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Australia

THE debate surrounding the link between avocado toast and mortgages has gone global, making Australia an international laughing stock.

KPMG partner and The Australian columnist Bernard Salt wrote in October last year that “the evils of hipster cafes” were contributing to the woes of young people struggling to buy a first home.

“I have seen young people order smashed avocado with crumbed feta on five-grain toasted bread at $22 a pop and more,” he wrote, his so-called “rabbiting on about the old days” was tongue-in-cheek but many young people took offence.

However, it was 35-year-old property mogul Tim Gurner’s recent interview on 60 Minutes that made the issue worthy of international headlines.

“When I was buying my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for 19 bucks and four coffees at $4 each,” he told the Nine Network.

The issue has been echoed all around the world particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom, where newspapers and broadcasters are having a field day at the expense of Australian millennials. news.com.au
The boyfriend of a Perth teenager who died after drinking a potent brand of alcohol at her 18th birthday party has told an inquest into her death how he woke the next day to find her unresponsive, cold and with blue lips.

Nicole Emily Bicknell was celebrating with friends at a barbecue at her mother's house on November 1, 2014.

A coronial inquest today heard Ms Bicknell told her friends she wanted to drink 18 shots of alcohol that night to mark her 18th birthday.

It heard, in addition to several alcoholic drinks throughout the evening, she consumed an entire bottle of Midori during a drinking game.

She then began drinking from a bottle of high strength liquor called Polmos Spirytus Rektyfikowany, or Polmos, a rectified spirit from Poland which has an alcohol content level of 95 per cent. abc.net.au
A Melbourne father has turned vigilante after witnessing too many brutal muggings in the laneway next to his suburban home.

Clayton father-of-two Giulio — who has asked for his surname to be withheld — has witnessed one too many vicious assaults outside his family's suburban home.

Co-ordinated attacks by groups of thugs from what has all the hallmarks of Melbourne's Apex gang have been occurring far too frequently in the laneway, predominantly used by staff of the nearby Monash Hospital and students at nearby Monash University.

The gang have their plan down pat: waiting and watching before ambushing a pedestrian.

"The group was sitting along the fence," Giulio told A Current Affair of one mugging.

"There was a couple on the other side, keeping an eye out on who was coming from the east." 9news.com.au
The Law Society of NSW, the peak representative body for solicitors, this year released a report on the future of the legal profession that identified the need for future law graduates to be equipped with technological and business skills to meet changing employer demands.

The report follows stark findings that only 74.1 per cent of law undergraduates looking for full-time employment were successful in finding jobs in 2015, compared with 88.4 per cent of graduates in 2005, according to a report by Graduate Careers Australia.

Law Society president Pauline Wright said law graduates without additional skills in other areas risk getting left behind. smh.com.au
The 14-year-old, dressed in a light blue head scarf, can be seen in the a tiny room at the back of a suburban mosque preparing to wed a man she’s allegedly only known for only a few days.

“Sign here,” a man tells the groom as he looks at a document and the mother watches on and gives her full blessing.

The man had allegedly handed over $1480 gold necklace in exchange for his new bride.

The video highlights the startling reality surrounding child brides and their existence in Australia.

Family and Community Services minister Pru Goward said it was “deeply disturbing” to think of children in arranged marriages to grown men. yahoo.com
A leading Aussie academic and paediatrician has questioned whether the government should introduce policies that encourage the country's most disadvantaged families to have fewer kids, as a way to cut pressure on the ever expanding foster care system.

In a perspective piece for the Medical Journal of Australia, the dean of medicine at Bond University Peter Jones says we need to work to stem the rising numbers of young children being removed from parents and placed in out-of-home care, as it can do more harm than good.

"Children in care experience significantly poorer mental health outcomes than children who have never been in care, with one study recording up to 60% having a current mental health diagnosis," he said.

Jones says the fact that the system is being overwhelmed with children should be seen as an indicator that society needs to do better. hit.com.au
Australia’s offshore oil and gas regulator has refused to disclose the location and organisation responsible for the 10,500-litre oil spill into the ocean in April 2016.

An offshore oil and gas well in Australia leaked oil continuously into the ocean for two months from February to April 2016 but brief information about the oil spill was only released this month in the annual offshore performance report by National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).

But the report did not provide detail when the spill took place or who was responsible, noting that it had been identified during a routine inspection, reported The Guardian.

As tabloid asked about the discharge, Nopsema said the leak went on for two months, at a rate of about 175 litres – equivalent to a bathtub’s capacity – a day, released an estimated 10,500 litres in total. thelogicalindian.com
Announcing the colossal suite of donations alongside Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, mining and business billionaire Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest is giving away a huge chunk of personal wealth.

The largest philanthropic donation by a living person in Australian history, the funds are expected to dwarf any past pledges by high-net-worth Australians.

The money will be dedicated to a variety of social and scientific causes including Indigenous disadvantage, cultural and arts facilities, and an ambitious plan to gain the upper hand over cancer research. smh.com.au
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has set a deadline of October 1 for people who arrived illegally in Australia by boat to apply for refugee status.

Mr Dutton says there are 7,500 illegal maritime arrivals living in Australia who have yet to prove they are refugees and owed protection by Australia.

Many arrived without identity documents on boats run by people smugglers up to seven years ago under previous Labor governments.

Mr Dutton says Australia is one of the most generous countries when it comes to resettling refugees, but can't afford to be taken for a ride by people who refuse to provide details about their protection claims.

"We are not going to allow, given the level of debt that our country is in, for more debt to be run up paying for welfare services, for people who are not genuine." sbs.com.au
The Turnbull government has called on Labor leader Bill Shorten to take the advice of his shadow cabinet and back an increase in the Medicare levy to fund the national disability insurance scheme.

Mr Shorten used his budget reply speech to announce Labor would only support an increase for people earning more than $87,000 a year.

But Fairfax Media has revealed a majority of his senior colleagues - including deputy leader Tanya Plibersek - argued for the party to back the government's across-the-board 0.5 per cent rise in the Medicare levy.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann seized on the report saying Mr Shorten should listen to the majority of his shadow cabinet.

'We call on Bill Shorten to reflect on the national interest and the public interest instead of continuing his opportunistic political games,' he told ABC. skynews.com.au