Australian Ministers Who Backed ‘Okay To Be White’ Vote, Under Fire

At a parliamentary debate Pauline Hanson defended trying to codify what opponents see as race baiting.


Australia’s indigenous affairs minister and several of his colleagues faced calls to resign Monday, after they backed a failed parliamentary motion tabled by a controversial senator that declared: “It is okay to be white.”

Several government ministers — including those for trade, communications and indigenous affairs minister Nigel Scullion — backed a resolution drafted by populist firebrand senator Pauline Hanson which railed against what it described as “the deplorable rise of anti-white racism”.

Luke Pearson, the founder of influential anti-racism group, IndigenousX, echoed a string of calls for Scullion to resign after the vote.

“The minister for Indigenous Affairs, voting in support of what is widely known to be a white supremacist slogan, ‘It’s okay to be white’, makes his position as minister entirely untenable. He needs to resign,” Pearson wrote.

Scullion, a white senator for the Northern Territory, has held the Indigenous Affairs portfolio since 2013.

During parliamentary debate Hanson defended trying to codify what opponents see as race baiting.

“Such a simple sentence should go without saying,” Hanson told the chamber, before her motion was defeated 31 votes to 28. “But I suspect many members in this place would struggle to say it.”

Greens leader Richard Di Natale decried the move. “It’s not just okay to be white in Australia, it’s actually a ticket to winning the lotto. Look around this chamber and see how many faces aren’t white,” he said.

“The reality is this ‘it’s okay to be white’ slogan has a long history in the white supremacist movement where both these clowns get most of their material from,” he said referring to Hanson and another senator who supported the motion.

Although one-in-two Australians has a parent born abroad, racial inequality and public discourse on the issue is fraught.

Australia’s treatment of its indigenous population has long been a festering historical and political sore.

The Aborginal population, who have occupied Australia for 50,000 years, were dispossessed of their lands by the arrival of settlers two centuries ago. They remain among the most disadvantaged Australians.

They were believed to have numbered around one million at the time of British settlement, but now make up only about three percent of the total population of 25 million.



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China Purrs Over White Tiger Triplets At Yunnan Wildlife Zoo In Kunming

The tigers’ white fur is a genetic variation of the common orange Bengal tiger.


Three playful white Bengal tiger cubs are charming visitors as they clamber around their enclosure at a zoo in China.

The rare, blue-eyed triplets were born nearly three months ago at the Yunnan Wildlife Zoo in Kunming, and made their public debut in early October.

“The oldest one — the largest — is very naughty and has a real appetite. He’s the naughtiest. The youngest is like a baby, she’s gentle. She never wins when fighting for food,” zookeeper Hao Li said.


The three playful white Bengal tiger cubs are charming visitors as they clamber around their enclosure at a zoo in China.

The cubs’ busy mother is getting a helping hand keeping her youngsters from getting hungry, with keepers always ready to step in with a bottle.

The tigers’ white fur is a genetic variation of the common orange Bengal tiger.

The mutation seldom occurs in the wild, but the zoo is home to 41 cats of this rare white variety.

There are currently more than 2,500 Bengal tigers outside captivity, most of them in India, according to conservation group World Wildlife Fund.

A competition is being held to name the three newborns, with final names chosen at the end of October.

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Melania Trump Says There Are People In The White House She Doesn’t Trust

First lady Melania Trump said in an interview broadcast Thursday that there have been people in her husband’s White House whom she doesn’t trust, including some who still work there.

During the interview with ABC News, conducted during her recent solo trip to Africa, Trump also asserted that she is one of the most bullied people in the world, as she discusses her child-welfare initiative, Be Best, which includes a focus on combating cyberbullying.

Trump was asked by ABC’s Tom Llamas if the president has had people working for him that she didn’t trust.

“Yes,” she replied, adding that she has let her husband know.

“Some people, they don’t work there anymore,” Trump said.

