It is just before midnight and an 18-year-old girl is sitting in the gutter after her high school formal after-party.
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The end-of-year celebration at a house in Auburn in Sydney’s west has been shut down. The teen, from a Catholic school on the north shore, is eager for a lift home after several hours’ drinking.

A car, with a man in his 30s behind the wheel, pulls up beside her and sparks up conversation.

The teen will later tell police the next thing she recalls is being in the passenger seat of his car and feeling the overwhelming effects of alcohol as they weaved through the streets of western Sydney.

It was the beginning of a nightmare 24 hours for the school student, who was allegedly kept captive, sexually assaulted repeatedly by three men and forced to smoke drugs.

The scale of the allegations can be revealed after a statement of facts was tendered in Penrith Local Court, where the accused, Ali Imrak, 37, and Ruhi Dagdanasar, 45, made a failed attempt for bail last week.

Another man involved in the alleged sex attack hasn’t been identified.

Four separate videos showing the alleged sexual assaults at a house in Glenwood were played during the bail hearing with the crown alleging the victim was so intoxicated she was incapable of giving consent.

According to the fact sheet, after getting into the man’s car outside the after party, the victim was driven to a two-storey house where Imrak and Dagdanasar were.

Feeling uneasy, the teen sent her friend a text stating “can you come and get me. I am scared. I am at these weird druggo guys house”.

She was allegedly pressured into drinking alcohol before Dagdanasar put a pipe up to her mouth and told her to smoke the white substance inside.

Over the next few hours she was allegedly sexually assaulted by three men despite being dizzy and unable to stand.

At one point, Dagdanasar allegedly commented that the victim was drooling and unable to lift her head while one of the other men was allegedly having sex with her.

She passed out and woke up to someone forcing her to have oral sex. The teen was allegedly led up to a bathroom and undressed while the unidentified man stood watching her, stating “you’re so f—ing gorgeous”.

The teen was allegedly made to have sex but “continued to fall over due to her level of intoxication”, according to the facts.

“(The teen) yelled out in pain saying no,” the court documents state.

“At this point the unknown accused moved away grabbed his clothes and said ‘you’re really fucking annoying me, you’re so frustrating’.”

When the teen moved down stairs she was assaulted again, with the men allegedly taking turns to have sex with her with Imrak remarking “you love it”.

After a few hours, it was just the teen and Dagdanasar left at the house as the alleged victim started to feel the effects of alcohol wearing off.

It was 5pm on November 10 – hours after she was found sitting in the gutter – when the teen texted her sister: “I got raped, I am still here I need to leave”.

Trying to remain calm, the girl convinced Dagdanasar to let her leave, according to the facts.

Walking her to the door, Dagdanasar let the teen outside, telling her: “You’re always welcome back here babe.”

In the rain in the middle of the night, the teen walked through the streets following directions from her sister on the phone until police met up with her.

The victim was left with bruising to her legs and knees and a tear to her tongue from the force of the assaults.

She told police she felt she had no choice but to be at the house and was forced to take drugs so she was in a limp state.

The court was closed while Dagdanasar and Imrak, charged with sex assault and deprivation of liberty, made bail applications last week but both were refused.

Outside court lawyer Elias Tabchouri said he had been instructed to defend the charges.

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Foreign minister Julie Bishop speaking at the opening of the Kimberley Process in Perth on Monday May 1, 2017.?? Photo: Supplied continues to assist in international prosecutions where the death penalty is an option, while underpinning its bid for a seat on the United Nation’s Human Rights Council with a call to abolish capital punishment worldwide.
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Newly released figures, obtained through freedom of information laws, show the n Federal Police have assisted in nearly 130 foreign investigations involving more than 400 people since 2015, where a successful prosecution could potentially lead to a death sentence.

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop lobbied for ‘s election to the Human Rights Council for the 2018-20 term in New York this week, and has stated the worldwide abolition of the death penalty is one of ‘s goals.

But the AFP continues to assist foreign investigations where the death penalty could be handed down, refusing to co-operate in only nine of 129 cases it has been asked for information.

AFP approval rates for international assistance, mostly involving drug crime, have been steady since 2010. In 2015, 92 per cent of requests were, rising to 96 per cent in 2016. No other information, such as the countries requesting the information, or the cases involved, was given.

has used its opposition to the death penalty – and a call for a global abolition of the punitive measure used in nearly 60 countries – as a key argument for its inclusion on the UN Human Rights Council.

But this year, the government quietly rejected recommendations from a parliamentary committee which would have banned the AFP from sharing drug crime information with other countries unless provided with assurances the death penalty would not be applied, prompting fears of a repeat of the Bali nine heroin plot which saw ns Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran executed after tip-offs to Indonesian authorities.

The committee recommended ministerial approval be required for “high-risk” cases and the AFP refuse co-operation on drug trafficking cases unless assurances that the death penalty would not be sought, both of which were rejected by the government.

A spokeswoman for the Attorney-General’s department said the government “has and will continue to seek suitable assurances in appropriate cases where it is clear that the death penalty is likely to be imposed”.

But Emily Howie of the Human Rights Law Centre said was sending mixed messages.

“Global abolition of the death penalty is meant to be a core objective of ‘s Human Rights Council bid,” she said.

“But whilst the Foreign Minister spouts the right language to delegates in New York, the reality is that every week the AFP continues to share information that puts peoples’ lives at risk. If really opposes the death penalty, it must do so not just through the speeches of our ministers but through the actions of all n departments and agencies.

“The fact remains that if the Bali nine case were to happen again tomorrow, there is nothing to stop the AFP from doing exactly the same thing.

“Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran learned from their mistakes, we owe it to them to learn from ours.”

