Friday, January 04, 2019

Leftist Government in Western Australia:  Year Three students will be given 'ethnic clothes' to try on and boys will be encouraged to 'explore gender' by wearing girls' dresses under new school program

Boys and girls in year three will be encouraged to explore different gender roles in class and wear ethnic clothing as part of a controversial new program.

The fresh syllabus, which has the backing of the McGowan Government in Western Australia, will be introduced to a handful of Perth schools from term one in February.

Students will be provided with a range of dress ups and toys and will also learn about different kinds of ethnic dress such as burkas, traditionally worn by women of Islamic faith.

The primary aim of the course, previously introduced to over a dozen Victorian schools in 2018, is to break down gender stereotypes.

Up to 10 schools in Western Australia will take part in the $1million Respect Relationships program.

Peter Abetz, from the Australian Christian Lobby, expressed his concerns on 9News Perth. 'It will indoctrinate children with the idea that they than choose to be a boy or a girl,' he said.

'Why do boys need to get dressed up in girls clothing? Let's get real about education.'

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is also a vocal critic. Speaking on breakfast radio with veteran broadcaster Alan Jones in Sydney, Mr Morrison said he didn't 'want the values of others being imposed on my children' before adding 'it shouldn't happen at a public or private school.'

Simone McGurk, the Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence, happily supports the program. 'By introducing respectful relationships in schools, we can continue to implement cultural changes in attitudes towards family and domestic violence,' she said. 'Early interventions can be critical.'

A spokesperson from the Western Australia Department of Education wouldn't confirm or deny whether 'dressing up' will be part of the 2019 gender education program, stating the 'curriculum is still being developed.'


New Queensland coal mine to hire 350 workers

MORE than 350 workers will be hired at a new coal mine in Central Queensland in the latest sign of a resurgence in the state’s resources sector.

Fitzroy Australia Resources is gearing up to recruit the workers for its Ironbark No 1 coking coal mine 35km northeast of Moranbah.

Queensland’s surging coal and LNG sectors will fuel record Australian resource and energy export earnings this financial year.

Coal, both coking used to make steel and thermal used to generate electricity, is expected to overtake iron ore as Australia’s largest resource and energy export.

Fitzroy is partnering with employment company SES Labour Solutions to recruit and train the workers for the mine, which is the first development from a suite of assets acquired from Brazilian mining giant Vale in 2016. Fitzroy also purchased the neighbouring Carborough Downs mine and Broadlea project from Vale.

Fitzroy chief executive Grant Polwarth said the partnership with SES would help “de-risk” the development of Ironbark No 1, which will share major infrastructure with Carborough.

Operations at the underground greenfield mine, which will be able to produce six million tonnes of coal a year, is expected to start in the first quarter of 2020.

It is expected to provide opportunities for 160 contractors in the production phase and up to 350 operational staff.

“Employing some 350 new Fitzroy personnel is very exciting for our business and the region, and it comes with both great opportunity and challenges,” Mr Polwarth said.

SES Labour Solutions executive general manager Nathan Sharpe said recruitment for the new roles will begin at end of this year, with half of the workers to be new to the industry.

“Because this is a new mine, this is an opportunity to build a culture from the ground up,” said Mr Sharpe, a former Wallaby captain.

“There has been a certain amount of automation in underground mining, but workers need to have team working skills as they have to rely on each other in what can be a dangerous environment.”

Mr Sharpe said Queensland’s resources sector was experiencing a buoyant period helped by solid commodity prices.

“Most of the major commodities are priced at a good level, and resources companies are investing in assets that they were not previously looking at mining,” he said. “They can now plan for the future.”


Arthur Culvahouse Jr. to serve as US ambassador to Australia after Senate approves nomination

The United States is sending an ambassador Down Under, finally filling a two-year vacancy in Canberra.

With eyes in Washington on the partial government shutdown, there were fears the senators of the 115th Congress would not have time for a whole swathe of unfinished bureaucratic business.

But, right at the last minute, they ticked off some items on their to-do lists, confirming dozens of President Donald Trump's nominees for postings, en masse.

