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McCanns launch ads for Maddie

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 南宁桑拿 - (Comments Off on McCanns launch ads for Maddie)

The renewed offensive was aimed at shifting the focus back onto the search for the toddler and away from speculation about her parents, Gerry and Kate McCann.


Friends of Madeleine's 39-year-old mother have insisted that she was an exemplary parent who would never harm her children.

Formal suspects

The McCanns have been named formal suspects in Madeleine's disappearance.

The status means they can no longer speak about the police investigation.

Madeleine McCann was three years old when she vanished from her bedroom in an apartment in the southern Portuguese coastal resort of Praia da Luz.

Gerry McCann, a hospital cardiologist, and Kate McCann, a family doctor, were with friends at a restaurant about 150m away.

Kate McCann's friend, Linda McQueen, says it is unthinkable that either parent would have harmed their eldest child.

"Not at all, not a shadow of a doubt from anybody at all ever," she says.

‘Loving parents’

"They are the most loving, caring, family-oriented couple that you could ever meet.

“They are absolutely fabulous. Those three children are the world to them."

Madeleine was "everything they ever wanted", Ms McQueen says.

"They had been up and down about with whether they could get pregnant and the in-vitro fertilisation and it was a dream come true.

“Kate always wanted a large family so it means the world to her.

“She is just a fabulous mum."

Asked if the McCanns could cope if Madeleine was found dead, she replied: "We are not even ready to go down that road."

Publicity campaign

The $A193,587.42 publicity campaign will consist of newspaper, television and billboard adverts primarily in Portugal and Spain.

The blitz will be financed by Madeleine's Fund, the non-profit organisation administering donations to aid the search.

"The fund will finance a broad range of initiatives in advertising to remind everyone that Madeleine is still missing," Gerry McCann's brother John says.

"This financing of advertisements will complement previous efforts by the fund and many motivated individuals – family, friends and people touched by our cause.

"I hope that the general public will continue to support us in this.

“It is so important that we remember 'don't you forget about me' – our lovely wee Madeleine."

The family said earlier this week it would not use the fund to pay for the McCanns' legal costs.

Harold Keke – Interview

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 南宁桑拿 - (Comments Off on Harold Keke – Interview)

REPORTER: David O’Shea

This is Harold Keke’s territory.


It takes six hours by banana boat to get from the capital, Honiara, to his stronghold here on the other side of Guadalcanal.

It’s here, on the notorious Weather Coast, that Keke stands accused of carrying out a reign of terror.


Before our interview begins, a prayer.

HAROLD KEKE, (Translation): I’m glad that You answered my prayer and allowed the reporter to come and hear my story, for the truth to be made known to the world and to the nation. To know about the reality and the root cause of the ethnic tension on this island.

Harold Keke insists he’s not the bad guy he’s made out to be and John Howard should think twice before jumping to any conclusions.

HAROLD KEKE, (Translation): I would like to send my message to Howard. I would like Howard to look carefully and establish who is fighting for right and who is wrong and who is lying to get Howard to believe their story.

Keke says he’s been set up by none other than PM Sir Allan Kemakeza.

HAROLD KEKE, (Translation): Australia gives him money for aid to help the government, but instead, the leaders themselves steal the money then they lie to get more money so they can catch Harold Keke and so on.

And then they say that Harold Keke is a thief, and so on. And then they ask for money for help. So they just use my name, Harold Keke, to make money.

Keke is often described as a thug and a pathological killer. But he says the rebel movement he leads has a clear political agenda.

REPORTER: What is it you want for Guadalcanal? What is your mission, what is your objective, your aim?

HAROLD KEKE: My aim is independence.

Because of Keke’s deep mistrust of the government, he says he has no intention of giving up his weapons when the Australian-led forces arrive.

HAROLD KEKE, (Translation): We’re standing for our rights. If we were criminals or rapists or thieves, we would not be justified in standing up for our rights because we’d be wrong, but as we are right we are justified in keeping our arms.

REPORTER: I’ve read in the newspaper that Harold and his men have killed up to 50 people. How many people have you killed?

Keke and his operations chief, Justin, don’t know where to start. But they claim to have chosen violence only as a last resort.

JUSTIN, OPERATIONS CHIEF, (Translation): We would like to have a dialogue to put forward our demand but they’ve ignored our demand many times. So we decided to go another way.

We decided to go the way of the gun. We’d force them to agree to our demands. So, those of us that stand against the government, are accused of killing up to 50 people, some of this isn’t true.

HAROLD KEKE, (Translation): You’d better start right from the beginning.

