Good news (for a change)

Issue 
Platypus populations in Melbourne's suburbs and urban fringe are showing signs of recovery.

Platypus numbers recovering in Melbourne

Platypus populations in Melbourne's suburbs and urban fringe are showing signs of recovery, five years after being devastated by drought, the ABC said on June 2.

“The most recent survey, led by wildlife ecologist Josh Griffiths, found a 2.7-kilogram platypus in Jacksons Creek, Sunbury … Griffiths said the platypus was the biggest to be found in Melbourne's urban areas during a survey by the Melbourne Water Urban Platypus Program,” the ABC said.

However, signs of recovery are tentative and in some areas numbers are still much lower than they were before the drought.

“Werribee is still struggling a lot — some creeks they've disappeared from and they're not coming back," Griffiths told the ABC.

“In the late '90s there were surveys done where we would catch five, six or seven in survey; these days we might get one.”

Greens Senator wins defamation case

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has won a defamation case against the smutty “men's magazine” Zoo.

The magazine had photoshopped Hanson-Young's face onto a pornographic image to accompany a racist and sexist article jovially offering “house the next boatload of asylum seekers in the Zoo office” if the senator agreed to participate in a bikini or lingerie photoshoot.

Under the ruling the magazine's publisher, Bauer Media, will have to publish an apology on its website, which will read: “We accept that the article was in poor taste. Senator Hanson-Young has made a significant contribution to asylum seeker policy in this country. We sincerely apologise for any hurt we caused.”

Hanson-Young told Fairfax Media on June 7: “Young women need to see their female leaders taking a stand against sexism. My daughter needs to know I did.

“Whether it is a smutty men's magazine or in pages of the daily newspapers, there is no place for the degradation of women and the right of women to have views or opinions … There comes a time when you have to draw a line in the sand and take a stand against sexism and bigotry.”

Norway divests from coal

Norway’s parliament voted n June 5 to sell its country's pension fund shares in companies that mine and burn coal. This will remove $8.8 billion invested in coal, the largest fossil fuel divestment ever.

The divestment followed a campaign that included a petition signed by almost 50,000 people, 350.org reported.

However, this decision does not affect Norway's huge oil and gas industry. While Norway is often praised for the high proportion of its domestic energy that is from renewable sources, North Sea oil and gas account for more than half the country's exports and 20% of GDP.

Emissions from oil and gas that Norway exports are counted as other countries' emissions. Norway is the world's third-largest gas exporter and fifth-largest oil exporter.

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