Month: August 2019

  • Bali 9 executions: Joko Widodo’s portrait taken down by National Portrait Gallery

    Executed: Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran. Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Photo: Bullit Marquez
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    The gap left on the wall after National Portrait Gallery staff removed a portrait of Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Photo: Rohan Thomson

    Mary Jane Veloso still on death rowComment: Why Chan and Sukumaran never stood a chanceThe final journey of Bali nine duoAbbott government backflipped on death penalty directiveBali nine executions perfect: Indonesia AGThe great irony of a Bali boycott

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s portrait has been removed from the walls of the National Portrait Gallery to avoid being defaced  following the executions of Bali nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran on Wednesday morning.

    Australian photographer Adam Ferguson reacted with confusion when told by the gallery they would remove his portrait of Indonesia’s president from public display.

    The portrait was a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize, and was set to be on display until June 8.

    Ferguson, who shot the image as part of a cover shoot for Time magazine, said he would have preferred to see the work damaged than for it to be removed from the wall.

    Speaking from Nepal, where he is covering the recent earthquake on assignment for Time, he said he had been contacted personally by gallery director Angus Trumble to inform him of the gallery’s decision.

    “Angus wrote to me and called me in Nepal and explained his position, which was kind of generous of him,” he said.

    He said while Mr Trumble had explained his concern that the work would be damaged, he thought the decision had been misguided.

    “They don’t actually own it, I own it. They haven’t bought it off me, it’s not like it’s a high-value piece of work that they own,” he said.

    “He did mention that until yesterday they were determined not to take it down unless someone tried to deface it, which seems like a stupid thing because I don’t think anyone in Australia would do that.”

    He said he would have preferred the image had stayed on the wall as a statement in itself, even if it were to be damaged.

    “I think anybody that misconstrued the issues of national law in a sovereign country with a picture of the leader of that country has a totally misguided comprehension of the story and what’s gone on. It seems to act in anger against the picture, it seems quite ridiculous,” he said.

    Mr Trumble told Fairfax Media he had taken the pre-emptive action to remove the portrait temporarily, in the wake of the news of and public reaction to the executions.

    “My feeling yesterday [Wednesday] morning was that in view of the circumstances and our operations, and my best assessment of the risk of damage to the work of art, it was necessary to remove it from public display,” he said.

    “Also, I was swayed by the statements of both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition and of course the position of the Parliament  and the recall of our ambassador. So it’s a temporary measure.”

    He said while there had not been any incident relating to the work and taking it down had been a preventive measure, he had a responsibility to protect all works in the gallery.

    “My primary responsibility is the care of the works in our collection and the safety of our visitors,” he said.

  • It could’ve been me: Axl Rose’s heartfelt plea to Joko Widodo to spare lives of Bali 9 duo

    “Barbaric, backward and truly disgraceful act”: Axl Rose begged Joko Widodo, a heavy metal fan, not to proceed with the executions. Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images
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    Andrew Chan, Myuran Sukumaran

    “Barbaric, backward and truly disgraceful act”: Axl Rose begged Joko Widodo, a heavy metal fan, not to proceed with the executions. Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

    “Barbaric, backward and truly disgraceful act”: Axl Rose begged Joko Widodo, a heavy metal fan, not to proceed with the executions. Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

    Australian Bali Nine duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were executed in Indonesia. Photo: Anta Kesuma

    Joko Widodo may be a heavy metal fan, but the pleas of Guns ‘N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose were not enough to dissuade him from executing Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

    Rose penned a letter to the Indonesian president on April 27, begging him to grant clemency for the Bali Nine duo and Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, lest Indonesia become “the more offensive criminal”.

    “Their crimes were now long ago, their hearts and minds forever changed by their crimes,” Rose wrote.

    “To kill these men under these conditions of their profound and proven change for the better seems a barbaric, backward and truly disgraceful act of pride, ego, fear and prejudice.”

    Veloso was ultimately granted a last-minute reprieve after her alleged drug-trafficking recruiter, Maria Kristina Sergio, surrendered at a police station in Manila, and Philippine President Benigno Aquino stepped up his lobbying of Mr Joko at a summit of south-east Asian leaders on Sunday.

    But after the executions of Chan and Sukumaran proceeded as planned, Rose made his anger and disappointment known on Twitter.

    1. It’s deeply troubling President Widodo ignoring International outcry went thru w/8 of the executions.— Axl Rose (@axlrose) April 29, 2015

    2. Let’s pray Miss Veloso’s reprieve is permanent.— Axl Rose (@axlrose) April 29, 2015

    3. Widodo’s refusal 2 postpone the executions until all legal challenges n’ investigations of corruption r resolved is inexcusable.— Axl Rose (@axlrose) April 29, 2015

    4. 4 Widodo 2 b out of the country during his big statement refusing 2 take calls or read any last minute pleas 4 the condemned is cowardice— Axl Rose (@axlrose) April 29, 2015

    5. The People of Indonesia deserve better.— Axl Rose (@axlrose) April 29, 2015

    Exactly what drew Rose to Chan and Sukumaran’s plight is unclear. In his original letter to Mr Joko, he wrote that he had no personal connection to the two men and had never met them – but he said their story had “touched me deeply”. He could have easily found himself in their position, he wrote.

