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Major development in search for Samantha Murphy

<p>Police are moving to a different search area around 5km away from where Samantha Murphy was last seen, after receiving new information from her mobile data. They now believe that “one or more parties” were involved in her disappearance. </p> <p>The Ballarat mum was last seen leaving her home at 7am on February 4 for her usual morning run. </p> <p>On Friday, detectives from the Missing Persons Squad will lead a targeted search of the Mount Clear area, which is adjacent to the Canadian State Forest where Murphy was known to frequent, as part of their investigation.</p> <p>The search will focus on an area “highlighted by intelligence derived from phone data”.</p> <p>Despite missing for almost three weeks now, police still insist that they did not believe Murphy;'s disappearance was “sinister”, but have now confirmed that she went missing under suspicious circumstances.</p> <p>“Police are treating her disappearance as suspicious due to the length of time she has been missing and given no trace of her has been found,” police said.</p> <p>Detective Acting Superintendent Mark Hatt said that while police are keeping an open mind about what happened to Murphy they have ruled out any type of medical incident as there was nothing to indicate that she left on her own accord. </p> <p>"We are keeping an open mind, but believe the most likely scenario is that her disappearance involves one or more parties," Detective Acting Superintendent Hatt said.</p> <p>“Since Samantha’s disappearance almost three weeks ago, a significant search and investigation has been undertaken in an effort to find her,” he added.</p> <p>“I know that a lot of people, particularly those who live in the local Ballarat community, are extremely concerned about the fact we haven’t yet located Samantha or who may be responsible for her disappearance.</p> <p>“I want to reassure those members of the public that Victoria Police is doing everything we can to find out what has happened and provide some answers to Samantha’s family and the broader community.”</p> <p>Investigators are currently reviewing about 12,000 hours of CCTV footage and following up on over 500 pieces of information. </p> <p>On Thursday, police announced that they have called in additional detectives from <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/family-pets/new-development-in-search-for-samantha-murphy" target="_blank" rel="noopener">specialist units</a> to help with the search.</p> <p>They are also asking residents in the Ballarat East and Mount Helen areas particularly around the Canadian Forest to check their CCTV footage for any relevant information. </p> <p>“I encourage anyone who does have information that could be relevant to this investigation — whether that’s a person or vehicle seen in the area on that day, something unusual such as a damaged vehicle or property — to please come forward and speak to police or provide the information via Crime Stoppers,” Hatt said.</p> <p>“Police remain open to any and all possibilities, so if you know something or have seen something, then we want to hear from you.”</p> <p><em>Images: 7NEWs</em></p>

Caring

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New development in search for Samantha Murphy

<p>Police have called in more than a dozen detectives from specialist units to assist the investigation into the disappearance of Samantha Murphy 18 days after she went missing. </p> <p>The mother-of-three was last seen leaving her Ballarat East home to go on her usual morning run in nearby bushland at around 7am on February 4. </p> <p>Now, The Missing Persons Squad, who is leading the investigation has been expanded to include detectives from the Counter Terrorism Command and Crime Command units.</p> <p>The detectives from these specialist units are “highly skilled” selected for their “experience in complex and protracted investigations”.</p> <p>Police have also clarified that the extra detectives have travelled to Ballarat because of their skills and experience rather than a terror or sex crime link. </p> <p>“We have not taken counter terrorism detectives because we think her disappearance is terrorism related,” police told the <em>Herald Sun</em>. </p> <p>Local community members are also doing whatever they can to help, and are conducting their own searches. </p> <p>The group of volunteers are all working together to find "any answers, any solution, any hints, any evidence that might be able to contribute towards bringing Sam home," local Cristie-Lea King told <em>A Current Affair</em> on Wednesday night. </p> <p>On Wednesday, community-members also banded together to fly in an <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/experienced-bush-tracker-to-join-in-search-for-samantha-murphy" target="_blank" rel="noopener">experienced bush tracker </a>to help them and share his expertise ahead of the community-led search on Saturday.</p> <p>“I’m hoping to get a lot done while I’m here,” he told 7News at the time. </p> <p>“I plan on training up some locals in the fundamentals of tracking, so when I leave I can continue to liaise with those on the ground." </p> <p>“People are entitled to their opinions as to whether or not Samantha is out in the bush.</p> <p>“On the chance that she is, I want to ensure that absolutely everything is done to find her.”</p> <p><em>Images: Victoria Police</em></p>

Family & Pets

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"Move over": Vyleen White's daughter slams Queensland premier

<p>The grieving daughter of Vyleen White, who was <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/grandmother-fatally-stabbed-in-front-of-granddaughter" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fatally stabbed</a> in a shopping centre car park, has slammed the Queensland premier over his comments claiming her mother's death could not have been prevented.</p> <p>A 16-year-old boy from Bellbird Park has been <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/update-on-tragic-stabbing-of-queensland-grandmother" target="_blank" rel="noopener">charged with murder</a>, with four other teenagers charged with the unlawful use of a motor vehicle.</p> <p>Following the tragic incident, White's daughter, Cindy Micallef joined the Queensland African Communities Council (QACC) to call for "peace" and more action against youth violence, following <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-13059179/Vyleen-White-Ipswich-stabbing-Family-white-grandmother-allegedly-murdered-South-Sudanese-boy-joins-African-community-plead-calm-racial-tensions-flare.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">reports</a> of abuse and harassment towards the African-Australian community. </p> <p>Micallef said that while her family had been "torn apart from the heart", she did not want the community to react in anger. </p> <p>"Mum's legacy will live on in peace. She was never one to be prejudiced, she always looked for the best in people," she said at a media conference in Redbank Plains. </p> <p>Micallef has also called on Queensland Premier Steven Miles to take stronger action on crime prevention. </p> <p>"He promised to protect the community and make changes," she told the press conference. "There's no substance to what he says.</p> <p>"If this government isn't going to make a change move over, because we're going to get someone in to make the changes we need."</p> <p>This comes after the Queensland premier told reporters "nobody can seriously stand up and say they could have prevented this murder". </p> <p>Miles had reportedly been unaware that the accused teen had been out on bail at the time of the alleged murder. </p> <p>Micallef expressed her concern that the premier is not standing with them, so her and her family have joined the African community in calling for action. </p> <p>"You know what, I was really glad he said it because I'm like, 'You're not the man for the job if you can't reassure people in the community this is the utmost priority'," Micallef said.</p> <p>"We all need to feel safe."</p> <p>She also called for support for the African community. </p> <p>"You don't judge the whole community by a couple of bad apples," she said.</p> <p>This news comes just days after Vyleen White's <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/tragic-new-details-emerge-as-vyleen-white-s-husband-speaks-out" target="_blank" rel="noopener">husband</a> spoke out on her death. </p> <p><em>Images: 9News</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Update on tragic stabbing of Queensland grandmother

<p>Five teenage boys have now been charged over the <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/grandmother-fatally-stabbed-in-front-of-granddaughter" target="_blank" rel="noopener">fatal stabbing</a> of Queensland grandmother Vyleen White. </p> <p>The 70-year-old was allegedly stabbed in the chest as she was returning to her car after grocery shopping with her young granddaughter at Redbank Plains Shopping Centre on Saturday evening. </p> <p>A 16-year-old boy has since been arrested at a unit complex in Bellbird Park shortly after 2.30pm on Monday. He has been charged with one count of murder, unlawful use of a motor vehicle and three counts of stealing.</p> <p>He is due to appear at Ipswich Children's Court on Tuesday.</p> <p>Two other 16-year-old boys from Goodna and Bellbird Park were also arrested not long after, and charged with the unlawful use of a motor vehicle. </p> <p>A 15-year-old boy was arrested at Redbank Plains and was also charged with the unlawful use of a motor vehicle, along with possessing tainted property.</p> <p>This comes just one day after another 15-year-old boy <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/finance/legal/teen-arrested-over-alleged-stabbing-of-grandmother" target="_blank" rel="noopener">handed himself in</a> to Ipswich Police Station, and was charged with the unlawful use of a motor vehicle. </p> <p>These arrests come after a major manhunt and public appeal for help in locating the alleged offenders, with Queensland police saying that the extensive investigation remains ongoing.</p> <p><em>Image: Nine News/ Facebook</em></p>

Legal

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Twist for cop accused of killing Clare Nowland

