German sailor’s infection puts heat on Rio organisers

His case has been taken up by the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), which said it would now be escalated to Rio 2016 Games organisers and the international sailing federation.

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The Brazilian metropolis will host the summer Games, the first South American city to do so, but it is struggling with polluted waters on which the athletes will compete.

Heil, who won third spot along with Thomas Ploessel in the 49er class, was told by the Berlin hospital treating him daily that he had been infected by multi-resistant germs, the German sailing team said.

“I have never in my life had infections on the legs. Never!” Heil said on the sailing team’s Olympic blog.

“I assume I picked that up at the test regatta. The cause should be the Marina da Gloria where their is a constant flow of waste water from the city’s hospitals.”

The organising committee for Rio 2016 did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Heil’s case, but spokesman Mario Andrada insisted at a news conference on Thursday that the sailing will not be moved.

The pressure is mounting, however.

Buzios, a beach resort and popular watersports destination a few hours out of Rio, is campaigning to replace Guanabara Bay for next year’s Olympic sailing and has organised a press visit this weekend to show it has the infrastructure and water quality necessary to host the event.

“We contacted Erik Heil and the German sailing federation and are taking this case seriously,” DOSB CEO Michael Vesper said in an email to Reuters,

“The (German) sailing federation will inform Rio 2016 organisers and the international sailing federation.

“I already raised the issue of water quality during last week’s chef de mission (team chiefs) meeting in Rio and the mayor of the city said it was their responsibility as this was not an Olympic problem but a problem of the city of Rio that needs to be tackled and solved,” Vesper said.

Biologists last year said rivers leading into the bay contained a superbacteria resistant to antibiotics that cure urinary, gastrointestinal and pulmonary infections.

“We will try to arrive relatively late to Rio in the future so that any illness appears towards the end of the regatta or even when we are back home,” Heil said in his blog.

“We are also considering with Thomas to sail out of the marina with plastic covers and then wear our normal neopren shoes further out on the water,” Heil said.

When Rio bid to host the Games, the city trumpeted the clean up and said it would cut the amount of raw sewage flowing into the bay by 80 percent.

However, it has since admitted it is unlikely to meet that target saying earlier this year the amount of sewage treated before reaching the bay had risen from 17 to 49 percent.

(Additional reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer in Rio de Janeiro, editing by Ed Osmond)

Van Gaal determined to break Swansea jinx

Swansea went on to complete the Premier League double over United and the Dutchman is determined to take revenge at the Liberty Stadium.

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“My first match was against Swansea and we lost, now I have my 50th and I hope we can show we have improved,” Van Gaal told reporters on Friday.

“I don’t want to lose again. It’s the only club we could not beat or gain one point against, I hope we can improve and that we can show that we are better than last year.

“It will be difficult but we are better prepared than this time last year.”

Towering Belgian Marouane Fellaini is available to play his first Premier League game of the season after serving a suspension but Adnan Januzaj will miss out due to injury.

Van Gaal could be tempted to start Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera who made a lively contribution and scored a goal in the 4-0 Champions League qualifying win at Club Bruges on Wednesday.

“I had a theoretical scheme in my head that he could play at No. 10 and he did it well against Bruges,” Van Gaal said.

United have taken seven points from their first three league games of the season and lie joint third in the table despite only scoring two goals.

Captain Wayne Rooney, however, bagged a hat-trick in Bruges to open his account for the campaign.

“It will be a difficult game, it’s another year and another prospect,” Swansea manager Garry Monk said. “United have added quality to their squad with world-class players.

“It’s becoming more difficult to compete with these kind of squads. We’re up against one of the title contenders, it will be difficult but we’re looking forward to it.”

Swansea are sixth with five points including a draw at champions Chelsea.

(Reporting by Ed Osmond; Editing by Tony Jimenez)

Schippers shifts up a gear to take 200m gold

The 23-year-old European champion clocked 21.

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63 seconds to beat Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson by three-hundredths of a second and add gold to the silver medal she won in the 100m behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce on Monday.

Only Americans Florence Griffith-Joyner, the world record holder, and Marion Jones, who was later banned for doping, have run faster.

“I can’t believe it,” Schippers, who only switched her focus to the sprints full time this year, told reporters.

