Asylum seeker policy causing distress

A lawyer working with asylum seekers on Christmas Island says the detainees are becoming increasingly distressed by the Federal Government’s policy changes.

The government has suspended the processing of all new applications for protection by people from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

Asylum seekers from those two nations who are already on Christmas Island will still have their claims processed.

The Director of the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre David Manne says the level of unrest at the facility has grown.

“There is a strong level of fear amongst even those who have been told that they won’t be caught out by the announcement that somehow they too will be negatively affected,” he said.

“There is a real level among some of the asylum seekers of confusion and of distress.”

Extra federal police have been sent to Christmas Island to deal with any backlash to the policy change.

Drive-by shooting

Police are investigating a drive-by shooting in the northern Perth suburb of Kingsley.

Four bullets were fired at a house on Dalmain Street on Saturday night.

Two of the bullets lodged in a car parked at the front of the home, and two smashed through the front windows and door.

The residents at the house had left just minutes earlier.

They have told the ABC they fear the shooting may have been in retaliation for a fight involving one of the family members last month.

I’m not going to end up like my mum: Peaches Geldof

London, March 29 (ANI): Peaches Geldof has blasted claims that she faces the seedy drug death as her mum.

Friends of the socialite have expressed their fear for her heading for early grave like her mother, Paula Yates, who died of an overdose of drugs 10 years ago, reports the Daily Star.

However, Geldof has denied she is on a downward spiral.

“I’m not going to end up like my mum,” Peaches told friends.

Author and family friend Gerry Agar, 49, who was Paula’s friend, said that the same fake friends and ‘toxic’ lifestyle trap Peaches.

Gerry said: “She has become like the replacement Paula and even uses the same arguments to convince people that she is just having a nice time.

“But while she plays around in her present company, nothing will change and it is so frustrating for me because I am watching history repeat itself.

“Things have been going disastrously wrong for Peaches for a while because she refuses to listen to the people who try to stop her, It’s tragic she has been boxed in badly, it will be the downfall of her too.

“I really hoped that when Peaches went to America she would break away from her toxic lifestyle but obviously that hasn’t happened,” Gerry added. (ANI)

Producer Rodney Jerkins likens Lady Gaga to MJ

London, Mar 27 (ANI): Comparing Lady Gaga to Michael Jackson, super-producer Rodney Jerkins has said that the eccentric singer could build a career to rival the late King of Pop”s.

Jerkins worked with the late superstar on his final studio album, 2001”s ‘Invincible’, and produced Gaga”s latest hit single ‘Telephone’.

The music mogul has confessed that he is extremely impressed with the ‘Poker Face’ hitmaker, and is sure that she can go on to become a music legend just like Jackson.

“We haven”t seen an artist like Gaga in a long time – we haven”t seen an artist that really has no fear. I remember Michael Jackson used to tell me he was crucified for doing Thriller, but he had to do what he felt was needed at that time. I”m just happy to be part of history,” the Daily Express quoted him as telling People.

“I”ve always wanted to leave my stamp on music, and to be able to say that I worked with Michael Jackson and now I”m working with Lady Gaga, who”ll probably go down in history as one of the best female entertainers of all time,” added Jerkins. (ANI)

Hilditch backs Ponting to continue until 2013 Ashes

Sydney, Mar 27(ANI): Cricket Australia’s chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch has given skipper Ricky Ponting his backing to continue playing until the 2013 Ashes.

Hilditch reckons that Ponting is the player who can play longer than others, and said he would be surprised if the 35-year-old does not get back to England for the series.

“His contribution to Australian cricket has been extraordinary, not just for his skills with the bat but also his leadership of the side. It”s been exceptional for a long period of time now. It”s hard to say if he will do it because you can”t get too far ahead of yourself in cricket unfortunately. But I know Ricky wants to get back to England,” The Daily Telegraph quoted Hilditch, as saying.

“Obviously age catches up with everybody, but one thing Ricky has got is he”s extremely fit. He has very few injuries and prepares himself very well physically and mentally. For me, that”s a sign he”s in a good place. I”ve probably never seen him fielding better than he has at the moment,” he added.

