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Poultry code review could help unscramble chicken-cruelty rules

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Poultry code review could help unscramble chicken-cruelty rules, 苏州夜生活, by .

Impact of egg production on hens
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is lagging well behind international standards when it comes to the use of battery cages. But in 2017, there is an opportunity for progress.

More than 25 million hens, plus millions of male chicks, are used by the n egg industry every year.

Egg production is divided across three primary farming methods – battery cages, barn-laid and free range. This separation in farming styles has led to eggs becoming one of the most confusing, and hotly debated, animal products on the market.

Eggs attract fierce debate as consumers are vocal about their expectations of how eggs should be produced, and how hens should be treated.

Which is why it is so shocking that, in 2017, approximately 11 to 12 million hens are still confined in battery cage systems across .

Battery cages have already been banned, or are being phased out, in a significant number of global markets due to the severe welfare issues inherent in their use, including Canada, New Zealand, Switzerland and Austria.

In , the ACT is the only jurisdiction to have prohibited the use of battery cages.

Arguably factory farming at its worst, the battery cage production system permanently confines egg-laying hens in rows of tiny cages in a shed for their entire lives, locked in a cage with less space than that of an A4 page for each bird.

Independent animal welfare science (and common sense) shows how much hens suffer within these cages.

There are numerous issues, including severe mental and behavioural impacts, and physical issues. The extreme lack of space and inactivity, in combination with the physical effort of producing eggshells for unnaturally high egg production, can result in hens developing osteoporosis, leading to chronic pain from bone fractures. This is a systemic problem across the cage-egg industry, with a 2004 study estimating that 80-89 per cent of commercial egg-laying hens suffer from osteoporosis.

In fact, a hen’s bones could become so weak that her spine disintegrates and she becomes paralysed. She will then die from dehydration in her cage.

What’s more, forced to stand on wire flooring, hens can also suffer chronic pain from foot lesions, and serious bone and muscle weakness. The wire cage flooring can result in a hen’s feet becoming sore, cracked and deformed and, in some cases, her nails twisting around the wire mesh flooring to restrict her movements even further or even to trap her to the floor.These are serious issues for hens, and yet, when conversations happen about eggs production, the welfare of the laying hen is often ignored.

Voiceless has launched its latest in-depth report, Unscrambled: The Hidden Truth of Hen Welfare in the n Egg Industry, in an effort to bring much-needed attention to the welfare and labelling issues of the industry.

The product of two years of extensive research and legal review, Unscrambled assesses the key animal protection issues associated with the use of battery cages, but also barn-laid and free-range systems, from an animal welfare and scientific perspective.

The report, which has been reviewed by seven leading animal welfare and legal experts, and endorsed by major animal protection organisations Animals , Mercy for Animals (US) and Compassion in World Farming (UK), explores the current status of hen and chick welfare in , and how we compare globally.

The short answer? It is not a pretty picture.

Battery cages, barn-laid and free-range systems all present major animal welfare issues, some that are unavoidable in the production of eggs, such as the maceration (grinding up) of day-old male chicks.

Consumer groups too, are frustrated at the loose use of the term “free range”, duping consumers into buying eggs that fall well below their expectations.

Yet there are emerging opportunities for significant advancements in animal welfare in the egg industry.

For instance, for the first time in 15 years, the Model Code of Practice for Poultry is under review in 2017. The code sets the standards for how chickens can be treated, and currently condones permanent confinement of hens, which is illegal to inflict upon a dog or cat.

Voiceless has serious concerns that this opportunity for change will instead be used as a means to lock in the continued use of cages in permanently, due to concerns raised about the independence of the review process.

Therefore, to address the serious welfare issues within the n egg industry, a multi-tiered approach is required from industry, government, businesses and consumers.

This approach must address the suffering of the millions of hens who are living within ‘s egg production industry, but also to prepare for future generations of hens and their offspring.

To address the immediate suffering of hens, industry and government must at least take steps towards a phase-out of standard industry mutilation practices such as beak trimming and the maceration of male chicks.

However, to advance the protection of chickens, it is the role of business and consumers to lead the call for meaningful change, to demand that the millions of chickens who live in are treated in a way that meets our expectations, and are at least free from battery cages.

The Model Code of Practice for Poultry is under review and is due to open up for public consultation in August.

Unscrambled: The hidden truth of hen welfare in the n egg industry is available for free download.

Elise Burgess for Voiceless, the animal protection institute.

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NPL: Edgeworth close on minor premiership as Maitland turn tide on Jaffas

12.12.2018, Comments Off on NPL: Edgeworth close on minor premiership as Maitland turn tide on Jaffas, 苏州夜生活, by .

Edgeworth goalscorers Brody Taylor and Daniel McBreenValentine coach Darren Sills believes Edgeworth will power to their third consecutive Northern NSW NPL premiership double after they made his side “look second-rate” in a 5-0 drubbing on Saturday.
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Fifth-placed Phoenix were desperate for a win in the penultimate-round game at Cahill Oval to keep their finals hopes afloatbut they paid the price for errors in the first half to trail the ladder leaders 2-0 at the break.

Brody Taylor put the Eagles ahead in the 32ndminute with a header off a Dom Bizzarri cross, whichwas put over goalkeeper Scott Carter who had rushed out of his area.

Dylan Holz then hit a shot from an acute angle which came off Carter’s hands into goals as he dived back towards the goalline.

Will Bower made it 3-0 in the 84thminute after Carter spilled a cross, Daniel McBreen hit a powerful strike on the run from range in the 90thand Keigo Moriyasu cleverly chipped the keeper in the 94th.

The win and third-placed Lambton Jaffas’ 2-1 loss to Maitland at Edden Oval on Saturday means only Hamilton Olympic can now stop Edgeworth from claiming the minor premiership. Olympic are two points behind the Eagles. Hamilton play Broadmeadow in the last round, while Edgeworth host Lakes.

Regardless of what Hamilton can do, Sills believed the Eagles were on track for another title double. Valentine are out of the finals race after Broadmeadow won on Sunday.

“There were a couple of mistakes in the first half that meant we had to change game plan and that didn’t help,” Sills said.“But, in the end, we were totally outclassed and on that performance I can’t see anyone beating them. They made us look second-rate today.”

To make matters worse, Valentine’s league-leading goalscorer and player of the year contender, Jalon Brown, went down late with a hamstring tear and looks unlikely to feature again this year.

Edgeworth coach Damian Zane could just about touch the premiership trophy.

“It sort of half feels like we’ve won it, but we haven’t,” Zane said. “But gee, it would be hard to see us losing it from here.”

The result meansEdgeworth are now eight goals better than Hamilton, meaning a draw next week should be enough to guarantee the premiership.

At Edden Oval, the Jaffas went ahead in the second minute when the ball fell in the box to an unmarked Ryan Griffiths, whoburied his left-foot shot.

Lambton were in control for the rest of the half without extending their lead, but Maitland took over in the second half and led in the 59th minute afterLiam Thornton’s header from a corner and Jye Mackellar’s finish from a rebounded.

The win kept Maitland’s finals hopes alive on Saturday alive but Broadmeadow ended them on Sunday.

Maitland coach Phil Dando said his side rolled their sleeves up andgot the job done.