<p>Senior Constable Kristian James Samuel White, 33, who was accused of killing 95-year-old Clare Nowland <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/health/caring/family-horrified-by-police-statement-on-tasering-of-clare-nowland" target="_blank" rel="noopener">with a taser</a> at an aged care home in Cooma, regional NSW has been deemed a “flight risk”. </p> <p>White was charged with recklessly causing grievous bodily harm, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and common assault over the alleged “excessive use of force”.</p> <p>It is alleged that Nowland was using a walker and holding a serrated steak knife at the time of the incident, when the 33-year-old said “stop, just … nah bugger it” before allegedly tasering her. </p> <p>The great-grandmother fell backwards and fractured her skull, causing an inoperable brain injury that unfortunately led to her death just days later. </p> <p>Just last week, White's charges were upgraded to include an additional charge of manslaughter on advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions.</p> <p>White appeared in court on Wednesday, for the first time since his charges were upgraded, and received two new bail conditions. </p> <p>The Constable was required to surrender his passport and not leave the country due to the upgraded charges. </p> <p>However, prior to his bail conditions being approved, Magistrate Roger Clisdell criticised both Crown prosecutor Victoria Garrity, and White's defence lawyer Warwick Anderson for negotiating the new terms of bail without his input. </p> <p>“I make the decision,” he said.</p> <p>“I would have thought my last explosion would have caused you to be more sensitive to my position.”</p> <p>This comes after the prosecutors failed to tell the Magistrate that they had agreed to allow White to appear in court via video link in May, without the court's consent.</p> <p>The Crown prosecutor defended her actions by saying that she asked him to surrender his passport to mitigate the risk of flight. </p> <p>“With the more serious charge now being faced, there is a heightened risk that he would leave the jurisdiction and not face court,”  she explained. </p> <p>“Those two new conditions are now appropriate.”</p> <p>While the police officer's defence lawyer added that “He has no intention of fleeing the jurisdiction," and agreed to the additional bail conditions “to facilitate the speedy resolution”. </p> <p>White will return to court in February next year. </p> <p>Nowland's family members released a statement via their lawyer after the proceedings on Wednesday. </p> <p>“The family does not wish to comment further on the criminal process at this time given the extremely serious nature of the charge against Mr White, who continues to be a sworn NSW police officer,” the statement read. </p> <p>NSW Police confirmed that White remained suspended from duty with pay.</p> <p><em>Images: ABC News South East NSW: Floss Adams/ News.com.au</em></p>

Legal

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Woman launches true crime podcast to find her father's killer

<p>21 years ago, Madison McGhee's father was shot in cold blood. </p> <p>Madison was just six years old when her dad, John "JC" Cornelius McGhee, died, and was originally told he had passed away from a heart attack.</p> <p>However, when Madison was in high school, she began to ask questions about what really happened that night. </p> <p>"When I was 16 I had a weird feeling that something else was going on, so I asked my mum about a weird connection between my cousin and the death of my father," Madison told <a href="https://9now.nine.com.au/today/ice-cold-case-podcaster-hoping-to-solve-fathers-21-year-murder-mystery/a873da03-0198-4e34-b65c-cc3ced6e8cca" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Today Extra</em></a>.</p> <p>"And that's when my mum told me that there was another side of the story and that my dad had actually been murdered and it was a cold case, completely unsolved."</p> <p>Madison's father, who was a recovering drug addict and police informant, was shot in the head in the early hours of July 11th 2002 at his home in Ohio. </p> <p>His 16-year-old daughter and Madison's half-sister, Alyssa, was home at the time and found her father's body on the ground with a bullet hole in a nearby wall.</p> <p>Police investigated his death, but failed to find any evidence that could convict someone of his murder. </p> <p>After Madison discovered the real nature of her father's death, she began digging into the cold case and decided to try and solve the crime herself. </p> <p>In her efforts to find her father's killer, she launched a podcast called <em>Ice Cold Case</em>. </p> <p>"I started asking questions, diving into it and that's when I realised it was much more layered than even I could have imagined," she said.</p> <p>One line of theory by investigators was that JC's death was a home invasion gone wrong, but Madison said things just don't add up to support that.</p> <p>"When you dive into the police files, it's very clear that this is suspicious," she said.</p> <p>"A home invasion to my knowledge is usually very quick and something of value is stolen, but nothing was taken and this home invasion lasted for over 30 minutes.</p> <p>"It just seemed suspicious that someone would feel so comfortable to break into a house and stick around for that long and not steal anything at all - it feels like it was planned and very intentional."</p> <p>Madison admitted that is has been jarring looking into the death of her father, especially when no one has been held accountable, but she has put her own fears aside in the hopes of finding out what really happened. </p> <p>"I do feel a little uneasy putting myself out there in this very public way, but I just feel like justice for my dad is so much more important than worrying about my own safety if his killer is still out there," she said.</p> <p>"But I really want to find out what happened for him and for my own closure, so I have sort of pushed that to the side."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Today Extra</em></p>

Legal

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Lilie James' grieving family breaks silence as body is found in manhunt for suspect

<p>Lilie James' devastated family have spoken out for the first time, following her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/slain-st-andrew-s-staffer-identified" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tragic death</a>. </p> <p>The 21-year-old water polo coach was found dead with serious head injuries at the gymnasium bathroom of St Andrew’s Cathedral School on Wednesday night. </p> <p>Her male colleague and ex-boyfriend Paul Thijssen is believed to be involved in her <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/tragic-new-details-emerge-in-alleged-murder-of-lilie-james" target="_blank" rel="noopener">alleged murder</a>, when he went missing at The Gap in Vaucluse, after reportedly calling the police informing them of a body on school grounds. </p> <p>A body has reportedly been found at the base of the cliffs in Diamond Bay Reserve, however police are currently unable to confirm whether the body was that of 24-year-old Thijssen. </p> <p>“A police operation is currently underway to retrieve a body in Vaucluse,” NSW Police said in an earlier statement.</p> <p>“No further information is available at this time.”</p> <p>Detectives are currently investigating the possibility that Thijssen had taken his own life, as The Gap is a notorious suicide spot, and Thijssen's backpack and an item linked to the alleged homicide was found there. </p> <p>On Friday morning, her family have broken their silence following the grim discovery. </p> <p>“We are devastated and heartbroken by the loss of our beautiful Lilie James,” the family said in a statement released by the police. </p> <p>“She was vibrant, outgoing, and very much loved by her family and friends. We are tremendously grateful for the support of our community at this difficult time.</p> <p>“As a police investigation is underway, we will not be providing further comments.</p> <p>“We ask that you please respect our privacy.”</p> <p>Students have been paying tribute to the fallen water polo coach with a growing flower memorial at the school's entrance. </p> <p>A few of the students she coached also told<em> 7NEWS.com.au </em>that she was an “amazing” and “encouraging” coach.</p> <p>"She always had a smile on her face,” one student said.</p> <p>“You will be in all of our prayers and hearts. Thank you for making PE so much fun, thank you for being an amazing and strong coach, and thank you for being there. We love you,” another student said.</p> <p><em>Images: 7NEWS/Facebook</em></p>

