Greg Norman fuelling Leishman’s FedEx tilt

Marc Leishman says a text message exchange with idol Greg Norman is one of the driving forces behind his quest to break Australia’s hoodoo at the US PGA Tour’s rich FedEx Cup playoffs.


The obvious incentive for Leishman to win the FedEx Cup is its $US10 million bonus cheque, but a rare correspondence with golfing great Norman has given the Victorian native a spring in his step at this week’s Tour Championship finale.

With Australian perennial FedEx contenders Jason Day and Adam Scott unable to claim the series during its 10-year history, Leishman has a hot chance as one the top five seeds in the Atlanta decider, courtesy of his wire-to-wire win at last week’s BMW Championship.

The 33-year-old Leishman is guaranteed the FedEx title with a victory in the 30-man event at East Lake Golf Club.

Leishman says he was chuffed with encouragement from World Golf Hall of Fame member Norman.

“Yeah, (Norman) has been a massive influence. I’ve always idolised him; he was such a successful bloke on and off the golf course. An inspiration, really,” Leishman told AAP.

Leishman said he first received a text from 62-year-old Norman on Saturday night, urging him to convert his five-shot lead in the final round of the BMW Championship.

“Then he sent a text to congratulate me on Sunday night,” said Leishman.

“Getting a text from Greg Norman is a pretty cool feeling … it had been a few years (since the last).

“I had a cardboard cut-out of Greg in my bedroom growing up.”

Looking to ice a breakout season that includes a win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March and seven top-10 results, Leishman says he’ll draw on a previous win at a 30-man event.

Leishman won the 2015 Nedbank Golf Challenge, whose field has since grown, in South Africa by a whopping six shots over big gun Henrik Stenson.

“Winning the Nedbank by six is good to have in the memory bank. Hopefully I can make this number two,” Leishman said.


FedEx standing: Fourth

Tour Championship results: Tied 28th (2009; only appearance)

How he can win the FedEx Cup: In the top five seeds, Leishman wins the FedEx Cup with a Tour Championship victory.

He also has a solid chance of winning with a second-place finish and can finish as low as a tie for third and still have a chance.

Rohingya asylum seeker claims he was pressured to accept cash from Australia to leave Manus

A Rohingya Muslim, who spoke to SBS World News from Port Moresby on condition of anonymity, says he felt pressured to sign a deal with Australia to return to Myanmar from Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island in exchange for US$25,000.


Efforts to clear the centre have been ramping up after Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that it was illegal and must close.

“They [the Australian government] said: ‘Think about it, if you go back you can try another country’,” the 32-year-old said.

“I said I have to think about it, and I came back in my home and they sent somebody to me to apply some pressure, you know. They said ‘think about it, Manus is no good.’

“Signing the papers was my only option so I signed them,” he said.

“What choice do I have? The government offered me US$25,000 [to go back] or I sit in the transit centre at Manus Island.”

His comments come after The Guardian reported that Australia had offered a man that amount if he returned to Myanmar.


The Myanmar military has been violent against Rohingyas since the 1970s with many escaping to neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan. Only a few have travelled as far as Manus Island.

The military ramped up its campaign of violence in August, forcing more than 400,000 to flee in the past few weeks.

In a televised speech on Tuesday, the country’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi said she was “concerned” about the plight of Rohingyas. Her comments have since being widely criticised by human rights organisations for not cracking down enough on the military.

James Gomez, human rights organisation Amnesty’s regional director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said her speech “demonstrated that she and her government are still burying their heads in the sand over the horrors unfolding in Rakhine state.” 

0:00 Aung San Suu Kyi addresses nation over Rohingya crisis Share Aung San Suu Kyi addresses nation over Rohingya crisis

The Rohingya man said he arrived at Manus Island in 2013 after being kept at Christmas Island for 11-12 days.

He said he he lost his teeth when he was bashed by security on Manus Island in February 2014, and believes that ultimately PNG and Myanmar are both unsafe places for him to live.

“I have two choices, stay here in PNG or go back, so I would rather go back and die in my country.”

The Australian Council for International Development has called on the government to stop offering financial incentives to Rohingya asylum seekers at the Manus Island offshore processing centre to return to Myanmar and bring Rohingya refugees to Australia.

Marc Purcell, the CEO of the council, said in a press release on Tuesday, “We urge the Australian Government to look at an increase to Australia’s humanitarian intake, with specific consideration to vulnerable people who have fled violence and persecution in Myanmar.”