Asked if there are still people in the administration she can’t trust, Trump said yes.

“It’s harder to govern,” the first lady said. “You always need to watch your back.”

Her comments come in the wake of an anonymous op-ed in the New York Times last month claiming there is a “resistance” within the Trump administration. The Times said the piece was written by a senior administration official, whose identity still has not become public.

During the interview, Llamas also asked Trump if she has the most control over her husband’s decisions of those in the White House.

“Oh, I wish,” she said, laughing.

“I give him my honest advice and honest opinions, and then he does what he wants to do,” Trump said.

During the interview, Trump also said, “I could say I’m the most bullied person on the world.”

Pressed on that assertion, she added: “One of them, if you really see what people are saying about me.”

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Going Extra Length To Find Substitute For Iranian Oil For Countries Like India: White House

US said any country continuing to do business with Iran will be blocked from the US banking system


The United States is going an extra length for countries like India and Iraq to find substitute for Iranian oil, the White House said.

The White House said on Thursday as it reiterated its warning to all purchaser of Iranian oil to bring it down to zero by November 4 or face imminent sanctions from the United States.

“I’ve had conversations (with Indian officials on purchase of Iranian oil). Others in the administration have had conversations with senior Indian officials,” the US National Security Advisor John Bolton told reporters at a White House news conference.

Mr Bolton who last month met his Indian counterpart Ajit K Doval in Washington, a week after the two-plus-two dialogue in New Delhi, said the Trump Administration has made its views clear to Indians on Iran.

“One of the things I think that’s important, whether it’s for Iraq or India or anyone else — particularly that’s been a purchaser of Iranian oil — we’ve gone to really extra lengths to try and find substitute sellers of oil so that there would be alternative supplies at market rates,” Mr Bolton said.

“That will help. This is something, obviously, the Obama administration wasn’t doing at all. And I think this will help toward our effort of persuading companies and governments, particularly in Asia, that there are alternatives to Iran that they can pursue,” he said in response to a question.

According to Mr Bolton, as the second wave of sanctions come back onto Iran on November 4, the objective of the Trump administration is to put maximum pressure on the government in Tehran.

“It’s our objective that there be no waivers from the sanctions, that exports of Iranian oil and gas drop to zero,” he said.

“I’m not saying we’re necessarily going to achieve that, but nobody should be operating under any illusions, what the objective is. You can look at the possibility of reductions leading to zero. It doesn’t have to happen immediately, perhaps,” he said in a tacit acknowledgement that countries like India might not be able to bring down their oil purchase from Iran to zero.

“But ‘this is not the Obama administration,’ would be my message not just to Iraq but to everybody else. And the frequency and the ease of getting waivers and exemptions is not going to be our policy,” he warned in a message to the international community not to take the American threat not seriously.

“I might say, also, that we’re not going to stop with the resumption of the sanctions that existed pre-2015. We’re looking at others that we can impose as well,” Mr Bolton said.

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White House Denies ‘Micromanaging’ Inquiry Into Supreme Court Pick


US President Donald Trump hit back Sunday at suggestions his administration is trying to “micromanage” the FBI investigation of controversial Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, accusing opposition Democrats of being interested only in obstruction.

Trump on Friday had ordered the new FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, as the Senate delayed a final vote on his confirmation as the key ninth member of the Supreme Court. 

“Wow! Just starting to hear the Democrats, who are only thinking Obstruct and Delay, are starting to put out the word that the ‘time’ and ‘scope’ of FBI looking into Judge Kavanaugh and witnesses is not enough,” the president tweeted. “Hello! For them, it will never be enough.”

At a dramatic televised hearing Thursday, university professor Christine Blasey Ford accused the judge of pinning her down and assaulting her in the 1980s. Kavanaugh vigorously denied the allegations.

Trump administration officials appearing on television Sunday said the terms of the Kavanaugh inquiry were set by the US Senate, not by the president, but confusion was rife as to the scope of the new investigation.

