Australian banned from breastfeeding over tattoo

An Australian woman who was tattooed after giving birth has been banned from breastfeeding by a judge who ruled it exposed the baby to an unacceptable risk of harm.

The woman, 20, who was not identified, has lodged an appeal which is due to be heard by the Family Court in Sydney on Friday.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Thursday that she had a finger and a foot tattooed in May without telling the tattoo artist she was breastfeeding.

It prompted the 11-month-old boy’s father, who is separated from the mother, to take the toddler to live with him, claiming his former partner had mental health and drug issues.

The woman petitioned the Federal Circuit Court and in an interim hearing on June 5 it agreed she should have primary care but must not breastfeed due to the risk that she contracted a blood-borne disease when having the tattoos.

The ruling came despite the woman recording negative results on hepatitis and HIV tests, the report said.

The Australian Breastfeeding Association said it was worried that a dangerous precedent could be set.

“Tattooing is a regulated industry, so if you go to a tattoo parlour that is reputable then the chances (of contracting an infection) are very low,” chief executive Rebecca Naylor told national radio.

“I think unless there’s evidence that she has contracted an infection as a result of that tattoo, then it is unreasonable.

“Tattooing in and of itself, as long as it’s done in a reputable way and that the infection control procedures are followed, the risk is low and so no, we would absolutely encourage women who have had tattoos to breastfeed their babies for as long as they choose to.”

She added that the ruling raised wider concerns.

“Does that mean that women who expose themselves to any sort of risks around the contraction of a blood-borne virus… shouldn’t be allowed to breastfeed?” she asked.

Photo Credits : AFP

British Soldiers Verbally Abused Australia Women’s Team, Says FFA

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Football Federation Australia has confirmed Australia’s women’s team were subjected to sexist abuse by British military personnel.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has no plans to pursue disciplinary action, after confirming British military personnel yelled sexist abuse at Australia’s women’s team during a friendly in Cyprus against England.

Australia – known as the Matildas – lost 3-0 to England on Friday at the 2015 Cyprus Cup, an invitational international tournament.

But the result was overshadowed by reports – originating from English football blog Girls on the Ball – that British soldiers had allegedly directed sexist comments towards the Australian players.

In a statement, the FFA confirmed “inappropriate comments” had been made but appeared to indicate they consider the incident dealt with, after an apology was made following the match.

“FFA can confirm there was inappropriate comments directed at players and match officials from members of the UK Military who were watching the Matildas play England at the Cyprus Cup,” an FFA spokesperson said.

“A senior officer from the Military group offered an apology to the Matildas’ management as soon as the match finished and that apology was accepted.

“FFA condemns the sexist and anti-social behaviour on display at the Cyprus Cup and reaffirms our position of zero tolerance, as contained in FFA’s National Code of Conduct.”

A British Ministry of Defence spokeswoman was quoted as telling the BBC: “Behaviour of the kind described is totally unacceptable and is not tolerated in the armed forces where abuse, bullying and discrimination have no place.

“We are investigating these claims and if it is found that any UK personnel have fallen below the high standards we expect then appropriate action will be taken.”

De Villiers looms large for Ireland in Cricket World Cup clash

Ireland go into Tuesday’s World Cup clash against South Africa in Canberra faced with a question that even fanciful Test nations have struggled to find an answer for.

How does one tame the rampaging AB de Villiers before he destroys the rivals’ bowling attack, dents their morale and leaves them dumbstruck by what just hit them?

The West Indies once more suffered at the hands of the South African captain who, despite a stomach illness, smashed an audacious 162 off 66 balls with 17 boundaries and eight sixes in Sydney on Friday to fashion a 257-run win.

It was against the same team that de Villers smashed the fastest one-day century off 31 balls at home in January, prompting former Australian dasher Adam Gilchrist to call him the “most valuable cricketer on the planet.”

The Proteas, one of the pre-tournament favourites, needed the brutal attack by their 31-year-old captain to steady the ship after they were stunned by India by 130 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground a week ago.

De Villiers was run out for 30 in that match by a brilliant throw from the deep by Mohit Sharma, which must make Ireland wonder if that is the only way to see the back of him.

