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James Hardie moves to Ireland

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 上海性息 - (Comments Off on James Hardie moves to Ireland)

Building supplies producer James Hardie Industries NV is to move its base from The Netherlands to Ireland in a new form of European corporation known as an SE.

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James Hardie says that the move should improve its chances of qualifying for tax benefits in the United States, which it had failed to achieve through its earlier move to The Netherlands.

The company said the move would not affect its commitment to contribute to the asbestos diseases fund, but the costs of the move would be likely to reduce its liability to the fund in fiscal 2011.

James Hardie said it would seek shareholder approval for the move to Ireland and the change to an SE corporate form at an extraordinary general meeting in Europe on August 21, the same day as the company’s annual general meeting.

Sydney meetings will be held on August 18.

The company said it had agreed with the NSW government that it would apply to the Australian Taxation Office for new tax rulings covering its asbestos diseases contributions, seeking confirmation that its tax status will not change materially as a result of the moves.

James Hardie said the move would cost it an estimated $US51 million to $US71 million, of which $US14 million had already had been spent.

About $US30 million to $US50 million related to Dutch taxes as a result of a capital gain on the transfer of intellectual property from The Netherlands.

James Hardie chairman Michael Hammes said that, while the costs of the transfers were “significant”, directors believed the proposal “is the best course of action at this time for the company and its shareholders”.

He said directors recommended the proposals unanimously and would vote their own shares in favour.

Mr Hammes said the transfer to Ireland would improve the company’s chances of qualifying for tax benefits under a tax treaty between the US and Ireland, because the Irish treaty did not contain a “substantial presence test” requiring senior managers to spend substantial time in the host country.

It also would improve James Hardie’s flexibility to undertake “strategic” transactions, and simplify the company’s governance to a single board of directors.

It made James Hardie’s intellectual property and treasury and finance operations eligible for a statutory tax rate lower than in The Netherlands, and most shareholders would be eligible to receive dividends not subject to withholding tax.

PALESTINE – Fatah and Hamas go to war

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 上海性息 - (Comments Off on PALESTINE – Fatah and Hamas go to war)

REPORTER: Sophie McNeill

A few months ago these Hamas security forces were battling it out on the streets with their rivals from Fatah.

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OFFICER, (Translation): Where are your ID and license?

Today, they're patrolling traffic.

MAN (Translation): My ID is damaged and someone's fixing it.

Until recently the streets of Gaza were among the most lawless in the world. But the Islamist Hamas, listed as a terrorist organisation in the United States and Australia, is keen to show the world it's capable of maintaining law and order.

OFFICER, (Translation): I'm on my way to the mission.

Today I've been invited out on patrol with Gaza's new 'guardians' of security.

OFFICER, (Translation): Keep it down, she's recording everything.

They're not used to being filmed, so they're a little jumpy.

OFFICER, (Translation): We're bringing in someone. He's accused of stealing.

OFFICER, (Translation): You'll find out what it's about and sort it out.

The police take suspected thief Mansour back to the station for questioning.

OFFICER, (Translation): He's taken money from some people and won't pay them back, and they're poor people. By doing that he's not being fair to them, so to get some justice they came to us.

MANSOUR (Translation): Please, please, please don't jail me. I'm engaged and my wedding is on September 10. I’ve set the wedding date for September 10. After that jail me for 10 years instead of 1.

Although Hamas won parliamentary elections last year, all the police stations in Gaza remained under the control of Fatah-aligned forces. They were well known for their arrest and torture of Hamas supporters.

OFFICER, (Translation): The people of the mosques didn't dare to go near the security areas. Everyone who had a beard would be shot. Everyone they suspected was an Islamist would be jailed, executed or taken to be tortured.

This is how Hamas imposed law and order on Gaza in June. After months of interfactional fighting and summary executions by both parties, Hamas forces overran all the official security outposts. Fatah's troops and their commanders fled from Gaza. Now there are two, rival Palestinian governments. A new emergency Fatah government, appointed by the Palestinian President, sits in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

Meanwhile in Gaza, sacked Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh continues to hold his own Hamas cabinet meetings. The fact that Gaza is ruled entirely by Hamas is a nightmare for Israel. In response to continued Palestinian rocket attacks, Israel mounts almost daily incursions. My translator and driver, Raed al-Atamna, has just told me several people have been killed in two separate Israeli attacks.

RAED AL-ATAMNA, (Translation): You have a lot of wounded here.

Inside the operating theatre a young man lies dying, his legs blown away.

MAN, (Translation): He went with the resistance fighting the occupation and was hit by a rocket.

More victims of the Israeli attack are brought to the hospital. Nine people in total have been killed.

REPORTER: So, Raed, how often do you see something like this is Gaza?

RAED AL-ATAMNA: This is normal in Gaza. Every week is coming, every week this life. This is the life in Gaza. This is the life in Gaza!

Raed has also experienced terrible loss as a result of this conflict. 17 members of his family were killed in an Israeli rocket attack last November. Aside from military attacks, Gaza is being slowly strangled by an economic blockade and closed borders. And these young patients in the children's hospital are feeling the pain.

DR SHEIK HALIL: This is the patient, Jihan, her name is Jihan. She is in the third class of the school, and she has leukaemia. Most of the medications used for the tumours and for leukaemia, they are not available.

Dr Sheik Halil says he hasn't had the heart to tell this little girl's mother her daughter has leukaemia and that he has no drugs to treat her. And Gaza's closed borders don't just prevent medicine getting in but also patients getting out. 9-year-old Rana can't receive the treatment she needs for her tumour.

DR SHEIK HALIL: She has abdominal tumour and was increasing day by day. And she was referred to Egypt before, Egypt hospitals, when the borders were open, that time. She has diagnosis and now she is here for the treatment. And of course she cannot go back to Egypt to continue her medications and to continue the follow-up in Egypt. This is the paediatric intensive care unit.

For the three days before my visit to the hospital, Gaza has been without electricity. The European Union is worried Hamas will misuse money intended to buy fuel for Gaza's power station, so it's cut the funding. The hospital has its own generator but fuel supplies here are running dangerously low.

REPORTER:

What could happen if the electricity cuts out what could happen?

DR SHEIK HALIL: If cut out, of course the machine will not work so as the patient is depending on the machine completely, the patient will definitely die.

Because of the power cuts, Raed and his seven children often spend their evenings in darkness.

RAED AL-ATAMNA: All of them be scared when it be dark. It's very bad for him, you know. Crying “Mum! Mum!” all the night, all of them.

From Raed's house you can see the bright lights of Israel just a few kilometres away.

RAED AL-ATAMNA: You have electricity there and you can see with your eyes there is electricity on the Israel side and here don't have electricity.

While the children of Gaza are doing it tough, the lights are on in the West Bank, and foreigners are handing out presents. In the West Bank town of Bethlehem, American aid money is being used to buy backpacks for these children, and refurbish their school.

US AID WORKER: On behalf of the American people I am just privileged and honoured to be your partners.

The US is anxious to show Palestinians they'll be rewarded for turning away from Hamas, and supporting Fatah.

US AID WORKER: Our job is to really use this window of opportunity to demonstrate that peace will bring clear rewards to all Palestinians.

REPORTER: What does it say to people in the Middle East when you say, “OK, have free and fair elections but at the end of the day “we are only going to recognise or approve of the ones we like,” you know, “You can't elect anyone you want, you have to elect the ones we want to work with.”

MICAELA SCHWEITER-BLUHM, US CONSULATE SPOKESPERSON: Well, we're not saying “We want you to elect who we like.” It was a case of saying, “You have elected a government. We accept that. We accept that you've elected these people.” We have never made any secret of the fact that we are unable to interact with Hamas. They could have recognised previous international agreements, they could have denounced violence. They could have done a number of things, and they chose not to be responsible leaders.

But Fatah's critics accuse it of irresponsible leadership. With US backing, Fatah now seems intent on crushing Hamas support in the West Bank.

REPORTER: Mohammed, how did that happen?

MOHAMMED, (Translation): This is because of the handcuffs. My hands were cuffed behind my back and I was hoisted by the handcuffs.

There's evidence that Fatah security forces in the West Bank have been rounding up and torturing Hamas supporters like Mohammed, not his real name.

MOHAMMED, (Translation): Also, they made them very tight so both my hands were injured. This went on for three consecutive days.

Four days before I met him, the Palestinian Authority closed down the Islamic charity where Mohammed worked. He says he was then arrested and accused of working for Hamas.

MOHAMMED, (Translation): It's obvious that in the West Bank there are severe restrictions on political activities, particularly in relation to Hamas.

Back in Gaza, a senior Hamas official is taking me on a tour of the closed border with Egypt, now controlled by Hamas security forces. Ahmed Yousef is an adviser to sacked Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. While most people believe Hamas has staged a violent coup in Gaza, Yousef claims Fatah was to blame.

AHMED YOUSEF: They have the plan to start challenging Hamas…

He says Hamas was simply responding to an attempted takeover by Fatah, led by its security chief in Gaza.

