Monday, March 23, 2009

Headlines Monday 23rd March 2009


Four charged over deadly airport bikie brawl
Four men have been charged after a man was brutally bashed to death in front of passengers at Sydney airport as Sydney's bikie warfare exploded yesterday....
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Health a priority for new cabinet: Bligh
Re-elected Queensland Premier Anna Bligh says improving the health system will be a priority for the new cabinet she is choosing.
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Rudd takes off to meet Obama
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd flies to Washington today for his first face-to-face meeting with US president Barack Obama....
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I'm not dishonest: Einfeld apologises for 'disgraceful' lies
Disgraced former judge Marcus Einfeld has broken his silence to apologise for lying but says he "made a mistake" and is not a dishonest man....
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Blame Aussies for Pac Brands job cuts: Morphet
Pacific Brands CEO Sue Morphet has blamed Australian consumers for the Pacific Brands job cuts, saying there is no support for Australian made products....
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Johnson ton can't stop Aussie defeat
Tailender Mitch Johnson's maiden century of 123 not out delayed the inevitable but Australia lost the third Test against South Africa by innings and 20 runs....
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Obama aide "incredibly confident" of economic rebound soon
A top economic adviser to President Barack Obama says she's "incredibly confident" that the recession-hit US economy will be on the rebound in a year's time....
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Goody dies of cancer, tributes pour in
British reality television star Jade Goody, who won the nation's heart with her very public battle with cervical cancer, died on Sunday aged 27....
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Rau secretly returned to Australia
Pakistan reinstates chief justice
Police seize cars in relation to Auburn shootings
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IT’S ON
Tim Blair
A witness account of yesterday’s Sydney Airport gang brawl:
“At first it looked like someone was running from security because they had tried to get through,’’ one woman, who was waiting in line at the domestic departures area of terminal 3 just after 1.30pm, said.

“It was like there were two gangs or something and they started hitting each other and punching each other in the middle of everyone.

“They were pushing each other over. People had to literally jump out of the way.

“They started picking up those silver things (bollards) and chucking them at each other.

“They were hurling them in the air. There were kids and people lining up.

“There were shoes and sunnies falling everywhere all over the floor and blood …

“There was no security,’’ she said.
Interesting. You’d think an airport would be the last place – given security concerns that literally extend to passenger feet – where gangs might stage an all-in brawl. Yet that’s what happened. Bystanders tried to save one victim:
Nurse Karen-Anne Whyte, from the South Coast, witnessed the attack and came to a victim’s aid.

“A couple of men were hitting him with one of those really large bollard things and he fell,’’ she said.

“I work in emergency at Moruya and Batemans Bay hospitals so I just commenced giving him CPR because he had a massive head injury.’’
The man – understood to be the brother of a gang member – later died in hospital. Another witness:
“Initially they were punching and kicking, using kickboxing, but within about five seconds the brawl had moved towards the sliding doors near the entrance next to the road where taxis drop off.

“As they surged past the check-in counters at least five of them grabbed the steel bollards that are used to corral people waiting to check in their bags and began swinging …

“They were swinging the bollards like they were cricket bats, using the bases to hit.”
Sydney’s amphetamine gangs have taken their war into the open. A massive response is awaited.
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FOOT FOOTAGE FURORE
Tim Blair
The crowd at Muslim Village respond to A Current Affair‘s airing of security camera tape showing Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali’s athletic door-kicking:
• “i would be more concerned with who gave CCTV footage to aca, and the motives/agenda/intentions of that action.”

• “From all of this, the worst thing is the security camera reaching ACA – that’s the greater fitna as it definitely was inappropriate.”

• “The questions that everyone should be askng is who gave the tape to ACA?”

• “As for the security footage reaching ACA yes that is bad …”

• “I wanna know who sent it in!”

