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Why do I no longer call Australia home | Instant News


Ian Lloyd Neubauer is a freelance journalist based in Southeast Asia.

One of Australia’s most senior legal officers, New South Wales police commissioner Mick Fuller, proposed an application last month that allows consenting couples to officially record their consent before engaging in sexual activity.

“Just like we have to check in at a coffee shop to keep people safe [from COVID-19], is there a way for consent to be confirmed or documented? “Fuller wrote in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, adding that the tool could help courts prosecute increased allegations of sexual harassment.” That app could be a bad idea, but maybe within 10 years. , it will look like normal. “

While the idea has been rejected by women’s rights groups who say the application could make it difficult for women to prove rape, to me, it is another reminder of why I left Australia years ago and happily remained abroad during the pandemic. although I will. probably much safer at home.

You can no longer get drunk in pubs in Australia. You cannot bring your dog into a car without a special seat belt. You can’t ride a bicycle without a helmet or lights on – even during the day. Australian police rarely resort to the violence common to other countries, but they have a much more dangerous method of destroying human souls: crippling fines.

A Sydney man was recently fined Australian dollars ($ 87) for accidentally leaving a car window past the set 20mm threshold. In the state of Queensland, you can be fined AU $ 112 for leaving your car door unlocked. Honking a car horn for no apparent reason – illegal use of a warning device – is subject to a fine of AU $ 298 in NSW.

According to Wheels magazine, Australians pay AU $ 1 billion in fines annually thanks to the many speed cameras hidden behind unmarked police vehicles, often strategically parked under hills to catch drivers in the right places. speed limit.

Before running away from so-called Lucky Country, I stopped driving altogether to avoid all these fines. But one day, riding my bike 200 meters to the corner shop, I was stopped by a police officer and fined AU $ 330 for failing to secure the chin strap to my bicycle helmet. I was then fined another AU $ 106 for failing to bring identification.

There’s a joke about over-regulation in Australia, that “One day, you need permission to fart.” But after Commissioner Fuller proposed regulating sex, I believe it was only a matter of time before this crazy idea and others like it, cut straight from the Netflix social media horror series. Dark Mirror, Passed into law.

Think I’m being paranoid? Well, consider the way Australian authorities distort the subject of rebels during the pandemic.

In December, nine people were fined AU $ 349 for using their cell phones while waiting in their car in line for hours to be tested for COVID-19 at Sydney’s famous Bondi Beach. “I feel like [telling the police officer to go] filled in. I am trying to do the right thing, “one woman in the queue told The New Daily. Had she done so, she would have been fined an additional AU $ 660 or sentenced to up to six months in prison for violating the state’s controversial offensive language law.

During Melbourne’s second lockdown last year, nearly 20,000 fines of up to AU $ 5,000 were issued for not wearing a mask in public, failure to self-isolate and other health protocols. This included fines for 3,000 people for violating the dubious 9:00 p.m. curfew, and a Indigenous man who was run over by police on charges of crime riding his bicycle to work half an hour after the curfew ended at 5:30 am

Melbourne police officer, photographed in September 2020: nearly 20,000 fines of up to AU $ 5,000 issued. © Getty Images

Freedom of speech is even a crime in Victoria, as evidenced by the case of a pregnant woman who was handcuffed to her home in front of her children and charged with sedition after she organized an anti-lockdown protest event on Facebook.

Another pregnant woman was given a move by police when she tried to sit on a park bench to rest, while the small number of people who actually attended the demonstration were greeted by Victorian police with the same kind of uncontrollable violence as us. used to see in Russia. “Rights must be upheld and strengthened during a pandemic, not abandoned,” said Elaine Person, Australia director of Human Rights Watch.

In the face of such paternalism, is it no surprise that every time a new COVID lockdown is announced Down Under, panicked shoppers strip supermarket shelves despite repeated demands from politicians that there is absolutely no need to stockpile food in a producing country. so much so that three-quarters of them were sent overseas?

In one incident, two women hit a supermarket for a packet of toilet paper. As toilet paper hoarding continued, supermarkets were forced to enforce their own laws, limiting purchases to two packs per customer. The lesson for me is clear: treat people like angry children and they will act like that when you turn away.

Australia may still be the luckiest country in the world. But for me and the tens of thousands of expats who have flown together and chosen freedom over security, Australia is also the most over-regulated – and least obliged – country on Earth.

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A ‘significant’ change was applied to claims for refugee status in New Zealand | Instant News


Plaintiffs have more time to prepare evidence, and interviews are now split over two days. Photos / Files

People applying for refugee status in New Zealand had longer to prepare their evidence and more days to complete interviews, in an effort to reduce stress and fatigue.

It is part of a series of changes introduced this month to make the process easier and clearer for plaintiffs to follow independent review in 2019.

The document is the result of the work of a cross-sectoral working group led by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), including the Law Society’s Committee on Immigration and Refugee Law.

Committee spokesman Nilu Ariunjukne told the Herald it was important.

“We have heard of some plaintiffs who have to seek extensions, but written statements [they] having to prepare often takes a lot of time and effort, ”he said.

“This involves a lot of information about the claim and the plaintiff’s representatives have to rely on a translator.”

In addition to introducing a longer timeframe for preparing documents and evidence, interviews will now be scheduled for two and a half days instead of seven-hour interviews in one day.

There is also now an option for detained persons to opt out of the expedited determination process if they need more time for their claims.

The changes follow an independent 2019 review by Victoria Casey QC, commissioned by MBIE, examining processes and procedures for making refugee and protection status determinations.

Casey QC says the standard interview time is around seven hours a day. Topics covered include the applicant’s family relationships, education, employment history and religion.

Practitioners raised concerns about the mental health risks to the plaintiffs late in the process, and said some felt stressed and exhausted in the afternoon.

In the last financial year, 320 refugee and protection claims were made. Only 29 were approved out of 154 decisions – an approval rate of 18.8 percent.

Most applications were made from Indonesia, 89, followed by India, 39.

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Substitutes: The demand for foreign embryos, eggs, sperm is increasing in New Zealand | Instant News


The demand for embryos to be sent to New Zealand from abroad to bear children has increased due to Covid-19. Photo / 123rf

Demand for embryos, eggs and sperm to be shipped to New Zealand has increased as Kiwis are no longer able to travel for fertility treatment abroad due to Covid-19.

But getting valuable cargo into the countryside in an attempt to create babies has become much more difficult.

Finding surrogate mothers or egg or sperm donors in New Zealand can be difficult, partly because paying them is illegal here. Most of the surrogate is someone parents know, but there is an increasing trend of people turning to the internet to find someone.

Prior to Covid, many expectant parents went to specialized clinics abroad where commercial surrogacy was legal and where embryo transfers would take place.

Dr Mary Birdsall, group director of Fertility Associates, said parents should rethink the process.

“We are seeing more and more demand from all kinds of different fertility treatments involving offshore clinics. So, people who want to send eggs, sperm, embryos around the world … and to New Zealand. I think Covid has made it a very nice landscape. more challenging. “

Specialized companies that usually have staff accompanying goods on board cannot provide that service, which creates a risk.

“The options for transferring embryos around the world are becoming much more limited and more expensive.

“What used to happen before Covid was you basically paid a courier to personally carry your embryos in a small portable freezing device. You can’t do that right now, unless they’re ready for quarantine.”

It is also likely that the operator will not receive an exemption from the New Zealand Government from being allowed into the country.

Some companies do offer unaccompanied transport services, Birdsall said, but he warns: “When they are so valuable, it only adds to the element of risk.”

The director of the Fertility Association group, Dr. Mary Birdsall.  Photo / Provided
The director of the Fertility Association group, Dr. Mary Birdsall. Photo / Provided

Fertility Associates makes 80 percent of surrogate applications to the New Zealand Assisted Reproductive Technology Ethics Committee, the body that considers and approves them for fertility clinics.

An Ecart spokesperson said they were still counting the number of substitutes approved in 2020 but there were 15 in the year to June 2016 and 14 in the year to June 2019.

Fertility Associates said the company submitted 25 applications to Ecart for surrogacy last year. All are approved, and one is suspended.

Attorney Margaret Casey QC, who has acted for targeted parents involving the birth of more than 100 children born via surrogacy in recent years, at home and abroad, said the US had been popular with Kiwis for finding surrogacy and for transfers. embryo. Most of the states were called “surrogate friend states.”

Attorney Margaret Casey.  Photo / Provided
Attorney Margaret Casey. Photo / Provided

“This means that it is regulated in that state, usually resulting in the parent in question having the first US birth certificate. There are still a few states in the US that transfer parents by adoption. Canada, Ukraine, and Georgia are also countries where People parents in New Zealand are looking for. If New Zealanders have cultural links with a country where surrogacy is approved, I also look at cases of surrogacy in that country. For example, South Africa, Namibia and Vietnam. follow so that surrogacy occurs legally. “

Many countries do not recognize surrogate mothers. In some countries, such as New Zealand, parents must adopt a child born through a surrogate mother, even if it is their biological child.

But she said it was difficult to see trends in surrogacy over the past year because of Covid.

“Obviously it is difficult to travel to other countries to make embryos with your genetic material during this time of Covid. It is difficult for surrogate mothers to go to the clinic for transfer due to internal travel restrictions and it is a very stressful time trying to manage a pregnancy remotely. “

Producing birth certificates and passports in countries that have been covered by Covid is also “very stressful”.

“The irony is because Covid surrogacy is more attractive in some overseas countries simply because the pace of life is slowing down and it might be a good time to get pregnant if that is something you are considering.”

She is calling for changes around reimbursement of a woman who agrees to act as reimbursement for pregnancy expenses.

“It doesn’t commercialize the pregnancy – it just prevents a person from going backwards because of the contribution. It’s too difficult to meet these costs under the current rules and that has to change.”

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The eulogy given to the six literary figures is no longer with us | Instant News


KARACHI: Continuing the laudable tradition of holding at least one session in memory of leading writers, poets, literary scholars, and even those involved in other art forms who have died in recent years, the International Urdu Conference at the Pakistan Arts Council in its third session. the day on Saturday featured a speech in honor of six literary figures.

