Saturday, March 06, 2021

I know how Melissa Caddick died

To a student of Sherlock Holmes it is elementary. She was a smart woman so would have had a Plan B arranged for when her pyramid scheme came unstuck.

And a good plan B would have involved a secret accomplice who could hide her until the heat was off. And a substantial sum of cash would have been salted away somewhere to ease all needed transactions.

But that cash tempted the accompolice and he murdered her to get unfettered access to it. And because the whole thing was done in secret, there is unlikely ever to be any evidence of what happened

Police divers were preparing to search for the remains of Melissa Caddick off the coast of Sydney's eastern suburbs before dangerous conditions on Wednesday afternoon postponed the operation.

Investigations returned to the area near Ms Caddick's Dover Heights home a day after NSW Police confirmed remains found at Mollymook Beach on the NSW South Coast last Friday did not belong to Ms Caddick.

Police on Wednesday advised those remains belonged to a 37-year-old man from Ingleburn who was reported missing last month. He was last seen at Kiama on February 1.

The discovery was one of five in recent weeks to be reported to police, with only the first on February 21 – an Asics running shoe with a decomposed foot inside – confirmed to be that of the 49-year-old businesswoman.

That discovery came 400km south of her Sydney home at Bournda Beach.

A search in waters off South Head in Sydney is planned to take place on Thursday if conditions ease.

Police struggling to put together Caddick's last movements
One of the top police officers involved in the case says if Ms Caddick had died in Sydney and entered the water there, it was unlikely her body had travelled that far south.

Ms Caddick vanished the day after corporate watchdog ASIC executed a search warrant at her luxury home on November 11.

If her body had travelled that far, Superintendent Joe McNulty, Commander of the NSW Marine Command, told The Daily Telegraph the condition of her foot meant it appeared the remains hadn't been in the water for three months, adding further confusion to whether she had died by suicide or foul play was involved.

Assistant Commissioner Michael Willing said it was a "distinct possibility" Ms Caddick was on the run before her death.


Italy and France threaten more vaccine bans following Australia blockade

This is a classic dog-in-the-manger act. The Europeans are not using this stuff themselves but want to bar it to others. So much for the high principles they are always proclaiming.

Fortunately the Morrison government acted with excellent foresight and has set up a manufacturing base at the CSL facility in Melbourne which will very soon start delivering millions of home-grown doses to us. No wonder the Australian authorities are relaxed about these unprincipled bans

Italy has vowed to reject more vaccine exports and France has threatened to join the blockade, as European officials scramble to justify the decision to ban a shipment of 250,000 doses to Australia.

Trade Minister Dan Tehan discussed the standoff with his Brussels counterpart Valdis Dombrovskis on Friday night but the European Commission has no plans to step back from its dispute with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

The decision was the first time special powers have been used to stop coronavirus vaccines manufactured in Europe from being sent abroad. The shipment was banned because the drug giant has not provided the bloc with as many vials as expected.

But supply is just one problem with Europe’s sluggish rollout; logistics stumbles and hesitancy caused by confused political messaging are also contributing.

Figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control show the European Union’s 27 member countries have been given 8.68 million doses of the AstraZeneca jab but administered just 3.15 million, or 36 per cent.

France has used just 24 per cent of its available stock and Italy only 21 per cent – some of the lowest rates in the EU.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn criticised the Australia ban on Friday, as did British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“With a measure like that, in the short term there’s a win, but we have to be careful that it doesn’t cause us problems in the medium term by disrupting the supply chains for vaccines and everything that’s needed in terms of precursors,” Spahn said.

A spokesman for Johnson said the British Prime Minister believed the global recovery from the pandemic relied on international collaboration, not conflict. “We are all dependent on global supply chains and putting in place restrictions endangers global efforts to fight the virus,” he said.

The Morrison government has claimed the export ban will not affect its vaccine rollout but is still working behind the scenes to have the 250,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine delivered.

Health Minister Greg Hunt told reporters that the government had asked the European Commission to review the decision but officials in Brussels on Friday could not confirm whether the request had been received or if would be considered.

