Spinning finger injury no sweat for Lyon

The last time Nathan Lyon suffered a cracked callus on his spinning finger in India, it led to a career-best haul of 7-94 in Delhi.

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As such Lyon isn’t overly worried about the injury he is nursing ahead of the third Test, which starts in Ranchi on Thursday.

Lyon is expected to be on restricted duties during the squad’s training sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, ensuring his dinged-up digit is given the best possible chance to recover.

The offspinner grabbed a record-breaking haul of 8-50 in the first innings of the second Test, but failed to conjure a single wicket as India seized control of the clash in their second dig. The hosts went on to level the series with a 75-run win.

Bowling coach David Saker noted last week the niggle clearly “impacted the way” Lyon bowled in India’s second innings.

But the tweaker, who needs eight more Test scalps to surpass Richie Benaud’s career haul of 248 wickets, insists he will be ready to turn the ball as per normal in Ranchi.

“I’ve bowled a lot of balls over the summer and it usually happens once or twice a year,” Lyon said of the setback.

“The last time I was here, the same thing happened in the third Test and I was able to play three days later.

“So I’m more than confident in turning out for the next Test.”

Lyon had an extended batting session in the nets on Sunday but didn’t roll the arm over.

The most experienced member of the touring squad isn’t expected to bowl much in the coming days, but team management say he is in no doubt for the third Test.

“It was pretty painful there for a bit. And you can’t bowl with tape on, there’s rules and laws out there,” Lyon said, having repeatedly scuttled off the field for treatment during India’s second innings in Bangalore.

“I’m able to bowl cross-seam and stuff, so I can still try to spin it.

“But for variations and trying to get drift and drop … it does impede it a little bit.

“But we’ve gone through that now and moved on from the second Test.”

The injury cloud is far from ideal for the tourists, who already have to make two changes to their XI because of series-ending injuries to Mitchell Starc and Mitch Marsh.

Labor on track to win 41 of 59 WA seats

Labor remains on track to win 41 seats in WA’s 59-seat parliament after Saturday’s landslide election win.

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Seven seats are in the balance including those of Liberal leadership hopeful Joe Francis, who must win his Jandakot seat first, and Nationals leader Brendon Grylls in Pilbara.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation looks like it will get a second upper house seat despite polling well below expectations with 4.7 per cent across the board.

Labor’s task of 10 seats and a 10 per cent swing to win government was considered extremely difficult, but it has already picked up at least 16 seats, including nearly all of the Perth suburban seats identified as battleground mortgage belt areas.

There was a 16 per cent swing against former premier Colin Barnett’s Liberals, a loss of about one third of their primary vote.

Labor was ahead in another five Liberal-held seats, including the metropolitan seats Jandakot, Joondalup and Kingsley, and rural Murray-Wellington south of Perth and Pilbara in the north, as the electoral commission resumed counting votes on Monday.

In regional Geraldton, sitting Liberal Ian Blayney was slightly ahead of Labor’s Lara Dalton, while Liberal Kyran O’Donnell had a small lead over sitting Nationals MP Tony Crook in Kalgoorlie.

The shape of the previously Liberal-National dominated 59-seat parliament is set to be 41 seats to Labor, the Liberals’ presence will fall from 31 to 13 and the Nationals from seven to five.

Several government ministers lost their seats, including Health Minister John Day, Environment Minister Albert Jacob and Local Government Minister Paul Miles with Child Protection Minister Andrea Mitchell trailing Labor.

One Nation leader Colin Tincknell is assured of a seat in the upper house and the party may get a second in the legislative council, according to ABC election analyst Antony Green.

The biggest swing was 23.4 per cent in Bunbury, where former senior public servant Don Punch turned a previously safe Liberal seat into a safe Labor one.

The 10 Perth metropolitan seats the Liberals still hold are mostly in Perth’s more affluent western suburbs, such as Mr Barnett’s Cottesloe and deputy leader Liza Harvey’s Scarborough.

