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Rock-throwing NT kids threatened with care

Written By kemala yuspita on Rabu, 15 April 2015 | 21.31

IF the parents of children responsible for attacking authorities and damaging property in Alice Springs can't control them they'll be taken into care, the NT chief minister has warned.

ADAM Giles says he won't tolerate a situation, which early on Tuesday escalated to a group of more than 50 youths throwing rocks at police, starting several fires and damaging property in the central Australian town.

Police say they are concerned they are being targeted.Over the past two weeks there have been other rock-throwing incidents, one resulting in a damaged ambulance being taken off the road.The government says many of the young people responsible are from outlying, predominantly indigenous communities.Over Easter, Alice Springs hosted a metal concert, a national bike race and the AFL's Lightning Cup Carnival, with many attendees staying on for the school holidays.But there have been numerous reports of property damage since."I'm giving the parents of the children responsible for this spate of violence a very clear message: get your kids off the streets, get them back to communities and back into school," Mr Giles said in a statement late on Wednesday."Otherwise, these children will be regarded as requiring protection and we will take immediate action. Parents should not doubt our resolve to do this."Any school-age child found on the streets during school hours will now be issued with a $298 fine by school attendance officers.Minister for Children and Families John Elferink said he had directed the department "to take strong action" and put children into care where legally possible."Normally the department would see this as a last resort and be willing to work with parents but these are not normal circumstances," he said."If parents don't want to see their children in care then they need to get off the grog and head back to their home community."The government will organise bus transport for families to get them home.Mr Giles said in light of the violence the government is reconsidering supporting the Lightning Cup Carnival next year."If the organisers want taxpayers support, they best think long and hard about how they conduct their event and how to reduce the impact it has created on the town in the subsequent days," he warned.

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Charges dropped for cop who kicked teen

Assault charges have been dropped against a NSW police officer who kicked a teen during an arrest. Source: AAP

A NSW police officer who forcefully kicked a teenage boy in the face during an arrest in Sydney's west will walk free from court after charges against him were dismissed.

SENIOR Constable Chad Owen Halliday, 37, was hugged by his jubilant family as Magistrate Jacqueline Milledge, herself a former NSW police officer, said the crown has failed to prove the assault occasioning actual bodily harm charge, in a hearing on Wednesday.

During an earlier hearing, Halliday told the court the kick to the face of Aaron Borthwick last May was a standard police tactic he used out of concern for his safety.Borthwick had been a passenger in a stolen Audi, and after police were led on a long chase he bailed from the car, hopped over three fences and tried to hide in a small hole under the patio of an Emu Plains home in early morning darkness.Borthwick, who was 17 at the time, and the others in the stolen car were determined to avoid arrest at all cost, Ms Milledge said.Several police officers present during the arrest gave varying versions of events with discrepancies in the locations of officers, how many torches were on and the state of Borthwick.Borthwick, Ms Milledge found, was hiding in the hole, which measured about one metre by one metre, for about five minutes before he heard voices.Halliday, a dog handler, told Borthwick to leave the hole and threatened to set his animal on the teen if he didn't comply.But as Borthwick was getting out of the hole he hesitated and Halliday saw him going for what he thought could be a weapon in his pants.He kicked the teen's face in what he said was a reasonable use of force."What Halliday did in the circumstances was understandable," Ms Milledge said.Halliday pleaded not guilty to the assault last August.After the charges were dismissed, Halliday indicated he would pursue the state for costs.

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Minister apologises to dad for FSH death

The WA health minister has apologised to the father of a man who died at Perth's new hospital. Source: AAP

HEALTH minister Kim Hames has apologised to the father of a man who died at Perth's new Fiona Stanley Hospital after he was given the wrong drug.

JARED Olsen, 41, went to the hospital with stomach pains that were suspected to be caused by Crohn's disease.

Mr Olsen was prescribed mercaptopurine - a strong drug usually used to treat leukaemia and sometimes Crohn's.He was also tested to see if he had the enzyme TPMT, which is needed to prevent the potentially life-threatening side effects of the drug.But Mr Olsen's father Phillip said the results of the test were never followed up and he found his son weeks later collapsed in the shower in a pool of his own blood and faeces.Mr Olsen was rushed to hospital but died on March 5 from suspected organ failure.It was revealed earlier this month that in a letter written in November, staff warned of "significant clinical and financial consequences" from cutbacks to the inflammatory bowel disease service, which used to be housed at Fremantle Hospital.The health minister had initially said the specialist service had been transferred completely across to FSH but later conceded that the advice he had received was wrong.Mr Olsen told Fairfax radio on Wednesday that Dr Hames had called him and his daughter to offer a personal apology for the treatment that caused his son's death."I have no reason to believe that he wasn't genuine about that apology," Mr Olsen said."He was fairly critical of those people advising him."One wonders if those advisers are still working for the minister."Mr Olsen said Dr Hames told him the service would be brought back to its original standard and that he had asked for a coronial inquest to be held into his son's death.

