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Protesters remove office blockades

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 05 Oktober 2014 | 23.08

Protest ... a man shouts at a policeman for not protecting pro-democracy protesters from attacks in Hong Kong. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

Tensions and emotions rise in Hong Kong's central government district. The WSJ's Diana Jou talks to people on the scene.

PRO-DEMOCRACY demonstrators in Hong Kong have announced a partial withdrawal from some protest sites, but others vowed to stay on ahead of a deadline to clear the streets.

Authorities had warned protesters occupying the area outside city government headquarters to clear out by the beginning of the work week.

Television footage showed a protest representative shaking hands with a police officer and the two sides removing some barricades together.

About 300 demonstrators remained standing peacefully outside the government's main building, and did not appear to have intentions to move.

Shocking images reveal police brutality in Hong Kong

Hong Kong protesters issue ultimatum to China

Across the harbour in Hong Kong's Mong Kok district, protesters appeared divided about whether to stay put or decamp to the city's Admiralty area, the main protest site.

The atmosphere in Mong Kok was relatively relaxed as people began to clear out, though many said they were headed home and not to another protest area.

"I don't know what the next step is, but I will not retreat. The people you see here will not retreat," said Burnett Tung, an 18-year-old student who has served as a volunteer at a food supply station outside government headquarters all week.

"The leaders of the movement are the citizens. We're leading the movement, not them," said Roy Wong, 21, referring to some protest leaders who called for a retreat from Mong Kok.

Occupy movement ... pro-democracy protesters stage a rally on a occupied road in Mong Kok district, Hong Kong. Picture: AP Source: AP

Tens of thousands of people, many of them students, have poured into the streets of the semi-autonomous city over the past week to peacefully protest China's restrictions on the first-ever direct election for Hong Kong's top leader, promised by Beijing for 2017.

But with the standoff between the protesters and the government in its eighth day, tempers were flaring and patience was waning among residents who oppose the occupation of the streets and the disruption it has brought.

Police using pepper spray clashed with protesters overnight, after officials said they intended to have key streets open for schools and offices by Monday morning.

Large crowds of demonstrators scuffled with police in the blue-collar Mong Kok district, a flash point that has seen violent clashes between pro-democracy student protesters and their antagonists throughout the weekend.

Police said they had to disperse the crowds with force because protesters had provoked officers with verbal abuse, while the students accused police of failing to protect them from attacks by mobs intent on driving them away. The students say police allied themselves with criminal gangs to clear them, but the government has vehemently denied the accusation.

Week-long protest ... protesters stand at barricades on a occupied road in Mongkok district, Hong Kong. Picture: AP Source: AP

Hong Kong's leader, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, appeared on television on Saturday evening to urge everyone to go home, saying key roads paralysed by protesters needed to return to normal by Monday.

"The government and the police have the duty and determination to take all necessary actions to restore social order so the government and the seven million people of Hong Kong can return to their normal work and life," Mr Leung said.

Police said they had arrested 30 people since the protests started September 28, and that 27 police officers had been injured while on duty in the protest areas.

"To restore order, we are determined and we are confident we have the capability to take any necessary action," said police spokesman Steve Hui. "We have to make correct assessments, then depending on the prevailing situation, we will consider all necessary measures."

Asked to clarify the authorities' demands for clearing areas near government offices, Mr Hui would say only that government workers needed to work.

"There should not be any unreasonable, unnecessary obstruction by any members of the public," he said.

Defiant ... Hong Kong's Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying (centre) refuses to resign. Picture: AP Source: AP

The atmosphere on the streets was tense on Sunday amid fears police may use pepper spray and tear gas to disperse the protesters, as they did last weekend. The University of Hong Kong, among others, warned students to leave the streets.

"I am making this appeal from my heart because I genuinely believe that if you stay, there is a risk to your safety," said Peter Mathieson, the university's president. "Please leave now. You owe it to your loved ones to put your safety above all other considerations."

The protests are the strongest challenge to authorities in Hong Kong - and in Beijing - since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Beijing has promised that the city can have universal suffrage by 2017, but it says a committee of mostly pro-Beijing figures must screen candidates for the top job. The protesters also are demanding Mr Leung's resignation, but he has refused to step down.

Protest ... thousands of pro-democracy activists jostle with police at an intersection in Mongkok, Hong Kong. Picture: AFP Source: AFP


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Lab-grown penises ready for testing

Milestone ... scientists have developed lab-grown penises to help men who have congenital abnormalities or suffered a traumatic injuries. Picture: Thinkstock Source: News Limited

PENISES grown in laboratories could soon be ready for human testing after "encouraging" studies on rabbits, in a breakthrough for men with congenital abnormalities or traumatic injuries.