• “All I can say is the person or persons who gave that video to the ACA has not right to hold any position of authority in the community.”
But the finest line comes from commenter “ahmedk”:
“This honestly is a complete disgrace for the entire community and the sacred and blessed place that is Lakemba Mosque. They can have their ‘power struggle’, but please try and keep it behind closed doors.”
It isn’t easy keeping anything behind closed doors at Lakemba mosque, so long as Sheik Doorbreak is around.
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DIFFICULT ENVIRONMENT
Tim Blair
Queensland’s environment minister Andrew McNamara was voted out on Saturday – apparently due to environmentalists.
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CARBON TO THE RESCUE
Tim Blair
Those three freezing warmenists struggling towards the North Pole have now received life-saving supplies – flown to them in a mighty De Havilland Otter. Christopher Booker reviews their journey to date:
With perfect timing, the setting out from Britain of the “Global Warming Three” last month was hampered by “an unusually heavy snowfall”. When they were airlifted to the start of their trek by a twin-engine Otter (one hopes a whole forest has been planted to offset its “carbon footprint"), they were startled to find how cold it was. The BBC dutifully reported how, in temperatures of minus 40 degrees, they were “battered by wind, bitten by frost and bruised by falls on the ice”.

Thanks to the ice constantly shifting, it was “disheartening”, reported [warmenist Pen] Hadow, to find that “when you’ve slogged for a day”, you can wake up next morning to find you have “drifted back to where you started’’. Last week, down to their last scraps of food, they were only saved in the nick of time by the faithful Otter. They were disconcerted to see one of those polar bears, threatened with extinction by global warming, wandering around, doubtless eyeing them for its dinner.
In fact, according to their own account the coldy-warmies only saw predator footprints. Besides which, modern bonsai bears probably don’t have the capacity to take down a fully-grown melter.
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NATURE’S MANIAC
Tim Blair
An unnamed New York Times correspondent threatens Australian wildlife:
As for myself, I have not yet taken gun in hand in these countries, although, to be in fashion, I shall probably hereafter inaugurate a campaign against the agile kangaroo. To visit Australia and not shoot a specimen or two of this animal, so familiar to Americans through the pages of Artemus Ward as “an amusin’ little cuss,” would be like going to Spain without seeing a bull fight; therefore I think a few kangaroo skins may be among my homeward-bound luggage.
You could get away with that sort of thing in 1889. By comparison, Maureen Dowd barely shot anything during her last visit besides a few TV interviews. Our anonymous 19th century NYT correspondent was much more taken by the kookaburra, or – as it is otherwise known – the laughing jackass:
The bird derives his name from his note, which is a compound of the “hee-haw” of a jackass and the laugh of a hopeless maniac, with a few interjected gurgles like the sounds made by a man while strangling and the groans of a person afflicted with remorse.

There is an intelligence and evident vein of humor in the laughing jackass, who loves to approach you silently, regard you contemptuously for a season, and then let off his demoniacal note as near your ear as possible – after which he makes off expertly, cackling with derisive laughter as he goes.

His disgraceful familiarity with strangers is in part due to his own devil-may-care character, and for the rest, to the fact that nobody molests him, and that his services in keeping the country free from superfluous snakes are encouraged by a fine of five pounds imposed upon any one who kills him.
That’s some sweet writing. Incidentally, kookaburras remain protected to this day.

AUSTRALIAN CRITTER UPDATE. Kangaroos are loose near Toulouse:
Vandals have set loose 15 kangaroos from an Australian theme park in southern France, sparking a major search operation …
It’s a campaign for hop and change.
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CAR CHAT
Tim Blair
Andy Richter deals with a Prius owner … and a Prius:

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WHO GOT THE KIDS?
Tim Blair
Marijuana is supposed to destroy memories, but in this case it added memories of an event that never occurred:
A man so muddled by years of marijuana dependency believed he was married to his former flatmate for nearly a decade – a mistake that threatened to derail his wedding to a new partner.

The man, 38, planned to marry this month but was unable to find the papers to prove to the marriage celebrant he was not still married to his previous partner, which she required because he had listed his marital status as “divorced”.
The stoner’s confusion was later explained:
In 2003 the flatmate gave him a document to sign, which he believed was their divorce papers.

