Law & Order

South Korean firm backs off ‘treasure ship’ claim amid probe

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A South Korean company on July 26 backed off its claim to have found a sunken Russian warship with an enormous cargo of gold as financial regulators began investigating whether the outlandish treasure… SEOUL – The Associated Press Hurriyet The Seoul-based Shinil Group said it doesn’t know if any gold coins and bars would be found inside the sunken ship it identified as the Dmitrii Donskoi, which sank 113 years ago. Company officials… “There’s no way for us to figure out whether ... Read More »

Japan executes six cult members

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Japan on July 26 executed six more members of the cult behind the deadly 1995 sarin attack on the Tokyo subway, weeks after the group’s leader was hanged. TOKYO – Agence France-Presse Hurriyet Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa confirmed that the six Aum Shinrikyo cult members remaining on death row had been executed on July 26. “I ordered the executions after extremely careful consideration,” she said at a press conference. The executions come after authorities hanged “guru” Shoko Asahara and six of his one-time… ... Read More »

Stopping Nigeria’s Spiralling Farmer-Herder Violence

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Rising conflict between herders and farmers in Nigeria is already six times deadlier in 2018 than Boko Haram’s insurgency. ICG To stop the bloodshed, the federal government should improve security; end impunity for assailants; and hasten livestock sector reform. State governments should freeze open grazing bans. What’s new?  Violence between Nigerian herders and farmers has escalated, killing more than 1,300 people since January 2018. The conflict has evolved from spontaneous reactions to provocations and now to deadlier planned attacks, particularly ... Read More »

Sexual consent must be ‘actively communicated’: CLC NSW

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Community Legal Centres NSW has argued that, unless consent is explicitly given, there should be no assumption of its presence. Jerome Doraisamy LawyersWeekly In its submission to the NSW Law Reform Commission regarding the review of consent in relation to sexual assault, CLC NSW identified that, as it stands, section 61HA of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) does not stipulate a requirement for affirmative consent, and it must explicitly state as… “In most sexual assault cases, the matter being proven ... Read More »

Farmers join gun control advocates in bid to mute ban on silencers for recreational shooters

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A proposal to end the ban on recreational shooters using gun silencers is set to go before Victorian Parliament. ABC Rural By Rachel Carbonell, National Regional Reporting Team The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party is introducing a private members’ bill which would make it legal for all licensed shooters to use silencers. Silencers, or suppressors as they are also known, reduce gunshot noise and are strictly controlled throughout Australia. Usually only specialists such as professional hunters and veterinarians are granted ... Read More »

Sexual Violence by the Burmese Military Against Ethnic Minorities

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Testimony of Skye Wheeler at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Co-Chairmen Representatives McGovern and Hultgren and members of the commission, thank you for the opportunity to testify at today’s hearing on human rights and the use of sexual violence by the Burmese military against ethnic minorities in Burma. HRW Human Rights Watch has conducted research on the human rights situation in Burma for more than 25 years, focusing on abuses against political dissidents and media, as well as laws-of-war ... Read More »

How to reduce slavery in seafood supply chains

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Seafood is one of the most-traded foods in the world. The sector employs at least 260 million workers globally, and some 3 billion people rely on seafood as a primary source of protein. Trevor J Ward The Conversation The US State Department and other credible sources have consistently identified the seafood sector as a significant contributor to the global incidence of modern slavery. Widespread forced labour has been reported in the seafood industry in 47 countries. Part of the problem ... Read More »

A short and disturbing history of Australia’s spy scandals

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Over and over, the history of intelligence services in Australia is that the only people made to suffer are those who reveal wrongdoing or incompetence. Bernard Keane Crikey We are regularly told that Australia has outstanding intelligence services and an enviable domestic security record. But, in fact, Australia’s intelligence services have long displayed incompetence and misconduct. The following list of scandals and failures of Australia’s intelligence agencies in the last 30 years illustrates an ongoing problem: the lack of adequate ... Read More »

