Australian journalist shot in the neck covering Philippines conflict

The ABC South East Asia correspondent was covering the Philippine military’s recovery operation of parts of the besieged city from IS militants when the incident happened.


In recent days Harvey had been reporting of the military’s use of fighter jets and helicopters to repel militants from the city.

Thanks everyone – I’m okay. Bullet is still in my neck, but it missed everything important. pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/PBYfdrTTa6

— Adam Harvey (@adharves) June 15, 2017

In videos posted on social media, Harvey can be seen receiving medical treatment with a neck brace and a protective helmet.

“I’m fine, I’m just going to get an X-ray to get it checked out,” he says.

“I just felt like something (inaudible) in the side of the neck, a piece of shrapnel.”

Harvey later shared a picture of his X-ray showing the bullet lodged in his neck.

Lucky. pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/2ZPYZfidO9

— Adam Harvey (@adharves) June 15, 2017

His sister and fellow journalist Claire Harvey said he was doing ok.

“We thought it was shrapnel but it was a bullet that got him in the neck,” she told 2gb radio.

“There’s some suggestion it’s still in his neck.”

CNN quoted Philippine presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella reminding journalists covering the conflict to “remain objective”.

“I think they should try to be objective as possible. And to see it in the context that this is really a… That this is basically an action of rebellion,” he said.

“And that they see it along that line, they report along these lines, that they are objective. Stay out of trouble.”


Jobless rate hits four-year low of 5.5%

A surprise surge in full-time employment has driven Australia’s jobless rate to a four year low and could spark some decent growth in long-stagnant wages, economists say.


The jobless rate fell to 5.5 per cent in May, beating economists’ expectations of an unchanged 5.7 per cent, as full-time jobs jumped by 52,100 and part-time jobs fell by 10,100.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said May’s job creation follows almost 100,000 jobs added across March and April in a positive employment trend that would drive the economy forward.

“This is a result to be celebrated by consumers and businesses alike,” Mr James said in a research note.

St George senior economist Janu Chan said job ad numbers and recent business surveys pointed to healthy future jobs growth but expressed concern about the sustainability of the trend in the face of lacklustre consumer spending.

“The recent strength in the labour market is unlikely to persist over the medium term, particularly if soft conditions in consumer spending continue,” she said.

Recent official data has shown retail spending rose in April but that followed two months of flat or falling figures.

The labour participation rate, which refers to the number of people either employed or actively looking for work, rose by just 0.1 per cent in May to 64.9 per cent.

Meanwhile, the quarterly seasonally adjusted underemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 8.8 per cent.

HSBC economists Paul Bloxham and Daniel Smith said the jobs figures pointed to a tightening labour market, which may signal an end to prolonged weak wages growth.

“As the labour market tightens further we expect it to start to put some upward pressure on wages growth in coming quarters,” they said.

Mr James said the surprise jobs figures meant the central bank would not be in a hurry to lift interest rates.

“But rate cuts can now be taken off the table,” he said.

Royal Bank of Canada fixed income and currency strategist Michael Turner said the RBA would now have a more comfortable view of the labour market – and its holding stance on rates – after three months of employment growth.

“This in turn will likely put a neutral stance on a more confident footing, particularly given that there are few signs of a noticeably slower housing market yet,” he said.

The Australian dollar was boosted by the news, hitting a two-month high of 76.30 US cents soon after the figures were released before falling back to 76.07 US cents at 1625 AEST.

Qld reassures unit residents after UK fire

The Queensland government says proposed new building laws will crack down on potentially flammable building cladding, which is being blamed for London’s devastating tower block fire.


Housing Minister Mick de Brenni said the proposed laws, introduced last month, will give the state’s building regulator the power to stop unsafe products being sold and force existing buildings to remove dangerous cladding.

“The new laws will give the Queensland Building and Construction Commission power to investigate concerns around building products on both active building sites and existing buildings,” Mr de Brenni said.

“We want to make sure the regulator has the teeth to protect Queenslanders.”

There have been two incidents in recent years on the Gold Coast where substandard cladding was identified and replaced, as well as a third incident in Brisbane where a residential building was inspected and found to be compliant.

The minister stopped short of calling for a full review of cladding used in Queensland, saying the strengthened laws would be sufficient.

At least 12 people have been confirmed dead and many more are missing after a huge fire destroyed Grenfell Tower in London’s north Kensington.

There are reports cladding added to the building in a recent refurbishment may have helped spread the flames quickly.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner Mark Roche said the state’s firefighters are trained for high-rise fires.

