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Child sex slaves: ‘They believe they're garbage'

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 22 Maret 2015 | 23.08

Former teacher Michael Brosowski, 40, is saving street children in Vietnam. Picture: Blue Dragon Source: Supplied

SLEEPING rough on the street before being picked up and exploited by traffickers, these are the children the world ignores.

But an Australian hero has made it his life's work to rescue and protect Vietnam's forgotten street kids.

Michael Brosowski and his team save young girls and boys sold as sex slaves and into child labour. His charity gives children a new chance at life after they have suffered through these traumatic experiences in their formative years.

Seven teenage girls are brought back to Vietnam by the foundation, after being sold into China's sex industry. Picture: Blue Dragon Source: Supplied

Most trafficked children come from poor rural villages and don't go to school. Picture: Blue Dragon Source: Supplied

Thuy, 16, was lured from her home by a friend who promised her a well-paying job in China, at a clothes shop near the border.

But there was no shop, and the teenager was sold to a brothel as a sex slave.

One night, she made a run for it, but was tackled to the ground by three brothel-keepers, who attacked her with knives and apparently stuffed a drug into her wounds, leaving her for dead. The Blue Dragon Children's Foundation got her to hospital, tracked down relatives and began work to heal the extraordinary psychological scars her ordeal had caused.

In one recent case, the charity brought home 16-year-old Sung, who had apparently been sold to a massage parlour in China.

He had escaped and wandered for two days through the unfamiliar country until a woman took him to the police.

This week, they rescued seven-year-old Thi, who had been kidnapped and handed to a family in China for $750.

Thi, seven, returns to her village with her father, after being sold to a Chinese family. Picture: Blue Dragon Source: Supplied

Earlier this month, Blue Dragon stopped the trafficking to China of 33 children and young adults, some of whom are seen here writing statements for the police. Picture: Blue Dragon Source: Supplied

Michael, now 40, first learned about the fate of such children when he went to work at Hanoi's national university in 2002 and began teaching English to shoeshine boys.

"They came to the city to make money for their families in the countryside," he told news.com.au

"I quickly realised they needed to get back to school."

He set up Blue Dragon and started helping these kids into education and training. He soon stumbled upon a whole village children who had been trafficked to Ho Chi Minh City — promised wages and an education, but instead forced to work selling flowers for nothing. The charity contacted their families and got them home.

Then he discovered more children being trafficked to South Vietnam to work in garment factories, living as sweatshop slaves. The charity began rescuing the children, and Michael believes their work has started to unravel the practice.

Sung, 16, is reunited with his family after wandering through China alone. Picture: Blue Dragon Source: Supplied

Three girls trafficked to China make it back into Vietnam with the help of the foundation. Picture: Blue Dragon Source: Supplied

"We've made it expensive for them," says Michael. "We call the police and get the factory shut down. Then we come back again."

It was from there that his team began bringing children back from brothels in China, dangerous work that incurred the traffickers' wrath.

The sexual abuse of boys is not yet against the law in Vietnam, so they are targets for exploitation by paedophile rings.

"You see boys lose belief in themselves," says Michael. "They believe they're garbage."

In one harrowing case from October, a 14-year-old disabled boy was beaten and raped by a neighbour. Blue Dragon paid his hospital bills, helped his family through the recovery and provided legal assistance. His attacker was sentenced to 18 months in jail for indecency — very little by international standards but a major achievement in Vietnam.

Michael hopes the country is moving closer to resolving this law. He is also working with lawyers to bring more traffickers to justice.

"It's an important part of the healing process," he says.

Michael's foundation gives these children hope. Picture: Blue Dragon Source: Supplied

Education, training, rehab and counselling help them start a new life. Picture: Blue Dragon Source: Supplied

"In just about all cases of sex trafficking, the victim knows the trafficker. If you're sold by someone you trust, how can you ever trust anyone again?"

Girls are told by boyfriends, friends and neighbours that they are going on a shopping trip to China, and then pimped out as prostitutes. Blue Dragon helps the girls recover — perhaps never 100 per cent, admits Michael, but they go on to university, careers and marriage.

Today, Blue Dragon cares for more than 1500 young people, with food, homes, jobs and rehabilitation. They are currently raising money through Roll'd in Melbourne to build a new school for 150 children in a heavily trafficked area, since kids who drop out are usually the vulnerable ones.

Michael says his team and the kids are like family, and look out for each other as they face trauma every single day.

"It's highly rewarding because we see lives change," he says. "The harrowing part is when it takes a long time. We know boys and girls of just 14 who are making money selling sex, after they've been abused. They hate themselves and think this is all they're good for.

"Knowing that abuse is happening is the hardest part. You have to keep believing."

Find out more about Michael Brosowski's work at the Blue Dragon Children's Foundation here.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Cyclone Nathan slams Territory

Tropical cyclone Nathan has made landfall in the NT as gale force winds lash the Arnhem Land coast.

TROPICAL cyclone Nathan stormed through a battered Elcho Island for the second time in a month on Sunday night.

Cyclone Nathan struck the remote community of Galiwinku at category 2 intensity with wind gusts reaching up to 140kph late on Sunday afternoon.

The "destructive eye" of the cyclone passed directly over Elcho Island, according to the weather bureau.

Carnage on Gove harbour causeway as Cyclone Nathan hits the NT coast. Video from Nhulunbuy Notice Board/Facebook/Trevor Allan Hosie.

The incident came just four weeks after category 4 Cyclone Lam ripped through the region and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses.

Elcho Island resident Ruben David, 62, bunkered down in his cyclone proof home to whether the storm on Sunday for the second time in a matter of weeks.

Cyclone Nathan impacts Gove. Picture: Facebook/Jamie Kokles-Ridgway Source: Supplied

"It's strange because I can hear a lot more noise this time around and I'm feeling it more," Mr David told the NT News as Cyclone Nathan bore down.

"It's like a mini earth quake that's shaking the house and its steel frames.

