SBS chief Michael Ebeid awarded Queen’s Birthday honour

Mr Ebeid, who was appointed to lead the nation’s multicultural broadcaster in 2011, was one of more than a dozen honourees who have been recognised for their service to multicultural Australia.

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He was recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia (AO).

Moving to Australia with his family when he was still a toddler, the Egyptian-born Australian went on to study business, working for several high-profile companies.

He spent nine years with IBM in Australia and Asia, a decade with telecommunications giant Optus, and three years with the ABC before his appointment to lead SBS.

Mr Ebeid was honoured “for significant service to the broadcast media and multicultural affairs as an executive, innovator and business leader.”

The network boss said he was “incredibly honoured” and “very humbled” to have been among so many other outstanding Australians.

“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work closely with Australia’s multicultural communities and across multiple business sectors, to promote and celebrate Australia’s diversity,” he said.

With a background in data and technology, Mr Ebeid has overseen significant investment in the broadcaster’s streaming service, SBS On Demand, and has backed internal innovation programs and experimental digital projects.

During Mr Ebeid’s tenure at SBS, Australia has also become a regular participant in Eurovision, one of the network’s most high-profile broadcast events.

He has also overseen the network’s acquisition of National Indigenous Television, which was relaunched as a national free-to-air channel in 2012.

Michael Ebeid (right) at the relaunch of National Indigenous Television in Uluru, Wednesday, 12 December, 2012.Wayne Quilliam/AAP

Other prominent multicultural leaders recognised included Lebanese community leader Dr Jamal Rifi, Italian community leader Giuseppe Migliorino and Jewish community leader Graham Slade.

Indigenous art dealer and local government veteran Claude Ullin and Palace Cinema founder Antonio Zeccola were also made Members of the Order of Australia for their service to multicultural Australia.

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Algeria, Ghana win in Nations Cup qualifying, Egypt lose

Ghana, who have reached the semi-final stage at the last six tournaments, began in emphatic fashion with a 5-0 home victory over Ethiopia in Group F.

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Captain Asamoah Gyan put them ahead after 10 minutes before John Boye and Ebenezer Ofori made it 3-0 at half-time in Kumasi. Debutant Raphael Dwamena then scored two more after the break.

Algeria looked tentative in their first competitive outing under new Spanish coach Lucas Alcaraz but edged Togo 1-0 at home thanks to Sofiane Hanni, who lobbed home in the 24th minute after being set clear by Islam Slimani.

Also in Group D, Stephane Sessegnon scored an early goal for Benin, who held on for a 1-0 win over the Gambia in Cotonou.

In Group J, Egypt went down 1-0 in Tunisia where Taha Yassine Khenissi scored the only goal just after half-time of a match that kicked off at 11 P.M. because of the Ramadan fast.

Newly appointed Zimbabwe captain Knowledge Musona grabbed a hat-trick as they beat Liberia 3-0 in front of a boisterous crowd in their Group G match in Harare where the attendance was swelled by a decision to cut ticket prices to only $3.

Godfrey Sserunkuma scored seven minutes from time to hand Uganda a 1-0 win away in the Cape Verde Islands in a Group L game postponed by 24 hours when their scheduled flight from Dakar was delayed for eight hours by technical problems.

The Central African Republic led Rwanda 1-0 through Junior Gourrier’s goal just after half-time and after conceding the equaliser in added time grabbed the winner through Salif Keita just before the final whistle in Group H.

The next round of qualifiers for the finals in Cameroon will be played in March. There are 12 groups from which the winner qualifies along with the three best runners-up.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Norway mass killer Breivik changes his name, says lawyer

“I can confirm that he has changed his name, it’s official,” Oystein Storrvik told AFP, confirming reports by the Norwegian newspaper Verdens Gang (VG).

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Asked why Breivik had decided on the name change, Storrvik said: “I do not want to disclose the content of our discussions.”

In July 2011 Breivik, disguised as a police officer, tracked and gunned down 69 people, most of them teenagers, at a Labour Party youth camp on the island of Utoya, shortly after killing eight people in a bombing outside a government building in Oslo.

He has never expressed any remorse for committing the worst atrocity in Norway’s post-war history. He said he killed his victims because they embraced multiculturalism.

Anders Behring Breivik March 16, 2016. AAP

Before proceeding with the attacks, he circulated an ideological “manifesto” signed under the name Andrew Berwick.

A search in the Norwegian business register confirms that Breivik Geofarm, an agricultural firm created by Breivik to obtain fertilisers used to make a bomb, is now registered in the name of Fjotolf Hansen.

While Hansen is a very common surname in Norway, Fjotolf is rarely used, if ever. 

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The now 38-year-old inmate is serving a 21-year prison sentence that can be extended indefinitely.

Breivik has complained about his isolation from other inmates for safety reasons since his arrest in 2011, and sued the Norwegian state over his prison conditions. 

His lawyer said on Thursday that he would take the case to the European Court of Human Rights after exhausting all legal options in Norway where the Supreme Court refused to hear his case.

Tunisians protest for right not to fast during Ramadan

There is no law against eating or drinking in public during Ramadan, but every year the issue comes to the fore in the North African country.

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Tunisia’s constitution guarantees “freedom of belief and conscience”, but the state is also the “guardian of religion”.

Following a call by the “Mouch Bessif” (Arabic for “Not against our will”) group, protesters in central Tunis shouted that “Individual freedom is guaranteed by the constitution!”

