If you weren’t paying attention this week, we’ve got you sorted.
Melbourne tram strike
On Thursday, Yarra Trams workers started to return their trams to depots as early as 8:30am in anticipation of a 10am to 2pm union strike.
The strike was the result of increasingly bitter pay negotiations between The Rail Tram and Bus Union and operator Yarra Trams.
As Melbourne’s public transport system was thrown in chaos, the Yarra Trams workers met in Melbourne’s trade hall for meetings to discuss future protests.
Following in the footsteps of the tram workers, the Union has decided on a similar strike against Metro with trains not running between 10am to 2pm next Friday.
NSW Government bans same sex marriage film in high schools
NSW Education Minister, Adrian Picolli, has banned the screening of a documentary about four families with gay parents.
The film was played across 50 public schools simultaneously as part of Wear It Purple Day and a sexual inclusion campaign.
The minister says the state-wide ban comes following complaints to Burwood Girls High.
Those opposing the film believe it promotes a gay lifestyle. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has come out in support of the film, saying that “all kids need to know there are lots of different kinds of families”.
Joe Hockey supports Australia becoming a republic
Chairman of the Australian Republican Movement, Peter FitzSimons, has opened up a national debate about whether Australia should become a republic.
While addressing the National Press Club, FitzSimons announced Treasurer Joe Hockey as one of the co-conveners of a republic friendship group.
Abbott has since criticised Hockey’s involvement in the issue, believing his attention should be on creating jobs instead.
Women register to vote for the first time in Saudi Arabia
This week women across Saudi Arabia registered to vote for the first time in the December elections.
Although the change, which was ordered by the late King Abdullah in 2011, is a break through for the strict Sunni Muslim country, criticisms over women’s rights remain.
Many believe real equality can’t be discussed until the male guardianship law is scrapped, under which women are not allowed to obtain a passport, marry or travel without approval from a male guardian.
Melbourne voted world’s most liveable city for fifth year in row
The Economist named the world’s five most liveable cities to be Melbourne, Vienna, Vancouver, Toronto, Adelaide and Calgary.
The survey gives an overall rating of 0-100, with one being intolerable and 100 deemed as ideal.
Melbourne received a near perfect rating of 97.5 out of 100. The report says the best scoring cities happened to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries and with a relatively low population.
Melbourne’s low crime rate was also linked to the city’s number one spot. Interestingly, large tourist cities such as New York, London, Paris and Tokyo did not score highly due to overstretched infrastructure and high crime rates.
New research claims eating on the go could lead to weight gain
Researchers from the University of Surrey claim that those who don’t stop and have a proper meal are more likely to become overweight due to an increased appetite.
Findings show that eating a meal while walking leads to overeating, in comparison to other activities such as conversing with a friend or watching TV.
The study, published in the Journal of Health Psychology, gave 60 women a cereal bar to eat during three different activities.
The first group was asked to watch a clip of a television show while eating, while the second group was asked to walk around while eating the cereal bar.
The third group was asked to sit opposite a friend and eat during conversation. Participants were then given a taste test involving four different bowls of snacks, including chocolate, carrot sticks, grapes and chips and how much they ate was recorded after they left the room.
Results showed the dieters who had eaten the cereal bar while walking around had consumed most of the snacks, specifically eating five times more chocolate than the other groups.
Sydney’s Cruise Bar party sparks outrage as naked women hired as fruit platters
There have been calls to boycott Sydney’s Circular Quay Cruise Bar after it was deemed “unacceptable” during a relaunch party.
Women were hired to lie on long tables with nothing but fruit covering their bodies.
Passengers were then fed fruit on board by some of the naked women and near-naked men.
Sydneysiders took to social media to blast Circular Quay Cruise Bar and intend on rallying as many people as possible to boycott the business.
However, Myer ambassador Kate Peck, who was also at the launch, was quick to defend the idea. “[It’s] the only way to eat fruit salad, let’s be honest,” she said.
Jarryd Hayne’s impressive NFL pre season
Australian NRL turned NFL player, Jarryd Hayne, stole the spotlight in his second game as a San Francisco 49er.
The former Parramatta Eels star made many impressive, long returns in the pre season match against the Cowboys.
Although Hayne’s spot on the final 53-man roster is yet to be confirmed, “Hayne 38” jerseys are in high demand after unprecedented sales.
The San Francisco 49ers’ third pre season trial against Denver will occur on Sunday at 11am (AEST).
First born and raised American AFL player
Another cross-coder, American Jason Holmes, made his debut for St Kilda on Saturday night, becoming the first born and raised American to play AFL.
The former college basketball player contested in the ruck and won the hit-outs in the draw against Geelong.
Standing at 203cm tall, Holmes switched sports after being inspired by footage of West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui.
The 25 year-old will remain with Saint Kilda as an international rookie until at least the end of the 2016 season.
Holmes is predicted to be the first in a new wave of American AFL players.
First medal for Australia at IAAF World Championships
Fabrice Lapierre has won silver in the long jump at the World Championships in Beijing, giving Australia its first medal.
Lapierre produced a season best performance of 8.24m to finish second behind Great Britain’s Greg Rutherford, who jumped 8.41m.
Lapierre has revealed that he had considered retirement, but a change in location and attitude turned things around.
Video of two journalists killed on air goes viral
Video of two Virginian TV reporters who were killed on air has spread across social media.
Alison Parker and Adam Ward were broadcasting an interview with a local official from the Chamber of Commerce for WDBJ when the shooter, Vester Lee Flanagan, opened fire.
Flanagan was a former employee of WDBJ, who has been called a “disturbed” and “unhappy man”.
He confessed to the killing in a “suicide note” sent to ABC News. Flanagan filmed the attack and posted the videos on social media before killing himself.
News networks around the globe have voiced their support of and solidarity with WDBJ on Twitter using the hashtag #WeStandByWDBJ.
Vicki Gardner, the official being interviewed, was also shot and is in a stable condition.
Videos of the assault are available online. upstart has chosen not to include them in this article.
Village Roadshow ramps up hunt for pirates.
Chief executive of Village Roadshow, Graham Burke, has confirmed that the company intends to sue anyone who they find has downloaded their movies illegally.
“It’s wrong. If they have been warned, notices issued that they have been doing the wrong thing. Yes, we will sue people,” he said.
This is despite almost every study on the issue suggesting that the best way to combat privacy is for copyright holders to make their content more affordable and accessible.
Q&A in hot water again
Q&A have come under fire again after a tweet was published on the show with the handle ‘@AbbottLovesAnal’.
Several politicians, including Malcolm Turnbull and Greg Hunt, have criticised the ABC for allowing the tweet to appear, with Hunt saying he does not believe it was an accident.
However, ABC managing director, Mark Scott, personally apologised to Abbott, who called the ABC “out of control”. The controversy comes as the Zaky Mallah incident had begun to die down.
Feature image: Jake Stevens.
Joely Mitchell, Tam Kendi, Ewa Staszewska, Tijan Biner, Johanna Brasier and Ethan Miller are the editors of upstart this semester. They are all third-year Bachelor of Journalism students at La Trobe University. You can follow them on Twitter here: @joelymitchell, @tamkendi,@EwaStaszewska,@tijanb, @JohannaBrasier and @ethanmiller1994.