Monthly Archives: August 2018

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Take refuge in art not reality TV says writer George Saunders

George Saunders was a passenger on a commercial United Airlines jet that flew into a flock of geese outside of Chicago and almost fell to earth.
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Smoke filled the cabin. The horizon rushed up. “There was complete silence except for the screaming of the girl’s softball team in the front rows,” said the acclaimed short story writer and author of Lincoln in the Bardo.

In that moment, Saunders was forcefully reminded that his “personal resources were not up to the business of living”. “I was going around all my life with these ideas: I’m permanent, God loves me so much that he wouldn’t take me before I was ready, wishing can make it so, and I felt all those falsehoods in my chest. Time is going forward and I’m in this plane going down.”

Saunders recalled the experience in his opening address at the 2017 Sydney Writers’ Festival in support of his argument that truth is the ultimate refuge of the writer and reader from the tumult of international and domestic upheaval.

The festival runs until Sunday hosting 482 writers and facilitators across 400 events at Walsh Bay Pier 2/3 and 4/5, the city, and suburban and regional locations.

In a festival first, Saunders shared the podium with Irish novelist Anne Enright and US essayist, Brit Bennet.

It was the neglect of the artistic impulse, Saunders told Fairfax Media, that had permitted the trivial to dominate political discourse.

“The most reliable refuge is to be in a healthy relationship with the truth of whatever the moment is without fear,” he said before the opening address.

“Likewise in the political moment: let’s not panic, let’s look at it, let’s trust our ability to come to some kind of truth and respond reasonably and art is part of that. If I want to know the truth of a situation I always write.”

???In his lifetime, Saunders, who is Buddhist, laments the world has become more materialistic and less spiritual. An auxiliary effect of treating art “as something kind of fluffy or superfluous” was the rising popularity of reality TV.

“You are watching an idiotic show that is false and manipulative or its edited together to be unrealistic and trivial and provocative,” he told Fairfax Media. “There’s that moment you consent to watch anything – ‘Oh, I know it’s not real but oh, its funny’ – that’s the energy when Trump started running. Our neglect of art has made us susceptible to that entertainment.

“As a culture becomes smarter, and wiser, more comfortable with ambiguity it’s less prone to bullshit.”

Bennett, debut author of The Mothers, said books like Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s TheGreat Gatsby had been co-opted into representing a rosy view of the past.

“It was futile for Gatsby to be living in the past, that’s what you were suppose to take away from the book but people glamorise it, they throw Gatsby parties,” she said ahead of her address.

“Same with Gone With the Wind, essentially there’s a battle in the book between romantics and the pragmatists and the pragmatists win, those are the people who survive – Scarlett O’Hara is a pragmatist, Rhett Butler is a pragmatist. The romantics are left adrift in this world because they can’t adapt but for whatever reason that’s the legacy we have from the book, a romantic view.”

Driving the nostalgia was a fear of technological change and “new types of evil”, as witnessed in Manchester overnight, Bennet said.

“The idea you could go to a concert with a bunch of children or Sandy Hook, that someone is going to bring a gun into elementary school and slaughter children,” Bennet said, that’s scary and new for a lot of people and we have access to that [information] all of the time.”

Saunders hopes American art will take a “turn for the deeper” in the aftermath of the Trump presidency. “In many ways we’ve seen there is almost a karmic cost to triviality. I’m just pledging, that’s what I’m going to do with the rest of my life is try to expand the bounds of what fiction can do.”

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Swan, Emerson to take stand at Immigration pay hearing

Former senior Labor government figures will take the stand backing Immigration Department workers at the industrial umpire’s hearings into a bitter pay row in July.
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Rudd- and Gillard-era Treasurer Wayne Swan and former Trade Minister Craig Emerson will give evidence to the Fair Work Commission after the agency’s dispute with staff over a new workplace deal went to a rare arbitration process last year.

