What next, ban on mum and dad? says Hanson

Pauline Hanson has warned legalising same-sex marriage could result in a ban on children calling their parents “mum and dad”.


The One Nation leader has told parliament she will ignore a majority “yes” result of a postal survey on the issue.

“I feel it’s a sham, it’s farcical and it’s a waste of money,” she said of the $122 million ballot.

Senator Hanson also slammed gay couples for trying to “take the word ‘marriage'”.

“Why won’t you try and compromise?” she said.

Senator Hanson warned marriage equality meant school children would be banned from calling their parents “mum and dad” so as not to offend the children of same-sex couples.

She feared anti-vilification laws, which cleared both houses of parliament on Wednesday, would shut down the “no” campaign and free speech.

Earlier senior Labor figure Penny Wong delivered an impassioned speech urging the prime minister to protect children like her own.

“How do you think it feels for children in same-sex families … to be told politely and courteously `Actually you’re not quite normal, your families aren’t as good’?” asked Senator Wong, who is a parent in a same-sex relationship.

The new laws make it an offence to vilify, intimidate or threaten to cause harm to a person on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status or religious conviction during the survey.

The legislation was introduced on Wednesday morning and passed swiftly after the government and Labor agreed to the temporary safeguards.

Senator Wong lamented that those opposed to gay marriage were using “odd, bizarre and unconnected things” to make their argument.

“They want to talk about our children, they want to talk about – what’s the phrase – `radical gay sex education’.”

The legislation could not protect the LGBTI community from hurt, she said.

Greens senator Janet Rice – who married her transgender wife Penny 30 years ago when she was Peter – said she wanted to be able to hold her partner’s hand in public, the way they used to, without fear of abuse.

“We used to hold hands, we used to kiss in public but over the last 13 years we self-censor,” she told parliament.

Cabinet minister Mathias Cormann said the new laws aimed to add protections to existing safeguards in federal, state and territory legislation.

Conservative crossbencher Cory Bernardi, who also opposed the legislation, warned there would be spurious claims from people claiming to be upset.

“This is essentially 18C on steroids to protect people from being upset,” he said, referring to race hate-speech laws he has fought to scrap.

It was “wholly inappropriate” that Attorney-General George Brandis had responsibility for judging complaints, given he supports marriage equality.

Senator Cormann rejected the argument, insisting the senator’s view did not prevent him doing his job, just as his position as an opponent of marriage equality did not prevent him doing his.

He also rejected claims the new laws would shut down debate and urged “yes” campaigners to empathise with good Australians with strong and sincere views about traditional marriage.

UN Security Council approves harsher sanctions on North Korea

The war of words between North Korea and the United States has escalated, with the isolated nation warning the US to prepare to “suffer the greatest pain it ever experienced in its history”.


North Korea says it’s “ready to use a form of ultimate means”, though it didn’t provide any further explanation.

The ominous message comes after the United Nations Security Council approved a US-led resolution further tightening sanctions on North Korea.

Among other measures, the resolution imposes a ban on the nation’s textiles, caps its fuel supplies, bans joint ventures with North Korean entities and prohibits countries from bringing in new North Korean workers.

It’s the ninth such resolution unanimously adopted by the 15-member Council over North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear programs since 2006.

Speaking on a visit to Malaysia, US President Donald Trump downplayed the significance of the action.

“We had a vote yesterday on sanctions. We think it’s just another very small step, not a big deal. Rex (Tillerson) and I were just discussing, not big, I don’t know if it has any impact but certainly it was nice to get a 15-0 vote – but those sanctions are nothing compared to what ultimately will have to happen.”

North Korean ambassador Han Tae Song angrily rejected the announcement.

“The adoption of the sanctions resolution against my country is an extreme manifestation of the US intention to eliminate at any cost the ideology, social system of DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea/North Korea) and its people. Such acts constitute a blatant infringement of the sovereignty of my country and a grave challenge to international peace and justice.”

