Catholic hospitals deny pill

by admin on March 30th, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

The call comes after revelations Catholic-controlled hospitals are refusing to supply the morning-after pill to rape victims.


Catholic Health Australia’s Code of Ethical Standards says raped women should not be referred to centres that offer the morning-after pill.

Karen Willis from the New South Wales Rape Crisis Centre said hospitals usually provide a full range of services to someone who has just been sexually assaulted, including counselling, forensic tests and the option of the morning-after pill.

Not providing all those options, Ms Willis said, is negligence. “If you’re going to be providing a service then, ethically not morally, you must provide the full range of services available within those parameters,” she said.

Ms Willis said denying the morning-after pill to women who had been raped presented them with another barrier when they were already traumatised.

“Say, this is three o’clock in the morning, so she’s going to then need to go to a doctor the next day or a hospital and say: ‘Hi, I’m a sexual assault victim, this is why I want the morning

after pill’ and get a script filled … when she’s already in extreme crisis.

“It’s just another barrier, and as far as I’m concerned it’s unethical.”

Ms Willis said that when federal, state and territory governments were drawing up new agreements with hospital operators, they should enforce particular guidelines to ensure they offer full services.

If the operators were going to restrict services, she said, then governments should not allow them to operate.

Hospitals should be told: “Either do it or … we’ll find somebody else to run this program,” she said.

Policy defended

Catholic Health Australia defended its policy, saying the church had never allowed anything which condoned abortions in its hospitals.

“This is a long-standing policy which is consistent with the church’s position on abortion and it is not a new issue and I have no indications of any of it changing,” CEO Francis Sullivan said.

He said the Catholic Church had been running hospitals in Australia for about a century and they had never had problems with governments before.

“State and territory governments for 100 years have found no issue with us to the point that we continually are contracted to provide those services,” he said.

Mr Sullivan said he understood why people are bemused about the refusal to offer the morning-after pill, but said the church gave individuals an opportunity to make their own choices.

“We don’t ask individuals to take other choices, we certainly don’t try to manipulate the information so they make choices that we are happy with. We provide them with all the information and if they so choose to go down the path of termination or the pill we simply say: `We can’t provide it here’,” he said.

Qantas denies cover-up

by admin on March 30th, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

The airline has been accused in a Seven Network report of ignoring the incident, covering it up, and of misleading air-safety authorities.


QF5, with 408 people on board travelling from Singapore to Frankfurt, was damaged by a blown tyre shortly after take-off on March 8, 2006.

“Any suggestion that Qantas\’s handling of the incident…was covered up in any way is completely wrong,” Qantas boss Geoff Dixon said.

“There was no indication at the time of take-off that a tyre had shredded.”

Mr Dixon said there was no damage to the aircraft that affected its air worthiness or safety.

“There was no risk to passengers or crew at any time,” he said.

“The incident was reported to the ATSB (Australian Transport Safety Bureau) and CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority).

“Qantas also undertook its own investigation and provided its results to the Australian regulators, and to the air accident investigation bureau of Singapore.

“All decided that the incident did not warrant further investigation.”

Seven reported that tyre debris tore a “huge hole”, “three-metres long”, in the jet\’s fuselage, and “no official investigation was launched”.

“Qantas informed Australia\’s regulator (CASA) that no investigation was launched,” Seven reported.

Perth businessman Karl Dunbar said he could have crawled through the hole – which was the size of two refrigerators – that he saw in the jet at Frankfurt.

Seven quoted him as saying the incident was a cover-up.

Former CASA chairman Dick Smith said CASA investigators feel intimidated by Qantas.

“Employees have told me if we stood up to Qantas, we wouldn\’t have a career path,” he told Seven.

CASA spokesman Peter Gibson told Seven: “It\’s certainly not a matter of a covering anything up.

“It\’s about making the right safety judgments, and we believe that was done.”

CASA ruled there was no risk to passenger safety.

