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Million-dollar painting deemed almost worthless

<p><span>One guest on BBC's Antiques Roadshow was left deflated on the show after they learnt a portrait thought to be an original Lely painting was almost worth nothing.</span><br /><br /><span>The visitor appeared on the show with one of the experts, to find out the true value of the artefact that had been passed down through his family. </span><br /><br /><span>He revealed the artwork was purchased in an auction in the 1850s, before it was placed in the home of the current owner - having been passed down through the family.</span><br /><br /><span>The piece was believed to have been painted by the popular artist Sir Peter Lely, who was around in the 1600s.</span><br /><br /><span>However the expert had to break the news that the piece was not an original and most likely a copy painted in the 19th century - two centuries after Lely's paintings.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7837079/painting-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/34b3a7c3aa9d45c993f2bf049755e4c2" /><br /><br /><span>It featured all the parts of a painting by this artist, even documented as one of his works in an auction catalogue from the time it was purchased.</span><br /><br /><span>The show expert says it was obviously not original - but if it had been; it would be worth around a million dollars. </span><br /><br /><span>However, due to the artwork likely being a dupe, he said the it’s value dropped down dramatically to almost nothing. </span><br /><br /><span>He explained: "The question is, is it by Lely? The catalogue of 1845 you've just shown me says Lely doesn't it, quite clearly. But in those days they had somewhat a looser interpretation of the trade description act, if it indeed ever existed.</span><br /><br /><span>"The thing about Lely, the great portrait painter that he was, is that when he died he left hundreds of unfinished portraits and versions of portraits already done.</span><br /><br /><span>"His students and studio assistants finished them really quickly, and sold them all so that his entire estate including his collection of old masters made something like £30,00 in the 17th century, which was a massive amount of money. He was so popular.</span><br /><br /><span>"It effectively flooded the market with versions of his pictures done by lesser hands, the question is, is it one of those?"</span><br /><br /><span>The expert went on to reveal what the portrait could really be worth. </span><br /><br /><span>"The secret here is not to look too closely I’m afraid, you can tell I’m softening you up for a bit of a blow,” he said. </span><br /><br /><span>"Sorry but I think, I’m afraid, this is a shadow of a dream. It's not even by a studio assistant. I think it's a much later copy.</span><br /><br /><span>"Something about the reduced scale, of course it should be massive, makes it look more domestic. Something about the frankly Victorian idea of a 17th century frame, it's been copied.</span><br /><br /><span>"And the colours are slightly gaudier than you’d expect, a little bit of clunkiness in the drawing of the hand, and then put on top of that this brown finish which is quite deliberately antiquing it, I think what we're looking at is a 19th century copy."</span><br /><br /><span>The expert went on to say despite the guest’s disappointments that if it was an “original Lely, it would be pretty well around a million pounds.” </span><br /><br /><span>"But as it is, it's probably worth around I don't know, £600. I'm sorry to let you down."</span></p>

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Bride demands refund from wedding photographer over Black Lives Matter support

<p>An American wedding photographer said a couple tried to cancel their contract after she expressed her support for Black Lives Matter in a social media post.</p> <p>Shakira Rochelle, a photographer based in Cincinnati, Ohio, shared her support of the movement on her social media pages. The post read: “Shakira Rochelle Photography stands in solidarity with the black community. The black lives matter movement has my endless support.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CBEt3EblKff/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CBEt3EblKff/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Shakira Rochelle Photography stands in solidarity with the black community. The black lives matter movement has my endless support ✊🏼.</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/shakirarochellephotographyy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Shakira Rochelle🌿</a> (@shakirarochellephotographyy) on Jun 5, 2020 at 5:34pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Rochelle later received a text message from a client requesting her deposit back.</p> <p>“We have done a lot of talking and we cannot bring ourselves to support anyone who is so outspoken on matters that simply do not concern them as well as someone that does not believe that ALL lives matter,” the bride wrote on the text.</p> <p>“We … feel that you aren’t stable enough to complete the job we need from you.”</p> <p>Rochelle told the bride that the deposit was non-refundable, as per their signed contract. “I wish you a lifetime of growth and I would like to thank you for your donation to Black Lives Matter,” the photographer concluded.</p> <p>The bride told Rochelle she would be “hearing from our attorney”.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">I love it here. <a href="https://t.co/hKH4WFOSk2">pic.twitter.com/hKH4WFOSk2</a></p> — Q.🍫 (@PINKdot_COM) <a href="https://twitter.com/PINKdot_COM/status/1272880090003771393?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 16, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>The screenshots of the messages – which Rochelle posted on her personal Facebook account – went on to become viral on social media sites. A Twitter post with pictures of the exchange has received more than 1.1 million likes.</p> <p>On Wednesday, Rochelle released a statement addressing claims that her post was fabricated.</p> <p>“There is a photoshopped screenshot circulating stating that coming forward with this story was a business tactic to make a profit on the BLM movement,” she said.</p> <p>“This is the most incredibly absurd thing I have ever heard. The original post started out private until a friend asked if she could share it. I never had the intentions or the desire to go viral for this or anything else.”</p> <p>Rochelle explained that prior to the incident, she had been booked until winter and was not seeking for more clients.</p> <p>“I have always stood up for human rights and will continue to do so. I have marched with my loved ones as well as alone. My intentions are pure,” she said.</p> <p>“Please know that what you saw from me was the complete story.”   </p> <p>Black Lives Matter protests have been initiated across the US and around the world following the killing of George Floyd in police custody on May 25.</p>

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A long way to the top: Australian musicians balance multiple roles to make their careers work

<p>Over the past three years, our <a href="https://makingmusicwork.com.au/">Making Music Work</a> project has mapped the creative, social, cultural, and economic realities of a music career in Australia.</p> <p>We surveyed nearly 600 musicians to understand their working lives, creative goals, career paths and economic circumstances. We also conducted interviews with 11 diverse musicians to explore their careers in more depth.</p> <p>Our study shows the vast majority of Australian musicians undertake a portfolio career which encompasses concurrent and often impermanent roles. This is not a new phenomenon but in recent decades there have been <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/14613808.2019.1598348">major shifts</a> in how music is made, paid for and consumed.</p> <p>Now, the impact of COVID-19 on the funding and policy landscape has dramatically affected how musicians develop and sustain their careers – or not.</p> <p><strong>Balancing acts</strong></p> <p>Musicians told us they stay in the music industry because of their love and passion for music, which is central to their identity. Far from the “starving artist” myth, they combine music and non-music work in highly entrepreneurial ways. Surveyed before the current crisis, almost half (49%) the musicians in our study held two or more concurrent paid roles.</p> <p>We found 560 different job titles, the most common being instrumental musician (25%) and private music teacher (10%). Musicians worked in music-related jobs as disparate as composers, sound technicians and community arts workers, and non-music jobs including sales assistants, journalists and librarians.</p> <p>We spoke to musicians from 18 years old to 65 and above. Almost 70% had worked in music for more than 10 years, with nearly one in three of them practising as professional musicians for more than 20 years. This gives an indication of how committed Australian musicians are to the industry and sustaining their music careers and creative practice over time.</p> <p>Russell Morris on career longevity.</p> <p>While most musicians we studied are committed to the profession, 12% said that they were thinking about leaving.</p> <p>The most common reasons for leaving the music industry were financial stress, lack of income and caring responsibilities – all of which have since been exacerbated by the pandemic.</p> <p><strong>A live industry</strong></p> <p>Performance is the most common paid activity for musicians, with two-thirds of musicians deriving at least some of their income from performance fees.</p> <p>Live performances are also crucial for peer networking and career development. Peer networks are mostly built and maintained through events, and are key to musicians’ building and renewing skills, developing new creative collaborations and securing jobs.</p> <p>Given live music was <a href="https://theconversation.com/there-is-no-easy-path-out-of-coronavirus-for-live-classical-music-138207">immediately</a> impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions and will be slow to return, the capacity of musicians to maintain their careers has been severely limited.</p> <p>Rob Nassif on the importance of live performance.</p> <p>Federal, state and local governments have initiated a range of targeted grants and subsidies to help support the sector and its workforce. However, lobby groups and representative bodies have called for significantly more funding.</p> <p>On 10 June, music rights organisation APRA AMCOS published an <a href="https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AtT3Gdy8aHkhP_MZmDJcg3YW7sujyj5veF8qX8MYk2w/edit">open letter</a> with more than 1,000 industry signatories imploring the Australian government to consider <a href="https://liveperformance.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/LPA-MR-345-million-plan-to-restart-and-rebuild-live-performance-industry-4-June-2020-1.pdf">a suite of proposals</a>.</p> <p>In making their case, the signatories assert:</p> <p><em>[w]e contribute $16 billion to the economy and we are an asset that is a lynchpin for the tourism and hospitality sectors and a powerful driver of metropolitan and regional economies and export to the world.</em></p> <p><strong>The employment puzzle</strong></p> <p>Musicians are predominantly self-employed or are employed on temporary contracts, leaving them ineligible for the current JobKeeper scheme.</p> <p>Only half of musicians receive all of their income from music-related work, and the most common sources of music-related income are performance fees, music teaching and grants. The average income from all work was $41,257, with a median income of $30,576.</p> <p>While the Australian government has permitted <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/apr/23/early-release-super-coronavirus-when-access-superannuation-how-impact-your-money">early release</a> of superannuation in response to COVID-19, our study has shown that musicians have limited access to this and other employment-related benefits.</p> <p>Less than one-third of our survey participants reported employer-based superannuation contributions, and only 7% had access to a health plan or private health insurance scheme.</p> <p>In spite of the challenges, Australian musicians have shown tremendous creativity and resilience in adapting their work to online environments during the pandemic.</p> <p>Emily Smart on how the internet affords opportunities to collaborate.</p> <p>Musicians’ resilience is unsurprising given how creatively and financially nimble they have to be when negotiating music and non-music roles. To successfully engage across a variety of markets, genres and performance sites, musicians deploy diverse and agile skill sets. If they were to receive similar support as other sectors of the economy in this current crisis, they would be well placed to survive and thrive into the future.</p> <p>Throughout our research, Australian musicians generously shared their expertise. They recognise the crucial role of peer networks to develop creative practices, sustain livelihoods and nurture the sector. This creative generosity will be central to the industry’s recovery from COVID-19.</p> <p><em>Written by Brydie-Leigh Bartleet, Ben Green, Christina Ballico, Dawn Bennett and Ruth Bridgstock. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-long-way-to-the-top-australian-musicians-balance-multiple-roles-to-make-their-careers-work-140840">The Conversation.</a></em></p> <p><em>Scott Harrison, Vanessa Tomlinson and Paul Draper also contributed to this research.</em></p>

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Be careful with photos and how you talk: How to protect your grandkids online

