The Recap

21 August 2015

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If you weren’t paying attention this week, we’ve got you sorted.

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Bangkok struck by two bombs

Monday evening’s attack on the Erawan Shrine in Central Bangkok, a popular tourist destination, killed 20 people and injured over 100. Fear among tourists grew as a second explosive device was detonated and thrown from a bridge over a river by an unidentified man the next day. However, it landed in the water and there were no injuries. Despite both areas being full of tourists, the Thai government says it is unlikely that the attacks are the work of international terror groups.

Abbott government to change environmental laws

The government has proposed to repeal a section of Australia’s Environment Protection and Bidoversity Conservation Act, which allows third parties, like conservationists or other community groups, to challenge environmental approvals. The change of law is in response to the successful challenge by Mackay Conservation Group which found that the government had failed to properly consider two threatened species in it’s plans for the Carmichael Mine, therefore stalling the Adani mine project. However, with Labor, key crossbenchers and environmental groups opposing the change, it is unlikely to pass the Senate.

Public transport strike cancelled

The Rail, Tram and Bus Union has called off a planned four-hour transport strike scheduled for Friday, following further negotiations over wages with Metro and Yarra Trams. The union has been pushing for an 18 per cent pay rise over three years since April. So far the union has not accepted an offer of 14 per cent from Metro or 10 per cent from Yarra Trams. It is still unclear whether a strike may occur next week instead.


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Employees working longer hours have a greater risk of stroke

A major study, carried out in three continents and led by scientists at University College London, found those who work more than 55 hours a week have a 33 per cent risk of stroke compared to those who work 35 to 40 hour weeks. The study also found they have a 13 per cent increased risk of coronary heart disease. The research confirms that those in long hour working cultures, where people work from early mornings until evenings and into the weekends, are greatly at risk. Researchers say in the study that they cannot state definitely that long hours cause employees to have strokes, but that there is an evident link that the risk increases as the hours people work get longer.

First “female Viagra” drug approved in the US

This week U.S. regulators approved Addyi, a drug that stimulates the brain to boost younger women’s libido levels. Made by North Carolina-based Sprout Pharmaceuticals, Addyi received the approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, provided that women take extra care with use due to serious side effects. The drug must not be taken with alcohol and will only be available at authorised pharmacies. The FDA approved Addyi for women who suffer from generalised hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or those with a sudden and severe loss of libido.

Australian teenager with down syndrome to walk New York Fashion Week

The 18-year-old from Brisbane took to social media to share the news that she will be walking for Italian label, FTL Moda, and her story has quickly gone viral. Madeline Stuart has down syndrome and intends to change how the world sees beauty by challenging the stereotype attached to people with disabilities. She will grace the runway in New York that has seen top local supermodels such as Miranda Kerr, Jessica Hart and Abbey Lee Kershaw. “I want to inspire young women and men to love their inner beauty and to realise with time that inner beauty and compassion is all that lasts and is what people really see us for,” she wrote on Facebook.


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The AFL broadcast rights deal

The AFL has signed a new six-year, $2.5 billion broadcast rights deal with Seven, Fox Sports and Telstra. The deal will be implemented in 2017. It will see Channel Seven remain the free broadcaster, who will finally begin broadcasting games in HD. Fox Footy will broadcast every game live and the AFL will continue to retain full control of the fixture, including when the Grand Final is held. Seven and New Corp also spoke in support of a twilight grand final being introduced as early as 2017.

You can view a five minute guide to the broadcast deal here.

James Hird resigns as Essendon Coach

Essendon and James Hird have parted ways after Essendon’s poor on field performances and lengthy supplements saga. Players gathered at the press conference and some were visibly emotional. “This whole thing has changed people — and no one’s for the better,” Jobe Watson said. Essendon Chairman, Paul Little, said he has no regrets. The Essendon board and Hird have agreed on a negotiated settlement and Assistant Coach, Matthew Egan, has taken over as interim coach until the end of the season.

Diamonds win

The Australian Diamonds netball team took out their third consecutive World Cup title, beating the New Zealand Silver Ferns last Sunday 58-55. It is believed retiring star defender Julie Corletto played through the second half of the final with a broken foot.


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Huffington Post opens in Aus

The Huffington Post has launched an Australian edition of the American news blog. The left-leaning online publication is just one of many international news outlets to open up shop in Australia, following BuzzFeed and The Guardian. The Today Show’s Lisa Wilkinson has been announced as the editor-at-large of the site.

Mark Latham out for a troll

Former opposition leader Mark Latham resigned from his column at The Australian Financial Review after BuzzFeed reporter, Mark Di Stafano, linked his email address to a Twitter account that had been trolling prominent Australian women. Using the Twitter handle @realmarklatham, he made abusive and derogatory tweets about multiple women, including Rosie Batty, Catherine McGregor and Leigh Sales.

Dogs make you cry inside

Dogs Make You Laugh Out Loud, the long awaited follow-up to last week’s Cats Make You Laugh Out Loud, aired last week to an even larger audience than its predecessor. Over one million people tuned into the hour long compilation of videos featuring dogs found on the internet. Seven will follow the episode with Pets Make You Laugh Out Loud next week and Animals Make You Laugh Out Loud on 1 September.

Star Wars IX director announced

Jurassic World director, Colin Trevorrow, has been announced as the director of Star Wars Episode IX, to be released in 2019. The decision is hardly a surprise, since Jurassic World is already the third highest grossing movie of all time. Trevorrow will be replacing Episode IIX director, Rian Johnson, best known for Looper, who will in-turn replace Episode XII director J.J. Abrams.


Audio: Jack HowardXavier 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.