Friday, March 30, 2012

Dick Smith Tape Adaptor Rip Off

A recent article in the Herald Sun newspaper confirms that online shopping is growing at a much faster rate than retail shopping.

Through the financier's advent of slave labour with the exploitation of many countries, together with the new policies of globalisation, many corporate giants have used this for pure financial gain at the expanse of human suffering.

In this example a Cassette (tape) adapter sells at Dick Smith Electronics for a price of $34.96.

The same functioning device currently sells from many ebay sellers from China at a price of $1 with a shipping cost of approx. $2.

It is no wonder that shoppers are becoming more savvy in their quest for better prices.

For too long the corporate giants have been ripping off the consumers, and when customers are finding alternatives, the corporates are crying foul.

Big W DVD scam

A common practice of deceit amongst retailers is to falsely advertise products that are on sale, and at the same time do not supply stock to the public.

This practice is well known in the retail industry, as it is used to get the customer into the store, and then the salespeople 'upgrade' the customer to a dearer product or service.

What the store also does is offer this product to its employees at reduced cost, thus depleting the stock for the general public.

The product in the spotlight in this post is the humble 10 pack of blank DVDs .

Big W in its various stores did not have any stock of the advertised product that was on sale, for approximately one month.

Misleading, deceptive and false advertising is illegal in Australia, and is punishable by law.

The Australian consumer watchdog that is supposed to protect the consumer stands idle in this matter, thus in effect supporting the deceptive advertising by Big W.

Boom in store for online shopping


ONLINE sales are expected to grow by 20 per cent annually over the next few years - dramatically outpacing growth in sales through the traditional store format, according to new research.

The first online retail sales index released by National Australia Bank yesterday found online sales growth eclipsed the 2.5 per cent increase reported by bricks-and-mortar retailers in 2011.

The Online Retail Sales Index showed Australians spent $10.5 billion with online retailers in 2011.

The represents just 4.9 per cent of Australia's $210 billion retailing industry sector, but the online sector grew 29 per cent in the 12-month period more than 10 times the pace of growth among shop-based retailers.

"I can't see any reason why this online channel wouldn't continue growing at 20 per cent for quite some years yet," NAB's group chief economist Alan Oster said.

"Retailers need to realise the way they have been interacting with their customers has changed."

Fears that the high Australian dollar is tempting consumers to spend their money on overseas sites appear to be unfounded, with only 20 per cent of online sales made internationally.

"If you asked people, most would probably think those sales were the other way round," Mr Oster said.

"Most people seem to assume the proportion of international sales is very large."

Mr Oster said online sales growth last year appeared to reflect global trends, with consumers reigning in internet spending at the same time as bricks-and-mortar sales were suffering.

"That has to do with people being scared about what's happening in the wider economy," he said.

Online auctions, department stores, fashion, cosmetics and variety stores took 47 per cent of online sales in 2011, with groceries, liquor and specialised food making up just 13 per cent of sales.

news.com.au 28 Feb 2012

Another reason to shop online as retailers are ripping off customers.

The same products from Ikea in the United States are half the price of what they are in Australia.

The old age excuse of the Aussie dollar or huge shipping costs really wears thin in this information age.

Federal cop too crooked to serve

AUSTRALIA'S elite police force has sacked more than a dozen of its officers in the past 18 months for serious misconduct including being drunk and engaging in potentially criminal activity.

The Herald Sun can reveal the Australian Federal Police, which provides bodyguards to protect Prime Minister Julia Gillard and other VIPs, is investigating 496 serious complaints against its officers.

These include 84 allegations of police using "excessive force" while carrying out raids against suspected drug runners or other criminal syndicates.

The federal police also act as local police for the ACT.

Some police were also investigated after allegations they were violent towards prisoners in ACT jails.

Three officers are facing criminal prosecution while the feared professional standards investigations unit - known as the toe-cutters - is investigating 296 claims of serious misconduct.

Several federal officers say the high number of investigations reflects a zero tolerance approach from senior management, led by AFP Commissioner Tony Negus.

"You don't even want to be caught talking about investigations," one officer said.

