Crime

Thai dissidents living in exile fear for their lives after a string of disappearances and murders

A string of mysterious murders and deportations across South-East Asia has Thai dissidents fearing for their lives and members of a controversial folk band say they may be targeted next. Liam Cochrane ABC The band Faiyen, which means “cold fire” in Thai, fled the country after the 2014 coup and has written songs criticising the military government and the monarchy. Late last week, the band posted a chilling message on Facebook. “We … fear for our lives. Many trusted people ... Read More »

Christians seek refuge after deadly Burkina attacks

KAYA, Burkina Faso (Reuters) – Concerned about a rise in violence against Christians in Burkina Faso, Pastor Jacques Ouedraogo changed the time of his Sunday service as a precaution. He believes this is what saved his life. Thiam Ndiaga Reuters Later, his church was one of two targeted by gunmen on May 12 in the town of Dablo in a series of deadly attacks on churches and a religious procession in the last two weeks in Burkina’s formerly peaceful Central ... Read More »

Sweden v USA – What Happens Next In Assange?

It was confirmed this week that the Swedish authorities have reopened the criminal investigation into Julian Assange over allegations of rape in 2010. Gherson The decision comes as Assange is serving a prison sentence in the UK for breaching bail in the original extradition proceedings. Assange is also facing extradition to the USA in connection with hacking allegations. After years of deadlock with Assange holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy there is finally significant movement and many people are asking ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Collapse Is the Worst Outside of War in Decades, Economists Say

Butchers have stopped selling meat cuts in favor of offal, fat shavings and cow hooves, the only animal protein many of their customers can afford. Anatoly Kurmanaev The New York Times MARACAIBO, Venezuela — Zimbabwe’s collapse under Robert Mugabe. The fall of the Soviet Union. Cuba’s disastrous unraveling in the 1990s. The crumbling of Venezuela’s economy has now outpaced them all. Venezuela’s fall is the single largest economic collapse outside of war in at least 45 years, economists say. “It’s ... Read More »

How 9/11 and China’s plan for blanket surveillance created a wave that CCTV camera makers Hikvision and Dahua rode to huge success

Hangzhou’s Binjiang district is home to three of China’s biggest surveillance camera makers Hikvision, Dahua and Uniview benefited from rise in demand for surveillance after 9/11 terror attacks China is famous for its one-industry towns. Gurao in southern Guangdong province is known for making bras. Qiaotou in Zhejiang province produces most of the world’s buttons. Sarah Dai South China Morning Post The city of Tianjin to the north is a major manufacturer of bicycles. Then there is Hangzhou’s Binjiang district, ... Read More »

What are our courts doing about firearms offences?

In March, Victoria had the highest number of fatal shootings in a decade. Five people were shot dead in less than a fortnight. By Arie Freiberg and Anusha Kenny * The Age Data published by The Age suggests there has also been a surge in non-fatal shootings over the same period. The unlawful possession and use of firearms is a significant and growing problem. There are some 132 firearms offences in Victorian law relating to such matters as the acquisition, ... Read More »

Sweden to reopen rape case against WikiLeaks’ Assange

Swedish prosecutors said on May 13 they are reopening a rape case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, a month after he was removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. STOCKHOLM-The Associated Press Hurriyet Eva-Marie Persson, Sweden‘s deputy director of public prosecutions, told a news conference in Stockholm that “there is still a probable cause to suspect that Assange committed a rape.” She added: “It is my assessment that a new questioning of Assange is required.” Swedish prosecutors filed preliminary charges – a step short of formal… ... Read More »

Mena Mangal: Journalist and women’s rights campaigner shot dead in broad daylight in Kabul

‘This woman had already shared that her life was in danger. Why did nothing happen? We need answers’ Abby Young-Powell The Independent An Afghan journalist and political advisor, who was vocal about women’s rights in the country, has been gunned down in broad daylight, just days after saying she believed her life was in danger. Mena Mangal was shot dead on Saturday morning in a public place while she was on her way to work in the capital city of Kabul. ... Read More »