JUSTIN, (Translation): I’ll count again, because the 10 people that we shot at Koio, the Malaitans, we killed them because Allan Kemakeza and the government sent them.

In the two days that I spent with Keke, I met three men from the Melanesian brotherhood who are being held hostage here.

Justin says there was a fourth man who was acting suspiciously.

JUSTIN: He asked too many questions so we pointed a gun at him. Then he confessed. Allan Kemakeza sent me to spy.

And when I go back, he’ll give me money, $5,000 along with a 25 horsepower engine, a Yamaha, for going to market.

So, we told him, “We are fighting against the government. And you help the government, so you will not return.” He decided to run away and he escaped.

We fired two warning shots, but he didn’t surrender. That was his death sentence on the spot.

Before our interview is finished, Harold Keke makes a final plea to the Australian PM.

HAROLD KEKE, (Translation): But for now, I want to tell you, Howard, we are fighting for our rights. Because we don’t want the government to steal our land and resources, because these are the root causes of the war.

So, please, Howard, look at the law before you accept the request by the Kemakeza to apprehend me and my boys who are standing for their right to the land on which we stand and fight.

Urumqi ‘under control’ after riots

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 南宁桑拿 - (Comments Off on Urumqi ‘under control’ after riots)

Authorities say the restive Chinese city of Urumqi is “under control” following riots, as mobs wielding makeshift weapons roam despite a massive security presence.


President Hu Jintao abandoned a Group of Eight summit in Italy, in what observers said was an unprecedented move, to tackle one of China’s worst spikes in ethnic tensions in decades.

In Urumqi, the capital of the remote northwest Xinjiang region where 156 people died in unrest on Sunday, army helicopters circled overhead as thousands of soldiers and riot police filled the city shouting out “protect the people”.

“We support this,” said a 45-year-old Han Chinese as he watched the troops roll by in trucks.

“But they should have got here sooner. It took them three days to do this. Why so long?”

After authorities blamed Muslim Uighurs for Sunday’s unrest that also left more than 1,000 people injured, Han Chinese took to the streets Tuesday with shovels, meat cleavers and other makeshift weapons vowing to defend themselves.

After a night-time curfew was declared on Tuesday, Chinese authorities appeared determined to show they were able to maintain order.

Sporadic standoffs, clashes

Thousands of riot police wearing helmets and carrying shields lined up on a main road in Urumqi dividing the city centre from a Uighur district, with columns of soldiers behind them.

The security build-up had an impact with fewer people wielding weapons taking to the streets, and Urumqi mayor Jerla Isamudin told reporters in the late afternoon that the situation in the city was “under control”.

He also warned that anyone found guilty of murder in connection to the unrest would be given the death penalty.

Official news agency Xinhua said late Wednesday that the city “appeared to be calm” but added “sporadic standoffs and clashes were still reported”.

Tensions remained high, with some Han Chinese and Uighurs continuing to arm themselves with sticks, poles, knives and other weapons, leading to confrontations and violence, according to AFP reporters.

In one of two attacks witnessed by AFP reporters, about 20 Han Chinese men armed with wooden bats attacked a Uighur man in central Urumqi.

The beating stopped after about one minute when security forces moved in to disperse the mob, the AFP reporter said, while a local Han Chinese woman said the victim was a Uighur man.

Police cordons in place

The extent of the man’s injuries was unclear, as he was quickly taken away.

In the second incident, a group of Han Chinese saw three Uighurs at an intersection and chased them.

Two of the Uighurs escaped, but a third was caught by some of the crowd and was assaulted for around 30 seconds, before police took him away. AFP reporters said he had blood on his face after the beating.

In another incident, about 200 Uighurs armed with sticks, pipes and rocks began protesting directly in front of a police cordon that was dividing their neighbourhood from a Han-populated area, an AFP reporter said.

The crowd of Uighurs grew after a helicopter dropped leaflets blaming Sunday’s unrest on exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, but they also claimed police had overnight allowed Han Chinese to freely attack Muslim areas.

In a BBC interview on Wednesday, Kadeer blamed Chinese policies for the violent unrest and claimed the death toll from riots was “much higher” than the 156 stated by Beijing.

Bodies of dead identified

Xinhua late Wednesday reported government sources as saying they had evidence the riot was “instigated and masterminded” by Kadeer, citing “recordings of calls” which referred to unrest ahead of the rioting.

China’s state media said Wednesday over 100 people “killed by rioters” in the initial violence had been identified, providing the first partial breakdown of the death toll.

Highlighting the severity of the crisis, the government announced President Hu had cut short his trip to Italy for the G8 summit.