The upper house is still to be sorted, including the effect of the preference deals among micro parties and whether the Fluoride Free WA party, which opposes water fluoridation, will get a seat.

However Mr Green is predicting a more balanced upper than lower house, with WA Labor to win 14 seats, the Liberal Party 10, the Nationals four and the Greens a chance to increase their representation from two to three seats.

One Nation is set to do no better than the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party, which are set to win two seats each and the Liberal Democrats could win one.

Machete attacker denies he meant to kill

Muhumed Samow Ali split a woman’s head with a machete after deliberately smashing his car into hers and was stopped from further attacking her by a man with a wheelie bin.

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But he has told his Brisbane Supreme Court trial he didn’t mean to kill her in the domestic attack, only to harm her.

Ali has pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and dangerous driving over the September 2015 assault, but not guilty to attempted murder.

He had known his victim for about three years, having met her in Townsville after she arrived from Somalia in 2011.

The court heard he would visit the woman on weekends but around July 2015, when both lived at separate homes in Brisbane, he said he didn’t want to see her anymore.

However, on the morning of September 10, he went to the woman’s Wacol street address and, as she was driving home, smashed his car into hers.

“(She) got out of her car, she left one of her shoes behind in her haste, she left the engine running and she ran screaming towards houses calling for help,” Crown prosecutor Sarah Farnden told the jury.

The woman told the court she then saw Ali take a large knife from the boot of his car.

“I tried to run behind him,” she said, giving evidence through a Somali interpreter, on Monday.

Brandishing the weapon, Ali chased her, cornered her and wielded his machete.

“He hit me seven times and when he hit me the seventh time … that’s when I fell,” she said.

The woman was struck with the blade across the back of the head and knocked to the ground, suffering a six-centimetre cut that went down to the skull, the jury heard.

As she lay in the middle of the road, a neighbour ran to help the crying woman.

Clinton Holgate said it was too dangerous to treat her so he grabbed a nearby wheelie bin and used it to fend off Ali.

Other residents then took the woman into their garage and kept her safe until emergency services arrived.

Most of the facts of the trial are not disputed, but the defence says Ali used the dull edge of the blade in a bid to injure, but not kill.

Defence lawyer Ben Power told the jury they had been assigned to a difficult case.

“My client has pleaded guilty to all of the physical actions,” he said.

“The charges of attempted murder and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm are a step beyond his physical actions and their consequences.”

Doctors, police and five eye-witnesses are set to give evidence as the trial continues before Justice Roslyn Atkinson.

Police boo and heckle WA Premier

West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has been booed and heckled in front of Parliament House by hundreds of police officers, who are demanding a higher pay rise.

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Officers are angry that Labor has broken an election promise to stick to the previous Coalition government’s 1.5 per cent wage deal for all public servants.

Mr McGowan announced in May that public servants’ pay increases will be capped at $1000 a year, because the state budget was in a dire state with the highest debt in the nation.

“If we do anything different, all we’re doing is borrowing money so that yourselves, your children and grandchildren will have even more debt to pay off into the future,” he told the rally.

He was booed, with some police shouting out that the state’s financial problems were not their fault and pointing out Labor party employees recently got a 9.5 per cent pay rise over three years, although that was not taxpayer-funded.

People at the rally held placards depicting bloody images of police injuries, including an officer who was recently struck with a samurai sword, fracturing his skull.

The government has leaked details about the confidential negotiations showing the union has asked for a 6.5 per cent pay rise over two years.

Union president George Tilbury said that was merely its initial counter offer at the start of negotiations months ago but he did think police deserved a higher pay rise than the $1,000 the rest of the public sector was getting.

“The job we do is difficult and dangerous, police officers put their lives on the line, they are the only public servants that have to act when an offence is committed whether they witness it on or off duty,” he said.

The union has threatened to launch a third phase of industrial action on top of measures already taken that will hit the government’s hip pocket, such as issuing cautions rather than fines for minor offences, but strike action is not being considered.

WA’s public servants, including its police officers, are the best paid in the country dating back to the mining boom.

