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Just when we thought Debbie was done.....she still had some punch left 😮

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My thoughts are with those up north now facing the massive clean up in the wake of Cyclone Debbie.

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Why study in Australia? Check it out if you're curious. And give it a +1 if you like it :) #lifeinaustralia   #studyinaustralia  

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Interested in Aboriginal astronomy and First Peoples cosmology? Have just posted my first piece of a longer series regarding my take on Western Arrernte (Central Australia) cosmology. More to come later.

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What do you think?  Do we need a new flag?
We need a new Australian flag – something like this
It is inevitable that Australia will get a new flag. As our nation grows in global stature, becomes more cosmopolitan, and feels more and more left behind by first Canada, and now New Zealand, the move to a new national flag is only a matter of time.
The simplest option for a new Australian flag design would be to replace the Union Jack with our bounding red kangaroo, taken straight off the Aussie penny. The Federation Star and Southern Cross (neither of which has global recognition as distinctly Australian) would remain where they are.

More modern, and in line with our national sporting colours, would be the same design in green and gold. This would provide us with a simple but vibrantly new and all-embracing flag.

#australia   #flag   #unionjack  

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Philip Morris is suing Australia in an expensive, secret court for ending teen smoking

"Australia is ending teen smoking -- and Big Tobacco is furious.

So furious, it is suing Australia in a secret tribunal that will cost $50 million of public money just to defend ourselves. Cabinet ministers have been hauled in front of the clandestine courts. Domestic laws could be overturned -- at an even higher cost -- because they benefit Australian people instead of tobacco corporations' bottom lines.

Australia now boasts the lowest teen smoking rates in the world -- thanks to its plain packaging laws. But because Australia signed on to shady "investor state dispute settlement" (ISDS) mechanisms with Hong Kong in 1993, Philip Morris can sue the Australian state over "expropriation" of investments. That is, because Australia put people before profit.

Philip Morris is suing Australia for stopping teen smoking. Tell it to drop its predatory lawsuit now.

Philip Morris moved its regional headquarters from Australia to Hong Kong just so it could sue us. ISDS resolutions, which will only become more common if the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement goes through, mean that even if a country votes for and supports a policy, if it negatively affects a corporation's profit margins, that state will be subject to ludicrous court costs, watch its politicians dragged in front of unaccountable financial advisers and risk seeing its own laws overturned.

Philip Morris grossed US$19 billion in 2014. It can afford plenty of frivolous lawsuits like this one -- in fact, it's doing the same thing to the UK. And Uruguay. Even if the biggest of Big Tobacco loses these lawsuits, they are prohibitively costly (especially to smaller nations) and unmistakable warning shots to any country considering stricter regulations to protect teenagers from tobacco's deadly effects.

Millions of SumOfUs members have spoken out against ISDS agreements and the super shady TPP. Join us in making sure Big Tobacco knows people will win out over profit. Every time.

No to secret tribunals. No to burdensome court costs. Yes to clean teenage health. Demand Philip Morris scrap its lawsuit."


Related article:

#smoking #teensmoking #antismoking #petition  

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Yesterday was the premiere of my documentary 'The First Anzac Day'. The 7pm screening was filled to capacity and I couldn't have envisaged a better response. I even received a standing ovation from the ANZAC Day Committee and those around them.  Despite misgivings about ANZAC day being over done by the media, John Schumann, writer of the very special song "I was only 19" attended. Afterwards he was very effusive in his comments about my film, coming from him that meant a lot to me. Here's a review of the film. Cheers +Ash Starkey 
#thefirstanzacday #anzacday  
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