Monthly Archives: January 2019

Federal police called to rooftop protest at Villawood

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Federal police have been called to the scene of a rooftop protest at Villawood detention centre.
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Three people have been protesting from a roof, estimated to be at least 7 metres from the ground, for three days.

It is understood the three are Fijian nationals, and their protest was sparked when a woman scheduled to be deported on Monday climbed on to the roof on Monday.

Her husband was also due to be deported on Tuesday, but he remains at the centre after the woman threatened to jump from the roof if he was removed.

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said Australian Federal Police were on site, but could not say whether there were police negotiators are the centre. He said employing police negotiators to try to bring the trio down was an operational matter.

Serco, the company running Villawood for the government, had trained negotiators talking to the group, he said.Serco had also placed crash mats on the ground below the roof.

An AFP spokesman said federal police would support the department and Serco to safely resolve the situation.

”As this is an ongoing incident, it is not appropriate for the AFP to comment further.”

NSW police confirmed local police had not attended the scene, despite receiving a call on Tuesday.

A department of immigration and citizenship spokesman said: ”We won’t be discussing the specifics of what’s happening on the ground.”

Lawyer George Newhouse, who acted on behalf of the family of 36-year-old Fijian national Josefa Rauluni, who leapt to his death in 2010, was visiting clients on Monday and witnessed the protest.

By Tuesday night friends of the trio were sending him text messages pleading for help.

”George, please I am very scared that they might jump please help them.thank you,” read one.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

New rules on mobile phones catch 780 drivers

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NSW Police booked 780 drivers for illegal mobile phone use in the first 11 days of new phone rules which came into force on November 1.
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Breaching the rules attracts a $298 fine and the loss of three demerit points, and this rises to $397 and four demerit points if the driver is in a school zone. Of the 780 people booked, 24 were in a school zone, police said.

The new laws state that when your vehicle is moving or stationary (but not parked) drivers may only use a mobile phone to make or receive a call or to use the audio-playing function if the phone is in a fixed mounting cradle or does not require you to touch or manipulate it in any way.

All other functions, including texting, video messaging and emailing, are prohibited. To use GPS on phones, the handset must be placed in a fixed mounting located in a spot that does not distract the driver from the road. Holding the phone is prohibited except when passing it to a passenger.

Learner and P1 drivers and riders are not permitted to use a mobile phone at all while driving.

In 2011, 46,667 motorists were booked for illegally using a phone while driving. This works out to an average of about 897 a week.

When a police spokesman was asked if the lower number of drivers booked in the first 11 days of the new laws indicated that police were not enforcing the laws as vigorously, or that drivers had smartened up, the spokesman said the number appeared small but was “likely to increase during high-visibility police operations targeting dangerous driving”.

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (ATMA) advised drivers to buy a cradle and install it on their dashboard, use smartphone voice-activated dialling or take advantage of automatic answering features.

The Melbourne entrepreneur Alex Kain is attempting to cash in on the new rules with a new in-car gadget featuring a detachable Android tablet that allows drivers to control all apps – including radio stations, Skype, email, text messages, Facebook and podcasts – by voice. Kain said the tablet hardware was from China but he was developing the voice control software that powers it.

ATMA cited research showing the risk of crashing or having to take action to avoid a crash increased by 23 times when a driver took their eyes off the road to write or read text messages. Looking down to dial on a handheld phone increased the risk of a crash or near-crash by 2.8 times.

Police said eight motorists had been booked for roundabout offences since the introduction of other new road rules and a further 190 have been booked for U-turn offences. Details of all the changes that came into force on November 1 can be found in the RTA’s handbook.

“The safety of NSW motorists remains the number one for priority for police and officers will continue to diligently patrol the state’s roads in order to catch dangerous drivers before they hurt themselves or other road users,” said Inspector Phil Brooks, from the Traffic and Highway Patrol Command.Source: Digital Life

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Taking over the asylum

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JACK Gow is a very physical actor who likes to be on the move. So his latest role, in the play commonly known as the Marat/Sade, is a considerable challenge.
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He spends the entire 100 minutes sitting in a bath.

As he notes, it is very different from his last role as the title character in an outdoor production of Peter Pan, who climbed up and down trees and often swung into the action.

The full title of the Marat/Sade is The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade.

While those 25 words sum up the play’s basic plot, they don’t reveal its style.

