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Eight Children Stabbed To Death In Cairns

Written By andika jamanta on Jumat, 19 Desember 2014 | 18.25

Eight children have been found stabbed to death at a house in Cairns, Australia.

The children are reportedly aged between 18 months and 15 years old.

Police were called to a property in the suburb of Manoora following reports of a woman with serious injuries.

During the search of the house the bodies of the children were discovered.

The 34-year-old woman is reportedly the mother of seven of the children. The eighth child is thought to be a family member.

The mother is said to be in a stable condition at a hospital where she is being questioned by police.

Queensland Police Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said: "There are no suspects at this point. It's very early days. The woman in hospital is the mother of most of the children.

"I am not able to confirm how the children died."

He added that there was no reason for the public to be concerned and said it was a "tragic, tragic event".

Lisa Thaiday, who said she was the woman's cousin, said another sibling, a 20-year-old man, came home and found his brothers and sisters dead inside the house.

She said: "We're a big family... I just can't believe it."

Cairns Post reporter Scott Forbes, at the scene, told Sky News: "I've spoken to some of the family members and they say the woman, who is the biological mother, actually has more children but the other kids weren't at home at the time. So of the children she does have, eight of them are now dead.

"Many of the people here are actually connected to the family or relatives of the family. They are very shocked. They said they were a happy family and were enthusiastic about Christmas.

"They've said she was a very proud mother who was very protective of her children, so everyone lining the streets here is reeling right now."

The street is in lock down and a crime scene will remain in place for at least another day, police said.

Cairns MP Michael Trout told Sky News the close-knit community was in shock over the "dreadful tragedy".

"How can anyone harm innocent children is on everyone's lips at this moment," he said.

Media outlets reported that the neighbourhood was predominantly inhabited by indigenous Aboriginal Australians, and was known by residents to have a high crime rate.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott called the events in Cairns "heartbreaking" and acknowledged that these were "trying days" for Australia.

Queensland premier Campbell Newman said he was "deeply saddened" and "shocked".

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those concerned."

The deaths come as Australia is still feeling the shock of the deadly siege in a Sydney cafe earlier this week.


18.25 | 0 komentar | Read More

Pump Prices: Cheap Petrol Comes With A Warning

Tumbling oil prices are resulting in lower petrol costs, but there are warnings the good news for drivers may not last.

With prices falling by more than 40% since June's high of $111 a barrel, there have been an increasing number of reports suggesting petrol prices across the UK could soon fall below £1 per litre - the lowest level since the end of May 2009.

Experts at the RAC believe petrol could fall to 99p a litre next year, while economists at Goldman Sachs also believe petrol could fall close to £1.

But AA president Edmund King insists this possibility remains "remote".

He said: "A 6.6p-a-litre drop in the price of petrol releases a potential £3m-a-day switch of consumer spending from fuel forecourts to other businesses.

"It will also lower the cost of transporting goods, hopefully also to be passed on to customers."

Mr King went on: "However, the parallels with the 2008 crash, albeit that was a market in freefall while this one has been engineered by OPEC and could be stopped any time, carry a warning from the ghost of Christmas past.

"In 2009, a new year brought a new assessment of the market and pump prices started to rise again on January 5."

Analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also suggests petrol prices are unlikely to fall below £1-a-litre in the coming months.

But while the ONS said the price consumers pay at the pumps for petrol and diesel were "strongly related to the price of crude oil", it highlighted that price changes were "less volatile and the effect of changes in crude oil prices are delayed".

Ian Taylor, chief executive and president of Vitol, the world's largest oil trading company, told Sky News' Ian King Live that although the future was difficult to predict he believes the market "will steady up".

He said: "As you know oil traders are pretty useless at predicting price, but we sort of feel that inevitably at these price levels that several areas of the world will begin to cut back on capex (capital expenditure) and we'll see some reductions in supply and a big transfer of income to the consumers - hopefully lower petrol prices in the UK etc - and that will increase demand.

"We feel at the current prices and with Brent at $60 a barrel we should begin to see some stability, but oil has been a lot lower than this and a lot higher so it's difficult to predict just at this moment - but I do begin to believe the market will begin to steady up."

He added: "It's a pretty big tax cut for every single consumer in the world and it's a huge transfer of income from oil producers to world consumers. It's pretty positive for the UK, Europe and other big consuming countries around the globe."

Petrol pump prices have plunged in the last month with the mid-November to mid-December fall the third biggest in 25 years, according to the AA.

The motoring group said that between mid-November and mid-December UK average petrol prices fell 6.6p to 116.32p a litre.

