International student Aiia Maasarwe's alleged killer pleads guilty
(Translation appears in Arabic section)
Melbourne- M E Times Int'l: A self-described rapper has pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of international student Aiia Maasarwe in Melbourne. The Palestinian student’s body was found near a Melbourne tram stop in January after she was attacked on her way home from an evening at a comedy club. 20-year-old Codey Hermann appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday via video link showing no emotion and spoke only to say, ‘I plead guilty’. The court heard the Maasarwe family wants to keep the details of the attack classified, as they are too distressing.
Morrison under pressure to reform media protection laws
Canberra: Prime Minister Scott Morrison is under pressure from people within his party to look at possible law reforms in the wake of recent AFP raids on media organisations. Speaking in Singapore, Mr Morrison says his government will examine the matter 'soberly and calmly', but insists it's important to let investigations into security leaks run their course and to keep it 'in perspective'. Prime Minister Morrison and the government have come under extreme scrutiny over the raids on a News Corp editor's home and at the ABC's Sydney offices earlier this week.
Dutton defends AFP raids on media
Canberra: Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has defended the actions of federal police after they controversially raided members of the media. Mr Dutton sidestepped questions about whether journalists who published secret documents should be prosecuted, saying 'I'm concerned if people are leaking top-secret documents, that can affect our national security'. 'There are good reasons and long-standing reasons why a country like us would classify documents in such a way,' he says. Labor Leader Anthony Albanese has taken aim at Mr Dutton, saying press freedom needs to be protected. 'Australians are concerned that media's capacity to scrutinise government is under threat,' he says, promising to defend democracy and press freedom 'even if the government won't'.
Accused Darwin gunman apologises in court
Darwin: The man accused of fatally shooting four people in Darwin has made a surprise apology in court. Benjamin Hoffman, 45, made his first appearance via video link after being charged with four counts of murder. During his court appearance, Hoffman admitted he needed help, telling the judge he was 'very sorry about what happened’. In addition to the murder charges, Hoffman is facing two charges of recklessly endangering life and one of criminal damage following his alleged shooting spree in the Northern Territory city on Tuesday. A young woman was also caught up in the gunfire but survived the attack. The case has been adjourned until September.
"The shooting in Adelaide is not connected to terrorism ...”, Morrison said
Darwin: The 33-year-old Hassan Beidoun was shot dead by the gunman, Ban Hoffman, who fired randomly at the Palm Hotel and five other places in the Australian province of Darwin, media sources said on Tuesday.
According to police, the number of dead reached 4. Beidoun was the first victim of the offender. He worked as a taxi driver after he finally graduated from the university in computer engineering.
"Beidoun was in a break for lunch when he was shot," the taxi company said, expressing sadness at him as he has a fine reputation.
Police have investigated Hoffman's motives for the crime, saying he was released from prison in January.
No evidence has been identified linking Beidoun, the victims and the offender Hoffman.
"The shooter is known to the police and the shooting sites included a hotel and a supermarket," said police commissioner for the northern land district, Reece Kershaw.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is currently in London on an official visit, expressed his condolences to the victims’ families and said: "The incident is not related to terrorism. The community of Darwin is small and interdependent.” He noted that this incident shook him violently stressing that " The northern province has started its procedures to know the attacker’s motives. "
Toddler Ruben Scott's body found on Cape York property after three-day search
Queensland: Police divers have found the body of missing toddler Ruben Scott in a large dam on his family's Cape York property.
The two-year-old was last seen at the homestead on Koolatah Station, about 100 kilometres from Kowanyama in Cape York, on Tuesday afternoon.
Emergency services were joined by staff from neighbouring cattle stations and the local Indigenous Land Council to search for the little boy.
The massive search operation scoured the property for three days by land, water and air.
Aust greenhouse emissions continue to rise
Canberra: Environmentalists are calling on the federal government to change its approach to climate policy, after the latest data showed Australia's greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.
The December quarter figures released on Thursday show a 0.8 per cent increase compared to the previous quarter and a 0.7 per cent rise from the same time last year.
The increase has again been pinned on the liquefied natural gas industry.
Emissions in the electricity sector fell by 3.5 per cent in the year to December and agricultural pollution dropped by 3.3 per cent.
But emissions increased in the other six sectors due to growing LNG exports, and steel and aluminium production.
Morrison govt's ministry officially sworn in
Canberra: Prime Minister Scott Morrison's new team have officially been sworn in at Government House. The ministry includes the equal highest number of women ever elevated to cabinet and Australia's first Indigenous cabinet minister.