AHMED YOUSEF: So to us he was like the number one enemy for Hamas because he was preparing for that coup with the help and support and money from the American Government.

This may sound like a Hamas conspiracy theory, but Yousef's version of events is supported by no less than the former head of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency.

EFRAIM HALEVY, FORMER DIRECTOR OF MOSSAD: This was an effort to mount a kind of a coup against the elections.

Halevy agrees that the US worked with Fatah to try and overthrow the Islamists.

EFRAIM HALEVY: After the election was won, the United States decided the results were not to its liking, Israel thought it was not to its liking, the Fatah thought it was not to its liking, and therefore all three together with the Europeans in the end decided it was legitimate, it was proper to take steps to undo the results of the election.

Remarkably, Halevy is opposed to the policy of isolating Hamas and thinks it will harm Israel's security. He also believes the US provided military support to Fatah.

EFRAIM HALEVY It was an effort by the United States to enable Fatah to put together a force in Gaza. This was a force which was destined to confront the Hamas capability in Gaza and to overcome it. I think there was an enormous effort put into this, training equipment, know-how, logistics, equipment of various kinds.

But if so, the plan backfired. Much of this equipment has now ended up in the hands of Hamas's Executive Force, and today it's putting on a show for the media. These US-supplied cars were stolen when Hamas overran Fatah's security force headquarters in June. And these new guns were also seized. There are allegations that these too were paid for by Washington.

HANI AL-HASSAN, FORMER FATAH SECURITY ADVISOR: Surely they ordered Israel to let the guns go in, they supplied, they paid the price of the guns.

Former Fatah security advisor Hani al-Hassan was privy to the plan. He says America supplied weapons to Fatah and Israel facilitated their transfer.

REPORTER: And where did the guns come from?

HANI AL-HASSAN: Some from Egypt. Some from Jordan.

REPORTER: Because the Americans now they say they didn't pay for any weapons?

HANI AL- HASSAN: That's not true.

Since going public with these allegations Hassan's house has been attacked and he's been sacked him from his position as presidential advisor.

REPORTER: By building up one apparatus of Palestinian security in Gaza that's well known as a Fatah movement, didn't the United States help provoke the violent confrontation that we've just seen in Gaza?

MICAELA SCHWEITER-BLUHM: I would not agree. To clarify, we were working with legitimate security forces under the authority of President Abbas. What happened in Gaza was a terrible thing, it was a breakdown in security and the rule of law. We feel where much for the citizens of Gaza, for their situation.

But even former UN envoy Alvaro de Soto didn't trust America's intentions. In this leaked copy of his final report in May, before the Hamas takeover, he wrote,

ALVARO DE SOTO REPORT: “The US envoy declared twice in an envoys' meeting in Washington how much 'I like this violence,' referring to the near civil war that was erupting in Gaza in which civilians were being regularly killed and injured, because 'it means that other Palestinians are resisting Hamas.'”

SAEB EREKAT, SENIOR FATAH MEMBER: When Hamas won the election, nobody said 'No' to that.

Senior Fatah member Saeb Erekat denies his party tried to undermine the election results.

SAEB EREKAT: We have nothing against Hamas as a political party. We have everything against Hamas being an authority parallel to our authorities, and against this coup d'etat, against taking the law into their own hands.

But in Gaza Hamas supporters blame Fatah for their misery. Today they've come to the closed Rafah border crossing for a demonstration. But these protesters don't just blame Israel for the blockade on Gaza, they also blame Fatah President Mahmoud Abbas, known as Abu Mazen.

MAN, (Translation): He's pressuring the government and the Palestinians to make them regret voting for Hamas and supporting it in Gaza. Abu Mazen is giving us more trouble than Israel is. It's Abu Mazen and the cabinet who stopped fuel entering Gaza.

In fact, when Indonesia and Qatar recently tried to condemn the closures in the UN Security Council, their resolution was withdrawn, incredibly, because of objections from the Palestinian envoy, a Fatah appointment.

SAEB EREKAT: I feel very sorry for their misery, it's a very, very miserable situation.

REPORTER: So why did he defeat this motion? Why did he work to defeat this motion?

SAEB EREKAT: We wanted to have a balanced resolution, we wanted them to add the paragraph calling on the people to rescind and revoke all the consequences of the coup d'etat, and that's our right.

Last week the Fatah government explicitly condemned the border closures in Gaza. But each side continues to blame and provoke the other. It's Friday and these Fatah supporters are gathering to pray in protest against the Hamas takeover of Gaza. The event soon turns into a large anti-Hamas demonstration.

CROWD: Abu Mazen! Abu Mazen!

Hamas quickly sends its armed security force to break up the demonstrators.

HAMAS MAN, (Translation): Enough! You've filmed enough!

Later that day, while they thought journalists weren't looking, Hamas proceeded to beat and arrest a large number of Fatah supporters. This was captured by a TV camera on a nearby rooftop. One week later, Hamas has declared it illegal to hold prayers outdoors. So on this Friday morning the streets are quiet as people wait to see if Fatah will dare disobey the order. Hamas is clearly preparing for a fight.

REPORTER: Last week we saw lots of protesters beaten by the police. Is that going to happen again today? I mean, do you approve of what they did last week?

POLICE CHIEF: Let me ask to you, if this happened in your country, what will the police do?

REPORTER: You're not allowed to beat unarmed people in my country.

POLICE CHIEF: No, in any country it's allowed for people to spoil security?

MAN, (Translation): The mosque is there. Go and pray there.

As Fatah supporters begin to arrive, the police block anybody from entering the square.

OFFICER, (Translation): You didn't come here to pray. If you want to pray, go to the mosque.

MAN, (Translation): Don't hit me! Why are you doing that?

OFFICER, (Translation): Move on, go and pray.

Anyone who wants to argue is quickly shoved into waiting car and driven away.

MAN, (Translation): They took him for speaking to a journalist! Can't talk to journalists, can't pray in the street.

OFFICER, (Translation): Don't say anything! Be quiet. Stop talking. I told you, don't speak! Stop talking! That's it! Enough! Get going!

LOCAL CAMERAMAN, (Translation): I said I was a journalist and showed them my card but four soldiers kept beating me, all because I was filming them assaulting people. One civilian and three from the Executive Force attacked me.

According to Israel's former spy boss, Gaza's cycle of violence and recrimination isn't doing anybody any good, be it Israel, the United States or the Palestinians.

EFRAIM HALEVY: I believe that ultimately you have to talk to your enemy, you have to confront your enemy. Somewhere along the line there has to be a policy of how to deal with Gaza. If someone believes that ultimately Fatah will just walk into Gaza and just take over the remnants and receive the surrender of the Hamas, I think that he who thinks so is living in a world of fantasy.

And as Palestinians fight amongst themselves, long-suffering Gaza locals like Raed al-Atamna look on and despair.

RAED AL-ATAMNA, (Translation): It's natural for me to feel tired and angry when I see the fighting between Hamas and Fatah. Also, it's possible I want neither Hamas nor Fatah because of such behaviour. I'm angry with both. They can't be Palestinian. The word 'Palestinian' should unite us.

Reporter/Camera

SOPHIE McNEILL

Editors

ROWAN TUCKER-EVANS

WAYNE LOVE

Fixers

RAED AL ATAMNA (Gaza)

NIDAL RAFA (West Bank)

Subtitling

JOSEPH ABDO

Queer eyes wide shut at WYD

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 上海性息 - (Comments Off on Queer eyes wide shut at WYD)

OPINION: By Noeline Bautista from PROJECTeye

And yet, as the crowd goes wild, did anybody even notice a handful of contestants running in the opposite direction? One of them was a divorcee.

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Another was wearing an annoying t-shirt. And the guy I was cheering for… is gay.

So what does WYD mean to a community condemned by the Catholic Church? As recent protests indicate – not much.

For starters, a series of t-shirts that read “Pope Go Homo” were manufactured, purchased, and paraded – only to be banned. Deemed ‘annoying’, future prosecutors were threatened with fines of up to $5,500. Some critics are labelling it as a form of censorship.

“Jesus didn't run around handing out condoms,” said George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney. But NoToPope Coalition members did. Condoms were handed out to pilgrims on their way to a papal mass at Randwick Racecourse as a protest against the Catholic Church’s stance on abortion, contraception and homosexuality. This time, it was deemed legal by the courts.

Not until the lead up to WYD have protestors walked a finer line between ‘inconveniencing pilgrims’ and exercising their right within a democratic society to free speech.

This begs the question of whether religion and the state can ever become two truly separate affairs.

One glimpse at the Australian legal system, and the predominantly Christian ethos it was founded on becomes obvious. New legislation is enacted to protect the pilgrims of WYD from annoying protestors, yet the same restrictions weren’t enforced for the Dalai Lama, and nothing is done to curb the media induced sentiment towards Islam.

Would the Government be willing to spend $160 million dollars on the festivities of another religion?

Pope Benedict himself has said, “Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered towards an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder”.