Both the New York Times and NBC News on Saturday cited multiple sources as saying the White House was limiting the witnesses the FBI could question during a one-week background check.

But Trump subsequently insisted on Twitter that the FBI had “free rein” to pursue the matter as it saw fit.

“I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion,” the president tweeted late Saturday.

‘Very concerned’

The Times said the FBI would question four witnesses, according to two people familiar with the matter. The list, reportedly drafted by Senate Republicans, did not include former classmates who had contradicted Kavanaugh’s testimony about the extent of his youthful drinking and partying.

In a tweet Sunday, Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg quoted Ford’s lawyer, Debra Katz, as saying: “We have not heard from the FBI, despite repeated efforts to speak with them.” 

NBC said the FBI was not being allowed to investigate claims by Julie Swetnick, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct at drink-fueled parties in his student days.

In a separate report Sunday, NBC quoted a senior US official and a second source as saying the limits imposed by the White House on the inquiry remained in place, despite Trump’s tweet.

The bureau has, however, contacted Deborah Ramirez, a Yale University classmate of Kavanaugh’s who has said he was sexually aggressive toward her at a party, the Washington Post reported.

A Democratic member of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Amy Klobuchar, told CNN that she was “very concerned” by the reported White House constraints on the inquiry. 

“The White House should not be allowed to micromanage an FBI investigation,” she said. “We have to allow them to go ahead.”

Spokeswoman Sarah Sanders insisted that the White House was staying “out of the way,” but also said the inquiry should not be allowed to become a “total fishing expedition” by the FBI.

Asked on Fox News Sunday whether the White House had given the FBI a list of permitted witnesses, she replied, “Not that I’m aware of.”

“The White House isn’t intervening, we are not micromanaging this process,” she said.

Ford’s wrenching testimony Thursday engendered expressions of deep sympathy from many viewers, and scores of women shared accounts on social media of having been victims of sexual aggression.

‘I’m a victim’

The recent events also drew a stunning revelation Sunday from one of Trump’s own senior advisers, Kellyanne Conway.

While discussing the case on CNN, she said “I feel very empathetic, frankly, towards victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment and rape.” 

Continuing after a brief, somber pause, she said, “I’m a victim of sexual assault.”

But she then added that it was unfair to condemn Kavanaugh for an alleged action 36 years ago that could not be confirmed.

While the White House has denied setting limits on the FBI inquiry, Norman Eisen, who was special counsel for ethics under President Barack Obama, tweeted that it would be highly unusual if it were to do so. 

“I dealt with hundreds of these as WH Ethics Czar & it is malpractice for WH to rule out Swetnick, Yale boozing” and more, he tweeted.

“I call cover-up.”

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai Accepts Invitation to Meet Donald Trump, White House Says

Google CEO Sundar Pichai went to Washington Friday to discuss concerns about the company’s business practices with members of Congress and emerged with an invitation to meet with President Donald Trump during an upcoming roundtable.

Larry Kudlow, the head of the National Economic Council, extended the invitation while meeting with Pichai and the offer was accepted, according to the White House.

Other “Internet stakeholders” will be invited to the same roundtable with Trump, the White House said, with other details, including the date, still to come.

Google didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Trump has recently accused Google of rigging the results of its influential search engine to suppress conservative viewpoints and highlight coverage from media that he says distribute “fake news.” Google has denied any political bias.

The White House said Kudlow discussed the Internet and the economy with Pichai on Friday, and described the talks as “positive and productive.”

Pichai made the rounds in Washington just a few weeks after he and his boss, Google co-founder Larry Page, irked lawmakers by skipping a public hearing.

There was plenty to talk about, based on recent remarks by both lawmakers and Trump.

That includes recent reports that Google is poised to re-enter China with a search engine generating censored results to comply with the demands of that country’s Communist government. Also potential new regulations that would define how much personal information that Internet companies can collect about people using their services.

