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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Australian TV Crew Detained in Lebanon After Alleged Abduction Attempt

    Authorities in Lebanon detained an Australian television crew for allegedly assisting an Australian mother in abducting her children from their father, a Lebanese national.

    The television crew was identified as members of the 60 Minutes news team from Australia’s Nine Network, the network confirmed in a statement. They were filming the mother as she attempted to recover her children from their father.

    In a statement, Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces said they detained the mother and took her two children into custody Thursday. The television crew was taken into custody earlier in the day.

    The Australian mother, Sally Faulker, hired an international retrieval agency to bring the children back to Australia after she said their father brought them to Lebanon last year for vacation and never returned them.

    The two children disappeared Wednesday while they waited for their school bus.

    A low-quality security camera video of the incident shows several large men emerge from a parked car and grab two young children, believed to be Faulkner’s four-year-old son and six-year-old daughter as they walk with two women. The car then speeds away as one of the women falls to the ground and the other briefly gives chase on foot before walking back to aid the fallen woman.

    Local news agencies report the two women are the children’s paternal grandmother and nanny.

    “The kidnappers ran away after having hit the grandma and snatched the two children,” Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency reports. “Forces started their investigations into the kidnapping, with family reasons looming in the background.”

    According to the statement from Nine Network, the news agency was doing everything in its power to secure the release of the crew.

    "We are working with authorities to get them released and home as soon as possible," the company said.

    The Nine Network said it lost contact with the news crew for about 15 hours, but the station found out later the crew had been detained at a Beirut police station and was in contact with the Australian consular office.

    “It is a relief to know that Australian officials are about to speak to them,” a network spokesman said on Nine Network’s evening news. “The crew knew that this was a risk, going to do the story.”

    Australian TV Crew Detained in Lebanon After Alleged Abduction Attempt

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    Thailand Expat terry57's Avatar
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    I've been following this story on the Net.

    Aussie reporters did take a chance with this one. Got busted.

  3. #3
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    Serve them right , 60 Minutes , a bunch of shitstirring smart arses , let them rot.

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    60 Minutes crew detained in Lebanon in Child Abduction case.

    60 Minutes crew detained in Lebanon until Monday as judge warns charges are not going away



    JUDGE Rami Abdullah has warned the 60 Minutes crew there is “no chance” the charges against them will be dropped as the case will be held over until Monday.
    Australian mother Sally Faulkner has been ordered to reach an agreement with her estranged husband Ali Elamine over access to their children, according to her lawyer Ghassan Moughabghab.

    He said the judge wants Mr Elamine to drop charges against Ms Faulkner over the bungled attempt to kidnap their children she had not seen for more than a year. But that would involve giving up her claim of custody and settling for full access rights instead.
    “The husband has to drop the charges,” Mr Moughabghab said. “The judge is pushing [for him] to do that.”

    “We are finding a solution that will resolve all of the problems. The solution is an agreement between her and her husband. It will not be a private agreement but one the court will accept. They are talking now, a couple of times.”
    It was initially thought a resolution from the couple could help the chances of the 60 Minutes team detained in Beirut. However those hopes appeared to be dashed when Judge Abdullah said the case would be adjourned and the group will be detained for another five days.

    “There is no way for charges to be dropped, there is violence of Lebanese authority by all these people, okay, this is a crime okay,” he said in his chambers

    QUESTIONED IN HANDCUFFS

    On Wednesday, Sally Faulker and the 60 Minutes team members were brought before Investigative Judge Rami Abdullah in handcuffs to face private questioning over the botched child retrieval mission captured on CCTV.
    Channel Nine’s News Director Darren Wick arrived at court to support thecrew that includes reporter Tara Brown, producer Stephen Rice, cameraman Ben Williamson and sound recordist David Ballment.

    Two other local men and two Britons also faced questioning at the Babda Palace of Justice. One of the Britons involved said he was “very sick” earlier as he walked past reporters at the court.

    60 Minutes has confirmed their crew has been formally charged with:
    • Hiding information
    • Forming an association with two or more people to commit crime against a person
    • Kidnapping or holding a minor even with their approval
    • Physical assault

    The judge must decide whether to uphold or dismiss the charges, or whether to grant bail pending further inquiries. If found guilty they could face up to 20 years in jail.
    Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told Sky News this is an “investigative stage, we don’t have a direct equivalent in Australian law.”
    The television crew were led separately for questioning and appeared drawn and downcast amid chaotic corridors filled with people in handcuffs surrounded by heavy security.

    The interviews took place behind closed doors with no cameras allowed inside. Reporters had phones confiscated by security, who checked their photo libraries and deleted any pictures of the two women.
    Outside the court, Mr Elamine said Noah 4, and Lahela, 6 were fine and “being sheltered from it all.”
    Lebanese authorities said they would establish a joint commission to examine the case which they hope will not affect broader Australian-Lebanese relations.