<p>Parents have many things to worry about. It’s easy to stick our heads in the sand and assume bad things - like sexual abuse - won’t happen to our kids.</p> <p>But online sexual abuse is <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/09/28/us/child-sex-abuse.html">increasing at an exponential rate</a>.</p> <p>Last week, the Australian Federal Police <a href="https://www.afp.gov.au/news-media/media-releases/afp-dismantles-australian-online-network-alleged-child-sex-offenders-and">announced it had busted</a> an alleged child sex offender network, <a href="https://www.news.com.au/national/crime/nine-men-charged-14-children-saved-in-australian-federal-policeled-child-sex-abuse-investigation/news-story/639fd7f63a3426748af0e533d7efd067">warning</a></p> <p><em>“child exploitation in Australia is becoming more prolific … this type of offending is becoming more violent and brazen.”</em></p> <p>The risks are especially high at the moment, as we spend more time on devices during the <a href="https://www.esafety.gov.au/about-us/blog/covid-19-online-risks-reporting-and-response">pandemic lockdown</a>.</p> <p>For example, recent media reports have warned about <a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/04/18/parents-schools-urged-supervise-children-zoom-amid-fears-child/">Zoom calls being hijacked</a> by offenders showing child abuse material.</p> <p>This article, based on our work as parenting and maltreatment experts, looks at how parents can protect their children from online sexual abuse.</p> <p>In <a href="https://theconversation.com/use-proper-names-for-body-parts-dont-force-hugs-how-to-protect-your-kids-from-in-person-sexual-abuse-139970">a separate piece</a>, we also look at how to protect kids from in-person sexual abuse.</p> <p><strong>How common is online sexual abuse?</strong></p> <p>Online sexual abuse occurs across many platforms including social media, text messaging, websites, various apps, such as WhatsApp and Snapchat and <a href="https://theconversation.com/dark-web-study-reveals-how-new-offenders-get-involved-in-online-paedophile-communities-131933">the dark web</a>.</p> <p>Very broadly, it includes asking a child to send sexual content, a person sending your child sexual content, “sextortion” (coercing or manipulating children for sexual gain), and viewing, creating or sharing child exploitation/ abuse material (sometimes <a href="https://theconversation.com/whats-in-a-name-online-child-abuse-material-is-not-pornography-45840">inappropriately referred to as “child pornography”</a>).</p> <p>A <a href="https://learning.nspcc.org.uk/media/1747/how-safe-are-our-children-2019.pdf">2018 survey </a>of more than 2,000 children in the United Kingdom found one in seven children had been asked to send sexual information. And one in 25 primary school children (that’s roughly one in every class) had been sent or shown a naked or semi-naked picture or video by an adult. </p> <p><strong>Who are the abusers?</strong></p> <p>Online abusers are most likely to be <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1079063210370708">Caucasian males</a> who are attracted to prepubescent children.</p> <p>They <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24627189/">differ from in-person abusers</a> in that they are less likely to have easy physical access to children, have higher internet use, higher levels of education, and are less likely to have a criminal history. However, some people abuse children both online and in person.</p> <p>Importantly, some online sexual abuse is also committed by other adolescents <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09649069.2013.851178">under the age of 18</a>, creating and sharing sexual images.</p> <p>Research estimates <a href="https://aifs.gov.au/cfca/2018/02/16/sexting-what-does-research-say">16% of Australian children</a> between 10 and 19 receive “sexts” - sexually explicit or sexually suggestive texts or images via phone or internet - and 10% send them.</p> <p>Some image sharing occurs in genuinely consensual peer relationships, and this is generally not abusive. However, any coercion to share sexual content constitutes abuse.</p> <p><strong>Which children are most at risk?</strong></p> <p>Children with poor psychological health, poor relationships with their parents, low self-esteem, and those who have been exposed to other forms of abuse, are more <a href="https://capmh.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13034-019-0292-1">at risk</a> of online sexual abuse.</p> <p>Age-wise, girls aged 11 to 15 are at the <a href="https://www.ecpat.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ECPAT-International-Report-Trends-in-Online-Child-Sexual-Abuse-Material-2018.pdf">highest risk</a> for child exploitation, although it also happens to very young children.</p> <p><strong>Tips for protecting your child</strong></p> <p>Here are some practical steps you can take to minimise the risks facing your child online and to help them safely navigate online challenges.</p> <p>These are based on known patterns of online abuse and identified factors that place children at greater or lesser risk.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Take care with photos</strong>. Consider who you allow to take photos of your children and where you share photos to ensure they don’t get misused.</li> <li><strong>Talk openly to children and teens about sex so they don’t seek out advice or information online from individuals</strong>. Children who are knowledgeable may be <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0145213495000173">less likely</a> to be targeted. In particular, talk about <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1524838017738726">consent</a>, and what is consensual behaviour between kids, and what is not.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Talk with teens about the safe sharing of images</strong>. This includes the risks associated with sharing photos of themselves in provocative poses or in revealing clothing. This conversation should start early and get more developed as your child grows up. A lot of child exploitation <a href="https://www.ecpat.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/ECPAT-International-Report-Trends-in-Online-Child-Sexual-Abuse-Material-2018.pdf">material</a> is taken by teens or by people known to the children then shared more widely.</li> <li><strong>Be interested in the online lives of your children and know their online friends</strong>. Do this routinely, just as you do with their real-life friends. Be attentive to changes or special friends. Keep these conversations going. Listen to their experiences.</li> <li><strong>Encourage attendance at school-based prevention programs</strong>. And then talk with your kids about what they’ve learned to reinforce the messages or answer any questions.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Talk with your kids about how to respond to sexual innuendo or unwanted advances and when to tell an adult</strong>. Start by asking kids for examples of sexual innuendo and the types of things people might say online. Then brainstorm ways the best ways to respond. For example, teens could withdraw from conversations or block acquaintances. Or say something like “I’m not into that kind of chat” or say “No thanks, not interested” to any invitations or requests.</li> <li><strong>Talk with teens about online safety</strong>. This includes restricting who can view or reshare posts. You may need to upskill yourself first.</li> <li><strong>Know what your child is doing online</strong>. <a href="https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/131/2/e510?casa_token=3wbclJn_dlIAAAAA%3AfwLi9RZYcZqnCLzFfYZON9iQGf9uCymE7EEGNc5g49bLcN9_NVKjPRPO5w7E6O-_I182ayPkbSVVIw">Monitor</a> their online behaviour, rather than relying only on software controls, which are less effective.</li> </ul> <ul> <li><strong>Keep the computer in a communal area</strong>. Ensure their computer use occurs in communal areas of the home and restrict kids’ access to mobiles at night. If possible, do this from an early age and make it routine, so teens don’t get the message you don’t trust them.</li> <li><strong>Build your child’s esteem and confidence</strong>. Children with low self-esteem are more susceptible to online grooming designed to make children feel special.</li> <li><strong>Meet your own needs</strong>. Children are at greater risk of abuse when parents are struggling with their own mental health or substance issues. If you need help <a href="https://www.lifeline.org.au/">get support</a> or talk to your doctor.</li> </ul> <p><strong>More resources for parents are available via <a href="https://bravehearts.org.au/">Bravehearts</a> and at <a href="https://www.esafety.gov.au/">esafety.gov.au</a>.</strong></p> <p><strong>If you believe your child is the victim of grooming or exploitation, or you come across exploitation material, you can <a href="https://www.thinkuknow.org.au/report">report it via ThinkuKnow</a> or contact your local police.</strong></p> <p><strong>If you are a child, teen or young adult who needs help and support, call the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.</strong></p> <p><strong>If you are an adult who experienced abuse as a child, call the Blue Knot Helpline on 1300 657 380 or <a href="https://www.blueknot.org.au/Helpline">visit their website</a>.</strong></p> <p><em>Written by Divna Haslam and Ben Matthews. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/be-careful-with-photos-talk-about-sex-how-to-protect-your-kids-from-online-sexual-abuse-139971">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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A chemical engineer explains: What makes pepper spray so intense? And is it a tear gas?

<p>In recent weeks, the world has looked on as governments use chemical irritants to control protesters and riots. Whether it’s tear gas, pepper spray, mace or pepper balls, all have one thing in common: they’re chemical weapons.</p> <p>Chemical warfare agents have been used twice in Sydney in the past week alone. Police <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-07/sydney-police-defend-pepper-spray-use-on-protesters/12330558">pepper-sprayed</a> demonstrators at Central Station, following Saturday’s major Black Lives Matter protest.</p> <p>The next day, tear gas <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-08/tear-gas-fired-into-exercise-yard-of-sydney-long-bay-jail/12332572">was used</a> to break up a fight at Long Bay jail, as prison guards filled an exercise yard with tear gas canisters – also impacting nearby residents.</p> <p>These events followed the deployment of <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/05/politics/park-police-tear-gas/index.html">chemical riot control agents</a> – specifically “pepper bombs” – in Washington DC last week. They were used to clear protesters from a public park so President Donald Trump could walk from the White House to a nearby church for a photo opportunity.</p> <p>The White House made a highlight reel to celebrate Trump’s heroic walk across the street for his bible photo op...</p> <p>US Attorney General William Barr said “<a href="https://www.factcheck.org/2020/06/the-continuing-tear-gas-debate/">there was no tear gas used</a>”, claiming “pepper spray is not a chemical irritant. It’s not chemical.”</p> <p>I’m a chemical engineer and chemist who studies chemicals in the environment. So I thought I’d clear the air about what makes pepper spray such a powerful chemical irritant, and a chemical weapon.</p> <p><strong>What’s inside pepper spray?</strong></p> <p>The active compounds in pepper spray are collectively known as capsaicinoids. They are given the military symbol OC, for “oleoresin capsicum”.</p> <p>The most important chemical in OC is capsaicin. This is derived from chilli peppers in a chemical process that dissolves and concentrates it into a liquid. Capsaicin is the same compound that makes chillies hot, but in an intense, weaponised form.</p> <p>Not all capsaicinoids are obtained naturally. One called nonivamide (also known as PAVA or pelargonic acid vanillylamide) is mostly made by humans. PAVA is an <a href="https://cot.food.gov.uk/committee/committee-on-toxicity/cotstatements/cotstatementsyrs/cotstatements2002/pavastatement">intense irritant</a> used in <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/dec/09/pepper-spray-used-in-non-violent-situations-in-prison-pilot">artificial pepper spray</a>.</p> <p><strong>Is pepper spray a tear gas?</strong></p> <p>We’ve established pepper spray is a chemical, but is it also a kind of tear gas?</p> <p>“<a href="https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/riotcontrol/factsheet.asp">Tear gas</a>” is an informal term and a bit of a misnomer, because it isn’t a gas. Rather, tear gas refers to any weaponised irritant used to immobilise people.</p> <p>More specifically, tear gas is often used to describe weapons that disperse their irritants in the air either as liquid aerosol droplets (such as <a href="https://www.popularmechanics.com/science/health/a28904691/how-tear-gas-works/">gas canisters</a>), or as a powder (such as pepper balls). This definition distinguishes tear gas from personal self-defence sprays which use foams, gels and liquids.</p> <p>Tear gas canisters typically contain the irritants 2-chlorobenzalmalononitrile (CS) and phenacyl chloride (CN). Both CS and CN are man-made chemicals discovered in a lab, unlike capsaicin (the traditional ingredient in pepper spray).</p> <p>But despite capsaicin coming from chilli peppers, pepper spray is still a weaponised irritant that can be delivered as an aerosol or powder. It should unequivocally be considered a type of tear gas.</p> <p><strong>Pepper spray as a weapon</strong></p> <p>The chemical irritants OC, CS and CN have military symbols because they are chemical weapons. They are termed “<a href="https://www.wbur.org/news/2020/06/10/rubber-bullets-protesters-victoria-snelgrove-boston">less-lethal</a>” because they are less likely to kill than conventional weapons. Their use, however, can still <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2020/06/08/tear-gas-and-pepper-spray-can-maim-kill-and-spread-coronavirus/#47f17a2a725f">cause fatalities</a>.</p> <p>Technically, pepper spray and other tear gases are classified as lachrymatory agents. <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-tear-gas-139958">Lachrymatory agents</a> attack mucous membranes in the eyes and respiratory system.</p> <p>Pepper spray works almost instantly, forcing the eyes to close and flood with tears. Coupled with coughing fits and difficulty breathing, this means the targeted person is effectively <a href="https://healthland.time.com/2011/11/22/how-painful-is-pepper-spray/">blinded and incapacitated</a>. Because lachrymatory agents work on <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK544263/">nerve receptors</a> that help us sense heat, they also induce an intense burning sensation.</p> <p>The combined effects of pepper spray can last anywhere from 15 minutes to more than an hour.</p> <p>Lachrymatory agents emerged on the <a href="https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/germans-introduce-poison-gas">battlefields of World War I</a>. Artillery shells were filled with chemicals such as <a href="https://www.compoundchem.com/2014/05/17/chemical-warfare-ww1/">xylyl bromide and chloroacetone</a> and fired at enemy soldiers. Agents that induce choking, blistering and vomiting were added as the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/10/science/chemical-weapons-world-war-1-armistice.html">chemical arms race</a> escalated.</p> <p>In the 1920s, the <a href="https://www.un.org/disarmament/wmd/bio/1925-geneva-protocol/">Geneva Protocol</a> was enacted to ban the use of indiscriminate and often ineffective chemical weapons on the battlefield. Today, the unjustified use of chemical riot control agents <a href="https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/04/201242913130963418.html">threatens to erode</a> the systems that are meant to protect us from the most dangerous weaponised chemicals.</p> <p><em>Written by Gabriel da Silva. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-makes-pepper-spray-so-intense-and-is-it-a-tear-gas-a-chemical-engineer-explains-140441">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Stimulus that retrofits housing can reduce energy bills and inequity too

