Friday, September 14, 2012

Footballer of Lebanese origins can dish it out but can't take it

Rather what we expect of Middle-Eastern persons

Robbie Farah, the NRL star who has called for tougher laws to fight internet trolls, has apologised for a tweet he sent last year in which he said Prime Minister Julia Gillard should be given a noose for her birthday.

It has been revealed that, in September last year, on Ms Gillard's 50th birthday, Farah responded to a tweet from former league star, now Triple M radio host, Mark Geyer, asking "what would you buy the PM for her birthday? It's her 50th today" with the words: "a noose".

At the weekend, Farah was sent four tweets from a user who called himself Nathan Elliott Gray. In addition to insulting Farah's late mother, Sonia, one tweet referred to Farah himself as a "football playing f---".

The Wests Tigers captain then called on the Prime Minister and the police to put an end to vicious trolls online.

"I was very shocked and appalled to receive this vile comment on my Twitter account," Farah said in a statement on Monday.


A strange verdict

In many jurisdictions,  defence of others is equated with self-defense

THREE men who acted with "great courage" and selfless concern when intervening after they saw a machete-wielding man harassing a pair of teenagers have been jailed for beating him to death.

The men had been driving along the South Gippsland Highway at Cranbourne North in September 2009 when they saw 24-year-old Scott Shaw chasing and swinging a machete at two 15-year-olds.

When one occupant of their car cried out for Shaw to leave the children alone, Shaw repeatedly struck the car with his machete. It was at that point that Stephen McEwan, 40, got out of his car and was threatened by Shaw, before Shaw continued along the highway, intimidating passing motorists with the machete.

McEwan and his co-accused, James Robb, 53, and Normunds Dambitis, 43, chased after Shaw.

They eventually cornered him beside a parked bus and attacked him, with McEwan using a fishing rod and Dambitis a tree branch.

Shaw died in hospital six days later of brain injuries.

McEwan was found guilty of murder by a Victorian Supreme Court jury. Robb was convicted of manslaughter, while Dambitis was found guilty of defensive homicide.

The court heard that earlier that evening Shaw and a friend had set upon another two teenagers, and assaulted one of them, without any cause or provocation.

Justice Stephen Kaye said the men had initially intervened out of selfless concern and "acted with great courage".

"It is quite possible that, as a result of your intervention, you may well have saved those young persons from the serious consequences of violence at the hands of Scott Shaw and his friend," he said yesterday.

But while Shaw's conduct that night could be criticised, Justice Kaye said, it was no excuse for the men to have taken his life in a brutal attack,

McEwan was sentenced to 16½ years' jail with a non-parole period of 12½ years.  Robb was sentenced to eight years. He was ordered to serve a minimum 5½ years.  Dambitis was jailed for 11 years, with a minimum of eight.


A group of 40 asylum seekers plus AFP officers have landed on Nauru

AN Afghan asylum seeker says he doesn't mind risking his life in a boat journey to Australia and staying for years on Nauru, because all of his expenses will be paid for there.

As the first asylum seekers - between 40 and 50 Sri Lankans - land on Nauru this morning in a return to the Pacific solution the Government hopes will stop boats, the 17-year-old who is waiting with others in Indonesia for boats said he had "no problems" with the arrangement.

Medi said his family were in Pakistan waiting for him to find them better life in Australia so he will brave the danger.  "I'll for sure try it," he told ABC Radio from Java about his plans to pay people smugglers, despite the fact he had to be saved in two previous doomed voyages, one in which 200 people died.  "I need a life in peace."

Asked if he had heard of Australia's new policy to process asylum seekers in Nauru and PNG he said: "Yea". "That will be no problem for me because here I have to expend my own money but there all of my expenses are (sic) Australia.  "But still I will risk my life and go by boat and try again and again."

He said he wanted to be a good citizen in Australia.

The comments came as a team of Federal Police landed in Nauru with the first group of asylum seekers about 7.30am (AEST).  They will be taken by bus to the Topside offshore processing camp and stay in tents while permanent accommodation is fixed up.

The last food stocks were delivered to the tent city last night, and final building works finished.

The Government will operate a regular charter air service this month, with the centre expected to host 500 asylum seekers by the end of September.

The Government also announced yesterday it would accept 1000 refugees from Syria in 2012-13.  A recent jump in the humanitarian intake from 13,750 to 20,000 has allowed the Government to accept the refugees.

The federal government has said that reasonable steps would be taken to ensure the asylum seekers followed instructions.

"Section 198AD refers to the taking of people to a regional processing country - provides for certain actions that may be taken to effect that transfer, including placing the person on a vehicle or vessel and restraining them," she said.

"It also provides in doing these things an officer may use such force as is necessary or reasonable."

Also yesterday a boat carrying the fifth-largest group of people to arrive this year was intercepted off Western Australia.