"I'm hearing a howling sound and groaning, the wind is very strong, there are garbage bins flying around outside.

Calm before the storm - sunset at Nhulunbuy the night before Cyclone Nathan hit. Picture: Matt Burman Photography Source: Supplied

"It's different this time because there are no trees and leaves rubbing against the houses... they're all gone from Cyclone Lam.

"The power is off and it's dark now but it's certainly very loud."

Mr David said he had just finished clearing his property and repairing his home in the aftermath of Lam when Nathan struck.

"Trees fell on my roof and we had just had people come to take them away," he said.

"The community is in disbelief about this happening again in such a short time."

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Adam Morgan said the system tracked between Nhulunbuy and Gapuwiyuk as a catgory 2 cyclone earlier on Sunday.

"Neither felt it directly, Nhulunbuy was outside the destructive core, but experienced gale-force winds and gusts up to 100kph," he said.

"It lasted about 3.5 hours and got quite blowy.

"We've had reports of damage, trees down on houses and power out."

Gove resident Sharon Yunupingu, 46, said power was out and "branches were coming down everywhere" by midday on Sunday.

"Our boat is under water at the beach," Ms Yunupingu said on Sunday.

"There are lots of big boats washed up.

"The wind (was) really bad … really strong … but some people (were) driving around in it.

"The cars (were) just rocking."

Ms Yunupingu said she took shelter in her home with about 11 family members and friends.

Murphy Yunupingu, 54, said the group was cut off from town due to flooding of the causeway.

"We've got our supplies, we'll be right for another day or two," he said.

Trees down in Nhulunbuy after Cyclone Nathan passed through. Picture: Matt Burman Photography Source: Supplied

Commander Bruce Porter said there were no reports of injuries in Nhulunbuy or surrounding areas.

He said Nhulunbuy Airstrip was open for medical emergencies only.

"The High Voltage lines appear to have sustained some damage cutting power to the Nhulunbuy township (and Yirrkala)," Commander Porter said.

"There are no impacts on or interruptions to water supply or the sewerage system and reports so far of only one residence suffering damage as a result of a tree falling against the building.

"The town of Nhulunbuy and its surrounding suburbs appear to have escaped relatively unscathed from Tropical Cyclone Nathan."

A cyclone warning remained in place for Croker Island to Cape Shield, including Goulburn Island, Maningrida, Milingimbi, Elcho Island, Ramingining and Gapuwiyak.

A cyclone watch remained current for Croker Island to Cape Don and Point Stuart to Gunbalanya.

The weather bureau predicts Cyclone Nathan will develop into a category 3 system in the Arafura Sea on Monday.

Senior forecaster Todd Smith said it was likely Cyclone Nathan would make landfall as a category 1 between Cape Don and Goulburn Island.

Northern Territory Emergency Service director Andrew Warton said Warruwi may have to be evacuated if Nathan continued tracking towards it. He said the NTES was monitoring the system.

The cyclone is then expected to weaken on Tuesday before approaching Darwin as a tropical low.

Originally published as Cyclone Nathan slams Territory
23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

ISIS guide targets wannabe jihadists

Professor Greg Barton from the Monash Terrorism Research Centre discusses the purported ISIS suicide attacks in Iraq believed to involve Australian Jihadi Jake Bilardi.

Terror guide ... a document produced by the Islamic State offers tips for wannabe Australian jihadists. Source: Supplied

THE Islamic State has launched a step-by-step dossier to help would-be Australian jihadists flee the country and fight alongside the terror group.

The online guide, posted to sympathisers' social media network on March 14, includes details

and advice on how to use a vast online support network on home soil and, ultimately, slip through security cracks.

The support network was the very one used by Melbourne suicide bomber Jake Bilardi, who boasted in a blog of the ease of getting to Syria and then Iraq, where he blew himself up.

The new dossier, provided by an IS sympathiser, stresses the importance of contacts for foreign fighters travelling to Turkey from their country of origin. It even provides a series of 'Useful Twitter contacts who are in IS to Private Direct message'.

How-to guide ... experts say the document goes to the heart of the Islamic State's target group. Source: Supplied

While not as professional as the propaganda synonymous with the terror organisation, counterterrorism experts are convinced of its authenticity.

"It looks legit. The Islamic State does some professional work, but this looks like an amateur contribution," said Greg Barton, from Monash University's Global Terrorism Research Centre.

"With the Islamic State, it's a comet with a long tail. At the nucleus it's the slick media. Then

you have this long tail of foreign fighters and their supporters and social media postings. Islamic State seems to encourage all types of this."

Clarke Jones, a terrorism and radicalisation expert from the Australian National University (ANU) notes the document goes to the heart of IS's target group.

"The suggested routes and techniques all match up to the traditional smuggling routes ... they are certainly appealing to a young religiously ignorant target audience but the language they use also lines up," he said.

Horrific ... Melbourne teenager Jake Bilardi is believed to have died while carrying out a suicide bomb attack. Source: Supplied

The dossier contains sections such as 'How Islamic State members get into and out of Syria', and a section labelled 'Indepth (sic) Hijrah Advice: Suggested Setup (sic) for Packing'.

Some of the suggestions, while practical, could be viewed as somewhat laughable.

One section, for example, tells budding jihadis to bring a hair clipper: "If you're a brother, this is the quickest way to trim your moustache here, and if you like the Talafi buzzcut or egghead-style, then bring a bigger hair clipper. The ones which are cordless and work with rechargeable batteries are better."

Us versus them ... an ISIS video shows the training of child soldiers, who are referred to as "cubs". Source: Supplied

A camping lamp is also recommended because "they're good for illuminating a room and for other uses such as eating and whatnot".

And gloves are deemed essential: "(bring) shooting gloves, gloves for protection against the cold. Whatever you can get your hands on (or into!)".

Silma Ihram, a member of the Australian Muslim Women's Association based in Sydney, says youths are drawn to IS because the Australian government "continues to create an us versus them," mentality.