    ‘IT’S A BIG MESS’
    On Tuesday, the father of the two children Ali Elamine told News Corp Australia he was dismayed by the situation.

    “It is a big mess, a really big mess, 100 per cent,” he said. “The children are good, they are in good health and that is all that matters not the media not what happened, but it (CCTV of the botched operation) is for everyone to view.
    “But the children, I’ve calmed them down as much as I can. It was a bit rough and tough.

    “She (his ex Sally Faulkner) could have gone about it in a different way, not like this.
    “What happened shouldn’t have happened and the kids should not have been put in a situation where someone could have been harmed; the kids should not have been dragged into this.

    His comments come as rival business operator Col Chapman, who has been engaged in a public feud with the agency that is believed to have carried out the attempted kidnapping, told news.com.au the attempt was unsafe and over-the-top.
    “Do they think they are the SAS taking Bin Laden off the street? It was bizarre,” said the man involved in the much criticised Italian sisters case.
    “They were spear-tackled almost into the back of the car. I’m very critical of it, as you can guess. (It was) very amateurish, very dangerous.”

    JULIE BISHOP IN TALKS
    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, currently in China, has confirmed discussions have occurred between Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and her Lebanese counterpart.
    Mr Turnbull said the five were receiving full consular support from Australian diplomats and consular officials in Beirut.
    “We are providing them with every support but of course we expect the Lebanese legal system and their right to investigate and take proceedings if they feel offences have been committed,” he said.
    “But we support Australians who find themselves in these difficulties and these circumstances right around the world and of course we’re doing that with respect to the 60 Minutes crew in Beirut at the moment.”

    Earlier a spokesman for the Foreign Minister said Australian consular staff in Beirut are continuing to provide ongoing assistance. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth office confirmed it is also providing assistance to two British nationals following the April 7 arrests.

    Lebanese news service the Daily Star reports the charges could lead to 20 years’ jail time.

    According to the ABC, child abduction charges against Ms Faulkner and the 60 Minutes crew could be downgraded from the more serious “deprivation of liberty” to a misdemeanour because it was not a case of kidnapping for ransom but instead about reuniting the children with their mother.

    Bruce Haigh, a former senior Australian diplomat who has worked in several Middle Eastern countries, believes the Nine Network needs to “grovel” if it wants its staff released.

    “You need to go and make an abject apology to the Lebanese government and you need to say, ‘Look, we made a huge error, a bad error of judgment and we really
    apologise for what’s occurred.’

    “Nothing short of that will get these people out,” he told ABC Radio.


    RISKY BUSINESS OF CHILD RECOVERY

    The media crew is believed to have engaged Child Abduction Recovery International to carry out the retrieval of the children.
    The controversial group is based in Britain and led by ex-Australian soldier Adam Whittington who has had run-ins with the law before, notably in Singapore where he was sentenced to 16 weeks jail during a previous case.

    It claims to be staffed by ex-military with specialist skills and recovery operations can cost upwards of $20,000 each. While some have been satisfied with their services, other experts warn mediation is the best route for retrieving a child internationally.
    The company has been the subject of an ITV documentary Abducted before, focusing on the recovery of a child from her mother in Poland.

    Tara Brown, 60 Minutes crew to learn fate in Lebanon court hearing

  5. #5
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    It's not clear from that what the 60 minutes crew actually did.

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    Channel 9 would have paid for the whole thing.
    Snatch the kids back reunite with their mother,Sixty Minutes on hand to record the whole thing,high rating TV.
    Keep them locked up.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo
    It's not clear from that what the 60 minutes crew actually did.
    Quote Originally Posted by bobo746
    Channel 9 would have paid for the whole thing.
    Snatch the kids back reunite with their mother,Sixty Minutes on hand to record the whole thing,high rating TV.
    $100,000-150,000 apparently.

    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly
    60 Minutes has confirmed their crew has been formally charged with:
    • Hiding information
    • Forming an association with two or more people to commit crime against a person
    • Kidnapping or holding a minor even with their approval
    • Physical assault
    Quote Originally Posted by bobo746
    Keep them locked up.
    tend to agree.

