Archive for March, 2019

  • Laws will alienate young Muslims: lawyers

    Date: 2019.03.19 | Category: 杭州夜生活 | Response: 0

    A group of Muslim lawyers is concerned that applying control orders to 14-year-old terror suspects will further marginalise and alienate young people.

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    The proposal, being examined by a joint parliamentary committee, is part of the government’s fifth tranche of counter-terrorism laws introduced since the shooting of NSW police worker Curtis Cheng.

    The NSW Muslim Legal Network believes such moves appear to be geared towards regulating potentially at-risk youths from Islamic communities.

    “The perception is … there seems to be a targeting of young Muslims and an almost threatening attitude by some law enforcement agents with respect to how they question or interact with these people,” president Zaahir Edries told a hearing in Canberra on Monday.

    “Accurate or not, it’s something that exists.”

    The volunteer organisation said that with such laws, and the rise of groups like Reclaim Australia, the Muslim community was deeply concerned about the growing social divide in Australia.

    Recent comments by former prime minister Tony Abbott about Islam added to that feeling, it noted.

    But Cameron Gifford from the Attorney-General’s Department said the laws were developed to apply to everyone.

    “And that is the point we’re at pains to make every single time we engage with the community, to make sure that’s very well understood,” he said.

    Mr Gifford conceded there had been no formal consultation with the community before the laws were drafted, but offered to review Mr Edries’ evidence and address any concerns.

    “All these legislative tranches that we’ve seen unfold over the course of the last 18 to 24 months really do indicate there’s always room for improvement,” he said.

    Assistant Commissioner Neil Gaughan said the Australian Federal Police regularly engaged with Muslim leaders, including a “full and frank” discussion about the purpose of these laws specifically.

    “I think we agreed to disagree on some points, but the fact of the matter is there is open dialogue and they certainly have my number,” he said.

    The bill at the centre of the joint parliamentary committee on intelligence and security’s inquiry contains several changes to counter-terrorism legislation.

    They include allowing a control order to be imposed on children as young as 14, instead of 16, enhanced monitoring powers and a new offence of advocating genocide.

    The Law Council of Australia and Australian Human Rights Commission want better safeguards to protect children.

    Both are urging for changes to ensure the child’s best interests are given primary consideration by the courts when determining if a control order should be applied.

    The Law Council also warned that the revised test for granting a preventative detention order could be subject to legal challenge and has suggested a change to some of the wording.

  • Ride-share service Uber legalised in NSW

    Date: 2019.03.19 | Category: 杭州夜生活 | Response: 0

    Controversial ride-sharing service Uber is set to become legal in NSW.

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    From midnight on Thursday Uber drivers will have to pay a $45 licence fee, undergo criminal checks and have their cars checked for safety after the Baird government decided to regulate the online service.

    A $250 million adjustment package will be established to compensate taxi and hire car licence plate owners.

    The state’s perpetual taxi plate holders will receive $20,000 per plate for a maximum of two plates.

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    The government will also slash licence fees and repeal more than 50 “red tape” regulations to help the industry adjust.

    The changes, which are expected to generate $30 million in benefits for the industry each year, should have flow-on effects for customers, Transport Minister Andrew Constance said.

    “Fares in a competitive market will adjust and be more affordable as a result of us stripping out 50 pieces of red tape,” he said.

    Post by Mike Baird on Wednesday, 16 December 2015.

    General manager of Uber in Australia and New Zealand, David Rohrsheim, welcomed the announcement.

    “This important step forward is an incredible reflection of the way Sydneysiders have embraced ridesharing over the past 18 months,” he said in a statement.

    “Thanks to the support of half a million Sydney uberX riders and over 5500 driver-partners, the government has recognised your right to choose how you get around your city and to access flexible work that fits around your life. 

    “Ridesharing is not only revolutionising the transportation status quo but also helping make Sydney a more economically vibrant, better connected and more sustainable city.”

    Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm said Sydneysiders were the big winners from the government’s announcement.

    “Transport is a huge problem in Sydney, and making Uber legal will help locals and tourists alike,” he said.

    “I encourage the NSW Government to avoid tying up occasional Uber drivers in red tape and to now look at other areas of over-regulation, such as the lock-out laws in Kings Cross, and Airbnb.

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    “The pressure is now on the other states. They are going to look like backwaters in comparison to the ACT and NSW, with tourists made to feel like a criminal just for sharing a ride.”

    The ACT became the first state or terroritory in Australia to make Uber legal from October 30.

    However consumer advocacy group Choice warned Uber fees were now likely to go up.

    “All point-to-point rides including Uber and cabs will face a $1 per trip levy to fund taxi licensee compensation,” CHOICE Director of Campaigns and Communications, Matt Levey said.

