Restaurant manager asked for cash to fake residency papers, court told

The Department of Immigration is investigating the owner of two Indian restaurants in western Sydney over claims he repeatedly accepted large payments to falsify documents for migrant workers seeking permanent residency.In an unfair dismissal case before Fair Work Australia, a former chef at the Tribeni and Kashi Indian restaurants, Nandalcumaran Krishnakanth, claimed his employer, Saai Bose Pty Ltd, had asked staff to pay between $1300 and $12,000 for help in gaining permanent residency.In return for the money the company’s director at the time, Arun Bose, would fill out fake skills certificates showing that the staff had completed the 900 hours of work experience needed to apply for permanent residency, the commission was told.Mr Krishnakanth said Mr Bose also asked for money to provide glowing work references to assist in the application process.”Mr Bose would say, ‘Pay me $1300 and I’ll give you the certificate that you worked as a chef and performed certain duties’,” Mr Krishnakanth told the tribunal.The certificate would be provided whether the person had worked for the restaurant or not, he said.The commission was also shown an extract of Mr Bose’s time and wages record in which four months of records appeared to have been filled out at the same time.The commissioner, deputy president Peter Sams, said the entries were ”most suspicious” and appeared to have been back-dated.Mr Bose denied the allegations, stating that nothing was falsified and all legal requirements were met during his time as director.He sold the company last year and it is now in liquidation.”There was one 457 [visa] employee who claimed unfair dismissal,” Mr Bose said. ”He was making stories.”Fair Work Australia has referred the matter to the Department of Immigration, which has mobilised staff from a number of different units to investigate. The investigation will also include allegations that staff were underpaid and denied some entitlements.”These are allegations which the department takes very seriously,” a spokeswoman said. ”In the case of alleged criminal activity we would bring any allegations we find through the appropriate courts.”The department revealed it had already been investigating Saai Bose’s involvement in the operation of the 457 visa program. Issues under review included the payment of superannuation and providing sufficient time for learning and development.This month a former student of the now-defunct Sydney International College of Business was found guilty on two counts of supplying false documents and sentenced to 200 hours community service.A migration agent, Maher Itani, said that rorting of the system was common until the laws were tightened recently.”People just find a restaurant, give them a few bucks and get a certificate,” said Mr Itani, who owns the migration agency Access Australia.
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Organiser blamed for deadly Love Parade

German state authorities on Wednesday accused the organiser of last weekend’s Love Parade techno festival of major security breaches which may have led to the crush that killed 21 people and injured more than 500.The organiser’s security officials failed to properly control the entrance area where the victims were crushed, according to North Rhine-Westphalia’s Interior Minister Ralf Jaeger and the state’s chief police controller Dieter Wehe.”Security did not fulfill its duty,” Wehe said while presenting the key findings of a preliminary police investigation at a news conference.It was unclear if 150 staffers who were supposed to be posted at the entrance area were really present, Wehe said, adding: “But it is a fact that the existing security detail was insufficient.”When the organisers couldn’t control the flow of tens of thousands pouring into the event area in Duisburg, they eventually turned to the police for help, he said.Interior Minister Jaeger said the organiser, Rainer Schaller, failed to stop the flow of people into the tunnel when the situation was already tense at the entrance to the festival grounds.”The organiser did not fulfill the requirements of his security concept,” Jaeger told journalists.Schaller, for his part, has fought back against the accusations of wrongdoing, noting that his security concept received official city approval.”Without the official stamp of approval we never would have let the Love Parade take place,” he was quoted as saying in the Bild daily on Wednesday.The preliminary report also left many unanswered questions regarding the responsibility of the Duisburg municipality, who was responsible for overseeing the event.Wehe said the final authorisation providing all organisational details was only passed on to police on Saturday after it repeatedly requested it. The authorisation allowed a maximum of 250,000 people in the area, even though organisers expected many more.German media estimated that as many as 1.4 million people attended the event.Prosecutors have opened an investigation into negligent manslaughter, but have not yet identified suspects.The death toll, meanwhile, rose to 21 on Wednesday after a 25-year-old German woman died overnight from her injuries, Duisburg prosecutors’ spokesman Rolf Haferkamp said.Sydneysider Clancie Ridley, 27, was among the people killed.More than 500 people also were injured in the crush at a jammed tunnel that was the lone entrance to the festival grounds.A memorial service for the victims will be held on Saturday with Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Christian Wulff attending.AP
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Nazi suspect indicted over murder of 430,000 Jews

