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Qld premier heeds by-election message

Written By kemala yuspita on Sabtu, 19 Juli 2014 | 21.31

Queensland's Labor party is expected to prevail over the LNP in the Stafford by-election. Source: AAP

THE Queensland premier has vowed to work harder for the state after his party was savaged in Saturday's by-election.

LABOR candidate Anthony Lynham romped home against the LNP's Bob Andersen in the northern Brisbane seat of Stafford, with a huge 18.6 per cent swing towards the opposition on Saturday night.

The swing was far more than the 7.1 per cent Labor needed for victory and greater than analysts had predicted.It was also greater than the 17 per cent swing the government suffered at the Redcliffe by-election in February."Today we have sent Campbell Newman a very strong message," Dr Lynham told jubilant Labor supporters during his victory speech on Saturday night."It's a clear message that our community deserves to be heard."A clear message that it's not OK to cut services and sack workers that we rely on every day."Premier Campbell Newman blamed the defeat in part on attacks by the disgruntled former member for Stafford, the LNP's Chris Davis.He also said he understood there were people unhappy with the government, which had been forced to make "many unpopular and strong" decisions."This evening I say to those people, 'We've heard you, we understand how you feel', and I pledge this evening to continue to work hard," Mr Newman told LNP supporters at a party function on Saturday night."In fact, we will redouble our efforts to improve this state and to take it forward with a bright future."With almost 80 per cent of the vote counted, Dr Lynham has nearly 51 per cent of the primary vote compared with 33 per cent for Dr Andersen, according to the Electoral Commission of Queensland.On a two-candidate preferred basis, Dr Lynham is well ahead with 61.5 per cent of the vote compared with 38.5 per cent for Dr Andersen.Greens candidate Anne Boccabella secured almost 12 per cent of the vote, while Sally-Anne Vincent from the Family First Party won four per cent.Dr Andersen was under no illusions about the swing against his party, but told supporters they should focus on the positives."In very short time, we've put together a credible campaign and we've done so fighting against not just the Labor Party but union third-party campaigns and also the damage that was done by the former member," he said.Dr Lynham's victory means Labor will now have nine seats in parliament. The LNP has 74.A general election is due by next June.

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Outrage over India schoolgirl's rape

THOUSANDS of people have marched to protest alleged police inaction after a 6-year-old girl was raped at a school in Bangalore, India's technology hub.

MORE than 4000 parents and relatives of children who attend the school shouted slogans against the school's administration on Saturday and demanded police arrest those involved in the July 2 incident, which was only reported this week.

The rape has raised questions about the safety of India's schoolchildren and sparked nationwide outrage over rampant sexual violence against girls and women. The school has refused to take responsibility for the crime.The protesters squatted outside a police station and refused to move until the city's police chief assured them suspects would be arrested.Police said eight members of the school's staff had been detained for questioning.

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Seven die in Kenya attack

SEVEN people have been killed in an armed assault on a bus in southern Kenya.

THE attack happened on Friday night at Corner Mbaya, 5 kilometres from the coastal town of Witu, Kenya Red Cross says.

Two of those killed were security officials and five were civilians, the humanitarian group said on Saturday.Authorities believe many of the passengers in the 52-seater bus fled into a nearby forest.Al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militants from Somalia have claimed responsibility.

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Aust soldiers laid to rest at Fromelles

THE bodies of 20 soldiers who died during the Battle of Fromelles in World War I have been formally laid to rest on the 98th anniversary of the bloody operation.

IN a touching rededication in northern France on Saturday morning, the 20 soldiers - who were buried in a mass grave of 250 Australian and British troops on the outskirts of Fromelles village in 1916 - were given their own headstones after DNA identification was completed on the eve of Anzac Day.

The horrific death toll from the Battle of Fromelles, in which 5500 Australians were killed or wounded, is described as the worst 24-hour period in Australian military history.Relatives of the diggers wept as the Last Post echoed across the French countryside, then placed wooden poppy crosses at the graves of their great-grandfathers and great-uncles."In the cemetery lie men once lost, now found, but never forgotten," Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Ronaldson said.Senator Ronaldson recalled the story of Private Edgar Parham, a 37-year-old baker from South Australia who was mortally wounded at Fromelles.In his final moments, Pte Parham handed his compact Bible, which had been lovingly inscribed by his mother, to a German soldier.Twenty years on, the German soldier enlisted his brother to return the book to the fallen Australian's family.His mother, aged 87, had retrieved her lost son's last possession."And today, Edgar had been given the final resting place his mother had dreamt of," Senator Ronaldson said.Relatives of all 20 diggers attended on Saturday. Some were draped in Australian flags; most who had flown from Australia solely to say their goodbyes.Michael White, who had travelled with his family from Perth to honour his great-uncle Private Adolf Thompson Knable, said the ceremony brought a sense of closure to their sorrow.The gravestone of Pte Knable reads: "He rests at peace neath foreign skies. We are at peace with where he lies.""When we got there and saw what was on the headstone, it was very moving," Mr White said.The Chief of the Australian Army, Lieutenant-General David Morrison, joined other local government representatives in laying wreaths at the conclusion of the ceremony."Today we pay tribute to those soldiers who came from across the channel and from the other side of the world," said the Northern Department's Prefect for Equal Opportunity, Kleber Arhoul."Through their sacrifices they demonstrated to the world their values that bring us together once again: courage, a sense of duty and the obligation to defend freedom."Ninety-eight years later, we must remember their sacrifice at Fromelles."Senator Ronaldson said the large turnout for the event was a reminder that the cost of war continued to resonate across the generations."That we live free today has come at a great cost," he said."Our freedom was paid for in the blood of the men who lie here."

