Falkland Islands lie in Argentinian waters: UN

A UN decision that expands Argentina’s maritime territory in the South Atlantic Ocean to include the Falklands will be key in its dispute with Britain over the islands, the Argentine foreign ministry says.

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The Argentine foreign ministry says its waters had increased by 35 per cent or 1.7 million square kilometres.

Argentina lost a brief, bloody 1982 war with Britain after Argentine troops seized the South Atlantic archipelago that Latin Americans call the Malvinas.

The UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf sided with Argentina earlier this month, ratifying the country’s 2009 report fixing the limit of its territory at 320-560km from its coast.

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“This is a historic occasion for Argentina because we’ve made a huge leap in the demarcation of the exterior limit of our continental shelf,” Foreign Minister Susana Malcorra said. “This reaffirms our sovereignty rights over the resources of our continental shelf.”

Oil exploration is already pumping millions of dollars into the Falkland Islands economy. Many islanders remain concerned about Argentina’s claim as well as the potential for problems from rapid change brought by the new industry.

The UN commission’s finding included the caveat that there is an unresolved diplomatic dispute between Argentina and Britain over the islands.

The Falklands are internally self-governing, but Britain is responsible for its defence and foreign affairs. The British government says islanders cannot be forced to accept Argentine sovereignty against their will.

The Falkland Islands government said on Monday that it is seeking clarification from the British government on “what, if any, decisions have been made, and what implications there may be” for the territory in relation to the UN ruling.

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“As soon as we have any firm information we will make it available,” Mike Summers, chairman of the Legislative Assembly of the Falkland Islands, said in an emailed statement.

“Our understanding has always been that the UN would not make any determination on applications for continental shelf extension in areas where there are competing claims.”

There was no immediate comment from Britain’s government.

Two ministers embroiled in donations saga

There are calls for two federal government ministers to answer questions about their role in the NSW Liberal Party political donations controversy or stand aside.

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The NSW Electoral Commission is refusing to pay the Liberals more than $4.4 million until it reveals the secret donors who poured about $700,000 into the party’s coffers ahead of the 2011 state election.

Cabinet secretary Arthur Sinodinos was the party’s treasurer and finance director at the time.

Prime Minister Turnbull insists Senator Sinodinos has provided a detailed response to the matters.

“Arthur Sinodinos is a very important member of the cabinet,” Mr Turnbull told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday.

Senator Sinodinos’ lawyers have sought from the commission a retraction of parts of its summary of facts which the senator says used “loose language which could convey erroneous impressions”.

Meanwhile, Angus Taylor became the second federal government frontbencher to become tangled up in the controversy.

Fairfax Media claims the cities minister was a member of the party’s finance committee when he discussed using the controversial Free Enterprise Foundation to channel prohibited donations.

“Full compliance and disclosure is the standard I adhere to and will always adhere to,” Mr Taylor said in a statement, adding that the media report had left out other key facts.

Labor frontbencher Brendan O’Connor said the matters have not been fully resolved by the NSW anti-corruption watchdog.

“These are very serious questions of these two ministers but also a very serious question of character and judgment of Malcolm Turnbull,” Mr O’Connor told reporters in Melbourne.

He said the duo must answer questions candidly or if they refuse, Mr Turnbull must stand them down.

We don’t need the empire to give us any presents, Fidel Castro tells Obama

Fidel Castro has responded to President Barack Obama’s historic trip to Cuba with a long, bristling letter recounting the history of US aggression against Cuba, writing that “we don’t need the empire to give us any presents.

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The 1500-word letter in state media titled “Brother Obama” was Castro’s first response to the president’s three-day visit last week, in which the American president said he had come to bury the two countries’ history of Cold War hostility.

Obama did not meet with the 89-year-old Fidel Castro on the trip but met several times with his 84-year-old brother Raul Castro, the current Cuban president.

Obama’s visit was intended to build irreversible momentum behind his opening with Cuba and to convince the Cuban people and the Cuban government that a half-century of US attempts to overthrow the Communist government had ended, allowing Cuban to reform its economy and political system without the threat of US interference.

