Profile: Surfer, Environmentalist, Novelist. Australia’s Living Legend.


For almost three decades, Mr. Winton has taken care not to divulge where he lives. Largely, this is so that his three children and wife of 36 years, Denise, could “have a normal life” — something that extends now to his two grandchildren.

Mr. Winton is cognizant of his near celebrity status in a country that rarely lionizes its literary authors. Yet he has carved a voice that is uniquely Australian, finding poetry and an austere beauty in local vernacular and landscape. As Mr. Baker put it at the premiere, his is a celebration of “Australian plain-speak.”

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“The Shepherd’s Hut” is no different. A fable about acceptance and forgiveness, teenager Jaxie Clackton is a victim of domestic violence. Orphaned when his father dies, and afraid he’ll be blamed, he flees on foot from his small town to the northern wheat belt. In a desperate quest that mirrors both “Huckleberry Finn” and the knights from the tales of King Arthur, he must overcome physical deprivation to reach the girl he loves. Along the way, he finds a different intimacy: friendship with exiled Irish priest Fintan MacGillis who lives in a shepherd’s hut with only the kangaroos for company.

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Sonny Figueroa/The New York Times

Most of Mr. Winton’s books have been set along the wild coastline, which he calls home, or the suburbs of waterside Perth, where he grew up. “The Shepherd’s Hut” takes place far from the ocean, in Western Australia’s vast interior saltlands where “the dirt was baked hard” and the earth is all “salt bush and low mulga, red dirt and pebbles.”

Jaxie Clackton, too, is a boy hardened: a kid with an “elbows-out walk like a scorpion all burred up for a fight.” Mr. Winton initially tried writing “The Shepherd’s Hut” from multiple perspectives, predicting scant sympathy for the “foul-mouthed hypermasculine” Jaxie. Looking back, he sees this aborted dilution of Jaxie’s voice, which now dominates the novel, as “a failure of nerve,” he said. Writers need “to take risks and to do stuff that is awkward.”

Over a meal of fish and wine, Mr. Winton is soft and modest, if shy. He clasps his hands as he talks, peppers his conversation with “mate,” and rarely makes eye contact. With his long hair cascading down his shoulders he comes across as a faintly disheveled surfer dude for whom, refreshingly, airs and graces don’t matter. (When I ask what he is wearing to the movie premiere, he gives a bemused shrug, points to his blue T-shirt and replies, “this?”)

Raised in a working-class evangelical Christian family, Mr. Winton was the first of his close kin to ever finish high school (some of his relatives remain functionally illiterate). Reading became a form of “transport, in almost that religious sense,” he said.

Today Mr. Winton is no longer the “God botherer I was,” but he still counts himself as a Christian of sorts. “I’m tired of all the cataloging and all the hair splitting,” he sighed. “For me, if it’s not about love, if it’s not about mercy, if it’s not about kindness, if it’s not about liberation then I’m just not that interested.”

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Mr. Winton worries about the toxic masculinity among boys. Many of his books highlight what he calls “the secret, deep hurting cause of men.”

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Matthew Abbott for The New York Times

Many of Mr. Winton’s books highlight what he calls “the secret, deep hurting cause of men.” It is a subject matter that has touched a nerve: When he is out surfing, boys have paddled up, bashfully, to confide his books “had spoken to them and for them.”

In a recent public talk held in Sydney, Mr. Winton tackled a larger problem: “the terror generated by toxic masculinity.” “I worry about our revulsion for them, our desire to banish them,” he said. “Boys need help. And men need fixing. I’m mindful of that.”

When asked to expand, Mr. Winton provides an analogy: All children are born with a rich palette of colored pencils. By the time many boys reach 18, however, they are so emotionally stunted they only have brown, black and purple left. They’re living a “monochrome life and they don’t even realize they’re colorblind.”

Toxic masculinity, Mr. Winton argued, mutates in settler societies; it is no accident that in “The Shepherd’s Hut” Jaxie is referred to as a “wild colonial boy.” Enclosing his fist into a tight ball, Mr. Winton stated: “You show up, you seize” and “you dig in, you enclose, you consolidate, you defend.”

Such settler instinct vanquished not just Australia’s indigenous peoples, but the very land itself, Mr. Winton asserted. Alongside his wife, Denise, a nurse turned marine scientist, the couple are staunch environmental activists.

In March, Mr. Winton donated 15,000 Australian dollars, or $11,350, in prize money for his memoir “The Boy Behind the Curtain” toward the protection of Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef. “Eyrie,” his 2013 novel about an alcoholic environmental activist, was conceived when Mr. Winton witnessed activists beaten down like “returned veterans.”

That Mr. Winton can use his own vibrant palette of pencils to fight back, depicting Australia in all its raw, unvarnished ugliness and beauty, makes him rich, he believes, despite his modest upbringing. “The Shepherd’s Hut” in many ways is a nod toward those boys he grew up with who have no similar luxury.

“Such a narrow lexicon, range of words, strong feelings with no way of expressing them except with their fists,” he said. “That’s poverty.”

