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Australia to scrap harassment exemption for judges and politicians

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SYDNEY – Australia will scrap exemptions for judges and politicians from sexual harassment legal guidelines, Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated on Thursday, as his authorities struggles to comprise a backlash over allegations of mistreatment of feminine lawmakers and employees.

Underneath broad adjustments geared toward empowering complainants in office gender-related disputes, employers shall be required to take a proactive method to stopping gender discrimination, whereas complainants get an extended time period to lodge complaints, Morrison stated.

Early final yr, Australia’s intercourse discrimination commissioner referred to as for broad adjustments to office legal guidelines together with eradicating exemptions for public sector employers and individuals who rent volunteers.

Morrison stated on Thursday he would undertake all 55 of the commissioner’s suggestions which embody a blanket ban on office gender discrimination, necessary coaching of firm administrators and reporting by listed corporations, in addition to improved coordination between complaint-handling businesses. [L4N2M10SB]

“Sexual harassment is unacceptable,” Morrison advised reporters within the capital, Canberra.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison looks on during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, 08 April 2021.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison appears to be like on throughout a press convention at Parliament Home in Canberra, Australia, 08 April 2021.
EPA

“It’s not solely immoral and despicable and even felony … it denies Australians, particularly girls, not simply their private safety however their financial safety by not being secure at work.”

Public servants like judges and politicians are at present exempt from complaints about office gender discrimination, as are some employers of volunteers, due to a authorized loophole which suggests they’re technically not the complainant’s employer.

The federal government has been battling suspicion it has mishandled cases of sexual harassment and assault after a feminine former staffer of Morrison’s authorities went public in February with an allegation that she was raped in a ministerial workplace in 2019.

In March, the then-attorney normal stated he was the topic of an unrelated historic rape allegation in 1988, which he has strongly denied.

Morrison’s dealing with of the problem of harassment has been extensively criticized and polls present his private approval at its lowest degree since earlier than the pandemic. A current protest outdoors parliament about gender discrimination and violence drew tens of 1000’s of individuals.

Zali Steggall, an impartial member of parliament who has advocated for reform of sexual harassment legal guidelines, stated the adjustments have been a win for individuals who attended the protest and referred to as on Morrison to introduce the legislative adjustments when parliament returned subsequent month.

“Undoubtedly, it’s the prime minister and the federal government recognising that they’ve to maneuver on this, they need to act,” Steggall advised Reuters by phone.

“I don’t wish to see this as being simply one other announcement and a delay in legislating what must be performed.”

Till this yr, most polls had urged that Morrison’s conservative coalition could be returned to workplace on the subsequent normal election, due inside a yr, after its powerful COVID-19 response all however eradicated the virus within the nation.

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Mugshot of Austin shooter Stephen Broderick launched

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Police in Austin, Texas have released a photo of the ex-cop who’s accused of murdering his spouse, teen daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend.

The mugshot reveals a stone-faced Stephen Broderick, 41, in white and orange-striped jail garb, with tattoos seen throughout his chest.

Broderick was arrested by authorities Monday morning and charged with capital homicide by the Travis County District Legal professional’s Workplace, in line with native officers.

Broderick allegedly murdered his spouse  Amanda Broderick and their teen daughter, Alyssa — in addition to her boyfriend, who was a star footballer set to play for the College of North Texas within the fall, stories say.

The previous sheriff’s detective was compelled to resign in 2020 after being arrested for allegedly molesting a 16-year-old.

When cops caught as much as Broderick simply after 7 a.m. Monday, he was strolling alongside a highway about 12 miles northeast of Austin with a loaded pistol, police mentioned.

Cops launched his mugshot Monday afternoon.

Mug shot of Stephen Broderick
Police in Austin, Texas have launched a photograph of Stephen Broderick, the ex-cop who’s accused of murdering his spouse.
Austin Police Division

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Italian officers busted for unlawful songbird feast

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Fowl play!

A gaggle of Italian authorities officers are beneath investigation for feasting on a lunch of untamed songbirds — together with some that have been a uncommon species, a report stated Monday.