Fidel Castro writes of Obama: “My modest suggestion is that he reflects and doesn’t try to develop theories about Cuban politics.”

Castro, who led Cuba for decades before handing power to his brother in 2008, was legendary for his hours-long, all-encompassing speeches.

His letter reflects that style, presenting a sharp contrast with Obama’s tightly focused speech in Havana.

Castro goes over crucial sections of Obama’s speech line by line, with pointed critiques of perceived slights and insults, including Obama’s failure to give credit to indigenous Cubans and Castro’s prohibition of racial segregation after coming to power in 1959.

He returns to a review of a half-century of US aggression against Cuba. Those events include the decades-long US trade embargo against the island; the 1961 Bay of Pigs attack and the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner backed by exiles who took refuge in the US.

Castro ends with a dig at the Obama administration’s drive to increase business ties with Cuba. The Obama administration says re-establishing economic ties with the US will be a boon for Cuba, whose centrally planned economy has struggled to escape from over-dependence on imports and a chronic shortage of hard currency.

The focus on US-Cuba business ties appears to have particularly rankled Castro, who nationalised US companies after coming to power in 1959 and established the communist system into which his brother is now introducing gradual market-based reforms.

“No one should pretend that the people of this noble and selfless country will renounce its glory and its rights,” Fidel Castro wrote.

“We are capable of producing the food and material wealth that we need with with work and intelligence of our people.”

 

Barba in Origin reckoning: Walters

Even Ben Barba said he might never reach his stellar best form again.

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But new Queensland coach Kevin Walters believes the Cronulla fullback is now the closest he’s been to reproducing that sizzling play that earned him the Dally M Medal in 2012.

And it could earn him a Maroons State of Origin debut, with Walters on Tuesday naming Barba one of three contenders to replace injured fullback Billy Slater this season.

Greg Inglis remains the frontrunner, with Darius Boyd also a strong option, however Barba’s early-season NRL form has put him in contention.

“He (Barba) is back to somewhere near what he was showing in 2012,” said Walters.

“Obviously he’s been involved in our different emerging programs over the years. Selectors are certainly aware of Ben’s talents.

“It was a good performance from him again (against Melbourne on Monday), so that’s good signs from him and good signs for Queensland as well.”

So impressed has Walters been with Barba’s opening month that the former Canterbury star could also be in contention to oust 2015 supersub and North Queensland grand final hero Michael Morgan from the bench.

Morgan played all three games in last year’s series, replacing previous utility Daly Cherry-Evans.

“(Barba’s) got the x-factor when he comes into those sorts of games. It’s worked well for Queensland in the past to have someone of his calibre on the bench,” Walters said.

“Michael Morgan’s done a terrific job there for Queensland over the past couple of years. It depends on who’s available for June 1. We’re still several weeks away from that.”

The Maroons are well-served for fullback candidates across the NRL, with Inglis, Boyd, Dane Gagai and Barba all currently wearing the No.1 for their respective clubs.

However skipper Cameron Smith said Inglis deserved first crack in an Origin positional shift from centre to No.1.

“I think going off game three last year, you’d have to consider Greg to be the fullback,” he said.

“Given Greg’s playing fullback for his club each week and he’s been quite outstanding when he’s played there for us in the past, you’d lean towards Greg being our fullback at this stage.”

Queensland name their side for game one after round 11.

No concerns over Duncan report: Scott

Geelong coach Chris Scott is confident Mitch Duncan will have no case to answer for a flying elbow that could sideline Hawthorn skipper Luke Hodge with a broken arm.

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Duncan was reported for the bump in the final term of Monday’s 30-point win over the Hawks, with Hodge leaving the field to have ice applied to his right forearm after the clash.

Despite the possible consequences for Hodge, Scott was confident the AFL match review panel would throw out the report.

