Home' Greymouth Star : April 7th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
8 - Friday, April 7, 2017
Former Reser ve Bank governor Bernie
Fraser is one of 75 prominent Australian
economists and academics critical of a
decision to cut Sunday penalty rates in
the retail and hospitality sector.
The group has penned an open letter,
released today, arguing the reduction
would boost inequality rather than
“ While it is doubtful that lower penalty
rates will result in any measurable
increase in total employment in the
retail and hospitality industries, there
is no doubt that this decision will
reduce incomes for some of the most
insecure and poorly-paid workers in the
economy,” the letter said.
The signatories cite economic and
other data to say the retail and hospitality
workforce is disproportionately reliant
on women, immigrants and young
“By reducing wages for this low
income segment of the workforce, lower
penalty rates would incrementally widen
income inequality in Australia and
exacerbate its varied economic and social
consequences,” the letter said.
It would also reduce tax revenues
for governments and increase welfare
Fraser, who was head of Treasury before
ser ving as Reser ve Bank of Australia
governor from 1989 to 1996, has also
criticised the Turnbull government ’s
company tax cuts for businesses with a
turnover of up to $50 million.
“The main recipients will be the
dividend holders — not traditionally a
disadvantaged, vulnerable section in the
community,” he told Fairfax Media.
“The other people who will benefit
will be the senior executives of those
companies giving themselves bonuses.
“All the while the vulnerable people are
being squeezed at the other end.”
penalty rates decision
Brazilian UFO enthusiast vanishes mysteriously
Duterte has ordered the occupation
of uninhabited islands and shoals it
claims in the disputed South China Sea,
asserting Philippine sovereignty in an
apparent change of tack.
The firebrand leader, who on the
campaign trail joked that he would
jetski to a Chinese man-made island
in the South China Sea to reinforce
Manila’s claim, also said he may visit a
Philippine-controlled island to raise the
“The unoccupied, which are ours, let ’s
live on it,” D uterte told reporters during
a visit to a military base in Palawan, near
the disputed waters, overnight.
“ It looks like everyone is making a grab
for the islands there. So we better live on
those that are still unoccupied. What ’s
ours now, we claim it and make a strong
point from there.”
Duterte’s occupation plan is unlikely
to sit well with China, which lays
claim to almost all the South China
Sea, especially as it comes amid a fast-
warming relationship between the two
sides in recent months.
Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines,
Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims in
the strategic waters.
Duterte announced his “separation”
from the United States in October,
declaring he had realigned with
China as the two agreed to resolve
their South China Sea dispute through
His efforts to engage China, months
after a tribunal in the Hague ruled that
Beijing did not have historic rights to
the South China Sea, in themselves
marked a reversal in foreign policy.
The Philippines occupies nine
“features”, or islands and reefs, in the
South China Sea, including a World
War Two-vintage transport ship which
ran aground on Second Thomas Shoal in
the late 1990s.
Duterte said he might visit the island
of Thitu, the largest of the Philippine-
controlled Spratly Islands, and build a
barracks for ser vicemen operating in the
“ In the coming Independence Day,
I may go to Pagasa island to raise the
flag there,” D uterte said, using the local
name for Thitu.
The Philippines marks its 119th year
of independence from more than three
centuries of Spanish rule on June 12.
Thitu is close to Subi Reef, one of seven
man-made islands in the Spratlys that
China is accused of militarising with
surface-to-air missiles, among other
Last month, Defence Minister Delfin
Lorenzana said the military would
strengthen its facilities in the Spratlys,
building a new port, paving an existing
rough airstrip and repairing other
structures. — Reuters
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said
there was no “option except victory” in
the country’s civil war in an inter view
government could not reach “results”
with opposition groups which attended
recent peace talks.
The inter view
newspaper Vecernji List appeared to
have been conducted before United
States President Donald Trump accused
Assad of crossing “many, many lines”
with a poison gas attack on Tuesday.
Assad was not asked about the
chemical attack in the north-western
Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, a text
of the interview published by the Syrian
State news agency Sana showed. The
government has strongly denied any
More than six years into the Syrian
conflict, Assad appears militarily
unassailable in the areas of western Syria
where he has shored up his rule with
decisive help from the Russian military
and Iranian-backed militias from across
The inter view underlined Assad’s
confidence as he reiterated his goal of
dealing a total defeat to the insurgency.
He also reiterated his rejection of
federalism sought by Kurdish groups in
“As I said a while ago, we have a great
hope which is becoming greater; and this
hope is built on confidence, for without
confidence there wouldn’t be any hope.
In any case, we do not have any other
option except victory,” he said.
“ If we do not win this war, it means
that Syria will be deleted from the map.
