Thursday, May 17, 2018

Muslim values on display

A sexual predator who took part in one of Australia's worst gang rapes has refused to apologise for his heinous crimes, saying: 'Mate what am I sorry about? I've done my time.'

Belal Hajeid was part of the 'Skaf' gang of teenagers aged 15 to 19 who raped young women in parks and public toilets in the build-up to the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

In June 2002, he was sentenced for 10 offences in one of the gang's attacks on two female teenagers. He served 14 years in jail before being released on parole.

Now 36, Hajeid, of Lebanese descent, is working in maintenance for a council in Sydney's inner west. A Current Affair tracked him down and asked if he wanted to apologise to the woman whose life he destroyed - but he refused more than 12 times.

Unaware of the irony, he told reporter Steve Marshall: 'You know what you are, you're the lowest of all kind. You're lower than scum.'

Hajeid was ordered to pay his victim $100,000 compensation but talked this down to $6,000 in a tribunal by claiming he was too poor to pay.

Asked by A Current Affair if he could afford to pay more, he said 'of course.'

After the attacks, which were racially motivated, judge Michael Finnane described the offences as 'worse than murder'.

One of the victims was raped 25 times by 14 men at Bankstown, west Sydney during a six-hour ordeal in which the attackers subjected her to racist taunts.

Nine of the rapists were found guilty and sentenced to an unprecedented total of more than 240 years. Five of the rapists were never caught.


Retirees to underwrite Labor spending splurge

Bill Shorten’s tax hit on self-­funded retirees will underwrite a spending spree that ­includes cash handouts for low-­income earners, with the scrapping of franking credit refunds forming the biggest revenue raiser in Labor’s $30 billion short-term tax ­measures.

As Labor Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen prepared to outline today Labor’s plan to match the government’s early return to surplus and tackle the nation’s debt bomb, Scott Morrison accused the opposition of using older Australians to fund a spending splurge.

Treasury and parliamentary budget office ­estimates suggest that Labor’s tax hit from scrapping imputation credit refunds — a policy that will largely target self-managed super funds — will amount to a third of Labor’s new tax grab over the current forward estimates, to 2021-22.

The Treasury and PBO numbers, which have been disputed by the opposition, show the retiree tax raising $10.7bn over four-year budget forward estimates, working on a baseline year of 2018-19.

A policy to reverse the legis­lated company tax cuts for businesses with between $2 million and $50m in turnover, and not proceed with the remaining cuts proposed by the government, would raise $6.2bn in the four years to 2021-22, although Labor has not revealed yet what its election policy will be.

The re-imposition of the 2 per cent debt-and-deficit levy for high-income earners — taking the effective tax rate from 47 per cent to 49 per cent — would raise $5.25bn. And the winding back of negative gearing tax breaks for property investors would raise $1.35bn over the first four years. A total of $5.6bn would also be raised from superannuation contribution taxes and changes to family trusts.

Mr Morrison claimed that this meant retirees would be contributing more to Labor’s spending plan over the first three years of an ALP government than the reversal of company tax cuts, the winding back of negative gearing or tax rises for high-income earners.

Mr Bowen, in a National Press Club address today in response to last week’s federal budget, will pledge to return the budget to balance in the same year as the ­Coalition — 2019-20, a year ­earlier than originally forecast — while returning larger surpluses than the Coalition over the following years.

Labor’s costings would be overseen by an independent ­expert panel.

Mr Bowen will admit to preparing for a “backlash” over Labor’s tax policies, but say it is the right thing to do. “Australians probably didn’t know that you can get an income tax refund, even if you didn’t pay any income tax, and can get the tax paid by a company you own shares in repaid to you so that no net tax is paid. Removing a concession worth $6bn was, we knew, bound to cause a backlash,” he will say. “But we didn’t do these things for fun.”

Mr Bowen will add that Labor will go to the election achieving budget balance in the same year as the government while delivering bigger cumulative budget ­surpluses over the forward estimates, as well as “substantially” bigger ­surpluses over 10 years.