Only the October-November 2008 fall of 11.5p a litre and the August-September 2006 dip of 7.9p have been greater than the most recent decline.

The AA also said that average diesel prices have fallen 5.27p a litre to 122.16p over the mid-November to mid-December 2014 period.

And the fall does not include the very latest 2p-a-litre petrol reduction by the four biggest supermarkets which took effect on Wednesday.

Currently, south west England has the cheapest petrol, at an average of 116.1p a litre, while East Anglia has the dearest, at 117.1p.

The cheapest diesel is to be found in Northern Ireland, at 121.8p a litre, with the most-expensive in Scotland, at 122.7p a litre.


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PC Neil Doyle Dies After Liverpool Assault

An off-duty police officer has died after an assault in Liverpool in the early hours of the morning, his force has confirmed.

Merseyside Police said they responded at around 3.15am to reports that three men had been attacked near a city centre nightclub.

The men were taken to hospital, where PC Neil Doyle, 36, died a short time later.

The other two men, who are being treated for facial injuries, are also police officers, according to the Liverpool Echo.

The attack happened on Colquitt Street, near the Aloha Club.

Police have launched a murder investigation and the scene has been cordoned off while forensic examinations take place.

PC Doyle was based at the Eaton Road station in the east of the city.

Merseyside Police Federation chairman Peter Singleton said he was "a good cop that any officer would be proud to call a colleague".

He added: "Neil was the kind of officer the police service is built on. This is devastating news."

More follows...


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Sony Cancels Kim Jong-Un Movie After Threats

Written By andika jamanta on Kamis, 18 Desember 2014 | 18.25

Sony Pictures has cancelled the release of controversial film The Interview, which depicts the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

The company said the decision was made after major US cinema chains pulled out of showing the film following threats from hackers.

"In light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film The Interview, we have decided not to move forward with the planned 25 December theatrical release," a Sony Pictures statement said.

The studio added it was "deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company".

US investigators have now linked the Sony hacking incident to North Korea and will reveal more details later.

Sony Pictures said it stands by the makers of the $50m film, which tells the fictional story of two journalists recruited by the CIA to assassinate the North Korean leader.

A hacker group calling itself the Guardians of Peace attacked Sony Pictures and released internal emails by senior company executives. 

The group said audiences would face a "bitter fate" and people living close to cinemas showing the film should leave their homes.

"We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places The Interview be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to," they said.

"Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made. The world will be full of fear.

"Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you'd better leave.)"

The Landmark's Sunshine Cinema in New York confirmed earlier that the film's Thursday premiere would not go ahead.

An official at the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said there was "no credible intelligence to indicate an active plot against movie theatres within the United States".

However, police in New York and Los Angeles said they were taking the threats "very seriously".

North Korea has publicly denied it was involved in the cyber attack, but it did issue a statement earlier this month describing the hack as a "righteous deed."


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Actors Slam Film Cancellation Of The Interview

Hollywood actors and film-makers have criticised the decision by Sony and cinemas not to show The Interview in the light of hacker threats of violence against movie goers.

The controversial $50m comedy includes the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and US investigators have linked Pyongyang to a cyber attack where sensitive Sony emails were leaked.

Actors Ben Stiller, Steve Carell, Rob Lowe, late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel and filmmaker Judd Apatow, all friends of The Interview stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, have hit out at the decision to pull the release.

Lowe, who has a cameo role in the film, accused Hollywood of "caving in" and compared the industry to ex-British prime minister Neville Chamberlain's appeasement of Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

He tweeted: "Wow. Everyone caved. The hackers won. An utter and complete victory for them. Wow.

"Saw @Sethrogen at JFK. Both of us have never seen or heard of anything like this. Hollywood has done Neville Chamberlain proud today."

High-profile producer Judd Apatow, a friend and collaborator of Rogen, said: "I think it is disgraceful that these theaters are not showing The Interview. Will they pull any movie that gets an anonymous threat now?"

Stiller, who directed and starred in 2001's Zoolander, about a male fashion model brainwashed to assassinate a fictional Malaysian prime minister, also tweeted of The Interview cancellation.

He wrote: "Really hard to believe this is the response to a threat to freedom of expression here in America."

Carell, who has starred alongside Rogen in a number of comedies, said on Twitter: "Sad day for creative expression," with the hashtag #feareatsthesoul.

Both Carell and Stiller also tweeted pictures of Charlie Chaplin playing his Adolf Hitler parody in 1940 film The Great Dictator.

Kimmel, also writing on Twitter, called the decision "an un-American act of cowardice that validates terrorist actions and sets a terrifying precedent".

And actor Zach Braff tweeted: "Canceling The Interview seems like a pretty horrible precedent to set."