“What a race! What a tournament for me! I think they’ll be going crazy in the Netherlands at the moment.”

Twice Olympic champion Veronica Campbell-Brown took bronze (21.97) in a race which featured two of the five fastest 200 metres of all time and six of the seven fastest of 2015.

Aries Merritt’s achievement in winning bronze in the 110 metres hurdles was perhaps the most impressive of the night, however, given the Olympic champion will undergo a kidney transplant on Tuesday.

The world record holder finished third behind Russian Sergey Shubenkov and the delighted 30-year-old explained why his sister was not cheering him on at the Bird’s Nest.

“It almost means more to me than my Olympic gold, the state I’m in, the training I’ve done, it’s been very difficult. The struggle is real,” Merritt said.

“My sister’s going to give me one of her kidneys. That’s why she didn’t come to Beijing, she did not want to endanger the transplant.”

Jamaica’s Danielle Williams had her sister Shermaine alongside her when she enjoyed the finest moment of her career with a shock win in the women’s 100 metres hurdles.

It was the first time siblings had competed in a world championship final and it was the younger sister who stormed to victory in a personal best 12.57 seconds ahead of Germany’s Cindy Roleder and Alina Talay of Belarus.

Williams did benefit from three of the American favourites succumbing to the pressure, two going out in the semi-finals and the other clipping her first hurdle, but nothing was going to deny her family their delight.

“It was so special that we were together in this final,” said Danielle, whose sister finished seventh.

“There will be a big celebration for sure, my family is shouting, celebrating — they look even happier than I am.”

FAMILY PRIDE

Decathlon world record holder Ashton Eaton may feel he has family pride to restore after his wife Brianne Theisen-Eaton failed to live up to her favourites tag and settled for silver in the heptathlon.

Eaton clocked the fastest 400 metres of all time in the multi-discipline event (45 seconds) to lead the competition after five events with 4,703 points ahead of Canadian Damian Warner (4,530) and Rico Freimuth of Germany (4,406).

“No way in hell did we think I was running that fast,” he told reporters.

“I thought 46-flat, maxed out. You know me. I just go and don’t hold too much back (and) it turned out something unbelievable.”

There was disbelief for Shubenkov too after he beat Hansle Parchment of Jamaica to the line in a Russian record for the 110m hurdles of 12.98 seconds.

“I don’t remember anything about the race. I heard the starting gun and then I opened my eyes and it was finished,” he said.

“I wondered whether it was really happening, whether I might wake up. This is the best day of my life.”

Tianna Bartoletta rolled back the years in the women’s long jump, snatching a second world title with a leap of 7.14 metres a decade after she won her first under her maiden name Madison.

The American’s best jump was her last and Britain’s Shara Proctor, who had led the competition after breaking her own national record with a 7.07m jump in the third round, fouled with her final effort.

China’s Liu Hong and Lu Xiuzhi looked a little like siblings as they matched each other stride-for-stride until the last few steps of the 20km walk.

Liu led Lu over the line in a time of one hour 27 minutes and 45 seconds for the first gold of the day, to the delight of the crowd basking in the morning sunshine.

“I felt a lot of pressure. China had not won a gold medal and everybody was waiting for it,” Liu said.

Russian walker Alexander Yargunkin will not compete in the men’s 50km walk on Saturday after being suspended while the Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA) investigates media reports he tested positive for blood-boosting agent Erythropoietin.

It will be the first time no Russian walkers will take part in a world championships.

(Additional reporting by Gene Cherry and Dmitriy Rogovitskiy, editing by Ed Osmond)

Suns ruckman Smith faces Port double act

Saturday’s AFL clash between Gold Coast and Port Adelaide may be an end-of-season fixture between two clubs without finals hopes but for ruckman Zac Smith it’s career-defining.

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The off-contract Suns tall is at the last chance saloon in terms of his future at the club.

Touted as one of the game’s brightest ruck prospects not so long ago, Smith’s battles with serious injury have hampered his development as Tom Nicholls now holds the Suns’ No.1 ruckman mantle.

A season-ending knee injury to Nicholls has given Smith one last chance to prove his worth to Suns’ coach Rodney Eade.