Researcher Sarah Gill, who has studied ‘s response to the death penalty, said neither legislation, or the guidelines the AFP follow when asked for co-operation “present much of an obstacle to information sharing”.

“The question we need to ask is: are we serious about human rights or aren’t we? Capital punishment is a core human rights issue, and we ought to have a consistent approach, including in relation to law enforcement co-operation, if we think this really matters,” she said.

Under the guidelines, a senior AFP official can sign off on requests from overseas before detention, arrest, charge or conviction. After an individual has been arrested, detained, charged or convicted, requests for information must have ministerial approval.

Police-to-police assistance can include everything from providing personal information like dates or birth or criminal records to wider co-operation in investigations. Some of the data includes foreign citizens.

Philip Ruddock, who served as attorney-general in the Howard government and is now ‘s special human rights envoy, led calls for a ban on sharing information in prosecutions where the death penalty could be handed down as a sentence following the executions of Chan and Sukumaran in 2015.

The Coalition said those recommendations were impractical because foreign law enforcement partners could not provide such assurances and it would be “inappropriate” to undertakings from prosecutors.

It is believed there are 12 ns sitting on death rows across the world, mostly for drug crimes.

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Bayleigh McIntosh from Sydney’s east knows the risk if her child car restraint isn’t buckled snug and tight: “If you are in crash you will fall out a window,” the five-year-old said.
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Properly secured and in the right child car seat for her age, a child like Bayleigh is the safest occupant in the car, said pediatric surgeon Susan Adams, director of surgery with The Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network.

Yet Dr Adams has treated children who were severely injured in “horrific preventable crashes” with broken necks, backs and internal injuries because of errors in how they were restrained.

Experts say the number of potentially fatal mistakes in how child restraints are fitted or installed hasn’t improved, becoming an “intractable problem” threatening the lives of children.

A 2010 study of 503 children from newborn to the age of 12 found half of all restraints had errors in how they were used. Some had up to seven errors each, ranging from failing to buckle the child in to slackness in the belts and sashes. Most often parents weren’t aware they had made a mistake.

Now, a new study has found the error rate is even worse, with nearly all parents struggling to understand manufacturers instructions and manuals.

Researchers from Neuroscience Research (NeuRA)watched as parents read manuals and then attempted to correctly fit and install a child-sized mannequin in a rear-facing restraint.

They found 90 per cent made at least one mistake. Many made several. Yet after many rounds of revisions using suggestions from parents, the level of errors dropped to 10 per cent.

“Everyone is seeing this intractable problem of incorrect use,” said Dr Julie Brown, a senior research fellow with NeuRA.

Researchers around the world were witnessing a similar level of mistakes.

“What we’ve been doing over past decades has made no difference to correct use,” Dr Brown said. “It’s a longstanding problem, and nothing has really changed.”

Nearly all n children now wear the right restraint for their age, following the introduction of national laws in 2009 and 2010. Car crashes remain a leading cause of death and disabling injuries among children, but the fatality rate for child passengers has dropped from 70 to 40 a year in recent years.

Since January, 11 children under 16 have died on NSW roads alone, including a young child who died when a car rolled over late on Friday in the Hunter Valley. In 2016, nearly 1000 NSW children under 16 – many passengers in vehicles – were seriously injured in collisions.

A properly-installed and fitted child restraint stops a child moving in a crash, by attaching them to the vehicle’s rigid structure. It ensures the force of an impact hits the strongest parts of the body more likely to recover, like bones, instead of internal organs and the brain which may never heal properly.

Mistakes occur in three ways:

In what could be music to the ears of anyone who has struggled to install a car seat, Dr Brown and her colleague Professor Lynne Bilston are asking parents for advice.

“Instead of a group of experts sitting around, we are actually talking to parents, and parents and consumers are driving the direction of our research,” Dr Brown said.

“We are trying to ensure information supplied with child restraints is comprehensible, and to improve restraint design so they’re actually difficult to use incorrectly,” Dr Brown said.

They are conducting three different projects: a naturalistic study where 700 families will have videos installed in their cars to see what really happens; focus groups asking parents for feedback; and laboratory studies that watch adults install car seats and then try to improve the design.

Professor Bilston said the research had shown it was possible to develop instructions and manuals that reduced dangerous mistakes. But sometimes it took seven iterations – for each type of restraint – before users could install them with 90 per cent accuracy.

“We keep going until they can be understood,” she said.

The key was breaking instructions into simple and numbered steps, and providing clear diagrams.

In focus groups of more than 40 women, users found images unrealistic and uninformative.

Others wanted prompts to remind others looking after children to do the right thing: “Have a big sign saying ‘fasten me tight.”

Another suggested linking warnings to specific risks such as “your child is going to have a punctured spleen or something if this [strap is twisted]”.

Dr Adams said the uptake of the new restraints had been good, but much more energy needed to be devoted to making them easier to use. “Parents want to do the right thing, but they need support to do that,” she said.

The impact of these crashes was “awful because it is so sudden. One day your life is going on in one direction, and if you had your time over you would do something different,” she said.

Bayleigh’s mother had taught her to sit still: “I don’t wiggle around!” she said. Older children may unbuckle restraints, or ask to sit in the front. The current recommendation is that children 12 and under should sit in the rear seat.

Lisa Keay from the George Institute for Global Health, said parents needed to introduce hard rules early and stick to them.

“You may think it is quite safe because you are just going down the street,” said Professor Keay, a deputy director of the Injury Division at The George Institute,

“But there is a risk always. Even a low speed crash can cause injury.

“You have to be inflexible: it is like you don’t let kids eat poisons.”