The Labor party figures will join 16 other witnesses for Community and Public Sector Union members at the hearings including anti-domestic violence advocate and researcher Cathy Humphreys and workplace relations academic Michael O’Donnell.

More than 97 per cent of staff surveyed at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection told the CPSU that the protracted negotiations had hurt their family finances by freezing their wage increases.

Union survey results showed 96 per cent of staff believed the marathon bargaining dispute had sunk morale.

Mr Swan will also submit written evidence to the Fair Work Commission after accusing the Coalition government of ‘shafting’ its own rank-and-file public servants and delivering pay rises to bureaucracy bosses.

He unleashed an attack on the Turnbull government in September saying it had contempt for people working in Commonwealth departments who lived in fear of their jobs being casualised, outsourced or privatised.

The department’s three-year fight went to arbitration after a proposed enterprise agreement was rejected three times, with a no vote of more than 90 per cent in September 2015, 82 per cent in March 2016 and 81 per cent in November.

It is believed to be the first Fair Work Commission arbitration involving an APS department under current industrial relations legislation.

Immigration will have until late June to make its submissions before the arbitration hearings, which start on July 19.

After hearings the Fair Work Commission will consider its decision and make its workplace determination.

An Immigration Department spokeswoman said it continued to engage with the arbitration process and that further comment would not be appropriate.

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Digital agency not consulted over NAPLAN failures

The Education Department has not consulted with the government’s digital services agency after its online NAPLAN program succumbed to technical glitches this year.
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Digital Transformation Agency representatives told senators in an estimates hearing on Tuesday their agency had not been contacted about repairing the troubled project to shift student literacy and numeracy tests online after states and territories abandoned it in April.

Its admission came as new DTA chief Gavin Slater conceded he attended a post-budget dinner at Parliament House without knowing it was a fundraiser for the Liberal party.

The rollout of online testing was left in disarray when the Victorian, Western Australian and ACT governments announced they would withdraw from a trial of the NAPLAN technology, after South Australia and Queensland ditched it earlier in the year.

DTA official Nerida O’Loughlin said the program was an Education Department matter and that responsibility for IT projects remained with government agencies implementing them.

Labor senator Jenny McAllister said Education’s failure to involve the agency raised questions about its role.

“We’ve been talking about this for successive estimates and it has struck me that the role clarity about what the organisation is trying to accomplish has been a little deficient,” she said.

Power failures, freezing, browser issues and broken internet connections plagued initial trials of the online NAPLAN tests, according to a report by principals.

The online test will be gradually rolled out over a three-year period, and about 10 per cent of schools were expected to take part in its trial this year.

DTA officials told senators it wasn’t involved in remediating troubled IT projects and that it was up to agencies to contact it about problems.

Senator McAllister said that was a change in direction for the agency after it told an estimates hearing last year the community would expect the DTA to step in when programs hit problems.

Mr Slater said it was not the agency’s role to take over projects.

“We’re simply not resourced to do that, and I don’t think that’s the best use of our expertise,” he said.

“I think it’s really important that accountability for projects resides with what I would call the business owners.

“We have an oversight role now to play and if we feel there’s an opportunity to get involved and assist we will do that but that does not entail taking over the whole program completely.”

Mr Slater admitted he attended a post-budget dinner at Parliament House which was a fundraiser for the Liberal party after a friend who was a staffer for Coalition MP Steven Ciobo invited him.

He did not say who paid for his ticket although denied paying himself.

Mr Slater told senators he had been unaware it was a fundraiser for the Liberals but was receiving advice about attending political functions.

“It is fair to say I have a lot to learn about my obligations and I’m going through that process.”

Departments have reported 56 projects costing more than $10 million and 294 business systems critical to operations to the DTA as it reviews the government’s IT reform agenda.

However the agency is yet to calculate the total value of those projects and assess their level of risk.

The government spent $6.2 billion last financial year on IT while it committed $9 billion over coming years.

