The #MagicMillions barrier draw race

Surfers Paradise Beach

2015 Magic Millions Barrier Draw - Surfers Paradise Beach  [VIDEO]

Image: ‏@EvanD [6/1/15]


Tomic moves to second round at Brisbane International

West Australian [6/1/15]:

Having overcome the big serve of American Sam Querrey, Bernard Tomic feels he is perfectly equipped for his battle with Thanasi Kokkinakis in Brisbane.

Tomic set up the all-Australian clash in the second round of the Brisbane International after toppling the powerful Querrey 7-5 7-6 (7/5) at Pat Rafter Arena on Monday night.

It didn't come easy - a seemingly possessed Querrey was on fire early in the match with a flurry of aces in the first set, finishing with 20 for the match.

Tomic believes the experience will hold him in good stead for his encounter with 18-year-old Kokkinakis, who took down Frenchman Julien Benneteau in straight sets earlier on Monday.


Hedge fund founder shot dead in New York

Reuters [5/1/15]:

A U.S. hedge fund founder was found shot to death in his Manhattan apartment on Sunday, and New York police are seeking his son for questioning, authorities said.

Thomas Gilbert, 70, founder of the Wainscott Capital Partners Fund, was shot once in the head around 3:30 p.m. EST inside his apartment bedroom, police said in a statement.

"Right now, we're looking to speak to his son, who was the last person to see him alive," police spokesman Lieutenant John Grimpel said. He did not identify the son.

The death has not been ruled a homicide, but will await a coroner's findings. A .40-caliber handgun was recovered at the scene, he said.

Gilbert, a graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Business School, founded Wainscott in 2011 and was the fund's chief investment officer, according to a profile on the fund's website.

Gilbert was a co-founder of Syzygy Therapeutics, a private equity biotech asset acquisition fund, and left it in 2011 to form Wainscott, the profile said.

Scotland: Cemfjord sinking likely due to severe storms

Scotsman [5/1/15]:

The sinking of a cargo ship in the Pentland Firth with eight crew on board is most likely have been caused by severe storms, the vessel’s management company has said.

As marine accident investigators begin their probe into the Camfjord tragedy off the shores of the Orkney Islands, the German shipping company Brise has said it would take time to piece together what happened.

The search was suspended just after 4pm yesterday after no trace was found of the eight crew members – seven Polish seafarers and a Filipino master.

Tony Redding, spokesman for Brise of Hamburg, said: “It was a violent storm and it seems likely that the weather would have been a factor but, until we have some better idea of what happened, I can’t say how much of a factor.

“It must have played some part in what happened but it will take some time to put the picture together because, sadly, we’re not in a position to interview the crew and the vessel is submerged in around 68 metres (223ft) of water.”

He added: “We look for abnormalities and at the moment we don’t have any apart from the fact that there was severe weather at the time.”

The company last heard from the vessel at lunchtime on Friday and there was no distress call.

The crew on the NorthLink ferry Hrossey alerted the Coastguard after spotting its upturned hull around 10 miles east of the Pentland Skerries, about 15 miles (24km) from Wick at around 2.30pm on Saturday.

This morning the Northern Lighthouse Board vessel Pharos was due on the scene to do a sonar search of the seabed where the vessel sank, and assess how it is lying.

Mr Redding said: “The first step is to pinpoint its exact position and how it’s lying in relation to the seabed.

“We will be talking to technical experts and beginning the process of moving forward and considering where we go from here. The last few days have been filled with the search and rescue operation.”

The coastguard will continue to broadcast messages to all shipping requesting that they are informed about any information or sightings that could be related to the vessel.

The 272ft (83m) bulk cement carrier had been bound for Runcorn, Cheshire, on the west coast of the UK.

It has emerged that the Cemfjord was involved in an incident last July when it was grounded off Denmark.

The Russian captain was found to have excessive levels of alcohol in his blood and was dismissed. The company said that no-one was injured and there was no pollution.

Mr Redding also confirmed that an inflatable liferaft discovered by coastguard teams on Orkney did not belong to the Cemfjord.

Secret files reveal pleas for US to intervene in Scottish referendum

Express [4/1/15]:

Top secret US cables today reveal the Scotland Office attempted to pressure the White House to intervene in the independence referendum.

The embarrassing revelation is included in an extraordinary cache of documents obtained by this newspaper following a three year legal battle with officials from the US State Department.

