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    Tony Abbott announces new Australian Defence Force chiefs


    2019 - 07.22

    Lieutenant General Angus Campbell (center) was announced as the new Chief of Army by Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces the changes. Photo: Andrew Meares
    Nanjing Night Net

    Lieutenant General Angus Campbell will be the new Chief of Army. Photo: Andrew Meares

    The man who led Operation Sovereign Borders has been confirmed as Australia’s next Chief of Army, but has been prevented from speaking to journalists at a press conference about his appointment.

    Lieutenant General Angus Campbell will take the job in May, while Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Davies will become Chief of the Air Force in July.

    At a media conference in Canberra on Thursday, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the government would announce changes to its border protection operations next week.

    Mr Abbott would not say whether General Campbell, a former SAS commander and deputy army chief who has coordinated the government’s tough policy of stopping asylum seeker boats, would be replaced by another military official or someone from a civilian field.

    “I’m not going to pre-empt announcements that will be made next week other than to say that we will be sending a very clear message to people smugglers [and] their potential clients,” Mr Abbott said.

    “We are not relaxing our vigilance here because the instant we relax our vigilance, the risk is we put the people smugglers back into business.

    “If the people smugglers go back into business, the boats start coming the deaths start again, that’s the last thing anyone should want.”

    General Campbell brought a military approach to border protection, including rigid operational secrecy and strict co-ordination of different arms of government. But he also became the subject of controversy over the boats policy, in particular his and then immigration minister Scott Morrison’s consistent refusal to provide information about operations.

    The Prime Minister said Air Marshal Davis, who most recently served as Deputy Chief of the Air Force, had a wide range of operational and command experience, including deployment to the Middle East and a posting as Air Attache in Washington.

    “I think we are very lucky to have two outstanding officers taking on these vital roles in our defence force,” Mr Abbott said.

    While both General Campbell and Air Marshal Davis were present for Thursday’s press conference, both men were prevented from answering a number of questions from journalists.

    “The protocol I understand is that prime ministers, ministers and [the chief of the defence force] speak at these events,” Mr Abbott said.

    “The distinguished appointees will no doubt talk to you on another occasion.”

    Both men were moments later asked to leave the media conference so Mr Abbott could take unrelated questions.

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    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Peter Dutton defends Nauru hospitals as better than some in Australia as Cambodia deal takes a step forward


    2019 - 07.22

    Immigration Minister Peter Dutton gives a present to Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Sar Kheng, during a signing of a memorandum of understanding. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Immigration Minister Peter Dutton gives a present to Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Sar Kheng, during a signing of a memorandum of understanding. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
    Nanjing Night Net

    Immigration Minister Peter Dutton gives a present to Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Sar Kheng, during a signing of a memorandum of understanding. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

    Immigration Minister Peter Dutton gives a present to Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Sar Kheng, during a signing of a memorandum of understanding. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

    Secretary of State spokesman Phay Siphan at the Cambodian government’s ministry offices. Photo: Sarah Whyte

    Asylum seekers on Nauru receive schooling of the same standard as in Australia and access to hospital facilities that are better than some regional areas, says Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.

    But a Cambodian official compared the living conditions of detainees to those of “animals”.

    Mr Dutton mounted the defence of Australia’s detention facilities as he signed a memorandum of understanding with the Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia, Sar Kheng, that will clear the way for the resettlement of refugees to that country.

    As the government deals with the fall-out of the Moss review into sexual abuse on Nauru, which exposed evidence of rapes, sexual assault on minors and Nauruan guards trading marijuana for sexual favours, Mr Dutton said the facility was well-resourced.

    “I’ve been to many hospitals in regional Australia, including in towns where people would say that those hospitals aren’t up to the standard of those in Nauru. I also had the opportunity, the great privilege, to go to Afghanistan to see our troops and the field hospital that I saw there … was not in my judgement up to the standard that I saw in Nauru,” he said.

    “I also went to the educational facilities, the classrooms there [in the detention centre in Nauru] where young people at taxpayers’ expense are being provided with English classes and schooling otherwise that is of a standard at least as good as in Australia.”

    A “first wave” of three to five families is expected to resettle in Cambodia in coming months.

    Cambodian government officials are on Nauru to speak to families but there are signs of resistance among asylum seeker families.