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REgional Australia, PArt 1 of 2: A Booming Economy With a Tragic Price


REgional Australia, PArt 1 of 2

Australia is a breadbasket to the world and a globalization success story. So why are its farmers killing themselves?

The grave of James Guy at a cemetery in the Australian state of Victoria. Mr. Guy hanged himself on the dairy farm that he owned with his wife, Mary.CreditAdam Ferguson for The New York Times

SIMPSON, Australia — James Guy had been a dairy farmer since he was 15, and at 55, he thought he’d be preparing for retirement. Instead, he struggled to make the payments on a bank loan after the price of milk fell and never recovered.

One night in November 2016, his wife, Mary, who was working part-time as a nurse to help make ends meet, came home to find he had hanged himself.

“When a farmer is looking down the barrel of having to sell his farm or lose his farm or give up the profession he’d done all his life, it’s devastating,” Ms. Guy said, her voice wavering, from her farmhouse in Simpson, a town in Australia’s dairy heartland of Victoria. “They just lose their identity.”

Family farms like Mr. Guy’s have been the producers of Australia’s agricultural bounty, and the bedrock of its self-image as a nation of proudly self-reliant types, carving a living from a vast continent. But as Australia’s rural economy has boomed on the back of growing exports, small farmers have not always shared in the bounty, with many forced into borrowing money or selling their farms.

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Jim Whelan, a cattle farmer, at his mother’s property near Charters Towers, in northern Queensland, Australia. Mr. Whelan has struggled with depression and the difficulties of farming through drought. His son, also a farmer, killed himself in 2013.CreditAdam Ferguson for The New York Times
Residents of Clermont, Australia, at a men-only gathering in October to discuss suicide and mental health problems in rural communities. The vast majority of rural Australians who take their own lives are men.CreditDavid Maurice Smith for The New York Times

“There are always issues around mental health everywhere I go,” Mr. Cuylenburg said. “No one talks more about suicide, no one seems to be more affected by the numbers of suicide, than in the rural parts of Australia.”

Andrew Fernie on his farm outside of Clermont. Mr. Fernie has suffered for years from depression and other health issues, for which he has been treated with medication and therapy.CreditDavid Maurice Smith for The New York Times

The problem has become so severe that rural communities have gone on suicide watch. In some towns, residents have compiled lists of warning signs such as sudden withdrawal from society.

Despite such community-based steps, many cases require professional care.

“If prevention and treatment services got to them earlier we’d see less deaths,” said Martin Laverty, chief executive of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, one government-backed effort to improve access to health care in rural areas.

The service relies on small planes to cover some three million square miles of the most rural parts of Australia, flying in doctors and other professionals who offer basic and emergency care.

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“If prevention and treatment services got to them earlier we’d see less deaths”
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But Mr. Laverty said the service is spread too thin. Last year, it provided almost 25,000 people with mental health counseling.

New federal funding will allow it to triple that number next year, a sign of how dire the situation has become. But Mr. Laverty said even that will barely scratch the surface of the problem.

“There’s no more important topic,” Mr. Laverty said. “We need to make city folk aware that the food bowl of Australia — the area in which our crops are grown, and our milk and meat is provided — needs their support.”

Dairy farmer Phil Vines milks cattle on a farm near Simpson, Australia. Mr. Vines rents the farm from Ms. Guy, whose husband hanged himself after milk prices dropped. The low prices also prevent Mr. Vines from turning a profit.CreditAdam Ferguson for The New York Times

The causes of rural Australia’s crisis vary. Some farming areas have been pummeled by drought, which many blame on global warming. Other communities, like Pyramid Hill, Victoria, have desperately needed workers and are turning to immigrants for help.

But economists and mental health experts say a common thread is the changes unleashed by a globalizing economy.

There is a painful irony here, they say, since Australia has embraced free trade in farm goods, and even pressed other nations to liberalize their markets, in the belief that agriculture is one of its most competitive industries.

And Australian farm exports are growing: Last year, they totaled 44.8 billion Australian dollars, or $33.5 billion, up more than a fifth from just six years earlier, according to the National Farmers Federation.

But many experts say the biggest beneficiaries are larger corporate farms. Family farms are less able to ride out fluctuations in far-flung global markets that can drive down prices of their crops while raising the cost of tractor fuel.

Brian Sporne, a cattle farmer in Clermont, said people in the area had been working themselves “into a frazzle.”

“Everything is so competitive now,” said Mr. Sporne, a strong man with worn hands who raises his herd on a dry landscape of low scrubs and sandy orange earth. Mr. Sporne said he himself has suffered from depression. “Everything’s more expensive — land’s more expensive, then you’ve got to have bigger debt.”

“This is happening to more and more people, and it’s not their fault,” said Mary Guy, who still lives on the property where her husband took his life. CreditAdam Ferguson for The New York Times

Farms are forced into debt to make ends meet. Across Australia, total borrowing from banks by farmers has ballooned to about 70 billion Australian dollars, or about $53 billion, seven times the level in the early 1990s, according to the Australian Farm Institute.