  8. #8
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    It's been happening for decades in the U.K. White tarts marrying and having kids with ME scum, then when the dirty Arab has had enough of her feminist bitchy ways the kids are whisked away by the filthy vassal to his one donkey town.
    Then the White cow cries for press and public sympathy.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasabi
    It's been happening for decades in the U.K. White tarts marrying and having kids with ME scum, then when the dirty Arab has had enough of her feminist bitchy ways the kids are whisked away by the filthy vassal to his one donkey town.
    Not a bad summary of the bigoted attitudes of many in the press reporting on this case.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wasabi
    It's been happening for decades in the U.K. White tarts marrying and having kids with ME scum, then when the dirty Arab has had enough of her feminist bitchy ways the kids are whisked away by the filthy vassal to his one donkey town
    Not really mate.
    • Ali Elamine is the father of the children in 60 Minutes kidnap case
    • Mr Elamine is a Lebanese-American and runs a business Surf Lebanon
    • He sells surfwear, teaches riding and is an environmentalist
    • He and ex-wife Sally Faulkner and children lived in Beirut before split
    The father of the two children at the centre of the 60 Minutes Beirut kidnap case is a passionate surfer who moved back to Lebanon with his ex-wife, Sally Faulkner, to start a surf shop before their bitter split.
    Ali Elamine, a Lebanese American from Huntington Beach in California, runs the business Surf Lebanon in a tiny fishing village turned resort on the Mediterranean coast south of Beirut.
    The business is marketed on its Instagram page as 'your one stop shop for everything Surfing or Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)'.
    Mr Elamine believes surfing, which he has done almost daily except for the day his children were abducted, is a relief from the realities of war and conflict in Lebanon and Syria.
    The 31-year-old is credited with making surfing a sport in Lebanon since he opened a surfing school in late 2012 at El Jiyeh, an ancient seaside town 25km south of Beirut.

  11. #11
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    60 Minutes accused turn on each other as they face Lebanese court

    Tara Brown, 60 Minutes crew in Lebanon jail: Child abduction company says Ch 9 paid them directly

  12. #12
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    The role of white privilege in the 60 Minutes kidnapping saga

    A major news organisation has shown an extraordinary lapse in judgment by exploiting a mother's pain and taking part in a serious crime, writes Ruby Hamad.

    You can't fault a mother for trying. When Sally Faulkner learned that her Lebanese ex-husband, Ali Elamine, had no intention of returning their two children to Australia from Lebanon, where he had ostensibly taken them for a holiday, she would have known her chances of getting them back legally were almost nil. Parental rights are automatically given to fathers in Lebanon and the country is not a signatory to the Hague Convention which stipulates that children be returned to their "country of habitual residence".

    And so Faulkner turned to the media, with disastrous consequences. Now, along with four 60 Minutes journalists including presenter Tara Brown, she is in custody in Beirut following an audacious attempt to snatch the two children from a Beirut street. Two of the agents working for CARI, the "child recovery" organisation behind the bungled operation (run by Australian ex-soldier Adam Whittington), are also in custody.

    The actions of a desperate mother are one thing; the extraordinary lapse in judgment and ethics of a crew of seasoned journalists getting involved in an international kidnapping scheme is another entirely.

    While the full picture is still emerging, Lebanese authorities claim one of CARI's agents admitted that 60 Minutes paid the $115,000 fee for the operation. Meanwhile, a series of text messages between Faulkner and a rival child recovery agent imply that 60 Minutes refused to pay up when – aware that the plan had failed – Faulkner needed an alternative to escape the country.

    If this is true, the program's preparedness to exploit the pain of a mother who hadn't seen her children in 10 months only to abandon her when she needed them most is beyond comprehension.

    Whatever the full truth, 60 Minutes is in trouble. And they deserve to be. While it seems incredible that a major news organisation could be so irresponsible as to film a serious crime taking place, that they allegedly agreed to participate in a kidnapping to be later spun as a heroic deed simultaneously shows the heights – and limits – of white, Western privilege.

    No doubt the Australian journalists, as well as knowing the abduction would rate through the roof, thought they were doing the right thing. After all, the West has a habit of seeing itself as fundamentally and inherently good. Indeed, 60 Minutes claimed they were on a "humanitarian mission" to cover the story of "a desperate Australian mum trying to get her two Australian children home".

    Had the children's Lebanese father brought a crew of Lebanese journalists to Australia to pull the same stunt when the children lived here with their mother, it would have been met with an indignant fury so all-encompassing it would surely ensnare the entire Lebanese community (because individual responsibility is also a privilege reserved for white people). How dare they come to our country and kidnap our children?

    What made these journalists think they could do this and get away with it? The answer must be tied to the disdain Australians by and large hold for non-Western countries. It's no coincidence that this took place in a region that the West has long treated as little more than its playground; carving up land in the Sykes-Picot agreement, launching countless wars, orchestrating coups, arming dictators, and so on.

    This history has led to some pretty dubious double standards. While our leaders bleat on about people smugglers, "sovereign borders" and lock up vulnerable people – including children – these journalists were allegedly planning on smuggling the two Faulkner children out of Lebanon. On a boat. In less tragic circumstances, the irony would be delicious.

