Senin, 30 Juni 2014

Tas Catholic school teachers walk off job (AAP)

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Catholic school teachers in Tasmania are warning 24-hour strikes could be next after a first ever stop-work meeting over workplace conditions.

Schools in the state's north were forced to run on a skeleton staff as teachers walked off the job for four hours on Tuesday.

Similar action will also hit Hobart and northwest schools this week after negotiations over a new enterprise agreement broke down more than a month ago.

Independent Education Union members have voted to back 24-hour stoppages, and assistant state secretary Angela Briant says that action could be next in the state's 37 Catholic schools.

"That is certainly an option open to us if we need to do that," Ms Briant told AAP.

"But we're hoping this week that the Catholic education employers hear the message loud and clear.

"We will go further if we have to because we've got to maintain the faith of our members.

"We can't let them down."

Talks have dragged on for 18 months with the last agreement expiring in December 2012.

The union says teacher support staff should be employed for a guaranteed 40 weeks per year, home room time should be included in teaching loads and redundancy entitlements are being eroded.

They say their claims are on par with government school teachers' conditions.

"You're sending a message you don't really value them," Ms Briant said.

"We're happy to go back to the table and talk again if they have a better offer."

Catholic Education Office director Trish Hindmarsh has said some of the claims are unreasonable and industrial action is an over-reaction.

Dr Hindmarsh said schools would remain open during this week's stoppages.

"It is our intention to have our schools as fully functioning and focused on learning programs as possible," she said in a statement.

Man charged over Vic indecent assault (AAP)

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A man has been charged with the indecent assault of a 21-year-old man in a Victorian toilet block.

The man was assaulted in Warrnambool in May, police said.

Detectives on Tuesday charged a 68-year-old Camperdown man with one count of sexual assault.

He has been bailed to appear in the Warrnambool Magistrates Court on August 11.

Federal government sued over Manus riots (AAP)

View CommentsFederal government sued over Manus riotsFederal government sued over Manus riots

An asylum seeker who lost an eye during riots on Manus Island has launched legal action against the federal government.

The man, aged in his 30s, was hit in the face with a rock and claims authorities failed to ensure the safety of people housed in detention.

The asylum seeker cannot be named because of concerns of recriminations against his family.

Law firm Maurice Blackburn on Tuesday announced it had launched action in the Supreme Court of Victoria against the commonwealth and security company G4S.

Jane McDermott, principal at Maurice Blackburn, said the man was one of around 60 detainees injured during several nights of violent clashes, involving security and PNG locals, at the Manus Island detention centre in February this year.

"On the evening of 17th of February, 2014, people - locals and others - broke into his compound and started attacking the people housed there," Mrs McDermott told reporters in Melbourne.

"He was hiding under his bed in the room to escape all the activities and violence going on that night.

"He was struck in the face with a rock while he was seeking refuge from the violence."

The man suffered severe facial injuries, requiring a titanium plate to be inserted into his skull.

He is now blind in his right eye with no prospect of vision recovery, and is also being assessed for an acquired brain injury.

The man had been in detention on Manus island from October last year, after his asylum seeker boat was intercepted off Christmas Island.

Mrs McDermott said the man's case had parallels to the death of Iranian asylum seeker Reza Barati who was beaten to death during the same violent riots at the detention centre.

A directions hearing has been set down for September 13.

AFL player charged with three counts of rape (AAP)

View CommentsNorth Melbourne AFL player Majak Daw has been charged with three counts of rape over an alleged sexual assault in 2007.

North Melbourne AFL player Majak Daw has been charged with three counts of rape over an alleged sexual assault in 2007.

Daw was arrested in May in relation to the alleged sexual assault of a 15-year-old.

It's alleged the victim was 15 at the time and first made the complaint in 2007, but chose not to pursue the matter further.

She returned to police in recent weeks asking them to investigate.

North Melbourne footy player Majak Daw has been charged with three counts of rape.. over an alleged sexual assault in 2007 @7NewsMelbourne

— Kristy Mayr (@KristyMayr7) July 1, 2014

MORE to come...

Mt Lyell copper mine rock fall delays re-opening, in further blow for workers (ABC)

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A rock fall at the suspended Queenstown's Mount Lyell mine copper mine has come as a "kick in the guts" for workers struggling on half pay, a union says.

The fall in the ventilation shaft comes only months after three deaths forced a halt to mining.

Last December, two workers died after they fell down a shaft, and in January the mine ceased production after a contractor was killed in a mud rush.

Robert Flanagan from the Australian Workers Union said the continued closure of the mine was devastating news.

"I think everybody would see this as a real kick in the guts for all stakeholders that rely on the Mt Lyell operation," he said.

"We were looking forward to resumption of activity at the site commencing at the end of July.

"Potentially, that's now pushed back by two or three months... and that just makes things more difficult for those that have been trying to cope with the situation."

Since the third death at the mine, about 200 workers have been on half pay.

They were also told last month the company wanted to introduce more automated mining methods, for safety reasons.

The rock fall happened in an area of the mine that was the only means of exhaust ventilation from its active levels.

About 500 metres of the key exhaust airway was believed to have been damaged and the main power supply would have to be re-routed.

Copper Mines of Tasmania to review mine's viability

Copper Mines of Tasmania's (CMT) General Manager Scot Clyde said it was likely to take two to three months to repair the latest damage, and the work could only be done when the mine was not operating.

Mr Clyde said it also meant the company would need to review the mine's viability.

"We will ... need to reassess the economic viability of the mine, as this latest incident will incur significant additional costs which will negatively impact on what was already a marginal economic position," Mr Clyde said.

CMT said it would take up to three months to clear the ventilation drive and re-route the mine's main high-voltage power supply.

Mr Clyde said in a statement the rock fall had not put employees at risk.

Support for coalition slides in Newspoll (AAP)

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Support for the coalition continues to drop, with the latest poll putting the Abbott government is now 10 points below its election-winning vote.

The Newspoll, published in The Australian on Tuesday, puts Labor ahead of the coalition 55-45 per cent in the two-party preferred vote, a drop of two points for the coalition since the previous poll two weeks ago.

Primary support for the coalition is also down two points to 35 per cent, from 37 per cent, while Labor is up one point to 37 per cent - two points ahead of the coalition.

The Greens have gained three points in the primary vote - up to 13 per cent.

Voter dissatisfaction with Tony Abbott has reached the highest level since he became prime minister, 62 per cent, and is his worst personal result since November 2012, The Australia reports.

With his approval rating at 31 per cent, Mr Abbott's net approval of minus 31 points is the worst for a prime minister since Julia Gillard scored minus 34 points just days before she was replaced by Kevin Rudd in June last year.

Labor leader Bill Shorten has also regained a 10-point lead as better prime minister that he took after the budget - on 44 per cent, with Mr Abbott on 34 per cent.

TV star Rolf Harris guilty of sex assaults in Britain (AFP)

View Comments TV star Rolf Harris guilty of sex assaults in BritainAFP TV star Rolf Harris guilty of sex assaults in Britain

London (AFP) - Veteran entertainer Rolf Harris, a household name in Britain since the 1960s, could face jail after his conviction Monday on 12 counts of indecently assaulting girls.

Australian-born Harris, 84 -- a TV presenter, artist and performer of amusing songs like "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" -- was found guilty of all the charges against him after a six-week trial.

He assaulted four girls and young women aged from seven to 19 between 1968 and 1986, including his daughter Bindi's childhood best friend, a London court found.

Harris's conviction represents a spectacular fall from grace for one of Britain's best-loved entertainers.

Known for his catchphrase "Can you tell what it is yet?" he painted Queen Elizabeth II on her 80th birthday, hosted popular BBC television show "Animal Hospital" and performed at the Glastonbury music festival.

He was made a CBE in 2006 -- one of the highest honours the queen can bestow -- and performed at a concert marking the monarch's Diamond Jubilee outside Buckingham Palace in 2012.

Harris is the second person to be convicted under Operation Yewtree, the high-profile police investigation set up in 2012 after allegations that the late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile was a prolific sex offender.

Harris was released on bail until Friday when he will be sentenced.

Judge Nigel Sweeney warned him that a jail term was a strong possibility, but his state of health would be assessed first.

- 'Sickened' by his own behaviour -

During the trial, prosecutors said Harris was a "Jekyll and Hyde" character who used his fame to abuse under-age girls with impunity.

When he took the witness stand, Harris turned on the charm which had enchanted millions of viewers, singing part of his hit "Jake the Peg" and describing how he invented the "wobble board" -- a musical instrument made of a sheet of hardboard.

But the mood in court changed when he was confronted with the allegations against him, including seven counts relating to his daughter's friend.

She said Harris assaulted her over several years, the first time when she was 13 and emerging from a shower on a trip to Hawaii.

