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Diposting oleh On 03.24

Allowing a refugee to die with dignity would show Australia's human heart

Australian immigration and asylum Opinion Allowing a refugee to die with dignity would show Australia's human heart Rachel Coghlan

A terminally ill man risks spending his dying days in pain and isolation despite a compassionate solution being available

Photo supplied by an anonymous source in 2015. Photo shows a Hospital on Nauru. (Nauru is an island in the South Pacific which has detention centres for asylum seekers. The centres are run by Australia’s immigration services.)
‘Since the medical staff on Nauru cannot provide the supportive care Ali requires, the ABF has told him that it will fund his re turn home or his move to Taiwan for treatment’ Photograph: none

The report on the refusal of the Australian Border Force to allow Ali*, a 63-year-old Afghan refugee on Nauru, to come to Australia for palliative care is deeply disturbing. Ali is dying from advanced lung cancer, and would receive patently inadequate care should he remain on Nauru. Now Australian doctors have called on the immigration minister to act quickly to bring Ali to our shores.

Hundreds of Australian doctors call for dying refugee to be brought from Nauru Read more

Palliative care aims to prevent and relieve the suffering caused by terminal or chronic conditions through the treatment of pain and other symptoms â€" be they physical, psychosocial or spiritual. Palliative care helps to improve quality of life and provide dignity and comfort to people in their last days, weeks or months of life. Since the medical staff on Nauru cannot provide the supportive car e Ali requires, the ABF has told him that it will fund his return home or his move to Taiwan for treatment. But Ali has understandably rejected both these alternatives. As a Hazari he fears persecution in his homeland, and in Taiwan he would have no support network and no one to perform the Shia burial ritual when he dies.

As a refugee seeking asylum outside his home country, Ali has already suffered through the harsh realities of leaving his wife and children behind in Afghanistan. He now faces the very real risk of suffering in pain and isolation in his dying days despite a compassionate solution being available.

Like Ali, many refugees in crisis situations could benefit from palliative care. One small health team in Bangladesh is working to improve the quality of life for people in refugee camps with chronic or terminal illness through inexpensive, quality care and pain relief. Mojibor is a 10-year-old Rohingya refugee living in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. After he fled Myanmar in 2017, Mojiborwas diagnosed with incurable bone cancer. He was found lying in his tent unable to move with pain. The palliative care team gave Mojiborpain relief and provided support to his family. Though he has limited time left, Mojibor can now run and kick his football again. His mother says “We were told to kill him with poison as nothing would help to cure his disease. My son is totally free of suffering right now.”

Australia has a long and commendable record of providing medical help to suffering individuals in our region whose communities do not have the expertise or facilities to help them. For example, burns victims such as Rafika and Uswatun Rasmiddin, two Indonesian sisters who received significant burns after an earthquake on their island in 2005; patients requiring complex surgery such as Teresinha da Costa, a paediatric nurse from Timor-Leste, who suffered from a life-threatening congenital heart defect; and children with disabilities or defor mities such as Zoe, a 6-month-old girl from Vanuatu, whose brain tissue had begun to cover her face and impact her sight. All these individuals have been brought to Australia for life-saving treatment and rehabilition.

Australia also has a notable record of providing palliative care for its citizens who, like Ali, are suffering from a terminal illness. Australian governments have committed to addressing the palliative care needs of our citizens through the National Palliative Care Strategy. Palliative care in Australia is provided in almost all settings where health care is provided, including paediatric services, acute hospitals, aged care services and specialist inpatient settings, hospices and community-based services. The professional standards and availability of palliative care services in Australia are considered some of the best in the world.

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The Aust ralian community is therefore well placed to give Ali the care he needs in this final stage of his life. Since Ali is a refugee under our protection, the ABF has a moral obligation to provide him with appropriate palliative care that respects his cultural and religious background. Ali would not have a chance to settle in Australia nor indeed to see his family again, but he might have a chance to die with dignity.

Perhaps even more importantly, in providing such care to Ali in Australia, the ABF would be honouring our nation’s history of compassion for individuals who are in desperate need and whose own communities are unable to help them. It would show, as Ali himself says, that we have a human heart.

* Ali is a patronym, his full name is withheld to protect his family.

• Rachel Coghlan is a member of the Palliative Care in Humanitarian Aid Settings and Emergencies Network (PalCHASE)

  • Australian immigration and asylum
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Source: Google Australia | Netizen 24 Australia


Diposting oleh On 01.18

Apple fined $6.8M in Australia after Error 53 controversy


The time has come for Apple to pay for the infamous Error 53 that bricked iPhones and iPads taken to a third party for repairs.

The Federal Court of Australia announced Monday its order for Apple to pay AU$9 million (around US $6.8 million converted) for telling customers who encountered the error they weren't entitled to a refund.