The initial proposal had to be cut back before China and Russia would agree.

It also stops short of imposing a full embargo on oil exports to North Korea, most of which come from China.

President Trump has fluctuated between criticising China for not doing enough on North Korea, to praising Chinese President Xi Jinping.

China’s UN ambassador insists a diplomatic solution is the only option.

“China is a close neighbour to the Korean peninsula, we’ve been consistently committed to the denuclearisation and we are against war and chaos on the peninsula. The strategy of the military deployment on the Korean peninsula and the goal of denuclearisation and reaching peace and stability run counter to each other.”

At the European Parliament, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, applauded nations for showing a united front.

“Because it sent a message to North Korea that the unity of the international community, from China – that yes, indeed, plays a crucial role – to the Russian Federation, to the United States, to the European Union, to all the other members of the UN Security Council, so the entire international community, is strongly investing in this path: more pressure to open diplomatic channels. North Korea has to feel the diplomatic pressure of a united international community.”



France, Netherlands boost aid in Caribbean after criticism

Irma killed at least 38 people across the whole of the Caribbean and devastated basic services.


The World Health Organisation estimates that over 17,000 need emergency shelter in the region.

Residents and tourists on islands that bore the brunt of Hurricane Irma say help has been slow to arrive.

Many have been stranded with little food, shelter or drinking water.

Law and order has also been under threat with looting erupting.

French President Emmanuel Macron has paid a visit to some of the affected French territories, promising a large-scale rebuilding effort in the devastated islands.

He was accompanied by his health and education ministers, and officials overseeing the aid mobilisation on Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy.

Speaking during his visit to Guadeloupe, Mr Macron moved to reassure the public.

“For those who live on the island there is anger because people are tired. I understand this anger and I am also going to St Martin because of this to reassure people, to show them full determination to console and also to listen to their anger because it is there, it is normal and it is my role also to accept this.”

Mr Macron also says he’ll support a parliamentary inquiry, following criticism from political opponents who say the government didn’t properly anticipate the disaster.

French authorities are continuing to evacuate the most vulnerable residents from Saint Martin.

Rescuers struggled to ferry people to nearby Guadeloupe, where infrastructure was spared by the storm.

This military policeman is helping to coordinate evacuations.

“The problem that we have is that we have two planes: one with a capacity of 35, the other 72, so we can evacuate about 100 people with every journey. There are four planes so we can evacuate 100 people every two hours. The evacuations began from the day after the storm and today from 7am we already had 100 people with lots of babies, injured people.”

Dutch King Willem-Alexander has also visited the Dutch-ruled part of Saint Martin, as the military were continuing to deliver water, food, and hygiene supplies to the population.

The Dutch Red Cross says nearly a third of all buildings on the island were destroyed and more than 90 per cent were damaged by Hurricane Irma.

The aid agency had surveyed 5,500 structures before the storm and made the assessment based on photographs provided by the Defence Ministry in the Netherlands.

The Dutch King, Willem-Alexander, says he was shocked by what he saw.

“From the moment we could see the island from the aircraft I thought, I’ve never seen this before. I’ve seen a lot of devastation caused by forces of nature or by war but this I’ve never seen. Everywhere you look you see destruction and desperation. At the same time you also see people who are working hard cleaning up. We say we stand together, shoulder to shoulder and we will rebuild this island. There’s hope for the future. That’s good to see.”

Britain has delivered its first humanitarian aid and disaster relief to its territory, the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The British Royal Air Force says it has flown more than 20 sorties within the Caribbean since Friday, moving more than 700 passengers into and around the region and delivering more than 70 tonnes of freight to hurricane-stricken communities.



US gay marriage pioneer Edith Windsor dies

Edith Windsor, the New York woman whose successful challenge to a federal law that defined marriage as between one man and one woman helped pave the way for gay marriage nationwide, has died.