News

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Can Israel and Hamas be held to account for alleged crimes against civilians?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amy-maguire-129609">Amy Maguire</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-newcastle-1060">University of Newcastle</a></em></p> <p><a href="https://www.redcross.org.au/ihl/">International humanitarian law</a> – the law of armed conflict – aims to constrain how wars are fought. It is designed to protect noncombatants and limit the means of warfare.</p> <p>As each hour brings news of further horror in the Israel-Hamas conflict, what role should international law be playing? And does it actually have any capacity to constrain the behaviour of the combatants?</p> <h2>A humanitarian nightmare is unfolding</h2> <p>On <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2023/10/16/middleeast/israel-hamas-gaza-war-explained-week-2-mime-intl/index.html">October 7</a>, the Hamas militant group launched thousands of rockets against Israel in advance of a ground attack. Militants <a href="https://abcnews.go.com/International/live-updates/israel-gaza-hamas/?id=103804516#:%7E:text=ABC%20News%20Chief%20Global%20Affairs,war%20in%20Israel%20and%20Gaza.&amp;text=At%20least%201%2C400%20people%20have,7%2C%20Israeli%20authorities%20said.">killed</a> more than 1,400 people and wounded 3,400 others in towns and kibbutzim across southern Israel. It was the <a href="https://theconversation.com/deadliest-day-for-jews-since-the-holocaust-spurs-a-crisis-of-confidence-in-the-idea-of-israel-and-its-possible-renewal-215507">deadliest day</a> for Jewish people since the Holocaust.</p> <p>Most of those killed were civilians, including many <a href="https://abcnews.go.com/International/horror-israeli-authorities-show-footage-hamas-atrocities-reporters-notebook/story?id=104015431#:%7E:text=It%20was%20part%20of%20the,injured%20in%20Israel%2C%20authorities%20said.">children</a> who were shot, blown up or burned to death. Hundreds of young people were also <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/10/08/israel-festival-attack-gaza-militants/">massacred</a> at a music festival, and Hamas took around 200 <a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/former-hamas-chief-meshaal-says-israeli-captives-include-high-ranking-officers-2023-10-16/">hostages</a> back to Gaza.</p> <p>Israel is responding to this attack with <a href="https://abcnews.go.com/International/live-updates/israel-gaza-hamas/?id=103804516#:%7E:text=ABC%20News%20Chief%20Global%20Affairs,war%20in%20Israel%20and%20Gaza.&amp;text=At%20least%201%2C400%20people%20have,7%2C%20Israeli%20authorities%20said.">airstrikes</a>, which have to date <a href="https://www.wsj.com/livecoverage/israel-hamas-war-gaza-palestinians/card/latest-death-tolls-in-gaza-and-israel-xJRhBt04VQMocRuYUtsA">killed</a> at least 4,000 people in Gaza and injured thousands more. The vast majority of these casualties are Palestinian civilians.</p> <p>Israel has also rapidly mobilised around <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/10/10/israel-military-draft-reservists/">360,000 reservists</a> in preparation for an anticipated ground offensive on Gaza.</p> <p>In recent days, a blast at a <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/17/world/middleeast/gaza-hospital-explosion-israel.html">Gaza hospital</a> killed hundreds, including patients and displaced people seeking sanctuary. Hamas and several Arab states have <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/oct/18/israel-faces-blame-from-regional-allies-over-gaza-hospital-deaths">blamed</a> Israel for the explosion, while Israel has <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/17/world/middleeast/islamic-jihad-gaza-hospital-israel.html">blamed</a> Palestinian Islamic Jihad.</p> <p>The situation in Gaza is dire for people with urgent needs, including <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-18/israel-gaza-war-live-updates-october-18/102989182?utm_campaign=abc_news_web&amp;utm_content=link&amp;utm_medium=content_shared&amp;utm_source=abc_news_web#live-blog-post-55243">5,000 women</a> due to give birth this month and <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2023/10/16/world/middleeast/gaza-evacuation-twin-babies-hospital.html#:%7E:text=The%20babies%2C%20Nuha%20and%20Fatin,of%20an%20Israeli%20ground%20invasion.">newborn babies</a> whose families cannot find drinking water to prepare formula.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Israel has <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/oct/12/no-power-water-or-fuel-to-gaza-until-hostages-freed-says-israeli-minister">cut off</a> water, electricity and fuel supplies to Gaza and ordered a <a href="https://theconversation.com/gaza-is-being-strangled-why-israels-evacuation-order-violates-international-law-215787">total siege</a> of the territory. Israel has also ordered residents of northern Gaza to <a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2023/10/16/why-israels-gaza-evacuation-order-so-alarming">evacuate</a> to the south. Aid agencies have been unable to provide desperately needed <a href="https://time.com/6324539/israel-gaza-humanitarian-aid-egypt-border/">humanitarian assistance</a> to civilians through the border crossing with Egypt.</p> <p>Prior to this latest horrific escalation, Gaza was already entrenched in a <a href="https://theconversation.com/gaza-has-been-blockaded-for-16-years-heres-what-a-complete-siege-and-invasion-could-mean-for-vital-supplies-215359">humanitarian crisis</a>. The situation now is beyond comprehension.</p> <p><a href="https://www.abc.net.au/listen/programs/radionational-breakfast/gaza-610/102983118">Léo Cans</a>, the head of mission for Doctors Without Borders in Palestine, said hospitals are being overwhelmed and hundreds will die without electricity being restored: "This is something that is known and could be prevented just by letting fuel and supplies inside Gaza. What is ahead of us is beyond words […] at the end of the road it’s a big wall, and this big wall is full of dead people."</p> <h2>Principles governing the conduct of war</h2> <p>International humanitarian law is a pragmatic body of law. Its existence acknowledges the inevitability of armed conflict and it aims to mitigate war’s impact on people.</p> <p>International humanitarian law is not, in itself, concerned with the justifications for why combatants engage in war. It applies even in situations where a state is entitled to act in self-defence under broader international law.</p> <p>We are witnessing gross violations of fundamental humanitarian law principles in the conflict. Here are some examples:</p> <p><strong>Distinction between civilians and combatants</strong></p> <p>Attacks are considered <a href="https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/en/ihl-treaties/api-1977/article-51">unlawful</a> if they are:</p> <ul> <li> <p>directed specifically against civilians</p> </li> <li> <p>launched indiscriminately without distinction between civilians and combatants</p> </li> <li> <p>or directed at military targets but anticipated to cause harm to civilians disproportionate to the military advantage being sought.</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Methods of warfare</strong></p> <p>It is <a href="https://casebook.icrc.org/law/conduct-hostilities#iii_1">unlawful</a> to conduct war in a manner that causes unnecessary suffering. Attacks targeting civilians are fundamentally unnecessary and, therefore, illegal.</p> <p><strong>Collective punishment</strong></p> <p>The fourth Geneva Convention prohibits <a href="https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/en/ihl-treaties/gciv-1949/article-33">collective punishment</a>: "No protected person may be punished for an offence he or she has not personally committed. Collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited."</p> <p>This prohibition reflects the idea of <a href="https://guide-humanitarian-law.org/content/article/3/collective-punishment/">individual criminal responsibility</a> under international criminal law. Prosecutions for breaches of humanitarian law are directed towards individuals who can be proven responsible, rather than against states or populations.</p> <p><strong>Humanitarian protection</strong></p> <p>Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions requires <a href="https://www.icrc.org/en/doc/war-and-law/treaties-customary-law/geneva-conventions/overview-geneva-conventions.htm">humane protection</a> for all people in enemy hands. It prohibits murder and hostage-taking. It also requires the provision of humanitarian assistance to all people without distinction.</p> <p><strong>Obligations of occupying powers</strong></p> <p>It is arguable Israel is a de facto occupying power of the Gaza Strip because it has such a <a href="https://theconversation.com/gaza-is-being-strangled-why-israels-evacuation-order-violates-international-law-215787">high level of control</a> over people’s lives. For example, it has the ability to shut off supplies of essential life services. The argument Israel is occupying Gaza will be strengthened should Israel launch a ground invasion.</p> <p>As such, the rules of international humanitarian law on occupiers are also relevant. These include an obligation to <a href="https://ihl-databases.icrc.org/en/ihl-treaties/hague-conv-iv-1907/regulations-art-43#:%7E:text=Regulations%3A%20Art.-,43,in%20force%20in%20the%20country.">protect</a> civilians from attacks and <a href="https://humanrights.gov.au/our-work/commission-general/international-covenant-civil-and-political-rights-human-rights-your#:%7E:text=opinions%20without%20interference.-,2.,other%20media%20of%20his%20choice.">respect their human rights</a>.</p> <h2>Hamas and humanitarian law</h2> <p>International humanitarian law applies to all combatants, whether they are state or non-state actors. UN independent experts say Hamas has clearly committed <a href="https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/10/israeloccupied-palestinian-territory-un-experts-deplore-attacks-civilians">war crimes</a>, including the murders and hostage-taking of Israeli civilians.</p> <p>Hamas also put Palestinian civilians in harm’s way by <a href="https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/hamas-tells-gaza-residents-stay-home-israel-ground-offensive-looms-2023-10-13/#:%7E:text=Eyad%20Al%2DBozom%2C%20spokesman%20for,your%20homes%2C%20and%20your%20places.">telling them</a> not to evacuate to southern Gaza, as ordered by Israel. The group has a history of using civilians as <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-the-laws-of-war-apply-to-the-conflict-between-israel-and-hamas-215493">human shields</a> as a <a href="https://stratcomcoe.org/cuploads/pfiles/hamas_human_shields.pdf">strategic tool</a> in conflicts with Israel.</p> <p>However, holding Hamas accountable for violating international humanitarian law is very challenging. As a non-state actor, Hamas is not a member of forums like the United Nations, where pressure may be brought to bear on member states.</p> <p>If individual Hamas militants are apprehended, they could be charged with <a href="https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/interview/2023/10/17/how-have-israel-and-hamas-broken-laws-war">war crimes</a> and tried in Israeli courts or the International Criminal Court. Even though Hamas is a non-state actor, <a href="https://www.icc-cpi.int/victims/state-palestine">Palestine</a> has accepted the court’s jurisdiction.</p> <p>In fact, the International Criminal Court opened an <a href="https://www.lawfaremedia.org/article/where-does-the-icc-palestine-investigation-stand">investigation</a> into alleged war crimes in Palestine in 2021. The current Gaza conflict would fall within the court’s mandate and could lead it to direct greater energy to that ongoing investigation.</p> <p>The court’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, said on October 13: "We have jurisdiction for any Rome Statute crimes […] committed by Palestinians in Israel and also we have clear jurisdiction for any crimes committed by the forces of Israel in Palestine."</p> <h2>Israel and humanitarian law</h2> <p>Israel and its allies also have a complex relationship with international humanitarian law.</p> <p>One key issue is Israel’s right to self-defence in response to the October 7 attack by Hamas. International law confirms a state may use force to <a href="https://casebook.icrc.org/a_to_z/glossary/self-defence#:%7E:text=Self%2Ddefense%20in%20international%20law,Charter%20and%20customary%20international%20law.">defend</a> itself in response to an armed attack. Israel, the United States and other allies <a href="https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2023/10/10/remarks-by-president-biden-on-the-terrorist-attacks-in-israel-2/">contend</a> the Hamas attack triggered Israel’s <a href="https://www.foreignminister.gov.au/minister/penny-wong/speech/speech-senate-hamas-attacks-israel-senate-motion-parliament-house">right to self-defence</a>.</p> <p>But there is a distinction to be drawn between a state’s right to self-defence and what that right permits, in the sense of how war is conducted.</p> <p>For example, UN independent experts have <a href="https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/10/israeloccupied-palestinian-territory-un-experts-deplore-attacks-civilians">condemned</a> Israel’s “indiscriminate military attacks” against Palestinian civilians: "This amounts to collective punishment. There is no justification for violence that indiscriminately targets innocent civilians, whether by Hamas or Israeli forces. This is absolutely prohibited under international law and amounts to a war crime."</p> <p>Neither <a href="https://arabcenterdc.org/resource/the-international-criminal-courts-failure-to-hold-israel-accountable/">Israel</a> nor the <a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/09/02/qa-international-criminal-court-and-united-states">United States</a> is a party to the International Criminal Court. Neither state would accept the court’s jurisdiction over its nationals. Indeed, the United States has <a href="https://www.state.gov/the-united-states-opposes-the-icc-investigation-into-the-palestinian-situation/">condemned</a> the court’s decision to open its investigation into alleged war crimes in Palestine.</p> <p>In time, the court may seek to hold Israeli nationals accountable for war crimes, but its capacity to do so seems very limited.</p> <h2>What about the United Nations?</h2> <p>UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has <a href="https://www.voanews.com/a/un-s-guterres-denounces-collective-punishment-of-palestinians/7315616.html">called</a> for an immediate ceasefire.</p> <p>He said the grievances of the Palestinian people after more than 50 years of occupation do not “justify the acts of terror committed by Hamas”. And he said the Hamas attack on October 7 does not “justify the collective punishment of the Palestinian people”.</p> <p>UN human rights chief Volker Türk has also <a href="https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/un-human-rights-lead-warns-of-consequences-for-breaching-humanitarian-law-amid-israel-hamas-war-1.6605453">warned</a> all parties that violations of humanitarian law will have consequences, and those who commit war crimes will be held accountable.</p> <p>But the <a href="https://www.un.org/securitycouncil/#:%7E:text=The%20Security%20Council%20has%20primary,to%20comply%20with%20Council%20decisions.">UN Security Council</a>, which is charged with maintaining international peace and security, has yet to agree on a <a href="https://news.un.org/en/story/2023/10/1142467">statement</a> on the conflict.</p> <p>The <a href="https://reliefweb.int/report/occupied-palestinian-territory/4-members-favour-5-against-security-council-rejects-russian-federations-resolution-calling-immediate-humanitarian-ceasefire-israel-palestine-crisis">debate</a> in the council since the latest escalation in this perpetual conflict demonstrates the deep diplomatic fault lines between the key global players and the warring parties.</p> <p>At this point, a sad reality is that international law and global institutions can do little to constrain the actions of the combatants on both sides or provide assistance to the millions at grave risk of harm.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/215705/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/amy-maguire-129609"><em>Amy Maguire</em></a><em>, Associate Professor in Human Rights and International Law, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-newcastle-1060">University of Newcastle</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/can-israel-and-hamas-be-held-to-account-for-alleged-crimes-against-civilians-215705">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Dave Hughes mugged by "big man" on Melbourne street