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Banana growers to pay levy to fight fungus

Queensland banana growers may pay a levy to help farmers struck down with a fungal disease. Source: AAP

BANANA growers unaffected by a destructive fungal disease are being asked to chip in to help keep infected farms afloat.

THE Australian Banana Growers' Council spruiked the idea of a voluntary levy at three industry meetings in Queensland this week.

The payment would see one cent for every kilogram of fruit marketed being redirected to the North Queensland farms struck down with the Panama Tropical Race 4 disease (TR4).So far, two plantations have tested positive for the ruinous fungus.Most of the 400-odd growers who attended the meetings were "generally supportive", ABGC chair Doug Phillips said.The industry body is also proposing the introduction of minimum-standards protocols that could allow the infected farms to keep operating.It comes as two international experts prepare to fly to Australia an industry conference in June.Professor Altus Viljoen from South Africa and Dr Chih-Ping Chao, Director of the Taiwan Banana Research Institute, will attend the Banana Industry Congress in Melbourne in June.Both are specialists in Panama TR4, the soil-borne disease that wiped out the Northern Territory's banana industry in the 1990s.Notably, it attacks the banana plant and not the fruit.

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Nokia to buy Alcatel-Lucent for $A21b

Finland's Nokia has confirmed it is acquiring French telecom company Alcatel-Lucent for $A21.64bn. Source: AAP

NOKIA has struck a 15.6 billion euro ($A21.64 billion) deal to buy its rival Alcatel-Lucent to create the world's biggest supplier of mobile phone network equipment.

THE Finnish telecom giant on Wednesday agreed to give shareholders in its Franco-American rival 0.55 shares in the new merged company for every one of their own.

The new group "will be uniquely positioned to create the foundation of seamless connectivity for people and things wherever they are," Nokia's statement said.It will go by the name Nokia, be based in Finland, and be run by Nokia's current management team, it said.The group is targeting savings of 900 million euros in costs by the end of 2019 without further job cuts following the restructuring, both companies said, adding the merger should save an additional 200 million euros in financial charges.Alcatel-Lucent boss Michel Combes, told French TV channel BFM Business the new group was committed to "increasing R&D activities in France by 25 per cent" by hiring 500 additional researchers, bringing the total research and development workforce in the country to 2,500."The new group's innovation and research capabilities on a global scale will be spearheaded in France," he said.The French government said on Tuesday it was concerned about jobs disappearing in France if the merger were to go through.Rumours have swirled since December of a possible deal between the two firms, with France's Les Echos reporting on Monday that executives had been in negotiations since January.Nokia was the world's biggest mobile phone maker for more than a decade until it was overtaken by South Korea's Samsung in 2012.Then in 2014, Nokia sold its mobile phone and tablet division to US software giant Microsoft, and the company now develops mobile and internet network infrastructures for operators.Nokia is now set for a significant boost in market share.The deal will also help Nokia bolster its mobile infrastructure business against Swedish arch-rival Ericsson and China's Huawei, profiting from Alcatel's position as a leading supplier of 4G and LTE mobile networks and related services.

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Ellis trial hears of Bali kitchen killing

THE violent details of an Australian businessman's murder in his own Bali villa have been aired in the trial of his wife, who is accused of ordering the hit.

NOOR Ellis faces charges of pre-meditated murder over the death of her husband of 25-years, Robert Ellis, whose body was found in a rice field last October.

