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‘Second class citizen’: A call to action on Australian visas which the UN says is a problem | Instant News


The Federal Government is urged to take “urgent and immediate” action to tackle visas that trap foreign parents in Australia with restrictions that the UN says have a “serious impact” on human rights.

The 461 visa allows foreign nationals who are partners with New Zealand citizens to live and work in Australia – but problems arise when the relationship ends.

It can be renewed every five years, even when the relationship has ended, but only as a temporary visa, not permanent – and with no way to change it.

This means foreign nationals who are primary caregivers and are ordered to live in Australia, living without many rights.

This includes access to government financial support, housing subsidies and child care, and those who are unable to vote.

Other aspects include that they face harsh penalties for buying property because they are classified as “foreign investors”.

There are widespread problems for foreign women on temporary visas.(ABC News: Emma Machan)

Mary * is one of many women ABC has heard who are treated as she calls “second-class citizens.”

Mary, a foreign national, moved to Australia from a prosperous London suburb with her New Zealand husband and two young sons in 2014, but the relationship soon broke down.

She said she and her ex-husband spent nearly $ 500,000 in legal fees in the family court, which ruled she had to stay in Sydney.

She has three master’s degrees and is working in Sydney in property.

Now, the employer is restructuring and the owner wants to sell the place he is renting.

With the potential to lose her job and need a new lease, Mary said she and her son are at risk of poverty and homelessness.

‘I feel left out’

Mary has taken her case to the United Nations, which wrote to the Australian Government in July voicing concern about the impact of visas, which are said to have a “serious impact” on the human rights of migrant women.

Women like Mary cannot return to their homeland with their children, where they will have greater rights.

This could be because restrictions under the Hague Convention where children cannot be carried across the border without the permission of both parents, or because the family court has rejected relocation applications.

Stock image of a child hiding, looking annoyed.
Experts say the Hague Convention causes problems for children who should be protected.(AAP: Dave’s hunting)

Mary and her advocates are pushing for changes in migration rules so that if they are ordered by a court to stay in Australia as primary caregivers, they should be granted the rights and privileges of permanent residents.

If she has been married to an Australian citizen, it is possible that the temporary visa is changed to permanent in the event of a breakdown.

The government says it has issued 2,450 permanent visas on that basis over the past five years.

But on an Australian visa attached to a New Zealand citizen, there is no such route.

Mary said a lawyer told her the visa had so many restrictions it was “inconceivable” that she would have to be detained in Australia.

“This violates the principles of family law and immigration,” he said.

Over the years, he said he had been obsessed with situations of “injustice and injustice”.

“Despair and sadness are eating me alive,” he said.

“I feel like I’m not a citizen of any country. I feel left out.

Illustration of a woman behind bars.
Foreign parents in Australia can be trapped in very precarious situations.(ABC News: Emma Machan)

Intervention

Mary’s situation made it to the United Nations after she was inspired by a similar case where women approached the body because of perceived injustice.

Last year, Melbourne mother of three, Juanita McLaren, went to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women as part of a human rights complaint about the poverty levels single mothers face in Australia.

And in a landmark case in the Netherlands in 2017, it was decided that under EU law, foreign nationals who are the primary caregivers will have the same rights as Dutch citizens if they are ordered to remain in the country by the Family Court.

The United Nations wrote to the Australian Government on Mary’s behalf in July and raised some concerns.

National unity building with rows of flags
United Nations office in Geneva, which is investigating Mary’s case.(Provided: UN.org)

It said Mary had lived in Australia “in conditions of vulnerability and uncertainty, with restrictions on movement and inability to access social protection and support, as a result of the discriminatory impact of the intersection of family law and immigration law”.

She added: “We are concerned that while her freedom of movement has been limited on the grounds that children have the right to have relations with both parents, the Government has not at the same time ensured she has the same residency rights as her children and ex-husbands.”

Mary said she was very pleased the UN was highlighting her case.

“I feel very empowered,” he said.

The Government response sent in September provided no solution other than suggesting that Mary look at other visa options, such as skilled migration.

However, Mary is not eligible for skilled migration because her employer has a company policy not to sponsor employees, and she also needs to retrain to qualify under the skills category.

Mary said her response was disappointing, but not surprising.

“I really think they don’t understand what’s going on.

“They simply don’t understand their 461 visa has caused so much trouble and trouble for the children and the mother.”

Urgent action

Pip Davis is the lead attorney at the NSW Women’s Legal Service and said the state and federal governments needed to take “urgent and immediate” steps.

A woman with short blonde hair and black glasses.
Pip Davis of the NSW Women’s Legal Service.(Provided)

“This is a loophole that the Government needs to address urgently so that all visa holders benefit from the same protection regardless of visa status,” he said.

Assistant Shadow Minister for Community and Family Violence Prevention Senator Jenny McAllister said the government had “many tools” to deal with problems with migrants on temporary visas.