Her death at the age of 88 on Tuesday, was announced by her wife, Judith Kasen-Windsor, and lawyer Roberta Kaplan.

The 2013 US Supreme Court ruling in United States v Windsor, which struck down the core of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, was credited with laying the groundwork for the court’s 2015 ruling in another case that legalised same-sex marriage.

“I lost my beloved spouse Edie, and the world lost a tiny but tough as nails fighter for freedom, justice and equality. Edie was the light of my life,” said Kasen-Windsor, who married Windsor last year.

In a statement, former President Barack Obama said he spoke with Windsor a few days ago and told her again how important her work had been to the country.

“America’s long journey towards equality has been guided by countless small acts of persistence, and fuelled by the stubborn willingness of quiet heroes to speak out for what’s right,” he said. “Few were as small in stature as Edie Windsor – and few made as big a difference to America.”

The case, which made Windsor a revered figure in the modern gay rights movement, originally stemmed from a tax dispute. Windsor, a former IBM consultant known as “Edie”, and Thea Spyer, a psychologist, met in the 1960s in a New York restaurant and spent four decades engaged to be married before they finally tied the knot in Canada in 2007.

Spyer died in 2009. Under the Defense of Marriage Act, same-sex marriages were not federally recognised, depriving Windsor of an estate-tax break afforded to heterosexual surviving spouses.

The Supreme Court’s Windsor decision applied to gay marriages only in the 13 states that permitted them at the time. In the ensuing months, the central reasoning of the case was cited by courts in several states that found gay marriage bans unlawful.

In 2015, the Supreme Court declared that same-sex marriage was protected by the Constitution.

Menzel to return for Cats in AFL semi

Geelong will turn to the X-factor of Daniel Menzel as they look to overturn a poor recent record against red-hot Sydney in Friday night’s cut-throat AFL semi-final.


Menzel was a shock omission for last weekend’s qualifying-final loss to Richmond, with doubts cast over his lack of defensive pressure.

In the absence of their second leading scorer this year, the Cats were held to a paltry return of five goals against the rampaging Tigers.

With midfielder Cam Guthrie certain to miss with a calf strain, Geelong coach Chris Scott declared Menzel a certain starter against the Swans, who have won five of the past six matches between the two clubs.

In an eight-year career blighted by four knee reconstructions, the mercurial Menzel has only played two finals.

The 26-year-old also missed last year’s preliminary-final loss to the Swans due to groin soreness, making his dumping last weekend an even tougher pill to swallow.

“He’s been unfortunate the last four or five years and maybe even longer than that, that he hasn’t been available at this time of the year,” Scott said on Wednesday.

“Even last year he was very sore towards the end of the year.

“For this game he’ll be feeling physically very good.

“That’s the part that excites him the most, that it’s a really big game and he’s feeling good and he’s playing.”

The free agent is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with a possible move back to his home state of South Australia.

Scott flagged the prospect of the Cats making more than one personnel change against a Sydney outfit who have won 15 of their past 17 games.

The likes of Darcy Lang and Tom Ruggles could be considered for recalls, as could versatile talls Wylie Buzza or Rhys Stanley.

But goalsneak Nakia Cockatoo is out of contention for at least one more week due to ongoing hamstring concerns.

In his first game back after ankle surgery, combative skipper Joel Selwood was well below his best against the Tigers, although he was hardly alone there.

“He is very good when it comes to hiding discomfort,” Scott said.

“I’m sure he had some but he didn’t show it.

“His feedback is that he will be better for the run.

“He wasn’t at his best, but probably the biggest factor for us last week (was) if the coaches’ votes were 10 through to one I don’t think we could have come up with one (player) in the top 10.

“… one of the beauties of getting the double chance is you can turn that around really quickly.”

More on Lionel Murphy saga to be released

The Lionel Murphy saga, one of Australia’s most politically painful and judicially sensational cases, may finally end with the release of files that have been kept secret for more than 30 years.