Police serving in foreign countries such as the trouble-plagued Solomon Islands have also been caught out, with more than 20 AFP officers investigated since 2009 and four resigning.

And in a recent local case, a veteran AFP officer was dismissed after he tested positive for alcohol after an accident involving his police motor vehicle.

Another AFP official - a protective service officer - was also sacked after drinking while on duty.

There have also been investigations into allegations of sexual abuse involving AFP officers in Canberra, although these cases were later dismissed.

Mr Negus has powers to dismiss any officer found to have engaged in serious misconduct.

Twelve of his staff were dismissed in 2010-11 while others have walked the plank in recent months.

Australia's most senior policeman was unavailable for comment yesterday, but the AFP, which plays a frontline role in tackling terrorism and fighting serious crime, said it "does not tolerate serious misconduct" involving its 7000 staff.

Documents released under Freedom of Information show there were 496 category three investigations, which includes breaches of criminal law and "serious neglect" of duty.

A further 107 less serious matters were being investigated.

heraldsun.com.au 27 Mar 2012

More than half the police force should be under investigation for fraud, extortion, and ties to the criminal drug gangs, but never will.

The government can never admit to the true extent of police corruption, as this will not only show the masses a vote of no confidence in the authorities, but also indicate that the government is not in control.

Australia's drug industry is worth an approximate $1.2 billion per month.

A lot of bribes and many highly placed officials are bought in order to let the drug trade flourish.

Sudanese cry for help

YOUNG Sudanese migrants are causing chaos because of a lack of support from schools, community leaders said yesterday.

Sudanese leaders met with state Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Minister Nick Kotsiras who has promised to help the community.

Musa Abraham, 31, of the Sudanese Community Association of Victoria, said children attending public schools found it hard to fit in and their parents couldn't help them because they lacked English.

"Our children are causing trouble and chaos because they are left on their own and it's hard for teachers to target them individually," he said.

Sudanese-born Victorians have a disproportionately high rate of assault offences, according to 2009-10 police data.

More than 330 Sudanese migrants and visitors were accused of assault in that year, including 268 street assaults.

Mr Kotsiras said that Sudanese community members had asked for help on education and jobs and better access to recreation and cultural activities for youth.

"They wanted for their children to be engaged, to be involved, to be part of the community," he said.

"I don't think it's hard to adapt in Australia, it's about providing them with a fair go."

heraldsun.com.au 27 Mar 2012

Australia has no screening policy to weed out the criminal element, but rather the law makers and politicians are pro creating disturbances in our society.

Criminal acts must be treated as such and appropriate sentences imposed on the criminals.

New age excuses can be supported by various 'quacks', but the reality is there is no excuse for this kind of behaviour in a host county.


movie inspired party mayhem

COPYCATS of the teen movie Project X have been blamed for a wild house party in memory of a dead teenager that threw a neighbourhood into chaos.

Police shut down the party on Saturday night after 300 youths spilled into the street in Narre Warren South and several brawls broke out after midnight.

Terrified neighbours watched from their homes on Merriwee Grove as the youths vandalised parked cars, fought in driveways and rode on the roof and bonnet of a moving sedan.

Mother of three Frances Svalbe-Griffin said she was woken up by a "tsunami of teens" wreaking havoc outside their home.

"My husband's six-foot but we were both hiding behind the curtains. We were just so scared," she said.

Neighbours said partygoers were charged $10 a head for the latest in a series of parties at the house.

Nearby resident Laura said her family was considering moving.

"We just can't take anymore," she said.

The house is leased by Cardinia Shire youth worker Leonie Olsen and owned by her cousin, Queensland man Neville Gates.

Mr Gates said while Ms Olsen was a "wonderful tenant", the weekend's mayhem prompted him to consider selling the house.

Neighbours said the party was a "fundraiser" for 17-year-old Yoshi Karunakaran, who was killed earlier this month when a ute he was travelling in rolled in Nar Nar Goon.

Safe Partying Australia director Naomi Oakley said the release of Project X, a movie about a colossal teenage party, would cause an increase in wild parties.

"There is an issue with teen parties ... and it's made worse by this new movie," the ex-police officer said.