Suns to start search for Eade replacement

Gold Coast assistant coach Dean Solomon is the best man to lead the Suns this weekend, but chief executive Mark Evans says the AFL club has not given a thought to who will coach them beyond this season.

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Speaking on Tuesday as they announced the sacking of Rodney Eade, Evans and club chairman Tony Cochrane were adamant they had not started the search for his replacement.

Current AFL assistant coaches Stuart Dew (Sydney), John Barker (Carlton) and Brett Ratten (Hawthorn) are among the contenders being thrown up to take over from Eade.

Admitting there was an “experience vacuum” at the club, Cochrane would not be drawn on whether they would attempt to lure a veteran coach or take a chance on someone new.

“We honestly have not considered a replacement, I promise you we have not spent a known second of time considering who his replacement may be,” Cochrane said.

Cochrane said the board unanimously endorsed the decision to part ways with Eade after Evans presented the findings from an ongoing review on Monday.

Solomon will coach the side for the remaining three games of the season, Eade closing with 16 wins from 63 games to his name since arriving on the Gold Coast at the start of the 2015 season.

“I haven’t spoken to anybody about being senior coach of Gold Coast Suns for next year,” Evans said.

“He (Solomon) has that level of respect for them and they have that for him and that makes him quite clearly the best person to galvanise what we need to do now.”

Eade told the Herald Sun that he was disappointed, but accepted the decision.

“I’m too experienced and been through a lot to be bitter – bitter is not an emotion,” he said.

The remainder of the football department is under serious examination following another underwhelming season, in which the Suns sit 15th.

The Suns sacked inaugural coach Guy McKenna at the end of the 2014 season, bringing in Eade from Collingwood where he was an assistant to Nathan Buckley.

While the Suns have struggled and never finished higher than 12th in six seasons, fellow expansion side Greater Western Sydney have excelled in the past two years, making the preliminary finals last year and sitting second in 2017.

Evans indicated there could be more changes as they seek to emulate the Giants’ rise.

“Rodney took us to a level and now we’ve decided it’s time to have a change of senior coach to go to the next level,” he said.

“Of course we’ll get the best coach to take us to that.”

Adding to the Suns’s woes, co-captain Tom Lynch will miss the last three games of the season with a knee injury.

Tensions high as Kenyans vote in election ‘too close to call’

President Uhuru Kenyatta is seeking a second and final term in office and is facing his long-time rival, Raila Odinga.

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The election has already been subject to violence and claims of vote-rigging.

Opposition Leader Raila Odinga says a lack of high-speed mobile phone coverage in some areas means the electronic voting system being used could prove unreliable.

“We are saying that the law says Kenyans must cast their ballots through the electronic voting system which is called EVID, Electronic Voter Identification Devices, and we have said that if that system does not work, this vote count cannot go on. This is what we have said to our supporters everywhere, because what was going to happen was not valid. We are saying that if this happens, that polling station should be shut down until the changes are made. That is the law.”

Kenya’s electoral authority, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, says it will use satellite phones to transmit electoral results in areas without 3G or 4G mobile coverage.

The Commission’s chairman is Wafula Chebukati.

“We wish to assure you all that we have taken steps to ensure that the results are electronically transmitted from all the polling stations through satellite transmission. We have provided satellite capability to all the 290 tallying centres from where presiding officers will take their results for transmission in any event.”

A computerised voting system used in the 2013 election failed, forcing the manual counting of votes.

Afterwards Mr Odinga turned to the courts, alleging electoral fraud but lost his case.

In 2007, more than 1,100 Kenyans died and 600,000 were displaced after elections results were disputed – an outcome neither candidate wants repeated.

President Kenyatta has made a televised address urging Kenyans to respect the result and not resort to violence.

“No matter the result of this election, we must stand together as one people. Above all, we must reject intimidation. We must reject violence or any attempt to divide us.”

The opposition also says the deployment of at least 150,000 members of the security forces is designed to intimidate voters, an accusation rejected by Kenya’s Interior Minister, Fred Matiangi.