Parliament on Thursday will release documents collected by a commission of inquiry into Murphy’s fitness to remain a High Court judge.

The commission was set up after Murphy was acquitted of attempting to pervert the course of justice and its work was cut short because of his death in 1986.

The material it gathered may help answer the central question: was Murphy corruptly close to underworld figures or simply a bon vivant networker who was unwise in his choice of friends?

Murphy was a Labor hero of the Left.

He was a reforming attorney-general in the Whitlam government. Gareth Evans, a later attorney-general, has said he was the most adventurous member of the government apart from Whitlam himself.

His adventures included a raid on ASIO headquarters because he thought the domestic spy agency was withholding information.

He was appointed to the High Court in 1975.

Murphy’s troubles started with the publication of the so-called Age tapes in 1984, which purported to include conversations he had with Sydney solicitor Morgan Ryan, who had been charged over an immigration scam.

Two Senate inquiries were held. The first cleared Murphy on party lines but the second – with Labor members split – found his conduct might have amounted to proved misbehaviour.

By then, NSW chief magistrate Clarrie Briese and District Court judge Paul Flannery had said Murphy had improperly tried to influence them in favour of Ryan.

In January 1985, he was charged with two counts of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The flavour of the trial was set by Briese’s evidence that Murphy said to him about Ryan: “And now, what about my little mate.”

Murphy was acquitted on the Flannery matter but convicted on the Briese charge.

It was the first time a member of the highest court in the land had been found guilty of a crime, let alone one that went to the heart of the judicial process.

Murphy was ultimately cleared after an appeal and a retrial.

But as he prepared to return to court duties – against the wishes of chief justice Harry Gibbs – fresh claims of misbehaviour, or worse, started circulating.

With a political storm threatening, the government commissioned three retired judges to look at the new allegations and decide whether his behaviour justified his removal from the court.

It’s not known just how far it got before Murphy announced he was dying of cancer and the inquiry was shut down. Its records were sealed for 30 years.

Murphy died on October 21, 1986, just after delivering his last judgments.

Now, more than 30 years later, the politico-judicial system will deliver its last judgment on him.

GWS mull over an AFL recall for Stevie J

Greater Western Sydney are considering a raft of changes as they seek to keep their AFL season alive, with retiring veteran Steve Johnson’s compelling case for a recall likely to be rewarded.


Johnson was dumped for last week’s qualifying final against Adelaide, while fellow small forward Devon Smith missed that game because of a knee injury.

Giants coach Leon Cameron confirmed both were shaping up well in their bid to return in Saturday’s semi-final against West Coast at Spotless Stadium.

But Cameron made it clear Dawson Simpson, Tim Taranto, Matt Kennedy and Tim Mohr were also in the mix.

Cameron will make at least two changes in response to season-ending injuries suffered by key forward Jeremy Cameron and ruckman Shane Mumford.

But there may also be some unforced omissions after the lopsided loss to the Crows.

“There are going to be some players walking on thin ice at the moment … wondering if they’re going to be playing,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

“That’s the way it needs to be … otherwise it means players can get away with some bad habits.”

Johnson, provided he pulls up well from Wednesday’s training session, is well placed to extend his 291-game career.

The three-time premiership winner, who boasts immense experience gleaned from 24 finals, was dropped after a poor showing against Geelong in the final round of the regular season.

Cameron noted the 34-year-old, who is a proven match winner when on song, impressed in last week’s scratch match, trained well on Wednesday and his dodgy knee is in relatively good shape.

“There’s no doubt it’s enticing to look at him because of what he can do,” Cameron said.

“Experienced players in those big moments, they only need eight or 10 possessions but they can turn it into gold.

“Our forward line hasn’t been functioning as well as it had been.

“There’s a lot in his favour.”

The rest of the selection debate is more complicated.

Cameron confirmed ex-Richmond veteran Brett Deledio is in no danger of being axed despite a quiet game against the Crows, while former Western Bulldogs captain Ryan Griffen is yet to do enough to warrant a recall.