Because gay marriages are not legally recognised, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) couples are denied the same entitlements and benefits as their heterosexual counterparts. These include the perks of reduced tax for combined accounts, health insurance and retirement planning.

An LGBT individual cannot make claims on the house, car, social security payments, bereavement leave or superannuation on behalf of their partner – regardless of how much they love each other, or how long they have been in a relationship together.

Some would accuse the gay community, along with gay rights activists as attention seekers, deliberately causing trouble during WYD. But I wonder, how many heterosexuals would be willing to give up the aforementioned entitlements without a fight?

Too bad homophobic double standards aren’t a legally recognised form of discrimination.

“Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable” (Leviticus 18:22).

As the number of Catholic adherents drop, and with atheism, secularism and new age religions on the rise – could Catholicism be losing its relevance?

Anyone familiar with ancient history, or at least good with his or her trivia and useless information would know that gay marriages are so centuries ago! They were normal. Dick waddling Emperor Nero himself married a male slave. But how many people know what happened between then and now to make homosexuality so detestable?

The Old Testament was written during a time when the Jewish population was in decline, struggling to keep up with other ancient civilisations. In order to survive, the tribe enacted laws against male-to-male relations to counteract this.

Looking around, it seems that this Judeo-Christian law stuck around way longer than they intended. Only this time round, with quite the opposite effect. Instead of attracting followers, Catholicism is losing them.

“The fact that LGBT youth will feel left out at these events and/or that they won’t be able to be their true selves at these events is sad” says Genesis, 18.

Genesis is no longer the Catholic he was raised to become, feeling let down by a church that actively suppresses his sexual orientation.

The suicide rate amongst gay youth is seven times more than the average, according to Ms Evans from Community Action Against Homophobia.

This frightening statistic has the Catholic Church unscathed, refusing to recognise LGBT members unless they repent their ‘sins’ of homosexuality.

When the Bible taught Catholics to “love thy neighbour,” who knew it was conditional?

ProjectEye is a content partner for SBS providing critical news coverage of WYD08 from a youth perspective.

Guehenno Interview

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 上海性息 - (Comments Off on Guehenno Interview)

MARK DAVIS: Jean-Marie Guehenno, welcome to Dateline.

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There were some 400 or 500 people dead virtually at the feet of UN forces in the Congo. What does this say about the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping forces?

JEAN-MARIE GUEHENNO, HEAD OF UN PEACEKEEPING: Well, Congo is a very big country that was in a tragic war for several years and when you look at the situation today, and what the situation was a year ago, I think that the change is very much in the right direction.

But if you want peacekeeping to be effective you have to have the resources to support the mandate and that’s what presently we’re asking the Security Council to give us.

MARK DAVIS: You say at present it’s looking OK, but this was an absolute tragedy which the retreating Ugandan forces predicted. Did you ever think this plan was going to work?

JEAN-MARIE GUEHENNO: We managed to bring a significant multinational force in a very short time. While that force was being expected, we had a battalion that considerably limited the number of casualties. I mean, I think everybody would agree that without that presence there would have been thousands and thousands of people killed.

MARK DAVIS: But the point is this – was the force significant enough? This goes to the very credibility of any UN peacekeeping mission. The International Crisis Group in its most recent report has said that the UN mission was totally incapable of fulfilling its mission.

Wasn’t that apparent? I mean there is just with the benefit of hindsight but to various experts including neighbouring countries, this was on the cards.

JEAN-MARIE GUEHENNO: What was on the cards was that without significant forces, this would not be stopped and the Security Council was repeatedly informed of the situation. I think there have been other massacres unfortunately in Congo.

I think this one was stopped because we did deploy a first Uruguayan battalion and then convinced the Security Council to deploy a multinational force because there there was no peace to keep, there was a peace to enforce and that’s why we needed a multinational force.

MARK DAVIS: In a way this couldn’t come at a worse time for you with the United States attacking the UN, in particular its peacekeeping and military operations, and Australia is also echoing that.

Is this a reflection of the criticism of UN peacekeeping missions – that they don’t have enough power, they don’t have enough will, they don’t have enough force?

JEAN-MARIE GUEHENNO: I think that we have demonstrated in recent years actually that UN peacekeeping is getting much stronger. I mean, in Sierra Leone, 2.5 years ago we were in a great crisis and then we have been able to redress the situation, to have free elections.

In Bosnia we handed over a police that everybody recognises as the best part, the most effective institution in Bosnia at the moment. We handed over that police to the European Union.

In Ethiopia, in Eritrea, we deployed a force that has also stabilised the situation. So I think actually when you look at UN peacekeeping today, you don’t see a crisis you see improvement.

MARK DAVIS: You were at the meeting between Kofi Annan and George Bush on Monday. This was their first meeting after six very tense months. What was the mood there?

JEAN-MARIE GUEHENNO: It was very constructive. I think there is a recognition of the importance of the United Nations for a number of crises. The United Nations will not solve all the crises, it will not solve them when the Security Council is in disagreement.

But there are many places in the world where there is agreement in the Security Council. For instance, Liberia was discussed and clearly there is an emerging consensus there in the sense that probably a peacekeeping mission will be needed in Liberia and I think the atmosphere was actually quite good.

MARK DAVIS: On the question of Liberia, George Bush said that the US may provide some troops but he added very pointedly that they will not be “blue helmeted”. Now, apart from any obvious tensions over Iraq, what’s your understanding of the American administration’s apparent antagonism for the UN and for your section of the UN in particular?

JEAN-MARIE GUEHENNO: Well, I think in the United States – I mean for a while the US have not been willing to commit troops under UN command, but we see the US very supportive, as I said, on Congo. We see them actually quite supportive on a number of other missions.

There is a recognition that the United Nations, if I may say, are a force multiplier for a peacekeeping. They bring the international community together and that’s very helpful because no country can manage all crises around the world and when countries come together under the UN aegis and with the Security Council authority, it makes things easier to handle.

MARK DAVIS: Well, that sounds fine in theory but is this what’s really being played out at the moment? We’ve now had the Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld proposing a new peacekeeping force under US control. What do you believe of the feasibility of that plan is and where does it leave your division of the UN?

JEAN-MARIE GUEHENNO: I think – I mean the reaction we get from many countries when we ask them for troops is that they are actually quite comfortable to serve under the UN flag.

I think there is an issue in the sense that we get much more countries from the developing world ready to serve under the UN flag than from the developed world who have become more used to coalitions of the willing.

MARK DAVIS: But this is a very dramatic transition that’s occurred. ‘The coalition of the willing’ slogan, if you like, is the phrase of the moment. So you are comfortable with this shift where America is proposing that they will put forces in under their own control? That’s a situation you’re comfortable with?

JEAN-MARIE GUEHENNO: Well, I think there is nothing new there. NATO has existed for 50 years. I mean, there will always be situations where there is an alliance and countries which have the same view of the world join in an alliance and there will be other situations where the UN with its universality will bring countries which do not belong in the same alliance together and I think it’s actually quite important.

MARK DAVIS: Well lastly, perhaps, Australia’s Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has damned multilateral actions by the UN as ineffective and unfocused. Have you or Kofi Annan responded to that charge?

JEAN-MARIE GUEHENNO: Well, Australia is still very much in Timor, and we welcome that, and we hope Australia will stay engaged in peacekeeping because it has made a remarkable contribution and I think we would all be disappointed if Australia moved away from UN peacekeeping.

MARK DAVIS: Jean-Marie Guehenno, thanks for joining us.

Torching The Relay

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 上海性息 - (Comments Off on Torching The Relay)

This week Dateline invites you to be a fly on the wall, as those hell-bent on disrupting the Olympic Torch Relay plan – and execute – their protests.

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Video Journalist David Brill was in New Delhi the day before and the day of the protests. His was the only camera allowed to film with the protestors.

Multimedia: Embedded with the protestors.

Blog: On the streets of New Delhi.

Have Your Say: Has the Olympic spirit been dampened by heightened security and protests?

Demonstrators lead Brill through a series of twisting alleyways on the outskirts of the capital before he is allowed into a dark and murky apartment – the war room. Here, the protestors pour over maps of the city, plan their strategy, find out where the police plan to be and build up their numbers.

The heart of New Delhi was almost totally sealed off for the relay which took place over a scaled-back distance of 2.3 kilometres.

While the number of protestors was estimated at around 600, over 16,000 police, soldiers and commandos stood between the public and the torch. Only specially-selected onlookers were allowed to watch.

As the group Brill is with makes their way towards the relay they are stopped and questioned by police. Undaunted, the protestors make a break for it, and surge towards the barrier, with Brill close behind…

With the torch due to arrive in Australia on Thursday, Dateline takes you to where no other media has been: inside the minds of the protestors.

See Torching The Relay, this Wednesday the 23rd of April at 8:30pm on SBS TV.

Keep up to date with all the latest stories with our Newsletter.