One man openly smoking a cigarette – this is also deemed unacceptable during Ramadan daylight hours – held a placard in French that asked: “Why does it bother you if you fast and I eat?”

Demonstrators also protested against the arrest of people who were not fasting.

At the beginning of June, four men were sentenced to a month in jail for “public indecency” after eating outside during daylight.

“We’re protesting about lawsuits against non-fasters… Whoever wants to fast can fast, but whoever doesn’t want to shouldn’t have to,” demonstrator Karim Chair told AFP.

Tunisie : manifestation pour la liberté de manger en public durant le ramadan 长沙桑拿,长沙SPA,/I19yAkrMo8 #AFP pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/pGv8ubyapW

— Agence France-Presse (@afpfr) June 11, 2017

Since the 2011 revolution there have been calls for the right not to fast, but this was the first time such a demonstration has taken place in Tunisia.

“I fast but I came to join this protest and call with these people for respect for the freedom of belief and conscience,” said another demonstrator, Kamel Jalouli.

Most cafes and restaurants in Tunisia close during the day in Ramadan, and those that open do so discreetly.

As this year’s fasting month began, a media-oriented preacher went round cafes open during the day to record footage of clients and shame them in a move that was heavily criticised on social networks.

Tunisia Protest for Right NOT to fast during Ramadhan FOR #Freedom of Religion #Secular #Tunisia #Tunisie pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/oTgZ1PmdNb

— Bochra Tunisia (@sweetlovebo) June 11, 2017

France’s Macron headed for overwhelming parliamentary majority

Projections showed Macron widening his centrist revolution, with his Republique en Marche (Republic on the Move, REM) party and its ally MoDem tipped to win between 400 and 445 seats in the 577-member National Assembly in next Sunday’s second round.

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Such a share would give Macron one of the biggest parliamentary majorities for 60 years.

“France is back,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe declared triumphantly.

“For the past month, the president has shown confidence, willingness and daring in France and on the international stage,” Philippe said, calling the result a vindication of Macron’s “winning strategy”.

But the vote was marked by record low turnout of 49 percent, possibly reflecting fatalism among Macron’s opponents in the face of his seemingly unstoppable advance, experts said.

The right-wing Republicans – who had hoped to rebound from their humiliation in the presidential vote – were shown trailing in second with a predicted 70-130 seats while Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Front (FN) was forecast to garner between one and 10 seats.

The FN’s result showed the party is struggling to rebound from Le Pen’s bruising defeat by Macron in the presidential run-off.

 

France’s President Emmanuel Macron shakes hand with people.AAP

The FN’s deputy leader Florian Philippot admitted to “disappointment” and called on voters to “mobilise massively” for the second round.

The worst losses, however, were for the Socialists of Macron’s predecessor Francois Hollande, who are predicted to lose a staggering 200 seats.

The party’s chief Jean-Christophe Cambadelis and its failed presidential candidate Benoit Hamon both lost their seats.

Conceding that the party was facing “unprecedented” losses, Cambadelis appealed to voters to rally behind Macron’s rivals to avoid the president monopolising power.

Parliament risked having “no real oversight powers and no democratic debate worth speaking of,” he warned.

Former Republicans party leader Jean-Francois Cope said the results were “a disaster”.

“It’s the continuation of the real disaster that the presidential election was… we need to rebuild everything,” he told BFMTV.

Official final results released early Monday showed Macron’s one-year-old REM and MoDem winning 32.32 percent in the first round, ahead of the Republicans on 21.56 percent and the FN on 13.20 percent.

Few MPs were elected outright on Sunday.

If no candidate wins over 50 percent, the two top-placed contenders go into the second round — along with any other candidate who garners at least 12.5 percent of registered voters in the district.

France’s youngest-ever president at 39, Macron has gained praise for appointing a balanced cabinet that straddles the left-right divide and taking a leading role in Europe’s fight-back against US President Donald Trump on climate change.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Macron on a “great success” Sunday.

If the seat projections are confirmed next week, he will have a strong mandate to push through the ambitious labour, economic and social reforms he promised on the campaign trail.

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New faces

Macron, who had never held elected office before becoming president, will also have succeeded in ushering in a younger and more diverse parliament with more women and ethnic minorities.

His party fielded political novices in around 200 constituencies.

They include Marie Sara, a retired bullfighter, who went through to a runoff against FN stalwart Gilbert Collard in southern France, and star mathematician Cedric Villani.

Macron is also trying to bring in an era of cleaner politics. His government’s first bill proposes to ban lawmakers from employing family members or performing consultancy work while in office.

The measures follow the scandal that destroyed the presidential bid of Republicans candidate Francois Fillon, who has been charged over payments to his wife and two of his children for suspected fake jobs as parliamentary assistants. Fillon denies the charges.

Macron’s party has largely avoided controversy but one of his ministers who is running for re-election in Brittany, Richard Ferrand, is being probed over a property deal involving his girlfriend.

FN falls short

Forecasts show Le Pen’s party will struggle to win the 15 seats it would need to form a parliamentary group and help shape the assembly’s agenda.

The radical-left France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party of Jean-Luc Melenchon who finished fourth in the presidential race also fell short of expectations. His camp was tipped to only take 10-23 seats. 

Macron has urged voters to back his reform proposals including an overhaul of the rigid rules governing the job market, blamed by many economists for holding back growth.

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