Friday, November 11, 2016
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull calls to congratulate US President-elect Donald Trump
I think the election of Trump is likely to put some spine into Turnbull. He has already started to move Rightwards and the Trump victory legitimates that. It shows that Rightist positions can be popular
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has described US President-elect Donald Trump as a deal maker and pragmatist, welcoming early discussions on the Asia-Pacific region, trade and the fight against Islamic State.
Mr Turnbull phoned the Republican businessman from Parliament House on Thursday morning, with the 15-minute discussion coming amid calls from a number of world leaders congratulating Mr Trump after his shock victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The two discussed close historic ties between Australia and the US, agreeing to continue to build on the key alliance after Mr Trump takes office on January 20.
"It was a very warm discussion," Mr Turnbull said. "I suppose as both being businessmen who found our way into politics, somewhat later in life, we come to the problems of our own nations and indeed world problems with a pragmatic approach.
"Mr Trump is a deal maker. He is a businessman, a deal maker and he will, I have no doubt, view the world in a very practical and pragmatic way."
Mr Turnbull said the phone call was constructive, with the service of Australian men and women alongside the US in overseas conflicts discussed and with Mr Trump acknowledging the enormous importance of Australia fighting in every major conflict since World War I.
Security and trade in the Asia-Pacific region was also discussed. The pair agreed that a continued US presence in the region was important to international security, and spoke about the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.
The TPP deal is probably dead, despite support from President Barack Obama and the Australian government.
"Most importantly, we absolutely agreed on the vital importance of our strong alliance," Mr Turnbull said.
"Mr Trump recognises the solidarity that Australia has shown the United States and the United States has shown Australia over 98 years, during which we have fought side-by-side with the United States in every major conflict."
Mr Turnbull and Mr Trump noted the shared role of Australia and the US in the fight against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and Mr Trump said he would welcome more talks about the fight against international terrorism and other issues in the relationship.
Donald Trump's victory is proof people have had enough of the "chardonnay set", Pauline Hanson says
The One Nation leader, who rode her own populist wave back to Canberra in the July federal election, says disenchanted voters want their voices to be heard.
"People around the world are saying 'we've had enough with the major political parties, with the establishment, with the elites, with the chardonnay set'," she told Sky News.
Conservative Liberal senator Cory Bernardi was also gleeful after Mr Trump's elevation to president elect. "What a wonderful morning," he tweeted.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale said he respected the outcome of the US election but didn't agree with it. He told ABC Radio he doesn't regret calling Mr Trump a "repulsive creep".
Labor defence spokesman Richard Marles said the federal government needed to use every avenue in its diplomatic arsenal to talk to the presidential transition team about Australia's issues in the region. "(A US) presence in east Asia is important," he told Sky News.
Senator Bernardi, who is on a parliamentary secondment to the United Nations in New York, is expecting big things from a new president who will have Republican control of congress.
"I think the best days of the United States are ahead of it if the Trump campaign is allowed to keep its promises," he said.
Senator Hanson said Australian politicians needed to heed the message of Trump's victory and Brexit, that people want their own backyards looked after first.
"I think a lot of them have lost touch with the grassroots Australians and the rural areas," Senator Hanson told the Seven Network.
Government Facebook ads tell migrant Australians to deter family members from arriving illegally
What a lot of whining! The government does its best to target its messages to the right people but no targeting is perfect
Second and third-generation Australians say they are shocked to have been targeted by Federal Government Facebook advertisements encouraging them to tell their relatives not to come to Australia illegally.
"Obviously they're targeting me for some particular reason even though I live in Australia, I've been born in Australia, I don't know anyone who's looking to arrive in Australia by boat," said Johnny Lieu, whose parents migrated from Vietnam decades ago.
"So I'm not really sure what the point is of these advertisements except to make me feel uneasy."
Mr Lieu said he was surprised when he saw the taxpayer-funded, Australian Border Force advertisement in Vietnamese which translates to 'Never, no way — Australia will not loosen its tough border rules'.
He said he had listed Vietnamese as a language he speaks on Facebook.
"It was definitely a bit shocking and surprising to say the least, I guess I know who those advertisements are targeted to and to see them targeted at me, I was a little taken aback," he said.
"I'm surprised that the Australian Government would see me in their sights."
Aitak Salempour and her family arrived from Iran when she was one-year-old, and she is an Australian citizen.
She was targeted by the advertisements in Farsi. "Maybe because I've put [on Facebook] my place of birth which is in Iran ... I have no idea why they would have chosen me who is already an Australian citizen living here," she said. "I was confused and it was confronting, they've missed their target completely.
"I would not send that message on, I'm not the right kind of person."
Facebook allows users to target advertisements based on a number of factors including interests, behaviours, connections, and languages.
The Government advertisements are a part of an Operation Sovereign Borders campaign that appears in a number of languages including Bengali, Burmese, Hindi, and Tamil.
"The campaign is targeted at source and transit countries for people smuggling activity, as well as diaspora communities in Australia," an Immigration and Border Protection Department spokesman said.
The department said the ads were designed to ensure different ethnic communities were informed about Australia's border protection policies which aim to stop illegal maritime arrivals, and to encourage them to share the information with people offshore.
"Evaluation research consistently shows that family and friends are the primary information source for people in Australia and overseas,"the spokesman said.
But Ms Salempour said she was the wrong audience. "If my relatives were to come here they wouldn't be applying as a refugee, they'd be applying as a skilled migrant or something," Ms Salempour said.
The Federal Government is due to introduce legislation this week that bans refugees and asylum seekers who have tried to reach Australia by boat from mid-July 2013 from ever coming here.
Queensland police officer who pulled gun on couple in outback awaits magistrate's ruling
A Brisbane magistrate has reserved his decision in the case of a police officer who pulled a gun on a couple for speeding along an outback Queensland highway in May last year.
Senior Constable Stephen Flanagan was charged with assault and deprivation of liberty after the couple lodged a complaint over the ordeal.
Flanagan's own dash-cam recorded most of the incident, where he is seen honking at the driver, before getting out of the car and pointing his pistol while swearing at the couple.
He is then filmed handcuffing the driver on the side of the highway, before issuing him with a speeding ticket.
The summary trial began yesterday and heard from three witnesses including Flanagan, driver Lee Povey and his partner Anna Lisa Cruse.
'Put you ******* hands in the air'
Mr Povey told the court he was confused at why a police car was following him without any lights and sirens.
He said when he eventually pulled over, he saw the police officer walking towards his vehicle window pointing a pistol and swearing.
"First up, he said, 'Put your ******* hands up in the air,'" Mr Povey said.
Mr Povey said he could feel the gun being pushed into his back while he was being handcuffed outside the car, a claim Flanagan told the court was unlikely.
Several videos of the incident were tendered to the court, including Flanagan's dash-cam and a recording Ms Cruse made on her smartphone.
Officer not a rogue lunatic: defence
In his final submissions, Flanagan's defence lawyer Stephen Zillman said the officer thought the car was stolen and the driver may have had a firearm, so he acted quickly.
"From what we've seen and heard on video, it's clear, he was very, very, highly stressed," he said. "It's not the case of some rogue lunatic police officer simply pulling pistols out, pulling them at someone who's been speeding."
The matter has been adjourned until December 7 and Flanagan's bail has been extended.
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