“Our security forces are not at the polling stations to hurt the people, they are there to facilitate our people, they are there to ensure the citizens of this nation enjoy, exercise and they are free to do so as their democratic right in terms of voting.”

The lead-up to the election was marred by violence with an election official in charge of the computerised voting system, Chris Msando, tortured and strangled to death.

There are eight presidential candidates and if there’s no outright winner, a run-off election will be held between the top two candidates.

 

Opening salvo set for Swift ‘grope’ trial

Lawyers on both sides of a trial pitting pop star Taylor Swift against a Colorado radio personality she accused of groping her are expected to deliver opening statements to jurors hearing the case in a federal courtroom in Denver.

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The process of selecting an eight-member jury was due to conclude early on Tuesday, with presentations to follow from attorneys for the 27-year-old singer and David Mueller, who lost his job at Denver radio station KYGO-FM over Swift’s allegation.

Mueller, 55, says he was falsely accused.

US District Judge William Martinez and lawyers for the two parties spent Monday quizzing members of the jury pool to detect any bias, asking, for example, if any were fans of Swift or regular listeners of KYGO.

Swift, one of America’s top-selling recording stars, attended Monday’s proceedings, turning to face the prospective jurors when introduced by the judge, then taking notes on a pad of paper during the selection process.

She made it into the courtroom without being spotted by the media outside the downtown Denver courthouse. Her mother, Andrea Swift, was also present. The singer is expected to take the witness stand during the trial.

The litigation centres on her allegations that Mueller slipped his hand under her dress and grabbed her bare buttocks as the two posed during a meet-and-greet session before a June 2013 concert in Denver.

“It was not an accident, it was completely intentional, and I have never been so sure of anything in my life,” Swift said in a deposition.

Mueller sued first, saying Swift fabricated the allegation and pressured station management to oust him from his $US150,000-per-year job.

His case cites tort claims of interference with contractual obligations and prospective business relations.

His lawsuit denies anything inappropriate occurred during the brief backstage encounter in which he and his girlfriend stood on either side of the pop star.

Swift countersued for assault and battery, and the two civil complaints were merged for trial. In court filings, Swift said her representatives informed KYGO management about the incident, but she did not demand Mueller be fired.

Swift, one of the most successful contemporary music artists, earned $US170 million between June 2015 and June 2016, following a world tour and her best-selling 1989 album, Forbes Magazine said.

Bird-Smith wants walk medal in London

Australian walker Dane Bird-Smith has every intention of leaving the world championships in London with another medal to add to the bronze he won in the 20km last year in Rio.

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And this time, he wants to ensure his coach and father is actually on hand if and when it’s draped around his neck.

Dave Smith was a walker with enough ability to compete at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics, although he did not reach the heights of his son.

But Smith inadvertently upstaged Bird-Smith at the worst possible moment in Rio last year.

Smith was arrested by military police as he tried to get through a security checkpoint without the necessary pass so he could celebrate with his son at the finish line of the 20km race.

He was eventually released after paying a $3000 fine, but not before missing the medals ceremony.

“He was pretty devastated as you would be because we’d been working towards this for so long,” said the 25-year-old Bird-Smith.

“For his journey as well as an Olympian he knows how much it means and there was this moment that he was so disappointed that he was not able to be there for me.

“But I came straight in and said ‘that moment getting that medal wasn’t the moment that I needed you for’.

“You were there for me every other day, every time we were out rain, hail or shine.”

Jared Tallent has long been the public face of Australian race walking, but he will miss the London championships after withdrawing from the 50km event on Tuesday due to a hamstring injury.

That leaves Bird-Smith as the only standout medal chance among the walkers, where he is among the favourites in the shorter race on Saturday.

He equalled his PB in his most recent 20km race in February and has been thrilled with the times he has been setting in training.

In a 5km time trial at the pre-championships training camp in Tonbridge, Bird-Smith defied wet and windy conditions to better the Australian record by five seconds.