Howard backs Bush Iraq plans

by admin on March 30th, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

Mr Bush unveiled his revised plans, which include the deployment of an extra 21,500 American troops to Iraq.


Mr Howard described the new strategy as sensible.

“The alternatives the President faced were either to announce what he announced or effectively indicate the West could not win in Iraq,” he told reporters in Sydney shortly after the president\’s broadcast speech.

“I believe the president chose the only realistic option.

“It will be difficult and it\’s not an easy task he has to discharge.

“It\’s a very heavy burden he carries and one the Australian government will support.”

Mr Bush rang Mr Howard yesterday to inform him of the theme of his live televised speech.

“It was a very clear, calm and, above all, a realistic speech,” Mr Howard said.

“He didn\’t underestimate the challenge, he acknowledged some mistakes have been made, and made it very clear what is at stake.”

Mr Howard said if the coalition forces were to pull out of Iraq, the fight against terrorism – including in the Asia-Pacific region – would be extremely difficult to win.

“An American or western defeat in Iraq will be an unbelievable boost to terrorism,” he said.

“If America is defeated in Iraq it is hard to see how the longer term fight against terrorism can be won.

“If America retreats in Iraq it has consequences for the stability of the Middle East and it will also be an enormous boost to terrorism in our part of the world.”

He said Mr Bush\’s announcement would have no impact on Australia\’s troops in Iraq and he had no plans to send more forces.

“There is no direct implication for Australian forces in Iraq,” Mr Howard said.

“We have an appropriately sized force and one that can be maintained which is doing very useful work.

“What we are doing in Iraq is entirely consistent with what the president has outlined.

“I never rule out sending more forces, however I don\’t see the need at the present time and I\’ve not been asked to send more forces and I think it unlikely.”

Cane toad hope in Top End

by admin on March 30th, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

Kimberley Cane Toads president Lee Scott Virtue said that for the first time cane toads had not returned to an area the group had worked in for the last four months.


The group has removed thousands of colonising males from Brownies Dam, two hectares of dams and billabongs, 210km east of the WA border, between Timber Creek and the Victoria River Roadhouse, in the Northern Territory, Ms Virtue said.

“It\’s almost as if they\’re in there, checking it out, going: `This is a great place we\’ll breed here\’ and then they start calling in the females.

“The trick is to try and bust them out, get them out of the system before they start calling and that appears to be what we\’ve done.

“The last three weekends of checking the system out has revealed not a single toad, which is just great news.”

Ms Virtue said that knowing where the cane toads are and how they are moving means it\’s easier to know what to do next dry season to thwart the continuous waves of toads.

“We\’re knocking out eggs, tadpoles and metamorphs”, Ms Virtue said, referring to the pre-adult stage of the cane toad life cycle.

“This consistent approach and the identification of what the toads are doing and where they are going gives us a pretty good opportunity of holding up this frontline.”

This is having an impact on the breeding behaviour on some of the frontline male toads, she said.

“By knocking out the females … it\’s causing some real ripples in the male toad behaviour in those areas.

“If what we\’re seeing is correct, it\’s quite possible that we\’re having a major impact on their ability to breed.”

Staff boost for federal MPs

by admin on March 30th, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

Special Minister of State Gary Nairn says that senators and members of the House of Representatives would be given a larger allowance to employ an extra electorate officer each.


The staff boost comes in a federal election year, leading some to suggest the government is simply swelling the ranks of its staffers as campaigning kicks into gear.

Surprisingly, Mr Nairn said the use of new technology such as email by constituents was increasing the workload for politicians, rather than reducing it.

“The advent of email and heightened awareness and availability of government services have raised community expectations,” Mr Nairn said in a statement.

“Constituents now have open and direct communication with their MPs and therefore expect prompt replies.”

Mr Nairn said the allocation of staff to MPs had not varied since July 1984.

“In more than two decades, the parliamentary and electorate workload of MPs has increased significantly and become more complex,” he said.

Labor’s accountability spokeswoman Penny Wong said the Labor party had not been consulted about the increase.