TRANSCRIPT

To say the least, 'farce' is a much over-used word when it comes to journalists and commentators. But how else would you describe the Olympic torch's long and – if you'll pardon the expression – tortured journey around the globe, along with its blue track-suited Chinese security guards? Tomorrow it's in Canberra. Late last week, as the flame passed through New Delhi, police were out on the streets in force to keep the pro-Tibet demonstrators at bay. David Brill – who's covered a few demos in his time – managed to get the trust of one group as they plotted to disrupt the Olympic symbol's relay. When David returned from his assignment, George Negus sat down and went through his fly-on-the-wall footage with him.

GEORGE NEGUS: David, this is a tricky assignment, even for a bloke like you. So, how did you go about it? You got to India, you got to New Delhi. To get inside with the protesters, what did you have to do?

DAVID BRILL, ‘DATELINE’ REPORTER: We had a contact there called Tensing who was one of the leaders, known as a general, to do with the Tibetan demonstrators and he promised us that if I got up there, there would be something worthwhile doing and I asked, “Can we do an interview? Can we do an interview with my fixer?” He said, “All right, at 10 o'clock in the morning,in a park in the New Delhi.”

GEORGE NEGUS: So he wouldn't meet you just go anywhere?

DAVID BRILL: He wouldn't meet us anywhere. He said, “Come to this park at 10 o'clock, I'll be under a tree.” We went over there to the park, rang him on his mobile, he said, “I can see you, I'm under this tree here.” Very cloak and dagger. So over we went. He was very suspicious and he was worried about the police and security agencies. He took us around the back, under a wall, where I did this interview.

TENZIN TSUNDUE, SECRETARY GENERAL FRIENDS OF TIBET (INDIA): We have a large number of people. Tibetans from all over the country are coming in all different batches and we don't even know what number that would be because people are coming on their own in groups of tens and fifteens, or even hundreds, from schools, monasteries, individuals from refugee camps, people are coming on their own, in trains and buses and in many different ways. So they will do their own protest so we will have to see who is better – the security, 15,000 security personnel, or the Tibetans coming on their own.

DAVID BRILL: Then I said, “I want to come with you today, spend time with you preparing for the demonstration tomorrow.” He said, “Get yourself in a car, come to a certain spot, I'll send somebody out on a motorbike to bring you into where I am.” So myself and my film producer, we went in the car, we arrived in this place on the outskirts of New Delhi. A guy came along on a bike, smiled and said, “Please put your camera in your bag, follow me into this compound.” So I went down through the alley ways up some stairs into this dark apartment and there he was on the floor with his comrades with maps, phones going off everywhere, planning the demonstration for the next day. It was like going into say, Iraq, finding one of the rebel leaders.

GEORGE NEGUS: Almost like a war plan?

DAVID BRILL: Yes it was, very much like a war plan. And that is the way they organised it – he had his captains with him, who were heads of various groups which were going to scatter around the torch area the next day. But they were paranoid about being picked up.

PROTESTER: Everywhere the police is following them..If they find any groups they get caught, so it’s really hard to manage all these things.

TENZIN TSUNDUE: We have almost 600-700 Tibetans who like going to be deputy under their commander into all different places. They are presently hiding in all different places. They will direct them where to go and when to go.

DAVID BRILL: While the Tibetan protesters were in their so-called war room, setting out where they would demonstrate on the day of the torch relay, I heard there was another demonstration going on near by. India is very proud of being the largest democracy in the world. So it be, but they have this small area, about 400-500 yards long where anybody can go and demonstrate – like a demonstration corner.

GEORGE NEGUS: Like a demonstration strip?

DAVID BRILL: Just a demonstration strip – part of a road. So I went there.

GEORGE NEGUS: An officially sanctioned area so they can go to?

DAVID BRILL: Yes. A locked-off area where they can officially go and demonstrate and do what they like. It was something the Indian authorities wanted to do, was to allow the Tibetans to demonstrate a day before the actual torch run. The police were there of course, but that was about four kilometres or five kilometres from where the torch was going to be to run.

GEORGE NEGUS: Knowing India, that is half-an-hour at least away.

DAVID BRILL: At least, in a car. So I got amongst them there and it was really powerful stuff to see these people who were really emotionally involved about getting their own country back. There was an Indian MP who got up and spoke about what the Chinese should do with Tibet – give it back to the people.

GEORGE NEGUS: He was anti-China?

DAVID BRILL: He was anti-China.

KIREN RIJIJU, INDIAN MP: We cannot afford to celebrate the Olympics. The Olympics is for peace, the Olympics is for unity, the Olympics is a movement for glorifying the unification of the whole world but this cannot be possible if basic human rights are being curtailed, the innocent people are being killed and the basic spirit of freedom is being suppressed. You cannot curtail the democratic voice of the people in India. That is why I am upset with the stand taken by our own government.

DAVID BRILL: It was really heavy stuff, what he was talking about. But just to see the old people – the old Tibetans living in India for all their lives – and the young ones. This thing is not going to get better, it is going to get worse until something is done. You can see it in their faces.

CROWD: Stop killing! In Tibet! Stop killing! In Tibet! Stop killing! In Tibet!

DAVID BRILL: And so they allowed me to stay until it got very dark that night. They did all their planning, went back to the hotel, arranged to meet them again at another safe house at 9 o'clock in the morning on the Thursday. They had been working on it for four months all over India, just for this one day. It was their big opportunity – the torch being in Delhi, the international media being there. They didn't want to get caught before it even started and they couldn't demonstrate. So it was really heavy, heavy stuff, what they were doing to stop getting caught by the security agency.

PROTESTER: We’ll stick on the schedule. It’ll be on a very flexible way, otherwise if you just stick on that, who knows..I mean the schedule might be changed in the last moment, so we have to keep it in such a way that it’s very flexible and we can hit it three different ways.

GEORGE NEGUS: And many people were involved in this hard core of generals?

DAVID BRILL: About eight of them sitting around.

GEORGE NEGUS: Were they all from Dar es Salaam?

DAVID BRILL: They were all from Dar es Salaam, they were all Tibetans and they were the leaders of about 600-700 demonstrators they had organised for the Thursday.

GEORGE NEGUS: Did you get the feeling, dealing with them the way you did – for hours on end by the sounds of it – were they a violent people? Were they inclined towards violence or were they the peaceful Buddhist types that we think they are?

DAVID BRILL: They kept saying to me that they wanted to a peaceful demonstration, “We're not into violence, we want to have a peaceful demonstration just to show our cause, to show what is happening in Tibet.”

GEORGE NEGUS: So they were trying to stay ahead of the police, the police were trying to stay ahead of them?

DAVID BRILL: Absolutely. And so the phones are going off, they're changing all the time and their phones were being tapped. And so some calls are coming in the same, “I am from AP Television or from Reuters” and they knew they weren't. These people were asking them, “Where are you going to demonstrate? We want to be there.”

GEORGE NEGUS: How did you convince them that you were innocent?

DAVID BRILL: Well, it took a while, because they were very suspicious of me but after a while they knew I was from Australia, and they put trust into me. Before they actually left, they got in a big huddle and, “Free Tibet! Free Tibet!”, hugged each other and off they went there. They were on the case.

GROUP: Free Tibet!

DAVID BRILL: I went with one of these captains in his car. We stopped about 15 minutes out from where we were, picked up all the flags.

GEORGE NEGUS: They were heading towards the torch.

DAVID BRILL: They were trying to head towards the torch or to another safe house where another hundred or so demonstrators were waiting to go and demonstrate. But we got held up in the traffic.

TENZIN TSUNDUE: We are wasting time here.

DAVID BRILL: We couldn't get anywhere and he was starting to panic because we had these people waiting for him. We did a U-turn, somehow got back, left the car, got into a subway, went about eight or nine stops in the subway. Got out of the subway, got into some rickshaws, went to this apartment building, again around the back stairs, up in the dark, and there were 100 people ages from 70 down to about 10 or 11, getting ready to be picked up in some Kombi vans and taken to the demonstration. They were getting 'Free Tibet' written on their arms and T-shirts – it was a very, very moving moment.

We left that last safe house with the hundred or so demonstrators getting into Kombi vans. It was like the President's White House carpool going out somewhere. It was huge. We got out onto the road to about three kilometres or four kilometres away from where the torch was going to start its run and the police stopped us. They came over to our car, then they saw the demonstrators, the monks, in the cars behind ours and they said, “What are you doing?” And they knew. So I got out, started filming the police checking them and all of a sudden, the back doors on these Kombi vans opened up and these quietly spoken, quiet people got out, put on their red robes and banners and screamed down the road, straight past the police and knocking people down. Then they came – two kilometres further on – to a barricade, a big police barricade where there were police in riot gear and a couple of police buses and so forth waiting if they arrested people. Then it was on for young and old.

They tried to break through the barrier. The police stopped them obviously. One of them fainted and they threw water over him. Another one broke his shoulder – they put him in the ambulance. There was a woman standing beside him saying, “Please, don't hurt him, don't hurt him.” This went on for about 15-20 minutes and then they arrested most of them, put them into the police buses and drove them off.