“The majority of savings raised from our revenue measures over the medium term will go towards budget repair and paying down debt,” Mr Bowen will say in his speech. What the eventual savings will be is yet unknown as Mr Bowen has not committed to whether Labor would repeal any or all of the legislated company tax cuts for small to medium-sized businesses. Over the medium term of 10 years, the government claims that Labor’s extra tax revenue would amount to $219bn. But Mr Morrison said extra taxes raised over the first three years by a Labor government would be $30bn.

“The biggest slug will be on retirees and pensioners, with more than $10bn coming from their plan to rip away their tax refunds they receive from their investments,” Mr Morrison said. “If elected Labor’s biggest tax in their first term will not be on multinationals and big banks, as they pretend, but on retirees and pensioners.”

Mr Bowen said Labor’s budget priorities would be to “deal with debt and deficit” and “fund policies we regard as important for economic growth”.

In an attack on the Turnbull government, Mr Bowen will declare that a surplus not reaching at least 1 per cent of GDP until 2026-27 would fail to “adequately protect Australia against the ­potential roiling seas of inter­national uncertainty”.

“The greatest failure of the government’s official ‘fiscal strategy’ has been the persistent watering down of its 2013 commitment to get to a surplus of at least 1 per cent of GDP by 2023-24,” Mr Bowen will say. “The government’s fiscal strategy was originally to reach a surplus of 1 per cent of GDP by 2023-24. This was then downgraded to a surplus of at least 1 per cent of GDP ‘as soon as possible’. Now, on the government’s current numbers, they still don’t get there for eight years, in 2026-27.”

Labor will also announce today that it will engage a “panel of ­expert and eminent Australians to review our costings and assure their efficacy”. The panel will include Bob Officer (a finance and accounting academic), Mike Keating (a former Department of ­Finance and Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary) and James Mackenzie (businessman and fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and Institute of Company Directors). They were engaged by Labor ahead of the 2016 election.

“The costings panel provide a final assessment and verification of our budget bottom line, over the forward estimates and the ­medium term,” Mr Bowen will say. “The panel will also assess the ­robustness of our costings and the assumptions that underpin them.”


Study finds Australian weather experts have been getting it wrong preparing for severe events

Yet they reckon that they can tell us what will happen in 100 year's time

From scientific research to the community response, a new study out today outlines just how at risk Australians have been — and will continue to be — because of the “bad job” experts have been doing predicting and preparing for extreme weather.

The research warns events can often come as a “double whammy” and stress now is the time to realise most major weather and climate catastrophes are caused not by one hazard at a time, but by a combination of processes.

In their paper published in Nature Climate Change, the scientists say we may be underestimating the risks and a better understanding of the combination of factors contributing to a weather event may improve projections.

The research comes as the country is hit with an autumnal big chill, with temperatures forecast to drop again this week.

Both Adelaide and Darwin recorded their coldest starts to the day this year on Monday morning, a shiver inducing 5.9C in the South Australian capital but an almost balmy 19.7C in the tropical Top End.

University of Adelaide lecturer in civil and environmental engineering, Dr Michael Leonard, said traditional planning and modelling had looked at one weather event occurring on its own rather than multiple factors.

Dr Leonard highlighted the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria and the Brisbane floods of 2011 as examples.

He said while the fires were brought about because of drought and a heatwave, they were driven by a high pressure system and resulted in hospitals being stretched, so there were multiple considerations.

“With the floods it was two storms in quick succession and there wasn’t enough appreciation for the quick succession of storms,” Dr Leonard said. “The problem is we need to look at multiple extreme things happening together.

“There’s something that catches us off guard and as a professional community, we could do it better and try come up with these possible combinations to avoid getting caught out like that.

“It’s very easy to invent a doomsday scenario and dismiss it because it’s not practical, saying: ‘I can’t plan for that, then what’s the point?’ so people are reluctant.”

Dr Leonard said in terms of being prepared for floods, planning could be better and systems updated because computing power to test the variability of storms had come a long way.

He also said the risks of hazards needed to be better understood.  “There’s really a need to revise our critical infrastructure and use computing power to come up with events that are possible to get a better idea of what can possibly go wrong,” he said. “I think we do a bad job with that.

“People have not done as good a job of ‘what’s the chance of some of these things happening together?’”