“Australians will be very suspicious about the Howard government’s decision to allocate more staff to politicians at the beginning of an election year,” Senator Wong said.

“Clearly, the Howard government has had no hesitation in spending public money to stock its war chest.”

She said the allocation would give the government an extra 126 staff, and the opposition an extra 88 staff.

Senator Wong said the boost came on the back of substantial increases in advertising and printing budgets for MPs.

Read Bush’s speech

by admin on March 1st, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

“Good evening.


Tonight in Iraq, the armed forces of the United States are engaged in a struggle that will determine the direction of the global war on terror – and our safety here at home. The new strategy I outline tonight will change America’s course in Iraq, and help us succeed in the fight against terror.

When I addressed you just over a year ago, nearly 12 million Iraqis had cast their ballots for a unified and democratic nation.

The elections of 2005 were a stunning achievement. We thought that these elections would bring the Iraqis together – and that as we trained Iraqi security forces, we could accomplish our mission with fewer American troops.

But in 2006, the opposite happened.

The violence in Iraq – particularly in Baghdad – overwhelmed the political gains the Iraqis had made.

Al-Qaeda terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognised the mortal danger that Iraq’s elections posed for their cause. And they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis.

They blew up one of the holiest shrines in Shia Islam – the Golden Mosque of Samarra – in a calculated effort to provoke Iraq’s Shia population to retaliate.

Their strategy worked. Radical Shia elements, some supported by Iran, formed death squads. And the result was a vicious cycle of sectarian violence that continues today.

‘Responsibility rests with me’

The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people – and it is unacceptable to me.

Our troops in Iraq have fought bravely. They have done everything we have asked them to do. Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me.

It is clear that we need to change our strategy in Iraq. So my national security team, military commanders, and diplomats conducted a comprehensive review.

We consulted members of Congress from both parties, our allies abroad, and distinguished outside experts. We benefited from the thoughtful recommendations of the Iraq Study Group – a bipartisan panel led by former Secretary of State James Baker and former Congressman Lee Hamilton.

In our discussions, we all agreed that there is no magic formula for success in Iraq. And one message came through loud and clear: Failure in Iraq would be a disaster for the United States.

The consequences of failure are clear: radical Islamic extremists would grow in strength and gain new recruits. They would be in a better position to topple moderate governments, create chaos in the region, and use oil revenues to fund their ambitions.

Iran would be emboldened in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Our enemies would have a safe haven from which to plan and launch attacks on the American people.

On September the 11th, 2001, we saw what a refuge for extremists on the other side of the world could bring to the streets of our own cities. For the safety of our people, America must succeed in Iraq.

The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad.

Eighty per cent of Iraq’s sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles (48.3km) of the capital. This violence is splitting Baghdad into sectarian enclaves, and shaking the confidence of all Iraqis.

Only the Iraqis can end the sectarian violence and secure their people. And their government has put forward an aggressive plan to do it.

Reasons for failure

Our past efforts to secure Baghdad failed for two principal reasons: There were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighbourhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents, and there were too many restrictions on the troops we did have.

Our military commanders reviewed the new Iraqi plan to ensure that it addressed these mistakes. They report that it does. They also report that this plan can work.

Now, let me explain the main elements of this effort. The Iraqi government will appoint a military commander and two deputy commanders for their capital. The Iraqi government will deploy Iraqi army and national police brigades across Baghdad’s nine districts.

When these forces are fully deployed, there will be 18 Iraqi army and national police brigades committed to this effort, along with local police.

These Iraqi forces will operate from local police stations; conducting patrols and setting up checkpoints and going door-to-door to gain the trust of Baghdad residents.

This is a strong commitment. But for it to succeed, our commanders say the Iraqis will need our help. So America will change our strategy to help the Iraqis carry out their campaign to put down sectarian violence and bring security to the people of Baghdad.

More troops

This will require increasing American force levels. So I’ve committed more than 20,000 additional American troops to Iraq.

