Snubbed Khawaja not pinning hopes on Ashes recall

The stylish number three suffered a further blow on Thursday when he was left out of Australia’s one-day squad for next month’s Champions Trophy in England and Wales.

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Being excluded from the nation’s formidable one-day team is nothing to be ashamed about given the batting riches at selectors’ disposal.

However, the India snub was a bitter pill to swallow for a player who had averaged 66.75 in the preceding test series against Pakistan after topping the runs list in a losing cause against South Africa.

Rubbing salt into the wounds, Khawaja was left to carry the drinks during the four-test series in India and watch his replacement Shaun Marsh manage only 151 runs at an average of 18.87 from his eight innings.

“The most frustrating thing for me was not to play those three ODIs in New Zealand,” Khawaja told Fox Sports (长沙桑拿,foxsports长沙桑拿按摩论坛,长沙夜网,).

“I got pulled out of that series to prepare for India and then not playing was a bit hard.”

The plain-spoken Khawaja has had a frosty relationship with selectors in the past.

As Australia lurched to an emphatic defeat in Sri Lanka last year, he was axed, somewhat harshly, for the third and final test along with opener Joe Burns.

He made his displeasure with selectors clear.

Still stinging from the omission, Khawaja told local media he and Burns were “scapegoats” for the team’s wider failures, an indiscretion that earned him a quiet “chat” with coach Darren Lehmann.

Former players and media pundits have repeatedly accused Australia’s selectors of being poor communicators and particularly ham-fisted in their handling of dropped players.

But Khawaja said there were no hard feelings from his India disappointment, with Lehmann having gone out of his way to let him down easily.

“To Boof’s credit I had a chat to him about all that stuff and he came up to me and he actually knew where I was at in that things had not worked out,” said the Pakistan-born 30-year-old.

Khawaja is likely to be restored to Australia’s top order for the Ashes, given the lefthander’s fine record on home pitches over the past two seasons.

But he has learnt not to look too far ahead.

“It is the pinnacle of cricket when you represent Australia — playing against the old enemy,” he said.

“But to be frank it is still far away and a lot can happen between now and the Ashes.”

(Writing by Ian Ransom; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

Security at Don Dale to be stepped up

Improved security cameras and electronic surveillance, better training and a full security audit have been recommended for the Northern Territory’s Don Dale Youth Detention Centre.

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The Territory government has released a review of security arrangements at the controversial facility, which found a range of infrastructure and operational issues.

The government says it will move on improvements as a “matter of priority”.

Minister for Territory Families Dale Wakefield says the number of escapes at Don Dale in recent months is unacceptable and highlights the urgent need to address security problems.

“Every Territorian has the right to feel safe and expects their homes and businesses to be secure, especially from young offenders being held in detention,” she said on Friday.

Conditions inside Don Dale and the treatment of youths in the centre, east of Darwin, sparked the ongoing royal commission into juvenile justice in the Northern Territory.

Footage aired on ABC television showed inmates being tear-gassed, spit-hooded and shackled.

The review of the facility also came after a number of recent escapes, including in March and again earlier this month when two inmates fled through a window and were at large for more than two days.

It found that razor wire on the perimeter of the centre was not preventing escapes and described the effectiveness of electronic security equipment, including cameras, as dubious, with routine failures.

As well as infrastructure improvements, the review calls for more training for staff to better classify inmates, regular training exercises with police to improve the response to escapes, and the appointment of a security compliance officer.

Ms Wakefield said the government was not shying away from the work needed to fix Don Dale and the wider youth justice system, and work was already under way to implement the review’s recommendations.

“Improving services and facilities for youth in detention is one of many steps we are taking as part of our historic overhaul of the youth justice system,” she said.

Qld mayor denies donation wrongdoing

One of Queensland’s longest serving mayors says he was unaware property developers bankrolled half his election campaign through a trust until a recent corruption investigation.

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Allan Sutherland was re-elected to the Moreton Bay Regional Council in March 2016 on the back of large contributions from the Moreton Futures Trust.

A Crime and Corruption Commission investigation has heard this week that the trust received donations from several property developers to the tune of $137,000.

Mr Sutherland told the commission on Friday he knew the trust was paying for his campaign’s expenses but it was his wife Gayle who dealt directly with accountant and trustee Kirby Leeke.

“I’d be happy not to be involved in the money in any way, shape or form,” Mr Sutherland said.

He said he did not know property developers had made large contributions to the trust until recently when investigators first approached him.

The commission was told Mr Sutherland was suffering from serious health issues about the time of the election and did not check the trust’s disclosure form, which is publicly available on the state’s Electoral Commission website.

“It was probably the last thing on my mind,” he said.

The mayor’s own disclosure form shows he received more than $118,00 from the trust and does not list the individual developers.

Mr Sutherland said he understood the public’s suspicion of donations, particularly from developers, but stated he thought he was doing the right thing because it seemed “cleaner” if the trust paid his campaign bills.

“I was happy not to know – it’s hard to have a conflict when you don’t know who the donor is,” he said.

“I thought I was doing the right thing, I’ve made every attempt to do the right thing.”