But the proud Irish, whose cricket has developed rapidly under their West Indies coach Phil Simmons, will look to run the mighty Proteas closely after winning their first two games in the tournament.

Ireland chased down a challenging West Indies total of 304-7 at Nelson with four wickets and 25 balls to spare on the back of half-centuries from Paul Stirling (92), Ed Joyce (84) and Niall O’Brien (79 not out).

Simmons, the former West Indies opening batsman, insisted the result was not an upset because his team was now capable of matching skills with the more established teams.

“It excited me the way we played against the West Indies,” said Simmons. “They played four fast bowlers, thinking we would not be able to cope with the speed. It’s the best I’ve seen the team play and it augurs well for the future.”

Ireland overcame wayward bowling in their next game in Brisbane to allow the United Arab Emirates to pile up 278-9, but the batsman kept their nerve to win in the final over with the ninth-wicket pair at the crease.

If other results go their way, even one win from their four remaining games against South Africa, India, Pakistan and Zimbabwe could see Ireland qualify for the quarter-finals.

However, past records favour South Africa against the Irish, who progressed from the first round in their inaugural appearance at the World Cup in 2007 but were knocked out in the group stages four years later.

Ireland have lost all three one-day internationals against South Africa so far. In their last meeting at the 2011 World Cup at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, the Proteas thumped them by 131 runs.

Still, the Irish can be expected to blast away at the batting friendly Manuka Oval wicket where West Indies opener Chris Gayle hammered a World Cup record score of 215 against Zimbabwe last week.

South Africa’s only worry will be the underwhelming form of pace spearhead Dale Steyn, who has claimed just three wickets in the first three games at a high average of 47.66.

With de Villiers’ team almost certain to qualify for the knock-out rounds, Steyn will be needed to be at his best if South Africa are to have a shot at their maiden World Cup title.

An unlikely bowling hero for the Proteas is leg-spinner Imran Tahir, whose nine wickets so far is only behind the New Zealand seam duo of Tim Southee (13) and Trent Boult (10) in the leading bowlers’ list.

Photo Credits : AFP

Pakistani Cricket Fans See Ivory Coast AFCON Win As A Good Omen

Ivory Coast players celebrate winning AFCON 2015. | image source:

Ivory Coast’s AFCON win has not only generate buzz and excitement in their fan bases in Africa but also cricket-mad Pakistan.

Following their 9-8 penalty shootout win over Ghana on Sunday to claim their second AFCON win, the Ivorians have given Pakistani Cricket fans reason to believe that their nation will win this year’s cricket World Cup which will be held in Australia and New Zealand from 14th February to 29th March.

The reason for that high level of optimism among the Pakistani is that Ivory Coast’s first AFCON win in 1992 coincided with the clinching of their first Cricket World title. Like in 2015, Ivory Coast’s 1992 success came after a penalty shootout win over Ghana and with that year’s Cricket World Cup also having taken place in Australia and New Zealand, Pakistanis believe will also repeat itself in their favour.

Pakistan are in Group B with South Africa, West Indies, Zimbabwe, United Arab Emirates, Ireland and India. Their first match will be against rivals India on February 15 at the Adelaide Oval.

Below is a tweet by a Pakistani Cricket fan proclaiming optimism his nation’s “imminent” world cup win.


Australia win dramatic Asian Cup final

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A James Troisi goal in extra time gave Australia a 2-1 victory over South Korea and their first Asian Cup success after a thrilling final in Sydney.

A sharp turn and 25-yard shot from Swindon’s Massimo Luongo put the hosts in front shortly before half-time.
Son Heung-min grabbed a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser after a clever flick from captain Ki Sung-yueng.
But Troisi struck just before the end of the first period of extra time after good work from substitute Tomi Juric.

The Koreans, who beat Australia 1-0 in the group stage, dominated the opening 45 minutes at Stadium Australia before midfielder Luongo’s brilliant finish.

With Australia seconds from victory, Son struck, sparking wild celebrations among the ‘Red Devils’ fans behind the Australia goal.
The decisive moment came with another half about to end as Juric held off Kim Jin-su and when his cross was pushed out by keeper Kim Jin-hyeon, fellow substitute Troisi belted the ball into the roof of the net.
Despite their excellent record of qualifying for World Cups, South Korea are still waiting for their first Asian Cup title since 1960.