The vast majority of them, five brigades, will be deployed to Baghdad. These troops will work alongside Iraqi units and be embedded in their formations.

Our troops will have a well-defined mission: to help Iraqis clear and secure neighbourhoods, to help them protect the local population, and to help ensure that the Iraqi forces left behind are capable of providing the security that Baghdad needs.

Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not?

Well, here are the differences: in earlier operations, Iraqi and American forces cleared many neighbourhoods of terrorists and insurgents – but when our forces moved on to other targets, the killers returned. This time, we will have the force levels we need to hold the areas that have been cleared.

In earlier operations, political and sectarian interference prevented Iraqi and American forces from going into neighbourhoods that are home to those fuelling the sectarian violence. This time, Iraqi and American forces will have a green light to enter these neighbourhoods – and Prime Minister Maliki has pledged that political or sectarian interference will not be tolerated.

I have made it clear to the prime minister and Iraq’s other leaders that America’s commitment is not open-ended.

If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people – and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people. Now is the time to act.

The prime minister understands this. Here is what he told his people just last week: “The Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for any outlaws, regardless of (their) sectarian or political affiliation.”

This new strategy will not yield an immediate end to suicide bombings, assassinations, or IED attacks. Our enemies in Iraq will make every effort to ensure that our television screens are filled with images of death and suffering.

Yet, over time, we can expect to see Iraqi troops chasing down murderers, fewer brazen acts of terror, and growing trust and cooperation from Baghdad’s residents.

When this happens, daily life will improve, Iraqis will gain confidence in their leaders, and the government will have the breathing space it needs to make progress in other critical areas.

Most of Iraq’s Sunni and Shia want to live together in peace. And reducing the violence in Baghdad will help make reconciliation possible.

A successful strategy for Iraq goes beyond military operations. Ordinary Iraqi citizens must see that military operations are accompanied by visible improvements in their neighbourhoods and communities. So America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced.

To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq’s provinces by November.

To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country’s economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis.

To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend $US10 billion ($A12.9 billion) of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs.

To empower local leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year. And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation’s political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq’s constitution.

America will change our approach to help the Iraqi government as it works to meet these benchmarks. In keeping with the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group, we will increase the embedding of American advisers in Iraqi army units, and partner a coalition brigade with every Iraqi army division.

We will help the Iraqis build a larger and better-equipped army, and we will accelerate the training of Iraqi forces, which remains the essential US security mission in Iraq.

We will give our commanders and civilians greater flexibility to spend funds for economic assistance. We will double the number of Provincial Reconstruction Teams.

These teams bring together military and civilian experts to help local Iraqi communities pursue reconciliation, strengthen the moderates and speed the transition to Iraqi self-reliance. And (US) Secretary (of State Condoleezza) Rice will soon appoint a reconstruction coordinator in Baghdad to ensure better results for economic assistance being spent in Iraq.

Al Qaeda pursued

As we make these changes, we will continue to pursue al-Qaeda and foreign fighters. Al-Qaeda is still active in Iraq. Its home base is Anbar Province. Al-Qaeda has helped make Anbar the most violent area of Iraq outside the capital.

A captured al-Qaeda document describes the terrorists’ plan to infiltrate and seize control of the province. This would bring al-Qaeda closer to its goals of taking down Iraq’s democracy, building a radical Islamic empire, and launching new attacks on the United States at home and abroad.

Our military forces in Anbar are killing and capturing al-Qaeda leaders – and they are protecting the local population.

Recently, local tribal leaders have begun to show their willingness to take on al-Qaeda. And, as a result, our commanders believe we have an opportunity to deal a serious blow to the terrorists. So I have given orders to increase American forces in Anbar Province by 4,000 troops.

These troops will work with Iraqi and tribal forces to keep up the pressure on the terrorists.

America’s men and women in uniform took away al-Qaeda’s safe haven in Afghanistan – and we will not allow them to re- establish it in Iraq.

Succeeding in Iraq also requires defending its territorial integrity – and stabilising the region in the face of the extremist challenge. This begins with addressing Iran and Syria.

