The Headlines: Alice Springs Gets New Alcohol Restrictions But Is It Too Little, Too Late?

Alice: New Alcohol Restrictions Introduced But Earlier Warnings Not Heeded

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made a flying visit to Alice Springs yesterday for consultation with the Northern Territory government over reported increases in alcohol-fuelled violence in the region.

The result: the PM and the state have announced that a relaxing of alcohol restrictions last year will be reversed, with new measures put in place from today. On Mondays and Tuesdays, alcohol will no longer be allowed to be sold as take-away and it will only be sold as takeaway from 3pm to 7pm on all other days.

However, the laws will not be imposed on remote communities and town camps, after previous restrictions were described as “race-based” and unjust.

The new rules have been welcomed by Indigenous Elders, although some have questioned what took the government so long to act and whether the changes will be enough to make a difference.

Last year, alcohol was made available in some communities for the first time in 15 years. Subsequently, property offences jumped almost 60%, assaults by 38%, and domestic violence by 48% over the past 12 months.

There had been calls, including from the Mayor of Alice Springs, to bring in the army to deal with the problem, something that has happened before. Local leaders are hoping the government will not leave it so long before intervention next time and that attention is kept on the issue moving forward.

Doomsday Clock Moves Closer to Midnight

In some cheery news, we’re all likely to die a lot sooner than we might have expected. At least, that’s according to the experts behind the Doomsday Clock, a fun little device that details how close we are to nuclear war and global collapse.

Overnight, the Doomsday Clock was moved closer to midnight than it has ever been before. It now stands at 90 seconds to midnight, 10 seconds closer than it has been for the past three years.

The apocalyptic threats suggested by the clock include politics, nuclear weapons, disease, and climate risks, all of which have been exacerbated by the war in Ukraine.

“Russia’s thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalation of the conflict by accident, intention or miscalculation is a terrible risk. The possibilities that the conflict could spin out of anyone’s control remains high,” Rachel Bronson, President of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists told reporters in Washington.

The clock was created in 1947 by atomic scientists who had worked to develop the world’s first nuclear weapons as a warning for how dangerous these things are. It has since become a symbol representing how close we are to destroying ourselves and the planet.

Chris Hipkins to Take Over From Jacinda Ardern as NZ PM Today

New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, made her final public appearance as leader yesterday. Today, her replacement, Labour Leader Chris Hipkins, will be sworn in as the new Prime Minister in a formal ceremony.

Hipkins was the country’s former COVID-19 Response and Police Minister, who will be a familiar face to many Kiwis as he helped to steer them through the pandemic. However, the new role is thought to be something of a poisoned chalice, as Labour are polling badly and an election is looming. Hipkins ran unopposed on Sunday when he stood for the candidacy of the Labour leadership role.

Arden shocked the world by resigning out of the blue on Friday, saying that, after five years, multiple national crises, and a pandemic, she simply had “nothing left in the tank.”

Hipkins has said he will refocus the government’s agenda on boosting public services and getting New Zealanders “through these tough economic times.”

“You shouldn’t have to be on a six-figure salary to buy a new house,” he said on Sunday.

Related: The Big Question: Will Putin Use Nuclear Weapons in Ukraine and What Happens If He Does?

Related: Huge: Jacinda Ardern Will Resign As New Zealand’s Prime Minister

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