Daily News - Friday 26 July 2013

Posted 26 July 2013 8:21am

Relaxation tops money spend
Shane Wright, The West Australian

Australians have used the benefit of falling prices for everyday goods to splash out on big new homes and time spent enjoying themselves.

Drowning mercy: why we fear the boats
Patrick Stokes, The Conversation

This emphasis on sovereignty over mercy serves to bolster the idea that “our way of life” is somehow ours by right, and so within our gift to bestow or withhold however we see fit. A gift, by its nature, must be freely given and gratuitous; it cannot be demanded of us. And it must be ours to give; we can only share what we ourselves are entitled to.

Except, of course, we haven’t earned such an entitlement at all.

There's a paradox at the heart of the PNG plan
Waleed Aly, The Age

Whichever way you look at it, Labor's brutal plan to stop the boats signals that Australia is no longer interested in offering protection.

Refugee advocates speak out against political agenda
Ashleigh Gleeson, The Daily Advertiser

Frank Jafoi was living in a refugee camp in Guinea, Africa, before he was able to move to Wagga.

“You’d just try to survive because the basic necessities needed for human life were not there,” he said.

“The people expected to protect us were exploiting us.

“Women were being used; forced to give sex for rations.”

Mr Jafoi, who works at Centacare Catholic Family Services, said asylum seekers acted out of desperation.

The story behind the numbers: PM speaks to father of child who died at sea while seeking asylum
Martin Cuddihy, PM, ABC

The debate about asylum seekers is dominated by numbers, often at the expense of individual stories.

How to break the people smugglers’ real business model
Anne McNevin, Inside Story

Smugglers take advantage of the fact that for people who urgently flee their countries, there are few if any lawful means to travel to places where real protection is possible – or, at a minimum, to travel to places where they can be fairly processed with a reasonable prospect of resettlement elsewhere.

Unemployment hitting Brisbane's outer suburbs hardest
Katherine Feeney, Brisbane Times

Job losses have hit some suburbs of Brisbane far harder than others, analysis of new economic data reveals.

Aged at risk of becoming homeless
Cherie McDonald and Jack Marx, ABC

You don't have to be young and sleeping rough in a park or in an abandoned house to be considered homeless.

It might surprise you to hear that many older people in regional areas are living in insecure housing or are on the verge of becoming homeless.

Courage needed to break the vicious cycle of abuse
Alex White, Herald Sun

Only 13 days after this woman gave birth, her boyfriend picked her up by the hair and slammed her face into the ground.

NT - Treasurer 'unaware' of crisis service fund cuts
Phoebe Stewart, ABC

Deputy Chief Minister and Treasurer Dave Tollner says he did not know the Northern Territory Government had cut funding for a sexual assault advice and counselling service.

Three staff at the Ruby Gaea Centre in Darwin have lost their positions, after the Government decided not to renew a grant.

Inquiry reveals disabled people are failed by justice system
Caroline Winter, PM, ABC

An inquiry has found that the South Australian justice system is failing people with intellectual disabilities.

Let’s talk about making smacking children illegal
Susan Moloney, The Conversation

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP) is today launching a call for law reform regarding the use of physical punishment to discipline children. Noting the harms of smacking children, it’s urging parents and caregivers to consider alternatives to discipline.

Does police contact increase or decrease the likelihood that youths will offend in the future?
Christian Jarrett, BPS Research Digest

One of the main arguments for having more police is that they act as a deterrent. With more officers on the street, more would-be criminals can be stopped and questioned; more wrong-doers can be arrested. But what if police contact actually has the effect of making it more likely that young people will offend in the future?

Homelessness Needs More than PM Pledge
Pro Bono News

Australia urgently needs a new four-year agreement between the Federal, State and Territory Governments if it is to achieve the homelessness targets the Prime Minister has recommitted to, says the St Vincent de Paul Society National Council of Australia.

The call comes as the Vinnies welcomed the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s renewed commitment to halve homelessness by 2020.

UK - The great outsourcing scandal as firms 'cut corners' to cream profits off public
Oliver Wright, The Independent

Private companies providing public services are routinely “gaming the system” to make money for their shareholders at the expense of the taxpayer, a major new study finds today.

UK - Ingeus hit the jackpot under the Tories
Kevin Morgan, The Australian

A key tenet of the privatisation of social welfare under the Tories is the city should provide the risk capital for service delivery. This allows the bidder with the best financial connections and deepest pockets to "game" their competitors by bidding low on the initial start-up payments offered, in the confident expectation any initial losses will be recouped by long-term payments from placement by results, such as when the unemployed are actually put in work or, as under probation reforms, kept out of prison. Small companies and not-for-profit agencies can't afford to bid. Yet despite underbidding by a reported 60 per cent, Ingeus was paid £80m start-up fees under Work Program in its first 13 months.

In Rio slum, Pope defends poor

Pope Francis has waded into Brazil's ramshackle slums and onto the front line of its fierce national battle over poverty and corruption.

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