Researchers at North Carolina's Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine are assessing engineered penises for safety, function and durability, and hope to get approval for human testing within five years.

The organ would be grown using a patient's own cells to minimise the risk of rejection.

Professor Anthony Atala oversaw the institute's successful engineering of penises for rabbits in 2008 and said human organ transplantation was on the horizon.

"The rabbit studies were very encouraging but to get approval for humans we need all the safety and quality assurance data, we need to show that the materials aren't toxic, and we have to spell out the manufacturing process, step by step," he said, according to The Guardian.

Research leader ... Professor Anthony Atala said studies on rabbits have been 'very encouraging'. Picture: Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine Source: Supplied

The newspaper reports it would take about four to six weeks for cells from the patient's penis to grow in a culture.

Scientists start the process by washing a donor penis in a mild detergent to remove all donor cells. About two weeks later when just a collagen scaffold of the penis is left, scientists "seed" the patient's cultured cells.

The pioneering work is funded by the US Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, which hopes to use the technology to help soldiers injured in service.

However Professor Atala says it would also benefit men with congenital abnormalities.

Right now, men can have their penis reconstructed using forearm or thigh flesh. A penile prosthetic is implanted to simulate an erection.


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Kids not as healthy as we think

Health check ... almost half the nation's four-year-olds have a health or behavioural problem. Picture Thinkstock. Source: Supplied

ALMOST half the nation's four year olds could have behavioural, hearing, language and other problems suggests a study into the results of the government's four year old health check.

The study, published in the Medical Journal Australia on Monday, looked at 557 children who were given the checks in two Queensland medical practices between 2010 and 2013.

It found one in five children had problems detected during the preschool check up with speech and language problems the most frequently identified.

Another 19 per cent of children had health problems identified before their four year old check and four per cent developed health problems after they had the check.

Concerns ... speech and language problems are the most common issues detected in child health checks. Picture: Thinkstock. Source: ThinkStock

Half the children aged four (56 per cent) had no problems listed on their medical records.

The four-year-old check was introduced in 2008 and looks at height, weight, vision, hearing, oral health, toileting and allergies of children in the year before they start school.

It is meant to catch health and behavioural problems early so interventions can be made to prevent them becoming bigger problems later in life.

The one off checks are meant to involve more than 282,000 children aged four but experts fear the children most likely to be at risk are least likely to be brought in by their parents for an assessment.

Issues ... the check looks at hearing, oral health, toileting and allergies. Picture: Thinkstock. Source: ThinkStock

The study retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 557 Queensland four-year-olds and found 347 problems were identified in 246 children.

Seventy seven (22 per cent) of the children had speech and language problems, 51 (15 per cent) had hearing problems and 42 (12 per cent) had anatomical concerns.

The most common problems identified as a result of the four year old health check were speech and language (29 children) and toileting (22 children).

Given growing concerns about childhood obesity it was interesting that only four of the children (3 per cent) had concerns recorded about their height and weight.

The report concludes that "GPs are diligent in detecting child health concerns".

It found between 3 per cent and 11 per cent of children with health problems had their management changed as a result of the four-year-old health check.

"A lack of independent toileting was the most detected and least actioned problem, "the study found.

This could be because action on this problem is not clinically recommended until the child is aged five or more.

Warning signs ... many health and behavioural problems emerge before four years of age. Picture Thinkstock. Source: Supplied

There are plans to reduce the age of the child health check to three years of age and include a more comprehensive check on the child's behaviour.

This last change has been highly contentious as was criticised by some experts as a "mental health check" that was inappropriate for children at such a young age.

Frank Oberkaid the director of Melbourne's Centre for Community Child Health and the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne says significant questions still remain about the efficacy of the child health check.

In an editorial in the Medical Journal Australia, he says many health and behavioural problems emerge before four years of age, there is a lack of reliable measures against which child health and development can be measured and considerable developmental variability in young children.

"Many problems are transient," he said.


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Middle East Aussies on strike alert

Australian aircrews are preparing for strikes on IS in Iraq. Source: Getty Images

AUSTRALIA's fighter jets were poised last night to launch strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq as the terror group moved within artillery range of Baghdad airport.