Police reminded party hosts it was illegal to provide alcohol to a child aged under 18 without permission from a parent or guardian.

Hosts were advised to register their party two weeks in advance with the police force's Partysafe program, which ensured local police could make a quick response if things got out of hand.

heraldsun.com.au 27 Mar 2012

The Hollywood financiers are fully aware of the social ramifications their movies present.

There is no doubt that in society there always will be the element called trailer park trash, who will try to mimic their 'heros'.

The majority of Hollywood movies targeted at the youth have the disturbing theme of social disturbance amplified with a cocktail of illegal activities, including drug use and underage drinking.

Hollywood is promoting this kind of behaviour with their movies.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

That red stuff you're eating? It's ground-up bugs

Starbucks caused an uproar among vegans and vegetarians this week when it was revealed their strawberry frappes contained the red food colouring cochineal.

Why the fuss? Well, cochineal is made of ground-up bugs — and you've probably been eating it without ever realising.

According to Food Standards Australia and New Zealand, cochineal is used in a variety of sauces, flavoured milks, confectionery, cakes, dips, dairy desserts, ice creams and yoghurts available in Australian supermarkets.

"Cochineal is reported to be one of the few natural and water-soluble colourants that resist degradation with time," a spokesman said.

"It is the most light and heat-stable and oxidation-resistant of all the natural colourants and is even more stable than some synthetic food colours."

It is considered safe to eat (though not for people with an allergy or intolerance) and can be identified on labelling variously as "cochineal extract", "carmine", "crimson lake", "natural red 4", "C.I. 75470", "E120" or "natural colouring".

The cochineal insects — which are native South and Central America and eat cacti — became one of the main sources of red dye from the 15th century but fell out of favour as chemical dyes were invented in the late 19th century.

Now these days more and more foods producers are using cochineal to make their products more "natural".

A Starbucks US spokesperson said the company was using it in its frappes to minimize the artificial ingredients in its products.

"While the strawberry base isn’t a vegan product, it helps us move away from artificial dyes," the spokesperson said.

"Many Starbucks ingredients can be combined to create a beverage free from animal-derived products; however, we are unable to guarantee this due to the potential cross-contamination with other animal-derived products in our retail locations."

However, Vegan Society of NSW president Greg McFarlane said he would rather companies used a synthetic product than one derived from animals.

"The whole idea that something being natural makes it better is a bit spurious," Mr McFarlane said.

"Since we can have red colouring without causing harm to animals we should use that other colouring. It's not something that's necessary for our existence to use cochineal."

Starbucks Australia did not respond to requests for information.

ninemsn.com.au 29 Mar 2012

Why not use strawberries in a "strawberry frappe"?

Of course everything is safe that the multinationals manufacture for the masses.

Take a look a McDonald's and Coca-Cola Amatil products as an example.

Those products are carcinogenic and are responsible for many health related issues if consumed.


Cousins jail threat on drug charges

UPDATE: BEN Cousins, now back in Perth, could face jail over serious drug charges laid after an airport police swoop.

The troubled Brownlow medallist was arrested twice during a dramatic 18 hours in Western Australia.

Cousins, 33, was first intercepted by detectives minutes after stepping off a Skywest flight in Esperance at 7.15pm on Tuesday. Normal 0 false false false MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable{mso-style-name:"Table Normal";mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;mso-style-noshow:yes;mso-style-parent:"";mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;mso-para-margin:0cm;mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;mso-pagination:widow-orphan;font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-ansi-language:#0400;mso-fareast-language:#0400;mso-bidi-language:#0400;}Detectives allegedly found Cousins carrying four grams of methylamphetamine. It is alleged the drugs were concealed internally. The former West Coast and Richmond star - who has battled drug addiction - had arrived for a stint at the Teen Challenge rehabilitation centre near town. Ben Cousins' timeline He was charged with possession of methylamphetamine with intent to sell or supply and bailed. Last night, Cousins arrived at Perth airport but he refused to speak with journalists. His flight touched down at 9.25pm but there was no one to greet him on arrival and a clearly agitated Cousins walked around the terminal for at least 10 minutes as he waited to be collected. "I've got nothing to say," Cousins said. Eventually, he was escorted by four police officers out to the carpark, where it is believed his partner Maylea Tinecheff picked him up. It is believed there may have been a heated confrontation between Cousins and a television journalist and cameraman, who were on the same flight, as they entered the terminal building from the tarmac. There were many cheers of support for Cousins from members of the public as he wandered through the airport. Earlier, in Esperance a witness said police approached Cousins near a baggage carousel and he appeared to know them. "They shook hands and he had a friendly smile. They all seemed like they were friends," the witness said. Police bailed Cousins later in the night but he was arrested again yesterday for allegedly breaching bail.

