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News: Parents smack alright, but they do it in secret

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The society of secret smackers

If you believe the investigation carried out by Adelaide’s Advertiser newspaper, many parents are smackers but they refuse to tell anyone about it because they’re worried of the backlash. Experts tend to agree that smacking a child is harmful, though their are many who say if it was ‘good enough 50 years ago’ it’s good enough today. If you’re a smacker, are you open about it?

Some Victorian bushfire victims offended by new ad

The Country Fire Authority has aired new warning advertisements in Victoria, which goes inside a families burning home and shows their last moments alive. Grieving families and survivors of the 2009 bushfires said the ads seemed to blame victims for not getting out soon enough and brought back horrifying memories of the worst blazes in Australian history. The CFA defended the ads, saying they were confronting yet necessary. 173 people died during the ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires, 414 people were injured and around 450,000ha were burned. Tell us what you think:

Labor Conference round-up

So you probably heard there was a big Labor conference on the weekend. We ran a piece here about the big debates, now, for the big updates. You’re probably aware Labor voted to change its party platform to officially support gay marriage. But not to make that support binding. If someone introduces a same-sex marriage bill into parliament, for instance, Labor MPs can still vote along their individual consciences. They also voted to officially remove the ban on uranium sales to India, despite fierce debate from the left faction. But the fighting stopped when it came to support for a National Disability Insurance Scheme which the Party backed unanimously. The scheme, which will be introduced in 2018 and cost $6 billion a year, aims to provide financial support directly to people with disabilities who will be assigned a single case worker to help them deal with all their requirements such as equipment, schools, workplaces and government payments. Labor also voted to officially advocate for offshore processing of asylum seekers (no mention of its failed Malaysia Solution policy) and to increase the number of refugees Australia takes in each year to 20,000 from just under 14,000. But that target was ‘aspirational’ and not a promise. It also rejected a push by some members to ban live cattle exports. The Party also confirmed its desire to be in surplus for 2013 and blocked a left faction push to expand the mining tax, to broaden its ‘earnings’ for the national coffers.

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If you missed the colour and commotion from the same-sex marriage march at the Labor conference, here are the shots:

Ita Buttrose

Women need nannies instead of cars in their salary packages

Magazine queen Ita Buttrose says working women, especially those in executive positions, should demand nannies instead of cars in their salary packages, to make it easier to climb the corporate ladder. She says Australia lacks the ‘nanny culture’ needed to help women get ahead. “I am a great believer in packages that include some support for the mother, whether it is a nanny or a housekeeper or whatever. You might not get the shares, or you might not get the car, but you balance one out against the other. Of course companies can do it. Women who want to continue their careers and have families should ask for that package from their employer and the workplace needs to think about how they are going to offer it.” Ms Buttrose used a nanny when she founded Cleo magazine.

Bali boy due home about 9am today

The nightmare is over. The 14-year-old boy who received a two-month sentence after his arrest for marijuana possession was released from prison in Indonesia yesterday and is due home this morning. While the boy has still refused to speak to media, his lawyer said the boy wanted to make sure others did not repeat his mistakes. He wants this to be a warning to the Australian boys not to continue or do something stupid like that. “This is a strong warning for the other Australian boys to stop using marijuana or another drug like that. It’s very dangerous. Even if they’re addicted, better (disclose) to the parents and better doing some rehabilitation … if they come to Indonesia and they do some stupid things, it’s the (worst) nightmare ever in his life.”

Needing to wee when driving is as dangerous as being drunk?

Melbourne researchers, who won an an Ig Novel prize for their work, have revealed needing a bathroom break while driving is as dangerous as driving drunk at 0.05 or major sleep deprivation. Researchers said having a full bladder ‘reduced the speed’ at which drivers could make decisions and the point at which they ‘absolutely needed to go’ resulted in massive cognitive and awareness deficiencies.

What else is happening in news that has caught your attention?