“The strong wind made a difference and we ran with it second half,” Dando said.

“But we were really sloppy two minutes in to concede and we just weren’t desperate enough.

“But as the half went on I thought we coped with the bumpy pitch and defended well, even though they had some good chances.

“We had to take Matt Sokulsky off in the first half and we changed from 4-4-3 to 4-4-2 and it worked quite well.

“We defended well and created some chances in the second half.

“Then we hung on and didn’t concede a late goal as we’ve been prone to do. We grafted hard which we don’t always do as well as we might.”

Dando was full of praise for Trott, whomade acrucial save late, and centre-backs Shane Cansdell-Sherriff and Zac Hill.

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This map shows the spread of Melbourne’s $1 million suburbs

12.12.2018, Comments Off on This map shows the spread of Melbourne’s $1 million suburbs, 苏州夜生活, by .

Ten years ago, there were only five Melbourne suburbs that had a median house price of $1 million. Now there are 121, which have enveloped most of the inner city, Domain Group data shows.
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This map shows how much of Melbourne is now taken up by suburbs with this hefty asking price.

As of June this year, more than 100 suburbs formed a solid bloc that expands out from the inner city, stretching as far north as Rosanna and as far south as Beaumaris.

Abbotsford, Burnley, Brunswick, Clayton, Collingwood, Highett and Glen Huntly are among the areas that have turned red in the past year.

But if you watch how the ranks of the million-dollar club have grown over time, many of the recently-minted members have been eastern suburbs.

The furthest east the band of million-dollar suburbs reached in 2014 was Mont Albert, about 15 kilometres from the CBD. Glen Waverley and Mount Waverley join the following year. In 2016, the median house price is Box Hill, Blackburn and Chadstone reached $1 million.

The only spots of blue left in the inner city are the CBD, Docklands and Southbank. That’s largely a reflection of the fact the data used to create the map was house prices, and residential stock in these areas is mostly apartment blocks.

There are also two small blue shapes just south of the city if you squint closely at the map. These are Ripponlea and Gardenvale, but because these suburbs are so small, there have not been enough house sales in them this year to produce an accurate median. Both areas have recorded medians of above $1 million in the past, though.

This map shows the suburbs with a current median house price of $1 million in red. Click or hover over a suburb to see its name and current median.

But there is one thing to keep in mind when you look at this map. It does not account for inflation, so $1 million is not as large a sum as it was 10 years ago.

Outside of the main bloc of suburbs, there are some pricey isolated pockets such as Williamstown to the west, Plenty to the north and Waterways to the south.

There is also a cluster of 6-million-dollar suburbs in the Essendon area with million-dollar medians.

Barry Plant Essendon’s Tony Catena said the area’s strongly-performing state schools, decent public transport options and short distance to the city were a big drawcard for buyers.

“It’s quicker to get to the city from Essendon than from the other side of town,” he said.

He tipped Yarraville as the next suburb in the inner-west to see its median house prices rise above the million mark.

The graphic also shows how the number of suburbs in the club has fluctuated. The club contracted following the global financial crisis and again in 2012. But since then its numbers have swelled each consecutive year.

Hawthorn East has had the most turbulent time. It joined in 2008 with a median of $1.1 million, but was kicked out the following year when average house prices dipped to $950k.

It clawed its way back in 2010, fell away again in 2012, but has remained within the club since 2013.

The suburb now has a median house price of $1.8 million and may well be considering its chances of entering the even more elite $2 million club.

That’s right, the $2 million club: a more exclusive clan has emerged.

This $2 million club takes in a dozen suburbs: Armadale, Balwyn, Brighton, Camberwell, Canterbury, Deepdene, Kew, Kooyong, Malvern, Middle Park, St Kilda West and Toorak.

Toorak was the founding member of this clan – its median house price was $2.3 million as far back as 2007.

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Pray and act: Church and state collide over euthanasia laws

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Pray and act: Church and state collide over euthanasia laws, 苏州夜生活, by .

Margaret Tighe from Right to Life at her home in Essendon. Photo: Scott McNaughton .
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Right to Life is not known for its subtlety in a fight.

So when ads started appearing in Daniel Andrews’ local suburban newspaper recently – accusing the Premier of trying to legalise “patient killing” – few were surprised that the pro-life group was involved.

At its head is seasoned campaigner Margaret Tighe, now in her 80s, and a veteran of decades of “punishment politics”. From the battle to decriminalise abortion, to the IVF debate, her organisation has routinely targeted MPs in volatile seats with highly emotive scare campaigns.

The assisted dying bill in Victoria – endorsed by Andrews himself – has brought Tighe out again to wage moral war.

“We’re taking the fight right up to the enemy,” she told Fairfax Media this week as her group distributed leaflets across eight marginal seats – as well as Andrews’ Mulgrave electorate. “It’s a controversial issue, so it’s important that people know what’s being proposed.”

With state parliament set to decide whether terminally ill people should have the right to a physician-assisted death, Right to Life is part of a formidable coalition of opponents: from religious leaders and medical specialists, to disability groups and hardline campaigners, all fighting the legislation.

Politicians are being bombarded with pro forma emails and letters – some scripted by church volunteers, others by national anti-euthanasia agencies – urging them to vote against the bill when it is introduced at Spring Street later this month.

Delegations of faith-based representatives and doctors are criss-crossing the state to meet MPs: a few weeks ago, for instance, n Christian Lobby state president Dan Flynn brought in three doctors to see upper house leader Gavin Jennings, the Premier’s right-hand-man in cabinet, to argue the need for better palliative care.

“The best arguments are not necessarily religious,” says Flynn.

And Right to Life recently paid for US anti-euthanasia campaigner William Toffler, a controversial Catholic doctor who believes abortion can lead to breast cancer, to conduct a speaking tour around .

But the biggest combatant of all is the Catholic Church. On Thursday, as Melbourne shivered through another frosty winter morning, Pat Shea, a parish volunteer from Inverloch, entered the electorate office of Bass MP Brian Paynter, holding a petition and letters from churchgoers with a simple message: don’t vote for the bill.

The seeds of that message were on sown on April 18, when Archbishop Denis Hart wrote to priests asking them to “pray and to act”, in other words, to get mobilised and to find “lay people” to spread the church’s concerns about the renewed push for reform.

Attached to his letter was a two-page document co-signed by his bishops, arguing voluntary euthanasia was “never justified” and merely represented “the abandonment of the sick and the suffering”. The Catholic Education Office passed that document on to its Victorian schools. Some are now getting politically active.

“The case for legalised ‘Physician Assisted Suicide’ is a direct attack upon our Catholic beliefs and would further erode society’s respect for the 5th commandment,” said one recent newsletter to parents at St Joseph’s School in Wonthaggi.

“Euphemisms, such as ‘assisted dying’ and ‘dying with dignity’ are being hailed as acts of compassion, yet, with the sugar coating removed, euthanasia is about actively killing someone, and assisted suicide is helping someone to suicide. We need your help to convince our local member of parliament to oppose ‘Physician Assisted Suicide’ and to promote Palliative Care. An information session is planned.”

Opinion polls show the church is fighting an uphill battle, with up to 85 per cent of the community in favour giving of terminally ill people the right to a physician-assisted death.