“Everything’s more expensive — land’s more expensive, then you’ve got to have bigger debt,” said Brian Sporne, a Clermont cattle farmer. People have been working themselves “into a frazzle,” he said.CreditAdam Ferguson for The New York Times

Mass Shooting in Australia Leaves a Tiny Community in Shock and Grief


MARGARET RIVER, Australia — On the road to the property where seven people from the same family were killed on Friday in Australia’s worst mass shooting in decades, a small makeshift sign says, “Church open for prayer.”

In a community so small and tight-knit that some farms have just the first names of their owners painted on the driveway gates, it’s a small, silent reference to a trauma that the entire area is still struggling to grasp.

But there are other indications: the police vehicles blocking roads; and the community center in nearby Margaret River offering counseling with television news cameras clustering outside.

“This incident has shocked our local community to the core,” said Pam Townshend, president of Augusta-Margaret River Shire, the district that includes Osmington, where the shooting occurred. She added, “What happened will have a huge ripple effect.”

The Margaret River region is a tourism mecca known for its vineyards, its natural beauty and its laid-back, friendly attitude. Now a shadow hangs over the community as people struggle to come to terms with the deaths of three adults and four children in a murder-suicide on Friday morning.

The police say they believe that Peter Miles shot his wife, Cynda Miles, who was a prominent member of the community; their daughter Katrina Miles; and their four grandchildren before calling the police and then taking his own life.

The police declined to speculate on a motive.

The Miles family lived together on a property on Osmington Road, Osmington, a quiet rural area 13 miles outside the town of Margaret River. Officers arrived on the scene early Friday morning to find the bodies with bullet wounds, and recovered three rifles from the scene — all licensed to Mr. Miles.

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“I love Australia. I have never felt unsafe in Australia before,” said Daytona Stanga, originally from Texas, who has lived in Australia for two years and Margaret River for several months.CreditGiovanni Torre for The New York Times

To the frustration of some Australians, the shooting quickly became part of the conversation about gun control in the United States, partly because Australia has long prided itself on passing strict gun-control laws after a mass shooting in Port Arthur, Tasmania, in 1996.

Until Friday, the country had suffered only one other mass shooting — generally defined by experts as a shooting that involves at least four victims in a singular event. But gun- control experts have been saying for years that Australia’s laws have slowly softened, and they said it was still far too common for Australians to have more than one weapon at home around children.

“Like all other jurisdictions across Australia, Western Australia’s gun laws have also been eroded as pro-gun lobby groups continue to place pressure on governments,” said Sam Lee, chairman of Gun Control Australia. “From a gun regulation perspective, this horrific shooting raises many concerns about access to firearms, particularly on rural properties.”

Among the ways the regulations in Western Australia have been eroded, critics say: No police checks are required to obtain second or subsequent hunting rifles; firearms safety-training courses are not required; there is no minimum age to obtain a minor’s permit; and there is no limit on the quantity of ammunition that can be purchased at any given time.

In Osmington and in Margaret River, though, there was little interest in political debates. There was only grief and shock.

About a dozen people were gathered at a support center on Saturday afternoon, established by the local government to provide counseling to residents. Some sat outside in the sunshine, talking quietly with one another, while others spoke with professional counselors. Elsewhere in the town, local people seemed stunned, while tourists milled around — providing a stark contrast.

Adam Navarone, who recently moved to Margaret River, where he works at a small shop, said his younger cousin had played football with one of the young victims.

“One of our customers came in and told me there’d been a murder-suicide, a family of seven,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it — I thought, this is a small town; this kind of thing doesn’t happen here. More customers came through talking about it, and I was shocked.”

He said: “You know, Port Arthur happened two years before I was born — this is quite a shocking thing. It has been quite somber since; a few people I saw who knew the family were absolutely gutted.”

“I was in shock — I didn’t believe it,” said Daytona Stanga, who is originally from Texas but has lived in Australia for two years and Margaret River for several months.

“One of my colleagues was their neighbor. The mom was very well known in the community, and it has had an impact on quite a few people around town,” she said, referring to Cynda Miles. “The girl I work with used to babysit the kids. It will have a lasting impact here.”

“I love Australia,” Ms. Stanga added. “I have never felt unsafe in Australia before. The idea of something like this happening here has never even crossed my mind.”

Ms. Townshend, the local government president, said the Shire had encouraged anyone needing support to go to the Margaret River Community Center. “Coming together at this difficult time is extremely important,” she said.

The police, including officers from specialist forensic and homicide units from Perth, will be on the scene for “up to five days.”

Other members of the Miles family issued a statement on Saturday saying they were devastated and stunned and “still trying to understand how this could happen.”

“We respectfully ask that the community refrain from speculating on the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident. We thank the community for their support and ask that our privacy is respected as we grieve,” the statement concluded.

