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Foreign minister slams China is major speech

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foreign minister slams china is major speech

Marise Payne tonight branded the World Health Organisation ‘not fit for purpose’ and slammed China for spreading fake news as she set out Australia’s global ambitions in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

The Foreign Minister said the WHO was not ‘free from undue influence’ after it heaped praise on China’s handling of the pandemic which erupted in Wuhan in December.

In a landmark foreign policy speech in Canberra, Senator Payne also accused China of spreading disinformation to create ‘fear and division’ in the West.

World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands in Beijing on January 28 ahead of their meeting to discuss how to curb the spread of a new pneumonia-causing coronavirus

World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands in Beijing on January 28 ahead of their meeting to discuss how to curb the spread of a new pneumonia-causing coronavirus

World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (left) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands in Beijing on January 28 ahead of their meeting to discuss how to curb the spread of a new pneumonia-causing coronavirus

The Australian government has forged its own path toward stopping the virus, managing to slow the spread of the deadly disease, without following advice from the WHO. Pictured: Nurses at Sydney Airport

The Australian government has forged its own path toward stopping the virus, managing to slow the spread of the deadly disease, without following advice from the WHO. Pictured: Nurses at Sydney Airport

The Australian government has forged its own path toward stopping the virus, managing to slow the spread of the deadly disease, without following advice from the WHO. Pictured: Nurses at Sydney Airport 

Since last week Chinese state media has been advising citizens not to study in or visit Australia, claiming they would be putting themselves in danger because the country is racist. 

‘Australia has been very clear in rejecting as disinformation the Chinese Government’s warnings,’ Senator Payne said.

‘I can say emphatically that Australia will welcome students and visitors from all over the world, regardless of race, gender or nationality.  

‘The disinformation we have seen contributes to a climate of fear and division when what we need is cooperation and understanding.’

Senator Payne also called out propaganda posted on social media by authoritarian regimes including China, Russia and Turkey to make themselves ‘look good’ at dealing with the virus.

‘Let’s be clear: disinformation during a pandemic will cost lives,’ she said. 

‘It is troubling that some countries are using the pandemic to undermine liberal democracy and promote their own, more authoritarian models.’ 

Passengers go through the security and body temperatures check on a first day of ending more than a two-month lockdown at railway station in Wuhan, China

Passengers go through the security and body temperatures check on a first day of ending more than a two-month lockdown at railway station in Wuhan, China

Passengers go through the security and body temperatures check on a first day of ending more than a two-month lockdown at railway station in Wuhan, China

A tweet from the WHO on 24 January which shows it repeating Chinese insistence that the virus did not spread between humans

A tweet from the WHO on 24 January which shows it repeating Chinese insistence that the virus did not spread between humans

A tweet from the WHO on 24 January which shows it repeating Chinese insistence that the virus did not spread between humans

Cremona Hospital Intensive Care for the most serious patients infected with the COVID19 Coronavirus in Italy in March

Cremona Hospital Intensive Care for the most serious patients infected with the COVID19 Coronavirus in Italy in March

Cremona Hospital Intensive Care for the most serious patients infected with the COVID19 Coronavirus in Italy in March

Outlining a more ambitious role for Australia in the world, Senator Payne (pictured last year) said the country would be more active in pushing its values of freedom and democracy

Outlining a more ambitious role for Australia in the world, Senator Payne (pictured last year) said the country would be more active in pushing its values of freedom and democracy

Outlining a more ambitious role for Australia in the world, Senator Payne (pictured last year) said the country would be more active in pushing its values of freedom and democracy

The bulk of Senator Payne’s speech at the National Security College focused on how Australia will help improve global co-operation and, in particular, reform the WHO. 

The UN organisation has come under fire from the US, Australia and European nations after it stalled on declaring a pandemic, told countries to keep borders open and uncritically repeated information from the Chinese government, including that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission. 

Australia was the first nation to call for an inquiry into the origins and spread of the virus – sparking huge trade tensions with China – and was backed by the European Union before the UN agreed in May. 