If the legislation succeeds, it will be the first time such a law has passed in since euthanasia was legalised in the Northern Territory in 1995, only to be overturned by the federal parliament one year after taking effect.

The difference for Victoria is that the Commonwealth has no power to repeal the state euthanasia legislation. And in a sign of just how tight the numbers are likely to be, government insiders have not ruled out introducing the bill in the upper house, where some are more confident of securing a majority when the legislation is put to a conscience vote.

This unusual tactic would give more time to undecided MPs in the lower house, where Andrews and Health Minister Jill Hennessy will champion the bill, but Deputy Premier James Merlino, Opposition leader Matthew Guy, and a considerable number of Liberal, National and Labor politicians are set to vote against it.

Most, however, are hopeful the debate won’t be quite as vicious as the battle to decriminalise abortion in Victoria in 2008. Back then, animal organs were sent to cabinet minister Jacinta Allan; plastic fetuses were distributed to pro-choice politicians accusing them of being murderers; some MPs were even sent abusive emails directly to their Blackberries from angry members of the public as they sat down from speaking during the vote.

“I think inside the chamber it will be a pretty respectful debate, but outside the chamber – who knows?” says Greens MP Colleen Hartland.

Hartland recalls the abortion debate well, partly because it happened the same year she introduced her own private members’ bill for voluntary euthanasia, which was resoundingly defeated. But a lot has changed since then: the influence of religion; the views of MPs; the public’s momentum.

The “Yes” side of the campaign is spearheaded by neurosurgeon Brian Owler, who headed the government’s expert panel for the bill, Dying With Dignity’s Dr Rodney Syme, and newcomers like Go Gentle, the not-for-profit body set up last year by TV personality-turned-euthanasia advocate Andrew Denton.

Denton has devoted the past few years to reforming the law, but was forced to withdraw this week to have multiple bypass surgery after being diagnosed with advanced heart disease.

Until he can return, Go Gentle’s work will continue under its campaign manager Paul Price, a former senior adviser in the Baillieu Liberal government. In a bid to mobilise the “silent majority”, a new ad will soon be released in marginal seats asking people whether the individual, or the church, should have the right to choose how long they suffer in intolerable pain before death.

The aim, says Price, is to overcome the “noisy minority of mostly faith-based opponents”.

“They are organised and active,” he says.

Indeed, Right to Life stepped up its campaign in May, when Tighe sent a letter to every parliamentarian with a table of the nine MPs in marginal seats that her group targeted over abortion a decade ago – plus the swings against them at the 2010 Victorian election. It was hardly a subtle threat.

Others, like the ACL’s Dan Flynn or Paul Russell, from the national anti-euthanasia group, HOPE, have mobilised their supporters to take part in a grassroots letter-writing campaign, while representatives travel from electorate-to-electorate in the hope of swaying MPs.

The state’s Christian leaders have also made it clear that the battlelines have been drawn: note, for example, this week’s “open letter” in the Herald Sun, signed by leaders in the Greek Orthodox, Lutheran, Anglican, Catholic, the Syro-Malabar Eparchy, Ukrainian Catholic, and Coptic Orthodox Churches.

Andrews, the Catholic premier whose resistance to voluntary euthanasia shifted last year after the death of his father, responds like this: “People are free to express their views,” he says.

“I would hope, though, that this debate is conducted in the spirit of respect. My own conscience tells me that this is the change that needs to be made.”

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Newcastle netball: BNC Whanau look to finals with confidence

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Newcastle netball: BNC Whanau look to finals with confidence, 苏州夜生活, by .

SUCCESS: Victoria Aoake and BNC Whanau qualified for the semi-finals.BNC Whanau coach CherieAoake-Puru believed her side were in a good position heading into a semi-final rematch with Forsythes after an impressive final-round win over Nova Thunder.
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BNC Whanau secured fourth placein the Newcastle open netball championship and a semi-final showdown with third-placed Forsythes next week with a 43-29 victory on Saturday at National Park.

Maryville Tavern Alize, who were a chance of leapfrogging BNC Whanau heading into the last round,lost 60-34 to second-placedSouths Lions on Saturday to finish fifth.

Elsewhere on Saturday, minor premiers West Leagues Balance defeated Junction Stella 66-19 andForsythes beat Souths Pride 32-29.

“We needed that,” Aoake-Puru said.

“We haven’t been in good form the last few weeks and we needed to put a good four quarters together, which is what the girls did. It’s good heading into finals for us.”

“We led from the first quarter, which was something we were discussing and working on all week at training, and before the game.

“It was the game plan to not come from behind like we have been.”

She said the return of premier league player Victoria Aoake, who played centre for the first three-quarters andgoal defence in the last, boosted the squad.

“Caity Lobston, Mikaela Dombkins and Lucy Geise, theyall shot into the 90 per cents, which always helps, but I think the key wasMonique Walkington,Kaitlin Harcus andDominique Murphy, that defensive end, they were really solid and shut down their shooters,” she added.

“I’ve never seen so many balls go out the back of thecourt.

“Hopefully if we can put on the same performance next week, it will be enough to get us over the line.”

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Vanity Fair stands by Angelina Jolie audition story

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Vanity Fair stands by Angelina Jolie audition story, 苏州夜生活, by .

September’s issue of Vanity Fair is set to become a keepsake, as it will most likely be the last time Angelina Jolie ever appears on the cover.
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The Oscar-winner and the publication have been at loggerheads since the issue hit stands last week.

The cover story centres on Jolie promoting her upcoming Netflix film, First They Killed My Father, about the Cambodian genocide, which is based on a true-life account of a survivor of the Khmer Rouge’s regime as told through the eyes of a child.

The Vanity Fair feature described a “disturbing” game that casting directors of the movie played with Cambodian orphans.

According to the story, written by contributing editor Evgenia Peretz, the film crew gave money to children, many of them homeless, before taking it away and forcing them to explain why they had stolen it.

After the process was widely criticised, Jolie, via The Huffington Post, accused Vanity Fair of taking the casting process out of context and demanded a retraction.

Jolie came out and denied the children were tricked, saying last week the report was “upsetting” and that “every measure was taken to ensure the safety, comfort and wellbeing of the children”.

The filmmaker’s team then reportedly asked Vanity Fair to remove the original paragraph from the online version of the story, and to run an apology in print and online that read, in part: “the children were not tricked or entrapped, as some have suggested.”

Despite Jolie’s legal team demanding a public apology, Vanity Fair stood by its reporter and the story after publishing a transcript of the interview. It showed that Jolie was not present at the auditions but that the crew told the children: “A camera’s coming up and we want to play a game with you”.

“In response to these requests, V.F. reviewed the transcript and audiotape of Peretz’s interview with Jolie for the story. Peretz had recorded it on two devices. After reviewing the audiotape, V.F. stands by Peretz’s story as published,” an article online stated.

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Singapore’s founding family feud hits court

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Singapore’s founding family feud hits court, 苏州夜生活, by .

Singapore’s government has taken a bitter feud in the family of the city-state’s founder Lee Kuan Yew to the courts.
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The Attorney-General filed an application in the High Court for contempt of court proceedings against Li Shengwu, the 32 year-old Harvard educated grandson of the late Mr Lee, who ruled the country with an iron-fist from 1959 to 1990.