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Police name suspected Manchester bomber as UK-born Salman Abedi

London: British police have confirmed the name of the suspected suicide bomber behind the terrorist attack at a concert in Manchester that killed 22 people on Monday night.
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He has been identified as 22-year-old Salman Abedi, believed to have been born in Manchester to Libyan refugee parents.

The London Telegraph newspaper said Abedi was the second youngest of four children whose family fled Libya and the Gaddafi regime.

His mother, Samia Tabbal, and father, Ramadan Abedi, a security officer, were both born in Libya but appear to have emigrated to London before moving to the Fallowfield area of south Manchester where they have lived for at least 10 years.

US officials familiar with the investigation told Reuters that it is believed Abedi travelled from London to Manchester to carry out the attack.

Greater Manchester Police have also arrested a 23-year-old man in South Manchester in connection with the blast.

Reuters reported the man arrested was one of Abedi’s brothers.

Earlier on Tuesday they carried out a controlled explosion in the Manchester suburb of Fallowfield, and executed a second warrant in nearby Whalley Range.

Witnesses in the Whalley Range district said armed police had surrounded a newly-built apartment block on a usually quiet tree-lined street.

The release of the suspect’s name coincided with a vigil in Manchester that drew thousands of people to Albert Square in the city’s centre.

Eight-year-old Saffie Roussos, described as a “beautiful little girl” who was “loved by everyone” for her “warmth and kindness” was one of the 22 people killed during the attack after the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena.

Teenager Georgina Callander was also confirmed to have been killed in the attack, which British Prime Minister Theresa May said was one of the worst terrorist attacks to hit the UK.

Another 59 people were injured – many suffering life-threatening injuries; 12 were children aged 16 or under, officials said. The injured were being treated at eight hospitals across Manchester.

Worried parents launched social media campaigns seeking information about their children and friends who had still not made contact more than 12 hours after the blast.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack through its propaganda arm Amaq, saying that one of its members had carried out the suicide bombing.

Western experts were sceptical, noting Islamic State had offered two accounts of the attack that partly contradicted each other as well as the official police version.

In its original post, the organisation said “a group of attackers” had been involved, a reference that was later removed.

Mrs May suspended election campaigning and arrived in Manchester at 2pm to meet local authorities and the paramedics who were treating the wounded.

“We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage,” she said outside 10 Downing prior to leaving London.

“All acts of terrorism are cowardly attacks on innocent people but this attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice – deliberately targeting innocent, defenceless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives.”

She said security services were working to see if a wider group was involved in the attack, which fell less than three weeks before the national election.

Andrew Parker, the Director-General of MI5, the British intelligence service, issued a rare statement saying the agency remained “relentlessly focused” on combating the scourge of terrorism.

“Everyone at MI5 is revolted by the disgusting terrorist attack in Manchester last night,” he said.

“Our teams have been working with the police through the night to assist the investigation.

“We remain relentlessly focused, in numerous current operations, on doing all we can to combat the scourge of terrorism and keep the country safe.”

Chris Upton, the head-teacher at Tarleton Community primary school, about 60 kilometres from Manchester, said staff and pupils were struggling to comprehend the death of Saffie Roussos.

“The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking,” he said.

“Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word.

“She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly.

“Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair.”

Specialists had been called in to help students and staff deal with their grief, he said.

Georgina Callander’s friends turned to social media to pay tribute. Rest in peace Gina. I love you so incredibly much, you deserved the world & more. I’m so lucky to have met you and known you #manchesterpic.twitter南京夜网/sPrHq9I6M0??? liana | rip gina (@lianasarfati) May 23, 2017broken.from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.??? Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) 23 May 2017If anyone sees Chloe & Liam please ask them to call home, families are worried #ManchesterArena#manchesterexplosion#ArianaGrandepic.twitter南京夜网/ZCog8lipRb??? Dawn Finnigan (@Dawn_DHR) May 22, 2017Please…please reetweet. Looking for my daughter and her friend . Laura Macintyre and Eilidh Macleod #manchesterattackpic.twitter南京夜网/1N0cikPQEf??? micheal macintyre (@leanish8) 23 May 2017Follow Latika Bourke on Facebook