"Documents like these are a part of IS propaganda and is a terribly attractive alternative to

young men who don't fit into the Australian community," she said.

"There have been a number of promises, but we have not seen anything happen."

Chilling ... around 150 Australians are believed to be fighting overseas. Source: Facebook

There are an estimated 150 Australians fighting overseas with groups like Jabhat al-Nusra,

the Islamic State, the Free Syrian Army and Kurdish forces.

Australia's peak security body, ASIO, said in a statement it "... is concerned about Australians who travel overseas to participate in, or support, foreign conflicts. ASIO and law enforcement agencies are aware of the various methods used to influence individuals or groups in Australia to engage in violent extremism, including for the facilitation of travel to international conflicts."

Shared through a Twitter account — News Corp Australia has verified, but chosen not to name for legal reasons — the user claims the dossier is "the best guide ever where you find everything you need to know how to make Hejra (hijrah)".

Hijrah is the Arabic word which refers to the journey of Mohammed and his followers from Mecca to Medina sometime in the year 622 Common Era.

The document instructs recruits to, first and foremost, 'keep plans a secret'.

Beyond belief ... Jake Bilardi is thought to have carried out a suicide mission in Ramadi. Source: No Source

"People who leave to get to Syria do not tell anyone, not even family ... buy a 2 way ticket [go and return type] to avoid further suspicion," it states.

"When a person reaches Turkey, they will rent a hotel and make contact with someone in Syria.

This is often done by a known Twitter contact. A contact is important because once a person is in Turkey, they will require protection in addition to not knowing where to go to, or who to trust."

The dossier says that between 2012 to 2014 the most common method of crossing the border from Turkey to Syria was to enter Turkey, make contact with IS in Syria, then cross from the Bab al-Hawa and Baab al-Salaam crossing between Turkey and Syria.

Now, due to heightened security in Turkey, IS fighters are directed to get a hotel room on arrival in Turkey and contact their Twitter correspondence 'and they will together go to Sanliurfa in Turkey'.

Barbaric ... a video released by the Islamic State shows the training of child soldiers. Source: Supplied

The new route for 2014 to 2015 now leads them to the Tal Abyad border crossing and is considered safer as it's closer to al-Raqqa, a stronghold of IS.

It also mentions the existence of a number of safe houses throughout Turkey — used as staging points for not only wounded fighters exiting the conflict, but also new ones going in.

In these safe houses, the dossier claims fake passports are sometimes made to facilitate an easier transition from the border crossing.

It then tells the traveller that before crossing the border, to dress casually and not look religious as to not raise any suspicion.

If security is too tight, the dossier suggests: "You both look around, and if the coast is clear — they run as fast as they can into Syria, and get into a car of a friend and go to Raqqah. (there is a story of someone reaching Raqqah simply with google maps and a wire cutter [if any barbed wires come in the way])."

Prof Barton says the approach recommend is consistent with the landscape. "I had a PhD student head out to Turkey and view the crossings into Syria in October 2014 and it's pretty easy," he said.

Power and influence ... Greg Barton, of Monash University, describes the Islamic State as "a comet with a long tail". Source: Supplied

The dossier also lays out details on who to contact on Twitter and how to contact them on certain applications like Sure Spot. Sure Spot is an encrypted messenger application in order to protect conversations from being monitored.

The dossier amplifies the importance IS places on the internet.

Prof Barton said personal connections made through online sources and contacts provided in dossiers like these, along with IS's vast network, that sees young jihadis like Bilardi become attached.

"Once somebody reads something like this and it gives them a handle to contact a personal network, that type of information is really critical and makes a big difference."

IS confirmed Melbourne teen Bilardi had completed a suicide mission in Ramadi days after he was unmasked, on March 12, as a militant fighting alongside IS.

Two brothers from Sydney, aged 16 and 17, were days earlier intercepted by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection before they were able to board a plane to Turkey to fight in Syria.

The boys were stopped after their luggage was deemed suspicions by customs officials searching their bags.

The Customs and Border Protection Department would not comment on which items in the boys' bags set off the alarm bells.

At the end of the dossier, there are links to a series of ebooks, one titled the Islamic State, which includes battle strategies, diary from Mujahid (inner struggle), IS fighting techniques, special forces and more.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Real Housewife’s messy, drunken outburst

Pettifleur Berenger has joined the ladies on The Real Housewives of Melbourne

Say hello to this season's Real Housewives of Melbourne. Source: Foxtel

THIS week, Gamble has too much to drink and loses it at dinner. And how does Janet's date go with the man who promises her '15-minute orgasms'?

Professionally accredited bitch-switcher Pettifleur kicks off this week's episode of Real Housewives of Melbourne by taking her son Nathan to buy his first suit — despite the very real threat of attack from Natalia Kills.

MORE: Real Housewives ep 4 recap

"I want you to dress him up. He's got a great body, doesn't he? I say to him, you've got the cutest bum," she tells the male shop assistant, who looks as uncomfortable as you'd expect of someone asked to comment on the attractiveness of a teenage boy by his own mother on television.

"How do I look, Mum?" "As an artist who respects creative integrity and intellectual property, I am disgusted at how much you have copied my husband…" Source: Foxtel

"You know, I love a man who has SERIOUS SPUNK," Pettifleur informs the shop assistant. He appears visibly upset.

"I swear I'll switch the bitch if you never shout 'SERIOUS SPUNK' at me again." Source: Foxtel

Putting the finishing touches on her son's outfit, Pettifleur realises there's one thing missing from her little shopping trip: she hasn't yet sufficiently denigrated the poor guy who's being paid to help her. Despite being in the middle of a store filled with literally hundreds of new ties for sale, she demands the tie from around the sales assistant's neck.

"It was a no-brainer — you're here to serve me, I can have your tie." You're right Pettifleur, there were literally no brains involved.

