Priest calls for travel ban on pedophiles

A four-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee has called on developed countries to ban pedophiles and suspected sex offenders from foreign travel in the same way as suspected terrorists.

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Father Shay Cullen, an Irish missionary who has been rescuing street children in the Philippines since 1974, said hundreds of thousands of sex tourists travel to the country from Australia, Britain, Ireland and the US.

The Columban priest missed out on the Nobel prize last week, but praised the decision to award it to a Melbourne-born advocacy group that pushed to establish the first treaty to ban nuclear weapons.

Father Cullen said in the Philippines “the whole moral fabric of society and protection of human rights and the dignity of women and children is breaking down”.

“One thing right now I would say to any government is to pass a law that would ban all convicted sex offenders from travelling abroad. That would be a very good thing they could do.”

“Why not? The international and Irish sex tourists, why are they coming here raping our children?”

Father Cullen said his team had rescued a 12-year-old girl who was pregnant after being raped by a neighbour. On Thursday, a five-year-old girl was also rescued after being raped by her father.

0:00 Paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale sentenced to 11 more years jail Share Paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale sentenced to 11 more years jail

Based in Olongapo city, the missionary also rescues children detained illegally in jails and victims of human trafficking.

Speaking from the Preda Foundation offices, he described life in the Philippines.

“It’s dire. It’s very sad. We have thousands, hundreds of thousands of sex tourists coming here to abuse women and children,” Father Cullen said.

“The abuse of children at this extent is terrible – incest is growing here because of the sex tourism.”

Warner captaincy to refresh Aussie T20 bid

David Warner’s short stint as T20 captain could refresh Australia as they desperately try to avoid another series defeat, says Aaron Finch.

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Warner, Finch’s opening partner, is in charge for the three matches against India, with regular skipper Steve Smith to head home due to a shoulder injury.

Australia lost the first game under Warner’s leadership in Ranchi on Sunday, making Tuesday’s clash in Guwahati a must-win.

“I think it can be a totally different job when you’re filling in for someone as opposed to when you’ve got the job yourself,” Finch said.

“There’s obviously a lot more expectation and a lot more scrutiny around Steve as a leader because he does have the job in all three formats full-time.

“I think it can be quite refreshing when another skipper comes in that probably doesn’t have to worry about the off-field stuff quite as much as the regular skipper does.”

Australia’s latest defeat came after they were thrashed 4-1 in the one-day international series.

While Warner’s first game at the helm for the tour didn’t manage to change the team’s fortunes, rain severely shortened the contest.

“I thought Davey did a fantastic job under the circumstances,” Finch said.

Australia limped to 8-118 from 18.4 overs before nearly two hours was lost.

India chased down their revised target of 48 from six over with three balls to spare, but Finch said the Australian bowlers had performed well.

“I thought the way Jason Behrendorff started the match on debut against some of the world’s best players was fantastic,” Finch said.

“He swung the ball so I think that was a real positive to come out of the game.”

As for the batsmen, aside from Finch’s match-high 42 it was a familiar tale of woe.

The middle order again cracked under pressure as six players had their stumps rearranged by India’s ruthless attack.

“Unfortunately we just kept losing wickets and that’s a real part of Twenty20,” Finch said.

Husband of Sydney woman who died in Fiji says she battled pneumonia

Kelly Clarke, 24, was with new husband Chase when she fell ill and was rushed to hospital on Wednesday with what was initially thought to be typhoid.

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The family has since revealed she died of severe bilateral pneumonia, the Nine Network reported on Sunday night.

Ms Clarke, a recently-graduated registered nurse at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, initially complained of stomach pain.

Within half an hour, her condition had deteriorated to the point where Chase knew she had to go to hospital.

“I spoke to her and she told me she was scared she was going to die,” he told Nine.

“I told her I loved her, we’re going to get out of here, everything’s going to be okay.”

Ms Clarke’s sister started a fundraiser to bring her home for emergency treatment, saying she had been placed in an induced coma due to organ failure and septicaemia.

Her brother Murray Shaw said Ms Clarke went into cardiac arrest five times within an hour and died before she could be medically evacuated.

 

Kelly Clarke, 24, was on a honeymoon with her husband Chase when she fell ill.Facebook / Kelly Clarke

“We are so shocked,” Mr Shaw wrote in a Facebook post.

“You beautiful girl and amazing sister you will be deeply missed.”

Chase described the agonising decision to direct medical staff to cease working on Ms Clarke.

