1. Suicide a scourge, especially amongst men and indigenous Australians
It’s a sorry story, long but rich in anecdotes, and salted with startling and disturbing facts.
- Suicide in Australia is a dark plague, ravaging every age and occupation. Three-quarters of those deaths are men – more die by their own hand than from either skin cancer, liver disease, heart failure or car accidents.
The scourge is greater still within the building industry. Suicide among construction workers – who are almost exclusively men – aged 15 to 24 is more than twice as high as other young males, according to the Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention.
Every two days in Australia, a construction worker kills himself. They’re six times more likely to die from suicide than through a workplace accident. For those under the age of 24, the increased risk is 10 fold.
Then in the Kimberley indigenous suicides rates are eight times that of non-indigenous Australians living in WA’s north-west.
It’s time for some deep policy work. Whatever we do just looks like sticking plaster on a gaping wound.
2. Trump tipping point
Two things of importance happened during the last week of primaries. First, Trump with Rubio dropping out looks a good chance of getting more than 50% of the delegates when he gets to the convention. California could be the key.
Rubio’s race simply ran out of puff when he lost his home state of Florida. Apparently he didn’t have the resources to go on.
Kasich is hanging in there and his Ohio win could be crucial.
Here’s the state of play with the Republicans at a bit over half way:
Second, in the Democrat race Sanders looks out of it. Here’s how he’s placed a little way over half way:
For a real worry take a look at this article. Nathan Robinson reckons Hillary has so many skeletons in the cupboard that Trump will simply cream her with muckraking and make her look unelectable. It could get ugly!
3. Fairfax Media commits hari-kari
- At the moment Fairfax journalists produce 9,000 stories a month. Management wants that number reduced by one third, to 6,000.
Advertising revenue seems to be evaporating.
Seems I might have to buy a tablet for my breakfast reading.
See also Brian McNair at The Conversation.
4. Russia leaves Syria
A move that no-one saw coming and has everyone guessing. We don’t in fact know how real the move is. How big is the “small contingent” that will remain behind?
Neil MacFarquhar at NYT has a go at the reasons:
- First, to thwart another Western attempt to push for leadership change in Syria and to fight the very idea of outside governments forcing political shifts.
Second, to show that Moscow is a more reliable ally than Washington…
Third, to restore to Russia the role it had in the Soviet era as an important actor in the Middle East and as a global problem solver, and to force respect for Mr. Putin as a world leader.
Fourth, to shatter the isolation that Washington had tried to impose on Moscow after the crisis in Ukraine, forging a dialogue with the United States and, to a lesser degree, with Europe.
Fifth, … to distract attention from the war in Ukraine and to get lifted the economic sanctions imposed on Russia …
Sixth, to show off the effectiveness of a new generation of weaponry from Russia, the biggest arms exporter in the world after the United States.
Introduction to Saturday salon
Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.
An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.
For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.
The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.
Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.
The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:
The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.