Actress and campaigner Mia Farrow said on Twitter: "Sony is a disgrace. Sickening."

Former Republican House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich said: "No one should kid themselves. With the Sony collapse America has lost its first cyberwar. This is a very very dangerous precedent."

On Wednesday, Sony cancelled the December 25 release, citing the threats of violence at cinemas showing the movie.

Sony said it had no plans to release The Interview on DVD, video-on-demand or online streaming platforms, despite support of the idea from fans on social media.


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Brits Can Bring Foreign Family To UK - Ruling

The European Court of Justice has ruled British citizens should be able to bring non-EU family members into the UK without a travel visa.

It means the UK's borders could be open to large numbers of foreign migrants from outside the European Union, and will intensify pressure on David Cameron to tackle freedom of movement rules.

The landmark ruling centres on the case of Sean McCarthy, who has dual British and Irish citizenship, and his Colombian wife Patricia McCarthy Rodriguez.

Mrs McCarthy Rodriguez, who has two children with her husband - both with British citizenship, had to get a "family permit" every six months to visit the UK with her family.

She and her husband took their case to court under the freedom of movement rules claiming she should be able to travel without the visa because she had an EU Residence Card issued by the Spanish government.

The European court has now ruled in the couple's favour, saying the rules did not allow the British government to stop family members entering the country if they did not have a visa.

The Government said it was "disappointed" with the ruling.

The Prime Minister has come under increasing pressure to take on the EU over the impact of freedom of movement rules on immigration.

Last month he announced a block on EU migrants claiming welfare for the first four years after they arrive in the country, suggesting that if the EU blocked the move he would campaign for Britain to leave the union.

Responding to the European ruling, Conservative MEP Timothy Kirkhope, spokesman on justice and home affairs, said: "Of course the UK should have an immigration system which is fair, and does not disadvantage the right of British citizens to be with their family.

"However, we are disappointed with this judgment as we believe that the UK's visa system is both fair and lawful, and does an important job in meeting this country's migration needs.

"Britain will always be best placed to decide and deal with its own immigration needs - not a judge in Luxembourg."

UKIP MEP and spokesman on immigration Steven Woolfe said: "This ruling extends the so-called 'right to free movement' to millions of people from anywhere in the world who don't have citizenship of any country of the EU.

"This is yet more proof that Britain can never take back control of its borders as long as it remains in the European Union."


18.25 | 0 komentar | Read More

Former UK Soldiers 'Compelled' To Fight IS

Written By andika jamanta on Rabu, 17 Desember 2014 | 18.25

When confronted with the atrocious truth of the Islamic State death cult's murder videos there is a natural instinct to "do something".

In the case of the British Government, the reflex has led to muddled thinking. In the case of two former British soldiers, it led to the front line.

Both are naïve. But only one of these groups is guaranteeing their own failure.

Jamie Read and James Hughes travelled to Kurdistan and took up arms against IS. They spent a little over three weeks on the front line.

They were interviewed by the police on their return but not, unlike every other group of Britons that has travelled to fight in the Syrian civil war, arrested and charged with terrorism.

Volunteers who have gone to fight against the regime of Bashar al Assad are all deemed to be dangerous terrorists.

Those who fight alongside the Kurds are seen as intelligence assets.

Of course, some of those who choose to fight in Syria do so because they subscribe to the theology of the IS and its global ambitions to enforce a Caliphate.

But other Syrian groups fighting against Assad do not have this agenda. Seen as "moderates", these rebel movements have received funding, training, and non-lethal aid from London and Washington.

Join them, though, and you'll be jailed.

Right now, in Jordan, there is a Military Operations Centre (MoC) staffed by, among others, British and American officers working with Syrian rebels and trying to put together a coherent ground force to exploit the effects of air strikes by the US-led coalition against Islamic State.

It's a bit of a struggle to win the trust of Syria's non-Kurd rebels.

The West has done very little to help them, has not imposed a no-fly zone on the Damascus regime but has bombed the al Nusra Front, probably the most effective rebel group fighting Assad.

Syrian rebel sources have told Sky News that the coalition has "about six months" before they collapse completely and may throw their lot in with Islamic State or al Qaeda affiliate the al Nusra Front.

Meanwhile, a small but steady trickle of volunteers - all of them unpaid - are making their way to the Kurds from the UK and other parts of Europe.

Their motivations are mixed.

Some, Hughes and Read admitted, have a "death wish" and nothing to live for back home. Others, like them, felt a compulsion to do their bit to stop IS, and no doubt others are war junkies, fantasists or downright nutters.

