Australia yesterday insisted its humanitarian program was nondiscriminatory after South Africa reacted furiously to suggestions “persecuted” white farmers could be fast-tracked into the country, as the minister involved was called a racist.
Australian Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton sparked controversy by singling out the farmers’ need to flee “horrific circumstances” for a “civilized country.”
According to police, 74 farmers were murdered from 2016 to last year in South Africa, which has one of the world’s highest crime rates.
Dutton’s decision to examine whether they deserve “special attention” for acceptance on refugee or humanitarian grounds led to South Africa summoning Australia’s envoy to Pretoria for condemnation.
South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesman Ndivhuwo Mabaya demanded in a statement that Dutton retract the comments, saying that the government was offended.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull stopped short of defending his minister when pressed yesterday, insisting Australia had a nondiscriminatory humanitarian program.
“We have migrants to Australia from every part of the world ... and we have a refugee program that is nondiscriminatory,” Turnbull said. “We have a very large South African community of Australians of South African ancestry, from every background, and they make a phenomenal contribution to our very successful multicultural society.”
Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop denied there was a double standard in Dutton speaking up for white South African farmers, but not Palestinian farmers persecuted by Israel, as noted by some commentators.
“I reject that. What we do in our humanitarian visa program is assess visas on their merits and that’s what Peter Dutton as home affairs minister does every day,” she told Australian Broadcasting Corp radio.
She added that the message from Canberra to Pretoria was “that they seek to ensure the security of all their citizens.”
“We certainly urge the South African government to ensure that any changes to land ownership are not disruptive to the economy or lead to violence,” Bishop said.
South Africa has vowed to enact land “expropriation without compensation” to redress land confiscations of the colonial and apartheid era.
Dutton, who has drawn criticism in the past for cracking down on refugees from Asia and the Middle East, was called “an out-and-out racist” by Australian Greens leader Richard di Natale.
He suggested that the stance on South African farmers signaled a return to the “White Australia” policy, referring to laws in place for seven decades from 1901 that prevented nonwhite immigrants from settling in Australia.
“There’s no debate as far as I’m concerned, the bloke is an out-and-out racist,” Di Natale told reporters. “According to Peter Dutton, if you’re a white South African farmer, you are going to make a great contribution, you’re not going to bludge on welfare, but if you’re not white, you won’t do any of those things.”
On the Chinese microblogging platform Sina Weibo, enthusiastic slackers share their tips: Fill up a thermos with whiskey, do planks or stretches in the work pantry at regular intervals, drink liters of water to prompt lots of trips to the toilet on work time, and, once there, spend time on social media or playing games on your phone. “Not working hard is everyone’s basic right,” one commenter wrote. “With or without legal protection, everyone has the right to not work hard.” Young Chinese people are pushing back against an engrained culture of overwork, and embracing a philosophy of laziness known as “touching
‘STUNNED’: With help from an official at the US Department of Justice, Donald Trump reportedly planned to oust the acting attorney general in a bid to overturn the election Former US president Donald Trump was at his Florida resort on Saturday, beginning post-presidency life while US President Joe Biden settled into the White House, but in Washington and beyond, the chaos of the 45th president’s final days in office continued to throw out damaging aftershocks. In yet another earth-shaking report, the New York Times said that Trump plotted with an official at the US Department of Justice to fire the acting attorney general, then force Georgia Republicans to overturn his defeat in that state. Meanwhile, former acting US secretary of defense Christopher Miller made an extraordinary admission, telling Vanity Fair that
The Palauan president-elect has vowed to stand up to Chinese “bullying” in the Pacific, saying that the archipelago nation is set to stand by its alliances with “true friends,” Taiwan and the US. Surangel Whipps Jr, 52, a supermarket owner and two-time senator from a prominent Palauan family, is to be sworn in as the new president tomorrow, succeeding his brother-in-law, Tommy Remengesau Jr. In a forthright interview, Whipps said that the US had demonstrated over the years that it was a reliable friend of Palau, most recently shown by its delivery of 6,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. “It’s important for
Boeing set a target of designing and certifying its jetliners to fly on 100 percent sustainable fuels by 2030, amid rising pressure on planemakers to take climate change seriously. Regulators allow a 50-50 blend of sustainable and conventional fuels, and Boeing on Friday said it would work with authorities to raise the limit. Rival Airbus is considering another tack: a futuristic lineup of hydrogen-powered aircraft that would reach the skies by 2035. The aircraft manufacturers face growing public clamor to cut emissions in the aviation industry, which added more than 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere in 2019, according to