The international paper was led by the Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science in Switzerland with Australian researchers from the University of Adelaide and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes with the University of New South Wales.

They recommend ways climate scientists, engineers, social scientists, impact modellers and decision-makers can work closely together to understand complex weather events.

“Usually when we experience these catastrophic failures it’s not one thing that’s gone wrong, it’s a whole sequence of things that have gone wrong and we need to guard against that,” Dr Leonard said.

“But there's also lots of practical challenges if we have multiple extremes happening together. “When hazards impact communities we’ll hear, ‘the one that caught us by surprise’ and ‘we didn’t see it coming’ or ‘this wasn’t like the ones we’ve seen before’.

“We need to appreciate the variability in conditions we can experience and therefore avoid false complacency or false security — last time there was a fire it didn’t come near us, we got out with plenty of time — the next time there’s an alert it can diminish the implications of it.”


Hardline feminist Clementine Ford's Lifeline speech is CANCELLED after thousands demanded the charity remove her as keynote speaker for tweeting 'all men must die'

Clemmie is a troubled soul.  On her own admission she had a mental health crisis recently. Definitely not someone to be advising others

Suicide prevention group Lifeline has cancelled an event featuring hardline feminist Clementine Ford after a petition against her appearance attracted almost 14,000 signatures.

A petition, set up last month, argued her previous tweets saying 'kill all men' and 'all men must die' made her unsuitable to address the 'Recognise, Respond, Refer' event in Melbourne on May 29.

A Lifeline spokesman Alan Woodward said the event, which was to be moderated by former Ten newsreader and Australian #MeToo campaigner Tracey Spicer, was cancelled because they regarded it as 'divisive'.

'The decision was made following feedback we had received and our assessment the event had drawn strong views,' he told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday morning. 'We felt we couldn't proceed in the spirit of open discussion as intended.'

Mr Woodward said the 'nature of the views expressed' in the petition had made the forum untenable, but he stressed the cancellation was not related to Ms Ford's previous tweets.

'Lifeline does not want to do anything that could create division in the community,' he said.

'It was more the response within the wider community that led us to cancel the event, not any views expressed by the speaker.'

Adam Smith's campaign against Ms Ford's appearance at the Lifeline event had amassed 13,917 signatures by Tuesday morning, three weeks after his petition went live.

'It is extremely important that they remain distant from the hateful comments previously made very loudly and consistently by Ms Ford,' it said.

'She MUST be removed from the speaking lineup for the protection of the very people you are funded to support.'

Petition author Adam Smith had included screen shots of the Fairfax Media columnist's inflammatory tweets and argued she was synonymous with the hashtag, '#killallmen'.

'Lifeline is a service that is crucial to people experiencing high levels of emotional distress, many of them suicidal over bullying experiences,' he said.

In October 2015, Clementine Ford tweeted 'kill all men' after a woman suggested on Twitter her 'blind hatred of males' made it hypocritical of her to be an advocate of equal rights.

One woman questioned how Lifeline could give her a platform, considering many men with mental health problems relied on the service.

'It's hard enough for men to call a helpline to talk about how they are feeling,' she said on the Facebook page of former Labor leader Mark Latham. 'Now I feel men may not utilise this important lifeline for them.'

Last month, Lifeline said it did not necessarily agree with Clementine Ford's views on men. 'It is common place for a range of views and perspectives to occur in a discussion panel,' it told Daily Mail Australia.  'Lifeline does not necessarily agree with any particular panel member or commentator's views.'

Clementine Ford said in April she had 'addressed the intention behind these statements numerous times'.

'If we lived in a world where women were murdering men en masse and men genuinely had reason to fear they might be murdered in their beds by a gang of marauding feminists, I would agree with your concern,' she told Daily Mail Australia on Monday.

'As it is is, we live in a world where it's women who are being murdered by men at a minimum rate of one a week in this country, not to mention the countless circumstances of sexual violence, physical harassment and ongoing domestic violence perpetrated against women.'

The author of 'Fight Like A Girl' has also previously tweeted 'I bathe in male tears' and last year wrote 'Have you killed any men today? And if not, why not?' in a book signed for a fan.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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