Monthly Archives:August 2019

Gallipoli secured for Anzac services

admin post on August 7th, 2019
Posted in 深圳夜生活

Authorities are talking down the threat of any terrorist attack at the centenary Anzac commemorations in Gallipoli while moving to assure visitors they are fully prepared if anything does go wrong.

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Australian services director Tim Evans has also dismissed suggestions there could be traffic chaos as more than 10,000 visitors go through security and ticket checks to get onto the Turkish peninsula.

He’s “extremely confident” things will run smoothly.

“We’ve got a well-planned, well-rehearsed process,” Mr Evans said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will attend services on the peninsula on Friday and Saturday.

He’ll have two days of meetings in Ankara and Istanbul before that.

The PM is expected to push the Davutoglu government to better control its borders and stop radicalised Australians travelling to Iraq and Syria to fight with Islamic State militants.

Mr Evans says the threat assessment for the Gallipoli commemorations remains “as low as it goes” despite a series of arrests in Australia and the UK linked to an alleged IS-inspired terrorist plot to attack Melbourne services.

The low risk analysis is a joint assessment by Australian and New Zealand agencies.

“The threat assessment for Turkey is medium but the threat security assessment for the (Anzac) event is low,” Mr Evans said.

“Attending the event here in Gallipoli will be one of the safest places in Turkey for Australian and New Zealand visitors.”

Because so many VIPs are attending the 100th anniversary – including Price Charles, his son, Prince Harry, and world leaders, including Mr Abbott – Turkey had already ramped up security compared with previous years.

The Turks will lock down the southern peninsula on Friday for the international and Commonwealth services.

Access to the north of the peninsula, including Anzac Cove, will be tightly controlled on Friday and Saturday for the Australian and New Zealand commemorations.

There’ll be almost 4000 national and paramilitary police and at least 1000 soldiers from Turkey’s 2nd army corps.

Australia has a small number of liaison officers from the Australian Federal Police and similar agencies on the ground.

It’s been reported ASIO, ASIS and special forces have been deployed in recent weeks.

A no-fly zone will be in place, and the Turkish coastguard will use 10 ships to stop all non-naval vessels from approaching the coast.

If anything does go wrong three hospitals are ready to receive casualties. They can be evacuated by helicopter, boat or vehicle.

But officials say the biggest challenge in 2015 is actually traffic management.

There’ll be 10,500 people attending – as opposed to 4400 in 2014 – and they’ll need to pass through a series of gateway roadblocks.

Another big issue is sanitation.

Equipment-wise the event is comparable to putting on a concert in a remote national park.

And that, of course, requires portaloos.

“I always get a bit obsessed about the toilet facilities,” Mr Evans said.

“With 10,500 visitors we have 438 portaloos at about 400 uses per (toilet).

“I think we’ve got it covered.”

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Ship finally docks after Sydney storms

admin post on August 7th, 2019
Posted in 深圳夜生活

After being stranded outside Sydney Harbour battling seasickness, tilting floors and crashing waves, the majority of the 2,500 Carnival Spirit passengers couldn’t wait to get off.

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But the Eggersdorf family, waiting patiently at the dock on Wednesday, couldn’t wait to get on.

“We were a bit worried that we wouldn’t be able to leave today but then we got the text to go,” said father Nathan who with his two children, wife and mother were poised to head to New Caledonia.

Scheduled to dock in Sydney’s Circular Quay on Tuesday, the cruise ship was stuck outside the harbour after wild weather forced the harbour port to be shut down.

The conditions were too dangerous to send a pilot to guide the ship in, so the 293-metre ocean liner was left on its own against lashing nine-metre swells.

Passenger Dane Portelli said being stuck on a rocking ship out beyond the heads had most passengers feeling “down in the dumps”.

“We were locked in our cabins and we couldn’t go up to the top decks … everywhere you go there were just big waves crashing all over the boat,” he said, adding that one level of the ship flooded.