The action relates to a Facebook post Mr Li published on July 15 where he wrote that the “Singapore government is very litigious and has a pliant court system,” and adding that because of previous legal action, foreign media had been cowed into self-censorship.

In the application the Attorney-General said the post was an “egregious and baseless attack” on the judiciary.

It asked that the post be deleted and that Mr Li sign and publish a written apology.

The government led by Mr Li’s uncle Lee Hsien Loong had been trying for two weeks to get Mr Li to apologise, and even drafted an apology letter for him to sign.

The comments were only posted to Mr Li’s Facebook “friends” but were later re-published by several websites.

In another Facebook post on Friday, Mr Li said it was not his intention to attack the Singapore judiciary or to undermine public confidence in the administration of justice.

“Any criticism I made is of the Singapore government’s litigious nature, and its use of legal rules and action to stifle the free press,” he wrote.

The family has been squabbling for more than a year over a house at 38 Oxley Road Singapore in which Lee Kuan Yew, who died a widower aged 91 in 2015, lived for most of his life.

Two of Mr Lee’s three children have accused their elder brother, the prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, of abusing power to try to save the house as an historic monument, in defiance of their father’s wishes.

The prime minister’s motive was to bolster his own legitimacy and further the possibility of a Lee family dynasty, they said.

Claims of nepotism are highly sensitive in Singapore.

Mr Lee responded in a Facebook in June that he was “deeply saddened by the unfortunate allegations that they have made.”

He said he and his wife Ho Ching deny “these allegations, especially the absurd claim that I have political ambitions for my son,” referring to their second-eldest son Li Hongyi, a 30 year-old former army officer.

Mr Lee, who took over from his father’s successor Goh Chok Tong in 2004, defended himself and his government against the accusations in parliament last month.

“In Singapore, everyone is equal before the law,” he said.

“When the dust has settled on this unhappy episode, people must know that the government in Singapore operates transparently, impartially and properly.”

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The curious case of Francis Gurry

12.12.2018, Comments Off on The curious case of Francis Gurry, 苏州夜生活, by .

Washington: Who licked the postage stamps?
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The question was absurd, and at the same time deadly serious. n intellectual property guru Francis Gurry was on the warpath and no stone was to be left unturned in unmasking the authors of the ugly, anonymous letters being sent to him – with copies landing on dozen of desks up and down Geneva’s diplomatic row.

Gurry called the Swiss police. In a mysterious overnight raid, innocuous objects were lifted from the desks of three of Gurry’s colleagues without their consent – a lipstick and lollies, a stapler and sticky tape, cigarettes. Stripped of diplomatic immunity, 10 staffers were ordered to present themselves for police interviews – but instead of being questioned they were fingerprinted, cheek-swabbed and sent on their way.

Forensic experts at the prestigious Hopitaux Universitaires de Geneva were engaged to run tests – did DNA recovered from the purloined desk items and staff swabs match traces of DNA extracted from stamps on the letters? Did fingerprints lifted from the envelopes implicate any of Gurry’s colleagues?

It was 2007 and much was at stake. Kamil Idris, a Sudanese diplomat, had just been drummed out as director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organisation, a United Nations agency little known beyond the arcane world of patents and trademarks. Amidst a long-running brouhaha over alleged corruption, Idris finally was nailed, but only for misstating his age on joining the UN 20 years earlier – a charge that originated in another round of anonymous letters.

Kamil Idris, a Sudanese diplomat, was the former director-general of the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

Idris, an aspiring president of his African homeland, was forced to resign. The n Gurry, then one of four deputies to the Sudanese, wanted the top job at WIPO.

In Canberra, the newly elected Rudd government pitched in. Within weeks of winning office, Labor’s foreign affairs minister Stephen Smith enthusiastically endorsed Gurry as a candidate in a diplomatic election that might install this Melbourne native as the most senior n in the UN firmament. But unfounded allegations of improper business dealings by Gurry and his wife, aired in the nastygrams then fluttering in the Swiss air, caused tremors in the Gurry campaign team, then holed up at ‘s embassy in Geneva.

The UN’s head office towers over the shore of Manhattan’s East River. But Geneva is home away from home, with the offices of dozens of UN agencies and their staff armies anchoring a dense cosmopolitan constellation of other international bodies, NGOs and diplomatic missions, all elegantly housed on avenues abutting Lake Geneva.

WIPO is something of a jewel in the United Nations crown.

Sure, it’s beset by the poisonous politics that is a hallmark of the UN’s byzantine bureaucracies. But here’s the difference – Gurry’s fellow agency chiefs are obliged to go, begging bowl in hand, pleading for funds from the governments of the world; but Gurry simply throws open the doors of his curved glass headquarters, on Geneva’s Chemin des Colombettes, and millions of dollars pour in every day.

His billion-dollar budget derives almost entirely from fees charged to the inventors of the world, for thousands of international patent and trademark applications that are processed by WIPO’s staff of 1250.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation offices in Geneva.

The hapless Idris, who sometimes arrived at work with melons to share with staff, might have stumbled. The Cambridge-educated Gurry survives, though these days he is uncomfortably squeezed between Washington and Canberra, in a rare trans-Pacific power play over his headstrong ways. At the same time, Gurry bats away persistent charges by two WIPO whistleblowers, both fellow ns, who seem to have been hung out to dry by the n government.

Canberra chooses to stay above the fray, arguing that whistleblowers should air complaints through the faulty internal mechanism of UN agencies, like WIPO. But Beatrice Edwards, who heads an international whistleblower protection program at the Washington-based Government Accountability Project, singles WIPO out among UN agencies as one of the worst offenders in protecting whistleblowers: “Gurry gets away with being the defendant and the judge,” she tells Fairfax Media.

Variously described as gifted and brilliant, Gurry also is accused of being imperious and autocratic, even despicable. At a public hearing in Washington last year a member of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee lambasted the lanky leader and his agency as “the FIFA of the UN” – a reference to a huge corruption scandal then engulfing global football’s governing body.

None of that seems to trouble Gurry, 65. A former Melbourne lawyer who has been at WIPO since the mid-1980s, he gets a kick from retelling the complaint of one of his American critics that, yes, he is a competent administrator, but he’s also “exasperatingly high-handed and independent”.

Gurry casts WIPO’s performance under his stewardship as “exemplary”.

He has cut the staff from 1350 to 1250; doubled the volume of work; and has kept a rein on the fees charged by his agency. Further, WIPO’s new administration building and conference hall were built on time and on budget and the agency now was in surplus, to the tune of 30 million Swiss francs ($39 million) last year, he told Fairfax Media in an exclusive interview – the first in which he has addressed a decade of complaints and allegations that cast a pall over his tenure.

Others have a dramatically different take on WIPO’s performance.

The most recent annual report by WIPO’s ombudsman depicts an agency in crisis, citing high levels of stress, burnout, sickness, absenteeism and presenteeism [people working when they are sick]; gossip, rumours and sabotage; and “close to half” of all staff sickness is described as “mental illness”.

Analysing the six months to April 2016, ombudsman Mame Diagne describes WIPO as “crippled by interpersonal conflicts and differences which lead to pernicious gossip”.