These two regimes are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq. Iran is providing material support for attacks on American troops.

We will disrupt the attacks on our forces. We will interrupt the flow of support from Iran and Syria. And we will seek out and destroy the networks providing advanced weaponry and training to our enemies in Iraq.

We are also taking other steps to bolster the security of Iraq and protect American interests in the Middle East.

I recently ordered the deployment of an additional carrier strike group to the region. We will expand intelligence sharing and deploy Patriot air defence systems to reassure our friends and allies. We will work with the governments of Turkey and Iraq to help them resolve problems along their border. And we will work with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating the region.

We will use America’s full diplomatic resources to rally support for Iraq from nations throughout the Middle East. Countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf states need to understand that an American defeat in Iraq would create a new sanctuary for extremists – and a strategic threat to their survival.

These nations have a stake in a successful Iraq that is at peace with its neighbours – and they must step up their support for Iraq’s unity government.

We endorse the Iraqi government’s call to finalise an international compact that will bring new economic assistance in exchange for greater economic reform. And on Friday, Secretary Rice will leave for the region – to build support for Iraq, and continue the urgent diplomacy required to help bring peace to the Middle East.

The challenge playing out across the broader Middle East is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of our time.

On one side are those who believe in freedom and moderation. On the other side are extremists who kill the innocent, and have declared their intention to destroy our way of life.

In the long run, the most realistic way to protect the American people is to provide a hopeful alternative to the hateful ideology of the enemy – by advancing liberty across a troubled region.

It is in the interests of the United States to stand with the brave men and women who are risking their lives to claim their freedom – and to help them as they work to raise up just and hopeful societies across the Middle East.

From Afghanistan to Lebanon to the Palestinian territories, millions of ordinary people are sick of the violence, and want a future of peace and opportunity for their children. And they are looking at Iraq. They want to know: Will America withdraw and yield the future of that country to the extremists – or will we stand with the Iraqis who have made the choice for freedom?

The changes I have outlined tonight are aimed at ensuring the survival of a young democracy that is fighting for its life in a part of the world of enormous importance to American security.

Let me be clear: The terrorists and insurgents in Iraq are without conscience, and they will make the year ahead bloody and violent. Even if our new strategy works exactly as planned, deadly acts of violence will continue – and we must expect more Iraqi and American casualties. The question is whether our new strategy will bring us closer to success. I believe that it will.

Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved.

There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship. But victory in Iraq will bring something new in the Arab world – a functioning democracy that polices its territory, upholds the rule of law, respects fundamental human liberties, and answers to its people.

A democratic Iraq will not be perfect. But it will be a country that fights terrorists instead of harbouring them – and it will help bring a future of peace and security for our children and grandchildren.

This new approach comes after consultations with Congress about the different courses we could take in Iraq.

Too dependent?

Many are concerned that the Iraqis are becoming too dependent on the United States – and therefore, our policy should focus on protecting Iraq’s borders and hunting down al Qaeda. Their solution is to scale back America’s efforts in Baghdad – or announce the phased withdrawal of our combat forces.

We carefully considered these proposals. And we concluded that to step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear the country apart, and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale.

Such a scenario would result in our troops being forced to stay in Iraq even longer, and confront an enemy that is even more lethal. If we increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home.

In the days ahead, my national security team will fully brief Congress on our new strategy. If members have improvements that can be made, we will make them. If circumstances change, we will adjust. Honourable people have different views, and they will voice their criticisms. It is fair to hold our views up to scrutiny. And all involved have a responsibility to explain how the path they propose would be more likely to succeed.

Acting on the good advice of Senator Joe Lieberman and other key members of Congress, we will form a new, bipartisan working group that will help us come together across party lines to win the war on terror.

This group will meet regularly with me and my administration. It will help strengthen our relationship with Congress. We can begin by working together to increase the size of the active Army and Marine Corps, so that America has the armed forces we need for the 21st century. We also need to examine ways to mobilise talented American civilians to deploy overseas – where they can help build democratic institutions in communities and nations recovering from war and tyranny.