GEORGE NEGUS: It sounds to me, David, as though it was only partly a success. The police did thwart them – they never got near the torch. On the other hand, they made a lot of noise as the international media has recorded. We now know what they're on about. Did they regard their whole exercise – their whole strategy – 'cause that's what it was – as a success?

DAVID BRILL: It was like a military operation, the way they set it up. I don't think so. Partly yes, but not overall, because they couldn't get anywhere, the barricades were so far back. New Delhi had been closed down that day since 1 o'clock. All the government officials were allowed to go home, so it was like a Sunday except for the barricades and the police. So they couldn't get close to the torch at all. Also, George, they didn't want to tell the media exactly where they were 'cause they didn't know whether it was the media or the secret police ringing them up.

GEORGE NEGUS: We saw the trouble you had getting information.

DAVID BRILL: Yes, and I was in them with them very, very closely.

GEORGE NEGUS: Nobody had any doubt what they were about?

DAVID BRILL: Nobody had any doubt what they were about.

Feature Report: Torching the Relay

Reporter/Camera

DAVID BRILL

Editor

WAYNE LOVE

Field Producer

SANJAY JHA

Palestinian shot dead after bulldozer rampage

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 上海性息 - (Comments Off on Palestinian shot dead after bulldozer rampage)

A Palestinian man was shot dead after going on a bulldozer rampage in Jerusalem, wounding at least 16 people as he ploughed into cars in the second such attack this month.

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Jerusalem police chief Aharon Franco said the assailant, identified as a man from occupied East Jerusalem, rammed his vehicle into a bus near the King David Hotel, failing to overturn it, but smashing its windows.

“The bulldozer then rammed five cars and damaged them. A civilian tried to stop him when a border guard arrived and neutralised him.”

The attack came on the eve of a visit by US presidential candidate Barack Obama who is to meet Israeli and Palestinian officials on Wednesday on the latest leg of a tour of the Middle East and Europe.

“I was going home when I saw the tractor going into a bus four or five times. All the windows of the bus exploded,” said Yohanan Levine, 16.

“Then I saw the tractor going down the street pushing cars. At this moment I looked (the driver) in the eye and I saw more people running, and after two minutes I heard two or three gunshots.”

White House condemns attack

The White House urged “all parties” in the Middle East to condemn the attack if Israel determines it was an act of terrorism.

“Terrorist attacks do nothing to further the goals of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace, a goal the president has been advocating for, and that both of those countries' leaders have been working toward,” said spokeswoman Dana Perino.

Obama condemned the attack, telling reporters in neighbouring Jordan he would support Israel “in confronting terrorism and pursuing lasting peace and security.”

“Today's bulldozer attack is a reminder of what Israelis have had to courageously live with on a daily basis for far too long.”

On July 2, a Palestinian killed three people and wounded 30 others when he rammed a bulldozer into buses and cars on a busy Jerusalem street before being shot dead.

Security tightened

The King David Hotel regularly hosts the rich and famous. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown stayed there on his visit to Jerusalem earlier this week and Obama will be staying there during his trip.

“We heightened security immediately after the attack and we will heighten… until after Obama's visit,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

The attacker was named as Ghassan Abu Tir, 22, from Umm Tuba, a district of east Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 war and annexed in a move not recognised by the international community.

In the July 2 incident, the perpetrator was a 30-year-old east Jerusalem man who worked for an Israeli company at a nearby construction site.

In that case, all indications were that what Israel called a terrorist attack was a spontaneous incident carried out by a father of two with a criminal past but no known links to armed groups.

“I condemn terrorist attacks with the greatest firmness, and I hope for the quick recovery of those who were hurt,” Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said after meeting his Israeli counterpart Shimon Peres.

Kenny Leiner, 67, a New Yorker living in Jerusalem, said he was eating at a restaurant when “we heard a boom and the waiter alerted us that it was a terrorist attack.

“I started to run after the truck. I thought maybe I could do something. I saw the driver going boom in a car, boom in a second car. Then the police started to shoot at him. I feel horrible.”

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's spokesman Mark Regev said: “This was another attempt to murder innocent people in a senseless act of terror.”

Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski said Israel should “reconsider the way in which we employ Arabs on construction sites.”

Public Security Minister Avi Dichter told public radio “it is clear that the demolition of terrorists' houses and the expulsion of terrorists … is the most effective sanction I know.”

At least 525 people have been killed since peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians resumed in November after a seven-year hiatus, mostly militants in the besieged Gaza Strip, according to a count by news agency AFP.

Who's Afraid of Wei Jingsheng?

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 上海性息 - (Comments Off on Who's Afraid of Wei Jingsheng?)

This week Dateline meets one of China's most famous democracy activists, Wei Jingsheng.

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Mr Wei was actually one of the key case studies in Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's thesis in 1980 on human rights in China.

Have Your Say: Is Wei Jingsheng right to urge Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to do more to promote democracy in China?

Video: The Life of a Video Journalist

Mr Wei was jailed for 18 years for writing an article that criticised the then-Premier Deng Xiao Ping. Now, he is a leading figure in China’s democracy movement and has hit the campaign trail in the months before the Beijing Games.

David O’Shea joins Mr Wei on the road in London, as he spruiks his message to sympathetic (and not so sympathetic) audiences.

Along the way, Mr Wei is introduced to British politicians who are happy to meet with him, but only in private. He also speaks to Chinese students, some of whom applaud him, but others heckle. He says they were ordered to do so by the Chinese embassy.

They say they don't agree with his message. “He was just misleading us, misleading foreign countries to get them to overturn the Chinese government,” one student says.

TRANSCRIPT

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's interest in China goes back to his university days where he was polishing his Mandarin skills and in 1980, writing his honours thesis on the ordeals of human rights activist Wei Jingsheng. Wei Jingsheng is now based in the US but is still at the coal face, pushing for human rights in China. David O'Shea caught up with him recently in London for his views on China and on Kevin Rudd.

REPORTER: David O'Shea

Wei Jingsheng has learned to catch up on sleep whenever he can. The world’s most prominent Chinese dissident has a punishing schedule urging anyone who will listen to support the democracy movement in China. And with the days ticking away before the Olympic Games, he is cranking up the pace.

WEI JINGSHENG, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST (Translation): I’d like to say this to every politician. It won’t affect China alone. If there’s turmoil in China, every country’s interests will be harmed.

London is the latest leg of his tireless campaign, a series of meetings with local activists, university students, and politicians. Now with his interpreter and human rights group, Amnesty International’s China campaign manager, he is off to the British foreign office.

KRISTYAN BENEDICT, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: The work we are doing with China at the moment especially with the UK Government is getting them to acknowledge that there is an increasing crackdown on human rights activists in China and always increases once you get to June 4 – and to speak more publicly about that crackdown.

REPORTER: What do you hope to achieve when you go to meetings like this?

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): I hope that British politicians urge the Chinese Government to carry out reforms, particularly political reforms. China at present is at crossroads. So if no reforms take place soon, China may fall into even greater turmoil.

When the Mandarin-speaking Kevin Rudd became Prime Minister of Australia, Wei Jingsheng sat up and took notice.

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): Many Chinese expect him to care more about human rights in China. He himself lives in a free country. He runs a democratic system and knows it very well. Ordinary Chinese people feel Kevin Rudd should promote democracy in China. Compared to other Western politicians, he should play a bigger role.

Wei Jingsheng once had impeccable communist party credentials. He was born into a high-ranking military official family and brought up in prestigious party schools. He was even a red guard in his youth. But he became disillusioned and in the 1970s, started an underground magazine and began posting articles on what became known as “democracy wall” in downtown Beijing. He pushed the boundaries harder than anyone else but seemed to get away with it for a while until he posted a very critical essay about the then Premier Deng Xiao Ping.

Three days later, on 29 March 1979, he was arrested and then put on a show trial. He spent the next 15 years in prison. Wei was released as China made its bid for the 2000 Olympic Games but when the honour was bestowed on Sydney, the Chinese authorities locked him up again. President Clinton intervened and cut a deal to get him released after three years and deported to the US where he now lives.

REPORTER: The Chinese leadership of course just dismiss you as a stooge of the CIA? What do you say to that?

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): If it was true, the CIA would have a high-profile agent. I have nothing to do with the CIA.

Shortly after his release from prison, Mr Wei met Mr Rudd in 1999. He says the then opposition parliamentarian showed him his university thesis, which focuses on him and outlines his key role in the early democracy movement. It is a highly detailed dissertation which conveys Rudd’s clear admiration for his strength, courage and commitment. Mr Wei is now calling on Rudd, the Prime Minister, to resurrect his university idealism and use his influence to push Beijing to reform.

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): But as far as I can see, particularly during the election and since he was elected, he hasn’t done much. I’m not disappointed in him yet. But he hasn’t done anything over a long period. We may need to urge him to do something. We should give him some new information. I’m thinking of visiting Australia later when I’m not too busy. I’d like to talk to him in person.