<p>A turn to austerity triggered by debt and deficit concerns of the kind seen in Europe after the global financial crisis could deliver us a <a href="https://www.kansascityfed.org/~/media/files/publicat/sympos/2017/auerbach-gorodnichenko-paper.pdf">slower</a> rather than a faster recovery in our debt to GDP ratio.</p> <p>Stay-at-home orders and the economic crisis have increased the burden of energy costs on lower-income Australians. Poor housing quality and unequal access to home energy efficiency are hurting our most vulnerable households. With the next stage of the national recovery program expected to include <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jun/01/covid-19-stimulus-australian-government-targets-giant-construction-projects-and-home-renos-next">cash grants for home renovation</a>, now is the time to turn to housing retrofits that support health and well-being as well as boost jobs.</p> <p>Staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic <a href="https://www.energynetworks.com.au/news/energy-insider/2020-energy-insider/commercial-down-v-residential-up-covid-19s-electricity-impact/">increases households’ energy consumption and costs</a>. As <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/apr/13/coalition-expects-coronavirus-to-send-australias-unemployment-soaring-to-10">one in ten Australians might lose their jobs</a>, the pandemic is adding to the energy hardship of people who were already struggling to pay their bills.</p> <p><strong>Access to energy is essential</strong></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/forget-heatwaves-our-cold-houses-are-much-more-likely-to-kill-us-83030">Cold housing is a known health risk</a>. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)62114-0">Lancet research</a> attributes about 7% of Australian deaths to cold weather. Warm housing <a href="https://www.ashrae.org/file%20library/about/position%20documents/pd_infectiousaerosols_2020.pdf">reduces the risk of airborne infections</a>, as well as providing comfort for working and studying.</p> <p>Laundry temperatures of 60-90°C are needed to <a href="https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/331497/WHO-2019-nCoV-IHR_Quarantine-2020.2-eng.pdf">limit the spread of the coronavirus</a>. But this conflicts with common energy-saving advice of washing clothes in cold water. Self-isolation also means heating more and not being able to close off unused rooms.</p> <p>Low-income households, renters and older people are <a href="https://www.acoss.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ACOSS_ENERGY_EFFICIENCY_PAPER_FINAL.pdf">more likely to live in energy-inefficient dwellings</a>. In fact, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/02673037.2019.1686130">most Australian housing has poor energy efficiency</a>.</p> <p>When people on low incomes live in such housing, they are doubly disadvantaged by the challenges of needing more energy and not being able to afford it. Households with older people, people with chronic illness and children are particularly susceptible to <a href="https://vcoss.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Persistent-Energy-Hardship-FINAL-Web-Single-Page.pdf">energy stress</a> and <a href="https://www.who.int/publications-detail/who-housing-and-health-guidelines">poor health outcomes</a>.</p> <p><strong>Stop-gap measures</strong></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.energynetworks.com.au/about/our-members/covid-19-information/">temporary stop to disconnections in some states</a> recognises that access to electricity and gas is a basic need and essential for health and well-being. This guaranteed energy, and a commitment by Australian Energy Council retailers <a href="https://www.energycouncil.com.au/news/assistance-available-for-energy-customers/">not to charge penalty fees for late payment</a>, will give affected households some relief.</p> <p>However, bill payment will only be postponed until the end of July. Much of the expensive heating period will still be ahead of us. And after that households will face the costs of cooling homes in summer.</p> <p>Energy debts are going to accumulate as a burden to low-income households into the future. Energy retailers might find it ethically difficult to resume disconnections, but customers will have to repay their debts. This will only be possible if their overall financial position improves and/or the cost of their energy decreases.</p> <p>Income support via <a href="https://services.dhhs.vic.gov.au/energy">energy concessions</a> can ease bill stress. However, taxpayer money may be better spent on providing sustained relief by improving the energy performance of homes. <a href="https://theconversation.com/is-social-housing-essential-infrastructure-how-we-think-about-it-does-matter-110777">Acknowledging housing as essential infrastructure</a> would enable economic and social progress.</p> <p><strong>A lasting solution to energy poverty</strong></p> <p>A long-term <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-01/coronavirus-scott-morrison-stimulus-construction-entertainment/12306818">stimulus package for retrofits</a> would be welcome. The focus should be on comprehensive retrofitting to reduce energy demand, thus helping households to repay debt. Comprehensive or “deep retrofits” combine simple activities such as draught proofing with insulating ceilings, floors and walls, upgrading heating and cooling appliances, and installing solar PV systems.</p> <p>Initial findings of our <a href="https://cur.org.au/project/housing-energy-efficiency-transitions/">HEET (Housing Energy Efficiency Transitions)</a> research show <a href="https://environmentvictoria.org.au/2020/04/03/how-to-save-energy-at-home-during-covid-19/">simple retrofit measures are cheap and easy to do</a>, and DIYing is popular. However, some opportunities are missed because householders are not aware of what can and should be done. A common example is failing to install underfloor insulation when restumping the house.</p> <p>Riding the <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/can-i-go-to-bunnings-diy-run-gets-tick-under-stay-at-home-rules-20200407-p54hwf.html">current wave of home improvements</a>, innovative retrofit initiatives may guide people in their DIY efforts. However, some training for proper DIY installation and the use of skilled tradespeople for technical installations is needed for safety and quality.</p> <p><strong>Spread retrofitting benefits more widely</strong></p> <p><a href="https://publications.industry.gov.au/publications/climate-change/climate-change/government/renewable-energy-target-scheme.html#Small-scale_Renewable_Energy_Scheme">Federal</a> and <a href="https://www.energy.vic.gov.au/energy-efficiency/victorian-energy-upgrades">state</a> subsidy schemes already promote retrofitting. But <a href="https://journal-buildingscities.org/articles/10.5334/bc.13/">recent research</a> suggests low-income households and renters have benefited less. The <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4130.0~2017-18~Media%20Release~More%20households%20renting%20as%20home%20ownership%20falls%20(Media%20Release)~10">one-in-three households that rent</a> their homes should not be missing out.</p> <p>Putting people at the centre of retrofitting programs will provide healthier homes and help tackle unemployment. This means providing retrofit assistance to those who need it most and training people in retrofit skills.</p> <p>Previously, the boom in new housing construction inhibited retrofitting. This might change following the COVID-19 crisis. A long-term retrofit program would be an opportunity to upskill builders and to retrain newly unemployed Australians, particularly the young people who have been <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-05/almost-one-million-australians-lose-jobs-due-to-coronavirus/12215494">most affected by job losses</a>. An expanded retrofit workforce is needed to reach the large number of inefficient homes.</p> <p>So-called “Green Deals” have already been proposed in <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/05/the-european-green-deal-must-be-at-the-heart-of-the-covid-19-recovery/">Europe</a>, the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/20/climate-crisis-will-deepen-the-pandemic-a-green-stimulus-plan-can-tackle-both">US</a> and the <a href="https://www.architectsjournal.co.uk/news/calls-for-retrofit-drive-to-spark-post-covid-green-economic-recovery/10047044.article">UK</a>. Green construction stimulus packages in Australia have <a href="https://www.anao.gov.au/work/performance-audit/home-insulation-program">successfully supported economic recovery before</a>.<br />The aim should be to spawn a new industry of energy-efficient builders who will continue to contribute to the upgrade and upkeep of Australian housing. This could help cut greenhouse gas emissions, promote public health and improve our <a href="https://www.themandarin.com.au/132047-defence-commissioned-report-warned-of-australias-weaknesses-in-crises-year-before-covid-19-hit/">resilience to crises</a>.</p> <p>A nationwide stimulus package to provide healthier and more energy-efficient homes would help the most vulnerable and boost the economy.</p> <p><em>Written by Nicola Wiland, Bhavna Middha, Emma Baker, Ralph Horne and Trivess Moore. </em><em>Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/stimulus-that-retrofits-housing-can-reduce-energy-bills-and-inequity-too-138606"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

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Giving it away for free - why the performing arts risks making the same mistake newspapers did