Hilditch further said that Ponting, who would be six months shy of his 39th birthday if he skippered a third Ashes series in England, had no reason to fear losing the captaincy.

“There”s always various things said about Ricky and his captaincy and stuff like that, but when it comes down to it Ricky is a great leader of men and he does a fantastic job within the side,” Hilditch said.

“He leads by example, he”s always rock solid and has the team heading in the right direction. He really unites the side,” he added. (ANI)

Chelsea eyes Dutch playmaker Van der Vaart

London, Mar 24 (ANI): Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has been tracking Real Madrid’s 10 million pounds Dutch playmaker Rafael van der Vaart for several months.

Talks with the representatives of the player have already begun about a move to Stamford Bridge this summer.

Ancelotti is keen to play Van der Vaart, 27, in his diamond midfield behind the two strikers.

The Dutch ace is widely regarded as one of the most creative players in Europe, but has been frozen out at Real, The Sun reports.

Chelsea is keen to finalise a deal before the World Cup finals as they fear Van der Vaart’s price will rocket if he does well.

With Deco destined to go home to Brazil next season, Ancelotti wants a reliable ball player to supply his strikers. (ANI)

We live every day in fear: croc victim’s mother

The mother of crocodile attack victim Briony Goodsell has called for more resources to be spent on educating people about the danger that crocodiles pose.

The inquest into the 11-year-old’s death in Darwin’s rural area last year finished today.

Charlene O’Sullivan sat through the two day inquest and says she hopes her daughter’s death is the last.

“If the saltwater crocodile provides such large dollars to the tourism and the farming industry we believe that some funding should come back to the public for education and awareness,” she said.

“We all know that education and awareness is the key issue to dealing with these animals.”

She says she hopes the coroner recommends the Government increase funding to deal with crocodiles.

“Where we live, we live in an island surrounded by water, surrounded by crocodiles, so we live everyday in fear.

“We can’t walk down the road without the fear that there might be one in a culvert or hiding in the grass because we’re surrounded.”

Bondi Pavilion squatters win eviction reprieve

A group of homeless men has won a temporary reprieve in their fight to sleep at the Bondi Pavilion, in Sydney’s east.

The group has won the right to take their case to the High Court, which will then decide if there is merit in the case being heard.

Earlier this month the homeless men lost an appeal in the Supreme Court over their right to live at the Bondi Pavilion.

Spokesman Kevin St Alder says there is relief that Waverley Council has agreed to let the group stay until the matter is finalised.

“They were just so happy that the court didn’t just dismiss it outright,” he said.

“We would have been forced into a situation of total fear and marginalisation by having to move by midnight tonight or the police and/or council [would] come down with their jack boots on tomorrow to evict us out of the area.

“So it gives them some of their dignity back they can sleep soundly tonight.”

AMA backs call for safe haven legislation

The President of the Australian Medical Association says the government should consider baby safe haven laws as part of a support plan to assist struggling new mothers.

Tasmanian Labor Senator Helen Polley has called on the government to introduce the laws which would allow mothers to safely abandon their babies without fear of prosecution.

AMA President, Dr Andrew Pesce, says the safe haven laws should be considered as part of a comprehensive plan to identify and support mothers struggling with parenthood.

“It’s obviously very important that we as a community do everything we can to assist mothers and obviously their babies who are in such a degree of distress that they’re thinking of abandoning their baby,” Dr Pesce said.

“So this is something which can go some way to this,” he said.

Research finds PR spinning most newspaper stories

Researchers have found more than half of newspaper stories surveyed over five days were driven by the public relations industry.

More than 2,000 articles from 10 newspapers were analysed by the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism at the University of Technology in Sydney and online publication Crikey in September last year.

The results showed nearly 55 per cent of all stories were triggered by public relations firms.

The Daily Telegraph came out on top with 70 per cent of its stories sourced from the PR sector, with the Sydney Morning Herald at 42 per cent.

Crikey editor Sophie Black says it is not what most readers would expect.

“It’s not to say there isn’t a role for public relations,” she said.

“But I think most readers would be very surprised to realise that a lot of the news they read has been generated by PR in some way.”