Outpointed last weekend by a smaller opponent in Essendon’s Shaun McKernan in the Suns’ two-point win over the Bombers, Smith faces a Port double act this weekend.

Power coach Ken Hinkley has recalled Matthew Lobbe to play alongside Patrick Ryder against the Suns, aiming to rotate the pair in the ruck throughout the game.

Eade is at least publicly sticking by 25-year-old Smith, playing down the job of shutting down Port’s tall options.

“The same as every week, he’ll ruck and get a bit of chop out from Sam Day and Charlie (Dixon),” Eade said.

“Obviously they’ll have a double one there but Tom Nicholls has dealt with it really well when he was there and we’ve got every confidence Zac can do the same.”

Lobbe will also have a point to prove after being dropped to the reserves for the past two weeks.

With Jay Schulz’s ongoing back condition forcing him out of the contest, Hinkley says both big men will face plenty of ruckwork at Metricon Stadium.

“Slightly different this week because we haven’t got Schulzy there,” Hinkley said.

“That allows one of them to play a little bit more as a forward. We’ll share that a little bit more I would have thought than we have earlier in the year because Patty’s form in the ruck in the past couple of weeks has been really strong.

“We certainly don’t want to take that away but we also need to give Lobes’ the opportunity to perform well in the ruck.”

Border Force will not stop people at random in Melbourne: Immigration Department

The exercise – called Operation Fortitude – will be carried out on Friday night and Saturday and will involve Australian Border Force (ABF) officers, as well as representatives from Victoria Police, Metro Trains, Yarra Trams, the Sheriff’s Office and Taxi Services Commission.

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The initial announcement on Friday was met with disbelief on social media, with Senior Advisor to Senator David Leyonhjelm Helen Dale tweeting the words “papers please” in German.

Related Reading

A Department of Immigration and Border Protection spokesperson said Border Force “does not and will not stop people at random”.

“ABF officers will assist partner agencies by conducting background visa checks on individuals who are referred to us,” the spokesperson said.

“… The ABF does not target of the basis of race, religion, or ethnicity.”

However, an earlier statement issued by ABF quoted Regional Commander for Victoria and Tasmania Don Smith stating that officers would be “speaking with any individual we cross paths with”.

Mr Smith said that the operation was part of a “mission” to create a “secure and cohesive society”.

“You need to be aware of the conditions of your visa; if you commit visa fraud you should know it’s only a matter of time before you’re caught out,” he said.

Other questions put to the Immigration Department by SBS were not answered.

Under the Migration Act, an officer may require a person “whom the officer knows or reasonably suspects is a non-citizen” to present evidence of their identity or citizenship status.

The operation will target people travelling to, from and around the Melbourne CBD.

What the Border Force is doing in Melbourne is eerily similar to what the IDF did to me a in Jerusalem. Really isn’t a nice feeling. #auspol

— Elias Jahshan (@Elias_Jahshan) August 28, 2015

Asylum seeker and refugee advocate Pamela Curr expressed outrage at the decision to include Border Force officers in the patrols.

“I want to weep for my country,” she said.

“I have already had a visit from AFP care of Border Force, however as a sixth-generation Australian 66-year-old woman, I am not easily scared.”

An international student friend says she’s going to carry around her visa this weekend, I said she didn’t need to, she’s scared not to.

— Sally Whyte (@sallywhyte) August 28, 2015

When asked on the operation, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said that Labor was concerned and interested.

“If you’re going to do a blitz, I don’t know why you’d necessarily telegraph it to the media first,” he said.

“We’ll wait to see if the government is fair dinkum or if this is just a press release to try to draw some positive attention to themselves.”

Greens immigration spokeswoman Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said it was evidence of the “militarisation” of the immigration department.

“This is a political stunt from a government that’s desperate to divide the community rather than unite it,” she said in a statement.

“The government’s eagerness to militarise the immigration department in its ongoing war against foreigners is extremely disappointing. How will the department guard against racial profiling when it comes to these visa checks and how much will this absurd exercise be costing the Australian taxpayer?”

Greens MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt said it could threaten Melbourne’s reputation as a welcoming city.

“How will the Border Force distinguish between locals, visitors and visa holders?” he told AAP.

“Will every person in Melbourne now be asked to show their papers as they move about the city? Or will they only be stopping people with certain skin colours?”

