Archive for April, 2019

Fear based parenting is causing a generation of “unemployable” children lacking motivation and confidence.

No fear: Michele Jones, of Live Your Best Life, is trying to motivate children and young adults to find some focus and set long term goals to gain employment.
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FEAR based parenting has lead to young adults lacking the confidence and ambitionto look for employment,a Lake Macquarie life coach says.

Michele Jones, founder of Live Your Best Life at Toronto, has coached people up to the age of 25 who have never had a jobbecause they were under the mistaken belief they were “unemployable”.

“We have a lot of youth coming through that are a bit lost,” she said.

“Kids are disengaging. We are looking at ways we can get them interested.”

Ms Jones said children could become paralysed by their parents’ fears about them “launching out into the world”.

She said some concerned parents stopped their children going to things that made the parents uncomfortable, like schoolies, out of fear something bad might happen.

“But they (the children) need those experiences to allow them to make the right choices and have confidence in themselves that they can do that,” Ms Jones said.

“Fear based parenting will only end in a child having low self confidence, because if a child sees their own parent can’t trust them to make the right decisions, then they believe they won’t be able to.

Michele Jones

“Parents only want what is best for their children, but it is actually disengaging them,” she said.

“I’ve seen too much of it.”

Children and young adults were now being referred to life coaching programs by doctors and schools, because while there wasnothing physically wrong, they were demotivated, Ms Jones said.

They were in the process of rolling out programs in local schools in response to the rise in what Ms Jones calls “sleep-workers”.

“We’re getting feedback from employers where kids on school work experiencehave been sitting around on their phones or reading a book and not interacting with people in that workplace,” she said.

“(They do this) because they don’t see the long-term benefit of what they can learn from that experience.

“Unless we get them out interacting and seeing there is value in every experience,they are going to sit around and wait for something to come along”.

Christmas presents stolen before Christmas holiday in Wallsend.

Christmas crime: Sonia Hornery MP says thieves have been targeting easy options in the Wallsend area in the lead up to Christmas. Picture: Dean Osland.
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THIEVES have been targeting cars and homes taking Christmas presents in the Wallsend area, but state member Sonia Hornery believes many incidents were going unreported to police.

While the local area command saidthere had only been two reported break and enters in the area in the past week, Ms Hornery was concerned residents were not reporting all crimes to police.

“We had a family from Wallsend call the office who had packed all of their Christmas presents in their car, which was parked outside their home and locked, andthey were broken into and lost everything,” she said.

“They have since reported it to police, as we encouraged them to do, but there were presents visible and while the car was locked, everythinggot taken.”

Ms Hornery said a recent community meeting in Maryland about policing had revealed residents were concerned about police response times.

“We asked the crime prevention officer to come and speak to the community, which he did, and he showed us that the statistics in that area for crimes were relatively low,” Ms Hornery said.

“But he said it appearedthat people in the Wallsend and Beresfield areas in particular were not reporting all crimes.”

Ms Hornery said people in the community had told her theydid “not see the point” in reporting incidentsbecause they were not seeing the police around.

“They feel they are wasting their time,” Ms Hornery said.

“But for the police, it is all about statistics, and if we are not reporting crimes in Wallsend and Maryland, then according to police the crime load is low –even if it doesn’t accurately reflect what is happening in the area.”

She said there was little chance of getting extra patrols and resources in the area without the statistics to justify reinstating a police station inWallsend.

Senior Sergeant Craig Thompson, of Waratah Local Area Command, said people should be vigilant with security at this time of year. He recommended people leave theirlawns neat and tidy, and get their mail collected, to help prevent opportunistic crimes in the holidays.

NSW Police top brass Nick Kaldas and Catherine Burn criticised in bugging report

Nick Kaldas tried to prevent the Ombudsman’s report being released. Photo: Daniel Munoz NSW Deputy Police Commissioner Catherine Burn
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NSW Ombudsman Bruce Barbour has found that Photo: Dallas Kilponen

Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burn. Photo: Daniel Munoz

Former deputy NSW police Commissioner Nick Kaldas may face criminal charges for allegedly giving “false and misleading testimony” in a secret hearing over a police bugging scandal, while his one-time rival for the top job Catherine Burn engaged in “unreasonable” and “unlawful” conduct.

A long-awaited report into an internal police bugging and phone-tapping operation, which has plagued the top levels of the NSW Police Force for years, was released on Tuesday after a $10 million investigation spanning four years.

Mr Kaldas and Ms Burn, the deputy NSW police commissioner, are among current and former police criticised in the 900-page report into Operation Prospect, the largest single investigation ever taken by an Ombudsman in .

Acting NSW Ombudsman Professor John McMillan handed down the report two hours after Mr Kaldas failed in the NSW Supreme Court to win a temporary injunction to halt its publication.

Upon the report’s release Mr Kaldas, who retired from the force earlier this year, released a statement saying the Ombudsman’s investigation had been a “debacle and massive miscarriage of justice”. He said his rights as a complaint under whistleblower legislation had been completely trampled on.