Harris said he was "sickened" by his own behaviour but insisted he only began a physical relationship with the girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, when she was an adult.

The star, who listened to proceedings through a hearing loop, also admitted he was good at disguising his "dark side", but said he was simply a "touchy-feely" person.

Police have faced questions over Operation Yewtree, a wide-ranging investigation into alleged assaults by veteran entertainment stars and show business personalities which has so far netted just two convictions from 17 arrests.

After the Harris verdict, investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Mick Orchard vowed police would always investigate abuse allegations, regardless of who they were against or how long ago they took place.

"He (Harris) committed many offences in plain sight of people as he thought his celebrity status placed him above the law," Orchard added.

Scotland Yard also said they were also now investigating "a number" of fresh allegations against Harris that had been made since the start of the trial.

A frail-looking Harris made no comment on the verdict as he left court hand-in-hand with his wife and daughter.

Homeless man to face court over park death (AAP)

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Victorian detectives are expected to apply on Tuesday for the extradition from NSW of a homeless man over the death of a woman in a Melbourne park.

Scott Allen Miller, 42, was arrested 50km south of Eden on Monday about 3.30pm after a national alert was issued.

He will appear before Bateman's Bay Court on Tuesday, where Victorian detectives are expected to apply for his extradition.

His arrest follows the discovery of the naked body of a 32-year-old Chinese woman in Melbourne's Kings Domain by joggers on Saturday morning.

Although still to be formally identified, police believe she was a hospitality employee and on her way to work about 5.30am that morning.

Sydney sheikh Zouheir Issa accused of funding Australian jihadist leading militia in Syria conflict (ABC)

View Comments Former Australian resident Houssam Sabbagh.ABC Former Australian resident Houssam Sabbagh.

A Sydney sheikh has been accused of funding a central figure in the Syrian conflict, an Australian-Lebanese dual national with ties to Al Qaeda and who runs a well-armed militia in northern Lebanon.

Zouheir Issa has been preaching at the south-west Sydney mosque, Al-Azhar, since coming to Australia in 2005. An adherent of the ultraconservative Salafi Islamic strain, he is no friend to the Syrian government of Bashar al Assad.

But what has been unrevealed until now is that Australian authorities believe he has provided funding to Houssam Sabbagh - a Lebanese man who lived in Sydney for two decades but is today a powerful militia leader in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.

Mr Sabbagh is regularly described in the Lebanese press as being involved with Al Qaeda and helping to provide fighters and weapons for jihadist groups fighting in Syria, including the Al Qaeda-linked group, Jabhat Al-Nusrah.

Funding organisations such as Al-Nusrah, which is a proscribed terrorist organisation in Australia is a crime.

The allegations will concern authorities, who are already on the alert due to the dozens of young Australians who have travelled to Syria to fight with groups such as Al-Nusrah and the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS).

"It's the greatest security threat to Australia this century," former head of counter terrorism for Scotland Yard, Nick O'Brien, told the ABC.

"What we have is a number of Australians who are going over to conflict areas to fight, they're getting trained in how to use explosives and how to use guns and ammunition and if they come back to Australia they're going to come back with a reinforced mindset."

Mr Issa told the ABC this week that he did not know Mr Sabbagh well and had never funded him.

That statement is contradicted by long-time Lebanese militant salafi network watcher, Bernard Rougier.

"Everybody who knew [Sabbagh] or who was close to him said there was a good relationship with Sheik Issa," Mr Rougier says.

Court documents reveal link between Issa and jihadist groups

The ABC has obtained Lebanese court documents from 2007 which state that Issa and Sabbagh were leading figures in two jihadi groups - Asbat Al-Ansar and Fatah Al-Islam - that were responsible for a series of attacks on Western interests and pitched battles with Lebanese security forces between 2004 and 2007.

The militant groups were funded by Al Qaeda had sworn allegiance to the global jihadist outfit, which was then led by Osama bin Laden. Mr Sabbah was in charge of military operations, arms and explosives and Mr Issa was the deputy emir, or leader, of the group.

Mr Issa may be funding Mr Sabbagh because Salafi sheikhs are expected to do more than simply make speeches about conflicts such as the Syrian war, Mr Rougier says, and funding was a common way of being seen to be involved when direct participation is not possible.

"You have to do something in order to be locally legitimate. Sheikh Issa has to do something in the Middle East in order to be legitimate in Australia," he said.

Mr Issa is not the only Australian accused of funding people in Syria.

Sydney man Mohamad Zuhbi, who describes himself as an aid worker, travelled to Syria 15 months ago to provide humanitarian relief in the country's rural north west.

His Australian bank account was frozen recently, and believes the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) was behind the decision.

"The bank initially denied closing the account. Upon investigating further they discovered it was locked from a higher ranked person and couldn't give me a reason," he said.

"In reality it is a very low move as we had never indicated any funds were going toward anything illicit or illegal."

Vic govt approves first stage of road link (AAP)

View Comments Victoria s planning minister has signed off on the first phase of Melbourne s East West Link.AAP Victoria's planning minister has signed off on the first phase of Melbourne's East West Link.

The first section of Melbourne's multi-billion dollar East West Link road project has been approved by Planning Minister Matthew Guy.

But with one significant change.

The $6-8 billion eastern section of the 18 kilometre road will no longer include an interchange that would have cut through the heritage-listed Royal Park.

Mr Guy said the axed Elliott Avenue interchange will be replaced by access to the existing arterial of Flemington Road, subject to further detailed design work.

Inner-Melbourne residents had feared Royal Park would be badly affected by the first stage of the project, which will connect the Eastern Freeway to CityLink and includes a tunnel underneath the park.

Mr Guy said approvals were subject to appropriate conditions, with development plans still to come, but major hurdles had been cleared.

"To put this in a very straight forward term, this is like approving the re-zoning and the application for the buildings are yet to come," Mr Guy told reporters on Monday.

The decision to scrap the Elliott Avenue interchange follows a recommendation from the project's assessment committee.

Mr Guy said the East West Link was a vital piece of infrastructure that wasn't just about getting people to work and to the city.

"It is about jobs and the way we live," Mr Guy said.

Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said the project had been botched.

"The route keeps changing, the details keep changing," he told Fairfax Radio.

The Greens said the government had rushed the approval process.

"While we disagree with this decision, it is clear that contracts will be rushed through in the near future," Green leader Greg Barber said.

"Now it is up to Daniel Andrews and the Labor Party to back up their rhetoric and commit to tearing up the contracts."

Work is expected to start at the end of the year.

Defence head steps down (AAP)

View Comments Defence chief General David Hurley (R) has handed over command to Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin.AAP Defence chief General David Hurley (R) has handed over command to Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin.

It was cold, it was a bit emotional and like many defence activities, loud.

General David Hurley formally stepped down as the head of the defence force on Monday, handing the wheel to his successor Air Chief Marshal Mark Binksin.

In bracing Canberra weather, this ceremonial occasion on the green grass of Blamey Square in front of the defence headquarters, was marked by a flypast of RAAF Hornet fighters and a 17-gun salute to the outgoing chief.

General Hurley won't be heading into low key retirement. He's the new governor of NSW, taking over from outgoing governor Marie Bashir.

In his final address, he said when he started on the job in July 2011, defence was on the cusp of significant change.

Then, more than 3300 troops were deployed in East Timor, the Solomons Island and Afghanistan, new equipment was entering service and the organisation had just embarked on major cultural change.

Operations have now concluded in East Timor and the Solomons and the job of training the Afghan National Army has ended. The recent search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 showed the strength of strategic and regional partnerships, he said.

General Hurley said defence remained committed to cultural reform and would act swiftly and decisively when unacceptable behaviour occurred.

"We have accepted that the ADF did not not always provide an environment where all members were safe from sexual, physical and mental abuse," he said.

Air Chief Marshal Binksin said he remained committed to seeing through the reform process.

"There's a lot to do. Four years will come and go very very quickly but I have a lot of priorities out there that I'd like to pursue in the evolution of the Australian Defence Force," he said.

Earlier, the navy also changed command with Vice Admiral Tim Barrett taking over as chief of navy. Former navy chief Vice Admiral Ray Griggs become the new vice chief of the defence force.

Australian ISIS supporter Mohamed Zuhbi denies funding terrorism after bank accounts frozen (ABC)

An Australian Muslim in Syria has denied funding terrorism after his bank accounts were closed when he became a vocal supporter of militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Minggu, 29 Juni 2014

Indigenous dance performance marks Australian Navy Chief handover (ABC)

View Comments Indigenous troupe perform at Australian Navy Chief Ray Griggs handover ceremony.ABC Indigenous troupe perform at Australian Navy Chief Ray Griggs handover ceremony.

A performance troupe made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander members of the Navy is helping Indigenous sailors maintain traditional practices when they are far away from home.

The outgoing Chief of Navy, Vice-Admiral Ray Griggs, named the troupe Bungaree, after a 19th century Aboriginal performer who circumnavigated Australia with explorer Mathew Flinders.

The dancers performed at his handover ceremony today, as he transferred command of the Navy to his successor VADM Tim Barrett.

Staying close together far away from home

For young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who join the Navy, their career usually takes them far away from their tight-knit home communities.

Seaman Leroy Ghee grew up on Murray Island in the Torres Strait.

"Being away from home we drift away from these things," he said.

"We don't want that and we don't want to be seen doing that.

"[Performing shows] we don't forget we still remember everything."

Outgoing Chief of Navy calls for boost in Indigenous employment

The outgoing Chief of Navy has championed Indigenous outreach during his time at the helm, along with a number of programs aimed at fostering diversity.

"There's a very simple reason that we've done all this and it's not political correctness," Vice Admiral Griggs said in an address at his handover ceremony.

"It's so we can enhance the capability of the Navy by continuing to build a culture that includes, not a culture that excludes."

There are now targeted recruitment programs that seek to boost Indigenous employment in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Chief Petty Officer Ray Rosendale is the RAN's strategic advisor on Indigenous cultural affairs, and a dancer in the Bungaree troupe.

He said initiatives like Bungaree also show Indigenous communities that the Navy respects their cultures.

"What I can show the Indigenous community is that Navy is willing to take that step to understand us," he said.

"People will talk to us about issues, people will trust their kids to us on development camps.

"It's not something that's easy to do and as a government arm, you walk into a community and you're not sure you're going to get that response. But it's something we've begun to see happening."

New traditions and old customs

Able Seaman Boatswain's Mate Alan Patterson hails from the community of Yarrabah near Cairns in Queensland.

He joined the Navy after seeing advertisements on television.

He was the first in his family to join up, but has several sisters and brothers who want to follow in his footsteps.

"I come from a small community up north and we're full-on in our tradition," he said.

"Everyone back home, my families and friends, they're really happy to see we're showcasing our Indigenous heritage in the Defence Force."

The dancers draw from their own individual traditions when they perform.

"We'll wear our camouflage and boots and we'll paint up," Chief Petty Officer Rosendale said.

"Some of the markings have been given to us by elders."

The Navy is already steeped in traditions, symbolism and ceremonies of its own.

By incorporating the much older cultural traditions of some of its members, the RAN is showing that the armed forces can embrace and adapt to different cultures.

It is a strategy that could pay off for the Navy in the public sphere as well as inside the ranks.

Priest Stan Hogan kept 1,500 child porn images in college bedroom, Adelaide court told (ABC)

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A court has been told a priest had more than 1,500 child pornography images in his bedroom at an Adelaide college.

Jesuit priest Stanislaus Hogan, who used to live and teach at St Ignatius' College at Athelstone in Adelaide's eastern suburbs, admitted to charges of accessing child pornography and an aggravated count of possessing child pornography when he last faced the court in March.

The District Court now has heard the images were found last August, along with magazines and videos legally bought in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when Federal Police searched Hogan's private quarters at St Ignatius' College after being tipped off about an internet order for child pornography.

The lawyer for Hogan, 69, told the court more than 1,500 images were downloaded over two months but the magazines had not been looked at for years and Hogan did not own a video player.

The prosecutor said some of the images were on a computer, but others had been printed using school resources.

He said most were of boys in their early to mid teens.

The defence has argued Hogan should get a suspended jail sentence as his good reputation and distinguished career have been "indelibly tarnished".

But the prosecution says that would be "manifestly inadequate".

The court has been told Hogan is to be released from vows soon.

The Jesuits previously issued a statement saying Hogan acted alone and had had no contact with the college since the time he was arrested.

Hogan will be sentenced later.

Baden-Clay murder trial: Gerard in tears as he takes the stand for second day (AAP)

View CommentsGerard Baden-Clay is expected to return to the witness box when his murder trial resumes on Monday.AAP Gerard Baden-Clay is expected to return to the witness box when his murder trial resumes on Monday.

Former real estate agent Gerard Baden-Clay has returned to the witness box when his murder trial resumes on Monday.

Last week the 43-year-old choked back tears as he told the Brisbane Supreme Court how he fell in love with his wife and wanted to spend the rest of his life with her.

Allison Baden-Clay's body was found on a creek bank in Anstead, in Brisbane's west, on April 30, 2012.

The discovery was made 10 days after her husband reported her missing from their home in nearby Brookfield.Allison and Gerard Bayden-Clay on their wedding day. Photo: Supplied

Baden-Clay has pleaded not guilty to murder.

More than 70 witnesses have given evidence since the trial began three weeks ago.

The former mistress of accused wife killer Gerard Baden-Clay has told his murder trial about two other affairs he had while he was married. Photos: 7News

Jurors have heard details of Allison's history of depression, Baden-Clay's extra-marital affairs and the couple's financial woes.

Forensic experts testified that injuries on Baden-Clay's face looked like fingernail scratches and Allison's blood was found in one of the couple's cars.

Allison Baden-Clay. Photo: Supplied

Man bashed, left lying in Sydney*s CBD (AAP)

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A young man has head injuries after being bashed by a group of men and left lying on a street in Sydney's CBD.

Police found the 22-year-old man from Woronora, in Sydney's south, lying injured at the intersection of Pitt and Park Streets at 2.15am on Monday.

Witnesses said the man had been bashed by several men who then ran off.

The victim was treated at the scene for head injuries and taken to St Vincent's Hospital.

Three men were later arrested nearby and are being questioned by detectives.

Police haven't yet been able to speak with the victim.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Catholic Bishop Max Davis charged with sex offence dating back to 1969 (ABC)

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The Bishop of the Australian Defence Force has been charged with a sex offence dating back to 1969.

Bishop Max Davis is believed to be the most senior clergyman in the Catholic Church, and the first bishop, to be charged with a child sex offence.

The alleged incident took place when Bishop Davis was teaching at St Benedict's College in New Norcia, north-east of Perth.

The Church said Bishop Davis was not an ordained priest when the incident is alleged to have occurred, and that he "emphatically denies" the charge.

"An allegation has been made to the police that in 1969 Bishop Max Davis abused a student at St. Benedict's College in New Nocria," said a statement from the Catholic Military Ordinariate of Australia.

"At that time - 45 years ago - the bishop was not ordained. The bishop emphatically denies the allegation and the charge will be defended."

The statement said that Bishop Davis will stand aside from his office and his role as Catholic member of the Religious Advisory Committee to the Serviceswhile the matter is dealt with by the courts.

According to The Catholic Weekly, Bishop Davis grew up in Perth and was ordained in 1971.

He is the first military bishop to have served in the Defence Forces, having been in the Navy in the early 60s, according to the weekly.

He has been Australia's military bishop since 2003.

O*Brien defends Irish Derby after fifth cleansweep (AFP)

View Comments O Brien defends Irish Derby after fifth cleansweepAFP O'Brien defends Irish Derby after fifth cleansweep

Dublin (AFP) - Recordbreaking Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien hit back on Sunday at the critics who claimed Ireland's premier classic, the Irish Derby, had become virtually a benefit race for his stable after he collected his fifth 1-2-3 in the race on Saturday.

The 44-year-old's Epsom Derby champion Australia completed the Derby double with an easy success at The Curragh, prevailing at prohibitive odds of 1/8 favourite to give the Irishman his 11th success in the race.

O'Brien's other two runners, Kingfisher and Orchestra, who had finished down the field at Epsom, filled second and third while the other two participants Ponfeigh and Fascinating Rock never got into the race at all.

It was the second time in the last three runnings that only five runners had competed in the race, worth more than 700,000 euros to the winner, taking O'Brien's overall winnings to over a million with the place money.

Much of the interest in the race dissipated with the withdrawal of Epsom Derby runner-up Kingston Hill on the day of the race.

However, O'Brien is adamant the race which, prior to his domination, often saw fields in the high teens go to the post, is still a championship as indeed is the Irish Champion Stakes run in September and which is Australia's next target.

"They are great races and have stood the test of time and are top-quality European races," he told At The Races TV channel.

"Yesterday's Irish Derby had three Derby trial winners in it (Kingfisher, Orchestra and Fascinating Rock) and Australia ran in the Guineas.

"The quality of the race is a lot higher than everyone thinks.

"If you look back at the Champion Stakes at Leopardstown there are very few races in Europe that if you add the ratings up of the horses who run in it would better it," added O'Brien.

Australia provided O'Brien with another landmark at Epsom on June 7 when he became the first trainer to win the 'blue riband' of the turf for a third successive time in what was his fifth win overall.

Concern over banned antibiotic superbug found in Australian chicken meat (ABC)

View Comments The strong antibiotics have never been approved for such uses in Australia.ABC The strong antibiotics have never been approved for such uses in Australia.

Researchers have found evidence of a banned antibiotic in chickens for sale in major supermarkets and butchers.

Scientists from the School of Biology from the Australian National University took 281 samples from three major supermarkets and a butcher around Canberra.

In those chicken samples contaminated with the common bacteria E.coli, almost two thirds of the bugs were resistant to some form of antibiotic.

Therefore if a human were to get sick from the contaminated chicken meat, doctors would find the illness difficult to treat.

Researchers were particularly concerned to find four samples resistant to fluoroquinolone antibiotics, which are banned from use in Australian food-producing animals.

The strong antibiotics have never been approved for such uses in Australia, and the country is highly regarded for having low levels of fluoroquinolone resistance.

Researchers Belinda Vangchhia and Professor David Gordon from the ANU says their findings suggest that the food people consume is a significant source of antibiotic resistance.

"E.coli is known to cause common infections like urinary tract and other blood stream infections like septicaemia," Ms Vangchhia said.

"Just by consuming the meat we can be exposed to the antibiotic as well."

They suspect the contamination is happening somewhere in the production process.

"It would be worth the relevant authorities going back through the steps of the processing to see where the introduction of antibiotic resistant bacteria might have occurred."

Is transmission happening on farms?

Antibiotics generally are used widely on farms for both preventing and treating illness.

They are also used in some cases for "sub-therapeutic" treatments where farmers administer antibiotics to help fatten up animals.

The theory is the drugs affect microbes in the gut which allow the animals to absorb more of their food and get fatter.

University of Sydney academic Dr Stephen Page, a veterinarian and clinical pharmacologist who consults for the Australian chicken industry, says it is highly unlikely Australian chickens are being fed banned fluoroquinolones at farm level.

Dr Page believes contamination with resistant E.coli is happening elsewhere, and says the specific drugs do not help fatten up produce and are expensive.

Fluoroquinolones are only available in Australia through veterinary prescription in tablet and injection form for cats and dogs. The antibiotic is not available in liquid form to be put in chickens' water supply.

Dr Page says fluroquinolines would have to be imported and would likely to be detected by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS).

Australia's seven chicken producers tightly control about 800 chicken farms in Australia.

Stringent controls have also meant vets do not need to turn to strong antibiotics because existing drugs work.

"We have good management of poultry health in Australia so there would be no need to use them," Dr Page said.

"I know nobody in the industry who would even contemplate an illegal practice, especially one that has only one outcome and that is undermining the world-class reputation of the chicken meat industry.

"There would be no financial gain in using them, only pain." 

Could it be harmful?

Most harmful bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant E.coli, are destroyed when chicken is cooked properly.

However, during food preparation chickens come into contact with humans and household surfaces.

There is also some evidence that some bacteria and antibiotic residues can remain at low levels in meat after cooking.

Ultimately, transmission depends on the method of cooking, the bacteria, the antibiotic and the meat.

A 2000 study from the Netherlands of cooked pork meat found most common antibiotic microbes were destroyed after temperatures passed 134 degrees Celsius.

"High temperature destruction process does not guarantee a full break-down of residues of veterinary drugs present in condemned animals," the study concluded.

Many farms ensure a delay between treating animals with antibiotics and sending them to the abattoir to ensure drugs leave the system. 

Departments developing national antimicrobial resistance strategy

The ABC asked the federal Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) and the NSW Department of Primary Industries about regulation of fluoroquinolones.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries says fluoroquinolone regulation is the responsibility of the APVMA.

The APVMA says it licenses the use of antibiotics in animals but was not responsible for compliance with use.

"State and territory governments are responsible for controlling the use of pesticides and veterinary medicines beyond the point of retail sale," a spokeswoman said.

"Veterinarians, as the prescribing professionals, play a key role in ensuring prudent use of antibiotics consistent with guidelines developed by the Australian Veterinary Association."

The spokeswoman said farmers also participated in on-farm programs that required them to declare the veterinary treatments their livestock had received.

"There is potential for exposure to E.coli throughout the food supply chain," she said.

The Department of Agriculture also said the responsibility to monitor imports and exports and responsibility fell to the states.

The Department of Agriculture together with the Department of Health are developing a national antimicrobial resistance strategy.

Do you know more about this story? Email*

Vic govt to recruit 750 new prison workers (AAP)

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The largest ever expansion of Victoria's jail system will see 750 new prison and community corrections officers hired in the next 12 months.

An advertising campaign starts on Sunday night to recruit the new prison officers with a behind the scenes look at the state's correction system, Victorian Corrections Minster Edward O'Donohue says.

He said more than 300 prison officers have already completed pre-service training and graduated in the first half of this year.

"Corrections Victoria staff come from a variety of working backgrounds, with farmers, teachers, police officers and even a former flight attendant among the recruits," Mr O'Donohue said.

The recruitment drive comes amid changes to the state's parole system and expansions of its prison capacity.

This includes a new 1000-bed medium security prison at Ravenhall in Melbourne's west and 200 new beds at the Metropolitan Remand Centre.

The union covering the state's corrections workforce has warned potential new prison workers to fully understand the types of jobs they were applying for.

A Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) spokesperson said it has received reports of new prison officers only being offered casual and irregular hours following the end of their training.

Lawyer for the family of a Sydney teenager believed to be fighting in Iraq says police could have intervened (ABC)

View Comments Ms Burrows say Abdullah was under surveillance before he left Australia.ABC Ms Burrows say Abdullah was under surveillance before he left Australia.

The lawyer for the family of a Sydney teenager believed to be fighting in Iraq says Australian Federal Police (AFP) could have stopped the boy en route to the conflict.

Abdullah Elmir, 17, went missing from his home at Bankstown in Sydney more than a week ago.

Zali Burrows, a solicitor representing the family, says the teen called his mother days later to say he was in Turkey about to "cross the border".

She says his mother took that to mean Abdullah, a "typical Aussie teenager" who likes fishing and outdoor sports, was heading to Iraq.

"You can understand, she's devastated. She's thinking the worst," Ms Burrows said.

"She doesn't know exactly where he's gone or if he's in a training camp."

Ms Burrows says the family fear his decision was triggered by an online campaign.

"He's been influenced by something on the internet," she said.

"Unfortunately, they can come across these videos asking them to come over and help."

Ms Burrows is questioning how Abdullah and a 16-year-old boy he was travelling with were not stopped by Federal Police, who she says was monitoring Abdullah.

"He's obviously under surveillance ... he has been for quite some time," she said.

"We know this because certain people around the family have been approached by ASIO officers showing photos of him.

"If they were watching this kid, they knew he was planning to go overseas."

She says the pair took an indirect route, travelling from Sydney to Perth and onto Malaysia and Thailand before finally reaching Turkey, providing several points where police could have picked up the teens.

"Why did they let him slip through?" she asked.

"Is it because they want to use him as, let's say, a sacrificial lamb, a tracking device, as to further their intelligence in their investigation overseas?

"[The family] know the Government knows where their son is ... this is really a cry for help, a plea for help."

Attorney-General's Department 'unaware' of Abdullah's plans

Federal Police have referred inquiries about the case to the Attorney-General's Department, which says neither organisation knew of Abdullah's intentions.

The department says it will not confirm individual cases, but remains concerned about Australians, particularly young people, travelling to conflict zones.

"The Australian Government has been warning of the dangers of travelling to Syria and the surrounding region since 2013," a spokesperson for the Attorney-General said.

"It is of particular concern that youths are putting themselves at risk of kidnapping, serious injury or death, and potentially taking part in the conflicts taking place in Syria and Iraq.

"However, individuals make, and are responsible for, their own travel decisions. The Government only seeks to prevent a person from travelling overseas if they are believed to be seeking to engage in activities prejudicial to national security.

"The Government is not responsible for monitoring the activities of youths. Parents and the broader community share the responsibility to partner with the Government in educating their children about the risks associated with travelling to Syria and the region and ensuring they do not put themselves or others in danger.

"In this instance, neither the AFP or any other government agency was aware of the child's plans to depart Australia for Syria."

There is no consular assistance available in Iraq due to the volatile situation.

Sabtu, 28 Juni 2014

MP mashes WA*s tough potato rules (AAP)

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Western Australia's tough potato marketing regulations have been likened to laws for hard drugs in the state's parliament.

The 68 year old Potato Marketing Act restricts the varieties that can be grown and sold.

Debating an amendment to a clause in the legislation, opposition justice spokesman John Quigley said the change made it marginally easier to prosecute anyone who had the temerity to grow and sell a potato outside of the strictures of the Marketing of Potatoes Act and the Potato Marketing Board's monopoly.

"I cannot understand, with 80 commercial growers in WA, that so much effort would be put into protecting this market," he said.

It is curious that a Liberal government would continue to support this regulated market, a government that would tell us it is rooted in the principles of private enterprise and the power of the free market, Mr Quigley said.

Mr Quigley defended Perth's potato-growing Gelati family, who had achieved a certain degree of infamy for fighting the tough restrictions and rules, as though they are growing and selling illicit substances.

"It is as though we are dealing with crack cocaine," opposition treasury spokesman Ben Wyatt chipped in.

Mr Quigley tested the patience of the Speaker Michael Sutherland with regular digressions, referring to some of his favourite restaurants and extolling the merits of the humble spud.

"Being of Irish stock, I do not know whether it is in our DNA, but I really do like my spuds and I would have them with nearly every meal, not all fluffed up as mashed potato with butter, cream and all that gunk in them, but just microwaved and spread with a bit of margarine and eaten with their skins on," he said.

Mr Quigley touched on the importation of American nectarines following the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement, saying it hadn't spelt the end of WA nectarine growers and made the summer fruit available in the depth of winter.

"But we say that it is illegal if we come across a good crop of spuds in Victoria at a very competitive price and bring them over here and offer them to the public. Somehow that is to be punished and I do not know why." Mr Quigley said.

The amendment was passed.

Greens query sick boat people whereabouts (AAP)

View Comments Labor says staff on Christmas Island are on standby for the arrival of a boatload of asylum seekers.AAP Labor says staff on Christmas Island are on standby for the arrival of a boatload of asylum seekers.

The government is being urged to explain what is happening to sick, young children believed to be detained on border patrol boats.

The federal government has refused to confirm reports that a boat carrying 153 Tamil asylum seekers, including 30 children, is in high seas off Christmas Island.

Nor has it confirmed reports that a second boat, from Indonesia with 50 people aboard, has been intercepted by Australian Customs vessel Triton near the island.

But the Australian Greens say Christmas Islanders have said local boats are transporting supplies to Australian vessels Ocean Protector and Triton.

Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young is concerned about asylum seekers who may be on board Australian ships.

"The reports we had [were that] on board one of the boats yesterday there were children very sick after spending two weeks out on the seas," she said in Canberra on Sunday.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison must explain how they are treating the people who have already spent over two weeks at sea, she said.

"It seems as though it is more like `operation prison ships' than it is Operation Sovereign Borders."

There is speculation the federal government may find it difficult to turn back either boat as Indonesia heads for an election.

Meanwhile, Labor MP Alannah MacTiernan says she saw an "enormous amount" of maritime activity on her visit to Christmas island on Friday.

She was later informed two boats were offshore.

"They had gone out and intercepted people and they had loaded up people on the navy or border protection vessels, and brought [them] back onto Christmas Island waters," Ms MacTiernan told AAP on Sunday.

Detention centre staff were preparing for arrivals as they waited for official notification.

"They hadn't had final instructions that the people would be coming to Christmas Island," Ms MacTiernan said.

Any landing would be the first in six months.

Mr Morrison said on Saturday there were no significant incidents to report.

But Labor immigration spokesman Richard Marles accused Mr Morrison of going into hiding on the matter.

"Day after day he proclaimed his political scoreboard by beating his chest on the good days," Mr Marles told Sky News on Sunday.

"Now he goes out and trumpets secrecy. It simply isn't good enough."

Man found after night in Snowy Mountains (AAP)

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A 59-year-old man who spent a chilly night outdoors in the NSW Snowy Mountains has been found safe and well, police say.

A search operation had been launched by police after the man failed to return to a property in Khancoban, a small town nestled in the foothills of the western face of the Snowy Mountains, on Saturday.

The man, from the Riverina town of Moama, had set out with a friend at 7.30am from Waterfall Farm Road, Khancoban. The two men separated at about 9.30am and had made plans to reunite later in the morning, but when the 59-year-old fail to return, his friend raised the alarm.

Police say the man was located just after 11am on Sunday near Khancoban.

Snow has been falling as low as 900 metres with the Bureau of Meteorology putting a severe weather warning on the Snowy Mountains on Sunday.

Wilcannia cemetery crumbling away, burial records lost (ABC)

View Comments The inscription of this sandstone grave has been lost with time in the Wilcannia Cemetery.ABC The inscription of this sandstone grave has been lost with time in the Wilcannia Cemetery.

Wilcannia cemetery, set amongst gnarled gum trees and saltbush on the outskirts of town, has an estimated 700 graves.

The burial records have long been lost and in many cases any earthly inscriptions that once existed, such as wooden crosses, have vanished over time.

Of the headstones that sprout from the red outback soil, some are in good repair.

But a great many are withering away and the details of those that lie beneath them are slowly being lost.

"Finance is the biggest challenge," said Shirley Evans, a stalwart of the cemetery committee.

"For 30 odd years we've been trying to get finance to get the old graves restored before they fall down.

"You've got an old angel over there. It's ready to go and I said: 'It's no good waiting till it falls and then say, oh! We should have done something about it.'"

Ms Evans points to an elaborate grave erected in 1916.

The ornate white marble angel on top is on a fearful lean.

The cemetery committee has tried for years to find descendants or family who may be able to fund or oversee the grave's preservation. But the task, like so many of the graves here, has proven fruitless.

Maintaining and preserving the final resting places of the dead is a huge challenge confronting the trustees of cemeteries nationwide.

Rich history found in Wilcannia graveyard

For long-established graveyards like Wilcannia, the problem is compounded by the age of the graves.

But in death many of the poignant inscriptions tell a rich history of earlier Australian life.

Dr Herbert Butcher is a case in point.

A short, misspelled inscription on a pointed sandstone column provides no clues to the life of the man who lies beneath it.

In death he has long remained in near obscurity.

Evidence of his brief earthly presence in far western New South Wales is easily seen by visitors - his grave is close to the main gate - -but the wording merely says that he died on March 24, 1893 aged 38 years and was "loved and respected by all".

The stonemason made a mess of it, misspelling Butcher as Butcer and running out of room for the word March.

Herbert Butcher was probably the first in Australia to attempt to find a biological control for the rabbit plagues that swept across the Darling River region in the 1880s.

"He was a pupil of the celebrated Pasteur," said the obituary in the Barrier Miner newspaper.

It detailed how his method was based on inoculating rabbits with a lethal virus, then releasing them back into the wild to spread the sickness.

Herbert Butcher's work was partly motivated by the government of the day. It offered a sizeable reward for a means of destroying the rabbit pest.

However he could not sufficiently convince the authorities of the efficacy of his method, so was never able to claim it.

A few years later a kick from a horse prematurely ended his life, so the true merits of his work will never be known.

Lack of resources thwart efforts to preserve headstones

At least his grave is in good condition. It is made of solid stone and has been restored in recent years.

"There's a lot of challenges here and not a lot of resources to fix it," said Christine Elliott, secretary of the Wilcannia cemetery.

She has detailed knowledge of many graves, but admits to being frustrated by the countless other plots that are either unmarked or have no known descendents to care for them.

"It's such a historic cemetery, graves going back here to before 1866 when the town was gazetted, they picked this area for the cemetery and we've got a Jewish section, there was the Chinese section," she said.

"It's just so historic. It would be a shame to see it deteriorate any further."

There are graves of drowning victims, of accidental shootings, victims of epidemics such as measles and at least eight tombs containing victims of the heat wave of January 1896 when the temperature in Wilcannia reached 48 degrees Celsius.

The most poignant memorials are the innumerable graves of young children, frequently infants.

Ms Elliott and Ms Evans are part of a small band of older locals who organise working bees and try to carry out maintenance work at the cemetery.

But as age and the elements continue to take their toll on eroding headstones and rusting iron railings it is a race against time.

Restoring old monuments can also be very expensive.

"To get them restored back to originality is almost impossible," said George Zanon, a monumental mason from Broken Hill whose work takes him to the small bush cemeteries scattered throughout the region.

"The cast iron kerbing, it's impossible to source that. The old marble is far too expensive, so to restore them, you've just gotta restore them to basics.

"As long as you can keep the original headstone, I think that's the main thing."

Mr Zanon believes Wilcannia's historic graveyard deserves some special attention, such as federal heritage grants if it is to preserve many of the decaying, historic graves.

"There's no state or federal government funding," Mr Zanon said.

"The local government hasn't got the finances to put into restoring old monuments.

"If the families don't do it, they'll just continue to get run down until perhaps they're lost forever."

Mr Zanon and Ms Elliott both believe that the Federal Government's proposed work-for-the-dole scheme could assist in the preservation and maintenance of old cemeteries.

"A lot of practical skills can be got doing this type of work," Ms Elliott said.

"A proper program with proper supervision could be set in place to maintain historic cemeteries, any town cemetery."

Mr Zanon is a little more circumspect.

"First thing you'd have to have those people willing to do the work," he said.

"A lot of people, if you mention the word cemetery and they go 'oh, I'm not setting foot in there'. If they're willing to come out and they're wanting to learn some sort of skills to help restore these old monuments. Yeah I think it's a good idea."

Tim Lee's story screens on Landline on ABC1 at noon.*

Nationals MP Adam Marshall to face drink-driving charge (ABC)

View Comments Adam Marshall has resigned his parliamentary positions after being charged with drink-driving.ABC Adam Marshall has resigned his parliamentary positions after being charged with drink-driving.

New South Wales Nationals MP Adam Marshall is expected to face court next month charged with drink driving.

The Northern Tablelands MP was stopped and breath-tested by police at Glen Innes, in the state's north, on Friday night.

Officers say the 29-year-old was charged after returning a mid-range reading of 0.112.

Nationals leader and Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner says he is disappointed with the MP's actions and has accepted his resignation from the positions of Temporary Speaker and Deputy Chair of the State and Regional Development Committee.

Mr Marshall won his seat in a by-election last year, triggered by the resignation of Richard Torbay over allegations of corruption.

The MP has had his driver's licence suspended and will face Glen Innes Local Court on July 15.

Brisbane Lions begin life after Jonathan Brown with four-point win over North Melbourne Kangaroos (ABC)

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The Brisbane Lions ensured Jonathan Brown's farewell was a memorable one with a four-point victory over North Melbourne at the Gabba on Saturday evening.

Brown got to sing the Lions team song one last time, five days after his retirement, as his club made a mockery of the Kangaroos' top-four ambitions with a tense 10.10 (70) to 9.12 (66) win.

The Lions continued inconsistent North's fluctuating fortunes, as well as a nine-year Gabba drought.

Leading by 20 points at the last change, Brisbane kicked five behinds in the final quarter and held on by its fingernails for a massive morale-booster.

The Kangaroos, who were well below their best, had their chances in the dying minutes with a long-range Ryan Bastinac shot bouncing through for a behind and Drew Petrie passing when he should have aimed at the sticks.

Irishman Pearce Hanley starred with a game-high 34 possessions while the marks count of 112-39 to Brisbane told the story.

Brown was officially farewelled by the adoring Gabba faithful with a lap of honour at half-time just as the heavens opened.

The 15,862-strong crowd had stayed on their feet after giving their team a standing ovation as they headed to the sheds with a 21-point lead following a seven-goal second term.

With Dayne Zorko, Josh Green and Lewis Taylor at the dangerous best, Brisbane kicked 10 of the 11 goals after the visitors jumped to an early 22-point lead.

In fact, it took until the 23rd-minute mark of the opening term for Green to snap their first major.

But from there, until Petrie twice got out the back late in the third-quarter, the Lions ran the Kangaroos ragged.

"Big Jono Brown isn't there any more, but they've got some pace with their small guys," Petrie admitted at half-time.

North looked lethargic and lacked Brisbane's hunger following its dominant start.

Lachie Hansen was a late withdrawal and missed, while Petrie finished with four goals and Nick Dal Santo (30 disposals) and Sam Gibson (28) were also among their best.

Man charged over NSW stabbing (AAP)

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A 21-year-old man who allegedly punched and then repeatedly stabbed another man during a scuffle in northern NSW has been charged, police say.

Two men, aged 40 and 51, were walking in Kyogle just after midnight on Saturday when they allegedly began arguing.

Police said another man then ran up to the 40-year-old and punched him, before stabbing him multiple times.

The injured man was taken to Lismore Base Hospital with wounds to his face, neck and hands.

Police arrested a 21-year-old man a few hours later and he was charged with malicious wounding with intent.

He remains in custody after being refused bail at Lismore Bail Court on Saturday.

NSW man dies in motorcycle crash (AAP)

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A man has died after he was thrown from his motorcycle during an accident in the NSW Hunter region.

Police said a group of men were riding motorcycles along Milbroadle Road in Broke on Saturday morning when one of them lost control while going around a bend.

The man left the roadway down an embankment and hit a drain pipe causing him to be thrown from his bike, police said.

The 56-year-old man died at the scene.

Brisbane Lions began life after Jonathan Brown with four-point win over North Melbourne Kangaroos (ABC)

View Comments

The Brisbane Lions ensured Jonathan Brown's farewell was a memorable one with a four-point victory over North Melbourne at the Gabba on Saturday evening.

Brown got to sing the Lions team song one last time, five days after his retirement, as his club made a mockery of the Kangaroos' top-four ambitions with a tense 10.10 (70) to 9.12 (66) win.

The Lions continued inconsistent North's fluctuating fortunes, as well as a nine-year Gabba drought.

Leading by 20 points at the last change, Brisbane kicked five behinds in the final quarter and held on by its fingernails for a massive morale-booster.

The Kangaroos, who were well below their best, had their chances in the dying minutes with a long-range Ryan Bastinac shot bouncing through for a behind and Drew Petrie passing when he should have aimed at the sticks.

Irishman Pearce Hanley starred with a game-high 34 possessions while the marks count of 112-39 to Brisbane told the story.

Brown was officially farewelled by the adoring Gabba faithful with a lap of honour at half-time just as the heavens opened.

The 15,862-strong crowd had stayed on their feet after giving their team a standing ovation as they headed to the sheds with a 21-point lead following a seven-goal second term.

With Dayne Zorko, Josh Green and Lewis Taylor at the dangerous best, Brisbane kicked 10 of the 11 goals after the visitors jumped to an early 22-point lead.

In fact, it took until the 23rd-minute mark of the opening term for Green to snap their first major.

But from there, until Petrie twice got out the back late in the third-quarter, the Lions ran the Kangaroos ragged.

"Big Jono Brown isn't there any more, but they've got some pace with their small guys," Petrie admitted at half-time.

North looked lethargic and lacked Brisbane's hunger following its dominant start.

Lachie Hansen was a late withdrawal and missed, while Petrie finished with four goals and Nick Dal Santo (30 disposals) and Sam Gibson (28) were also among their best.

Missing mortars located in Qld (AAP)

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Some heavy ammunition that fell off the back of an army truck in Queensland almost two weeks ago has been recovered, but the box it was in is still missing, police say.

Three mortar rounds in a metal container went missing on June 16 when it's believed the container fell off a truck on its way to a military training area near Townsville.

A member of the public found the three mortars at Hervey Range, near Keelbottom Creek and reported their location to police.

The container is still missing, police say.

Fremantle Dockers climb to third on AFL ladder with seven-point win over West Coast Eagles (ABC)

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Fremantle climbed to third on the ladder with a tough seven-point win in the western Derby over local rivals West Coast on Saturday.

The Dockers were sitting pretty with a 26-point lead late in the third quarter before the Eagles bounced back to take a one-point lead midway through the final term.

But it appeared all their energy had been sapped by the comeback effort as Fremantle stretched the lead back out to over 20.

The Eagles managed to make another late push but eventually went down 13.10 (88) 11.15 (81).

Mitchell Brown was stretchered off early with what looks like a serious knee injury.

More to follow.

Jumat, 27 Juni 2014

Man charged over Qld woman*s death (AAP)

View Comments Man charged over Queensland young mother s deathMan charged over Queensland young mother's death

A 33-year-old man has been arrested over the suspected murder of a young mother near the Queensland-NSW border.

The man was arrested at his home in the central Queensland town of Bowen about 8am on Saturday, a police spokeswoman told AAP.

The Bluewater man has been charged with murder and is due to appear in court in Proserpine tomorrow.

Alexis Jeffery's body was found by the Macintyre River in Goondiwindi on March 16.

The 24-year-old mother of three was last seen in Goondiwindi's town centre on the morning of her death.

Police said the woman was likely murdered because the dumping of her body on a levy made foul play likely.

Man killed in Vic police chase (AAP)

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A man has died in a police pursuit northwest of Melbourne.

He's the fourth person to die on Victorian roads in just eight hours.

Police were called to an alleged attempted theft at the Macedon railway station, about 70 kilometres out of Melbourne, just before 5am (AEST) on Saturday, a Victoria Police spokeswoman said.

After they arrived they began chasing four people who took off in a car from nearby Gisborne.

A short time later, police found the car had rolled on a bend at an intersection.

Two men ran from the scene but a third man was dead. A woman was arrested at the scene.

She is under police guard at Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Professional standards Command police are overseeing the investigation.

About 9pm on Friday, three people killed during an attempt to clear a tree that had been brought down on the road by high winds.

Police say three men were trying to clear the tree from the road at Broadwater, near Port Fairy, when a car struck them.

The two men and a man in the car's front passenger seat died at the scene.

The third man on the road and four children in the back seat of the car escaped injury.

The driver was taken to hospital with minor injuries.