Social media users are calling on people to protest the operation during a press conference scheduled for Friday afternoon. They are also urging people to film any action across the weekend.

More to come.

With AAP.

Prime Minister wraps up Torres Strait week

The self-declared Prime Minister for Indigenous Australians has spent time with communities in the Torres Strait focusing on health, education, security and how best to address Indigenous disadvantage.

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The Torres Strait is the birthplace and resting place of Eddie Mabo, the man who paved the way for Indigenous land rights in a High Court case that led to Native Title.

 

It’s the second time Mr Abbott has relocated the machinery of government to a remote Indigenous community, having visited Nhulunbuy [NULL-un-boy] in Arnhem Land in September last year.

 

During his visit Mr Abbott repeated his election pledge to govern for all Australians, not just those in the south of the country.

 

“And I want you to know that as long as I am your Prime Minister I will never be a prisoner of Canberra. I will never be someone that gets so caught up in the routine of Canberra that I neglect the real life of our people. Particularly the real life of our people in remote Australia.”

 

Last year Mr Abbott had to cut his Nhulunbuy trip short after announcing Australia’s involvement in the war against extremism in Iraq, and flying out to farewell troops bound for the Middle East.

 

The National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples has welcomed the Prime Minister’s Torres Strait visit, saying it’s an opportunity to deepen the relationship with Indigenous Australians.

 

Congress Co-chair Kirstie Parker says she hopes the engagement with Indigenous Australians continues beyond the visit.

 

“Of course one week a year does not give you all the answers that you need. Nothing can do that except a genuine relationship with our people. That means being prepared from the PM, but also from our side, to have complicated and kind of scary conversations. But they need not be scary if you trust one another because you don’t have to go to northern Australia to see Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

 

Eight federal ministers, including Health Minister Sussan Ley and Attorney-General George Brandis, joined the Prime Minister on his week-long visit.

 

Mr Abbott says he understands the feeling of powerlessness historically experienced by Indigenous people.

 

But he says things are changing and they’re changing for the better, particularly in the area of education.

“I guess for me the great thing about this trip has been the obvious improvement in the schools, the obvious improvement in the quality of our classrooms, the fact that classrooms in these remote schools are now places of focus, purpose, energy and discipline.”

 

But Bernard Charlie, Mayor of the Northern Area Peninsula Region, says that’s not enough.

 

He says he wants more to be done.

 

“The social and economic indicators for the Northern Peninsula region is appalling and unacceptable as a developed country. We continue to experience high costs of living, poor health outcomes, where our Indigenous people’s life expectancy is greatly reduced to around 45 (years). Our people are considered lucky to reach 50 years of age and continue to experience high levels of unemployment, low skilled jobs and low standards of education outcomes in the critical years of learning.”

 

During the week, the Prime Minister visited the grave of land rights campaigner Eddie Mabo, attended local schools and spoke at a remembrance service for Torres Strait war veterans.

 

Border security and Defence issues were also raised in talks between Mr Abbott and leaders in the community, which is the gateway between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

 

Despite increased patrols by Border Force vessels, drug-smugglers and other criminals are still able to island-hop their way into Australia.

 

The spread of tropical diseases including drug-resistant tuberculosis is also a concern, as villagers from Papua New Guinea travel between islands to seek medical treatment in Australia.

 

Mr Abbott says the week has been an extremely valuable experience and he’s looking forward to returning to the Top End next year.

 

31-year-old man arrested over Mildura toddler death

Homicide detectives have arrested a man over the death of a two-year-old girl in northern Victoria.

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The body of Nikki Francis-Coslovich was found in her Mildura home on Tuesday evening, hours after she was reported missing by her mother.

A 31-year-old local man was taken into custody by investigators on Friday morning.

It’s believed Nikki’s body may have been found in the roof cavity of the Oram Court home following an extensive search of the neighbourhood by family, friends and police.

An autopsy reportedly found the young girl had suffered blunt force trauma.

“In terms of reassurance of the community, we don’t believe it is a random incident,” Acting Inspector Rebecca Olsen told AAP on Thursday.

“The child’s mother and extended family are co-operating with police and they have been assisting with all inquiries.”

