Indon president’s letter received: Abbott

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Mr Abbott has made a statement to parliament about the correspondence which follows claims Australian spies targeted Mr Yudhoyono mobile phone and those of his wife and some of his closest confidants.

“This morning I received the letter,” he said.

“I want to assure the house that the government will respond swiftly, fully and courteously to the president’s letter.

“As always, my intention is to do everything I reasonably can to strengthen the relationship which is so important to both our countries.”

Mr Abbott said he wanted Australia to remain Indonesia’s trusted partner.

Mr Yudhoyono had told Australia late on Wednesday that the letter would be forthcoming.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Labor continued to support the government in its efforts to improve relations with Indonesia in a timely way.

“The seriousness of this matter, or the sense of offence that our Indonesian friends are feeling, means that we must redouble our efforts to return to positive and constructive dialogue between our governments,” Mr Shorten told parliament.

“We know that our relationship can recover, it can thrive, it can prosper, it must.

“Now is the time for temperate language and carefully calibrated discussions with our Indonesian colleagues.”

Hundreds of riot police are on standby near the Australian embassy in Jakarta in preparation for protests over the phone-tapping claims.

Demonstrators in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta have already burnt an Australian flag in protest over the alleged tapping as anti-Australian sentiment continues to escalate.

The warning came in the wake of Indonesia on Wednesday cutting defence ties and co-operation on efforts aimed at combating people smuggling.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Labor continued to support the government in its efforts to improve relations with Indonesia in a timely way.

“The seriousness of this matter, or the sense of offence that our Indonesian friends are feeling, means that we must redouble our efforts to return to positive and construction dialogue between our governments,” Mr Shorten told parliament.

“We know that our relationship can recover, it can thrive, it can prosper, it must.

“Now is the time for temperate language and carefully calibrated discussions with our Indonesian colleagues.”

Hundreds of riot police are on standby near the Australian embassy in Jakarta in preparation for protests over the phone tapping claims.

Demonstrators in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta have already burnt an Australian flag in protest over the alleged tapping as anti-Australian sentiment continues to escalate.

Indonesia on Wednesday cut defence ties and co-operation on efforts aimed at combating people smuggling.上海按摩服务

Concerns over NT alcohol control plans

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The most recent measure proposed by the N-T government to tackle it is Alcohol Protection Orders, designed to block supplies to problem drinkers.

But critics say it’s misguided, and they’re calling for postponement of the legislation to introduce the orders.

Andrea Nierfoff has the details.

(Click on audio tab above to hear full item)

Attempts by successive Northern Territory governments to tackle alcohol abuse have included a Banned Drinkers Register, limiting sales of alcohol to one unit per person and the introduction of I-D cards.

Now, it’s proposing introduction of Alcohol Protection Orders.

Under these orders, particular people could be banned from possessing or consuming alcohol, and could notenter places licensed to sell it.

Police would be allowed to stop and search someone they think may possibly be subject to an Alcohol Protection Order, as well as seize any containers they believe likely to contain alcohol.

Dr Jonathon Hunyor, from the Aboriginal Peak Organisations group, says these new police powers would be excessive.

“The powers that are given to police are really broad and are not adequately defined. Police are given the power under this law to criminalise someone’s alcoholism. Police can put someone on an APO if they’re charged with pretty much any type of offending, including something as simple as loitering. Police can also search people without a warrant. We don’t give police that power to deal with people who are accused of drug trafficking for example, so why should we give it to the police to deal with a problem like drinking in the Territory?”

The Melbourne-based Human Rights Law Centre is also critical of the proposals.

Spokesman Ben Schokman says the new scheme is unlikely to succeed.

And he worries it will lead to further discrimination against the Territory’s large Indigenous population.

“One of the concerns that always emerges from powers that are quite broadly drafted and where there is large discretion that is given to police to enforce them is that it ends up being particular communities that are disproportionately affected. We know from a range of evidence that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are overly targeted by police. We know that the tough law and order policies are measures that have been tried to be introduced previously, they haven’t worked so we’re repeating mistakes that have been made previously. At the end of the day they’re measures that are being introduced that simply aren’t going to be effective.”

But not everyone believes the new orders are too harsh.

Vice President of the Northern Territory branch of the Australian Medical Association, Dr Robert Parker, says the legislation may be necessary to deal with an entrenched cycle of alcohol abuse.

“The police have most of the contact with problem drinkers. It’s easy to criticise. It’s a very difficult job for them. I’m not opposed to them having reasonably wide powers to deal with the situation. The current legislation does, to a degree, deal with significant problem drinkers. Locking people up for a period may seem a bit draconian but for people who are physically and mentally addicted to alcohol, it gives them actually a period where they are forced to get off the substance. Although obviously there are concerns about the legal and ethical implications about locking people up for a substance abuse issue.”

However, Jonathon Hunyor from Aboriginal Peak Organisations says trying to impose laws onto a health problem is doomed to fail.

