Australian Open quiz: identify the player


Today’s quiz is on its way home from Melbourne on a long-haul flight

Amnesty says Australian officials who paid people smugglers to turn boats back committed transnational crimes

6551490-3x2-700x467 The organisation has released a report in which it details evidence of Australian Navy and Border Force officials intercepting a people smuggling boat and paying the crew to turn around.

It recommends a royal commission into the alleged payments, as well as an investigation into a second incident where payments were also alleged to have been made.

Senior ministers have previously expressly denied the involvement of Border Force and Defence Force officials in any payments to people smugglers, but that denial has never been extended to intelligence officials.

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton described the Amnesty report as “a slur on the men and women of the Australian Border Force (ABF) and Australian Defence Force (ADF)”.


“No country or continent can open its borders to all comers without fundamentally weakening itself,” Tony Abbott warned.

He said “too much mercy for some necessarily undermines justice for all.”

It is “misguided altruism” that is leading “much of Europe into catastrophic error.”

During a speech delivered at the second annual Margaret Thatcher Lecture at Guildhall in London, Abbott called on leaders to act by “turning around boats (and) denying entry at the border for people with no right to come.”

“It will require some force, it will require massive logistics and expense; it will gnaw at our consciences,” he said.

“Yet it is the only way to prevent a tide of humanity surging through Europe and quite possibly changing it forever.”

Australian Government Warns That Alternative Rock, Teenage Rebellion Could Lead To Radicalization

The Australian government is fighting back against the unrelenting terrorist threat that threatens to consume every Western nation. It, too, has noticed that youngsters and their SnapChats are particularly prone to radicalization from outside forces. As Richard Chirgwin of the Register points out, it has chosen to address this threat to Australian society in the way only a government agency can: with a blend of the bizarre and the tone deaf.
Launched this week by justice minister Michael Keenan (who also glories in the title Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Terrorism), the Radicalisation Awareness Kit is supposed to help school teachers identify which of their students is going to enter the adult world with a penchant for bomb-throwing.


iP5ykde The 32-page booklet starts with a long definition of radlicalization, hedged by warnings that not every diversion from the mainstream will result in violence. Then it heads into a series of “case studies” that indicate every deviation from societal norms is a warning sign of impending unlawfulness.

The case studies are the best kind of hilarious: inadvertent.

Australian father infiltrates drug gangs in China to find his dead son’s suppliers

father_3438936b An Australian man whose son died after taking a synthetic drug has gone undercover and travelled to China to infiltrate the crime gangs which have been exporting the narcotics.

Rod Bridge presented himself as a potential buyer and met with drug bosses in the city of Hefei to discuss importing supplies into Australia and was offered more than five types of synthetic drugs, including up to 200 kilograms of one drug. The bosses said they could guarantee delivery within seven days.


father-sydney-to-china Rod Bridge presented himself as a potential buyer and met with drug bosses in the city of Hefei to discuss importing supplies into Australia and was offered more than five types of synthetic drugs, including up to 200 kilograms of one drug. The bosses said they could guarantee delivery within seven days.

CECA pact with India top priority: Australian Defence Minister

Andrews_2532755f Concluding a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with India is the Australian Government’s top bilateral priority said Australian Defence Minister Kevin Andrews. His India visit comes close on the heels of the first bilateral naval exercise between India and Australia later this month.

“Australia is committed to fulfilling the objective of Prime Ministers Tony Abbott and Narendra Modi to conclude a CECA by the end of 2015. Australia and India are natural economic partners and a mutually beneficial, high quality agreement will help unlock the potential of the already strong Australia-India relationship,” Mr. Andrews said speaking at the Institute of Defence and Security Analysis on Wednesday.

Australian Survivor of WWII ‘Great Escape’ Dies Aged 101

The escape was the subject of a 1963 Hollywood movie, “The Great Escape,” starring Steve McQueen, a work of artistic license that Royle loathed.

Royle died Sunday at a Perth hospital following surgery on a hip fracture that he suffered in a fall in a nursing home three weeks ago, his son Gordon Royle said.

Royle’s death leaves only one survivor of the 76 men who escaped from Stalag Luft III, near Sagan 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Berlin: 94-year-old British man Dick Churchill, a former squadron leader, the son said.

The survivors had formed a sort of club and had kept in contract through a newsletter called the “Sagan Select Subway Society” which listed the passing of each member. The latest newsletter among Paul Royle’s belongings showed that he and Churchill, of Devon, were the last survivors.

“I called Dick Churchill yesterday and said ‘I’m bringing you the news that you’re the last one,'” Gordon Royle said. “He was sad but stoic.”

Paul Royle revealed last year on the 70th anniversary of the tunnel escape in March 1944 that he was no fan of the Hollywood interpretation of the story.

Australian, Chinese visitors drive boost for New Zealand accommodation sector

A surge in visitor numbers from Australia and China drove an increase in guest nights in New Zealand’s accommodation sector in June, the government statistics agency said Wednesday.

Guest nights for June were 3.1 percent higher than in June 2014, according to Statistics New Zealand.

“Most of the rise for June was from international guest nights, ” business indicators manager Neil Kelly said in a statement.

Domestic guest nights were up 0.6 percent, and international guest nights were up 8 percent.

For the year ended June 2015, national guest nights were up 5.3 percent from the June 2014 year.