    Mr Dutton warned that some “well-intentioned people” in Australia and elsewhere were trying to “provide messages” to people in Nauru not to accept resettlement.

    “For those people in Nauru … I think it’s very important to properly consider the offer that is on the table in relation to going to Cambodia,” he said.

    In Cambodia, an official said the Hun Sen government had agreed to the $40 million refugee resettlement deal to “pay back” Australia for taking their own refugees after the country’s bloody civil war.

    It comes as the Hun Sen government defended the forced deportation of a number of indigenous Vietnamese refugees late last month as a “national security” matter.

    The Secretary of State spokesman Phay Siphan said that the Hun Sen government had agreed to the deal with Australia on humanitarian grounds and that Cambodia “felt sorry for Australia” for shouldering the burden of refugee resettlement.

    “We understand how hard it is,” Mr Siphan said from his office in Phnom Penh.

    “[Refugees] are like animal at the camps, they have no right to move, they have no right to do anything.

    “We give them a choice, where we open to everyone [on] what can you learn from Cambodia as a hosting country.

    “It’s not fair that Australian government has spent so much money for refugees,” he said.

    It is not known how many refugees living on Nauru will take up the offer to permanently resettle in the South Asian nation, nor how much it will cost the Abbott government to facilitate the resettlement with the International Organisation of Migration. This is in addition to the $40 million in aid that has already been pledged for development assistance over four years.

    Mr Siphan estimated “10 to 15” families could take up the offer in a “pilot program”, while Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told local Cambodian media last week that “three to five” families would initially volunteer to move to the country.

    “Australia was open to Cambodian refugees, we have to pay back something. We don’t want to take and take from Australia,” Mr Siphan said.

    “These people, we will treat them equally as all Cambodians.

    “They will become rich if they work hard.”

    By contrast, nearly 40 Christian Montagnards – an indigenous group who claim they face religious persecution and live in the Northern Highlands of Vietnam – were allegedly deported to Vietnam by the Cambodian government in February.

    Mr Siphan said the government would not take “political refugees” from Vietnam or China.

    “We don’t allow political refugees to springboard into our country,” he said.

    “That is our national security,” he said. “Those people are not refugees, they are just getting away from the government, they are not refugees.

    “We call it illegal immigration,” he said.

    Elaine Pearson of Human Rights Watch has questioned the conditions refugees will face in Cambodia, saying that most refugees already in Cambodia are “living hand to mouth with few employment opportunities, facing racism and corruption on a daily basis, and inadequate services”.

    “Cambodia is neither safe nor equipped to resettle refugees,” she said. “The Cambodian government has consistently shown it is willing to sign agreements and even laws, yet completely fail to implement them – like its own refugee law.”

    This week the Interior Minister Sar Kheng, who is implementing the resettlement deal, is in Australia to discuss the plan further.

    But the deal has been heavily criticised by a number of international aid agencies based in Cambodia who said they did not support it, arguing it was not appropriate for a country that has been accused of human rights abuses and has no refugee resettlement experience.

    Sarah Whyte is on a journalism fellowship in Cambodia with the Asia Pacific Journalism Centre.

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    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    ‘I don’t have a Facebook page!’: John Howard shocked by digital impersonator


    2019 - 07.22

    Steps Group Australia executive officer Stuart Coward shows former prime minister John Howard the fake Facebook page. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen The fake John Howard Facebook page. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
    Nanjing Night Net

    Mr Howard discovers he has a digital impersonator. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

    Former US president George W Bush once called John Howard a “man of steel” over his steadfast support for the American-led invasion of Iraq.

    But it was the relatively trivial matter of a fake Facebook page that wrong-footed the usually unflappable former prime minister on Thursday.

    Appearing at a leadership conference in Canberra, Mr Howard was approached by Stuart Coward, the executive officer of Steps Group Australia, a national not-for-profit employment, training and housing organisation based in Caloundra on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

    Mr Coward was excited to meet Mr Howard after sending him messages via Facebook for the last couple of years. Mr Coward would use the page to try to engage Mr Howard in conversation about cricket or seek advice about leadership issues. He never received a reply but put this down to the impossibility of personally replying to each of the page’s 37,000 followers.