The error was first reported in 2016. If you fixed a cracked screen or a failing Touch ID-enabled home button through a third party not licensed by Apple, "security checks" would render your iPhone or iPad unusable, showing only the message "Error 53".

Apple explained the message as a security measure to protect the iPhone's fingerp rint sensor from exploitation. It released an iOS 9.2.1 update later that February to restore bricked devices, but reports showed it did not re-enable Touch ID and customers complained they still lost photos, documents and apps.

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In April 2017, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) commenced a legal battle with Apple in the Federal Court of Australia. It said Apple violated customers' rights under Australian Consumer Law to repairs for devices bricked by Error 53.

Then, in June 2017, the ACCC conducted an undercover operation involving 13 calls with Apple retailers in Australia, in which Apple representatives allegedly said Apple did not have responsibility to remedy faulty iPhones repaired by an unauthorised third party.

Apple has since admitted that from February 2015 to February 2016 it misdirected 275 Australian customers looking for compensation for devices bricked by Error 53, through its US website and Apple staff in Australian stores and on customer service phone calls.

According to Australian Consumer Law, that's not on.

"The Court declared the mere fact that an iPhone or iPad had been repaired by someone other than Apple did not, and could not, result in the consumer guarantees ceasing to apply, or the consumer's right to a remedy being extinguished," ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

The ACCC had notified Apple about its investigation, spurring Apple to compensate 5,000 affected customers. That allegedly involved Apple exchanging faulty iPhones and iPads for refurbished replacements, not completely new devices. Apple has since committed to new replacements -- if you request one.

"If people buy an iPhone or iPad from Apple and it suffers a major failure, they are entitled to a refund. If customers would prefer a replacement, they are entitled to a new device as opposed to refurbished, if one is available," Court said.

Expect your Apple store workers to wear even bigger smiles: Apple says it will improve staff training, systems and procedures to ensure future compliance with Australian Consumer Law.

Apple was contacted for comment.

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Source: Google Australia | Netizen 24 Australia


Diposting oleh On 01.18

Huawei issues open letter to Australia over security concerns


Huawei can't catch a break but that doesn't mean it's not trying.

The Chinese telecoms company just issued an open letter to Australian authorities over recent criticism that if it was allowed to participate in the country's upcoming 5G roll-out, control of the country's infrastructure could fall into the hands of Beijing. This comes as Huawei deals with US concerns over the Chinese telecoms giant's potential security risks as well as having had big name retailers stop selling its phones.

The open letter, written by Huawei Australia Chairman John Lord and two of its board directors, called the recent reports "ill-informed and not based on facts" while claiming to be "good and safe" for the country. It was also pointed out that Huawei has 5G investments in the UK and New Zealand, while stating that any rule-breaking would end its businesses overnight in the countries it has interests in.

It's not the first time Huawei has clashed with the Australian government. The company was banned in 2012 from participating in Australia's $38 billion National Broadband Network project.

Australia's Attorney-General refused to comment on the letter, reported Reuters. But it pointed out that an upcoming bill, which would require individuals to declare links with foreign governments, would cause the letter to be "seen in a different light" once it was passed.

Now Playing: Watch this: Best Buy to drop Huawei phones 1:25Source: Google Australia | Netizen 24 Australia


Diposting oleh On 01.18

Foreign donations prop up Australia's endangered parrot response

Endangered species Foreign donations prop up Australia's endangered parrot response

Western ground parrot needs millions spent on it, but volunteers say Coalition is trying to shift costs to not-for-profits

Western ground parrot singing.
The western ground parrot is an endangered species of parrot found only in one bushfire-prone part of Western Australia. Photograph: Brent Barrett

The Turnbull government helped broker a $200,000 agreement for a German not-for-profit to fund conservation work for a critically endangered Australian parrot, bolstering criticism it is shifting the cost of protecting thr eatened species to community and philanthropic organisations.

The western ground parrot is one of only three ground nesting parrots found in Australia and is one of 20 birds the government has committed to helping as part of its threatened species strategy.

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But the parrot is receiving just $80,000 in species-specific funding from the federal government through its threatened species recovery fund to construct new facilities for “a captive breeding trial at Perth zoo”.

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The environment department says additional money to support the birds is coming from a $1.7m feral cat baiting program in WA and an agreement it “brokered” with a German parrot association for $200,000 for a western ground parrot project.

The Association for the Conservation of Threatened Parrots, a Berlin-base d not for profit, agreed to provide the funds in 2017 for work by the WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to increase feral animal control, “monitor existing populations and enhance captive breeding methods”, an environment and energy spokeswoman said.

Conservation groups say the international donation is an example of the government increasingly trying to move the cost of threatened species work onto volunteers and charities and at a time when it has been trying to stop not-for-profits from accepting overseas donations for political advocacy work.

