• Tuesday, September 30, 2014

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Australia

Australia's stand on terrorism and foreign fighters

A column in these pages on September 24 asserted that Australia's proposed counter-terrorism legislation is 'anti-Muslim'. That is wrong. Let's be clear: the Australian government is acting to disrupt a growing terrorist threat so Australians of all backgrounds remain free to go about their lives in safety.     ISIL and similar terrorist organisations have plainly, violently and repeatedly demonstrated the international danger they pose. Earlier this week ISIL leaders called on supporters to kill people in a number of countries including...

Australia's anti-Muslim laws

AUSTRALIA'S latest round of proposed counterterrorism measures includes a “prove that you're not a terrorist” provision that risks further alienating the country's Muslims and thereby makes finding long-term solutions to home-grown extremism more difficult. Imagine the court room: “This is Uncle Ahmed” the defendant is telling the judge, showing the family photo album. The Muslim defendant is trying to prove a legitimate reason for his last visit to Syria, trying to avoid years in gaol. Under Australia's proposed counterterrorism laws a...

Global protests over climate change

Global protests over climate change

Protests in many countries to demand urgent action on climate change have kicked off, with over 2,000 marches taking place around the world. The People's Climate March has been organised to call for action to curb carbon emissions ahead of the UN climate summit in New York next week. Tens of thousands of people took...

Australian terror plot foiled, for now...

IN recent raids involving nearly 900 police Australia's security agencies claim to have foiled a serious terrorism plot. But have they done enough since 2001 to address the causes of extremism rather than only the symptoms? Yesterday's raids on homes of alleged Muslim extremists in Sydney and Brisbane were dramatic. According to media reports, police and intelligence officials foiled a plot to kidnap a random member of the Australian public, drape them in the Islamic State flag and behead them...

Australia launches anti-terror raids over IS plot to kill

Australia launches anti-terror raids over IS plot to kill

Australian police have carried out major anti-terror raids triggered by a call from a senior Islamic State militant for "demonstration killings", Prime Minister Tony Abbott says. The raids, involving at least 800 heavily-armed officers, took place in Brisbane and Sydney. Fifteen people were arrested and one person has been charged with conspiracy to prepare a...

Goldfish undergoes brain surgery!

Goldfish undergoes brain surgery!

A goldfish called George was on the mend in Australia yesterday after undergoing "high risk" brain surgery in an operation the vet described as "fiddly". The 10-year-old fish had a tumour protruding from its head, leaving his owner with two options: to have it operated on or have the fish put to sleep. The Melbourne-based...

Australia raises terrorism threat level

Australia raises terrorism threat level

Australia has raised its terrorism threat level from medium to high, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced. The move comes in response to growing concern over the domestic impact of militant conflicts in Iraq and Syria. Security officials were concerned by the growing number of Australians "working with, connected to or inspired by" Islamist groups,...

Bailey quits as Australia T20 skipper

Bailey quits as Australia T20 skipper

George Bailey has stood down as Australia's Twenty20 captain to concentrate on longer forms of the game with half an eye on adding to his five test caps. The 32-year-old batsman, who has also captained the Australian one-day side this week in Zimbabwe in the absence of injured skipper Michael Clarke, said he struggled...

Indian Ocean search for MH370 missing plane refined

Indian Ocean search for MH370 missing plane refined

Australia says the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will focus on the southern part of the search area in the Indian Ocean. Officials said further refinement of satellite data found the plane may have turned south earlier than thought. The announcement came as Australia and Malaysia signed an agreement on the search's...

Australia puts counter-terrorism units in airports

Australia puts counter-terrorism units in airports

New counter-terrorism units have been set up at two Australian airports, PM Tony Abbott says, amid concern over Australians fighting in Iraq and Syria. Abbott told parliament units in Sydney and Melbourne began operating last week. They had already intercepted at least one person of interest, he said. Meanwhile Australia's top spy says that 15 Australians...

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