Thursday, August 08, 2019

Canadian fugitives found dead in bush

Canadian police believe they have found the bodies of Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod, the teenagers suspected of murdering Australian Lucas Fowler, his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, and university lecturer Leonard Dyck. The discovery was made at 10am on Wednesday, local time, in dense bushland near the Nelson River near Gillam in Canada. The site is within 1km of location where personal belongings of the two were found on Friday, about 9km from where their vehicle was discovered in flames nearly three weeks ago. The discovery was “a relief”, according to Manitoba’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police commanding officer Jane MacLatchy. “It's huge to be able to hopefully give some people the opportunity to exhale and not be afraid of who's out in the woods any more,” she said.

The head of Parliament's intelligence committee has drawn parellels between the world's approach to containing China and the “catastrophic failure” in preventing the rise of Nazi Germany. In an opinion piece for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, Liberal MP Andrew Hastie warned: “If we don’t understand the challenge ahead for our civil society, in our parliaments, in our universities, in our private enterprises, in our charities — our little platoons — then choices will be made for us. Our sovereignty, our freedoms, will be diminished.” The former SAS soldier referenced US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comment about the world being “asleep at the switch” on China’s rise, made at the US-Australia security summit on Sunday. A recent Chinese defence white paper suggested Australia had contributed to regional instability through its military ties to the US. The piece comes as Chinese authorities visited the family of an international student who participated in protests at an Australian university, to warn his parents of the consequences of political dissent. The protests were related to mass civil unrest in Hong Kong, for which Australia has issued a travel warning.

More than 120,000 people who had their welfare payments suspended last financial year were later found by their job agency to have had a valid reason for not meeting obligations, according to Guardian Australia. There has been a 70 per cent increase in the number of suspensions since changes last year introduced the automatic halting of payments when welfare recipients are believed to not be meeting their “mutual obligation”, causing significant distress

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has spoken out against European taxes on flights that aim to reduce carbon emissions. “We don’t want to go back to the 1920s and not have air ­travel,” he told ($) the annual Centre for Aviation summit in Sydney yesterday, where he suggested that the aviation industry was working to reduce emissions on its own. Airlines aren’t the only industry facing a backlash regarding climate change, with mining giant BHP under pressure to abandon its membership of the Minerals Council of Australia, which is supporting an ad campaign to stoke “national pride” in coal.

In sport, soccer player Mindy Barbieri resorted to a public fundraising campaign to pay for a $10,000 operation for a ruptured ACL sustained during an Australian national team camp, highlighting the financial challenges facing female athletes. As the campaign gained traction and high-profile support on social media, Football Federation Australia announced that it would cover Barbieri's medical bills.

A question of dignity
After Kate O’Halloran’s grandmother was placed in residential care, her family complained about her treatment. The centre responded by threatening to withdraw her place.


“Over the past year, while sitting as judge in Alice Springs, Katherine and surrounding communities, Borchers has made multiple derogatory comments from the bench. In November last year, he told a lawyer representing an Aboriginal woman that ‘one day we might read some … important anthropological literature, we might learn something about what’s called Indigenous laissez-faire parenting’ in order ‘to understand why it is that people abandon their children on such a regular basis’. In March, he told an Aboriginal man that he was ‘just like a primitive person dragging his woman out of the cave ready to give her a further beating’.”


“Latham, with his tendency towards nostalgia, may seem particularly prone to the appeals of the far-right, with its longing for a golden age in which the West stood tall. But the nostalgia you see so often in Latham’s writings, for the suburbs of his childhood, is not so far from the nostalgia of some parts of the left, which too fondly remember a time when winning elections seemed easier, because those suburbs, full of white working-class men, were the only group they had to reach.”


“‘I sat down at the kitchen table and there was dad Mike, who’s Nigerian; mum Lidia, from Moldova; then these two kids, Iren [pronounced Irene] and Stefan, who arrived as toddlers and are as Irish as can be,’ Geelong’s talent identification manager says. ‘Throw in me from Australia [and] there were that many accents going around the table we needed about three translators.’”


“Brace yourself Australia, the southeast is set to experience the ‘strongest weather system this winter’ with high winds, cold temperatures and sleet and snow on the horizon. The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a range of warnings across New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria as a cold front is set to sweep through from Thursday until Sunday. In NSW there is a severe weather warning for damaging winds across the Illawarra, Snowy Mountains and parts of the South Coast and Central Tablelands. Winds gusts are expected in excess of 90km/hour with showers and thunderstorms in places.”


“It could literally be raining cats and dogs in Victoria on Thursday with the State Emergency Service warning people to tie down outdoor furniture, trampolines and even pets as winds of 100km/h sweep through. The worst cold snap this winter will blast through the state over the next four days, bringing with it gusty winds, blizzard conditions and potential hail.”


“On Sunday, state television broadcast a report about Mr Berdymukhamedov, which showed him driving a rally car to the Hell's Gate crater — a flaming pit in the middle of the Karakum Desert. The report also showed Mr Berdymukhamedov, wearing a military-style outfit and a backwards-facing baseball cap, scoring three strikes in a bowling game, prompting rounds of standing applause from underlings dressed in identical tracksuits. The 62-year-old autocratic leader has previously been filmed performing a rap song with his grandson, shooting targets while riding a bicycle, and even giving Russian President Vladimir Putin a puppy.”



Max Opray is Schwartz Media’s morning editor and a freelance writer.