Ballarat Journal: Australian Mining Town Breaks Its Silence About Grim Past of Sexual Abuse


East Ballarat “was really left over from the gold rush days,” said Maureen Hatcher, who has lived in Ballarat most of her life. “There would have been a lot of people that would have come here that were incredibly poor and never made any money but thought they would.”

Pubs have also played a major role in Ballarat life since the gold rush, say historians. And though they have dwindled in number, some residents said they have contributed to the malaise of alcoholism and depression that still lingers.

The abuse was particularly damaging because, without the basic social services prevalent today, residents of East Ballarat relied on the church for support, to serve as a bedrock for their community.

Ultimately, the priests betrayed those they were supposed to protect, say the victims.

“This community has been ravaged by the Catholic Church,” said Stephen Woods, who was abused as a child starting in the 1970s.

It wasn’t until the 1990s that the dam finally broke, said Mr. Woods, whose abuse took place at St. Alipius, and later at the nearby St. Patrick’s College, a Catholic day and boarding school.

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“This community has been ravaged by the Catholic Church,” said Stephen Woods, who was abused as a child starting in the 1970s at his old school, St. Alipius, above, and later at the nearby St. Patrick’s College.

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Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The New York Times

He publicly revealed his abuse in 1994 and was among those who led the way for others to share their truths.

But he added that it was the Loud Fence movement, which began about three years ago, that finally gave this community a voice to speak about its dark past.

The movement began as thousands of residents and people from across Australia began hanging colorful ribbons on the fence outside St. Alipius and St. Patrick’s to show support for the victims.

Ms. Hatcher, the movement’s founder, said though ribbons had at times been stripped from the fences by parishioners, they tied people together and now served as a symbol of speaking out against abuse.

“There are more ribbons on the fence now than there was before,” said Frank Sheehan, a former state lawmaker from Ballarat.

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Maralinga Journal: Australia’s Least Likely Tourist Spot: A Test Site for Atom Bombs


Maralinga, which means “thunder” in the extinct Aboriginal language Garik, is an unlikely tourist destination. It is hot and arid, and at 700 miles west of Adelaide it is difficult to reach. When tours started in 2016, the village was accessible by only two flights a week from Ceduna, the closest “large” city, which itself has a population of fewer than 3,000 people.

But the Maralinga Tjarutja people hope to increase the number of visitors to the site this year. The Maralinga Tjarutja Administration, which operates the site, is increasing the number of regular flights to the village, increasing the length of the tour to three days and working with the South Australian government on a business plan to lure more visitors, said Sharon Yendall, the group’s general manager.

Don Richards, who served at Maralinga as a clerk in the Australian Air Force from 1963 to 1965, was one of the 1,000 tourists who have so far visited the site.

“I learned more in that tour than I really learned in the two years I was out there,” he said. “It was a pretty interesting place to be — a fairly motley crew lived at Maralinga once.”

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The first nuclear test at Maralinga was conducted in September 1956, and was as big as the bomb dropped by the United States on Hiroshima, Japan.

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National Archives of Australia

Today just four people live full time in Maralinga village, a veritable ghost town. Amid the old buildings are new lodgings built for tourists, complete with hot water and Wi-Fi.

In the 1950s and ’60s, at the height of the Cold War, 35,000 military personnel lived here. There was a permanent airstrip, then the longest in the Southern Hemisphere, plus roads, a swimming pool, accommodation and railway access.




The first nuclear test was conducted in September 1956, two months before the Melbourne Olympics. That blast — as powerful as the bomb that the United States dropped on Hiroshima, Japan — was the first of seven atomic bombs set off here.

But it was the so-called minor tests that were the most harrowing. Carried out in secret, the tests examined how toxic substances, including uranium and plutonium 239, would react when burned or blown up. To ensure tourists’ safety in the area, a zone was cleaned up by radiation scientists at the cost of more than 100 million Australian dollars, about $77 million.

Around one area tourists can visit are 22 major pits, each at least 50 feet deep and cased in reinforced concrete to prevent dangerous radiation from seeping out.

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The site of a building where nuclear bombs were built before testing.

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Adam Ferguson for The New York Times

The site looks like a recently tilled garden bed, stretching out for hundreds of yards, in a near perfect circle. Dotting the red desert earth are shards of twisted metal. Aside from a few feral camels loping nearby, it is still and silent.

But on Oct. 4 1956, a “nuclear land mine” was detonated here, tearing a crater 140 feet wide and 70 feet deep into the earth.

The resulting atomic reaction took only a fraction of a second, but its effects on one Indigenous family would last decades.

In early 1957, Edie Millpuddie and her family were traversing the Great Victoria Desert plains. “The Millpuddies needed shelter for the night, and they came across this enormous hole where the ground was still warm,” Mr. Mathews said. “They drank rainwater from the bottom and lit a fire. All the rabbits in the area seemed disoriented; they were easy pickings for dinner before the family went to sleep in the crater.”

Two weeks later, Ms. Millpuddie delivered a stillborn baby.

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Trump Wants Back Into the TPP. Not So Fast, Say Members.


