Brisbane Times (AFP) – An Indian man has been charged with people smuggling after arriving at Australia’s Brisbane airport with eight other travellers as part of a “fake media contingent” to cover the Commonwealth Games, authorities said Thursday. The nine visitors, all from India, were flagged as possible “non-genuine travellers” when they transited through Thailand and were questioned when they arrived in Brisbane Wednesday, the Australian Border Force (ABF) said. “Eight were found to have fraudulent foreign media credentials,” the border force said in a statement. “Police will allege in court that the 46-year-old Indian national who did hold valid credentials was facilitating the group’s travel.” The man was charged with one count of people smuggling and one count of having false documents and false or misleading information in relation to non-citizens. The maximum penalty for each charge is 20 years imprisonment. He faced Brisbane Magistrates Court Thursday and was remanded in custody. He is due to re-appear in court on April 6, a court official told AFP. The eight others, whose ages and gender were not released, were being held in immigration detention. “The ABF remains highly alert to other similar attempts that may occur as we get closer to the start of the Commonwealth Games,” the Border Force’s Queensland Regional Commander Terry Price said. Queensland Police’s Assistant Commissioner Bob Gee told reporters there was no threat to the multi-sport event, which runs on the Gold Coast from April 4-15. Australia’s Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has already warned Commonwealth Games athletes and support staff not to overstay their visas.
(Reuters) – A small group of Palestinian women in Gaza are stretching their limbs with yoga to help them teach others to cope with the stresses and traumas of living in the embattled territory.
The Gaza Strip, which is dominated by the Islamist Hamas faction, has experienced three wars with neighbouring Israel in the past 11 years.
There are few recreational activities for women in the densely-populated enclave of two million people, which is under a blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt and has the highest unemployment rate on earth.
Amal Khayal, who teaches the class in a makeshift gym and also heads women’s activities for Italian charity Cooperazione Internazionale Sud Sud (CISS), said the project was aimed at training some 30 women to teach.
“We are trying to use physical activities to help release psychological pressures so that women here can form a support network for one another,” Khayal told Reuters during one of her classes.
Some of the participants are also involved in learning juggling. Nineteen will become yoga instructors and 13 will learn to teach circus tricks, Khayal said, adding that more women had expressed a wish to participate in future classes.
“Everyone in Gaza, specially women, needs yoga because we live in a tough place. There are no entertainment facilities where we can unload our depressions which come in addition to our daily life issues,” said Amina Al-Zraiay, a sports teacher and occupational therapist.