Monday, April 25, 2016

Violent Moomba Festival gang riot that terrorised Melbourne involved African gang

We are told of the African involvement only because some of them are now wanted men.  But we are told little else.  The white guy could, for instance, be an Algerian Muslim but, if so, we will never hear of it

These are the faces of three young men police are searching for after a violent gang-related riot in Melbourne shut down parts of the city and terrorised the public.

Police have so far charged 24 people, some as young as 14, who were involved in the riot at Melbourne's Moomba festival on March 12.

But investigators are yet to identify these three men and are now appealing for public assistance to help identify them.

Two of the men are believed to have been involved in a 10-person fight on Swanston Street between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane at about 10.30pm, just prior to a larger brawl at City Square. The other young man is alleged to have stolen a woman's phone while she was waiting at Melbourne Central train station at about 12.10am.

A number of the teenagers already arrested over the brawls have claimed to be part of the notorious Sudanese Apex gang, but police said earlier this month many are normal young people who haven't ever had run ins with the authorities.

The majority of those charged so far have been under the age of 18. They have been accused of a range of offences including affray, riotous behaviour, robbery and theft.

Police have released descriptions and photos of the three men they wish to speak to after coming through CCTV and still images taken on the night.


Malcolm Turnbull says the government will not make any changes to negative gearing in the upcoming budget, as he declared Labor’s housing plan would “sledgehammer” the property market

Setting the scene for home ownership to be a key election battleground, the Prime Minister said Labor’s policy to remove negative gearing on existing homes from 2017 and halve the capital gains tax discount to 25 per cent would deliver a “reckless trifecta of lower home values, higher rents and less investment”.

The Coalition today ruled out any changes to negative gearing, more than two months after Labor announced its policy.

Labor today accused the Coalition of launching a fear campaign and challenged Treasurer Scott Morrison to outline a housing affordability policy.

Mr Turnbull did not reveal any modelling that helped the government reach its decision but said it was an issue of “common sense”.

“What Labor is proposing to do is to take one third of the buyers out of the market. If you take one third of the buyers out of the market, all other things being equal prices are going to fall,” he said.

“What Labor is proposing is a huge reckless shock to the market. This is not fine tuning, this is a big sledgehammer they’re taking to the property market.

“What Labor clearly wants is there to be less investment in Australia because they’re jacking up the tax on investment.”

Cabinet minister Michaelia Cash said the Coalition was “backing the Australian people” after the government received “overwhelming feedback” — particularly from real estate agents — that mums and dads did not want any changes that would devalue their homes.

“We have made a determination that based on where the housing market in Australia is at the moment, and it is unfortunate you’re looking at housing prices dropping, we will be making no changes to negative gearing,” Senator Cash told Sky News’s Australian Agenda program.

“We’re going to back the Australian people every step of the way and not impose a tax on houses.”

The Turnbull government is warning that a Labor election victory would drive up rents and reduce home values, impacting ordinary workers like nurses and teachers.

“When you talk to the average person in the street, if you take a dollar off their house — the asset that they have worked hard for, the asset that is going to see them into retirement — you take one dollar off that and seriously you are distorting, you are putting fear through the public,” Senator Cash said.

“But what is worse is the impact it is going to have on new housing stock. If you have got higher paid people competing with the mums, the dads, the nurses, the teachers et cetera for an investment property, how is the mum and the dad and the nurse and the teacher ever going to be able to buy that investment property?”

The Prime Minister had left room to retreat on a controversial change to negative gearing in the face of backbencher fears and a warning shot from Tony Abbott about the government’s economic direction.

The government was looking at ways to cap the use of negative gearing without harming average workers, including setting caps of $30,000 or $50,000 on the amounts they can claim on their investment properties.

The Labor proposal seeks to halt negative gearing altogether on existing properties in order to channel ­investment into new housing, while also increasing capital gains tax more generally.


Australia urged to tap into international pulses market

Pulses can be loosely defines as edible legumes, like chickpeas, mung beans, lentils and soy beans

There is huge market potential for Australian growers when it comes to supplying pulses to developing countries, according to an industry expert.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization this week held the 2016 International Conference on Pulses for Health, Nutrition and Sustainable Agriculture in Drylands, hosted in Marrakesh, Morocco.

At the conference was University of Western Australia agriculture director Professor Kadambot Siddique who was named Special Ambassador for Pulses 2016.

He said the demand for pulses in developing countries was outstripping the supply by figures into the millions of tonnes.

"We need to really boost production because the national market and regional markets are very high," he said.

"The availability of pulses per capita basis is declining because of the growing population."

Mr Siddique said the majority of pulse production, in terms of total volume, was undertaken in developing countries.

"Whereas in developed countries such as Canada and Australia there is sufficient quantities for export," he said.

"For example India produces about 18 million to 19 million tonnes of pulses per year, but they need another five million to six million tonne per year.

"As a result they are importing from countries such as Australia, Canada, Myanmar and so on," he said.

He said there was a similar demand coming from the Middle East and Europe.

Mr Siddique said in order for Australia to take advantage of the market, growers needed to work together to come up with a business strategy.

"I think we need a coordinated approach, and I'm very keen to see that happen," he said.

Pulses to offer strong price

Mr Siddique was confident pulses would fetch good prices per tonne, quoting recent sales of chickpeas in Australia.

"We had close to half-a-million tonne of chickpea, mostly in the north east [of Australia] although increasingly coming in to Western Australia and Southern Australia and we got a very good price," he said.

Mr Siddique said production of pulses took a dive in the late 1990s with some diseases wiped out many crops.

He said the disease risk could now be minimised thanks to large amounts of research, conducted largely by the Grains Research Development Corporation.

He said the pulses still posed higher disease risk than traditional crops, but the new, resistant varieties could minimise that.


Chewy, sweet and easy to make! How to bake the PERFECT Anzac biscuit - courtesy of the Country Women's Association

It doesn't get more Australian than an Anzac biscuit straight out of the oven, often accompanied with a cup of tea.  But over the years there has been much debate on how to make the perfect Anzac biccie, from the exact quantities to how long they need to be in the oven. 

So with Anzac day on Monday, Femail has tracked down the best - and easiest - Anzac day recipe, guaranteed to have you reaching for more.

Anzac biscuits were originally made during World War I and sent to soldiers serving overseas. The ingredients were chosen because they were freely available at the time and wouldn't spoil on the long journey to where the troops were stationed. Eggs, for example, were never part of the recipe because of the egg shortage during the war years. Over time the recipe evolved, but the main ingredients stayed the same. They are now baked all year round, but are more common in April around Anzac Day.

The recipe Femail is recommending comes straight from a member of the Country Women's Association (CWA), Joan Breznell from Shepperton. It doesn't include coconut and is simple to make.

This recipe is a classic version of the biscuit, sweet and easy to make - and eat. Baking at a low temperature allows the treat not to overcook and stay perfectly chewy even after cooling down.

It also stays true to the original Anzac recipe by using plain white sugar, not brown, getting the caramel flavour the biscuit is famous for simply from the golden syrup.

According to the Australian War Memorial, unlike most of the modern Anzac biscuits eaten today, and the recipe Femail has recommended, traditionally the food was 'very, very hard'.

The biccies were eaten as bread, or ground up and added to soldiers porridge, and called an Anzac 'wafer' or Anzac 'tile'. By the early 1930s the recipe had started to change, with the CWA publishing two recipes, one with coconut and one without, in a recipe book.

Personally we think we prefer the CWA's version, which is easier on the teeth and a nicer option for afternoon tea.


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