Ben Cousins' rehab 'just hasn't worked'

He appeared in Esperance Magistrates' Court, represented by top Melbourne QC David Grace in the brief video-linked hearing.

Cousins' second set of bail conditions includes that he report to police three times a week and live at his North Beach home in Perth.

Ben Cousins leaves Esperance airport for Perth after being charged with drug possession. Picture: Justin Benson-Cooper The maximum penalty in Western Australia for possessing more than 4g of methylamphetamine with intent to sell or supply is 25 years' jail and/or a $100,000 fine. Under 4g carries penalties of up to four years in jail and/or a $5000 fine. Cousins and his partner, Ms Tinecheff, had their first child six months ago. Cousins is scheduled to appear in Perth Magistrates' Court on Monday. Melbourne Lord mayor Robert Doyle described Cousins’ fall as the “wreck of a human being”. “Part of you gets really angry and part of you thinks ‘what a human tragedy’,” he said. “It’s terribly sad.” He went on to tell Neil Mitchell on 3AW this morning the Cousins story was “tragic and awful”. Cousins on collision course with self-destruction

Ben Cousins arrives at Perth Domestic Airport from Esperance. Picture: Bohdan Warchomij

heraldsun.com.au 29 Mar 2012

Ben Cousins should have been incarcerated a long time ago.

He is a danger to the community and should be dealth with appropriately.

Drugs are illegal in Australia, but if Mr. Joe Average is caught he cannot 'buy' his way out of it like others can.

Lock away the criminal.

Apple to refund Aussies over 'false' iPad 4G

APPLE has announced it will offer a refund to Australians who believe they were misled by claims its latest iPad is capable of connecting to the next generation 4G network.

Apple's new iPad, launched on March 16, is advertised on its website as an "iPad with WiFi + 4G,'' though the tablet cannot access Australia's existing 4G network that uses the 1800MHz frequency.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken Federal Court action against Apple for what it says are misleading claims about the connectivity speed of the latest iPad.

Apple's barrister Paul Anastassiou told the court there were networks in Australia that were equivalent to overseas 4G networks.

He said by international standards Australia's 3G networks are actually 4G and that they should not be bound by Telstra's definition.

But he said the company was prepared to email customers to say the device was not compatible with the Telstra 4G network.

Mr Anastassiou also said the company was willing to offer a refund to any customer who believed they had been misled by references to 4G.

ACCC barrister Colin Golvan SC said the tech giant was warned by the consumer watchdog before the device went on sale that it's advertising was misleading but went ahead anyway.

Mr Golvan told the Federal Court that Telstra is the only network offering LTE 4G in Australia and the new Apple iPad is not compatible.

"Apple doesn't have an iPad that would meet consumer requests for an iPad that would use a SIM card to connect to a 4G network," Mr Golvan said.

"They knew it wouldn't connect."

Justice Mordy Bromberg heard the ACCC and Apple tried to reach a compromise but couldn't agree on how information should be conveyed to consumers.

Mr Anastassiou said Apple was prepared to say that the iPad 3 is not compatible with Telstra 4G but does not want to say it will not work on ultra fast mobile networks.

The case before Justice Mordy Bromberg will resume in the Federal Court in Melbourne after 12pm (AEDT).

heraldsun.com.au 28 Mar 2012

Another case of false information given by Apple to consumers, this time caught by the 'authorities'.

Apple currently the world's largest consumer technology manufacturer is fully aware of its fraudulent claims.