<p>There’s a long-running adage about working for free in the performing arts. “The problem with working for exposure,” it goes, “is you can die from exposure”.</p> <p>Only partly a joke, the saying is also a sober warning to performers. Work in the cultural industries is precarious, and performers rely on a combination of short-term gigs, casual contracts, and “day jobs” to make ends meet.</p> <p>Unpaid work is a common feature of the market, and performers often find themselves working without remuneration in order to make connections or add a line to their resume.</p> <p>COVID-19 has exposed the <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-government-says-artists-should-be-able-to-access-jobkeeper-payments-its-not-that-simple-138530">true insecurity of the cultural workforce</a>, and now we’re seeing the double-edged sword of “exposure” also extending to arts organisations.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CAxj0LKDYWX/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CAxj0LKDYWX/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by National Theatre (@nationaltheatre)</a> on May 29, 2020 at 7:01am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><strong>All the web’s a stage</strong></p> <p>Since March 2020, there has been a <a href="https://www.limelightmagazine.com.au/on-with-the-show/">worldwide influx</a> of digital arts content. Forced to shutter live seasons, performing arts organisations collectively jumped on the digital bandwagon. From live-streaming events to archival production footage, audiences are inundated with virtual performance events.</p> <p>In most cases, this content has been offered for free. The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia, New York’s The Metropolitan Opera, and the UK’s National Theatre, among many others, have streamed live or prerecorded performances on digital platforms for no charge.</p> <p>Companies without access to archival footage have posted free offerings of different kinds. The Melbourne Theatre Company, for example, has posted behind-the-scenes features, play readings, and artist interviews.</p> <p>At the beginning of the shutdown, digital platforms were a critical tool for audience engagement. Arts organisations could communicate the importance of the arts as a source of comfort and inspiration during a time of crisis, while simultaneously reaching <a href="https://www.thestage.co.uk/news/tens-of-millions-watching-streamed-theatre-shows-worldwide">a far wider audience</a> than their physical spaces could ever hold.</p> <p>But it’s increasingly clear the <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/culture/theatre/let-us-open-our-theatres-companies-ask-government-20200602-p54ysp.html">return to live performance</a> may be a matter of months or even years.</p> <p>For starters, safety is a major concern. A number of genres, including opera and musical theatre, pose particular risks to both performers and audience members due to <a href="https://theconversation.com/a-song-in-your-heart-shouldnt-lead-to-an-infection-in-your-lungs-reasons-to-get-with-online-choirs-137705">singers’ potential role as super-spreaders</a>. The risks posed by, and to, dancers, instrumentalists, and spoken theatre artists remains uncertain.</p> <p>From a business perspective, financial viability is also of grave concern. Under social distancing guidelines, performing arts venues will be limited <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2020/may/29/theatre-post-lockdown-spaced-seating-berliner-ensemble-germany">to a fraction </a> of their standard audience capacity. In a sector reliant on box office sales to maintain the bottom line, theatres may find it cheaper to simply <a href="https://www.gramilano.com/2020/05/la-scala-would-lose-e50000-a-day-if-it-reopened/">stay closed</a>.</p> <p><strong>A problematic precedent</strong></p> <p>In this climate, digital content may be the only means for sustaining the sector in the medium-term. But a problematic precedent has been set.</p> <p>In the initial panic of moving their artistic offerings online, companies have undervalued their own product. In this regard, we can see clear parallels with the newspaper industry’s shift to online platforms over the last decade. After initially offering online news for free, the industry is still struggling to shift consumer expectations, <a href="https://theconversation.com/digital-only-local-newspapers-will-struggle-to-serve-the-communities-that-need-them-most-139649">with major repercussions</a> for both journalists and papers.</p> <p>To survive, arts organisations must establish a monetised business strategy for online performances and presentations. But this shift must be navigated carefully, particularly by companies that began with an open-access model and now risk alienating audience members.</p> <p>Several arts organisations have already experimented with different ways of monetising digital content. In the UK, the Old Vic theatre is live-streaming a socially distanced version of <a href="https://www.oldvictheatre.com/whats-on/2020/lungs-in-camera">Lungs</a> for £10-65 (A$18-120) per “ticket”. In Australia, the <a href="https://melbournedigitalconcerthall.com/">Melbourne Digital Concert Hall</a> is producing virtual concerts for a paid audience, with all ticket proceeds going to the performers.</p> <p>Many companies, like New Zealand’s <a href="https://www.tempo.co.nz/">Tempo Dance Festival</a>, are making shows available online but asking for donations. <a href="https://www.redlineproductions.com.au/">Red Line Productions</a>’ online readings have featured marquee names like Alec Baldwin and Rose Byrne, and also asked for donations. Based out of New York, <a href="https://marathon2020.bangonacan.org/">Bang on a Can</a>’s June marathon promises six hours of streamed live music with a request to “consider” purchasing a ticket or paying extra to commission a new piece. But voluntary contributions can’t sustain the operating costs of these companies long term.</p> <p>Depending on how various models develop, there will be unavoidable impacts on performers. At present, there are no standardised rates for artist compensation for digital work, whether participating in a prerecorded performance or generating new content for a company to post online.</p> <p>We’ve already seen how artists’ passion for their craft can be exploited for a cause.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CAvr4afIE8T/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CAvr4afIE8T/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by National Theatre (@nationaltheatre)</a> on May 28, 2020 at 1:33pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The Metropolitan Opera cancelled contracts for its principal singers and union orchestra and chorus in March 2020, only to have them perform for free as part of the company’s <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/24/arts/music/met-opera-at-home-gala.html">digital fundraising gala a month later</a>. The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra similarly stood down its instrumentalists in April 2020 but has since asked them to participate in <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/culture/music/musicians-say-breakdown-with-mso-management-irreparable-20200529-p54xqi.html">social media marketing campaigns without pay</a>.</p> <p><strong>Bottom line</strong></p> <p>While involvement in promotional activities is standard practice for contracted artists, it’s impossible to ignore the problematic power dynamic now at play. Companies are asking unemployed artists to provide free labour to support organisations that may or may not employ them in the future. And because performers love what they do and want to support the struggling sector, they agree.</p> <p>While there are <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/arts-fund-the-show-must-go-on/news-story/9e6e2fa745bc0ffc82f00e510d8c29b1">reports</a> the government is working on an arts rescue package, the message being sent is one the sector has heard time and again. The arts are important, and artists should be compensated … but only when it’s financially convenient.</p> <p>Arts organisations cannot survive from digital exposure and goodwill alone. They must develop new business models for online platforms. But companies must also tread carefully to ensure they don’t ultimately undermine the value of the arts – or their artists.</p> <p><em>Written by Caitlin Vincent. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/giving-it-away-for-free-why-the-performing-arts-risks-making-the-same-mistake-newspapers-did-139671"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p>

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Trump’s presidency is sinking deeper into crisis – but will he still get re-elected?

<p>Violence has <a href="https://www.thestar.com.my/news/world/2020/05/30/protests-flare-around-the-united-states-over-minneapolis-killing">erupted across several US cities</a> after the death of a black man, George Floyd, who was shown on video gasping for breath as a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, knelt on his neck. The unrest poses serious challenges for President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden as each man readies his campaign for the November 3 election.</p> <p>If the coronavirus had not already posed a threat to civil discourse in the US, the latest flashpoint in American racial politics makes this presidential campaign potentially one of the most incendiary in history.</p> <p>COVID-19 and Minneapolis may very well form the nexus within which the 2020 campaign will unfold. Trump’s critics have assailed his handling of both and questioned whether he can effectively lead the country in a moment of crisis.</p> <p>And yet, he may not be any more vulnerable heading into the election.</p> <p><strong>A presidency in crisis?</strong></p> <p>As the incumbent, Trump certainly faces the most immediate challenges. Not since Franklin Roosevelt in the second world war has a US president presided over the deaths of so many Americans from a single cause.</p> <p>The Axis powers and COVID-19 are not analogous, but any presidency is judged by its capacity to respond to enemies like these. With <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/america-at-boiling-point-how-one-death-rocked-a-nation-numbed-by-100-000-20200529-p54xpw.html">pandemic deaths now surpassing 100,000</a>, Trump’s fortunes will be inexorably tied to this staggering (and still rising) figure.</p> <p>Worse, the Minneapolis protests are showing how an already precarious social fabric has been frayed by the COVID-19 lockdowns.</p> <p>Americans have not come together to fight the virus. Rather, they have allowed a public health disaster to deepen divisions along racial, economic, sectional and ideological lines.</p> <p>Trump has, of course, often sought to gain from such divisions. But the magnitude and severity of the twin crises he is now facing will make this very difficult. By numerous measures, his is a presidency in crisis.</p> <p>And yet.</p> <p>Trump, a ferocious campaigner, will try to find ways to use both tragedies to his advantage and, importantly, makes things worse for his challenger.</p> <p>For starters, Trump did not cause coronavirus. And <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-21/trump-accuses-china-of-coronavirus-mass-killing/12270140">he will continue to insist</a> that his great geo-strategic adversary, the Chinese Communist Party, did.</p> <p>And his is not the first presidency to be marked by the conflagration of several US cities.</p> <p>Before Minneapolis, <a href="https://www.history.com/topics/1960s/1967-detroit-riots">Detroit</a> (1967), <a href="https://www.britannica.com/event/Los-Angeles-Riots-of-1992">Los Angeles</a> (1992) and <a href="https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/08/08/ferguson-missouri-riots-5-years-since-shooting-race-tensions-worse/1952853001/">Ferguson, Missouri</a> (2014) were all the scenes of angry protests and riots over racial tensions that still haven’t healed.</p> <p>And in the 19th century, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/science/civil-war-toll-up-by-20-percent-in-new-estimate.html">750,000 Americans were killed in a civil war</a> that was fought over whether the enslavement of African-Americans was <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/09/how-the-constitution-was-indeed-pro-slavery/406288/">constitutional</a>.</p> <p>Trump may not have healed racial tensions in the US during his presidency. But, like coronavirus, he did not cause them.</p> <p><strong>How Trump can blame Democrats for Minneapolis</strong></p> <p>Not unhappily for Trump, Minneapolis is a largely Democratic city in a reliably blue state. He will campaign now on the failure of Democratic state leaders to answer the needs of black voters.</p> <p>Trump will claim that decades of Democratic policies in Minnesota – including the eight years of the Obama administration – have caused Minneapolis to be one of the <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/30/minneapolis-racial-inequality/">most racially unequal cities</a> in the nation.</p> <p>Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis will never be mistaken for the late, great General Douglas McArthur or great fighter General George Patton. How come all of these places that defend so poorly are run by Liberal Democrats? Get tough and fight (and arrest the bad ones). STRENGTH!</p> <p>In 2016, Trump <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-jasg-_E5M">famously asked African-Americans</a> whether Democratic leaders have done anything to improve their lives.</p> <p><em>What do you have to lose by trying something new, like Trump?</em></p> <p>He will repeat this mantra in the coming months.</p> <p>It also certainly helps that his support among Republican voters has never wavered, no matter how shocking his behaviour.</p> <p>He has enjoyed a stable <a href="https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/coronavirus-polls/">80% approval rating</a> with GOP voters throughout the coronavirus crisis. This has helped keep his approval rating among all voters steady as the pandemic has worsened, <a href="https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/coronavirus-polls/">hovering between 40 and 50%</a>.</p> <p>These are not terrible numbers. Yes, Trump’s leadership has contributed to a series of disasters. But if the polls are correct, he has so far avoided the kinds of catastrophe that could imperil his chances of re-election.</p> <p><strong>Why this moment is challenging for Biden</strong></p> <p>Biden should be able to make a good case to the American people at this moment that he is the more effective leader.</p> <p>But this has not yet been reflected in polls, most of which continue to give the Democrat <a href="https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/president-general/">only a lukewarm advantage</a> over Trump in the election.</p> <p>The other problem is that the Democratic party remains discordant. And Biden has not yet shown a capacity to heal it.</p> <p>Race has also long been a <a href="https://www.history.com/topics/us-politics/democratic-party">source of division</a> within Biden’s party. Southern Democrats, for instance, <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/znycnrd/revision/4">were the key agents of slavery</a> in the 19th century and the segregation that followed it into the 20th.</p> <p>After the 1960s, Democrats sought to make themselves the natural home of African-American voters as the <a href="https://www.history.com/news/how-the-party-of-lincoln-won-over-the-once-democratic-south">Republican party courted</a> disaffected white Southern voters. The Democrats largely succeeded on that front – <a href="https://press.princeton.edu/ideas/why-are-blacks-democrats">the party routinely gets around 85-90% of black votes</a> in presidential elections.</p> <p>The challenge for Biden now is how to retain African-American loyalty to his party, while evading responsibility for the socio-economic failures of Democratic policies in cities like Minneapolis.</p> <p>He is also a white northerner (from Delaware). Between 1964 and 2008, <a href="https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/what-makes-southern-democrats-unique/">only three Democrats were elected president</a>. All of them were southerners.</p> <p>To compensate, Biden has had to rely on racial politics to separate himself from his primary challenger – <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/03/bernie-sanders-black-voters/607789/">Bernie Sanders struggled to channel black aspirations</a> – and from Republicans. And this has, at times, caused him to court controversy.</p> <p>In 2012, <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYtEuuhFRPA">he warned African-Americans</a> that then-Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would put them “all back in chains”. And just over a week ago, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/05/28/heres-why-black-americans-were-mad-bidens-comment-even-if-theyd-say-same-thing-themselves/">he angered black voters</a> by suggesting those who would support Trump in the election “<a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-23/joe-biden-apologises-for-aint-black-comment/12279428">ain’t black</a>”.</p> <p>Biden is far better than Trump on racial issues and should be able to use the current crises to present himself as a more natural “consoler-in-chief”, but instead, he has appeared somewhat flatfooted and derided for being racially patronising.</p> <p>The opportunities COVID-19 and the Minneapolis unrest might afford his campaign remain elusive.</p> <p><strong>There is reason for hope</strong></p> <p>America enters the final months of the 2020 campaign in a state of despair and disrepair. The choice is between an opportunistic incumbent and a tin-eared challenger.</p> <p>But the US has faced serious challenges before – and emerged stronger. Neither the civil war in the 19th century or the Spanish flu pandemic in the early 20th halted the extraordinary growth in power that followed both.</p> <p>Moreover, the US constitution remains intact and federalism has undergone something of <a href="https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2020/05/04/covid-federalism/">a rebirth</a> since the start of the pandemic. And there is a new generation of younger, more diverse, national leaders being forged in the fire of crisis to help lead the recovery.</p> <p><em>Written by Timothy J. Lynch. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/as-minneapolis-burns-trumps-presidency-is-sinking-deeper-into-crisis-and-yet-he-may-still-be-re-elected-139739">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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France told to sell Mona Lisa to cover coronavirus losses