“I know I am strong and that I have got the speed at the end,” he said.

“I am chasing medals, I am here for the business end.”

And if that chase ends successfully, Bird-Smith trusts his dad will be there for the big moment.

“Every single time at plane security, or if you hear a police siren or anything, I joke ‘hey dad – they must be after you’,” said Bird-Smith.

“I think he has learned his lesson for jumping fences and we have all learned a lesson that if you are going through secure areas you have all your credentials and you take it slow.

“I don’t think it will be a problem here.”

‘Was Donald Trump right?’: Turnbull questioned over death on Manus Island

Refugee advocates say the death of Iranian asylum seeker Hamed Shamshiripour on Manus Island was avoidable, and on Tuesday prime minister Malcolm Turnbull called it ‘regrettable’.

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“We all regret the death the honourable member referred to (of) the person detained in PNG,” Mr Turnbull said in question time.

Hamed Shamshiripour reportedly had a history of mental illness, and refugee advocates and other asylum seekers say they had been calling for extra support prior to his death.

It’s believed the 31-year-old had spent the last four years in detention.

Mr Turnbull told parliament: “We stand for the integrity of Australia’s borders.”

“We are not going to outsource our borders to people smugglers ever again.”

The prime minister was quizzed about Mr Shamshiripour’s death and Mr Trump’s praise of Australia’s tough border policies by Greens MP Adam Bandt.

“People’s lives have been broken in immigration detention and yesterday another asylum seeker died on Manus Island,” he put to the prime minister.

“Was Donald Trump right when he said that you are worse than he is?”

The question referenced the recently leaked transcript of Mr Turnbull and Mr Trump discussing a refugee swap deal in January.

A photograph of a protest at Manus Island in wake of the death of Hamed Shamshiripour. (Amir Taghinia on Twitter)Amir Taghinia Twitter

The prime minister assured the new president the US was not obliged to accept a single refugee, needing only to go through the vetting process for those held in detention to honour the bargain.

Greens senator Nick McKim also disrupted parliament on Tuesday to demand the immediate evacuation of all of those held in detention on Manus Island and Nauru.

“The overwhelming majority of people that Australia has detained on Manus Island and Nauru have been found to be genuine refugees, that is, they have a well-founded fear of persecution, which means they cannot, without being placed in danger, in some cases danger of death, arbitrary imprisonment and torture, be returned to their home countries,” Senator McKim said.

“There are now eight people who have died on Manus Island and Nauru whilst being Australia’s responsibility. They have effectively died at Australian hands.”

Dear Australian friends. Please tell to every other Australian to join and follow me because with solidarity we can be like an army .

— shahriar hatami (@Shahriarhatami1) August 8, 2017

Senator McKim read aloud the names of eight people who have died while in offshore detention since 2013, before pausing for a minute’s silence.

Cabinet minister Michaelia Cash labelled his move “way worse than disgusting”.

Iranian journalist and asylum seeker Behrouz Boochani on Manus Island accused the prime minister of being more concerned with politics than people.

“The PM is more concern with his political party than the Australian people. People are dying in Manus and Nauru in Australia’s name, (sic)” he wrote on Twitter.

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The UN High Commissioner for Refugees says it is gravely concerned by deteriorating conditions at the Manus Island regional processing centre as authorities shuffle detainees around ahead of its October closure.

“The UNHCR is deeply saddened by the tragic death of a young refugee yesterday, which also highlights the precarious situation for vulnerable people on Manus Island,” the agency said.

The day that we walked and sat silent.#ManusProtest #SOS #auspol #[email protected] do not let us die in PNG, let us live again pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/gucJqwaUAM

— Amir Taghinia (@TaghiniaAmir) August 8, 2017

The UN believes the looming closure of the processing centre, along with the withdrawal of medical care, torture and trauma support and security services, is exacerbating a highly stressful situation for those on the island.

The agency says many of the nearly 800 refugees on Manus Island fear for their safety outside the centre following violent incidents in recent years.