“I said stop and pushed everyone away and me and her mother just held her,” he said.

In a statement provided to Nine, the family described Ms Clarke as “an amazing human being”.

“She was so young. She had her whole life ahead of her,” they wrote.

“She will be deeply missed and she was loved by all.”

The Children’s Hospital offered condolences.

0:00 Australia reaches peak flu season Share Australia reaches peak flu season

“Kelly was a dedicated nurse who loved working withchildren and will be greatly missed by her colleagues and patients,” a spokeswoman said in a statement provided to AAP.

Friends and relatives paid tribute to Ms Clarke on social media, with one co-worker remembering “an amazing woman, a brilliant nurse and such a kind and gentle soul”.

“She was one of the most beautiful, caring, giving people I have ever been lucky enough to meet,” another person wrote.

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said it was providing consular assistance “to the family of an Australian woman who passed away in Fiji”.

Day, Hancock add to Coolie Gold legacies

Highlights of Dean Mercer’s 2005 Coolangatta Gold tilt inspired Ali Day the day of the late ironman’s death.

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So it was no surprise on Sunday when Day channelled Mercer’s ruthless approach to racing as he equalled Caine Eckstein’s record with a fifth win.

Day was pushed early by Shannon Eckstein in the short-distance expert’s return after a 10-year absence from the 41.8km epic.

But Day chased him down after the ski leg and took a decisive 1min 40sec advantage into the board leg.

It meant he could savour the experience on the final 7km beach run in what were perfect racing conditions on the Gold Coast.

Day, like all competitors, wore a wrist band that said ‘Doing it for Dean’ and a minute’s silence was held before the race that reduced surf lifesaving great Trevor Hendy to tears as he embraced Dean’s brother Darren.

“He’s been a massive inspiration for me and that one today was for him and his family,” Day said of Mercer, who suffered a heart attack and died in August.

“The day Deano passed away, I was about to head off to training and I YouTubed a Dean Mercer highlight reel from Coolangatta Gold ’05 and at the best of times it brings tears to my eyes.

“Those times you didn’t want to go to the gym or jump in the pool; they’re not hard, but those little moments you draw on and get emotional and those feelings make it so worth it.”

It was Eckstein’s first race since double calf surgery to stop cramps and pain when running long distances.

Admitting the result went as expected, Eckstein said Day’s effort reminded him of the man they were all racing for.

“He’s not the prettiest ironman to watch,” Eckstein said of Day.

“But he keeps going and going and going like Deano and that’s what it takes to win those endurance races.”

Meanwhile Allie Britton came from a long way back to push Courtney Hancock, who held on for her third crown, in a brutal women’s race.

Britton had the second-best run leg of the day – quicker even than Day’s – to come within 200m of Hancock on the finish line.

An exhausted Hancock felt every bit of it, labelling the race as one of her toughest.

“I just said to myself, ‘do you want this’ and then thought ‘I want this so badly’,” a distressed Hancock said on the finish line.

Kim says North Korea nuclear weapons ‘powerful deterrent’ following Trump’s tweet

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says his nuclear weapons are a “powerful deterrent” which guarantee North Korea’s sovereignty, hours after US President Donald Trump said “only one thing will work” in dealing with the isolated country.

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Trump did not make clear to what he was referring, but his comments seemed to be a further suggestion that military action was on his mind.

In a speech to a meeting of the powerful Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party on Saturday, a day before Trump’s most recent comments, state media said Kim had addressed the “complicated international situation”.

North Korea’s nuclear weapons are a “powerful deterrent firmly safeguarding the peace and security in the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia,” Kim said, referring to the “protracted nuclear threats of the US imperialists.”

In recent weeks, North Korea has launched two missiles over Japan and conducted its sixth nuclear test, and may be fast advancing toward its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the US mainland.

North Korea is preparing to test-launch such a missile, a Russian MP who had just returned from a visit to Pyongyang was quoted as saying.

Donald Trump has previously said the US would “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary to protect itself and its allies.

The situation proved that North Korea’s policy of “byungjin”, meaning the parallel development of nuclear weapons and the economy was “absolutely right”, Kim said in the speech.

Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid……

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2017…hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 7, 2017

“The national economy has grown on their strength this year, despite the escalating sanctions,” said Kim, referring to UN Security Council resolutions put in place to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.

The meeting also handled some personnel changes inside North Korea’s secretive and opaque ruling centre of power, state media said.

Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, was made an alternate member of the politburo – the top decision-making body over which Kim Jong Un presides.