Both Trump and some US lawmakers have been raising the possibility of asking government regulators to investigate whether Google has abused its power to thwart competition through its dominant search engine and other widely used services, which include Gmail, YouTube, the Chrome web browser and its Android software that runs most of the world’s smartphones.

Pichai’s meeting with about two dozen Republican lawmakers was held in the Capitol office of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who represents a district in Google’s home state of California.

“We held a very productive meeting with Google CEO Sundar Pichai to discuss concerns regarding Google’s business practices,” said Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia. He said Pichai will be invited to attend a public hearing that the House Judiciary Committee plans to hold in November, after the midterm elections.

Before the meeting with Republican lawmakers, Pichai also indicated he planned to meet with Democrats.

“These meetings will continue Google’s long history of engaging with Congress, including testifying seven times to Congress this year,” he said.

Google and its corporate parent, Alphabet, also may have been trying to mend some political fences after Pichai and Page — now Alphabet’s CEO — snubbed Congress a few weeks ago. Neither of them appeared at a high-profile hearing looking into what Twitter, Facebook, and Google have been doing to prevent Russia and other foreign governments from using their services to sow discord among US voters in an attempt to sway elections.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testified at the hearing, as did Facebook’s No. 2 executive, Sheryl Sandberg, but Google was only willing to send its general counsel. That didn’t satisfy lawmakers, who left a vacant chair that they hoped either Pichai or Page would occupy. The no-show prompted Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to call Google “arrogant.”

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French Rapper Nick Conrad To Face Trial For Call To Hang White People

#Nick Conrad has been accuse inciting deadly violence which carries a maximum five-year prison sentence.


A little-known French rapper who caused a furore in France this week with a music video called “Hang White People” has been ordered to face trial on charges of inciting violence, legal sources said Friday.

Nick Conrad, whose track and career had gone largely unnoticed until the video came to the public’s attention this week, was interviewed by police on Friday and ordered to stand trial on January 9.

The charge against him, of inciting deadly violence, carries a maximum five-year prison sentence and a fine of 45,000 euros (39,000 dollars).

The track, called PLB for “Pendez les Blancs” (Hang White People), was posted on YouTube on September 17 and garnered only a few thousands views before it was shared last weekend by a controversial comedian with a large online following.

After being highlighted by far-right groups in France, who regularly rail against alleged racism against white people, both the interior minister, government spokesman and politicians of all stripes condemned the video.

Conrad, who had an average 40 monthly listeners on Spotify and 186 subscribers to his YouTube channel before the controversy, has become the subject of widespread media coverage and public attention as a result.

“There will be a trial during which I hope to be received like I was today in terms of being listened to,” Conrad said after his interview with police.  

“I think that a text deserves to be studied in depth, not superficially,” he added.

In scenes from the PLB video, which has since been blocked by YouTube, the rapper can be seen torturing and then hanging a white victim with a noose, in between waving a gun around and smoking a cigar.

The lyrics evoke the killing of adults and children with the rapper singing: “I walk into creches, I kill white babies, catch them quick and hang their parents.”

Conrad, who is from Paris and is of Cameroonian origin, explained to Le Parisien newspaper that he wanted to “inverse the roles of the white man and the black man” and that the “shock was intended.” 

Many scenes make obvious reference to the film American History X about the abuse of blacks by American neo-Nazis.

One collateral victim of the furore is a BBC news presenter with the same name as the French rapper who presents a radio show in the sleepy eastern county of Norfolk.

The British Nick Conrad, who wrote online that he was the “fatter and more talented one” of the two, has asked to be left alone after receiving death threats over social media.

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Authorities Investigate French Rapper Nick Conrad’s Call To Hang White People

The French rapper Nick Conrad shot to fame with a video called “Hang white people”


The Paris prosecutor’s office on Wednesday opened an investigation into a little known French rapper who shot to social media fame with a video called “Hang white people”.