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection said the matter was for the Government of Papua New Guinea.

SBS World News has contacted the PNG government for comment.


‘This is about race-baiting’: Ethnic groups condemn citizenship bill

The Australian government says its crackdown on citizenship requirements will improve security but his has shaken up some communities.


Some ethnic communities say they feel unfairly targeted by the changes that will affect tens of thousands across the country.

That includes permanent resident Sara Balsamini, a business analyst who migrated from Italy in 2010.

“I moved to Australia initially with a working holiday visa,” she told SBS World News.

“It was supposed to be an experience, and then I just fell in love with the country and then I decided to try and stay. I was only two weeks away from completing my application.

“I had already collected all my documents, officially translated them, found a witness for my identity declaration. I was ready to apply.”

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Ms Balsamini said she had already integrated successfully in the community, but now with the proposed changes to the citizenship laws, feels unfairly targeted.

“It’s devastating, it puts a lot of uncertainty on my life and it was shocking for me that the government was trying to make these changes retrospectively for people that had already qualified, and already paid for a non-refundable fee, and already planned their life accordingly,” Ms Balsamini said.

A question of security?

A Senate inquiry saw more than 13,000 submissions made, both for and against the government’s citizenship bill.

The Coalition believes tighter citizenship laws will bolster national security. But according to the CEO of the Australian Arab Council, Randa Kattan, there is an embedded air of discrimination.

“I’m not sure how it will improve security. It looks like it’s only the brown countries that are being targeted. So in my opinion this is about race-baiting,” Ms Kattan said.

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“It is of great concern because we need to kind of scrutinise, we need to look at this very carefully; what messages is it sending, what messages is it sending to the people who are already contributing to this country, to society; what message is it sending to the general community about the people who are applying to become citizens of this country.”

Australian values

Assistant Immigration Minister Alex Hawke told SBS World News the government believes its measures are non-discriminatory, and are in Australia’s best interests.

“Across the board they’ll apply to everybody equally,” he said.

“We’re looking for people that want to come here and integrate, adopt Australian values, and become great members of the Australian community regardless of where they’re from.

“The government’s measures are designed to stop those people who don’t want to come here and integrate and become Australian citizens with those values that you would expect.”

Joseph Caputo, Director of the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council Australia, warned Australia’s storied multicultural legacy is at stake.

“It is under threat, and I think that history is a good guide for the future,” Mr Caputo said.

“I think the good sense of Australians, the fair go, you know giving the fair go to everyone, should prevail, and the fact that we’ve done so in the past that everyone that has reached our shores have been given a fair go.

“That’s what made Australia [what it is] today, and we should not threaten it with proposed laws that will make it very very difficult for many many, many new arrivals.”

Community concerns

Stricter language requirements and a revised waiting period of four years instead of one, has the Chinese community most concerned.

“They’re dismayed at the proposed changes, and everybody is worried,” explained President of the ACT Chinese Australian Associations, Chin Wong.

“The Chinese community, like other multicultural communities, a lot of us feel that we’ve been targeted because English is not our first language.

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“We have people that have been here for nearly ten years, but with the changes of rules they know that they have to wait for another four years because they have to start all over again. Australia might lose a lot of those well-educated and well-young professionals.”

But changes to the waiting period would in fact mirror other western countries. In the United States, permanent residents wait five years before they can apply for citizenship.

In Canada, permanent residents must have lived in the country for four out of the previous six years, to be eligible.

It takes five years in France, eight in Germany, while in the United Kingdom it takes six years – with one year as a permanent resident, before citizenship is possible.

Senate committee chair, Liberal Senator Ian Macdonald, concedes a retrospective rule needs to be included so the new laws do not apply to people previously eligible to apply. But he believes the bill will add value to the term “citizen”.

“There should be some transitional power in the minister to allow individual cases where that was appropriate,” Senator Macdonald said.

“Anyone who wants to be a citizen and who is genuine will be able to get there. It might take them a little bit longer, but they will get there and they won’t have any problem.

“I think Australia will be better for it, having a citizenship that really means something and that counts.”

Chair of the Australian-Indian Youth Dialogue, Karan Anand, believes such a response is not good enough.

“I think a degree of empathy is really important in understanding those circumstances, and patience is quite a broad term to be using in this frame,” Mr Anand told SBS World News.

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“I think part of the rhetoric needs to be that ‘we welcome you and we want you to be in the Australian community’, contributing productively as well. And that needs to be part of the messaging that goes out with this legislation.

