Saturday, September 11, 2010

Aus News 30: Public sick of street violence, says judge

A serial offender, Brooks, 21, has been jailed for four and a half years for brutally assaulting and robbing a teacher, Mr Wresinski. The teacher claimed that he was left bloodied, bruised and with a broken arm after being kicked by the cruel and callous Brooks repeatedly. Mr Wresinski was kind to lend Brooks his bike after knowing that he had no way to get home. Unfortunately, he was robbed and bashed by the cold-blooded youth. He said that he no longer feels safe to walk the streets at night. The judge Tinney stated that the society is sick and tired of this sort of public violence. He also realised that Brooks had a unpleasant upbringing. He was being exposed to environment with domestic violence and with little regard for the law. He was also committed to a crime of assaulting his 75-year-old great-grandmother three years ago.

Public violence is getting more prevalent. The saddest issue is that youths never get themselves out of this issue. The apparent root cause here is, the upbringing atmosphere. Children should be instilled with positive attitudes and exposed to convenient environment. This is because they are vulnerable to any issue happening around them, and they are unable to distinguish what is harmful and what is beneficial. Therefore, in order to avoid them from having misconception since young, parenting and positive religious teaching should play an important role here.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Aus News 29: Wild weather leaves path of destruction

Victoria experiences its most devastating floods in more than a decade. A damage bill of tens of millions of dollars is expected after the heavy downfall. Besides, the heavy rainfalls caused landslides, flash flooding and the evacuation of homes. An emergency alert system was created to warn the Victorians about rising flood levels. The residents were sent text and telephone messages telling the dangers in the area. The northeastern townships were issued with emergency evacuation alerts and an estimated hundreds of homes will be affected. The State Emergency Service (SES) was issuing a major flood warning for residents along the river to be aware of the deteriorating situation. The SES claimed that 625 calls were received overnight relating to severe winds and wild weather as well as fallen trees and building damage that affected central Victoria and Melbourne. By the way, the government is arranging emergency relief in affected areas to assist the flood victims. All Victorians are urged to check the forecast in their area, listen to the warnings and be prepared to evacuate if necessary. On the other hand, the iconic Birdsville races were postponed for the first time in their 128-year history after an unseasonal downpour flooded the track. The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts for more wild weather with heavy rain and isolated thunderstorms which could lead to flash flood.

Apparently, the Australian government has indeed put their endeavour in handling the severe floods. A deeper look into this issue, what on earth are the major cause for this lamentable disaster? It goes back to climate change issue again. Have human beings realised their responsibilities in putting all these disastrous damages a halt? When are we going to stop exposing to all this disappointing news? Haven't all these devastating natural disasters acted as a portent for us that doomsday is getting closer to us? It's time for us to choose either to save the earth or suffer for what we have done to the earth.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Aus News 28: NSW parliament will hold a conscience vote on a bill for legalised adoption by gay couples

Major parties are dividing over the Bill of whether to allow same-sex adoption. The opposition leader of this Bill, Mr O' Farell, claims that same-sex adoption would deny future kids the chance for a mum and dad. Besides, the Liberal Party also opposed the Bill by saying that it will increase the rate of abortions. They further explained that any mother who put up her baby for adoption would never expect their baby to be brought up by a gay or a lesbian couple. The Bill is expected to be debated today, with all MPs granted a conscience vote for the first time on the isuue. On the other hand, the two major child and welfare charities in NSW supported the Bill, saying it would benefit children and boost the number of carers.

There are both advantages and disadvantages of permitting same-sex adoption, like what had been argued by the different parties. In my own view, it goes back to the main issue-- homosexual discrimination. If people are ready to accept homosexual relationships, then same-sex adoption should not be a problem as well. However, it depends on how we look at the issue. Since it is hard to reach a consensus on an issue, government will then have to do something to ensure that the decision on the Bill will satisfy both sides of the argument.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Aus News 27: Teachers call for help with 50,000 unruly pupils

Figures show that more than 50,000 pupils have been suspended from Victorian state schools in the past three years. Most of the suspensions happen in year 9 for boys and year 8 for girls, and a quarter of all suspensions involved girls. Australian Education Union state president, Mary Bluett said student misbehaviour was an increasing problem and schools needed more cash to deal with unruly and troubled kids. For instance, providing schools with the appropriate resources to deliver a broad range of subjects and supporting students with behavioural and emotional problems by restoring and expanding the provision of special settings. She added that suspension is just one action, and it doesn't address the complex issues that lie behind that behaviour, including family circumstances.