    But the former PM appeared surprised when Mr Coward mentioned their correspondence. “I don’t have a Facebook page!” Mr Howard told him.

    “I think he was rather shocked actually,” Mr Coward told Fairfax Media.  

    Mike Baird’s Government deserves to be reelected. The Premier leads a strong united team and is making the right decisions. John Posted by John Howard on Saturday, March 21, 2015

    Thank you to everyone for the warm wishes after my recent health troubles. I am feeling much stronger. John Posted by John Howard on Saturday, March 21, 2015

    What are your thoughts on the carbon tax being repealed? Posted by John Howard on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

    Thank you to everyone for the heartfelt birthday messages. I feel blessed to have had 75 wonderful years. Posted by John Howard on Saturday, July 26, 2014This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Australians frustrated at time spent booking travel online


    2019 - 07.22

    Was it worth all the planning? Was it worth all the planning?
    Nanjing Night Net

    Was it worth all the planning?

    Was it worth all the planning?

    Australians love all things we travel. We love thinking about it, talking about and planning it – or so we think.

    According to a new research by travel search engine KAYAK南京夜网.au, 25 per cent of Australians spend over half their annual leave planning and booking holidays each year.

    This means one in four spend almost as much time per year searching for holidays as they do taking them, with 31 per cent abandoning their searches halfway because they become frustrated with booking travel online, saying that it takes too long.

    Time spent searching is not the only thing irritating Australians. Hidden costs was the number one gripe, outranking fluctuating prices, confusing websites and information overload.

    While online travel booking has made searching for cheap flights, bargain accommodation, and tour and cruise deals more accessible to the average Australian, the amount of time spent planning and booking holidays has largely remained the same over the past three years (86 per cent of those surveyed indicated they did spent the same or more time planning).

    The survey revealed 33 per cent of Australians are also more preoccupied finding flights and accommodation deals than researching things to do at their destination.

    However, holiday satisfaction levels has also largely remained the same, with 58 per cent saying the more time spent planning and booking did not necessarily make the holiday more enjoyable.

    Remarkably, the survey revealed that 27 per cent of Australians spend less time deciding on a location to live than booking an overseas trip, with 21 per cent of those surveyed saying they booked a holiday while in bed and 1 per cent booking their holiday while commuting to or from work. Top destinations Australians are searching 

    1.    Los Angeles 2.    London 3.    Melbourne 4.    Bali 5.    Sydney 6.    Bangkok 7.    Auckland 8.    Singapore 9.    New York 10.  Tokyo

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Treasury signals company tax cuts


    2019 - 07.22

    “Australia’s company tax is relatively high by global standards,” says Rob Heferen. Photo: Jessica HromasThe head of Treasury’s revenue group, Rob Heferen, has thrown his support behind a move to cut the company tax rate from 30 per cent, saying it would boost foreign investment and economic growth.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Treasurer Joe Hockey has said the tax reform process will kick off this Monday with a discussion paper. This will be followed by a green paper later in the year, and will then be finished off with a final tax white paper.

    Speaking at a Minerals Council of Australia tax conference in Melbourne on tax reform, Mr Heferen said lower company taxes boosted foreign investment, resulted in more jobs, higher wages and increased productivity.

    He did not say what the rate should be, but the previous tax review by former Treasury boss Ken Henry has suggested it be cut to 25 per cent.

    “Let’s be clear: taxes have negative consequences for economic growth.. some are worse than others,” Mr Heferen said.

    Small businesses will still receive the 1.5 per cent tax cut they were promised by Prime Minister Tony Abbott before he was elected, but presently the 30 per cent company tax rate still applies for medium and large businesses.

    “Australia’s company tax is relatively high by global standards, particularly with a number of other countries [in the developed world] having reduced their rates,” Mr Heferen said.

    But Mr Richardson said there should be an extra tax on companies to ensure that big profits are taxed during boom times.

    He said it could be a new state tax, rather than a federal one.

    “You could have the states mirroring a company tax,” Mr Richardson said. “You don’t even need the feds involved at all.”

    Mr Heferen said while Australia should not compare itself to low-tax nations like Singapore, high company tax meant Australia was losing economic benefits.