China Eye Russia 2018 After Asian Cup Run

Chinese players looking dejected after their loss to Australia in 2015 AFC Asian Cup quarterfinals. | image source:

China PR coach Alain Perrin said he now knows the task facing his side as they face up to 2018 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying after their run to the AFC Asian Cup quarter-finals.

Team China were the tournament’s surprise package in their unbeaten romp through the group stage but they were dealt a reality check in Thursday’s 2-0 loss to hosts Australia.

“Today we lost to a team that we have seen play at the World Cup finals,” the Frenchman said. “We now know we have a lot of things to do, we have a lot of work to do,” he added.

China had gone into the Brisbane match full of confidence after topping Group B with wins over Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Korea DPR.

But Australia hero Tim Cahill popped up with two second-half goals to put China on a plane home, after they had reached the knock-out stages for the first time in 11 years.

China faded in the second half but despite their loss, they will take heart from a campaign which showed football’s ultimate “sleeping giant” may be stirring.

Next up for China is qualifying for Russia 2018, where they will attempt to reach a World Cup for only the second time in their history.

“The experience gained at the AFC Asian Cup will help with our FIFA World Cup qualification as this tournament has given us great confidence and we have learned many things,” said goalkeeper Wang Dalei.

“Personally I have learned a lot given that this is my first time playing in such big matches. I have improved mentally and in my ability to remember tactics,” he added.

China’s performance was warmly welcomed at home, where record numbers of viewers for the tournament followed on television.

Australia bans commercial sunbeds over cancer fears

Most Australian states and territories are set to ban commercial sunbeds from Thursday, in a crackdown on artificial tanning in a country that has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world.

The ban — which comes into force in the states of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, Queensland and in the Australian Capital Territory on January 1 — will make Australia the second nation after Brazil to impose such a restriction, campaigners said.

Western Australia has said it would also implement a ban, though it has yet to announce a start date. There are no commercial solariums in the only other part of Australia — the hot and humid Northern Territory.

Cancer Council Australia welcomed the ban, which it has long pushed for, adding that it would help to reduce rates of skin cancer, which affects two out of three Australians by age 70.

“Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world,” advocacy director Paul Grogan said in a statement to AFP.

“Solariums expose users to extremely highly levels of UV (ultraviolet) radiation, greatly increasing their risk of melanoma and other skin cancers.”

Australia is sometimes referred to as the sunburnt country, where beaches are thronged with bathers basking under blue skies and the rates of melanoma, a potentially fatal form of skin cancer, are the highest in the world.

– The sunburnt country –

Public health campaigners have long pushed to promote awareness of the dangers of exposure to the sun, urging people to wear sunscreen, hats and sunglasses. They have also warned that tanning on a sunbed is not safe.

“Queensland already has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world and there is no question there’s a direct link between regular sunbed use and the incidence of malignant melanoma,” the state’s interim Health Minister Mark McArdle told Australian Associated Press.

The incidence of skin cancers in Australia is two to three times the rates in Canada, the United States and Britain, the Cancer Council said.

More than 2000 Australians died from skin cancer in 2011, the majority from melanoma, which is caused by harmful ultraviolet light from the sun, the council added.

Australia’s proximity to Antarctica, where there is a hole in the ozone layer which normally filters out UV rays, also increases the risk.

Previous research suggested that the use of sunbeds by people aged 18 to 39 increases their risk of developing melanoma, the most common form of cancer among young Australians, by an average of 41 percent.

The ban was supported by a majority of Australians, the council said, in a recent survey of 6,300 people, while fewer adults and youths said they had used a solarium in the past year.

About one percent of adults and 0.3 percent of youths used a sunbed, the data showed, down from 2.2 percent and 1.2 percent a decade ago.

Several European countries and American states have also banned the use of sunbeds by minors, according to research published in the journal Nature.

AUSTRALIA: Mother Arrested For Murdering Eight Children

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A 37-year-old mother of most of the eight children found dead in a mass stabbing in Australia’s tropical northern city of Cairns has been arrested for murder, police said on Saturday.

