. A decade ago the difference was 24%. This disparity is thought to be due to higher salaries for male employees who dominate the mining and construction industries.
2. France has said that the international community should respond with force, if reports that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians is true. The Syrian opposition have claimed that up 1300 people were killed in a shelling outside of Damascus on Wednesday, which used nerve gas.
3. Former US soldier Bradley Manning, who has been sentenced to 35 years in jail for releasing military secrets to Wikileaks will begin living life as a woman from now on. Chelsea Manning, as she has now requested to be called, told the US Today Show via a statement read by her lawyer, that she will commence hormone replacement therapy as soon as possible.
Chelsea Manning said: “As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition”.
4. New polling released yesterday shows that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd may be fighting to hold his own seat; the electorate of Griffith in Queensland. The Guardian Lonergan poll suggests that the Liberal Party candidate, Bill Glasson, is ahead of Rudd 52 percent to 48 per cent. Comparisons with former Prime Minister John Howard who lost his seat of Bennalong at the 2007 election, are already being drawn.
5. Prime Minister Rudd had to fend off more negative news yesterday, after the make-up artist who powdered the faces of Rudd and Abbott before Wednesday’s leaders debate, posted a status on Facebook indicating that Rudd had been rude to her.
She wrote: “Just finished doing Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott’s makeup for the People’s Forum at the Broncos Leagues Club… One of them was absolutely lovely, engaged in genuine conversation with me, acknowledge that I had a job to do and was very appreciative. The other did the exact opposite! Oh boy, I have ever had anyone treat me so badly.”
The make-up artist has since removed the post and says that she regrets “making the comments I did.”
6. Tony Abbott has announced that the Liberal Party will no longer accept donations from tobacco companies. The Opposition Leader’s announcement follows Kevin Rudd’s pledge, that if elected, a Labor Government would ban all political parties from accepting donations from the tobacco industry.
7. Janos Karancz is the 2013 World Yo-Yo Contest winner. Check out his mad skillz below: