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Caring contribution in atrocious conditions

FRONT: Sister M J Hubbard prepares a patient for an operation at the 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, France, in 1917. Picture: Australian Official Photograph Collection CONGRATULATIONS to theHeraldfor its coverage of our valiant forefathers over the past 12 months and in particular the current weeks. A total of61,000 Australian soldiers sailors and airmen lost their lives in fouryears, 100 years ago. Half of them in 1917on the Western Front, exactly 100 years ago.
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We all know of the pompous and irresponsible stuff ups of the British High Command of the early years of the war but almost nothing has been said of the wonderful contribution, despite unbelievable hardship, deprivation and pompous disregard again by the British, of the Australian matrons and nurses in particular, and doctors who volunteered and worked under atrocious conditions and saved thousands of lives, in many cases under shellfire and with casualties themselves.

I have recently read a book by Susanna De Vries which chronicles the lot of the Australian nurses from the Siege of Antwerp through Gallipoli, the Island of Lemnos (hell hole), in the front line and hospitals of the Western Front, including nurses being trained as anesthetists–doing 25-30 operations a day without loss and being the only nation at the end of the war to exclude them from practicing in Australia by the Australian medical fraternity.

The book is titledAustralian Heroines of World War Oneand is based on actual diaries kept by a series of nurses throughout the war. The stuff ups by British hierarchy are monumental and from Gallipoli and Lemnos are unbelievably horrendous and contributed to the very high loss of Australian lives.

Paul Atkinson,BelmontRemembering AnzacsTHE 25thof April isAnzacDay.Our government failed, and the Diggers made to pay.

On that day the beaches of Gallipoli ran red.Covered by wounded soldiers, and their dead.

Cape Tepe is where they should have landed.But an unknown bay is where they were stranded.

A dreadful mistake, and a massacre known.So a legend started, and that name has grown.

At dawn we assemble, around Cenotaphs in droves.Or we gather at that bay, renamedAnzacCove.

We honour the memory of those that fell.And too make sure, their story we must tell.

John Matthews,Belmont NorthNo concern for coal jobsTHE Australia Institute seriously expect people to believe they are concerned about the jobs of Hunter miners, as part of their campaign against a proposed Queensland coal mine (‘Black hole’,Herald,24/4).

The Australia Institute is a known public opponent of the Hunter coal industry, constantly lodging submissions against coal projects proposed through the NSW planning system.

We will take the Australia Institute’s concern for the local coal industry seriously when they stop lodging their submissions opposing Hunter coal projects and the thousands of jobs they provide.

If the Australia Institute had its way, every coal miner would be out of a job, regardless of where their mine was located.

Stephen Galilee, chief executive,NSW Minerals CouncilMateship will endureTHE enduring ANZAC legacy and the ideal of mateship are more important than ever before.Mateship is an integral part of the Australian identity. It’s an ideal that defines our nation’scharacter – this idea of looking out for each other, through the good and the bad. The Salvos have served alongside Australian troops in both World Wars and supportedthem on deployments in Korea and Vietnam. Today, we are present in military bases across thecountry.

We’ve been there providing support to our troops – giving them a hand upand a listening ear. We recognise why mateship is a vital part of the Australian spirit. Mateship is thecommon thread that unites us and something that will always endure.

As we enter these uncertain times, I encourage all Australians to reflect on the Anzac spiritand the strength and hope it brings, and remember why mateship is an ideal still worth fightingfor.

Lieutenant Colonel Kelvin Pethybridge,chief secretary in charge, The Salvation ArmyBlokes like BillWEleft when we were young and free,brave young men like you and me, gave a gun and told to kill.

Every war has been the same,scared young men who kill and maim.

They say we fight for freedom, but I am yet to see,how the murder and the carnage will help to make us free.

Today I lost my best mate,I just want to scream and cry, he lost his life for this country,but what about his wife?

Will the killing ever end?

I guess it never will, and when the war is over, I will remember Bill.

He’s like so many otherswho paid the price of war. There are no easy answers, for all the blood and gore.

How do I escape this hell, I just want to run away, from the shells that buzz around my head all through night and day.

And now the war is over and everything is still, we’ve put away our guns now but what of blokes like Bill.

I still see Bill lying there,his eyes so open wide, they say he was a hero but what about his bride?

I’ll never forget you Bill old mate, you know I never will, and I hope there are no more wars because of blokes like Bill.

Nev Lavender,WindaleBasic vision for allNOTHING Alan Squire writes (‘Council in box seat to keep light rail in the corridor’, Herald,21/4) explains why Newcastle has been cut fromthe exploding economic Sydney universe rail system. Arealigned corridor, dropped, or raised on single stanchions, for services worthy ofthe nation’s leading distance passenger trunk corridor, would have meant the best of all worlds. Bedrock for a truly “smart city”.

Tony Brown’s letter (Letters, 20/4)points allthis out. How silly, to change to travel the route trains once did. Light rail is never part of an inter-city rail transport system. So, why swap inter-city for local transport, especially with the two cities involved. Displacement of the inter-city rail corridor asset weakens the foundation for the best deal for all travelers and livability. Like light rail, wireless trains for short distances cannot be far off. It is about not snookering yourself for the future. Simple matter of basic vision for all.

Graeme Tychsen,Rankin Park

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Ignoring medical errors only increases pain

HUMAN: Failing to admit medical errors can cause long-term suffering for patients, with one correspondent calling for both acknowledgement and support for victims.HAS Damon Cronshaw bravely stepped where no man has gone before (‘Medical errors swept under the carpet as victims suffer’,Herald, 19/4)?
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There may be hundreds, perhaps thousands, of similar cases of medical malpractice across Australia over the years but we will never know for the reasons he rightly states. I would argue in most cases victims never got to take civil action because there was no one – doctors, hospitals, medical staff – prepared to support them publicly. Whilst in quiet corners and hospital corridors they whispered of the wrong that is where it stopped. Perhaps it is only of late when we as a society have become more forthright and aware of our rights that there has been some claims by those prepared to take on the seemingly impossible. Looking back we were far too trusting. With a wealth of business and life experiences behind me now what I would give to put this head on those young shoulders.

Our family’s case was over 35 years ago and the so-called specialist is probably long gone. Yet despite both parents working within the confines of a hospital and medical practice and having what they surely felt were friends as doctors and specialists, no one was prepared to back them. And the suffering is still there, both physically and mentally, as a result of one man’s negligence and now it is passed onto the victim’s own family to bear. One can’t help but think it might be a much different scenario for all of us if one person was honest, caring and courageous enough to support us.

There is no doubt doctors are exceptional people and the world is a better place because of them. But they are human and can make mistakes and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.When it does happen all we really want is acknowledgement and acceptance to move forward. For our family it is too late but I pray Mr Cronshaw has opened the door that will make it easier for victims in the future.

Name and address suppliedA housing fixTHE government can fix the housing problem in this coming budget by removing the negative gearing and capital gains concessions from July 1, 2017.

The market would be flooded with cheap houses by the speculators andtax freeloaders whohave been rorting the system and who cannot afford to be “investors” at the expense of first home buyers.

Greg Fall (Letters, 20/4)did not clearly state that he used negative gearing. Maybe, in accordance with that Aussie expression, “Pleezeggsplane” he can enlighten us.

Bruce Brown,Marks PointPlan now for raceWE have had a lovely sunny Easter over this school holidays. Trips with the family down to Nobbys and Newcastle beaches, bicycling, scootering, swimming and enjoying the park.The Supercars race in November and the reconstruction required willchange much of thisby Easter nextyear. Our park will be smaller, access to the beaches will be more limited, new buildings will have appeared in the park, possible human tragedies may have occurred and many people both the race watchers themselves and the local residents may be noticing difficulties with their hearing.

In the four-month period prior to the race, roads will be resurfaced, pedestrian crossings gone. This work will not only be being done during the day but also at night. Traffic will be rerouted in that time and there are already long slow line ups of cars along Shortland Paradeand Zaara Street as they have become one way.

Can this be ameliorated? There are as many as 200 trees and shrubs scheduled to be cut downbut new ones could be being replanted now further back from the track. All the planned new buildings could be fitted with solar panels and batteriesto lessen the impact of the consumption of petrol. All houses and flats along the route could be offered by the council planted geranium boxes to soften the appearance of the track.

Let’s hear some positive planning from our city council, starting now.

Gillian Turner AO,NewcastleMissed opportunityTHIRTY-storeys on The Store site – a great idea. It’s a pity the government has waited until now. Imagine if this had happened before the rail line had gone in? We could have a building that went from Hunter Street, across the rail line to Station Street, making use of the air space above Beresford Lane and the rail line. Perhaps foundations could still be placed under the rail line to support such a building?

What could we have in such a landmark construction? Alarge part of the ground level could be double height space to accommodate buses out of the weather with a similar arrangement for cars and taxis on the Station Street side.

What are we missing in Newcastle? I’m sure various agencies would have suggestions as to how many apartments would be needed for dedicated crisisaccommodation.What are we losing in Newcastle? How about 10 or 12 floors above Beresford Lane and the rail line be used for parking?

The area is supposed to be a transport hub. How about a helipad?We could have interested the federal government as they seek todecentralise. They’d have offices plus a helipad. Ministers would have a legitimate reason to ride in a helicopter.

Instead,the NSW government will flog off the site to he highest bidder and move the money to Sydney projects.That leaves us with our steel lattice work to help us feel good about what the government is doingfor us. Sorry, I mean ‘to us’.

Rick Carter,Blackalls ParkTrying to save LiberalsLIBERAL MPs whinging about Tony Abbott’s criticism of the party and Mr Turnbull in particular are to be pitied. In fact, they’re getting a dose of reality therapy. They’ve been cocooned in their safe politician bubble but reality has crept in – courtesy of their own failed leader.

They’ve stood meekly behind Mr Abbott as he blow torched the Labor Party and One Nation. The tables have turned dramatically now with Tony seeming to undermine the party that stabbed him in the back.

Mr Abbott’s criticisms should be seen for what they are; a genuine attempt to point out the failures and shortfalls of a party in deep trouble in the polls. He’s also pointing the gun at a leader who is little more than a retailer for an out of touch far right party. In fact, Mr Abbott is trying to save the Liberals, a party he believes in despite their betrayal.

John Butler,Windella Downs

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Are speeding fines about dollars or danger?

FOCUS: One motorist, fed up over reports of an increase in speeding fines, believes police should turn their focus to safe driving rather than using “dopey phrases”. WHILE trying to make intelligent comment on road safety, it’s interesting how poorly reasoned the police and politicians can be(‘Buckling up but failing to slow down’,Herald,19/4). While noting that major crashes were down by 75 per cent, the police lamented the number of speeding fines issued over the Easter holidays. A reasonable conclusion might be that the speeding for which they’re fining motorists may have more to do with raising revenue than road safety. Might the limits in some places be so inappropriate that they make good catch places for the police?
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If as many people are criminal as are suggested by the level of traffic fines, we have a very dodgy populace, which I think is not the case. Intelligent appeals for safer driving go over better than dopey phrases like ‘Operation Tortoise’. If we all went that slowly, we’d all still be out there, going to sleep at the wheel.When they gleefully pass on to the media instances of drivers and riders being caught at high speeds, it doesn’t seem to dawn on them that high speed doesn’t kill. It’s stopping that does it.

Will Hagon,BellbirdVaccination choiceAS usual it’s the unvaccinated who are vilified by the Health Minister, but as yet the vaccine status of each of the cases hasn’t been reported (‘Warning on vaccinations as measles outbreak worsens’, Herald,19/4).

How did measles go from being a normal childhood illness which strengthened overall immunity when treated properly, not feared in our society, to now be creating so much hysteria in the government? One of the often-ignored facts of these outbreaks is that the highest number of cases is usually represented by vaccinated people.

Instead of spitting bile at those who make the choice to not vaccinate, maybe it would be better to test everyone coming in from countries that have measles.

Sharon Bailey,New LambtonPerfect spot for enterpriseAUSTRALIA is to get an Amazon distribution centre. The state governments of NSW, Victoria and Queensland no doubt will be planning how to attract this business to their capitals. But wait a minute – NSW has the advantage of a perfect regional centre to locate Amazon’s enterprise. Of course it is Newcastle/Port Stephens with road, rail, port and airport coming together with a good deal of available and affordable land right where it’s needed and scope to expand. We have an excellent case to make.Are our NSW government working on this additional business case? I hope so, but who knows.

Luke Taper,GeorgetownEthics and IQNEITHER Ron Gibbins (Letters, 18/4) nor Peter Dolan (Letters, 17/4) appear to understand the concept and research involved in ethics classes. Classes provide an opportunity for students to test, by discussion, the evidence supporting their own views on an open-ended question against the evidence used by others to support a different view. A trial was conducted at Clackmannanshire in Scotland and the report is available in Australia among the documents in the files of Online Opinion. Search using Clackmannanshire. I have an electronic copy.

Students aged 11-12 in different classes discussed such questions and a similar match group were used as a control. At the start each group has an identical IQ reading. After about 50 hours of otherwise identical education, the IQ of the students subject to discussion improved by six points, whereas there was no change in the control group. Follow up testing after three years showed the gain had been more than maintained.

If you would like your child to be intellectually stimulated you should abandon SRE and make sure that ethics classes are available at your local school. There is an impediment.Your school is not allowed to advise you that ethics classes are an option until you have opted your child out of SRE. That rule is in place courtesy of Fred Nile MLC. Does that seem ethical?

John Turner, Carey BayBelievers have reasonDON’T worry Anne Killen (Letters, 19/4). There are plenty of secular zealots in public schools, taking up more than the 30 minutes (not one hour) usually devoted to SRE. And if Noah’s Ark is the most subversive thing children learn about I would be very surprised. As for Galileo, he remained a faithful Catholic all his life. His mistake was teaching the Earth orbiting the sun as certain fact, which in his time could not be demonstrated, rather than as a hypothesis. And he was wrong about the immobility of the sun.

Anne is right to say that a belief in something does not prove its existence, but it is also true that non-belief in something does not prove its non-existence. Anyhow, many people of faith claim reason to believe.

PeterDolan,LambtonFreedom from religionPETER Dolan (Letters, 17/4) claims Education Minister Rob Stokes found no widespread evidence of problems in scripture in public schools. If that is true, maybe it is unsurprising because Minister Stokes has a diploma in bible studies from Ministry Training College at Oxford Falls (a Pentecostal organisation), and is thus likely to be supportive of the present situation where students have to opt out of scripture, rather than opt in.Peter also implies that I am a secular zealot – one who is carried away by excessive zeal for my claim that there is no place for religious zealots in public schools.Being aware of some of the nonsense that religious zealots preach, I make no apology for my claim that scripture in today’s public schools is an anachronism.

My position as a secularist is that in Australia at least, there should be freedom from religion as well as freedom of religion. If parents want their children to receive religious indoctrination as an integral part of their schooling, then they should enrol them in one of the many religious schools. But our nation’s secular public schools should teach evidence-based curricula exclusively.

Kevin McDonald,BalickeraPraise for top careI WANT to congratulate the staff of the John Hunter Hospital for their professionalism and the degree of care and compassion they showed to my wife.Sometimes we hear criticism being leveled at this great institution for minor inconveniences suffered by a few. I was greatly impressed by the tasks performed and the number of patients benefiting from a wonderful team of nurses, doctors and administrative staff.

Sid Gray,Newcastle East

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The $300b industry without an ombudsman

Australia should establish a Retail Ombudsman to “freely, quickly and fairly” resolve disputes between “ordinary Australians” and retailers, the Consumer Action Law Centre says.
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The centre provides legal advice and financial counselling for disadvantaged people.

Acting CEO Denise Boyd said an external dispute resolution scheme for disputes over goods and services bought instore or online in Australia would give people “certainty and justice in their consumer interactions and build trust in our retail markets.”

“Although consumers have legal protections in the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) such as consumer guarantees to a refund, replacement or repair when there is a problem with a purchased good or service, if the trader refuses to assist to resolve the dispute it is very difficult for the consumer to obtain justice,” Ms Boyd said in the centre’s pre-budget submission to Treasury.

Australians spend about $300 billion a year with retailers. Retail is the country’s biggest private sector employer, accounting for about 10 per cent of the workforce, according to Bureau of Statistics figures.

Ms Boyd said polling indicated 60 per cent of Australian would use a retail ombudsman if available.

She also noted that more than 20,000 shoppers complained to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission about consumer guarantees in 2016, despite the ACCC being unable to take action on their behalf.

“There is a significant gap in ordinary Australians’ ability to seek justice in these cases because it is likely to involve complex, lengthy and quite possibly expensive legal action in courts or tribunals,” Ms Boyd said.

She said the scheme should be modelled on a scheme in the UK, where retailers choose to join, pay a fee depending on their size, and are able to apply to become vetted as a ‘trustworthy trader.’

The ombudsman would tackle disputes only after a person had tried to resolve it with the retailer directly. It would first try to reach an agreement between the parties; if an agreement couldn’t be reached, the ombudsman would make a binding ruling. Cut corporate tax rates and penalty rates, retail body says

But industry bodies, in their submissions to Treasury ahead of next month’s federal budget, make no mention of a retail ombudsman.

The Australian Retailers Association said the government should cut corporate tax rates, and “allow more flexible workplace laws and support penalty rate changes”.

“Investment levels are floundering despite low interest rates,” the ARA said. “Businesses need incentives and certainty to grow and employ more workers, which in turn, will support wage growth.”

Another industry body, the Retail Council, said while it recognised the need for budget repair, the Abbott government’s controversial first budget in 2014 “had a negative impact on consumer confidence.”

“From a retail perspective it is critical that the federal budget does not further crimp household incomes, especially for low income earners,” the council said.

“Low wages growth is a positive from an inflation perspective but is a potential drag on consumption spending and consumer confidence which are both key metrics for the retail sector.”

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Cat chasing dog disrupts serious conversation about North Korea leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump

Cat chasing a dog at Belmont trumps threat of World War III Kim Jong-un had to compete with a cat chasing a dog at Belmont on Sunday.
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Icy: Kim Jong-un watches as Marge Simpson issues an ice-bucket challenge.

TweetFacebookA cat chasing a dog. This one wasn’t at Belmont.For a moment there, it felt like we were in a Simpsons cartoon.

While we’re on this subject, The Simpsons did feature Kim Jong-un in a special short YouTube video in 2015.

In the video, Marge Simpson challenges the North Korealeader to an ice bucket challenge.

Remember the ice bucketchallenge? That was quite afad. It was once described as “a middle-classwet T-shirt contestfor armchair clicktivists”.

The Party PosseA Topics readertold us he’d been getting ads popping up on his digital devices latelyfor the Australian Defence Force.

“I havebeen reading a bit about North Korea, Syria and Trump lately. Does this mean Big Brother thinks I’m ripe for recruitment,” the reader said.

This reminds us of TheSimpsons episodewhere Bart, Nelson, Milhouse and Ralph form a boy band called The Party Posse. Theyrecord songs containing subliminal messages about joining the Navy.

Lisa Simpson gets to the bottom of it, discovering that the chorus in one of their songs “Yvan eht Nioj” is “Join the Navy”written backwards.

I’m from Texas One of the makeshift houses at a shanty town called Texas at Carrington in 1949.

Back in the Great Depression, there was a place called Texas…at Carrington.

Reader Neil Pitt told us about it. Neil said Texas was in the suburb’s north, nearthe coal loaders.

Poverty-stricken peoplelived there inhumpies and shacks made of tin and wood.

The place had only a few taps. Locals would walk to the taps with buckets to get water to take back to their makeshift homes.

“People had to live somewhere –they couldn’t afford rent,” Neil said.

Herald history writer Mike Scanlon wrote an article about Texas 15 years ago.

Mike wrote that Texas was one of several camps in Newcastle in the 1930s Depression era, where unemployed people lived.

