Archive for: ‘July 2019’

Australia Day ad doesn’t mention Australia Day but it does mention Fyshwick

10/07/2019 Posted by admin

The Chinese turn up with a box of fireworks bought in Fyshwick in the 2017 Meat and Livestock Australia Australia Day ad. But you haven’t been able to buy fireworks in Fyshwick since 2009. Photo: YouTube MLA’s annual ad has dropped all mention of Australia Day. Photo: YouTube
Nanjing Night Net

You haven’t been able to buy fireworks in Fyshwick since 2009 but somehow the Chinese turn up to this year’s Australia Day party with a big box of crackers.

This year’s Meat and Livestock Australia annual Australia Day ad has guests arriving on our shores and when the Chinese arrive with the pyrotechnics and are asked “Where did you get those?”, they proudly reply “Fyshwick”.

Then industrial relations minister John Hargraeves was instrumental in the ban?saying it was necessary because of property damage, injury to domestic animals and wildlife, and the general disruption caused by illegal use of?fireworks.

He told the Assembly a tear-jerking story about his cat Andy, who some years before the ban was in place, had been tormented ?by children with fireworks.

Then chief minister Jon Stanhope said at the time that he regretted his government’s decision.

“I always enjoyed?fireworks, cracker night, I loved it as a child,” Mr Stanhope said.

“My children loved it, and it’s a matter of regret that there are generations of children now that will never have that same experience or that same joy.”

An ACT Government spokesperson said on Thursday the government was not considering any change to the fireworks laws at this time.

“In the spirit of the ad we do of course welcome all Chinese and other visitors to the Canberra region – including Fyshwick – to see everything our city has to offer,” the spokesperson said.

This year’s ad is likely to cause discussion across the nation for many reasons.

The annual Australia Day lamb ad?has?traditionally been an exercise?in chest-beating?patriotism that?mocked anyone not celebrating?the holiday “properly” – including vegans and those eating “foreign” food.

This year, it doesn’t mention?Australia Day at all.

Amid growing calls to move Australia Day from January 26, the industry group on Thursday released an ad that confronts head-on the controversy around?hosting the national day on a date marking?the start of colonialism and Indigenous dispossession.

The ad starts with three Indigenous Australians on a beach who remark?on being?the “first here” but that the?beautiful location?would be “packed before you know it”.

A procession of boats then arrive,?notably starting?with the Dutch,?followed by the British?(whose claim to be the “First Fleet” is met with laughter), the French, Germans, Chinese, Italians, Greeks, Serbians, New Zealanders and finally “boat people”.

“Hang on, aren’t we all boat?people?,” celebrity chef Poh Ling Yeow, of Masterchef fame, asks.

At one point Olympic legend Cathy Freeman asks the hosts what the occasion is. “Do we need one?” is the answer.?

The campaign is a departure from MLA’s previous campaigns staring Sam Kekovich, which since 2005 have painted Australia Day as a sacred occasion and called?anyone who eats “foreign” cuisine like “a number 42 with rice”?instead of lamb on January 26?“un-Australian”.??

January 26 is the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet, which many?Indigenous?Australians find?offensive and have dubbed “Invasion Day”, as it also marks the start of?colonisation?and frontier?violence.

The City of Fremantle has cancelled Australia Day celebrations this year, deeming them culturally insensitive, and?will instead host a “culturally-inclusive” event on January 28.

Meanwhile youth radio station Triple J has said it would consider moving the date of its annual Hottest 100 countdown?after lobbying from listeners and popular hip-hop group?A.B. Original.

MLA’s marketing manager?Andrew Howie said the ad was informed by consumer insights and feedback from past campaigns and was about celebrating diversity.

“Ultimately, as the face of Australia continues to evolve and change, we need to make lamb relevant to a diverse, modern Australia,” Mr Howie said in a statement.

The ads will run until January 26.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

The Donald Trump dossier is as plausible as the President-elect’s fake news

10/07/2019 Posted by admin

Oh, that Donald is a devil, isn’t he?
Nanjing Night Net

Or maybe he isn’t. Trump’s huffing and puffing in denying the possibly amazing story of employing a number of prostitutes to perform a?“golden shower” show in front of him, as he did or didn’t bunk in the same Ritz-Carlton suite that Barack and Michelle Obama had occupied on an earlier visit to the Russian capital, is beside the point.

