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Australia admits to ‘national shame’ of failing to help Aboriginals

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A pledge to close the health and wellbeing gap between Aboriginal and other Australians is failing, the government admitted Wednesday, describing the situation as a source of “national shame”.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said just two of seven key targets to improve the lives of Australia’s indigenous people were on track — unchanged from last year.

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More Aboriginal children were enrolled in early education and graduating from high school than ever before, he said, but attendance rates were still lagging behind other groups.

Other targets to halve the gap in child mortality, literacy, life expectancy, and unemployment rates were not being met.

Morrison called the failure to give indigenous children equal opportunities to other Australian kids “a national truth and a national shame”.

The admission comes 250 years since Captain James Cook’s first voyage to the vast continent, a journey that led to British colonisation and upended indigenous communities.

The life expectancy for Aboriginal Australians is about eight years lower than the national average.

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Indigenous children are twice as likely to die before their fifth birthday and 25 times more likely to be incarcerated than the rest of the population, according to official statistics.

The report marks 12 years since former prime minister Kevin Rudd made a historic apology to Aboriginal people for centuries of injustice and launched the “Closing the Gap” initiative.

“Over decades, our top-down, government-knows-best approach has not delivered the improvements we all need,” Morrison said.

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“The results are not good enough.”


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Here’s how Donald Trump is actually the one defunding police departments

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President Donald Trump began a campaign of "law and order" after witnessing protests in cities where unarmed Black Americans were killed or nearly killed by police officers. The Black Lives Matter movement has advocated for years that changes should be made to police departments to fund people like mental health experts and social workers who can go with officers to calls in which someone is having a mental health crisis. That message then evolved into a message of "defund the police," specifically involving police departments that simply need to be cleaned out following years of corruption.

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2020 Election

Wall Street delivers a stunning repudiation of Trump and his coronavirus failures

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The stock market, the faltering Trump campaign’s last straw of hope for the November election, is turning out to be the Republican nominee’s short straw.

After a month of gradually falling stock prices, Wall Street on Monday was delivering a stunning repudiation of the current occupant of the White House and his radical Senate enablers for their failure to control the COVID-19 pandemic and to address the resulting collapse of the economy.

Just last week, Trump touted the stock market’s generally positive performance through the pandemic: "Look, we're having a tremendous thing in the stock market, and that's good for everybody, but people that aren't rich own stock and they have 401(k)s," he said at a town hall appearance on ABC.

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Mitch McConnell’s push for Trump to replace Ginsburg ‘reduces those who take him at his word to fools’: op-ed

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Writing for Slate this Monday, Lili Loofbourow says that in the wake of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made his intentions clear -- Trump’s nominee for her replacement would receive a vote in the Senate, "and though he left the timing slightly unclear, he has no intention of letting the will of the American people (who have already started voting) determine what should happen.

"He made quick work of the optimists on Twitter suggesting that he surely wouldn’t be so hellbent on total power that he’d risk destroying the country by breaking the precedent he himself had articulated," Loofbourow writes. "Wrong. He would. And anyone who took him at his word when he rejected Merrick Garland’s nomination was made a fool when he reversed himself on the question of whether (to quote the man himself) 'the American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice.'"

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