Mr Wei is now the chairman of the Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition in Washington DC. He spends his life lobbying policy makers and politicians for support. But Mr Wei admits to a second agenda.

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): We have another important job, to undermine the Communist foreign policies. The Chinese Government wants to rope Western countries in, so we need to destroy their plans. These are our two tasks in foreign affairs.

Many times on this trip I hear people say China’s rapid development has lifted millions out of poverty and improving human rights will follow. Mr Wei scoffs at the idea that the economy should come first.

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): Human rights are basic human needs. Even if one is hungry and poor, one still needs human rights – that’s human nature. It has no direct connection with the economy.

REPORTER: Shouldn’t we just be patient and let things happen on their own?

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): The Chinese people have given the Government 60 years and after 60 years, the country is still a mess. So time isn’t the solution. The key question is whether there’s a free press and whether there’s a responsible legal system. Without such a legal system, reforms can only be marginal, unreliable and unsubstantial.

Amnesty International have brought Mr Wei to London for a series of events to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre where hundreds of pro-democracy activists and students were killed. They wanted to re-create the iconic scene of that time when a lone protester with a shopping bag faces off a Chinese tank. Mr Wei was to have played the part of the protestor but he didn’t make it in time and they had to get a stand in. But he did make it to the main memorial event across town a few days later which was closely monitored from the Chinese embassy over the road.

MAN (Translation): Are you Wei Jingsheng?

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): Yes.

MAN (Translation): You’ve suffered a lot.

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): Nice to meet you. I look much better now. I’ve almost recovered.

MAN (Translation): You looked terrible when you were released.

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): My face was swollen.

MAN (Translation): Your teeth were all missing.

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): Yes, all my teeth fell out.

ANNOUNCER: He suffered torture, brutal physical and psychological abuse including solitary confinement and physical attack. He has been awarded the Olaf Palmer Peace Prize in 1995, the Sakarov Freedom of Thought Award in 1996 and he is a nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. Please welcome him to the stage.

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): Since the Communist Party came to power, thousands of people have been killed and thousands of people have been imprisoned.

The brutal crackdown in Tiananmen Square 19 years ago was a pivotal event in modern Chinese history – and a memory the Chinese Government tries very hard to suppress.

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): Some people say that was all in the past. But I want to tell you that it’s all still happening today.

Considering how hard the embassy is trying to put good spin on the Olympic Games, they would not have been pleased to hear Mr Wei’s call to arms here today.

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): Let's work together. Thank you.

Mr Wei believes that while the Chinese do not honour their promise to improve the human rights record, a precondition for holding the Games. Then world leaders like Kevin Rudd should reverse their decision to attend the opening ceremony.

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): His action contradicts the Western value system. It also contradicts Mr Rudd’s own ideal when he was young. His decision is unreasonable from his personal point of view. And it’s unreasonable from a social perspective. It may be reasonable for business purposes only. I think his decision is wrong. The Beijing Olympics are like the Berlin Olympics in 1936, offering support to the Nazis and to dictatorship. And they will bring with them political consequences. The Chinese Government is using the Olympics as a political event to whitewash itself.

Much was made of Prime Minister Rudd’s raising of human rights in Beijing recently where he used a 7th century word to describe his relationship with China – Zheng You – the true friend who dares to disagree. Most analysts thought it was a brave move, Mr Wei believes the opposite.

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): You can’t be a friend of Communism and the Chinese people. The Chinese Government draws a clear line between the two. The Chinese people also draw a clear line. I think he must be under great pressure from big corporations. He wanted to be a friend of China. He also wanted to tell Western people that he cared about human rights. So he put forward this puzzling and odd concept. I don’t like it myself. The Chinese people found it odd. Even the Chinese Government found it odd.

KRISTYAN BENEDICT: Can we reschedule? Great, sorry. We need to also talk about the French minister for human rights. Apparently they want to meet Mr Wei, right?

ALICE HUTCHINSON, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: I was just thinking he has such a busy program, they are both losing their voices. I'm shattered. Yes, I am not surprised.

Another day, another meeting. Mr Wei is being briefed by his minders about foreign office minister, Lord Malloch Brown.

ALICE HUTCHINSON: I'm hopeful that it would be quite a hopeful meeting. Mark Malloch Brown is a fairly sympathetic human rights minister. He is interested in actually understanding the issues and seeing what the UK can do about it and I think it will be a quite friendly meeting but how far he will be able to push his colleagues and other parts of government to do the things we want him to do is the challenge he faces, I think.

REPORTER: What are you hoping to get out of this meeting? Is it the same as the others? Pushing the same idea or is there a different approach to this meeting?

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): I hope something will come out of it. The British Government should work with the EU and do something. If Britain, France and other EU countries want to do something about human rights, it’s the perfect time to do it. It’s the time to take some action.

As we leave the café and Mr Wei heads off to his meeting, I’m stopped by police and questioned on suspicion of involvement in terrorism.

REPORTER: I'm just filming them.

POLICE: We believe in professional filming.

REPORTER: I just wanted to get the shot of them walking in, that’s all.

POLICE: You just wanted to get the shot of them walking in?

REPORTER: I didn't know until about 10 minutes ago what we were doing. Like I said, you don't know from one minute to the next. News reporting – you follow the news.

POLICE: If you had the press pass, it would have helped as well.

It's also difficult to get Dateline’s camera into any of the meetings Mr Wei has with British politicians, not even to get the shot of them shaking hands. He really is a political hot potato. Mr Wei says they have too much to lose in offending China by being seen meeting him.

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): They have a similar dilemma to Kevin Rudd. They have to meet the needs of big corporations and they can’t offend their people.

REPORTER: When you met Kevin Rudd, it was also in secret?

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): Not when he was an MP, but I don’t know now. Back then, he didn’t need to worry too much. But now he has to consider what we just talked about. If he stresses human rights, he’ll upset Australian capitalists. If he doesn’t, he’ll upset the Australian people. I haven’t been in contact with him in this regard. Last time I was in Australia, he was rather cool towards me.

Today it is off to Cambridge University for a speech to overseas Chinese students. He begins with the disturbing trend of rising nationalism in China, which he says is supported by the Government.

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): This extreme nationalism has some characteristics in common with Nazism. For example, it displays exclusionism, discriminates against dissidents and promotes violence. Like all fanatics, once they get into frenzy, they can’t hear any other voice. How far will this fanatical patriotism go? We’re worried. Many people inside the Communist Party are worried.

He then went on to talk about organ harvesting.

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): In China, prisoners’ organs are forcibly removed. This has been extended to ordinary people. People are kidnapped off the street and killed for their organs. It’s a business for profit.

But when he criticised Premier Wen Jiabao and the Chinese military for getting to the recent earthquake zone too late, it was too much for some in the audience.

STUDENT: My question is whether he really knows at what exact time the Chinese troops arrived in the earthquake region.

At this point, Mr Wei got confused and contradicted himself losing the attention of many in the audience. But at the end, he still got quite an applause although mostly from the non-Chinese.

REPORTER: Any comment on that?

STUDENT 2: Very profound and very enlightening.

Then I see the student who asked the question about his facts.

REPORTER: What did you think?

STUDENT: A bit disappointing.

REPORTER: Why?

STUDENT: You can see from my question – it is not well evidenced – the detail is about himself not what is happening there.

REPORTER: Any comment on what you just heard?

STUDENT 3: Nonsense.

REPORTER: Nonsense, really? Can you tell me why?

STUDENT 3: Sorry I have no time.

REPORTER: I will walk with you.

STUDENT 3: He was just misleading us, misleading the foreign countries, the foreign media to get them to overturn the Chinese Government.

Other students agreed that he didn’t answer their questions. But Mr Wei dismisses the criticism.

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): It shows that those young people have long been deceived. It will take them a long time to be able to see the truth. They’ve been brainwashed by Communism.

And he alleges there were embassy officials sitting at the back of the theatre.

REPORTER: How do you know the embassy sent people?

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): The students told me. I think those students were actually quite friendly. They’ve taken in a lot of what I said. But under surveillance by embassy officials, they could only say what they said. Without the embassy officials, those young men would take me for a beer. They have more questions to ask.

REPORTER: Do you think you will ever get to go back to China?

WEI JINGSHENG (Translation): The Chinese Communist Government may not allow me to go back to China. But the Communist Government may soon be overthrown. So I’ll be able to go back soon. My hope is sooner rather than later.

Reporter/Camera

DAVID O’SHEA

Editors

NICK O’BRIEN

MICAH McGOWAN

Researcher

MELANIE MORRISON

Subtitling

JING HAN

Producer

ASHLEY SMITH

Original Music Composed by

VICKI HANSEN

Additional footage courtesy of

WEI JINGSHENG FOUNDATION

Wednesday April 18, 6pm

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 上海性息 - (Comments Off on Wednesday April 18, 6pm)

GEORGE’S FURY: In March this year cyclone George hit Western Australia’s Pilbara coast.