They have, though, managed to do something that their governments have shied away from. They have reached a conclusion about who in this war are the "goodies" and then joined up.

UK and US leaders have not quite figured out who they want to win in Syria.

The Kurds get backing for their plucky defence of their autonomous region.

But Syria's other rebels are a mixed bag, which in terms of UK law, are all being defined as "terrorists" - even the ones that the UK and US are funding.

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  1. Gallery: British Pair Joined Fight Against Islamic State

    James Hughes and Jamie Read gave an exclusive interview to Sky News

James Hughes from Worcestershire is a former soldier who served three tours in Afghanistan

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Exclusive: Death Pact Of IS-Fighting Britons

Exclusive: Death Pact Of IS-Fighting Britons

We use cookies to give you the best experience. If you do nothing we'll assume that it's ok.

By Lisa Holland, Foreign Affairs Correspondent

Two Britons who went to Syria to fight IS have told of their battles on the front line - and how they vowed to kill each other rather than get captured.

Jamie Read and James Hughes told how they dodged bullets during chaotic patrols with Kurdish forces after recording a "goodbye" video for their families in case they died.

They described spending hours lying in the "pitch black" in no-man's land, in conditions they said were reminiscent of World War One.

On one occasion, it was so cold that a young Kurdish comrade collapsed with hypothermia - "body-popping" on the ground next to them.

In an exclusive Sky News interview after their return to the UK, the pair also revealed how panic alarms have been installed in their homes, amid fears they could be targets for IS supporters.

They strongly denied being mercenaries, telling how they had sold possessions to fund their flights and had returned to the UK to "mounting debts and bills".

They had not been paid "a penny" for their exploits, though they had been "treated like royalty" by some of the Kurdish troops, the men said.

And the former soldiers gave a detailed account of their time in Iraq and Syria, explaining that they had travelled to fight IS militants because they had "zero tolerance for terrorism".

Describing what had prompted them to travel, Mr Read said the beheading of British aid convoy volunteer Alan Henning had been the final straw.

"Alan Henning - aid worker, British - put him on his hands and knees and cut his head off, you know what I mean," Mr Read said.

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  1. Gallery: British Pair Joined Fight Against Islamic State

    James Hughes and Jamie Read gave an exclusive interview to Sky News

James Hughes from Worcestershire is a former soldier who served three tours in Afghanistan

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Jamie Read from Lanarkshire, Scotland, spent time training with the French army

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He said that he had 'zero tolerance' for terrorism

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The men joined Kurdish fighters in Syria battling IS

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Exclusive: Death Pact Of IS-Fighting Britons

We use cookies to give you the best experience. If you do nothing we'll assume that it's ok.

By Lisa Holland, Foreign Affairs Correspondent

Two Britons who went to Syria to fight IS have told of their battles on the front line - and how they vowed to kill each other rather than get captured.

Jamie Read and James Hughes told how they dodged bullets during chaotic patrols with Kurdish forces after recording a "goodbye" video for their families in case they died.

They described spending hours lying in the "pitch black" in no-man's land, in conditions they said were reminiscent of World War One.

On one occasion, it was so cold that a young Kurdish comrade collapsed with hypothermia - "body-popping" on the ground next to them.

In an exclusive Sky News interview after their return to the UK, the pair also revealed how panic alarms have been installed in their homes, amid fears they could be targets for IS supporters.

They strongly denied being mercenaries, telling how they had sold possessions to fund their flights and had returned to the UK to "mounting debts and bills".

They had not been paid "a penny" for their exploits, though they had been "treated like royalty" by some of the Kurdish troops, the men said.

And the former soldiers gave a detailed account of their time in Iraq and Syria, explaining that they had travelled to fight IS militants because they had "zero tolerance for terrorism".

Describing what had prompted them to travel, Mr Read said the beheading of British aid convoy volunteer Alan Henning had been the final straw.

"Alan Henning - aid worker, British - put him on his hands and knees and cut his head off, you know what I mean," Mr Read said.

1/8

  1. Gallery: British Pair Joined Fight Against Islamic State

    James Hughes and Jamie Read gave an exclusive interview to Sky News

James Hughes from Worcestershire is a former soldier who served three tours in Afghanistan

]]>

Jamie Read from Lanarkshire, Scotland, spent time training with the French army

]]>

He said that he had 'zero tolerance' for terrorism

]]>

The men joined Kurdish fighters in Syria battling IS

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18.25 | 0 komentar | Read More

British Soldier Torture Claims 'Lies' - Inquiry

By Alistair Bunkall, Defence Correspondent

Allegations of torture and murder, made against British soldiers by former Iraqi prisoners, are "wholly without foundation" a major investigation has concluded.