Military experts said the repeated air strikes from the American-led international coalition had forced the IS hordes into new tactics, and ­instead of massing in large numbers, they were spreading out, guerilla-style, into cities and towns.

Australia's F/A-18 Super Hornets were flying in Iraqi airspace ahead of air strikes, which were due to begin at any time.

It came as media reports out of the United States said the IS fighters were now established in Abu Ghraib in the western Anbar region, which is within striking distance of Baghdad's international airport.

Australian Defence Minister David Johnston agreed IS had changed tactics since the US-led coalition had begun air strikes, saying their fighters had congregated in a number of cities "a long way from where their supply lines originated, and that's back in Syria".

He said the IS hordes were "extremely adaptive'' and the fight to dislodge them would get harder before it got easier.

"I've been talking to our generals on the ground in the Middle East ... we share some optimism about how quickly we can do this,'' Senator Johnston told the ABC.

"But we just say months, if not more, because we want to under-­promise and over-­deliver.''

With all legal agreements in place with the Iraqi Government, Australia's six Super Hornets based in the United Arab Emirates have spent the past few days in Iraqi skies ­preparing for the strikes.

The deployment of 200 ­special forces personnel is being held up for several days by the Eid al-Adha religious holiday, which is now under way and is preventing government officials in Baghdad from finalising the paperwork authorising their deployment.

However, the commandos are likely to be on the ground in a strategic and advisory role to the Iraqi security forces by the end of the week.

Australia has delivered ­several plane loads of weapons to help supply the Kurdish Peshmerga fighters in northern Iraq.

A diplomat in Erbil, in the autonomous Kurdistan region, said if IS was established in Abu Ghraib, they would be within artillery range of the airport. The diplomat said if IS was able to maintain territory in Abu Ghraib it could potentially shell, and even close, the international airport.

with agencies

Originally published as Middle East Aussies on strike alert
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Melbourne Airport terror swoops

In an incident at Melbourne Airport on August 27, five people were offloaded from a flight and searched. Source: Supplied

COUNTER-terrorism officers ­intercepted 11 suspected terrorists at Melbourne and Sydney airports in less than a month in a multi-agency security crackdown.

Officers who searched the grounded suspects found images of beheadings and other violent Islamist propaganda on electronic devices and seized tens of thousands of dollars in ­undeclared cash allegedly being smuggled out of the country.

A twelfth man, 19-year-old Ahmad Saiyer Naizmand, of NSW, allegedly flew out of Sydney on his brother's passport before Australian officers raised the alarm and had United Arab Emirates authorities deport him back.
MIDDLE EAST STRIKE ALERT

The revelations came as Australia's Super Hornet fighter jets were last night in the skies above Iraq waiting for the final go-ahead to launch air strikes against Islamic State, and 200 special ­forces personnel were also poised to join the Iraqi security forces in a training and advisory role.

The Herald Sun can reveal:

ONE suspect's luggage was deemed "inconsistent with his stated planned travel movements'', and he missed his flight after he was searched.

SIX people were caught with violent or objectionable material. Of them, two were issued with infringement notices and three had their electronic devices seized.

ONE man was refused entry to Australia after arriving on a flight to Melbourne from Malaysia and found to have "visa inconsistencies''.

THREE of the suspects copped infringement notices.

OTHERS were caught committing visa and passport fraud.

Customs and Border Protection said the Australian Government had changed the instruction to its officers from "facilitation as a priority to security as a priority''.

"That means that on occasion, flights will be held, people and baggage will have to be unloaded ... but this is important for our national security,'' a spokesman said.

The terror suspects were intercepted by Customs and Border Protection, the AFP or the new Counter-Terrorism Units.

The CTU came into force in late August less than nine months after Sydney man Khaled Sharrouf escaped Sydney Airport in December on his brother's passport to fight for Islamic State in Syria.

Sharrouf caused international outrage by making his seven-year-old Australian-raised son, with him in Syria, pose for photographs holding a severed head.

In addition to the 11 main intercepted suspects, a further six people were stopped and searched by authorities, missing their flights, between August 9 and September 1 at Australia's largest two airports.

A currency detector dog sniffed out one man trying to leave Melbourne Airport on August 31 without declaring he was carrying more than $10,000. He was also found to be in possession of extremist propaganda images.

In one incident at Melbourne Airport on August 27, five people, thought to be members of the same extended family, were offloaded from a flight and searched.

On the same day at Melbourne, a man was pulled from another flight, searched, and was found to be in possession of more than $30,000 in undeclared currency and violent propaganda images.