Alongside Kim, the promotion makes the 30-year-old the only other millennial member of the influential body.

Her promotion indicates the 28-year-old has become a replacement for Kim’s aunt, Kim Kyong Hee, who had been a key decision maker when former leader Kim Jong Il was alive.

“It shows that her portfolio and writ is far more substantive than previously believed and it is a further consolidation of the Kim family’s power,” said Michael Madden, a North Korea expert at Johns Hopkins University’s 38 North website.

Could an independent Catalonia stay in the EU?

Brussels has stuck to its line that an independent Catalonia would automatically be out and have to reapply to join, but some experts say pragmatism may yet trump dogma.

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Would the EU recognise Catalonia?

Last weekend’s referendum produced a 90 percent vote for secession, but because it was held in defiance of Spain’s Constitutional Court rulings that it was unlawful, from the EU’s point of view it amounts to a deeply flawed mandate.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has made it clear Brussels would only respect a vote for independence if it was held in line with the Spanish constitution.

EU members “will not recognise Catalonia as a state if it is created in violation of the law and particularly the Spanish constitution”, said Jean-Claude Piris, an expert in European law.

Prodi doctrine

The EU’s treaties do not specifically state what happens if part of a member state secedes, but since 2004 the commission has stuck to the “Prodi doctrine”, named after former president Romano Prodi.

This says that a region breaking away from a member state would automatically cease to be part of the EU on the day of its independence, and would have to follow the usual membership process to rejoin.

Membership talks for Catalonia would likely be different from those currently under way for candidate countries such as the Balkan states and Turkey, which have to harmonise their legislation and foreign policy as well as bring human rights standards up to EU standards.

Catalonia has sought to get ahead on this point by passing a law last month that said all EU laws would apply in its territory even if it was no longer a member.

Questions have also been raised about the legal solidity of the Prodi doctrine and whether the relevant treaty clauses could be open to different interpretation.

A European Commission spokesman said Friday that “this is the way we read the treaty, this is our position” but acknowledged that “everybody has his or her right to his or her own opinion”.

Room for pragmatism?

Senior French judge Yves Gounin warned in a 2014 article on independence movements that taking a hardline approach, kicking a newly seceded territory out of the bloc, could backfire on the EU.

“Europe would have everything to lose by putting these states in quarantine — its investors could no longer invest there, its young people could not study there, its workers could not move freely,” Gounin wrote.

Instead, he suggested that “realism” should trump “orthodoxy”, arguing that “the most reasonable solution would be to negotiate independence and EU membership simultaneously”.

But something like a precedent for this exists from the Scottish referendum of 2014 — which was held with London’s blessing — and it is not promising for Catalan separatists.

To avoid a rupture, the Scottish government said that in the event of a “yes” vote, it would start pre-independence talks with the EU “to settle the terms of an independent Scotland’s continuing membership”.

This notion was slapped down by then European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, who warned it would be “extremely difficult”.

However, Scotland voted to remain part of the United Kingdom.

Could Catalonia keep the euro?

There are numerous non-EU countries which use the single currency. Kosovo and Montenegro, which both separated from Serbia in the last 11 years, use the euro as their national currency with no formal agreement with the EU.

Monaco, San Marino, Andorra and the Vatican also use the euro and have agreements with the EU allowing them to produce limited quantities of their coins with their own designs.

Three killed, dozens injured in Ghana gas truck fire explosions

Ghana National Fire Service spokesman Billy Angalate said two of the victims died at the scene of the incident in the Legon area of the city on Saturday night, and the third in hospital.

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“In all, 35 people were affected. Out of the 35, three of them died, the rest are at the hospital. Five them, as at 1:00 am (0100 GMT), were sent to the intensive care unit,” he told AFP.

The fire and explosions, which gutted a liquefied gas filling station and a nearby petrol station, sent local residents running from their homes.

Ghana’s capital was the scene of a similar fire and explosion at a petrol station in June 2015 which killed more than 150.

Angalate said one of the dead on Saturday died after jumping from a flyover at the busy Atomic Junction roundabout, where there are three fuel stations, transport services and restaurants.

It is also near a high school and the University of Ghana campus.

The country’s deputy minister of information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the government deployed about 12 fire trucks and 200 police personnel to cordon off the scene and manage traffic.

“A lot of people quickly rushed away, which is what saved a lot of lives but also caused a lot of panic,” he added.