It was not until he contacted his former flatmate for proof of their divorce that she told him it was a residential tenancy agreement.
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CYCLES OF VIOLENCE
Tim Blair
Sydney’s bikie gangs – essentially rival amphetamine manufacturers; their motorcycles are incidental – put on a floorshow at Sydney Airport:
A 28-year-old man, believed to be a member of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, is near death after the latest shocking incident this afternoon, a brawl involving up to 20 bikies at Sydney Airport domestic terminal shortly after 1.30pm today.
Gang wars tend to be self-solving, in the sense that the various idiots kill each other. They’re not usually this public, however.
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Hiding Rau
Andrew Bolt
It seems the Rudd Government is lavishing resources on Cornelia Rau - the woman Labor used to pillory John Howard for alleged cruelty - to keep her not just out of trouble but out of the media:

Rau, recently jailed after wandering through the Middle East unmedicated, has been secretly returned to Australia after the family requested Australian Government assistance.

Arriving in Sydney at dawn yesterday, Ms Rau was accompanied by a male guardian, her sister Christine, another woman believed to be a nurse, and a large contingent of Australian Federal Police officers. AFP officers escorted Ms Rau to a waiting van and she was driven to a secure section of the domestic terminal…

The Rau contingent then boarded an Adelaide flight, with Ms Rau ushered to the business class section.

Ms Rau, 43, who suffers from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, was detained while behaving erratically in the city of Tafila, Jordan, last month… Ms Rau has since also been forcibly hospitalised in Germany and was barred from Turkey. Last year she received $2.6 million compensation after spending 10 months in a Brisbane jail and the Baxter detention centre in 2004-05…

In Adelaide, a small circle of friends greeted Ms Rau, before she was taken through the airport to a secure lift, then to a government-plated Tarago, accompanied by her nurse and guardian. Other government vehicles followed in convoy-style to Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Do any other sufferers of schizophrenia get this kind of taxpayer-funded care as they wander the world?
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Einfeld honestly lied
Andrew Bolt
Marcus Einfeld shows all the self-insight and concern for evidence that made him the kind of judge he was:

I don’t think I’m the slightest bit dishonest.

Of course not. Sure, he may have lied several times about not driving cars caught speeding and lied about the people driving them, but those were just “mistakes”. Honest ones, you know.
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It’s war - between the gangs
Andrew Bolt
Time to declare war on our bikie gangs when they can turn even our airports into a battlefield:

The 28-year-old Sydney man was killed in the presence of his brother, a Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang member also from Sydney....

Police said a group of men arrived on a flight to Sydney about 1.30pm yesterday and were unexpectedly met by what they believe to be a rival outlaw bikie group… Frightened travellers told of seeing up to 15 men fighting and hurling metal poles in a crowd that included children.

In fact, so many of Suyndey’s bikie gangs are violent that police are having trouble figuring who’s killing who:

Soon after the attack, police sources said they believed the bashing was the result of an ongoing gang war between the Bandidos outlaw motorcycle gang and rivals Notorious, based in the Kings Cross area. However, as hours passed, that version changed - with sources saying the Comancheros may be involved in a separate war with the Hell’s Angels.

The Comancheros were suspected of carrying out the firebombing of the Hell’s Angels clubhouse at Petersham last month, followed days later by the kneecapping of a Comancheros member. The incident came a little over 12 hours after the drive-by shooting of a family home linked to Mahmoud Dib, a senior member of the Bandidos outlaw motorcycle gang at Auburn about 1am yesterday.

The fibro home, in Pine St, Auburn, was believed to have been targeted by members of Notorious, a relatively new bikie gang wrestling for power of Sydney’s drug turf. However, members of the Bandidos were said to be expecting the attack and a gun battle ensued, resulting in seven nearby houses being sprayed with bullets and two cars being crashed into.

