Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Army fined for cadet's peanut allergy death

This is pretty ridiculous. Its undoubted outcome will be to remove peanuts from all military rations and all foods sold to children. But peanuts and peanut butter are favourite foods for kids. Why should one kid with a problem be allowed to deprive all kids of something? I would have called the death a "death by misadventure". The kid surely knew he had an allergy and should have been more careful. And the parents should have made enquiries about what rations he would be served

THE Australian Defence Force has been fined more than $210,000 over the death of a teenage cadet who had an allergic reaction to peanuts in a ration pack meal. Scotch College student Nathan Francis, 13, died after suffering a severe allergic reaction to peanuts in his meal on March 30, 2007. The Melbourne boy was taking part in a Scotch College army cadet unit exercise in the Wombat State Forest in western Victoria.

Comcare, the Commonwealth occupational health and safety authority, took action in the Federal Court against the Australian Defence Force, lodging a writ last June. Justice Tony North said the case was "every parent's worst nightmare".

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Muslim values at work -- in Australia

A man used a butcher's knife to stab his stepdaughter up to 20 times because he believed she was a "slut" who was interfering in his marriage, a court has heard. Khaled Ibrahim Mohamed Ellaimouny, 38, was today jailed for 12 years for the attempted murder of his stepdaughter Amanda Lee Smith, who was 24 when her stepfather stabbed her in the chest, arms, legs and face as she sat on the lounge of the family's Shailer Park home in January 2007.

In the Supreme Court in Brisbane, Crown prosecutor Philip McCarthy said Ellaimouny, an Egyptian national who married Ms Smith's mother after meeting her online, moved in to the Smith family home in January 2006. Mr McCarthy said Ellaimouny, who worked as a chef at a restaurant in the Logan area, got along well with his stepdaughter until late 2006 when he discovered semi-nude photos of her and her boyfriend on a family computer and began referring to her during arguments with Ms Smith's mother as "the slut daughter."

Following marital troubles in late 2006, Ellaimouny moved out of the home. He met with his wife at a local tavern on January 14 and told her to choose between him and her daughter, whom he claimed was interfering in their marriage. He later turned up at the family home where during an argument he spat in Ms Smith's face and slapped her before she and her mother locked him out of the house. However Ellaimouny got in through a side door, grabbed a butcher's knife with a 21cm-long blade from the kitchen and screamed "Now I'm going to kill the bitch" before stabbing and slashing Ms Smith's chest and arms, Mr McCarthy said. "You've ruined my f---ing life; I want you to die," Ellaimouny reportedly said.

Friends of Ms Smith arrived at the house as Ellaimouny was leaving, covered in a blood and carrying the bloodied knife. He allegedly told them: "I stabbed the slut. I wanted to kill her, but unfortunately she's still breathing."

Ms Smith was taken to hospital where she was treated for 20 wounds, including a severed radial artery of her right arm, severed nerves and a 4cm gash into her lung cavity.

Mr McCarthy said Ellaimouny told his wife after the incident: "I stabbed her because she's a f---ing slut, she deserved that. All I wanted to do ... just get rid of her." On the first day of his trial today, Ellaimouny pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted murder and a charge of attempting to pervert the course of justice, which related to him sending a letter from jail encouraging his wife to convince Ms Smith not to proceed with charges against him.

Justice John Byrne said the attack upon Ms Smith was "frenzied and sustained" and would have been "a terrifying experience for her." "She is fortunate to have survived," he said. He sentenced Ellaimouny to 12 years behind bars and declared him a serious violent offender, which means he must serve 80 per cent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. He will be deported to Egypt upon his release.

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Up to 10,000 Asian refugees expected to head to Australia

"Asia" apparently includes the Middle East these days. More of those lovely Muslims to hate us while sponging off us

A MASSIVE influx of up to 10,000 asylum seekers is expected to head to Australia, Indonesian authorities have warned.

About 1500 asylum seekers have already arrived in Indonesia from Malaysia by boat this year and registered for refugee status, while the same number again are believed to have arrived and not registered, Fairfax newspapers report.

Malaysia is used as a staging point to obtain tourist visas before refugees seek passage to Australia via Indonesia. The refugees are believed to include people from Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Burma and Iraq.

An Australian immigration enforcement official says the high volumes of people present a similar situation to the thousands who began arriving in the late 1990s.

With Australian financial and technical support, the Indonesian government will announce on Wednesday a strike team of 12 dedicated police to combat human trafficking. But the sheer number of asylum seekers from Malaysia will put pressure on the new security measures.

Coordinator of the Malaysian immigration support group Tenaganita, Aegile Fernandez agreed that up to 10,000 asylum seekers in Malaysia were planning to come to Australia. "I would put the blame on these agencies that have been promising Australia as the destination,'' she said.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has 49,000 registered refugees and asylum seekers in its records in Malaysia and estimates there are 45,000 unregistered illegal immigrants.

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Queensland teachers can fail literacy, numeracy test

Talk about the blind leading the blind! It's bad enough that some kids go right through primary school without learning to read and write but having teachers that bad is really the end of the road. It shows how desperate the government is to find people willing to stand up in front of an undisciplined mob day after day

Graduate teachers will be allowed to repeatedly fail a new test of their literacy and numeracy skills and still be let loose in Queensland classrooms. The State Government will not cap the number of times the test can be taken and will register graduates as teachers as long as they eventually pass. The landmark new test, recommended by education expert Geoff Masters, is being introduced to improve the low standards of Queensland students.

Premier Anna Bligh said it was fair to allow graduates to sit the test repeatedly because they may be sick [Sheet! No matter how sick I am I can still spell!] or have other excuses for their poor showing. "I don't anticipate there would be any limit on the number of times someone can sit, as long as they can ultimately meet the standard," Ms Bligh said. "I think we understand that there are sometimes reasons why people don't do well in tests. They might know the information but might not be well that day. "You would still want to give them the opportunity to demonstrate that, but it wouldn't be the same test."

The Government is yet to figure out what would constitute a pass mark for the tests [It will undoubtedly be low], which will judge proficiency in literacy, numeracy and science. However, a trial will be conducted next year before the official introduction of testing for primary school teaching graduates at the end of 2011 at the earliest. Tests for high-school teaching graduates will be introduced at a later date.

Current teachers will avoid the tests but those transferring from interstate will have to sit the exam before they can practise in Queensland. The Queensland College of Teachers will be responsible for developing and administering the tests.

In his report, Professor Masters found there had been an "absolute decline" in literacy and numeracy between 2004 and 2007. Meanwhile, teachers are ramping up their campaign for higher pay, with a vote today likely to call for further industrial action. The Government has offered teachers a 12.5 per cent pay increase over three years. However, the union has insisted the amount was unacceptable. [The government should fire the lot of them and bring in local retired people to teach. They would know a lot more than the current crop of teachers]

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