A suspected former Nazi death camp guard has been charged with participating in the murder of 430,000 Jews and other crimes during the Third Reich, German prosecutors said on Wednesday.Samuel Kunz, 88, was informed last week of his indictment on charges including participation in the murder of 430,000 Jews at the Belzec death camp in occupied Poland, where he allegedly served as a guard from January 1942 to July 1943, prosecutor Christoph Goeke in Dortmund said.Kunz is also charged with murder over “personal excesses” in which he allegedly shot a total of 10 Jews in two other incidents, Mr Goeke said.Kunz, who is No.3 on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s list of most-wanted Nazi suspects, lives near the western German city of Bonn. When reached by phone, he said he did not want to talk about the allegations and hung up.Kunz was not detained because officials who interviewed him think that he will not try to flee the country, a person familiar with the case said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to reveal details of the investigation.Mr Goeke said the case has been sent to the state court in Bonn, where officials were considering whether and when to hold a trial – a standard procedural step in Germany.Bonn court spokesman Matthias Nordmeyer said the court did not want to comment now on the case.Efraim Zuroff, the top Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, said Kunz participated in the so-called Operation Reinhard to eliminate Polish Jewry.”The indictment of Samuel Kunz is a very positive development,” Mr Zuroff said from Jerusalem.”It reflects recent changes in the German prosecution policy, which have significantly enlarged the number of suspects who will be brought to justice.”Mr Zuroff said Kunz had never previously been on trial over his alleged Nazi-era past and that his name first came up in investigations connected to the trial of John Demjanjuk.Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, 90, is on trial in Munich on charges of being an accessory to the murder of 28,060 Jews as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland. He denies he was ever a camp guard.Prosecutors allege that both Kunz and Demjanjuk, a retired Ohio car worker who was deported to Germany from the US last year, trained as guards at the Trawniki SS camp.AP
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Wikileaks: we don’t know source of leaked data

