Christchurch is a scene of "incredible carnage" this morning, police say, as rescuers frantically try to free an estimated 100 people still trapped in rubble after yesterday's earthquake. As dawn broke in New Zealand's second city bodies littered the streets and authorities warned the death toll at of least 65 - with 39 officially identified so far - would rise. Rescuers freed 20 to 30 people overnight, having to amputate limbs fromsome survivors to free them from smouldering ruins of buildings reduced to debris in minutes at lunchtime yesterday. The majority of the city was still without power and residents were being warned to store water.
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has ordered his followers to crush an uprising against his 41-year rule and vowed a fight to the death as he swatted away growing outrage over a brutal crackdown on protesters. As the UN's Security Council held emergency consultations and its top human rights official said crimes against humanity may have been perpetrated, the longest-ruling Arab leader appeared on state TV to denounce his critics. "This is my country, my country," he shouted, in an often rambling and angry speech. "I will fight to the last drop of my blood." The 69-year-old said he would "die a martyr in the land of my ancestors" and urged his followers to demonstrate from today.
The 12-year study found 84 per cent of people have seen evidence of racial prejudice Half of Australians harbour anti-Muslim sentiments and a quarter are anti-Semitic, according to the biggest survey ever done on racism in this country. One in three also admit some level of racist feelings against indigenous people, reported the Herald Sun. The survey of 12,500 people, conducted by leading universities, found Victoria to be one of the most tolerant states. But comparisons between 15 regions statewide show stark differences.
Despite big problems with multiculturalism neither side of politics is willing to ditch it. Suddenly Julia Gillard is on the warpath over multiculturalism; after much equivocation as Prime Minister she has decided to resurrect it as a political concept and demands Tony Abbott sack Scott Morrison and Cory Bernardi for their comments about anti-Islamic sentiment. Gillard's attack is winning dividends. It makes the Coalition the issue. It alleges Abbott is a leader without moral courage. Its real aim is to ruin Abbott's leadership. And the debacle is the Liberal Party's own achievement. The Liberal woes coincide with the revival of the idea of multiculturalism by Immigration Minister Chris Bowen in his speech to the Sydney Institute last week. You may think Bowen was seeking to exploit the gaffe by shadow minister Morrison. But this is wrong.
The Canadian study found the prevalance of YouTube videos relating to self-harm could encourage depressed viewers to hurt themselves. A Canadian medical study has found YouTube videos containing images of people injuring themselves may contribute to the normalisation of self-harm. The study, published in American medical journal Paediatrics, showed disturbing evidence that videos of people injuring themselves are among the most popular on YouTube. The study analysed the top 100 self-harm videos and found that not only were 80% publicly available, most of them had been viewed over two million times.
Every few weeks a new boat carrying asylum seekers reaches the shores of Christmas Island. Many of these boats are full of Afghan men, women, and children who have risked their lives for the slightest chance that they might be able to seek refuge in Australia. The war weary Afghans come from various places. Many come from provinces in Afghanistan, where last year, more than 2400 civilians were killed as a result of the conflict, more than 2000 of them by attacks by the Taliban and other armed opposition groups, according to the UN. Other Afghan asylum seekers continue their perpetual journeys of displacement as they pack up lives in Iran and Pakistan because the governments there have increasingly become more hostile towards them.
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February 15, 2019
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