A woman in brown earrings and short silver earrings.
Labor Senator Jenny McAllister called for immediate action.(AAP: Lukas Coch)

“The Minister for Women’s Affairs said this was a ‘priority’ for her but her actions said otherwise,” she said.

“At the very least the Minister should commit to including this at the next COAG Women’s Safety Ministers meeting and direct his department to work across government to provide practical options for supporting these women and children.”

A spokesman for New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said he had regularly raised the issue with the Australian Government.

“New Zealand is aware that some of its partner New Zealand citizens who have 461 visas face various challenges in Australia and that in some cases those challenges will increase during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed there was no “direct path” to the permanence of the 461 visa, but said “applicants can meet the eligibility criteria for permanent residency under different visa streams”.

A spokeswoman said: “This issue is a priority for the Women Minister, who is working closely with ministry colleagues across the government to advance practical policy solutions to better support women on temporary visas.”

Mary said she would continue to fight for her and her children not to be treated as “second class citizens” – and to raise awareness.

“I don’t expect that to change next month or next year, or maybe even in the next five years.

“But I really don’t want anyone else, no other parent with primary care responsibilities, to be in this situation.

“They shouldn’t – that’s surprising.”

* Not his real name

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Two Kovis are infected for the first time in the Marshall Islands | Instant News


[Zawgyi/Unicode]

The first two cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed today in the Marshall Islands, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean. A 35-year-old woman and a 46-year-old man were diagnosed with the virus on their way back to the US Marshall Islands from Hawaii. They returned from Hawaii, Honolulu, to a military base on Kwajalein Atoll Island in the Marshall Islands. The secretariat said in a statement that the two confirmed patients were not related and were being monitored separately. Government offices and businesses are allowed to operate normally.

With nearly 50,000 people infected in India today, this is a daily decline. In total, more than 8,000,000 people have been infected and more than 120,500 have died. Store; Business; Trains and cinemas have been allowed to reopen. With the onset of winter and the Hindu festival, health experts warn that the spread of disease could increase.

In Pakistan, restaurants and bars were set up to control the epidemic. Wedding hall; All businesses, including markets, are open until 10pm. Authorities in the capital, Islamabad, have urged police to arrest those who break the rules by not wearing masks. There have been more than 311,100 cases and more than 6,700 deaths in Pakistan so far.

Officials say COVID-19 is now under control in China’s Xinjiang province. The National Health Commission said 23 new cases were asymptomatic. Today marks the second day the virus has been tested in Xinjiang.

[Unicode Version]

Two Kovis are infected for the first time in the Marshall Islands

The first two cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed today in the Marshall Islands, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean. A 35-year-old woman and a 46-year-old man were diagnosed with the virus on their way back to the US Marshall Islands from Hawaii. They returned from Hawaii, Honolulu, to a military base on Kwajalein Atoll Island in the Marshall Islands. The secretariat said in a statement that the two confirmed patients were not related and were being monitored separately. Government offices and businesses are allowed to operate normally.

With nearly 50,000 people infected in India today, this is a daily decline. In total, more than 8,000,000 people have been infected and more than 120,500 have died. Store; Business; Trains and cinemas have been allowed to reopen. With the onset of winter and the Hindu festival, health experts warn that the spread of disease could increase.

In Pakistan, restaurants and bars were set up to control the epidemic. Wedding hall; All businesses, including markets, are open until 10pm. Authorities in the capital, Islamabad, have urged police to arrest those who break the rules by not wearing masks. There have been more than 311,100 cases and more than 6,700 deaths in Pakistan so far.

Officials say COVID-19 is now under control in China’s Xinjiang province. The National Health Commission said 23 new cases were asymptomatic. Today marks the second day the virus has been tested in Xinjiang.

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AMP Australia accepts a takeover offer from Ares Management | Instant News


(Reuters) – AMP Ltd AMP.AX said Ares Management Corp. based in the US ARES.N has made a non-binding bid to buy out troubled Australian wealth managers, sending its shares soaring to the highest in more than 17 years.

FILE PHOTOS: The logo of AMP Ltd, Australia’s largest retail wealth manager, adorns their headquarters which is located in the heart of Sydney, Australia, May 5, 2017. REUTERS / David Gray

The Sydney-based company said discussions were at an early stage and did not reveal the value of the offer. AMP had a market value of A $ 4.40 billion ($ 3.1 billion) as of Thursday.

Australian media, which first reported on the takeover discussions, said Ares had offered about A $ 5 billion. Ares declined Reuters requests for comment.

AMP shares jumped 21.5% in early trading to A $ 1,555, the highest level since early September.

The wealth manager’s stock has lost more than two-thirds of its value since a public investigation in 2018 exposed systemic errors at the company including charging fees for advice that was never given, taking insurance premiums from the accounts of deceased clients, and misleading regulators.