    Rose described a 2012 Guns ‘N’ Roses tour of Indonesia as “a very special and exciting experience”, and thanked Mr Joko for the hospitality. He said the band was “taken aback by the incredible warmth of the Indonesian fans”.

    Rose may also have been hoping to capitalise on the president’s appreciation for heavy metal music. Mr Joko counts rockers Metallica, Megadeth, Lamb of God and Napalm Death among his favourite acts.

    Chan and Sukumaran’s Indonesian lawyer, Todung Mulya Lubis, had previously reached out to Metallica on Twitter, asking the band to come to Indonesia to perform and make a plea to Mr Joko.

    It did not appear that any of the president’s favoured bands had commented on the executions on their social media pages in recent weeks. But Napalm Death frontman Barney Greenway also wrote a letter to Mr Joko pleading for mercy in January.

    In his own letter, Rose said the two Australian men had been rehabilitated and that to persist with the executions would be “draconian justice” and a punishment that “no longer fits the original crime”.

    “People make mistakes, sometimes big and horribly regrettable mistakes and sometimes more importantly people learn from their mistakes and make new choices, strive and succeed at true positive change,” the musician wrote.

    He said granting clemency would have enabled Mr Joko “to show your country’s strength and allow the world to witness an extraordinary act of humanity and bravery”.

  • Mourners farewell Maitland flood victim Anne Jarmain

    Hundreds remember Maitland flood victim Anne Jarmain A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
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    A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

    A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

    A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

    A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

    A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

    A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

    A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

    A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

    A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

    A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

    A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

    A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

    A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

    A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

    A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

    A “modest, independent” woman: Friends and family remember Gillieston Heights’ Anne Jarmain who died after her car was swept away in last week’s Hunter floods. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

    TweetFacebookHUNDREDS of friends and family have farewelled 86 year-old great-grandmother Anne Jarmain, the Gillieston Heights woman who died in “tragic and unexpected” circumstances last Wednesday when her car was swept away in rising floodwater in Maitland.

    Ms Jarmain’s funeral was held in Rutherford on Wednesday, only a few minutes’ drive from the stretch of road that claimed her life when her car became caught in the floodwaters that hit the region last week after days of heavy rain.

    Members of Ms Jarmain’s family remembered a “modest, independent” woman who had cared for her husband, Jim, for several years after he suffered a stroke, and “was admired by everyone who knew her.

    Anne Jarmain: A matriarch mourned. Picture: Supplied

    Her love of sport, particularly cricket, was mentioned, and her frequent “cheeky” trips to Melbourne for the Cup.

    Her grandchildren, Nicholas Jarmain and Leigh Jenkins, remembered her as the matriarch of their family, who hosted Sunday lunches that “brought our whole family together”.

    Deb Smith, a friend from the Telarah Bowling Club where Ms Jarmain was a former president, spoke of a “fierce competitor” with a “love of live, a willingness to forgive, and a philosophy of two wrongs never make a right”.

    She said that Ms Jarmain had mentioned only weeks before that she had “no regrets”.

    Anne Jarmain was farewelled in Rutherford on Thursday. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

    Mourners were asked to thank the men who had jumped in the water to save Ms Jarmain after her car was pulled away in the raging waters, as well as police, fire fighters and emergency service crews that helped during the floods, and the people who had lost loved ones in Dungog.

    After the service, family members laid gerberas on Ms Jarmain’s coffin, a “reflection of her bright personality”, and outside released blue balloons into the sky.

  • Victor Harbor Mayor and deputy mayor called to resign

    Victor Harbor mayor Graham Philp and the council’s deputy mayor Bob Marshall have been called to resign.Calls for the mayor to resign and the deputy mayor to step down were two of the leading ingredients in a heated City of Victor Harbor council meeting on Monday, April 27.
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    City of Victor Harbor mayor Graham Philp was asked to resign his position in a question from the gallery from Mike McRae, who is a Victor Harbor ratepayer, commissioned officer of police, special justice and 2013 Victor Harbor citizen of the year.

    During the meeting, friction between two councillors reached boiling point, as councillor Terry Andrews moved to revoke councillor Bob Marshall as deputy mayor.

    Mr McRae’s resignation question stemmed from the actions of the mayor at the March 18 special council meeting.

    “I asked the mayor to resign and him to apologise to Cr Marshall for the distress he has caused him after disallowing his motion at the special council meeting on March 18,” Mr McRae said.

    At the special meeting, Cr Marshall moved a motion to defer the construction tender documents for the Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre (FRAC) to allow further community consultation.

    Mr Philp disallowed the motion and this has angered Mr McRae.

    “The mayor did not have the authority to do that and it is my personal and professional belief the mayor broke elected members’ code of conduct,” Mr McRae said.

    “This is why I asked for his resignation and for a direct apology to Cr Marshall because he was out of order.

    “The mayor has been in his position for five years and if he didn’t know, he should have known the motion should have been allowed.”

    Mr Philp’s response was for Mr McRae to take his concerns to the Ombudsman.