“I’ll preface what I’m about to say by saying that we haven’t looked at it exhaustively, but we’ve got no concerns over that – no concerns at all,” Scott told reporters immediately after the game.

“In fact, if you asked Hodgey, I think he would say that he should have no concerns either.

“If that’s reportable, Luke Hodge would have been reported 50 times in his career.”

Hodge went straight from the MCG to hospital for X-rays and will consult with club doctors on Tuesday to decide if surgery is necessary.

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson wasn’t optimistic Hodge would get a favourable report from his medical staff.

“I would suggest it doesn’t look too good because he is a pretty fierce warrior and he doesn’t usually come off the ground,” Clarkson said.

“He was icing up after the game and was pretty sore, so we’ll just wait and see, but he is probably likely to miss a bit of footy, I reckon.

“Hopefully it’s not (broken) because if it’s not broken he’ll play next week, but as I said, he doesn’t usually come off the ground for an injury like that, so it must be pretty sore.”

Key facts in FBI need to crack iPhone

FACTS OF THE FBI’S STAND-OFF WITH APPLE:

TIMELINE OF EVENTS

Dec 2: Gunman Syed Rizwan Farook and wife Tashfeen Malik shot dead by police after they kill 14 people in San Bernardino, California

– iPhone found in vehicle day after shooting

– FBI needs to access data on Farook’s work iPhone; Apple refuses

Feb 17: US magistrate Sheri Pym of California orders Apple to provide FBI with software to help hack into Farook’s work-issued iPhone

– Order touches off debate pitting digital privacy rights against national security concerns

– Apple and other tech companies argue they feel increasing need to protect customers’ data from hackers and unfriendly intruders

– Police and government authorities warn encryption and data-protection measures make it more difficult for investigators to track criminals and dangerous extremists

March 21: Prosecutors ask for postponement day before trial so they could test potential solution brought by third party

March 28: FBI says it’s cracked the phone

– The encrypted phone was protected by passcode including two security protocols: a time delay and self-destruct feature that erases the phone’s data after 10 tries

– With those features removed, the FBI said it could break into the phone in 26 minutes

– An official says method used to unlock the phone appears to work on the iPhone 5C operating a version of iOS 9

– Withdrawal of court process takes away Apple’s ability to legally request details on the method the FBI used.

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IMPORTANT QUESTIONS UNANSWERED

– Who showed the FBI how to break into iPhones?

– How did they bypass the security features that Apple has invested millions of dollars to build into its flagship product?

– Are newer iPhones vulnerable to the same hacking technique?

– Will the FBI share its information with scores of state and local police agencies that said they also need to break into the iPhones of criminal suspects?

– Will the FBI reveal to Apple how it broke its security?

– Did the FBI find anything useful on the iPhone?

Brisbane mum jailed for child cruelty

A Queensland mother who cruelly left her two young sons alone in faecal-covered squalor will spend at least four months behind bars.

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Brisbane’s District Court heard on Tuesday that neighbours called police in May 2014 after they saw the woman’s two-year-old standing naked on a window sill after 7am one morning and screaming as he banged against the glass.

The court heard the then-20-year-old single mother arrived home in a taxi before police could arrive – wearing a black dress and high heels, and with her hair and make-up done – and lied to the officers that the children had been supervised by family.

Prosecutor Caroline Marco said neighbours called police the next day after the dirty toddler was again seen screaming and naked at the window for hours.

Ms Marco said the four-year-old answered the door covered in faeces and wearing only a soiled nappy but was unable to open the security screen so officers forced their way in.

Inside they found bags of rotting garbage, urine-soaked mattresses with no bedding as well as food and faeces on the ground in the kitchen while the mother was asleep in bed, the court heard.

Ms Marco said the mother was hostile towards the officers but complied with their order to bath the children, who were then dressed in the least-soiled clothes available because there were no clean ones or shoes.

The court heard medical examinations revealed both children were suffering from chronic diarrhoea about four to five times a day, had disturbed eating behaviours including eating off the floor and were experiencing delays in their development.