    He said reducing the company tax rate would cost the federal budget in the short term, but over the long term it would increase economic activity and productivity.

    “I hope it’s the case – through the tax [white paper] discussion paper process – that [it’s accepted that] the idea of reducing company tax will actually improve capital stock and have flow-on benefits.”

    He said the government was still wanting to ensure that multinationals paid their fair share of taxes, and was working through the OECD process to stop companies shifting profits to no-tax or low-tax nations.

    He said this often occurred if there were “intangibles” such as intellectual property, as it was hard to determine where that value was created. “When you are buying something that’s intangible-heavy, it’s more contestable where the value sits,” he said.

    But with tangibles, such as mining resources, it was easy to determine, as value was created when it was digged out of the ground. This suggests Mr Heferen disagrees with the business lobby line that if the OECD plan against profit shifting succeeds, Australia will lose out on mining revenue.

    Companies such as Microsoft, in submissions to the federal inquiry into corporate tax avoidance, have admitted using hubs in low-tax nations such as Singapore. The practice, which is currently legal under international tax rules, has come under fire as world governments hunt for more revenue from companies making billions in sales and big profits.

    Mr Heferen said large businesses disclosing the taxes they pay was a good thing.

    He also dismissed recent analysis carried out by the Australia Institute that said tax projections in the report indicated that by 2055 someone on the equivalent of $300,000 would be paying only 32.4 per cent of their income in tax, down from 37.7 per cent in 2021.

    The analysis said the tax cut, expressed in present dollars, would be worth $15,900. A low earner would receive a lower tax cut of about $4500.

    “That analysis is wrong,” Mr Heferen said, adding it had made “simplified” assumptions to derive those figures.

    Deloitte Access Economics partner Chris Richardson, also speaking at the conference, said for the first time the Intergenerational Report noted issues around bracket creep and superannuation.

    But he was worried that the current government “lacked the political will” to tackle tax reform, including the need to stop superannuation concessions to the rich, and increase the GST.

    Both Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey have ruled out increasing GST or broadening the base in the first term. Mr Hockey has also signalled there’s limited scope to deliver personal tax cuts, although they are desirable.

    Mr Richardson said because of the political limits, “I don’t expect the national debate on tax to be a great one”.

    He said while taxing royalties made by miners was a “rotten tax”, those making super profits should still be taxed.

    Everybody had been “spooked” to do something because of the mining tax debacle under the former Labor government.

    “That does not mean you cannot do better,” Mr Richardson said. “Don’t be scared of tax reform. You can do this better.”

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Minimum wage case: ACTU submission to increase compulsory super contributions


    2019 - 06.21

    ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver: ”For a 20-year-old minimum wage worker, the Abbott government’s decision to not pass on the 0.5 per cent increase in compulsory super until 2021 means they will be $18,401 worse off in retirement,” Photo: Janie BarrettThe ACTU will for the first time make a claim for an increase in compulsory superannuation contributions as part of its submission for an increase in the minimum wage.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The submission to the Fair Work Commission’s annual review of the minimum wage will aim to compensate Australian workers for the federal government’s decision to freeze superannuation increases until 2022.

    The ACTU said its submission, to be made on Friday, will include an application for compulsory superannuation to rise from 9.5 per cent to 10 per cent. It will also call for an increase in the minimum wage which is now $640.90 per week.

    ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said it was the first time such a claim has been made since the introduction of the current system of mandatory superannuation payments. The ACTU would seek an extra 0.5 per cent to the minimum super contribution in awards in addition to an increase in minimum wages.

    Mr Oliver said a full-time worker on the national minimum wage will be $3.20 per week, or $167.09 per year, worse off as a result of the freeze on minimum superannuation entitlements.

    “For a 20-year-old minimum wage worker, the Abbott government’s decision to not pass on the 0.5 per cent increase in compulsory super until 2021 means they will be $18,401 worse off in retirement,” he said.

    Unions have campaigned for compulsory superannuation to eventually increase to 12 per cent.

    Mr Oliver said entitlements had been expected to rise to 10 per cent on July 1 this year under the Superannuation Guarantee before Treasurer Joe Hockey last year announced a freeze on any increases.

    “Mr Hockey should support the half per cent increase on the basis of his suggestion last year that employers would pass on the cut in superannuation through wage increases,” he said.