“We’ve got a deal” already, said Steven Ciobo, Australia’s trade minister, who added, “I can’t see that all being thrown open to appease the United States.”

[Read about President Trump’s reversal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which came at a gathering of politicians from farm states that stand to lose from any trade war with China.]

An early test of the potential for the United States to rejoin could come as soon as next week, when Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister and an ardent champion of the pact, is to meet with Mr. Trump at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.

Mr. Trump’s renewed interest in the pact depends on whether the United States could strike a better deal than President Barack Obama did, Mr. Trump said in a Thursday night tweet. Still, negotiations with a group of longtime trading partners could hold appeal at a time of increasing tensions with China.

Mr. Trump faces a growing domestic backlash from corporations, farmers and others over fears that he is igniting a trade war with China, the United States’ largest single trading partner. Mr. Trump has warned that he could levy tariffs on $150 billion in Chinese goods, prompting Beijing to threaten retaliatory measures aimed at American soybeans, airplanes and other products.

Negotiating a new pact could take years. Still, rekindling negotiations could make it hard for China to play off the United States against its allies by promising to shift business from one to another if a trade war breaks out. It could be a way to assuage American farmers and businesses hurt by Chinese tariffs by assuring robust markets for American products in countries that signed onto the deal, like Japan, Australia and South Korea. It would give the pact a great deal more heft and help position it as an economic counterweight to China, which increasingly dominates the Asia-Pacific region.

More broadly, it signals to the region that the United States is not giving up on trade, despite Mr. Trump’s sometimes harsh words. Even as officials in other countries expressed skepticism on Friday, they said they would like to hear what Washington has to offer. “Japan would like to listen to the U.S.’s view,” said Mr. Suga, the Japanese official.

What Is TPP? Behind the Trade Deal That Died

On his first full workday in office, President Trump delivered on a campaign promise by abandoning the enormous trade deal that had became a flashpoint in American politics.


The barriers to a new pact are considerable. Many current members of the pact feel they already gave considerable ground to the United States to strike the original deal, particularly in sensitive areas like protections for pharmaceutical companies.

For its part, the Trump administration worries that the partnership will become a zero-tariff backdoor for Chinese goods into the American market. It worries that companies that have moved much of their supply chains to China could make components there, ship them to a member of the T.P.P. for assembly, then sell them in the United States tariff-free. It wants to toughen requirements for how much of the product is made within the T.P.P. country, which could make the goods less competitive.

Their worries focus largely on Vietnam, a member of the current version of the T.P.P. It has a large population, and a few big American companies, like Intel, have already invested heavily in setting up factories there that make products practically from scratch. But many other companies that are exporting goods from Vietnam rely heavily on imports from China. Vietnam’s huge garment industry, for example, relies greatly on fabric and accessories imported from China, according to garment manufacturing executives.

Vietnamese officials did not respond to requests for comment on Friday. Frederick Burke, managing partner for Vietnam at the American law firm Baker McKenzie, said that the Vietnamese government is “very aware of and focused on the issue of circumvention” in trade.

Renegotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, may not be quick. Mr. Trump’s trade negotiators already have their hands full this spring trying to complete changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement. They need to decide whether to extend temporary exemptions from the president’s new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Above all, they are locked in a series of increasingly acrimonious trade spats with China.

China is making its own outreach efforts in the meantime. Wang Yi, its foreign minister, will travel to Tokyo on Sunday. China has played up free trade talks with Japan and with South Korea, which is not a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Sheila A. Smith, a Japan expert at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, said the Trump administration may have realized that it does not have the leverage it thought to renegotiate a new trade deal with Japan, and that embracing the regional pact may be the best fallback.

The Trump administration “could walk right back in with the exact same deal from last year that they walked out of, and claim victory,” said Ms. Smith, who noted that the government of Mr. Abe “has been continuously and quietly encouraging the U.S. administration to take another look” at the pact.

One lingering question would be how China would react. The pact’s rules were designed in part to challenge China by encouraging members to loosen state support of their economies and relax trade rules — steps Beijing would have to take if it hoped to someday join the pact and enjoy its lower trade barriers.

China is not likely to be troubled by a United States move to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership as long as the Trump administration is doing so for strictly trade reasons, said He Weiwen, a former Commerce Ministry official and trade specialist who is now a senior fellow at the influential Center for China and Globalization in Beijing.

But the Chinese government is likely to be dismayed if the United States is reconsidering it as part of any revival of the Obama administration’s geopolitical pivot to Asia, or as part of any attempt to isolate China, Mr. He cautioned.

“That’s what we should be careful about,” he said.

Some current members of the pact greeted Mr. Trump’s comments on Thursday warmly. A spokeswoman for Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry said it welcomed the American interest. “The TPP was designed to be an inclusive agreement, which is open to like-minded countries willing and able to meet its high standards,” the spokeswoman said.

Still, even American allies suggest a long road ahead if Mr. Trump moves forward.

