Monthly Archives: May 2019

Blues beat Brumbies to end Super rugby drought 

The Blues, who had lost each of their first seven matches, looked to be heading towards an eighth straight defeat when they squandered a 13-0 lead to trail 14-13 with less than five minutes to go.


Auckland substitute Ihaia West put the New Zealanders back in front when he calmly converted an angled penalty from near the sideline when the Brumbies were offside at the ruck.

The Brumbies were given a last-gasp chance to steal the points after the siren had sounded when the Blues collapsed a scrum but scrumhalf Nic White missed with his long-range penalty attempt.

“It really was a game of two halves,” Blues coach John Kirwan said in a televised interview. “We were outplayed in the second half but we hung on.

“It was a real rollercoaster but we needed that win.”

For the Brumbies, it was their third loss of the season but they earned a bonus point to remain in second place on the ladder as the top Australian team.

“I’m really proud of the way we got back into it and gave ourselves a chance to win,” Brumbies captain Stephen Moore said.

“We had our chances to win but we just weren’t good enough.”

The Blues led 13-0 at halftime after flyhalf Daniel Bowden scored all his team’s points, two penalties and then a converted try after he sliced through two tired defenders.

Brumbies wing Lausii Taliauli scored a try for the visitors in the second half while Christian Leali’ifano booted three penalties to give the Australians the lead, albeit briefly.

West, who had come on to replace Bowden, was left facing a difficult sideline penalty to restore his team’s lead but kept his cool and slotted it between the sticks.

“I was obviously pretty nervous,” he said. “It was nerve wracking and I was glad when it went over.”

(Writing by Julian Linden in Singapore; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

read more »
Posted on 07/05/2019 / Posted by admin

Father of child bride behind bars 

More than a year after he married off his 12-year-old daughter in a bid to save her from “sin”, a NSW father has been taken into custody.


The 63-year-old father calmly got up from the gallery and moved towards corrective services officers when Justice Peter Hidden revoked his bail on Friday.

Justice Hidden told the Supreme Court the father would likely face jail time when sentenced next month.

It comes after the father was found guilty of procuring a child for sex and being an accessory before the fact following a judge-alone trial in Sydney’s District Court more than a week ago.

The father, the court heard, had arranged his 12-year-old daughter to marry a then 26-year-old man in an Islamic ceremony, hosted at his home in January.

On the night of the wedding, the “married” pair went to a hotel with the father’s permission and had sex there.

The following weekend, the father made up a room and a bed for the pair in his home and they had sex twice.

This, the father told police, was saving his daughter from sin.

The father said he had noticed his daughter’s behaviour changing around males, and believed – in accordance with his understanding of his religion – she had to be married before being sexually active.

The 63-year-old had been on conditional bail since being charged last year, and despite the verdict he was allowed to remain in the community, unopposed by the crown.

But on Wednesday the Director of Public Prosecutions made an application to revoke his bail in the Supreme Court.

Prosecutor Siobhan Herbert said the father had been found guilty of a “show cause” offence, which means an accused person must show cause why their detention is not justified.

He also posed an unacceptable risk of failing to appear at future court dates, she said.

But defence barrister Mario Licha said the father needed to be on bail to prepare reports before his sentencing.

This was dismissed by Justice Hidden, who said it could be done in prison.

Outside court, Mr Licha told reporters: “Where is he going to go? What is he going to do? He’s a 63-year-old pensioner with bad knees and shortness of breath.”

read more »
Posted on / Posted by admin

Iran condemns Saudi intervention in Yemen 

(Transcript from World News Radio)


Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has condemned the military intervention by its main regional rival Saudi Arabia in Yemen, calling it genocide.



The comments come amid the ongoing Saudi-led bombing strikes in the country aimed at stopping the advances of the Houthi rebels.


Santilla Chingaipe has the details.


Iran has repeatedly called for an end to the air strikes and urged dialogue in Yemen.


However, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s comments are the most critical yet from Iran about the two-week Saudi-led coalition’s campaign.


In a speech read out on state television, the Iranian leader says Saudi Arabia will not emerge victorious from the war in Yemen.


(translated) “The Supreme Leader called the actions against the nation of Yemen murder and genocide, which can be prosecuted internationally and added that the killing of children, the destruction of homes and the elimination of the infrastructure and national wealth of a country is a great crime. The Supreme Leader stressed that the Saudis will definitely lose out and be harmed in this issue.”


Iran has been accused of backing the Houthi fighters who control the capital, Sanaa, and are trying to seize the port city of Aden.


Iran has denied training or equipping Houthi forces, but the United States has ignored the denials, warning it will not stand by while Iran supports the rebels.


In the most direct accusation yet of Iran’s backing of the Houthis, U-S Secretary of State John Kerry says America will not accept foreign interference in Yemen.


“There have been – there are, obviously – supplies that have been coming from Iran. There are a number of flights every single week from Iran: we’ve traced them and we know this. We’re well aware of the support that Iran has been giving Yemen and Iran needs to recognise that the United States is not going to stand by while the region is destabilised or while people engage in overt warfare across lines, international boundaries in other countries.”


The US, however, has been backing the Saudi-led air campaign which began last month.


Saudi Arabia says the military campaign is aimed at curbing the Houthi advances and restoring President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who fled the country a fortnight ago.


Meanwhile aid groups and the United Nations are warning of an impending humanitarian crisis in Yemen.


It says since the Saudi-led airstrikes began, close to 600 people have been killed, and more than 100-thousand others have been displaced.


UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has added his voice.