Crikey says most journalists and editors refused to respond when asked about the public relations element in their stories, and some later withdrew comments out of fear they would be reprimanded or fired.

Oz study says overseas students fear for safety in Melbourne

MELBOURNE: A majority of overseas students, including Indians, in Melbourne often fear for their safety because of risky jobs, poor transport options and lack of safe affordable housing, with many of them also attaching racial or religious element to the perceived threats, says a new study.

Of the 515 international students surveyed by the Victorian University, 403 reported perceived threats to their safety and half of them felt the threats were motivated by racial, religious or cultural factors.

The study found that a complex range of factors contributed to the safety threats, including lack of access to safe affordable houses, high risk employment and poor transport options. It also found offenders were often identified as groups of young alienated men.

‘The Community Safety of International Students in Melbourne’, a scoping study conducted by the Victorian University following the increasing incidents of violence against international students, was commissioned between June and November last year and included an online survey of 1013 students, 515 of whom were international.

The study also included interviews with key stakeholders, such as Victoria Police.

The study has come out with a number of recommendations, including setting up an information hotline, better access to safer transport and better information for new international students.

Relatively little shift in Pak attitude towards India: Scholar

WASHINGTON: Though Pakistan fears that a repeat of the Mumbai attacks could be “very dangerous” to it, there is relatively little shift in its attitude towards India which it views as a “threat”, a noted US scholar has said.

Dan Markey of the Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington-based think-tank, was recently in Pakistan, where he met top officials of the country.

“We did actually have a chance to meet with Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir in Islamabad. And while I can’t really characterise those discussions in detail, I can say that, across the board, there is, to my eyes, relatively little shift in Pakistani attitudes about what India represents,” Markey, a Senior Fellow for India, Pakistan and South Asia at the Council, said.

But, he said there is “certainly an understanding and a fear, a palpable fear that what happened after Mumbai (attacks) could happen again and would be very, very dangerous for Pakistan.”

“So there’s a desire to try to get out of the post-Mumbai rut, but that doesn’t reflect some deeper shift in attitudes about, you know, the purported threat that India represents to Pakistan,” Markey said.

Pakistanis are open to talks and see the dialogue as a way to try to reduce tensions with India, “but they don’t want to be pushed around,” he said.

Meet the man who dumps your lover for you over the phone – and posts it online!

Toronto, Mar 5 (ANI): Bradley Laborman calls and informs people that their lovers have dumped them, as part of his job.

The ‘’ operator from Mount Pleasant, Iowa has made splitsville smoother with his unique e-business.

Laborman charges 10 dollars for the favor.

He also posts some of the heart-wrenching, sleazy and just-plain-uncomfortable recordings of the calls on his YouTube channel.

Laborman says he has got both young and old clientele and it is primarily female.

“I’ve had college kids, I’ve had older people. I think I had somebody who was at least 40 in a breakup situation. Surprisingly, it’s a lot more female – a lot more females are dumping males,” Globe and Mail quoted him as saying.

The 32-year-old man insists that people often find it impossible to break-up.

He added: “It’s fear. I had one guy who couldn’t do it because every time he tried to do it, he’d end up having breakup sex with her and get back together.

“He didn’t have the willpower to break up with her. I think a lot of them have tried a couple times to break up with the person, and it’s just not getting through to them.”

Apparently, Laborman finds it therapeutic to post the break-ups online.

He said: “It’s therapeutic. Somebody knows a person like that. I put it on there because if you think you’re in a bad relationship right now, listen to some of these dumps and realize you could have it a lot worse off.” (ANI)

Jordan’s ex-fianci once accused her of cheating with the rape-claim celeb

London, Sept 18 (ANI): Jordan’s ex-fianci Warren Furman is now guilt ridden because he fears he had once accused the glamour girl of cheating on him with the man who she now claims raped her.

Furman who played Ace in the British TV show Gladiator had been mad at Jordan (real name Katie Price) when he had found the man’s number on her cell phone.he 36-year-old Furman confesses that he had shouted at Jordan and accused him of sleeping with the “notorious” womaniser celeb.

He had even and threatened to phone the man.