“If the United States genuinely did wish to re-enter, that would trigger another process of engagement and negotiation,” Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand, said on television, adding that she still planned to go forward with the deal as-is. “It’s not just a matter of slotting into an existing deal.”

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Facebook Removes Popular Black Lives Matter Page for Being a Fake


The labor union has started its own investigation into the matter and has suspended Mr. Mackay and at least one other person, according to SBS News in Australia.

Some of the money raised through the page was funneled to Australian bank accounts, according to CNN, which noted that several online payment firms, including Patreon and Donorbox, had suspended fund-raising campaigns linked to the page. Donorbox said it had removed all pages related to the Facebook group in January.

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The Black Lives Matter movement’s official Facebook page.

PayPal confirmed that an account linked to the false Black Lives Matter page was no longer active on the payment platform. On Classy, a fund-raising site, a campaign linked to the sham page was “found not to be valid” and had been disabled, with the account owners receiving no money, Monica Finch, a company spokeswoman, wrote in an email.

The scheme was yet another blemish for Facebook as Mr. Zuckerberg starts the first of two days of testimony before Congress. Legislators are expected to grill him about the company’s role in a series of scandals, including a toxic bloom of fake news during the 2016 election and the harvesting of data from up to 87 million Facebook users by Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm connected to President Trump’s campaign.

Last week, in the run-up to Mr. Zuckerberg’s testimony, Facebook announced new measures requiring those who manage pages with large followings and pages related to political candidates and issues to verify their identities. The requirement is meant to give users more information about such pages, including any previous names they may have had.

“This will make it much harder for people to administer a page using a fake account, which is strictly against our policies,” the company said in a blog post on April 6.

Patrisse Cullors, a founder of the Black Lives Matters movement, wrote in a post on Twitter on Monday that she and her supporters had asked Facebook “over and over again” to shut down the fraudulent Black Lives Matter page, but that Facebook had balked at doing so.

“These fake BLM accounts and fake BLM people literally stealing money off Black Death is so stomach churning I can’t even begin to explain,” she wrote. “Glad it’s down now.”

Mr. Mackay also ran a Black Lives Matter Facebook group, which functioned like a forum where members had to request access, with nearly 40,000 participants, according to CNN.

Mr. Mackay told CNN that buying and selling domain names was a personal hobby but he declined to clarify his role in the Black Lives Matter page.

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Australia Shocked by Death of 2,400 Sheep on Ship to Qatar


Given the live animal trade’s importance to the state, critics said the video was unlikely to result in real change.

Live exports have been “an abject failure,” said Josh Wilson, a member of Parliament from Fremantle and a member of the Labor Party.

“There has been no independent supervision of these ‘death ships,’ and no penalties in relation to the mass death and suffering of sheep,” said Mr. Wilson, who blamed the governing Liberal Party for not adequately regulating the industry.

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The Awassi Express docked at the port of Fremantle, Australia, on Monday. Its owner, Emanuel Exports has been criticized before for its treatment of animals.

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Tony McDonough/Australian Associated Press, via Reuters

“I wouldn’t be surprised,” he said, “if the only serious change the exporter has made since this incident is to ban all staff from having smartphones on board.”

Animal activists said the government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was unlikely to call for restrictions on the live animal trade. A previous government was criticized for suspending cattle exports to Indonesia in 2011.

“Ultimately we’d like to see a total ban of live export to the Middle East, but that’s probably not going to happen,” said Katrina Love, a member of Stop Live Exports, which held a protest in Perth on Monday.

However, she said, the government could ban live exports during the months of May to September.

Others have proposed retooling the local economy, which relies heavily on the sheep industry, to focus on butchering animals.

“We will also continue to look at how to encourage more onshore meat processing,” said Alannah MacTiernan, Western Australia’s agriculture minister and a critic of the Turbull government. She said the switch to butchering would “get more value out of our livestock and create more jobs in Western Australian abattoirs.”

But for Western Australian farmers, a move away from animal exports toward meat production would be disastrous.

“I would go broke, because I totally rely on the live export industry,” said Richard Brown, a sheep farmer in the Gascoyne region, approximately 600 miles north of Perth. “It’s my whole business.”

“I didn’t like the video,” he said, “but it’s an isolated incident.” Mr. Brown said the state did not have enough slaughter houses to support a shift to butchering.

Emanuel Exports, the shipping company, has previously come under fire over its treatment of animals.

More than 3,000 sheep died from heat stress in July 2016 while being shipped from Fremantle to Doha. The company’s executives were not charged or fined.

In a statement, Nicholas Daws, the director of Emanuel Exports, apologized.

“The footage televised by ‘60 Minutes’ is simply devastating,” he said, “and Emanuel Exports apologizes to farmers and the broader community for these absolutely unacceptable outcomes.”

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Adelaide Journal: Elon Musk Likes it Here. Will Other Tech Innovators Follow?


But this city of 1.3 million — with its aging population and unemployment rates that are often among the highest in the country — needs an even bigger jolt. Frustrations have been building for years as Adelaide’s factories shuttered, with Holden closing its plant last year, bringing an end to Australia’s auto industry.