The files - which run to hundreds of pages - show that Washington followed the Scottish independence debate in remarkable detail from the day the SNP first won power in 2007.

Other disclosures include:

- Gordon Brown's belated intervention was seen as an attempt to distance Labour "from the unpopular UK Government ahead of 2015 UK elections"

- US officials kept tabs on American citizens who spoke out in favour of separation

- Alex Salmond was a "breath of fresh air" but noted for his "anti-war" politics, while Nicola Sturgeon was described as a "forceful politician"

- US observers expected Spain and other European nations to "place serious obstacles" in the way of Scotland's accession to the EU

- business leaders privately expressed deep misgivings about the SNP's independence plans

Using the US Freedom of Information Act, the Scottish Sunday Express asked the State Department for any documents relating to the independence referendum in January 2012.

Finally, after many transatlantic emails and phone calls, the Central Foreign Policy division traced 60 documents - 22 were released in full and 19 were released with some information censored.


Japan: Rally against Futenma base, Okinawa

Japan Today [5/1/15]:

About 30 cars took part in a rally calling for the closure of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station at Futenma in Okinawa over the weekend.

The rally, which took place on Saturday afternoon, drew about 60 people in 30 vehicles, the Okinawa Times reported.

At the rally, former Ginowan Mayor Yoichi Iha, who has long opposed the base, said last year’s gubernatorial election showed that the Okinawan people want the Futenma base moved out of Okinawa rather than relocating it to Henoko.

New Gov Takeshi Onaga has promised to block Tokyo’s plan to relocate the base to Henoko.

Participants in the rally also protested the deployment of the Osprey aircraft which they say endanger residents in the densely populated area around the Futenma base.

Iha called on the central government to listen to the voices of the Okinawan people.

Russia sanctions 'must be lifted now' - Hollande

RT [5/1/15]:

French President Francois Hollande is wary of the impact economic crisis in Russia might have on Europe.

He has called for sanctions imposed against Moscow to be lifted as soon as there’s progress in peace talks over Ukraine.

“If Russia has a crisis, it is not necessarily good for Europe,” Hollande said during a two-hour interview with radio station France Inter. “I'm not for the policy of attaining goals by making things worse, I think that sanctions must stop now.”

Hollande said he wanted to make sure there’s progress in peace talks over the situation in Ukraine, before putting an end to sanctions.

He said he hopes to see signs of mutual understanding at the January 15 talks in Astana, Kazakhstan.

The meeting is being organized by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, and Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to be among the participants.

Moscow has repeatedly said it was doing all in its power to facilitate the peace process in eastern Ukraine. A major breakthrough was achieved during September’s Minsk peace talks, brokered by Russia.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has sarcastically described western sanctions, also announced in September, as “a ‘reward’ for Russia’s role in the Minsk agreements and more generally for its part in organizing the meeting.”

Another round of peace talks in Minsk took place in December. The negotiations, which brought no breakthrough in the crisis, were overshadowed by Ukrainian parliament voting to revoke the country’s “nonaligned” status, paving its way for closer ties with NATO and eventual full membership.

Hollande said he understands that Kiev’s striving for NATO membership can hardly contribute to the peace process.

“Mr. Putin does not want to annex eastern Ukraine. I am sure. He told me so,” Hollande told France Inter. “What he wants is to remain influential. What Mr. Putin wants is that Ukraine does not become a member of NATO. The idea of Mr Putin is not to have an army at Russia’s borders.”

The Ukrainian crisis has strained relations between Russia and France, with Paris putting on hold the delivery of Mistral helicopter-carrying amphibious assault ships to Moscow.

Hollande decided to suspend the delivery of the first such ship "until further notice" in late November, despite the fact that the move might hit the French economy hard.

France is facing a multibillion-dollar fine if it fails to deliver the ships under the terms of the contract. The delay of the warships’ delivery has also reportedly entailed additional costs for Paris.

PNG police to investigate whether shooting death was a police or security forces shooting

PNG Loop [5/1/15]:

Lae police chief says police will investigate the shooting of a woman on New Year as it’s unclear who shot her.

Mrs Moanna Pisimi was shot dead on New Year’s Day when her car was pursued.

Chief Superintendent Iven Lakatani said it was unclear who shot Mrs Pisimi as there were two groups pursuing her at the time, police and security guards.

