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Entertainment Ceasefire

11:10  21 may  2021
11:10  21 may  2021 Source:   crikey.com.au

Israel-Palestine: US blocks UN statement for third time in a week

  Israel-Palestine: US blocks UN statement for third time in a week Washington has reportedly blocked UNSC statements that condemned Israel’s military response and called for a ceasefire. Nearly 200 people, including 58 children, have been killed in the intense bombing of the besieged enclave of two million people. Israel has justified its bombing campaign as a retaliation to rocket attacks by Hamas fighters. But the Gaza-based Hamas movement said its actions were a response to the Israeli policy of forced displacement of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli forces last week.

a man standing on a rock: israel palestine 2021 violence © Provided by Crikey israel palestine 2021 violence

ISRAEL AND HAMAS NEGOTIATE CEASEFIRE

Al Jazeera reports that, following truce talks mediated by Egypt, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office and Hamas have announced a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, though when the ceasefire will come into action is still being negotiated.

As Al Jazeera’s live-blog explains, Israeli fighter jets continued to pound the Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least one Palestinian and wounding several more, while the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has told the UN General Assembly that: “If there is a Hell on Earth, it is the lives of children in Gaza.”

Nearly Three-Quarters of Israelis Opposed to Proposed Ceasefire With Palestinians

  Nearly Three-Quarters of Israelis Opposed to Proposed Ceasefire With Palestinians Less than a quarter of Israelis said they support a ceasefire as the violence continues.At least 230 Palestinians have been killed—including 65 children—while more than 1,700 have been injured since the current tensions escalated earlier in May, according to the Associated Press. In Israel, 12 people have died—including a 5-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl. Meanwhile, the U.S. and other nations are urging the Israelis and the Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad to reach a ceasefire.

A LEVY OF COMPLAINTS

A $3.8 billion pledge in Victoria’s budget to rebuild the state’s mental health system “from the ground up” has been welcomed by the Victorian Council of Social Services and psychiatrist and former Australian of the Year Patrick McGorry, while the ABC reports that a mental health levy set to raise $843 million each year from big businesses has been slammed by the opposition and Business Council of Australia.

Israel, Hamas Both See Victories as Fighting Follows Gaza Ceasefire Agreement

  Israel, Hamas Both See Victories as Fighting Follows Gaza Ceasefire Agreement The Israel Defense Forces hailed "unprecedented" achievements in its fight against Gaza-based Palestinian factions such as Hamas, which bragged about being able "to humiliate the enemy and its army."In a statement sent to Newsweek on Thursday, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the Israeli Security Cabinet had "unanimously accepted the recommendation of all security officials," including the directors of Israel Security Agency, Mossad and the National Security Council, "to accept the Egyptian initiative for a bilateral ceasefire without any pre-conditions to take effect at a time to be determined.

First proposed in the Victorian Mental Health Royal Commission, the levy will apply to businesses with more than $10 million in wages and begin January 1, 2022. Companies will pay a 0.5% surcharge on wages spent above $10 million, and a further 0.5% levy will be applied from their $100 millionth dollar onwards.

The Australian ($) reports that Josh Frydenberg has argued the levy will, along with a previously-announced $2.4 billion increase to property taxes, slow growth, while Guardian Australia notes the funding means the state government has pledged 65% more than the federal government announced in last week’s mental health investment.

The budget also includes a forecast that international students will begin returning from “early 2022” but population growth will remain lower than pre-pandemic levels until at least 2024; a public sector wage bill forecast to jump 17.8% over the budget forward estimates attributed to workers needed throughout the pandemic ($); and other large packages for schools, health and public transport. For details on the latter, see The Age’s comprehensive list and analysis of winners and losers (as much as these things can fit neatly into either).

Biden applauds Gaza ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas

  Biden applauds Gaza ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas US president backs Israel and condemns Hamas, pledges humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.“The United States fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks by Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist groups that have taken the lives of innocent civilians,” Biden said in remarks at the White House in Washington.

Lifeline: 13 11 14.

SHOT DOWN

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that thousands of AstraZeneca doses are sitting unused in Commonwealth-run clinics across New South Wales, with a lack of demand meaning some sites are operating at less than a quarter of capacity even as some GPs say they are still waiting on supplies.

The news comes after a nurse in Victoria announced this week she administered just one vaccine over the course of an eight-hour shift at one of the state’s mass vaccination hubs.

Epidemiologists continue to urge Australians over the age of 50 not to wait for alternatives to AstraZeneca, with the ABC reporting that Deakin University’s Professor Catherine Bennett has warned against a “false sense of security” as some Australians — cited by both the ABC and respondents to the SMH/Resolve Strategic’s “vaccine hesitancy” survey — suggest they will hold out for Pfizer or Moderna drugs due by the end of 2021.