Furman says that Price had turned white as she lay sobbing.

While back then he had taken this as a sign of Price’s guilt, he now fears that “the man” must have been the one to rape her.

The Sun quoted Furman as saying: “Seeing his name was like a red rag to a bull.

“He had a notorious reputation in showbiz for being a serious player, a serial sh***er. I screamed at her and walked out.

“But now, after hearing about her rape claim, I’m haunted by the fear that she reacted like that because of what that man had done to her.” (ANI)

Dial auto service launched in Chandigarh

Chandigarh, Sept 17 (ANI): In a bid to provide quick, hassle free and reasonably charged mode of transportation, a dial-an-auto service equipped with GPS navigation system has been launched for the first time in Chandigarh.

The neat and clean pink coloured motor rickshaws, known as Tuk Tuk, are changing the way people travel in the city.

The fleet of 10 dial-an-auto-rickshaw, which is only a phone call away, also boasts of two lady drivers, the first in Chandigarh.

Women passengers, who feel safer traveling with lady drivers, are appreciating their services.

“Chandigarh is one city where people are safe anyway. We have been told we are safe with the service,” said Alka Thapar, a lady auto driver.

One has to just dial 4242424 for calling an auto rickshaw to get it at your doorstep.

The autos are equipped with tamper proof fare meters to assure passengers of not being overcharged.

“We maintain our call center. Whenever any individual requires an auto he rings up and the call centre picks up the call. They record the call and then convey to the driver by selecting the vehicle nearby to pick up the customer. That’s the procedure and customer has to pay from the pick up point to the drive point only,” said VS Dhillon, Managing Director of the Tuk Tuk Auto Rickshaw Company.

The service aims at providing a quick, reliable and safe journey to people who can relax and sit back without the fear of getting fleeced by drivers.

“I’m using it for the first time It’s reasonably priced and I’m really liking it,” says Charanjit, a customer.

The new service is a welcome change for commuters. With the new service in place, passengers can hope for a change in the attitude of traditional auto drivers who are often accused of fleecing customers. By Sunil Sharma (ANI)

Patna schoolchildren protest against kidnapping of six-year-old boy

Patna, Sep. 16 (ANI): School students in Patna city protested on Wednesday against the kidnapping of a six-year-old boy.

Shresht Sanjay was kidnapped at the gunpoint in Patna on Monday. Shresht is a standard One student at Christ church school in Kankarbagh area.

Students of Montessori School in Patna organised a ‘hawan’ to pray for an early release of Shresht.

“We are praying so that Shresht Sanjay comes home soon and celebrates Diwali and Durga Puja with his parents, ” said Swastik, a student

Meanwhile, students in West Point school observed a ‘Black Day’ by wearing black bands on their arms.

The black band was to express their resentment against the rising incidents of kidnapping and ransom killings in the city.

“Children are living in fear and that’s why we have organised this ‘Black Day’. We hope that the government listens to us and realises that the children are in trouble here and their education is under threat. We also hope that such incidents does not happen in future,” said S.N Suhail, principal of West Point School.

Shresth is suspected to have been kidnapped for ransom.

However, the kidnappers have not made any demand yet.

The police are interrogating the auto-rickshaw driver for further investigations in which Shresth was travelling before his abduction. (ANI)

Militants ransack houses in Nongshum Village in Manipur

Nongshum Village (Manipur), Sep 14(ANI): Fear has gripped the villagers of Nongshum village in Manipur’s Imphal district after suspected militants ransacked houses and beat up villagers.

Militant violence has further forced people from the village to flee from their houses.

According to reports, some 50 militant cadres of suspected Kuki National Army (KNA), which is a signatory of Suspension of Operation (SoO) came to Nongshum village and beat up all the men after dragging them out of their houses. They also broke into houses and destroyed belongings of the villagers.

“We do not agree with what the militants are doing. If the militants have differences, they should resolve it among themselves and not trouble the civilians. We are farmers living on a day to day basis and such activities by the militants are make our lives difficult,” said Sanjoy, a villager.