Marise Payne outlines three ways to improve global co-operation 

Senator Payne said the government will ‘target our efforts to preserve three fundamental parts of the multilateral system’:

· The rules that protect sovereignty, preserve peace and curb excessive use of power, and enable international trade and investment;

· the international standards related to health and pandemics, transport, telecommunications and other issues that underpin the global economy and which will be vital to a post-COVID-19 economic recovery;

· the norms that underpin universal human rights, gender equality and the rule of law. 

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Senator Payne said the international order was badly in need of reform ‘in several areas’. 

‘The pandemic has brought into stark relief the major role of international institutions in addressing and coordinating a global response to a global problem, across multiple lines of effort,’ she said.

‘What has been exposed is the magnitude of the consequences if we fail to ensure these institutions are fit-for-purpose, accountable to member states and free from undue influence. 

‘In the wake of this devastating health crisis, Australia wants to see a stronger WHO that is more independent and transparent.’  

US President Donald Trump has threatened to pull funding from the organisation after he called it ‘China-centric’ and said it failed to contain the virus. 

The Australian government has said it will not walk away but will instead try to change the organisation, which received $57million from Aussie taxpayers in 2018.

‘Frankly, there is no other institution that can marshal collective efforts to improve health security across the globe,’ Senator Payne said.

‘We have seen how global public health action – or inaction – can affect Australians at home and abroad. So there is a strong incentive for Australia to show leadership on making the WHO as effective as possible.’ 

Referencing criticism of WHO director Tedros Adhanom, who has been accused of pandering to China, she said: ‘We cannot let the vital and practical work that the WHO does on the ground be overshadowed by questions about the approach of its headquarters in Geneva.’  

Outlining a more ambitious role for Australia in the world, Senator Payne said the country would be more active in pushing its values of freedom and democracy.

‘Effective multilateralism, conducted through strong and transparent institutions, serves Australia’s interests, she said. 

‘Our challenge is to ensure the institutions, and our active engagement, delivers for Australia and for Australians. To do this, Australia must better target our role in the global system.’ 

Senator Payne said new global rules to govern cyber and artificial intelligence, critical minerals and outer space must fit Australia’s ‘enduring values and principles’. 

‘We want to deepen our cooperation with our likeminded and regional partners on shared goals, to shape better outcomes,’ she said.

Senator Payne also suggested the rising power of China was putting a ‘strain’ on the international order. 

People wearing protective clothing and masks arrive at Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, to board one of the first trains leaving the city in China's central Hubei province early on April 8

People wearing protective clothing and masks arrive at Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, to board one of the first trains leaving the city in China's central Hubei province early on April 8

People wearing protective clothing and masks arrive at Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan, to board one of the first trains leaving the city in China’s central Hubei province early on April 8

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcome Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny to an official dinner at the White House September 20, 2019

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcome Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny to an official dinner at the White House September 20, 2019

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump welcome Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife Jenny to an official dinner at the White House September 20, 2019

‘Multilateral institutions are experiencing unprecedented strain from a new era of strategic competition, shifts in global power, technological disruption and complex security, health and economic challenges,’ she said.

But she insisted Australia would not turn its back on global co-operation.

‘Australia will continue to work to ensure global institutions are fit-for-purpose, relevant and contemporary, accountable to member states, free from undue influence, and have an appropriately strong focus on the Indo-Pacific,’ she said. 

‘We will continue to support reform efforts in the United Nations and its agencies to improve transparency, accountability and effectiveness. 

‘This is foreign policy designed to use Australian agency and influence to shape a safer world and make us safer at home.’

Why is the WHO director-general ‘sympathetic’ to China? 

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26945028 8425499 image a 3 1592294877349

At the end of Janaury, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom enjoyed a trip to China to rub shoulders with President Xi Jinping.

When he returned, he hailed China for ‘transparency’ – even though it had covered up the extent of the outbreak by detaining doctors who sought to alert citizens.

Australian professor John Mackenzie, a member of the World Health Organization’s emergency committee, called China ‘reprehensible’ – but Dr Adhanom said China should be ‘congratulated’ for protecting ‘the people of the world’.