“One of the people who used to live atTexas was Frank Embleton, a film projectionist. He even shot a short film atTexas. A western, naturally,”Jim Smith told Mike.

“People used to run horses there. There were stables. That’s why it was called Texas.”

The “Carro”shanty town flourished from about 1930 until at least 1956.In 1932, 54 people, including 16 women, gave the areaas their address.

Other camps in Newcastle during the Depression were Hollywood at Jesmond (also known as Doggeyville), Platt’s Estate and Tramcar at Waratah, Diggers Camp in the West End, Nobbys Camp, the Stockton “Coral Trees”and the “Pig Sty”at Waratah saleyards.

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Maitland City Council supports Woodberry Swamp study

A comprehensive study focusing on the hydrologic issues atWoodberry Swamp has resulted inrecommendations for managing water movement and water quality across the wetland.
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Maitland City Council representatives form part of a steering group for the Woodberry Swamp Hydrological Study.

The results of the study were revealed at a recent council meeting with councillors voting to continue to work with Hunter Local Land Services and the Department of Primary Industries in developing management plans for Woodberry Swamp.

Woodberry Swamp is a low-lying floodplain and wetland area located on the western side of the Hunter River Estuary between Maitland and Hexham. It includes areas of permanent open water, wetlands and pastures.

A council report said that while the study does not prescribe a particular course of action, it is a pathway forward for developing viable and effective management plans for Woodberry Swamp.

The study recommends regular connection of Greenways Creek with the Hunter River to promote flushing which willprovide benefits to water quality. It also recommends clearing of some vegetation to improve day to day drainage of the floodplain.

“The issues of Woodberry Swamp cannot be resolved by council as the approvals and funding to clean channels must come from State government departments,” a report to the council meeting said.

Involved agencies and organisations are now considering a range of options that could be implemented across the Woodberry Swamp floodplain, particularly actions that would improve environmental and land management outcomes.

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Anwar Ibrahim to challenge sodomy sentence ahead of Malaysia elections

Bangkok: Malaysia’s former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has filed a new legal challenge to his five-year jail sentence on sodomy charges that are widely seen as politically-motivated.
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Mr Anwar’s conviction in Malaysia’s highest court in February 2015 barred him from running for office, in a crushing blow to the country’s opposition alliance that has since splintered.

The challenge comes after the country’s embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak urged supporters of his ruling coalition to take to social media ahead of elections he is likely to call this year.

“We have long been in defensive mode. Enough. It is now time to attack,” said Mr Najib, who has shrugged off his alleged involvement in a multibillion dollar corruption scandal.

According to global investigators Mr Najib received more than US$1 billion ($1.3 billion) in his personal bank accounts, much of which came from state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which he set up in 2009 and oversaw through an advisory committee.

Mr Najib, a close ally of successive Australian governments, denies any wrongdoing.

Human rights groups and many countries, including Australia, described Mr Anwar’s conviction as deeply concerning.

His new legal action seeks a civil court ruling to invalidate the conviction and order his immediate release from jail where he is held in isolation. He says he suffers from chronic back pain.

Mr Anwar names the government as the sole defendant in the action, claiming his key accuser at the trial was an untruthful witness and gave false testimony.

The action also claims the government fabricated DNA samples to support the prosecution.

“Anwar is an innocent man. We will prove his innocence in court,” Mr Anwar’s lawyer, N.Surendran told reporters.

Mr Anwar’s wife, Wan Azizah Ismail, said the action was filed because “a day spent in jail is cruelty for an innocent man”.

Previous attempts by Mr Anwar to prove his innocence in criminal courts have been dismissed, including by the Federal Court in December. His request for a royal pardon was rejected.

In 2015 the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that Mr Anwar’s imprisonment violated prohibitions on torture, or other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment. The group called for Mr Anwar’s release and for his political rights to be reinstated.

Malaysia’s colonial-era law which criminalises consensual sexual acts between people of the same sex has been condemned by the UN and Western countries, including Australia.

Australian barrister Mark Trowell, QC, who was a legal observer at Mr Anwar’s trial, said the verdict was “unconvincing and lacked a detailed analysis of the facts”.

“In reaching these conclusions the court rejected or ignored evidence that raised serious doubts about the reliability of so-called independent evidence and the credibility of the complainant,” Mr Trowell said at the time.

While Mr Anwar has been in jail, Mr Najib has used a slew of draconian laws to crackdown on citizens’ rights to freedom of expression and assembly, including harassment, intimidation, arrest and prosecution of Mr Anwar’s supporters.

The 1MDB corruption scandal has been described as one of the world’s biggest frauds, with investigators in at least five countries, including the US, looking into money laundering and tax haven schemes stretching from Malaysia to Seychelles, the US, Singapore and Australia.