Mr Sutherland also brushed off suggestions he and five other councillors had worked together as a group, despite promoting themselves as independent candidates.

The commission heard Mr Sutherland approached candidates and offered to pay for campaign material featuring them together such as billboards and how-to-vote cards.

He also wrote letters of endorsement for three candidates that were mailed to constituents.

One of the candidates, councillor Peter Flannery, said the total $3677 cost of his promotional material was paid for by the Moreton Futures Trust but did not believe he or the mayor had done anything wrong.

“I think it’s all legal and above board,” Mr Flannery told reporters.

All the joint how-to-vote cards featuring the mayor and a candidate were almost identical in style and layout and shared the slogan “for a bright future”.

Mr Sutherland said he did not think the candidates and himself had run as a group because they shared no common policies, election platform and had no leader.

He also emphasised that payment was made on the condition the candidate would declare the contribution.

Candidates are allowed to run as a group if they formally register with the Electoral Commission.

The CCC hearing, which is investigating funding and disclosure allegations from Queensland’s 2016 council elections, will resume on Wednesday.

Manus Island detainees in class action case

Forty people currently held in the Manus Island detention centre may be brought to Australia to testify in a class action trial being live streamed around the world.

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The class action group’s lawyers want the Australian government to bring the 41 detainees from Manus Island to Melbourne and otherwise may ask for a hearing in Papua New Guinea.

The government has agreed that eight people currently in detention centres in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Western Australia will give evidence in the Melbourne court.

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The class action led by Iranian-born Majid Karami Kamasaee has 1905 group members, which the plaintiff’s lawyers Slater and Gordon says covers the majority of people detained on Manus Island since 2012.

The detainees’ barrister David Curtain QC on Friday said the detainees who remain on Manus Island should be brought to Melbourne.

Mr Curtain said the fallback position was that the Victorian Supreme Court will be asked to journey to Manus Island.

“We are keen that if the Commonwealth can arrange for detainees in Australia to be brought to the court, we believe they can arrange for detainees on Manus Island to also be brought to the court,” he said.

The court heard it was not known how many of the detainees could potentially be resettled in the US as part of a deal between the Australian and American governments.

Watch: Dutton weights in on Manus Island shooting

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“Presumably a proportion at least of those 41 will be interviewed by representatives of the United States government with a view to possible relocation to the United States,” Justice Michael McDonald said.

Justice McDonald said it is up to the plaintiff if there is to be an application for the court to convene in PNG to hear from the Manus Island detainees.

He noted that holding a hearing on Manus Island would depend on issues such as the available facilities, accommodation for a large cohort of people and the costs involved.

The six-month trial begins on May 15 and the Manus Island detainee witnesses are not expected to give evidence until August.

The trial will be live streamed so all 1905 class action group members can follow the case, in what Slater and Gordon believes is the first time Australian court proceedings will be streamed overseas.

The legal firm has said the case will be the largest and most forensic public examination of the events and conditions at the Manus Island detention centre, which is due to close on October 31.

The class action alleges the detainees suffered serious physical and psychological injuries as a result of the conditions in which they were held on Manus Island.

They are also seeking damages for false imprisonment after the PNG Supreme Court ruled the detention of asylum seekers on Manus Island was unconstitutional.

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PNG police dismiss Dutton’s explanation of Manus Island unrest

A senior PNG police officer has disputed Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s claim that concerns about the welfare of a local boy led PNG soldiers to storm the Manus Island detention centre.

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Mr Dutton \alleged the violent incident – which left one asylum seeker injured on Good Friday – began after three asylum seekers were spotted leading a five-year-old boy into the camp.

The immigration minister suggested Manus Island residents were worried that the boy had been sexually assaulted.

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But local police commander Inspector David Yapu has rejected the claims, telling ABC News Mr Dutton was referring to an unrelated incident which involved no allegation of sexual assault.

“If there was a sexual assault, a formal complaint would be made by the parents for the police to pursue investigations,” Mr Yapu told ABC News.

Mr Yapu clarified that a 10-year-old boy was brought into the centre to receive food in the days prior to the attack, but that there was no suggestion he was harmed.

“He was given some fruits by the residents in the centre and then he was taken out again,” he said.

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“So there was nothing done to him and also there was no official complaint by the parents of that small boy.”

Speaking to Sky News on Thursday, Mr Dutton said the incident may have been caused by a local boy being led to the camp.

“I think there was concern about why the boy was being led, or for what purpose he was being led, away back into the regional processing centre.”

Watch: Dutton weighs in on Manus Island shooting

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Mr Dutton’s comments were immediately rejected by Manus island asylum seeker and journalist Behrouz Boochani.

Aust immigration minister lying. He wants to hide truth about 14 April. I ask him to read #Manus police statement. Nothing there about a boy

— Behrouz Boochani (@BehrouzBoochani) April 20, 2017I ask politicians, media to stop immi minister spreading false allegations. He doesn’t know anything about Manusian culture. Dangerous lie.

— Behrouz Boochani (@BehrouzBoochani) April 20, 2017

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