<p>Comedian Dave 'Hughesy' Hughes has shared an incident on air about a harrowing encounter he had while grabbing dinner in Melbourne for his family on a Tuesday night.</p> <p>The 52-year-old radio host recounted the incident during his appearance on 2DAY FM’s morning show, "Hughesy, Ed &amp; Erin", with fellow comedian and stand-in host, Kate Langbroek.</p> <p>Hughes explained that he had ridden his electric bike to a nearby takeaway restaurant close to his residence to order dinner for his family.</p> <p>Unfortunately, upon his arrival, he discovered that the restaurant he had in mind was closed. Frustrated by the situation, he took out his phone with the intention of calling his wife to discuss alternative dinner plans when, suddenly, his phone was snatched from his hand.</p> <p>While recalling the incident, Hughes expressed how startled he was, saying, "I’m on the bike, and I put my phone up to my ear, and then all of a sudden, someone grabs my phone out of my hand, just grabbed it, yes, stole my phone."</p> <p>He went on to describe the thief as a "big man" who appeared to be under the influence of drugs, suspecting him to be a "meth head": “I look and it’s a man, a big man, and he is off his nut. I’m gonna say he’s a meth head, you know what I'm talking about.”</p> <p>The assailant's erratic behaviour didn't end with the phone theft. Hughes continued, "He tries to talk into the phone and he goes, ‘You weren’t even talking to anyone.’ Like it was my fault, like I was pretending to make a phone call."</p> <p>Rather than pursuing the thief on his bike, Hughes resorted to shouting, "Give me my phone back!"</p> <p>The situation eventually deescalated as the man threw the phone to the ground and stumbled away, eventually confronting a nearby vehicle. "He just staggered off and basically attacked a car,” said Hughes.</p> <p>Langbroek criticised Hughes for not immediately contacting the police after the unsettling incident, expressing concern about tolerating such dysfunction in society.  “I know that we’re all like, that’s sort of how it rolls," she said, "but when you start accepting dysfunction like that, then dysfunction will rule.”</p> <p>Hughes, who had lost his driver's license the previous month due to a series of minor traffic violations that resulted in the loss of his accumulated points, had been relying on his electric bike for transportation. </p> <p><em>Image: 2DAY FM</em></p>

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Lucy Letby: it is not being ‘beige’, ‘average’ or ‘normal’ that makes her crimes so hard to understand