    Mr Oliver said maintaining a fair minimum wage is essential to avoid the creation of an underclass of working poor in Australia.

    “The annual minimum wage case is the only opportunity for 1.86 million of Australia’s lowest paid workers to receive a pay rise,” Mr Oliver said.

    “Research shows boosting the minimum wage is good for workers and does not have a negative impact on employment.”

    Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive officer Kate Carnell said the annual review of the minimum wage is “to do just that – to determine any movement in cost of living issues”.

    “The review has nothing to do with retirement savings,” Ms Carnell said.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Thomas Kelly’s killer Kieran Loveridge moved to Supermax after claimed assault on inmate and affair with guard


    2019 - 06.21

    Kieran Loveridge is led from court after his original sentencing in November 2013. Photo: Kate GeraghtyTeenage killer Kieran Loveridge has been moved to the state’s highest security prison after having an “improper relationship” with a female guard, just a week after he allegedly stomped on the head of another prisoner.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Loveridge is serving a minimum of 10 years for the manslaughter of Thomas Kelly, who was punched once on the back of the head on his first night out in Kings Cross in 2012.

    Loveridge was also convicted of a string of random assaults on the same night.

    2GB broadcaster Ray Hadley revealed on radiolast week that Loveridge, now 21, was being investigated by police for allegedly stomping on the head of an inmate in a Kempsey jail on March 10.

    Loveridge and another inmate, aged 22, allegedly assaulted the 31-year-old man in a cell. He had to be treated for facial injuries in Kempsey Hospital.

    The two inmates were segregated, moved to other jails and given higher security classifications, a Corrective Services NSW spokesman said.

    On Thursday, Hadley revealed Loveridge had been moved to Goulburn Supermax and prison officials were also investigating an affair he was having with a female guard at the Mid North Coast Correctional Centre.

    “A female correctional officer has been suspended from duty at Mid North Coast Correctional Centre after it was learnt she had allegedly commenced an improper relationship with an inmate,” the Corrective Services NSW spokesman said.

    “CSNSW is investigating the alleged relationship.”

    Hadley said other prison guards raised the alarm after they noticed odd behaviour between the pair.

    Loveridge was initially sentenced to five years and two months for manslaughter but it was raised to a minimum of 10 years after the Director of Public Prosecutions appealed against the “manifestly inadequate” sentence.

    Mr Kelly’s death caused public outrage and partly led to the introduction of mandatory sentences for drunken violence and a state-wide liquor crackdown.

    Loveridge could remain in jail until 2026.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Attacker tried to drag nurse into car boot in Crows Nest: police


    2019 - 06.21

    A nurse has fought off an attacker who grabbed her from behind and tried to drag her into the boot of a car as she walked along a street in Sydney’s lower north shore, police say.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Police are now hunting for the man, thought to be aged in his 30s and who was dressed in black when he ambushed the woman in Crows Nest about 10.25pm on Wednesday.

    The 27-year-old woman, who is employed as a nurse, told police she was walking along Falcon Street when the man grabbed her from behind, covered her mouth and tried to force her into the boot of a silver or grey sedan.

    The woman began screaming loudly and punched the man in the groin, forcing him to release her.

    The woman fell to the ground, and the man got back in his car and drove away.

    The distraught woman raised the alarm at a Caltex Service Station a short distance away on Falcon Street.

    Police from the Harbourside local area command were called to the service station, but could not find any trace of the man.

     

    The woman was taken to Royal North Shore Hospital where she was treated for a number of minor injuries, including grazing, bruising and swelling.

    A NSW Police spokeswoman said police investigating the incident believed it was a random attack.

    Police described the man as being of Mediterranean/Middle Eastern or Indian/subcontinental appearance, aged in his early to mid 30s, about 175 centimetres tall with a stocky build and short, dark hair.

    At the time of the attack he was wearing a black T-shirt and black pants.

    Anyone with information has been urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    No limits: rights holders could potentially block hundreds of piracy websites in Australia with a single strike


    2019 - 06.21

    Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull will introduce the legislation on Thursday. Photo: Andrew MearesEnding online piracy in Australia long overdue, say rights holders
    Nanjing Night Net

    Movie, music and TV rights holders will be able to request judges block an unlimited number of overseas websites facilitating online piracy in the one court case under the Abbott government’s website-blocking legislation, due to be introduce into parliament on Thursday, Fairfax Media has learned.