Salacious, damaging?stuff, to be sure, and it’s more viable than?much of what Trump and his surrogates were spouting during the election campaign. In the absence of any evidence, they decided that Hillary Clinton was sick – and kept repeating it; while Trump has never apologised for pushing the birther lie about Barack Obama, they concluded, again without evidence, that she, Bill Clinton and other senior Democrat figures were running a child sex racket – and kept repeating it.

And this is not just about sex; another charge is that, through intermediaries, Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin did a deal by which Moscow would help his campaign if, as president, Trump would bend US foreign policy in Russia’s favour.

On the basis of all this, it seems, we can conclude that Trump missed Sunday school on the day they discussed the biblical proverb: as you sow, so shall you reap.

More importantly, the President-elect’s denials confuse two different aspects of the story. The extraordinary contents of the leaked intelligence dossier indeed could be fake and not worthy of repetition; but that several US intelligence agencies are investigating its provenance certainly is a new event worth reporting.

The intelligence agency chiefs who briefed Trump on Friday were savvy enough to make clear that the contents of the dossier, which on face value could leave the incoming president vulnerable to coercion, bribery and/or blackmail, had not been substantiated by the FBI. But at the same time, they considered the former high-ranking British intelligence agent who had compiled the dossier to be competent and reliable, and his sources to be credible and plausibly capable of being in possession of firsthand knowledge of Moscow’s spying on Trump.

And so it was that the Russians and sex abroad were dominant themes at Trump’s first all-in press conference since last July, which was attended by more than 250 reporters in the flag-bedecked lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan.

What have we got here?

We have reports on an explosive document that has been floating around Washington for the best part of a year – but which was first alluded to in print only in the weeks before the November election, by Mother Jones magazine, and which has been published in its entirety only this week, and only by BuzzFeed.

A report from Moscow – Vladimir Putin’s guys deny they were spying on Trump, claiming that the dossier on their efforts to compromise Trump as far back as 2013 and its contents are “pulp fiction”. To which a reasonable man could respond, “Well they would say that.”

And reports from New York – Trump denies it all too. To which a reasonable man again could respond, “Well he would say that.”

And a long report by Molly McKew in Politico magazine last week, in which this one-time adviser to the governments of Georgia and Moldova, attempts to put the minutiae of Moscow’s messing with the West, and especially the back-and-forth about the Democrats’ emails being hacked and, now, the Moscow fling that Trump did or didn’t have, into an over-arching, geopolitical narrative.

McKew’s thesis, contained in two paragraphs, is worth considering: “Even this week, as Barack Obama tries to confront Russia’s open and unprecedented interference in our political process [by hacking the Democratic Party’s computers], the outgoing White House is so far responding to 21st century hybrid information warfare with last century’s diplomatic toolkit: the expulsion of spies, targeted sanctions, potential asset seizure. The incoming [Trump] administration, while promising a new approach, has betrayed a similar lack of vision. Their?promised attempt at another ‘reset’ with Russia is a rehash of a policy that has utterly failed the past two American administrations.

“What both administrations fail to realise is that the West is already at war, whether it wants to be or not. It may not be a war we recognise, but it is a war. This war seeks, at home and abroad, to erode our values, our democracy, and our institutional strength; to dilute our ability to sort fact from fiction, or moral right from wrong; and to convince us to make decisions against our own best interests.”

Seen in that light, is there an argument that the unfolding, Hollywood-esque scenario of hacked Democratic emails and the political and personal embarrassment of an incoming Republican president all are a part of a Putin plot to delegitimise American democracy?

It’s not as though Putin was going to hold a press conference to announce that his intelligence agents had been poking around in the Democrats’ emails and, look at this, would you believe what Jon Podesta was saying about Hillary Clinton? Or that in the interests of American democracy, he thought it was important that his guys keep the cameras running 24/7 while Trump was in Moscow and, “Here you go, here’s the video of his antics at the Ritz-Carlton!”

No. It’s far more plausible and destructive for all this material, on the Democrats and on Trump, to arrive in the public domain as it has – through WikiLeaks?in the case of the Democrats, and through the US intelligence agencies and/or reporters in the case of Trump, as witting or unwitting puppets of Putin.

That’s not to say that this is what has?happened – but certainly, it’s a plausible reading of events.

Equally plausible, and not mutually exclusive, is that Trump and the US intelligence services are being gamed into an impossible relationship on the eve of him taking over the White House.