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The Turnbull government has quietly axed eight environmental conditions aimed at protecting vulnerable turtle species set to be affected by Adani’s proposed $3 billion coal terminal expansion at Abbot Point in Queensland.
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The move by the Environment Department, signed by minister Josh Frydenberg on May 10, also modified a ninth condition that required the Indian-owned miner spend $450,000 annually to implement a marine offsets strategy. Those funds will now go to the Reef Trust, possibly from a later date.

“The beaches at Abbot Point are important nesting sites for flatback turtles and the region is a high priority foraging habitat for green turtles,” said Imogen Zethoven, a campaign director for the n Marine Conservation Society. “Both of these species are listed as vulnerable under federal and Queensland law.”

Abbot Point’s environment record was already under a cloud after coal sediment entered a nearby wetland and the company may have breached its temporarily elevated pollution limits during Cyclone Debbie in March.

The Terminal 0 expansion at Abbot Point is vital to service the $16 billion-plus Carmichael coal mine Adani hopes to build – with eager federal and state Labor backing- in the Galilee Basin.

At its approval in 2013 by the Abbott government, then environment minister Greg Hunt declared the 95 conditions to be “some of the strictest” in n history. These included controls on feral pigs and dogs as part of a turtle plan and the offsets strategy to be reviewed every three years – both conditions now cut.

A spokesman for Mr Frydenberg said that description “is still accurate”, with offset liability unchanged and projects that will focus on the same protection issues.

“This change is consistent with the government’s 2013 election commitment to establish the Reef Trust and enable it to deliver offsets on behalf of [the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation] Act proponents.” he said.

Opponents of the port expansion and mine say the changed conditions add to a lengthening list of concessions by the governments of Malcolm Turnbull and Annastacia Palaszczuk.

These include unlimited groundwater rights, a possible federal loan of some $1 billion to link the mine and port, and a potential $320 million royalties holiday expected to be discussed at a state cabinet meeting on Monday. ‘Their request’

An Adani spokesman said the EPBC amendments had been at the government’s “request and direction” to align conditions with the Reef Trust.

“The new condition is not an easing of requirements,” he said. “The same payment amount is required, for the same period and for the same purpose.

But Larissa Waters, the deputy n Greens leader, said “the gifts for this billionaire company from Labor and the Liberals keep stacking up”.

“Will any future breach of conditions be simply excused and waved through?”, Senator Waters said. “Cutting out huge chunks out of Adani’s conditions makes a mockery of Liberal and Labor claims that this project is governed by ‘strict’ conditions.”

Tony Burke, Labor’s federal environment minister, said minister Frydenberg “really needs to explain this one”.

“If there has been any weakening of conditions [under the EPBC Act], I don’t see how that could be justified,” Mr Burke said. “How is it possible for conditions affecting turtles and the Great Barrier Reef to be weakened during a time when the health of the reef has only declined?” Offsets offside

The Queensland government is expected to finalise soon its own report into Abbot Point’s handling of pollution during the cyclone, a category-4 storm the company has described as a one-in-500-year event.

Ms Zethoven said the whole concept of offsets was itself against the World Heritage convention that had signed up for.

The convention states government are supposed to protect or improve sites, she said. It doesn’t say “you can damage here provided you substitute over there”.

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Crossbench kingmaker Nick Xenophon has called on the Turnbull government to abandon any plans to force dumped senators Bob Day and Rod Culleton to repay their taxpayer-funded salaries and allowances.
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Senator Xenophon says it’s “ridiculous” the Department of Finance has sent the pair letters telling them they are required to pay back the salaries, expenses and staff costs they accrued during the time they sat in the upper house invalidly.

Both men are on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars, despite being officially declared bankrupt.

“I think it is a bit ridiculous really,” Senator Xenophon told the ABC on Sunday.

“Whatever you thought of Bob Day and Rod Culleton the fact is they were declared elected. There was a process where they were found not to be duly elected but they turned up to work, they did so in good faith and it would set a very dangerous precedent.”

The government would likely be “throwing good money after bad” by pursuing them given the state of their finances, he said: “I think the Commonwealth has got other ways to better use its resources.”

???The High Court ruled both men were invalidly elected – Mr Culleton because he was bankrupt and Mr Day because he had a constitutionally prohibited financial interest in the Commonwealth due to a complex office leasing arrangement.

Mr Culleton was paid more than $100,000 in salary and superannuation between the July 2 election and the court’s decision in January. Mr Day was paid close to $130,000 between February 2016, when the office arrangement took effect, and his November resignation. Both men also racked up thousands in travel and office allowances, and staff costs.

However the government could choose to waive the debt. The men can apply for an “act of grace” from Special Minister of State Scott Ryan, who would then decide whether the debt should stand or be forgiven. The Department of the Senate could also apply to have the debts forgiven on their behalf.

“There’s a process to go through that any citizen can apply for about the waiver for a debt to the Commonwealth,” Senator Ryan said last week.

The finance department could also decide not to pursue the debt if the men provide evidence as to their “financial circumstances”.

Mr Culleton has angrily described the debt notice as a “politically-motivated attack”. Mr Day has declined to publicly comment.

Labor has demanded the government go ahead with the debt recovery.

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Thousands of dogs across the nation have walked for their four-legged friends in need, in the RSPCA’s annual Million Paws Walk. Some of these pooches are very clever– snapping and posting along the way, with their very own Instagram accounts.
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National Gallery: Paws out for a cause Photo: Instagram @sausagedogsquad #millionpawswalk

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TweetFacebook YOUR PALS: The 2017 Million Paws Walk Pictures: Dogs of Instagram

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How it happened last time​ | PHOTOS Watene-Zelezniak bombs a try, catching a ball metres from an open line with a foot raking the sideline chalk. Picture: Fox Sports/Twitter
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Joe Wardle warming up ahead of the clash. Picture: @nrlknights/Twitter

TweetFacebookThe Knights play Penrith at 2pmon Sunday afternoon at McDonald Jones Stadium. You can follow the live match blog here.

Here’s a look back at Robert Dillon’s match report from that Friday night in Marchwhen the two sides met for the first time this year.

The Newcastle Knights were again hindered by head knocks as they crashed to a 40-0 hammering fromPenrith at Pepper Stadium on Friday night.

The seven-tries-to-none victory was partially overshadowed by a 29th-minute incident, when Knights bench forward Jacob Saifiti crashed to the ground after trying to tackle Penrith’s hard-running Sitaleki Akauola.

Saifiti sat dazed on the turf as he was treated by Knights trainer Tony Ayoub.

He was then taken to the dressing room for a head-injury assessment, unlike last week, when Knights fullback Brendan Elliot was allowed to stay on the field after a high shot from South Sydney centre Hymel Hunt.

The Elliot situation and ensuing controversyprompted the NRL to hit the Knights with a $100,000 breach notice, which the club intends to contest.

Saifiti returned to the game for the start of the second half, but soon after Knights hooker Danny Levi also suffered a heavy knock and went off for an assessment.

He, too, returned to the game.

Despite winning only one of their first three games, the Knights were in each of those contests until the 80thminute.

Against Penrith they were simply outclassed and the resultwas virtually sealedby half-time, with Penrith leading 22-0.

Penrith opened the scoring in the fourth minute when skipper Matt Moylan worked a backline move and winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak dived over in the corner.

Five minutes later, Watene-Zeleniak went within inches of scoring after Penrith created another right-edge overlap.

The home side made it 10-0 in the 21stminute when debutant Corey Harawira-Neara crashed through some flimsy defence, and halfback Nathan Cleary converted.

The scoreline quickly mounted as five-eighth Te Maire Martin and centre Tyrone Peachey scored before half-time.

The Panthers added further tries to Peter Wallace,Dean Whare and Cleary, who also kicked six goals from seven attempts.

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Knights VS Panthers | live blog TweetFacebookAt half-time the Knights were on track to avenge their 40-0 loss earlier this seasonbut it wasn’t to be.
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Post-match press conferencesWhat’s next for Nathan Ross? Nathan Brown says “any number of things could happen” but issue that saw him dropped to NSW Cup is dealt with. pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/64RwpNUPdV

— Matt Carr (@MattCarrNH) May 21, 2017Nathan Brown on big calls against @NRLKnights in #[email protected]苏州夜总会招聘/oPSOOnIxpA

— Matt Carr (@MattCarrNH) May 21, 2017FULL TIMESione Mata’utia on where it went wrong for @NRLKnights in #NRLKnightsPantherspic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/x8hGKqyRip

— Matt Carr (@MattCarrNH) May 21, 2017How Nathan Brown sees the 50/50 calls falling against @NRLKnightspic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/0qlIG6dBKh

— Matt Carr (@MattCarrNH) May 21, 2017Swing and a missTRY: Moylan makes it a brace after chasing his own kick, putting himself in the right spot to take advantage of an air swing from Dane Gagai.

Penrith had more than 70 per cent of the second half possession, which goes some way to explaining how they’ve shut out the same side that kept them scoreless in the first 40 minutes.

Fans start to spill off the hills asPenrith lead 30-14 with less than three minutes to go.

Saifiti soars, nearly scoresJaelen Feeney pops through the Penrith line and offloads to the big man, who slides through and over the line.

He loses the ball, but a push on Feeney in backplay hands the Knights a penalty. Gagai loses the ball in a tackle and Penrith fans breathe out.

An easy one for Moylan and he gets himself a double!#NRLKnightsPanthers 14-30 with 3 minutes remaining.#NRLpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/78ELI60REO

— NRL (@NRL) May 21, 2017A big finishTRY: Newcastle need a big finish to claim this one. Brock Lamb attempts to deliver with an intercept, but instead it gives Penrith another six tackles inside the 10.

That’s just enough for Cleary to put the kick through for Watene-Zelezniak to reach it, but his grounding gets sent to the bunker.

Roars from the crowd as it’s awarded. Cleary converts.

Penrith lead 24-14.

Moylan making his markTRY: Matt Moylan keeps the pressure on Newcastle with an angled grubber for the left corner. Another drop-out and Penrith beginning to look likely.

James Tamou delivers, running around the defence to break hearts throughout of the 13,139-strong crowd even before Nathan Cleary slots the simple conversion.

Green light for DWZ! The @PenrithPanthers extend their lead.#NRLKnightsPanthers#NRLpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/ROPnyzs6Jx

— NRL (@NRL) May 21, 2017Lucky KnightsA kick off the laces down the right edge catches a grasping Penrith hand –and Newcastle stay on the attack in fertile territory.

Brendan Elliot’s high-ball heroics have kept the Knights the past few minutes, bringing down bombs deftly as Penrith loomed large.

Tamou gets the @PenrithPanthers in front for the first time in the game! #NRLKnightsPanthers 14-18 with 14 minutes remaining.#NRLpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/KC9f2zHiuE

— NRL (@NRL) May 21, 2017Latu makes it twoTRY: Bench forward Leilani Latu buries over under the posts, and suddenly Penrith are back in the match.

Moylanmakes it hurt

TRY: Trent Merrin stands up from a play-the-ball and takes exception to marker Sione Mata’utia with a potent shove.

Replays indicate Mata’utia’s hand brushed Merrin’s face when he was on the deck, so he returns the favour and Penrith roll on towards Newcastle’s tryline.