The UN insists critical services on Manus Island must continue, warning any further reduction of fundamental supports for refugees and asylum-seekers would add to the serious health and security risks of detainees.

Hamed Shamshiripour’s death is being investigated by PNG authorities.

The refugees in #Manus are calling for an independent investigation into Hamed’s death. The refugees argue that its suspicious.

— Behrouz Boochani (@BehrouzBoochani) August 8, 2017

Following news of the death on Monday, asylum seekers in immigration detention on Nauru posted images and video of a protest calling for the shutdown of offshore immigration centres. There has also been a vigil held on Manus Island.

A protest was held on Nauru calling to shutdown offshore detention centres following the death of a refugee. (@Shahriarhatami1 on Twitter)Twitter

On Tuesday afternoon Mr Boochani said on Twitter he was concerned about the well-being of another asylum seeker he said was “in critical condition” with “a fractured skull”.

He called for the man who was receiving treatment in hospital to be transferred to Australia.

The refugee in critical condition must be taken to Australia now. He has been vomiting blood for two days. Why wasn’t he sent urgently?

— Behrouz Boochani (@BehrouzBoochani) August 8, 2017

SBS World News has sought comment and further information from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection who are yet to confirm the claims. 

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467. MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.

– With AAP 

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Anti-migrant boat stuck off Tunisia

“To all staff and (security) agents we say: do not let this racist ship soil Tunisia’s ports.

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Keep them out as our brothers in (the ports of) Zarzis and Sfax have already done,” the UGTT union said in Facebook post.

The UGTT, the Tunisian General Labour Union, is best known as a joint winner of the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize.

Any plans the C-Star had to dock at Zarzis in southeastern Tunisia on Sunday were scuppered when local fishermen warned they would block access to a refuelling channel.

Chartered by extremist group Generation Identity and crewed by activists from France, Germany and Italy, the C-Star’s declared aim is to disrupt the flow of migrant boats from north Africa to Europe.

They have dubbed their mission “Defend Europe” and say they want to expose what they see as a taxi service for illegal immigrants being operated by privately-funded boats helping to patrol waters off Libya.

Humanitarian organisations operating the rescue boats have branded Defend Europe a potentially dangerous stunt. Two of the NGO vessels were contacted by the C-Star when it passed through waters off Libya on Saturday.

“We start our operation off the Libyan coast and we advise you to leave the SAR (Search and Rescue) area because you’re acting as a pull factor for human traffickers, making them millions,” the crew was recorded as telling their counterparts on the Aquarius, a boat operated by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors without Borders.

“We will watch you and the days of your unwatched doings here are over.”

A similar, apparently intimidatory, message was delivered to the crew of the Golfo Azzurro, operated by Spain’s Pro-Active Open Arms, who responded by telling C-Star’s staff to stop using a radio channel reserved for emergency communications.

If the C-Star cannot dock in Tunisia it is unclear where else it could go.

Tentative plans to refuel in either Greece or Sicily on the way down to Libya were scuppered by opposition to their mission in both places.

The mission has been dogged by setbacks since the boat was chartered in Djibouti in mid-May with funds raised by crowd-funding. 

The boat was held up for a week in the Suez Canal by Egyptian authorities looking for weapons then delayed further in Cyprus, where some of the Sri Lankan crew got off and claimed refugee status, embarrassingly adding to the list of asylum-seekers the mission is supposed to help cut.

The mission did not respond to a request for comment from AFP.

‘Uncontrollable’ North Korea could unleash a nuclear war in next 18 months: analyst

The US, South Korea, China, Japan and Australia are trying to reach a peaceful solution with North Korea, according to Australian Strategic Policy Institute analyst Dr Malcolm Davis, but adds that diplomacy has little prospect of working.

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“We’ve tried since 1994 and North Korea has only accelerated its nuclear weapons and missile programs in return,” the senior analyst in defence strategy and capability tells SBS World News.

He says the country could launch a nuclear strike as early as next year.