Telstra have recently been advertising that its networks are 4G ready in order for consumers to upgrade their 'old' 2G/3G devices to take advantage of the blistering speeds available only with the 4G technology.

Under consumer law, it is stated that the average person has a clear understanding of what the manufacturer is offering for sale.

The average Aussie consumer is by no means required to understand the telcos offerings of 3/3.5/4G technologies from AT&T or Verzion in the United States like Apple want to to believe that this is the reasons why they have stated this.

Plain and simply this is deliberate fraudulent advertising on Apple's behalf in which they got caught out.

Kim Dotcom 'needs $200K a month' to survive

MEGAUPLOAD founder Kim Dotcom and his wife need more than $200,000 a month to get by, a New Zealand court has heard.

Dotcom, facing extradition to the United States, and his heavily pregnant wife Mona are seeking to have some of their seized assets to be released at a hearing at the High Court in Auckland today.

Crown prosecutor Anne Toohey told the court that together Dotcom and his wife have requested that $220,000 a month in living costs be released.

Among the monthly costs requested are $24,000 for body guards, $29,000 for staff including nannies, a butler and Mrs Dotcom's personal assistant, $5000 for landline phone costs, $8500 for gas and power, and $6500 for tutoring the couple's four-year-old child.

Costs for the maintenance of the empty $30 million rented Dotcom Mansion in Coatesville, north of Auckland, have also been requested.

Ms Toohey said many of these costs were unreasonable, given the average annual income of a New Zealand household is about $79,000.

She said that if the funds were released, the amount would almost drain, in the space of a month, Dotcom's New Zealand Rabobank account, which contains about $300,000.

The 38-year-old Megaupload founder was granted bail last week. He is awaiting an extradition to the US, where he is facing charges of racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering.

However, he could be returned to custody if the Crown's appeal of the decision to release him on electronically monitored bail is successful.

A decision on this is expected this afternoon.

optuszoo.com.au 29 Feb 2012

Another legal joke at the expense of the public coffers.


Pay TV piracy hits Murdoch

A secret unit within Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation promoted a wave of high-tech piracy in Australia that damaged Austar, Optus and Foxtel at a time when News was moving to take control of the Australian pay TV industry, a four-year investigation by The Australian Financial Review has revealed.

The piracy cost the Australian pay TV companies up to $50 million a year and helped cripple the finances of Austar, which Foxtel is now in the process of acquiring.

The AFR investigation has revealed a global trail of corporate dirty tricks directed against competitors by a secretive group of former policemen and intelligence officers within News Corp, known as Operational Security.

Their actions devastated News's competitors, and the resulting waves of high-tech piracy assisted News to bid for pay TV businesses at reduced prices – including DirecTV in the US, Telepiu in Italy and Austar. These targets each had other commercial weaknesses quite apart from piracy, the AFR says.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is still deliberating on final details before approving Foxtel's $1.9 billion takeover bid for Austar, which will cement Foxtel's position as the dominant pay TV provider in Australia.

News Corp has categorically denied any involvement in promoting piracy and points to a string of court actions by competitors making similar claims, from which it has emerged victorious. In the only case that went to court, in 2008, the plaintiff EchoStar was ordered to pay nearly $19 million in legal costs.

The issue is particularly sensitive because Operational Security, which is headed by Reuven Hasak, a former deputy director of the Israeli domestic secret service, Shin Bet, operates in an area which historically has had close supervision by the Office of the Chairman, Rupert Murdoch.

The security group was initially set up in a News Corp subsidiary, News Datacom Systems (later known as NDS), to battle internal fraud and to target piracy against its own pay TV companies. But documents uncovered by the AFR reveal that NDS encouraged and facilitated piracy by hackers not only of its competitors but also of companies, such as Foxtel, for whom NDS provided pay TV smart cards. The documents show NDS sabotaged business rivals, fabricated legal actions and obtained telephone records illegally.

The actions are documented in an archive of 14,400 emails held by former Metropolitan Police commander Ray Adams who was European chief for Operational Security between 1996 and 2002.

smh.com.au 28 Mar 2012

The Hollywood financiers are on an anti-piracy rampage, and are telling governments what laws to put in to stamp out piracy.