The latest incident sparked outrage among some Ghanaians on social media about the safety of filling stations, many of which are located near schools, hospitals and businesses.

A petition was created addressed to President Nana Akufo-Addo, demanding better regulation and inspection of existing and proposed facilities.

They include siting them at least 50 metres from homes and 100 metres from schools and hospitals.

Abena Awuku, a Ghanaian living in the Netherlands, proposed the measures on the change南京楼凤, site, saying fuel stations were “all disasters waiting to happen and the time to act is now”.

“There was a similar incident two years ago and we were fed lies and empty promises about regulations going to be put in place but then we had to witness this,” she told AFP later.

“These deaths could have easily been prevented, so let’s prevent them from ever occurring again in the future.”

Fire in Ghana call all family member please 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾#ghana #fire #accra #haatso #ghanafamily pic南京夜生活,/rmTNFBWO5t

— Ghanaian Princess (@gpuk) October 7, 2017

 

Forbidden love: Police hunt Bangladeshi who married Rohingya refugee

Bangladesh police were Sunday searching for a man who defied a ban and married a Rohingya refugee, hundreds of thousands of whom have fled across the border to escape violence in Myanmar.

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More than half a million Rohingya refugees have flocked to Bangladesh since an army crackdown began on August 25 in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, a process the UN has described as ethnic cleansing.

Shoaib Hossain Jewel, 25, and his 18-year-old Rohingya bride Rafiza have been on the run since marrying last month, said police in Jewel’s home town of Singair.

“We heard he married a Rohingya woman. We went to his home at Charigram village to look for him,” Singair police chief Khandaker Imam Hossain told AFP.

“But we did not find him there and his parents don’t know where he has gone,” he said, adding they were investigating the case.

0:00 Rohingya flee violence in Myanmar Share Rohingya flee violence in Myanmar

In 2014 Dhaka banned marriages between Bangladeshis and Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim refugees following claims that members of the persecuted community were attempting to wed to gain citizenship in the mainly Muslim nation.

Jewel’s father Babul Hossain said citizenship was not the motive this time and defended his son’s marriage to Rafiza.

“If Bangladeshis can marry Christians and people of other religions, what’s wrong in my son’s marriage to a Rohingya?” Hossain told AFP.

“He married a Muslim who took shelter in Bangladesh.”

The Dhaka Tribune newspaper said Jewel, a teacher in a madrassa or religious school, fell in love with Rafiza after her family fled the latest bout of violence in Myanmar and took refuge at a cleric’s house in Singair.

In a police crackdown, the family was forced to move back to the main refugee camp in the southeastern district of Cox’s Bazar — some 265 miles from Singair.

A lovestruck Jewel rushed to Cox’s Bazar, running from one camp to another in search of Rafiza. He finally found her and asker her parents for their daughter’s hand in marriage.

Their wedding in Cox’s Bazar was the first known one between a Bangladeshi and a Rohingya refugee since the August flare-up, the newspaper reported.

Deadly attacks by Rohingya militants on Myanmar police posts on August 25 sparked a ferocious backlash against the community, which has suffered decades of discrimination in mainly Buddhist Myanmar.

0:00 Rohingya pour into Bangladesh Share Rohingya pour into Bangladesh

Reynolds breaks through at Bathurst 1000

Finally, Supercars joker David Reynolds has had the last laugh at Mount Panorama.

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Five years after going agonisingly close, Reynolds claimed his maiden Bathurst 1000 win in atrocious conditions on Sunday.

The 32-year-old got his hands on the Peter Brock Trophy after finishing almost four seconds ahead of fellow Holden driver Scott Pye, with Ford’s Fabian Coulthard third in a wet and wild 161-lap classic.

It finally eased the pain of his 2012 Bathurst result when he finished second just 0.3 of a second behind Holden winner Jamie Whincup.

“Back then I was Queen of the Mountain. Now I am King of the Mountain,” Reynolds laughed.

In a David versus Goliath win, Reynolds – with co-driver Luke Youlden – lifted the spirits of his Erebus Motorsport team, one of the smallest in pit lane.

Erebus was forced to switch from Mercedes to Holden last season after a horror run of results.

Yet the battling outfit – owned by tattooed extrovert Betty Klimenko – now have a Bathurst win to their name after Reynolds emerged triumphant in treacherous conditions.

Reynolds finished ahead of Pye – from the cashed up Walkinshaw Racing outfit – while Coulthard is from Ford powerhouse DJR Team Penske, owned by US motorsport giant Roger Penske.