He said it was an unfortunate situation that happened and police would investigate the matter. He said this during a media conference with the media at Lae Central Police Station today.

“It was an unfortunate situation which occurred during the early hours of the New Year.

“It is still unclear whether it was police shooting or security because there were two groups of people chasing the car,” Lakatani said.

However, the police chief said police will get to the bottom of the matter and investigate thoroughly and this would mean their own members and the security guards who were following the vehicle as well.

“This death is a priority matter and police will give full attention to it,” he said.

In relation to the investigation team, he said it would depend on their leaders from the headquarters to decide.

But initially, they have already assigned a unit and working on the case in making enquiries.

Queensland police will have the opportunity to serve in Papua New Guinea under an agreement between the country’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Premier Campbell Newman.

Mr Newman announced that up to 150 Queensland Police Officers will help to improve the policing operations and protocols in the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary (RPNGC).  ... [Queensland Premier and Minister for Police Media Release - 15/5/13]

Pittsburgh Police Chief Under Fire For Controversial Photo, Union Says Calls Department Racists

CBS [2/1/15]:

Pittsburgh’s Police Chief is under fire for a controversial photo that is making its rounds on Facebook, and some are saying the Chief called his entire department racist.

It happened during the First Night parade.

The protest group called Fight Back Pittsburgh carried signs saying “End White Silence.”

On their Facebook page a photograph of Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay holding one of the group’s banners, a poster that stated, “I resolve to challenge racism @ work #EndWhiteSilence.”

On the group’s twitter profile the group describes itself as a Pittsburgh-based collective working to create a world that is free of destructive white privilege and oppression.

The picture of the chief holding the sign set off the Pittsburgh Police union.

FOP President Howard McQuillan told KDKA’s Marty Griffin: “The chief is calling us racists. He believes the Pittsburgh Police Department is racist. This has angered a lot of officers.”

Police Chief Cameron McLay released the following statement about the allegations:

“I was hired to restore the legitimacy of the police department. I did not seek these young activists out. I was stopping for coffee at First Night. Their message is not anti-anybody. It is simply a call for awareness. The photo was a great, spontaneous moment in time. Please join dialogue for community healing.”

Sources tell Griffin that McLay has been called to a meeting at City Hall regarding the photograph.

Police officers were so outraged by the photo, they thought it was photoshopped, but the police chief confirmed it was real.

A source of Marty Griffin’s inside the Mayor Bill Peduto administration has called the photograph potentially very destructive, with no upside.

However Kevin Acklin, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, tells Ralph Iannotti, the mayor continues to support Chief McLay unequivocally in his efforts to improve dialogue between police and the community at large.

Acklin says it’s part of a much larger national movement to improve relations.

The group that held the rally says the intention of the banner that the chief held was for “white people not to be afraid to talk about racism, we are inviting to white people to talk about race.”


Prime Minister does his own propaganda.

Australian establishment media types feel sad because that's their job.

When will one of these "media pool crews" be sent to report from Nauru, Manus or Christmas Island?

Canberra Times [5/1/15]:

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has broken with tradition by not taking Australian journalists on a trip to Baghdad, even cutting out a television crew that was ready and waiting in nearby Dubai.  ...


AMWRRO opens South Australian clinic to bush fire victims. Please donate  … #koala #SAFires

Image: @seabirdrescue - Australian Sea Bird Rescuers [5/1/15]

Pacific Coast Sea Bird Die-off Puzzles Scientists [ABC News – 3/1/15]


Crews test contents of drum found at Barolin Rocks

News Mail [5/1/15]:

Emergency crews are attempting to discover just what is inside a checmical drum found at Barolin Rocks this morning.

The drum was pulled from the water by a 50-year-old man.

Emergency crews treated the man at the scene and secured the container.

The Barolin Rocks area had to be cordoned off.

Two men dead after five cars and truck collide in Sydney’s inner west

Nine MSN [5/1/15]:

Two men have died and four people, including two children, have been injured in a serious accident in Sydney’s inner west.

Five cars and a truck collided at 10.45am on Mary Street near the intersection of Concord Road at Rhodes.

Two men, who were travelling in separate cars, died in the crash.

Eton Range reopens after dozer accident

Daily Mercury [5/1/15]:

Repair work is underway on the Eton Range with one lane of the range expected to re-open at approximately 5.30pm.

