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August 29, 2018

Brisbane, Australia Magistrates Court charges two cotton farmers for $31m fraud

Brisbane, Australia Magistrates Court charges two cotton farmers for $31m fraud

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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

On Tuesday, two officers of cotton farming conglomerate Norman Farming in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court for alleged fraud of the government. Queensland Police alleged over the past seven years the farmers submitted fraudulent claims to receive funding from Queensland’s Department of Natural Resources, resulting in an approximately AUD20M dishonest personal financial gain. The Court laid charges and released the defendants on bail.

According to the results of the investigation by Police, the two men allegedly falsified documents, including invoices, misrepresenting work from contractors as earthwork supposedly in aid of improving water irrigation efficiency. The two allegedly presented farming-related work on their property on six projects as aimed at improving the efficiency of water irrigation at their property near Goondiwindi.

Police arrested the chief executive officer (CEO) of the conglomerate, 43-year-old John Norman, and the conglomerate’s chief financial officer, 53-year-old Stephen Evans. They appeared in Court represented by their lawyers. In the Court they were charged, Norman with six and Evans with four counts of aggravated fraud, Norman with six and Evans with four counts of fraudulently producing or using a false record. Police opposed bail, however the Magistrate released the two on bail conditionally, requiring they surrender their passports.

According to reports by Australian Broadcasting Corporation and The Guardian, neighbours of Norman Farming had complained to the authorities about Norman Farming’s work resulting in excessive removal of floodwater from the McIntyre river, leading to reduced availability of water for the farmers downstream.

Queensland’s Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy provided the funding as a part of its Healthy Head Waters scheme. Detective Inspector Mick Dowie said the Department did not have the authority of police to compel provision of documents, leading to difficulty with verifying the invoices which the two submitted in their application.

Dowie said the investigation took over a year to complete, including analysis of accounting reports.



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June 4, 2016

Brisbane man granted bail after being charged with rape of 15 year old girl

Brisbane man granted bail after being charged with rape of 15 year old girl

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Saturday, June 4, 2016

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At the Brisbane Magistrates Court, a 19-year-old man from Brisbane, Australia was granted bail on Saturday after being charged with raping a 15-year-old girl late last week. Magistrate John Costello granted the defendant bail on the condition that he would report to the police station three times per week, continue residence at his current address and stay at home at night – unless his work required otherwise. The defendant was also told not to contact the complainant or the witness.

The two had met Thursday night at the Royal George Hotel in Fortitude Valley before heading to his home around 3:00 local time to engage in sexual interactions. The man was charged with four counts of rape, as well as one count of unlawful sodomy of a person under 18 and three counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16.

There was a contest of whether the defendant knew the victim’s age. Patrick Quinn, the defendant’s lawyer, claimed that the girl showed him a fake over-18 identification card, and only told him her real age the next day. Sergeant Scott Pearson, Police prosecutor, said the defendant was aware that the girl was under the age of consent as there was evidence in his texts to his friends, and that one person told the defendant to delete the texts in order to get rid of the evidence. In court, the girl denied showing him any kind of identification card and stated that she told him her age from the beginning.

Another question argued was the question of consent. The lawyer Patrick Quinn also argued that all the sexual activity was consensual. The defendant admitted to having oral and vaginal sex with the victim, but denied sodomy.

The Court would resume on the 4 July 2016 for a committal mention and disease testing of the defendant. The committal mention process is a short hearing which includes processing paperwork, formally pleading guilty or not guilty to the offenses. The trial would be assigned to a later date.



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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Brisbane man granted bail after being charged with rape of 15-year-old girl

Brisbane man granted bail after being charged with rape of 15-year-old girl

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Saturday, June 4, 2016

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Coat of Arms of Queensland.

At the Brisbane Magistrates Court, a 19-year-old man from Brisbane, Australia was granted bail on Saturday after being charged with raping a 15-year-old girl late last week. Magistrate John Costello granted the defendant bail on the condition that he would report to the police station three times per week, continue residence at his current address and stay at home at night – unless his work required otherwise. The defendant was also told not to contact the complainant or the witness.

At the hearing, there was a contest of whether the defendant knew the victim’s age. Patrick Quinn, the defendant’s lawyer, claimed that the girl showed him a fake over-18 identification card, and only told him her real age the next day. Sergeant Scott Pearson, Police prosecutor, said the defendant was aware that the girl was under the age of consent as there was evidence in his texts to his friends, and that one person told the defendant to delete the texts in order to get rid of the evidence. In court, the girl denied showing him any kind of identification card and stated that she told him her age from the beginning.

Another question argued was the question of consent. The lawyer Patrick Quinn also argued that all the sexual activity was consensual. The defendant admitted to having oral and vaginal sex with the victim, but denied sodomy.

