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NSW Man Jailed Over 500Kg Cocaine Plot

The Australian representative in a sophisticated international syndicate which plotted to smuggle 500 kilograms of cocaine into the country has been jailed for at least 18 years. Darren John Mohr was motivated by money and expected to receive millions of dollars for his significant role in the plot, Justice Helen Wilson said. The former Bondi cafe owner and heavy vehicle mechanic was found guilty of conspiring to import the cocaine from Chile to Australia in 2016. In the NSW Supreme Court on July 3, Justice Wilson jailed the 46-year-old for 32 years with a non-parole period of 18 years. “This was an extremely serious offence that Mohr entered into for no better reason than the lure of money and the prestige and lifestyle money could buy him,” she said. The cocaine was valued at between $106 million and $150 million. Police waited for the drug-laden vessel whenRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] The Epoch Times [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

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Watchdog Clears Jackie Trad of Corruption, but Warns of Worrying and Disappointing Practices

Queenslands Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) has found the states deputy premier did not interfere in the recruitment process of a new college in Brisbane, an allegation that forced the leader to step down from her role in early May. The CCC did however find the actions of department officials created a “corruption risk.” The CCC began its investigation into former Deputy Premier Jackie Trad on Dec. 19, 2019, over allegations she interfered in the Department of Educations recruitment of a principal for the newly built Inner City South State Secondary College in Brisbane. Trad stepped down from her role as deputy premier on May 8 as the investigation was ongoing. The controversy centred around the selection of a new principal for the college. A candidate was chosen by a selection panel. Afterward a meeting was arranged with Trad. Later the position was opened again and the selection process for a new principal began. Rafael Nadal of Spain and Deputy Premier of Queensland Jacki..

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Victoria Recorded 77 New COVID-19 Cases on July 2

Increased community transmission and confirmed student-to-student transmission could mean home learning for Melbournes COVID-19 hot spots after the school holidays. “I will give as much notice as I can around the resumption of school in those restricted postcodes,” he said on July 2. “I want to see both that were turning transmission around but also that we dont have such levels of community transmission, with students becoming infected, that our resourcing is all focused on response to cases in schools.” Also on Thursday, the state government confirmed veteran judge Jennifer Coate will lead the inquiry into Victorias disastrous hotel quarantine program. The program is on hold for a fortnight and Corrections Victoria is taking over its operation from private security. Premier Daniel Andrews on Wednesday said genomic sequencing had traced a big proportion of coronavirus cases to breaches in hotels hosting returned travellers. The inquiry will report its findings by September 25. ..

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Over 7.5 Tonnes of Cocaine Seized in Colombia-US Joint Operation

BOGOTA—Colombia and the United States seized over 7.5 tonnes of cocaine worth $286 million in a joint operation, the Colombian government said on Wednesday. The narcotics were mixed with a construction product and were being transported between the Colombian port city of Cartagena and Panama, the government said in a statement. The drugs “belonged to drug trafficking structures associated with the Gulf Clan organized armed group,” it said, and were to be received by other criminal groups in Central America and Europe. Potential production of pure cocaine hydrochloride in Colombia rose 1.5 percent last year to 1,137 metric tonnes, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime said last month, even as the areas planted with primary ingredient coca decreased. Despite decades of anti-narcotics efforts, Colombia remains one of the worlds top cocaine producers. Leftist rebRead More – Source [contf] [contfnew] The Epoch Times [contfnewc] [contfnewc]

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UK Regulator Urges Reforms to Curb Google, Facebook Ad Power

LONDON—British regulators want new rules to foster competition in digital advertising markets and rein in the industrys dominant players, Google and Facebook. The Competition and Markets Authority took aim at the U.S. tech giants in a report on July 1 that recommends the British government adopt a new regulatory approach to governing big digital platforms making money from online ads. The authority said it was concerned that the two companies have developed “such unassailable market positions” that rivals cant compete on equal terms, resulting in higher prices for hotels, flights, electronics, insurance, and other goods and services that are heavily advertised online. Google and Facebook accounted for about 80 percent of the 14 billions pounds ($17 billion) earned by the UKs digital ad industry last year, the authority said. Google controls more than 90 percent of the UKs 7.3 billion pound search advertising market while Facebook has more than half of its 5.5 billion pound display a..