Individuals who are allegedly caught with pirated software are dealt with in such a manner that incarceration waits them upon successful prosecution.

Phone hacking / tapping that was conducted by the media mogul is also illegal, but there were no charges or incarceration bought about.

Similalry with this matter, there will be no criminal conviction against the corporate giant.

What will follow will be a media circus.

Certain perople who are supported by corrupt governments are truly untouchable.



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

GOVERNMENT SET TOP BOX SCHEME BLOWS OUT

As you know, the Australian Government is carrying out a scheme to install Set Top Boxes to assist disadvantaged people during the Digital Switchover.

In May last year I voiced my concern about how much the government was proposing to spend to install a very simple device in homes around Australia.

New figures revealed overnight show that the cost of each Set Top Box being setup is now costing tax payers at least $698.

The amount of tax payer money the government is wasting on this Set Top Box scheme is absolutely disgusting.

When they initially costed this scheme at over $350 per set-top-box, we thought it was one of the worst examples of waste we had ever heard.

Today’s news that the cost has blown out to around $700 per box is just incomprehensible.

Kogan is able to sell a huge 55” LED TV, with a built-in Set Top Box and Personal Video Recorder, and a 5 star energy rating for under $700, the same amount the government is currently spending on each individual Set Top Box.

Or, you can get a full featured Set Top Box from any Australian electronics retailer for under $70. Kogan can sell one for only $39. All Kogan products include unlimited phone and email support. They all have a one-cable installation process, and Kogan staff can even assist if the elderly are having difficulties. The government wants to spend 1700% more than this.

When you have a situation where a private company like Kogan can sell a 55” LED TV with built in Set Top Box for the same price that the government is sourcing just a small box, you know something is very wrong.

The government needs to recognise that it isn’t an expert at everything. On some things, like technology products, it’s often best to leave the job to technology experts rather than going it alone.

This is an example of gross misuse of tax payer money and government incompetence. Ms. Gillard needs to understand that Australians are amongst the most tech savvy people in the world and will not be fooled by such schemes. We know a Set Top Box is not worth $700 by itself. Where is the rest of the money going?

What do you think? Is the government spending far too much money on what should be a fairly simple operation?

Ruslan Kogan
Founder & CEO
Kogan.com.au

Ref: http://www.kogan.com.au/blog/2012/feb/15/government-set-top-box-scheme-blows-out/

Employers 'can request Facebook passwords'

No law currently exists in Australia to protect a potential recruit from such requests and employers have the freedom to require such details in an interview, Chris Connolly told ninemsn.

Have you been asked for your private social media details at a job interview? Email ninemsn's social media editor with details.

"It's certainly not illegal to ask someone for a social network password," he said. "The real issue is what if they don't employ you — that is they discriminate against you — because you said 'no' and other people said 'yes', (but) there's no legal case."

The issue has come to the fore after reports surfaced of companies in the US employing the tactic in their recruitment process.

While there are no known cases in Australia, Mr Connolly said people were concerned with the trend.

"We have had people contacting the centre querying whether they'd have to give their Facebook or social network password to a potential employer," he said.

It was natural for employers to be concerned about their staff posting negative statements about the company on a public social profile, but there seemed little value in delving into the private information of a prospective recruit, Mr Connolly said.

"It's fine for employers to retain the right to do some general background checking of employees. Checking someone's background on Google is okay as it's the normal process," he said.

"But it's really overstepping the mark going to the private information that is generally being shared with family and friends."

Connolly said while there were no legal obstacles in the way for employers, it created an ethical minefield.

"From an ethical standpoint it's just bizarre," he said. "It doesn't seem at all relevant to employment.

"There is information on Facebook that can only be seen behind a password and that information should be of no concern to an employer," he added.

Mr Connolly said there was potential for discrimination against those who were "privacy aware" and "concerned about their civil liberties and freedoms" suggesting the treatment didn’t receive the same importance as other privacy issues in the recruitment process.

"If you did this in other areas — for example you discriminated against someone who was in a trade union because they believed in workers' rights — then you'd definitely be breaking the law and you'd be acting unethically," he said.