    In common Australian parlance Lebanon is thought of as a "Third World shithole" (I should know, I've been told to go back there often enough), even though it is not a developing country. It is assumed to be an Islamic nation even though almost 50 per cent of the population is Christian and the president is always a Maronite Catholic. And while much of Beirut – famously referred to as "The Paris of the Middle East" – seems lifted right out of Europe, the perception of Lebanon as some kind of cultural and political backwater persists. Remember that scene in Homeland that famously misrepresented Hamra Street?

    It is this perception that leads Westerners to assume they are doing a noble thing in "rescuing" children from a country like Lebanon; you'd never catch Australian journalists lending support to a violent kidnapping on the streets of Paris in a bid to smuggle children across the border.

    And a violent kidnapping is exactly what it is, despite the Australian media's reluctance to call it that. CCTV footage shows the "recovery agents", who appear to have Rambo delusions, forcibly snatching the children and knocking a woman to the ground.

    While it is not uncommon for journalists to break questionable laws in service of their jobs, exploiting a mother's pain and participating in a violent abduction in which someone could have easily been hurt is surely crossing the line.

    Ruby Hamad is a freelance writer and author.

    Read more: The role of white privilege in the 60 Minutes kidnapping saga
    Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

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    Thailand Expat AntRobertson's Avatar
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    Had the children's Lebanese father brought a crew of Lebanese journalists to Australia to pull the same stunt when the children lived here with their mother, it would have been met with an indignant fury so all-encompassing it would surely ensnare the entire Lebanese community (because individual responsibility is also a privilege reserved for white people). How dare they come to our country and kidnap our children?
    Nail. Head.

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    'white privilege' FFS.

    Western arrogance maybe but 'white' 'privilege'? Christ almighty.

    Who's to say what races the people was on the crew or the team that made the decision.

    How I despise that term 'white privelege'.

    Particularly when it's used in instances where it has no relevance.
    Last edited by Cujo; 18-04-2016 at 01:08 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo
    How I despise that term 'white privelege'.
    I wonder why...

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    Beware of women and their problems, they always engage a third party to fight their battles.

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    I agree with Cujo. It's arrogance. But perhaps that arrogance comes from Western perceived 'privilege'. Not sure though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo
    How I despise that term 'white privelege'.
    I wonder why...
    Because it's become a catchall phrase to blame the whiteman for everything.
    A copout.

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    or because it's a little too close to the bone?

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    It's all through the news here....the team was (or at least included) a group of amateurs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly View Post
    or because it's a little too close to the bone?
    Not at all, I'm not ashamed of being white and I refuse to be bullied into it.

    I'm white, get over it.
    When's official white pride month?

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    Has the white slag been locked up too?
    Should charge her anyway = breeding with the enemy

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    The Aussie media Is a bit like a young child at times in that it seems to struggle with understanding where the boundaries are. Just because something is happening outside Australia, and Australia is a long way from anywhere else, it doesn't negate the need to act with a degree of responsibility.

    The prank call that led to the death of Jacintha Saldanha was another disgraceful episode. It was not so much in that they did what they did - done properly it could have been quite funny - but because, as it seems with the Lebanon case, nobody really thought about the implications of what they were doing. So long as it's good for local ratings then stuff the rest of them.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deat...intha_Saldanha

    I guess I'd expect more from the Aussies. It's disappointing that some of them seem to be trying to emulate the worst of British media.

    Actually, come to think of it come to think of it, much of the worst of British media is owned by an, er, Australian...

    Um, so what was the point I was trying to make?

    I'll get me hat.

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    Tara Brown, 60 Minutes crew in Lebanon jail: Col Chapman says Channel Nine must choose sacrificial lamb

    Nine must give up senior staff member as sacrificial lamb, says expert

    A CHILD recovery specialist linked to the botched 60 Minutes abduction says Channel 9 must give up a senior staff member as a sacrificial lamb.

    Col Chapman, who spoke with Brisbane mother Sally Faulkner several times before the failed operation, says the network should identify the person responsible to the Lebanese authorities.
    “What Nine has to do is hand over or hand up the person who signed off on this,” he told The Kyle and Jackie O Show on KIIS this morning. “That’s what Lebanon wants, they want to know who’s responsible and they know it’s not the Nine crew, they know that.
    “I think it’s more someone in the management production side, I think it’s someone well over the executive producer who said, ‘Let’s go ahead and do this.’”
    The accused will apply for bail at a Beirut court today around 5pm AEST. Reporter Tara Brown, producer Stephen Rice, sound recordist David ‘Tangles’ Ballment and cameraman Ben Williamson are being held at Baabda detention centre alongside Ms Faulkner, two Lebanese security workers and child recovery agent Adam Whittington and his assistant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue
    Has the white slag been locked up too? Should charge her anyway = breeding with the enemy
    Who's enemy? Certainly not mine.
    I don't even know the bloke.
    I think you should take your head out of your arse Blue.

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