Italy has so far received 1.5 million doses of the AstraZeenca jab but handed out just 322,000 doses.

French Health Minister Olivier Véran said his government could follow Italy’s approach: “I understand [the Italian position]. We could do the same thing,” Véran told BFM TV.

France has been given 1.1 million AstraZeneca doses but administered only 275,000.


Australian Senator slams US President Joe Biden's move to let transgender women play female sport and warns it must not happen Down Under if we want safe and fair competition

A Liberal Party senator has criticised US President Joe Biden for making it easier for transgender women to play female sport - and warned against a similar push in Australia.

On his first day in office President Biden signed an executive order to combat gender identity discrimination and last week the US House of Representatives passed the Equality Act to increase protections for transgender people.

But critics say the president's policies will allow transgender women who were born male to enter protected spaces such as women's shelters and women's sporting competitions.

Senator Claire Chandler has been campaigning to keep transgender athletes out of women's sport in Australia, fearing it makes competition unfair and unsafe because they are often bigger and stronger than biological females.

She told Daily Mail Australia the Biden administration showed a 'lack of regard for women and girls in sport' and warned against any move to copy his approach Down Under.

'If we want women and girls to continue to participate and succeed in sports, Australia should take a clear stance that women's sport is for females,' she said.

'Everyone should be encouraged and welcomed to play sport, but they should do so within their own sex category.

'Too many people in leadership positions around the world are prepared to sacrifice fairness and safety in women's sport to win favour with activists and trans lobby groups,' she added.

President Biden also announced he was rescinding support given under the Trump administration for a lawsuit aimed at preventing transgender athletes from competing in girls' high school sports.

The lawsuit was filed by Connecticut sprinters Alanna Smith, Selina Soule and Chelsea Mitchell who said they were robbed of medals by two formerly male competitors.

Daily Mail Editor-at-large Piers Morgan described allowing transgender people to play women's sport as 'utter madness' that is creating a 'new inequality and a new discrimination' against biological women.

In October, World Rugby banned transgender players from the female game after research found they increase the risk of injuries by at least 20 per cent.

The previous month Tennis Australia, Rugby Australia and national federations for Australian Rules football, hockey, netball, water polo, Touch Football and university sports issued guidelines governing inclusion at grass-roots and community level.

Rugby Australia requires trans athletes to have a medical specialist complete a consent form that specifies that their 'physical development, skill level and experience are appropriate' for the full-contact sport.

Tennis Australia takes a much lighter touch, discouraging officials from questioning athletes about their transitioning or requesting medical examinations.

In 2019, Sport Australia issued pro-trans guidelines recommending that 16,000 sport clubs across the nation catagorise sport based on 'gender identity' not biological sex, meaning a person can chose whether to play men's or women's sport.

Senator Chandler said the guidelines 'prioritise transgender inclusion over the health and safety of women'.

'They pressure administrators into running sport on the basis of self-declared gender identity instead of biological sex. This undermines the purpose of women's sport – to provide fair and safe competition for females, acknowledging that biological males have inherent advantages over females on the field,' she told Daily Mail Australia.

'This is particularly concerning in Australia as many of our popular codes are contact sports like rugby and AFL, where there is a clear and obvious injury risk if women are forced to play against biological males.'

Senator Chandler previously told Daily Mail Australia that women are scared to speak out in case they are branded transphobic.

'I think it's disturbing that in the space of a few years we've gone from everybody accepting that women's sport is for women to a situation where women are expected to accept that there might be biological males playing against them,' she said.

'And women are also expected to shut up about it if that concerns them and that is incredibly worrying to me.'

The Tasmanian senator said she has received 'hundreds and hundreds' of emails and phone calls from constituents concerned that women's sport will be undermined.

The inclusion of transgender athletes in elite women's sport has been intensely disputed in recent years.

Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, who transitioned in her 30s, sparked controversy when she won a gold medal for New Zealand in women's events at the Pacific Games in Samoa in July 2019.

