Hells Angel kills NSW anti-bikie laws

Police and politicians have been forced back to the drawing board in their fight against serious gang-related crime after a single Hells Angels member succeeded in having NSW’s tough anti-bikie laws scrapped.

In a remarkable legal challenge which could have national ramifications, Derek Wainohu, a Sydney Hells Angels member, asked the High Court to declare the Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Act invalid — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Saudi execution prompts Indonesia maid travel ban

Indonesia is to stop allowing its citizens to work as domestic servants in Saudi Arabia after the execution of a maid for murder last week.

Officials said the moratorium would begin on 1 August and last until the countries could agree on a policy of fair treatment for migrant workers.

Ruyati binti Sapubi, 54, was beheaded on Saturday after confessing to killing her employer, saying he had abused her.

Saudi Arabia apologised for not telling Indonesia, Jakarta said — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Welsh schoolboy killed former girlfriend for free breakfast

A schoolboy murdered a former girlfriend by battering her with a rock after he was promised a free breakfast if he carried out the killing, a jury heard.

The alleged killer, aged 16, lured Rebecca Aylward, 15, to woods near Bridgend in south Wales where he attacked her, Swansea crown court heard. To divert suspicion, he told her to tell friends she was meeting someone else. But she did not follow his directions and revealed his identity to her mother, the jury heard on Tuesday.

The boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denies murdering Rebecca in October last year and blames his best friend — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Our Lefty Military

Yet if we seek another model, one that emphasizes universal health care and educational opportunity, one that seeks to curb income inequality, we don’t have to turn to Sweden. Rather, look to the United States military.

You see, when our armed forces are not firing missiles, they live by an astonishingly liberal ethos — and it works. The military helped lead the way in racial desegregation, and even today it does more to provide equal opportunity to working-class families — especially to blacks — than just about any social program. It has been an escalator of social mobility in American society because it invests in soldiers and gives them skills and opportunities.

The United States armed forces knit together whites, blacks, Asians and Hispanics from diverse backgrounds, invests in their education and training, provides them with excellent health care and child care. And it does all this with minimal income gaps: A senior general earns about 10 times what a private makes, while, by my calculation, CEO’s at major companies earn about 300 times as much as those cleaning their offices. That’s right: the military ethos can sound pretty lefty — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Canada launches anti-fraud plastic banknotes

Canadians will be packing more plastic in their wallets with the launch of new polymer bills that replace paper-cotton notes.

The Canadian dollar has traded above parity with the US greenback for months, and gets technologically tougher with the new plastic money designed to thwart counterfeiters.

The polypropylene substrate lasts 2.5 times longer and makes it harder to copy than the existing paper-cotton money, according to the Bank of Canada. It marks the first full-scale use of a substrate other than paper for Canada’s currency — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Child prostitution charges for Sydney man

A western Sydney man has been charged after he allegedly sold underage girls for sex for at least a decade.

He was arrested yesterday after police raided his Granville unit, where officers say they discovered a large quantity of pornography and other evidence.

The 53-year-old faces charges including aggravated sexual assault of a child, causing and benefiting from child prostitution and operating a premises where a child participates in prostitution — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Reunited With His Dog: A Dying Man’s Last Wish

Every time paramedic Jan Erceg thinks about Kevin McClain, she gets goose bumps. Of the thousands of patients she’s seen in more than three decades on the job, she says McClain is one she’ll never forget.

His story will be burned in her memory because of the bond the dying man shared with his dog, Yurt, a connection Erceg said defies explanation — via redwolf.newsvine.com

British Library makes Google search deal

One of the world’s biggest collections of historic books, pamphlets and periodicals is to be made available on the internet for the first ailable on the internet for the first time.

The British Library has reached a deal with search engine Google about texts dating back to the 18th Century.

It will allow readers to view, search and copy the out-of-copyright works at no charge. Google will also make the books available on its site — via redwolf.newsvine.com

African jitters over blogs and social media

African governments are turning to more sophisticated techniques to block internet sites and bloggers who they perceive to be a threat.

That is the conclusion of The Committee for the Protection of Journalists, who together with the internet giant Google SA, have gathered African journalists together in Johannesburg’s financial hub Sandton to take stock in the wake of the North African uprising — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Soviet army monument in Sofia gets touch of colour

The monument to the Soviet army in central Sofia is no stranger to graffiti, which pops right back up as soon as the monument is washed every spring.

But on the morning of 18 June 2011, passers-by were treated to more than just the usual graffiti tags and anti-communist slogans. The sculpture composition at the base of the monument was painted overnight to turn the metal soldiers into well-known pop culture icons; the inscription below the composition proclaimed it to be in step with the times.