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Flinders takes place at Euston Station

A PIECE of Australian history has claimed pride of place at one of London's busiest railway stations.

A LIFE-SIZE bronze statue of Matthew Flinders, the first man to circumnavigate the country and pen the name `Australia', was installed at Euston Station early on Saturday.

With people sprawled at its base, bags haphazardly resting around it, an abandoned coffee cup left on its top, and somewhat bizarrely, a small flower pot having been placed at its centre, by 10am the sculpture looked well at home.Midway between platforms and beneath the arrivals and departure boards, it looks out at, and will inevitably become a leaning post for, thousands of travellers passing through the station each day.The statue, which shows the British explorer working over a map of Australia with his cat Trim, is the result of a two-year project by South Australian officials in the UK to create a lasting memory of Flinders in Britain.It was unveiled by Prince William in a ceremony at Australia House in London on Friday morning, and less than 24 hours later was moved to the station, where Flinders is believed to be buried.The Duke of Cambridge praised sculptor Mark Richards for "telling the story of Captain Flinders with such elegance"."First, I appreciate the way this work communicates Captain Flinders as a man of action, strength and determination," he said."Second, I very much appreciate the sensitivity of the inscription around the base of the statue."Some of you may know that Matthew Flinders had an indigenous Australian on board ... with whom he clearly had a close rapport. His name was Bungaree, a person Flinders described as `worthy and brave'."'Worthy and brave' is a description that is just as apt for Captain Flinders himself."While Flinders is a recognised name in Australia, particularly in South Australia where the Flinders Ranges, Flinders Chase National Park and Flinders University are named after him, the explorer is relatively unknown in the UK.Agent General in London for South Australia Bill Muirhead said Flinders had an immeasurable influence by helping shape Australia, and it was great for his achievements to be recognised in his homeland."I hope that from today his story becomes much more widely appreciated in his home country."

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At least nine dead in German bus crash

AT least nine people were killed and 43 hurt on Saturday when a coach carrying Polish holidaymakers collided with another Polish minibus near the eastern German city of Dresden.

THE crash happened in the early hours of Saturday morning on the A4 motorway that links Poland and Germany.

All seven people in the smaller minibus died, along with two people in the double-decker coach, according to the Bild daily.German authorities say the accident also caused several serious injuries.Police have identified six of the nine dead as Polish nationals. The 43 injured were rushed to nearby hospitals.According to early indications, the Polish coach crashed into a Ukrainian coach in front of it, skidding across the motorway and before colliding with the Polish minibus, which was travelling in the other direction.Police temporarily blocked the motorway in both directions and authorities warned that traffic could be even more dense than usual because the accident coincided with the start of summer school holidays in the region.According to Polish travel company Sindbad, which operates the coach, there were 65 passengers on board and three crew. The majority were Polish.

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Palestinians urge UN ceasefire resolution

Written By kemala yuspita on Sabtu, 12 Juli 2014 | 21.31

The Palestinians are canvassing a UN draft resolution calling for a ceasefire with Israel. Source: AAP

THE Palestinians and their international supporters are discussing a UN draft resolution that condemns all violence against civilians in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and calls for "an immediate, durable and fully respected ceasefire".

AN initial draft of the proposed Security Council resolution expresses "grave concern" at the escalating violence and deteriorating situation in the Palestinian territories due to Israeli military operations, particularly against the Gaza Strip, and over heavy civilian casualties including children.

The council is deeply divided and frequently paralysed over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with the United States defending close ally Israel while most other members back the Palestinians.The draft proposal omits any mention of the hundreds of rockets that have been fired into Israel by Hamas, which controls Gaza.This is likely to make it unacceptable to the United States if the resolution is introduced in the Security Council.The draft calls on both parties to abide by their obligations under the Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians in war, to refrain from actions that could further destabilise the situation and to make urgent efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace agreement based on a two-state solution.The Palestinians began talks on the resolution after an emergency meeting of the council on Thursday.At that closed meeting, Russian UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Jordan's deputy ambassador had told members he had some "elements" that could be the basis for a press statement, which unlike a resolution would not be legally binding.The elements, obtained by Associated Press, call for "immediate calm and ending the hostilities in Gaza including the launching of rocket attacks," restoration of the 2012 ceasefire and resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations aimed at a comprehensive peace agreement and a two-state solution.They also call for protection of civilians.Churkin said Jordan's representative "retreated to talk to the American delegation" and "that was the end of it - we never received any draft of a press statement".