Earlier on Friday the girl’s father Nick Coslovich said he had contacted authorities fearing for his childrens’ safety.

He says he sent a text message to a support worker eight days before Nikki’s body was found, the Herald Sun reports.

“I need to get the girls out of that house and fast … I must save my girls b4 its too late. Pls help me,” the text message on August 17 reportedly says.

Mr Coslovich was expected to travel to Melbourne on Friday to formally identify his youngest daughter’s body.

Nikki was the youngest of Ms Coslovich’s four daughters with his former partner.

All are aged under eight.

He previously told AAP he had not seen the girls for about a month and had been trying to renegotiate care arrangements.

There was no history of violence in the home, though their mother had recently met a new boyfriend who he didn’t know, he said.

The Department of Human Services says it cannot comment on whether it is or has been invovled with the family.

Bolt extends his domination of Gatlin

If Justin Gatlin could not find a way past Usain Bolt in Beijing, it’s almost impossible to imagine how he could turn the tables on the remarkable Jamaican sprinter at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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Bolt arrived in the Chinese capital looking more vulnerable than at any other stage during his seven-year reign.

He had only raced sparingly in 2015 due to a troublesome pelvic injury and there were grave doubts he would even make it to the world titles.

Gatlin, the 33-year-old American who has served two doping bans, topped the world rankings in the 100m and 200m.

When the unpopular American dominated the 100m semi-finals last Saturday, it seemed he finally had the Jamaican’s measure.

But no-one told Bolt.

He mowed down a faltering Gatlin in the shadow of the line to win the 100m final by one hundredth of a second and then back up with a much more comprehensive victory in 19.55 seconds in the 200m on Thursday night, with the American again relegated to the silver-medal position.

Once more, a sport battered by the spectre of doping produced a huge sigh of relief.

Bolt has now claimed 11 of the past 12 major championships sprint crowns, with his only miss coming when he false-started in the 100m final at the 2011 world titles in Daegu.

Bolt crossed the finish line in the 200m waving his index finger in triumph.

“What I really celebrated was, Justin Gatlin said earlier in the week that he was going to bring out something special for the 200 metres,” Bolt said.

“I was like, ‘You don’t talk about my 200 metres like that’.

“I had to prove to him that I am No.1.

“It’s a big deal.

“It means a whole lot to me – maybe some doubted but there was never a doubt to me.

“The only worry I had that I wasn’t really sharp, but I just got better the more I ran.”

The Jamaican will be chasing a third Olympic sprint double at next year’s Rio Olympics and now – more than ever – it’s hard to see who is standing in his way.

Gatlin will be 34 by then and Bolt reckons he could have run much faster in the Beijing 200m final if he had been pushed harder – somewhere in the low 19.3s.

“But one of my goals is to run under 19 seconds,” he said.

“So if I want to run that, I have to really push myself next season.”

Gatlin admitted that age was a factor in Beijing.

“I feel tired. Going through three 100s and three 200s is taxing on the body,” he said.

“I’m the oldest person in the field and am still running and running pretty well.

“To be able to run 9.74 (in Doha in May) is a really good showing.

“I gave it all I could give.”

The only person who caused Bolt any trouble at the Bird’s Nest on Thursday night was a cameraman riding a Segway who accidentally knocked the super sprinter over as he posed for post-event photos.

“He took me out,” joked Bolt.

“The rumour I’m trying to start right now is that Justin Gatlin paid him off, so that’s what I’m going with. But I’m all right so it’s all good.”

Gatlin quipped back: “I want my money back. He didn’t complete the job.”

Drunk Vic driver set for deportation

Witnessing a bloody murder in a Melbourne share house sent an Irish roof tiler on a path to a drunken car crash and an attempt to bribe a witness not to call police.

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James Purcell, 24, was doing 96km/h in a 60km/h zone on April 26 last year when he crashed into a tree head-on in Oakleigh.

As his life-long friend Albert Dunne lay unconscious in the passenger seat, Purcell drunkenly urged four witnesses not to call police.

He offered one $1000 not to call anyone because he knew he’d be done for drink-driving.

Purcell pleaded guilty to a charge of negligent driving causing injury and was sentenced to a community corrections order in the Victorian County Court on Friday.