Detective Inspector Bruno Asnicar said the woman, who was hospitalized on Friday with stab wounds, was lucid and awake and talking to police.

Asnicar said the woman was the mother of seven of the eight children, aged 18 months to 15 years. The eighth child was her niece.

Tearful Australians mourn hostages killed in siege

Sydneysiders including tearful office workers and Muslim women in hijabs laid flowers Tuesday at the scene of a deadly siege, in an outpouring of grief and shock that this could happen in their easy-going city.

Nearby florist kiosks struggled to keep up with demand as wellwishers created a sea of bouquets in an impromptu memorial at Martin Place, the city square where the 16-hour drama unfolded.

“Just the fact that something like this has never happened before in Australia, and it just makes you feel so sad,” said Tom Harris, who works on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, as he approached with a large bouquet.

“And I just feel so sad and just feel sorry for the poor people, especially at Christmas time.”

Emotions were raw as Australia awoke to the news that the Lindt chocolate cafe had been stormed overnight by heavily armed police, ending the siege in the heart of Sydney’s financial district.

Most of the hostages escaped but the cafe manager, 34, and a 38-year-old barrister and mother-of-three lay dead while six more people were injured, including three women with gunshot wounds.

The attack staged by Iranian-born Man Haron Monis, who also died, has rocked the country, with Sydney tabloid The Daily Telegraph conveying the national mood with its frontpage headline: ‘Evil Strikes Our Heart’.

Social media was flooded with expressions of fear and dismay, and pictures of the distinctive city harbour and skyline emblazoned with the hashtag #prayforSydney.

“I will ride with you”, read one note attached to a hand-picked bouquet in Martin Place, referring to the campaign for solidarity with the Muslim community that has seen tens of thousands tweet the hashtag #illridewithyou.

Flags on all government buildings were ordered to be flown at half mast.

“I don’t think I could be sadder,” New South Wales state Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said as he looked at the floral tributes in Martin Place, where many in the crowd stood wiping away tears.

“It just doesn’t feel the same today. Martin Place is such a beautiful area but today I just feel numb,” said onlooker Terri Lucia.

“I just feel that we’ve lost something, something that I felt that we were protected from, and that’s… so upsetting. I feel we lost our innocence yesterday. ”

– ‘Completely innocent’ –

The nation has been on security alert for months, after police in September disrupted an alleged plot by Islamic State supporters to abduct and behead a member of the public.

Rather than the work of a terrorist cell, the cafe siege was staged by a self-styled sheikh facing dozens of serious charges including involvement in his wife’s murder, and sex offences stemming from his time as a “spiritual healer”.

But the shock of the bloodshed in the heart of the city, and the deaths of people who had been going about their ordinary morning ritual of buying a coffee on their way to work, was too much for many to absorb.

“That could have been absolutely anyone and… they’ve done nothing. They are completely innocent and to lose their lives, for those poor families, it’s just really heart-breaking,” Angelica Haifa told AFP.

Mirella Rigo, overcome with emotion, rushed through the crowd to embrace a Muslim woman laying flowers at the memorial to show her solidarity with the Islamic community.

“It’s heartfelt,” she told AFP. “I think to make them see they are not responsible for this.”

Mariam Veiszadeh from the Islamophobia Register said she had been moved by the response of ordinary Australians, many of whom had rallied to support the Muslim community.

“The tragedy that unfolded in Sydney yesterday has really brought Australians together — irrespective of our backgrounds, religious or racial identities,” she told AFP after laying flowers at the site.

DUBAI SEVENS: Kenya Slump To Another Defeat

image source: facebook/kenya7s

The Kenya Sevens slumped to yet another humiliating defeat in their second match of the ongoing Dubai Sevens circuit of the 2014-15 IRB Sevens Series.

Bottom of Group D following a 29-12 defeat to Australia in their first match, Kenya needed to win against England who started the tournament by defeating USA 19-12 in order to revive hopes of staying in the main cup but ended up losing 38-0.

Kenya next match is against USA at 1909h EAT and they will be looking to save face with a win over the Mike Friday-coached side who lost 26-10 in their second match against Australia.

With Australia and England winning all their Group D Matches so far, Kenya and USA have been knocked out of the main cup and have been relegated to the Bowl bracket.