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lizzie-seal-183829">Lizzie Seal</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sussex-1218">University of Sussex</a></em></p> <p>In seeking to understand the crimes of Lucy Letby, the neonatal nurse who murdered seven babies in her care, a fixation about how “ordinary” she appears to be has emerged. At times like this, we seek answers, which perhaps explains the vague sense that understanding this apparent inconsistency can teach us a lesson for the future. But that is a circle that cannot be squared.</p> <p>Letby was sentenced to whole life imprisonment for the murders of seven babies carried out while she worked at Countess of Chester Hospital, in north-west England. She was found guilty of the attempted murder of six other babies and is suspected of having harmed more. She is variously described as a “serial killer” and a “serial killer nurse”. Letby meets the <a href="https://www.aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/tandi346">generally accepted criminological definition</a> of a serial killer – that is, someone who commits three or more murders on separate occasions which are not for revenge or material gain.</p> <p>Everyday understandings of serial killing are consistent with the criminological definition and, arguably, the “serial killer” is a compelling example of the overlap – and perhaps cross-pollination – between the academic and wider understandings of crime.</p> <p>Both academic and wider understandings of serial killing are shaped by portrayals and archetypes from fiction, film, television and true crime podcasts and documentaries. The ubiquity of portrayals of serial killers mean we reach for certain stock explanations of their actions.</p> <p>Quoting police officers involved in the investigation and former colleagues of Letby, news articles describe her as <a href="https://news.sky.com/story/who-is-lucy-letby-the-average-nurse-who-became-britains-most-prolific-child-killer-12943602">“average”</a> and <a href="https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/23003681/beige-lucy-letby-killer-nurse-death-toll/">“beige”</a>. Shock and confusion abound about the crimes of an “ordinary” young woman who did not stand out in terms of character or ability.</p> <p>The puzzle these descriptions create is how a “serial killer nurse” could possibly be someone so unremarkable. Letby lived in a three-bedroom semi-detached house, with a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2023/aug/18/lucy-letby-the-beige-and-average-nurse-who-turned-into-a-baby-killer">“happy Prosecco season”</a> sign adorning the wall of her kitchen and a collection of soft toys in her bedroom. Although <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/nurse-lucy-letby-motive-why-would-she-kill-babies-b2397008.html">motives were suggested</a> by the prosecution during her trial, they feel unsatisfactory.</p> <h2>Looking for answers in the wrong place</h2> <p>Our inability to parse “satisfying” explanations for Letby’s actions relates to her departure from accepted cultural scripts of serial killing. A prominent serial killer script is that of perceived deviance and transgression, whereby something pathological about the killer accounts for their personality and actions.</p> <p>Frequently, this pathology is along the lines of mental illness, as in one of the classic templates for modern cultural scripts of serial killing, Norman Bates in the film Psycho. Another recurrent portrayal is the serial killer who is motivated by sexual perversion. Lucy Letby’s apparent normality means she cannot be read through this script.</p> <p>The fact that <a href="https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-87488-9">she is a woman</a> while serial killers are overwhelmingly male adds to this (although serial killing by women, including nurses, is <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12423909/Other-cases-missed-Detective-nailed-Beverley-Allitt-says-like-Lucy-Letby-read-book-chillingly-similar-Angel-Death-case-30-years-believes-killer-nurses-have.html">not without precedent</a>).</p> <p><a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9780230369061_6">Popular culture has taught us</a> that a serial killer is a certain type of person. They are often even glamorised in films and TV shows. In his <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/36061">1996 memoir My Dark Places</a>, the novelist James Ellroy comments on the figure of the serial killer in 1990s popular culture: “serial killers were very unprosaic. They were hip, slick and cool”.</p> <p>Ellroy’s comment gets to the heart of why Lucy Letby feels like a dissonant serial killer. She is prosaic. But this is a red herring. We may have absorbed tropes about serial killers but that does not mean we understand them or their motives in any more depth than we understand why Letby killed.</p> <p>There is nothing truly conclusive about saying someone killed for power or sexual gratification, just as there is nothing conclusive about any of the explanations offered for Letby’s actions. Our belief that we understand reasons for serial killing – and thereby deviations from those reasons such as appearing “ordinary” – is based on familiar but incomplete narratives.</p> <p>Our cultural scripts about serial killers do not offer good explanations for their crimes. In reality, it is incredibly unusual for someone like Lucy Letby to be a serial killer because it is incredibly unusual for anyone to be a serial killer.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/211960/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lizzie-seal-183829">Lizzie Seal</a>, Professor of Criminology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sussex-1218">University of Sussex</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/lucy-letby-it-is-not-being-beige-average-or-normal-that-makes-her-crimes-so-hard-to-understand-211960">original article</a>.</em></p>

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“Turn your phone off”: The simple reason behind Albanese’s warning

<p>Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has issued a clear warning to the public, advising them to "turn their phones off" as a safety measure to avoid potential dangers.</p> <p>Albanese delivered this cautionary message last week while announcing the appointment of Australia's first national cybersecurity coordinator, Air Commander Darren Goldie of the Royal Australian Air Force.</p> <p>Goldie was quick to echo the Prime Minister's sentiments, emphasising the importance of mobilising both the private sector and consumers in the fight against cyber threats.</p> <p>"We all bear responsibility in this matter. Simple actions, such as turning off your phone every night for five minutes, can make a significant difference.</p> <p>"I encourage everyone watching to adopt this practice once every 24 hours, perhaps while engaging in daily routines like brushing your teeth," stated Albanese during the press conference.</p> <p>While rebooting your device on a daily basis may seem like a basic precaution, it can greatly enhance your protection against cybercriminals. Often, various applications and processes continue running in the background of your phone or computer, even when you're not actively using them.</p> <p>If unauthorised individuals gain access to these apps and processes, they can monitor your activities and collect your data, including financial information and identification documents, and even hijack your webcam or phone camera.</p> <p>By rebooting your phone, you force the closure of all background applications and processes, effectively evicting anyone attempting to track your virtual movements.</p> <p>Priyadarsi Nanda, a cybersecurity expert at the University of Technology Sydney, supported Albanese's advice, emphasising the importance of periodically turning off one's phone.</p> <p>"Considering how extensively we use smartphones in our daily lives, there have been cases where individuals haven't turned off their phones for an entire year," Dr. Nanda told <em>The Guardian</em>.</p> <p>"If there is a malicious process running, switching off the phone breaks the chain. While it may only provide protection while the phone is off, it undoubtedly frustrates potential hackers. Although not foolproof, rebooting can make it more challenging for hackers to compromise your device."</p> <p>It is crucial to note that this measure does not safeguard against all forms of cybercrime. If your password has been stolen or you are being repeatedly and strategically targeted, for example, a simple reboot is unlikely to deter the most persistent hackers.</p> <p><em>Image: Wikimedia / Australian Government</em></p>

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Missing Uber driver found dead after week-long search

<p>Two teenage boys, 17 and 18, have been charged over the alleged murder of an Uber driver who went missing about a week ago.</p> <p>The driver, Scott Cabrie, 47, was found dead near a boat ramp on Power House road, Howard, on Queensland’s Fraser Coast, 280km north of Brisbane, at around 11:30 am on Sunday.</p> <p>Queensland police allege Mr Cabrie was killed during a rideshare trip in his blue Nissan X-Trail.</p> <p>Investigations led detectives to issue a search warrant at an address in Pacific Haven where a 17-year-old male was taken into custody.</p> <p>The 17-year-old was additionally charged with one count each of murder, robbery and deprivation of liberty.</p> <p>The teen was refused bail and will appear before Hervey Bay Children’s Court on Monday.</p> <p>On the same day, at around 6:25pm, officers issued a warrant to another Hervey Bay address, where they arrested an 18-year-old man from Sunshine Acres.</p> <p>The 18-year-old has been charged with one count each of murder, the unlawful use of a vehicle, arson, armed robbery and deprivation of liberty.</p> <p>He was also refused bail and will appear in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on Monday.</p> <p>Mr Cabrie’s vehicle had been found burnt out near Wieland road at Pacific Haven on Tuesday, February 7, three days before he was reported missing.</p> <p>A search operation with officers, water police, SES volunteers and drone technology was launched in the area and surrounds.</p> <p>On Sunday morning, February 12, the body believed to be Mr Cabrie was discovered near a boat ramp, but the cause of death is yet to be revealed.</p> <p>The police are currently looking into the movements of a blue 2017 Nissan X-trail with Queensland registration 675YF on Torbanlea Piallba Road between 11 pm and midnight on Monday, February 6.</p> <p>Authorities have appealed to anyone who may have relevant information or dashcam footage to come forward.</p> <p>Investigations into the circumstances surrounding Mr Cabrie’s death are still ongoing.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Facebook</em></p>

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“Enough is enough”: Karl's crime wave plea after family targeted

<p>A number of Aussies are resorting to hiring their own private security to watch over their properties while they sleep as the country faces a major crime wave.</p> <p>Within 24 hours, a teenager was stabbed to death in Melbourne’s northwest and three young offenders have been charged over Facebook Marketplace robberies in Queensland.</p> <p>As the crime problem continues to worsen, <em>Today</em> co-host Karl Stefanovic revealed his own family have been targeted.</p> <p>“Enough is enough,” he demanded.</p> <p>"This has happened to me, it's happened to my family, I've had kids come to my house, doing things and I've got them on tape," a disgruntled Stefanovic continued.</p> <p>"It is only relatively minor offences, but if it is getting to that level for me, it is getting to that level across the country - we keep having to talk about it, keeping saying we've got to do something about it and nothing happens.”</p> <p>Stefanovic also emphasised the colossal impact these targeted attacks have on families, regardless of whether it’s a home invasion, car theft or robbery on the street.</p> <p>“Whenever the crime comes to their doorstep, whenever someone breaks into their car, whenever something happens that's close to home, it has a tremendous psychological impact,” he said.</p> <p>He agreed with authorities discouraging vigilante activities as a solution, however, noted that the problem is only getting worse.</p> <p>"That's my big concern, that's the big concern for a lot of authorities in various states," he said.</p> <p>"I don't understand how authorities can't see how significant an impact this is having on the day-to-day life of people, law-abiding citizens at home.</p> <p>"It's not stopping and that's the problem."</p> <p><em>Image credit: 9News / Today</em></p>

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Tourist busted for carving name into world's most famous Roman relic