Throughout a gruelling election campaign Trump frequently rebuked and ridiculed the intelligence services over the Iraq War and the non-existent WMD, and more recently over their finding that the Russian hacking of the Democrats and the release through WikiLeaks of bundles of sensitive and damaging emails was a deliberate bid to help his campaign.

Obviously, there was going to be payback, which might just have been the intelligence chief’s decision to include a summary of the dossier in their briefing to Trump – on which Obama and eight Congressional chief were CC-ed.

And given Trump’s accusation that the intelligence services had leaked the dossier, there might even be more payback. The President-elect’s unsubstantiated charge against the agencies ignored the fact that news of and versions of the dossier have been floating in media and political circles since early 2016.

Trump’s over-weaning bromance with Putin and Moscow makes him a sitting duck for this kind of play – as early as 1987 he was urging a US-Soviet alliance against France and Pakistan; his campaign questioning of NATO’s relevance was music to Moscow’s ears, as was his praise for Moscow’s intervention in Syria and as is his continuing refusal to criticise Putin or Moscow.

Similarly, replete as the public record is with so many accounts of Trump cutting corners and scarpering with other people’s money, if Moscow was looking around for a sitting duck, how could it pass Trump as a target?

And for all that, a possible breach of the bromance was evident during Wednesday’s press conference, when Trump conceded, after denying and deflecting for months, that Moscow might have been responsible for the Democratic hacking.

“I think it was Russia,” he told the reporters. But then he did what his opponents will do with accounts of the Moscow dossier – he implicitly defended the hacking because of the political value, as he saw it, of the Democratic emails leaked after the hacking.

But there was still that yearning to hold hands and play. “if Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability,” he said. “I don’t know that I’m going to get along with Vladimir Putin – I hope so, but there’s a good chance that I won’t.”

Perhaps Trump has been talking to his secretary of state designate Rex Tillerson, the former chief executive of ExxonMobil, who was being grilled at a Senate confirmation hearing at the same time as Trump was being grilled by the press.

Explaining that Putin wanted to rebuild Russia’s global prestige, he told the senators that the Moscow mindset was “Russia is here, Russia matters and Russia is a force to be dealt with”.

Revealing a bit more steel than Trump, Tillerson said that Russia had to be asked, “Do you want this to get worse, or does Russia desire a different relationship?”

Observing the clash in values between the US and Russia, he concluded: “We’re not likely ever to be friends.” But describing Russia as possibly an “unfriendly adversary” as opposed to an across-the-board “enemy”,?Tillerson said: “With Russia, engagement is necessary in order to define what is that relationship going to be. There is scope to define a different relationship that can bring down the temperature around the conflicts we have today.”

Trump, who in the months between Wednesday’s press conference and his last such outing had fired off about 1600 tweets, was belting them out through Wednesday morning – one of which included: “intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?”

Nazi Germany? No – this is Trump’s America.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Donald Trump’s media conference degenerates into name calling

10/07/2019 Posted by admin

Washington:?It was unseemly behaviour – not so much by the President-elect, as by the 200-plus?reporters covering Donald Trump’s first all-in press conference in about six months.
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As with every other aspect of the Trump transition to power, there was anticipation?about which Trump would appear before the hacks – the bovver boy they came to love?and hate during the campaign or, strange as it might sound, a more presidential?persona?

Breasted the lectern, Trump spewed fire and brimstone, over reports on an?embarrassing if unsubstantiated intelligence dossier alleging that Moscow had compiled?damaging material on Trump – including allegations of him romping with a prostitute in?Moscow in 2013 and collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign in 2016.

Singling out CNN and BuzzFeed, Trump ranted bitterly, would you believe, about “fake?news.” Trump, whose campaign surfed to victory on a tidal wave of fake news, blithely?dismissed both organisations as purveyors of “fake news.”

At the same time, the President-elect slobbered over the rest of the media for not?reporting the detail of the dossier.

Remember his campaign twitter storms against The New York Times and the blacklisting?of the likes of The Washington Post from covering his campaign events? How he had led?his rally crowds in jeering at reporters, who he branded as “the lowest form of life?”

Ha! On Wednesday Trump was loving the Times to death – even complimenting it for its?coverage in the previous 24hrs on his plans to remake Obamacare. Some in the media,?Trump declared, had “gone up a notch.”