Simpson appeared a certain inclusion for Mumford but the Giants may yet ask Rory Lobb to shoulder the bulk of the ruck burden.

Mohr has played a single game this year but could be summoned for his first career final, with GWS contemplating the prospect of starting one of their key defenders as a forward in the absence of Cameron.

“It’s going to be a really good debate … some 20 or 21 will pick themselves,” Cameron said.

“Then we’ll spend three or four hours on the last spot.”

Eckstein eyes Coolangatta Gold 10 years on

Ironman champion Shannon Eckstein says he will attack his first Coolangatta Gold in a decade the same way his mate Dean Mercer would have the surf marathon.


On October 8, the 34-year-old will line up for the first time since 2007, hopeful of a strong finish after radical surgery in April to remove muscle from both his calves.

Eckstein says he will be pushing it to be fully recovered in time for the gruelling 42km multi-discipline event, combining swimming, paddling and running.

But he said Mercer’s recent death had convinced him it was worth a shot.

“A couple of weeks ago I was thinking I was 50-50, but after what’s happened, you think you’ve got nothing to lose,” Eckstein said.

“I’ll do it just like Dean did; go out hard and see if you can hold on.”

The 47-year-old Mercer, a father of four, was farewelled last Friday after suffering a heart attack while driving home from the grocery store.

A nine-time Kellogg’s series winner, eight-time Australia ironman champion and six-time world champion, Eckstein is regarded by most as the greatest surf lifesaver of all time.

But, just like Mercer, he has never won the Coolangatta event despite dominating the ironman arena.

“I relate a lot to it too,” Eckstein said, referring to Mercer’s unexpected death.

“As an older athlete, still pushing hard, and with two kids as well … you definitely think about it and get comments from a lot of people that you should get your heart checked.

“So you’ve got to listen to your doctor.”

Eckstein will push those thoughts aside on race day though, confident he has the stamina and fitness after falling short in previous attempts – third in 2005 and second in 2007. Mercer also never won the event he craved, with a third in 2006 and a second placing in 2009.

For Eckstein, his performances were affected by a medical condition known as ‘popliteal artery entrapment syndrome’, that limits blood supply below the knees and often leads to cramping and calf pain.

Knowing it only impacted him over longer distance races, Eckstein opted to put off surgery until this year and get the most out of his ironman career.

Now sporting two sizeable scars behind his knees, Eckstein is confident he will have the ability to handle the final 7.1 km beach run to the finish line on October 8.

“The three times I did it I led halfway through the run, but start tripping over my feet,” he said.

“Once diagnosed it made sense.

“I didn’t want to risk the operation and not be able to do the Kellogg’s Series and ironmans. So I focused on that for 10 years and have done everything I want to there and now I can focus on this.”

Defending champion Ali Day will start as favourite, having won all four times he has raced, while Shannon’s brother and five-time winner Caine will not compete.

“He’s four from four and he doesn’t have a weak leg, Ali’s pretty hard to beat over this format from what I’ve seen,” Eckstein said.

Air force finding zen on battle sidelines

Fighter pilots are usually associated with dogfighting not downward facing dog.


But at Australia’s main air operating base in the Middle East the crews flying sorties over Iraq and Syria targeting Islamic State (Daesh) are embracing yoga and Pilates to ward off stiffness.

It’s a long day and gruelling work – up to 10 hours of flying time as well as several hours of pre and post flight briefings.

The Super Hornet crews – a pilot and weapons systems officer – are strapped in tightly to ejection seats, while wearing at least 20 kilograms of gear.

Over desert coloured flight suits they wear “G suits”, torso harnesses, survival vests kitted out with first aid kits, pistols, radios, camel backs, flares as well as a heavy helmet with display unit.

Imagine wearing a corset while strapped to a plastic chair all day.

“If the task is busy and there’s a lot going on, time goes by very quickly,” RAAF Wing Commander Jason, whose last name can not be published for operational reasons, told AAP.