Next we're with Gina, who's bringing Gamble as her date to a charity event where she'll be auctioning off one of her trademark 'Dolly Parton does Mykonos' spangly gowns.

"I love being Gina's date … it's the lesbian in me," says Gamble. Announcing you have a lesbian inside you does nothing to quell those rumours about your … appetites, Gamble.

"I adore Gina, but I'm not sure how she feels about me. That's OK, we're getting there. Baby steps. I'm in love," she gushes.

So what exactly does Gina think of her new pal?

"Gamble is a great support. I think she's a bit of a fan, really," she says, humbly.

Gina takes to the stage for the charity auction, while Gamble looks on lovingly:

Gamble, basking in the eighth world wonder that is Gina Liano. Source: Foxtel

"I have been described as looking fierce in that dress, so I hope whoever acquires it will have the opportunity to look fierce as well," Gina tells the crowd as her frock goes under the hammer. And just who's going to look fierce in it? THESE DUDES:

Did you know that if there are no gays nearby to compliment her, Gina Liano will enter a state of hibernation akin to the North American Grizzly Bear? Source: Foxtel

"The successful bidder on the dress was a dentist and his partner. I'm not sure what they're going to do with the dress … I could perish a few thoughts," says Gina, who's clearly hankering for an invite to whatever these boys have got planned.

Across town and, because her insatiable thirst for the D knows no bounds, Janet's giving speed dating a go. 'Toy boy cougar' speed dating, to be specific. She's brought Jackie along for emotional and psychic support.

Now, it must be said that some of these boys are young. Like, To Catch A Predator young.

My, what a handsome foetus. Source: Foxtel

"I prefer to date a younger man, because why would I want to spend my spare time pushing around someone in a wheelchair?"

We're not quite following that leap of logic, but duly noted, Disability Discrimination Commissioner Janet Roach.

Jackie gives Janet a last-minute bestial pep talk, telling her she's a "motherf*cking whipping horse who's got to whip it up," and Janet responds by launching into her now-iconic helicopter-hand Gamble impersonation.

"Eeeeeeeeeverybooooooody, I'm gonna do Eeeeeeeeverybooooooody!" Source: Foxtel

Sitting down to her first date, Janet pulls straight from her bank of pre-prepared questions: "If aliens came and asked you to go back to their planet, would you go with them?"

"Definitely," Bachelor Number One says, looking like he'd rather appreciate the offer right about now.

Bachelor Number Two, resplendent in ketchup-coloured slacks and a fetching sexpest goatee, sinks into the couch next to Janet and immediately announces that he's looking to be "a kept man."

She's thoroughly unimpressed until ol' sauce-slacks announces that he's a 'Life, Sex and Relationship Coach' who "helps his female clients have 15-minute orgasms."

WELL. Janet perks right up.


She's even more impressed by Bachelor Number Three, a handsome chap, and reaches even further into her arsenal of first date questions to ask: What makes him cry?

He ponders the questions for a moment and says that he's always very emotionally affected by cases of animal abuse.


We're honestly not sure whether she's for or against animal cruelty, such is the wide-eyed enthusiasm of her response.

The next day, Jackie, Chyka and Pettifleur catch up for lunch and it's immediately clear Pettifleur STILL hasn't completed her assigned online module in Witty Housewife Quips.

"So, I hear that Gamble has lost her fur," she announces to the table. Jackie responds with this vacant stare:

When even the psychic doesn't have clue what you're on about, you're in trouble. Source: Foxtel

"As in … because … the claws have come out," she clarifies. Pettifleur, that was a 4/10 at best — please see us after class.

Jackie then fills Pettifleur in about the stripper/prostitute/Japanese body pillow rumours swirling around Gamble. Hang on a minute, hasn't everyone on this goddamn show been informed of these rumours on at least three separate occasions?

Pettifleur feigns interest, but there's really one thing she wants to know — whats does everyone think about HER.

"OK, that's very interesting, but on the Gamble situation, what's she been saying about me?"


"Uh … I don't think she's said anything about you," Chyka finally says. AWK-WARD.

Next we're with Jackie and Ben, who are meeting with Giant Model Management (note: models not actual medical giants), as they're on the hunt for someone to be the face of La Mascara. If you ask us, this is the only face of La Mascara:

#shineshineshine Source: Foxtel


Sitting down with Lucy and Richard, two scouts from the agency, Jackie and Ben sift through a stack of headshots. Within minutes, Jackie's forgotten that she's here to find the face of her company, and instead starts offering impromptu psychic readings on each of the models, based on the 'vibe' she senses from their pictures.

"I can feel their sadness, I can feel their passion, I can feel what they're going through," she insists, running her hands over the headshots spread across the table like she's Tyra Banks having a crack at a ouija board on a Very Special Halloween Episode of America's Next Top Model.

"My senses tell me this woman was once an extra on All Saints" "Jackie you're just reading the back of the headshot" "Ben didn't I tell you to wait in the car." Source: Foxtel

"She's got to stop bitching. I'll tell her that," she says of one model.

Of another: "She plays guitar! I'm going to ask her when I see her."

Picking up a picture of a model who looks to be about 19, Jackie announces: "She's got five children!"

Not one to get left behind, Lucy then taps into HER incredible psychic abilities. Taking the headshot from Jackie, she announces there's "something incredibly sad" about the model.

To the gorgeous young woman wondering why you never got a callback for that La Mascara gig, now you know: apparently you resemble a depressed mother-of-five. Soz babes.

Later, Chyka and Bruce hold their big dinner for the other housewives and their partners. In true Chyka and Bruce Smug Married style, they've put on rather a showy meal, with courses involving all sorts of unusual foods — including green pea soup served in a test tube. Not everybody's loving it.

"Can we move onto the main course? I'm meeting a dentist and his boyfriend at Stonewall later for amateur drag night." Source: Foxtel

Sitting down to dinner, Lydia tells the group about her recent trip to Florence for her son's wedding. She tearfully explains how proud she feels to see her little boy all grown up, because "deep down, you never truly believe you're a great mother, you know?"