The two had met Thursday night at the Royal George Hotel in Fortitude Valley before heading to his home around 3:00 local time to engage in sexual interactions. The man was charged with four counts of rape, as well as one count of unlawful sodomy of a person under 18 and three counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16.

The Court would resume on the 4 July 2016 for a committal mention and disease testing of the defendant. The committal mention process is a short hearing which includes processing paperwork, formally pleading guilty or not guilty to the offenses. The trial would be assigned to a later date.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Brisbane man granted bail after charged with rape of 15-year-old girl

Brisbane man granted bail after charged with rape of 15-year-old girl

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Saturday, June 4, 2016

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At the Brisbane Magistrates Court, a 19-year-old man from Brisbane, Australia was granted bail on Saturday after being charged with raping a 15-year-old girl late last week.

Coat of Arms of Queensland.

Magistrate John Costello granted the defendant bail on condition he report to the police station three times weekly, stay at home at his current address at night unless his work required otherwise, and contact neither complainant nor witness.

At the hearing, there was a question of whether the defendant knew the victim’s age. Patrick Quinn, the defendant’s lawyer, claimed she showed the defendant fake identification showing she was over 18, and only told him her real age the next day. Sergeant Scott Pearson, Police prosecutor, said the defendant’s texts to friends indicated he was aware she was underage, and said one person advised he “get rid of the evidence”. The court was told the girl maintained she had been honest about her age from the beginning and had not shown any false identification.

Consent was also questioned. Quinn argued all the sexual activity was consensual. The defendant admitted to oral and vaginal sex, but not sodomy.

The two had met Thursday night at the Royal George Hotel in Fortitude Valley before heading to his home around 3:00 local time. The man was charged with four counts of rape, as well as one count of unlawful sodomy of a person under 18 and three counts of indecent treatment of a child under 16.

The defendant is to be tested for disease. The Court is to resume the case on July 4, 2016.



Sources[]

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

April 20, 2016

Charges against Sally Faulkner and 60 Minutes news crew dropped in Lebanon abduction case

Charges against Sally Faulkner and 60 Minutes news crew dropped in Lebanon abduction case

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

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Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner and the crew of Australian current affairs program 60 Minutes are free to leave Lebanon after kidnapping charges against them were today dropped.

Faulkner reportedly made a deal to secure her release, accepting her estranged husband Ali el-Amine’s custody of her two children. This comes after she allegedly hired professionals to abduct the children in Beirut on April 7 while in the care of their Lebanese grandmother.

While personal charges against Australian journalist Tara Brown, her three crew members and Faulkner have been dropped, they still face criminal charges in Lebanon of kidnapping and being members of a criminal gang. If the state chooses to pursue these charges, it could require the accused to return to answer them.

Channel Nine Middle East correspondent Tom Steinfort said that Nine’s lawyers have confirmed bail has been paid for the TV crew, and that they will fly to Australia from Beirut tonight.

The deal between El-Amine and Channel Nine resulted in a significant financial settlement, Fairfax Media reports.

El-Amine is still pursuing charges carrying a maximum 20-year sentence against the crew of Child Abduction Recovery International (CARI) who allegedly conducted the operation.

Adam Whittington of CARI, along with several others involved in the alleged kidnapping, remained in custody. Their lawyers claimed positive developments in the case, saying “everyone will take advantage of the deal.”

In remarks on Monday to News Corp Australia, Whittington said he has receipts for A$115,000 paid directly by the Nine Network to fund the operation.

According to Steinfort, in dropping charges against the 60 Minutes crew, El-Amine told Judge Rami Abdullah the reporters were ‘just doing their job’, and later joked to Steinfort about his relationship with Channel Nine.



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April 16, 2016

Lebanon child abduction charges against mother may be dropped in exchange for custody

Lebanon child abduction charges against mother may be dropped in exchange for custody

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Saturday, April 16, 2016

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Sally Faulkner, who allegedly hired professionals to snatch her children from Beirut last week, was offered kidnapping charges to be dropped if she relinquishes custody of her children, according to reports yesterday. This is on the condition she will have full access rights, but must never take the children back to Australia.

The children’s father and Faulkner’s estranged husband, Ali el-Amien, took the children to Lebanon on holiday in 2014 and never returned them to their Brisbane home. Faulkner was granted sole custody of the children, Lahela and Noah, by the Family Court of Australia in December of last year. Faulkner’s lawyer, Ghassan Moghabghab, said Lebanese religious authorities had granted the father full custody.

In remarks to Australian news service ABC News, Moghabghab said money supplied by the Australian current affairs program 60 Minutes was paid to Child Abduction Recovery International, who conducted the abduction last week.