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‘It looks like we’ve missed the boat’

SAT/SHD NEWS: gay marriage. (L-R) Peter Bonsall-Boone and Peter de Waal, gay couple who marched in first Mardi Gras. Bonsall-Boone is very ill with cancer and will likely die in coming weeks. It was his last wish to marry the man he has loved all his life and it is now clear that wish won’t come true. Photograph by Edwina Pickles. Taken on 7th April 2017.Peter Bonsall-Boone spent his life seeking permission. Permission to walk down the street with his lover hand-in-hand. Permission to make love without risking jail. Permission to demonstrate that love to the world through marriage.
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In the end, he died waiting for permission that never came.

“It looks like we’ve missed the boat,” he told his partner of 50 years, Peter de Waal, in his last lucid days. “Bon”, as he was universally known, died peacefully on Friday, aged 78, two years after his cancer diagnosis.

As lifelong activists, Bon and Peter forged a path for the gay and lesbian community. Together, they shared Australia’s first televised gay kiss, established a counselling service from their Balmain home and confronted police during the first Mardi Gras parade in 1978.

On marriage equality, however, they ran out of time. “The fact that Bon died as a second-class citizen is of concern to me,” Peter tells the Herald. “And it was to him as well.”

Sadness remains, but anger has given way to disappointment: in politics, and those doing the politicking. While polls show a sizeable and consistent majority of Australians support legalising same-sex marriage, the Coalition government under Malcolm Turnbull has refused to allow a parliamentary vote on the issue until a public plebiscite is held.

“We have a Parliament with a house of representation, and to me representation means those who are in the House are supposed to follow our wishes and implement them,” Peter says.

“In many ways, marriage equality is just such a simple issue for the Parliament to deal with. And yet there is that unwillingness to move just a little bit.”

He holds openly gay Liberal MPs particularly accountable for their reluctance, thus far, to cross the floor and bring the issue to a head.

One such MP, Trent Zimmerman, agreed time is of the essence, and warned his colleagues they could no longer delay a vote indefinitely.

“[Bon’s] sad death is a reminder that this isn’t an esoteric issue that can be continually kicked down the road,” he told the Herald.

“There are people that want to get married today, including many older people. That’s why I prefer for this matter to be dealt with in this Parliament.

“For me, I think we should have a free vote. That is the best way of securing passage of the bill. That will actually require support from amongst my Coalition colleagues.”

It would also require the endorsement of the Prime Minister, a long-time supporter of marriage equality, but a prisoner of the Abbott-era plebiscite and his party’s right-wing.

That may change, but for Peter and Bon, it will always be too late.

“I’m inclined to say ‘shame on you’, Mr Turnbull,” Peter says. “How can you say you want a fair and just Australia when you ignore our community?”

Peter Bonsall-Boone donated his body for scientific purposes. A memorial service is planned in June.

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The dance that could be the spark for a historic pact at Uluru

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They came a very long way to ignite a conversation with dance and a resolute message of quiet determination from Galarrwuy Yunupingu, the man they call the ngurrunga, or leader.

Almost 30 years ago, Mr Yunupingu presented the Barunga Statement to then prime minister Bob Hawke, calling for a treaty, or compact, between black and white Australia. Mr Hawke said he wanted one, but didn’t deliver.

Then, in 2008, after the formal apology to the stolen generations, Mr Yunupingu handed a Yirrkala statement to Kevin Rudd, asking for constitutional change to recognise Indigenous rights.

Now, Mr Yunupingu, almost 70, has sent a delegation of Gumatj clan leaders to Uluru, where about 250 Indigenous Australians have gathered to discuss what form of constitutional recognition to seek from Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten.