He then fawned over the communist leader, telling aides he was ‘very impressed and encouraged by the president’s detailed knowledge of the outbreak.’  

Since then, Tedros Adhanom has been called a ‘China apologist’ by various commentators.

Kristine Lee, China analyst at an influential US think-tank said: ‘There is a clear narrative coming out of the WHO that panders to Xi Jinping’s view about his country’s handling of coronavirus.’

But why? Perhaps it goes back to his time as a top Ethiopian politician, wrote journalist Ian Birrell.

He served in senior roles under Meles Zenawi, who ran a brutal dictatorship with close ties to Beijing, which admired the regime’s authoritarian model of development.

Intriguingly, Tedros was accused of covering up three outbreaks of cholera during his seven years as health minister, although the claims were dismissed as dirty tactics to try to derail his bid to become the WHO boss.

Shortly after starting his new job with the WHO in 2017, he appointed Robert Mugabe as a ‘goodwill ambassador’, only to back down after furious protests from human rights groups pointing out the despot had devastated Zimbabwe’s health service while wrecking his nation. 

Mugabe, as head of the African Union and a close ally of China, had helped him win the WHO post. Beijing also used its financial muscle to build support among developing nations, with Xi said to see the achievement as a sign of China’s growing strength. 

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Syndey man accused of slashing police officer in attempted murder is found dead in prison

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syndey man accused of slashing police officer in attempted murder is found dead in prison

A man accused of slashing a police officer across the head with a knife has been found dead in his prison cell.

Frederick Fadi Elrezz was arrested on Wednesday, September 2, after he allegedly attacked two officers with a knife and biting a third on York Street in the Sydney CBD.

He was being held at Parklea Correctional Centre after being charged with attempted murder. 

Elrezz was found dead in his cell on Friday morning. 

It is understood he had a long battled mental health issues.

Frederick Fadi Elrezz was arrested on Wednesday after he allegedly attacked two officers with a knife and biting a third on York Street in the Sydney CBD

Frederick Fadi Elrezz was arrested on Wednesday after he allegedly attacked two officers with a knife and biting a third on York Street in the Sydney CBD

Frederick Fadi Elrezz was arrested on Wednesday after he allegedly attacked two officers with a knife and biting a third on York Street in the Sydney CBD

A policeman (pictured), 40, was allegedly slashed in the head and shoulder by a Lakemba man, 32, on York Street in the Sydney CBD at 12:20am on Wednesday, September 2

A policeman (pictured), 40, was allegedly slashed in the head and shoulder by a Lakemba man, 32, on York Street in the Sydney CBD at 12:20am on Wednesday, September 2

A policeman (pictured), 40, was allegedly slashed in the head and shoulder by a Lakemba man, 32, on York Street in the Sydney CBD at 12:20am on Wednesday, September 2

The 32-year-old was accused of attacking the three officers after they confronted him after he allegedly harassed a food delivery rider.

A male senior constable, 40, was slashed across his head and shoulder while his male acting sergeant, 39, was slashed on the hand. 

Meanwhile, a male probationary constable, 20, was bitten on his tricep. 

The 32-year-old man was then disarmed and arrested, before being taken to St Vincent’s Hospital for assessment. 

Pictures from after the attack show blood pouring from the senior constable’s head, covering most of his face.  

A bite mark and blood can also be seen on the youngest officer’s tricep. 

The injured officers were also taken to St Vincent’s Hospital, where the 40-year-old officer underwent treatment for lacerations on the left side of his head and another on his upper arm and shoulder.  

The injured officers were also taken to St Vincent’s Hospital, where the 40-year-old officer (pictured)underwent treatment for lacerations on the left side of his head and another on his upper arm and shoulder area

The injured officers were also taken to St Vincent’s Hospital, where the 40-year-old officer (pictured)underwent treatment for lacerations on the left side of his head and another on his upper arm and shoulder area

The injured officers were also taken to St Vincent’s Hospital, where the 40-year-old officer (pictured)underwent treatment for lacerations on the left side of his head and another on his upper arm and shoulder area

Meanwhile, the 39-year-old was treated for a laceration to his finger and a knee injury and the youngest officer was treated for his bite. 

