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Minyan Aug 10

By Matt Walsh

CANBERRA, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government on Tuesday labeled privacy concerns regarding the nation's first online census as paranoia, after independent MPs and Greens senators said they would not be providing their names and addresses on the forms.

Australians are expected to fill out their official census forms on Tuesday night, however some sections of the community have raised concerns over the security of personal details after the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed it would be storing details for four years instead of the previously-stated 18 months.

The compulsory survey gives the government an accurate snapshot of the nation every five years, but the security fears have pushed a number of MPs, including independent MP Nick Xenophon and Greens Senators Scott Ludlam, Janet Rice and Sarah Hanson-Young, to say they will refuse to fill out personal information.

On Tuesday, government MP Christopher Pyne described the concerns as "tinfoil hat" politics, while the minister in charge of the census said it was "much ado about nothing."

Calling the census no more invasive than social media sites Facebook and Twitter, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack said online shopping was likely to be more of a privacy and security concern to Australians.

"I think we're making far too much of this, names and addresses and privacy breaches," McCormack told Fairfax Media on Tuesday.

"Anybody with a supermarket loyalty card, anybody who does tap-and-go (payments), anybody who buys things online, they provide more information indeed probably to what is available to ABS staff."

Xenophon told the press on Monday that he would risk the 140 U.S dollar-per-day fine to protect his privacy in Tuesday's census, and called for the law to be changed so people could refuse to provide their personal information.

"I have decided this morning that I will not be providing my name for this year's census, due to be completed tomorrow night," Xenophon told reporters in Canberra.

"I do so in full knowledge that I may face prosecution under the Census Statistics Act of 1905, and that currently involves a fine of 180 (Australian) dollars per day that is cumulative for every day of non-compliance.

"I will contest any such notice, and by doing so I will in effect turn it into a test case."

Meanwhile Greens Senator Scott Ludlam followed suit, and told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that the process was "botched."

"The whole process has been a botched one and disrespectful to Australians in terms of their human rights or privacy being assaulted in this way," Ludlam said.

Experts have attempted to allay concerns about the risks to citizens' privacy. Anne Kavanagh, head of Gender and Women's Health at the Center for Health Equity at the University of Melbourne, said the longer data retention time would assist the government in tackling the most pressing social issues.

She said Nordic governments had already implemented similar programs which had helped develop a better public health system - something Australia could benefit from.

"Analysis of this integrated data will provide high quality evidence about pressing problems facing Australian society," Kavanagh told Croackey.

"They need names and address for four years to give them enough time to do the linkage and to have sufficient follow-up on the datasets they plan to link to; that is, to have longitudinal rather than simply cross-sectional data."

WASHINGTON Adolphus Washington Jersey , Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- With the first U.S. presidential debate coming up soon, the economy leads the long list of top concerns for Americans, found a Gallup poll released Friday.

Economy continues to lead the list at 14 percent Taron Johnson Jersey , followed by dissatisfaction with government, at 11 percent, and jobs and unemployment Harrison Phillips Jersey , also at 11 percent, the Sept. 7-11 Gallup poll found.

There are a number of other major problems cited by Americans, including the election (8 percent) John Miller Jersey , race relations (7 percent), immigration (6 percent), terrorism (5 percent) Shaq Lawson Jersey , and national security (5 percent), the poll found.

These will likely be among the most pressing issues atop Americans' minds as they watch the two candidates, Democratic Party's Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump Nathan Peterman Jersey , debate for the first time on Sept. 26.

Indeed, this year's presidential election comes at a time when a large chunk of Americans are dissatisfied with the economy. While the official jobless rate has lowered, economists say the figure hides a number of issues and does not show a full bill of health for the U.S. economy.

Economic problems have been particularly severe among the nation's blue collar workers -- the bulk of Trump's supporters -- with many families struggling to get by.

The percentage of Americans who name the election or election reform as the greatest U.S. problem has been rising while the presidential campaign dominates political news coverage.

In recent election years Dion Dawkins Jersey , a smaller percentage of Americans, typically 1 percent to 2 percent, mentioned the election as the top problem for the U.S.

But the issue has gained prominence over the past year Zay Jones Jersey , likely because of the controversies surrounding Clinton and Trump, who are both highly unpopular.

As the economy, dissatisfaction with government and unemployment are regarded by Americans as their top concerns Tre'Davious White Jersey , they are likely to be the major discussion points in the upcoming presidential debates.

ZAGREB, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- Croatian Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic said on Wednesday he expected an agreement on migrants to be reached between the Balkan route countries on Thursday.

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