The Range is expected to fully re-open by approximately 7.00pm and motorists are being asked to be patient and to proceed with caution.

About 2.15pm today, a dozer being towed up the Range fell onto a trailer, causing major traffic delays.


WA police choppers grounded as pilots quit

West Australian [5/1/15]:

WA's two police helicopters have been grounded since Saturday after the sudden resignation of two senior pilots, leaving the State without eyes in the sky for chases, patrols and searches.

Assistant Commissioner Nick Anticich denied last night the resignations were linked to personality clashes within the police Air Wing, despite rumours of tension and infighting.

The departure of chief pilot Rohan Armstrong and deputy chief pilot Kenny Kross means that three of the unit's five pilot positions are now vacant.

Despite still having two pilots, the choppers cannot fly because under air safety laws the unit's air operator's certificate is held by the chief pilot rather than by the organisation.

Mr Anticich said police were due to hold urgent talks with the Civil Aviation Safety Authority this morning to try to find a solution that would enable the helicopters to return to the sky as soon as possible.

He said he hoped the air safety regulator would allow police to operate under a "private licence" until another pilot could be trained to fill the senior role.



… With all the anger in the land

How long before the judgement day?

Before we cut the fat ones down to size?

Before the barricades arise? …

'Look Down'

Les Misérables known as Les Mis or Les Miz is a sung-through musical based on the novel Les Misérables by French poet and novelist Victor Hugo. It has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, original French lyrics by Alain Boublil and Jean-Marc Natel, with an English-language libretto by Herbert Kretzmer. ...


Robbery charges, Surfers Paradise [QPS Media – 5/1/15]:

Four people have been charged following a robbery this morning in Surfers Paradise.

Just before 5am, two women aged 21 and 23-years-old were waiting at traffic lights at the intersection of Cavill Avenue and Surfers Paradise Boulevard, when they were approached by four females.

It will be alleged one of the females grabbed a mobile phone from one of the women and walked away with it.

It will further be alleged the woman followed for a few metres and asked for her phone to be returned before a second female from the group grabbed her from behind and pulled her to the ground.

As the woman stood up, it will be alleged she was punched in the face by another female who then proceeded to punch the second woman. The group then walked away towards Beach Road.

The incident was identified by staff monitoring the Gold Coast City Safety network cameras who notified Surfers Paradise police enabling the location of the offenders nearby.

Detectives from the Gold Coast Child Protection and Investigation Unit have charged an 18-year-old Mount Gravatt woman with robbery in company and is due to appear in the Southport Magistrates Court tomorrow.

A 15-year-old girl and a 16-year-old girl were charged with one count each of robbery in company. The 15-year-old will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act.

Another 15-year-old girl was charged with one count of robbery in company and one count of assault occasioning bodily harm.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.

Teens “riot” at Darwin juvenile detention

SBS [5/1/15]:

The Northern Territory Department of Corrections has contradicted police reports of a riot in the Darwin juvenile detention facility.

Police Duty Superintendent Helen Braam told AAP on Monday that police received a report about 4.30pm on Sunday that eight boys had refused to go back to their rooms from a common area.

A group of boys - which the department numbers at four - smashed a pool table, using pieces of debris as weapons to break glass in the viewing windows, and then using the table as a barrier blocking the staffroom door.

Police say the boys used metal louvres from their rooms as weapons to damage property and threaten staff, and then smashed a hole in the ceiling, which one boy crawled through to access the dining room.

The group used a toaster to start two fires in the common area, Duty Supt Braam said.

However, the department says only one fire was lit.

"Of the six detainees in the block, only four were involved in the disturbance during which some windows and other fittings were damaged, an attempt was made to set fire to a mattress that was quickly doused with water and a detainee managed to get into a roof space, however the security of the block was not compromised," Acting Commissioner Rosanne Lague said in a statement.

She said "staff managed the situation professionally with no injuries to either staff or detainees", but police said one boy was expected to be charged with aggravated assault after kicking a guard in the groin.

Prison officers forced entry and got the boys out by 7pm, before they could be harmed by the smoke and fire.

Fire and Emergency Services also attended, Ms Lague said.

Duty Supt Braam says it's expected that formal charges of arson and criminal damage will be laid against eight boys.

The medium security unit of the former adult prison at Berrimah was recommissioned as a youth detention facility just before Christmas, with 21 teens moved there a month early due to violent behaviour by a group of older prisoners.

"This small group of youths continued to present the department with behavioural and management challenges similar to those they display in the community and for which they are in detention," Ms Lague said.

It is not yet known if any of the boys were involved in an earlier escape attempt in August at the previous juvenile detention centre, or during a three-hour siege later that month, when tear gas and the dog squad had to be [was] used against six rioting teens.

That centre was closed after the government acknowledged it was not fit to hold underaged offenders.

Rail yard comes to stop as union workers walk

Daily Mercury [5/1/15]:

Jilalan Rail Yard, south of Mackay, came to a stop with union workers walking of the job for 24 hours.

Work stopped at noon on Saturday and resumed at the same time yesterday.

The strike was protesting an enterprise bargaining agreement put forward to workers by Aurizon.

Rail Tram and Bus Union state president Bruce Mackie said the strike was very well supported by union members. Mr Mackie said the strike action was an indication of the frustration Aurizon workers had.

"Negotiations are scheduled to recommence shortly and we're hoping that with this action being taken that Aurizon returns to the table with a different view of where they are heading," he said.

Mr Mackie said the union and Aurizon had been negotiating for about 18 months.

"Late last year Aurizon bypassed the collective bargaining process and sent an agreement into the workplace to vote on the membership overwhelmingly rejected that offer," he said.

Mr Mackie said Aurizon was removing many allowances which outweighed the 4% pay rise the company was offering.


Fruit picking industry operator investigated over claims of exploitation, Mildura

ABC [5/1/15]:

A Victorian man is being investigated by the Federal Government over allegations he has exploited backpackers working in the fruit picking industry, paying them as little as 60 cents an hour.

The Fair Work Ombudsman received several complaints about the Mildura operator just before Christmas, including allegations of sexual harassment.

Craig Bildstein, a director with the ombudsman's office, said there were also reports the man had crammed dozens of workers into one home, and another 12 in a garage.

"The suggestion's been put to us that backpackers are being charged up to $150 a week, with reportedly up to 32 people being accommodated in one home and a dozen or so more sleeping in the garage," he said.

The man allegedly charged workers a $450 fee to find them a job.

It has also been alleged the man had been bullying and sexually harassing some of the workers on the property.

Mr Bildstein said it was not the first time the Fair Work Ombudsman had received complaints about the operator.

"The allegations that have been put to us include bullying, sexual harassment and ripping them off to the tune of hundreds of dollars," he said.

"Some of these matters are obviously outside our jurisdiction, but clearly where we identify these matters we do pass them on the appropriate local authorities [and] that might be the police."


Dysart continues to have ongoing water quality issues

Daily Mercury [5/1/15]:

Isaac Regional Council has apologised to residents in Dysart about ongoing water quality issues in the town.

In a statement posted on the council's website, acting chief executive officer Scott Riley said the water delivered to the water treatment facility had been severely impacted by recent heavy rains.

"Unfortunately this situation has occurred before all of the new plant at the facility has been fully commissioned," he said.

"Council's team continue to work hard to maintain safe drinking water for the community through this challenging period."

Suspicious death, Ingham

QPS Media [4/1/15]:

Police have declared a crime scene after a man was located deceased at an Ingham property shortly after 3pm today.

Detectives are treating the death at a Bruce Highway property as suspicious.

A man is currently assisting police with their inquiries.

Investigations are ongoing and there is no further information at this time.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day. 

Stop lying Queensland media.

The ALP won't repeal the anti-rights (bikie) laws - which they voted for.

A little insight into how Queensland's political and media establishment market the anti rights laws [Brisbane Times - 1/9/14]:

 ... The SMT [the Strategic Monitoring Team is the body responsible for the overall anti rights strategy] report refers to background briefings being given to journalists in an effort to reduce negative stories about the anti-bikie measures.

Senior police have met with journalists and are actively marketing good news stories about the crackdown.

The closeness of the relationship is exemplified by this email (obtained under Right to Information) containing sensitive police intelligence, which a senior SMT member sent in April 2014 to one media outlet:

Your last piece on the CMG's was right. Where have all the public supporters of them gone? Many have gone to ground for various reasons (like egg on their faces) … Attached is a PDF with the information and breakdown of CMG participants with Queensland Criminal Histories … also attached is the spin and facts sheets I have sent you in the past just in case you need it.

