Archive for September, 2018

Schoolgirls have been unwittingly targeted on a pornographic website. 

A pornographic photo-sharing website featuring images of Australian schoolgirls is back online 10 days after being shut down by authorities.

The website caused widespread outrage this month when it was revealed that many of the pictures were of underage students and were published without their knowledge.

Website users request images of girls from particular high schools, including Wenona, Turramurra High School, Asquith Girls High, Blaxland High School, Wyong High School, Holsworthy High School and John Therry Catholic High School.

Users refer to nude images as “wins” and offer to swap pictures with others.

It is believed more than 2000 images of students from an estimated 70 Australian schools have been uploaded since the website was established in December.

Barker College, Leumeah High School and Mullumbimby High School are among the NSW schools targeted on the site since it went back online, News Corp reports.

Some girls who have asked for their images to be removed from the site have been mocked by the users.

“Darling, don’t be a slut and you won’t end up here,” one user posted to a girl who protested. “Once a photo is on snapchat or the Internet, it belongs to the Internet.”

One young woman who found a photograph of herself on the website described the violation as “terrifying”. The photo was taken from her Facebook page.

“Just to know that someone is out there looking for naked photos of me and doesn’t care how I feel is very intimidating,” she told Fairfax Media.

The overseas hosted website was shut down earlier this month after Australian authorities raised the alarm about the age of some of the girls in the photos. Some of the students were as young as 15 when their images were taken.

In a statement to Fairfax Media, The Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner said that it was “in contact with a number of those involved in the complex supply chain for this website”.

“The image of the young girl originally referred by the Office has been removed from the site, and the site’s administrator has been made aware that content on the site breaches its own terms of use,” the statement said.

“The Office expects further modifications.”

Minors who see “intimate images” of themselves online are encouraged to report it on the eSafety Commissioner’s website.

Women or girls who have had their photos taken can find further advice at eSafetyWomen.

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CHARITY RACE DAY: Nik Fox and the girls from the Boxing Room at the Pink Finss Race Day at the Hawkesbury Raceclub last year. Picture: Geoff Jones The Pink Finss are gearing up for their sixth annual raceday next Thursday, September 8at Hawkesbury Race Club.

Last year the local charity raised $70,000 with an additional $30,000 from twocorporate donations taking the total to $100,000, and this year they’re hoping for yet another successful day.

Kym Burton, the Charity’s Events and Operations Manager for Pink Finss said the raceday was theirmajor fundraising event of the year.

The Pink Finss is a grass roots charity that helps women and their families with everyday expenses whilst they are going through cancer treatment.

“The race day gives us the funds to continue helping others for at least another sixmonths,” Ms Burton said.

“We are always limited to what we can give by how much money we have in the bank and this event always tops us back up so we can keep on going.

Ms Burton said the Finss assist with the “little things” when helping those who are suffering,like cooking, ironing, cleaning and gardening.

“That helps a lot when a family is struggling with a cancer diagnosis.

“We also use the money for out of pocket medical expenses and mortgage repayments.

“For some of our ladies who have had a terminal diagnosis we like to arrange memorable experiences with their family.

“Each familyhas different needs and we like to cater to their needs to ensure they get the help they need.”

Ms Burton said the most wonderful thing about the raceday was that it was now a sold out event.

She said the outpouring of support they receive from the Hawkesbury communitymakes all their hard work throughout the year worthwhile.

“Sixyears ago when weheld our first raceday theyraised $27,000 and had only 280 people in attendance.

“I love that the race day is now a sold out event with over 430 people in attendance and generates so much excitement in the community.

“I love that we give locals the opportunity to feel like they are contributing to the charity and in their own way making a difference.

“It really is a community effort and the feel in the room totally represents the love our community has for what we do.”

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Another intriguing night of FFA Cup action is expected on Tuesday with five lower-league teams hoping that they can snare a place in the last eight and a meeting in a home tie with a big-drawing A-League opponent.

Three of the five clubs bidding to win a quarter final place come from the NPL Victoria, and with two of them – Melbourne Knights and Green Gully clashing in Melbourne’s western suburbs – at least one of the second-tier Victorian sides will join the state’s two A-League clubs, Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory, in the last eight.

Bentleigh Greens, who reached the semi-finals in the first year of the competition before losing to Perth Glory will be hoping to match that feat once again.

First, however, they  have to get a result in Tasmania against Devonport City.

There is also an all-NSW clash with state league club Edgeworth City hosting Western Sydney Wanderers at their Magic Park, Broadmeadow, ground.  Edgeworth  have already gone one better in this year’s FFA Cup than they managed 12 months ago, when they lost in the round of 32 to Melbourne City.

Local eyes will be on the Melbourne Knights-Green Gully clash at Somers Street, where the away side will be hoping to build on their giant-killing success in the round of 32.

