From the Crikey grapevine, the latest tips and rumours …

Crowdfunding gets woolly. Some readers may remember the controversy that was sparked when Australian musician and PETA ambassador Jona Weinhofen posed in an advertisement against the sheep shearing industry, holding what appeared to be a bloody lamb, which was later acknowledged to be made out of plastic. Now the farmers are fighting back with WA Farmers running a crowdfunding initiative to send Weinhofen to shearing school:

“It costs $4,500 to send a person with no prior experience to shearing school. If WAFarmers raises this money, we would like to invite Weinhofen to attend one of these schools so he is better informed about the practices he is commenting on. Next time Weinhofen uses his name and personal brand to attack the wool industry he can do it with all the facts.”

So far they have raised $3,277 of the $4,500 required — and with 13 days to go we think they’ll make it.

Drink chocolate milk, says government. We had a tip-off suggesting that we have a look into the Food Star Ratings system introduced by the government and the quirky results it’s been showing up. The system assigns a rating from 0.5 to five stars based on a calculation of perceived nutritional value. We investigated the ratings of some everyday food items and found some bizarre stuff. Jalna Greek Yoghurt has a one-star rating, while Yoplait’s Forme Strawberry yoghurt has a five-star rating. The key difference in the products is the fat and sugar contents. Greek yoghurt is extremely low in sugar but quite high in fat, whereas sweet yoghurts like Yoplait are high in sugar and low in fat.

Our tipster is concerned that sugar is not considered anywhere near as bad as fat in the rating calculations, and after we did a little digging we can say that appears to be correct. Sanitarium’s Up&Go breakfast drink is assigned a 4.5-star billing and perceived as healthy. However, one pack contains approximately five teaspoons of sugar, which is just one teaspoon less than the daily recommendation by the World Health Organization. Kelloggs’ All-Bran Honey Almond is honoured with a 4.5-star rating, but it has 23.9 grams of sugar per 100 grams. It appears, the lower the saturated fat content in a product, the higher the rating, regardless of sugar content. There are some odd examples. Standard full-cream milk has an average 3.5-star rating in comparison to the 4.5 badge Rush Ice Chocolate wears.

Hummus was also contentious. Yalla Hummus has very low sugar and fat contents, at 2.1 and 1.5% respectively. It has a 4.5-star rating. The king of the hummus crowd, however, with an almighty five-star rating, is the Baraka brand, which takes the cake thanks to its measly 0.8 grams of saturated fat per 100g. What’s odd about this is the whopping sugar content in the Baraka recipe — 13.6%.

AFP scam. In awkward news for the Federal Police, a tipster has alerted us to a strange (and obviously fake) email he received from some sneaky scammers yesterday. Written up with a formal AFP header and logo, the infringement notice for “negligent driving” is a somewhat impressive effort to scam $150 out of an unsuspecting internet user. To look on the bright side, receiving a fake traffic infringement is no doubt greatly preferable to getting an actual traffic infringement notice.

Behind the curtain. AN NITV News reporter has filmed his interaction with police outside Parliament House in Canberra on Anzac Day, as they discussed whether or not he should hand over his footage of the demonstration. It gives an interesting insight into how police speak to people in situations like this.

Hillary redesigns logo in MS Paint. When Hillary Clinton announced that she would be running for president in next year’s election, it was her retro logo that stole headlines, even spawning its own font. It was panned as looking like it belonged to the ’90s, or even that it ripped off the FedEx and WikiLeaks logos. Yesterday Clinton’s social media accounts released a made-over logo in order to acknowledge her support for same-sex marriage. The Supreme Court in the US yesterday began to hear arguments that would allow marriage equality to be legalised throughout the country. The lefties at NPR have praised the change, saying “Panned When It First Came Out, The Clinton Logo Is Saying Something Now”. We can’t help but thinking it looks more like the ’90s than ever before, as if Clinton had transposed the early Apple logo over her own:

Vigils to keep hope alive. As Australians waited for the news that Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran had been executed, vigils around the country showed support for the men and their families and asked for mercy. Around 200 people gathered at Sydney’s Blues Point Reserve on the Harbour. Amnesty International organised the event, and about 10,000 flowers were used in a floral arrangement that read “#keephopealive.

The Brisbane candlelight vigil at King George Square attracted over 100 people holding signs that read “the death penalty makes killers of us all” and “keep hope alive.”

A vigil was held at the gates of the Indonesian Consulate in Melbourne before attendees moved on to St Ignatius Church in Richmond to gather and pray for Chan and Sukumaran.


Federal member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann tweeted photos of Canberrans gathering at the Indonesian embassy late last night.


*Heard anything that might interest Crikey? Send your tips to [email protected] or use our guaranteed anonymous form

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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