“We have been rushed towards a precipice with a war in the next 12 to 18 months in the Korean peninsula, and I can’t see any way out of it.

“We’re going to continue placing pressure on North Korea to step back from the brink, but North Korea will probably not do that.” 

Pyongyang responded defiantly after being slapped on Saturday with UN sanctions drafted by the US for testing intercontinental ballistic missiles last month. 

The tests are the latest in a series conducted by North Korea this year, including a medium-range ballistic missile in April, a ballistic missile in May and four anti-ship missiles off its east coast in June.

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North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho told an annual meeting of foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Manila on Monday that the country’s possession of missiles and nuclear weapons “is a legitimate option for self-defence in the face of clear and real nuclear threat posed by the US against the DPRK.”

In a recent statement in the official Korea Central News Agency, Pyongyang said the sanctions were a “violent violation of our sovereignty”, adding the US would “pay the price for its crime… thousands of times.”

Dr Davis says, “if we get to the point where North Korea is about to, or can, mount a nuclear warhead on an ICBM [intercontinental ballistic missile] and demonstrate an operational nuclear-tipped ICBM capability… the US and its allies in Asia have some difficult decisions to make in not a great deal of time.”

Deterrence

One decision could be to ramp up deterrence measures against North Korea’s use of nuclear weapons, through threatening to retaliate against the regime.

This could see forward deployment of US tactical nuclear forces to the Korean Peninsula. It could also involve enhancing missile defence options.

Pre-emptive measures

The other option would be to consider preventative war or pre-emptive strikes, using conventional (non-nuclear) forces, against the North’s nuclear weapons capabilities and its ability to retaliate against South Korea and Japan. 

0:00 Australia welcomes new UN North Korea sanctions Share Australia welcomes new UN North Korea sanctions

‘No win situation’

Dr Davis believes the Trump administration will most likely choose the route of deterrence against “an uncontrollable regime, determined to threaten its neighbours.” 

But he adds that using deterrence to prevent North Korea from conducting a nuclear strike will unlikely be effective.

“[The US] would know that the risk then is that North Korea can continue to develop their nuclear weapons capabilities such that their coercive capability increases over time, and thus deterrence becomes more challenging over time.”

He cites North Korea’s submarine-launched ballistic missiles as an example – the US is only able to target land-based missiles.

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And if the US and its allies chose to take the pre-emptive route, then they’d have to be prepared for North Korea to respond with weapons of mass destruction against South Korea and Japan, he says.

“But we’d know that chances were very high that North Korea would retaliate against South Korea and Japan in a devastating manner.”

North Korea may use artillery against Seoul, or conduct chemical or nuclear strikes against South Korea and Japan, he says.

“It’s a no win situation for US, South Korea and China.”

0:00 North Korea claims ICBM missile launch successful Share North Korea claims ICBM missile launch successful

Does China hold the key?

While it’s “entirely possible” for conflict to break out, it is likely there will be “some sort of negotiated outcome,” says Dr Ben Zala, a research fellow at the Australian National University’s Department of International Relations.

Dr Zala tells SBS World News while China likely doesn’t want a denuclearised Korean peninsula, he believes it “might be able to lower tensions.”

China could leverage its economic power over North Korea – which relies on its major trading partner – to compel Pyongyang to freeze its nuclear and missile testing.

But China will only do this if the US is rational and gives it incentives, Dr Zala says.

“At present I don’t see any signs at all that the US is able and willing to think [carefully about negotiating with China].”

He believes China may negotiate with North Korea if the US reduces its 28,000 troops deployed to the Korean peninsula and its joint military exercises with South Korea.

It may also negotiate if the US less frequently condemns China’s involvement in the South China Sea dispute.

RELATEDThe role of rationality

Mr Zala believes North Korea’s threats may deescalate if the US is willing to accept a nuclear-armed North Korea.

“And that comes down to whether they think Kim Jong-un is rational.”

He believes the North Korean leader is more likely a rational character, saying it’s feasible that Kim Jong-un has amped up his country’s nuclear threat based on the US’ track record of toppling regimes.