Reynolds had been more well known for making the “shoey” celebration popular on the Supercars podium.

And he showed off the move again when he celebrated his victory that lifted him from 10th to sixth in the drivers’ standings.

Yet Reynolds fought back tears as he thanked an overwhelmed Klimenko track-side.

Reynolds snapped up a Supercars lifeline from her when he was dumped from Ford’s heavyweight Prodrive Racing at the end of 2015 despite finishing third in the series.

“I had been wanting to pay them (Erebus) back but I had not had a lot of results lately but this ticks every box,” he said.

“We are one of the smallest teams in pit lane.

“We have worked so hard for the last year and a half to get here – I owe everything to them.”

That’s as serious as Reynolds got, morphing back into the un-PC joker who gained infamy when he called an all-female Bathurst team the “P***y Wagon”, copping a $25,000 fine in 2015.

Co-driver Youlden won the Great Race on his 18th attempt.

It was Holden’s 32nd Bathurst win.

The stage was set for a thrilling final six lap sprint to the finish in the wet when the sixth and final safety car emerged after Nissan’s Simona de Silvestro hit the wall in the pit straight wall.

At one stage the race resembled dodgem cars as even six-time Bathurst champion Craig Lowndes slid around with rain falling throughout the more than seven hour epic.

Record-breaking Ford driver Scott McLaughlin did not survive the horror conditions, lasting just 74 laps before engine dramas ended his Great Race.

He came crashing back to earth a day after taking pole in two minutes, 03.83 seconds – the fastest Supercars lap ever seen on the infamous street circuit.

The dreaded DNF cost McLaughlin the series lead.

Ford teammate Coulthard (2431pts) leads ahead of Whincup (2340pts) – who finished third last after engine problems – with McLaughlin (2334pts) third.

Despite the wet, 56,042 fans flocked to the track on Sunday pushing the total four day attendance to 205,693 – the second biggest overall Bathurst crowd.

McLaughlin’s Bathurst dreams dashed again

After producing the “Lap of the Gods”, Ford’s record-breaking Scott McLaughlin was reduced to mere mortal status at Sunday’s Bathurst 1000.

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In a huge blow to his Supercars championship hopes, McLaughlin’s Great Race lasted just 74 laps before retiring with mechanical issues at a wet and wild Mount Panorama.

A day after “the greatest day of my life”, McLaughlin cut a shattered figure as another shot at becoming King of the Mountain slipped through his grasp, along with the championship lead.

His dreaded DNF ensured he slipped from first to third in the standings heading into the next round on the Gold Coast from October 20-22.

“We had a really good shot at it (Bathurst win), in the wet as well,” McLaughlin said.

“Unfortunately that is how it goes, it’s a tough old race to win – I just have to move on.”

No one saw McLaughlin’s fizzer on Sunday coming – certainly not anyone who witnessed his heroics barely 24 hours earlier.

Quite simply McLaughlin could do no wrong ahead of the 161-lap classic.

He left the Bathurst faithful in shock and himself in tears of joy on Saturday when he clocked two minutes, 03.83 seconds – the fastest Supercars lap ever seen on the infamous Mount Panorama street circuit.

McLaughlin became the first to crack the 2:04min barrier on the mountain after shattering the record mark he had set barely 24 hours earlier in Friday’s practice.

It earned him the new “Lap of the Gods” tag at Mount Panorama, first coined when fellow New Zealander Greg Murphy shattered the lap record back in 2003.

It seemed the sky was the limit on Sunday.

Instead he came crashing back to earth.

“Yesterday will always be pretty special in my mind, knowing that we were the fastest car in the dry,” McLaughlin said.

“Sometimes luck is not on your side and you need luck on a day like this.”

After the heavens opened, the pole sitter went wide in the slippery conditions on the first corner on lap four, relinquishing his lead and falling back to sixth.

Then his Falcon began to falter, losing oil pressure.

Suddenly McLaughlin’s Bathurst curse had struck again.

Remarkably the Ford gun has never finished on the Bathurst 1000 podium.

His best finish is fifth in 2015 despite starting on the front row for the third straight year.

McLaughlin was more concerned about his championship hopes after his Bathurst disappointment.

He arrived at the mountain leading the series, 84 points clear of Holden great Jamie Whincup.

However he is now third 97 points adrift of new leader, Ford teammate Fabian Coulthard.

“Of course it concerns me. It is a massive hit to my championship,” McLaughlin said.

“I have undone a lot of good work that I have done.”