Sharrouf children 'wanted to leave' Islamic State, say they pose no threat to Australia
(Translation appears in Arabic section)
North-Eastern Syria- M E Times Int'l: The orphaned children of notorious Islamic State fighter Khaled Sharrouf want to return to Australia, saying they are no threat to the community and never knew they were being taken to Syria.
With their parents and two oldest brothers dead and the last Islamic State group stronghold of Baghouz falling in March, 17-year-old Zaynab, 15-year-old Hoda and eight-year-old Humzeh, are now languishing along with other IS brides and children in the al-Hawl refugee camp in north-eastern Syria.
The children were taken to Syria and the Islamic State (IS) group by their mother and Sharrouf's wife, Tara Nettleton, in February 2014.
Speaking exclusively to Four Corners, they said they were desperate to escape the filthy camp, where they are living in a tent with another Australian woman and her child.
"I just want to get out of here," Zaynab said.
"We've been wanting to come home for a very long time, but we were just scared."
The 17-year-old is seven-and-a-half months' pregnant with her third child and has been diagnosed with dysentery and severe anaemia since arriving at al-Hawl three weeks ago.
Zaynab said they had wanted to flee IS for a long time but had heard rumours about what happened to those who left.
PM to spend $150m on roads projects across Victoria
Melbourne: More than $150 million in funding announcements are expected on Monday as the Prime Minister journeys south to present a congestion-busting pledge to Victorians. The announcement is anticipated as a move to garner support for Liberal MPs, with road projects planned in Alan Tudge's seat of Aston and Michael Sukkar's seat of Deakin.
Shorten pledges $250m to slash hospital waiting times
Melbourne: The Opposition Leader is continuing his focus on health, pledging $250 million to help slash wait times at public hospitals. Bill Shorten is expected to sell his health package when he visits the seat of La Trobe on Monday, a seat currently held by Liberal MP Jason Wood on a 3.2 per cent margin. It comes after Mr Shorten promised to end hospital funding wars with a $2.8 billion package to the hospital system if his Labor Party is successful in the May 18 federal election.
Labor MP under pressure over Israel views
W.A: West Australian Labor MP Josh Wilson has angered Jewish groups with his comments on Israel's treatment of Palestine, just days after the ALP lost a candidate to a similar controversy.
The West Australian has obtained video of Mr Wilson addressing the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network on the sidelines of the Labor conference last December.
Senator Sue Lines was also at the meeting.
"They are going to turn Palestine into Swiss cheese and that is what is happening," Mr Wilson is seen as saying.
Executive director of the Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council Colin Rubenstein told the West Mr Wilson's comments were "both insulting and insidious and should have no role in our national debate".
Israeli ambassador Mark Sofe was also critical.
Morrison pledges $42m mental health boost
Sydney: Scott Morrison has declared funding mental health a top priority as he campaigns for the coalition to win re-election.
The prime minister is hitting the hustings in Sydney on Saturday, targeting the Liberal-held seat of Reid after announcing a $42.1 million funding boost for mental health services for young and indigenous people.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison's campaign enters its third day on Saturday, which marks five weeks until the May 18 poll.
"I will not rest until we beat this," Mr Morrison told reporters in Sydney.
Mr Morrison's wife Jenny joined the campaign trail, touring the Headspace in Ashfield with the Liberal candidate for Reid Fiona Martin
Bill Shorten promises $125 million for cancer research
Sydney: Labor leader Bill Shorten has used his first full day of the election campaign to meet pancreatic cancer patients, pledging $125 million for research funding. Mr Shorten visited a flower market in the seat of Reid before making the cancer funding announcement in the seat of Bennelong. Labor is also promising billions of dollars to reduce out-of-pocket costs for millions of medical scans, including for cancer.
'We shouldn't turn our economy upside down for climate change': Abbott
Sydney: Tony Abbott’s seat of Warringah is under increasing threat from Independent Zali Steggall, who is pushing a climate change agenda. Ms Steggall, a former Olympic athlete, says she doesn’t support Labor leader Bill Shorten’s higher taxing plans, negative gearing changes or retiree tax, but has refused to support a Scott Morrison led Liberal Party because it is not being ‘real’ about climate change. Sitting member for Warringah Tony Abbott has said ‘climate change is real, and we should take sensible action to deal with it’ but Australia ‘should not turn our economy upside down in what could turn out to be a futile gesture’. He says Australia could ‘crash the economy’ to achieve greater climate action ‘and the world’s emissions would continue going up and up and up because we are just 1.3 per cent of global emissions’.
Treasurer: Labor Would be The Highest Taxing Australian Government on Record With $387 Billion in New Taxes
Canberra: If elected Bill Shorten will lead easily the highest taxing government in the nation’s history with his plan to hit the economy with $387 billion in new taxes over the decade.
Treasury costings indicate that Labor’s tax hit on the economy has almost doubled from their initial costings of around $200 billion to $387 billion.
This is equivalent to an extra yearly household tax bill of $5,400 within a decade.
Labor’s tax grab would punish hard work, aspiration and enterprise and damage the Australian economy costing jobs and lowering economic growth.
Labor can’t manage money. Bill Shorten is proposing a dangerous experiment on a scale that has never been conducted before.
From Labor’s past experiments, like the Mining and Carbon Taxes, we know their tax grabs won’t work and it will be Australians that pay the price.