Here come the @PenrithPanthers!Game on.#NRLKnightsPanthers 14-12 after 54 minutes.#NRLpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/0aZt4qmprS

— NRL (@NRL) May 21, 2017…and we’re backJaelen Feeney puts Brock Lamb through a hole early, but the ref calls forward pass. Poor Lamb always seems to be the man with the ball in his hands eyeing the trylinewhen the whistle goes today.

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak threatens down Penrith’s right edge but takes the ball into touch on the second tackle.

Moylan gets the @PenrithPanthers going!#NRLKnightsPanthers 14-6 after 50 minutes.#NRLpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/6vKqOUqqmB

— NRL (@NRL) May 21, 2017Every which way but pointsNewcastle were doing everything they couldto find another first half try, but it wasn’t to be.Several late breaks threatened, most notably when Dallin Watene-Zelezniak spilled the ball to a waiting Sione Mata’utia.

But by the time the Knights skipper had whipped the ball to a wide open Brock Lamb, the whistle had handed the ball back to Penrith.

Some huge positives for Newcastle in that first half –while Penrith had their chances, the Knights had many more. And only one side has bothered the scorer so far.

Newcastle lead 14-0.

Take the twoPENALTY GOAL: Brock Lamb pushes the lead beyond two converted tries from right in front.

Less than five minutes left in the first as the Knights bring it back and Lamb stabs it into touch.

A surging tackle in the subsequent set appears to end with Joe Wardle collecting a lost Penrith ball, but the refs disagree and the visitors keep chasing their first points.

Lamb collects a threatening grubber on his line and the Knights, visibly bunching as the half winds down, escapeagain.

High hit on Peta HikuPenrith are pushing hard for points in the final eight minutes. They’re beginning to find success on the right edge after headingto the left for most of the opening exchanges.

Luke Yates gets a bit of help from the upright to halt a lunge for the tryline beforeKen Sio intercepts.

The big wingermakes it to halfway before he’s dragged down by a powerful Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.

Mitch Barnett is taken high at the other end and Newcastle elect to take the two.

Chance after magic from GagaiThe fullback put the hammer down with a return on the last, but despite a neat bit of play hiscurling kick failed to find friendly hands.

Waqa Blake almost conjured his own bit of special play, nearly running down a long kick that threatened to stay in-field a bit longer than Ken Sio would have enjoyed.

A Sam Stone knock-on in the next set and Penrith are on the attack –until they lose it 15 metres out. Josh King heads out in lieu of Daniel Saifiti.

Penrith on the attack with 37 minutes gone after a bit of push and shove in a tackle on Matt Moylan. Knightslead 12-0.

Penrith win the penalty, somehowA dubious possession change after a knock-on called against Newcastle metres from the line. It looks suspiciously like a Penrith hand snagged the pill, but the ball is in Penrith hands again.

It ultimately comes to little after an excellent take from Ken Sio sets it up for a half-break from Brock Lamb, but the Knights are unable to capitalise.

The end to end arm-wrestle rages on.

Newcastle make it to halfway and Brock Lamb buries a grubber into touch for a breather.

Injury dramas for the Panthers, with Bryce Cartwright limping and reports it was a groin injury that forced Peter Wallaceto the bench.

Knights hold them offPenrith power into Newcastle’s 20, sweeping left early in the tackle count. The Knights hold despite an overlap on that side on as aPenrith grubber topples into touch.

First tackle of the fresh set and it’s an offside penalty, putting Newcastle back on the march.

A Brock Lamb kicks sits up gently inside the dead ball line, forcing Penrith to play it out and give possession back to the Knights early.

Penalty PanthersThe visitors are making it easy for Newcastle, with the home side again given an ideal attacking opportunity.

Sadly they can’t make it three from three, with a knock-on handing Penrith the scrum feed just inside their own 40 metre line.

12-0, 12 minutes gone.

…and againTRY: Daniel Saifiti pounces on a Danny Levi cut-out pass 10 metres from the line to score under the post, and Newcastle’s off to a dream start.

Both tries have come after Penrith penalties let the Knights get on the attack quickly.

First pointsTRYSione Mata’utia busts through the Penrith line, offloading to Jaelen Feeney who pops it up from the ground to a swooping Brock Lamb.

The @NRLKnights are hungry for some points this afternoon!Saifiti gets a 4 pointer.#NRLKnightsPanthers 12-0 after 9 minutes.#NRLpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/9fbui56Ryf

— NRL (@NRL) May 21, 2017The early exchangesLamb charges through! Finds the line. The @NRLKnights are in early! #NRLKnightsPanthers 6-0 after 5 minutes.#NRLpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/gj1ddlUCYA

— NRL (@NRL) May 21, 2017Here we go!Both sides are wearing the Mark Hughes Foundation beanies (which sold out about an hour ago at the ground) as they head out of the tunnel.

Nearly kick-off…So, just to recap –Jaelen Feeney partners Brock Lamb in the halves, with Trent Hodkinson not playing in either NSW Cup or NRL today.

Dane Gagai plays fullback as Brendan Elliot moves into the wing spot left open when Nathan Ross was sensationally dropped to NSW Cup for this week.

Jaelen Feeney.

Jacob Saifiti comes into the starting side for Josh King, with Tyler Randell moving into Saifiti’s bench spot.

Jack Stockwell steps in for Anthony Tupou due to a hip complaint.

Mitch Barnett also returns from an ankle injury today.

How Nathan Ross went in NSW CupJames Gardiner withthe latest from McDonald Jones Stadium.

BEATEN: Nathan Ross played in the Knights’ NSW Cup side in Sunday’s 44-18 loss to Penrith.

NSW CupPenrith held the upper hand in the NSW Cup match, blowing pasta Newcastle outfit including a demoted Nathan Ross 44-18.