Mr Najib, the British-educated son of a former Malaysian prime minister, has held a firm grip on power as the scandal unfolded. He has the support of powerbrokers in his long-ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation, who have benefited from the party’s largesse.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Twitter recasts movies without straight, white men

From #OscarsSoWhite to #BaftasSoWhite, it’s fairly well established that Hollywood still has something of a diversity problem. As a recent study that highlighted this exact problem put it, “The film industry still functions as a straight, white, boy’s club.”
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On the study, Vulture reports, “In an analysis of the 11,000 speaking parts that appeared in 2014 studio films and live-action scripted TV shows from the 2014-15 season, only one-third were female, and only 28 per cent were nonwhite. When female characters did appear, they were more than three times as likely as men to be sexualised. LGBT representation was even worse, with that community making up only 2 per cent of all speaking parts. Of those, only seven characters were trans ??? a minuscule .06 per cent, one-fifth as much as real-world estimates.”

And that’s leaving alone the white people who have played black roles.

So what can be changed? Well, aside from Geena Davis’ simple and effective advice of first switching some character names to women’s names, and second, making a crowd scene half-female, perhaps the Hollywood bigwigs could listen to Twitter, which, thanks to journalist Brian J. White, has spent the past couple of days brainstorming ways to recast movies with no straight, white men.

White kicked off proceedings like so: This is fun. Guys, recast your favorite movies/shows with the following rules: no straight white men. Genderflipping is encouraged.??? Brian J. White (@talkwordy) April 15, 2017Young Batman, played by Oscar Issac. Lupita Nyong’o is Robin. Daniel Wu is Lieutenant James Gordan. John Boyega is Assistant DA Harvey Dent.??? Brian J. White (@talkwordy) April 15, 2017The Justice League, but everyone is Wonder Woman.

DC, call me.??? Brian J. White (@talkwordy) April 15, 2017Maverick: Felicity Jones Goose: Kate McKinnon Iceman: Zoe Saldana Viper: Cher Guy who says “rubber dogshit out of Hong Kong”: Ian McKellen https://t.co/yfh5ZoNPVS??? Ty Schalter (@tyschalter) April 16, 2017The A-Team: Hannibal Smith – Janelle Monae Murdock – Kristen Stewart BA Baracus – Rutina Wesley Face – Maggie Q https://t.co/hjQkm0X2uu??? Tristina Wright (@TristinaWright) April 16, 2017Grace Jones is the goblin queen and she has stolen Blue Ivy from her big bro Alfred Enoch https://t.co/s82fCoksQ1??? SarahTheRebel (@SarahTheRebel) April 16, 2017Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Ferris = Rosario Dawson, Cameron = Winona Ryder, Rooney = Samuel L Jackson https://t.co/425TDhR8M8??? SmallRabbit (@smallrabbit) April 16, 2017Harry: Dev Patel Ron: John Boyega Hermione: Cherrelle Skeete Ginny: Lindsey Morgan Neville: Hayden Szeto Luna: Alisha Boe https://t.co/a3FWjAf99U??? Britt Rivera (@kindamoviesnob) April 16, 2017Usual Suspects. Viola Davis, Robin Wright, Uzo Aduba, Gina Torres, Kathy Bates.

Octavia Spencer is Keyser S??ze. OR IS SHE?! https://t.co/tRAFgBkca2??? Raychelle Burks (@DrRubidium) April 16, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Emotions high as Mitchell pushes for first encounter with Hawks

Star West Coast recruit Sam Mitchell is making a rapid recovery from an ankle injury in time for what looms as an emotional first outing against his old club Hawthorn in Melbourne on Sunday.
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Mitchell and Eagles coach Adam Simpson are expected to make an early call on whether the highly-decorated former superstar Hawk will be fit to take on his four-time premiership teammates at the MCG.

West Coast is also likely to get Jack Darling back from an ankle injury.

The big forward missed last Thursday’s win over Sydney in Perth with strained tendons in his left ankle he suffered in the team’s round three loss to Richmond in Melbourne.

Simpson said in his weekly Channel Seven interview on Monday night his gun recruit was “touch and go” to play his first game against his old club since his shock trade last October just days after winning his fifth Hawks club champion award.

Simpson said the 10-day break between last Thursday, when Mitchell was kicked in the lower left leg by a swinging foot from teammate Jack Redden, and Sunday’s crucial clash could significantly aid Mitchell’s recovery.

The four-time Hawks premiership midfielder is understood to have undertaken extensive treatment over the Easter weekend, including hourly icing of his lower leg as well as hobbling around on crutches to reduce weight on his injury.

Mitchell reported substantial improvement to Simpson on Monday afternoon.

“He was in doubt over the weekend,” Simpson disclosed.

“But he’s pulled up really well. The 10-day break is really going to help him.

“I don’t think we’ll play any games… If he’s not right we’ll declare it as early as we can.

“But I do want to give him as much time as I can.”

Simpson admitted Sunday’s showdown with Mitchell’s accomplished teammates could prove substantially emotional for the 34-year-old.

“I don’t want to overplay it,” Simpson said.

“It will be a big moment for him.”

Simpson and his Eagles also confront an alarmingly poor win-loss record at football headquarters where premierships are decided.

West Coast has a 38 per cent winning ratio at the “G” after 30 wins and 48 losses.

Since Simpson took over in 2014, the Eagles have notched three wins from eight trips, including successive losses to the Hawks, both by 46 points, in the 2015 Grand Final and last year’s round two re-match.