    The Copyright (Online Infringement) Bill 2015, which is set to cost telcos about $130,000 a year, contains no cap on the number of websites rights holders can request a judge to block in a single injunction.

    Critics of the regime are likely to argue that having no cap on the scheme could result in what happened in India, where a number of legitimate websites were blocked, including Google services, when a judge agreed to block some 472 websites. An updated judgment fixed the error.

    The bill, a draft of which Fairfax obtained before a final version became publicly available on Thursday, also does not say how the sites should be blocked. This means that it will be up to judges to decide whether to stipulate in their rulings how a site is blocked, or for internet providers to figure it out for themselves if a judge makes no mention of this.

    The bill only states that the injunction requires internet providers listed in court cases by rights holders to take “reasonable steps to disable access to the online location”.

    How sites are blocked is important, as some of the cheaper blocking methods can result in collateral damage. Australia’s corporate watchdog ASIC, for instance, inadvertently blocked access to more than 250,000 innocuous websites when trying to block one believed to be defrauding Australians.

    ASIC did this by identifying the IP address of the web server the fraudulent website was hosted on and ordering internet providers to block it under a controversial section of the Telecommunications Act called section 313, which requires the providers to co-operate with Australian enforcement agencies.

    But the problem was the IP address blocked was shared by many other websites, leading to hundreds of thousands of other sites also being blocked.

    Also not in the bill is a mandated consumer advocate in the court cases, meaning it will be up for the judge to weigh up the public interest in blocking a website. Citizens and digital rights groups won’t be prevented from going to cases and raising issues as a third-party, although this could be costly.

    But it appears consumers and rights groups won’t be able to apply to a court to revoke blocks, as they are not listed as one of the types of parties that can do this.

    The competition watchdog, the ACCC, and the communications regulator, the ACMA, are the only people envisaged by the government to be able to apply to revoke a block other than the people behind a blocked site, an internet service provider asked to block it, or a rights holder.

    Scheme to cost internet providers $130,000 a year to run

    There is also no provision in the bill for ISPs to be compensated for setting up a site-blocking regime. The bill’s explanatory memorandum states that the introduction of the site-blocking regime is estimated to cost the entire Australian telecommunications industry $130,825 a year to run, which could push up the price of internet.

    Sites proposed to be blocked will have to be informed; however a judge could waive this requirement “if the court is satisfied that the owner of the copyright is unable, despite reasonable efforts, to determine the identity or address of the person who operates the online location” facilitating access to the infringing material.

    Before ordering websites to be blocked, a judge must take into account a number of things, including whether other jurisdictions have blocked the site and whether it is in the public interest to disable access to the piracy site.

    An earlier draft of the bill also suggested that freedom of expression be taken into account but this was not in the final bill.

    A judge must also consider whether blocking the site is a proportionate response; the site also has to be hosted outside Australia.

    The site must also be a service whose “primary purpose” is to facilitate copyright infringement. It must also be proven that it is facilitating an infringement in Australia.

    Also to be taken into account is whether the site is “flagrantly” infringing copyright, the bill states.

    There is no mention of a public register or similar where Australians can see which sites have been blocked. There’s also no mention of whether citizens will see a message when accessing a site that informs them why it was blocked.

    In good news for digital rights groups, a judge may limit the amount of time a site is blocked for and, upon application, revoke or vary a block.

    The bill was introduced into parliament on Thursday by Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. It is due to be referred to a parliamentary committee for scrutiny.

    It’s understood that only six weeks will be given for the committee to examine and hold public consultations.

    “There will be adequate time for consultation and for people to make submissions throughout this process,” a spokesperson for Attorney-General George Brandis said.

    Unintended consequences in drafting

    The bill was initially slated to be introduced last week. But a number of “unintended consequences” identified in the bill caused it to be delayed, Fairfax Media has been told.

    One of those unintended consequences, according to sources familiar with the drafting of the legislation, could have resulted in the websites of virtual private networks (VPNs) also being caught up in the blocking regime if they were deemed by a judge as facilitating copyright infringement.