Wikileaks’ editor-in-chief claims his organisation doesn’t know who sent it some 91,000 secret US military documents, telling journalists that the website was set up to hide the source of its data from those who receive it.Julian Assange didn’t say whether he meant he had no idea who leaked the documents or whether his organisation simply could not be sure. But he did say the added layer of secrecy helps protect the site’s sources from spy agencies and hostile corporations.”We never know the source of the leak,” he told journalists gathered at London’s Frontline Club. “Our whole system is designed such that we don’t have to keep that secret.”And while Assange acknowledged that the site’s anonymous submissions raised concerns about the authenticity of its material, he said Wikileaks had yet to be fooled by a bogus document.The 39-year-old Australian was at the Frontline Club, the hub of London’s media set, for the second time in as many days to outline his site’s mission and methods – and defend it from charges that it endangered lives by putting mountains of classified information in the public domain.US officials say the massive online disclosure may have put soldiers and operatives in danger, and the Pentagon, the Justice Department, and the FBI have all stepped in to investigate.President Barack Obama said the leak of classified information from the battlefield “could potentially jeopardise individuals or operations”, while Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters in Baghdad that there was “a real potential threat there to put American lives at risk”.US officials are worried that the raw data may prove useful not only to the Taliban but to hostile intelligence services in countries such as China and Russia who have the resources to make sense of such vast vaults of data, said Ellen McCarthy, former US intelligence officer and president of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.Former CIA director Michael Hayden described the mass release as a big gift to America’s enemies.”If I had gotten this trove on the Taliban or al-Qaida, I would have called it priceless,” he said. “If I’m head of the Russian intelligence, I’m getting my best English speakers and saying: ‘Read every document, and I want you to tell me, how good are these guys? What are their approaches, their strengths, their weaknesses and their blind spots?'”Back in London, Assange agreed that the files offered insight into US tactics.But he said that was none of his concern, and he noted that his website already carried a copy of the US Special Forces’ 2006 Southern Afghanistan Counterinsurgency Manual, among other sensitive US military documents.”We put out that stuff all the time,” he said.He seemed irritated when a member of the audience pressed him on whether he believed there were ever any legitimate national security concerns that would prevent him from publishing a leaked document.”It is not our role to play sides for states. States have national security concerns, we do not have national security concerns,” he said.”You often hear … that something may be a threat to US national security,” he went on. “This must be shot down whenever this statement is made. A threat to US national security? Is anyone serious? The security of the entire nation of the United States? It is ridiculous!”He said he wasn’t interested in the safety of states, only the safety of individual human beings.”If we are talking a threat to individual soldiers … or citizens of the United States, then that is potentially a genuine concern,” he said.Assange cast a bit of light on the way his organisation operates, describing an online submission system “like nothing else you’ve ever seen”.”We encrypt all the information, it is routed through protected legal jurisdictions, multiple servers,” he said.But, to the amusement of the audience, the former computer hacker said one of the best ways to submit classified material remained the international postal system.His comments also offered insight into his own motivation, referring to a statement he gave to German newspaper Der Spiegel in which he said he “loved crushing bastards”.He said the comment wasn’t meant in jest, describing himself as a combative person who likes “stopping people who have created victims from creating any more”.Assange also expressed disdain for the military, alluding to a statement attributed to Albert Einstein, a noted pacifist, which describes soldiers as contemptible drones and attacks patriotism as a cover for brutality and war.He scoffed when the Frontline’s moderator spoke of teenage British soldiers “giving their lives” in Afghanistan.”To what?” he asked.AP
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Schwarzenegger forces California workers to take leave

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a fiscal state of emergency, requiring most state employees to take three days of unpaid leave a month until a new budget is enacted.Mr Schwarzenegger said the state, which faces a budget deficit of $US19 billion ($21 billion), is on the verge of a “fiscal meltdown” and could be forced to issue IOUs starting next month to avert a new cash crisis.”Our cash situation leaves me no choice but to once again furlough state workers until the legislature produces a budget I can sign,” he said in a statement.He said the state had already taken “extraordinary measures to conserve cash”, such as deferring payments to schools and other local governments but that the crisis was deepening with no state budget for the 2010-2011 fiscal year expected soon.The “furlough Friday” starting in August requires state employees to take three Fridays a month off without pay until the state gets a new budget and the state’s finance officials certify that it has enough cash to meet its obligations.Exempt from this are employees in agencies involving public safety, including the California Highway Patrol and Department of Fire and Forestry Protection; and in revenue generation, including the Franchise Tax Board, which collects tax receipts.With the most populous US state hit hard by the economic crisis and lower tax revenues, Mr Schwarzenegger earlier this year proposed a budget that would call for spending cuts of $US12.4 billion and sharply reduce funding for services designed to help the state’s poor.Mr Schwarzenegger said the cuts were necessary to close a huge projected deficit for the fiscal year starting July 1.The former actor-turned governor has refused to raise taxes to narrow the shortfall and described his proposed cuts to spending as “painful” but essential.A budget crisis last year pushed California, which would have the world’s eighth largest economy if it were a country, to the brink of bankruptcy, sending the state’s credit-rating plunging and forcing it to start paying bills with IOUs.Analysts and legislators say California’s seemingly eternal fiscal gridlock is a consequence of the state’s constitution, which requires a two-thirds majority to pass a budget or raise taxes.AFP
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