She portrays an agency seized by gross dysfunction – general paranoia and mistrust; feelings of discrimination; an environment of suspicion and blaming; and a lack of open communication. Diagne says WIPO workers are afraid they’ll make mistakes and are afraid to speak up. There’s a perception of authority abused, she writes.

Fairfax Media has a copy of Diagne’s ombudsman’s report. But when Gurry’s attention was drawn to quotes from the report in a statement by UN union leaders to the United Nations General Assembly, the WIPO chief denied its existence, declaring: “I don’t know of such a document. I don’t think she’s lying – the lie is them claiming she said these things.” The start of serial controversies

The DNA row festered at WIPO, becoming a witch-hunt that overshadowed the 2008 election for a new director-general. Gurry was one in a field of candidates vying for the votes of 83 governments that comprised WIPO’s global co-ordination committee. In a final round of voting, he fended off his last challenger, a Brazilian, by the narrowest of margins: 42-41.

Irony abounded. Despite his denials, colleagues saw Gurry as a key player in Idris’ undoing. When Idris, while still in office, balked at lifting staff immunity to allow the DNA investigation to proceed, Gurry was furious, they said, because he was convinced several of his colleagues were behind the letters, written in the name of the previously unknown Watchdog for International Civil Servants.

The DNA tests absolved all the staff of any role in the nastygrams, but that was merely the start of serial controversies that have dogged Gurry.

The staff was unaware of the desk raids until months after the fact. But in pursuing her demands for an explanation of how staff had become suspects, senior Italian WIPO staffer Carlotta Graffigna won access to her Swiss police file – in which she found the forensic DNA report and its revelation that her desk had been swept without her consent.

Later, a document was leaked internally – Gurry seemingly had targeted for termination or redeployment the three suspects whose personal effects had been snatched, though in Graffigna’s case she was ordered, at four weeks’ notice, to relocate to WIPO’s Singapore office which amounted to her being sacked, because family reasons, of which she claimed Gurry was aware, prevented her moving half way around the world.

In a formal complaint and other documents, another of WIPO’s deputy directors general, politically well-connected US attorney James Pooley, charged that Gurry had ordered WIPO’s security staff to lift the personal items for DNA testing – and indeed, the DNA of one of WIPO’s security staff was detected in the tests.

James Pooley, a former deputy director-general at WIPO.

Pooley charged that Gurry was the only one who had a personal interest in unmasking the Watchdog for International Civil Servants; that he had manipulated WIPO’s security team to do his bidding; that shunting Graffigna to Singapore was an extraordinary effort to intimidate and silence a witness who would expose his misconduct; and that Gurry had gamed the fine letter of WIPO rules and regulations to block investigation of a series of complaints by staff – by intimidating internal investigators; threatening journalists; retaliating against internal critics; and blocking staff testimony to outside investigations, such as the august committees of the US Congress.

Finally a remarkable deal was struck between Graffigna and WIPO – she would remain in Geneva and thereafter would not be transferred for any reason, to any post, without her written consent.

Also, she was paid a lump sum of 100,000 Swiss Francs, apparently because WIPO’s in-house legal advice was that Gurry’s bid to shift her to Singapore was unfair and was retaliation for her pursuit of the DNA case – and she had a good chance of winning her cases, the lawyer had concluded.

In return, Graffigna’s several complaints to UN tribunals and the Swiss police were abandoned and she and WIPO were mutually gagged from any comment on this very strange case. ‘He expects absolute loyalty’

So began the tumultuous reign of Francis Gurry at WIPO. Maybe there could have been entente between the director-general and his staff of 190 nationalities. But then separate new complaints were filed by the other two ns at WIPO – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade veteran Miranda Brown and IT specialist Wei Lei.

Gurry recruited them both. In 2011 Brown took leave without pay from DFAT at the end of a stint as deputy at the n embassy in Geneva – where she had first met Gurry while working on his WIPO election campaign. In 2009 Lei joined from the Asia Development Bank, for which be had been based in Manila as the bank’s director of technology.

Gurry embraced both, appointing Brown as his personal strategic adviser and Lei as WIPO’s chief information officer.

Brown, a marine biologist who studied humpback whales and is an expert in international law, had assumed early reports of unrest in WIPO were the result of Gurry cleaning house after alleged corruption under his predecessor.

But observing more closely from her new 12th-floor office at WIPO headquarters, Brown concluded Gurry was the problem. “His leadership is characterised by secrecy and extraordinary vindictiveness towards whistleblowers ??? he sees [WIPO] and its resources as his personal fiefdom ??? he expects absolute loyalty to him ??? he denigrates staff ??? and consistently undermines internal accountability mechanisms,” she later explained to a US congressional committee.

Some at WIPO blamed the 2014 suicide of WIPO chief ethics officer Avard Bishop on the dysfunction over which Gurry presided.

Pooley said Bishop, a 20-year veteran at the agency, had complained of feeling “bullied and harassed.” Brown knew Bishop too – he was distressed by Gurry’s abuses of power and had complained of being undermined by the director-general, she told last year’s congressional hearing.

One of Brown’s early tasks was to manage WIPO’s deal with the deeply offended Carlotta Graffigna. Brown concluded that the Singapore transfer was Gurry’s retribution for Graffigna’s efforts to expose the interior of the DNA scandal and the process by which the Italian had been identified as a suspect – and as a bid by Gurry to head off the risks such an investigation might pose for him.

Brown reported her concerns about Gurry’s conduct to the embassies of , Britain and the US, all of which were members of WIPO.

And, after challenging Gurry in 2012 on the wisdom of a controversial WIPO gift of computers and other equipment to rogue nation North Korea’s patents office, Brown reported the matter to the US embassy – and handed over a pile of documents.

She was troubled on several counts. First, the shipment might be in breach of UN sanctions on North Korea; second, a senior WIPO colleague had informed her the gift to North Korea and a similar shipment to Iran, also under UN sanction, had been vote-buying deals by Gurry – both Pyongyang and Tehran had voted in the ballot that Gurry had won by a single vote; and third, the gifts had not been disclosed to WIPO’s member states, at least some of whom, she reasoned, would oppose them.

All hell broke loose. The gift shipments were attacked in the US Congress and the media.

An independent assessment commissioned by WIPO took a swipe at Gurry, declaring: “We simply cannot fathom how WIPO could have convinced itself that most member states would support the delivery of equipment to countries whose behaviour was so egregious it forced the international community to impose embargoes ???”

Two UN sanctions committees weighed in, at WIPO’s request.

They concluded neither shipment had breached sanctions. But they rapped Gurry’s knuckles, saying it might have been smarter for WIPO to consult them before shipping; and that WIPO needed to keep its activities in both countries under close review to ensure the equipment was not redirected to the activities that were being punished by sanctions.

Finally, the committees “encouraged” WIPO to collaborate with other international agencies on its activities in North Korea and Iran, saying it “believed” it would have been advisable for WIPO to consult the committees earlier.

The jig was up for Brown – she became isolated; was excluded from the senior executive meetings she normally attended; and whereas previously she was tasked verbally, her assignments now came by email. Daily interaction with Gurry ceased; he no longer asked her to join his meetings with ambassadors and other VIPs. And colleagues told Brown they had been instructed to ostracise her.

On being warned by a diplomatic contact that Gurry intended to launch an investigation to make her reveal the names of WIPO staff who had provided the documents she had leaked and, ultimately, to drive her out, Brown went on sick leave.