He says the Territory government ignored the advice of health experts in developing these laws.

Dr Hunyor says Indigenous people acknowledge that excessive alcohol consumption is a big problem in their community.

But he says the proposed legislation should be postponed, while the Territory government consults more with Indigenous people on the best way to tackle the issue.

“The experts are saying that it’s supply reduction that’s a big problem…but that’s not what the government’s chosen to do, they aren’t engaging with the rivers of grog that pour into our community everyday. There’s no evidence that this tough-sounding policy is actually going to work. It’s a very heavy-handed way of dealing with a difficult social problem. We want the government to start working with Aboriginal people to come up with real solutions to these problems, we want them to base their approaches on what the evidence shows and what the experts tell us.”

Faulkner rushed into Tassie Shield side

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Faulkner was named Australia’s 12th man for the first Test against England at the Gabba, but national selectors released him to the Tigers in a bid to retain form.

The left-armer will bolster a Tasmanian bowling attack under pressure to perform against the Redbacks in the Adelaide Oval encounter.

Tigers coach Dan Marsh has put heat on his bowlers following last week’s loss to Victoria.

“We simply didn’t take enough wickets against Victoria,” Marsh said.

“With the return of some very good bowlers though, I’m confident we can take the 20 wickets we need against the Redbacks.”

The Tigers’ batting stocks have also been strengthened by the return of in-form Ed Cowan, who made 51 and 42 for a Cricket Australia Invitational XI against England last week.

SA’s batting line-up also is stronger for the return of Callum Ferguson, who also featured in the Invitational XI last week.

Fast bowler Kane Richardson has been named for his first Shield game of the summer after overcoming injury troubles.

“There will be two players who will be very unlucky to miss out tomorrow and, as a coach, that is what you want – tough decisions on selection,” SA coach Darren Berry said.

SA: Johan Botha (capt), Tom Cooper, Callum Ferguson, Travis Head, Phil Hughes, Michael Klinger, Trent Lawford, Tim Ludeman, Joe Mennie, Kane Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Kelvin Smith, Adam Zampa (12th man to be named, one to be omitted)

Tasmania: Tim Paine (capt), Xavier Doherty, Luke Butterworth, Mark Cosgrove, Ed Cowan, Alex Doolan, Ben Dunk, James Faulkner, Andrew Fekete, Ben Hilfenhaus, Sam Rainbird, Clive Rose, Jordan Silk (12th man to be named, one to be omitted) 上海按摩服务

Companies look to end password era

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At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this month, several companies presented their visions of a future where people will use their bodies to verify their identities.

So-called biometric technology broke into the mainstream in late 2013, when Apple put a fingerprint scanner on its newest iPhone, but CES took things a step further.

New York company EyeLock, for example, showed off a computer mouse-sized iris scanner that plugs into the USB port of a computer.

Pick the scanner up, put it the correct distance from your eye, and it will perform a scan to verify your identity and unlock the device.

Because no two irises are the same, the company says the scanner will allow a false entry once every 1.5 million attempts. Scanning both irises extends that to once every 2.25 trillion attempts.

Apple’s fingerprint scanner, by contrast, allows a false positive once in every 50,000 attempts, EyeLock says.

Head of EyeLock marketing, Anthony Antolino, says the company is working towards a smaller model that could be embedded within computer cameras, smartphones and tablets.

Meanwhile, Toronto-based company Bionym showed off a bracelet that uses a wearer’s heartbeat signature to verify their identity.

Unlike fingerprint and iris recognition, the system doesn’t require the user to re-authenticate every time they wish to prove their identity.

As long as the wearer keeps the wristband on, it provides constant authentication which is transmitted to devices via Bluetooth.

While the heartbeat technology is in its early stages, Japanese firm Fujitsu has been working on a system of vein-recognition for several years.

In Las Vegas the company showed off a payment system called PulseWallet that identifies a person by scanning the unique pattern of veins in their hand using near-infrared light.

It then matches the pattern against an encrypted database of pre-registered users.

According to Fujitsu, it will provide one false positive for every 1,250,000 attempts, portending a wallet-less future where in-store purchases are verified via palm scan.

Biometric technology can’t come soon enough if research into the world’s most popular passwords, released this week by password management company SplashData, is to be believed.

It found “123456” was most common.

“Password”, usually number one, was second.

Others in the top 10 included “abc123,” “111111,” and “qwerty” – the first six letters across the top row of a standard keyboard.

Andrew Clouston, the Australian founder of the MOGOplus app, which provides access to a user’s varied login credentials via a single portal, says people baulk at the number of passwords they’re required to remember.

Many end up using the same credentials across all of their accounts, he says.

And though Clouston makes a living helping people manage their passwords, he predicts the writing is on the wall.

“The heartbeat, vein and eye scanner tech from CES, coupled with what we’re already seeing with the iPhone fingerprint sensor, shows that the humble password’s days are numbered.”上海按摩服务

Warne to act as Aust’s T20 spin coach

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Cricket Australia announced on Thursday Warne would provide specialist coaching to the squad’s spinners in South Africa.

