Five charged over fatal SA crash

Five teenagers have been charged with manslaughter over a fatal hit-and-run crash in Adelaide.

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The five were all arrested and charged on Monday after the Sunday morning crash which killed Lucy Paveley at suburban Parafield.

The 40-year-old died when an allegedly stolen 4WD slammed into her car at an intersection on Main North Road.

Four boys, two aged 15, one aged 14 and one aged 13 will all appear in the Adelaide Youth Court on Tuesday.

An 18-year-old man will appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court.

It was alleged by police that two of the teenagers in the 4WD fled the scene of the crash and were picked up by another allegedly stolen car.

Police said a task force set up to investigate the crash was continuing its inquiries and further charges were likely.

An independent Commissioner’s Inquiry had also been established to investigate police involvement in the incident, with a patrol engaged in a brief pursuit of the second car before the crash.

The case is tragically similar to one in Adelaide less than a year ago when 48-year-old Nicole Tucker was killed when two youths in a stolen ute crashed into her car at high-speed, with the driver jailed for just 18 months.

The community outrage over Ms Tucker’s death promoted South Australian Attorney General John Rau to introduce legislation to allow for tougher sentences for youths in such cases.

Mr Rau described Sunday’s incident as “grotesquely unacceptable” and said he would ensure that if the bill passed parliament it would apply in the current case should convictions be secured.

“The public expect these people to be dealt with in a serious way,” he said

Abbott warns of implications of ‘de-gendering’ marriage as Qantas endorses Yes campaign

Senior Liberals are publicly venting differences on the same-sex marriage debate as the battle lines are drawn ahead of the government’s planned postal survey.

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The former Prime Minister Tony Abbott took to Sydney radio station 2GB on Monday to further link the debate to other social issues.

“This isn’t just about marriage. Sure, marriage is the immediate focus but there are lots and lots of implications here and we’ve got to think them through before we take this big leap into what I think is the dark,” he said.

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“How, for instance, can we legitimately say no to gender fluidity programs like so-called Safe Schools if we’ve de-gendered marriage? If we’ve officially sanctioned de-gendering marriage, it’s very hard not to see de-gendering come in in so many other areas as well.”

He was responding to claims made by the Attorney-General on Sunday that he was trying to trick the Australian public.

“What I am not going to do is be tricked by Tony Abbott and others who are trying to trying to turn a debate about one issue, that is about whether same-sex couples should be able to marry, into a broader debate about religious freedom because that is not what this is about,” Senator Brandis told Sky News.

Two junior Liberal Ministers have also joined the tit-for-tat.

Liberal Senator Zed Seselja and Lower House MP Angus Hume, both part of the Liberals’ conservative faction, back Mr Abbott’s position.

“It does impact upon religious freedom, it does impact upon parental rights and it does impact on freedom of speech,” Senator Seselja told Sky News.

“I respectfully disagree with George Brandis on this issue, if you look around the world, issues of religious freedom has flowed when we’ve seen a change to the definition of marriage.”

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce with Bill Shorten has lent his support to the ‘yes’ campaign. AAP

Labor blasts government as Qantas endorses ‘yes’ campaign

The Opposition Leader told reporters in Sydney the government was desperately out of touch.

“This statistical survey changes nothing about your ability go to church or religious freedom, let’s be straight about that, it is a distraction,” he said.

“I just say to the marriage equality opponents, you wanted this survey and now you are trying to throw every other issue into the mix. Fair’s fair. We should have just had a vote in parliament.”

The chief executive of Qantas, Alan Joyce, was with Mr Shorten as they toured a Qantas maintenance facility at Sydney airport.

“I think most of the LGBTI community would have preferred if this was decided by parliament,” Mr Joyce said.

“I believe we have to get behind it and make sure that we have a yes vote and certainly I will be out there strongly campaigning for a yes vote. I think it is very important for our employees, customers and our shareholders and that is why Qantas is a supporter of marriage equality.”

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Community legal centres struggling to cope with rising demand

The National Census of Community Legal Centres showed almost 170,000 people were turned away from community legal centres last year, with 75 per cent of those being turned way due to a lack of financial resources.

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Of those who did access legal services 15 per cent were Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders, and 26 per cent came from a multicultural background.

For Karen refugee, Labah Mooree, having access to legal advice through a legal centre outreach program has had a significant impact on his life.

He was working as a cleaner and being underpaid, but it wasn’t until he had access to legal information provided in Karen that he had the confidence to raise the issue with his employer.Labah Mooree was able to recover lost wages after getting legal advice. SBS

“Sometimes [hours I worked on the] weekend or other hours went missing,” Mr Mooree told SBS World News through a translator.

“I know that due to the language barriers that was the cause of the problem. I didn’t know about the problem before, but I knew it was continuing,” he said.

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However many others like Mr Mooree aren’t accessing the support they need.

National Association for Legal Centres CEO Nassim Arrage said that the number of people being turned away last year had increased by 6 per cent from the previous year due to a rising demand for services.

“Often these are people who are vulnerable, who don’t speak English, are homeless or have a mental health condition. When we’re not able to help them they’ve got nowhere else to go,” Mr Arrage told SBS World News.

National Association for Legal Centres CEO Nassim Arrage says those turned away are the most vulnerable. SBS

At West Justice, a community legal service in Melbourne’s outer western suburbs, having to turn clients away is an all too familiar experience.

“We know there are hundreds and hundreds of people who would like us to give not just advice, but actual case work, and we just don’t have the resources to do that,” CEO Denis Nelthorpe said.

He says many newly arrived migrant communities don’t seek out legal support because they aren’t aware of their rights.West Justice CEO Denis Nelthorpe says around half of their clients are newly arrived migrants.SBS

“There are very low levels of understanding partly because the laws are so different from the countries they came from,” Mr Nelthorpe said. 

“But also because the way in which you get that information in this country is by ringing telephone lines… and that’s pretty difficult if you have English as a second language,” he added.

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Trump to lay out strategy for Afghanistan in prime-time television address

President Donald Trump is to lay out the US strategy for the war in Afghanistan in a prime-time television address to the American people, the White House says.

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A White House statement said Trump, at Fort Myer near Washington, will “provide an update on the path forward for America’s engagement in Afghanistan and South Asia” on Monday night at 9pm.

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Trump and his national security team met on Friday at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland to reach agreement on a strategy.

Trump tweeted over the weekend that he had made a decision. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, travelling in Afghanstan on Sunday, also said Trump had reached a decision. Mattis declined to discuss specifics before Trump’s announcement.

Important day spent at Camp David with our very talented Generals and military leaders. Many decisions made, including on Afghanistan.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2017

It will be Trump’s first formal address to the nation as president, and it follows a period of isolation for Trump following his comments about racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

US Commander for Afghanistan not present

The administration has struggled for months to formulate a new approach to the war. But stepping up the fight in a way that advances peace prospects may be even more difficult, in part because the Taliban has been gaining ground and shown no interest in peace negotiations.

Trump met at the presidential retreat in nearby Maryland with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, top intelligence agency officials and other top military and diplomatic aides. Mattis said earlier this week the administration was “very close” to finalising a new approach.

The meeting participants did not include Steve Bannon, the Trump strategist whose resignation was announced at midday.

Also excluded was General Joseph Votel, the Central Command chief who is responsible for US military operations in the greater Middle East, including Afghanistan.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford arrives at Fort Greely, Alaska for a refueling stop.AAP

Votel told reporters travelling with him in the region this week that Mattis and General Joseph Dunford, the Joint Chiefs chairman, represent him in the White House-led Afghanistan strategy review.

By retreating to the seclusion of Camp David in Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains, Trump was taking an opportunity to regroup after a politically bruising week of criticism of his response to the deadly protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Solutions for Afghanistan, the longest war in American history, eluded the Obama administration and haven’t come easily to Trump, who said almost nothing about the conflict during his presidential campaign.

Since taking office, he has considered options ranging from walking away from the war to sending in additional troops. Abandoning Afghanistan is seen as unlikely in light of US concerns about countering terrorism.

In remarks at the State Department on Thursday, Mattis told reporters the Camp David talks “will move this toward a decision.”

“We are coming very close to a decision, and I anticipate it in the very near future,” he added.

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Open letter calls UN to ban ‘killer robots’ but experts sceptical it can be enforced

Over 100 leaders of major robotics and artificial intelligence companies have signed an open letter urging the UN to prevent an arms race involving lethal autonomous weapons, and to protect civilians from conflicts that are yet to be fully comprehended.

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The letter’s signatories include Tesla founder Elon Musk and the head of Applied AI at Google’s DeepMind, Mustafa Suleyman.

But Dr Malcolm Davis from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute said he was sceptical that any sort of ban can be enforced effectively.

“Our authoritarian adversaries, like Russia and China, and rogue states like North Korea are not going to sign up to this ban,” he said.

“They use lethal autonomous weapons on a large scale and they use them ruthlessly.

“Even if we sign up to the ban and we don’t have them our adversaries would have them, and that will leave us at a severe disadvantage.”

Dr Davis added that there would be no way to effectively verify or monitor the use of such technology.

“It’s going to be encumbent upon us to maintain our edge on this technology because we know our adversaries will be doing the same,” he said.

“There is the potential for an autonomous arms race of sorts that we can’t avoid.”

The UN was supposed to discuss the issue this week, but the talks have been pushed back to November.

Weapons of terror

Currently, 19 of its 123 member countries agree an outright ban should be in place, but Australia is not one of them.

Toby Walsh, Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, was one of the main organisers of the letter.

It was released at the opening of the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI 2017) in Melbourne, the world’s pre-eminent gathering of top experts in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics

“[Automated weapons] will completely change the speed and efficiency with which armies can kill the other side,” he said.

“They will be weapons of terror, weapons that get used by rogue nations and terrorists against civilian populations.

“Australia has been rather unhelpful in the discussion so far surrounding autonomous weapons. It’s a great disappointment, because Australia has often led the way on discussion about nuclear non-proliferation treaties and weapon bans, yet this time we seem to be more careful to follow the US lead.”

Stuart Russell, the founder of technology company Bayesian Logic Inc, was among the letter’s 116 signatories.

He said lethal autonomous weapons, including swarms of micro drones, should be urgently banned before a wave of weapons of mass destruction gets out of control.

“I’m not talking about drones which are now 30 feet long aircraft, but little tiny things that are one inch in diameter that you can buy in a toy shop, and with the right software and high explosives can become a lethal weapon,” he said.

But like Dr Malcolm Davis, Mr Russell said he was “not at all confident” the UN will act as a result of the letter.

“I still think we’re on a knife edge,” he said. “It depends on the US, the UK, Russia and China. I’m not even sure if it’s 50/50 that we’ll have a treaty.”

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