The call comes after Health Minister Greg Hunt — tackling an admittedly incredibly vexed communication challenge — sparked some confusion for telling eligible Australians to seek that vaccine as soon as possible but also be confident that, “as supply increases later on in the year, there will be enough … mRNA vaccines for every Australian”.

Australia welcomes Middle East ceasefire

  Australia welcomes Middle East ceasefire Australia has welcomed a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas after 11 days of fighting in the Middle East.The fighting flared up after Israeli forces tried to forcibly evict Palestinians from their homes in the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah and stormed the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

While blood-clotting remains extremely rare among those who receive the AstraZeneca vaccine — and serious cases reportedly dwindle as health experts learn more about the drug — the calls sadly come as a 53-year-old South Australian man is being treated in intensive care with the side-effect health authorities say is linked to the vaccine.

Elsewhere, Scott Morrison has insisted his proposal for a digital vaccination passport for quarantine-free interstate travel is not dead in the water, despite, as Guardian Australia reports, strong pushback from New South Wales and Queensland’s state premiers. See also: whatever happened to the COVIDSafe tracing app.

MESSED UP ROYALLY

Finally, an investigation set up by the BBC has found that it fell short of “high standards of integrity and transparency” over a 1995 interview with Princess Diana, with journalist Martin Bashir found guilty of deceitful behaviour after showing fake bank statements to persuade Diana’s brother Charles Spencer to introduce the pair.

Diana admitted in the interview to an affair and shared intimate details of her marriage to Prince Charles. The ABC notes both the BBC and Bashir have issued apologies, although the latter, who left the broadcaster last week because of ill health, noted he remains “immensely proud” of the interview and said “the bank statements had no bearing whatsoever on the personal choice by Princess Diana to take part in the interview”.

After Gaza ceasefire: ‘What’s Biden’s plan? There’s zero plan’

  After Gaza ceasefire: ‘What’s Biden’s plan? There’s zero plan’ Israeli attacks on Gaza spurred protests in the US, but experts say Joe Biden hopes to return issue to the back burner.The United States president has faced unprecedented criticism for failing to demand an immediate ceasefire to end Israel’s devastating bombing campaign, instead putting out what rights advocates described as milquetoast statements reaffirming Washington’s unequivocal support for Israel.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

[asked to read out his own finding that, ‘Defence has not clearly demonstrated that the acquisition provides value for money, as it did not undertake robust benchmarking in the context of a sole source procurement’]: Senator, I have been advised that given that that sentence is subject to a certificate issued by the attorney-general, I am prohibited from communicating that to you.

Auditor-General Grant Hehir

After losing a long FOI battle over a 2018 Defence audit with Independent Senator Rex Patrick, former-attorney general Christian Porter’s final twist of the knife — gagging the auditor-general from explaining his results to MPs and senators — means that while you and I can read a sentence in a public document aloud, the guy who wrote it cannot.

CRIKEY RECAP

Brian Houston wearing a suit and tie looking at the camera © Provided by Crikey

The making of a mega-church and the earthly rules that keep it in financial heaven

“Somewhere amid the Big Macs and hot apple pies an extraordinary scene played out in a suburban McDonald’s which, 20 years on, still has ramifications for the men involved — and the ever-expanding Hillsong Church.

“It was here in the fast food fantasia of McDonald’s Thornleigh in Sydney’s north that two of the biggest names in the Australian Pentecostal movement met to dispense quick justice to a man who had been sexually abused as a child.

“The deal was done with the promise of $10,000. In exchange, the then-38-year-old victim Brett Sengstock signed a soiled McDonald’s napkin.”

  Ceasefire © Provided by Crikey

Vaccine hesitancy is a by-product of a society where science has lost its grip and distrust runs wild

“The governments of the day were determined to wipe out TB — correction: wipe out TB in non-Indigenous people, where it persists to this day — and so they just made ya do it. Like they made kids have the polio Sabin vaccine, sweet pink fluid on a tiny spoon. Lined up at school and just given it. There was a very occasional religious exemption, but that was it. Today the notes regarding anti-vax beliefs would knock out half the class.

Joe Biden says two-state solution only route to peace as Israel-Hamas ceasefire holds

  Joe Biden says two-state solution only route to peace as Israel-Hamas ceasefire holds US President Joe Biden has said a two-state solution is the only answer to resolving the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people. © Associated Press People in Gaza are assessing the damage following the ceasefire. Pic: AP Speaking at a White House news conference, Mr Biden said that he was praying that the current ceasefire between Israel and Hamas would hold.The US administration worked in the background, along with Egypt, to secure an end to the conflict which lasted 11 days.Some 248 Palestinians - including 66 children - died, while 12 people in Israel died.

“Mass vaccination relied on three things. At the deepest level a sense of collective life, in which mutual obligation minimised notions of free-floating risk. That has now been atomised, so individual senses of risk separate from their actual likelihood. Second, a belief and trust in science as the frontier of human betterment; that the small number of people who were scientists and doctors were on the side of the masses, despite and because what they do was utterly incomprehensible to most. Finally, there was the regimentation of a mass society, in which lining up to do stuff — from kinder to school, to the Repco/Heinz/Ford factory — was just what most people did for most of their life.”

  Ceasefire © Provided by Crikey

Meet the conspiracy-theory-touting, far-right YouTubers helping Craig Kelly

“Independent federal MP Craig Kelly has been working with a couple of young YouTubers who’ve previously promoted conspiracy and fringe theories — including accusing Australian politicians of running a paedophile ring and calling COVID-19 a ‘scamdemic’.

“Since the maverick MP left the Liberal Party room, he has begun dabbling in more video content that he shares to social media with video production help from Dougal Cameron and Joel Jammal, who each produce fringe video content on YouTube and Facebook.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Climate crisis behind drastic drop in Arctic wildlife populations — report

30,600 fewer people in work amid warnings ‘easy wins’ may be over

Coronavirus: PM, Premier in quarantine camp standoff ($)

More than 140 refugees in Australian detention set to be resettled in Canada under sponsorship scheme

High court rejects Brisbane grammar abuse victim’s bid to reopen compensation claim

Barnaby Joyce tells Q+A Australia need not get involved in Israel, Gaza conflict

Dubbo mayor Ben Shields reveals all on attempted overdose ($)

Hamas co-founder: 'Ceasefire will hold for now but no peace with Israel without justice for Palestinians'

  Hamas co-founder: 'Ceasefire will hold for now but no peace with Israel without justice for Palestinians' A senior Hamas leader has told Sky News the group's current ceasefire should hold but warned there was no chance of making peace with Israel for the moment. © Sky Mahmoud Zahar speaks exclusively to Sky News In a wide-ranging interview - the first he's given to any broadcaster since the ceasefire was announced - Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas co-founder, denied the group fires rockets from civilian areas and said he would be willing to talk to US President Joe Biden.Asked if the ceasefire would hold, he said: "Yes, I think the most important point is the degree of impact on both sides.

New wildlife protection strategy to tackle climate change, natural disasters

Road safety to sunscreen: How Australia’s past health campaigns compare to vaccine push

NZ Budget 2021: billions more for benefits, but one eye on the bottom line

THE COMMENTARIAT

Treasurer goes all in on the Robin Hood approach to fundingAnnika Smethurst (The Age): “With state and federal elections due by the end of next year, this budget has handed the Coalition — at both the state and federal level – a political weapon. In Victoria, the Andrews government holds 55 of the 88 seats in the lower house to the Coalition’s 27. That gives it a comfortable buffer. Labor now represents affluent suburbs such as Hawthorn, Sorrento and Surrey Hills, and this budget suggests it doesn’t necessarily care if it holds them.”

SAS still a place for the best of the best ($) — James Paterson (The Australian): “The geopolitical climate we confront, identified in the 2020 Defence Strategic Update, will demand as least as much, if not more, of our special forces as the past decade has. The update identified the rising risk of state-on-state conflict in our region, the Indo-Pacific, and the increasing use of grey-zone tactics that occur below the threshold of war but still threaten our national interests, such as cyber attacks, covert influence and economic coercion.”

Crony capitalism: Morrison’s gas spending masks a deeper coal addiction Ketan Joshi (RenewEconomy): “There’s one statistic that was included in the International Energy Agency (IEA) net zero report earlier this week that stands out above every single one. The thing about no longer investing in any new fossil fuel infrastructure was big, but to me, advanced the call for OECD countries to completely shut down their coal-fired power stations by the year 2030 to align with net zero by 2050 is the really, really big one.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

a close up of a newspaper: The Latest Headlines © Provided by Crikey The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Melbourne

  • Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission will hold its live webinar “Exposing corruption: how IBAC handles complaints” as part of Law Week 2021.

Mount Gambier, SA

  • Advocates for voluntary assisted dying will hold a candlelight vigil.

Australia

  • Rallies for the School Strike 4 Climate movement will take place in all capital cities and dozens of other cities and towns.

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Hamas co-founder: 'Ceasefire will hold for now but no peace with Israel without justice for Palestinians' .
A senior Hamas leader has told Sky News the group's current ceasefire should hold but warned there was no chance of making peace with Israel for the moment. © Sky Mahmoud Zahar speaks exclusively to Sky News In a wide-ranging interview - the first he's given to any broadcaster since the ceasefire was announced - Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas co-founder, denied the group fires rockets from civilian areas and said he would be willing to talk to US President Joe Biden.Asked if the ceasefire would hold, he said: "Yes, I think the most important point is the degree of impact on both sides.

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