If you weren’t paying attention this week, we’ve got you sorted.
Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement signed by 12 nations
This week, 12 countries ended five years of negotiations and signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) in Atlanta. The TPP is intended to promote international trade by lowering tariffs and other trade barriers. Under the deal, 98 per cent of tariffs across TPP countries will be slashed on products including beef, dairy, wine, sugar, rice, seafood, manufactured products, resources and energy. The deal, led by Obama’s administration, includes Australia, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, New Zealand, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Chile and Brunei. It is considered a landmark deal with the TPP countries, housing 800 million people and making up 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. However, there are concerns that the deal will limit free trade instead of promoting it. Despite reassurance from Prime Minister Turnbull, there are fears that particularly in the pharmaceutical sector, the agreement will serve multi-national companies and prevent competition from generic labels, ultimately driving prices of medication up. The agreement is yet to pass U.S. congress or government in Canada, where it is expected to be met with hesitation.
Victoria to legalise medicinal marijuana
Victoria will be the first state in Australia to legalise marijuana cultivation to treat serious medical conditions if it gains support from the Federal government. According to recommendations made by the Victorian Law Reform Commission, it will be used to help with severe muscle spasms or pain from MS, severe pain from cancer, HIV or AIDS, as well as treat seizures caused by epileptic conditions. It will be available in tinctures, oils, capsules, sprays and vaporisable liquids, but will not be smoked due to health dangers. Children with severe epilepsy will be the first to receive treatment in 2017.
World Bank announces that global poverty is decreasing
The number of people living in extreme poverty is likely to fall below 10 per cent of the world’s population in 2015. “These projections show us that we are the first generation in human history that can end extreme poverty,” said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim. The World Bank is using a new benchmark poverty line of living on or below $1.90 a day, as opposed to $1.25 a day. It projects global poverty to fall from 902 million people, or 12.8 per cent, in 2012 to 702 million, or 9.6 per cent, this year.
— World Bank (@WorldBank) October 5, 2015
Crackdown on cyber bullying after numerous children attacked online
Children as young as 11 are being targeted in cyber bullying attacks. The office of Australia’s Children’s e-Safety Commissioner has stepped in to revolve 40 cases of severe online bullying and harassment targeted at kids. It has also removed more than 2,000 pieces of illegal content, with a majority of it being child exploitation material. The online attacks include campaigns encouraging bullying victims to self-harm, as well as threats targeted to teenagers presumed to be gay by their fellow classmates. The e-Safety Commissioner also referred more than 600 children to the Kids Helpline for support and counselling.
A common cold and flu remedy found to cause anaphylaxis
A certain herb used in cold remedies has been linked to 43 cases of anaphylaxis. The herbal ingredient, A.paniculata, claims to reduce fever, soothe sore throats, alleviate gastrointestinal pain and aid quick recovery from cold symptoms. The herb is listed in Blackmores Cold Combat tablets, as well as Ethical Nutrients Immune Defence formula and KoldKare. The Therapeutic Goods Administration revealed that it received 43 reports of anaphylaxis and 78 reports of other allergic reactions in relation to products containing A.paniculata between December 2002 and April 2014. “Consumers and health professionals are advised that, following a safety review of Andrographis paniculata (A.paniculata) the TGA has found a potential risk of allergic reactions, including severe allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis, associated with the use of products containing this herbal ingredient,” TGA said in a safety advisory.
Facebook user slams Ronda Rousey on anti-violence page
A user has taken to Facebook to slam MMA fighter, Ronda Rousey, deeming her a “masculine monster”, who sets a bad example for young girls. The post was shared on the Facebook page, ‘Mothers Against Violent Sports’, and claims that girls should be following in the footsteps of women like Kim Kardashian. “More girls are wanting to be a masculine, monster like Ronda Rousey with man shoulders, instead of working hard to earn a body like Kim Kardashian, who might I say is downright fabulous,” the post read. The post was spammed with controversial comments fighting back at the user and defending the martial arts sport. “I’m not going to tell you how to raise your kids or how to think, but to me, [martial arts] is something way more inspiring than Kim Kardashian,” one woman commented.
What you violent fiends don't understand is that these brutish fighters are being looked up to as role models by…
AFL Grand Final
Hawthorn’s third straight AFL premiership victory has cemented them as one of the best teams of the modern era. Despite 25,000 people travelling from Western Australia for the game, Hawthorn were too strong and defeated the Eagles by 46 points. The Eagles tried to play catch-up the whole game and were unable to cinch their fourth premiership. Coleman Medallist, Josh Kennedy, was kept goalless. Ruckmen Nic Naitanui and Callum Sinclair, as well as rising star Elliot Yeo, all recorded career-low possession counts. Hawthorn’s Eddie Betts was popping up everywhere and won the Norm Smith Medal. The lead up to the grand final was bigger than ever, with the Grand Final Parade drawing a huge crowd due to the public holiday. Two Hawthorn champions, David Hale and Brian Lake, have since announced their retirement from the game. Hale and Lake both retire with three flags.
NRL Grand Final
It was an all Queensland affair in the 2015 NRL Grand Final on Sunday night. The North Queensland Cowboys triumphed over Brisbane Broncos 17-16 in one of the most nail-biting NRL finals ever. The Broncos took the lead early, but their promising start was soon forgotten as errors began to creep in. Johnathan Thurston missed a post siren conversion goal when scores were level, but went on to make up for his error by kicking the golden point. He claimed the Clive Churchill Medal as man of the match. The game was televised on Channel Nine and had record-breaking views, with 4.4 million people tuning in.
Best ever year for Australian films
2015 has proven to be a great year for the Australian film industry. Australian films grossed over $64 million at the box office, beating the previous high of $63.4 million in 2001. This is likely due to Mad Max: Fury Road, which grossed over $20 million, as well as other successes, The Water Diviner and Paper Planes. With The Dressmaker, starring Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth, to be released next month, Screen Australia is predicting the industry will cross the $70 million mark. Despite this strong showing, the gross of Australian films only accounted for 6.8 per cent of the global total.
Rove McManus to host Sydney radio show
Former Australian television presenter, Rove McManus, has been announced as the newest host of Sydney radio station, 2DayFM’s, breakfast show. McManus, best known for his self-titled talk-show that aired until 2009, has said: “Sydney has been my Aussie home for a number of years now and I am very happy to be making it a more permanent arrangement, even if it will mean waking at 4am.”
Justin Bieber nude pics hit the web
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Nude photos of Justin Bieber, taken by paparazzi while he was holidaying in Bora Bora, have been circulating the internet. Bieber has yet to comment on the photos. Many commenters say they now understand his big ego.
Audio produced by: Xavier Martin.
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.