“More importantly it’s a big moment… travelling to the MCG again and playing a team that is on the ropes,” Simpson said.

“We know how important the game is for both clubs.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Australian had ‘no idea’ his book would be read at Trump’s first Easter Egg Roll

It would probably send a lot of other authors hopping mad.
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But when Australian children’s author Adam Wallace discovered Donald Trump’s chief spin doctor had co-opted his words in order to project a more family-friendly image during Washington’s Easter celebrations, he was more amused than anything else. After all, any publicity is good publicity.

Every year, thousands of children and their parents flock to the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll. As part of the festivities, a number of key players in American politics – including the first lady – read to groups of children.

For Trump’s first Easter Egg Roll, press secretary Sean Spicer ditched the Easter bunny costume in favour of a suit and speckled tie in order to put his communication skills to good use.

Carrying a copy of How to Catch the Easter bunny, Spicer – who is usually in front of television camera yelling at journalists for telling the truth – enlisted the help of a dapper child to read to everyone present.

The book’s author, Melbourne-based writer Adam Wallace, had no idea his book was chosen for the Easter festivities. In fact, he only found out about the picture book being selected after he was contacted by Fairfax Media.

“I had no idea at all,” he said. “It’s a massive shock. My publisher has been really good at getting my books out there… bizarre things are happening that I never would have expected. But this is all a bit out of the blue.”

One of Wallace’s previous books, How to Catch A Leprechaun, was a New York Times bestseller. He suspects this might have something to do with his Easter-themed picture book – illustrated by Andy Elkerton – was picked up by the White House.

Wallace admitted he didn’t have very strong opinions on Donald Trump, simply because he doesn’t watch much news. “It’s too depressing,” he said.

However, he did point out that maybe Sean Spicer is the best person to read How to Catch the Easter Bunny because it “might show a different side to him”.

“As an author, one of the biggest things is just having your books seen,” he said. “I do a lot of school visits and that sort of thing, but you can only go to so many schools over a year. I don’t know if it’s good publicity or bad publicity [to be associated with the Trump administration], but it seems good.”

Spicer appeared initially uncomfortable during the storytime session, but eventually relaxed into his role after commenting on one of the audience member’s bunny ears. But that didn’t stop the press secretary from being roasted on social media, with last week’s Holocaust-gaffe still fresh in people’s minds. Cute of this kid to teach Sean Spicer how to read #EasterEggRollpic.twitter南京夜网/bO4hyFecJv??? Aaron Matthews (@AaronLMatthews) April 17, 2017″You in the bunny ears stop shaking your head at me. That is how the Easter Bunny was caught!” @[email protected]#EasterEggRollpic.twitter南京夜网/tM4gLUyzmm??? Amelia Rustaey (@RustaeyAmelia) April 17, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Newcastle defend title with new-look squad

IMPORTED: Canadian Felix-Antoine Poulin is a defenceman with a knack of scoring goals. Picture: Skip Hickey/SkipsPics The Newcastle Northstars will chase a third consecutive Australian Ice Hockey League title with a new array of imports, but coach Andrew Petrie says his local players again will hold the key to the club’s fortunes.
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Last year’s leagueleading scorer, Connor McLaughlin, and fellow imports Scott Swiston andBrandon Greenside have left the club. In come Canadians Matt Marantz, Steve Kuhn and Felix-Antoine Poulin and American Joe Harcharik.

The club has also lost goaltender Dayne Davis but recruitedAustralian representative Charlie Smart from Sydney Ice Dogs to compete with fellow youngster Nick Mizen for a starting role.

Newcastle, who have changed their nickname from North Stars to Northstars, had five players in the Australian Mighty Roos squad thatwon silver in the Division II Group A world titles this month in Romania.

Captain Bert Malloy, Mat Lindsay,Beau Taylor, Pat Nadin and Smart were in the squad. John Kennedy Jr, who became an Australian citizen in January, was picked but hadfamily commitments.

The Northstars have won six Goodall Cups in 14 seasons, a consistency which suggeststheir success has as much to do with their cast of Australian players as the star qualities of their imports.

“That’s precisely what the key to the success is,” Petrie said.“You want to build a working culture of success and camaraderie, and then complement that with the right set of imports.

“Seeing so many of them get called up to the national team is really gratifying.”

Marantz, a six-foot criminology graduate from Calgary, is a centre who playedfive years with the University of Western Ontario Mustangs and a close friendofKuhn’s.

Kuhn played last season with Neuilly-sur-Marne Bisons in the French second tier with former Northstars MVP Geordie Wudrick.

Poulin is a goal-scoring defenceman whohas two seasons of pro hockey behind him, in the East Coast Hockey League withAlaska Aces and in the UK’s Elite Ice Hockey League with Dundee Stars.He ledthe EIHL in goals for all defencemen with 17 and had32 assists.

“Felix has good size, great mobility and vision and has an elite-level shot,” Petrie told the AIHL website.

“He’s got a natural flair for jumping up into the offence.”