    “This taxi tax will see all consumers pay more to compensate an industry that refused to innovate or improve its customer service.

     

    “In the long term, the reforms will ideally offer more choices for consumers when trying to get from A to B which are safe and competitive, but it’s disappointing to see all consumers pay extra as a gift for taxi licensees.”

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  • US arms sale to Taiwan angers China

    Date: 2019.03.19 | Category: 杭州夜生活 | Response: 0

    The Obama administration has formally notified congress of a $US1.

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    83 billion ($A2.54 billion) arms sale package for Taiwan, drawing an angry response from China.

    The authorisation came a year after the US Congress passed legislation approving the sale. It is the first such major arms sale to Taiwan in more than four years and includes two frigates, anti-tank missiles, amphibious assault vehicles and other equipment.

    The White House said there was no change in the longstanding US “one China” policy. Past US weapons sales to Taiwan have attracted strong condemnation in China, which considers Taiwan a renegade province.

    The White House said the authorisation followed previous sales notifications by the administration totalling more than $US12 billion under the Taiwan Relations Act.

    “Our longstanding policy on arms sales to Taiwan has been consistent across six different US administrations,” National Security Council spokesman Myles Caggins said. “We remain committed to our one-China policy,” he added.

    Although Washington does not recognise Taiwan as a separate state from China, it is committed under the Taiwan Relations Act to ensuring Taipei can maintain a credible defence.

    The sales come at a period of heightened tension between the US and China over the South China Sea, where Washington has been critical of China’s building of man-made islands to assert expansive territorial claims.

    China summoned the US charge d’affaires in Beijing, Kaye Lee, to protest and said it would impose sanctions on the companies involved, state news agency Xinhua reported.

    “Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. China strongly opposes the US arms sale to Taiwan,” Xinhua quoted Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang as saying.

    Zheng said the sales went against international law and basic norms of international relations and “severely” harmed China’s sovereignty and security.

    “To safeguard our national interests, China has decided to take necessary measures, including imposing sanctions against the companies involved in the arms sale,” Zheng said.

    The US State Department said Raytheon and Lockheed Martin were the main contractors in the sales.

    It was not clear what impact sanctions might have on the companies, although in 2013, Lockheed Martin signed a pact with the Thailand-based Reignwood Group to build an offshore plant to supply energy for a luxury resort on Hainan island in southern China.

    However, previous Chinese sanction threats have not been followed up by Beijing.

    Taiwan’s defence ministry said in a statement the new weapons would be phased in over a number of years and would enable Taiwan to maintain and develop a credible defence.

    US State Department spokesman John Kirby said the decision was based solely on Taiwan’s defence needs.

    “The Chinese can react to this as they see fit,” he said. “This is nothing new. … There’s no need for it to have any derogatory effect on our relationship with China.”

    Kirby said Washington wanted to work to establish a “better, more transparent more effective relationship” with China in the region and had been in contact with both Taiwan and China on this on Wednesday. He declined to elaborate.

    Analysts and congressional sources believe the delay in the formal approval of the sales was due to the Obama administration’s desire to maintain stable working relations with China, an increasingly powerful strategic rival but also a vital economic partner as the world’s second-largest economy.

  • Wild Oats XI dismisses length issue

    Date: 2019.03.19 | Category: 杭州夜生活 | Response: 0

    Wild Oats XI and the Cruising Yacht club of Australia have dismissed speculation the supermaxi and eight-time Sydney to Hobart line honours winner is beyond the legal length for the race.

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    The website Crikey ran an article in their `tips and rumours’ section on Thursday with the headline `Scandal brewing before the Sydney to Hobart race.’

    The article noted that following the boat’s extensive rebuild, it had a curved top section at the front of the hull to support the bowsprit.

    It said some waterfront experts had posed the questions about where the hull started and if the bowsprit is permanently joined to the bow, if that made it part of the hull itself.

    It also said if the new extended bow was found to be part of the hull then the yacht would be much longer than 100 feet and it’s entry for the race couldn’t be accepted.

    CYCA commodore John Cameron was satisfied Wild Oats XI complied with race rules.

    “We have a valid IRC certificate which allows Wild Oats to compete in the race, ” commodore Cameron told AAP on Thursday.

    The Wild Oats XI camp was equally adamant their boat complied with the rules.

    “The boat has been measured,” a spokesperson for the Wild Oats XI program told AAP.

    “The required waterline length for the Hobart race limit is 100 feet, the boat is within that limit.”

    The revamped boat performed impressively in her first race back on Tuesday, comfortably taking line honours in the Big Boat Challenge from new 88-foot American boat Rambler 88.

    Her main opposition in the Sydney to Hobart is expected to come from rival supermaxis Comanche, Perpetual LOYAL (LOYAL) and Ragamuffin 100, plus Rambler 88.