Ms Burn said there had been “mistakes” in the past but she had “complete confidence” that at all times she had performed her role “conscientiously, ethically, honestly and in accordance with my oath of office, statement of values and the law”.

She said she remained committed to serving the people of NSW as deputy commissioner.

The NSW government asked the Ombudsman in October 2012 to look into long-running allegations of police bugging by the Special Crime and Internal Affairs (SCIA) branch in an investigation known as Task Force Mascot.

Mascot, established in 1999, saw listening devices and telephone intercepts widely used to listen to the private conversations of more than 100 police officers.

Mr Kaldas was among the officers targeted in the operation. A parliamentary inquiry subsequently recommended he and others receive a formal apology.

Complaints began to surface in 2002 about police officers, journalists and other people being unfairly named in the listening device warrants as part of a corruption probe.

“Subsequent investigations into the Mascot warrants failed to provide answers. The controversy has not gone away, but has simmered and expanded,” Professor McMillan said in a statement.

The report examined the conduct of officers from the NSW Police Force, the Crime Commission and the Police Integrity Commission, who were jointly involved in the bugging operation.

It concluded some recordings were made unlawfully. The Ombudsman recommended the crime commission issue written apologies to a number of officers targeted in the operation, who are described but not named in the report.

The report said the commission “acted unreasonably” in some cases and “failed to ensure that staff under its control properly complied with the Listening Devices Act”.

Professor McMillan said the legal processes for obtaining listening device warrants had been reformed subsequent to the Mascot investigations.

“There was a growing recognition after the Mascot era that there were problems in the warrant authorisation process,” he said.

The report found Mr Kaldas, who retired earlier this year from the force after a decorated career, gave evidence in a secret hearing before the Ombudsman that “may” constitute the offence of giving “false and misleading testimony”.

It also said he acted “unreasonably” and did not comply with the police force’s conflicts of interest policy when he emailed Assistant Commissioner Paul Carey in September 2010 asking him for the “findings/recommendations” of confidential reports relating to the police bugging operation.

Mr Kaldas did not have clearance to access the information, which had received the highest security classification.

The Ombudsman said this could be interpreted as Mr Kaldas using his senior position to access personal information about his being targeted by the bugging operation.

Mr Kaldas said in a private hearing that with “hindsight” he “probably shouldn’t have” asked for the information but he did not expect to receive it.

He suggested in evidence the request was “a joke”, and that he did not expect Mr Carey to comply with the requests as “you’re relying on people making the right choices.”

The Ombudsman found Ms Burn acted “unlawfully” in relation to the deployment of a police informant known as “Paddle” in 1999. This did not amount to a criminal offence.

Ms Burn, who worked at SCIA at relevant times, was the team leader with management and supervisory responsibilities for “planning and executing the deployment of [Paddle] in a manner that constituted a breach of the informant’s bail condition on two occasions”.

The report also found that Ms Burn prepared “memoranda” on two occasions in 2002 that contained misleading or inaccurate information which the Ombudsman deemed “unreasonable conduct” under the Police Act.

“The purpose of those memoranda was to advise senior officers about the nature and status of serious allegations that had been made against NSW Police Force officers,” the report says.

“It was important that accurate advice was prepared, or that appropriate reservations or qualifications were made about the reliability of the analysis and advice in the memoranda.”

Professor McMillan said, for some, his six-volume report would be “vindication”.

“Hopefully, Operation Prospect will be accepted as a definitive examination of a troubled era”, he said.

“The conclusion of this investigation and the tabling of this report will mean the individuals concerned will finally be able to understand what happened. It is also an opportunity for the agencies concerned to learn from what went wrong.”

Greens MP David Shoebridge said it was “an act of political bastardry that sees the one officer, Nick Kaldas, who fought hardest to get to the truth about the illegal bugging, facing an adverse finding because he refused to give up a confidential source”.

He said the report exposed “a system of secret police bugging and wiretaps that has operated largely outside the law”.

A spokesman for the Acting Premier, John Barilaro, said: “The government will consider the report and respond in due course.”

with Patrick Begley

As Russia’s ambassador was assassinated, a photographer witnessed it all

Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov makes an address at the gallery moments before he is shot by Mevlut Mert Altintas, who is seen over his shoulder. Photo: Burhan Ozbilici/AP Turkish police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas shouts ‘Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria’ after shooting dead the Russian Ambassador to Turkey. Photo: Burhan Ozbilici/AP
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WARNING: Some readers may find the photographs appearing below distressing.

When a neatly dressed man fired at the Russian ambassador to Turkey, a veteran photographer covering the “routine” event thought it was a “theatrical flourish”.

Instead, Associated Press photographer Burhan Ozbilici’s photos captured the assassination of Russian ambassador Andrei Karlov at an art gallery in Ankara as it happened.