The deaths take Victoria's road toll to 124, 11 more than at the same time in 2013.

Woman dies in crash in southeast Qld (AAP)

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A woman has died after a truck collided with a ute in southeast Queensland.

Initial information suggests the truck hit the rear of the ute, forcing the vehicle into a tree on Bruce Highway at Kybong, near Gympie, about 6.30pm (AEST) on Friday, police said.

The driver of the ute, a woman believed to be in her late 20s, was taken to hospital but died a short time later.

The driver of the truck was not injured.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

Woman dies in crash on Sunshine Coast (AAP)

View Comments

A woman has died after a truck collided with a ute on the Sunshine Coast.

Initial information suggests the truck hit the rear of the ute, forcing the vehicle into a tree on Bruce Highway at Kybong about 6.30pm (AEST) on Friday, police said.

The driver of the ute, a woman believed to be in her late 20s, was taken to hospital but died a short time later.

The driver of the truck was not injured.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating.

Strong winds continue to buffet Victoria (AAP)

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Strong winds continue to lash Victoria as severe weather warnings have been issued for large parts of the state.

But despite powerful gusts hitting 100km/h, an SES spokeswoman said Friday had been "very quiet" compared to earlier in the week.

She said the SES only had 190 callouts state-wide on Friday, down from more than 3200 during the high winds on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds across large parts of Victoria on Saturday.

The bureau predicted strong to gusty northerly winds would reach gale force at times during Saturday ahead of a cold front.

Colder and squally west-to-southwest winds will extend eastwards across the state in the wake of the front as it crosses Victoria on Saturday.

Man charged with murder over Tas stabbing (AAP)

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A man charged with a stabbing death in Hobart allegedly knew his victim, Tasmanian police say.

A 48-year-old man from St Marys on Tasmania's east coast is dead after receiving a number of knife wounds in the Hobart suburb of Bridgewater.

A 34-year-old Bridgewater man has been charged with his murder.

Detective Acting Inspector Michael Smith said the 34-year-old was also treated for stab wounds.

"They were known to each other," Det Insp Smith said on Friday.

Police were called to the Bridgewater home around 1am (AEST) on Friday morning.

The man is expected to appear at an after-hours session at the Hobart Magistrates Court on Saturday.

Four charged after navy*s warship probe (AAP)

View Comments 4 sailors are facing court martial following navy probe into allegations of inappropriate behaviour.AAP 4 sailors are facing court martial following navy probe into allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

Four sailors are facing court martial following a navy probe into allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

The Royal Australian Navy on Friday revealed it had charged four personnel over an incident that allegedly occurred aboard HMAS Ballarat in 2011.

The navy says the charges relate to allegations which emerged in the wake of last year's media reports of hazing rituals aboard the warship.

A former naval member appeared on television in 2013 with claims sailors were "set upon, stripped off and had things essentially put in their bums" to mark birthdays.

At the time, Chief of Navy Ray Griggs called for others to come forward if they knew of other instances of alleged inappropriate behaviour.

"All of Navy has worked to make people accountable for their behaviour," Vice Admiral Griggs said on Friday.

"There is now no doubt that all personnel are aware that Navy has no tolerance for unacceptable behaviour."

The four naval members charged will face a general court martial this year.

Three have already been suspended from duty, and officials are weighing up whether to suspend the fourth person.

Coroner Jane Bentley releases findings on death of 8yo girl beaten by mother with vacuum cleaner pole (ABC)

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A coroner investigating the death of a Cairns schoolgirl at the hands of her mother says the child was left alone to die in pain.

Faith was eight years old when her mother beat her to death with a metal vacuum cleaner pole in 2011.

A year earlier she was placed in foster care, but Child Safety allowed her to return home nine days later. The girl never returned to school.

In her findings handed down today, Coroner Jane Bentley said the decision by Child Safety was incorrect and premature.

She said an inadequate investigation into the girl's case was a direct result of understaffing and untenable workloads rather than the fault of individual officers.

Ms Bentley also found that Faith's school did all it could to help her but was hampered by a lack of information.

Child Safety lawyers told the inquest that the mother went to extraordinary lengths to hide the abuse, making Faith wear wigs and long-sleeved clothes.

In her findings, Ms Bentley recommended changes aimed at preventing other children from "slipping through the cracks", including setting up an information-sharing system to give schools and other child agencies access to basic Centrelink data.

Premier Campbell Newman says he has had discussions with the Federal Government about better sharing of information between agencies to protect children who are being abused.

"We need to be able to share information so that we can better understand what's going on, have a proper picture when protecting kids and also protecting families," he said.

Last year the girl's mother was jailed for seven years for manslaughter, while the girl's stepfather was also convicted on manslaughter charges for turning a blind eye to the abuse.

Kamis, 26 Juni 2014

Holden clears Cruze on airbag fault (AAP)

View Comments Holden says airbag fault that stopped sales of Cruze in US doesn t affect Australian-made vehicles.AAP Holden says airbag fault that stopped sales of Cruze in US doesn't affect Australian-made vehicles.

Holden says an airbag fault that has halted sales of the popular Cruze small car in the US does not affect locally made versions sold in Australia.

Holden's US parent, General Motors, stopped sales of Chevrolet Cruze cars made in 2013 and 2014 in the US and Canada this week after a fault was discovered in airbags made by a Japanese supplier, Takata.

Potentially faulty airbags could rupture and blow debris around inside a car.

The Holden Cruze is made in Australia and, after an investigation, Holden said on Friday that the local version was not affected by the airbag issue.

The US sales halt order affected about 33,000 new and used vehicles.

Glencore denies media claim it avoided Australia taxes (Reuters)

View Comments UK-GLENCORE-TAXAVOIDANCE-DENIAL:Glencore denies media claim it avoided Australia taxesReuters The logo of commodities trader Glencore is pictured in front of the company's headquarters in the Swiss town of Baar November 20, 2012. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Glencore, one of the world's biggest mining and trading houses, on Friday denied claims by an Australian newspaper that its coal division had paid no taxes in Australia in the past three years on income of A$15 billion (8.27 billion pounds).

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Glencore Plc cut its tax exposure by claiming tax breaks on expensive loans that were not necessary. Interest rates on the loans, extended by Glencore's associates overseas, were up to double what it would have had to pay banks, the newspaper said.

"At up to 9 percent, the interest rates on these A$3.4 billion ($3.40 billion) in loans were double what the company would have had to pay had it simply borrowed the money from the bank," according to the report.

A Glencore spokesman said the claim that no income tax was paid over the last three years was "preposterous."

Glencore, which acquired fellow Swiss-based resources company Xstrata last year in a $36 billion takeover, is one of Australia's biggest producers of coal and also a major miner copper, zinc and other commodities.

"Glencore complies with all tax rules and regulations in Australia and in each jurisdiction where we operate," the company said in a statement in response to the article.

"The amount of tax our company pays is driven by the taxation legislation put in place by local, state and federal governments and is a matter of public policy," adding that it paid more than A$8 billion in royalties and taxes in Australia over the last seven years. The article cited analysis for The Sydney Morning Herald's publisher, Fairfax Media, of Glencore's books by an unnamed source "personally concerned at the rampant levels of tax avoidance by multinationals operating in Australia" for its findings.

($1 = 1.0639 Australian Dollars)

(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Ryan Woo)

12-year-old boy chased off robbers (Yahoo!7)

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It was a terrifying sight when this 12-year-old boy came home from football training last night.

Two men who were armed and masked were ransacking his home at Runaway Bay.

When the young boy spotted the offenders rummaging through his house, he ran back to the football club to safety.

It was there that staff from the league club called the police, who then swarmed the area.

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The boy said the men were wearing black clothes and masks, and that one was holding a sledgehammer.

One of the offenders spotted the young boy outside the home, who yelled at him and started to chase him down the street.

He said it was the fastest he's ever run.

The offenders are still on the loose.

Essendon, Hird, take on ASADA in court (AAP)

View CommentsThe case between Essendon, James Hird and ASADA will get under way in Melbourne s Federal Court.AAP The case between Essendon, James Hird and ASADA will get under way in Melbourne's Federal Court.

The first steps in Essendon and James Hird's legal action against ASADA are set to begin in Melbourne's Federal Court.

The club and its exiled coach are seeking an immediate halt to ASADA's investigation into Essendon's 2012 supplements program.

The first step in the court action will be Friday's directions hearing, which will be televised.

Essendon coach Mark Thompson has warned his players against becoming distracted by the courtroom drama.

"If they want to watch it they'll watch it. If they don't they won't," Thompson told reporters on Thursday.

"We'd be pretty disappointed if they spent most of tomorrow thinking about what's going on in court, when we've got a game on."

The Friday morning first directions hearing will take place just hours before Thompson coaches Essendon for the first time against Geelong, the team he won two AFL premierships with.

