Police will vote this week on a proposal to boycott an Aboriginal ghetto where a violent race riot broke out last week, leaving 40 officers injured, a news report said yesterday. \nThe Sydney tabloid The Sun-Herald said police are thinking about declaring the slum, known as "The Block," a no-go zone to protest an alleged lack of support from senior officers and lawmakers in the aftermath of the violence. \nThe Feb. 15-16 riot was triggered by the death of a 17-year-old Aborigine, Thomas Hickey, who was impaled on a fence after falling from his bicycle. His family claimed he was being chased by police, but police have denied any involvement. \nOfficers were feeling abandoned and were disappointed with the state government's response to the violence, the newspaper quoted Sergeant Paul Huxtable, executive officer of the police force's labor union, as saying. \nBut New South Wales state Police Minister John Watkins was quick to deny that he had ignored the officers' plight. \nWatkins said his support was "unequivocal" for police in the troubled Redfern suburb, where The Block is located. \nOfficers "are dealing with tough and dangerous conditions in Redfern, and they are putting offenders before the courts," Watkins said in a statement. \nPolice didn't immediately return calls seeking confirmation that they plan to vote on boycotting The Block, a garbage-strewn grid of derelict houses rife with heroin dealers, petty criminals and alcoholics. \nIn the northwest New South Wales town of Walgett, where Hickey was from, police are preparing for his funeral tomorrow. \nThe town will have four extra Aboriginal community liaison officers and several extra police from surrounding towns working tomorrow, Police Inspector David Simmons said. \nHickey's father, Ian West, is currently in prison. Authorities have said it's unlikely he will be allowed to attend his son's funeral. \nIt wasn't immediately clear what West was jailed for. An aunt of Hickey's has also been prevented from attending, after a magistrate on Friday ordered her detained on charges she was involved in the riot.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
SHOW OF SOLIDARITY: The publisher’s ‘Apple Daily’ newspaper has had to raise the number of copies printed from 70,000 to 550,000 to meet a huge surge in demand They have occupied Hong Kong’s central business district, marched by the hundreds of thousands through the territory’s streets and endured tear gas and pepper spray in pitched battles with riot police. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy supporters are now wielding a new protest weapon: their stock-market trading accounts. To show support for Jimmy Lai (黎智英), the publisher and outspoken government critic who was on Monday arrested under the territory’s new national security legislation, Hong Kongers have been piling into shares of his media company Next Digital. The result: a more than 1,100 percent surge in two days that propelled the stock to a seven-year