The session did not include any speeches about the late Dr Asif Farrukhi – a fiction writer, translator, critic and founder of various literary festivals in the country who was a major driving force in the Karachi literary environment over the years – as he has been given the appropriate tribute. on the opening day of the conference on Thursday, with figures such as Zehra Nigah, Iftikhar Arif, Shamim Hanafi, Afzal Ahmed Syed, Fatima Hasan and Wajahat Masood pouring out their hearts to the audience in memory.

The session on Saturday was titled ‘Yaad-e-Raftagan’ (memory of the deceased) and was moderated by Nadeem Zafar Siddiqui.

Masood Mufti

The first soul who died who is remembered is a bureaucrat. Fiction and reportage writer Masood Mufti, who died on November 10, had been stationed in East Pakistan in 1971, six months before the fall of Dhaka.

He then spent one month in the new country of Bangladesh and two years in Indian custody as a prisoner of war, said fiction writer and critic Muhammad Hameed Shahid. The speaker added that the wounds the Mufti had suffered from the separation of East Pakistan never healed, and his literary work reflects that.

Shahid said that Mufti’s father was a principled and pious person, and he had obtained a true understanding of religion from him, which was completely different from how he saw religion manifest in society. The contrast between the true spirit of religion and how it manifests itself in its corrupt form in society is also a constant theme in his fiction, added the speaker. Chehre, Humnafas, Chehre aur Mohre and Mohaddab Sheesha are the names of several collections of short stories by Mufti.

Mazhar Mehmood Sherani The life and work of the late linguist Mazhar Mehmood Sherani, who was the son of the famous poet Akhtar Sherani and grandson of linguist Hafiz Mehmood Sherani (famous for his theory of the origins of Urdu in Punjab), is discussed by Dr Rauf Parekh. Mazhar died this June.

Dr Parekh remembers the late scholar as someone who was fluent in all classical disciplines, particularly Persian. He said Mazhar has written about 50 books, and his PhD thesis on his grandfather. The speaker mentioned two major literary projects undertaken by the late scholar: one of which he could complete but not the other.

The project completed by Mazhar is a compilation of all of his grandfather’s works in 10 volumes. Dr Parekh said Mazhar’s explanation in 10 volumes spoke of his extraordinary knowledge.

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The world “can no longer remain indifferent” to Indian terrorism in Pakistan: PM Imran Khan | Instant News


Prime Minister Imran Khan. – AFP / Files

Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Saturday that the world “cannot remain indifferent or silent” in the face of “incontrovertible evidence” provided by the Pakistan Army and the Indian Foreign Ministry’s direct involvement in terrorism in Pakistan.

“We have provided incontrovertible evidence of Indian state-sponsored terrorism within Pakistan. The detailed financial and material support and direct involvement of the Indian state in terrorism has been provided to a world which, in the face of this evidence, cannot remain indifferent or silent,” PM Imran said in a statement on Twitter.

The prime minister said given the evidence provided, Pakistan “expects the international community to force India to end its terrorism and prosecute those responsible for the killing of thousands of innocent people in Pakistan”.

He said that no one in the world doubted that Pakistan knew how to defend the country and “will continue to do so with our combined national determination”.

Evidence of Indian terrorism

Earlier in the day, Pakistan presented detailed documents containing evidence of India’s involvement in terrorism committed in Pakistan.

“Today, we have incontrovertible facts that we will convey to the nation and the international community through this file,” said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi during a speech at a press conference at the Foreign Office with the Director General of Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Babar Iftikhar.

During a detailed briefing, Qureshi and Maj. Gen. Iftikhar highlighted how India is promoting terrorism not only by using its own land but also neighboring countries and has developed plans to destabilize Pakistan.

Qureshi said India’s goal was threefold: thwart Pakistan’s journey to peace, promote economic growth and promote political stability.

Major General Iftikhar said that India is uniting its terror clothes and encouraging them to act against Pakistan. He said these organizations aimed to unite under the Baloch Raaji Aajoie Sangar (BRAS) which was formed in 2018.

He added that the Indian embassies and consulates operating along the Pakistani border became the center of sponsorship of terror against Pakistan.

The ISPR Directorate General said that India had assembled 700 militias to carry out terrorism in Balochistan, mainly with the aim of sabotaging the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The military spokesman said Indian intelligence agencies ran 87 terrorist camps – 66 of which are located in Afghanistan and 21 in India. He said India had also provided support to various entities through the provision of weapons, ammunition and IEDs.

Military spokesmen highlighted major offensives that were traced back to RAW.

Furthermore, he said that India would mobilize “enemy elements” to carry out various subversive operations in Kashmir and GB after November 20.

He said RAW also aims to target public gatherings and kill mainstream and sub-national leaders at GB or AJK.

The press briefing comes a day after the ISPR said four civilians and a Pakistani Army soldier were martyred in Indian forces’ “senseless and indiscriminate” shelling from across the Line of Control (LoC) in several areas of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

ISPR said India had suffered “huge losses” in Pakistan’s “appropriate response”.

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