<p dir="ltr">An Irish tourist has run himself headfirst into trouble in Rome after he was reportedly caught carving his name - and his girlfriend’s - into the Colosseum. </p> <p dir="ltr">It is said that he had been making his carvings, which were six-centimetre-tall initials, with a metal point - possibly his keys - and gouged into a pillar of the 2000-year-old historic monument.</p> <p dir="ltr">The inscription, dedicated to himself and his partner, reportedly read “Ivan+Haley 23”.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Carabinieri police have claimed that the 32-year-old man was caught by private security at the World Heritage Site, and that social media videos of the incident alerted police to the alleged crime. </p> <p dir="ltr">The man has been accused of damaging the historical landmark, the Carabinieri confirmed to <em>CNN</em>, with the act considered to be a crime under Italian law. </p> <p dir="ltr">The Colosseum is one of the seven wonders of the modern world, and also a World Heritage Site, and Italy’s Minister of Culture has called for the tourist to be “identified and sanctioned”.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I consider it very serious, unworthy and a sign of great incivility that a tourist defaces one of the most famous places in the world, the Colosseum, to engrave the name of his fiancée,” he tweeted, along with footage of the incident. “I hope that whoever did this will be identified and sanctioned according to our laws.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He later uploaded another video, accompanied by the scathing caption “Tourist scars the Colosseum.” </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="it">Reputo gravissimo, indegno e segno di grande inciviltà, che un turista sfregi uno dei luoghi più celebri al mondo, il Colosseo, per incidere il nome della sua fidanzata. Spero che chi ha compiuto questo gesto venga individuato e sanzionato secondo le nostre leggi. <a href="https://t.co/p8Jss1GWuY">pic.twitter.com/p8Jss1GWuY</a></p> <p>— Gennaro Sangiuliano (@g_sangiuliano) <a href="https://twitter.com/g_sangiuliano/status/1673318742057525248?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">June 26, 2023</a></p></blockquote> <p dir="ltr">If the man is convicted, he faces a penalty of at least €2,065 (~$3,370.7) and up to one year in prison, according to <em>CNN</em>. </p> <p dir="ltr">And it isn’t the first time the Colosseum has been defaced by those seeking to carve out their place in history, with a Russian tourist facing a fine of €20,000 for carving the letter “K”. </p> <p dir="ltr">It’s a serious offence in the hearts of many, with archaeologist Federica Rinaldi - who is responsible for the ancient amphitheatre - telling the publication that “the Colosseum, like any monument that represents the history of all of us, must be preserved and handed over to future generations.”</p> <p dir="ltr">“It is a monument that deserves everyone’s respect because it belongs to everyone, and it must remain so,” Rinaldi added.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Carving one’s initials, in addition to being a crime, seems to be a gesture of those who want to appropriate the monument. Better take a selfie!”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Twitter</em></p>

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Settle in with one of these top reads this winter

<p dir="ltr">It can be challenging deciding on a new book to read, but with these titles releasing throughout July 2023, you’re sure to find something to settle in with.</p> <p dir="ltr">Whether an edge-of-your-seat murder mystery, a laugh-out-loud romantic escapade, or even a deep-space adventure is more your cup of tea, the time has come to dive into your next favourite novel, and maybe even convince your book club to read along with you. </p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>For the budding detectives out there:</strong></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><em><a href="https://www.booktopia.com.au/zero-days-ruth-ware/book/9781398508408.html">Zero Days</a></em>, Ruth Ware</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">“Hired by companies to break into buildings and hack security systems, Jack and her husband Gabe are the best penetration specialists in the business. But after a routine assignment goes horribly wrong, Jack arrives home to find her husband dead. To add to her horror, the police are closing in on their only suspect – her.</p> <p dir="ltr">“On the run and out of options, Jack must decide who she can trust as she circles closer to the truth in this unputdownable and heart-pounding mystery from 'one of the best thriller writers around today' Ruth Ware.”</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><em><a href="https://www.booktopia.com.au/four-dogs-missing-rhys-gard/book/9781760687724.html">Four Dogs Missing</a></em>, Rhys Gard</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">“While estranged twins Oliver and Theo Wingfield are identical in appearance, they couldn't be more different. Theo, an extrovert verging on arrogant, was always a drifter, a nomad, operating on the fringes of the law. Oliver, intense, creative and introspective, was destined to become a winemaker. Each vintage, every bottle from Oliver's Mudgee-based label, Four Dogs Missing, sells out.</p> <p dir="ltr">“And now, after fifteen years without contact, Theo unexpectedly turns up at his brother's vineyard, bearing an invitation that his twin knows nothing about. The quiet and fulfilling life that the winemaker has built for himself is about to change overnight: Theo's arrival is the catalyst for a series of murders involving those closest to Oliver. Finding himself the main suspect, Oliver soon discovers that not everyone in Mudgee supports a reclusive and unorthodox vigneron who's shied away from the community that helped him succeed.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Oliver is inexorably drawn into a sinister world where poisoned liquor and stolen art leave a deadly trail. Abandoning his grapevines, he sets out to solve the crimes – and confront his damaged past – before someone else he loves is found dead … beside a bottle of his own wine.”</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><em><a href="https://www.booktopia.com.au/none-of-this-is-true-lisa-jewell/book/9781529195989.html">None of This is True</a></em>, Lisa Jewell </p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">“Celebrating her 45th birthday at her local pub, popular podcaster Alix Summers crosses paths with an unassuming woman called Josie Fair. Josie, it turns out, is also celebrating her 45th birthday. They are, in fact, birthday twins.</p> <p dir="ltr">“A few days later, Alix and Josie bump into each other again, this time outside Alix's children's school. Josie has been listening to Alix's podcasts and thinks she might be an interesting subject for her series. She is, she tells Alix, on the cusp of great changes in her life.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Josie's life appears to be strange and complicated, and although Alix finds her unsettling, she can't quite resist the temptation to keep making the podcast.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Slowly Alix starts to realise that Josie has been hiding some very dark secrets, and before she knows it Josie has inveigled her way into Alix's life - and into her home.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But, as quickly as she arrived, Josie disappears. Only then does Alix discover that Josie has left a terrible and terrifying legacy in her wake, and that Alix has become the subject of her own true crime podcast, her life and her family's lives under mortal threat.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Who is Josie Fair? And what has she done?”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>For the sci-fi fanatics:</strong></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><em><a href="https://www.booktopia.com.au/circle-of-death-james-patterson/book/9781529136630.html">Circle of Death</a></em>, James Patterson</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">“Since Lamont Cranston - known to a select few as the Shadow - defeated Shiwan Khan and ended his reign of terror over New York one year ago, the city has started to regenerate.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But there is evil brewing elsewhere. And this time the entire world is under threat.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Which is why Lamont has scoured the globe to assemble a team with unmatched talent.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Only their combined powers can foil an enemy with ambitions and abilities beyond anyone's deepest fears.</p> <p dir="ltr">“As their mission takes them across the globe and into the highest corridors of power - pushing them beyond their limits - can justice prevail?”</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><em><a href="https://www.booktopia.com.au/a-psalm-for-the-wild-built-becky-chambers/book/9781250320216.html">A Psalm for the Wild-Built</a></em>, Becky Chambers</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">“It's been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend.</p> <p dir="ltr">“One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of "what do people need?" is answered.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They're going to need to ask it a lot.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Becky Chambers's new series asks: in a world where people have what they want, does having more matter?”</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><em><a href="https://www.booktopia.com.au/the-mother-fault-kate-mildenhall/book/9781760859848.html">The Mother Fault</a></em>, Kate Mildenhall</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">“Mim’s husband is missing. No one knows where Ben is, but everyone wants to find him – especially The Department. And they should know, the all-seeing government body has fitted the entire population with a universal tracking chip to keep them ‘safe’.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But suddenly Ben can’t be tracked. And Mim is questioned, made to surrender her passport and threatened with the unthinkable – her two children being taken into care at the notorious BestLife.</p> <p dir="ltr">“From the stark backroads of the Australian outback to a terrifying sea voyage, Mim is forced to shuck off who she was – mother, daughter, wife, sister – and become the woman she needs to be to save her family and herself.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>For those with a passion for romance: </strong></p> <ul> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><a href="https://www.booktopia.com.au/palazzo-danielle-steel/book/9781529022421.html"><em>Palazzo</em></a>, Danielle Steel</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">“After her parents perish in a tragic accident, Cosima Saverio assumes leadership of her family's haute couture Italian leather brand. While navigating the challenges of running a company at twenty-three, Cosima must also maintain the elegant four-hundred-year-old family palazzo in Venice and care for her younger siblings: Allegra, who survived the tragedy that killed their parents, and Luca, who has a penchant for wild parties, pretty women, and poker tables.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Cosima navigates her personal and professional challenges with a wisdom beyond her years, but her success has come at a cost: Her needs are always secondary. She's married to the business, and her free time is given to those who rely on her . . . until she meets Olivier Bayard, the founder of France's most successful ready-to-wear handbag company.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But Luca's gambling habit gets out of control and Cosima is forced to make an impossible choice to save him. The palazzo, the family business or cut Luca loose. Or is there another way to rescue everything she has fought for before it goes up in flames?”</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><a href="https://www.booktopia.com.au/the-willow-tree-wharf-leonie-kelsall/book/9781761066092.html"><em>The Willow Tree Wharf</em></a>, Leonie Kelsall</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">“Samantha, owner of Settlers Bridge cafe Ploughs and Pies, is short on confidence and big on regrets. Married young to fill the void left by an unhappy childhood, she still works in the same small town where she grew up, too filled with self-doubt and insecurity to ever risk spreading her wings. Yet will the end of her abusive marriage force her to start anew?</p> <p dir="ltr">“City restaurateur Pierce di Angelis knows what it is to have his career and family ripped away. However, a chance encounter with the intriguing Samantha ignites his passion, and together they concoct a plan for a destination restaurant.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But, with their personalities like oil and water, will old hurts and hidden truths destroy the new business before it's afloat?”</p> <ul> <li dir="ltr" aria-level="1"> <p dir="ltr" role="presentation"><em><a href="https://www.booktopia.com.au/the-forgotten-bookshop-in-paris-daisy-wood/book/9780008525248.html">The Forgotten Bookshop in Paris</a></em>, Daisy Wood</p> </li> </ul> <p dir="ltr">“Paris, 1940: War is closing in on the city of love. With his wife forced into hiding, Jacques must stand by and watch as the Nazis take away everything he holds dear. Everything except his last beacon of hope: his beloved bookshop, La Page Cachée.</p> <p dir="ltr">“But when a young woman and her child knock on his door one night and beg for refuge, he knows his only option is to risk it all once more to save a life…</p> <p dir="ltr">“Modern day: Juliette and her husband have finally made it to France on the romantic getaway of her dreams – but as the days pass, all she discovers is quite how far they’ve grown apart. She’s craving a new adventure, so when she happens across a tiny, abandoned shop with a for-sale sign in the window, it feels fated.</p> <p dir="ltr">“And she’s about to learn that the forgotten bookshop hides a lot more than meets the eye…”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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"We cannot judge": Nat Barr's frank question on war crimes for Army veteran