“They say, look what happened to Gaddafi – that’s not what’s going to happen to us.

“If Kim Jong-un is rational, therefore seeing that nuclear war would be suicidal, then he won’t do it.”

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0:00 North Korea top diplomat faced stern talks from other top diplomats Share North Korea top diplomat faced stern talks from other top diplomats

Trump launches ‘real news’ with help of former CNN commentator

Kayleigh McEnany, 29, quit her role with CNN as a pro-Trump contributor, announcing the move on August 5.

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Only a day later she appeared as the face of Trump’s ‘News of the Week’ video posted on Facebook.

She was also named the spokeswoman for the Republican Party.

The promotional video, filmed at Trump Tower in New York, was billed as the “realnews”. 

The 90 second video shows Ms McEnany speaking about the US president’s accomplishments, prompting criticism Ms McEnany has become his “chief propagandist”.

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Republican National Committee (RNC) chairperson Ronna McDaniel said that as spokesperson Ms McEnany “will be an integral part of our party’s ongoing commitment to promoting the Republican message to Americans across the country”.

“Her wealth of experience will be invaluable to the RNC as we continue to support President Trump and build on our majorities in Congress,” Ms McDaniel said in a statement.

While I have enjoyed my time at CNN, I will be moving to a new role. Stay tuned next week!

— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) August 5, 2017Join @kayleighmcenany​ as she provides you the news of the week from Trump Tower in New York! #MAGA #TeamTrump pic.twitter长沙桑拿按摩论坛,/CTi7l6j5Ub

— Official Team Trump (@TeamTrump) August 6, 2017

Ms McEnany said she was “excited to be joining the RNC at such an important and historic time in our country”.

“I’m eager to talk about Republican ideas and values and have important discussions about issues affecting Americans across this country,” she said.

Ms McEnany is a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Law School.

– With AFP 

Lawyer reveals UK model’s kidnap ordeal

A British model who was allegedly kidnapped in Milan was too terrified to try to get away from her captor when he took her shoe shopping and to buy groceries, her lawyer said.

长沙夜网

Italian police said Chloe Ayling was snatched last month by a group calling itself Black Death and is believed to have been drugged and transported in a bag to an isolated village near Turin, where she was held for six days as her captors tried to auction her online.

The 20-year-old was told people were watching her and she would be killed if she tried to flee, meaning she complied with what her captor asked her to do, her lawyer Francesco Pesce said.

“She was told that she was going to be sold to somebody in the Middle East for sex,” he told Radio 4 .

“She was told that people were there watching her and ready to kill her if she tried anything.

“So she thought that the best idea was to go along with it and to be nice in a way to her captor because he told her that he wanted to release her somehow and sometime and she thought that the best thing to do was not to go in conflict with him.

“So she abided to his request, ‘let’s go and buy groceries’ and ‘you need shoes, let’s go buy shoes’ and she didn’t try to flee.

“But I believe she was terrified at the moment and even if she could’ve asked for help she didn’t because she was subjugated to this person, or people as she was given to understand.”

The Sun reported she told police she had developed a trusting relationship and even shared a bed with her kidnapper, who gave her chocolate and underwear, but she said he had not sexually assaulted her.

There was no sign of Ayling at her terraced home in Coulsdon, south London, on Monday.

“I’ve been through a terrifying experience. I feared for my life, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour,” she said.

“I am incredibly grateful to the Italian and UK authorities for all they have done to secure my safe release.”

A Polish man who lives in Britain was arrested on July 18 on suspicion of kidnap and extortion, state police said.

Officials released a mugshot of the suspect, named as 30-year-old Lukasz Pawel Herba.

The UK’s National Crime Agency said it has been assisting with the investigation.

It’s alleged the men tried to sell Ayling online for more than $US300,000 ($A378,780) and demanded the model’s agent pay to secure her release.

She was kept handcuffed to furniture in the village of Borgial but was freed after six days and taken to the British Consulate in Milan, despite the ransom not being paid, police said.