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Last original member of The Ramones dies

The last surviving member of seminal punk band The Ramones, Tommy Ramone, has died aged 62. Source: AAP

DRUMMER Tommy Ramone, the last surviving founding member of the pioneering punk band The Ramones, has died, the band announced on social media Saturday.

BORN Erdelyi Tamas in Budapest, Tommy Ramone died Friday at his New York home following treatment for cancer, the entertainment magazine Variety reported.

Tommy was 65, the band's manager with Silent Partner Management told The Los Angeles Times. Earlier reports said that he was 62."We are saddened to announce the passing of Ramones founding drummer Tommy (Erdelyi) Ramone," the band said on its Twitter feed.The four original members, who all took on the last name Ramone, formed the band in the mid 1970s and emerged as a fixture of the New York punk underground.The Ramones made it big with their first three albums: Ramones (1976) - which included their first single hit, Blitzkrieg Bop - along with Leave Home and Rocket to Russia (both from 1977)."The Ramones revitalised rock and roll at one of its lowest ebbs, infusing it with punk energy, brash attitude and a loud, fast new sound," reads the band's biography in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.When their first album appeared "the rock scene in general had become somewhat bloated and narcissistic. The Ramones got back to basics: simple, speedy, stripped-down rock and roll songs."While the first album was not a commercial success, it was widely considered as having a seminal influence on the growth of punk-rock music. The album topped SPIN magazine's list of 50 Essential Punk Records and was even inducted into the Library of Congress.Other Ramones hits include I Wanna Be Sedated, Teenage Lobotomy, Sheena Is a Punk Rocker, and Beat on The Brat.Tommy Ramone, who "anchored the frantic beat with superhuman energy," surrendered his drumsticks to a new drummer, Marky Ramone, in 1978, but remained as the band's co-producer and adviser through 1984.The Ramones disbanded in 1996, and the band was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.Lead vocalist Joey Ramone died in 2001, bass guitarist and vocalist Dee Dee Ramone died in 2002, and guitarist Johnny Ramone died in 2004."It wasn't just music in The Ramones: it was an idea," the band's Facebook entry read, citing Tommy from 1978."It was bringing back a whole feel that was missing in rock music - it was a whole push outwards to say something new and different. Originally it was just an artistic type of thing; finally I felt it was something that was good enough for everybody."

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Amelia Earhart lands in California

With her parents and crowds of supporters present, Amelia Earhart touched down at Oakland Airport. Source: AAP

WITH her parents and crowds of supporters present, Amelia Earhart touched down at Oakland Airport.

IN honour of her namesake, former TV traffic and weather reporter Amelia Rose Earhart symbolically finished the around-the-world flight that the famed aviatrix tragically failed to complete in 1937.

"I feel like we've brought Amelia Earhart home to Oakland," she said at California's Oakland Airport on the completion of the 39,000 kilometre journey, which took in Australia and a stopover at Darwin.When Earhart's plane descended from the clear sky, her mother Deborah Dale was waiting on tiptoes and at the brink of tears.Once Earhart got off the plane, she bypassed the swarming media to hug her mother and her father, Glen Earhart."I have goose bumps. The hairs are standing up on my arm," Dale said. "I am so proud of her."Earhart has come a long way from the days when the famous name her mother gave her used to embarrass her, so she went by Amy instead.People would always ask if she was a pilot, and she would answer no, until she thought "Why not?"Earhart earned her license at 21 after juggling multiple jobs and her studies at the University of Colorado Boulder to pay for flight lessons.Now the 31-year-old who lives in Denver runs the non-profit Fly With Amelia Foundation, which sends girls aged 16 to 18 to flight school. She hopes her story and around-the-world flight will inspire girls to fly."Who knew she was going to do the obvious and fly?" Dale said.Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in 1932. She disappeared over the Pacific while attempting to circumnavigate the globe in 1937 after setting off from Oakland.

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Move to do away with 5c coin

Queensland's LNP members have endorsed a move to do away with the Australian 5c cent coin. Source: AAP

THE five cent coin with it's curled up echidna may become an endangered species.

THAT'S if Queensland's LNP members get their way.

In one of 81 endorsements to be voted on during the party's three-day conference, a motion asking the LNP to propose to the federal government that production of the nation's smallest denomination of currency be stopped and the tiny coins taken out of circulation was carried.The seemingly innocuous motion sparked a short but impassioned debate, with Young LNP member Debra Smith telling the convention the coins were basically worthless in modern society."It makes no sense to continue with a coin that costs one cent extra to produce then it's actually worth," Ms Smith said.Other party members argued for the five cent piece, with one claiming it was the only coin practical for instant scratch-it tickets.Another argued that scrapping the coin would drive prices up.In the end, the economic argument won the day and the motion was carried.The conference concludes on Sunday.

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