#NickConrad became the top trending topic on Twitter in France on Wednesday after politicians of all stripes condemned the music video, which YouTube said it had removed for violating its policy on hate speech.

The video shows the rapper, a black man, performing the song as he walks through a city suburb at night, and includes a scene of him pulling a pistol on a white man crawling on the ground, and then assaulting him. The lyrics include calls to kill white people and their children, with a chorus of “hang the whities”.

Although YouTube deleted the original video, other uploads were available.

“I fully condemn these abject words and ignominious attacks,” Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said on Twitter, adding that his administration would work on getting the content taken offline.

Anti-racism group Licra said: “This racist call for murder … is abject and unbelievably violent.”

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen said the video showed there was “anti-white racism” in France.

The prosecutor’s probe is based on part of an 1881 law on freedom of the press that concerns incitement to murder and to hatred based on race or religion, a judicial source said.

© Thomson Reuters 2018

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First Black Female White House Reporter Alice Dunnigan Had To Pawn Her Watch Just To Eat

In this handout photo, Alice Dunnigan is pictured on the steps of the US Capitol in 1947.

It was rare to be a woman or African-American covering the White House in the 1940s, and Alice Dunnigan was both.

The Kentucky-born journalist was the first African-American woman to be granted access to cover the White House, as well as Congress, the Supreme Court and the State Department.

Yet even at the height of her career in Washington, she had to pawn her watch every Saturday night so that she would have enough money to eat until her paycheck arrived Monday morning.

It was a “humiliating practice,” she wrote in her 1974 autobiography, “A Black Woman’s Experience – From Schoolhouse to White House.” “I was never allowed more than five dollars on it, just enough for Sunday dinner,” she wrote. After pawning it, Dunnigan headed home to her one-room basement apartment in Washington, District of Columbia’s Brookland neighborhood, where she shoveled coal for the furnace to get a break on rent.

Dunnigan was the Washington bureau chief for the Associated Negro Press for 14 years, beginning in 1947.

“For black readers of the era, the Associated Negro Press was a combination of CNN, MSNBC and The Washington Post,” says Gerald Horne, a professor at the University of Houston and one of the country’s foremost historians on racism. “It generated protest and energized organizations in the ongoing struggle against Jim Crow.”

By 1940, the circulation of the black press was 1.27 million readers, and that didn’t take into account every newspaper issue had multiple readers, according to a book by Horne.

“Nobody in the white press was covering the issues important to black Americans in the 1940s and 1950s. Alice stood up to three presidents, and sometimes they didn’t like what she said,” said Carol McCabe Booker, who edited Dunnigan’s book and republished it in 2015.

Shortly after becoming an accredited White House reporter, Dunnigan wanted to accompany President Harry S. Truman on his tour to the West Coast. No African-American reporter had ever been on such a tour. The cost: $1,000 – over $10,000 in today’s dollars. As she recounted in her autobiography, when Dunnigan asked Claude Barnett, founder of the Associated Negro Press, if he would provide the funds, he replied, “Women don’t go on trips like this.”

Dunnigan ended up paying her own way, and it led to one of her first big scoops: “Pajama Clad President Defends Civil Rights at Midnight.”

When the train stopped in Missoula, Montana, in the middle of the night, Truman came out in his robe to talk to hundreds of students waiting for his arrival. One shouted, “Mr. President, what do you say about civil rights?” Truman indicated the issue would be part of his 1948 platform.

Dunnigan later challenged Truman for not issuing an order banning segregation in Washington in 1948 so that African-Americans could attend his inauguration without being barred from hotels and restaurants. Truman refused, “but the idea, like a large stone tossed into a sea of calm, generated a huge ripple of discontent that never subsided until integration in Washington came to fruition years later,” Dunnigan wrote in her book.