"I do," Gina pipes up with a shrug. "I believe I'M a great mother." #unapologeticgina

Lydia then reveals that she's always been especially close to her son because she'd earlier lost a child at birth when she was just 21.

"Anton is my boy with two souls," she says softly, tears in her eyes. The table falls silent.

"There's a lot of tragedy in women's lives. Most women our age have had something awful happen to them. It's good that she can share — not all of us can," Gamble says.

It's an unexpectedly poignant moment of reflection.

Don't worry, it soon passes. Between courses, Gamble sidles up next to Pettifleur so the pair can trade thinly-veiled barbs. Gamble's dubbed Pettifleur "Nouveau Riche Barbie," which she sweetly insists is "not an insult."

"And what's your background? Do you have old money, or…?" Pettifleur responds.

They're both about five seconds away from going each other with the nearest steak knife.


"So are you finished with me, Pettifleur? Why don't you get to know someone before you start talking crap about them?"

With that, a now unsteady-on-her-feet Gamble saunters back up to the other end of the table … and promptly starts on Janet.

"You called me a stripper and a prostitute and a sex party whore, and NONE of those things are true!"

We know, Gamble. WE KNOW.

As she shouts incoherently at Janet, throwing accusations left and right, even Gamble's fiance Rick sides with the others, quietly suggesting to her that it's time to move on.

She does not take this suggestion well.

"Can we leave now Rick? I want to go home. LET'S JUST GO HOME RICK."

As Chyka and Bruce encourage Gamble to stay, she slumps forward on the table, sighing.

"I don't know … maybe I'm just a bit tired and drunk. I don't know much, but I think you and Bruce are absolutely beauuuuuutiful."

"Mate, I'm not just sayin' this, but I love roolly love youse guys. Where'd I put me f****' drink?" Source: Foxtel

Yes, she's acting like a total a trainwreck, but we've all been THAT girl at a party, haven't we? Order the woman a kebab and an Uber before she takes her top off.

The next day, while Gamble no doubt nurses a massive hangover, Janet and Pettifleur — who it must be said don't appear to enjoy each other's company in the slightest — meet for a coffee to discuss the one topic upon which they can agree: their mutual disdain for Gamble. Noted rap enthusiast Janet quotes Kanye West verbatim to describe her feelings about the woman:

"It's just like the song: I ain't saying she's a gold digger, but she ain't messing with no broke … dudes … either."

"NAILED IT. Yeah, big Kayne East fan here." Source: Foxtel

NEXT WEEK: Oh GOD it looks like a goodun': Gamble invites the girls up to Sydney to hang with her crew and it gets MESSY. Gamble's sister berates Janet at a party, Janet flees in horror, then Gamble and Janet have a physical altercation outside an Irish pub in front of a crowd of drunk onlookers:

INCREDIBLE. Source: Foxtel

The Real Housewives of Melbourne screens 8:30pm Sunday's on Foxtel's Arena Channel — come back right after each episode airs to read our full recap.

In the mean time, join our recapped Nick Bond, who also has five children and an unshakable air of sadness, on Twitter (@bondnickbond).

Join in the conversation and get the latest entertainment news on our Facebook page.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Ex-Muslim calls for end of Islam

Death threats ... author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali says Islam is 'unique in its atrocity'. Source: News Limited

THERE was a time when author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali believed it all.

She believed that, according to Islam, the infidel should die, that the Koran is infallible, that those who violated sharia law — thieves, gays, adulterers — deserved to be stoned to death or beheaded, as they were each Friday in a public gathering place she and her brother called "Chop-Chop Square."

Today, she is that rare thing: a public intellectual who, despite death threats and charges of bigotry, calls for an end to Islam — not just as the faithful know it, but as we in the West think we know it.

'Snapped out of it' ... author Ayaan Hirsi Ali's suggested amendments to Islam are shocking to the faithful. Picture: Amos Aikman Source: News Corp Australia

"The assumption is that, in Islam, there are a few rotten apples, not the entire basket," Ali tells The New York Post. "I'm saying it's the entire basket."

In her book, Heretic, Ali argues for a complete reformation of Islam, akin to the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. Though her own education led her to reject Islam and declare herself an atheist, she believes that for the world's 1.6 billion Muslims, there must be another way.

"If you are a child brought up to believe that Islam is a source of morality" — as she was, in Africa and Saudi Arabia — "the Muslim framework presents you with the Koran and the hijab. I don't want to be cruel and say, 'You grow up and you snap out of it.' But maybe we who have snapped out of it have not done our best to appeal to those still in it," she says.

A 'Useless' Label

In Heretic, Ali says there are three kinds of Muslims. There are the violent, the reformers, and what she believes is the largest group — those who want to practice as they see fit and live peaceably but do not challenge the Koran, the Muslim world's treatment of women and the LGBT community, or terrorist attacks committed in the name of Islam.

Yet she refuses to label this group as moderate. She believes they have done nothing to deserve it. "I've never believed in the word," Ali says. "It's totally useless. I think we're in a time now where we demand answers from Muslims and say, 'Whose side are you on?' "

Raised Muslim ... Ayaan Hirsi Ali used to believe the Koran was infallible. Source: News Limited

Rejecting Islam ... Ali's 'Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now'. Picture: AP Photo/HarperCollins Source: AP

Ali argues for five amendments to the faith. "Only when these five things are recognised as inherently harmful and when they are repudiated and nullified," she writes, "will a true Muslim reformation have been achieved."

Those five notions are:

• The infallibility of the Prophet Mohammed and the literal interpretation of the Koran

• The idea that life after death is more important than life on earth

• Sharia law

• Allowing any Muslim to enforce ideas of right and wrong on another

• Jihad, or holy war

Rejecting these ideas, some of which date to the seventh century, is a shocking proposition to the faithful.