Carabinieri officers busted the lavish meal, which additionally defied COVID-19 tips, and located the illegally hunted creatures on the menu, the Telegraph reported.

The banquet secretly held in a authorities constructing close to town of Brescia included uncommon tiny birds akin to hawfinches and purple crossbills.

Chaffinches, goldfinches, siskins and bramblings have been additionally able to be devoured.

Round 20 public officers from the villages of Valle Trompia and Gardone Val Trompia had been in attendance on the lunch, the outlet reported.

Along with probably breaking wildlife safety and searching legal guidelines, the group is being investigated for violating coronavirus lockdown guidelines, which prohibit gatherings of quite a lot of folks, the outlet reported.

A red crossbill, another type of bird that was eaten at the gathering.
A purple crossbill, one other kind of chicken that was eaten on the gathering.
Shutterstock

Italy’s Nationwide Affiliation for the Safety of Animals slammed the group for appearing above the legislation.

“We’re disenchanted and angered – those that needs to be main by instance are sometimes those that don’t care in regards to the legislation,” the group stated, the Telegraph reported.

The Anti-Searching League stated the feast was “shameful,” however famous that Brescia area is “the worst in Italy, and one of many worst in Europe, for poaching.”

Songbirds in some elements of Europe are thought-about a delicacy — with the traditional Romans having fun with meals of quails, doves, peacocks and flamingoes.

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Texas instructor accused of sexually abusing former scholar

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A Texas center college instructor has been accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a former scholar, police stated.

Marka Bodine, an English instructor at Tomball Intermediate College outdoors Houston, was arrested Saturday following an investigation into allegations made by a former scholar, Tomball police stated in a press release.

Bodine, 31, was taken into custody on a felony cost of steady sexual abuse of a kid after a former scholar on the college contacted police on April 12.

Tomball police Chief Jeffrey Bert informed KRIV that Bodine allegedly abused the male scholar for roughly two and a half years.

“It was positively a cry out for assist,” Bert informed the station of the sufferer. “He had reached out to a college, and he reached out to the police division as effectively, so I feel he simply turned overwhelmed with it and reached out to us.”

Bodine made her preliminary courtroom look Monday, the station reported. She informed police that one among her former sixth-grade college students had been harassing her and threatened to hurt himself, courtroom paperwork present.

However investigators allege Bodine had a three-year sexual relationship with the identical boy who’s now 16. Court docket paperwork point out she admitted to intercourse acts with the sufferer beginning in 2018 and continued having them even after he moved, the station reported.

“It does seem that that is a kind of instances the place grooming of the kid was concerned, in different phrases, getting the individual to be really feel trusted initially,” stated Bert. “Our large concern from the police division proper now could be to make sure that we now have all of the proof of this case, however to make sure that there’s no different youngsters concerned.”

Marka Bodine
Marka Bodine was arrested Saturday following an investigation into allegations made by a former scholar.
Screenshot ABC 13

Bodine additionally confessed to sending the boy dozens of specific images and movies, the station stories.

District officers, in the meantime, stated they instantly positioned on Bodine on administrative go away upon being notified of the prison investigation. She later resigned and is now not employed by Tomball ISD.

Tomball police and youngster welfare officers are actually conducting impartial investigations within the accusations, district officers stated.

“Any and all worker misconduct allegations are taken significantly and are investigated completely and promptly,” district officers stated in a press release to The Publish. “The security of our college students in Tomball ISD is our primary precedence and any substantiated allegations of worker misconduct is not going to be tolerated.”

Counselors prepared to offer “social-emotional help” to any scholar or staffer in want shall be made obtainable on the college for fifth- and sixth-graders, district officers stated.

Bodine was booked into the Harris County Jail, the place she was launched after posting $100,000 bond and ordered to put on a GPS monitor, KPRC reported.

One mother or father of a kid within the district informed KPRC she was very disturbed by information of Bodine’s arrest.

“I simply received the e-mail this morning and actually that type of stuff outrages me,” the lady stated.

A LinkedIn web page for Bodine signifies she had labored as an English instructor for Tomball ISD since August 2015.

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