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Hundreds of Elephants Found Dead in Botswana in Mysterious Mass Die-Off

Hundreds of elephants in northern Botswana have mysteriously died over the last two months in what experts are describing as a “conservation disaster.” Since early May, the carcasses of more than 350 elephants have been spotted in the Okavango Delta—the cause of their deaths, unknown. Some 70 percent of the deaths were clustered around waterholes, local sources told The Guardian. “This is a mass die-off on a level that hasnt been seen in a very, very long time,” Dr. Niall McCann, the director of conservation at UK-based charity National Park Rescue, told the news outlet. “Outside of drought, I dont know of a die-off that has been this significant.” The first deaths were reported at the start of May, when 169 elephant carcasses were spotted in the northwestern wetland area by local conversationists, who then alerted the government. “They spotted 169 in a three-hour flight,” McCann told the BBC. “To be able to see and count that many in a three-hour flight was extraordinary. A month ..

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Airbus Hints at Compromise as Governments Fret Over Job Cuts

TOULOUSE/BERLIN—Europes Airbus left the door open, on July 1, to scaling back its planned 15,000 job cuts in exchange for government-funded labour schemes and research, as its coronavirus restructuring stoked political and union alarm. Europes largest aerospace group plans to cut 11 percent of its global workforce, after a 40 percent slump in its 55 billion euro ($61.8 billion) jet business, sparking anxiety about compulsory redundancies in France, Germany, Spain, and Britain. Employees attend a general meeting with union representatives following Airbuss announcement to cut 15,000 jobs in order to survive the coronavirus crisis within a year, outside the factory of Stelia Aerospace, a subsidiary of Airbus, in Meaulte, France, on July 2, 2020. (Pascal Rossignol/Reuters) France urged Airbus to make as few forced layoffs as possible, while French and German unions said compulsory cuts at the European planemaker were a “red line.” “The state urges Airbus to ensure that there are as fe..

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Atlantic Canada Prepares to Open Bubble

Atlantic Canadians are closely eyeing travel requirements and coronavirus case numbers across the region as the four provinces prepare to open their borders to their neighbours Friday, an experiment thats prompted excitement and anxiety among residents. COVID-19 cases in the region have dwindled in recent weeks, and the four provinces have agreed to waive isolation requirements among the group to boost their economies and offer social support to residents. While many tourism operators and those missing family and friends celebrated the news, others have criticized the bubble over fears that the virus will rebound. An online petition asking Newfoundland and Labrador to keep its borders closed has generated nearly 15,000 signatures this week. “Our province has been slowly healing and going back to normal, we want to keep it that way,” the petition reads. “This is not the time.” Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, chief medical officer of health, addressed fears that the province is moving too fa..

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Increased Risk of Arbitrary Detention: Canada Updates Travel Advisory for Hong Kong

Draconian legislation imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing sparks international outcry The federal government has updated its travel advisory for Hong Kong to warn Canadians that it may be riskier to travel to the region now that the controversial national security law imposed by Beijing has come into effect. “National security legislation for Hong Kong came into effect on July 1, 2020. You may be at increased risk of arbitrary detention on national security grounds and possible extradition to mainland China,” says a statement on Travel Canadas website. The agency also warns Canadians to “exercise a high degree of caution” in Hong Kong, since there are “ongoing large-scale demonstrations.” “Police have often reacted more swiftly and severely to unauthorized protests. They have used tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition as crowd control measures,” says the advisory. The national security law went into effect at midnight on June 30 after being passed by Chinas rubber-stamp legisla..

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Hong Kong Authorities Ban Popular Protest Slogan in Latest Clampdown on Free Speech

“Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times,” one of the most well-known protest chants since mass Hong Kong demonstrations ignited in 2019, has now been banned, as the local government has deemed it a violation of the newly imposed national security law. The Hong Kong government said in a July 2 statement that the slogan is now considered illegal, as it connotes the idea of “Hong Kong independence, or separating the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) from the Peoples Republic of China, altering the legal status of the HKSAR, or subverting the State power.” The Hong Kong government said it made the decision because protesters “displayed or possessed items” containing the phrase. “The HKSAR Government strongly condemns any acts which challenge the sovereignty, unification, and territorial integrity of the Peoples Republic of China,” according to the statement released late Thursday night. Read MoreBeijing Imposes Maximum Penalties of Life Imprisonment in Security La..

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