“But if you’re doing non-traditional surveillance it can be more uncomfortable because you’re thinking more about the discomfort factor.

“Most guys take a good month or two when they get home to lose any aches and pains.”

Yoga has become popular with crew members.

“It’s good to stretch out and limber up,” one air crew member, who also can’t be named, told AAP.

“I try to get to a yoga session when I can to do some stretching and recovery work.”

A RAAF legal officer on base is also a qualified yoga teacher and runs classes three times a week.

“Military guys in particular are brave… and they know what’s good for the body generally and they embrace things like this because they’re not scared of what other people think,” she told AAP.

“There’s not many places at war to get the yin – it’s all yang – fried food, running, working out, carrying weapons whatever. It’s nice to give people a yin place.”

The air crew are also using Pilates techniques such as massaging trigger points with foam logs, rolling gadgets and balls.

The Super Hornets are cruising at speeds upwards of 800 kilometres per hour, and at times G-forces during manoeuvres can take a heavy toll on the body.

RAAF physical training instructor Corporal Alex Bunyan said fast jet pilots are essentially high-performance athletes because they need to be physically conditioned to handle the extreme environment otherwise they can pass out.

Much of his training is focused on “pre-habilitation” to prevent injuries as well as mentally stimulating muscles to help them brace against G-forces.

Bunyn has also taught them to do special neck stretches while they are sitting in their ejection seats waiting to take off.

Call for less hate in marriage debate

Campaigners for the yes and no same-sex marriage cases have called for more civil and informed debate, with parliament passing rules banning hate speech during the survey.


Advocates of both sides of the argument say they have faced abusive comments for holding their views and expect more to come.

To keep a lid on the worst forms of hate speech, Labor backed a government bill on Wednesday to put in place a set of rules – backed up by penalties of up to $25,200 – for the campaign, which will end on November 15 with the declaration of the postal survey result.

It will be an offence to vilify, intimidate or threaten to cause harm to a person on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status or religious conviction during the survey.

Advertisements will need to be authorised and broadcasters must ensure opposing views go to air.

“We want this process to be fair and for Australians to get the opportunity to have their say in an appropriate environment,” cabinet minister Mathias Cormann said.

Liberal Party vice president Karina Okotel said she had witnessed a “phenomenal” level of vitriolic abuse for opposing same-sex marriage, which she said was a “fundamental shift” in a long-held tradition.

“A culture has developed whereby it’s acceptable to vilify, mock, abuse and shame anyone who stands in the way or even raises questions about whether we should legalise same-sex marriage,” she told the National Press Club.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson told parliament legalising same-sex marriage could result in a ban on children calling their parents “mum and dad”.

Senator Hanson said she would ignore a majority “yes” result of a postal survey.

“I feel it’s a sham, it’s farcical and it’s a waste of money,” she said of the $122 million exercise.

Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek agreed the survey was unnecessary but the protections were needed to put some rules around what was already an “awful debate”.

Greens senator Janet Rice – who married her transgender wife Penny 30 years ago when she was Peter – said she wanted to be able to hold her partner’s hand in public, the way they used to, without fear of abuse.

“We used to hold hands, we used to kiss in public but over the last 13 years we self-censor,” she told parliament.

Labor leader Bill Shorten has written to the prime minister calling for more funding for counselling services during the survey.

The NSW Gay and Lesbian Lobby told a Senate inquiry such funding was vital following a flood of offensive messages.

“Suchmaterial hassignificantimpacton the mentalhealthofsomanyLGBTIQAustralians,” it said in a written submission.

“YoungLGBTIQpeopleareatasixtimes greater riskofsuicide andthismaterialwhich perpetuateshatefulandoffensive commentsis notlikelytoimprovethissituation.”

The Australian Bureau of Statistics is aiming to get the survey forms out to 16 million voters by September 25, with the first in mailboxes this week.