When Dwight D. Eisenhower became president, he stopped calling on Dunnigan during news conferences for two years because of her questions on civil rights. She would jump up and down, yelling, “Mr. President! Mr. President!” to get Eisenhower’s attention but to no avail. “She was iced,” Booker said. “But she kept going. She didn’t just give up. She went to every news conference.”

When John F. Kennedy took office, the silent treatment of Dunnigan ended. About eight minutes into his first news conference on Jan. 25, 1961, Kennedy called on Dunnigan. She asked the president about a dramatic voting rights conflict in Fayette County, Tennessee. White landlords had evicted black sharecroppers for voting, prompted by their rights to do so under the Civil Rights Act of 1957. The situation escalated after the blacks won a lawsuit over the situation.

Kennedy responded to Dunnigan’s question by saying, ” . . . the Congress of course enacted legislation which very clearly placed responsibility on the executive branch to protect the right of voting. I . . . supported that legislation. I am extremely interested in making sure that every American is given the right to cast his vote without prejudice to his rights as a citizen, and therefore I can state that this administration will pursue the problem of providing that protection with all vigor.”

Dunnigan was born in 1906 in Russellville, Kentucky – two years before the lynching of four black men in her hometown. Historian Michael Morrow says the terror of the lynching hung over the small town for decades.

“I think this community put a lot of fight in Alice,” Morrow said. “You almost had to jump out the womb fighting here if you hoped to make it. She understood young enough that she would have to chart her own course.”

The historian said that even though people in Washington did not accept her, Dunnigan persisted no matter what because “she knew she was fighting battles for her entire race.”

Morrow has spent three decades attempting to make her as well known as other civil rights figures, and those efforts are paying off.

A bronze statue of Dunnigan will appear from Sept. 21 to Dec. 16 in Washington at the Newseum. The 6-foot-tall, 500-pound bronze statue, made by Kentucky sculptor Amanda Matthews, portrays the reporter clad in one of a handful of her good dresses and scuffed pumps. She holds a 1947 copy of The Washington Post with headlines about civil rights. The statue is based on a photo of Dunnigan standing on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in 1947.

“It is my fondest hope,” Dunnigan wrote in her book’s preface, “that the story of my life and work will . . . encourage more young writers to use their talents as a moving force in the forward march of progress and that their efforts will soon result in giving Americans the kind of nation that those of my generation so long hoped and worked for.”

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Twitter India, White Swan Foundation Join Hands to Spread Information About Suicide Prevention

In a bid to raise awareness on suicide prevention in India, Twitter India on Monday announced a partnership with non-profit organisation White Swan Foundation in which, the company will provide them with #adsforgood grants to help them reach more people.

Twitter, in partnership with the International Association for Suicide Prevention, also launched a special emoji for the World Suicide Prevention Day, that was observed on September 10, globally including in India.

“Through our partnerships with International Association for Suicide Prevention and White Swan Foundation, we aim to create greater awareness around suicide and suicide prevention, connect with people and address mental health issues prevailing in our society,” Mahima Kaul, Head of Public Policy, Twitter India, said in a statement.

The emoji will appear when people tweet with the hashtags #WorldSuicidePreventionDay or #WSPD.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), nearly 800,000 people die due to suicide every year – one person every 40 seconds. Twitter said that addressing mental health requires collaboration between all stakeholders – public, private and not-for-profit.

“Twitter’s subscriber base has the potential to become crucial change agents in the society to question the norms and create a movement where the focus shifts to prevention and inclusive care,” said Manoj Chandra, CEO, White Swan Foundation.

The microblogging platform is increasingly witnessing mental health organisations in India offering critical services via digital channels and social media platforms that are relevant, widely used and reflective of the way society communicates.

“Twitter has a dedicated reporting form for people threatening suicide or self-harm, and a specialised team who review these reports.

“When they receive reports that a person is threatening suicide or self-harm, they will contact the reported user and let him or her know that someone who cares about them identified that they might be at risk,” the company said.

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