They may have acted on the urging of the President, who had complained on Twitter his candidates were waiting "FAR TOO LONG" and claimed "heads of countries" had been phoning about the delay.

Among the nominees was Arthur Culvahouse Jr, who will serve as US ambassador to Australia. For what it's worth, the US ambassadors to Kenya, Mongolia, Brunei, Azerbaijan, Yemen, Guyana and Armenia also got the nod.

If Mr Culvahouse had not been confirmed today, his nomination would have expired, possibly leading to weeks of delays.

"It certainly means he'll be in the country by the time of the election and that's extremely important," said Bruce Wolpe, a visiting fellow at the United States Studies Centre.

"The highest levels of the State Department will have the best representation of what's occurring in Australia."

The diplomatic role, which has been vacant since 2016, has been something of a sore spot in the US-Australia relationship.

The US redirected its first nominee, Harry Harris, to serve in South Korea as tensions with North Korea rose this Autumn. Some, including former prime minister Kevin Rudd, saw the move as a diplomatic snub.

"At the last minute, the people invested in the relationship did the political work necessary to get this cleared," Mr Wolpe said.  "There was very good execution at the last stages of the Senate. So for all those reasons, it's very good news."

For the past two years, officials in Canberra and Washington have played down the significance of the vacancy in Canberra and have said it had little impact on the strength of the US-Australia relationship.

A spokesman for Foreign Minister Marise Payne said yesterday: "Australia has been exceptionally well served by US Charge d'Affaires James Carouso, who has provided strong leadership and valued counsel."

Nonetheless, the news of the confirmation is likely to be warmly welcomed by both sides of Australian politics.


5G is coming to Australia. Here's what you need to know

In 2019, a big technology shift will finally begin. It's a once-in-a-decade upgrade to our wireless systems that will start reaching mobile phone users in a matter of months.

But this is not just about faster smartphones. The transition to new fifth-generation cellular networks, known as 5G for short, will also affect many other kinds of devices, including industrial robots, security cameras, drones and cars that send traffic data to one another.

This new era will leap ahead of current wireless technology, known as 4G, by offering mobile internet speeds that will let people download entire films within seconds and most likely bring big changes to video games, sports and shopping.

Officials in the US and China see 5G networks as a competitive edge. The faster networks could help spread the use of artificial intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies.

Expect to hear more about 5G soon at events like the big consumer electronics trade show CES in January in Las Vegas and MWC Barcelona (formerly the Mobile World Congress) in February in Spain. Wireless service providers including AT&T and Verizon are already talking up 5G. And device makers are previewing gadgets that will work with the technology.

Samsung recently demonstrated prototypes of 5G smartphones that are expected to operate on both Verizon and AT&T networks. Many other manufacturers are racing to follow suit, though Apple is not expected in the initial 5G wave. Analysts predict that iPhones with the new technology won't arrive until 2020. An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment.

What exactly is 5G?

Strictly speaking, 5G is a set of technical ground rules that define the workings of a mobile phone network, including the radio frequencies used and how various components like computer chips and antennas handle radio signals and exchange data.

Since the first cellphones were demonstrated in the 1970s, engineers from multiple companies have convened to agree on new sets of specifications for cellular networks, which are designated a new technology generation every decade or so. To get the benefits of 5G, users will have to buy new phones, while carriers will need to install new transmission equipment to offer the faster service.

How fast will 5G be?

The answer depends on where you live, which wireless services you use and when you decide to take the 5G plunge.

Qualcomm, the US wireless chipmaker, said it had demonstrated peak 5G download speeds of 4.5 gigabits a second, but predicts initial median speeds of about 1.4 gigabits. That translates to roughly 20 times faster than the current 4G experience.

The 5G speeds will be particularly noticeable in higher-quality streaming video. And downloading a typical movie at the median speeds cited by Qualcomm would take 17 seconds with 5G, compared with six minutes for 4G.

Rather than remembering to download a season of a favourite TV show before heading to the airport, for example, you could do it while in line to board a plane, said Justin Denison, a Samsung senior vice president.