Comic book characters led the way, with The Mask, Batman’s nemesis the Joker, Wolverine of X-Men fame, Superman and Captain America all featured, joined by Santa Claus and Ronald McDonald, among others. The flag held by the soldiers was painted in the stars and stripes of the US flag; — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Strike action may close Australia’s borders

Proposed industrial action by staff at several Federal Government departments could shut down airports and seaports, and leave Australia’s borders unsecured.

The work agreements of about 150,000 Commonwealth public servants are due to expire on 30 June, but no replacement has been agreed on.

Enterprise bargaining negotiations with the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) have stalled, and staff at several agencies are a step closer to taking industrial action.

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) will today apply to allow Immigration and Customs staff to take protected industrial action from 1 July — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Jewish push for marriage

A new group is hoping to energise Jewish support for same-sex marriage following a statement supporting marriage equality by Progressive rabbis.

We, the members of the Moetzah, the Rabbinic Council of Progressive Rabbis of Australia, Asia and New Zealand, support marriage equality under Australian law, the Council wrote in May, writing that Progressive Judaism believes all people are created in God’s image and are therefore entitled to full equality — via redwolf.newsvine.com

HMRC To Use Web Robots To Hunt Down Tax Cheats

The announcement from the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) says that it will utilise web robot software to search the internet and find targeted information about specified people and companies. HMRC also says that by using the software it can more accurately pinpoint people who have failed to pay the right tax.

But it seems that the government software will also be used to locate people who are trading without informing HMRC — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Victoria reinstates religious right to discriminate

The Baillieu Government’s controversial Equal Opportunity Amendment Bill has been passed through the Upper House.

The bill passed early this morning, with 19 votes to 17.

The legislation will reverse changes made by the former Brumby Government — due to come into effect in August — which tightened the ability of religious organisations to discriminate against GLBT people — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Chinese Spying Devices Installed on Hong Kong Cars

For years now Chinese authorities have been installing spying devices on all dual-plate Chinese-Hong Kong vehicles, enabling a vast network of eavesdropping across the archipelago, according to a Hong Kong newspaper.

The report in Apple Daily states that the recording devices began being installed as inspection and quarantine cards in July 2007. They were installed without charge by the Shenzhen Inspection and Quarantine Bureau on thousands of vehicles — via redwolf.newsvine.com

The myth of temporary protection visas

In the ongoing debate about asylum seekers, it’s not unusual for misinformation to be spouted as if it is fact.

The recent publicity about how Malaysia treats non-citizens, confirmed by UNHCR officials, at least puts paid to the nonsense that asylum seekers moved on from that country where they had the option of living in safety. Not possible without work rights, without access to education for children and in a country where caning is normal practice for people without visas.

But the misinformation around the asylum seeker issue abounds. In particular, it intrigues me that there continues to be calls for Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) to be reintroduced as a deterrent to asylum seekers when all the evidence points to them being a factor in increasing the number of boat arrivals — via redwolf.newsvine.com

From breed to behavior: Cleveland City Council revises vicious dog ordinance

Cleveland City Council voted to amend part of the City’s vicious dog ordinance (Ord. 712-11) during its Monday night meeting. Major changes to the law include two classifications for threat dogs: Level I – Dangerous & Level II – Vicious. Emphasis on the classification is based upon evidence of behaviour of the dog, not the breed. The pit bull breed will no longer be considered vicious. — via redwolf.newsvine.com

NSA Declassifies 200-Year-Old Book

A cryptology instruction book… 202 years old. A photograph of the U.S. Army’s cypher bureau… from 1919. A breakdown of Russian electoral districts… circa 1948. Schematics for a magnetic tape memory system… nearly half a century old.

These are just some of the items that, had you seen them, would have irreparably damaged US national security. These are just a few of the documents, mere citizen, that for decades were far too sensitive for your uninitiated eyes — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Rapist’s flood hero award revoked

The Queensland Government has revoked an award given to a flood volunteer because the man is a convicted rapist and armed robber.

Bob Riddler was nominated for a local hero award after helping the Shiloh Christian Church at Goodna, west of Brisbane, during the January floods.

He removed rubbish and cleaned houses in the Ipswich suburb.

He had previously served 12 years in jail and had only been released in September last year — via redwolf.newsvine.com

New York Adds Free AT&T Wi-Fi to Public Parks

New York-dwelling tech geeks rejoice: Pretty soon, you’ll be able to access Wi-Fi while lounging in the park.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, along with AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson, announced Thursday a five-year initiative to bring free Wi-Fi to 26 locations in 20 New York City parks across the boroughs. Today, AT&T Wi-Fi will be up and running in Battery Bosque (a garden in Battery Park), the north-end playground in Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx, and around the recreation centre at Thomas Jefferson Park in East Harlem — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Symantec Australia to shutter software unit

Symantec is expected to inform staff tomorrow that it will close development and product engineering operations in Australia.