Mr Moghabghab has declined to make further statements, saying it may influence legal negotiations. The Nine Network has also refused to comment on allegations of giving A$115,000 to Faulkner either as payment for rights to the story or to fund the abduction.

The 60 Minutes news crew was remanded in custody beside Faulkner on Wednesday. They face potential jail time of up to 20 years. The crew’s charges include kidnapping, physical assault, withholding information and forming an association to commit a crime against a person. The case has been adjourned until Monday. Judge Rami Abdullah says there is “no chance” of the charges being dropped against the 60 Minutes crew.

According to Child Recovery Australia, less than half of Australian children abducted by a parent are returned through legal means. Lebanon isn’t party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says Australia is making every effort to support the crew and Faulkner, but the legal jurisdiction of Lebanon has to be respected.



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June 24, 2013

Toowoomba, Brisbane City take out Roller Derby wins on Australia\’s Sunshine Coast

Toowoomba, Brisbane City take out Roller Derby wins on Australia’s Sunshine Coast

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Monday, June 24, 2013

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Caloundra, Queensland — Wikinews attended a roller derby event at the Caloundra Indoor Stadium on Australia’s Sunshine Coast on Saturday. The event, entitled Winter Whackdown, featured the hosting association — the Coastal Assassins Roller Derby (CARD) — fielding two teams, the Toowoomba Range Renegades and the Brisbane City Rollers Punk Blockers.

Upon arrival, the spectators were still filing into the stadium.

Ace Invaders 90
Toowoomba Range Renegades 263

The opening bout between the CARD Ace Invaders and the Toowoomba Range Renegades started around 5:15pm local time (0715 UTC). The Range Renegades won 263 points to 90.

The Ace Invaders trailed for most of the match
Video: Patrick Gillett.

Video: Patrick Gillett.

Roller derby score.JPG
Image: Patrick Gillett.
Retaping.JPG The track had to be retaped on some occasions.
Image: Patrick Gillett.
Roller derby crowd.JPG A reasonable crowd showed up to the event
Image: Patrick Gillett.

Video: Patrick Gillett.

Player rejoining play.JPG Rogue Maiden rejoins play after getting knocked off track.
Image: Patrick Gillett.
Mid jam behind Ranges Renegades bench.JPG
Image: Patrick Gillett.

Blood Diamonds 127
Brisbane City Rollers Punk Blockers 215

The second bout between the CARD Blood Diamonds and the Brisbane City Rollers Punk Blockers started around 7:30pm (0930 UTC). The Punk Blockers won 215 points to 127.

Muffy Marauder as jammer.JPG Muffy Marauder as jammer for the Blodd Diamonds
Image: Patrick Gillett.

Blood Diamonds v Punk blockers Roller derby non skating officials.JPG Blood Diamonds v Punk blockers Roller derby non skating officials
Image: Patrick Gillett.

Roller derby ref.JPG A referee keeps an eye on play
Image: Patrick Gillett.
Dutchess of Hazard scoring (roller derby).JPG Dutchess of Hazard (22) scoring vs Blood Diamonds
Image: Patrick Gillett.
Dutchess of Hazard scoring (roller derby) 2.JPG
Image: Patrick Gillett.
Dusty Flya scoring (roller derby).JPG Dusty Flya (81 white) scoring vs Punk Blockers
Image: Patrick Gillett.
Blood Diamonds and Punk Blockers 2013.JPG Blood Diamonds and Punk Blockers roller derby teams
Image: Patrick Gillett.



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April 29, 2013

Australian Jesse Williams drafted in fifth round by the NFL\’s Seattle Seahawks

Australian Jesse Williams drafted in fifth round by the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Sunday, the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks drafted Brisbane, Australia native nose tackle Jesse Williams in the fifth round of the NFL Draft. Going into the draft, there were some expectations by the Brisbane Times and other media outlets that Williams might be selected in the first round. Injuries, which resulted in Williams being unable to participate fully in the NFL Combine, likely were reasons why he was not selected higher.

Gridiron football is not the most popular football code in Australia, with rugby league, rugby union, soccer, and Australian rules football all being more popular participation sports. Williams’ youth sporting career reflected this, with Williams playing rugby union until he was 15 years old at which time he switched codes and joined the local gridiron team, the Bayside Ravens. A year later, his playing ability earned him a scholarship offer from the University of Hawaii. He could not meet the university’s academic standards so eventually he attended Western Arizona Community College instead. In 2011, he transferred to the University of Alabama and played for the Alabama Crimson Tide for two seasons. Both seasons, his Crimson Tide team won the national championship.

Williams’ selection is unique amongst Australians as most Australians who have played in the NFL have been kickers. He is also only the second Australian ever to be drafted in the NFL Draft.