“I have never seen a Chinese president shorten a trip abroad before… there is clear concern,” said Jean-Pierre Cabestan, professor of political science at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Xinjiang’s eight million Uighurs make up nearly half the population of the region, a vast area of deserts and mountains rich in natural resources that borders Central Asia.

The Turkic-speaking people have long complained of repression and discrimination under Chinese rule, but Beijing insists it has brought economic prosperity to the region.

Ehud Olmert Interview

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 南宁桑拿 - (Comments Off on Ehud Olmert Interview)

MARK DAVIS: Mr Olmert, thanks very much for joining us.


Are you still canvassing the option of killing Yasser Arafat?

EHUD OLMERT, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER OF ISRAEL: I don’t think that this was ever a matter of personal interest. What I said then was that no-one who is directly involved in orchestrating, sponsoring, inspiring and financing the killing of innocent Israelis should enjoy any immunity and Arafat included.

MARK DAVIS: But you did say that killing is one of those options. I mean, is expelling or killing him options being considered by the cabinet?

EHUD OLMERT: No, it’s not something that we are spending too much time about. In connection with the recent events of violence and of brutal terror against the Israelis in Jerusalem and in Haifa when this issue was raised, this was my answer.

MARK DAVIS: Well it’s clear that your government doesn’t want to deal with Yasser Arafat or any institutions that are under his control. If his health holds up, there’s every prospect that he will remain, effectively in control, for many years. Now if that’s the case, will you ultimately be forced to accept that reality or do you have a plan or option to end his influence?

EHUD OLMERT: I want to draw your attention to the fact that it’s not just Israel. It’s not that Israel has a particular interest in ignoring Yasser Arafat. The President of the United States, the United States of America, many other countries share the same opinion that Yasser Arafat is an obsticle to any peace process in the future.

MARK DAVIS: But have you considered that politically you appear to be actually bolstering Yasser Arafat? Every time that someone predicts that Yasser Arafat is on the verge of becoming irrelevant there’s a threat from Israel and people tend to rally to him, even his critics. He’s never looked stronger than he is now in the last three years.

EHUD OLMERT: I’m familiar with this argument. Every time someone wants to tease Israel, he uses damned if I’m right and damned if I’m wrong- it doesn’t matter what we do. If we are against Yasser Arafat we are wrong because we are, in a way, promoting him. We are not fighting against Yasser Arafat then why not talk with Yasser Arafat? If someone wants to criticise Israel, every argument holds but we are sick and tired of having to collect the pieces of bodies from the ground of our streets, of our restaurants, of our coffee shops when they are torn apart from the homicide killers of the Palestinian organisations that are inspired and financed and supported by Yasser Arafat.

MARK DAVIS: I suppose the point is sir, are you leaving any room for any Palestinian opposition to Yasser Arafat? I mean, what Palestinian individual or group would challenge him today without being seen as a traitor or indeed an ally or a front for Israel?

EHUD OLMERT: Look, any Palestinian who wants to challenge Yasser Arafat is certainly welcome to do it and I don’t think that anything that we do stands in its way, or interferes in this respect. I think that unfortunately until very recently, the effective control of Yasser Arafat and all the security organisations of the Palestinian community made it very difficult for anyone to challenge him.

MARK DAVIS: Alright, I’ll move away from the leadership question. It’s been a difficult week for your government. Amnesty International has branded your actions in Raifa as war crimes. Kofi Annan has also been extremely critical. Does this type of international criticism carry any weight with you?

EHUD OLMERT: Look, we are always very upset when we hear these comments. If there indeed is any wrong that we are doing, anything that we shouldn’t do, then we are very sad about it because this is not what characterises our society and not our values. But at the same time, no-one can ignore the hypocrisy and the double standards of some of these organisations. Unfortunately sometimes the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Annan, seems to describe to this hypocrisy and double standards and it’s regrettable because we are trying, of course, to establish the best possible cooperation with Secretary Annan.

MARK DAVIS: There doesn’t seem to be the best possible cooperation trying to be established between yourselves and the Palestinian Authority though. In fact, both the Palestinian and Israeli leadership seem at a total impasse at the moment. But are the Palestinians and Israelis charting some path forward, and most notably in the recently announced Swiss agreement. Do you see any value in that plan that was recently put forward?