<p>France should offset its financial losses from the coronavirus pandemic by selling Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece Mona Lisa for at least €50 billion, a tech CEO has suggested.</p> <p>Stephane Distinguin, founder and CEO of tech company Fabernovel, told <em>Usbek &amp; Rica </em>magazine that the country should “sell the family jewellery” to help deal with the “unfathomable” crisis.</p> <p>“Day after day, we list the billions engulfed in this slump like children counting the fall of a stone into a well to measure its depth,” Distinguin said.</p> <p>“We are still counting, and this crisis seems unfathomable.</p> <p>“As an entrepreneur and a taxpayer, I know that these billions are not invented and that they will necessarily cost us. An obvious reflex is to sell off a valuable asset at the highest price possible, but one that is the least critical as possible to our future.”</p> <p>Distinguin said France has “a lot of paintings”, which are “easy to move and therefore to hand over”.</p> <p>He said: “In 2020, we have to get the money where it is. So sell family jewellery … The price is the crux of the matter and the main subject of controversy. The price has to be insane for the operation to make sense.”</p> <p>The 46-year-old also suggested that the 16th century Italian Renaissance painting could be “tokenised” with a form of cryptocurrency, allowing it to be shared between countries around the world.</p> <p>“It would be like a big global subscription,” he said. “Legally and technically, this solution would have many advantages: it would allow France and the Louvre to keep control of the painting.”</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO/Issues/2020/04/14/weo-april-2020">International Monetary Fund</a> expected France’s GDP to contract by 7.2 per cent in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Many French tourism operators also <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/tamarathiessen/2020/05/02/forget-french-travel-this-year-tourism-operators-warn/#4719c0b554bd">fear the country will remain off-limits to international visitors this year</a>.</p>

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Look in your attic! Hunt begins for Australia’s missing portraits

<p>Australians are being encouraged to look in their attics and reach out to their great aunts and uncles for one of more than 6,000 missing Archibald Prize artworks as the major prize is approaching its 100<sup>th</sup> anniversary.</p> <p>In celebration of the prize’s centenary next year, the Gallery of New South Wales is looking to fill the gaps in the prize’s history and complete its online catalogue of submissions.</p> <p>“With over 6,000 portraits created, they could have ended up anywhere – in private clubs, galleries, museums and collections,” Natalie Wilson, the gallery’s curator of Australian and pacific art told <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-19/archibald-portrait-hunt-launched-ahead-of-centenary-of-prize/12259050" target="_blank">ABC Radio Brisbane</a>.</p> <p>“There are so many out there we think are in private collections across the country, possibly in your great uncle’s dining room.</p> <p>“We’re calling out to people around Australia to look in their attics or ask their great aunts and uncles if there is a portrait in their family that was perhaps painted by an Archibald artists.”</p> <p>Wilson said they located 1,500 portraits, but are still looking for the rest to “put together an archive online that people around Australia can use and to have a look at the history of the prize”.</p> <p>Some of the most wanted portraits included works from the early decades of the Archibald by artists such as Enid Dickson and Gwen Grant. Another piece the Gallery is looking to track is Constance Paul’s 1929 portrait of landscape architect Walter Burley Griffin.</p> <p>“We cannot find that portrait anywhere, and we thought, as the architect that designed Canberra, that someone might know where that one is.”</p>

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Supermarkets claim to have our health at heart – but their marketing tactics push junk foods

<p>Supermarkets like to <a href="https://www.woolworthsgroup.com.au/page/community-and-responsibility/group-responsibility/environment/inspiring-healthy-choices">portray</a> themselves as having the <a href="https://www.coles.com.au/about-coles/community">health</a> of the community at heart. And in the middle of a pandemic, we’re all grateful supermarkets are still open and, for the most part, the shelves are well stocked.</p> <p>But our <a href="https://www.insideourfoodcompanies.com.au/supermarkets">new report</a>, published today, finds our supermarkets are overwhelmingly pushing junk foods on us rather than healthy foods.</p> <p>They have more promotional displays and more special offers for the least healthy food options, and they tempt us to buy unhealthy products at checkouts.</p> <p><strong>Our research – what we did</strong></p> <p>For our report, we surveyed more than 100 Coles, Woolworths, Aldi and independent stores in Australia.</p> <p>In each store, we measured the shelf space allocated to different foods and how they are promoted at checkouts and end-of-aisle displays. We also looked at discounts on healthy compared with unhealthy items.</p> <p>We categorised the healthiness of food and drinks based on the <a href="https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/sites/default/files/content/n55_australian_dietary_guidelines.pdf">Australian Dietary Guidelines</a>, which classify foods as “five food groups” foods (healthy) and “discretionary” foods (unhealthy).</p> <p>We analysed the findings by supermarket chain and by the level of disadvantage of the area in which each store was located.</p> <p><strong>Promotion of unhealthy food and drinks at checkouts</strong></p> <p>We found 90% of staff-assisted checkouts included displays of unhealthy food and drinks. These displays typically included chocolate, confectionery, soft drinks and energy drinks.</p> <p>The food and drinks on special at checkouts was also 7.5 times more likely to be unhealthy than healthy.</p> <p>These results show how checkout displays encourage impulse buys of unhealthy snacks. This is in stark contrast to displays near the entrance of most stores, where fresh fruit and vegetables feature prominently.</p> <p><strong>Unhealthy food is promoted all over the store</strong></p> <p>The displays at the end of aisles, particularly those in high-traffic areas nearest the front of the store, are where supermarkets put their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0969698917307257">biggest promotions</a>.</p> <p>Our survey found that of all end-of-aisle displays with food and drinks, 80% had at least one type of unhealthy item. In Coles, Woolworths and independent supermarkets, there was twice as much unhealthy food as healthy food on display.</p> <p>Around two-thirds of all specials on food and drinks were for unhealthy items.</p> <p><strong>It matters where you shop</strong></p> <p>On the measures we looked at there was little difference between Coles and Woolworths.</p> <p>But Aldi stores were quite different. They had fewer promotional displays and discounts overall. This means unhealthy food is not being pushed on Aldi shoppers in the same way it is at the other major chains.</p> <p>Independent stores varied widely. On average, they were no better than Coles or Woolworths.</p> <p>But the two healthiest stores in our study were both independent stores with abundant fresh food, and few promotional displays for unhealthy food and drinks. This tells us a healthier supermarket environment is possible.</p> <p><strong>It also matters where you live</strong></p> <p>We found supermarkets allocate more shelf space to unhealthy food and drinks (chips, chocolate, confectionery, sweet biscuits, soft drinks and energy drinks) compared with fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables.</p> <p>Critically, this was more pronounced in stores located in more disadvantaged areas.</p> <p>People living with socioeconomic disadvantage have <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/fe037cf1-0cd0-4663-a8c0-67cd09b1f30c/aihw-aus-222.pdf.aspx?inline=true">higher rates of diet-related diseases</a> and are <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article/association-between-socioeconomic-position-and-diet-quality-in-australian-adults/48106AB58906A3D5A4B3534D670A9F4A">less likely</a> to eat healthy, nutritious food. They are also more likely to <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article/discretionary-food-and-beverage-consumption-and-its-association-with-demographic-characteristics-weight-status-and-fruit-and-vegetable-intakes-in-australian-adults/689B3A1CE7E8B21680775430DED5623B">over-consume unhealthy food</a>.</p> <p>The extent to which unhealthy food is pushed at us shouldn’t depend on the suburb in which we live.</p> <p><strong>We need higher standards in Australian supermarkets</strong></p> <p>The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of supermarkets in our daily lives.</p> <p>But when the pandemic is finally over, we will still have an <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.5694/j.1326-5377.2010.tb03503.x">expensive national health problem</a> resulting from our unhealthy diets and high levels of <a href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/behaviours-risk-factors/overweight-obesity/overview">obesity</a>.</p> <p>Supermarkets can be part of the solution to that problem. They can help all Australians move towards healthier, more nutritious diets.</p> <p>Some improvements could include:</p> <ul> <li>providing healthier checkouts that do not display chocolate, confectionery and sugary drinks</li> <li>replacing unhealthy items with healthy food and drinks at end-of-aisle displays</li> <li>allocating less shelf space to unhealthy items</li> <li>offering fewer discounts on unhealthy food and drinks</li> <li>ensuring stores in the most disadvantaged areas do not disproportionately market unhealthy food and drinks, in comparison to stores in other areas.</li> </ul> <p>If supermarkets don’t take action to improve their practices, the government should be ready to step in to ensure the supermarket environment encourages the selection of healthier options.</p> <p><em>Written by Gary Sacks, Adrian Cameron, Lily Grigsby-Duffy and Sally Schultz. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/supermarkets-claim-to-have-our-health-at-heart-but-their-marketing-tactics-push-junk-foods-138292">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Should we re-open pubs next week? The benefits seem to exceed the costs