Knights NRL line-upchangesInitial indications Trent Hodkinson may play appear to have been premature, with Jaelen Feeney expected to retain his spot in the halves after a strong showing in the win over Canberra.

Most of the changes for Newcastle are in the forwards.

Jacob Saifiti takes Josh King’s spot in the starting line-up as Jack Stockwell steps in for Tupou.

Tyler Randell jumps into the bench spot originally reserved for Saifiti.

Anthony Tupou (hip) and Nathan Ross dropped off the 21-man squad named on Tuesday, with Brendan Elliot sliding into the centres as Dane Gagai moves to fullback.

Mark Hughes beanies are goneHuge support for the Beanies for Brain Cancer round, with the Mark Hughes Foundation’s beanie supply depleted before kick-off in the main game.

The Knights reported they were sold out shortly after 1pm.

If you’re heading to McDonald Jones Stadium, don any beanie and drop a donation in at the ground.

Early resultsIn the NYC, the Knights notched a third straight win against the competition leaders with a 28-22 victory.

Click here to read more about the Knights of 1997 and their efforts to support the Mark Hughes Foundation.

The Panthers finished fast after the Knights led 12=10 at the break, blown out minutes into the second half when Mitch Andrews pushed the score out to 22-10.

PantherJarome Luai spent some time in the sin bin for dissent but it failed to break the Penrith side, who stayed in the match until Luai could return and score his own try down the middle.

With scores level, Knights five-eighth Hayden Loughrey broke free to offload to Mitch Cooper for a try and earned the Knights their 28-22 margin.

Penrith held the upper hand in the NSW Cup match, blowing past a Newcastle outfit including a demoted Nathan Ross 44-18.

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Former High Court Judge and UN human rights inquiry chair Michael Kirby, left, with fellow inquiry member Marzuki Darusman after they were conferred with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star. Source: supplied for THE AGE WORLD 17th May 2017 Photo: SuppliedTokyo: Megumi Yokota was just 13 when she was captured by North Korean agents on her way home from school in Japan’s Niigata prefecture.
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Megumi, remembered by her parents as a perky girl who liked singing, animals and flowers, vanished after practising badminton with friends on November 15, 1977.

“We were overwhelmed with the disappearance,” her mother, Sakie Yokota, told a UN human rights inquiry chaired by former n high court judge Michael Kirby.

“I called out her name – ‘Megumi-chan, Megumi-chan’ – and I looked for her continuously. But I could not even see her shadow ??? we almost went crazy.”

The inquiry, commissioned by the UN’s Human Rights Council, wrapped up in 2014 with damning findings that the North Korean regime was responsible for a litany of crimes against humanity and should be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Mr Kirby recently returned to Tokyo, where he conducted some of the hearings, to be decorated by the Japanese emperor for raising awareness of human rights in North Korea, including the plight of Japanese citizens abducted by the regime’s agents in the 1970s and 1980s.

He and a fellow inquiry commissioner, former Indonesian attorney-general Marzuki Darusman, were honoured with the insignia of the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star.

Mr Kirby told Fairfax Media “it was an honour” to receive such recognition, but insisted the focus must remain on victims and their families.

“It’s a very sad story of cruelty,” he said. “We have met [families of abductees] on several journeys to Tokyo and we have had dinner with them and they’ve suffered greatly over the years, so I think the honour must be seen as signalling the respect the Japanese government and people have for the families of the abductees and their determination not to give up on the accountability of such wrongs.”

The inquiry concluded that although many abductions and enforced disappearances were linked to the Korean War of the 1950s, hundreds of nationals of Japan, South Korea and other countries were subsequently taken away between the 1960s and 1980s.

Kidnappings on Japanese soil were mostly carried out in the countryside near the coast, while agents also targeted boats in at-sea abductions. The victims were often used to help train North Korean spies in the Japanese language and had their identification documents seized.

In the case of Megumi Yokota, it would take another 20 years for her parents to learn, following publication of a book about North Korean abductions, that the regime might have been involved in her disappearance.

Finally, in 2002, Japan’s then prime minister Junichiro Koizumi travelled to Pyongyang to meet with then North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, who admitted that 13 Japanese citizens, including Megumi, had been taken by special forces in “a reckless quest for glory” and apologised for the “regretful” incidents.

The exact number of abductees is a matter of dispute, along with how many are still alive, but five were allowed to return to their families in Japan in 2002. The regime claimed Megumi had died at the age of 29 and it sent back remains that were purportedly hers. DNA analysis, however, cast doubt on the regime’s account.

“The biggest impact is the shock that they’ve felt and the long-running nature of the saga that they’ve been exposed to,” Mr Kirby said of the abductees’ families.

Megumi’s parents were among 80 witnesses to testify at public hearings, and the three-member panel also based its findings on more than 240 private interviews with victims and other witnesses and 80 formal submissions.

The North Korean regime did not cooperate with the inquiry, whose 370-page report documented cases of “extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation”.

There have since been signs of limited cooperation. Early this month, Kim Jong-un’s regime allowed the first visit by an independent expert designated by the UN Human Rights Council.

Catalina Devandas-Aguilar, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities, said she appreciated being granted the six-day study tour – but added that she had been unable to meet with some key ministries and institutions and had also been blocked from visiting a mental health facility.

Earlier this year a new report prepared by experts for the council renewed the call for an ICC referral, but the UN Security Council – on which North Korea’s key ally China and Russia both have the power of veto – has yet to do so.

Mr Kirby said while “one never knows” about the prospect of an ICC referral, his inquiry also recommended that the UN establish a field office in the region to collect information that could ultimately be used to hold perpetrators accountable for human rights violations.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a meeting of the country’s National Security Council at the Blue House in Seoul this month. Photo: AP

“That was agreed to by the government of South Korea and that field office continues to gather information, sometimes by people who have fled to South Korea, and there is an enormous amount of material that is available because there are 29,000 persons called defectors in South Korea who can give their particular stories of their own suffering.”

Mr Kirby suggested South Korea’s newly-elected president Moon Jae-in, a liberal former human rights lawyer who favours greater engagement with North Korea, would bring a new perspective given he is the son of a refugee from the North.

Mr Moon declared after being sworn into office that he would be prepared to travel to Pyongyang for dialogue if certain conditions were met.

“He will adopt new strategies and policies which may open up new potentialities,” Mr Kirby said. “Business as usual has not got us very far on accountability for human rights and therefore one hopes that out of these developments in the region will come new approaches.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, centre, has consumed world attention with his regime’s recent missile launches. Photo: AP

The Trump administration has vowed to increase pressure on the regime after a series of North Korean missile tests, the most recent on May 14, but US President Donald Trump has also not ruled out meeting Mr Kim. Mr Moon is planning to review the recent deployment in South Korea of a US-installed missile defence system that has angered China. North Korea policy is set to dominate talks when Mr Moon and Mr Trump meet in June.

Asked whether everyone needed to be on the same page, Mr Kirby said: “There’s no reason why there couldn’t be a series of approaches. The approach of the past hasn’t actually fulfilled a great deal in terms of particular outcomes. On the contrary, North Korea has used the last 10 years developing nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems. Something new is needed.”

If there was a revival of six-party talks involving China, the US, North Korea, South Korea, Japan and Russia, as recommended by the inquiry, that may open the way to practical progress.

“Certainly, the current situation is unacceptable,” Mr Kirby said. “Doing nothing on human rights in North Korea is not an option compatible with the UN charter and UN human rights law. So out of the present uncertainty must come progress.

“But exactly how it will come remains to be seen and depends on seizing peaceful initiatives, including through dialogue between the most important players.”

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Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham during an event announcing details of the Turnbull Government??????s plan for higher education, at the Realm Hotel in Canberra on Monday 1 May 2017. fedpol Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Photo: Alex EllinghausenSenior Turnbull government minister Christopher Pyne has accused Catholic schools of mounting a “dishonest” campaign against the Coalition over school funding but predicts it won’t gather much public support.
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The Catholic education system is preparing to run a major nationwide campaign against the government over its so-called “Gonski 2.0” education reforms, warning it will result in higher fees and school closures.

The schools are aiming to mobilise thousands of parents to build a grassroots letter and phone campaign to run alongside social and mainstream media ads to force the government to change course.

But Mr Pyne believes the campaign will fail.

“We aren’t getting any heat in my electorate office about it at all,” the former education minister told Sky News on Sunday. “I have not had one email, one phone call, one letter or one visit from a constituent complaining.”

The new funding arrangements would be fairer for all schools and students across the country, Mr Pyne said. The Catholic schools were simply “pretending that they have been dudded”, he said.

“The Turnbull-Birmingham method of dealing with this has fixed it and has fixed it fairly,” he said.

“The Catholic education system really is running a very dishonest campaign. They’re getting an extra $1 billion out of this agreement (over four years).

“If the Catholic church actually does start putting up school fees and closing schools it’s not because they’re getting less money. And that’s why their campaign isn’t taking off and won’t take off.”

Catholic schools were more concerned about how the system would make school funding more transparent, he said.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham also hit back at Catholic schools, accusing them of scaring parents with “falsehoods”. Catholic schools would receive an extra $3.4 billion over the next 10 years, he said.

But the sector has warned MPs to brace for an influx of complaints.

“Catholic education has a history of running grassroots campaigns and that will be the way this ongoing effort to preserve the 200-year history of Catholic education will proceed,” National Catholic Education Commission acting executive director Danielle Cronin said. “MPs and senators should expect the phone calls and letters from parents and principals to continue to roll in.”

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And they’re off for a Bashing good week | Pictures Sharon Claydon, Nuatali Nelmes and Maddison Elliott at the start line in Bar Beach on Sunday.
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Super Hubert and fans ready for the Bash.

Paralympian Maddison Elliott with Bashers B1 and B2.

Paralympian Maddison Elliott at the starting line in Bar Beach on Sunday.

Paralympian Maddison Elliott at the starting line.

Logan Weir checks out the Lego car ahead of the Bash.

Jayden, Logan and Dylan Weir with the Lego car at Bar Beach ahead of the Bash.

TweetFacebook 2017 Variety NSW Pictures: Variety NSWTHE forecast rain stayed away and Mother Nature turned on the charm as two-time Paralympian Maddison Elliott set the adventurers off from Bar Beach for the 2017 Variety NSW Bash on Sunday.

The 18-year-old swimming sensation from Maitland, with the help of Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes and federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon, waved the flags and the colourful cavalcade of 82 Variety Bash cars took off for the week-long adventure to support Aussie kids in need.

Ms Elliott, who was born with cerebral palsy,became the youngest n to win a Paralympic gold medal. She credited Variety with helping her achieve her dreams.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without Variety,” she said.

“I’m excited to be at the start of the Variety Bash and wave off all the amazing Bashers whofundraise all year round to help thousands of other kids like me.”

The Variety Bash will visit Gilgandra, Cowra, Narrandera, Yass, Bathurst and Muswellbrook before finishing back at Bar Beach on Saturday, May27.

Along the way, the Bash crews will donate $51,000 worth of resources and equipment to 12 regional NSW schools. Among the grants this year’s Bash will provide are a smart brailler for children with impaired vision and an all abilities swing for a school playground, makingsure Aussie kids have access to opportunities they may have otherwise missed out on.