In that game Green Gully, with two goals in the last six minutes, saw off A-League cellar dwellers Central Coast to line up the tie with the Knights, who reached this stage by beating Cockburn City.

The only all A-League tie takes place in WA, where Perth Glory, beaten cup finalists in 2014 and 2015, host Sydney FC.

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1. ‘Get out of the way’ on same-sex marriage

After Nick Xenophon’s team killed off the government’s hopes of getting the marriage plebiscite bill through the Senate crossbench on Monday, the government is now trying to make same-sex marriage Labor’s problem. On Monday’s Lateline, Attorney General George Brandis urged the opposition to “get out of the way” and support the bill. [MichaelKoziol/Fairfax]

This seems unlikely but it’s an important moment for the Labor party to decide on whether it will back the process or the outcome. If same-sex marriage advocates are to be believed, the public will overwhelmingly support change and it will be through the parliament in days.

But if the bill goes down, any chance of change is effectively dead until 2016. Labor thinks that’s a great outcome – by then caucus will be bound to vote for change and surely the bill will pass parliament in days?  Not so fast. This is where the politics comes into it. Is the Coalition really likely to support a free vote for its MPs in two-and-a-bit more years?  My colleague Matthew Knott ponders this proposition in this must-read analysis piece, charting how internal Coalition politics could all lead to same-sex marriage being blocked until the end of the decade. [Fairfax]

Bob Brown. Photo: Michele Mossop

Significantly, former Greens leader Bob Brown is backing the plebiscite as a “last resort” which goes against the rejection the current Greens party-room just voted for. Yes, a plebiscite would allow the anti-change lobby the opportunity to say awful things about homosexuality, agrees Brown (himself gay) but he says “I worry about allowing this to continue for year after year.” [Michelle Grattan/The Conversation]

Also narrowing the chances for same-sex marriage sooner rather than later is that the gay community hopelessly splitting on the issue and muddying the message with different preferred paths. [Heath Aston/Fairfax] With the same-sex marriage lobby fracturing and weakening, religious organisations are uniting.  At least 40 different religious organisations and charities are banding together as Australians for Marriage to fight any change. [Simon Benson/Daily Telegraph]

New Liberal MP Tim Wilson says as a gay man he crawled into bed and cried when former Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced a plebiscite instead of a parliamentary vote but soon realised he could wallow in self-pity or get out and fight. [Fairfax]

Abbott’s former Chief of Staff Peta Credlin raises an intriguing theory that Labor could actually force a vote in the Parliament now. [Sky News]

It’s hard to ignore the fact that Malcolm Turnbull argued against a plebiscite but is intent on pursuing it because he’s so afraid of his right-wing partyroom. Unsurprisingly, his approval ratings have fallen to their lowest level of 34 per cent satisfied and his dissatisfaction rate is at its highest level of 52 per cent. 

Newspoll has the government and opposition tied at 50-50. [Philip Hudson/The Australian]

In other politics news, up to ten coalition senators are expected to co-sign Senator Cory Bernardi’s bill to water down the Racial Discrimination Act. [ABC]

Remember when Labor showman Sam Dastyari asked a Chinese donor to pay his legal bills? [Catch up]  Looks bad huh?

Well the Chinese donor who came to the Senator’s personal aide Huang Xiangmo has written a very interesting opinion piece in the Chinese media saying he’s a bit sick of Australian MPs using the Chinese as “cash cows” and saying it’s time the community began demanding a greater say in Australian policy. [Angus Grigg/Financial Review]

Alarm bells yet? 2. NSW ICAC to report


Sean Nicholls and Kate McClymont report that the ICAC will demand ex-NSW Liberal MPs repay potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal donations sought before the 2011 election. [Fairfax]

A total of 10 state MPs have already resigned from the party over the revelations. One of the many anxiously watching for the report and expecting clearance will be Malcolm Turnbull’s right-hand man Arthur Sinodinos, who was honorary treasurer of the party at the time. [Geoff Winestock/Financial Review]

Sinodinos stood aside as Assistant Treasurer under Tony Abbott, but when the Credlin-run prime minister’s office leaked his resignation before he could make a dignified exit, Sinodinos then gathered the numbers for Turnbull to challenge and was rehabilitated as Cabinet Secretary. 3. Clinton’s top aide to separate from sexting Weiner

Huma Abedin with her husband Anthony Weiner in 2013. Photo: AP

​When your husband’s name is Anthony Weiner and he just can’t seem to leave stop broadcasting the weiner to the wider world, surely it was only a matter of time before his wife, Huma Abedin, announced her separation from the serial sexter? [Josephine Tovey/Fairfax]

Despite a plethora of screencap-proof self-destructing image based platforms, Weiner has been caught multiple times sending images of his junk to women. As Hillary Clinton’s closest aide, Abedin’s loyalty to her husband was already being targeted by Donald Trump.

