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Pulitzer-winning comic book about the Holocaust banned in US school district

A US school district has voted to ban a Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust due to "inappropriate language" and an illustration of a nude woman, according to minutes from a board meeting. The McMinn County School Board in Tennessee decided earlier this month to remove Maus from its curriculum, news outlets reported. Art Spiegelman won the Pulitzer Prize in 1992 for the work that tells the story of his Jewish parents living in 1940s Poland, and depicts him interviewing his father about his experiences as a Holocaust survivor. LIVE UPDATES: Health Minister cool on lockdown call for Northern Territory In an interview, Spiegelman told CNBC he was "baffled" by the school board's decision and called the action "Orwellian." "It's leaving me with my jaw open, like, 'What?'" he said. The decision comes as conservative officials across the country have increasingly tried to limit the type of books that children are exposed to, including books that address..

More wild weather to hit Victoria after flooding and power outages overnight

More wild weather is on the way to Victoria today after storms caused damage across the state yesterday, leading to flash flooding and thousands losing power amid the heat. As many as 18,000 Victorian homes powered by PowerCorp lost power across the state last night while the city of Geelong was left partly underwater. The Bureau of Meteorology has warned that more severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and heavy rainfall are headed for the centre and east of the state. READ MORE: Victoria records 12,755 new COVID-19 cases and 39 deaths peak risk in Melbourne is predicted to be in the early to mid-afternoon. The SES responded to 384 calls for help across the overnight, predominantly for flooding, fallen trees and building damage mainly around the Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula areas in the state's south-west. The SES has had more than 899 calls for help since storms began at 9pm on Wednesday. Heavy rain in Geelong caused..

Particles from first seconds of the universe discovered

Phycisists have discovered mystery particles from the dawn of time forming in the Large Hadron Collider. In the first millionths of a second after the Big Bang, the universe was filled with elementary particles such as quarks and gluons, which formed countless combinations before cooling and settling into more stable configurations to make the neutrons and protons of ordinary matter. Before cooling, a fraction of these quarks and gluons collided randomly to form short-lived "X" particles, so named for their mysterious, unknown structures. READ MORE: First records of killer whales hunting largest animals on Earth Today, X particles are extremely rare, though physicists have theorised they may be created in particle accelerators - such as the LHC - through quark coalescence, where high-energy collisions can generate similar flashes of quark-gluon plasma. Now, physicists have found evidence of the mysterious particles. The team used machine-learning techniques to sift through more than 13..

‘I haven’t raised any issues’: PM addresses Grace Tame photos

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has addressed the controversy around the images taken of him alongside 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame in Canberra this week. Ms Tame, who was at times critical of Mr Morrison and the federal government during her tenure as Australian of the Year, was photographed at an Australia Day event shaking the prime minister's hand without appearing to look at him. She was then snapped standing next to him during the event, clearly unhappy. LIVE UPDATES: Pfizer booster shot for children aged 16 and 17 gets green light Some commentators criticised Ms Tame's demeanour, but many others have applauded her courage and ongoing outspokenness and said Ms Tame was right not to stand there and pretend to smile when she felt otherwise. Mr Morrison was today asked about the photos on Queensland radio station 4BC. He said when anybody came to his and wife Jenny's home, they "greet them with a smile". "That day was actually about all the (Australian of the ..

Michigan high school shooter to pursue insanity defence

A teenager charged with killing four students at a US high school will pursue an insanity defense, his lawyers said in a notice filed today as he, his parents and school officials faced a new lawsuit over the attack at Oxford High School. The notice, listed in a summary of case filings available online, should lead to mental health exams of 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley, who is charged as an adult with murder and other crimes for the shooting, which also wounded six other students and a teacher at the Michigan school. Experts will consider whether the teen understood the wrongfulness of his conduct on the day of the shooting. The lawsuit, meanwhile, was announced on behalf of the parents of Tate Myre, who was slain on November 30 last year, and other students who witnessed the shootings. It alleges negligence by school officials and Ethan's parents over the attack. "We're sad and heartbroken — our lives forever changed," William Myre said at a news conference. "Our family will n..

Pfizer booster for teens ‘makes sense’, expert says

An infectious disease expert has applauded the Therapeutic Goods Administration's decision this morning to provisionally approve Pfizer booster shots for teens aged 16 and 17. The TGA made the announcement this morning, noting Pfizer was an approved booster for people of that age in the US, UK and Israel. As with adults, the Pfizer jab can be used as a booster following a two-dose course of any other approved vaccine. LIVE UPDATES: Pfizer booster shot for children aged 16 and 17 gets green light "I think it makes sense," Professor Sanjaya Senanayake from the Australian National University told Today. "We know that in terms of Omicron, in terms of getting disease and protection from hospitalisation, a booster dose does make a difference." He said that in the US, teens aged 12 to 15 could also now receive a Pfizer boost. READ MORE: PM pledges extra billion dollars to help save Great Barrier Reef The TGA said it was continuing to monitor overseas data on the question of boosters for ..

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews says boosters not ‘optional’

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews is calling for the COVID-19 booster shot to be included as a full part of the national vaccination program. Mr Andrews said yesterday he was awaiting clarification from National Cabinet over the proposal. Advice is still pending from immunisation advisory body ATAGI. READ MORE: Sizzling Barty embraces 'unreal' history-making win "This is a three-dose thing," Mr Andrews said. "It's not some bonus, it is not optional. We all need to get three doses." So far, 35 per cent of Victorians are triple-dosed, but 2.3 million are eligible. READ MORE: 'International' lamb ad's cheeky dig at WA border On announcing the booster shot rollout last year, Health Minister Greg Hunt said the boosters would remain optional, and that two doses would be all anybody needed to be considered fully vaccinated. However, that was before the dominance of the Omicron variant. Health officers around the country have since repeatedly stressed that the boost..

Mass student testing just days away as NSW school year begins

The rapid antigen testing scheme for New South Wales schools is set to kick off next week as students return to the classroom. Although today is the first day of term one in the state, students don't come back until Tuesday, February 1. Students will be tested twice a week for COVID-19 with RATs provided to parents via schools. READ MORE: Sizzling Barty embraces 'unreal' history-making win So far, 80 per cent of schools in the state have received their tests. Students don't return to Western Division schools until the end of next week. The scheme is set to continue for the first month of term, but News Corp has reported today the government will review it for changes after the first fortnight. Premier Dominic Perrottet has repeatedly said his priority is to have students return to class on "day one, term one". READ MORE: SA woman allegedly paid vulnerable person to get vaccine in her name High school students, along with all primary and high school staff, will wear ..

PM pledges extra billion dollars to help save Great Barrier Reef

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will today announce a record $1 billion funding package to help save the Great Barrier Reef. Mr Morrison will announce the largest single investment into the coral reef ecosystem during a visit to Cairns in Far North Queensland. The cash injection will be spread over nine years and fund projects and research aimed at protecting the reef. READ MORE: US response on Ukraine offers little optimism, Russia says Over the past nine years, it has significantly declined and huge slabs of coral have been wiped out from severe bleaching. The Federal Government plans to spend $580 million on water management to rectify contaminated run-offs and erosion. The plan also aims to tackle the threats of invasive species and prevent illegal fishing. The reef supports 64,000 jobs and is a major tourism attraction that pumps about $6.4 billion into the Australian economy every year. Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley told Today that the government had been planning the pac..