Variety NSW regional director Jason Bourke said visiting schools and meeting the kids was a highlight of the “bashers”.

He said Variety hoped to raise more than $800,000 through this year’s event.

“All of the funds raised will provide grants to kids in need,” he said.

“This might be a new wheelchair for a child with a disability, a scholarship tohelp a child facing financial hardship achieve their sporting dream, or even nappies for a family doing it tough”.

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Senator Nick Xenophon at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 10 May 2017. Photo: Andrew Meares Photo: Andrew MearesA key crossbench senator has made his party’s support for the Turnbull government’s new bank levy conditional on the tax applying to foreign banks.
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And the leader of the Nick Xenophon Team, Senator Nick Xenophon, has also flagged concerns about the government’s decision to keep the proposed laws under wraps until they are introduced into the parliament.

But the push from crossbench powerbroker has been rejected by the government, with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann saying the major bank levy was designed to boost the competitiveness of smaller banks, including foreign ones.

Senator Xenophon told the ABC’s Insiders program he supported the 0.06 per cent levy, which would apply to Westpac, NAB, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ and Macquarie and is designed to raise $6.2 billion, in principle but suggested the levy should be more broadly applied – and the extra money used to compensate victims of bank fraud.

“I do support the broad principles and one of the main reasons is that this will give a chance for those regional banks, those community banks, to get a leg up to be able to compete more fairly,” he said.

“I also think it’s important that the foreign-owned banks that have a big presence here in this country also be hit with this levy, because that could raise about $750-800 million over the forward estimates and that itself could fund a last resort compensation scheme for the many tens of thousands of victims of financial mismanagement and fraud in this country.”

Senator Xenophon controls three votes in the Senate. Labor, at this stage, has indicated provisional support for the new tax but if that position were to change, the NXT voting bloc would be crucial to the measure being implemented from July 1, as planned.

Senator Cormann said the government was making a deliberate decision to boost the position of smaller foreign and regional banks and called on Labor to follow through on its support for the original proposal.

“The levy has been designed on purpose the way it has been. And the Labor Party on the night of the budget came out to confirm they would support the major bank levy that way we’ve put it forward,” Senator Cormann told ABC radio.

“We’re not supporting what Nick Xenophon is putting forward.”

Labor has suggested a Senate inquiry into the tax should look at extending the levy to foreign banks, but it has not yet made extending the tax a condition of its support.

“It depends whether the ALP will come along with that. I think that’s something that I will sit down and talk to the ALP about, but it makes sense. The big banks are saying, ‘Well, if you are going to hit us with this, why aren’t you hitting the foreign banks and I think they have a point,” Senator Xenophon said.

Treasurer Scott Morrison has defended the decision not to release the bank tax legislation until it is introduced into parliament, arguing it is not unusual. However, it is very rare for exposure draft legislation to not be released.

The draft legislation is due to be entered into parliament in the next fortnight.

‘s five largest banks are furious at the new tax, the secrecy attached to the legislation and the very short amount of time they were given to respond to the exposure draft.

– with Fergus Hunter

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All the beautiful photos from Pippa Middleton’s wedding Pippa Middleton and James Matthews smile for the cameras after their wedding at St Mark’s Church in Englefield. Photo: AP
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TweetFacebookSix years after she captured the world’s attention as a royal bridesmaid, Pippa Middleton has married financier James Matthews – brother of Made In Chelsea star Spencer – in a semi-private ceremony.

However, while she stunned the world during her 2011 debut outside Westminster Abbey with her physical attributes, on Saturday royal watchers – who were kept a respectful 200 metres away – were fascinated by Middleton’s toned biceps peeking out from her designer dress.

The sister of the Duchess of Cambridge looked every inch the royal bride. Albeit a royal bride with more impressive guns than the British Army and Madonna combined.

The 33-year-old party planner and regular marathon runner opted for a bicep-framing, cap-sleeved, white lace appliquque, full skirted gown by British designer Giles Deacon.

The colour, train and traditional veil had hallmarks of her sister’s Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown. That was about where the similarities ended.

For her wedding to Prince William in 2011, the Duchess of Cambridge wore the royal family’s Cartier Halo Scroll tiara complete with 739 brilliant-cut diamonds and 149 baguette sparklers. On Saturday her younger sister wore a more modest hair clip in her glossy up-do.

Middleton was flanked by her niece Princess Charlotte, nephew Prince George and a gaggle of other young bridesmaids and pageboys.

The Duchess of Cambridge, dressed in a bespoke dusty pink Alexander McQueen dress, was on child minding duties while the young royal’s nanny, Maria Borrallo, was seated inside for the hour-long ceremony.

The Duchess escorted the youngest members of the bridal party into the 12th Century St Mark’s Church in Berkshire, stopping occasionally to tell them to “shh” with her finger pressed to her lips.

George, in beige breeches by Pepa & C, and Charlotte, looking resplendent in a floral garland, were joined by other bridesmaids Countess Philippa Hoyos, Lily French and Avia Horner. Casimir Tatos, Edward Sebire and William Ward were the other pageboys.

The royals have a long history of appearing in wedding parties. Prince William wore a sailor outfit for his duties as pageboy for Prince Andrew’s wedding in 1986, while Harry went dressed as an 18th century pageboy for Sir Earl Spencer’s wedding in 1989.

The Queen was first a bridesmaid, and wore a similar ensemble and headpiece to Charlotte, in 1934 for the Duke of Kent.

Princes William and Harry arrived at the church on Saturday together. Other guests included Roger Federer, his wife Mirka and Princess Eugenie.

Harry’s girlfriend, Suits star Meghan Markle, was noticeably absent.

It is understood she will only attend the private reception which will be held on the Middleton’s estate inside in a glass marquee shipped in from Belgium.

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