Items were thrown around, glassware was smashed, people lost their balance and the contents of their stomachs.

“It was just the rough winds and the waves, it was freaky,” said passenger Eleanor Pittana who felt “fantastic” upon docking in Sydney with her husband Ernie.

The couple and many other passengers praised the cruise staff and crew who kept the dining galley and common rooms open throughout the ordeal.

Passengers also received $50 onboard credit as compensation.

Captain Adriano Binacchi told media the Carnival Spirit was “built for all kinds of weather”.

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ARU takes the fight to cashed-up clubs

admin post on August 7th, 2019
Posted in 深圳夜生活

The ARU hasn’t given up hope of retaining Quade Cooper as it takes the fight to cashed-up European and Japanese clubs pilfering Australia’s elite rugby stars.

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Cooper is the latest marquee player reportedly heading offshore at the end of the year, with French newspapers claiming the mercurial playmaker has already signed with Toulon.

“We’re still in a dialogue with Quade. I’m not aware of him having signed any contracts,” ARU CEO Bill Pulver said on Wednesday after announcing the ARU’s dramatic shift in its selection policy.

“We would love him to stay in Australia and that’s what we’re working towards.”

Pulver made no secret the ARU was also working towards warding off international sharks circling Australia’s finest talent.

He hopes the ARU’s landmark decision to allow particular overseas-based players to be eligible for Wallabies selection will make clubs “think twice” about luring Australia’s big guns offshore.

Only stalwarts who have played 60 Tests for the Wallabies and seven years of Super Rugby or at international level will be permitted the long-service dispensation.

Cooper falls seven Tests short, but could conceivably qualify by the end of the year.

Regardless, Pulver said the ARU was tired of its blue-chip stocks being raided.

“To some extent historically, international clubs have looked at Australian talent as an easy target because of the policy we had,” he said.

“When you look at this in combination with the flexible contracting that we’ve introduced, we think we are now putting together the tools that we need to be more effective in retaining players.

“We take the issue very seriously of talent in Australia moving offshore and we’ll continue to look at opportunities to refine our policies to deliver the outcomes we want.

“Given the complexity of the policy around eligibility for selection, I don’t really want to suggest that this is the end of the thought process.”

Pulver said the ARU had been grappling with the issue for some time, with more than a dozen Wallabies stars already playing overseas and a host including former skippers Will Genia, James Horwill and current vice-captain Adam Ashley-Cooper departing after the World Cup.

“While we do not believe these policy changes represent a silver bullet, we do believe that they represent a positive step towards delivering the outcomes that we want.

“What it does do is it provides more competition for positions and that generally provides better outcomes.

“So I would like to think one of the outcomes is a more competitive Wallaby outfit.”

Pulver said the ARU would also have no hesitation in applying the IRB’s “Regulation 9” that allows it to bring Wallabies back from overseas clubs on demand for Tests during certain international windows including the Rugby Championship and fixtures in June and November.

“With world rugby’s Regulation 9, we clearly have the capability to do that and maybe they’ll think twice about recruiting some of these players,” he said.

“We were not pulling players out of their competitions to represent Australia (until now).

“There is a real effort on our part to repatriate some of our players and we are going to be a lot more aggressive around that approach now.”

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Iraqi family finds new life in Cambodia amid refugee deal controversy

admin post on August 7th, 2019
Posted in 深圳夜生活

Emad Farhan is haunted by war.

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“Most of them died,” he says. “My neighbours and my best friends.”

“I don’t think about that, because I’ll cry if I think about that.”

The 18-year-old and his family fled Iraq when violence in their hometown, Fallujah, became too dangerous. They first went to Malaysia and then on to Cambodia.

The Farhans now live in the capital Phnom Penh and own a Middle Eastern restaurant on a street where the road is full of motorbikes and the pavement is lined with tangles of low-hanging power lines.

