Posts Tagged ‘Australia’

Banking and finance roundup

Banking and finance roundup

Free speech roundup

  • You don’t have to think porn’s OK, or that speech never does harm, to see that Ross Douthat’s censorship ideas will fall flat on their face [Rick Garnett/Prawfs, Taylor Millard/Hot Air quoting me, Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Tyler Cowen]
  • Group libel theory meets nationalism in Europe’s censorship creep: “Poland Passes Bill Criminalizing Claims Of Its Complicity In The Holocaust” [Colin Dwyer/NPR, Eugene Volokh, Jacob Sullum]
  • “Arizona Bar Accuses Libel Lawyers of Suing Fake Defendants” [Eugene Volokh; related Paul Alan Levy]
  • First Amendment should protect t-shirt shop that refused to print gay pride message [Ilya Shapiro on Cato amicus in Hands-On Originals case, involving Lexington, Ky. anti-discrimination law; earlier here, etc.]
  • Federal judge rules Electronic Frontier Foundation need not obey an Australian court order directing it to take down a “Stupid Patent of the Month” blog post, finding the order “repugnant to the United States Constitution.” [Kurt Opsahl, EFF]
  • First Amendment Watch is a project of the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. Our mission is to document threats to the First Amendment freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and petition, all rights that are critical to self-governance in a democratic society….First Amendment Watch is an online news and educational resource for journalists, educators and students.”

Publisher: we’re canceling book on influence of Chinese government in Australia

Allen & Unwin, the publisher, says it does not plan to publish a book by Charles Sturt University academic Clive Hamilton called Silent Invasion, on the influence of the Chinese government in high places in Australia. Hamilton says the publisher has privately communicated to him that it is afraid of facing defamation lawsuits should it go forward. [Andrew Greene, Australian Broadcasting Corporation]

Free speech roundup

  • Florida “health coach” charges for nutrition advice, isn’t a licensed dietitian. Does she have a First Amendment defense? [Scott Shackford]
  • Results of Russian social-media manipulation episode could include foot in door for regulation of Internet speech [John Samples, Cato]
  • Some in Australia having trouble distinguishing “impersonation” of government from anti-government satire [Timothy Geigner, TechDirt]
  • Before deep-pocket publications can report on sexual misconduct by persons in high places, gauntlet of legal review needs to be run with special attention to on-the-record sources [Mike Masnick, TechDirt]
  • Ohio lawmaker introduces anti-SLAPP bill that pioneers novel protections for anonymous speakers [John Samples, Cato]
  • “Nadine Strossen’s Next Book — ‘Hate: Why We Should Resist it With Free Speech, Not Censorship'” [Ronald K.L. Collins] “Sanford Ungar Heads New Free Speech Project at Georgetown University” [same]

Oz court: supermarkets need not shadow shoppers against slip hazards

A court in Australia has ordered costs against a claimant who had sued a grocery store after a slip-fall, after finding that “the grape could not have been on the floor longer than 10 minutes… and it was not realistic to expect every piece of vegetable matter which fell to the floor be picked up instantly.” [Harriet Alexander, Melbourne Age via Tortylicious on Facebook]:

“Coles is not bound to ensure the absolute safety of entrants to its stores,” he said.

“It must take reasonable care.

“Coles could not have been expected to ensure safety by, for example, having several staff in every aisle doing nothing but watching for dropped vegetable matter, or by allocating a staff member to ‘shadow’ every customer as they walked around the store.”

Free speech loses a round Down Under, 18C unchanged for now

In a defeat for free expression in Australia, the country’s Senate has rejected the Turnbull government’s proposal to soften elements of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, which bans so-called hate speech based on race [The Guardian, ABC] Opposition to the change was led by the opposition Labor Party, whose spokesman for multicultural affairs, Tony Burke, said “Any change that results in more permission being given for racial hate speech is bad for Australia.” In 2011, an Australian federal court found commentator Andrew Bolt guilty under the law over remarks in which he is said to have implied that some fair-skinned persons of part-aboriginal descent elect to classify themselves as aboriginal for career advancement.

By coincidence — although not really so, if you see what I mean — a planned lecture tour of Australia by AEI’s Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a vocal critic of female genital mutilation, sharia law, and jihadism, has been called off following calls to venues and insurers threatening “trouble.” Ali, who was born Muslim but came to disagree with the religious tenets of Islam, already travels with armed guards because of the credible threat of assassination [Kay Hymowitz, City Journal]

Nanny state roundup

  • Government (including the writers of school lunch regulations) has pushed us toward a less healthy diet, part 73: the case for full-fat milk is looking stronger than ever [Time]
  • “Obama’s latest food crackdown: Salt” [Helena Bottemiller Evich, Politico]
  • Paternalist objections to the assumption of risk doctrine, and some answers [Avihay Dorfman via Benjamin Zipursky]
  • Really, what harm can another cigarette tax hike or two do? (map: “Prevalence of illicit tobacco in 2013,” Francesco Calderoni) Tobacco is human rights issue, claims a Georgetown Law center on health and law;
  • Vaping as dangerous as smoking? Really? Jacob Sullum challenges Dr. Margaret Cuomo;
  • Australian physicians group urges drastic new restrictions on alcohol access, including higher purchase age, 0.0 blood alcohol driving limit, “interventions” for pregnant women [Sydney Morning Herald]

Australia: Irish pub in trouble over vintage tobacco signs on walls

Owner Paul North of J.B. O’Reilly’s, a popular Irish pub in a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, “could face prosecution or hefty fines” Playersnavycutafter Health Department inspectors discovered at his business a display of tobacco advertising, which is now banned there. The advertising in question? “Antique signs and memorabilia, including a number of collectable tobacco signs dating back more than 120 years,” although “most of the brands [are no longer] on the market and J.B. O’Reilly’s [does not sell] any tobacco products.” [Brisbane Times] Update: bar wins reprieve after provincial premier overrides health department directive.