Harcharik, who will miss this weekend’s season-opening double-header in Adelaide and Perth, was sixth on the AIHL offensive charts when he played with the Sydney Bears in 2015.

The Northstars will launch their season with a Skate with the Champions evening on Wednesday from 6 to 8pm at Hunter Ice Skating Stadium. Stadium entry and skate hire will be free.

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RSL outraged at ‘silent disco’ on Anzac Day eve

RSL outraged at ‘silent disco’ on Anzac Day eve The flyer posted to the Universal Bendigo Facebook page.
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The post on the Universal Bendigo Facebook page.

The flyer posted to the Universal Bendigo Facebook page.

Comments on the post on the Universal Bendigo Facebook page.

Comments on the post on the Universal Bendigo Facebook page.

Comments on the post on the Universal Bendigo Facebook page.

Comments on the post on the Universal Bendigo Facebook page.

Comments on the post on the Universal Bendigo Facebook page.

Comments on the post on the Universal Bendigo Facebook page.

Comments on the post on the Universal Bendigo Facebook page.

Comments on the post on the Universal Bendigo Facebook page.

TweetFacebookA “silent disco” planned for the eve of Anzac Day has sparked debate in Bendigo with the Bendigo District RSL labeling the promotion as “inappropriate”.

Theevent at Universal Bendigo was described on the nightclub’s Facebook page as “A Minute of Silence… No… It Deserves a Night of Silence!!! ANZAC EVE…. SILENT DISCO!!!”

It is scheduled for the evening on Monday, April 24, with “three DJs to choose, hundreds of tunes and complete silence!”.

Bendigo District RSL president Cliff Richards said the way animageof a soldier and poppies was used in the flyer promoting the event was “disgusting”.

“It’s highly inappropriate this company has done this,” he said.

“As far as theBendigo District RSL is concerned, it’s certainly an inappropriate act to use the word ‘Anzac’ and images of poppies when promoting a disco.”

Mr Richards said Anzac Day was a day of national pride, not a day to advertisea disco.

The Universal Bendigo nightclub in McCrae Street.

The Facebook post, which was removed this morning, wasslammed by users when the event flyer was posted just after 5pm yesterday.

“Absolutely despicable. Me and my comrades are offended for those who lost their lives for this country. It’s not party time. Disrespectful and ignorant,” one Facebook user wrote.

“Come to the war memorial and talk about the 102,000 Australians that have lost their lives and talk to their families.”

Another called for the Universal to remove “this entire joke of a post” and make a formal apology.

Not everyone was offended, with a number of Facebook users tagging people and saying they would attend.

Comments on the post on the Universal Bendigo Facebook page.

Penalties apply for the incorrect use of the word ‘Anzac’ under theProtection of Word ‘Anzac’ Act 1920 actand permission from the Veterans’ Affairs minister is generally required to use the word in a commercial context.

However, the words ‘Anzac Day’ may be used in connection with certain events or entertainment held on April 25, or on consecutive days including Anzac Day, withoutpermission.

The Bendigo Advertiser is seeking comment from Universal Bendigo.

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‘I couldn’t breathe’: Australian sisters injured in acid attack at London nightclub

An Australian woman who was injured in an acid attack at a London nightclub says she feared she had been caught up in a terrorist attack when chaos erupted inside the venue.
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Sydney woman Isobella Fraser, 22, and her sister Prue, 20, were with friends in the Mangle E8 nightclub in Dalston, east London, early on Monday morning when a fight broke out between a group of people standing nearby.

Isobella said she saw someone use a drink bottle to splash two men in the face with a liquid, which also splashed on her, her sister and others standing around them. Police say 12 people were injured when the corrosive substance was thrown.

“It just sort of went everywhere,” Isobella told Channel 7.

“I couldn’t breathe. I thought we were getting gassed, I thought it was a terrorist attack or something … I was freaking out just because of all the things that have been happening.

“I actually couldn’t breathe and I was coughing, and yeah, I just felt this thing on my arm, and I realised it was some sort of acid. It was pretty crazy.”

Isobella, who is a model, was burnt on her arm and on her back, while Prue was burnt on her arm. They took themselves to hospital for treatment.

Isobella said her shirt stuck to her skin when the acid hit, and the fabric had to be picked out of her wounds. But she said her injuries “could be worse”.

“They’re very painful, but I didn’t get it on the face or anything like other people did, in the eye, and apparently some people can’t see, which is really bad,” she said.

Prue said “everyone was crying” when they realised what had happened.

“It was horrific. Just the thought of it now is quite stressful,” she said.

Police said two men aged in their 20s were the most seriously injured, and remained in hospital. No one has been arrested over the attack.

“The substance is yet to be identified, but it is believed to have been acidic,” police said in a statement.

Another of the injured was Sadie Wright, the cousin of former Premier League footballer Jamie O’Hara.

O’Hara tweeted a photo of Ms Wright’s injuries, and described the attack as a “sick act of violence”. sick that my cousin got burnt from this acid attack in hackney,innocent people get injured for the sick act of violence,guy should get life pic.twitter南京夜网/gysgljLpuO??? Jamie Ohara (@Mrjamieohara1) April 17, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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