Symantec confirmed that the company planned to outsource some its software engineering development work to India and other low-cost centres.

It said that its Sydney offices in North Sydney and Kent Street in Sydney’s CBD would remain open — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Court rules Jake O’Dell not guilty of burning Sammie

Jake O’Dell, 25, was found not guilty of dousing Sammie — a female staffordshire bull terrier cross — in petrol and setting it alight because evidence suggests his cousin, Ben Rainey, also had the opportunity to do it.

Mr O’Dell did not appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court for the decision today.

Magistrate Fred Field found either Mr O’Dell or Mr Rainey, who were neighbours of Sammie’s owner Alice McDonnell, could have attacked Sammie at her West Croydon home in August 2009 — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Missouri jury awards $1.95 million in hog lawsuit

A southwest Missouri jury has awarded a total of about $1.95 million to 12 plaintiffs who claimed odours from a factory hog farm had ruined their way of life.

The Barton County jury announced its verdict Saturday after a two-week trial. Iowa-based Synergy, which owned the hogs, and Kenoma, the local company that raised them, are liable for damages, according to The Joplin Globe — via redwolf.newsvine.com

More than 70 per cent of NHS trusts break rules to deny IVF – and save money

Women unable to conceive naturally are being denied IVF on the NHS because they are too young, too old, too fat, smoke or live in Wales — in flagrant breaches of the guidelines.

The arbitrary nature of the restrictions placed on NHS fertility clinics around the country is revealed today in research which shows that more than 70 per cent of primary care trusts are ignoring guidance from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (Nice) to offer infertile couples three free cycles of IVF.

Five of the trusts — Warrington, West Sussex, Stockport, North Yorkshire and York, and North Staffordshire — do not provide IVF on the NHS at all — via redwolf.newsvine.com

A close look at the Rise Up Australia Party

When people are dissatisfied with their elected representatives, they have a few options open to them.

They can protest, lobby, or mount advertising campaigns to pressure politicians. They can join a party and attempt to change it from within. They can decide to run for office as an Independent. They can opt out of voting altogether.

Or they can do what the Australian Democrats and Australian Greens did before them – start their own political party.

This weekend, two groups did exactly that.

Independent MP Bob Katter announced the formation of his Katter’s Australian Party.

And evangelical Christian group Catch the Fire Ministries launched its Rise Up Australia Party — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Bribery in India: A website for whistleblowers

Imagine if you had to pay a bribe to see your newborn baby, get your water supply connected or obtain your driving

licence. It’s an everyday fact of life in India — but campaigners are now using people power and the internet to fight back.

Uncover the market price of corruption, proclaims the banner on the homepage of ipaidabribe.com.

It invites people to share their experiences of bribery, what a bribe was for, where it took place and how much was involved — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Jailed rape victim seeks to sue Commonwealth

A Brisbane woman who claims to have been drugged and raped by coworkers in Dubai plans to sue the Commonwealth of Australia after she was jailed for adultery.

Alicia Gali, 29, has already been granted leave to sue the Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, alleging her employer breached its workplace obligations by failing to have systems in place to protect workers against assault — via redwolf.newsvine.com

School to ban kids who are not toilet-trained

A group of parents here have turned an agitated lot after a primary school threatened to ban their children if they were not sent properly toilet-trained.

Headmistress Patricia Deus warned parents that her teachers were spending hours every week helping children as old as five to go to the loo. Many are still wearing nappies, Daily Express reported Saturday — via redwolf.newsvine.com

British spies use cakes in cyber war

British intelligence has hacked into an al-Qaeda online magazine and replaced bomb-making instructions with a recipe for cupcakes.

The cyber-warfare operation was carried out by MI6 and the GCHQ signals intelligence agency to disrupt the terrorists’ attempts to recruit lone-wolf agents using a new English-language web publication called Inspire — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Conroy: Filter alive and kicking

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy went in to bat for the Labor Government’s mandatory internet filter again, reaffirming the commitment to the unpopular policy. Nothing has changed since earlier debates; the filter still has the same problems it has always had -– it’s useless, unworkable and expensive. It still won’t help anybody — via redwolf.newsvine.com

Dog training scheme helps troubled kids

Kayla Raymond’s golden labrador Stormy has brightened the teenager’s life, navigating her through family tragedy.

The 18-year old Para West High student in Adelaide’s north, is part of the “Lab for life” program which links at-risk kids to train specially bred assistance dogs.

The service has been co-opted for a new youth mentoring program which will see 30 young people with disability or mental health issues go through the scheme in July — via redwolf.newsvine.com