"The biggest obstacle to change within the Muslim world," Ali writes, "is precisely its suppression of the sort of critical thinking I am attempting here."

Dissent and Die

Ali has first-hand experience. In November 2004, after collaborating with the Dutch artist Theo van Gogh on the documentary Submission — which criticised the Muslim world's abuse of women — van Gogh was shot to death by a Dutch-Moroccan Muslim. The assassin attempted to decapitate him and stabbed him in the chest, leaving a note affixed by the knife. It was a death threat against Ali.

She was forced into seclusion and given a 24-hour security detail. Today, she lives with her husband and young son in the United States yet remains a target.

"In no other modern religion," Ali writes, "is dissent still a crime, punishable by death."

She knows the greatest criticism she faces is that she is Islamophobic, that she is accusing all Muslims of adhering to jihad, to abuse, to the establishment of a caliphate.

In the book, Ali cites a 2013 report by the Pew Research Center on Muslims' beliefs. It found that in Pakistan, 75 per cent think those who leave Islam should be put to death. In Bangladesh, 43 per cent thought so. In Iraq, 41 per cent.

Those who believe sharia is the infallible word of God: 81 per cent in Pakistan, 65 per cent in Bangladesh and 69 per cent in Iraq.

She also cites a 2007 Pew study that found that among 18- to 29-year-old American Muslims, seven per cent had favourable opinions of al Qaeda, and they were twice as likely as older Muslims to believe suicide bombings in the name of their religion were warranted.

War of Ideology

This is where Ali thinks the US administration under president Barack Obama has failed.

"He has acknowledged Islamophobia, which is the worst thing you can do for Muslims who are trying to turn things around," she says. Whether it's ISIS or al Qaeda or the Taliban or so-called lone wolves — such as the Boston Marathon bombers or the Charlie Hebdo attackers or the suicide bomber who blew up 15 Christians in Pakistan last week or the ISIS suicide bombing that left 137 fellow Muslims dead — when these people say they are killing in the name of true Islam, Ali says, believe them.

Delicate balance ... Ayaan Hirsi Ali says US president Barack Obama's acknowledgment of Islamophobia is a mistake. Picture: AP Photo/Susan Walsh Source: AP

She accepts that Mr Obama's administration is attempting a delicate balance — that to declare war on Islam is exactly what these fighters want — but says more can be done.

"Obama is saying, 'Listen, Muslims, I'm on your side. I respect your beliefs, and I'd like you to help me fight these attacks committed in the name of your religion,' " Ali says. "He's delivering, and they're not."

Western Europe, she says, is turning away from the threat of self-segregating Islamic immigrants at its grave peril. A 2009 study by the think tank Citivas found 85 operational sharia courts in Great Britain alone.

"I think with the Arab world, the West thinks we're fighting an inferior enemy," Ali says. "Look at the language we use: It's jihad, it's insurgency, it's asymmetric." Ali thinks the West, and the US especially, should look to the lessons of the Cold War and recognise we are waging a battle of ideas — that in 17 Muslim majority nations, the state religion is Islam.

"We did not say the Soviet system was morally equivalent to ours; nor did we proclaim that Soviet communism was an ideology of peace," Ali writes. "In much the same way, we need to recognise that this is an ideological conflict that will not be won until the concept of jihad itself has been decommissioned."

The 'Mother Lode'

The greatest obstacle to an Islamic reformation is the diffuse nature of the religion itself. Unlike Catholicism, there is no leader, no papal equivalent to endorse or denounce jihad. In fact, there is no hierarchy of any kind, and any man who wishes can declare himself an imam.

Meanwhile, groups such as ISIS, al Qaeda and the Taliban are successful precisely because they have top-down leadership, codified warfare and an explicit, simple goal. "These groups are adapting to modern technology, to modern innovations in organisation and management," Ali says. "They know that without a hierarchy, human beings understand nothing."

She is gratified by the stance taken by Sam Harris, a prominent American neuroscientist and author of The End of Faith.

"Sam realises that among religions, Islam is unique in its atrocity, that everything we said about [violence in] Christianity and Judaism was hundreds of years ago. He calls Islam 'the mother lode of bad ideas,' which is extremely brave," she says.

With Heretic, Ali is calling on those Muslims who reject jihad, acts of terror, and the subjugation of women and infidels to organise, to challenge, to speak out loudly and often against violence committed in the name of Allah — and she is calling on the West, to actively demand it.

"This is a transformation of the West as we know it," she says. "We're at the beginning, and what we do right now is going to be consequential."

This story first ran in the New York Post.

Transformation ... Ali is calling on those Muslims who reject jihad, acts of terror, and the subjugation of women and infidels to speak out. Source: Supplied

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The man who’ll take Sukumaran’s cell

Kadek Arya inmate who got job as parking man in Kerobokan jail will be one of four inmates will move to the ex Myuran Sukumaran's cell Source: News Corp Australia

IT IS a moment that Si Yi Chen will never forget for the rest of his life.

In the pre-dawn, as armoured personnel carriers waited to take him away, Myuran Sukumaran grasped Chen's hand through the cell bars and asked him and fellow Bali Nine member Matthew Norman to take care of his beloved rehabilitation programs and the fellow prisoners in them.

That was 20 days ago and still now, sometimes Si Yi Chen thinks he hears a familiar voice.

Desperate times ... Si Yi Chen, with fellow Bali Nine member Matthew Norman, says he is struggling to cope after Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan's departure. Picture: Lukman S.Bintoro Source: News Limited

Since Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan walked out of Kerobokan jail their cellmates of 10 years have been living their own personal trauma, grieving the loss of people who were like family.

And there is a gap that cannot be filled.

Facing the firing squad ... Bali Nine ringleader Myuran Sukumaran pictured on the airport tarmac before boarding the plane to be transferred to Nusakambangan Island. Source: Supplied

Speaking through his mentor and friend, Joanna Witt, Chen, tells of the anguish of losing Sukumaran, the friend with whom he shared so much of his life and with whom he built and shared a vision to make life better for other inmates.