Is that the only speed that matters?

No. There's another kind of speed, a lag known as latency, that may become even more important with 5G.

Issue a command now on a smartphone - like starting a web search - and the response isn't exactly immediate. A lag of 50 to several hundred milliseconds is common, partly because signals often must pass between different carrier switching centres; 5G, which uses newer networking technology, was designed to reduce latency down to a few milliseconds. It was also designed to deliver signals more reliably than earlier cellular networks, which today frequently drop bits of data that aren't essential for tasks like watching movies on a phone.

That improvement could bring many benefits, notably in fields such as virtual reality. The highest-quality VR applications now typically require bulky headsets that are connected by wire to nearby personal computers that generate 3D images. With 5G, that would be off-loaded wirelessly to other machines, freeing users to move and making it easier to develop goggles the size of eyeglasses, said Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm's semiconductor business.

In the related field of augmented reality, people could point a smartphone camera at a football game and see both live video on the display and superimposed player statistics or other data, said Patrick Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

And 5G's impact extends to medicine and other fields that increasingly rely on high-speed connections.

"If you talk about remote surgery or connected cars, you don't want latency times to be too long," said Fredrik Jejdling, an executive vice president at Ericsson, a maker of cellular equipment.

When will 5G be here?

The answer for smartphone users in the United States appears to be by the second quarter of 2019; precise timing is uncertain. In Australia, Telstra has announced plans to begin offering 5G by 2019. Other countries expected to get 5G this year include Britain, Germany, Switzerland, South Korea and China.

Last August, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia would not allow Huawei, the giant Chinese tech company that is suspected to have ties with the Communist Party, to build the country's 5G network.

AT&T has actually switched on its mobile 5G service in 12 American cities, with seven more targeted in its initial rollout plan. But smartphones aren't ready yet for a direct connection to 5G networks. So AT&T will initially market a 5G hot-spot device, made by Netgear, that can funnel wireless broadband connections to nearby phones and computers using Wi-Fi.

Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs and the carrier's chief technology officer, said the first Samsung smartphones for AT&T's 5G network will be available in the first half of 2019.

Verizon is already selling a 5G-branded service based on its own variant of the technology to provide wireless internet connections to homes in limited parts of Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and Sacramento. The carrier predicts that it will begin serving smartphone users in the first half of 2019, without identifying cities or specific timing.

Will consumers see the full benefits of 5G?

Verizon and AT&T will introduce their 5G offerings with the first use of high frequencies that are known by the phrase "millimeter wave." Using this, the wireless providers can pump data at high speeds, but the signals don't travel as far. So the two carriers are expected to first target densely populated areas "parts or pockets" of cities, as AT&T's Fuetsch put it.

Sprint and T-Mobile plan to start with lower frequencies. The result may be somewhat slower initial speeds but broader range, said Michael Thelander, president of Signals Research, a wireless consultancy.

Still, 5G's full benefits aren't expected until US carriers upgrade key central switching equipment, which may not happen until late 2019 or sometime in 2020.

So should I buy a smartphone that works with 5G right away?

A consumer study sponsored by Intel in August found that 58 per cent of Americans were not knowledgeable about 5G or had not heard of it, though another survey in December by the chipmaker indicated solid demand once the benefits were explained.

Confusion actually could increase over the short term because of some technical details.

You have a lot to consider. For example, while Verizon and AT&T plan to later add 5G services based on lower frequencies that offer wider coverage, the first 5G handsets may not work with those portions of their networks. So the reach of 5G signals for those phones may remain limited.

"I wouldn't buy a 5G phone until it supports 5G in one of the lower-frequency bands," Thelander said. "For all operators but Sprint, this means at least late 2019, and more likely 2020."


 Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

1 comment:

Paul said...

"Boys and girls in year three will be encouraged to explore different gender roles in class and wear ethnic clothing as part of a controversial new program."

Institutionalized child abuse. We thought the stories from Church-based orgs were bad. It appears that was just the warm-up. There are going to be a lot of angry, confused young adults in Australia's near-future, trapped in sexual limbo. Maybe that's the intent?