That stretched to five months. On returning to work in September 2012 Brown was summonsed to a meeting with Gurry and WIPO’s director of human resources, at which she was accused of disloyalty and was informed that her contract, which still had seven months to run, would not be renewed.

A few weeks later she wrote to Gurry: “I hereby submit my resignation ??? I would have preferred to stay and do my job at WIPO. However, for reasons that need not be recited here, you have made that impossible.”

But Brown, London-born, Paris-raised and a citizen of , Britain and Germany, wasn’t quite finished – on her way out, she filed a formal request for an investigation into the DNA scandal. Separately, Wei Lei, who grew up near Canberra, complained to WIPO’s ethics officer about favouritism by Gurry’s in awarding a WIPO contract to an n firm.

Pooley, the American attorney whose five-year term at WIPO ended in 2014, included the Brown and Lei charges in a 12-page indictment of Gurry which he lodged with the chairpeople of the governing bodies of WIPO – its general assembly and its co-ordination committee, both of which comprise nominees of the agency’s 189 member states.

The chief information officer Lei still works at WIPO, but agency insiders say that he is being punished too. They say he is being marginalised and suspect he is being set up for constructive dismissal. He is excluded from internal meetings that he previously attended and barred from representing WIPO at interagency meetings. He has been left dangling on the terms of his contract, which expires this month – on its last renewal, his contract was rolled over for three years; most recently, it was renewed for just three months.

Brown took a job at the UN High Commission for Refugees, where she became embroiled in another controversial UN whistleblowing scandal. An investigation

When Gurry’s first term as director-general expired in 2013 three challengers confronted him as he sought another six-year term at the helm of WIPO.

In Canberra, the Abbott Coalition government had just won office – and resorting to the same laudatory language used by Labor’s Stephen Smith in 2008, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Trade Minister Andrew Robb publicly endorsed Gurry’s bid for a second term on their 10th day in office.

Spurred by an American congressional ginger group opposed to Gurry’s reappointment, Washington wavered when Canberra asked for its vote – Pooley’s claim that Canberra warned of serious damage to a historically cosy bilateral relationship if Washington refused to back Gurry seems borne out by a heavy-handed letter at the time, in which ‘s ambassador to Geneva, Hamish McCormick, warned Brown that she could be sacked from DFAT, because “any attempt to discredit Dr Gurry [and] his reputation, or to undermine his re-election is an action against the n national interest”.

Gurry won – 46 votes against 37 for the rest of the field.

World Intellectual Property Organisation head Francis Gurry at the UN in Geneva. Photo: AP

The DNA scandal was an election issue and, despite Gurry’s victory, the WIPO General Assembly meeting that confirmed his reappointment in May 2014 also caved to demands from the US, South Korea and Estonia for a full, external investigation of Pooley’s charges – in particular, Gurry’s role in the DNA scandal and the process in which WIPO awarded a sensitive cybersecurity contract to Argo Pacific of .

The investigative task was assigned to the UN’s New York-based Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).

Miranda Brown told OIOS that even before she had joined WIPO and before the lifting of staff immunity to allow an authorised collection of staff DNA, Gurry had told her the Swiss police had acquired DNA samples from the suspected authors of the anonymous letters – and that Carlotta Graffigna’s DNA matched the DNA lifted from the letters.

Gurry’s predecessor Kamil Idris told the investigators that when he explained his initial refusal to lift staff immunity to allow staff to be interviewed by the police, Gurry became agitated, accusing Graffigna of writing the letters and declaring that he’d find his own way to get staff DNA.

Gurry denied these accounts by Brown and Idris, insisting he had no involvement in the sweeping of the staff desks and he could not recall how the list of staff who were stripped of immunity had been compiled.

Perhaps the only witnesses who could shed light on compilation of the list of staff suspects and on the illicit collection of personal items from the desks of some were the Swiss police – and for reasons that were never clearly stated they simply refused to respond to several requests by OIOS investigators for their co-operation.

In the absence of that vital police evidence, the investigation concluded that despite strong indications that Gurry had a direct interest in the outcome of the DNA analysis, there was no evidence that he was involved or that he had attempted to derail earlier internal investigations.

On the letting of the cybersecurity contract, valued at 100,000 Swiss Franc, to Sydney-based Argo Pacific, OIOS found that Gurry had directly influenced the process by issuing instructions for the selection to be based purely on technical grounds – which it declared to be “acting in non-compliance” with a requirement in WIPO’s procurement rules for a weighting of technical and financial considerations.

But Gurry’s association with Argo Pacific CEO Paul Twomey was professional, rather than personal, the report said, and there was no evidence that Gurry had gained financially or personally from the deal.

In a brief conclusion that made no express distinction between the DNA scandal and the contract procurement, OIOS concluded: “The established facts constitute reasonable grounds to conclude that the conduct of Mr Francis Gurry may be inconsistent with the standards expected of a staff member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation.”

Gurry embraced the OIOS findings on the DNA issue, saying a comment from him on the “unfounded allegations made by Mr Pooley” was unwarranted. And he simply rejected the findings on the contract issue, claiming the evidence did not support them, they were wrong in law and the investigators had failed to consider “compelling and determinative pieces of evidence”.

OIOS recommended that WIPO consider “taking appropriate action against Mr Francis Gurry”.

But after months of wrangling in which US Congress members demanded that Gurry be fired and accused of blocking efforts to hold him accountable and of abandoning the whistleblowers, Gurry was off the hook. The agency’s co-chairmen – one from Columbia, the other from Rwanda – put the OIOS report to bed, declaring there was “no justification for any disciplinary action”. ‘It’s another false story’

Gurry likes to say he’s not interested in political squabbling – but political squabbling is interested in him. In a wide-ranging interview with Fairfax Media, he denied, qualified or dramatically recast the circumstances of a series of other allegations against him by WIPO staff and whistleblower advocates.

His campaign did not focus on the alleged corruption of his predecessor, he said, but: “WIPO had been through a traumatic experience – management had left much to be desired; it was in deficit; there were no results and things were at a standstill. But I wanted to look to the future, not the past.”

Yes, he had demanded that the authors of a report on past corruption – which had cleared Idris, his predecessor, of wrongdoing – redact the document and that it not be circulated. But his intention had been to keep a lid on wild, unsubstantiated allegations; and not, as claimed by critics, to suppress a document that would have undermined his anti-corruption campaign theme.

No, he had not bought the one vote by which he won the first election in 2008. “That’s a myth – you have 85 states voting anonymously. Who is the one? I made no pacts with members – implicit or explicit. It’s another false story.”

No, he had not sacked the staff association. Its demise had come about following a petition from 70 staff, challenging a practice by which only the association’s fee-paying members elected the representatives, which was found to be contrary to WIPO’s rules – and on new elections being called with the whole staff voting, only one of five previous representatives won a seat on the staff council.

“The staff did it because they were pissed off with the association,” he said.

No, he did not buy the silence of a former staff association officer with a half-million Swiss franc payout. But following a series of internal investigations the worker wanted to negotiate an exit – “claims of a half-million payout are complete rubbish, but the terms of the settlement were confidential, at his request”.