The Bombers and Hird argue last year's joint ASADA and AFL investigation into the club's 2012 supplements program was unlawful and the show-cause notices against 34 past and present players should not proceed.

Duty manager Suzette Riede convicted of inside job armed robbery at Gepps Cross Hotel (ABC)

View Comments Suzette Riede was convicted of planning the robbery.ABC Suzette Riede was convicted of planning the robbery.

A jury has found an Adelaide hotel's duty manager guilty of masterminding an inside-job armed robbery.

Suzette Patricia Riede was managing the Gepps Cross Hotel in July 2011 when a man with a meat cleaver and an iron rod robbed the premises.

A District Court trial heard the armed offender was her friend and Riede had planned the robbery, in which about $16,000 was taken.

Hand-drawn layouts of the hotel were found at Riede's house, but she claimed it was her friend who organised the robbery and forced her to go along with it.

Security vision was shown to the jury of Riede being treated violently by the offender in the safe room of the hotel before the cameras were turned around.

The prosecutor told the court the violence was faked.

A cleaner was tied up during the robbery.

Riede shook her head and cried in the dock as the verdict was given.

Her bail was revoked and the court will hear sentencing submissions in August.

Men charged after drugs, motorbikes seized (AAP)

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Two men have been charged after illegal drugs were found at several properties in Sydney's CBD and eastern suburbs.

Police said a search on Thursday at a unit on Kent Street in the city uncovered methylamphetamine, or ice, and GHB, as well as equipment believed to be used to make illegal drugs.

A 42-year-old man was arrested at the scene, and has been charged with drug offences, including manufacturing and supplying a prohibited drug.

He was refused bail to appear at Central Local Court on Friday.

Searches at four other locations in Randwick, Waterloo, Bondi and Rose Bay uncovered more drugs and drug equipment, as well as four stolen motorbikes.

A 47-year-old man was arrested at Rose Bay, and has been charged with drug supply offences.

He was granted conditional bail to appear at Waverley Local Court on Monday.

Police officer charged with teen assault (AAP)

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A police officer has been charged with assaulting a teenager during an arrest in Sydney's west earlier this year.

The male senior constable from a specialist command was involved in arresting a 17-year-old following a pursuit in Cranebrook on March 3.

Following an investigation, the senior constable was on Thursday issued with a future court attendance notice for the offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He is due to appear in Downing Centre Local Court on August 11.

Ex-bikie boss Ibrahim awaits bail decision (AAP)

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Former bikie boss Hassan "Sam" Ibrahim could be hours away from lock-up, with a NSW Supreme Court judge set to decide on Friday morning whether to revoke his bail.

The former Nomads boss and older brother of Kings Cross nightclub owner John Ibrahim was granted conditional bail on June 16 at Parramatta Local Court.

Ibrahim, from Greystanes in Sydney's west, is facing five charges including supplying firearms to unauthorised persons and possession of a restricted substance.

He is also appealing charges of intimidating a police officer in execution of duty and two counts of making death threats.

At an appeal on Thursday, the Crown asked that bail be revoked due to the "nature and seriousness" of its case and Ibrahim's "lengthy criminal history".

But Ibrahim's counsel said there was no concrete evidence he was involved in the alleged crimes, adding that Ibrahim's wife was dying of cancer.

Justice Peter Hidden will hand down his judgment on Friday morning.

Miles Franklin Literary Award: Author Evie Wyld wins for her book All The Birds Singing (ABC)

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Author Evie Wyld has beaten some of the country's most lauded writers to win this year's Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Wyld was in good company, with other finalists including record four-times winner Tim Winton as well as Richard Flanagan and Alexis Wright.

Her book All The Birds Singing, about a female sheep shearer, won the coveted prize announced in a ceremony in Sydney tonight.

The judges said the book was a perfect example of meeting the criterion of presenting "Australian life in any of its phases".

They said the story draws the reader into its rhythm and mystery with beautifully crafted prose.

Wyld, who takes home a cheque for $60,000, said the Miles Franklin was the one literary award she has always wanted to win.

"Tim Winton has won it so many times and all of my heroes are past winners," she told the ABC after the announcement of the award.

"[Winton and Flanagan] were kind of my favourites [to win] as well. I loved both of their books - I reviewed Tim's book in the papers back home, I love Richard's book.

"It feels a little bit obscene but I'm so grateful."

Wyld runs a small independent bookshop in London and said despite the difficulties facing the book business, there will always be a place for the written word.

"It is a tricky time but the good thing about books is they always can exist in some form or another," she said.

"Fifty years from now they will still be written and read. They might be a different shape, they might be in a different language, but books will survive I think."

Dangerous sex offender released under strict supervision order (ABC)

View Comments Patrick Alfred Dennis Comeagain walks out of Casuarina jail.ABC Patrick Alfred Dennis Comeagain walks out of Casuarina jail.

A dangerous sex offender who has spent most of his adult life behind bars has had his release approved by a Supreme Court judge in Perth.

Patrick Alfred Dennis Comeagain, 41, has a criminal history that included offences against a nine-year-old girl in 1994 and the sexual assault of two women, whose homes he broke into in 1999. 

The offences against the young girl were committed less than seven months after he was granted parole from a previous offence.

The crimes against the two women happened 34 days after he was next released.

Comeagain has been in jail since 1999 and in 2008 was declared a "dangerous sex offender" under WA's tough sex offender laws. 

Prosecutors wanted him kept behind bars and he has had his application for release rejected by the Supreme Court on four previous occasions.

Previous court hearings have been told that in the past Comeagain had tested positive for drug use in prison.

Last year Comeagain indicated he was going to take part in an intensive sex offender treatment program, to try to lower his risk of committing further sexual offences.

After an extensive hearing earlier this year, Justice Ralph Simmonds has ruled Comeagain can be released on a 10-year strict supervision order.

He has to abide by 43 conditions, including that he not possess or use any prohibited drug or alcohol, abide by a curfew, be subject to electronic monitoring and have no contact with anyone under 16 unless approved by those supervising him.

Comeagain also has to have consultations with a psychiatrist and a psychologist.

The supervision order was finalised in the Supreme Court where Comeagain appeared via video link from Casuarina Prison.

Justice Simmonds told Comeagain: "The court wishes you well under this order and expects you will take full advantage of what it offers". 

Comegain replied: "I appreciate that. It has been a long time coming and I will grab this opportunity. Me and my partner have been looking forward to our next life".

WA Police Minister Liza Harvey said she felt for Comeagain's victims.

"I can only imagine their horror on seeing this person released. I share it," she said.

"But we will manage him as effectively as we can and it has been a decision by the court, it has been opposed by the Government".

Marlboro maker Philip Morris cuts 2014 earnings forecast (Reuters)

View Comments UK-PHILIPMORRIS-OUTLOOK:Marlboro maker Philip Morris cuts 2014 earnings forecastReuters A Marlboro cigarettes pack, a brand of Philip Morris Tobacco, lies next to an empty coffee cup at a cafe in central Sydney June 27, 2011. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz

(Reuters) - Cigarette maker Philip Morris International Inc cut its earnings forecast for 2014 and said it is proving to be a "complex and truly atypical" year for the company.

Philip Morris and its rivals like Imperial Tobacco Group and British American Tobacco are grappling with declining sales in a number of markets due to increasing government regulation and more health-aware consumers, as well as smuggling and an economic downturn.

The maker of Marlboro cigarettes said it now expects to earn $4.87-$4.97 (2.86- 2.92 pounds)per share for 2014, lower than the $5.09-$5.19 per share it expected earlier and $5.26 it earned in 2013.

"We continue to face significant currency headwinds, an improving but weak macro-economic environment in the European Union and known challenges in Asia," Chief Executive Andre Calantzopoulos said in a statement.

However, Philip Morris expects adjusted profit in 2014 to rise 6 to 8 percent from the $5.40 it reported last year.

The company forecast a 2 to 3 percent fall in 2014 total cigarette industry volume, excluding China and United States.

Philip Morris also said it acquired Nicocigs Ltd, a U.K.-based e-cigarette maker to get access to the growing e-cigarette category in the U.K. market. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the company said the deal is not material to its 2014 results or cash flow.

The company, which plans to launch a proprietary e-cigarette in 2016, said its reduced-risk products are expected to add to its bottom line within next three to four years.

Philip Morris said last year it would enter the e-cigarette business in the second half of 2014 to tap fast-growing demand for a less harmful alternative to cigarettes.

The company teamed up with Altria Group in 2013 to market electronic cigarettes and other "reduced risk" tobacco products.

Less dangerous alternatives to cigarettes are a key focus for big tobacco firms as governments worldwide crack down and consumers cut back consumption.

Philip Morris shares closed at $88.89 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Anannya Pramanick in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)