Defence lawyer Catherine Cuthbert said the mother did not have a mental illness at the time of the offending but remained psychologically vulnerable and was now being treated for anxiety and depression.

Justice Tony Moynihan said leaving the children in unhygienic conditions when the mother was not deprived of the capacity to care for them was “cruel”.

The now-22-year-old pleaded guilty to four charges of cruelty and negligence and broke down in tears as she was sentenced to 12 months’ jail, of which she must serve at least four months before eligible for parole.

Both children are now safe in the care of their maternal grandmother and the Department of Child Protection is working towards reunification with the mother.

VR headset Oculus Rift launches

The first consumer-ready Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset has been delivered and reviewers got their first taste.

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The initial feedback: It’s a beautiful, wonderful device that immerses you, yet it still has a way to go.

Oculus founder Palmer Luckey hand-delivered the first Rift to software developer Ross Martin in Anchorage, Alaska, on Saturday kicking off a new era in virtual reality by putting the most powerful VR device yet into a consumer’s hands.

Martin, who had never tried VR before, spent a few hours on the Rift on Monday morning. He watched a short movie, played a game and explored a virtual environment that included an up-close encounter with a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

“I couldn’t stop saying, ‘Wow,”‘ said Martin, a 33-year-old web developer. But he said that he felt a touch of nausea at times and that the resolution could be better.

“If you’re a gamer, this is right up your alley,” he said. “You’re going to be able to forgive that.”

Oculus has said it’s sending the Rift to its first Kickstarter backers first, followed by those who ordered one in January for $US600 ($A795.44), or at least $US1,500 with a high-end personal computer included. Oculus, which began crowd-funding through Kickstarter in August 2012, was acquired by Facebook for $US2 billion in 2014 and has shipped two developer versions so far.

Expectations for a consumer version have been high. There’s a backlog of orders and if you order now, you can expect delivery in July. It’s not clear, though, how many units Oculus made for the first round – and whether there will ultimately be much demand beyond gamers and hard-core technologists.

Early reviews by journalists have been mixed.

Steven Tweedie of Business Insider was glowingly positive in his review of the Rift, relishing the greater presence he felt in both games and narrative stories.

“Everything feels like it means more: there’s a heightened connection to characters, both in games and short films, and the action carries weight,” he wrote.

But he noted its hefty price tag “is undoubtedly the biggest thing keeping more people from getting the chance to try virtual reality.”

Time’s Lisa Eadicicco called the Rift “expensive, complicated, and totally wonderful.” She added, “It’s brilliant. It’s fascinating. It’s not perfect, but it’s only getting started.”

Several reviewers, including IGN’s Dan Stapleton, wrote that because the Rift doesn’t come with controllers that allow for separate actions by each hand, it will suffer compared with the HTC Vive, which will have such controllers included when it comes out next month. Oculus expects its Touch controllers to come out later this year.

Wired reviewer Peter Rubin similarly bemoaned the lack of games using Touch.

Nathan Olivarez-Giles of The Wall Street Journal wasn’t wowed by all the 30 games that were available at launch.

And he wrote that nausea, a consistent complaint among VR headset users, was real.

“When I pushed myself to play Valkyrie for as long as 45 minutes non stop, I took aspirin to fight off a headache.”

Matildas star Kyah Simon hoping to inspire Indigenous girls

Kyah Simon is in some of the best form of her life having top scored in Australia’s successful Rio Olympic qualifying campaign earlier this month.

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Ms Simon was inspired to pursue a career in professional sport after watching fellow indigenous athlete Cathy Freeman storm to 400 metres gold at the Sydney Olympics.

And now she’s hoping to play a key part in the Matildas Rio adventure.

John Baldock spoke with Simon about her inspirations, and aspirations in what could be the biggest year of her young life.

“Logarzo releasing De Vanna in behind already in the opening minute, and its back off the post and in ! From who else following up Kyah Simon, Australia strike in the opening minute. They are red hot in Japan.”