The work, by German writer Peter Weiss, combined the epic theatre style of his fellow countryman Bertolt Brecht that made use of songs to comment on the action, with the so-called theatre of cruelty of Frenchman Antonin Artaud that aimed to hurl those watching into the centre of what was going on, thereby forcing them to engage with the performance on an instinctive level.

While this was controversial when the play was first performed in 1963, a Royal Shakespeare Company production staged by Peter Brook in London the following year made the Marat/Sade a hit. The production won the Tony Award for best new play when it transferred to Broadway the following year.

The Marat/Sade is being staged by the Regional Institute of Performing Arts, the new name for Hunter TAFE’s performance classes, at Newcastle’s Civic Playhouse from November 29 to December 2.

The production will include 21 first-year acting students, under the direction of David Brown.

The play, based on actual historical events, is set in a French asylum for mental patients in 1808, where the asylum director allows the patients to perform plays as part of their therapy.

The notorious Marquis de Sade, one of the inmates, directs a play about the stabbing murder in 1793 of French Revolution hero Jean-Paul Marat as he sat in his bath.

De Sade, a nobleman who benefited from the revolution, sees the radical Marat as a villain and his murderer, Charlotte Corday, as a heroine. But his fellow inmates don’t agree with that as the performance progresses, disrupting the action to express their own views.

While the play is at times confronting, the combination of elements makes it entertaining. There is a lot of humour in the dialogue and the songs, with music by Richard Peaslee that was composed for the Brook production, are catchy. Singers of the day included them on their albums.

Jack Gow is cast as the patient playing Marat, with Mitchell Bourke as his opponent, De Sade. Carmen Ormeno is Charlotte Corday and Stephanie Cunliffe-Jones is the well-meaning asylum director.

The other characters include three heralds, two of whom are drummers, with the always-on-stage ensemble cast as the inmates delivering the show’s songs and dances.

Bourke said there was strong drama in two determined men, De Sade and Marat, fighting for their beliefs, with De Sade seeing individuals as the people who change history, but Marat putting forward the view that change is made through a collective effort.

However, Rachel Davies, who is one of the singers, said the show was often surprisingly light-hearted.

Tara Gallop-Brennan, who is the central herald, said the Marat/Sade was certainly a challenge for the actors, but also a lot of fun, and the cast would make it an enjoyable experience for audiences.

The Marat/Sade can be seen at the Civic Playhouse nightly from Thursday, November 29, to Saturday, December 1, at 7.30pm, plus a 2pm Saturday matinee and a 5pm show on Sunday, December 2. Tickets: $22, concession $18. Bookings: Civic Ticketek, 49291977.

UP FOR CHALLENGE: Rachel Davies, Jack Gow, Tara Gallop-Brennan, and Mitchell Bourke.

Lagwagon keep working miracles

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WHEN a band has been together as long as Californian punk rockers Lagwagon, there has to be some secret to their success.
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Frontman Joey Cape shared a few of Lagwagon’s with LIVE ahead of their show at the Cambridge this month.

‘‘I think it’s a balance of things, I think that you have to enjoy what you do and you have to do it for yourself. You have to be somewhat self-involved otherwise it’s not going to be right and obviously you have to be passionate about it,’’ Cape told LIVE. ‘‘And you have to get along. You have to have a great deal of respect for the members in your band because it’s really hard to be around the same people all the time.

‘‘I think it’s kind of a miracle when people stay together as long as we have. And we get along now better than we ever have.

‘‘Maybe we’re getting older, more mature or something, I don’t know … We enjoy each other a lot, we’ve been together so long we have the same sense of humour, which I think is 95 per cent of it.’’

Lagwagon first made waves in 1988 with their unique brand of punk, which was described as ‘‘speedy, highly technical pop punk’’.

Quickly they became one of the most influential punk acts of the ’90s, becoming the first band signed to the iconic Fat Wreck Chords. Five albums were released in the ’90s, including Duh, Trashed, Hoss and Let’s Talk About Feelings. More albums followed in the next decade and Putting Music In Its Place (remastered versions of previous releases) in 2011.

Although the band has had some line-up changes over the years, frontman Joey Cape and guitarist Chris Flippin have remained.