The Australia T20 squad will assemble in South Africa on March 3 for a three-match series against the home side starting on March 9.

Warne will join the squad in South Africa for the T20 series but won’t continue on with the Aussies to Bangladesh for the World T20.

Australia’s first game in the tournament is against Pakistan in Mirpur on March 23.

“We believe our national teams can really benefit from more specific skill-based coaching as and when it is needed,” Australia coach Darren Lehmann said.

“This will mean that from time to time we will enlist the support of experts in their craft to work with our players.”

Lehmann said spin bowling would be crucial to eighth-ranked Australia’s success in the tournament.

“There’s no better person than Shane to help guide the spinners we select in that squad,” Lehmann said.

“He was a gifted cricketer and remains passionate about spin bowling and seeing our players be the best that they can be.”

Warne, 44, said he was thrilled with his new role.

“I’m excited to be working with Australia’s spinners in South Africa,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to helping them with some intense bowling preparation ahead of the World Twenty 20, where we’ll specifically work on tactics and mindset.”

Muirhead has been named alongside spin-bowling allrounder Glenn Maxwell in Australia’s squad for their three-game T20 series against England starting on January 29 in Hobart.

Despite the modest figures of 1-41 off seven overs in three BBL games for Melbourne Stars this summer, selectors have seen enough in the youngster’s loop and raw spin to suggest a future at international level.

Muirhead says he has learnt a lot already in his five-game BBL career.

“Definitely last year I was trying to get a wicket with every ball,” Muirhead told reporters this week.

“But I’ve had a couple of sessions with Shane Warne and it’s all bowling to a plan (now).

“It could be a three-over plan, or a three-ball plan.

“Setting the batsman up for the delivery that you want to take the wicket with … so you really have a plan against each batsman and trying to execute that is my game.”

Australia T20 skipper George Bailey said Warne, who has captained teams in the BBL and the Indian Premier League, will boost the side on many levels.

“I’m thrilled to have him on board as a spin coach, but he brings so much more to the table,” Bailey said.

“He’d be one of the leading thinkers on T20 in the world, tactically.”上海按摩服务

Nats MP doesn’t regret dole comments

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Ken O’Dowd reportedly told a community forum in his central Queensland electorate of Flynn this week: “You won’t get anyone on the dole coming to these sort of meetings, because they don’t care about the community, they care about themselves and how they can screw the system”.

The MP’s remarks were made shortly before the announcement of a government review of welfare payments.

Mr O’Dowd also told the forum about a recent conversation he had with billionaire mining magnate Gina Rinehart, in which she voiced her concerns about the welfare system.

She told him that 60 per cent of Australians were on some sort of welfare payment, questioning whether they were all that “badly off”.

Mr O’Dowd was not taking a backward step on Thursday as his remarks received wider coverage than a local newspaper.

But he insisted his accusation was aimed at long-term unemployed people receiving the disability support pension who “deliberately try to be on the dole”.

“People who are fit and able to work, they are the people who are trying to screw the system,” he said.

Mr O’Dowd said he knew first-hand of people who preferred to be on the dole and who made unfair dismissal claims when they were sacked from jobs.

“These are the sort of people they’ve got to crack down on.”

The MP said welfare recipients in his electorate could take on jobs now done by seasonal workers and backpackers.

Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews said Mr O’Dowd’s comments did not reflect the government’s position.上海按摩服务

Advancements made in treatment for heart disease

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The medication is one of many developments in treatment for heart disease, which is incurable and accounts for more than 30 per cent of all deaths in Australia.

David Algie said his life changed dramatically after suffering a major heart attack.

“It’s a slow process and every time you get a twitch in your chest you think ‘oh my god’ and it’s really worrying,” he said.

The 65-year-old has a realistic view of the road ahead and so does his doctor, Andrew Sindone.

“More than half of the people in Australia will die of cardiovascular disease,” Dr Sindone said.

But despite the statistics he said the medical community was making progress in the area of treatment for heart disease.

“We are making some gains but there still is a lot of room to move,” he said.

Transplant technology

Fiona Coots had the first successful heart transplant in Australia 29 years ago and continues to beat the odds.

“To be still here so healthy is really amazing,” Ms Coots said.

Organ-donation rates have increased dramatically over the past few years but there simply are isn’t enough to meet a growing demand.

For every 1000 people in this country, only one is a potential donor and only 30 per cent of that one per cent will become a successful donor.

But new technology looks set to change these odds.

Cardiologist Peter Macdonald has created a way to reduce that damage once the heart is removed from the donor by keeping it working while waiting to be transplanted.

“The heart just isn’t able to withstand the insults that occur during the withdrawal of life support and just isn’t usable, Dr MacDonald said.

“We think this technology will allow us to utilise hearts from donors that we currently don’t consider suitable for heart transplant.” 上海按摩服务