BuzzFeed copped it first – “as far as BuzzFeed, which is a failing pile of garbage, writing?it, I think they are going to suffer the consequences – which they already are.”

Then a remarkable standoff with CNN’s Jim Acosta who attempted to ask a question –?“you are fake news,” Trump told him.

“Since you are attacking us, can you give us a question,” Acosta called from the floor.

“I’m not going to give you a question,” Trump snarled. “I’m not going to give you a?question – you are fake news.”

At which point it would be nice to report that the rest of the reporters shut off their?recorders and refused to ask questions. Alas, they didn’t miss a beat – all pressed on,?yelling to draw Trump’s attention to themselves, and seemingly oblivious that if CNN is?being frozen out this week, it might be any or all of the rest them next week.

After 58 minutes, Trump rounded up his family and his paid staff who he had brought?along to cheer and jeer, lest he get boxed in by the tenor of questions or by awkward?silences; and the media slunk away.

But social media erupted. “Trump shouted down CNN Jim Acosta as ‘fake news’ then took a question from Breitbart.”?“At that point the reporters should have left, turn the cameras off and leave.”

Alluding to Trump’s claim that he was so popular he could shoot someone on?Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue and get away with it, another post said: “Trump just?shot Jim Acosta on the middle of Fifth Avenue and the press didn’t blink.” “The rest of the news people should have given the floor to Acosta, they were just as bad as trump in that regard. Shame!””First they came for CNN…and I did not speak.””When trump tells Acosta to be quiet where is the outrage from the other?journalists in the room? In one voice: “ANSWER THE QUESTION!”

The cleverness of the Trump attack was in lumping CNN and BuzzFeed together as if, in?his eyes, they had committed the same offence – which was not the case.

CNN had a genuine scoop on Tuesday – without going into the salacious detail of the?intelligence dossier, the network reported that the intelligence agencies had appended?a two-page summary of the 35-page document to their Friday briefing to Trump; and?further reporting the potential for Trump to be personally and financially compromised.

BuzzFeed, on the other hand, published the whole dossier – deciding that it would leave?it to readers to evaluate the document.

That distinction was lost on TV’s dizzier talking heads, several of whom drove home the?Trump attack, by bundling CNN and BuzzFeed together as they speculated on “why would?they do this”.

And having shown absolutely no respect for press freedom, forgetting his campaign?threats to crackdown on the media and pretending that he knew all about morality,?Trump preached to the assembled hacks.

Claiming he had no intention of curbing the media, he insisted he had great respect for?freedom of the press, as he told them: “I don’t recommend reforms – I recommend that?people have some moral compass.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

War on drugs: Philippine president Duterte warns mayors will be shot

10/07/2019 Posted by admin

Kimberly Sailog watches over the coffin of her daughter, Christine Joy Sailog, 12, who was killed when an unidentified gunman shot at an alleged drug suspect, hitting the girl during the traditional Christmas dawn mass in a church. Photo: Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images Children and relatives mourn while walking behind a hearse during a funeral held for Alex Hongco killed in a police drugs raid in December. Photo: Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images
Nanjing Night Net

Alleged drug suspects cover their faces during a drug raid on December 9, 2016 in Manila, Philippines. Photo: Dondi Tawatao/Getty Images

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has repeated threats to kill municipal mayors involved in drugs as the number of Filipinos killed in his deadly crackdown tops 6200.

“I might go down in history as the butcher. It’s up to you,” Mr Duterte told 1635 town and city mayors he summoned to the presidential palace.

“I will ask the chief of police to shoot you,” he said.

Antonio Halili, the mayor of?Tanauan?City, near?Manila, said that during the meeting Mr Duterte fumed about drugs destroying “the moral fabric of society”.

“It’s a very stern warning to those who are involved in drugs, that you should stop,” said Mr Halili, who shames drugs suspects by parading them in his own province.

Mr Duterte’s comments send a clear signal to police and the military they still have impunity to target drugs suspects, including mayors, in his crackdown that has been widely condemned around the world, including by the United Nations.

Mr Duterte defended police who controversially shot dead Rolando Espinosa, a mayor on the?island?of?Leyte?last November, while he was in a jail cell.

“He was killed in a very questionable way, but I don’t care….the policemen said he resisted arrest. Then I will stick with the story of the arrest because they are under me,” he said.