The response is what’s interesting: Quiet Adelaide, a former industrial center now seen as a laid-back community of churches and retirees, is banging the table for change.

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Siemens, the German manufacturer, has opened a 5 million Australian dollar facility in Adelaide.

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Matthew Abbott for The New York Times

Last month, voters kicked out the Labour Party after 16 years of running South Australia, electing the more conservative Liberal Party and its leader, Steven Marshall, the owner of a furniture business, on the promise of economic growth.

The new government is even pushing for a new visa to draw foreigners who want to start businesses in South Australia — a break with national Liberal leaders who have restricted skilled immigration.

Even before that, Mr. Hajdu, 55, a Canadian transplant and co-founder of an Los Angeles-based incubator called Disrupter, was becoming Adelaide’s networker in chief. A talker in a T-shirt, the son of a free-market economist who founded a well-known Canadian think tank, he is among a crew of boosters constantly battling skeptics.

Call Adelaide a boring country town, as many Australians have for decades, and they’ll point to the beaches and wine regions nearby, emphasizing that housing here is more affordable than in Sydney or San Francisco.

Talk about the death of Australia’s automobile industry, and they’ll point to workers who have adapted by joining the city’s new start-ups.

Question Adelaide’s sophistication, and they’ll argue that because this is the first city in Australia to be founded by free settlers rather than convicts, the culture is more open-minded and creative.

“The Paris and Rome of today are not necessarily the Paris or Rome of tomorrow,” said Mr. Hajdu, who moved to Adelaide in 2015 and is now a paid innovation consultant for the South Australian government. “It’s total world transformation.”

Mr. Hajdu says things like that a lot: sweeping techno-prophecies that he seems to be beta testing for a larger audience.

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Tom Hajdu, a Canadian entrepreneur and musician, is South Australia’s chief adviser on innovation strategy.

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Matthew Abbott for The New York Times

He told me that his first business, tomandandy, based in New York, had “changed the way music production for media worked.”

He also told me (repeatedly) that he’s friends with Laurie Anderson, the composer and artist; that he makes great wine at the coastal property he shares with his wife and dog; and (repeatedly) that he moved to Australia on a distinguished talent visa, the same visa, he said, given to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

His smartphone has a cracked screen — and his official title is “chief innovator.”

Last year, South Australia’s Labor government gave him a three-year contract, paying him 300,000 Australian dollars a year (around $230,000) for innovation advice.

Is it worth it? South Australia’s new Liberal government declined repeated requests for interviews about that.

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A skate park in Adelaide, near the site where a Holden Automotive plant closed down last year.

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Matthew Abbott for The New York Times

One of Mr. Hajdu’s first projects involved helping Adelaide get what most of this wealthy, otherwise developed country lacks — superfast internet connectivity.

South Australia is now investing 7.6 million Australian dollars to roll out new fiber optic cable to 29 innovation precincts.

Officially, Adelaide is now the first non-American “gigabit city,” making it part of a program that connects innovators and researchers to their counterparts in other cities with advanced network infrastructure, including Chattanooga and Austin, Tex.

“Tom reached out to me soon after he moved to Adelaide and told me he was encouraging Adelaide to become a gig city, taking Chattanooga as a prime example of a city that had transformed its economy through affordable high-speed internet,” said Joe Kochan, a co-founder of US Ignite, the Washington nonprofit that runs the Smart Gigabit Communities program.

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A Chrysler Charger on display at the Tonsley Hotel. The defunct car factory has been reopened as a technology hub.

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Matthew Abbott for The New York Times

One afternoon, Mr. Hajdu pulled together a few of the people he sees as helping lead Adelaide’s revival.

Sitting at a rooftop bar with views of a skyline reminiscent of Tulsa, Okla., he introduced Terry Gold, an American who moved from Colorado to run a tech incubator.

Also with us were two South Australia government officials, the dean of the University of Adelaide’s computer sciences department and Alex Grant, the chief executive of a company called Myriota, which makes internet-connected devices for monitoring things like soldiers and natural resources.

Clustering universities, start-ups and government support is, after all, the Silicon Valley model.

The question is whether it can work for Adelaide.

Chattanooga has added tens of thousands of new jobs; in Adelaide, Myriota is growing, but from 11 employees to 30.

Inside Tonsley, the converted Mitsubishi factory, the company we visited, called Sage Automation, made devices used for self-driving cars that are put together in small batches — a far cry from the mass production of cars in the factory’s heyday.

There are some other signs of hope, Mr. Hajdu says. Sanjeev Gupta, the British billionaire, has said that he wants to turn the former Holden plant into a factory for electric cars.

But a tipping point like Chattanooga’s or Pittsburgh’s has yet to be reached. Unemployment is still rising. Around Tonsley, there are rundown stores and pubs struggling to stay open.

Inside, there are wide expanses of empty gray floors, waiting to be used.

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Australians Are the World’s Biggest Gambling Losers, and Some Seek Action


“Often, Australians don’t realize it,” she said of the ubiquity of the machines. “It’s like being a fish in water.”