She then won two gold medals at the Roma World Cup in January 2020.

Former Australian Olympic middle-distance runner Tamsyn Lewis spoke out on the issue last year, telling Sydney radio station 2GB: 'There's been a lot of people who are scared to come out and say anything because of political correctness.

'You don't want to get to the point where we haven't tackled this issue head on and in a respectful manner, that in 20 years time we're seeing our kids grow up and compete in sports that they just actually can't win.'

On the other hand, trans rights groups have said an outright ban is not the way to go.

When World Rugby considered its ban, LGBTQ athletic advocacy group Athlete Ally said: 'We urge the World Rugby Working Group to draw from already existing inclusion policies developed by medical experts and designed to promote safety and fairness for all, such as the International Olympic Committee guidelines which have been in place for years without issue.

'Trans women play sports for the same reason cisgender women do: for the love of the game, and the love of the lifelong community it brings. No one should be denied the lifesaving power of sport.'

In 2018 Australian women's handball player Hannah Mouncey, a trans woman who is 1.88metres tall and weighs 100kg, withdrew her nomination from the draft for the Australian Football League's professional women's competition.

She said the toll of trying to meet the AFL's standards to had proved 'too great'.

The AFL released its Gender Diversity Policy demanded that players can prove their testosterone levels have been maintained below a threshold for at least two years.

If that standard is met, players who wish to enter the draft have to submit further data regarding their height, weight and other measures of aerobic capacity.

President Biden's Executive Order 13988, signed on January 20, says: 'Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.'

The White House said this would include having transgender women play on female teams.

The protections included in the US Equality Act would extend to employment, housing, loan applications, education, public accommodations and other areas.

The bill passed the House on February 25 by a vote of 224-206 with three Republicans joining Democrats in voting yes.


ABC reporters are told not to call child sex abusers 'paedophiles' so the predators don't feel 'marginalised'

Tasmanian group told ABC word 'paedophile' could drive abusers underground

ABC staff have been angered by a warning in an internal memo against using the word paedophile to describe a child sex predator.

The email sent by a senior producer told staff in the Tasmanian bureau to avoid the term paedophile even in cases where offenders had a long history of abusing children to avoid 'marginalising' anyone.

The justification used was advice from Tasmania's Sexual Assault Support Service (SASS), which told an ABC reporter that use of the word could stop abusers seeking treatment therefore making it more likely they'd continue offending.

The context for the advice from SASS was the death of alleged paedophile James Griffin, who committed suicide in October 2019 before he faced court on multiple child sex abuse charges, The Weekend Australian reported.

James 'Jim' Geoffrey Griffin, 69, spent almost three decades grooming and abusing his young victims, and worked at the Launceston General Hospital children's ward from 2001.

Griffin was finally charged with more than a dozen sexual offences against children as young as 11 in October last year.

Two weeks later Griffin died in hospital after taking a cocktail of dangerous drugs. A coroner found his suicide was motivated by the charges he was facing.

'We should avoid it, unless we know he had a clinical diagnosis of paedophilia and instead use "serial sexual offender", "predator", or a "sexual abuser of children and young people",' the email read.

It went on to say: 'SASS says another consideration is from their point of view, there are a lot of paedophiles / people with paedophilia who do not act on those impulses, especially if they reach out for and receive professional psychological help.

'Describing (perhaps technically inaccurately) Griffin as a paedophile could ­discourage those people from seeking help, making it more ­likely that they go on to abuse children.'

Reporting of child sex abuses is common and many would argue, important.

In October 2020, police launched Operation Arkstone, rescuing 46 Australian children - including 16 from a child care centre - in one of the biggest alleged child sex abuse cases in the country's history.

Some ABC staff were believed to be angered that the support group's views appeared to supersede accurate reporting and some also vowed to defy the guidelines.

ABC management denied there had been an official change in the use of language around reporting sexual abuse of minors to the publication.

Daily Mail Australia has contacted several organisations that support children, sexual assault survivors and report sexual abuse for comment, as well as the ABC.




No comments: