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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Iraq offensive to reclaim Tal Afar

Iraqi security forces have launched an offensive to take back the city of Tal Afar, their next objective in the US-backed campaign to defeat Islamic State militants, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi says.

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“You either surrender, or die,” Abadi said in a televised speech announcing the offensive, addressing the militants.

A longtime stronghold of hardline Sunni Muslim insurgents, Tal Afar, 80km west of Mosul, experienced cycles of sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shi’ites after the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, and has produced some of Islamic State’s most senior commanders.

The city was cut off from the rest of Islamic State-held territory in June. It is surrounded by Iraqi government troops and Shi’ite volunteers in the south, and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in the north.

US Army soldiers with guided missile launcher in the village of Abu Ghaddur, east of Tal Afar, Iraq, 20th Aug 2017.AAP

Hours before Abadi’s announcement, the Iraqi air force dropped leaflets over the city telling the population to take precautions. “Prepare yourself, the battle is imminent and the victory is coming, God willing,” the leaflets read.

About 2,000 battle-hardened militants remain in the city, according to US and Iraqi military commanders.

They are expected to put up a tough fight, even though intelligence from inside the city indicates they have been exhausted by months of combat, aerial bombardments, and by the lack of fresh supplies.

‘Mainly foreign and Arab nationals’

“Intelligence gathered shows clearly that the remaining fighters are mainly foreign and Arab nationals with their families and that means they will fight until the last breath,” Colonel Kareem al-Lami, from the Iraqi army’s 9th Division, told Reuters.

Islamic State’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” in effect collapsed last month, when US-backed Iraqi forces completed the takeover of the militants’ capital in Iraq, Mosul, after a nine-month campaign.

But parts of Iraq and Syria remain under Islamic State control, including Tal Afar, a city with a pre-war population of about 200,000.

The main forces taking part in the offensive are the Iraqi army, air force, Federal Police, and the elite US-trained Counter-Terrorism Service (CTS), who began encircling the city on Sunday.

The Shi’ite Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), some of whom are trained and armed by Iran, confirmed they are also taking part in the battle. Their involvement is likely to worry Turkey, which claims an affinity with the area’s predominantly ethnic Turkmen population.

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Eurovision hopes to bring song contest to Asia

While final plans have not been confirmed, official Eurovision broadcaster SBS has signed an exclusive option with the European Broadcasting Union alongside production partner Blink TV to look at how the format could work for Asia.

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Organisers say they are in the development phase and exploring ways to bring the competition to Asia. They have also asked enthusiasts to share their thoughts on their website.

In a statement, SBS said: “SBS and Blink TV are continuing to explore and develop the exciting opportunity to bring a world class event like Eurovision closer to our shores. The Eurovision Asia website is the next phase in that development.

“As discussions continue with potential partners across the Asia region, we are now engaging with both the passionate Eurovision and Asian pop fan communities for their input in shaping this event.”

Celebrating music since 1956, we can’t wait to keep doing it next year in Lisbon. Roll on #Eurovision2018! pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/8uSCJBoBy2

— Eurovision (@Eurovision) July 26, 2017

The contest, which began in 1956 with just seven nations, currently has 52 countries represented.

Each participant originally had to sing in their original language but many now do so in English. Viewers choose their favourite by awarding a set of points from 1-8, with highs of 10 and 12, in televotes from each country.

Eurovision has made history as the ‘Longest Running Annual TV Music Competition’ in the Guinness Book of Records, and nearly 1,500 songs have been performed to date.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, more countries signed up to take part, with Australia joining in 2015.

Last year, around 204 million people tuned in for some or all of at least one of the three shows.

The next Eurovision will take place next year in Lisbon, Portugal, on May 8, 10 and 12.

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Refugee student wins national award for aged care

Jolie Kaja decided to pursue a career in aged care after she arrived in the coastal regional centre three years ago.

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Whether at home or work, Jolie Kaja says she spends her days doing what she loves most — caring for others.

“I love to help other people, because, when I help them, I feel happy.”

That generous spirit rarely goes unnoticed by those around her.

And, now, her compassion and hard work have been recognised with the national Community Education Student of the Year award.

Fellow aged-care worker Jane Donovan says Ms Kaja adapted quickly to the profession right from the start.

“Jolie’s very compassionate. I saw that straightaway in her. She’s very caring towards the residents. And, yeah, I wanted to take her under my wing,* and I saw a lot of potential in Jolie, and, yeah, she’s beautiful, a beautiful (lady).”

For Ms Kaja, helping others is a natural instinct, something she has done all her life.

Growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo, she worked as a Red Cross volunteer but was forced to flee her home when war broke out 10 years ago.

She sought shelter at a refugee camp in Zambia, where she lived for seven years as a single mother looking after her four daughters.

“It was very hard. If you are not strong, it’s very … It’s terrible. The people who are living in the refugee camps, they’re suffering too much.”

Ms Kaja and her family were resettled as refugees in Coffs Harbour, on New South Wales’ north coast.

She is fluent in French, Swahili and several other African languages but did not know a word of English when she arrived.

She took up English language classes at TAFE and went on to study aged care as a way to give back to the community.

One of her trainers, Amanda Johnston, from Coffs Coast Community College, says the staff was impressed by Ms Kaja’s ability and willingness to learn.

“She came across as an extremely caring student, to start with, but she did have difficulties with language. And she overcame all those barriers and proved us all very wrong. And she actually shone in the class and was extremely liked by all her classmates.”

Ms Kaja now works at the Saint Joseph’s Aged Care facility in Coffs Harbour.

New South Wales deputy premier John Barilaro presented the award to her.

“Jolie’s an example of a great refugee story, from being a refugee single mum of four, who’s used community college and the opportunity to learn some skills in a sector that is growing, like aged care, and her contribution will be like the many before her, refugees and migrants, that have made this nation the great nation that we are.”

After all she has achieved and all she has seen, Ms Kaja says she is determined to use her new skills to continue helping others.

And she has a dream.

“My dream is to take this knowledge to Congo and Zambia to help others. Yeah, my dream.”

 

 

Human rights campaigners fear returning to the Philippines after Duterte’s threats

It’s been three months since human rights campaigner Ellecer Carlos has been home to the Philippines.

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Walking through the streets of Melbourne, where he’s resided for the last week, he says it’s much colder here than he expected.

Cold, he said, but safe given the threats he faces back home.

“He threatened to harvest us, using that exact term. He threatened to behead us, this was actually in November,” he told SBS World News.

“It’s just a matter of ordering the police and vigilantes to go after you. It’s a Sword of Damocles hanging over our heads.” 

Ellecer Carlos with colleagues in MelbourneSBS

The threats come from president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte.

He is angered by nationals like Mr Carlos campaigning in the US, Europe and Australia against the his so-called war on drugs.

Mr Carlos said the president has all but guaranteed freedom from litigation for police and vigilante groups, as the death toll of those accused of drugs crimes mounts.

“He has effectively put in place a permission structure for mass murder. He has through sustained public announcement incited to violence.”

Human Rights Watch claims over 7,000 have been killed since President Duterte took office June last year.

Mr Carlos said the toll has risen dramatically in just the last week.

“In just three areas alone, 65 killings and in total 90 killings and these are just the documented ones. There are many many cases we continually come across which have not become part of the official figures.”

Founder of a Filipino expat human rights group in Australia, May Kotsakis, claims most of the victims are likely users and low-end distributors from the poorest regions.

She said the most powerful drug lords escape prosecution.

“The big drug lords, the most powerful, are not being persecuted. It’s the poor people being victimised.”

May Kotsakis founder of Gabriela AustraliaSBS

But far from damaging his reputation, popular support for the president rose to 66 per cent last month.

Ms Kotsakis said she thinks it’s the Mr Duterte’s rhetoric that garners the favour of the people.

“He says he’s going to get rid of corruption, he’s going to have independent foreign policy, he won’t be pushed around by the US so the people thought this is a good president.”

Human rights groups are calling on the Australian government to intervene.

Amnesty International Campaign Manager Michael Hayworth said pressure needs to be put on the United Nations to mount an independent investigation into human rights abuses in the Philippines.

“The Australia government along with other governments in the region can send a loud and clear message to President Duterte that this sort of behaviour, these killings are completely unacceptable.” he said.

“The Australian government, like other governments, can also support the call for an international UN-led investigation to get justice for the victims of these killings.”

Protesters in Manila display placards during a rally to condemn the recent killings in President Rodirgo DuterteAP

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop told SBS World News she raised Australia’s concern about extra-judicial killings and the importance Australia attaches to human rights with President Duterte when she met the President in Manila earlier this month.

In a statement, Ms Bishop said the practice of extra-judicial killings to combat drug trafficking and usage remains of deep concern to Australia.

But Mr Carlos said he fears that without strong diplomatic intervention the situation in the Philippines will continue to escalate.

“This presents grave risks to all Filipinos. We are all dehumanised because of this, and it has made human life very cheap in the Philippines.”

Catholic churches in the Philippines have issued a joint statement, that every night for three months church bells will ring to raise alarm over the growing death toll in the country’s war on drugs.

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Pies won’t budge on timing of Buckley call

Nathan Buckley will go into the round 23 clash against Melbourne not knowing if it will be his last game as Collingwood coach.

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The Magpies’ board will have a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday evening but the club is maintaining its long-held position that no decision on the coach will be made until after the season is over.

Speculation has been rife over Buckley’s future in his sixth year as coach, with the Pies, who are 13th with eight wins, to miss the finals for a fourth season in a row.

Buckley has handled himself with aplomb for the most part despite the uncertainty around his future.

“I would hope I’d be able to coach and respond and be as impressive as he’s been under this scrutiny and this uncertainty,” St Kilda counterpart Alan Richardson told Fox Footy’s AFL 360.

“He just looks like he’s there for their footy club.

“He’s been very impressive.”

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire and his board are waiting on the findings of three separate internal reviews before deciding if they will offer Buckley a new contract.

There have been several reports in recent weeks that the club is leaning towards a scenario similar to the ones that played out at Richmond last year and Geelong in 2006.

Changes were made after exhaustive reviews, but under pressure coaches Damien Hardwick and Mark Thompson survived and went on to enjoy much-improved seasons – the Tigers are currently fourth and the Cats won the flag.

But while it has clearly been a difficult year for the Magpies and their coach, Geelong coach Chris Scott would be surprised if Buckley doesn’t have some inkling of what lies ahead of him.

“I think it’s really hard to speculate as to what has actually been discussed, but I would be staggered if Nathan and his superiors hadn’t had discussions all the way through,” Scott said on AFL 360.

“Similar to the way coaches and list managers talk to senior players toward the end of their careers.

“It’s not (a case of) ‘Ok now we have to talk about this for the first time’. It’s a process that you work through over a period of time.

“Even though their public position has been ‘We’ll make that decision at the end of the year’ I’d be staggered if they hadn’t had some sort of discussions to give him a bit of a feel for what’s going on.

“That would be a difficult position to be in.”