Turnbull government considering banning laptops on some international flights

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Qantas Dreamliner on Qantas website Photo: QantasPrime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says is considering a United States-style ban on airline passengers bringing laptop and tablet computers into the cabins of some international flights.
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In March, the US – quickly followed by Britain – introduced the prohibition on electronic devices on flights from a number of countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

US authorities are now considering extending the ban to flights from Europe, triggering concerns of chaos on transatlantic routes.

Experts have warned the new security protocol could mean longer security lines, heightened delays, boarding gate confusion, and yet more hassles for passengers.

Asked on Tuesday if the government was considering a similar restriction on large electronic devices brought from some international hubs, Mr Turnbull said the government was “looking at it very closely”, and taking advice on the matter.

“We’re working very closely with our partners and, in due course, any announcements will be made formally through the Transport Minister,” he said.

At the time of the initial US announcement, the government said it had no plans for such a change.

On Tuesday, Transport Minister Darren Chester said “the government continuously monitors shifts in the threat environment domestically and overseas to ensure we have the best security arrangements in place to meet the challenges we face”. ‘Enormous interruptions’

Aviation safety consultant Geoffrey Askew – a former Qantas executive responsible for security and safety – said such a ban would have a huge impact on passengers and airlines, particularly when first put in place and especially if applied to flights from to the US.

“You would have to introduce some measure at screening points where laptops could be taken from passengers and taken to the hold,” he said.”The logistic of doing it would be significant and the interruption … would be enormous.”

John Coyne, a national security analyst with the n Strategic Policy Institute, said the United States’ original laptop ban came from intelligence relating to a specific threat, and believed would be unlikely to follow suit without a similarly defined threat.

“If there’s no specific threat or risk, then they’ve got to carefully examine it – is the measure just going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars and not have any fundamental additional impact on security?” Dr Coyne said.

“If the government has specific intelligence indicating a specific threat or risk in relation to laptops [on flights] to and from , then as sure as I’m sitting here they would ban them from being carried.”

Dr Coyne said banning laptops from cabins raised the issue of whether security screening devices were good enough to detect explosive devices. and its allies needed to continue to review screening processes as terrorist groups continued to innovate to find news ways to bring explosives on board, he said.

A Qantas spokesman said ‘s largest airline was closely monitoring the issue and was in regular contact with the government and regulators.

The American laptop ban applies to flights originating from 10 airports in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar and Morocco.

Britain’s measure applies to inbound flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.

Mr Turnbull’s remarks came as US media reported that President Donald Trump had disclosed classified details to Russian officials, allegedly concerning terrorist plots involving laptops.

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TheatreRumoursKen Longworth

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RELATIONSHIP ROMP: The cast of Rumours, which is being staged in St Matthew’s Anglican Church Hall, in Georgetown.EYEBROWS were raised when acclaimed American playwright Neil Simon penned a farcical comedy called Rumors in 1988.
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Simon was renowned for his down-to-earth and warm use of comedy to look at people’s relationships.

Nonetheless, Rumors proved to be a laugh-raiser with United States audiences, who generally aren’t fans of farce, and Simon in 1990 paid tribute to renowned British writers of farce by developing a version set in London.

That rewrite, given the English spelling Rumours, has been a hit worldwide, with actors and audience members alike finding it to be fun.

Newcastle actor Steve McLauchlan so enjoyed playing several years ago one of the Rumours’ central characters, a well-to-do lawyer who tries to hide what appears to have been a suicide attempt by a prominent politician, that he put his hand up for the same role in a production by Newcastle G and S Players Comedy Club that opens on June 2. And he won it.

His character, Ken Gorman, and wife Chris (played by Sandra Monk), also a lawyer, are the first arrivals at a dinner party being held at the home of Britain’s Deputy Minister of Finance to celebrate the 10th anniversary of his marriage.

They find the man lying upstairs, with a gun in his hand and a bullet wound in an ear lobe. His wife and servants aren’t in the house, and the meal hasn’t been prepared.

The couple, who have their own problems, try to keep what has happened from subsequent arrivals.

But the cover-up become increasingly desperate. And each pair also has troubles, with one husband and wife having had their luxury new car sideswiped on the journey.

Ultimately, two policemen turn up, for an unexpected reason.

The cast also includes Geoff McLauchlan, Jan Hunt, Peter Eyre, Kim MacKay, Erol Engin, and Natalie Burg, with Bob Spargo and director John McFadden as the cops.

Steve McLauchlan says there is a lot of cleverness in the play, “but actors have to work hard on it, not only in delivering the lines but presenting the characters in such a way that audience members can relate to them”.

His character, for example, is almost deafened by a gun unexpectedly firing a bullet.

Rumours is being staged in St Matthew’s Anglican Church Hall, in Wentworth Street, Georgetown, as a dinner show, with performances on Fridays, June 2 and 16, Saturdays June 3, 10 and 17, and Sunday, June 11.

The meal begins at 7pm. Dinner and show tickets are $40.

There will also be a show only matinee on Sunday, June 11, at 2pm; tickets $20.

Bookings: 0432 886 149.

