The Recap

4 September 2015

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

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Victoria to protect women from abortion clinic protestors 

The Victorian government has agreed to a deal with Sex Party MP, Fiona Patten, to introduce buffer zones around abortion clinics. The bill will mean protestors are not allowed within the 150-metre safe zones surrounding clinics. The government will introduce a bill based largely on the one proposed by Patten with some changes to the zone and penalties suggested. The new law is considered a big win for women across Victoria who are often subjected to harassment by pro-life protestors.

Aussie dollar at six-year low

This week the Australian dollar fell as low as U.S. 69.78 cents, the lowest since the Global Financial Crisis in 2009. This is bad news for online shoppers and travellers, as the dollar is buying 30 per cent less than a year ago, when it was fetching U.S. 93.5 cents. The rapid fall is attributed to a slowdown in commodity demand as well as a low 0.2 per cent GDP growth rate, which is below trend. Leading economists believe the dollar will continue falling, possibly as low as 60 cents in 2016.

Has Australia’s refugee deal with Cambodia collapsed?

A recent statement by Cambodian interior minister, Khieu Sopheak, has raised questions about the country’s refugee settlement deal with Australia. In June, four refugees from the Nauru centre were transferred to Cambodia under an agreement that Australia signed with the country in September last year. Sopheak has since announced that Cambodia does not plan to take any more refugees. If true, the transfer of the four refugees will prove to be quite expensive under the $55 million dollar deal.    

 

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Health concerns surrounding new waist training trend

There’s a new body-modifying fad that claims to take inches off a woman’s waist by simply wearing a corset. Celebrities have jumped on the trend with everyone from the Kardashians to Jessica Alba posting photos to social media wearing waist trainers. It’s believed that by wearing a tight corset for most of the day, a woman’s waist will eventually shape in a way that accentuates her natural curves. However, there are health risks associated with the new trend. Despite being uncomfortable, it can make breathing very difficult, leading to wearers feeling faint and losing consciousness. It can also potentially cause serious rib damage.

Companies ordered not to label free range unless it’s genuine

A number of companies have misled shoppers into paying top dollar for products labelled free range when they’re not. The companies behind Primo Smallgoods, KR Castlemain and Otway Pork recently admitted to breaching the law by promoting products as free range when pigs were actually kept indoors. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said the labels were likely to give the impression that pigs were able to move freely outdoors. Some traders also used the words “outdoor bred” or “bred free range” to describe the pigs’ mother’s living conditions.

New study claims our friendships are linked to our health

The study, published in Psychological Science, found that close friendships in high school can make or break our health. Research also found that being part of a “pack” or “group” in high school predicted stronger health in the future. The study saw researchers follow 171 13-year-olds until they turned 27. Teenagers filled out questionnaires about the quality of their relationship with their best friend and answered questions about how much they attempted to fit in with peers. When the teenagers reached between the ages of 25 and 27, they took part in annual health checks evaluating BMI, mental and emotional health levels. Those with strong, high-quality friendships and the need to fit in were found to be mentally and physically healthier.

 

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AFL players rested before finals

Fremantle and North Melbourne have both gained approval from the AFL to rest players in round 23. Fremantle, who is top of the ladder, will rest big name players like Pavlich and Sandilands in Saturday night’s clash against Port Adelaide. This decision won’t affect their spot on the ladder. North Melbourne is taking similar steps, but their decision is attracting more controversy. A loss against Richmond on Friday night means the Roos will avoid a final against the in-form Crows in Adelaide. The AFL’s approval has been met with controversy as many believe it goes against rule 29 that states you cannot manipulate “a club’s position on the ladder for the purpose of improving its draw within the finals series”.

Bart Cummings dies

Champion Australian horse trainer, Bart Cummings, has died, aged 87. Cummings had been battling health issues in the last few years. The horse trainer won 12 Melbourne Cups over his career, most recently with Viewed in 2008. He has been described as a great visionary who was admired by the public, his family and all those involved in the racing industry.

End of an era for AFL legends

Geelong is entering a rebuilding phase, with some of their greatest players from the modern era deciding to hang up the boots. Dual premiership player Matthew Stokes will retire from Geelong at the end of the season, along with three-time premiership players James Kelly and Steve Johnson. They will play their final game with the Cats on Saturday night against Adelaide. Stokes had played just four games since round 12. 400 game Essendon player, Dustin Fletcher, has also announced his retirement.

Road to Russia 2018

Australia thrashed Bangladesh 5-0 in the second World Cup qualifying match last night. Four goals came within the opening half an hour for the Socceroos before easing up in the second half. Tuesday’s clash in Dushanbe against Tajikistan will be the next true test for Australia.

 

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Immigration minister accuses Fairfax of trying to bring government down

Immigration minister, Peter Dutton, has accused Fairfax Media, with assistance from the ABC, of conducting a “jihad” against the government. “I think regardless of what Tony Abbott does, Fairfax will say it’s bad. I think regardless of what Joe Hockey or the Abbott government does, Fairfax will say it’s bad,” he said. His claims mirror criticisms of News Corp’s coverage of the 2013 election. At the time, Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, said, “You want better coverage be a better government”.

Greste sentenced to prison by Egyptian courts

Australian journalist, Peter Greste, has been sentenced to three years prison in Egypt. Greste and his two colleagues, Mohamed Fahmy and Bahar Mohamed, were accused of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood and reporting that it was “damaging to national security”. Many people, including Amal Clooney and Julie Bishop have spoken out against the sentence.

Anti-piracy laws delayed

The government’s anti-piracy scheme, meant to come into effect on 1 September, has been delayed due to ISPs and copyright holders being unable to come to an agreement on how the scheme will be paid for. Under the scheme, people found to have violated copyright will receive several warnings before ISPs are forced to give their details to copyright holders. “If the cost is too high, the scheme won’t be used,” Foxtel director of corporate affairs, Bruce Meagher said.

 

Audio produced by: Jack Howard.

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.