<p>Nothing our leaders can do now will return the economy to where it was before COVID-19. For one thing, international travel is likely to remain closed for a long time.</p> <p>But there are things they can do, and on Friday the prime minister outlined a <a href="https://theconversation.com/australia-starts-to-re-open-but-the-premiers-have-the-whip-hand-on-timing-138218">roadmap</a>.</p> <p>Of interest to us is whether it makes sense to reopen bars and restaurants.</p> <p>The Australian Government committed <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Overview-Economic_Response_to_the_Coronavirus_2.pdf">A$320 billion over six months</a> to support businesses and workers whose incomes has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.</p> <p>That amounts to $12 billion per week.</p> <p>Reported job losses suggest around 29% is being paid out to support the <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/mediareleasesbyCatalogue/400084FDCC1353C9CA2585500026370F?OpenDocument">accommodation and food services</a> industry.</p> <p>That’s about $3.4 billion per week. Bars and restaurants are likely to account for half of it, $1.7 billion per week.</p> <p>That can be thought of as one of the costs of keeping bars and restaurants closed.</p> <p>What about the benefits? What costs do we avoid by keeping bars and restaurants closed?</p> <p>It helps to illustrate our thinking as a decision tree.</p> <p>The upper branches of the tree represent the decision about whether or not to lift restrictions.</p> <p>If restrictions are lifted, there may, or may not, be a new outbreak that requires the reintroduction of restrictions.</p> <p>While we don’t know the likelihood of a new outbreak, we can test different assumptions.</p> <p>Given the very low number of new cases of COVID-19, the assumption we have tested is that there would be a one in ten chance of a new outbreak requiring the reintroduction of restrictions.</p> <p>We also assume that if there was a new outbreak, there would be a 95% chance it could be controlled by re-imposing restrictions on bars and restaurants and only a 5% chance it could not.</p> <p><strong>It’s a matter of probabilities</strong></p> <p>If the outbreak was controlled by reimposing restrictions (the 95% probability) we assume an extra 40 COVID-19 deaths and an extra four weeks of restrictions at a financial cost to the government of $6.8 billion.</p> <p>If the outbreak was more severe and a broader set of restrictions are required (the 5% case) we assume an additional 200 deaths and extra cost to the government of $17 billion.</p> <p>(We also assume that 25% of the government spending to support the hospitality industry would remain because a decision to reopen bars and restaurants would not result in the industry returning to it’s pre-COVID-19 state – many people would remain cautious about the risks of contracting COVID-19 or have become conditioned to less frequent socialising.)</p> <p>When we weigh these costs by their probabilities we get expected costs to the government from reopening of $1.1 billion, compared to costs from keeping bars and restaurants closed for another week of $1.7 billion.</p> <p><strong>Is the $600 million per week value for money?</strong></p> <p>It suggests the government would be $600 million per week better off it it reopens bars and restaurants.</p> <p>We would expect a number of extra COVID-19 deaths. Multiplying the probabilities of the extra deaths under each scenario by the likelihood of each scenario suggests there would be an extra 4.8 deaths if bars and restaurants are reopened this week.</p> <p>Because the average age of people dying due to COVID-19 is around 80 years, and each might have around ten more years to live, the number of life years per week that would be lost as a result of the $600 million per week the government saved would be 48.</p> <p>It suggests each life year saved as a result of keeping bars and restaurants closed costs around $12.5 million.</p> <p>Decisions on whether government should fund health interventions are commonly based on an assessment of whether the health gains justify the <a href="https://theconversation.com/new-cancer-drugs-are-very-expensive-heres-how-we-work-out-value-for-our-money-44014">additional costs</a>.</p> <p>As a ballpark figure, new measures are funded if they are shown to gain an additional life year at a cost of around $50,000.</p> <p>This suggests that by keeping bars and restaurants closed the government is paying 250 times more than it would usually pay to gain a life year.</p> <p><strong>It is funding that doesn’t pass the usual test</strong></p> <p>A <a href="https://www.pmc.gov.au/sites/default/files/publications/Value_of_Statistical_Life_guidance_note.pdf">separate guideline</a> used by Australian governments to assess regulations and infrastructure projects puts the value of a statistical life year at $200,389 in today’s dollars.</p> <p>This suggests that by keeping bars and restaurants closed the government is paying 60 times more than it would usually pay to save a life.</p> <p>It’s why we think governments should reopen them, next week.</p> <p>Like all such analyses, ours depends on the assumptions used.</p> <p>We have put a <a href="https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1beOxNP0tYjP0YqYZCHOc4E2bwf1T3AMj4xeqK8oSBvU/edit#gid=1610584329">spreadsheet</a> of our decision tree online to allow readers to experiment with different ones.</p> <p>Our analysis leaves much out. It includes neither the negative impact of COVID-19 on people’s quality of life, nor the negative impact of shutting bars and restaurants on people’s health and quality of life.</p> <p>It gives us an indication of how many life years the government is saving for the $600 million per week it is costing it to keep bars and restaurants closed.</p> <p>It suggests the government could save many more life years by spending the money in a different way.</p> <p><em>Written by Jonathan Karnon and Ben W. Mol. Republished with permission of </em><a href="https://theconversation.com/should-we-re-open-pubs-next-week-the-benefits-seem-to-exceed-the-costs-137609"><em>The Conversation.</em></a></p> <p> </p>

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Archie turns one! Royal baby has grown up SO fast

<p>Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, the son of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, has celebrated his first birthday on May 6.</p> <p>It is hard to believe the love-struck Duke and Duchess of Sussex became parents to their first child together a year ago, but to celebrate their beautiful family we are looking back at some of little Archie’s most memorable moments.</p> <p>Archie was born on May 6, 2019 and in just one year the toddler has already achieved incredible milestones.</p> <p>To celebrate his birthday, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released a video of the growing tot sitting on his mother's lap as she reads him a children's book. </p> <p>The clip was posted on behalf of Save The Children UK and seeks to help raise urgent funds for the organisation's coronavirus appeal. </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/tv/B_2A6IwBeM-/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/B_2A6IwBeM-/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Save The Children UK (@savechildrenuk)</a> on May 6, 2020 at 4:01am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>From the most intimate moments to his highly publicised royal debuts, here are some of his most adorable moments.</p>

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Woman makes ‘monstrous’ knitted masks to encourage social distancing

<p>An Icelandic woman has promoted social distancing through a novel, innovative way: knitting.</p> <p>Knitwear designer Ýrúrarí Jóhannsdóttir has gone viral after sharing her knitted masks and other isolation creations on social media.</p> <p>The 3D masks – which feature knits of mouths, teeth and jutting tongues – have been described by fans as “grotesque”, “<a href="https://www.vogue.com/article/icelandic-knitwear-designer-tongue-masks-yrurari-johannsdottir">trippy</a>” and “<a href="https://10daily.com.au/news/a200505cmtfy/woman-makes-grotesque-knits-to-scare-people-into-social-distancing-20200505">freakish</a>”.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_DKJ3xgUWt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_DKJ3xgUWt/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">I’ve been experimenting with some of my sweater ideas to wear on a face, always interesting to see the outcome 👽 It has been fun to see masks inspired by mine, good use of quarantine time to knit💜But a reminder again, my masks are not made for safety, knitted masks are not safe to start with! Take care 🦠❌🦠❌🦠 #mask #knitting #fashionforbankrobbers</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/yrurari/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Ýrúrarí</a> (@yrurari) on Apr 16, 2020 at 10:00am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-4JbBOABY5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-4JbBOABY5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Ýrúrarí (@yrurari)</a> on Apr 12, 2020 at 3:22am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The 27-year-old designer said she has always been interested in tongues because “they are kind of rude, sticky, and strange”.</p> <p>She extended her work from sweaters to face masks due to the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>“I didn’t really make the masks to wear,” she told <em><a href="https://mashable.com/article/knitted-face-mask-tongue-lips/">Mashable</a></em>. “In my mind they are more like wearable sculptures, not made for safety [but] more as a fun approach to the rule of keeping distance.”</p> <p>“If you look scary enough people will stay away!”</p> <p>Jóhannsdóttir said the masks promoted the idea that “using masks can be fun”.</p> <p>“Everything we put on us can also be fun if we want it to, and bringing smiles to people’s faces in times like these is also important,” she told <em><a href="https://www.vogue.com/article/icelandic-knitwear-designer-tongue-masks-yrurari-johannsdottir">Vogue</a></em>.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_PcEsSAByb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_PcEsSAByb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Ýrúrarí (@yrurari)</a> on Apr 21, 2020 at 4:27am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_aQTE0gOyo/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_aQTE0gOyo/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Ýrúrarí (@yrurari)</a> on Apr 25, 2020 at 9:16am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote>

Art

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Government orders mandatory code of conduct for Google and Facebook

<p>The government has told the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to develop a mandatory code of conduct to address bargaining power imbalances between media companies and digital platforms such as Facebook and Google - and the question of payment for content.</p> <p>Earlier the ACCC was directed by the government to facilitate a voluntary code. But slow progress and the impact on the media of the coronavirus have convinced the government of the need for more urgent and compulsory action.</p> <p>In its Digital Platforms Inquiry report of last year, the ACCC identified a bargaining power imbalance between news media organisations and these large digital platforms, and recommended codes of conduct to govern commercial relationships.</p> <p>Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher have said in a statement the timeframe needs to be accelerated.</p> <p>“The Australian media sector was already under significant pressure - that has now been exacerbated by a sharp decline in advertising revenue driven by coronavirus,” the ministers say.</p> <p>“At the same time, while discussions between the parties have been taking place, progress on a voluntary code has been limited, according to recent advice provided by the ACCC”.</p> <p>The ministers say the ACCC considers it unlikely any voluntary agreement would be reached on the key issue of payment for content.</p> <p>The code will cover data sharing, ranking and display of news content, and the monetisation and the sharing of revenue generated from news. It will also include enforcement, penalty and binding dispute resolution mechanisms.</p> <p>The ACCC will release a draft before the end of July, and the government wants the code finalised soon after that.</p> <p>The University of Canberra’s 2019 Digital News Report said the majority of surveyed consumers who access news online get this news via indirect methods, such as social media, news aggregators, email newsletters and mobile alerts.</p> <p>According to Nielsen Panel Data for February 2019, Google search had a unique audience of 19.7 million in Australia, and Facebook had a unique audience of 17.6 million.</p> <p><em>Written by Michelle Grattan. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/government-orders-mandatory-code-of-conduct-for-google-facebook-136694">The Conversation.</a></em></p>

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The Gates Foundation’s prophetic coronavirus pandemic simulation