In these dangerous times, the United States is blessed to have extraordinary and selfless men and women willing to step forward and defend us.

These young Americans understand that our cause in Iraq is noble and necessary – and that the advance of freedom is the calling of our time. They serve far from their families, who make the quiet sacrifices of lonely holidays and empty chairs at the dinner table. They have watched their comrades give their lives to ensure our liberty.

We mourn the loss of every fallen American – and we owe it to them to build a future worthy of their sacrifice.

Fellow citizens: The year ahead will demand more patience, sacrifice, and resolve. It can be tempting to think that America can put aside the burdens of freedom. Yet times of testing reveal the character of a nation. And throughout our history, Americans have always defied the pessimists and seen our faith in freedom redeemed.

Now America is engaged in a new struggle that will set the course for a new century. We can and we will prevail.

We go forward with trust that the author of liberty will guide us through these trying hours. Thank you and good night.”

Charges laid over Aurukun riot

by admin on March 1st, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

Nineteen charges have been lodged against eight men and one women, ranging in ages from 19 to 43.


The charges include rioting, serious assault of a police officer and break and enter.

The group are in police custody and will appear at Cairns Magistrates Court today.

Notices also have been issued to four men and two women, aged between 16 and 34, to appear at the Aurukun Magistrates Court on February 20 where they will face a total of 10 charges between them relating to breaking and entering and receiving stolen goods.

They are alleged to be part of a group of 300 that rampaged through the community after local Aboriginal man Warren Bell claimed he had been assaulted in police custody.

The town’s police station, tavern and local shop were attacked, forcing officers, their families and Aboriginal elders to seek refuge in the police station.

Bell, 22, faced Cairns Magistrates Court yesterday on assault charges and was granted bail but remains in police custody after one of his bail conditions could not be met.

Police said investigations into the riot continued and more charges could be laid.

A video of the riot, made by one of the officers, is believed to be central to the investigation.

Meanwhile, a policeman who fired a shot into the floor from his unlicensed rifle during the riot to scare off rioters as they hacked into the police station with an axe could face charges.

Police initially said the officer had an appropriate licence for the weapon.

However, it was revealed yesterday the officer had been given the weapon by a relative while on holiday interstate and had locked it in the gun safe at the police station while he applied for a licence.

The incident will be examined as part of the investigation into Bell’s arrest and the riot by the Police Ethical Standards Command and Crime and Misconduct Commission.

Mufti ignites fresh outrage

by admin on March 1st, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

Australia\’s controversial mufti Sheik Taj El-din Elhilaly has landed himself in hot water again, this time by saying Australian Muslims are more entitled to the country than those with a convict heritage.


Prime Minister John Howard said today he expected the mufti\’s comments to amuse Australians, however one Muslim leader was quick to apologise for the sheik.

Speaking in Arabic on Egyptian television Sheik Alhilali said, according to a Seven Network translation, that white Australians arrived in the country shackled as convicts.

“We (Muslims) came as free people. We bought our own tickets. We are entitled to Australia more than they are,” he said.

The mufti was on the Egyptian chat show explaining the controversy last year over his comments likening immodestly-dressed women to uncovered meat.

But according to the translation, he said the controversy was a white conspiracy aimed at terrorising Australian Muslims.

Mr Howard laughed off the spiritual leader\’s convict comments.

“I think it will bring a wry smile to the face of Australians who don\’t actually feel the least bit offended that many of our ancestors came here as convicts,” Mr Howard told reporters in Sydney today.

“It\’s almost a badge of honour for many Australians.”

But while the convict jibes might be forgiven by some, as they are when levelled by English cricket fans, the sheik\’s comments are expected to cause outrage in some quarters – especially the claim that white Australians “are the biggest liars”.

And then there was his claim that outrage over his controversial meat sermon was “a calculated conspiracy”, that started with him, “in order to bring the Islamic community to its knees”.