All persons arriving by boat since August 13 run the risk of being taken to Nauru for processing or to another detention facility being reopened on Papua New Guinea's Manus Island.


Locomotives from five operators hook up to celebrate centenary of the start on the Trans-Australia Railway

TOMORROW will be a train-spotter's paradise: locomotives from five operators across Australia in their gleaming, separate liveries all hooked together for an historic rail trip.

It's 100 years tomorrow since the turning of the first sod, by Governor-General Lord Demnan, on the Trans-Australia Railway - the 1960km stretch of rail from Pt Augusta to Kalgoorlie that connected Australia's east and west coast, decades before bitumen roads.

A special train organised by the Australasian Railway Association and featuring the line-up of locos will leave Keswick passenger terminal at 8am tomorrow.

With a Pichi Richi steam train, it is due to arrive in Port Augusta at 12.30pm for a ceremony led by federal and state transport ministers, Anthony Albanese and Patrick Conlon.

The five-loco train will leave Port Augusta at 3.15pm for a return to Keswick at 8.20pm.

National Railway Museum executive officer Bob Sampson said yesterday train-enthusiast photographers and sound recorders would be out in force at crossings and cuttings along the way.

"We've got train-brains coming in from all states; nothing like this has ever happened before," he said.

One of the drivers will be Adelaide's Mark Mackiewicz in a new loco from Pacific National, which contracts to pull freight as well as the Ghan and Indian-Pacific passenger trains on the line.

"We often see train-spotters photographing trains but I'm tipping there'll be a lot more for this one," he said.

Construction on the Trans-Australia Line continued throughout World War I to be completed in October 1917. It includes what is still the world's longest stretch of straight track: 478km from Nurina to Ooldea.

"The bridging of our nation was one of the great contributors to our economic prosperity and continues to this day," said Geoff Smith managing director of STC, one of the operators providing a locomotive.

Other locos will come from Genesee & Wyoming, QR National, CFCLA and Pacific National.


Long waits in Canberra public hospitals 'frightening': study

A frightening number of patients are being forced to wait in emergency departments for more than 24 hours before being admitted to hospital, according to the author of a new study.

Professor Drew Richardson, of the ANU and Australian College for Emergency Medicine, said unacceptably large numbers of patients in the ACT, Northern Territory and South Australia were experiencing dangerously long stays in emergency departments.

ANU researchers contacted all accredited emergency departments in Australia on September 3 to find out how many patients were being treated and whether they were waiting for inpatient beds.

The results were not broken down by individual hospitals and the ACT's findings were grouped with South Australia and the Northern Territory. In South Australia and the territories, 46 out of 302 patients had been waiting in excess of 24 hours for admission to a ward.

"There's been an increase in the number of patients waiting for beds - quite a frightening number," Professor Richardson said. "I'd particularly like to emphasise the dangerously long ED times of over 24 hours."

Western Australia EDs had an average of 0.6 patients who had been waiting longer than 24 hours for admission and NSW hospitals averaged 1.3 per ED.

Changes are due to begin in The Canberra Hospital emergency department today, which include the opening of four additional beds and a new process which will involve patients being seen more quickly by doctors. Six more beds will also be opened in a medical ward which will allow quicker admission.

Professor Richardson said Western Australian hospitals had improved over the past three years after the introduction of a four-hour target for having patients treated and admitted or sent home.

There had also been improvements in Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania over the past year but things had deteriorated in the three bottom-ranked jurisdictions.

Professor Richardson said other states had made changes to relieve pressure.  "Other jurisdictions have gone with international best practice. They've reviewed how many beds they've got and how those beds are distributed," he said. "They've introduced protocols that moved people to the wards in a more timely fashion, they've got a proper winter bed management plan."

Professor Richardson said the territories and South Australia had failed to embrace the same changes.

In an election debate yesterday, Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said the government had increased funding for the emergency department by 146 per cent.

"The health system can't be fixed overnight, it takes a long time to address areas of pressure and the emergency department will not be fixed by necessarily investing only in the emergency department," she said. "One of the biggest pressures is how many [hospital] beds we have. We had 114 beds taken out of the system when we came to government and we had to replace them."

Opposition health spokesman Jeremy Hanson said the report provided further evidence of the "shocking state" of ACT emergency departments.  "It's clear that only a change of government will fix the state of Canberra's health system," Mr Hanson said.


1 comment:

Paul said...

We had a case up here recently where a tradesman heard screams while on a job, investigated, and found in a nearby park an indigenous teen holding down a white girl with his willy out ready to rape her. She would have been about ten. He rescued the girl and beat the living sh*t out of the little c***...and for his efforts got an 800 dollar fine and a good behaviour bond. I guess it could have been worse. No penalty for the kid as "penetration" hadn't occurred. I guess that makes it youthful exuberance.