Yes, there had been a cash settlement with Carlotta Graffigna, but not because of the move to transfer her to Singapore in the aftermath of the DNA scandal, as canvassed in the OIOS report. The payment to Graffigna had been based on a parallel claim she had filed against a senior manager who had isolated her, with little meaningful work, for six months – “it was that and nothing else,” Gurry insisted.

What has happened under his leadership?

“The staff has been through radical shock treatment in terms of changed management and strategic realignment. It’s a difficult process, but after three and a bit years we had righted the organisation, and people who initially were confused, suspicious and sceptical see that we’re still here – it’s all good. They’re happy and we still have our jobs.”

Yes, he conceded he had spent $US200,000 on a Washington lobbyist when committees in congress demanded his presence and that of his staff at public hearings, and here he launched a derisory assault on the self-importance of some members of Congress.

Laying out how WIPO member states, like the US, all enjoyed the same rights to engage WIPO, he said: “We’re supposed to live in a world in which we aspire to the rule of law – but what does it have to do with a congressman from Nebraska? [These hearings] are a trumped-up kangaroo court – come on!”

Brown and Pooley, Gurry argued, had not observed the terms of WIPO’s then existing whistleblower policy – Pooley was politically motivated and used his Washington connections to get congressional hearings; Brown took herself off to another job, in another agency and had no legitimacy as a whistleblower.

“She was completely defeated – I’m not the one out there,” he snapped.

“Preposterous,” says Beatrice Edwards, the whistleblower protection advocate, of Gurry’s insistence that Brown is not a legitimate whistleblower. “Brown saw what she believed was wrongdoing and rightly believed that she could not report it internally without risking retaliation or the destruction of evidence. She confided discretely in one of the member states of WIPO; Gurry found out and harassed her to quit for a lower-paying job at another UN agency.”

Beatrice Edwards, whistleblower advocate and head of the Washington-based Government Accountability Project

Edwards and other advocates argue that the WIPO whistleblowers are entitled to better protection because the allegations on the DNA scandal and the cybersecurity contract ultimately were deemed to warrant investigation by the agency’s governing bodies; that corruption of the contract procurement process was proved; and that key questions on the DNA scandal were left open because of the intransigence of the Swiss police.

They make the point too, that one un-redacted copy of the OIOS report was released – to Francis Gurry, thereby exposing witnesses in what had been a closed-door investigation to retaliation.

Despite Gurry’s claim that WIPO’s whistleblower policy at the time of the DNA scandal conformed to the broader UN policy of the period and that, at the request of member states, revisions were now in the works to align current policy with UN best practices, Edwards casts the outcome of the DNA scandal as a sad morality tale for current WIPO staff.

“It goes without saying that current WIPO staff members, seeing this debacle for whistleblowers and continuing to be subject to the whims of … [the] director-general, will keep their mouths shut as malfeasance at the upper reaches of WIPO continues,” she says. Back in Canberra …

Meanwhile, Canberra’s ardour seems to have cooled. When Fairfax Media submitted questions to Julie Bishop, the Foreign Affairs Minister put a bit of distance between herself and Gurry by departing from her usual practice of speaking in her own name.

Attributed to “a spokesperson” for the Foreign Affairs Minister and devoid of the effusive language of Bishop’s 2013 election endorsement of Gurry, the response was silent on a specific request for an indication of the Turnbull government’s support for Gurry.

In what read as an attempt to cast Gurry as a problem more for the world community than for Canberra, the spokesperson said: “Dr Francis Gurry’s performance as WIPO Director-General was endorsed by the strong international support for his re-election.”

The response also was silent on the circumstances of the whistleblowers, Brown and Lei; on any effort by Canberra to defend their rights; and even on a simple acknowledgement that they had rights.

Instead, the spokesperson said: ” continues to support the proper investigation of allegations of misconduct, accountability and transparency in all international organisations. is also an active supporter of whistleblower protection efforts within the UN system.”

Asked about Canberra’s role in the WIPO dogfight over the OIOS report, the spokesman glided over any shortcomings in the report and its conclusion that Gurry might not be up to the standards required of a WIPO staffer. “The n government is satisfied that the allegations against Dr Gurry were properly investigated. No investigation found a basis for further action against Dr Gurry,” the spokesperson said.

And there’s still the wrinkle with Washington.

In the wash-up on the OIOS report, US ambassador to Geneva Pamela Hamamoto complained about WIPO’s performance under Gurry and the agency’s handling of the report, which was shared with member states only after months of clamouring by the US and others – first as a three-page summary and then in a black-blobbed, redacted format.

Pamela Hamamoto, US ambassador to Geneva Photo: Andrew Darby

In a bizarre turn, WIPO delegates who insisted on reading an unexpurgated version of the document were required to present themselves at a reading room, in which they were allowed only two hours to study the 55-page report – and only after surrendering their mobile phones and undertaking not to attempt to take away copies of the report.

Citing years of alleged wrongdoing that had undermined confidence in WIPO and diminished perceptions of its integrity, Hamamoto seemed to endorse the actions of the whistleblowers and the claimed retaliation by Gurry. She added: “The matters raised in the report and its recommendations have not been well handled. Despite the fact that most member states [of WIPO] believe that continuing the discussion would not be productive, we will remain vigilant to ensure that this period of turmoil at WIPO is not repeated.”

And Washington has been as good as the ambassador’s word.

Curious about how North Korea’s patent office might have deployed the technology it received from WIPO in 2008, Miranda Brown recently checked Pyongyang’s patent filings on WIPO’s database – there were just 47 applications.

Glowing like kryptonite, at No. 3 on the list was a patent for sodium cyanide, a dual-use chemical – either as a precursor for chemical weapons or in gold mining, both of which might come under UN and US sanctions on the breakout nuclear state.

Nikki Haley, Washington’s ambassador to the UN, was apoplectic. In a direct swipe at Gurry and WIPO, she said: “The thought of placing cyanide in the hands of the North Koreans, considering their record on human rights, political prisoners, and assassinations is not only dangerous but defies common sense. We urge all UN agencies to be transparent and apply the utmost scrutiny when dealing with these types of requests from North Korea and other rogue nations.”

Bishop’s spokesperson cautiously deferred to yet another UN sanctions committee’s investigation of WIPO’s handling of the North Korean patent application – which has yet to make a ruling. But she stopped short of throwing Gurry under the bus – “this matter concerns an application for a sodium cyanide patent, and not its production. WIPO has stated that it understands that patents and other technology disclosures are not covered by UN Security Council sanctions,” Bishop said.

Gurry is unbowed here too. He told Fairfax Media: “It’s a rubbish complaint and I fully expect the UN panel of experts will find accordingly.”

In a first for UN agencies of which Gurry can’t be proud, even if it amounts to pin money for WIPO, the US docked 15 per cent from its contribution to the agency in 2015 and 2016, to punish its failure to adopt best-practice whistleblower protection. A decision for 2017 is imminent.

Ten years on, the DNA affair remains shrouded in mystery.

The identities of the instigators of the anonymous letter campaign against Gurry have not been revealed. Secrecy still surrounds precisely how some WIPO staffers became suspects. And no one is saying who authorised the surreptitious removal of personal items from the three desks at WIPO headquarters.