The disclosures led to the resignation of the chairman and CEO, and the loss of another chairman this year through handling complaints of employee misconduct.

The client has left the company, with net cash outflows of about A $ 2.4 billion from its flagship fund management unit in the third quarter.

AMP sparked talks about a buyout or liquidation in early September when all of its assets were under review.

On Friday, it said it had received “significant” interest in its assets and was evaluating various options, including sticking with its own three-year settlement plan.

AMP handed over its position as Australia’s largest wealth manager to IOOF Holdings Ltd IFL.AX after a rival bought National Australia Bank Ltd. NAB.AX financial advisory agency in August.

Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Edited by Vinay Dwivedi and Stephen Coates

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Aqua Capital achieves sales of Fertiláqua in Brazil | Instant News


SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Aqua Capital, Latin America’s largest agribusiness and food-focused private equity firm, said on Monday that it had sold Fertiláqua, one of Brazil’s leading plant nutrition companies, according to a statement sent to Reuters.

ICL buyers ICL.TA, an Israel-based specialty minerals and specialty chemicals company, paid about $ 120 million plus potential performance-based revenue of 10%, the statement said.

The deal will encourage the expansion of ICL’s crop nutrition business in Brazil, one of the world’s fastest growing agricultural markets and a leading producer of commodities such as soybeans, sugar and coffee. Aqua Capital has owned Fertiláqua since 2013.

“Negotiations amid the COVID-19 pandemic present additional challenges,” said Sebastian Popik, managing partner of Aqua Capital, in an interview after the deal closed. “There is currency volatility and everything is done remotely because no one from the Israeli team is coming here.”

Aqua has $ 650 million under management and has controlling stake in 13 companies in agribusiness, including producers of agricultural inputs, distributors of agricultural inputs, and consumer food companies that make dairy and sell wine. Combined, Aqua-owned businesses have revenues of $ 1.2 billion and employ more than 6,000 people.

Popik told Reuters that a deal to sell Fertiláqua, which distributes agricultural input products using retailers across the country, was reached with ICL after about six months of talks.

This year, Aqua is still preparing to announce the acquisition of a new agricultural input distribution business, said Popik. He declined to reveal details of the impending deal because it has not been made public.

Reporting by Ana Mano; Edited by Steve Orlofsky

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European partner Coca-Cola made $ 6.6 billion playing for Australian bottlers | Instant News


SYDNEY / BENGALURU (Reuters) – The Coca-Cola Co. KO.N European bottlers have approached a A $ 9.28 billion ($ 6.6 billion) purchase for their Australian counterpart Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd CCL.AX, a discount proposal supported by the target company due to the uncertainty related to the coronavirus.

FILE PHOTOS: Workers walk at PT Coca-Cola Amatil Indonesia’s factory in Cibitung, West Java Province, Indonesia, February 24, 2011. REUTERS / Beawiharta

The deal will be the biggest takeover involving Australia this year, but the target company price was below market valuation in February, before the fear of the COVID-19 pandemic began to rattle global markets and plunge the world into recession.

Support from Australia points to expectations of an economic recovery that could take years, a gloomy view compared to some local economists pointing to improvement in economic indicators. Coca-Cola Amatil’s profits have been hit hard by restaurant and pub closings since March.

The country’s second most populous state, Victoria, is only now starting to allow food retailers to open after a new wave of infections prompted a second closure.

“We are very confident about the recovery that business is doing (but) there is clearly uncertainty over the next few years with the economic situation, and only the risk of a further health outbreak could disrupt business,” said Coca-Cola Amatil Chief Executive Alison Watkins in an investor call on the day. Monday when asked about prices.

Coca-Cola Amatil shares rose as much as 15% to A $ 12.31 in morning trade, below its proposed offer price of A $ 12.75, indicating investors are expecting a deal may not materialize.

On February 20, the company’s shares closed at A $ 13.07 but a month later they are trading below A $ 8 amid a broad turnaround as the Australian lockdown progresses. Stocks continue to increase along with the broader market .AXJO as the state relaxed restrictions and the number of new cases decreased.

A spokesman for The Coca-Cola Co, which owns 31% of the Australian company and 19% of the London-registered Coca-Cola European Partners PLC CCEPC.L (CCEP), said in an email that the deal would be “in the best interests of the shareholders of both the company and the Coca-Cola system as a whole”.

The Australian firm said CCEP would conduct due diligence before making a binding offer. The deal also requires approval from the Australian Foreign Investment Review Agency, which was given more powers this year to block offshore deals deemed a security or supply chain risk.

CCEP in a statement said the deal would nearly double its consumer reach, “ultimately fostering sustainable and faster growth, through diversification and geographic scale.”

Reporting by Byron Kaye in Sydney and Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Edited by Peter Cooney and Christopher Cushing

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