<p>Sunrise host Natalie Barr surprised viewers when she confronted a war veteran after he referred senior Australian Defence Force leaders to the International Criminal Court over alleged war crimes committed in Afghanistan.</p> <p>Glenn Kolomeitz, a military lawyer and army veteran, signed the referral alongside Senator Jacqui Lambie.</p> <p>The referral to The Hague had the criminal court examine the country’s high commanders “through the lens of command responsibility”.</p> <p>Kolomeitz and Lambie claimed senior commanders have avoided investigation over alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.</p> <p>“I've got to ask you. This is a question I get asked every time we discuss this general issue,” she said.</p> <p>“We trained these people to kill, and we trained them to operate in a war setting. None of us as civilians have any idea what that's like and we cannot judge them for when they go over there to war. What do you say to that?”</p> <p>Kolomeitz insisted that defence force personnel, regardless of rank, must be investigated if they’ve committed or covered up a criminal act.</p> <p>“I worked with these guys on a couple of rotations, and quite frankly, they are amazing advocates for our country, but if they've done the wrong thing, they must be properly investigated, and they must be vigorously prosecuted. That's the reality,” he said.</p> <p>“You can't ignore the commanders. You vigorously investigate and prosecute those who have done the wrong thing, including those with command responsibility.”</p> <p>The TV presenter then asked if an investigation was necessary for the chief of the defence force, Angus Campbell.</p> <p>Kolomeitz replied, “Every joint task force 633 commanders in that job during the period of the enquiry.”</p> <p>The army veteran drafted the letter that would be sent to the International Criminal Court.</p> <p>“If Australia does nothing about it, the ICC can potentially assume jurisdiction over the higher command and excise the higher command investigation from the ongoing investigation of junior soldiers,” he said.</p> <p>The 2020 Brereton report found “credible” evidence that 25 current or former Australian SAS soldiers unlawfully killed 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners between 2005 and 2016.</p> <p>The report strongly recommended administrative action be taken against ADF personnel where there is credible evidence of misconduct, but not enough for a criminal conviction.</p> <p>It ruled that senior commanders were not criminally to blame for the alleged crimes.</p> <p>Senator Lambie noted leadership had not been held to account for their actions.</p> <p>“The government is no doubt hoping this will all just go away,” she told the Senate.</p> <p>“They're hoping Australians will forget that when alleged war crimes in Afghanistan were investigated, our senior commanders got a free pass while our diggers were thrown under the bus.</p> <p>"Well, we don't forget. I won't forget. Lest we forget.</p> <p>“There is a culture of cover-up at the highest levels of the Australian Defence Force. It is the ultimate boys' club.”</p> <p>Image credit: Instagram/LinkedIn</p>

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Plane “crime” reignites long standing debate

<p dir="ltr">A travel influencer has reignited the age-old debate over what personal items truly belong in a plane’s overhead lockers, after they called out passengers for filling the compartments with their jackets. </p> <p dir="ltr">Snapping a photo on the on-board “crime”, online observers were quick to chime in with their thoughts on the matter. </p> <p dir="ltr">Given the online discourse around the controversial jacket storage, a poll conducted by nine.com.au found that most people agreed that there was nothing wrong with the action. </p> <p dir="ltr">While most people agreed that filling up the lockers with jackets is a frustrating move, an overwhelming 90% agreed that it was fine to do. </p> <p dir="ltr">"I thought that was exactly what an overhead locker was for???" one reader commented.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, according to globetrotters Matt and Hillary, who posted the original video on TikTok, doing so is a "crime".</p> <p dir="ltr">"If you plan to fly in 2023, please don't be the people who fill up an entire overhead cabinet with your jackets. It's an absolute waste of space. They could sit on your lap or most airlines have hooks."</p> <p dir="ltr">Instead, a more common gripe for travellers, according to the online poll, was the size of some people's 'carry on' luggage.</p> <p dir="ltr">"I think it's time the airlines stamped out some of the sizes of cases that get taken on as hand luggage," one person said.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Jackets and small bags should be the only items in the overhead locker. Too many people bring way too much carry-on luggage and take up the space of others, I might add this is my pet peeve when flying anywhere," another agreed.</p> <p dir="ltr">"It amazes me that folks get on aeroplanes with suitcases or sacks they expect to squeeze into the overhead lockers without any thought or consideration for their fellow travellers," was another frustrated reply.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: TikTok</em></p>

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No apologies: Ben Roberts-Smith breaks silence

<p>Former SAS soldier Ben Roberts-Smith has returned to Australia for the first time since losing his defamation case against Nine newspapers.</p> <p>Roberts-Smith touched down in Perth on June 14 and said he was shattered by the outcome of his defamation case against The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times.</p> <p>This is the first time he has spoken out publicly since the landmark ruling.</p> <p>"It was a terrible result and obviously the incorrect result. We will look at it and consider whether or not we need to file an appeal," Roberts-Smith said after landing in Perth.</p> <p>"There is not much more I can say about it ... we just have to work through it and I'll take the advice as it comes.”</p> <p>He was spotted checking into business class with his girlfriend in Queenstown, New Zealand prior to touching down in Perth.</p> <p>Roberts-Smith rules out apologising to families of the victims impacted by his actions in Afghanistan.</p> <p>"We haven't done anything wrong, so we won't be making any apologies," he said.</p> <p>As he was collecting his luggage at Perth airport, he was approached by a man who voiced his support for the former soldier.</p> <p>Roberts-Smith's return comes on the same day as reports that an Australian Federal Police investigation into his alleged war crimes had collapsed.</p> <p>The decision by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions not to prosecute Roberts-Smith based on evidence collected by the AFP has led to a new joint task force being assembled to investigate alleged executions.</p> <p>The task force is comprised of detectives from the specialist war crimes agency, the Office of the Special Investigator and a new team of federal police investigators not related to the abandoned AFP probe.</p> <p>Roberts-Smith did not appear in the Federal Court when a judge found allegations he murdered or was complicit in the killing of four unarmed Afghans while deployed overseas were "substantially true” in a bombshell defamation ruling.</p> <p>The former soldier insists there was never any foul play.</p> <p><em>Image credit: A Current Affair</em></p>

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Revenge, excitement, or profit: why do people commit arson?