“The ngurrunga, the boss, the leader has been suffering with illness and he sent us here to be the spark when we light this fire today,” Djunga Djunga Yunupingu, Galarrwuy’s cousin explained to Fairfax Media.

An hour after we spoke, the clan leaders performed a dance about the fire, or ??????gurtha, that links the Yolngu people of North-East Arnhem Land with the Anangu of Uluru.

“Our fire was lit by our ancestors and lives through our song and our dance. This gives us power and we seek to give that power to you,” Mr Yunupingu told the delegates after the performance.

“You can now go and light a fire in the nation for all of us, for our children, for all Australians.”.

If more spark and inspiration is required, the dancers from the Torres Strait were there to deliver it. So were the Anangu, who reciprocated the generosity of the visitors during an extraordinary opening ceremony at the Mutitjulu community at the foot of Uluru..

The unprecedented, three-day Indigenous constitutional convention follows 12 Indigenous dialogues across the country where the message has been that minimalist or purely symbolic change won’t cut it, and that whatever emerges must give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people more power over their lives and more freedom.

Noel Pearson has used the metaphor of the debate over same-sex marriage to make the point that partial recognition will not suffice.

Others have highlighted the folly of thinking big changes can flow from an emphatic vote in support of purely symbolic or minimalist change. As Megan Davis has observed, this idea is not supported by history and is “fundamentally at odds with how political and legal systems operate”.

But the task is fraught, perhaps more fraught than the one that confronted activists before the 1967 referendum, half a century ago, for two reasons.

The first is that there is no clear consensus among Indigenous people about what form recognition should take, though there has been strong support at the dialogues for enshrining in the constitution an Indigenous voice to the Parliament.

The other is the doubt about whether the politicians will be willing to embrace what is decided and put it to the people, given that only eight of 44 referenda have been successful.

This is not a reason to be pessimistic: it is simply to underscore the scale of this enterprise and the heavy responsibility being borne by the delegates. It is also why Mr Yunupingu is so keen to light this fire.

The mood at Mutitjulu was one of measured confidence that common ground will be found before the convention winds up on Friday.

The feeling among the Gumatj clan leaders was that the “noble compromise” predicted by Mr Pearson would flow later on. “This is a follow up from the Barunga Statement, and this one we feel more confident, more comfortable that we will succeed,” said Dhayirra Yunupingu, a brother of Galarrwuy.

Why? “Because we are giving this message at this iconic site, the nation’s heart, it will be easier for the balanda [the non-Aboriginal] to understand.”

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‘This attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice’: May

Prime Minister Theresa May suspended the general election campaign and will travel to Manchester on Tuesday to meet local authorities and emergency services. This is her statement to the media outside 10 Downing.
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I have just chaired a meeting of the government’s emergency committee COBRa where we discussed the details of, and the response to, the appalling events in Manchester last night.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the families and friends of all those affected.

It is now beyond doubt that the people of Manchester and of this country have fallen victim to a callous terrorist attack – an attack that targeted some of the youngest people in our society with cold calculation.

This was among the worst terrorist incidents we have ever experienced in the United Kingdom. And although it is not the first time Manchester has suffered in this way it the worst attack the city has experienced and the worst ever to hit the north of England.”

The police and security services are working at speed to establish the complete picture but I wanted to tell you what I can at this stage.

At 10.33 last night police were called to reports of an explosion at Manchester Arena in Manchester City centre near Victoria train station.

We now know that a single terrorist detonated his improvised explosive device near one of the exits of the venue, deliberately choosing the time and place to cause maximum carnage and to kill and injure indiscriminately. The explosion coincided with the conclusion of a pop concert, which was attended by many young families and groups of children.

All acts of terrorism are cowardly attacks on innocent people but this attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice – deliberately targeting innocent, defenceless children and young people who should have been enjoying one of the most memorable nights of their lives.

As things stand I can I can tell you that in addition to the attacker, 22 people have died and 59 people have been injured. Those who are injured are being treated in eight different hospitals across greater Manchester. Many are being treated for life-threatening conditions. And we know that among those killed and injured were many children and young people

We struggle to comprehend the warped and twisted mind that sees a room packed with young children not as a scene to cherish but as an opportunity for carnage.

But we can continue to resolve to thwart such attacks in future. To take on and defeat the ideology that often fuels this violence and if there turn out to be others responsible for this attack, to seek them out and bring them to justice.

The police and security services believe the attack was carried out by one man but they now need to know whether he was acting alone or as part of a wider group.

It will take some time to establish these facts and the investigation will continue. The police and the security services will be given all the resources they need to complete that task.

The police and security services believe they know the identity of the perpetrator but at this stage of their investigations we cannot confirm his name.

The police and emergency services have, as always, acted with great courage and on behalf of the country I want to express our gratitude to them.

They acted in accordance with the plans they have in place and the exercises they conduct to test those plans and they performed with the utmost professionalism.

400 police officers were involved in the operation through the night and many paramedics, doctors and nurses have worked valiantly amid traumatic and terrible scenes to save lives and care for the wounded.

Significant resources have been deployed to the police investigation and there continue to be visible controls around Manchester, which include the deployment of armed officers.

For people who live and work in Manchester there remains a large cordon in place around Manchester Arena and Victoria Station, which will be in place for some time. The station is closed and will remain closed while a detailed forensic search remains underway.

We know that many friends and relatives of people caught up in the attack are still trying to find out what has happened to their children, brothers and sisters, parents and loved ones.

So please think of those people who are experiencing unimaginable worry and if you have any information at all relating to the attack please contact Greater Manchester police.

The threat level remains at SEVERE. That means a terrorist attack remains highly likely. But the independent joint terrorism analysis centre which sets the threat level on the basis of the intelligence available to them will continue to assess this throughout today and in the days ahead.

Later today I will travel to Manchester to meet the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police Ian Hopkins, the Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and members of the emergency services who have come to Manchester’s aid in its moment of need.

And as I announced last night the general election campaign has been suspended. I will chair another meeting of COBRa later today.

At terrible moments like these it is customary leaders, politicians and others to condemn the perpetrators and declare that the terrorists will not win.

But the fact that we have been here before and the fact that we need to say this again does not make it any less true. For as so often while we experience the worst of humanity at Manchester last night we also saw the best.

The cowardice of the attacker met the bravery of the emergency services and the people of Manchester. The attempt to divide us met countless acts of kindness that brought people closer together and in the days ahead those must be the things we remembers.

The images we hold in our minds should not be those of senseless slaughter but of the ordinary men and women who put concerns about their own safety to one side and rushed to help. Of the men and women of the emergency services who worked tirelessly to bring comfort to help and to save lives, of the messages of solidarity and hope of all those who opened their homes to the victims for they are the images that embody the image of Manchester and the spirit of Britain.

A sprit that through years of conflict and terrorism has never been broken and will never be broken and will never be broken. There will be difficult days ahead. We offer our thoughts and prayers to the families and friends of those affected. We offer our full support to the authorities, the emergency and security services as they go about their work.

And we all, every single of one of us, stand with the people of Manchester at this terrible time. And today, let us remember those who died and let us celebrate those who helped safe in the knowledge that the terrorists will never win and our values, our country and our way of life will always prevail.

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Scared-looking Sara Connor said ‘I don’t want to appeal’: clerk

Bali: Australian Sara Connor has indicated she will not appeal her increased sentence of five years’ jail for the fatal group assault of a Bali police officer to the Supreme Court.
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The 46-year-old had a harsher sentence imposed in the High Court on May 15 after the prosecution appealed the initial four year jail term.

Now Connor and the prosecution both have the opportunity to appeal again to Indonesia’s highest court – the Supreme Court.