"You'd be at the bottom of the pile in terms of being a good and fair employer."

heraldsun.com.au 24 Mar 2012

Charity boss 'faked sex slave rescues'

The head of an Australian charity has resigned after he was accused of faking the rescue of hill tribe children from sex slavery in Thailand.

The high-profile Grey Man charity claims to rescue victims as young as 10 and 12 from sex trafficking in Asia using a team of ex-soldiers and police, The Age reports.

But police say the charity, headed by former Australian army commando Sean McBride, lied about rescuing 21 children from a hill tribe in northern Chiang Rai province.

Police from the Chiang Mai-based transnational crime unit say the children never left their homes, continued to attend school and were negatively impacted by publicity from the reported rescue.

The Department of Special Investigation is now looking into the claims.

But Mr McBride told The Age the charity, founded in 2007, never changed reports, "except to make them more readable and media-oriented".

He said the controversy surrounding the charity was driven by corruption and vested interested.

Mr McBride said the board decided he should step down because "personal issues" between him and people in Thailand were interfering with the organisation’s operations.

Chiang Mai police cut ties with the charity after a flurry of claims was made against it, and pending the outcome of the investigation.

Grey Man's former head of investigations claims the charity lied about the ages of victims and exaggerated the success of operations.

"Sean [Mr McBride] told me younger girls are most interesting for donors," said the Thailand-born man, who did not want to be identified.

26 Mar 2012

Within charities, fraud can easily be committed and frequently does.

Since charities are a government cash cow, there is deliberately no inquiries into the legitimacy of many of them.

Charities focusing on elderly care or multiculturalism are amongst the offender which the government has chosen to turn a blind eye.

Keneally denies Huawei claim

Former NSW premier Kristina Keneally has rejected a statement by a Huawei spokesman that she travelled on a company sponsored trip to the firm's China facilities.

"This is incorrect," she said in a statement on Monday.

"I have never undertaken any travel paid for by Huawei."

Earlier on Monday, a Huawei spokesman said former Labor premiers Kristina Keneally and John Brumby, who now sits on the company's Australian board, had been on sponsored trips.

When told of Ms Keneally's statement, the spokesman said there had been a miscommunication.

Ms Keneally said she had only travelled to China once, on an official trip in 2010 that was paid for by the NSW government.

Huawei noted that while Ms Keneally had visited its facility during her 2010 official visit to China, the entire trip was paid for by the NSW government

heraldsun.com.au 26 Mar 2012

Many government officials are given bribes, accept 'presents' and the like.

Some get caught, but many are still in office and continue to operate fraudulently.

Lamborghini heist a case of dumb and dumber

The sergeant-at-arms for the Finks motorcycle gang and his accomplice are found guilty of stealing a $400,000 Lamborghini from a Port Melbourne dealership.

THE sergeant-at-arms for the Finks motorcycle gang, Richard Michail, and his accomplice Matthew Ward are unlikely to qualify as criminal masterminds after they were recently found guilty of stealing a $400,000 Lamborghini from a Port Melbourne dealership.

The Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera was always going to attract attention, but police discovered the canary-yellow car less than two kilometres from where it was pinched - directly in front of the Finks' Port Melbourne clubhouse.

The County Court was told Michail entered Lorbek Prestige Cars on May 25, 2010, as Ward waited outside the dealership.

Both men were wearing black T-shirts emblazoned with the gang's name, while Michail made no attempt to conceal prominent tattoos on his throat, neck and hands.

Michail demanded $50,000 before fleeing the Plummer Street car yard in the stolen vehicle.

Police did not have to travel far to find the car or the culprits.

The Lamborghini - with plates 690 069 - was parked in front of the Finks' clubhouse in nearby Bertie Street, along with a black Monaro that was also used in the robbery.

Police swooped on the clubhouse and uncovered a bag used in the armed robbery, although no gun was found.

Michail's defence team had unsuccessfully argued that Michail and his accomplice were collecting a debt on behalf of another car dealer, who was owed about $500,000 by Mr Lorbek.