<p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/xanthe-mallett-160506">Xanthe Mallett</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-newcastle-1060">University of Newcastle</a></em> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/joel-robert-mcgregor-369270">Joel Robert McGregor</a>, <em><a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/swinburne-university-of-technology-767">Swinburne University of Technology</a></em></p> <p>The huge blaze that struck Randle Street in central Sydney last week is now the subject of an <a href="https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/8210175/teens-sought-by-police-over-massive-sydney-cbd-blaze/">arson investigation</a>, authorities have confirmed.</p> <p>Many details remain unclear, including the safety and whereabouts of some of the people who were <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-05-27/wall-in-sydney-building-moves-after-major-fire/102401470">reportedly sleeping rough in the building</a>, as well as the nature of any criminal charges that may arise.</p> <p>Right now there’s also a fire burning on a southern Great Barrier Reef island, threatening a sensitive marine site, which local rangers are <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-05-30/rangers-battle-suspicious-fire-on-great-barrier-reef-island/102408970">treating as suspicious</a>.</p> <p>While arson is yet to be confirmed in either of these specific cases, it’s timely to look at the issue of arson more generally.</p> <p>Aside from the personal and environmental implications, the financial burden of arson is huge. Recent data are difficult to obtain, although it was estimated that the total cost of arson in Australia was <a href="https://www.aic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-05/rpp129.pdf">A$2.3 billion in 2011</a>, and the annual figure is likely to have increased since then.</p> <p>There’s a lack of scientific research attempting to understand the arsonist, perhaps because the “typical arsonist” doesn’t exist. Or maybe it’s because so few arsons are solved, and the rate of successful convictions remains low.</p> <p>However, the research that has been done suggests there are <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B012369397700203X">six main</a> <a href="https://www.firehouse.com/community-risk/investigation-equipment/article/10464930/arson-investigation-the-six-motives-for-firesetting">types of</a> <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Shelby-Miller-8/publication/342276745_Applications_of_Criminology_to_the_Multidimensional_Crime_of_Arson/links/5eeb748092851ce9e7ecad80/Applications-of-Criminology-to-the-Multidimensional-Crime-of-Arson.pdf">arsonist</a>.</p> <h2>6 types of arsonist</h2> <p>Arson, as <a href="https://www.aic.gov.au/publications/bfab/bfab1#:%7E:text=Arson%20is%20the%20act%20of,through%20the%20use%20of%20fire">defined</a> by the Australian Institute of Criminology, is the act of “intentionally and maliciously destroying or damaging property through the use of fire”.</p> <p>For a fire to be classified as arson there must be intent – the intention to cause harm or damage.</p> <p>Arson can also be the primary or secondary motive – is setting the fire the main purpose, or is the fire being used to disguise another activity?</p> <p>Here are the main six underlying reasons why someone might commit arson:</p> <p><strong>1. The ‘for profit’ arsonist</strong></p> <p>There are many ways someone can profit from arson. This includes extortion, or destroying a property to clear a piece of land. But most commonly these crimes are attempts at insurance fraud.</p> <p>There are different types of property insurance fraud, including residential, commercial and vehicular. Residential fraud is committed by the homeowner or tenant; commercial fraud is committed by an owner to destroy company statements or claim on insurance; and vehicular fraud may occur when someone can’t afford their repayments.</p> <p>These are largely one-off crimes and are very focused, and the offender is easier to catch than with other types of arson because they have a direct link with the damaged property or its owner.</p> <p><strong>2. Pyromaniacs</strong></p> <p>These perpetrators light fires for thrills and attention. Their fires range from bins to occupied buildings, and the size and risk associated with the fires may increase over time as the arsonist needs more excitement with each event.</p> <p>This type of offender is often voyeuristic, and may wait for emergency services to attend, sometimes even calling them themselves, as they want to be present at the scene. They may video or photograph the fire and the first responders.</p> <p>As a result, for investigators it’s important to capture images of the crowd to see who was watching.</p> <p>This category includes first responders who set fires in order to be a “hero” in attendance, seeking praise and recognition for their bravery.</p> <p>For example, a New South Wales volunteer firefighter was charged in January 2021 for allegedly <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/rfs-member-charged-with-lighting-30-fires-in-nsw-20210124-p56wei.html">starting more than 30 fires</a> during that summer.</p> <p><strong>3. Crime concealment</strong></p> <p>For these offenders, the arson is secondary to the concealment of another serious crime, such as murder or theft.</p> <p>Fire is a very successful means of destroying many forms of evidence, such as fingerprints that may have been left at a scene or clothing worn during the crime.</p> <p><strong>4. The revenge arsonist</strong></p> <p>These offenders are emotionally driven, and set fires out of anger or hatred, or for revenge for a real or perceived wrong. The need for retaliation could be based in a personal slight – such as an affair, or having been dismissed from a job.</p> <p>Targets vary from individuals to institutions. And because of the emotional state of the offender, these crimes are usually disorganised and use unsophisticated methods of starting the fire, meaning they leave more evidence behind than some other types.</p> <p><strong>5. Extremist motivations</strong></p> <p>Extremist arsonists are driven by religious, political or social agendas.</p> <p>There are two types of extremist arsonist, the first being those reacting to a civil disturbance, such as the death of a person in custody. Activities may include vandalism and looting, and the purpose may be to draw attention to a perceived injustice.</p> <p>For example, 36-year-old Jose A. Felan Jr was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison in the United States after he <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/minnesota/news/jose-felan-36-gets-6-12-years-in-prison-for-multiple-arsons-during-george-floyd-unrest/">set fires</a> at a school and two shops, during the riots that followed the police killing of George Floyd during an arrest in May 2020.</p> <p>The second type are terrorist arsonists, known as pyro-terrorism, which is <a href="https://www.ojp.gov/ncjrs/virtual-library/abstracts/pyro-terrorism-threat-arson-induced-forest-fires-future-terrorist">defined</a> as “the use of incendiary attacks to intimidate or coerce a government or civilian population”. These offenders may use arson as one of a range of measures, and work alone or in cells.</p> <p>Because their crimes are premeditated with targets selected carefully to have the most social, economic or political impact, these offenders are often highly organised, and may use advanced incendiary devices. The purpose is to cause mass fear, beyond the actual target itself.</p> <p><strong>6. Vandalism</strong></p> <p>Vandal arsonists are typically juveniles, who set fire to bins, abandoned vehicles or empty buildings, and may do so to cover up other crimes such as theft. Often an additional factor in the starting of the fire is peer pressure or gang initiation, as these arsonists often act in groups.</p> <p>For these offenders, arson can be what criminologists call a “gateway crime” – a crime that may lead to more severe criminal activity.</p> <p>But if such offenders are given suitable support, rehabilitation can be highly successful to prevent them becoming serious, repeat offenders.</p> <p>Although these are the main motives for arson, each does not act in a vacuum, and more than one may jointly contribute to the arsonist’s motivations. For example, someone may be murdered out of revenge, and then the offender sets a fire to conceal that crime or destroy evidence.</p> <p>Arson is highly complex crime, with a wide range of social, psychological and environmental influences. More work needs to be done to understand the arsonist and their motivations, and how they can be identified, caught, convicted and hopefully rehabilitated.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/206502/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/xanthe-mallett-160506">Xanthe Mallett</a>, Forensic Criminologist, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-newcastle-1060">University of Newcastle</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/joel-robert-mcgregor-369270">Joel Robert McGregor</a>, Lecturer in Criminology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/swinburne-university-of-technology-767">Swinburne University of Technology</a></em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/revenge-excitement-or-profit-why-do-people-commit-arson-206502">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Frantic father's desperate plea after wife and daughters chased by gang of girls

<p>A concerned father is urging South Australia’s Education Department to step in after his wife and three daughters were chased through a shopping centre by a gang of school girls in Adelaide.</p> <p>They chased year 9 student Addison Rice, her two sisters and her mother through Mount Barker Central, after following her from Mount Barker High School.</p> <p>Addison and her family were then chased into Specsavers, where staff helped protect them by closing and locking the front door.</p> <p>Addison’s father Paul Rice explained the experience was distressing for his wife and children.</p> <p>"[They] started yelling screaming, [they were] abusing her, threatening her, trying to punch her," he said.</p> <p>"One of [my] other daughters had to step in to stop these [girls] from attacking [my] younger daughter.</p> <p>"I had my wife and three daughters in that shop being protected by the people that work there.”</p> <p>Witnesses recalled the group ganging up on the girl, leaving some of the older customers feeling unsafe.</p> <p>Officers dispersed the group of girls at the scene but said they would not be taking further action.</p> <p>In a letter sent out to parents of enrolled students, Mount Barker High School has assured they will take "strong action once the full details of the incident are determined”.</p> <p>Parents are also calling for harsher, potentially legal consequences for severe bullying incidents.</p> <p><em>Image credit: 9News / Nine</em></p>

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