However Denpasar District Court clerk Nengah Sanjaya said a scared-looking Connor said: “I don’t want to appeal, I don’t want to appeal.”

Wayan Sudarsa, a Bali police officer for 35 years, was found dead on Kuta beach on August 17 last year, with 42 wounds to his body.

Connor and her British DJ boyfriend David Taylor were both found guilty of fatal group assault in the Denpasar District Court and sentenced to four and six years’ jail respectively.

Taylor confessed to bashing Mr Sudarsa with several objects including a Bintang beer bottle after he accused the police officer of stealing Connor’s handbag.

Connor insisted she was innocent and had only been trying to separate the men as they brawled in the sand.

However a panel of three judges found Connor’s light sentence did not take into consideration two aggravating factors.

These were that Connor had not tried to help Mr Sudarsa as he lay face down in the sand and she had damaged Indonesia’s – specifically Bali’s – tourism image.

Mr Nengah said he had delivered the High Court ruling to Connor in Kerobokan jail on Tuesday morning.

“There was someone there helping to translate,” he said. “Her face looked scared, she thought the ruling was a notification from the prosecutor that they were going to appeal the case (to the Supreme Court).”

Connor was no doubt apprehensive because it is common for appellate courts in Indonesia to impose harsher sentences on appeal.

Heroin smugglers Scott Rush, Si Yi Chen, Matthew Norman and Tan Duc Thanh Nguyen, part of the Bali nine, had their sentences increased to the death penalty on appeal to the Supreme Court.

And convicted cannabis smuggler Schapelle Corby, who is due to be deported back to Australia on Saturday, had her 15-year sentence increased to the original 20-year term when it was appealed in the Supreme Court.

Mr Nengah said Connor and the prosecution had 14 days to submit an appeal.

“If no one appeals, the High Court ruling will be inkracht (final and binding),” he said.

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Manchester Arena bombing: Tributes flow for teenage victim Georgina Callander

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The first two victims of the Manchester Arena suicide bombing have been named – including an eight-year-old girl.

Primary school student, Saffie Rose Roussos, from the small English town of Leyland, Lancashire, was confirmed as a victim of the attack.

It followed reports she had been missing.

The news has come as a tremendous shock to her school community, said Chris Upton, headteacher at Tarleton Community Primary School

“The thought that anyone could go out to a concert and not come home is heartbreaking,” Mr Upton said.

“Saffie was simply a beautiful little girl in every aspect of the word.

“She was loved by everyone and her warmth and kindness will be remembered fondly. Saffie was quiet and unassuming with a creative flair.”

Meanwhile tributes are flowing for teenager Georgina Callander who has also been named among the 22 victims of the bombing at a concert by US pop star Ariana Grande.

The 18-year-old, who was known to her friends as Gina, was a devoted fan of the US pop star, having met her in June 2015.

On Instagram, Georgina posted a photo of their meeting with the caption: “She was so cute and lovely. I hugged her so tight and she said she loved my bow. I can’t get over this, I never will.”

The teenager, from Whittle-le-Woods in Lancashire, was a student at Runshaw College in Leyland.

In a statement posted on Facebook, the college expressed its “enormous sadness” at the news of her death.

“It is with enormous sadness that it appears that one of the people who lost their lives in Monday’s Manchester attack was one of our students here at Runshaw College,” the statement says.

“Georgina Callander was a former Bishop Rawstorne pupil studying with us on the second year of her health and social care course.

“Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers go out to all of Georgina’s friends, family, and all of those affected by this loss. We are offering all available support possible at this tragic time, including counselling with our dedicated student support team.”

Meanwhile, friends posted tributes to the teenager on Twitter, saying she was a “beautiful girl with the kindest heart and soul”.