One man caught in September was found not to have Islamist propaganda, but was instead in possession of child abuse images.

Originally published as Melbourne Airport terror swoops
23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Bunnies emphatically break 43-year curse

It s over. The Rabbitohs have ended their 43-year NRL title drought with 30-6 victory over the Canterbury Bulldogs at ANZ Stadium.

The Rabbitohs celebrate grand final victory. Source: Getty Images

THE pride of the league is, once again, the pride of the league.

Happy 21st, South Sydney.

At 9.58pm on Sunday night, John Sutton did what many fans thought they would never see. The Rabbitohs captain held aloft the NRL trophy.

Souths players celebrate with the Provan Summons trophy. Source: Getty Images

A crowd of 83,833 watched South Sydney score a bruising 30-6 win over Canterbury at ANZ Stadium.

The 20-time premiers, formed back in 1908 from a working-class background, had to wait 43 years long years or 15,723 days for their 21st title. Judging by the emotion, it was worth it.

"We did it boys," Sutton yelled as he raised the trophy in the air to chants of "Glory Glory to South Sydney."

GALLERY: GRAND FINAL - THE FANS

MATCH CENTRE: GAME DETAILS AND STATS

Sam Burgess plays on with a fractured eye socket. Picture: Gregg Porteous Source: News Corp Australia

With co-owners Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes a Court watching on, as well as recently reunited club saviour George Piggins, Souths players broke into jubilant scenes at full-time not seen for in the cardinal and myrtle for years.

"I'm so proud. This is bigger than rugby league," Souths coach Michael Maguire said.

Souths celebrate a try to Alex Johnston (bottom left). Picture: Brett Costello Source: News Corp Australia

His opposite, Canterbury coach Des Hasler, may have lost but he did a remarkable job guiding his side to another grand final — a fifth in eight years for him personally.

But it was all about Souths. The club was broke, kicked out of the competition and had no future.

Russell Crowe says Sam Burgess's Clive Churchill Medal performance has carved his name deep into the history of rugby league.

Yet their spirit and courage couldn't be broken.

It was a rugged decider, as both teams ripped into each other mercilessly. That was never more evident than when departing Souths star Sam Burgess fractured his cheekbone in a vicious head clash with fellow Englishman James Graham. Bloodied, Burgess went on to play every minute and win the Clive Churchill Medal.

Alex Johnston over in the corner. Picture: Brett Costello Source: News Corp Australia

"How good," Burgess said afterwards. "What a year. It's been a long time, let's enjoy it."

Burgess typified the Rabbitohs' guts in shades of another club great — John Sattler — who played the 1970 grand final with a broken jaw. Fittingly, Burgess and Sattler both wore jumper number 13.

Bulldogs coach Des Hasler congratulates South Sydney on their premiership win and says he is very pround of his playing group.

Burgess cut an emotional figure as he knelt crying on the field 90 seconds before full-time. It may have been a tad premature as South Sydney still had another try in them.

He then embraced Crowe on the field after the game.

James Graham on the charge. Picture: Brett Costello Source: News Corp Australia

"I'm lost for words. It was a cracking year I will never forget," Burgess said. "It's something that can never be taken away from me.

"It will be in my heart forever."

THE 43-year drought is over and the pride of the league is, once again, the pride of the league. Glory, glory to South Sydney.

The Rabbitohs completed 21 of 22 sets in the first half and struck first in the 20th minute through rising winger Alex Johnston. They extended their lead to 6-0 through a 26th minute Reynolds penalty goal.

The Rabbitohs surged through the middle of the Canterbury ruck and the Dogs didn't have a genuine tryscoring chance in the first half.

Greg Eastwood on the charge. Picture: Gregg Porteous Source: News Corp Australia

But it wasn't all one-way traffic. Just after the break, the Bulldogs levelled up the scores through a Tony Williams try.

After a good old-fashioned arm-wrestle, George Burgess struck with a stunning solo try.

He took the ball at first receiver and steamrollered four defenders to score.

Holding a 14-6 lead late in the game, Rabbitohs centre Kirisome Auva'a scored in the 73rd minute to put the game out of Canterbury's reach.

Dylan Walker offloads. Picture: Gregg Porteous Source: News Corp Australia

Adam Reynolds then converted his own try and Greg Inglis crossed just before full-time to complete the demolition.

"No words can explain how I feel right now," Inglis said. "Forty-three years. We brought the trophy back to Redfern."