At just 24 years of age Kyah Simon set the Matildas recent Olympic campaign alight. A stellar performance saw her score four goals including a stunning hatrick against Vietnam as Australia cruised through the tournament undefeated.

And she’s proud of her involvement with the team.

“We beat some of the best countries in the world and we’re now number one in Asia, heading to Rio Olympics this year is a dream come true for every single one of the Matildas.”

Earlier in the year a stand-off over pay and conditions saw the team stand together to fight for a better deal.

They got one, and that experience stood them in good stead.

Simon believes the off-field fighting helped them achieve what they did on it.

“I think it helped with the unity of the group the team morale. I’ve never been part of a group of girls that are so gelled so well together, get along so well and I think that’s reflected in our results and the way that we play.”

After the Matildas secured a place at the Rio Olympics, the team received a video message of congratulations from none other than Simon’s biggest inspiration as a youngster Cathy Freeman.

She was just 8 years old when Freeman stormed to victory at the Sydney Olympics and the memory of that night was an important part of her becoming the star she has become today.

“Obviously watching a strong indigenous woman like Cathy Freeman be so successful and pretty much carry the weight of Australia on her shoulders was a memorable moment for me and it brought tears to my eyes and I’ll never forget that.”

And Simon has already started hosting training camps for youngsters in a bid to inspire the next generation.

And its something she’s committed to.

“Yeah I would like to obviously think that I could make that same impact that Cathy had on my life to other young girls out there and I’m hoping through my football but also being a positive role model off the pitch I can really help pave the way and obviously be a positive role model for those girls.”

Between now and the Rio Games, Simon is playing in the United States with the Boston Breakers.

The Matildas Coach is Alen Stajcic and he hopes she’ll fine tune her game in that environment.

“She’s playing in America in the next couple of months so that’s another opportunity to improve even more. So the more football she gets and the more quality football, I can see her being one of the real stars of international football over the coming years.”

And if she makes the impact those in the know believe she is capable of, Simon will dedicate success at the Rio Olympics to her family, friends and all those that care about women’s sport.

“It would be a proud moment for me to obviously show them that it was all worthwhile, it would be a memorable moment and I just can’t wait to get over to Rio.”

Nor can her growing army of fans, that believe Australia may well be celebrating with a medal come the final of the women’s football competition.

 

 

No guns allowed at Republican convention: US Secret Service

The Secret Service said on Monday it has the authority to preclude guns from sites visited by the people it protects such as US presidential candidates, presidents and former presidents.

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This quashes the hopes of more than 45,000 people who have signed a petition saying attendees should be allowed to bring firearms.

“Only authorised law enforcement personnel working in conjunction with the Secret Service for a particular event may carry a firearm inside of the protected site,” agency spokesman Robert Hoback said in a statement.

“Individuals determined to be carrying firearms will not be allowed past a predetermined outer perimeter checkpoint, regardless of whether they possess a ticket to the event,” he said.

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A petition on change长沙楼凤, called for firearms to be allowed into the Quicken Loans Arena during the convention in Ohio, a state that allows guns to be carried openly in public.

It had drawn 45,811 supporters by Monday afternoon.

The arena’s rules forbid firearms or other weapons, which the petition says is a “direct affront” to the US Constitution’s Second Amendment right to bear arms.

It called Cleveland one of the most dangerous US cities.

“With this irresponsible and hypocritical act of selecting a ‘gun-free zone’ for the convention, the RNC has placed its members, delegates, candidates and all US citizens in grave danger,” it said.

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The petition called for five actions to enable gun owners to carry their weapons into the venue.

One of those recommendations was for Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican presidential candidate, to use his executive authority to override the arena’s decision to be a “gun-free zone.”

The Kasich campaign has not commented on the open-carry petition.

The Republican convention may be contested if front-runner Donald Trump does not receive enough delegates to clinch his party’s nomination for the November 8 presidential election.

Trump, whose rallies have been punctuated by protesters, and sometimes clashes, has warned there would be “riots” if he is denied the nomination.