In hindsight, Gurry concedes that pulling in the Swiss police and having his staff swabbed and fingerprinted probably wasn’t going to endear him to his staff.

“That might have been a mistake. Another approach to getting it on the public record might have been better,” he told Fairfax Media. “It did inform a tumultuous start to my tenure and certain people have made it an issue that they don’t want to die.”

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Documentary reveals the life of filmmaker John Farrow

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Documentary reveals the life of filmmaker John Farrow, 苏州夜生活, by .

Two years before the mast. 951026. pic shows – Alan Ladd stars in film ‘Two Years Before The Mast’, a pirate film.***FDCTRANSFER***
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He won an Oscar for writing the David Niven movie Around The World In 80 Days and was also nominated for the acclaimed war film Wake Island.

He directed almost 50 Hollywood movies including John Wayne in the western Hondo, Ray Milland in the noir hit The Big Clock and Alan Ladd in seafaring adventure Two Years Before The Mast.

After working as a script doctor on a Tarzan movie, he married Hollywood star Maureen O’Sullivan, who played Jane, and they had seven children including actress Mia Farrow. The Beatles wrote Dear Prudence about another of their daughters.

John Farrow, who died in Los Angeles aged 58 in 1963, had a colourful life that included sailing around the Pacific as a teenager, compiling an English-French-Tahitian dictionary, being arrested as an illegal alien in San Francisco while trying to pass as a Romanian consular official and serving as a commander in the Canadian Navy during World War II.

He tried acting; wrote eight books including two novels, a history of the Popes and a collection of poetry; had affairs with stars Dolores del R??o and Ava Gardner; and was honoured with a star on the Hollywood walk of fame, a CBE and a Papal knighthood.

Yet few people who have even heard of Farrow know that he was n.

Filmmakers Claude Gonzalez and Frans Vandenburg are planning to change that with a feature documentary on a forgotten filmmaker.

Critic Margaret Pomeranz is launching a private screening of The Big Clock for potential investors on Sunday.

Over more than a decade of research, Gonzalez and Vandenburg have discovered Farrow was as mysterious as he was charismatic.

“We’re both very interested in films of that period but we’d never heard of this guy before,” Vandenburg says. “And once we started looking into it, the more we became incredibly intrigued.”

“We only found a handful of things because there were no interviews done with him, no archival footage, no biographies at all,” says Gonzalez: “We kept thinking ‘how is this possible?’

“This filmmaker has made 50 or so films. He seems to be one of those directors who has slipped through the cracks of film history.”

They found out that Farrow grew up in Marrickville, in Sydney’s inner west, and was raised by an aunt after his mother died at a psychiatric hospital when he was a child.

Aged 14, he went to sea on a merchant ship and apparently never returned to .

After jumping ship in San Francisco at 18 and avoiding deportation after being arrested, Farrow worked as an actor and portrait painter before starting in Hollywood writing title cards for silent movies in 1927.

Prudence Farrow has told the filmmakers her father’s entree to Hollywood was meeting noted filmmaker John Huston at a play one night.

When a small theatre was about to cancel a performance of Hamlet because the star was sick, Farrow jumped up in the audience and offered to play the role.

Huston was reputedly so entertained by Hamlet with an n accent – recited from memory – that he invited him to Hollywood.

After beginning as a script consultant and technical advisor, Farrow began selling his sea-faring and adventure tales to the studios as he moved into writing and directing.

He converted to Catholicism – receiving a Papal dispensation as a divorcee – to marry O’Sullivan in 1936.

For three decades, Farrow, Errol Flynn and costume designer Orry-Kelly were among the few high-profile ns in Hollywood.

But the filmmakers say he never made a fuss about being n. In fact, many people thought he was English, and he became a US citizen in 1947.

As a larrikin and storyteller he invented tales about his past, once claiming to be descended from English royalty to impress O’Sullivan’s family.

Gonzalez believes Farrow deserves to be remembered as an A-list director within the Hollywood studio system – a workaholic who put his stamp across just about every genre, including war films, dramas, adventure pics, film noir, action movies, comedies and westerns.

“You could look at his ’40s period and see how powerful and confident he was as a director,” he says.

But while Farrow had many successes, he was also replaced as director on two big hits – Around The World In Eighty Days and King of Kings.

Two of his Hollywood movies featured .

The 1953 drama Botany Bay had Alan Ladd and James Mason on a prison ship headed for Sydney, with four koalas and two kangaroos reputedly flown to the US set and Aboriginal characters played by African-American actors.

And the 1955 drama The Sea Chase had John Wayne as the captain of a German freighter which leaves Sydney at the outbreak of World War II and is pursued across the seas by n and British naval ships.

The filmmakers are planning to head to the States soon to interview Mia Farrow and her three surviving siblings.

“Our film is describing who he was and why he was forgotten,” Gonzalez says. “He deserves some sort of recognition not only for his contribution as a stylist and a formidable and prolific director but he was also an n who was a trailblazer.

“He went out and created a career for himself, made his mark on Hollywood then just disappeared.”

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Missile Stakes: Invincible Gem gives Kris Lees group 1 promisephotos, videos

12.12.2018, Comments Off on Missile Stakes: Invincible Gem gives Kris Lees group 1 promisephotos, videos, 苏州夜生活, by .

Kris Lees was eyeing Melbourne spring group 1 glory with Invincible Gem after she beat stablemate Le Romain to help give her Newcastle trainer a flying start to the season.
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Corey Brown and Invincible Gem win the Missile Stakes. Picture: AAP

Invincible Gem, a $9.50 chance on Friday, delivered for punters who crunched her into $6.50 for the group 2 Missile Stakes (1200 metres) at Randwick on Saturday.

Following Wahng Wah’s win for Lees in race two (1800m), Invincible Gem and jockey Corey Brown settled sixth on the fence before trailing $1.95 favourite Le Romain(Glyn Schofield) into the race and powering past him at the 100m mark en route to a 1.3-length victory. Scone trainer Brett Cavanough’s The Monstar was a narrow third to secure a Hunter-trained trifecta.

Lees was thrilled with his mare, which won four of seven starts last preparation, including victory in the Newcastle Spring Stakes, before a close second in the group 1 Randwick Guineas.

He was looking to the$400,000 group 2Golden Pendant(1400m) atRosehill on September 23 before the impressive first-up win, which put the group 1 Myer Classic at Flemington firmly in the frame.

“She’s come back in super order,” Lees told Sky Thoroughbred Central.

“She’s been doing a lot of work with [Le Romain] and he’s probably worked a little better than her at home, but she’s a high-quality mare now.

Invincible Gem finishes over the top of stablemate Le Romain for an explosive win in the G2 Missile Stakes at #Randwick! pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/dh2XjHZDO3

— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) August 5, 2017Wahng Wah comes from off the speed and attacks the line to take out #TheRaces Handicap at #Randwick for @Leesracing. pic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/iKA2nlITJb

— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) August 5, 2017

The performances, and seconds for Launch Code and Admiral Jello, point to another big season ahead for Lees, who is coming off his personal best campaignof 161 winners nationwide, four group 1 victories and more than $9 million in prizemoney.

On Sunday, Lees won with Grasslands in the opener at Muswellbrook, where Newcastle trainer Ben Smith claimed the Bengalla Cup with Anecdote.

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