News: Would you like to see 'sexualised kids' banned?

Thylane Loubry Blondeau sparked calls for a French crackdown on sexualised kids in media

Time to ban ‘sexy’ kids in advertising, magazines?

Federal parliamentarian Amanda Rishworth said it was time to look at regulating the use of young children in advertising and other media, like magazine shoots, particularly if advertisers refused to heed calls to stop sexualising kids.

“I don’t think we have broad enough standards and guidelines that encompass the whole area,” said Ms Rishworth, who has campaigned against the commercialisation and sexualisation of children.

“Parents are struggling with this. I don’t think it is as simple as banning things but industry does need to take some more responsibility and start responding to parents’ concerns and the government does have a role in that.

“If industry doesn’t move, I do think there is a role for government regulation.”

As the Daily Telegraph reported, France was considering going down the same route.

Last week, a French government report urged the banning of “mini-miss” beauty pageants and high heels, padded bras and G-strings for children. Using models under the age of 16 in fashion campaigns should also be illegal, the report said. An outcry over the use of 10-year-old Thylane Loubry Blondeau in a provocative shoot for Vogue in 2010 prompted the report.

Whitlams decline state funeral for Margaret

The Whitlams have opted for a private funeral for one of Australia’s favourite public figures, Margaret. She’s the wife of former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam and passed away at the age of 92 after a fall. The news comes as former PM and friend Bob Hawke said he was worried about his mate’s health after he lost the ‘love of his life’.


“I think his son put it right … when he said he thought that his mother could last and get on without Gough but he doubted if Gough could without Margaret, and I think that’s probably right,” Mr Hawke told ABC radio 774.

“Gough is not in good shape at all and of course we hope that he hangs on, but I would think the fire that’s left there would have been diminished very significantly by the passing of Margaret.

“In the circumstances you would think it may accelerate Gough’s going. He’ll be devastated without her.”

– If you want to know more about why Margaret Whitlam inspired so, read these ‘best of’ quotes.

Cancer rates can be cut by diet and plenty of exercise: study

The incidence of cancer could be cut by a quarter in the lead-up to 2025 according to a report to be published in the Medical Journal of Australia.

Taking data on projected illness, and coupling it with published findings on the association between food, nutrition and physical activity in the prevention of cancer, the journal study found the incidence of cancer in Australia would rise to 170,000 in the next 13 years, an increase of 60 per cent since 2007. Intervention to improve health and environmental factors could reduce that by 43,000 or 25 per cent, it said in a report to be published today.


Pip Youl, one of the authors and the head of research at Cancer Council Queensland, said that fewer than 10 per cent of Australians ate the recommended five serves of vegetables a day and only 6 per cent ate two or more serves of fruit a day.

”Ways to encourage better eating are things like improving the number of whole-grain cereals and bread, choosing foods that are low in salt, choosing a low-fat diet, particularly diets that are low in saturated fats.”

The report also noted the disparity between the rich and the poor, the latter of whom were becoming more obese, faster.

Ian Thorpe

Thorpie didn’t make it, Olympics trials continue

The comeback kid didn’t make it to the Olympics after all. He placed 21st in his 100m freestyle bid to head to London later this year, notching up a time of 50.35 seconds. He had earlier missed out on the 200m.

“You can have tremendous success and not be enjoying something and I have had bitter disappointment here and I still am enjoying what I’m doing again,” he said.

“I guess the light at the end of the tunnel for this week is realising that even though those results weren’t what I wanted, I am enjoying this and it’s why I will continue to push through.”

Thorpe’s failure hasn’t put an end to the controversy about how much the Australian Institute of Sport has been funding his training over and above what other, lower profile (but possibly faster) swimmers were receiving.


Swimmer Leisel Jones did make it through making her the first Australian swimmer ever to head to four Olympic Games. She moved through after coming second in the 100m breaststroke at the selection trials in Adelaide.

Parents who give-in to babies demanding food have smarter kids, according to study

It’s a case of the squeaky wheel gets the highest IQ, according to a British study of 10,000 babies. Babies who are fed on a schedule receive lower IQ scores than those who are fed when they demand it. It makes no difference whether it is breast milk or formula. The real difference was four or five IQ points.

“The difference in IQ levels of around four to five points, though statistically highly significant, would not make a child at the bottom of the class move to the top, but it would be noticeable,” lead researcher Maria Iacovou said.

However, the researchers, from the University of Essex and the University of Oxford, found that feeding babies on a schedule did have benefits for mothers and urged caution in interpreting the findings.

“At this stage, we must be very cautious about claiming a causal link between feeding patterns and IQ … more research is needed to understand the processes involved,” Iacovou said.

George Clooney arrested at anti-Sudan Government protest

Hollywood actor and Oscar winner George Clooney was led away in hand-cuffs from the Sudanese Embassy in Washington over the weekend. He was also arrested with his father Nick. Clooney, who recently visited the area, told a Senate hearing this week that Sudan’s forces were launching repeated attacks on unarmed civilians and preventing aid from reaching a region where US officials say as many as 250,000 people face severe food shortages.


Police told to re-think Tasers after death of man

The safety of Tasers is in question across the country after police tased a man in Sydney’s Pitt Street at the weekend, resulting in his death. The New South Wales Council of Civil Liberties President Cameron Murphy said there should be a moratorium on the use of Tasers until their safety and guidelines for their use were clarified. The list of people who have died since the introduction of Tasers into Australian police forces is small but growing. The man was confronted after he allegedly stole a packet of chips, though police are unsure if he was the right suspect or, if he was, whether he had intended to steal the chips. Investigations are continuing.

The Australian version of the ‘Jersey Shore’ is coming

Snooki, made famous by Jersey Shore

You heard right. Channel 10 has revealed it will soon start production on a reality television show called ‘The Shire‘ which will follow the lives of a group of ‘colourful and controversial’ people living in Sydney’s notorious Sutherland Shire. It is fully intended to become the Australian Jersey Shore, which itself is a reality television hit in the United States and around the world.

“The Shire is a fascinating look into a unique sub-culture in Australia and the first time a local dramality series is being introduced to the commercial television landscape,” says David Mott, chief programming officer, Network Ten.


The Shire is a glimpse behind the curtain into the heart of Australia as you have never seen it before.”

“From their hectic and crazed social lives to problems with work and family, The Shire will leave no stone unturned,” Mott says.

Kony 2012 documentary-maker has breakdown, naked in street

Film-maker Jason Russell who placed himself at the centre of a 30-minute documentary about African child-soldier army leader Joseph Kony has suffered a public breakdown over the weekend, at one point banging his fists while naked in the street. He was briefly detained by police before being admitted to hospital.

His wife Danica said the extreme scrutiny placed on the family after the documentary went viral in days (it has been seen more than 80 million times) was responsible for the breakdown.

“We thought a few thousand people would see the film, but in less than a week, millions of people around the world saw it.

“On our end, the focus remains only on his health, and protecting our family. We’ll take care of Jason, you take care of the work,” her statement continued. “The message of the film remains the same: stop at nothing.”

– Here’s why that work to stop Kony (and others like him) is important. Let’s hear it from Kony’s former ‘wife’.