The Essence of Evil: Sex with Children Has Become Big Business in America

“Children are being targeted and sold for sex in America every day.”—John Ryan, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children John W. Whitehead American Herald Tribune Children, young girls—some as young as 9 years old—are being bought and sold for sex in America. The average age for a young woman being sold for sex is now 13 years old. This is America’s dirty little secret. Sex trafficking—especially when it comes to the buying and selling of young girls—has become big ... Read More »

Secret probe shows Erdoğan planned purge of Turkey’s military long ago

The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan secretly launched an investigation to build a case for a purge in Turkey’s military as early as 2014 and enlisted the help of unsavory characters who… Abdullah Bozkurt Nordic Monitor According to secret documents obtained by Nordic Monitor, a number of former officers who were dismissed from the military in recent years for sexual misconduct were called in to give a statement by a… In exchange for filing criminal complaints against critics of ... Read More »

Why are so few hate crimes prosecuted in Australia?

Imam Wadood Janud was just wrapping-up a vigil for the victims of the Christchurch shootings — a day after the massacre — when a ute smashed into the gate of his mosque in South Brisbane. Background Briefing By Hagar Cohen, Meryem Aydogan and Scott Mitchell, ABC “He shouted profanity and abuse,” Imam Janud told Background Briefing. “Then he rammed his ute twice at the gate.” Children, who had gathered on the lawn outside the Baitul Masroor Mosque, ran in every ... Read More »

Kim Jong-nam: Vietnamese woman freed in murder case

The Vietnamese woman accused of the 2017 killing of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s leader, has been released, her lawyer says. BBC Doan Thi Huong was freed after accepting a deal with Malaysian prosecutors and pleading guilty to a lesser charge of “causing injury”. Ms Huong and Indonesian Siti Aisyah had been accused of smearing VX nerve agent on Mr Kim in Kuala Lumpur airport. Both women deny murder and say they thought they were part of a ... Read More »

Caruana Galizia murder: Fighting for justice for my murdered mother

Once every few months I have to sit in a room with the person investigating my mother’s murder. Our family first encountered him six years ago, when he came to our home to arrest her. By Matthew Caruana Galizia World Press Freedom Day BBC My mother had published a satirical blog post about a candidate for Maltese prime minister on election day and one of his supporters filed a police report. So, the detective was sent to our family home ... Read More »

Is the Assange indictment a threat to the First Amendment?

A British court sentenced Julian Assange on May 1 to almost a year in prison for jumping bail. Ofer Raban The Conversation That’s not the end of Assange’s legal travails: he still faces the possibility of an extradition to the U.S. After a brief initial hearing, the matter will be taken up again at a hearing on May 30 in London. The American government has many reasons to dislike Assange, the co-founder of WikiLeaks, who is responsible for the dissemination ... Read More »

The very big business of organised crime costing Australians millions a year

Australians were tricked out of nearly half a billion dollars by scammers in 2018 with reported losses the “tip of the iceberg”, said Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) deputy… Julie Power The Age/The Sydeney Morning Herald/The Canberra Times She attributed a 44 per cent spike in losses – a $149 million increase – by consumers and businesses to increasingly sophisticated scammers: “They’re organised crime, they’re very big business and they’re very tech… To avoid detection by banks and money ... Read More »

Synagogue gunman ‘inspired by NZ attacks’

The young man accused of carrying out a deadly shooting at a Southern California synagogue is said to have been inspired by the Australian who allegedly committed the Christchurch mosque attacks. Australian Associated Press The Canberra Times The gunman walked into the suburban San Diego synagogue late on Saturday morning, the last day of the week-long Jewish holiday of Passover, and opened fire with an assault-style rifle, killing… He gave himself up to police shortly after the shooting, authorities say. ... Read More »