“Her No. 1 person, Huma Abedin, is married to Anthony Weiner, who’s a sleazeball and pervert,” Trump said at a July press conference. “I don’t like Huma going home at night and telling Anthony Weiner all of these secrets.” [Bloomberg]

Politics aside, many women might be wondering – what took her so long?! The tipping point was a photograph sent to a woman and then published by Murdoch tabloid The New York Post of said weiner  [Rebecca Rosenberg, Bruce Golding]

“You go girl,” said a supportive Jezebel. [Aimée Lutkin]

Indeed.  4. US warns Turkey on Syria

As Turkey pushed deeper into northern Syria and areas where Islamic State is not present, the United States said the clashes between Turkish forces and the Kurds were “unacceptable” and had to stop.

Turkey wants to stop the Kurds from seizing control in regions “cleansed” of Islamic State. The Kurds are backed by the US but Ankara believes the United States was too slow to condemn the failed coup against President Erdogan. [Reuters]

Separately, the US announced it would receive it’s 10,000th Syrian refugee, one month ahead of schedule. [Nahal Toosi/Politico] 5. Sarkozy would change constitution to enforce burkini ban

A Muslim woman enjoying the beach in Marseille. Photo: AP

The former French President said if re-elected he would change the constitution to stop Muslim women wearing full body covering clothing to the beach after the so-called “Burkini ban” was overturned by a French court. [Reuters] 6. 300 reindeer dead322 villrein drept i lynnedslag på Hardangervidda. #villrein#hjortevilt#miljøhttps://t.co/PoEAMq2B8tpic.twitter苏州美甲美睫培训学校/kEiYWQ8Pn1— Miljødirektoratet (@miljodir) August 28, 2016

Such a sad image. Lightning has killed 300 reindeer in Norway.  While lightning strikes often kills animals and livestock, this is the first time a report of this many animals killed has been recorded. [Mashable]

And that’s it from me today, you can follow me on Facebook for more.

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Slater and Gordon said its cash flows were “very poor” but improved in the second half of the year. Slater & Gordon has announced a $1.02 billion full-year loss as the embattled law firm attempts to work its way out of trouble following last year’s disastrous UK acquisition.

The loss was a result of a $876.5 million impairment on the goodwill of its United Kingdom assets, which was recognised in the first half.

The company said that a “disappointing” half year in which it posted a $58.3 million normalised loss was followed by a better second half in which its posted an $8 million profit.

That resulted in full-year normalised profit of $49.7 million as measured by its earnings before tax depreciation, amortisation and movements in work in progress, or” EBITDAW”.

Shares in Slater & Gordon traded more than 10 per cent lower following the release at 50¢ per share, reversing the previous week’s gains.

Cash flow generation was “very poor” due to issues experienced in the UK. The company revealed negative net operating cash flow of $104.2 million and a negative gross operating cash flow of $57.6 million.

Slater & Gordon said the result was impacted by the goodwill write-down, a fall in work in progress was case settlements exceeded new files in Australia while fewer cases were taken on in the UK.

The company also cited underperformance of its UK operations and lower resolutions for noise-induced hearing loss cases.

The Australian operation was able to grow revenues by 8 per cent, however, total revenue declined due to adverse movements in the value of work In progress.

The division booked a $100 million loss due to a $55.8 million write-down in goodwill, a $27.8 million adverse movement in WIP and $22.1 million of restructuring costs and provisions.

The once high-flying law firm experienced a disastrous 2015 during which its share price plunged 86 per cent after admitting to several accounting errors while facing the Australian Securities and Investments Commission probe.

An ill-fated $1.3 billion acquisition in the United Kingdom and flagged regulatory changes there hurt the stock further.

On Tuesday, emails revealed the extent of the regulators concerns with Slater & Gordon’s book-keeping that resulted in the multimillion-dollar write-downs.

The increased impairments and weak cash flows forced Slater & Gordon to renegotiate terms with its lenders that were owed $830 million. The company said its net debt position was $682 million at 30 June 2016.

Slater & Gordon said it was fixing the poor performance of its UK business by cutting costs and reorganising the business.

The newly acquired SGS business delivered positive normalised earnings the company said with a significant improvement in the second half as a $27.3 million profit outweighed $24 million loss in the first half.

​​Managing director Andrew Grech said the company’s priority was to put the UK on a sounder footing and to execute its performance improvement programme. In Australia the focus was on profitability and cash generation.

Earlier, Slater & Gordon announced that three board members would step down including long standing executive Ken Fowlie and two non-independent directors Erica Lane and Ian Court.

Mr Fowlie, the chairman John Skippen said, would step down “to devote his full attention to his role as CEO UK”.

A new board member, Tom Brown, was appointed. Mr Skippen said the company remained in compliance with its corporate governance obligations.

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