“Recently in Brisbane we’ve just conducted four very large-scale exercises on high rise buildings, and we are doing that right across the state,” Deputy commissioner Roche told reporters on Thursday.

“We’ll be looking at what lessons are to be learnt (from the London fire), we have a very high regime of maintenance and inspection, and we’ve got the highest quality of people actually conducting it.”

Newcomers to sit ‘up front’ English test

Migrants wanting to become Australians will have to sit a stand-alone English language test before being allowed to apply for citizenship.


Under a raft of new measures introduced to parliament on Thursday applicants will need to prove a competent level of reading, writing, listening and speaking.

It will be up to the immigration minister to determine what level of proficiency is needed.

People aged over 60 and children under 16 will be exempt, as will those with hearing, speech or sight impairments, or permanent or enduring physical or mental incapacity.

“English language was essential to economic participation and social cohesion,” Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told parliament.

“There is also strong public support to ensure aspiring citizens are fully able to participate in Australian life by speaking English, our national language.”

The legislation makes several changes to citizenship requirements, as flagged by the Turnbull government in April.

The period of permanent residency will be changed from one year to four, while a new values test, and stronger character checks, will be introduced.

Other proposals include:

* Potential citizens must demonstrate their integration into the community, including by “behaving in a manner consistent with Australian values”;

* All applicants would need to be of good character to be eligible for Australian citizenship; and

* The ‘pledge of commitment’ would be renamed the ‘pledge of allegiance’.

Malcolm Turnbull said it was clear what had transpired in other countries where migration was not controlled.

“We have seen literally, in Europe, existential threats to nation states, to their political stability, to their harmony,” the prime minister told parliament.

“We have seen uncontrolled and irregular migration flows threaten the very existence of nations in the world today.”

But Greens immigration spokesman Nick McKim said the proposed changes radically redefined citizenship and would destabilise thousands of families.

“Australians want other people to succeed, not to fail. They want to help people join our community, not slam the door in their face,” he said.

Lawyers are deeply concerned about expanded powers for the immigration minister to overrule independent citizenship decisions made by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

“The AAT exists to provide an important check and balance on ministerial power. This will be substantially watered down through this legislation,” Australian Law Council president Fiona McLeod said.

Labor accused the federal government of “stretching” in its claims that the citizenship changes were needed for national security.

It will settle its final position at a caucus meeting on Tuesday.

Opposition citizenship spokesman Tony Burke wants people living permanently in Australia to be fully committed to the country, but warned about putting barriers in the way, such as with changes to language requirements.

“Is the impact of this legislation going to be that we end up with a permanent group of residents in Australia who will live here their entire lives, who will work here their entire lives and will always be told you don’t quite belong?” Mr Burke told ABC radio.

“I’m not sure how that’s good for us as a society.”

Carly’s Law passes parliament

Ten years after her daughter was murdered, Sonya Ryan watched on as new laws to protect children from a similar fate cleared federal parliament.


All she could think about was Carly, who was killed in Adelaide in 2007 when, at the age of 15, she met up with a 50-year-old paedophile posing as a teenage boy.

“It’s absolutely overwhelming for me to think that she didn’t go through all that suffering for nothing,” Ms Ryan later told reporters in Canberra.

“That the suffering she endured for hours and hours – I don’t even know how long – that there’s something good has come out of something so horrendous and cruel.”

Senators paid tribute to Ms Ryan as Carly’s Law cleared the upper house on Thursday afternoon, thanking her for her work to protect children from cyber predators.

The legislation will make it easier for police to intervene before predators have the chance to act and for online predators to be prosecuted and face 10 years in prison.

It targets predators who prepare or plan to groom children online, including those who lie about their age.

“I think about what Carly would say and I just can’t imagine what she’d say to me today, that there’s a law in her name to protect children from harm,” Ms Ryan said.

“(This law) is a real step in protecting our innocent, vulnerable, beautiful kids that are just trying to connect in an online space.

“They should be able to do so without having to worry about being taken advantage of or hurt or worse by a criminal trying to infiltrate their lives.”

South Australian senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore, who pushed for the laws alongside colleague Nick Xenophon, said its success was a testament to Ms Ryan’s strength.

“What has happened today boils down to the fact Sonya Ryan – who endured more pain, more loss and more suffering than any mother or parent should have to endure – has campaigned for Carly’s Law,” she said.

“Thank you Sonya, on behalf of all Australian familes, on behalf of all Australian children.”

Senator Xenophon pondered what might have been if the laws were in place sooner.

“If Carly’s Law was in place 11 years ago I wonder how many children would have been saved including Carly,” he said.

“Because the predator that murdered Carly was communicating with something like 200 children around the world.”