The Al Sweady Inquiry, which has cost the taxpayer £25m and taken five years, found accusations of war crimes were "entirely the product of deliberate lies, reckless speculation and ingrained hostility".

At the heart of the judge-led inquiry, the largest of its kind, was the claim that 20 or more Iraqis were unlawfully killed and mutilated after the so-called Battle of Danny Boy on 14th May 2004.

However, these claims were withdrawn earlier this year but the inquiry continued to examine claims British troops mistreated Iraqi detainees in their custody.

During the battle soldiers from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders were ambushed by a number of insurgents and a fierce four-hour battle followed.

The Inquiry Chairman, Sir Thayne Forbes, noted that the British soldiers responded to the ambush with "exemplary courage, resolution and professionalism". 

After the firefight British soldiers took the usual step of taking the bodies to base because they  the military wanted to see if the prime suspect in the murder of six Royal Military Policeman in June 2003 was among the dead.

The bodies of 20 of them were recovered and taken back to Camp Abu Naji in southern Iraq. A further nine Iraqis were captured.

It was claimed some of the dead Iraqis were actually killed while in detention rather than on the battlefield. The prisoners claimed they were abused and tortured in custody by British soldiers.

The inquiry found no evidence of this and concluded the prisoners colluded to discredit the British Army.

However, the army did not escape criticism. Sir Thayne found there had been instances of ill-treatment during "tactical questioning" of the detainees on the night of May 14/15.

The inquiry found the prisoners were blindfolded or deprived of their sight for an unacceptable amount of time and not fed properly.

The former High Court judge also criticised British soldiers for "tasteless trophies" such as striking poses for photos with detainees but said none of the behaviour amounted to war crimes.

The inquiry, which is named after 19-year-old Hamid al Sweady, who died in British custody, received evidence from 610 witnesses.

The Defence Secretary Michael Fallon will comment on the conclusions of the inquiry this afternoon. He has been critical of the increasing cost and urged courts to treat compensation claims from Iraqi prisoners robustly.

Mr Fallon is expected to sharply criticise the legal teams acting for the Iraqis.

The report does makes nine recommendations for the British military including recording interrogations, making proper prisoner medical examinations and keeping records and making sure there are sufficient interpreters.


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Russian Rouble Slides Despite Shock Rate Rise

Written By andika jamanta on Selasa, 16 Desember 2014 | 18.25

An attempt by Russia's central bank to halt a dramatic slide in the value of the rouble appears to have failed.

The currency strengthened - by more than 9% against the dollar at one stage - in the wake of the intervention which saw the core interest rate raised overnight from 10.5% to 17%.

But those gains were later erased as the rouble lost a further 3%.

The Bank of Russia's surprise action was a response to the rouble's value sinking by almost 50% over the course of the year - hit by Western sanctions imposed over the Ukraine conflict and plummeting oil prices.

It was also intended to settle nerves back home as fears grow that the extent of Russia's economic problems - largely unreported by state media - could spark panic among consumers as price rises become unmanageable.

By raising interest rates, the bank also hoped investors would find it more financially appealing to keep their money in Russia, whose economy relies heavily on oil revenues.

Central bank chairwoman Elvira Nabiullina said the decision should stem inflation, although she admitted it will take the rouble "some time" to find its correct value.

Russian stocks fell slightly on Tuesday morning with the MICEX benchmark 1.5% lower, reflecting the additional pressure on businesses.

Falls of more than 50% in world oil prices are tipped to plunge Russia into recession next year.

On Tuesday the value of Brent crude slipped to new five-year low, falling below $60-per-barrel for the first time since July 2009.

The Bank Of Russia had raised the rate from 5.5% earlier this year to 10.5% just last Thursday.

It said then that it expected inflation to run at 10% this year and climb higher in the first quarter of 2015.

But the rouble plunged further against the dollar on Monday, dropping from 55 roubles last week to about 65 roubles to the dollar.

Alexei Kudrin, Russia's finance minister from 2000-2011, said on Twitter "the fall of the rouble is not just a reaction to low oil prices and the sanctions but also (a show of) distrust to economic policies of the government."

A falling currency increases the cost of imports, thereby stoking inflationary pressures.

At the same time, plummeting oil prices give the government less money to combat a downturn and can force it to borrow more.

The sanctions imposed by the West over Moscow's involvement in Ukraine have added to Russia's economic woes.

In September, the US and the European Union announced a new round of sanctions which included blocking Western financial markets to key Russian companies.

Further sanctions are likely after the US Congress passed legislation on Monday that could also see Washington providing weapons and other assistance to Ukraine. 


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