“Since the initial advances by the Houthis, the situation has greatly escalated through the Arab coalition military operation led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the request of President Hadi. The Coalition air raids – and the continuing attempts by the Houthis and their allied armed groups to expand their power – have turned an internal political crisis into a violent conflict that risks deep and long-lasting regional repercussions.”


The UN’s childrens agency is warning of an increase in already high malnutrition levels throughout Yemen.


UNICEF spokesman Julien Harneis.


“We expect in the coming weeks there to be an upsurge in malnutrition across the country, be it in areas of conflict or not, because it was already a country where 60 percent of the population lived under the poverty line, that is not going to get any better, people’s revenues are going down, the cost of living is going up and government services are weakened, if not falling apart.”


Aid groups are struggling to fly emergency supplies into Yemen, which UNICEF spokesman Julien Harneis says is a challenge.


“For the last week, every day we’ve been trying to get a plane in and every day there has been a different problem just pop up and it’s that combination that makes it so difficult, so we need to find a better solution that’s more, more reliable and foreseeable”




read more »
Posted on / Posted by admin

Father visits survivor of Melbourne lake crash 

Family members say the mother of seven wasn’t feeling herself when her vehicle plunged into Lake Gladman in Wyndham Vale on Wednesday with her four youngest children on board.


Akon Guode’s five-year-old daughter, Awel, was pulled out of the water critically injured but Bol, one, his four-year-old sister Anger and her twin brother Maudit, died.

Their father Joseph Manyang visited Awel in hospital on Friday and says she’s getting better.

Mr Manyang was worried her memory might have been impacted so he asked Awel if she recognised him.

“She said, `Yes, you are Daddy’,” he told the ABC. Mr Manyang is devastated by the deaths but does not believe Ms Guode deliberately drove into the water. He said she only remembers hearing her children’s cries.

“That’s what she said to me. When she was driving, she feel dizzy and then she lose control and then she didn’t remember anything until she fall in the water,” Mr Manyang told Fairfax media.

He said there were untruths circulating but people should wait for the ongoing police investigation to reveal the truth.

“What I believe is she can’t do that (harm the children) … because she loved the kids,” he told SBS Radio.

Ms Guode, 35, returned to her family late on Thursday night after being held in custody and questioned over the tragedy.

She is understood to be heartbroken and is reportedly staying with an aunt in Morwell in eastern Victoria.

South Sudanese community members say she came to Australia as a refugee widow with three children after her first husband died.

They described her as a good mother who would do anything for her children. Ms Guode’s daughter Akoi Chabiet, 19, said their mother was a wonderful person and would never do anything to hurt her children. “My mother is a very good lady.

She would never deliberately do this,” Ms Chabiet told Fairfax on Friday.

A makeshift memorial near the lake continues to grow, with many leaving messages of love, flowers and soft toys.

A candlelight vigil in memory of the children is planned for the weekend. It is not yet known when a funeral will be held.

read more »
Posted on / Posted by admin

Yarmouk ‘yet one more outrageous war crime’: UN 

(Transcript from World News Radio)


The United Nations is warning of what it calls a massacre in a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria.



Thousands of Palestinians and Syrians are trapped in the Yarmouk refugee camp just outside the capital Damascus.


Santilla Chingaipe has the details.


The Yarmouk refugee camp was once home to some 160-thousand Palestinians before the Syrian conflict began in 2011.


It housed refugees from the 1948 war of Israel’s founding, and their descendants.


But since the beginning of the month, when the self-proclaimed Islamic State group launched an offensive to take control of the camp, many residents have been killed and others are trying to escape.


An estimated 17,500 residents are currently in the camp, with around 2,000 evacuated since the latest round of fighting.


UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says some refugees are being held hostage by I-S, also known as Daesh, with others under the control of Syrian government forces and other militant groups.


“The Yarmouk refugee camp is the deepest circle of hell. After more than two years of a merciless siege, 18,000 Palestine refugees and Syrians are now being held hostage by Da’esh and other extremist militants. The refugee camp is beginning to resemble a death camp. The residents of Yarmouk – including 3,500 children — are being turned into human shields. They face a double-edged sword – armed elements inside the camp, and government forces outside. We are now hearing worrying reports of a massive assault on the camp and all civilians in it. This would be yet one more outrageous war crime for which those responsible must be held accountable.”


Mr Ban has called for an immediate end to the fighting.


“The epic humanitarian catastrophe in Yarmouk represents an epic test of the international community’s resolve. Surely we can all agree that what is unfolding in Yarmouk is unacceptable. Surely, we can all act to end the suffering. Surely, we can all refuse to tolerate the intolerable. It is time for concerted action to save lives and restore a measure of humanity. We simply cannot stand by and watch a massacre unfold. The people of Yarmouk must not be abandoned.”


Palestinian factions have agreed to Syrian government action to expel I-S from Yarmouk.


It is not clear, however, if the agreement involves all Palestinian groups.


Palestinian envoy to Syria, Ahmad Majdalani from the Palestine Liberation Organisation, says they will establish a joint operations room with the Syrians to oversee the operation in the camp.


(translated) “We are working cooperatively and yesterday there was a meeting between Palestinian national factions and we agreed to have this as an open meeting, as a political leadership that is on the ground in Syria. We agreed to maintain coordination with the Syrian leadership. We also agreed to set up a joint operations room between Syrian forces and Palestinian factions that have a noticeable military existence inside or around the camp in order to continue this clean military operation.”


read more »
Posted on / Posted by admin