Do You Speak Australian?

New York Times: HONG KONG — In October 2014, Australia’s prime minister produced blank stares around the globe when he vowed to “shirt-front” President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia over the downing of a Malaysia Airlines plane in Ukraine, in which 28 Australian citizens had been killed.

Back home, many Australians knew exactly what Tony Abbott, who was then prime minister, was talking about: “Shirt-front” describes charging an opponent in Australian football. But those who didn’t understand Mr. Abbott had few authoritative sources to consult.

Until now.

“Shirt-front” is among the more than 6,000 new entries in an updated version of the Australian National Dictionary, released Tuesday at a ceremony at the country’s Parliament in Canberra, the capital. It was the first update since the dictionary’s inaugural edition was printed in 1988.

The new edition, which lists 16,000 idioms, was compiled by the Australian National Dictionary Center at the Australian National University. New entries include popular terms like bogan (“an uncultured and unsophisticated person”) and budgie smugglers (“a pair of closefitting male swimming briefs made of stretch fabric”).

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Trump’s Cross-Color Nationalist Appeal

Comments at

* Trump’s message isn’t white nationalist — it’s nationalist. The same America-first policies on immigration and trade would help non-white Americans too. Which is why they are the core of Trump’s appeal to blacks now (along with his emphasis on law & order).

The beauty of nationalism is that it can appeal to most of the nation on the same terms. Dems’ identity politics, in contrast, can’t: affirmative action may appeal to minorities but it turns off white men; amnesty and open borders may appeal to illegal aliens and anchor babies, but it turns off many natives and legal immigrants. Easy-on-crime policies may appeal to felons and ex-felons but won’t appeal to many law-abiding members of minority communities. And so on.

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With Crocodiles in Custody, Police in Humpty Doo, Australia, Seek Human Accomplices

New York Times: Wanted: the shirtless reptile-hurlers of Humpty Doo.


It sounds like a crazy caper in a children’s book. But the police in Australia are serious.

Investigators in the Northern Territory announced on Sunday that they needed the public’s help in identifying four half-naked men who had broken into a school office in the town of Humpty Doo, shattering a window and heaving a few saltwater crocodiles inside.

Presumably, investigators also want the answer to that age-old question of crime-solving: Why did you do it?

The police released a security camera video of the break-in, which occurred around 5 a.m. on Sunday. The video shows the interior of an unremarkable office: desk, file cabinets, computer. Then the panes of a glass door tremble and crack, and in comes a crocodile, toppling headfirst into the room. The scaly beast is followed by another, and then a third crocodile flops headfirst through the broken glass.

The reptilian advance team is followed by human counterparts. A man is seen reaching through the broken glass to open the locked door. He darts in, shirtless but with his face covered, and three more men follow. At first they appear to be searching for something, yanking open drawers and tossing aside papers and equipment.

Finally, the video shows them grabbing a computer and making their escape, leaving the crocodiles behind to face the music. The reptiles are barely visible on the floor, shuffling around the furniture.

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Los Angeles City Council president doesn’t pay his bills on time

NEWS: Herb Wesson, the president of the Los Angeles City Council, has received five default notices for being late with mortgage payments since he became the top council official in 2011, David Zahniser reports for the L:A Times. “In two of those instances, Wesson’s properties came dangerously close to a foreclosure auction, according to county real estate records. The most recent auction was scheduled for July 6 and then canceled, records show.”


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Byron York: Onstage, Trump sheds ego, lays off media, hones new role

Byron York writes: FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Back when Donald Trump was giving one hour-plus, free-form, jazz-improvisation speeches — that is, for nearly all of the campaign until the last week — Trump spent an inordinate amount of time telling audiences how great he was. He was the best at this, the best at that, he won this, he won that, his companies were the greatest, people loved him. A typical Trump speech included long stretches of nearly nonstop bragging.

Like much else in the Trump campaign, that has changed dramatically in the last seven days. In his speech at the Fredericksburg Expo Center here Saturday night, Trump was virtually brag-free for all 42 minutes. There was nothing about how smart he is, or his fabulous lifestyle, or the club championships he has won. Trump was instead relentlessly on-message from start to finish.

There was something else missing from Trump’s Fredericksburg performance. The old Trump spent a lot of speech time bashing the press. He would point to reporters — whom his staff had penned up midway back in the hall — and tell the crowd how dishonest they were. He would accuse TV cameramen of refusing to turn their lenses toward the audience because they wanted to conceal how big the turnout was.

In Fredericksburg, there was none of that.

Instead, sticking close to a prepared text, Trump focused on a broad-based presentation of his agenda and sharp attacks on Hillary Clinton. And not much else.

Trump’s new campaign manager, pollster Kellyanne Conway, laid out the strategy in a series of media appearances after the recent campaign shakeup. “When he takes the case right to Hillary Clinton, he looks at it as a tennis match, lobbing, lobbing, lobbing at her, not picking a fight with the ref, not booing the crowd,” Conway said on MSNBC Thursday. “He focuses that way, he’s able to do two things: He’s able to be himself stylistically, he’s able to be Trump authentically, and yet he’s able to move this conversation into a general election contrast with Hillary Clinton.”

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