Judge John Smallwood said Purcell had been a light and infrequent drinker before witnessing a violent murder in an Ashwood share house in 2012.

He tried to save the victim and ended up covered in their blood as he called for help.

Justice Smallwood said witnessing the murder had significantly changed Purcell.

“You felt completely powerless and overwhelmed by the experience,” he said on Friday.

Purcell started drinking heavily after that, and was found with a 0.123 blood alcohol reading on the night of the crash.

Mr Dunne was left with spinal fractures and an ongoing cognitive impairment.

Purcell expressed “extreme remorse” after the crash and has not had a drink since.

The Purcells and the Dunnes have been close in Ireland for generations and Purcell has support from his wider family – with more than 100 first cousins – and the Dunnes.

“You are a very fortunate man indeed that you have the forgiveness of the whole Dunne family,” Justice Smallwood said.

Purcell was sentenced to a community corrections order for three years but he has been in immigration detention for four months as his visa ran out while the court case went ahead.

Prosecutors have up to 28 days to decide whether to appeal his sentence, otherwise he will be deported back to Ireland.

Calls for changes to the legal system for sexual assault cases

Sexual assault: How common is it in Australia?What is the legal process for rape cases?One victim’s story: Six months of assault, five years in court, 10 months in prisonSexual assault: What action is being taken?

In the wake of proposed changes to the court system for domestic violence cases, there are now calls for changes to the legal process for all sexual assaults.

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Australia has a relatively high rate of reported sexual assault compared to other developed countries. It’s difficult to compare convcition rates (people convicted of rape as a percentage of those charged) globally, but many rape support groups say convictions are too low.

Workers who assist victims of rape in Australia say changes are needed here to redress the balance in a system which they say is stacked against the victim.

One of the things they are calling for is separate courts to hear sexual assault cases, presided over by dedicated, specially trained judges.

Related reading

Support workers – who often who have first-hand experience of the court process – also say there should be consistent laws across the country, in line with reforms being made in relation to domestic violence.

Often, they say, rape victims are put off pursuing charges because of lengthy court processes and difficulties with meeting the extensive requirements for proof, meaning that the chance of conviction is often slim.

Karen Willis from the NSW Rape Crisis Centre said momentum for specialist courts for sexual assault and domestic violence has been building for a long time.

She told SBS that such courts could also help address outdated precedents.

“We’re still having sexual assault matters decided on decisions that may have been made 15, 20, 30, 50 years ago on the views and attitudes of the time,” she said.

There was similarly a need for additional training throughout the entire legal system, according to Karin Cheyne from the Brisbane Rape and Incest Survivors Support Service.

Ms Cheyne told SBS that education should also extend to judges, whose current definition of violence was “just draconian”.

“They need to be reflecting on their views and judgements,” she said.

Related reading

“If they’re the ones that are making these decisions and instructing a jury about how to make decisions, they’ve got a responsibility to get up to speed with some training.”

Ms Cheyne also voiced support for a specialist court system, similar to those in place in Britain and South Africa.

Mary Heath from Flinders University’ School of Law said the implementation of specially trained staff in South Africa had made a huge difference to prosecution and conviction rates.

But Associate Professor Heath said even with secure funding, a specialised system was not guaranteed to be successful.

“This is not a magic bullet that can cure every difficulty in the path of a person who experiences sexual assault,” she said.

“The South African example shows that as with so many other services, inadequate funding and support will prejudice its success.”

Alternative penalties

Another change that has been suggested is alternative penalties for convicted and accused rapists, in order to curb the number of reoffenders in Australia.

More than one in five of the convicted aggravated sexual assault offenders in NSW had at least one prior sexual assault conviction, government figures state, while almost 20 per cent had three or more prior convictions.

‘A lot of women who are raped by someone they know – they don’t want them to go to prison’

According to figures issued by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, the occurrence of prior convictions increased when examining all types of sexual assault – more than 18 per cent of offenders had three or more prior convictions.

Ms Willis is among the support workers calling for the introduction of behavioural programs as part of the justice system.

She told SBS it was historically very rare that a sex offender would offend only once, but alternative punishments could help break the cycle.

“Most offenders will offend throughout their life,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to do some reasonably early intervention and get some good behaviour change for that person now and that might reduce that offending behaviour in the future. If we can do that, it’s got to be a good thing.”