    “Accordingly I am taking the mayor’s advice reporting the matter to the office of integrity,” he said.

    Mr McRae lodged the report to the office of integrity on Wednesday, April 29.

    The Times gave Mr Philp the opportunity to respond as part of this story, however he declined.

    Councillor Andrews’ motion for the deputy mayor appointment of Cr Marshall at the November 24, 2014, council meeting be revoked was countered by Cr Marshall who requested documentary evidence supporting Cr Andrews’ allegations to be submitted at the May 25 council meeting.

    In calling for Cr Marshall to be stripped of his deputy mayor role, Cr Andrews said the deputy mayor is not representing the best interest of council.

    “I am concerned that Cr Marshall has engaged in disrespectful communications with fellow elected members, had demonstrated an unwillingness to support the democratic decisions of the council and is noted for non-attendance at many workshops and functions,” Cr Andrews said.

    Cr Marshall was successful in moving the motion to be adjourned to the May council meeting.

    “Councillor Andrews needs to produce documentary evidence of his allegations so elected members and the community can be informed of the facts,” Cr Marshall said.

    “We can see the allegations at the May 25 meeting.”

    Elected members voted unanimously to adjourn the issue until the May 25 meeting.

    Source: The Times

  • Ballina aged-care nurse murder accused Megan Haines had ‘means, motive and opportunity’

    Aged-care nurse Megan Haines, pictured, learned of two complaints against her by elderly patients the night before they were found dead.
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    Aged-care nurse Megan Haines, pictured, learned of two complaints against her by elderly patients the night before they were found dead.

    Aged-care nurse Megan Haines, pictured, learned of two complaints against her by elderly patients the night before they were found dead.

    Aged-care nurse Megan Haines, pictured, learned of two complaints against her by elderly patients the night before they were found dead.

    An aged-care nurse accused of murdering two elderly patients just hours after discovering they had made complaints against her has been refused bail.

    On Thursday Supreme Court Justice Geoffrey Bellew said the circumstantial case against Megan Jean Haines was strong, despite a lack of forensic evidence linking her to the womens’ deaths.

    During a bail application the court heard that at the start of her night shift on May 9, last year, Ms Haines, 47, was told two complaints had been made and a third was pending by three residents of St Andrew’s Village aged care home in Ballina, on the north coast.

    In the morning on May 10, two of those residents – Marie Darragh, 82, and Isobella Spencer, 77 – were found unconscious in their beds. Both women had advanced care directives against resuscitation and died in Ballina hospital.

    The prosecution claims Ms Haines, who was the only nurse on duty and the only staff member with access to the medication stores that night, injected the women with insulin, causing fatal hypoglycaemia.

    A third woman, Marjorie Patterson, 88, survived because she woke as Ms Haines allegedly tried to inject her with an unscheduled and unnecessary dose, the Crown says.

    In applying for bail Ms Haines’s lawyer, Michael Blair, said the prosecution case was “just above speculative” as there is no forensic evidence linking Ms Haines to the crime.

    “There are no witnesses, no CCTV, no swipe card records, no fingerprints, no DNA, no murder weapon, no insulin register,” he said.

    “It is impossible to tell when the insulin was administered and how much.”

    Mr Blair said Ms Haines immigrated to Australia from South Africa in 2001 and had no criminal record. Since her arrest her registration as a nurse has been suspended, meaning she has no chance of re-offending if granted bail.

    He denied Ms Haines was motivated by financial gain.

    “There is nothing to show the applicant was going to gain one cent from their deaths,” Mr Blair said.

    In opposing bail, Crown prosecutor Rebecca Gray said Ms Haines had the “means, the motive and the opportunity” to murder the two women.

    She had only recently regained her nursing registration and worked at the home for just two months when the director of nursing informed her of the three complaints.

    Ms Darragh alleged Ms Haines refused to apply cream to her genital area, saying it was “disgusting”. Ms Spencer claimed in response to asking for assistance to the toilet, Ms Haines said, “just piss in your pants”.

    Ms Patterson complained of rough handling.

    “The only link between the deceased is they both made complaints about Ms Haines refusing to assist them that could not be explained away,” Ms Gray said.

    “In the context of her tenuous employment and how serious these complaints would have been the Crown says she did have a significant motive.”

    Three days after the deaths Ms Haines resigned from her job and moved from her home in Kingscliff to Seaspray, in Victoria.

    In the time between the deaths and her arrest Ms Haines’ passport was seized. Ms Gray said Ms Haines made repeated attempts to have her passport returned and was heard via a covert telephone intercept telling a friend she wanted to live in Johannesburg.

    But Mr Blair said Ms Haines kept police informed of her change of address and another telephone intercept recorded her saying her life was in Australia.

    Justice Geoffrey Bellew​ said although Ms Haines was unlikely to face trial until mid next year, she had not satisfied the “show cause” provisions of the recently amended bail act.

    “In light of the circumstances which the Crown on the evidence before be is able to establish I’m unable to accept the submission that the prosecution case should be regarded as a weak one,” he said.

    Ms Haines remain in custody and will appear in Lismore Local Court in August.