Inside the restaurant, bright red tablecloths flap lazily in the breeze as fans whirr overhead. On the menu are things like falafel, biryani, lentil soup and a savoury dish called “Ladies Finger.”

Emad’s father, Hashim, says the restaurant has helped them to fit in.

“Most of our neighbours came here to ask me about the food; about the smell of food,” he says. “[They asked], ‘Which smell is it’?”

Poverty and prosperity

The Farhans live in Cambodia on business visas, which they have to pay for, and are not refugees.

After fleeing their hometown they applied for refugee status in Malaysia but it was too difficult for Hashim to secure visas there for his wife and five sons – Mohammed (26), Ahmed (24), Yassir (22), Emad (18) and Ali (15) – so they moved to Cambodia while they waited for an outcome of their claim. That was almost a year ago. 

Their story is unusual in a country still recovering following the Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970s , which saw more than one million people killed. It’s a place where few people come to after fleeing war, but 51-year-old Hashim says they have been made to feel welcome.

“Cambodians are very nice people,” he says, “very friendly.”

The family represents what Immigration Minister Peter Dutton claims will be possible for refugees who are settled in Cambodia under the government’s $40 million refugee resettlement agreement.

Following the signing of a second Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Cambodian prime minister in Canberra last week, Mr Dutton said refugees who came to Cambodia from Nauru would be supported.

“We want to be able to give people who have an entrepreneurial spirit the chance to open up their own business if that is their want,” he said.

But human rights groups say a country with less than 100 refugees and a host of issues such as poverty, corruption and low employment rates is not equipped to give arrivals from Nauru what they need.

Finding allies

Support agencies and NGOs in Cambodia will play a crucial role in assisting any refugees who do arrive from Nauru but so far, few have publicly backed the deal.

Tek Vannara, chief of the NGO Forum in Cambodia, says most human rights NGOs in the country don’t support it.

“They ask the government to solve internal [issues] first, before thinking [about] external [issues] like receiving refugees from the outside,” he says.

Steve Cook, a representative of World Vision Cambodia, says the agreement is not something the organisation wants to be involved with.

“Cambodia is already facing a lot of challenges and while it’s made a lot of progress in these areas over the last few years…there’s a lot of strains that are still placed on the population and a refugee deal could place pressure on those strains,” he says.

In February this year, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) announced it would facilitate the resettlement of any refugees who volunteered to move. The IOM brought with it a number of new conditions, including that refugees be allowed to live and work anywhere in Cambodia. Before the migration body came on board, the Australian government said refugees would be able to live in Phnom Penh for only a year before they would have to move to rural areas.

In a statement to SBS, a spokeswoman for the Minister for Immigration said partnerships were developing.

“The International Organisation for Migration has agreed to provide settlement support and assistance to refugees coming to Cambodia from Nauru, and is developing partnerships with a range of NGOs and other agencies in Cambodia to establish these supports,” she said.

Under the agreement, the government has committed $40 million in aid to Cambodia to be delivered over four years. The government will also cover the cost of resettlement.

So far none of the refugees on Nauru have volunteered to move to Cambodia.

Building on unsteady ground

According to the Cambodian National Institute of Statistics (NIS) the poverty rate in Cambodia has decreased from 48 per cent in 2007 to 18.9 per cent in 2012. But still the gap between the rich and the poor is still vast and many people live in extreme poverty. 

Hashim Farhan, who worked as a blacksmith in Iraq, says his restaurant is picking up.

“Two times or three times, many customers came and they didn’t find a table,” he says. “So I told them, ‘Sorry, maybe one hour later’.”

The restaurant is open seven days a week and all the family pitches in with cooking and serving customers. Hashim says they are looking for a bigger space but they are hard to come by in Phnom Penh.

He originally borrowed money from friends to set up the business, an option that will probably not be available to most refugees coming from Nauru.

But Cambodian government representative Phay Siphan says refugees from Nauru will have the same chance as anyone else in Cambodia to be successful.