Soon after the attack, Elrezz allegedly told officers: ‘I wanted to kill a cop in the name of Allah’, The Australian reported.

He also allegedly said ‘Allahu Akhbar’ during his subsequent interview.

There is nothing in the 32-year-old’s history that indicates he supports extremist agendas or that he has been radicalised.

Anti-terror teams were investigating his background to assess any potential links to terror organisations.   

More to come 

A male probationary constable (pictured), 20, was bitten on his tricep

A male probationary constable (pictured), 20, was bitten on his tricep

A bite mark and blood was visible on the wound

A bite mark and blood was visible on the wound

A male probationary constable (left), 20, was bitten on his tricep with a bite mark (right) and blood visible

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Brisbane: Fraudster bride swindled $43,000 out of her boss at Buccini Transport to pay for wedding

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brisbane fraudster bride swindled 43000 out of her boss at buccini transport to pay for wedding
Courtney Beaumont Bell (pictured) , 27, worked as a payroll officer at Buccini Transport for four years when she swindled $43,375 for her $60,000 wedding

Courtney Beaumont Bell (pictured) , 27, worked as a payroll officer at Buccini Transport for four years when she swindled $43,375 for her $60,000 wedding

Courtney Beaumont Bell (pictured) , 27, worked as a payroll officer at Buccini Transport for four years when she swindled $43,375 for her $60,000 wedding

A desperate bride stole more than $43,000 from her boss by cashing in on benefits she wasn’t entitled to so she could pay for her dream wedding. 

Courtney Beaumont Bell, 27, worked as a payroll officer at Buccini Transport for four years when she swindled $43,375 for her $60,000 wedding.

The woman, from Caboolture, 50km north of Brisbane, fleeced the company out of the money by cashing in on 200 days of leave, falsely claiming tolls and taking superannuation between June 2017 and July 2018, Quest Newspapers reported.  

Bell pleaded guilty to fraud in Brisbane District Court on Thursday where she handed her former boss, Paul Buccini, a cheque with all the money she had taken.

Judge Vicki Loury QC sentenced Bell to three years in prison but the 27-year-old will be released in six months.  

She said: ‘Your motivation therefore was not as a result of any need, but rather greed on your part.’

Sarah Dennis, the prosecutor, claimed the fraud was calculated and Bell took advantage of her trusted position. 

David Crews, Bell’s lawyer, said his client’s offending was ‘situational’ due to the financial burden of her wedding.

He said Bell and her husband tried to pay for the wedding themselves and didn’t want to ask their parents for help.

Mr Buccini said outside of court he was hurt when he discovered the fraud that had put financial stress upon his family and business.

He said it ‘destroyed’ him to discover someone he trusted took advantage of him.

He said he was glad justice had been served.

Paul Buccini, director of Buccini Transport, said outside of court he was so hurt when he discovered the fraud that had put financial stress upon his family and business (pictured, one of the company's fleet)

Paul Buccini, director of Buccini Transport, said outside of court he was so hurt when he discovered the fraud that had put financial stress upon his family and business (pictured, one of the company's fleet)

Paul Buccini, director of Buccini Transport, said outside of court he was so hurt when he discovered the fraud that had put financial stress upon his family and business (pictured, one of the company’s fleet)

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Australian music legend Max Merritt, 79, dies after being diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disease

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australian music legend max merritt 79 dies after being diagnosed with a rare auto immune disease

Australian music legend Max Merritt has died in a Los Angeles hospital after being diagnosed with a rare serious auto-immune disease.

The musician, of Max Merritt and the Meteors fame, passed away on Thursday, he was aged 79.

He had been battling Goodpasture Syndrome, an auto-immune disease where the body mistakenly makes antibodies that attack the lungs and kidneys.