It's true that students nowadays are getting more unruly. I agree that suspension is not the only way to solve the misbehavioural problems, and it is not ideal either. People always point their fingers at those students with misbehavioural problems, yet they never realise that they have the responsibilities to alleviate the problems. Suspend a problematic student will never help to curb the problem, instead, it will create more social issues to the society as society will now have to take up the onus which supposedly belongs to the school counselors. Hence, the Ministry of Education and the school authorities should review this issue and make changes if necessary.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Aus News 26: Geelong teenager Kasey Neville jailed for knifing her lover

A 18-year-old girl, Kasey Neville was jailed for 5.5 years for stabbing her boyfriend, Ronin Will in the lungs and heart. She also pleaded guilty for armed robberies the Shell service station two days before the stabbing. Neville and Will were both high in drugs when the quarrel happened after he was being told that she was pregnant. Two days before, Neville robbed the Shell and fled with cash of $455 to buy heroine and pay drug debts. Luckily, Will has regained consciousness and so Neville could escape from facing a murder charge. She later found out that she was not pregnant. Neville experienced a tragic life since young. She was being kicked out from home and became homeless since she was 15 for excessive substance abuse. She was later being in an abusive relationship with Will. She showed her remorse by confessing to the police and during the court, a birthday card that she wrote to her mother saying that she will turn over a new leaf was read out.

This is another miserable teenage social issue. Drug addiction, robbery, teenage pregnancy and teenage murdering are all pointed out in this news. This is so appalling that proper actions are indeed urgent to control the situation. However, one thing that we are comforted with is that the girl has realized her mistakes and promised to turn over a new leaf. Despite this, she still has to be responsible for what she has done. Hopefully the sentence will not destroy her whole life and that she can get out from drug addiction very soon.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Aus News 25: McDonald's opens extra restaurants as business soars

A record shows 1.7 million Australians visit McDonald's each day. It indicates a drastic increase of half a million people since 2007, partly caused by the soaring popularity of take-away food. This fast food chain has opened 50 new outlets in the country in the past three years to meet increasing customers' demand. McDonald's attributes the rise in popularity to its 'healthier choices' menu, but marketing experts claim that the rise is owing to its clever marketing and competitive pricing. They even accuse that the 'healthier choices' menu is actually a ploy to lure customers to buy more traditional menu items such as burgers. They also point out several actions of McDonald's are actually tactics to earn lucrative profit instead of satisfying customers' demand. However, McDonald's, on the other hand, said that their success is mainly due to factors that emphasized around listening and responding to their customers. Although McDonald's has started to cook with a cholesterol-free oil blend, a dietician responds that there are actually much more could be done by the fast food chain, for instance, use less salt in their products, more fibre in their buns and more salad.

Apparently, fast food is gaining popularity among consumers. As its name suggests, many people opt for fast food mainly due to its convenience and time-saving. Even if they realise the unhealthy fact of consuming fast food, the convenience that the fast food brings always outweighs the ugly truth. We can't deny the benefits that fast food brings, especially for those office workers and working mothers, yet we should control the frequency of consuming it. Sometimes, I just can't control myself against fast food and I always wonder what exactly makes everybody so obsessed with fast food. Maybe it's time for me, and everyone of you to cut down the consumption of fast food from now on. For the sake of our health, let's say NO to fast food!! (but once in a while should be acceptable)LOL!! XD

Aus News 24: Bus drivers get self-defence classes

Bus drivers will be given self-defence classes and taught techniques to avert any potential violence on public transport. Drivers claim that overcrowding on bus is the main reason to raise temper on buses. Report shows that there has been increasing assaults on STA bus drivers compared to previous year. Drivers have been bashed, spat on and abused by those furious passengers. Besides, bus drivers are more exposed to violence as they often have to handle those drunken and unruly passengers during night time once the rail services finish. Only a small percentage of private bus drivers are given this self-defence training and the Transport Workers Union is trying to make it compulsory and publicly funded.

I often hear of passengers being abused or bullied by drivers but rarely for another way round. Maybe it is not so prevalent and it is good to initiate a self-defence training for the bus drivers to defuse the violent situation. However, it has to be continuously and consistently supported by the authorities. The community should also realise their responsibilities of being patient and disciplined. As the use of public transport is getting more significant nowadays, cooperation from all parties is indeed necessary to prevent further problematic issues from rising.