Their operators are often prominent community entities: Woolworths, one of Australia’s largest supermarket chains, is the biggest operator of pokies in the country, controlling about 12,000 machines through its majority stake in the Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group, a large company that encompasses bars, restaurants and wagering.

Though the Woolworths Group doesn’t distinguish liquor sales from gambling revenues in its annual report, estimates suggest that it pulls more than 1 billion Australian dollars, or $770 million, in revenue from the machines each year.

Other community mainstays also operate machines. In Victoria, the heartland of Australian Rules Football, 90 percent of Australian Football League teams operate their own pokies, generating more than 93 million Australian dollars in revenue last year.

Pokies are regulated on a state-by-state basis, instead of by the federal government. Western Australia is the only state or territory that bans the operation of pokies outside casinos.

State budgets are increasingly made up of revenues from the machines, and legalized gambling, including from pokies, accounted for 7.7 percent of total tax revenues for Australian states and territories in 2016. In some parts of Australia, gamers can deposit 7,500 Australian dollars into a machine in one transaction, and can lose more than a thousand dollars per hour.

A study conducted by Dr. Rintoul comparing two regions outside Melbourne found that the less wealthy one had twice as many pokie machines, and more than three times the per capita losses.

“The people who can least afford to be losing large sums of money are losing the most,” she said.

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A “gamblers help line” sign in the men’s restroom at a gaming venue. In a country that has confronted other powerful industries — mandating graphic warnings on cigarette packages and cracking down on guns, for example — some wonder why gambling has escaped tougher regulation.

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Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The New York Times

Dr. Rintoul described the casino-like methods used by venues to maximize revenue, including rewarding patrons with free food and drinks, and hiring part-time models as wait staff.

A visit to one gaming floor at a venue in Sunshine, the region Dr. Rintoul’s study focused on, revealed a busy gaming floor one recent Wednesday night. Gamblers placed “RESERVED” signs under their machines of choice, which Dr. Rintoul said reflected how frequent gamblers come to relate to the machines: picking favorites, and believing that a particular one can get “hot” or due for a win.

A few hours later, in Balaclava, a suburb on the opposite side of Melbourne, patrons filled the gaming room at an Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group venue open until 6 a.m. A large Woolworths supermarket across the road keeps foot traffic in the area high.

“We regularly had people tell us that they often ended up in a gambling venue even when they weren’t intending to gamble when they left the house,” Dr. Rintoul said.

In February, Andrew Wilkie, an independent Australian politician, published leaked documents from two whistle-blowers at Australian Leisure and Hospitality revealing that the company had been secretly collecting data on frequent gamblers, including their favorite sporting teams, their relationship statuses and when they had the most money to spend.

Gordon Cairns, the chairman of Woolworths, said that the company was “very concerned” about the revelations and that the matter was being reviewed by external auditors.

In a country that has confronted other powerful industries by mandating graphic warnings on cigarette packages and cracking down on guns, some wonder why gambling has escaped tougher regulation. Critics say politicians are increasingly afraid to confront the growing influence of the gambling lobby.

The Rev. Tim Costello, a spokesman for the Alliance for Gambling Reform, compares pro-gambling bodies to the National Rifle Association in the United States in their ability to sway politicians.

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In Australia, the businesses that house pokie machines usually resemble typical English pubs, replete with bars and dining areas, but with the addition of a dedicated gaming room.

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Asanka Brendon Ratnayake for The New York Times

Australians, he said, “say Americans have a blind spot on guns.”

“Here, we have a blind spot on pokies,” he added.

Pro-gambling groups frequently refer to Mr. Costello and other gambling opponents as “prohibitionists,” and are quick to point to support services they have developed for frequent gamers. They also argue that tighter regulation of pokies would lead to huge job losses at the venues that operate them.

The groups have increasingly flexed their muscles in state elections. Anti-gambling candidates who ran in Tasmania and South Australia this year faced a barrage of negative advertising from pro-gambling bodies.

In the run-up to the South Australian election, the Australian Hotels Association — which counts Australian Leisure and Hospitality as a member — donated to several opponents of Nick Xenophon, an independent whose new party, S.A.-BEST, vowed to cut in half the number of pokies per venue, and institute smaller betting limits. After positive early campaign polling, Mr. Xenophon and his party ultimately failed to win a single lower-house seat. It was the first election loss of Mr. Xenophon’s 20-year career.

“How much influence they wield, it’s unhealthy,” said Frank Pangello, Mr. Xenophon’s media adviser in the recent election.

“They bought an election in Tasmania, they bought one in South Australia,” Mr. Pangello added. “They’re like the N.R.A. in America: You take them on, they’ll crush you.”

The Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group declined to comment for this article or discuss whether it spent money on the Tasmanian and South Australian state elections. The hotels group did not respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Costello said that with governments so dependent on gambling revenues, it may be difficult to pass tighter regulation of pokies.

“The states are Dracula in charge of the blood bank,” he said.

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