<p>On 18 October last year, the Gates Foundation, the World Economic Forum and the John Hopkins Centre for Health Security held a pandemic simulation exercise, with the aim of “educating senior leaders” about an adequate response to the type of crisis the planet is currently in the grips of.</p> <p>The simulation was called <a href="http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/about">Event 201</a>. Fifteen participants took part in a mock pandemic emergency board. This included representatives from the UN Foundation, the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Johnson &amp; Johnson, Lufthansa and the Monetary Authority of Singapore.</p> <p>Representing Australia was ANZ board member <a href="http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/players/halton.html">Jane Halton</a>, who incidentally has been <a href="https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/morrison-shuts-down-parliament-hands-nation-corporations">appointed</a> to the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission by Scott Morrison. The NCCC is a local body of corporate representatives designed to coordinate the economy during the very real COVID-19 crisis.</p> <p>The Event 201 scenario involved a new coronavirus – a disease that causes respiratory tract infection – that developed in pigs in South America and then infected farmers. The virus spread around the world, with some people developing mild flu-like symptoms, while others perished.</p> <p>Stranger than fiction</p> <p>Watching the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoLw-Q8X174&amp;app=desktop">highlights of Event 201</a> – which took place just five and a half months ago – is eerie. Simulated “GNN” newsreels appear between footage of emergency board discussions, one of which involves an immunologist outlining that efforts to find a vaccine during the outbreak failed.</p> <p>The Gates Foundation’s Christopher Elias asserts that keeping global supply chains open would take “knowledge that only the private sector has”, while the UN could play a role coordinating the various private entities. But, it’s clear to Elias that this aspect of the response would rely upon corporations.</p> <p>The most distressing part of the highlights comes when the issue of the “overwhelming amounts of dis- and mis- information circulating over the internet” is broached. The board members go on to discuss whether internet shutdowns would be necessary to deal with fake news.</p> <p>Think about it – as we sit locked down in our homes during a real pandemic, with newly imposed restrictions on gatherings with others outside of our own households – what would it be like if the government and private business decided to close down the main mode of communications?</p> <p>Too little too late</p> <p>Event 21 led to seven key recommendations, all of which, it would seem now, came too late. These suggested that governments and business sectors should plan for a pandemic situation, which would include stockpiling medical supplies and investing in <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/should-child-vaccination-be-compulsory/">vaccination</a> development capabilities.</p> <p>The outcome of the simulated pandemic was catastrophic, with 65 million people dying in the first 18 months. The outbreak was small at first and seemed controllable. But, once it started spreading through the poor neighbourhoods of megacities, it exploded, with cases in nearly every country.</p> <p>“We have to ask, did this need to be so bad?” says a GNN mock news presenter. “Are there things we could have done in the five to ten years leading up to the pandemic that would have lessened the catastrophic consequences?”</p> <p>The presenter concludes, “We believe the answer is yes.” However, that timeframe to prepare is now lost.</p> <p><em>Written by Paul Gregoire. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-gates-foundations-prophetic-coronavirus-pandemic-simulation/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a> </em></p>

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Make your own mask from a tea towel, t-shirt or vacuum bag

<p>The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has led to a shortage of protective face masks, leading to a number of online tutorials on how to make your own using items found around the house.</p> <p>Homemade masks offer significantly less protection than the N95 medical masks, which are made of a thick, tightly woven material that fits over the face and can stop 95 per cent of all airborne particles.</p> <p>And while many health organisations have recommended to ditch the masks unless in a medical setting, there is a good reason to think DIY masks could be effective in tackling the pandemic.</p> <p>They’ve been used extensively in countries such as Hong Kong, Mongolia and South Korea – places that have the disease largely under control.</p> <p>The World Health Organisation also does not recommend that people without the illness wear the face mask, but they’re looking at reversing their decision due to evidence from Hong Kong that it may be effective in fighting the virus.</p> <p><strong>Here’s how you can make your own at home using a kitchen towel</strong></p> <p><strong>What you will need:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Kitchen towel</li> <li>One tissue</li> <li>Masking tape</li> <li>Elastic bands</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method:</strong></p> <ol> <li>Cut both the paper towel and tissue in half and apply masking tape on each end to make sure the mask is stiff.</li> <li>Punch holes through either end of the mask and thread the elastic bands through the holes.</li> </ol> <p>Your mask is ready in two simple steps.</p> <p><strong>How to make a face mask with a t-shirt</strong></p> <p>A tutorial by YouTuber Runa Ray shows how to make a face mask with a t-shirt, no sewing required.</p> <p><strong>What you will need:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Scissors</li> <li>Pencil</li> <li>Ruler</li> <li>Unwanted t-shirt</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method:</strong></p> <ol> <li>Cut out a 16" by 4" rectangle from the middle of the t-shirt, then fold it in half, and measure four inches on either side.</li> <li>Mark the t-shirt with an even number of tassels on each side and use scissors to cut them.</li> <li>Turn the t-shirt inside out and separate the corner tassels, but tie the remaining ones in-between.</li> <li>With the remaining t-shirt material cut some ear straps using the hem of the shirt. </li> <li>Attach the straps to the remaining outer tassels and you have yourself a face mask, with no sewing involved, and using an old t-shirt.</li> </ol> <p><span><strong>How to make a face mask from vacuum cleaner bags</strong></span></p> <p><strong>What you will need:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Vacuum bag</li> <li>Paperclip</li> <li>Two rubber bands</li> <li>Stapler</li> </ul> <p><strong>Method:</strong></p> <ol> <li>Cut the bag into a rectangle. Make sure to keep all the layers together.</li> <li>With the inside of the bag facing upwards fold twice along the bottom and top.</li> <li>Fold both bottom corners of the bag.</li> <li>Get a paperclip or other thin wire and straighten it out.</li> <li>Take two rubber bands and fold the far ends around them. Staple the folds to secure them.</li> <li>Push the straightened wire through the centre of the top.</li> <li>Stretch the rubber bands around your ears to hold the mask against your face. Pinch the wire to secure around your nose.</li> </ol>

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When one door closes just open a window - 14 sites with great free art

<p>As the coronavirus outbreak forces the closure of museums, art galleries, libraries and theatres around the word, the concept of “on demand culture” is gaining momentum.</p> <p>Institutions – museums, galleries and concert halls, which by their very nature rely on in-person visits – are seeking out digital solutions in the form of live-streamed performances, virtual tours and searches of online collections. The Sydney Biennale announced a <a href="https://www.biennaleofsydney.art/?gclid=CjwKCAjw3-bzBRBhEiwAgnnLCh7Dci4zUp2TZ2UWAdSHNyu4crESwT52p0og5UA-FouEesZ8lzZ_7xoCD3AQAvD_BwE">shift to digital</a> display this week and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra has streamed a <a href="https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/culture/music/online-and-on-song-mso-keep-the-music-going-20200322-p54cm2.html">performance</a> of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony to a live audience that peaked at 4500 and gathered thousands of subsequent viewers.</p> <p>The current pandemic is dragging cultural institutions into the 21st century, forcing them to catch up with technological solutions to replace on-site experiences. But many institutions are already well down this path. They have already found the shift online has benefits and dangers.</p> <p>Voorlinden will have to wait. <a href="https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1525067445930-5968dc619dfb?ixlib=rb-1.2.1&amp;auto=format&amp;fit=crop&amp;w=765&amp;q=80">Christian Fregnan/Unsplash</a>, <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">CC BY</a></p> <p><strong>Crossing technical boundaries</strong></p> <p>From as early as the 1920s, museums have been using the technologies of the day. Back then, it was presenting <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?id=XDZ7DwAAQBAJ&amp;pg=PT78&amp;lpg=PT78&amp;dq=1920s+museum+lectures+on+public+radio&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=gD-dFO6UN8&amp;sig=ACfU3U2pXdZIo3UGAnTODDW7VUcvtJvjbA&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=2ahUKEwjDreuvu7ToAhX-zzgGHb-3CfMQ6AEwA3oECAoQAQ#v=onepage&amp;q=1920s%20museum%20lectures%20on%20public%20radio&amp;f=false">public lectures on broadcast radio</a>.</p> <p>From the early to mid-1950s, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology collaborated with CBS to produce <a href="https://www.penn.museum/collections/videos/playlist/list.php?id=7">What in the World</a>, a program that presented storeroom objects to a panel of industry specialists who had to figure out what in the world the objects were and who made them.</p> <p>A more recent turn is towards cultural institutions partnering with digital media organisations to deliver access to mediated cultural content. <a href="https://artsandculture.google.com/">Google Arts &amp; Culture</a>, a digital platform, makes the collections of over 12,000 museums available online. Web portal <a href="https://www.europeana.eu/en">Europeana</a>, created by the European Union, hosts over 3,000 museums and libraries.</p> <p>Well before the coronavirus closed ticket desks and moved some experiences onto digital media platforms, virtual gateways had become an important means of generating awareness and engagement with culture.</p> <p><a href="https://www.annefrank.org/en/">Anne Frank House</a> has illustrated how online visitors can take part in holocaust remembrance without travelling to Amsterdam. Anne Frank House now uses a chatbot to create personalised conversations with users globally via Facebook messenger. Similarly, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/eva.stories/?hl=en">Eva.Stories</a> is an Instagram page that recounts, via a series of 15 second videos, the diary of a 13-year-old girl killed in a concentration camp.</p> <p><strong>Doors shut</strong></p> <p>The forced closures as a result of coronavirus will accelerate and amplify this shift towards digital transformation.</p> <p>At a time of social distancing, individual artists, small private companies and major public cultural institutions are quickly re-purposing technology in creative ways.</p> <p><a href="https://www.artscentremelbourne.com.au/festival-and-series/morning-melodies">Morning Melodies</a> is an online broadcast of the usually popular live performances offered by the Victoria Arts Centre.</p> <p><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/doublej/music-reads/features/isol-aid-festival-review-2020-covid-19-julia-jacklin-spacey-jane/12082228">Isol-Aid</a> live streamed a music festival over the weekend, with 72 musicians across Australia each playing a 20-minute set on Instagram.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.acmi.net.au/events/melbourne-cinematheque/">Australian Centre for the Moving Image</a> has set up an online weekly film nights, while acknowledging it “can’t replace the joy of being in the cinema”.</p> <p><strong>What might be lost</strong></p> <p>Despite the benefits of this mediated content, social media scholars Jose Van Dijck and Thomas Poell <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2309065">point out</a> digital technologies come with a set of core logics or rules that shape users, economic structures and institutions. These underlying rules of online engagement have long-term implications for how we engage with culture. For future generations, it’s conceivable that a visit to the library, museum, theatre or art gallery won’t be something experienced in person but rather through a digital media platform.</p> <p>With the “on demand culture” comes a dispersal of audiences into online spaces. In those spaces, their private contemplation of art and culture can become fodder for data mining and analysis.</p> <p>Art gals on google arts &amp; culture...</p> <p>This data then feeds into the repurposing of cultural content according to the priorities of social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. In 2018, Google Culture launched a <a href="https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/01/15/578151195/google-app-goes-viral-making-an-art-out-of-matching-faces-to-paintings">face match app</a> that matched user selfies to images drawn from cultural collections. It expanded access for new global audiences, but questions remain about the extent to which phone camera images were used to train Google’s facial recognition algorithm. Some users were critical of the collection’s <a href="https://twitter.com/KaraBTweets/status/952572084076646400?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E952572084076646400&amp;ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.npr.org%2Fsections%2Fthetwo-way%2F2018%2F01%2F15%2F578151195%2Fgoogle-app-goes-viral-making-an-art-out-of-matching-faces-to-paintings">lack of diversity</a>.</p> <p>The mediation of culture highlights a new set of ethical dilemmas as content goes online.</p> <p><strong>What we gain</strong></p> <p>This isn’t to say the availability of “on demand” cultural content isn’t a good thing. At “normal” times it can allow people to virtually visit exhibitions or enjoy performances they can’t access in real life. Online presentations can enhance understanding with “explore more” links or additional information.</p> <p>During times of crisis, online cultural experiences can be a <a href="https://www.fastcompany.com/90478442/for-artists-the-show-must-go-on-and-zoom-is-their-venue">lifeline for both art audiences and creators</a>. It is vital that we create avenues through which the community can access culture and seek out technological solutions to keep artists and cultural workers employed during what could be a long hiatus.</p> <p><strong>14 art &amp; culture links</strong></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://abiawards.com.au/">Australian Book Industry Awards</a> will be awarded online, as will the <a href="https://thestellaprize.com.au/prize/2020-prize/">Stella Prize</a> for female authors.</li> <li><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/1143946145941832/">Born to Boogie Dance Connection</a> is hosting a much-needed online groove this week.</li> <li><a href="https://www.instagram.com/dnice/">Club Quarantine</a> is where DJ D-Nice or Derrick Jones from 90s hip-hop group Boogie Down Productions is spinning tracks for 100,000+ viewers. Guest appearances include Michelle Obama, Naomi Campbell, Chaka Khan, Halle Berry, Rihanna, and Diddy.</li> <li><a href="https://www.europeana.eu/portal/en">Europeana Collections</a> are celebrating Women’s History Month.</li> <li><a href="https://artsandculture.google.com/">Google Art and Culture</a> Explore collections from around the world, from the British Museum to Macchu Pichu.</li> <li><a href="https://www.guggenheim-bilbao.eus/en/">Guggenheim Museum Bilbao</a> in Spain is the place for Mark Rothco, Jeff Koons and Richard Serra.</li> <li><a href="https://karaoke.camp/">Karaoke Camp</a> uses Zoom to connect singers worldwide.</li> <li><a href="https://museumsvictoria.com.au/melbournemuseum/at-home/">Melbourne Museum</a> has virtual tours of the Phar Lap, dinosaur and First Peoples displays.</li> <li><a href="https://www.mmca.go.kr/eng/">National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art</a>, South Korea is showing meet the curators chats on YouTube.</li> <li><a href="https://nowadays.nyc/">Nowadays</a> live music lounge in New York is streaming DJs online.</li> <li><a href="https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en">Rijksmuseum</a> is home to Dutch masters: Vermeer’s Milkmaid, Van Gogh’s Self-portrait and Rembrandt’s most well-known painting: the Night Watch.</li> <li><a href="https://www.socialdistancingfestival.com/">Social Distancing Festival</a> is drawing live streaming performances together in one place.</li> <li><a href="https://www.zoo.org.au/animal-house">Zoo Victoria’s Animal House</a> is livesteaming lions, giraffes, snow leopards cubs, penguins and the occasional <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/video_and_audio/headlines/52000441/coronavirus-melbourne-zookeeper-s-livestream-dance-goes-viral">dancing zoo keeper</a>.</li> </ul> <p><em>Written by Caroline Wilson-Barnao. Republished with permission of <a href="https://theconversation.com/when-one-door-closes-open-a-window-14-sites-with-great-free-art-134153">The Conversation.</a> </em></p>