One friend wrote: “I love you so incredibly much, you deserved the world & more. I’m so lucky to have met you and known you.” Rest in peace Gina. I love you so incredibly much, you deserved the world & more. I’m so lucky to have met you and known you #manchesterpic.twitter南京夜网/sPrHq9I6M0??? liana (@lianasarfati) May 23, 2017Rest in peace G one of the sweetest people I knew, without you there’s so many things I wouldn’t have done – we will all miss you sm pic.twitter南京夜网/JoYoSoS2p2??? lu // rip gina (@marvelousatwell) May 23, 2017I can’t believe this, Gina was the kindest person and she had so much ahead of her. Rest in peace G, the Crazy Dotties love you so much xx??? Sal (@elIenpge) May 23, 2017For Georgina… https://t.co/92Q7cK5jpp [email protected]南京夜网/HmxBSvsZzd??? KarenDavid (@KarenDavid) May 23, 2017No words…we just met at #SBUK3 recently. This is beyond upsetting. Dearest, Georgina…RIP kind & beautiful lady. https://t.co/ubhJYD0zZE??? KarenDavid (@KarenDavid) May 23, 2017Just met this girl in April.She was so young & sweet.She was killed last night Manchester.My love to her and all the families of the victims https://t.co/RBThDZ6do7??? Sean Maguire (@sean_m_maguire) May 23, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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Manchester bombing likely to affect Australian security

Young concert-goers and their parents will be second-guessing heading to big events in Australia, psychologists say, as security experts warn that Australia can’t rule out a similar attack to the Manchester stadium bombing.
Nanjing Night Net

The bombing appears to have happened in egress after the pop concert, at a time when security may have “let down their guard”, said Craig Sheridan, a former police officer who runs security and risk management for major events in Australia.

“A similar attack can’t be ruled out here,” he said. “Great work has thwarted a lot of attacks in Australia but we just have to be on our guard all the time and take complacency out of the picture.”

Victoria and NSW police said they would reassess the threat to Australia, and some stadiums have flagged extra police and security at a raft of major upcoming events.

The threat level in Australia remains at ‘probable’ and, despite no direct threat, Victoria’s police chief Graham Ashton said they would “do an assessment following this event”.

???NSW Police said they are monitoring events but don’t believe there is any local link.

“As a matter of course, and as would be expected, we will look at the arrangements in place and determine whether any additional measures are required,” a spokesman said.

Several large events are scheduled over the next week including State of Origin, Sydney FC vs Liverpool FC at ANZ Stadium and AFL games at the SCG, MCG and Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium.

ANZ Stadium, which recently hosted concerts for pop stars Adele and Taylor Swift, said there will be a high presence of police and security for the Liverpool showcase match on Wednesday.

“The Stadium is constantly reviewing its security procedures and is having ongoing dialogue with police,” a spokesman said.

Etihad Stadium and the MCG said they were reviewing security measures.

“People coming to the MCG this weekend should do so in the knowledge that providing a safe and secure environment remains our top priority,” an MCG spokesman said.

Nicola Palfrey, director of the Australian National University’s Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network, said the attack was a “watershed moment” that would undoubtedly deter young event-goers.

“We haven’t had an event that has so explicitly targeted young people so it may well encroach on young people’s sense of their own safety,” she said.

“There is a tipping point at which people will start to get spooked at these sorts of events and it seems you can’t get much more innocent than taking your children to an Ariana Grande concert. Unfortunately I think this is a bit of a watershed.”

Clinical psychologist Dr Vicki Trethowan said parents now face a difficult prospect if their child wants to go to a concert but she encouraged them to keep perspective and not instil fear in everyday life.

“You want to be vigilant but you want children to feel that they can still engage in activities that children like to engage in,” she said.

She recommended limiting kids’ exposure to news, speaking in their language and reassuring them that adults are trying to keep them safe.

Mr Sheridan, the former NSW Police commander for major events, said it is difficult to secure every area around a stadium but Australian event organisers were world leaders at responding to emerging threats.

The federally-funded Australian Child and Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network has resources on helping children to process disasters.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.