Weekly news round-up: Rebecca Black’s new song, Malaysia-Australia’s refugee swap, Libyan rebel leaders recognised
HAVE you heard? Rebecca Black releases her new song My Moment, Australia and Malaysia draw up a draft agreement to swap refugees, and Libya’s rebel leaders recognised as legitimate.
Gillard’s controversial “refugee swap” underway
Plans for a “refugee swap” between Australia and Malaysia are going ahead, according to various reports, with a spokesman from the International Organization for Migration confirming a draft agreement had been struck. The deal, originally proposed by the Gillard government on May 7, involves “swapping” 800 of Australia’s detained refugees for 4,000 of Malaysia’s already processed asylum seekers.
The controversial “asylum seeker trading” plan has caused human rights activists to rally against Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has expressed critical concerns over “the arbitrary detention, the torture, the persecution that asylum seekers and refugees face in Malaysia”.
“It is very hard to believe that we can guarantee, in any way, the rights of those people we send there… battling them around the region as ping pong balls simply because the government wants to make a political point… let’s stop playing with the lives of these people,” Senator Hanson-Young told reporters on Wednesday.
Hillary Clinton: Libya’s rebel leaders are the true government
Libya’s rebel leaders have been recognised by the United States as the true sovereign government of the region on Friday, after four months of civil war and NATO intervention, as announced by the Secretary of State Hilary Clinton.
The Obama administration, along with various major Western powers, now openly acknowledge the rebel forces to be the legitimate government of Libya. This should deal further blows to Muammar Gaddafi’s faltering hold of power in the North African state. However, the former dictator was unfazed in a radio interview and ridiculed NATO’s support of the rebels.
“Trample on those recognitions. Trample on them under your feet. They are worthless,” Muammar Gaddafi said in defiance.
Envoys from the United States have directly met with representatives from the Gaddafi regime, as a “first step dialogue” with a “clear and firm message that the only way forward in Libya is for Gaddafi to step down”.
But the former dictator refused to back down, vowing to “fight till the very end” and launching a fresh attack on rebel forces.
“They are asking me to leave. That’s a laugh. I will never leave the land of my ancestors or the people who have sacrificed themselves to me,” Gaddafi said in a loudspeaker address in the capital city.
It’s “My Moment” for Rebecca Black
It looks like Rebecca Black is determined to stay more than a one-hit wonder. The girl who was named “the world’s worst singer” has released her second video on YouTube, this time an autobiographical song entitled My Moment.
Just in case you didn’t know, Rebecca Black became an Internet celebrity for all the wrong reasons when she released her first auto-tuned song Friday on YouTube earlier this year. With lyrics like “it’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday” and “and tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday comes afterwards”, the love-to-hate-it video went viral with millions of hits.
But it’s not been all dark clouds for Black. At the “Google Goes Gaga” Q+A session, the music sensation said she thought the 14-year-old was a genius. And in an extremely apt pop-culture pun, Black appeared alongside pop princess Katy Perry in a music video for her hit single Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.).
So, is gaining the approval of Lady Gaga and being in the same music video as Katy Perry enough to warrant any teenage girl to sing, “Haters… said I will see you later!” and “I am doing big things, I hope you’re happy because I’m about to blow up”?
In the words of a Time Magazine reviewer, “My Moment, while certainly containing more thoughtful lyrics than her first musical endeavour, still maintains the silliness that we have come to expect”.
Love it or hate it? Give us your verdict in the comments section below.