    VPNs are often used to circumvent website filtering in countries by allowing users to “tunnel” their internet traffic through another country where there is no filtering. But some countries, such as China, have attempted to block access to them.

    One such VPN website, TorGuard, promotes itself as being able to “unblock any website regardless of geographical location”, and it’s understood there were fears in some circles that the way the legislation was initially drafted could have meant VPNs facilitating or allowing piracy could have been blocked as well.

    A number of other drafting issues meant the bill was sent back to the Attorney-General’s Department for redrafting by the Attorney-General.

    “He didn’t like the drafting,” a government source said of Senator Brandis’ reading of the bill.

    “In an area such as this if you are not really specific you end up catching a lot more stuff than you are potentially targeting,” another source said.

    It’s not clear whether the final bill addresses the concerns of VPNs being blocked.

    Simon Bush, head of the Australian Home Entertainment Distributors Association, which represents the $1 billion Australian film and TV home entertainment industry, confirmed the bill had been delayed because of a number of unintended consequences in the drafting.

    But Mr Bush would not say whether one of them was the prospect of VPN websites being blocked.

    “There did appear to be some unintended consequences in the drafting of the bill,” he said. “The minister’s office has identified those [and has looked to fix them].”

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Jeremy Clarkson: ‘Assault’ of Top Gear’s Oisin Tymon investigated by UK police


    2019 - 06.21

    Clarkson’s road to ruin
    Nanjing Night Net

    Matters may be about to get a whole lot worse for Jeremy Clarkson after UK police confirmed they are investigating the alleged assault that led to the Top Gear star being sacked.

    North Yorkshire Police have asked for a copy of the BBC’s internal investigation into a fracas involving Top Gear producer Oisin Tymon at the Simonstone Hall Hotel in the Yorkshire Dales.

    “The information will be assessed appropriately and action will be taken by North Yorkshire Police where necessary,” they said in a statement.

    The BBC investigation, conducted by senior executive Ken MacQuarrie, made clear the seriousness of the alleged incident, which took place on March 4 on the hotel patio.

    “Oisin Tymon was subject to an unprovoked physical and verbal attack by Jeremy Clarkson,” concluded MacQuarrie. “During the physical attack Oisin Tymon was struck, resulting in swelling and bleeding to his lip. The verbal abuse was sustained over a longer period, both at the time of the physical attack and subsequently.”

    The alleged attack – which MacQuarrie said Clarkson admitted – was only halted when a bystander stepped in to break it up.

    Clarkson continued to abuse Tymon after the incident using “the strongest expletives and threats to sack him”.

    Tymon then drove himself to a local accident and emergency department for attention to his injuries.

    The fracas allegedly erupted after Clarkson was told the hotel kitchen had closed and he couldn’t be served steak and chips for supper.

    In his own statement announcing Clarkson’s dismissal, BBC Director-General Tony Hall said a line had been crossed.

    “There cannot be one rule for one and one rule for another dictated by either rank, or public relations and commercial considerations,” he said. Clarkson fans left in the dark

    Tens of thousands of local fans hoping to attend next month’s two-day Top Gear festival in Sydney have been left in the lurch after Clarkson’s sacking.

    Organisers of the Top Gear Festival planned for April 18 and 19 at Sydney Motorsport Park, Eastern Creek were scrambling on Thursday morning to respond to news that the corporation had punted Clarkson.

    “We are working through the implications of today’s announcement with our partner Brand Events and will make a definitive statement on the Live tour as soon as possible,” said BBC Worldwide in a statement.

    Clarkson has a seven-figure contract with BBC Worldwide to front the live shows staged around the world.

    BBC Worldwide insisted it was “still planning ahead as scheduled” but chances of the event taking place are looking increasingly unlikely, especially after an event in Norway has already been cancelled before the bombshell announcement.

    As of Thursday morning tickets for up to $400 to see “Jeremy, James and Richard all together for the first time” were still being sold on Ticketek’s website.

    It is unclear how many tickets have already been sold for 2015 but last year about 46,000 motorsport fans attended the Sydney event to see their idol, Clarkson, and watch events including “Star in a Car” and “Car Football”.

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    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.