"Life without Myu is still hard to accept. Sometimes I think I hear their voices. We helped each other a lot when he is here so (it) needs time to adjust," Chen says through Ms Witt.

Rehabilitation program ... Bali Nine member Si Yi Chen learned to be silver smith assisted and sponsored by Canadian Joanna Witt (right) in Kerobokan jail. Picture: Lukman S Bintoro Source: News Limited

"The others feel the same and we are still praying and hoping for a miracle," he says of the wishes of all those in Kerobokan whose lives were touched by Chan and Sukumaran.

Chen, who turned 30 last week, says the gap left by their departure, for Nusakambangan where authorities want them executed, is big.

"We lived together for almost 10 years and we are like family and it is like someone from the family moved out and we expect them to come back."

Now Chen, who five years ago started a silver workshop and rehabilitation program in the jail with the assistance of Ms Witt, which is called Mule Jewels, is focusing all his energies on helping as many other prisoners as he can.

Rehabilitation programs ... Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were focused on helping their fellow prisoners. Source: Supplied

"People do change after 10 years, after seeing what drugs do to people and their families and we knew that we made a stupid mistake to do that and that's why we try to help people as much as we can," Chen says.

He and the others plan to keep the rehabilitation programs running.

And they are not giving up hope that one day, Sukumaran and Chan will be back at Kerobokan.

But for now the cells which Sukumaran and Chan made home for the best part of a decade are being repainted for new occupants. And the balance has shifted. Once there were eight Australians in the Tower Block, so-called because it is under a water tower. Now there are

three — Chen, Matthew Norman and Michael Czugaj.

Changes ... plans are now under way for four Indonesian prisoners to move into Myuran Sukumaran's old cell. Source: Supplied

Sukumaran had been in a cell on his own in the tower and Chan was sharing with an Iranian prisoner.

Plans are now under way for four Indonesian prisoners, who are at their end of their sentences for child sex offences, to move into Sukumaran's old cell. They are the prisoners whose job is to help the jail Governor, known as tamping. One is the parking man, who keeps control of the chaotic parking area at the front of the jail.

Kerobokan prison ... inmate Kadek Arya — who works as a parking attendant at the jail — will move to Myuran Sukumaran's former cell. Source: News Corp Australia

Jail governor, Sudjonggo, says the cell is currently being painted in readiness for the four.

And Chan's old cell will now be taken over by guards, to be used as a tower security post for the guards to shelter from the rain and sun.

Scott Rush is in Karangemsem jail in East Bali, after requesting a move and Martin Stephens and Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen are in Malang in East Java.

The only female member of the Bali Nine — Renae Lawrence — is in Bangli jail in Bali, moved after a plot against prison guards was uncovered.

Anguish ... a portrait of Si Yi Chen by Myuran Sukumaran. Source: News Limited

A dedicated group of women who have been at Kerobokan prison now for years, helping the Australians set up and run a raft of rehabilitation programs — Sukumaran's beloved art workshop, the silver jewellery workshop, English and computing classes, screen printing, graphic design, yoga, dance and so many others — are determined to help the prisoners ensure the programs continue.

"One of the last things he (Sukumaran) said to Si Yi was 'mind the workshops'. The way we are looking at it is that we are just minding them for now. We always talk as if he is returning," Ms Witt told News Corp Australia.

"There is a lot of healing going on in there (the jail) right now and there is a lot of grief, including the guards. There is a huge gap and we are going to hold this together until he comes back," she said.

Now in Bangli ... Bali Nine member Renae Lawrence was moved from Kerobokan prison after a plot against prison guards was uncovered. Source: News Limited

Ms Witt, from Canada and a longtime Bali resident, first started going into Kerobokan prison five years ago after hearing that Chen wanted to learn to be a silversmith. Initially it was private lessons and that grew into workshops for fellow prisoners, which they dubbed Mule Jewels. Chen learned the art and now teaches fellow Indonesian prisoners.

Denise Payne, who started running yoga classes in the jail four years ago, and who did yoga with Sukumaran in his final days at the jail, says Sukumaran's presence still looms large in the art workshop, which became his haven as his passion for art grew.

Art ... Myuran Sukumaran's painting of Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Picture: Zul Edoardo Source: News Corp Australia

Plea ... the back of the "Jokowi" painting tellingly reads "people can change". Picture: Zul Edoardo Source: News Corp Australia

Sukumaran's table is still there in the same spot. His paints are still laid out by colour, the way he liked it. His mixes are still there, the way he arranged them.

"In the art studio they have not moved Myu's table. Every time I go in there and look at it, everybody stops what they are doing and looks at it with me," Ms Payne says, tears in her eyes.

"For the people in the painting studio, they have to redefine who they are as artists without Myu. People counted on him, if somebody needed him he was there," she says.

Expression ... the smudged self-portrait was exhibited in The Netherlands on Friday. Source: Supplied

Therapy ... one of Sukermaran's darker pieces, painted before his transfer to the prison island. Source: Supplied

Sukumaran and Chan's reach went further than just the rehabilitation programs and Chan's ministry to prisoners. If prisoners did not have enough food, they made sure no-one went hungry. They counselled and supported countless numbers of Indonesian prisoners, even ensuring

their children went to school and those who needed medical procedures got them.

In his final weeks in Kerobokan Chan was officially ordained as a Pastor.

Tina Bailey, who conducts drawing and dance classes in the jail, and who will visit Sukumaran at Nusa Kambangan this week, says she and the others will work with the prisoners to build a structure to ensure that the programs continue.

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‘No-one knew he was in there’

'Ghost Boy' tells the incredible story of Martin Pistorius, a man who was trapped in a vegetative state for 12 years. Courtesy Thomas Nelson

Miracle return. Martin Pistorius (right) on the mend. Picture: 60 Minutes. Source: Supplied

MARTIN Pistorius was a bright, fun-loving, happy young boy until one day, a mystery illness changed his life forever.

