Doubting death: how our brains shield us from mortal truth

Brain seems to categorise death as something that only befalls other people

Warning: this story is about death. You might want to click away now.

That’s because, researchers say, our brains do their best to keep us from dwelling on our inevitable demise. A study found that the brain shields us from existential fear by categorising death as an unfortunate event that only befalls other people.

Continue reading...

Germany shooting: data on online spread of livestreamed attack kept secret

Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Google decline to release figures despite pledge in wake of Christchurch attack

US tech companies have declined to release data on the online spread of footage of last week’s shooting in Halle, Germany, despite pledging greater transparency as part of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s “Christchurch Call”.

Companies including Facebook and Twitter committed in May to take “transparent, specific measures” to prevent the amplification of violent content, after the killing of 51 people in Christchurch, New Zealand was livestreamed on Facebook.

Continue reading...

England v Australia: Rugby World Cup 2019, quarter-final – live!

How is everyone feeling out there?

Why not let me and the readers know by dropping me an mail here, a tweet here, or send a carrier pigeon to Lee, The North.

Australia are nervous.

Don’t have a go at me for making such insinuations, Michael Hooper himself has admitted as much here.

Related: Australia undaunted by scoreboard pressure and ready for a full 80 minutes | Gerard Meagher

Continue reading...

SIEV X disaster: Iraqi man charged in Australia in connection with deaths of 350 people

Maythem Radhi accused of being part of syndicate that charged 421 mostly Iraqi and Afghan refugees for place aboard Indonesian boat

An Iraqi man has been charged in Australia with people-trafficking in connection with the drowning deaths of more than 350 asylum seekers in the 2001 SIEV X tragedy.

Maythem Radhi, 43, was arrested at Brisbane airport late Friday after being extradited from New Zealand and has been charged with “organising groups of non-citizens into Australia”, police say.

Continue reading...

‘We were not impressed’: Harry Dunn’s parents on their bizarre day with Trump

Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn talk about their whirlwind White House trip, with Anne Sacoolas, the woman who killed their son, in the next room

When the grieving parents of British teenager Harry Dunn arrived in New York earlier this week, their fight for justice for their dead son quickly became a whirlwind of interviews. Their press tour took a strange turn on Tuesday, however, when family adviser Radd Seiger received an unexpected invitation to Washington DC.

“Radd, who’s been looking after us, has a phone call from the White House saying: ‘Could you please come to the White House as soon as possible?’” Tim Dunn, Harry’s father, said.

Continue reading...

Envy in Politics review: why keeping up with the Joneses is a political trump card

A fascinating study indicates that the president’s support is based on more than political animus alone

What motivates Donald Trump’s political base, a major factor behind the silences and squirms of Republican officials these days?

Dissections of what the president’s mass of supporters thinks, feels and perceives have pointed to their vanished jobs, stagnant incomes and precariously low savings; their ideological commitments to conservative judges, lower taxes and nationalist foreign policy; and their abhorrence of a Washington establishment said to run roughshod over their cultural traditions and racial preferences. Deep, sharp partisan loyalties cement the bond, burnished by bulletins from @realdonaldtrump, Fox News and similarly attuned voices.

Continue reading...

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation: members say they were refused entry to secretive national conference

Former party president Jim Savage threatens legal action to call Brisbane meeting null and void

A former president of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party says he has been refused entry to its national conference because he wanted to raise concerns about how the party is being managed.

Former president Jim Savage – one of about six disgruntled members refused entry to the meeting in Brisbane on Saturday – said there was no democracy in the party and members were treated with “disgust”.

Continue reading...

Biggest ever Leonardo da Vinci exhibition to open in Paris

Louvre will host works of Italian artist after long-running political spats and legal battles

The most important blockbuster art show in Paris for half a century took 10 years to prepare and was nearly thwarted by the worst diplomatic standoff between Italy and France since the second world war. With days to go before the opening, there is still no sign of whether one of the major works will appear.

The Louvre’s vast Leonardo da Vinci exhibition to mark 500 years since the death of the Italian Renaissance master will finally open next week as the world’s most-visited museum prepares to handle a huge influx of visitors.

Continue reading...

Chile protests: state of emergency declared in Santiago as violence escalates

President announces order in televised address after fare-dodging protest by students in capital widens

A state of emergency has been declared in the Chilean capital after simmering protests against a rise in metro fares spilled out into widespread vandalism and violence fuelled by rising cost-of-living pressures.
As ordained by Chile’s dictatorship-era constitution, the state of emergency will apply to Santiago and can last for 15 days. It grants the government additional powers to restrict citizens’ freedom of movement and their right to assembly. Ominously, soldiers will return to the streets for the first time since an earthquake devastated parts of the country in 2010.