Within days, the Courier-Mail was trumpeting the story as an exclusive release by senior police designed to:

… be an embarrassment to civil libertarians and the Labor Party that seeks to wind back the tough new laws.

In reality, despite the claims from senior police, all of the results of crackdown could have been achieved without any of the laws. The bikie laws are punitive in nature and add no new powers for police to investigate criminal offences. This was proven when police rolled out a number of operations in early 2014 to give impact to the bikie war.

Most operations were not bikie-related. They all achieved their outcomes without relying on the legislation passed for the bikie crackdown. Two of them began more than a year before the bikie crackdown.


ABC [12/11/10]:

Queensland Attorney-General Cameron Dick says the State's anti-bikie laws will not be affected by a High Court decision on similar South Australian legislation.


The Newman Government’s anti-bikie laws [Palmer United Party]:

Below is a transcript of a speech given by the Hon Justice JA Dowsett of the Federal Court of Australia to graduating students at the QUT Faculty of Law’s graduation ceremony on Monday 9 December, 2013.

We would like to draw your attention to the portion of Justice Dowsett’s address which is highlighted in bold type.

These words from Justice Dowsett illustrate superbly the inherent danger of Premier Campbell Newman’s so-called anti-bikie laws, which we believe are an attack on our fundamental right of freedom of association.


Next public hearing into Certain Aspects of Queensland Government Administration Senate Inquiry: 28 January, Bundaberg

Son accused of torturing mother in Toogoom

Sunshine Coast Daily [5/1/15]:

A 26-year-old Toogoom man will appear in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court today accused of torturing and assaulting his 52-year-old mother while holding her against her will in a bedroom of their family home.

Police allege the woman was held captive in the Toogoom home between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve.

She was allegedly severely beaten and assaulted with weapons, suffering a broken nose, shoulder and ribs as well as severe bruising before she was found when friends came to visit on New Year's Eve and police were alerted.

Detective Acting Sergeant Brett Everest said the motives behind the alleged crime were not yet known.

He said police were still investigating "the various types of methods that were used" to cause the alleged injuries.

A history of violence is not believed to exist between the man and his alleged victim.

Det Act Sgt Everest said it was a shocking incident.

"I think anything like this is shocking, it's certainly not something that we come across on a regular basis."

The man appeared briefly in Maroochydore Magistrates Court on January 2.

The case was adjourned and he was remanded in custody ahead of his court appearance in Hervey Bay today.

Accused attempted child murderer granted bail by Caboolture court

ABC [5/1/15]:

A woman accused of attempting to kill two children and interfering with the corpse of another has been granted bail by a court north of Brisbane.

The 58-year-old Caboolture woman was taken in to custody and charged last week after a four-month investigation by the state homicide squad and the child trauma taskforce.

She has been charged with attempting to murder two boys, aged 9 and 11, after allegedly setting fire to a house in Morayfield, north of Brisbane, last February.

Police also alleged she previously tried to kill one of the boys twice and interfered with the corpse of a seven-month-old baby at the same property last September.

There were also ongoing investigations into the deaths of a three-year-old in 2013, and a seven-month-old in September last year, all at the same address.

Lawyers for the woman sought bail in the Caboolture Magistrates Court this morning.

The police prosecutor had told the court the woman "ticks every box" in relation to being an unacceptable risk if granted bail.

The court ruled the woman would be granted bail, subject to finding a suitable address to stay.

She must report to police daily and have no contact with children under 18.

Grievous Bodily Harm, Mooloolaba – Wounding, Nambour - Assault occasioning bodily harm, Peregian Beach [QPS Media – 5/1/15]

Three people have been charged following the discovery of a clandestine drug laboratory in Tanahwa over the weekend. … [QPS Media – 5/1/15]

Body found in Keppel Bay Marina [Morning Bulletin - 5/1/15]

Racist, neoliberal government policy --> places of persecution, despair and violence: Petrol bomb and fence pailings used in third Rockhampton street brawl [Morning Bulletin – 5/1/15]

Armed robbery, Wishart

QPS Media [5/1/15]:

Police are investigating after a licenced premises was robbed at Wishart last night.

Around 9.30pm a man entered the Newnham Rd business and approached an attendant at the bar.

The man was armed with a metal bar and demanded money.

After taking cash the man left the business and was last seen getting into a dark coloured SUV style vehicle on Delavan Street.

The attendant was not physically injured during the incident.

The man is described as 180cm tall, of Caucasian appearance and was wearing a white short sleeved shirt and jeans and had his face obscured by cloth.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.

Armed robbery, Auchenflower

QPS Media [4/1/15]:

Brisbane West detectives have charged a fourth person after a man was robbed at Auchenflower last night.

It will be alleged around 10.15pm five men were waiting for a train at an Auchenflower railway station when they were approached by four males.

The group were asked for money and when one admitted having some it will further be alleged one of the male offenders produced a knife and made threats.

The four then fled on foot after allegedly taking cash from one of the men.

No one was physically injured during the incident.

A 17-year-old Eatons Hill man has this afternoon been charged with robbery and is due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court tomorrow.

This is in addition to a 17-year-old Stafford man and a 20-year-old Fortitude Valley man charged earlier today with robbery in company. Both are also due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court tomorrow.

A 16-year-old Acacia Ridge boy was also charged with robbery in company and will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act.

Anyone with information which could assist with this matter should contact Crime Stoppers anonymously via 1800 333 000 or 24hrs a day.

Cyclist injured in crash at Currimundi

Sunshine Coast Daily [5/1/15]:

A cyclist was taken to hospital with a dislocated collar bone after an encounter with a vehicle in Currimundi yesterday.

The 50-year-old man was taken to Nambour General Hospital at 5.40am after colliding with a vehicle driven by a 71-year-old man on the corner of Kalana Rd and Curlew St.

The driver was uninjured.

According to ABC News Radio, cyclists were hit by cars in Windsor and West End this morning [5/1/15].

A toddler has been flown to Brisbane after she was run over by a vehicle at a Blackall property.  ... [Morning Bulletin - 5/1/15]

Truck jack knifes on Isis Highway [News Mail - 5/1/15]

Pumicestone Passage stonefish victim rushed to hospital

Sunshine Coast Daily [5/1/15]:

A man suffered from a stonefish sting in the Pumicestone Passage yesterday afternoon.

Police officers were at the Caloundra Powerboat Club in Golden Beach on an unrelated matter when they saw a boat coming into the ramp at high speed around 12.15pm.

It is understood the man had a barb through a muscle.

Ambulance officers were unable to attend as they were diverted to a more urgent case, so the police officers transported the man to the Caloundra Hospital.

He was discharged before 4pm.

This comes after a five-year-old girl stood on a freshwater stonefish (bullrout) while enjoying a day out with her family at the popular Mooloolah Valley swimming spot, Hell Hole on Christmas Eve.

The curator of the Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary has believes there won't be any dingoes on Fraser Island by the end of this year.  ... [Sunshine Coast Daily - 5/1/15]

Subiaco Oval heritage-listed gates damaged in crash following police pursuit

ABC [4/1/15]:

A car has crashed into the heritage-listed gates at Subiaco Oval in Perth, laden with what police say are stolen items.

WA police were attempting to stop the car around 1:20am but said the female driver sped away.

She then lost control of the car at the corner of Roberts Road and Haydn Bunton Drive, slamming into the limestone and brick gates.

The driver and a male passenger ran from the scene, but officers caught the man nearby.

When police inspected the car, they found a range of allegedly stolen household items, including a safe.

The crash caused significant damage to the art deco gates which were constructed in 1935, and entered onto the State Heritage Register in 2000.

They are recognised as a significant landmark and of historic value marking what is now known as the WAFL moving to the venue.

The structure is unstable and SES volunteers were called in to assist in securing it.

Subiaco Mayor Heather Henderson described the damage as a tragedy.

"It's a real tragedy for football in general," she said.

"They are the iconic part of the oval and people relate to that as part of the heritage of football in Western Australia, it's a landmark that's nationally and internationally recognised."

A 37-year-old man has been charged with stealing a motor vehicle, unlawful possession and an outstanding warrant.

Inquiries are continuing into the driver.

Man, 60, is stable following electric shock

Chronicle [2/1/15]:

A Pratten man who received an electric shock when machinery he was operating clipped powerlines yesterday was in a stable condition in Warwick Hospital last night.

Emergency crews were called to a rural property on Clegg Lane, just north of Pratten, shortly before midday after the incident was called in.

It is understood the man was using a crane mounted on a truck to undertake home maintenance when the device it came into contact with powerlines on the property.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman said the 60-year-old man had received a significant and serious electric shock but was "very stable" when later transported to Warwick Hospital.