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The category-4 cyclone killed three people, injured at least twenty more and devastated the Aboriginal communities east of Port Hedland, completely wrecking many homes and cutting off water and electricity.

Residents of those communities had no choice but to move to Port Hedland, a mining town that’s already suffering a housing shortage due to the current resources boom. In many cases, Aboriginal people have had to move into the already-overcrowded homes of family and friends, while they await the rebuilding of their community.

But rebuilding is a slow process, taking 4 – 6 months at least and in one instance, as many as 50 people are living in the one South Headland house, waiting to be told they can go back home.

Join Living Black’s Emma Cook as she travels to Port Hedland and the outlying Aboriginal communities, to see devastation the George has wrought and the continuing heartache as families live in limbo.

BOWRAVILLE MURDERS: Seventeen years ago, three Aboriginal children disappeared from the New South Wales town of Bowraville. The bodies of 4 year old Evelyn Greenup and 16 year old Clinton Speedy-Duroux were found several months later. The body of 16 year old Colleen Walker has never been found.

Recently, NSW Police increased the reward money for any information that will help them solve the murders. Living Black’s Kris Flanders speaks to members of all three families, to find out how they’re coping with the loss of their loved ones, while host Karla Grant interviews Detective Inspector Gary Jubelin, who’s been working on the case for more than a decade.

LISA FLANAGAN PROFILE: Lisa Flanagan is an emerging 28 year old actress standing up for her people with determination and passion. Hailing from Adelaide, she won a best supporting actress nomination from the Film Critics Circle for her role in the film Look Both Ways. Lisa is currently performing in Company B’s production of Parramatta Girls in Sydney. She talks to Living Black’s Jacinta Isaacs about growing up and working with Leah Purcell, along with her future plans.

Living Black is repeated on Mondays at 5.30pm and Fridays at 3.30pm

Lockerbie bomber allowed to drop appeal

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 上海性息 - (Comments Off on Lockerbie bomber allowed to drop appeal)

Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi has formally dropped his appeal against conviction, paving the way for his transfer home to Libya.

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Al-Megrahi is the only person to be convicted of murdering 270 people when Pan Am Flight 103 was blown out of the skies over the Scottish town of Lockerbie in 1988.

He was jailed for at least 27 years, and launched a second appeal against his conviction in April after losing an earlier appeal in 2002.

But the 57-year-old is now seeking release from prison on humanitarian grounds, because he is suffering from prostate cancer.

Following the Edinburgh court’s ruling on Tuesday, Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill will now have to decide whether to allow Megrahi to return home to die.

Transfer to Libyan jail

The minister is mulling two options: either to let the former Libyan agent transfer from a Scottish jail to a Libyan prison – a process which can only go ahead once his appeal is dropped – or to release him on compassionate grounds.

Media reports have suggested Megrahi would be released this week, in time for the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

But on Monday, the Times newspaper said the Scottish government appeared to have buckled under pressure from Washington and abandoned plans to release him immediately.

The United States has made it clear it wants Megrahi to stay behind bars until he dies; reports have indicated he may only have a few months to live.

At the same time Libya – whose ties with the West have thawed since it renounced weapons of mass destruction in 2003 and agreed to compensate the Lockerbie victims’ relatives – has warned of serious economic fallout if he is not released.

Libya has the largest proven oil reserves of any African country, much of it still untapped, and British firms including BP and Shell have signed major exploration deals there in recent years, which could in theory be under threat.

Fake Medicine – Africa’s Scourge

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 上海性息 - (Comments Off on Fake Medicine – Africa’s Scourge)

FAKE MEDICINE – AFRICA’S SCOURGE

HEADLINE:

Imagine giving your seriously ill child life-saving antibiotic drugs only to see the youngster deteriorate and die and then to find out, later, that the drugs administered were fakes.

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Well, for thousands of families in Nigeria that’s precisely the heartbreaking reality. However Elizabeth Tadic reports that the Nigerians, led by one dynamic and particularly outspoken doctor, are fighting back against the criminals involved in the fake drug racket.

REPORTER: Elizabeth Tadic

In the children’s emergency ward in Nigeria’s Calabar University Hospital, the doctors are fighting Africa’s biggest child-killer – malaria.

DR MARTIN MEREMIKWU, PAEDIATRICIAN: In the emergency room we have children who have been transfused yesterday, some of them have been convulsing and we’ve not had any deaths in the last 24 hours, which is strange, really, because usually a couple die each day and most of them, and this is not exaggerating, would be from malaria.

Experts believe the disease is killing between 1 million and 3 million people a year in Africa, 90% of them children under the age of 5. Yet 30 years ago, the disease had almost disappeared. So what’s causing Africa’s devastating resurgence of malaria? Dr Martin Meremikwu is one of Nigeria’s leading paediatricans. His assessment has shocked many people.

DR MARTIN MEREMIKWU: The source of the problem is fake drugs. And this is not hypothesis, this is a real-life situation – this happens every hour. In working here, the fake drugs is an issue, you know, because the parents would have given some drugs and they would have tried several things, some of which would have been ineffective because they are fake.

Dr Meremikwu is not alone in his belief that many, if not most, malaria deaths are the result of children being given useless medicines. Yet this racket in fake pharmaceuticals, has until recently has been largely ignored by governments, major drug companies and the media, at a terrible human cost.

DR DORA AKUNYILI, HEAD OF NAFDAC: We had about 80% of drugs in circulation that’s fake, people were dying like rats, out healthcare delivery system was losing credibility, our doctors were confused and it was a total disaster. The incidence of fake drugs is one of the greatest atrocities of our time – it is mass murder! Honestly, it is a form of terrorism against public health.

Dr Dora Akunyili is the head of the Nigerian Food and Drug regulation body, known as NAFDAC. This London-trained pharmacist was one of the first people to act and speak out to save patients from the hidden dangers of fake drugs.

DR DORA AKUNYILI: They hide the drugs inside various commodities. We have some T-shirts here – these are babywear – there are drugs hidden inside the babywear and we had millions of shirts with many, many billions of the drugs.

REPORTER: What kind of drugs are they?

DR DORA AKUNYILI: They had everything down to insulin, anti-snake venom, multivitamins, antibiotics.

Doctor Akunyili’s passion to stop the use of fakes is driven by personal tragedy.

DR DORA AKUNYILI: My sister was a diabetic and she was taking rubbish insulin. Her blood sugar could not be controlled. She eventually died. Even before she died she had an injection – the antibiotics she was getting were all fake and she just slowly, slowly died. That was in 1988. The doctors were all confused, we were confused. I’m a pharmacist, my husband a medical doctor, yet we were just looking at her dying.

But waging her war on the racketeers became a very dangerous business.

DR DORA AKUNYILI: The first thing the drug counterfeiter does is to have discussions on how you can work together.

REPORTER: And you couldn’t be bribed?

DR DORA AKUNYILI: Nobody can bribe me, by the grace of God. Why should anyone bribe me? You know how many millions of people have died from using fake drugs. My own sister died. That is blood money.

Unable to bribe her, the fake drug gangs tried to kill her. She was attacked in a hail of gunfire while she was on the road.

DR DORA AKUNYILI: So many assassination attempts in this country have happened in traffic jams.

A bullet pierced her headscarf, grazed her skull and eventually killed a bus driver who pushed into her convoy.

DR DORA AKUNYILI: Because the man wanted to be part of my convoy, he took the bullets.

Now she travels the busy streets of Lagos in a bulletproof car with full police escort.

DR DORA AKUNYILI: This is one of the busiest parts of Lagos, you cannot just walk here with your camera. Women are less prone to corruption than men. Even in NAFDAC, we no longer post men to some positions. Like, we no longer post men to take charge of the ports or to take charge of registration. No, we don’t do that anymore because we run into a lot of problems. I don’t believe that men being easily compromisable is an African problem because even in your country, Australia I don’t know how many men in your country can be offered millions of your currency and the man will say no, but some women will reject it, yes. Elizabeth, this is my director of enforcement. He is rare – he’s a man, but he’s not corrupt. But he’s a man. I said men are more susceptible to corruption.

NAFDAC DIRECTOR: That’s general all over the world, it’s not peculiar to Nigeria.

DR DORA AKUNYILI: Why are you more susceptible to corruption?

NAFDAC DIRECTOR: We’re more exposed than women, we have to struggle generally for the survival of the world, including women and children.

Until her arrival in 2001, NAFDAC, like many other government organisations in Nigeria, was corrupt. Drug importers simply paid a bribe to get their products on the market. But Dr Akunyili changed all that. The counterfeiters fought back hard, burning down NAFDAC labs and facilities, including these headquarters.

DR DORA AKUNYILI: Fire started at all corners at the same time. These used to be our offices. My offices were from that end to here, everything burnt down. I had lots of important documents here belonging to NAFDAC.

REPORTER: Do you know who did this?

DR DORA AKUNYILI: Of course, everybody knows, not just me, drug counterfeiters. It was syncronised bombing. In one week, many of our facilities across the country. The presiding judge released them after a year and a half, he said he had no jurisdiction to hear the case.