Something like should be only the (belated) start:

A spokesman for Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the commissioner would meet Police Minister Tony Kelly and Attorney-General John Hatzistergos today to discuss proposed gang legislation. The laws being discussed are modelled on South Australia’s controversial gang law and would allow bikie gangs to be proscribed as criminal groups.

We need also to consider why young men are so underparented or uncoupled from society that they seek their identity in gangs, some of them with strong ethnic characters. From where comes this new florid violence? This lack of respect for authority?

This kind of surrender to the authority of the gangs must now stop:

Meanwhile, police are angry they will be made to provide a VIP escort for the bikie gang. Police have been told to “facilitate” the bikies as they ride in convoy from Geelong to the CBD. The Bandidos will be given a police escort and traffic will be stopped so they can enjoy an uninterrupted run.

And in another sign of our growing barbarity:

(Melbourne city’s) senior police officer wants all glass banned from use in pubs and clubs after 11pm. Wounded victims of “glassings” were among 13 people injured in a vicious CBD weekend nightclub brawl.

UPDATE

That brawl in Melbourne may have a gang link - or at least a connection to a them-against-us culture. It broke out at a pub holding a regular Asian Night - of the kind previously held at a South Yarra nightclub where previous violence claimed the lives of several men:

A CORONER has been unable to determine who killed a man stabbed during a brawl between rival gangs outside Melbourne’s Salt nightclub. Quang Minh Tran, 19, who was a member of a group known as the Khoi boys, died from a single stab wound to the chest during the fight with a rival group known as the Richmond boys in November 2003… He was the fourth person to die from gang related violence outside Salt Nightclub in two years.

UPDATE 2

And more trouble in Melbourne:

OUTNUMBERED police used capsicum spray on a bottle-throwing mob of up to 100 in Elizabeth St early yesterday.
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Repeating our past disasters
Andrew Bolt
Where’s the money coming from?

THE royal commissioner who exposed how the South Australian government buried itself in debt in the 1990s has spoken out against the heavy federal deficit Kevin Rudd will take on to stave off the effects of the recession.

Samuel Jacobs, who led the inquiry into the 1991 collapse of the State Bank of South Australia, which destroyed the then Bannon government and put the state $3.15 billion into deficit, told The Australian he was concerned about the amount of money the federal Government was spending on stimulus packages.

“I just wonder how bottomless the federal Government’s pit of money is,” Mr Jacobs said at his Adelaide home yesterday. ”They seem to be able to find money for all of these rescue packages, but it’s going to run out. They’re stuck between a rock and a hard place—they’re going to get criticism if they do nothing.”

The last defence of Rudd’s foolishness may be true, but don’t forget that the people screaming the “Do Something” line loudest are Rudd and his team themselves - who are cynically flaying the Liberals as the Do Nothing alternative. They are not so much being pushed into a disaster, but pushing.
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The Manchurian candidate
Andrew Bolt
Kevin Rudd has pledged to work for a communist regime, which he says should have more influence on the world:

KEVIN Rudd is proposing an ambitious overhaul of the world economic order, pushing for China to be given a more central role in the International Monetary Fund in a move that threatens to divide the Group of 20 and anger Europe.
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Economic Hardship: Ten Ways Faith Responds
By Bill Shuler
Pastor, Capital Life Church, Arlington, Virginia

1. Faith…feeds hope and starves fear.
2. Faith…shapes a future, whereas economists can only predict–if they’re lucky!
3. Faith…believes in a retirement that means more than a gold watch and rocking chair.
4. Faith…gives thanks in all things
5. Faith…looks for a future beyond Social Security, beyond even life expectancy.
6. Faith…reaches out to meet the needs of others.
7. Faith…sows seeds today for tomorrow’s harvest.
8. Faith…chooses a good name over riches.
9. Faith…aims high, steps forward, and doesn’t look back.
10. Faith…reminds us Who is really in charge.

Jesus said, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Scripture tells us that “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

In these challenging times, it is comforting to know that certainty begins with faith.
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