The incident cut the power supply to more than 400 households in the Pratten, Bony Mountain, Thane, Wheatvale, Rodgers Creek, Leslie and several other nearby districts.

Supply was restored to 329 affected households by 2pm and the remaining 106 were back on by 2.45pm after an Ergon Energy crew attended the scene.


Man killed in car fire, Currumbin

MYGC [5/1/15]:

Traffic continues to be diverted from the Currumbin Creek Bridge following a fatal car fire.

It’s believed the vehicle was heading south on the Gold Coast Highway around 4.30am, before it errupted into flames, trapping the male driver.

The Forensic Crash Unit is investigating and both north and southbound traffic is being diverted.

Egypt: We never threatened Amal Clooney

AOL [4/1/15]:

Egypt's government said human rights lawyer Amal Clooney can come to the country "whenever she wants," firing back at claims she made in a recent interview.

Clooney told The Guardian in an interview published Friday, she was preparing a report for the International Bar Association earlier this year that was critical of Egypt's government, saying the judicial system should be more independent.

Egyptian officials reportedly found the information so controversial they threatened to arrest her and her team should they publish the report.

She told The Guardian, "When I went to launch the report, first of all they stopped us from doing it in Cairo. They said: 'Does the report criticize the army, the judiciary, or the government?' We said: 'Well, yes.' They said: 'Well then, you're risking arrest.'"

But, on Sunday, Egypt's government denied this ever happened.

Egypt's Interior Ministry told the state-run news agency MENA those claims are "baseless" and Amal Clooney was free to come to the country "whenever she wants."

Currently, Clooney is representing one of the three Al Jazeera journalists jailed in the country on charges of conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood to broadcast false reports. The men were convicted in June, but were granted a retrial last week.

The original ruling by Egyptian judge Mohamed Nagy Shehata was highly controversial. Human Rights Watch criticized the trial, claiming there was "no evidence indicating any criminal wrongdoing" committed by the Al Jazeera journalists.

Clooney's report in February recommended Egyptian officials no longer handpick judges for politicized cases. She has not publicly announced when she'll go back to the country.

A trade delegation of 11 U.S. companies, led by the United States’ Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Ken Hyatt, is visiting Cairo Dec. 7-8 to identify business opportunities and to enter, or expand their presence in, Egypt. ... [The Cairo Post - 8/12/14]

Cambodia: Police Search for Vietnamese asylum seekers

Cambodia Daily [5/1/15]:

Two weeks after a group of 13 Montagnard asylum seekers arrived in Phnom Penh to apply for refugee status, police said Sunday that they were searching for another five members of the Vietnamese indigenous group who crossed into Ratanakkiri province on Saturday.

O’yadaw district police chief Choup Vannarak said local farmers reported that a group of five Montagnards was hiding in the forest, and that he had tasked his officers with locating them.

“We are not sure if they are really Montagnards, but we deployed some police to search for those people,” Mr. Vannarak said.

More than 30 officers were deployed to the district on Saturday but did not begin searching for the group until Sunday afternoon, said Romash Leut, an ethnic Jarai —one of some 30 hill tribes that make up the Montagnards—living in Paknhai commune.

“Police asked me if I was hiding the Montagnards,” Mr. Leut said. “I answered, ‘No.’”

Another ethnic Jarai villager, who requested anonymity for fear of retribution, said the five Montagnards arrived in Ratanakkiri on Saturday.

“The five Montagnard people told us that they fled from Vietnam to Cambodia because their authorities treated them badly for being Christian,” the villager said.

“We assigned two villagers to look after the five, who are staying in a safe area of the forest,” he said.

The villager was part of a group of Jarai who provided shelter and food to the first group of 13, whose members also claimed to be fleeing persecution.

After two months in hiding, the group was reached by a U.N. delegation and transferred to Phnom Penh, where the Interior Ministry’s immigration department will determine whether they meet the criteria for refugee status.

Vivian Tan, the regional press officer for the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, said by email Sunday that her office would investigate reports of the new group of Montagnards.


About 300 monks, workers and activists were prevented from marching along Phnom Penh’s factory-lined Veng Sreng Street on Saturday to mark the slaying of five striking workers there by military police a year before. ... [Cambodia Daily - 5/1/15]


6 January 2015