Ms Cheyne said an alternative to conviction also needed to be introduced. She told SBS that victims would benefit from alternate ways to be heard and validated.

“A lot of women who are raped by someone they know – they don’t want them to go to prison,” she said. “They don’t want to report them to the police. They just want them to stop the violence.

“There’s nothing in the middle, there’s no education and no other ways to prevent men from continuing to use violence in that way.”

Related readingBeing a ‘good witness’

Ms Cheyne said the notion of being a “good witness” could also act as a deterrent for a rape victim, with cases undermined by elements such as alcohol or memory.

“It’s about memory – remembering details, times,” she said. “A bad statement could be where [victims] don’t remember the date, or the time or his face. They didn’t tell anybody… Or they were intoxicated.”

Ms Cheyne said if the attack happened when the victim was intoxicated, it could be enough for a case to not go forward. Even a delay in reporting could jeopardise a victim being a witness.

“The system is there to protect the accused,” she said.

“It’s incredibly difficult. I think that a lot of women know that about the system, they know that they’re going to have a really hard time. Sometimes I tell women it’s going to be a hard struggle.”

‘You don’t allow the entire woman’s sexual past to be given and that they are actually very strong about not doing that’

Professor Cathy Humphreys spent 12 years working in England, where she said reforms had made the system “much less complicated”.

“There’s been an enormous amount of reform in the courts in England to try to enforce some of the restrictions about how evidence is taken,” the University of Melbourne academic said.

“You don’t allow the entire woman’s sexual past to be given and that they are actually very strong about not doing that. There has been a lot of training of judges and there has been a lot of development of specialist courts. So I think that over time, there’s been a lot of attention given to the issues around sexual violence.”

Professor Humphreys said there were also a lot of strong advocates in England around rape reform, who had helped secure better control over lines of questioning involving the victim’s sexual past or wardrobe choices.

“The judge has pulled the defendant into line and stopped that,” she said.

“It does [happen in Australia] with some judges – some judges really make a stand, but there are a lot of waffly areas. Some are not as assertive as they could be. I think it’s about court culture, and training can be part of that.”

Related readingLengthy court processes

Chrystina Stanford from the Canberra Rape Crisis Centre said the difficulties within the court room could be eased with the introduction of time limits for sexual assault cases.

Ms Stanford told SBS that there was various legislation in place from state to state regarding the timing of hearings, but there were often delays with the period from reporting to result stretching into years.

“This has a really awful impact on victims and can be a reason people do not continue with the process,” she said.

“In some states it can be several years before the case gets to court, which draws out the process for the victim and does not allow them a sense of being able to move on with their life.”

Women who are experiencing sexual or physical violence are encouraged to ring 1800-RESPECT, a national telephone support line.

RELATED FEATURE: THE FEED

Hayne still doesn’t feel he belongs in NFL

He may be lighting it up for the San Francisco 49ers, but Jarryd Hayne admits he doesn’t really feel like he belongs in the NFL yet.

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The 27-year-old rookie has been the big talking point of the pre-season thanks to his head-turning outings against the Houston Texans and the Dallas Cowboys.

Now heavily tipped to break into the 49ers’ final 53-man roster, Hayne has been receiving praise far and wide, including from the likes of NFL and 49ers legend Jerry Rice.

But as he prepares for his third trial match against the Denver Broncos this weekend, the former rugby league superstar still feels like the odd one out on the field with some of the game’s biggest names.

“It hasn’t happened yet,” said Hayne, when asked if he felt he belonged during a joint practice session with the Broncos in Denver.

“I’ve only been training about three or four months now, so it’s still fresh and I’m learning every day and making mistakes, and learning from my mistakes as well.

“I don’t think you ever get to a point where you get comfortable, you have to be doing it for a long, time time.”

Hayne referenced some of the challenges he faced during his first couple of weeks of training with the 49ers, a baptism of fire during which he was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of new information.

“I’m just like, `What’s going on?'” he said.

“Everything was pretty much in one ear out the other. There was so much going on.

“I think anyone who’s been coached by (running backs coach) Tom Rathman, he does speak pretty fast and he’s very passionate about what he does.