Souths players paid tribute to hooker Issac Luke, who missed the decider through suspension.

But Luke still got his own premiership ring as Crowe presented him with one inside a red velvet box.

Injured Canterbury captain Michael Ennis. Picture: Gregg Porteous Source: News Corp Australia

Lote Tuqiri completed the second-longest fairytale of the night — NRL premierships 14 years apart.

The Rabbitohs, though, have their share of injuries.

Forward Dave Tyrrell was taken from the field in a medicab with 12 minutes remaining, after

Alex Johnston on the attack. Picture: Mark Evans Source: News Corp Australia

Graham collected his second Souths player in another ugly clash of heads.

Souths players protested Graham had deliberately led with his head. In the end it mattered little, the NRL trophy is on its way to Redfern.

SOUTH SYDNEY 30 (K Auva'a G Burgess G Inglis A Johnston A Reynolds tries A Reynolds 5 goals) bt CANTERBURY 6 (T Williams try T Hodkinson goal) at ANZ Stadium. Referee: Shayne Hayne, Gerard Sutton. Crowd: 83,833.

Originally published as Bunnies emphatically break 43-year curse
23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

NRL grand final player ratings

THE 43-year drought is over and the pride of the league is, once again, the pride of the league. Glory, glory to South Sydney.

George Burgess was in destructive form in the grand final. Picture: Brett Costello Source: News Corp Australia

HOW did the players stack up in this year's epic contest between South Sydney and Canterbury? You can have your say, too, using our interactive rating tool.

1. Greg Inglis: Picked his moments and was devastating with the football when he did. 8

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Bianchi suffers ‘severe’ head injury in F1 crash

Marussia driver Jules Bianchi has been rushed to hospital in an unconscious state after a serious accident which ended the Japanese Grand Prix on the 47th lap.

THE FIA has confirmed that Marussia driver Jules Bianchi suffered a severe head injury in a crash at the Japanese Grand Prix.

The Frenchman was rushed to hospital in an unconscious state after an accident that prematurely ended the Suzuka race on the 44th lap on Saturday afternoon (AEST).

Bianchi is undergoing surgery and will be moved to intensive care afterwards.

"The CT scan shows that he has suffered a severe head injury and he is undergoing surgery," a statement from the FIA released late Sunday night said.

Marussia driver Jules Bianchi Source: AFP

"Following this he will be moved to intensive care where he will be monitored."

The incident happened after Bianchi's car crashed into a recovery vehicle that was on the track attending to Adrian Sutil, who had crashed on the same corner (turn 7) on lap 42.

"A recovery vehicle was dispatched to lift the car (Sutil's) and take it to a place of safety," the FIA statement continued.

"While this was being done the driver of car 17 Jules Bianchi lost control of his car and hit the back of the tractor.

"The driver was removed, taken to the circuit medical centre and then by ambulance to hospital.

"The hospital will issue an update as soon as one becomes available."

When asked about the incident, Sutil said: "I had a spin and ended up in the wall.

"I stood up and they tried to rescue the car.

"Jules was in the same area and lost the car. I have no more information.

"We are all aware of the situation. Hopefully he is in good hands."

FIA statement Source: Supplied

Bianchi crashed into the recovery vehicle which was assisting Adrian Sutil Source: Supplied

The race was won by Lewis Hamilton though celebrations on the podium were muted as news of Bianchi's situation spread.

"Our first thoughts go to Jules — it overshadows everything else when one of our colleagues is injured and we are praying for him," Hamilton said.

"Next to this, the race result doesn't seem significant at all."

Hamilton's teammate Nico Rosberg. who finished second, said: "I am not thinking about the race ... my thoughts are with my colleague. They have given us some information and it seems very, very serious."

Other drivers were quick to wish their colleague well.

"For me, the race doesn't really matter today. I haven't seen anything of Jules' accident, but the most important thing to say is that all our thoughts are with him, his family, and his team right now. It's an accident that you hope never happens in Formula 1," said McLaren driver Jenson Button.

Amid the well wishers, Felipe Massa questioned the race organisers' decision to restart the race given the extreme weather conditions.

"In my opinion they started the race too early because it was not drivable at the beginning and they finished the race too late," he told the UK Telegraph.

"I was screaming on the radio five laps before the safety car that there was too much water on the track but they just took a little bit too long. It was dangerous."

Jules Bianchi's crash at the Japanese Grand Prix ended the race. Source: Supplied

Originally published as Bianchi suffers 'severe' head injury in F1 crash
23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More
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