Mr Duterte, the former mayor of southern?Davao?City, was swept into office in July promising to eradicate the drugs menace within the first six months of his presidency.

He now admits he under-estimated the problem, claiming there are four million drugs addicts in the predominantly Catholic nation of 100 million people.

While Mr Duterte’s popularity remains high, a December Social Weather Stations’ survey found that 78 per cent of respondents expressed worry about becoming victims of an extra-judicial killing and 94 per cent said it is important that drugs suspects be captured alive.

More than 4000 of those killed were targeted in vigilante-style assassinations.

However no suspects have been arrested and charged in court.

Many of the?assailants are believed to be police.

More than 2000 of the victims were killed by police who have justified the slaughter by claiming all of them chose to fight it out with law enforcers.

Bystanding victims have included children as young as five.

One commentator in?Manila?pointed out that if killings continue at the same rate at the end of Mr Duterte’s first year in office four times more people will have been killed than during the darkest nine years of the Marcos dictatorship, from 1972 to 1981.

The late Ferdinand Marcos, his family and top cronies were forced into exile by a popular uprising in 1986.

Meanwhile, Rex Tillerson, US President-elect Donald Trump’s?nominee for Secretary of State, has refused to call the?Philippines?a human rights violator during a US Senate confirmation hearing, insisting he would need more information before he could make that assessment.

Criticism of the killings by the outgoing Obama administration prompted Mr Duterte to launch into expletive-laden tirades against the US, including telling Barack Obama to “go to hell” and calling him the “son of a whore.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Outrage over first look at Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson in Urban Myths

10/07/2019 Posted by admin

Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson, Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and Brian Cox as Marlon Brando in in Sky Arts’ upcoming series, Urban Myths. Photo: Sky Arts Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson in Urban Myths. Photo: Sky Arts
Nanjing Night Net

Just over a year ago, with the fallout of #OscarsSoWhite front-and-centre of Hollywood discussions, the internet reacted with outrage to news that white British actor Joseph Fiennes would be playing pop icon Michael Jackson in an upcoming project.

That furore has reignited this week as the world gets it first look at Fiennes in the role?in the trailer for the upcoming British series Urban Myths.

The show, produced by Sky Arts in the UK, includes eight episodes recreating celebrity stories that have become widely-repeated urban legends, including Cary Grant’s (Ben Chaplin) alleged love of LSD, young Adolf Hitler’s (Iwan Rheon) artistic failures, and Bob Dylan’s (Eddie Marsan) obsession with ’60s folk legend Dave Van Ronk, a story also recently mythologised in the Coen Bros award-winning Inside Llewyn Davis.

Fiennes’ episode is a 20-minute bit based on a 2011 Vanity Fair story that speculated on a frenzied cross-country road-trip that Jackson and friends Elizabeth Taylor (Stockard Channing) and Marlon Brando (Brian Cox) took in 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. (One of the few sources backing the insane story – which allegedly saw the trio driving from Manhattan to Ohio, with Brando begging to stop at every KFC along the way – is MJ’s old pal Corey Feldman, so take that as you will.)

The trailer shows Fiennes, sporting the singer’s trademark long locks and pork-pie hat, caked in white powder, his nose and chin mangled into a comically crude approximation of the late pop star.

As confusion over the scale of the project remains, commenters online have slammed the portrayal as “disrespectful”, while MJ’s own family have weighed in and criticised its creators.

Jackson’s daughter Paris took to Twitter to say “it honestly makes me want to vomit”, while his nephew Taj added,?“Unfortunately, this is what my family has to deal with. No words could express the blatant disrespect.”

A petition to boycott “the film”, originally launched last year, has picked up over 20,000 signatures and counting in the wake of the trailer’s release. I hope it loses every single dime of its budget. Every single dime. #UrbanMyths— Keith Powell (@KeithPowell) January 11, 2017The most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen! “Here’s your first look at Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson”— (@PXRTYSTAR) January 11, 2017Me after seeing #JosephFiennes as Michael Jackson pic.twitter南京夜網/t8FOdHClh7— Tammy Tam (@nubiansweet) January 11, [email protected] i’m so incredibly offended by it, as i’m sure plenty of people are as well, and it honestly makes me want to vomit.— Paris-Michael K. J. (@ParisJackson) January 11, [email protected] Unfortunately this is what my family has to deal with. No words could express the blatant disrespect.— Taj Jackson (@tajjackson3) January 11, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.