Trapped in a virtual coma he lost everything that enabled him to function in the outside world.

His intelligence, his memory and his ability to function were all gone.

In a heartwarming interview with 60 Minutes, which aired tonight, reporter Tara Brown discovers the miracle journey of Martin Pistorius's incredible return to life.


In January 1988 Pistorius was 12 and living in South Africa when he returned from school early complaining of a sore throat.

In the following months, his body weakened.

His muscles wasted away and his hands and feet curled like claws before he fell into a coma.

The young boy was diagnosed with Cryptococci meningitis and tuberculosis of the brain, but doctors weren't really sure what was wrong with him.

Martin's parents had to endure the horror as their young boy slipped away into illness and was held prisoner inside his own body for more than a decade.

Martin Pistorius went into a coma at age 12. Picture: 60 Minutes. Source: Supplied

But after all hope was lost, there was one nurse who would save him.

Martin started to slowly come back to life — but no one knew he was "in there".

And he had no way of telling anyone.

It took another six more painful years before he could see and hear everything.

"I think probably the scariest thing for me was probably that I never saw this thing would change," Martin told 60 Minutes through a computer voice system.

He told the program he didn't have any memories from childhood and can only piece it together through photos.

His parents Joan and Rodney said it was shattering when he stopped talking then would grunt before also losing that ability.

Speaking about all those lost years Rodney said: "He was basically an entity that was there. We were told Martin had the mental age of a three month old."

His mother was so devastated at her son's illness she even attempted suicide, unable to accept what her son had become.

"The child that I knew had died," she said.

Painfully aware ... Martin Pistorius could hear and see everything around him but couldn't communicate. Picture: YouTube/Thomas Nelson Source: Supplied

As he began to slowly regain some mind consciousness he said it was like his mind was focusing but his body wasn't there.

He was like a silent witness to events including the September 11 attacks.

"I tried hard to communicate but when I realised it wasn't working I gave up trying," he said.

But it was his mother telling him to die which devastated him the most.

"My mother turned to me and told me I must die, it was difficult to hear particularly coming from my mum," he said.

Those words came back to haunt her when she realised he could hear her.

"I was absolutely horrified that he actually understood that, what mother says that to her child?" she said.

Martin also told the program his greatest fear was dying in a care home where he says he was abused.

Then one miraculous day, a relief nurse saw that behind Martin's eyes was an incredibly bright brain at work.

"Happiness surged through me. I was Muhammad Ali, John McEnroe, Fred Trueman. Crowds roared their approval as I took a lap of honour," Pistorius said of the moment his therapist Virna Vanderwalt acknowledged his consciousness.

With Vanderwalt's help Martin proved his awakening and began his inspiring journey back to life.

At her request, Pistorius' parents sent him to the Centre For Augmentative And Alternative Communication at the University of Pretoria where tests confirmed he was aware and could respond to statements.

His parents bought him a computer with communication software. After years of therapy and intense computer-based exercises, he was able to use a computer to write messages and operate a synthetic voice. He taught himself to read and write.

Now he has finished school and university, moved countries and has a successful career — all without speaking a word.

He has also discovered something much more elusive, which he never thought he'd experience — Martin has found true love with his wife Joanna.

He told the program he was so nervous about proposing to her, he almost dropped the ring and had recorded his message for her to hear.

Pistorius proposed to Joanna in a hot-air balloon in December 2008 before they wed in June 2009.

"I feel like saying yes again," she told the show.

The couple, now living in the UK, have also revealed they would love to start a family.

"It was she (Joanna) who has taught me to understand the true meaning of the Bible passage we were having read at the service: 'There are three things that will endure — faith, hope and love — and the greatest of these is love'," Pistorius said.

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Jeremy Clarkson’s at it again

Just kidding ... Jeremy Clarkson says his verbal attack on BBC executives was all in good humour. Picture: AP Source: AP

JEREMY Clarkson claims he was joking when he appeared to call BBC bosses "f***ing bastards" in an expletive-laden rant at a charity event.

The currently-suspended Top Gear presenter said he woke up on Friday to the news his speech at the charity gala for young people in London the previous evening had been videoed, and was told off by his lawyer.

Clarkson, who was suspended after allegedly punching producer Oisin Tymon during a row which took place after filming, had appeared to suggest he may be sacked from the popular show and criticised the corporation's executives.

"To be in the audience of Top Gear there was an 18-year waiting list," he told those gathered.

Turbulent time ... Clarkson is under investigation for allegedly punching a producer. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

"You know the BBC has f***ed themselves, and so who gives a f***? It was a great show and they f***ed it up."

During the event, Clarkson also offered one lap around the Top Gear track for auction, Britain's Mirror reports.

"I'll drive somebody around in whatever I can get hold of. I'm sacked so it's probably an Austin Maestro," he said.

"But anyway it will be my last ever lap of the Top Gear track."

Sending in the big guns ... Top Gear test driver The Stig drove a tank to the BBC to deliver a petition in support of Clarkson. Source: Twitter

He added: "I didn't foresee my sacking but I would like to do one last lap. So I'll go down to Surrey and I'll do one last lap of that track before the f***ing bastards sack me."

Writing afterwards in The Sunday Times, Clarkson said it had all been in good humour.

"But it was all meant in jest and anyway it worked," he said.

"By being brief, controversial and a bit sweary I woke the room up and the auction prize I was offering — one last lap of the Top Gear test track — raised STG100,000 ($193,050)."

A petition to have Clarkson reinstated on Top Gear has gathered almost one million signatures and was delivered by tank to BBC headquarters in London on Friday.

Clarkson tweeted his thanks to supporters but declared in his column in The Sun on Saturday that "protest never works".

His future at the BBC is likely to be decided this week when the corporation's internal investigation into his behaviour is handed over to the director-general.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More
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