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Magpie edges out white ibis and kookaburra as Australian bird of the year

Top three birds all backed by more than 10,000 votes in Guardian Australia and BirdLife Australia poll that attracted 150,000 votes The Australian magpie has been crowned Australian bird of the year for 2017, upsetting the early favourite, the white ibis, and winning 13.3% of the vote. The magpie received 19,926 votes, followed by the Australian white ibis with 19,083 votes and the laughing kookaburra with 10,953 votes. They were the only three species to win more than 10,000 votes, to the chagrin of fairywren supporters who feel the chubby…

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South Australia turns on Tesla’s 100MW battery: ‘History in the making’

Jay Weatherill marks the official launch as Elon Musk delivers on his promise to complete project within 100 days The worlds largest lithium-ion battery has officially been turned on in South Australia promising to usher in a revolution in how electricity is produced and stored. Tesla boss Elon Musk has after blackouts last year that critics of the states Labor government

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Monetising millennials: what the corporate world thinks it knows about young people

At Sydneys Millennial 20/20 conference the wifi password is SmashedAvo and the attitude is predatory infantilisation Before the opening keynote of the Millennial 20/20 Sydney conference, a man strides up, folds me into a boardroom-firm handshake and gazes deeply into my eyes. His impeccably tailored business shirt, open to the third button, and swept-back blond hair make him look like a more handsome version of the Trump sons, maybe a second cousin. But our meeting is an error; I inadvertently sat in one of the conferences many designated networking spaces,…

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‘Equality for all’: Macklemore issues emotional plea during NRL grand final

US rapper performs Same Love after a week of controversy in Australia due to his support for marriage equality The US rapper, Macklemore, issued a call for equality after an emotional performance of his hit single, Same Love, in a much-hyped pre-game show at the NRL grand final. The performance at ANZ Stadium in Sydney follows previously described Same Love as a song that deals with equal rights, human rights for LGBTI people. This is an issue that I feel strongly about, that I feel passionate about. These people are…

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Philippines president says US, Australia have ‘toned down’ human rights criticism

Rodrigo Duterte claims issue of thousands of drug war deaths was mentioned only in passing in meetings with Rex Tillerson and Julie Bishop The US and Australia have considerably toned down criticism of a drug war in the Philippines in which thousands have been killed, according to the countrys president, Rodrigo Duterte. During meetings at the presidential palace in Manila, US secretary of state Rex Tillerson and Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop raised the issue of human rights only in passing, Duterte said. Mostly they have considerably toned down in…

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Marriage equality: UN criticises Australia for refusing same-sex divorce

United Nations says Australian laws stopping same-sex couples who marry legally overseas from getting divorced violates human rights Australian laws stopping same-sex couples who married overseas from getting divorced violate international human rights obligations, the United Nations has found. The UN human rights committee (UNHRC) ruled an Australian woman, Dr Fiona Kumari Campbell, has been denied equal protection of the law because Australia does not allow her to end her legal, Canadian same-sex marriage. The UNHRC ruling determined that: In the absence of more convincing explanations from the state party,…

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Cardinal George Pell to plead not guilty to historical sexual abuse offences

Australias most senior Catholic cleric appears at Melbourne magistrates court for first hearing Cardinal George Pell has appeared in the Melbourne magistrates court charged with multiple historical sexual abuse offences. Seated behind his lawyer, Robert Richter, QC, dressed in a simple black suit and clerical collar, Pell did not speak throughout the six-minute filing hearing. Richter said that while Pell was not required to enter a plea unless and until the matter was committed for trial, he would, because of the media and public interest in the case, indicate a…

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Justine Damond’s fiance says he regrets not staying on phone before shooting

Don Damond describes final call as godmother says Justine hoped to return to Australia due to fears of US gun violence The fiance of Justine Damond, the woman killed by a Minneapolis police officer, is haunted by their last conversation. On the night of 15 July, she called to tell him she heard what sounded like a rape happening in the alleyway behind their home. I have played this over in my head over and over, Don Damond told the Malcolm Turnbull, called it shocking and inexplicable. On Friday, Minneapolis…

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Justine Damond shooting: Australian woman’s last moments heard over US police radio

Minneapolis officers recorded calling for backup and attempting to perform CPR on Damond, who was shot dead by police after she called 911 New audio has emerged of the moments around the The officers are heard communicating with their dispatcher over the police radio, including calling for backup and their attempts to perform CPR on Sydney-raised Damond. Shots fired … we have one down, one of the officers says. Damonds death in the alley outside her Minneapolis home just before midnight on Saturday has devastated and outraged family, friends and…

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Canada wildfires: almost 40,000 evacuated in British Columbia amid state of emergency

Australian firefighters called in to help as blazes burning across western province are expected to worsen Canada is deploying military aircraft and Australia is sending 50 firefighters to battle rapidly spreading wildfires in British Columbia that have forced 39,000 people from their homes. Federal public safety minister Ralph Goodale said the western Canadian province had made two requests to the federal government for military assistance to fight the fires, which he said were expected to worsen. The military has sent two planes and five helicopters to help with evacuations and…

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Australian woman Justine Damond shot dead by US police in Minneapolis

Officers body cameras were not turned on, state officials reveal, as stepson says: My mum was shot for reasons I dont know US police officers have shot dead an Australian woman who reportedly called 911 after hearing a noise near her home in Minneapolis. Minnesotas public safety department said a woman was shot in Minneapolis after two officers responded to a callout about a possible assault on Saturday at 11.30pm local time. The police officers did not have their body cameras turned on. Justine Damond was shot dead by police…

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Julie Bishop hits back at Trump over Brigitte Macron remark but says refugee deal intact

Australias foreign affairs minister says she would be taken aback if US president made comment to her The foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, has assured voters that the refugee swap agreement between Australia and the United States is still intact, Australia struck its one-off refugee swap deal with the former US president Barack Obama last year to provide refuge to up to 1,250 asylum seekers but it ran into trouble earlier this year Brigitte Macron, the wife of the French president, when he was standing with her in the marbled…

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Vince Gilligan on Better Call Saul: ‘We dread the future as much as the fans do’

The Breaking Bad showrunner explains how a throwaway joke created some of the worlds most compelling TV In Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad prequel which is shooting its fourth series, the character of the morally flexible lawyer Jimmy McGill (played by Bob Odenkirk) comes closer and closer to becoming the character we first met him as: the ethically bankrupt ambulance chaser Saul Goodman. Co-creator Vince Gilligan, who also created Breaking Bad and was head writer for both shows, is evidently enjoying the journey but is not looking forward to…

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Of all the dumb traditions of Wimbledon, its sexism is the worst | Greg Jericho

On the first seven days of play at this years Wimbledon, womens matches were scheduled on Centre Court at half the rate of mens No other sporting event provides me with feelings of joy and loathing as does Wimbledon. As a tennis fan who grew up playing on grass courts, these two weeks of lawn tennis are pure delight. But the tournament itself the suffocating stuffiness of its adherence to faux traditions, its delight in the class system and the inherent sexism of the scheduling also has me groan in…

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Countries with coral reefs must do more on climate change Unesco

Custodians of world heritage-listed sites should aim to keep global temperature increases to just 1.5C, UN agency says Countries with responsibility over world heritage-listed coral reefs should adopt ambitious climate change targets, aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions to levels that would keep global temperature increases to just 1.5C, the UN agency responsible for overseeing world heritage sites has said. At a meeting of Unescos world heritage committee in Krakow, Poland, a decision was adopted that clarified and strengthened the responsibility of countries that have custodianship over world-heritage listed coral…

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