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August 27, 2011

Australia\’s Channel Nine Network sacks two journalists for faking footage

Australia’s Channel Nine Network sacks two journalists for faking footage

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Channel Nine in Brisbane has fired two journalists and a producer for faking two live news crosses to aerial footage above the site of a search. In a live news cross, journalists broadcast back to the newsroom in real time when an event is happening.

Melissa Mallet and Cameron Price and Producer Aaron Wakeley were sacked by the Nine Network after rival Channel Seven filmed footage of the Nine News helicopter sitting on the helipad at the time it was supposed to be in the air on a live cross near the site of a search for the remains of a missing schoolboy, Daniel Morcombe. Evidence emerged the helicopter had not been near the site of the search during a live cross on the previous day, as well.

Channel Nine began an investigation after the footage came to light.

The incident, labelled “Choppergate”, has lead to the network’s credibility being questioned. Following the scandal, Lee Anderson, Queensland news director, resigned after 25 years at the network.

The Nine Network boss, David Gyngell, issued an apology. “The integrity of the Nine news brand is the value of Channel 9. Integrity is paramount. … Staff made a massive mistake, and on my watch. That will never, ever, happen again. I am truly sorry.”

The network has said that the decision to sack the journalists and producer was necessary for the network’s credibility and the trust viewers place in their information.

Cameron Price said he was considering legal action against his dismissal. “Thanks for all the support”, he tweeted to his followers. “I believe what happened today is completely unfair … And I am seeking advice on the matter.”

Bruce Morcombe, Daniel Morcombe’s father, said of his family, “We genuinely see it as a storm in a teacup and feel quite sorry for the loss of those people’s jobs”.



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May 17, 2009

After Eurovision win, Norwegians show their patriotism on Constitution Day

After Eurovision win, Norwegians show their patriotism on Constitution Day

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Oslo schoolchildren taking part in the Children’s Parade at the Royal Palace on 2005’s Constitution Day. People from all over Norway celebrated the national holiday today with festivals and parties.

Alexander Rybak’s win for Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday evening was well-timed; it was on the eve of Norway’s Constitution Day.

Constitution Day, observed on May 17, commemorates the first Norwegian constitution drafted at Eidsvoll in 1814. Now it celebrates Norwegian independence as a whole, which was granted by Sweden in 1905.

Eurovision win aside, Norwegians don’t necessarily need a good reason to celebrate Constitution Day; the Norwegian people are some of the most patriotic in Europe and the iconic national flag, red with a white and indigo blue Scandinavian cross, can be seen waving from buildings and in the hands of most Norwegians at festivals and parties.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, on a visit to Spain, was greeted by 2,000 Norwegian expatriates waving flags in the town of Torrevieja, where he gave a speech, giving warm greetings in both Spanish and Norwegian. Stoltenberg noted that 40,000 Norwegians live in Spain, roughly 1% of Norway’s current population, and was impressed by the turnout not only from Norwegian citizens but also from Spanish people who also helped celebrate Norway’s Constitution Day. Stoltenberg was later joined by Spanish and Norwegians at the old sailor’s church in Torrevieja, where he placed a wreath commemorating fallen Norwegian sailors.

Boy Scouts, a symbol of Norwegian patriotism, march with Norwegian flags down Karl Johans gate in the 2005 Constitution Day parade.

In Norway, the annual Oslo Children’s Parade, a national institution, occurred in the morning with children from all 111 of Oslo’s schools taking part. The children walked with brass bands playing festive music up Oslo’s main street, Karl Johans gate, to the Royal Palace where they were warmly greeted by the Royal Family. Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit, who greeted children in Asker earlier in the morning, toured the Oslo ward of Grünerløkka in the afternoon. All celebrations in Norway went off with few errors, the most notable being the delay of trains using the Oslo Tunnel, in which a helium balloon floated into the tunnel, causing a brief scare for train operators.

Celebrations for Norway’s Constitution Day occurred all over the world, from a gathering in a Shanghai hotel where 300 Norwegians feasted on imported traditional Norwegian foods, to a street parade in Brisbane, Australia, where the police had to stop traffic for the revelers. Norway’s neighbor Sweden was especially happy on Constitution Day, where Norwegian-Swedes dressed in folk costumes and held up copies of the newspaper Expressen, who deemed Norway’s winning Eurovision song “the best winner since ABBA” and published a large headline in Norwegian, stating “We look forward with you.”

Constitution Day will end with Norway’s new national hero Rybak, deemed “Alexander the Great” in the Norwegian newspapers, arriving at Oslo’s Gardermoen airport at 9:25 p.m. local time (1925 UTC). Record crowds are expected to greet him, as he invited everyone via state television to the airport for his trip home.

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