“The aim is to ensure public order and the safety of public and private property,” President Sebastián Piñera said in a televised address, “There will be no room for violence in a country with the rule of law at its core.”

On Friday evening, the palm trees in Santiago’s colonial Plaza de Armas were shrouded in plumes of tear gas thrown by police agents to disperse protesters, and the headquarters of Italian energy company Enel were engulfed in orange flames as the sounds of helicopters and wailing sirens filled the night sky.

Continue reading...

Scott Morrison says drought the Coalition’s ‘first call’ – but makes no mention of climate

Prime minister suggests Coalition may commit to extra funding relief in Liberal party federal council speech

Scott Morrison has indicated the federal government might be prepared to commit extra relief funding to drought-stricken communities, reaffirming the drought is the government’s top priority.

In a triumphal speech to the Liberal party’s federal council in Canberra on Saturday, Morrison again said the drought was “the most pressing and biggest call on our budget”.

Continue reading...

Sydney woman allegedly kidnapped and ordered at knifepoint to withdraw cash from bank

Dong Hwa Kim allegedly jumped in woman’s back seat, bound her hands and ordered her to drive to Ermington bank

A kidnapped woman allegedly ordered at knifepoint to withdraw cash from a Sydney bank was able to alert staff to her situation, police say.

Yun Fang, 36, was driving out of the car park of the Macquarie Centre in Macquarie Park, a suburb of northern Sydney, on Friday afternoon when Dong Hwa Kim allegedly jumped into the back seat and threatened her with a knife.

Continue reading...

Melbourne Anglicans vote to express ‘sorrow’ over blessing of same-sex marriages

Melbourne synod’s vote comes days after Sydney archbishop said Anglicans who back same-sex marriage should leave church

Melbourne’s Anglican church has formally voted to record its “sorrow” over a regional Victorian diocese’s decision to bless same-sex marriages.

The nod of approval given by the Wangaratta diocese in August has angered the Melbourne church’s governing body.

Continue reading...

Hong Kong protests: bring back app or risk ‘complicity’ in repression, Apple told

US lawmakers including Ted Cruz and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez write to Tim Cook urging him to restore HKMapp app

A bipartisan group of seven prominent US lawmakers has urged Apple chief executive Tim Cook to restore the HKMap app used in Hong Kong.

Earlier this month, Apple removed the app that helped track police and protester movements, saying it was used to target officers.

Continue reading...

Trouble at the mill: Sanjeev Gupta on Whyalla and its ‘fundamental problems’

OneSteel Manufacturing, the Gupta company which owns and operates the steel mill, lost $195m in the 2018 financial year

On a sunny Sydney afternoon, things look good from Sanjeev Gupta’s office on the 28th floor. From one window you can see the $35m waterside mansion he bought last week as an Australian bolthole for his family; from the other, the south end of the Harbour Bridge looms large.

But 1,500km west of Gupta’s blindingly white office suite, at the Whyalla steel mill in South Australia, things are decidedly grittier.

Continue reading...

One arrest after reports of knifeman at Arndale centre in Manchester

No reported injuries or wider threats to the community, says Greater Manchester police

Officers from Greater Manchester police arrested a suspect on Friday after reports of a man with a knife at the Arndale shopping centre.

Footage on social media appeared to show a large police and ambulance service presence outside the Manchester shopping centre, which closed at 8pm on Friday according to its website.

Continue reading...

Hillary Clinton hints Russia is grooming Tulsi Gabbard as third-party candidate

Former secretary of state said in a podcast that the Hawaii congresswoman ‘is a favorite of the Russians’

Hillary Clinton has said Russia, which interfered in the US election she lost in 2016, is “grooming” a Democratic candidate for a third-party run next year, signalling she believes congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard could fill the role.

The goal of this would essentially be to divide the US electorate and help Donald Trump win re-election, Clinton said. In the interview, Clinton also said she believes Russia had compromising information, or kompromat, on Trump.

Continue reading...

Violent clashes erupt between cartel gunmen and police in Mexico – video report

Intense fighting has erupted in the Mexican city of Culiacán, where masked gunmen threw up burning barricades and traded gunfire with security forces after authorities arrested one of the sons of the jailed former leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán. The chaotic scenes in Culiacán, a long-time stronghold for the Guzmáns' cartel, have increased pressure on President López Obrador, who took office in December promising to pacify a country weary after more than a decade of drug-war fighting.

Continue reading...