He also said “Australian law guarantees freedoms up to a crazy level”, when reportedly referring to anti-Muslim courts and the harsh sentencing of a Muslim gang rapist in Sydney.

Islamic Friendship Association president Keysar Trad today criticised and defended his close friend, saying some of his comments were “ill-advised”.

“I believe his intention was to indicate that we choose to be in Australia because we love Australia, because his Egyptian interviewers were asking him why he stays and puts up with the controversy here,” Mr Trad said.

“He was defending Australia, but saying sometimes democracy fails, and the reaction to his comments put a lie to the democratic principle of free speech.

“But I, as a Muslim Australian, do feel the need to apologise for anyone who is offended by these comments.”

Mr Trad also questioned the accuracy of the translation, saying the mufti\’s opponents were waiting with malicious intent to misrepresent his comments.

“It\’s evident by the controversy that has erupted again that there are people out there watching every comment he makes,” Mr Trad said.

Aussie pies take on America

by admin on March 1st, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

A war is brewing in the United States between Australia\’s humble meat pie and America\’s hot dog.


Two major Australian meat pie companies, Four\’N Twenty and Vili\’s, have both launched grand expansion plans in the US designed to win over American tastebuds.

In the not too distant future in Manhattan, Aussie meat pie carts will compete on busy street corners with the city\’s famous hot dog stands.

Vending machines will sit along side Coke and chip machines offering hot meat pies for hungry Americans on the go.

Sports venues such as New York\’s Yankee Stadium or Los Angeles\’ Lakers\’ Staples Centre will smell like the MCG or SCG, with American sports fans offered the Aussie meat pie in addition to the traditional hot dog, nachos or hamburger.

At stake are billions in export dollars for Melbourne-based Four\’N Twenty and Adelaide\’s Vili\’s.

Americans \’cautious\’ pies

Despite the size of the US, with its 300 million residents, the meat pie is a stranger to Americans.

When Americans think “pie”, it is dessert, whether it\’s an apple, pumpkin or banana cream pie.

Many turn their noses up at the thought of meat in a pie and both companies agree the key is getting curious Americans to taste a meat pie.

“Right now Americans can get a hot pocket or Jamaican beef patty, but when they eat the Australian product their first comment is: \’Well, it tastes really good\’,” said Florida-based Edward

Beshara, who is heading Four\’N Twenty\’s expansion into the US.

Joshua Kearney, who is leading the push by Vili\’s in the US, has had a similar experience.

“We have to tell Americans it\’s a savoury and not a sweet,”

Mr Kearney said.

“We tell them it\’s like a shepherd\’s pie, because there are a lot of Irish and British descendants in America, they understand that.”

Americans also take a different approach to tasting a meat pie.

“They always want to break it open and have a look at what\’s inside,” Mr Kearney said.

“They\’re worried about what\’s in it and ask you 10 times over exactly what\’s in it.

“You tell them it\’s beef and they ask: \’What cut of beef?\'”

Four\’N Twenty and Vili\’s will both be spreading the word later today in Los Angeles at one of the key “G\’day USA” Australia Week events, the Australian Made Food and Wine Trade Expo.

Their pies will be among 200 Australian food products showcased for 400 representatives from some of America\’s largest supermarkets and retailers.

The two previous G\’Day food expos have generated more than $A1 million in new sales in the US for Australian companies.

Mr Kearney, the 27-year-old CEO of his family\’s company, Aussie Imports, which has the US rights to distribute Vili\’s products in the US, has secured a key distribution deal with American food giant, US Foodservices.

Ms Kearney is also teaming up with Hollywood celebrity chef,

Wolfgang Puck, to offer Vili\’s pies in LA\’s premier indoor sports arena, Staples Centre, which is home to the LA Lakers and Clippers basketball teams and ice hockey team, the LA Kings.

Four\’N Twenty is also pursuing US sports stadium deals, as well as racetracks, convenience stores, airlines, universities and amusement parks.

Vili\’s and Four\’N Twenty will also tempt Americans with sausage rolls and pasties.