While, Tamilia, another villager, complained that they have been suffering because of the militants, and said: “We are really suffering. If the militants took the right path, we would not be suffering. They are taking up harmful activities for their own selfish interest and are causing a lot of trouble for the people. If they were really working for the development of the state, it would be good, but they are not doing that and that is why we are suffering.”

Following the incident, villagers of surrounding areas of Khamenlok Kuki village, Khongbal Tangkhul village, Uyumpok, Taretkhul, Chanung, along with the representatives of various Meira Paibi and local clubs held a meeting at Nongshum Bazaar and decided to appeal to concerned militant groups.

Meanwhile, security has been beefed up and security personnel have assured to cover the villages under police patrolling.

“From our security side, police and Assam Rifles, we have assured that everyday this area will have mobile coverage and some of the people of Nongshum and Leikor, they wanted to have mobile coverage at least two times in a week but we assured them this mobile coverage police patrolling will be everyday,” said Birbabu Singh, SDPO of Porompat Police Station.

Militant activities have worsened the situation and taken a heavy toll on the region and the people who fight a battle for daily existence. (ANI)

Lily Allen to make stage debut in West End play

London, September 14 (ANI): Lily Allen has decided to take a break from her singing career and make her stage debut in a new West End play.

The 24-year-old confessed she has had enough of music for the time being as she recently wrapped up the festival season at Bestival.

“I’m not going to record and tour again for quite a while. I finish up my gig dates in March and I’ll be ready to do something else,” the Sun quoted her as saying.

“I’ve been on the road for four years and I’ve given my voice a real run for its money. I’m struggling, so I’m going to try something new,” she added.

The ‘Smile’ hitmaker will play the lead role in ‘Reasons To Be Pretty’ penned by writer and director Neil LaBute, and the star is also taking acting lessons with a teacher from posh drama school RADA.

She revealed: “The play is about themes close to my heart, things I touch on in my track The Fear, about the really damaging cult of beauty among young girls.

“They want me to play the lead, which is amazing and terrifying. There’s a lady from RADA coming round to my house to train me up a bit. I’m always up for a new challenge.” (ANI)

‘Overpopulation’ fear makes Rebecca Romijn say no more babies

Washington, September 12 (ANI): Actress Rebecca Romijn has revealed she has no plans of having more children in fear of “overpopulating the world”.

The ‘X-Men’ star, who looks after her eight-month-old twins with husband Jerry O’Connell, said she was happy to have a four-member family.

“I’m pretty sure that this is it. We feel like the world was made for pairs. Four feels like the perfect number,” Contactmusic quoted her as saying to E!.

“Also, we’re not interested in overpopulating this world. So we feel like we don’t want to leave more than we are when we leave this planet,” she added.

The former model also spoke about the heartache about staying away from the kids due to work.

She added: “Mother’s guilt is no joke. I feel like any stretch of time I spend away from them, I’m worried that I’m missing out on just these little miracles.

“Like you watch them stare at their hand for an hour and they go take a three-hour nap and they wake up and they can do something that they didn’t do before – like wave!” (ANI)

Syringe attacks continue in Urumqi despite death penalty warning

Urumqi (China), Sep. 9 (ANI): Despite a death penalty warning, 77 cases of needle attack were reported between Sunday and Monday evenings in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, police say.

So far, police have caught 45 suspects during the syringe scare, of whom 12 remain in police custody.

The procuratorate has approved the arrests of four. Eight people have been sent to drug rehab, according to Urumqi police authorities.

Despite signs of recovery in the city after assaults caused fear among residents and triggered mass protests, the Urumqi municipal government implemented traffic control Monday night on the city’s main streets.

Shops and businesses in the city center were ordered to close early. The control lasted from 9 pm Monday to 9 am Tuesday.

The Public Security Department of the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region reiterated syringe attackers must be given punishment in order to protect residents and maintain social order.

The pledge followed a joint notice on Sunday of the court, the prosecutor’s office and the police bureau of Urumqi, which said an attacker may face a life sentence or even the death penalty.he department emphasized that those who stab others, no matter what means they use, are considered to have committed crimes and must be punished according to law.

Those who pretend to suffer syringe attacks and cause fear among the public will also face punishment, according to the public notice. (ANI)