Torture is ‘Systemic and Endemic’ in Azerbaijan

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Torture Prevention Body Publishes Damning Reports Torture in Azerbaijan by police and other law enforcement agencies is “systemic and endemic,” according to a report from the Council of Europe’s torture prevention body. Giorgi Gogia HRW The report by The Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), based on six visits to Azerbaijan from 2004 through 2017, documented repeated cases of “severe physical ill-treatment” of… The cases appeared to follow a consistent pattern: mostly ... Read More »

Swedish student prevents deportation of Afghan asylum seeker by refusing to sit down on flight

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Live stream of Elin Ersson’s dramatic protest shows how she stands her ground against flight crew and fellow passengers, before her efforts are finally applauded in emotional scenes Adam Withnall Independent A student activist in Sweden single-handedly prevented the deportation of an asylum seeker to Afghanistan, by refusing to sit down on the plane that was due to take him out of the country. Elin Ersson started live-streaming her dramatic protest after flight attendants demanded she sit down for departure and tried to take away ... Read More »

How an ex-Barcelona player’s legal liver transplant is focusing attention on the human organ trade

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In surely one of the most bizarre stories of recent weeks, former FC Barcelona president, Sandro Rosell, was forced to deny claims that he illegally purchased a human liver for ex-Barcelona defender Eric Abidal in 2012, after a report in Spanish newspaper El Confidencial claimed police had… Greg Moorlock The Conversation A statement by FC Barcelona flatly denied the allegations, and pointed out that a Catalan court had shelved an investigation into the matter in 2017. Further form denials were ... Read More »

Rare witness to horror of Stalin’s Gulag prisons dies

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A rare survivor of the harshest Stalin-era labour camps has died aged 89 in Russia’s far east. BBC Vasily Kovalyov had survived icy punishment cells and beatings in the USSR’s notorious Gulag prison system. During an escape attempt in 1954 he spent five months hiding in a freezing mine with two other prisoners. Kovalyov’s story was featured in Vesma, a news site based in Magadan. The communist regime shipped thousands of “enemies” to prison camps via Magadan. In 1950 Kovalyov, ... Read More »

Nearly half of Australian companies hit by cyber crime, PwC global survey reveals

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Australian companies are being ripped off more than ever by customers, suppliers and cyber-hackers using the dark web backed by organised crime. By senior business correspondent Peter Ryan ABC Advisory firm PwC revealed that customer fraud was now the number one economic crime in Australia, with 45 per cent of companies surveyed attacked during the past two years. PwC’s global economic crime survey, out today, warned businesses that organised crime syndicates using the dark web were becoming more sophisticated and ... Read More »

Rodrigo Duterte commits to war on illegal drugs in Philippines State of the Union address

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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte says he will not be stopping the war on drugs that has resulted in thousands of extrajudicial killings, saying while his critics’ “concern is human rights, mine is human lives”. ABC Speaking for his annual State of the Union address at a joint session of Congress, Mr Duterte reaffirmed his resolve to fight illegal drugs as he had during his first two years in power. He took a swipe at his critics who say his so ... Read More »

The shaky case for prosecuting Witness K and his lawyer in the Timor-Leste spying scandal

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Much of the media commentary on the government prosecution of Witness K and his lawyer Bernard Collaery has focused on government duplicity in suppressing the trial until it had its oil and gas treaty signed with Timor-Leste. John Braithwaite The Conversation But this focus on government hypocrisy has neglected the accountability of the director of public prosecutions, Sarah McNaughton. The prosecution policy of the Commonwealth says: The decision to prosecute must not be influenced by any political advantage or disadvantage ... Read More »

WSU Researchers see positive policing changes after cannabis legalization

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Clearance rates improve for burglaries, vehicle thefts Washington State University EurekAlert! PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University researchers have found that marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington has not hurt police effectiveness. In fact, clearance rates for certain crimes have improved. Clearance rates — the number of cases solved, typically by the arrest of a suspect — were falling for violent and property crimes in the two states before they authorized retail sales of marijuana late in 2012. The rates ... Read More »