Lagwagon has toured Australia regularly over the years including a 2008 tour when Frenzal Rhomb’s (and Triple J’s) Lindsay McDougall stepped in for Flippin at the last minute when the guitarist hit an immigration snag. Cape still sings McDougall’s praises: ‘‘He learned all the songs in 24hours, he’s really amazing, that guy.’’

Cape has also toured Down Under with his acoustic work as well as with pop-punk cover band Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. He’s looking forward to coming back for this latest jaunt but regrettably will have to leave his wife and daughter at home: ‘‘I really wanted to bring my wife and daughter to Australia because it is so awesome’’.

Cape explained the band had always enjoyed playing to Aussie audiences.

‘‘It’s great, it’s a very positive energy from the crowd. It’s very fun. I think Australians just have a good time,’’ Cape said.

But he agreed the band’s audience had changed over subsequent tours: fans from the ’90s had remained loyal and some had introduced their own children to Lagwagon. And of course, there are always punk fans in each new generation.

‘‘Most bands get fans that are younger and a lot of that has to do with the kind of media they do, and since we’ve basically forgone all of that sort of thing, mostly by choice, what we do get is our original fans and then when they have kids, they get to 13 or 14 and they might come along to our show. We do get that a lot and I love it,’’ Cape said.

But it’s not just fans who have felt the impact of Lagwagon’s more than two decades in the business, it’s other bands, too.

‘‘Obviously it’s a nice feeling having bands tell you you’ve influenced them. It gets better as you get older because it’s not just kid’s bands,’’ Cape said.

‘‘When you hear that from a kid who is like 21, saying ‘Yeah man, your band had a huge influence on my band’, you’re like ‘That’s cool’. But when you’re touring with a band and you’re hearing it from your peers that are my age, in their 30s or whatever, and they say ‘Hey man, I’ve always liked your band’, that is what feels really cool.

‘‘We’re starting to meet bands who are actually really successful and grew up listening to us and that’s the weird part but it feels really good.’’

For a band who came to define punk during the ’90s, what does Cape think of the genre now?

‘‘I think the essence of punk will always live on as long as there is something to rebel against, some establishment.

‘‘Musically speaking it’s branched out so much, I don’t know that it’s got a pure traditional sound any more … it’s diluted and convoluted,’’ he said.

Lagwagon play the Cambridge Hotel on November 30.

REBELS WITH A CAUSE: Lagwagon are still influencing others with their punk music.

Diwali Festival

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A young girl watches the entertainment on stage during the Hindu festival of Diwali on November 13, 2012 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images A young boy looks out from his home to watch fireworks during the Hindu festival of Diwali on November 13, 2012 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
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Residents Suresh Bakrania and his wife Hansa (C) pose as they sit inside their home which is decorated to celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali on November 13, 2012 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

People dressed as the gods, Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi, walk through the streets during the Hindu festival of Diwali on November 13, 2012 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Families and locals gather to watch fireworks during the Hindu festival of Diwali on November 13, 2012 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Up to 35,000 people attended the Diwali festival of light in Leicester’s Golden Mile in the heart of the city’s asian community. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Families and locals gather to watch fireworks during the Hindu festival of Diwali on November 13, 2012 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A woman looks out from her saree shop to watch fireworks during the Hindu festival of Diwali on November 13, 2012 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Dancer Vimi Solanki waits to perform on stage as Lord Krishna during the Hindu festival of Diwali on November 13, 2012 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Young dancers entertain the crowds during the Hindu festival of Diwali on November 13, 2012 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Locals light fireworks in the street during the Hindu festival of Diwali on November 13, 2012 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A family wraps up against the cold to watch fireworks during the Hindu festival of Diwali on November 13, 2012 in Leicester, United Kingdom.

A house is decorated to celebrate the Hindu festival of Diwali on November 13, 2012 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Dancer Vimi Solanki waits to perform on stage as Lord Krishna during the Hindu festival of Diwali on November 13, 2012 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Dancer Vimi Solanki waits to perform on stage as Lord Krishna during the Hindu festival of Diwali on November 13, 2012 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A woman watches the entertainment on stage during the Hindu festival of Diwali on November 13, 2012 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Families and locals gather to watch fireworks during the Hindu festival of Diwali on November 13, 2012 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Young dancers entertain the crowds during the Hindu festival of Diwali on November 13, 2012 in Leicester, United Kingdom. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images