EHUD OLMERT: We have reached the impasse for the simple reason that the Palestinians don’t have a leadership that is going to be accountable and which is going to be democratic and which is prepared to fight against terror. And people like us, and like the Americans, and I believe like the Australians and like many in other parts of the world, are just not prepared to tolerate these phenomenon of terror any further. In any event these new private initiative of few Israeli members is, you know, is interesting exercise in total political futility. I think these very extreme left wing groups are frustrated that they can’t – that they don’t have any real genuine influence on Israeli politics because they were entirely out of power on the very far left of the political arena.

MARK DAVIS: Most peace plans that have given any chance for success have revolve around the same fundamentals of two states, essentially the 67 borders and the division of Jerusalem. Do you accept those fundamentals?

EHUD OLMERT: Any plans that had a chance of receiving the Palestinian support were based on these fundamentals, but they are totally unacceptable to us. Jerusalem will never be divided. Everyone who suggests that the city will be divided in my mind is an enemy of peace. If we are talking about religious rights and religious freedom, obviously, without any question, every person, Christian, Muslims, or a Jew, will be entertaining freedom of practice and religion in every part of Jerusalem. But political control for the Palestinians on the most important, the most sacred city in the whole world for the Jewish people, on what basis? What basis? What right do Yasser Arafat – does Yasser Arafat have to have control over the temple mound? The most sacred place of the Jewish people in the last 3,000 years? God forbid it will never happen and everyone that suggests it, suggests a prescription for endless wars instead of peace. It will not happen.

MARK DAVIS: What settlement, what basic settlement do you have to offer that would be acceptable to the Palestinian people, or is there – again, is there no way out of this?

EHUD OLMERT: First of all, listen, I’m not here to negotiate with the Palestinians through the good services of the Australian television, which I have enormous respect for. We’ll do it directly with the Palestinians based on the principles that were set forth in the road map which are acceptable to our government if and when conditions will allow us to negotiate in a serious manner. I don’t think that we have to do it in another way, and I am the Vice-President of the state of Israel and I’m not negotiating on television.

MARK DAVIS: Ehud Olmert thanks very much for your time. We’ll have to leave it there we’re about to lose our satellite. Thank you for joining us.

EHUD OLMERT: Thank you.

Wednesday May 2, 6pm

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 南宁桑拿 - (Comments Off on Wednesday May 2, 6pm)


North Stradbroke Island is a popular tourist destination located 30 kilometres from Brisbane.


It’s also home to the longest native title claim in southeast Queensland.

This week on Living Black, video journalist Emma Cook examines how difficult determinations in native title are and why this 12-year-old claim remains undetermined. Is it due to internal politics among the Quandamooka people, a lack of money to fund the claim or changes to the Native Title process?

Either way, native title applicant Ian Delaney is fed up, saying the Quandamooka people would have been better off buying the land themselves.

He’s not the only critic. Long time champion of indigenous affairs, Fred Chaney, has quit his position on the Native Title Tribunal. He tells Emma Cook there are serious flaws with the process as it currently operates. He thinks governments need to show more political imagination and try to settle disputes out of court. By quitting his post, he hopes to rekindle the debate on whether native title should be decided largely by Federal courts.


For many indigenous filmmakers, screening their work at the Message Sticks film festival is seen as the pinnacle of their career. Living Black video journalist Jacinta Isaacs gives viewers a taste of what’s to come when the festival screens at the Sydney Opera House from 4 – 6 May and travels to capital cities from July.

A highlight will be Crocodile Dreaming, a contemporary drama, inspired by the Ramingining people’s ancient dreaming story from northeast Arnhem Land. Director Darlene Johnson was given permission by the ‘jungaiys’ (caretakers of the ceremonial business) to film a sacred dance as part of the ‘telling’.

She says of the experience: “I realized I was dealing with something really primordial, sacred, secret, spiritual and for me as an Indigenous person it just opened up and gave me access to this whole other world of story and character that was really exciting and unknown.”

The festival is a chance for emerging filmmakers to showcase their work in the ‘Bit of Black Business’ short film section, and for established talent like Ivan Sen, Julie Nimmo and Warwick Thornton to reveal their latest films.

Festival co-curator Rachel Perkins says “Message Sticks film festival is really about opening a world to people that they haven’t experienced before.”

PALESTINE – Fatah and Hamas go to war

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 南宁桑拿 - (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.


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.


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.








NIDAL RAFA (West Bank)



James Hardie moves to Ireland

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 南宁桑拿 - (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.


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.

Torching The Relay

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 南宁桑拿 - (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.


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.


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





Field Producer


Guehenno Interview

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 南宁桑拿 - (Comments Off on Guehenno Interview)

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


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.

Queer eyes wide shut at WYD

January 12th, 2019 | Posted by admin in 南宁桑拿 - (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.


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.