Despite Dr Akunyili’s campaign, there are still no severe penalties for drug counterfeiting. It’s considered nothing more than a copyright infringement.

DR DORA AKUNYILI: You see, because the laws against drug counterfeiting are weak and at the same time it is as lucrative as other criminal activities, criminals are now shifting from gun-running and carrying of cocaine, heroin and other hard drugs to counterfeiting of medicines.

It’s very hard, even for healthcare professionals, to tell the difference between genuine and fake medicines.

DR DORA AKUNYILI: This here is the original Halfan tablet and this is the fake ones. If you look at the packaging closely you can hardly tell the difference.

While the outside packaging can be a perfect copy, the tablets are often no more than chalk or rice starch. Life-saving vaccines and syrups are nothing but polluted water.

DR DORA AKUNYILI: Another fake product, it is manufactured in China. It is chloroquin injections.

MC: The special guest of honour and chairperson for this morning’s program. The only man of the year anywhere in the world who is a female.

Dr Dora, as she is known to millions of Nigerians, is now a national hero.

MC: Nigerians were asked to name four people who could lead Nigeria after OBJ and she came up very prominently as one, so those of us in NAFDAC, we have to encourage her.

She set about cleaning up corruption and issuing vital public warnings to Nigerians about which drugs to avoid.

DR DORA AKUNYILI: It has been causing havoc, killing people, maiming people, we continued using it out of ignorance.

Later that day, Dr Dora’s NAFDAC enforcement officers scour the streets of Lagos on the look-out for hawkers selling fakes.

NAFDAC DIRECTOR: Many of the people we are likely to catch now do not know that NAFDAC enforcement officers don’t have any hours of work, we can work at any time.

They’re heading to one of the city’s most popular beaches.

NAFDAC DIRECTOR: OK. There’s one, there’s one!

The officers swoop on this man. He’s selling a range of counterfeit medicines from multivitamins to antibiotics.

NAFDAC DIRECTOR: We are trying to see if we can catch them relaxing and selling to beach users. OK, from our surveillance, many of the hawkers retire here in the evening hours to be patronised by the users of the beach. So we hope to catch more of them.

After the sun goes down, they raid a nearby market. Under the cover of night, the hawkers are more confident selling fakes.

OFFICER (Translation): Do you know you’re doing wrong? Do you know what you’re hawking is fake?

HAWKER (Translation): Please have mercy.

OFFICER: We’re not catching these people because we don’t like their faces.

In less than an hour, the NAFDAC officers make another three arrests.

OFFICER: Put him into the vehicle.

They’re taken back to the NAFDAC headquarters for interrogation.

OFFICER: Why are you selling fake drugs and they harm people? Would you like to be harmed yourself?

HAWKER: They are not fake, sir.

OFFICER: Where did you buy them from? But why are you doing it?

HAWKER: For our children. I need to prop up their condition. I don’t know what I would do, else.

OFFICER: You want to kill people?

HAWKER: Only yesterday I started.

OFFICER: You had opportunity to do legitimate business, but it’s greed and avarice that is pushing you to sell fake drugs to kill people. Am I correct?

The NAFDAC team has a hard time getting any information out of these small-time crims. The racket is now a vast global black market worth about $40 billion a year. According to the WHO, around 10% of all the world’s medicines are now counterfeit. Yet as the deadly trade grows, so too does the secrecy that surrounds the business.

DR DORA AKUNYILI: It is hard to speak out about counterfeit drugs without affecting legitimate business, that is the reason for the silence. And it is this silence that is largely encouraging drug counterfeiting.

Dr Dora was part of an Oxford University investigation into the fake drug cover-up. She published her results in an influential US science journal. The results were staggering. It was claimed that pharmaceutical companies and governments did not want to go public with the fake drug issue for fear of hurting profits.

JOURNAL READING: “…the justification for secrecy is to avoid any alarm that could prevent patients taking their genuine medicines….this secrecy, and the subsequent lack of public health warnings, is harming patients.”

REPORTER: So all these deaths that have occurred from fake drugs could have been prevented had government and companies

DR DORA AKUNYILI: Cooperated. All these deaths from fake drugs would have been prevented if governments came out to fight it the way the Nigerian Government is fighting now and if companies also came out to collaborate with government it would have been stopped a long time ago and it wouldn’t have lasted for almost 30 years. That’s ridiculous, almost 30 years. In Nigeria, fake drugs have been killing people from the early ’70s.

The fake drug racket has been hidden for decades. But it was first highlighted in this 1940s film classic, ‘The Third Man’. Orson Welles played racketeer Harry Lime, selling deadly penicillin in the back streets of Vienna.

‘THE THIRD MAN’ FILM EXCERPT – JOSEPH COTTON: Have you ever seen any of your victims?

ORSON WELLES: You know, I never feel comfortable in these sort of things. Victims? Don’t be melodramatic. Look down there. Would you really feel any pity if one of those dots stopped moving forever? If I offered you can have £20,000 for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spend, free of income tax, old man, free of income tax.

After a long silence, drug companies are finally beginning to speak out about this deadly racket.

REPORTER: In the past, drug companies have been very secretive about this problem. Could you tell me why?

COLIN CUMMINS, SWISS PHARMA NIGERIA MANAGING DIRECTOR: I think that’s obvious, the reason it’s secretive is that you don’t want to tell people that there’s a product out there that looks like your product but is not your product. You have to balance the publicity of a product being faked and the damage that it can do to your product. Obviously, in the past a lot of big companies wouldn’t say anything about it because they didn’t want their original product to be damaged by a fake, if it was that close.

REPORTER: But then the consequences of these fake drugs have been many deaths?

COLIN CUMMINS: I don’t know how you would equate that, I have no idea on figures.

REPORTER: Because of fake drugs there’s been a resurgence of malaria over the years.

COLIN CUMMINS: That one I don’t know, I don’t think that is really the case. I don’t know if the fake drugs has caused that, or whether it’s the malaria parasite that’s mutating and getting used to the products that are there.

DR DORA AKUNYILI: The fake drug racket and the silence associated with it have led to the resurgence of malaria especially chloroquim-resistant malaria, which is a greater problem now than malaria itself.

REPORTER: Why’s that?

DR DORA AKUNYILI: Chloroquin-resistant – that is, malaria that is now resistant to a normal dose of chloroquin, because the malaria parasite had been kind of trained with small small doses of chloroquin previously taken by malaria patients. When you take small doses of chloroquin or antibiotics what you are actually doing is training the micro-organism to get used to the chemical. The chemical eventually becomes food for the micro-organism, so that when you now have the right dose of chloroquin the malaria will no longer respond, that is the problem now.

DR MARTIN MEREMIKWU: When we lost chloroquim, we also lost millions of lives with chloroquim because the drugs don’t work then the children are going to die from it.

In Swiss Pharma’s high-tech plant, legitimate anti-malarials are being produced. But a series of malarial drugs have failed due to resistance. According to the World Health Organisation, Africa’s last hope, a new anti-malarial drug called artesunate, is already showing signs of premature resistance. The WHO has warned that without an effective treatment Africa’s 500 million malaria sufferers face a disaster. But it will take 10 years to develop a new drug if artesunate fails. Public attention is, at last, being drawn to Africa’s malaria victims.

Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in developing new anti-malarial drugs.

BILL GATES: That can reduce the burden of malaria quite significantly.

Gates says it’s a disgrace that the world ignored malaria for 20 years. Yet in all the publicity surrounding Gates’ investment in new drugs, there’s no mention of the role of fakes. And Dr Dora says it’s not worth developing new malaria drugs until the racket is properly addressed.

DR DORA AKUNYILI: All those drugs will not help us because the counterfeiters are always moving to be ahead of us. They will go and produce fake artesunate and fake whatever higher drugs we want to replace chloroquin with and the problem will be worse. When we get artesunate-resistant malaria, where do we go from there?

Today, Dr Dora’s NAFDAC team is continuing its war on fakes. They’re about to burn $2.5 million worth of counterfeit medicine.

NAFDAC DIRECTOR: They’re made up of products seized during enforcement activities.

A public display with the local media invited to help sell the message. But even here, the problem won’t go away. A gang of thieves has apparently sneaked in the night before to try and pilfer the stockpile.

MAN: These useless people.

REPORTER: Do you realize fake drugs kill people?

THIEF: I’m not a dealer of drugs.

NAFDAC DIRECTOR: These are fast-moving products that they targeted and were removing. For them to target fast-moving products means they’re conversant with this business.

THIEF: All of them have run away.

NAFDAC DIRECTOR: That means there are many of you! Make us a statement, you link all the people who can be linked because all the people who are going to interview you are experienced police investiigators.

THIEF: Help us, we are human beings, I have never sinned in my lifetime. I am doing this to earn my daily bread.

These thieves are just small fry. Catching the producers requires full cooperation from governments and companies around the world. With the problem ignored for so long, how many more years and how many more lives will be lost, before real action is taken?