We have no choice in facing this war,
and that ’s why we are confident, we are
persistent and we are determined,” he
More than 70 people, including at least
20 children, were killed in the chemical
The Russian allies say the deaths were
caused by a leak from an arms depot
where rebels were making chemical
weapons, after it was hit in a Syrian air
strike. Rebels deny this.
Rebels have in recent weeks launched
two of their boldest offensives in many
months, attacking in Damascus and
north of the government-held city of
Hama. The army says both assaults have
Assad, citing recent rebel offensives in
Damascus and near the northern city of
Hama, said “the opposition which exists
is a jihadi opposition in the per verted
sense of jihad”.
“That is why we cannot, practically,
reach any actual result with this part of
the opposition (in talks). The evidence
is that during the Astana negotiations
they started their attack on the cities of
Damascus and Hama and other parts of
Syria, repeating the cycle of terrorism
and the killing of innocents.”
The Russian-backed Astana talks were
launched with support from Turkey, a
major backer of the opposition to Assad.
They sponsored a ceasefire between the
government and rebels which has been
widely violated since it was declared in
A new round of indirect peace talks
conc luded in Geneva in late March
without any major breakthrough
towards ending the conflict that has
killed hundreds of thousands of people
and created millions of refugees.
The Syrian government views all
the groups fighting it as terrorists
with agendas determined by foreign
governments including Turkey, Saudi
Arabia, Qatar and the United States.
Zoo gives burned cockatoo new wings
Rio de Janeiro
A UFO enthusiast who mysteriously
vanished last week left behind a den
plastered wall-to-wall with Illuminati
codes and symbols.
Bruno Borges, 24, disappeared from
his home in Rio Branco in the west
of Brazil having spent the past month
working on what is being described
as a secret project.
In his furniture-free bedroom,
police found a £2000 ($3585)
statue of 16th-century philosopher
Giordano Bruno who predicted alien
life, 14 encrypted books and signs
associated with the Illuminati spread
across the floor.
He has not been seen since March
27, and his father, businessman Athos
Borges, said he was last seen in a
t-shirt and a pair of shorts and would
have had no money or documents.
Deputy Fabrizzio Sobreira,
co-ordinator of the Criminal
Investigation Office (DIC), who is
leading the investigations, confirmed
to Acre TV all possibilities are being
considered amid speculation he was
abducted by the aliens he obsesses
Athos Borges, told Globo: “ We’ve
tried to call him on his cellphone, but
he’s off, he’s never gone before, he did
not take anything and the last time
we saw him he was leaving home.”
The psychology student went
missing shortly after his parents
returned from a month-long trip,
during which he stayed at home with
his sister furiously beavering away at
When his parents left, his bedroom
was said to be normal, but 25 days
later they were covered in coded
writing and symbols as well as 14
secret manuscripts, each with a
different Roman numeral on the
His sister, Gabriella, said he would
lock himself in the den for hours on
end and told Gaucho newspaper: “ We
were very worried. Now we think he’s
okay. He has a project, which is the
publication of these 14 books. I think
hehadtodoitthatway.” — EFE
The combination of matchsticks,
superglue and donor feathers have
given a badly burned cockatoo new
wings after surgery at Perth Zoo.
The young Carnaby’s black
cockatoo was sitting next to another
bird on a powerline when that bird
was electrocuted and engulfed in
The accident badly damaged the
sur viving cockatoo’s wings and
burned its face and eyes.
A concerned passer-by took it to
a local vet before it was taken to
Perth Zoo for specialised wildlife
The cockatoo was stabilised for
a week before being put under
anaesthesia to undergo a procedure
called “imping”, where feathers
from a donor bird are implanted in
a live bird.
Perth Zoo vet Dr Peter Ricci said
matchsticks and superglue were used
in the procedure, which he likened
to people getting hair extensions.
“The trick is to get the right feather
in the right place and the right
angles before the glue dries,” Ricci
said. “ Birds regrow their feathers
once every year, so once this bird is
ready to regrow its feathers, it will
push out these old, dead feathers
and regrow new ones. ”
The rejuvenated cockatoo will
undergo rehabilitation to build
strength and fitness, with the
feather implants giving him some
flight ability, before being released
into the wild.
endangered and one of three
species of black cockatoo found in
south-west WA. — AAP
Rockhampton’s Fitzroy River rose
unexpectedly overnight, and authorities
are warning the city’s flood crisis is not
The river hit 8.9m about 2am today,
despite the local council indicating that
it had peaked around 8.8m yesterday.
The Bureau of Meteorology says the
river has since dropped back to the
8.8m level, with more than 200 homes
still inundated, but it is reluctant to
declare a peak until waters start to
recede. — AAP
Rockhampton flood not over
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