Australian music legend Max Merritt has died in a Los Angeles hospital after being diagnosed with a rare serious auto-immune disease

Australian music legend Max Merritt has died in a Los Angeles hospital after being diagnosed with a rare serious auto-immune disease

Australian music legend Max Merritt has died in a Los Angeles hospital after being diagnosed with a rare serious auto-immune disease

Merritt, of Max Merritt and the Meteors fame, had been battling Goodpasture Syndrome, an auto-immune disease which your body mistakenly makes antibodies that attack the lungs and kidneys

Merritt, of Max Merritt and the Meteors fame, had been battling Goodpasture Syndrome, an auto-immune disease which your body mistakenly makes antibodies that attack the lungs and kidneys

Merritt, of Max Merritt and the Meteors fame, had been battling Goodpasture Syndrome, an auto-immune disease which your body mistakenly makes antibodies that attack the lungs and kidneys

His manager and friend Wal Bishop shared the heartbreaking news of his death in a statement on Friday.

‘Max had been on dialysis three days every week since he fell ill back in 2007,’ he said. 

‘He really put up a great fight and will be sadly missed by all that knew and loved him.

‘Max had been unable to perform live over the past 13 years but, when he felt up to it, would go into the studio to record,’ Bishop said. 

‘He even shot a video to go with the tracks, it’s a shame he won’t be around to see it.’

Merritt is best known for his 1975 hit Slippin’ Away. 

He was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2008 alongside Dragon, Russell Morris and The Triffids. 

His manager Wal Bishop said Merritt had been on a dialysis machine three days a week since 2007

His manager Wal Bishop said Merritt had been on a dialysis machine three days a week since 2007

His manager Wal Bishop said Merritt had been on a dialysis machine three days a week since 2007

His manager and friend Wal Bishop shared the heartbreaking news of his death in a statement on Friday (Pictured: Australian 60s and 70s rock legend Max Merritt with his long time manager Wal Bishop)

His manager and friend Wal Bishop shared the heartbreaking news of his death in a statement on Friday (Pictured: Australian 60s and 70s rock legend Max Merritt with his long time manager Wal Bishop)

His manager and friend Wal Bishop shared the heartbreaking news of his death in a statement on Friday (Pictured: Australian 60s and 70s rock legend Max Merritt with his long time manager Wal Bishop)

The ‘King of soul’ was born in April, 1941 in Christchurch, New Zealand, but eventually made Australia his home. 

He moved to the UK in the 1960s before settling in Los Angeles in the 1970s. 

During this time continue to tour in Australia and New Zealand.

His death comes almost two weeks after founding member of Australian rock band Skyhooks Peter Starkie died.

Starkey, 72, died on September 13 after falling from a ladder.

Skyhooks shot to fame in the mid-70s with hits such as Horror Movie, Ego is Not A Dirty Word, All My Friends Are Getting Married and Women In Uniform.

The band stopped regularly playing when lead singer Graeme ‘Shirley’ Strachan died in a helicopter accident in Queensland in 2001. 

He had been training for his helicopter licence at the time of the crash.  

The death of former Skyhooks guitarist Peter Starkie is the latest in a series of tragic events to rock what was one of the biggest Australian bands of the 1970s

The death of former Skyhooks guitarist Peter Starkie is the latest in a series of tragic events to rock what was one of the biggest Australian bands of the 1970s

The death of former Skyhooks guitarist Peter Starkie is the latest in a series of tragic events to rock what was one of the biggest Australian bands of the 1970s

Former Skyhooks singer Peter Starkie (right) died on Sunday after falling from a ladder at his home. His death is the latest in a string of tragedies to rock the famous 1970s Australian band

Former Skyhooks singer Peter Starkie (right) died on Sunday after falling from a ladder at his home. His death is the latest in a string of tragedies to rock the famous 1970s Australian band

Former Skyhooks singer Peter Starkie (right) died on Sunday after falling from a ladder at his home. His death is the latest in a string of tragedies to rock the famous 1970s Australian band

'Freddie' Strauks, 'Shirley' Strachan, Red Symons and Bob 'Bongo' Starkie during an interview in 1976

'Freddie' Strauks, 'Shirley' Strachan, Red Symons and Bob 'Bongo' Starkie during an interview in 1976

‘Freddie’ Strauks, ‘Shirley’ Strachan, Red Symons and Bob ‘Bongo’ Starkie during an interview in 1976

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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