“We\’re bringing in the traditional meat pie, the beef and cheese, beef and BBQ, a pie with no trans-fat, sausage rolls, pasties and the party versions,” Beshara said.

Vili\’s and Four\’N Twenty also hosed down talk they were bitter rivals in the US.

“We\’re competitors in Australia, but we don\’t see it the same way in the US,” Kearney said.

“It\’s a huge market in the US with 300 million people.

“We could do business here happily and not even see each other.”

Bushfire threatens homes

by admin on March 1st, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

Victorian fire authorities say as well as razing a house at Tambo Crossing in Gippsland fires have destroyed fencing, cattle, sheep and haysheds.


The fire\’s crossed the Great Alpine Road and is now on both sides of the road at Tambo Crossing.

Residents of Tambo Crossing, Ward Crossing and Bruthen have been told to be ready for ember attacks and spot fires.

Meanwhile lighting storms have created new headaches for fire-fighters sparking new blazes across the state including the Dandenong Ranges.

Nine new fires were sparked between Marysville and Alexandra in north-east Victoria and crews have deployed a sky crane to attack the fires before they get out of hand.

A bushfire between the tiny Victorian towns of Tatong and Myrrhee, southeast of Benalla, has destroyed about 5,000 hectares, a Country Fire Authority (CFA) spokesman said.

The fire behaved erratically overnight, spotting well ahead of its main front.

About 220 fire-fighters with 30 trucks and five bulldozers protected property and cut containment lines.

Fire has burned within 200 metres of the Mt Buller Alpine Village, also in Victoria\’s northeast.

Meanwhile, residents of Clifton Creek, Wards Crossing, Waterholes, Fairhope and Bullumwaal, north of Bairnsdale and towns north of Bruthen including Tambo Crossing, Swifts Creek, Brookville, Cassilis, Doctors Flat, Ensay, Ensay South and Ensay North have been under ember attack overnight.

Property owners around Tambo Crossing today will begin counting their losses from stock and pasture burned as fire approached the tiny Gippsland town yesterday.

Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) Bairnsdale incident controller Graham Parkes said he expected fire conditions would ease with cool weather over the weekend.

But a new threat loomed early next week, with temperatures in the high 30s to low 40s and hot north winds predicted.

“We\’re expecting good conditions for the weekend, not too hot, but we are planning for an increase in fire activity coming about Tuesday or Wednesday.

” … It looks like it\’s going to be much hotter and much more difficult to manage this fire complex, so we have a lot of work to do,” Mr Parkes told the Nine Network\’s Today program.

“We have significant areas of containment lines that we have to construct by then, so we are running against the clock for that to happen.”

Canadian reinforcements

A team of nine specialist rappel fire-fighters from Canada would complete their final training drills today before heading to the Gippsland fires, Mr Parkes said.

They will join Victorian rappel crews in East Gippsland who will be dropped by helicopter into remote areas with hand tools to make the first strike on new fire threats.

The work of rappel crews includes being dropped into remote areas by helicopter to fight fires with hand tools. Rapelling or abseiling is descending on steep surfaces like cliffs by sliding down a rope.

An additional 43 Canadian firefighters have been deployed in various operational and support roles throughout the state, along with 50 NSW bushfire specialists.

The Canadians are expected to remain in the state until mid-February.

Western Australia

Fire crews throughout Western Australia\’s south are bracing for a potential horror weekend, with high temperatures and thunderstorms on the way.

Temperatures are expected to be in the 40s from Kalbarri about 600 kms north of Perth to Esperance, on the state\’s south coast.

Western Australia Environment Minister Tony McRae says the outlook means fire and emergency personnel, local volunteer brigades and Department of Environment and Conservation fire crews will be on immediate standby to respond to fires.

Mr McRae says the department has cancelled days off for staff and will maintain constant surveillance over the southwest forests.

He\’s also urging visitors to national parks to be especially careful and to heed bush fire bans that might apply over the hot spell.