A jury found Michail, of Port Melbourne, guilty of robbery, while Ward, of Happy Valley in South Australia, was found guilty of robbery. Both men will be sentenced by Justice Mark Dean on April 11.

According to police sources, Michail also has close links with the Comanchero motorcycle gang.

He is believed to have negotiated a lease for the gang's clubhouse, which is also located in Port Melbourne.

Mr Lorbek made headlines this month when his former wife, Judy Lorbek, was charged by the Australian Federal Police with dishonestly appropriating Commonwealth property.

Judy Lorbek accidentally received $2 million in her bank account in erroneous child support payments, which she used for shopping sprees and mortgage repayments.

heraldsun.com.au 25 Mar 2012

The government is fully aware of the illegal activities the individuals are involved in, but continues to let them roam free, and endanger the general populous.

Since it is the general populous that is in danger and not 'their kind', these criminals are not incarcerated for long.

Big Squeeze as population swells

Melbourne struggling as population booms to more than five million by 2025 and 6.5 million by 2050.

MELBOURNE'S booming population is generating a huge infrastructure to-do list with new analysis showing the city will need close to 10,000 new childcare spots, 5700 classrooms and about 3350 hospital beds by 2025.

About 1200 new residents are expected to move to Melbourne every week for the next 40 years as the city's population swells to more than five million in 2025 and 6.5 million in 2050.

Just under 60 per cent of new arrivals will settle in one of seven growth areas: Casey, Cardinia, Hume, Melton, Mitchell, Whittlesea and Wyndham.

A detailed analysis of Melbourne's growth by the Property Council of Australia paints a daunting task in term of future transport, health, education and housing needs.

Those include an extra 10,000 childcare spots by 2025 and 29,000 by 2050, about 3350 new hospital beds by 2025 and 8600 by 2050 and 5700 new classrooms by 2025 and 10,000 by 2050.

The big squeeze will also test Melbourne's retirement and aged-care facilities as the city's median age rises to 38 in 2025 and 41 in 2050.

An extra 13,600 aged-care places will be needed by 2025 - a figure which will rise to more than 60,000 by 2050.

The council also estimates the city will need to build an extra 380,000 houses and apartments over the next 12 years and close to a million by 2050.

Melbourne drivers will also be clocking up an extra 10 million kilometres by 2025 and 24 million by 2050.

Demand for energy will rise from 81,905 terajoules to 100,483 TJ in 2025 and 120,324 TJ in 2050 while water use will increase from 260 gigalitres to 318 GL and 412 GL over the same period.

Urban planners, local councils and key business figures are increasingly voicing concerns that little progress is being made on rolling out major infrastructure items needed to maintain the city's quality of life.

"We need to get smarter as a city," Property Council of Australia state executive director Jennifer Cunich said.

"Melbourne residents want to see progress on major strategic initiatives that will guide growth and make sure Melbourne keeps moving in years to come."

RMIT planning expert Michael Buxton said major transport items such as railway lines had been consistently put off by both Liberal and Labour governments unwilling to run a budget deficit.

"The reason governments haven't done these things is because they have become obsessed with a private model of infrastructure and budget surpluses rather than borrowing to fund some of these large items," he said.

Committee for Melbourne acting chief executive Andrea Gaffney said top infrastructure priorities needed to be:

PUSHING forward with the Melbourne Metro project to improve rail links between the city's northwest and southeast.

ELIMINATING the city's 30 busiest railway level crossings.

BUILDING dedicated rail links to both Melbourne and Avalon airports.

CREATING a dedicated freight and logistics strategy to prepare for increased freight movement to and from the Melbourne, Hastings and Geelong ports.

DEVELOPING Fishermans Bend, near the West Gate Bridge, as part of a wider urban renewal project.

"A visionary, long-term plan is essential to ensure Melbourne can get better as it gets bigger," Ms Gaffney said.

heraldsun.com.au 25 Mar 2012

A deliberate failure on behalf of the authorities, in not providing enough infrastructure to cater for the population.

The authorities have compounded the problem even more by allowing 'back doors' to official immigration quotas, that are causing even more problems for the general populous, all in the name of earning a quick buck.