“It took a bit of adjusting to understand him and get the concepts. But it’s like anything, I just hung in there.

“My faith has been at the centre of all of this. There was no way I was leaving, I was always going to fight those battles and I did. There’s been better days.”

During two practice sessions this week Hayne’s Broncos counterparts got their first close-up look at Australia’s surprise packet export, who on Thursday recovered from a tackle that left him on his arse to score a long-range touchdown.

Hayne admitted he’s been targeted a little by opposition players but laughed that some of the advice had been useful.

“When I had that run and I think it was the (Broncos) safety put a little bit extra in, they told me to `Get low 38′,” Hayne said of his unorthodox upright running style more suited to rugby league.

“So it was good advice from the boys, I appreciate that.”

Internet a closed window on NKorea

Pyongyang’s shiny new airport building has all the features international travellers have come to expect, though some lose their lustre upon closer examination.

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Case in point – its internet room appears to be missing the internet.

On two recent trips through the airport by The Associated Press, the room’s three terminals were either occupied by North Korean airport employees, making it impossible for others to use them, or were completely empty, with their keyboards removed.

Attempts to open any browser with a mouse resulted in a failure to connect.

Maybe it was a temporary glitch. It’s hard to say, since airport officials have refused to comment.

But a quick check of the history on two of the terminals showed one was either empty or had been cleared, and the other had a record only of a visit to Naenara, the North’s official website.

At first glance, internet at the airport would seem like quite a concession for a country that is almost completely sealed off from the World Wide Web.

Hardly any North Koreans have personal-use computers.

Most with online access can see only the country’s domestic version of the web – an intranet that has only websites sanctioned by the government, and for internal use only.

The internet itself can be seen only by a small number of elites, IT experts or others with a clear need to use it, and always under close supervision.

The internet room at the airport, which opened a few months ago, is just part of efforts there to give visitors the sense that North Korea is just like any other modern travel destination.

Arriving passengers see coffee and well-stocked souvenir shops, a DVD stand, information desk and a slickly produced billboard showing a crew of the nation’s flag-carrier, Air Koryo, looking sharp in their blue and red uniforms.

There are even two chocolate fountains, one for white chocolate and the other for brown.

Another nod to international norms can be seen right behind the internet room, in the smoking room.

In something almost never seen in the North, where just about every adult male who can afford it is a smoker, the room has a big sign warning that the habit is hazardous to one’s health.

Miley Cyrus hits streets as Australian reporter on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

American singer Miley Cyrus hit the streets disguised as an Australian Reporter named ‘Janet’ for a skit on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, to find out what people really think of her.

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Donning a dark wig, thick-framed glasses and pearls, the controversial pop star cloaked her southern drawl in her best Australian accent.

“Miley Cyrus is a very recognisable individual so we decided to have some fun with that by making her unrecognisable,” host of the television show, Jimmy Kimmel said.

“We disguised her as an Australian reporter and sent her out on the street to ask people what they think about Miley Cyrus for a new edition of “I Witness News.”

“I think she lost her mind in the Hollywood madness.”

Cyrus, who is hosting the MTV Music Video Awards at the weekend, faced poor public opinion as she talked to random people along Hollywood Boulevard. 

“Do you like her? What’s your opinion?” Cyrus asked a one man in a cowboy hat.

To which he replied: “No, she’s not one of my favourites.”

An elderly woman said Cyrus had “lost her mind in the Hollywood madness”, while another man said he preferred Taylor Swift. 

talk about one way 2 find out about what ppl REALLY think about you #Miley – lol; straight 2 ur face! true negativity 杭州桑拿网,杭州夜生活,/RQIlP2Wd29

— J.J. Stone (@jj_stone30) August 27, 2015

Proving she is thick-skinned, the 22-year-old never broke character and even encouraged the criticisms.

But despite her disguise one man recognised her.

“That’s actually why they hired me,” she quipped.

“They flew me in from Perth and I’m here right now. I’m kind of freaking out that I’m on Hollywood Boulevard.”

Known for her wild performances and fashion, Cyrus made the headlines in 2013 for famously gyrating on stage at music awards.

Living up to her reputation, Cyrus admitted she was undercover and flashed her chest at the man to prove it.