Attorney General Mark Speakman asked to decide on Folbigg baby killings review case

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FOUR babies died, a Hunter mother was convicted of their killings and the community was rightly shocked, angered and saddened by the loss of those innocent, vulnerable lives.
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It has been 14 years since Kathleen Folbigg was sentenced to 30 years’ jail for the crimes that horrifiednot only the Hunter, but the nation. There the matter would have ended,with a motherpaying the penalty for the worst crimes imaginable.

But like another case involving a Hunter mother and the death of her baby –Lindy Chamberlain’s conviction forthe murder of baby daughter Azaria –there have been questions about the Folbigg convictions for some time, and from credible quarters.

It has been nearly two years since Newcastle University Legal Centre and three Newcastle barristers lodged a petition with NSW Governor David Hurley seeking a judicial review in the Folbigg case, and nearly four months since it has been with Attorney General Mark Speakman.

Supporters of a review believe it is not unreasonable to ask for a decision based on the strength of material before the Attorney General, and the number of years Folbigg has already served.

Folbigg was convicted of killing her four babies after a jury was convinced of the Crown case beyond reasonable doubt. But just one report in the petition for a review –that of respected n forensic pathologist Professor Stephen Cordner –raises significant doubt about those convictions.

Professor Cordner found there was no pathological or medical basis for concluding homicide in any of the Folbigg baby deaths, which raises serious questions about how their mother came to be convicted of murdering three of her babies, and the manslaughter of a fourth.

A second report by a British expert directly contradicts what the jury was told –that were no reported cases in the world of four babies in one family dying of sudden infant death syndrome.

Our judicial system relies on convictions only after the Crown meets a high standard –proving a case beyond reasonable doubt. But when there is reasonable doubt about convictions, it also provides for a judicial review.

The community needs to have faith in a justice system that can accommodate an extraordinary response to an extraordinary set of circumstances. That response needs to be made in a timely fashion.

Issue: 38,493.

Three girls ‘took stolen vehicle on 500km drive’

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Three girls have been stopped by police after driving a stolen vehicle more than 500 kilometres from Queensland to the NSW Mid North Coast, police say.
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When officers approached the four-wheel-drive in Taree South on Monday afternoon, they allegedly found a 15-year-old girl in the driver’s seat, with her two friends, aged 13 and 12, in the passenger seats.

Police said the Nissan Murano, which belonged to one of the girls’ relatives, had been reported stolen from outside a house on the Gold Coast on Monday morning.

The same vehicle was spotted at a service centre on Bucketts Way in Taree South about 4pm on Monday.

Police allege the 15-year-old girl had driven the vehicle nearly 500 kilometres from the Gold Coast to Taree with her two friends before police caught up with them.

Inspector Ben Atkinson, from the Manning-Great Lakes Local Area Command, said the girls told police that they were on their way to Sydney.

He said it was remarkably lucky that no one was injured.

“They’ve driven 500-odd kilometres on one of the busiest pieces of road in the country. You have trucks, other motorists, people with caravans and novice drivers. The risk is pretty high,” he said.

The oldest girl had been dealt with under the Young Offender’s Act, and all three children had been placed in the care of the NSW Department of Family and Community Services.

The incident comes less than a month after a 12-year-old boy was stopped by police in Broken Hill after he attempted to drive across on his own.

The boy, who was reportedly tall and more mature looking than his age, was about 1300 kilometres into his planned journey from Kendall, near Port Macquarie, to Perth when highway patrol officers pulled him over on April 22 when they noticed his car’s bumper dragging along the ground.

“Checks revealed the driver to be a 12-year-old boy travelling from Kendall, NSW, on his way to Perth,” a police spokesperson said at the time.

The boy told police he was planning to visit relatives in Western .

He was issued with a caution for the illegal use of a conveyance, failing to pay for petrol and unlicensed driving. /*\n”,color:”purple”, title:”Girls stopped”, maxWidth:200, open:0},{lat:-27.97500, lon:153.40210, text:”

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Man, 37, dies after being stabbed in the leg in a Wagga driveway

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A man has died in a Wagga Wagga driveway after he was stabbed in a suburban park before stumbling down a street and collapsing outside a home.
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Emergency services were called to French Place about 3.45am, arriving to find the 37-year-old man in a driveway with a serious leg injury. Paramedics treated the man’s injuries, but he died at the scene.

Police believe two men had been fighting in a small park between French Place and Toy Place, where one man was stabbed. He then stumbled away and collapsed in the driveway, where he later died. The home is not believed to be connected to the attack.

A 28-year-old man handed himself in to police about 10am.

Acting Inspector Ryan Sheaff said the 28-year-old man, from the suburb of Tolland, was assisting police with their inquiries, but no charges had been laid.

He said it was believed the men were known to each other. The deceased man was from Junee, north of Wagga Wagga.

Strike Force Bonarius was formed to investigate the man’s death and police are believed to be searching for the weapon used in the attack.

Forensic services examined the front yard of the home as police kept both ends of the small street blocked off.

Detectives from Wagga Local Area Command were investigating the death.

Neighbours were shocked to find the small cul-de-sac blocked off as a crime scene on Tuesday morning.

“It’s terrible,” one woman said. “I’m just shocked, we didn’t hear anything last night.”

Another neighbour said there had been fights previously in the suburb, but nothing like this.

“People have rows, but this is a bit surprising,” he said.

“I’m worried because there are kids in the street and there are maniacs running around killing people.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact Wagga Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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