The Loop: Guilty verdict in Ahmaud Arbery trial, religious discrimination bill to be introduced and researchers find a mammoth tusk in the ocean

The Loop: Guilty verdict in Ahmaud Arbery trial, religious discrimination bill to be introduced, researchers find a mammoth tusk in the ocean, and the country with too much halloumi  ABC News

Good morning, starshine!

It’s Thursday, November 25. Here’s what you need to get going today.

One thing to know right now: The white trio charged over the death of black man Ahmaud Arbery has been found guilty of murder

People gather at a wall with a mural painted of Ahmaud Arbery.
A mural of Ahmaud Arbery painted on the side of The Brunswick African American Cultural Center in Brunswick, Georgia.(Reuters: Octavio Jones)

Here’s the lowdown:

  • Mr Arbery, 25, was out on a jog in the US state of Georgia in February 2020 when Greg McMichael and his son Travis McMichael jumped in a pick-up truck to pursue him
  • The McMichaels’ neighbour William “Roddie” Bryan joined the pursuit in his own truck and recorded a mobile phone video of Travis McMichael fatally shooting Mr Arbery
  • The convictions came after jurors deliberated for about 10 hours
  • Though state prosecutors didn’t argue that racism motivated the killing, federal authorities have charged the men with hate crimes, alleging that they chased and killed Mr Arbery because he was black — that case is scheduled to go to trial in February

One thing you’ll be hearing about today: the religious discrimination bill

  • The Prime Minister is expected to introduce it in Parliament today, but voting on the bill is expected to be delayed until next year after it undergoes further scrutiny by a Senate committee.

  • The bill was first promised in the wake of the same-sex marriage debate in 2017, with a first draft released in 2019

  • In a nutshell, the bill says religious bodies can “generally” act in accordance with their faith in certain situations without it being discriminatory — like a religious school being able to turn away students who don’t practise that religion 

  • But the legislation has been watered down from its first draft, with the scrapping of a proposal to allow medical workers to refuse treatment to people for religious reasons

  • Labor is yet to decide whether it will support the bill and is withholding comment until it sees the full legislation in the Senate

News while you snoozed

Let’s get you up to speed.

Press image of The Kid LAROI; seated in open blue shirt
The Kid LAROI’s song Stay, which features Justin Bieber, has gone triple platinum.

The news Australia is searching for

People point to an underwater mammoth tusk projected on a TV screen.
They originally spotted the tusk in 2019, but were only able to confirm it belonged to a Columbian mammoth this year. (Supplied: Darrin Schultz, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute )

One more thing: lockdowns leave Cyprus with 6 million kilos of unwanted halloumi

All those COVID-19 lockdowns meant brunches were off the table (well, the cafe tables, anyway).

The squeaky cheese is, for many, a key brunch ingredient, but global demand for halloumi went into a nosedive. 

That resulted in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus being stuck with a 6 million kilogram stockpile of its prized white halloumi.

hands in blue gloves grab packets of halloumi stacked inside a blue crate
Cyprus has too much halloumi as stocks build during the pandemic.(Reuters: Yiannis Kourtoglou)

The Cypriot government is mobilising its embassies abroad to help shift the backlog, hoping to find buyers for its stockpiles outside of the European Union.

But cheesemakers fear that if they flood the market, the price of halloumi will significantly drop.

TL;DR: halloumi could soon be as cheap as chips. 

That’s it for now

We’ll be back later on with more of the good stuff.