White House releases graphic video showcasing video game violence

A montage video of bloody and brutal scenes has been created by US President Donald Trump's administration, to showcase extreme video game violence.

The video was shown during Mr Trump's meeting on Thursday with game-industry executives, watchdog group representatives, lawmakers and other attendees, before being released on YouTube, where it has been viewed over 600,000 times and is the White House's fifth most viewed video since Mr Trump took office. 

It has been suggested, by Mr Trump, that video games contribute to the mass shootings that the US has experienced recently. 

The video-gaming industry has, however, rebutted that there has never been any evidence showing violence in fantasy video games correlate with real-life violence.

The 88 second video was meant to spark conversations of whether "games that graphically simulate killing de-sensitise our community to violence", said the press office.

Instead though, it has not been taken seriously online, with numerous YouTubers describing it as "laughable" and a "joke". 

A series of graphic killings from popular video games, including Call of Duty: Black Ops, Fallout 4, Wolfenstein and Sniper Elite 4, are shown throughout the clip.

"A video game is no different than a movie", said one Youtuber.

Youtube user Delltobbi commented, "All I got from this video was 'I need to play some of these games.'"

Others commented on how the creators had taken these scenes out of context and were sending mixed messages. 

"I notice that there was no footage from America's Army in this. I guess government sponsored wargames are immune to criticism?"



Radio station already playing Christmas songs, but it's to ease dying toddler's pain

A radio station in the US is already playing Christmas music.

But it's not a shameless bid to further commoditise the holiday that some listeners have mistakenly assumed. The station has agreed to play the music months ahead of schedule to help dying toddler Brody Allen.

The two-year-old, who has a rare form of brain cancer, has asked to celebrate the holiday early in case he doesn't make it that long.

Cincinnati, Ohio, radio station WARM 98 has promised to add a little Christmas cheer to its broadcast at least once an hour.

"You should see the Facebook comments that we're getting," radio host Jim Day told news outlet WKRC. "As soon as we explain it, they're like, 'Oh, that's a really good reason', and they're fine with it."

The station has also organised another "Christmas miracle" for tomorrow in which staff and listeners will sing carols in the child's neighbourhood, which is already adorned with decorations. A Christmas parade will take place on Monday.

"Just all over the world he's touched people," said radio station co-host Amanda Orlando, explaining that little Brody has received Christmas cards from as far away as Australia, Lebanon and Japan.

It was a sentiment echoed by Brody's father, who choked back tears earlier this week as he spoke about the community and worldwide effort with a reporter for local station Fox19.

"To have so many people across the world reach out to my son and to tell him, 'Merry Christmas, we're thinking about you and we love you', is just the greatest gift that I as a father could ever give him," Todd Allen said.

Cards can be sent to the family at 9696 Adair Court, Cincinnati, Ohio 45251, USA.

Two-year-old Brody might not make it to the holidays, so a massive effort is underway to push Christmas forward. Source: FOX

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Man's fingers severed in samurai sword attack in Brisbane

A man has had four fingers and part of his thumb severed by a samurai sword during a fight at a caravan park north of Brisbane.

The 45-year-old suffered the injury after allegedly being attacked by a 40-year-old during a dispute at the caravan park in Aspley on Wednesday night.

The man underwent emergency surgery at a Brisbane hospital, while the alleged attacker will face Pine Rivers Magistrates Court on Thursday after being charged with grievous bodily harm.

Samurai sword. Source: istock.com

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How Finland solved its homeless crisis while numbers increase across Europe

In 2008 Finland made a significant change to their homeless policy, making it the only country in Europe where the number of homeless people has declined.

They achieved this by shutting down emergency shelters and temporary housing and instead began renovating these dwellings into apartments.

This was on top of permanent social housing they were building throughout the country under their Housing First programme.

It wasn’t an overnight success, it was a model Finland had been working on since the 1980s with charities, NGOs and volunteers.

It was the launch of a fully funded national programme a decade ago which saw the tide turn on homelessness.

“For us it means it’s always permanent housing that’s supposed to be proved for homeless persons – always permanent instead of temporary solutions,” Finland’s Housing First CEO Juha Kaakinen told 1 NEWS.

Mr Kaakinen says emergency shelters and hostels were failing to keep up with demand and were becoming an “obstacle” to solving homelessness.

“Well it’s obvious that when you are on the street or you are living in temporary accommodation to take care of things like employment issues, health and social issues it’s almost impossible,” he says.

“But a permanent home gives you a safe place where you don’t have to be afraid about what’s going to happen tomorrow, and you know if you can take care of the rent.”

In 2008, Helsinki alone had 500 bed places in emergency shelters, now 10 years later there is only one shelter with 52 beds.

Finland’s Housing First social housing stock for those who are on low incomes or in need of urgent housing makes up 13 per cent of their total housing stock.

Under their housing policy, every new housing area must be 20 per cent social housing.

“It’s quite a simple thing in a way, it makes common sense that you have to have a home like everyone else.”

The Ministry of Social Development says right now we can’t build permanent housing quick enough. Source: 1 NEWS

Not only is permanent housing supplied to those who can’t afford a roof over their head but wrap around support such as financial and debt counselling.

The number of homeless in Finland has dropped from 18,000 to 6500 people with 80 per cent living with friends and relatives while they wait for a home.

This means there is practically no street or rough sleepers in Finland, which has a total population of 5.4 million people.

The Housing First programme in New Zealand is funded by the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) across many regions including Auckland.

However, this programme is just one of a myriad of programmes that include charities and community groups.

MSD’s Deputy Chief Executive for Housing Scott Gallacher acknowledges that more housing needs to be built to address the current crisis here.

“Our optimal outcome is to have far more supply of public housing, so people can have long-term stability. The stark reality is the context in which we find ourselves in that we just cannot bring on the degree of supply of long-term housing in the time required.

“The scale of what we’ve got of transitional housing at the moment will probably reduce over time and once we have a far stronger supply of long-term homes for people that is really the optimal outcome that we’re all trying to achieve,” says Mr Gallacher told 1 NEWS.

MSD also acknowledges it needs to provide greater support for those who are homeless to end chronic homelessness.

“It’s not just about the bricks and mortar, it’s not just about the house, it’s about what sort of support are we providing families and individuals to stabilise their lives and actually be able to sustain long-term homes.”

Mr Kaakinen says there is no other way around ending homelessness but to have government involvement.

Read more from Ryan Boswell's Homeless in New Zealand series here: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Finland is the only European country that has seen a decline in homelessness. Source: 1 NEWS


'Should be a blank gap in between letters if it was a real mistake' - Engineer casts doubt over plane typo

Cathay Pacific are not shying away from a huge mistake – a typo to be exact.

The airline had a Boeing 777-367 on the ground at Hong Kong airport emblazoned with “Cathay Paciic” after leaving the f out of its name.

The airline referenced the error on its Twitter account but an engineer for sister company, Haeco, cast doubt over the typo.

“The spacing is too on-point for a mishap. We have stencils. Should be a blank gap in between letters if it was a real mistake I think,” the engineer told the South China Morning Post.

The Boeing 777 was snapped in Hong Kong this week with the major error for all to see. Source: Breakfast