“They have a right to move around the world like Cambodian people, they have a right to become rich if they work hard,” he says.

‘Real’ refugees

Mr Siphan says the country agreed to take refugees from Nauru for “humanitarian” reasons, and to pay Australia back because it accepted a number of Cambodian refugees after the Khmer Rouge was overthrown in 1979.

He says refugees from Nauru will be an “asset to the nation.”

But the Cambodian government has been accused of double standards for recently deporting a large number of asylum seekers who came to Cambodia from Vietnam saying they had faced religious persecution.

The government allegedly deported 40 Montagnards – Indigenous people from the central highlands of Vietnam – without hearing their claims.

Mr Siphan says the Montagnards are “not refugees” and the issue comes down to national security.

“We don’t allow anyone to use Cambodia as a swingboard for political refugees.”

“We miss our family,” he says. “I call my mother and family two times, weekly. They hope to come but cannot go outside Fallujah. We didn’t find anyone to help them go outside Fallujah.”

He says they would like to eventually immigrate to Australia or Canada, but right now they are waiting on the outcome of their refugee claim in Malaysia.

As customers begin to file into the restaurant for lunch, sons Yassir and Emad hand out menus and glasses of water.

Emad says he has made some new friends since moving to Cambodia and he likes to go skateboarding with them. He hopes to study at university and become a chemical engineer.

But the loss of friends in Iraq still weighs heavily on him.

“I live with them for more than 10 years so [I get] upset and sad when I think about it,” he says.

And he hopes other friends still there can join him in Cambodia.

“I told them about the life here,” he says.

“Life is easy and it’s good. 

“People are nice and kind.”

Follow @SylviaVarnham

Sylvia Varnham O’Regan was in Cambodia on a journalism fellowship with the Asia Pacific Journalism Centre.

Listen to the SBS Radio report of this story:

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PSG need more time to reach the top in Europe

admin post on August 7th, 2019
Posted in 深圳夜生活

PSG were knocked out 5-1 on aggregate by Barcelona despite Zlatan Ibrahimovic and talismanic midfielder Marco Verratti returning to the Ligue 1 side from suspension but coach Laurent Blanc was not really shocked.

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“Those who follow FC Barcelona know the patience required to win the Champions League. You need the means, but also some patience,” Blanc said after the 2-0 defeat at the Nou Camp, which followed last week’s 3-1 humbling at the Parc des Princes.

“The first qualified for the semi-finals are Barca and Bayern Munich. Paris will certainly be there one day but you have to understand we need time,” he said after PSG’s third successive quarter-final exit in the tournament.

Once again, Sweden striker Ibrahimovic failed to shine in a big game in which his attacking partner Edinson Cavani, despite his limitations, seemed more involved.

PSG saw off Chelsea in the previous round but that was more of a one-tie thing, with Thiago Silva and David Luiz scoring after Ibrahimovic had been sent off in the second leg.

Luiz was below-par in the last two games, being at fault on four of the five goals PSG conceded against Barca, but PSG’s limitations are collective, conceded midfielder Blaise Matuidi.

“Barcelona are an institution, a club who have been at the top level for a long time, like Real Madrid or Bayern Munich,” the France international said.

“We have been around for five years only.”

PSG were bought in 2011 by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI), who invested massively in the club hoping to win Europe’s premium club competition.

While they never look threatened in the Group stage, PSG have been failing against top-notch opposition.

“Let’s be realistic, they were better than us. They will probably win the Champions League,” Ibrahimovic admitted.

“As far as we are concerned, it is not possible to reach that goal on short term. We have made several big steps and we were eliminated by a superb team.

“Let’s not lie to ourselves, it’s just reality.”

PSG will now focus on winning the Ligue 1 title for the third consecutive season — a goal more suited to their capacities — with a possible treble on the cards as they won the League Cup and will play the French Cup final on May 30.

They are second in the standings behind Olympique Lyonnais on goal difference but have a game in hand.

(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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