In a first-person account for AP, Mr Ozbilici said the gallery event was routine, the opening of a Russian photography exhibition.

“So when a man in a dark suit and tie pulled out a gun, I was stunned and thought it was a theatrical flourish,” he said.

“Instead, it was a coolly-calculated assassination, unfolding in front of me and others who scrambled, terrified, for cover as the trim man with short hair gunned down the Russian ambassador.”

At least eight shots were fired in the pristine art gallery, causing pandemonium to break out.

“People screamed, hid behind columns and under tables and lay on the floor. I was afraid and confused, but found partial cover behind a wall and did my job: taking photographs.”

The photographer had only decided to attend the exhibition, titled “From Kaliningrad to Kamchatka” because it was his way home from the Ankara office.

The speeches had already begun by the time he arrived.

“After Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov began to make his address, I moved closer to photograph him, thinking the pictures would come in useful for stories on Turkish-Russian relations.”

As much as Ozbilici could tell, the ambassador was speaking lovingly about his homeland, appearing calm and humble.

Then came the gunshots in quick succession.

“The ambassador’s body lay on the floor, just meters away from me. I couldn’t see any blood around him; I think he may have been shot in the back.

“It took me a few seconds to realise what had happened: A man had died in front of me; a life had disappeared before my eyes.”

The photographer moved to the side of the room while the gunman, who was later identified as police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas, gestured with his gun at people cowering on the right side of the room.

At first, he thought Altintas might be a Chechen militant. Others said he was shouting about the Syrian city of Aleppo.

“So he was probably angry about Russian bombardments of Aleppo that were aimed at driving out anti-government rebels. Many civilians have been killed in the fighting.

“He also shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’, but I couldn’t understand the rest of what he said in Arabic.”

Ozbilici reports the gunman was agitated, even walking around the ambassador’s body and  smashing photos hanging on the wall.

“I was, of course, fearful and knew of the danger if the gunman turned toward me. But I advanced a little and photographed the man as he hectored his desperate, captive audience.

“This is what I was thinking: I’m here. Even if I get hit and injured, or killed, I’m a journalist. I have to do my work. I could run away without making any photos. … But I wouldn’t have a proper answer if people later ask me: ‘Why didn’t you take pictures?'”

– with AP

Bill Shorten receives brutal performance review – less attractive than PM on all fronts but one

Bill Shorten ranked higher than Malcolm Turnbull in only one category in the study: compassion. Photo: Penny Stephens Voters say Mr Turnbull is more intelligent and knowledgeable than Mr Shorten. Photo: Andrew Meares
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Mr Shorten shares the lowest individual score of any leader over the past 30 years on any characteristic with Tony Abbott, who attracted the poor rating after the 2010 campaign. Photo: Christopher Pearce

The study noted in the previous three elections has seen leaders including Julia Gillard elected despite low levels of popularity. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Kevin Rudd’s 2007 election was the last time a newly elected n prime minister enjoyed a high level of popularity amongst ns. Photo: Glen McCurtayne

Bill Shorten has spent hundreds of hours at town hall meetings talking to small groups and large about anything and everything.

Then there’s the countless school fetes, community events and fancy dinners a politician has to attend, not to mention an eight-week long federal election campaign.

So maybe it was a case of overkill that led the 2000 people spoken to as part of the n National University’s n Electoral Study to deliver the most brutal performance review of any leader in the 30 years the study has been asking about characteristics of individual leaders.

Less than ten per cent of the people who participated in the survey said the Labor leader was intelligent or knowledgeable.

About three times as many people described Malcolm Turnbull in those terms.

Of the nine perceived qualities of political leaders participants were asked about, Mr Shorten ranked higher than the Prime Minister on only one – compassion.

People thought he was less trustworthy, decent, sensible, inspiring or honest than Mr Turnbull.

Just to further emphasise their general lack of enthusiasm for Mr Shorten, fewer people indicated they believed he was capable of strong leadership than Mr Turnbull.

Mr Shorten also has the dubious honour of sharing the lowest individual score of any leader in the past 30 years on any characteristic – only 3.7 per cent of people said they found him an inspiring leader.

He shared this score with Tony Abbott, who attracted this rating after the 2010 election campaign.

But, as they say, it might be a case of “it’s not you, it’s me”.

People’s willingness to ascribe positive characteristics to leadership over the past 30 years has been falling, in line with their general disenchantment with politics.

“Until recently ‘s political leaders were elected with a good degree of popularity and support amongst the n public. Recent elections, however, have seen a shift with prime ministers elected in spite of low levels of popularity,” the study noted.

Comparing evaluations of the political leaders over time demonstrates that Kevin Rudd’s 2007 election was the last time a newly elected n prime minister enjoyed a high level of popularity amongst ns. The previous three elections have seen Turnbull, Abbott and [Julia] Gillard respectively secure the Parliament despite low levels of popularity, albeit each did so with higher levels of popularity than their opponents who were disliked to a greater extent.”

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