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Good people break bad laws: Rough sleepers

<p>In terms of the law, people who are forced to sleep out on the streets are already on the wrong side of it, seemingly because they have no fixed address. Indeed, the <a href="https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/community/community-support/homelessness/street-count">334 rough sleepers</a> counted in the City of Sydney last month are simply criminalised by default.</p> <p>Sleeping rough can guarantee intensified policing. Being moved on can get to be a part of daily life. Places where the homeless are camping together can be busted up. And even having a drink can be problematic, as consuming alcohol in the park or on the street is often a crime.</p> <p>It’s not like things are getting any better either. Recent years saw then Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle move to ban sleeping rough in his city <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/nsw-premier-broadens-police-powers-to-remove-the-homeless/">in early 2017</a>. The plan <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/violation-of-human-rights-un-condemns-melbournes-homeless-camping-ban-20170314-guxkld.html">was eventually</a> dropped after United Nations condemnation.</p> <p>And after a <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/premier-demands-that-council-moves-on-martin-place-rough-sleepers/">very public tit for tat</a> between the NSW government and the City of Sydney over responsibility for the Martin Place Tent City, the Berejiklian government decided to rush through new laws that forced the rough sleepers to vacate the public square.</p> <p>RMIT homelessness professor Guy Johnson explains that people sleeping outside only make up <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/the-homelessness-crisis-an-interview-with-rmit-professor-guy-johnson/">about 20 percent</a> of the overall homeless population. But, while they may not be the majority, they’re certainly bearing the brunt of a society that treats they’re circumstances as criminal.</p> <p><strong>Pushing them out</strong></p> <p>“The City of Sydney has unambiguously had a policy since the mid-90s of trying to move homeless people out,” said frontline homelessness advocate Lanz Priestley. “There’s no consideration for Sydney to house homeless people, other than a token solution.”</p> <p>“They tend to point to housing estates somewhere else, whether that be the traditional estates or the community model, which is problematic in itself,” he told Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</p> <p>The City of Sydney website sets out that it’s <a href="https://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/community/community-support/homelessness/street-count">the only council in NSW</a> to run a specialist homelessness unit, which was launched in 1984. Operating on a 7 days a week basis, the homelessness unit <a href="https://news.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/articles/reducing-rough-sleeping-in-the-city">aims to reduce</a> rough sleeping by putting those on the street in touch with the right services and support.</p> <p>However, according to Priestley, the purpose of the homelessness unit is to manage rough sleepers in the local government area in response to issues raised by ratepayers. And there’s no consultation with the actual people doing it rough.</p> <p>“They’re doing it in consultation with the poverty industry,” Mr Priestley continued. “They’re doing it in consultation with a whole lot of other external groups, without asking homeless people what the solutions are that they want.”</p> <p><strong>Moving them on</strong></p> <p>The NSW government introduced the <a href="https://www.homelessnessnsw.org.au/sites/homelessnessnsw/files/2016-12/TheProtocol_Factsheet.PDF">Protocol for Homeless People in Public Places</a> in 2000. It sets out that homeless people have the same rights as all citizens in public places, and government organisations, including the NSW Police Force, should treat them accordingly.</p> <p>But, as Priestley puts it, “that doesn’t mean it always happens”. And when asked about laws that impinge upon homeless people unfairly, he pointed to move on powers, which were introduced <a href="https://research-repository.griffith.edu.au/bitstream/handle/10072/49245/78970_1.pdf%3Bsequence=1">in the 1990s</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www7.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/leara2002451/s197.html">Section 197</a> of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW) (the LEPRA) provides police with the power to direct people to move on in public places if an officer believes on reasonable grounds that the person is obstructing, harassing, intimidating or causing fear to others, or they’re supplying or buying prohibited drugs.</p> <p>And <a href="http://www7.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/leara2002451/s199.html">section 199</a> of the LEPRA provides that an individual who refuses to comply with such an order can be fined $220.</p> <p><strong>Word from the street</strong></p> <p>As Priestley tells it, move on orders were first used in the late 90s to deal with homeless people sleeping in the lanes around Woolloomooloo’s Matthew Talbot Hostel in an effort to move the rough sleepers out of the city centre.</p> <p>“Cops would go up to them and say, “move on”. The guy would go to pick up his gear and be arrested for failing to follow a move on order,” Priestley explained. “They were given a court date two years down the track, and a 10 kilometre exclusion from the Matthew Talbot”, as part of their bail.</p> <p>“The effect of that was that without going to court, they excluded these people who were getting these move on orders from the city,” he added.</p> <p>Other tricks of the trade that Priestley recalls are <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/police-officer-charged-with-murder/">NSW police officers</a> repeatedly searching homeless people at Central’s Belmore Park until they’d leave for good, along with people being held on remand for a longer period of time than the maximum penalties that applied to the minor charges they were facing, only to have the prosecution drop them after they’d served the time.</p> <p><strong>Pushing them along</strong></p> <p>Mr Priestley founded the Martin Place Tent City <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/sydneys-24-7-street-kitchen-and-safe-space-an-interview-with-lanz-priestley/">in late 2016</a>. Initially, it was in response to women sleeping on the street reporting that they didn’t feel safe, and that men had been trying to sexually assault them. The setup provided a secure place for the homeless to spend the night and get a meal.</p> <p>By August 2017, Tent City numbers had swelled and NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian had <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/premier-demands-that-council-moves-on-martin-place-rough-sleepers/">complained</a> that the rough sleepers made her feel “completely uncomfortable”. So, her government decided to rush through new move on powers to get rid of them.</p> <p>The aim of the <a href="https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/bill/files/3421/Passed%20by%20both%20Houses.pdf">Sydney Public Reserves (Public Safety) Bill 2017</a> (NSW) was “to deal with an occupation of a public reserve in the City of Sydney that interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of the rights of the public or that is unlawful and, in particular, to deal with the unauthorised camp site at Martin Place”.</p> <p>“My reaction then and now remains that it’s an absolute shame that as a kneejerk reaction, they could pass laws like that with such haste,” Priestley said, “instead of passing laws that solve homelessness.”</p> <p>The new laws enabled police to move on people deemed to be hindering the enjoyment of others in a public reserve, as well as seize their belongings. Failure to comply with such an order can result in a $220 fine and trying to prevent officers from taking one’s belongings incurs a fine of $2,200.</p> <p>And facing these enhanced laws, the rough sleepers left Martin Place, prior to NSW police moving in.</p> <p><strong>Preventative measures</strong></p> <p>Mr Priestley relates that at present, he’s been seeing a different cohort of rough sleepers on the city streets. These are people who only find themselves without a home for short periods of time – usually under six weeks – before they sort their issues out and are back off the streets.</p> <p>The long-term social justice activist is still running his street kitchen once a fortnight in Martin Place. And for every other night, there are different groups doing the same.</p> <p>And as for the issue of homeless people in this state, he advises that authorities should be looking at the bigger picture, rather than “parking the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff”, there should be moves to stop people becoming homeless in the first place.</p> <p>“We need to work towards a point in time when there’s not the possibility of becoming homeless,” the unofficial mayor of Martin Place concluded. “And I don’t think it’s an impossibility to build that.”</p> <p><em>Written by Paul Gregoire. Republished with permission of <a href="https://www.sydneycriminallawyers.com.au/blog/good-people-break-bad-laws-rough-sleepers/">Sydney Criminal Lawyers.</a></em></p>

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