“Governments are increasingly trying to shift the cost of threatened species conservation onto communities and philanthropic organisations by touting the value of ‘partnerships’,” said Jenny Lau, the acting head of conservation at Birdlife Australia.

“Under current levels of government funding, the ‘partnership approach’ is like government turning up to a bushfire with a garde n hose expecting the community and philanthropics to bring the water bombers.”

She said the lion’s share of the cost of threatened species recovery should still be taken on by the government, and there was a multimillion-dollar gap between what was needed for the western ground parrot and what had been made available.

The parrot is one of the government’s targeted species and its own threatened species prospectus states $3m over three years is needed for projects.

Lau said funding through the feral cat program was welcome, but it was difficult to tell how much of the $1.7m was aiding specific species like the western ground parrot, which is found in a single location in WA.

Additionally, the government said the $80,000 it provided for work at Perth zoo would support a “captive breeding trial”, but both the zoo and the WA government told Guardian Australia there was currently no captive breeding program in place.

Rather, the project, call ed the western ground parrot breeding program, was researching the reproductive biology of the birds to try to determine if a captive breeding program was viable. Three males and an older female are in captivity and breeding attempts have not resulted in viable eggs.

It’s estimated less than 150 of the parrots remain in the wild after fire ripped through their habitat in 2015.

The species’ only known location is in Western Australia’s Cape Arid national park and adjacent areas of Nuytsland nature reserve.

Volunteers working with the species say the bird urgently needs funding for a translocation study to see if an alternative wild population can be established in another part of WA to try to save it from extinction.

Paul Wettin, vice-chair of Friends of the Western Ground Parrot, said an application for federal funding for studies that would aid translocation work had been rejected by the government last year. The group is donating $30,000 to t ry to help fund this work.

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“If we have another wildfire like 2015, that population is gone, so finding an alternative location is absolutely critical,” he said.

Wettin said federal funding for rangers doing monitoring work had also been reduced last year.

Similar calls for assistance were made for the bramble cay melomys, an Australian island rodent that went extinct after officials failed to move some of the population to another location in time.

James Trezise, policy analyst at the Australian Conservation Foundation, said the western ground parrot case showed the need for a thorough independent audit of Australian threatened species funding and its effectiveness.

Earlier this year, Guardian Australia revealed some threatened species funding was not supporting projects that help threatened species.

“It’s funny that as the government is clamping down on foreign donations it’s just facilitated a foreign donation for this species,” Trezise said. “This demonstrates once again that the government isn’t investing enough in the protection of threatened species. We need a massive increase in investment if the government is to be credible on addressing Australia’s extinction crisis.”

A WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions spokesperson said the western ground parrot recovery team “is actively assessing potential translocation sites” and the department “is committed to the ongoing conservation and implementation of the recovery program for the western ground parrot.”

“Recovery actions, including fox and feral cat baiting, surveying and monitoring, remain an ongoing priority. The assistance of volunteers, including the Friends of the Western Ground Parrot, will continue to be vital in helping to deliver these and additional recovery actions,” the spokesperson said.

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Source: Google Australia | Netizen 24 Australia


Diposting oleh On 01.18

Puan, oldest known Sumatran orangutan, dies in Australia

Australia Australia Puan, oldest known Sumatran orangutan, dies in Australia

Puan holds a metal bar at Perth ZooImage copyright ALEX ASHBURY/ PERTH ZOO
Image caption Puan, 62, was given to Perth Zoo in 1968

The world's oldest known Sumatran orangutan has died in an Austra lian zoo aged 62, leaving behind 54 descendants.

Puan, described as the "grand old lady" of Perth Zoo, was euthanised on Monday due to age-related complications.

She had been at the zoo since 1968, and was officially recognised by Guinness World Records as the oldest of her species in 2016.

A critically endangered species, Sumatran orangutans rarely reach age 50 in the wild, the zoo said.

Believed to have been born in a jungle in Sumatra, Indonesia, in 1956, Puan left an "incredible legacy" of 11 children and a total of 54 descendants across the US, Europe and elsewhere, the zoo said.

"Her genetics count for just under 10% of the global zoological population," primate supervisor Holly Thompson said.

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"She did so much for the colo ny at Perth Zoo and the survival of her species."

Some of Puan's descendants have been released back into the wild in Sumatra, the zoo said.

Image copyright PERTH ZOO
Image caption Zookeepers described Puan as dignified and aloof

According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are only about 14,600 Sumatran orangutans.

Puan's chief zookeeper wrote an obituary published in The West Australian newspaper on Tuesday.

"Over the years Puan's eyelashes had greyed, her movement had slowed down and her mind had started to wander," Martina Hart wrote.

"But she remained the matriarch, the quiet, dignified lady she had always been."

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Source: Google Australia | Netizen 24 Australia