Also known as Julaikah Noor Aini, Ellis could face the death penalty.In her defence she claims she only asked her maid's boyfriend to take care of her problems with her husband, not kill him.But the trial has already heard from the maid, and a second maid, that the order was given to kill Mr Ellis.On Wednesday, the man who cut Mr Ellis' throat, 23-year-old Urbanus Yohanes Ghoghi, told the court in graphic detail of the roles he and four other men played in the killing.Ellis had given one of the men, Martin, a towel and pillow, and the men first tried to suffocate him, Urbanus said.When their victim fought back, Martin handed him the kitchen knife he used to slash his throat.Afterwards, Ellis handed Martin the plastic to wrap her husband's body in, Urbanus' co-accused, Yohanes Sairokudu, said."That night, Mrs Noor gave Rp 50 million ($5000) to Martin. It was then split, Rp 10 million each," he said."Martin also said to us that tomorrow, there will be more."Yohanes was also asked about a meeting Ellis called prior to the murder, where other witnesses say she gave the order to kill her husband."Mrs Noor said that when killing Mr Bob, don't use a sharp weapon," he said."Close his nose and mouth with a pillow only."To be neat, basically."Ellis later took the stand as a witness in the trials of the two men, who are also charged with premeditated murder.Asked by Judge Beslin Sihombing where Mr Ellis was now, she replied: "In heaven".Asked who gave the order to have him murdered she said: "probably me".The judge replied: "Probably? Or did you order them?"She replied: "Because of the order from me. I asked Martin's help to teach a lesson".Judge Hadi Masruri asked Ellis why she gave the order."For a long time he hadn't given me sufficient (money), (he) even took the money for my kids' schooling," she replied."Because his attitude didn't change, I couldn't stand it anymore."Once I asked for divorce but he didn't want to."He said we should just go on, in our own way."The trial continues next week with Ellis' defence.

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WA's Water Corp cuts 300 jobs

Written By kemala yuspita on Selasa, 14 April 2015 | 21.31

About 300 full-time workers at WA's Water Corporation will lose their jobs over eight months. Source: AAP

THE hundreds of jobs to go from Western Australia's Water Corporation reflect the high human cost of the Barnett government's post-mining boom mismanagement, the opposition says.

THE state-owned company will would cut 10 per cent of its workforce over the next eight months, with about 300 full-time jobs to go.

Chief Executive Sue Murphy said the decision followed an organisation-wide review as the company transitions from capital investment to operations and maintenance.But Labor opposition spokesman for water Dave Kelly said this was an excuse that flew in the face of the company's five-year plan released by the minister in parliament last August.The plan called for it to be given more resources in coming years to maintain its infrastructure."It looks to everybody that these 300 jobs that are going are really about budget cuts rather than a well thought out business plan for the Water Corporation," Mr Kelly said on Tuesday."The constant stream of job losses that we're seeing at the moment in the WA economy really reflects badly on the way the government has managed the post-mining sector boom."The first round of Water Corp redundancies will be announced over the next few weeks.JOBS SHEDDING IN WA* 300 full-time positions Water Corporation* 200 jobs oil giant BP's Kwinana refinery, about half of staff* 70 mining jobs junior iron ore producer Karara Mining* Rio Tinto sheds hundreds of jobs in Pilbara* Atlas Iron suspends operations, threatening trucking contractor McAleese* Mining services firm Ausdrill cuts jobs* Fortescue Metals restructures rosters, job cuts flagged

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Over 7000 migrants rescued off Italy: EU

More than 7,000 migrants have been plucked from the Mediterranean since Friday, the EU says. Source: AAP

MORE than 7,000 migrants have been plucked from the Mediterranean since Friday as an unprecedented wave of people flee conflict and poverty seeking better lives in Europe.

OF those 7,000 EU migration spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said "over 3,500 are still on board rescue vessels and being taken to Italy and so far, 11 bodies were recovered."

More than 280,000 people entered the European Union illegally last year. Many came from Syria, Eritrea and Somalia and made the perilous sea journey from conflict-torn Libya.European coast guards have been overwhelmed by the numbers.The EU's top migration official Dimitris Avramopoulos told EU MPs on Tuesday that the influx "is unfortunately the new norm and we will need to adjust our responses accordingly."

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Man kills armadillo, but shot hits in-law

A US man shot an armadillo, but ended up accidentally wounding his mother-in-law when the bullet ricocheted off the mammal known for its hard shell.

SHERIFF'S deputies have told WALB-TV that 54-year-old Larry McElroy fired his 9mm pistol at the armadillo in the state of Georgia.

Deputies say the bullet killed the armadillo, but bounced off the animal, hit a fence, travelled through the back door of the mother-in-law's mobile home and the recliner in which she was sitting, striking her in the back.McElroy's 74-year-old mother-in-law, Carol Johnson, suffered injuries described as non-life-threatening.McElroy was about 90 metres away from the home when he shot the armadillo.

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US retail sales rise in March

US retail sales rose in March as Americans increased their spending on cars, furniture, clothing and building materials, new figures show.

THE Commerce Department says retail sales jumped 0.9 per cent last month, after declining 0.5 per cent decline in February. The retail rise was the first in four months.

The rebound suggests US shoppers are returning after an unseasonably cold winter froze sales. Warmer weather fuelled a 2.7 per cent increase in auto sales and a 2.1 per cent boost in building materials, possible signs that the lagging manufacturing and construction sectors might also recover from a winter slump.Economists say sales should continue to climb because of the year-long hiring surge and lower petrol prices.

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