“We want to make sure that they feel welcomed regardless of what happens with our citizenship laws going forward.”

The bill is unlikely to stand in its current form due to insufficient cross-bench support. But what the final outcome will be, remains far from certain.


Hurricane Maria: Guadeloupe lashed by rain as curfew imposed on British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands was under curfew Tuesday as the Caribbean archipelago, still reeling from the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma earlier this month, braced for another megastorm.


“While Hurricane Maria may not be as strong as Hurricane Irma, our present reality is also very different,” Orlando Smith, the premier of the self-governing British territory, warned in a statement.

“Effects such as potential flooding and high winds that can turn debris into dangerous projectiles can have a greater and more treacherous impact for us.

“Many residents are still displaced, homes are not fully secured and our natural protections have had severe damage due to the passage of Hurricane Irma.

“Our islands are extremely vulnerable right now.”

Maria hit Dominica on Tuesday as a Category Five hurricane, the highest on the five-point Saffir-Simpson scale. It was later downgraded to an “extremely dangerous” Category Four, although the US National Hurricane Center warned it could strengthen again.

“We have lost all what money can buy and replace,” Dominica’s premier Roosevelt Skerrit posted on Facebook, saying there were initial reports of “widespread devastation”.

Post by Roosevelt Skerrit.

“My greatest fear for the morning is that we will wake to news of serious physical injury and possible deaths as a result of likely landslides triggered by persistent rains.”

Earlier, he said his roof had been blown off and house flooded, leaving him “at the complete mercy of the hurricane”.

After being rescued, Skerrit appealed for “help of all kinds” but noted specifically that authorities would need helicopters to survey the damage.

Post by Roosevelt Skerrit.

With officials predicting Maria would hit the British Virgin Islands on Tuesday or Wednesday, authorities there imposed a curfew from 6:00pm (2200 GMT) on Monday and urged residents to stay indoors until it passed.

The French territory of Guadeloupe – the bridgehead for aid for Irma-hit French territories – ordered all residents to take shelter in a maximum-level “violet alert”.

Heavy rain lashed the island and several areas were without power Tuesday morning.

More than 100 high-risk prisoners escaped on the islands after a prison breach during Hurricane Irma, prompting London to send Royal Marines and police officers to help restore law and order.

The prisoners have since all been recaptured.

More than 1,300 British troops have been deployed to the region since Irma, and London has also sent food, shelter kits and buckets for clean water.

Another 42 military personnel have been stationed on the British Virgin Islands ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Maria.

The Foreign Office has warned against any travel to the archipelago.

A military reconnaissance team is also on standby to go to neighbouring Montserrat and assess any potential needs if the storm hits there later Tuesday.

In addition to government aid, the British Virgin Islands has received help from a group of sailors from Puerto Rico, who have long been visiting the territory on holiday and wanted to help.

The sailors are among a group of thousands who regularly visit the BVI, dubbed the Puerto Rican Navy.

They have dropped off eight containers of food, water and building supplies, according to a BVI government statement.

“Many people, children, humble people, business people, all came with what they could bring to make sure that people in the BVI were taken care of,” organiser Alicia Carazo said in the statement.

Irma, also a Category 5 hurricane, left around 40 people dead in the Caribbean before churning west and pounding Florida, where the death toll stood at 50 Monday.


Trump to talk tough about North Korea in his first UN speech

Elected on the nationalist slogan “America first,” President Donald Trump will use his debut address to the UN General Assembly to argue that individual nations should act in their own self-interest, yet rally together when faced with a common threat such as North Korea.


Mr Trump, who has warned of “fire and fury” if North Korea does not back down, is expected to argue on Tuesday that the dangers posed by Kim Jong-un’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons program should unite all nations.

And he plans to issue not just warnings to North Korea but also rebukes to states that have enabled Pyongyang, though it is unclear if he will criticise China by name.

Big day at the United Nations – many good things, and some tricky ones, happening. We have a great team. Big speech at 10:00 A.M.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2017

Addressing the General Assembly is a milestone moment for any president, but one particularly significant for Mr Trump, a relative newcomer to foreign policy who has at times rattled the international community with his unpredictability.

He has pulled the Unites States out of multinational agreements, considered shrinking the US military footprint in the world and deployed bombastic language on North Korea that has been criticised by other world leaders.

Mr Trump frequently belittled the UN as a candidate and some within his White House believe the UN acts as a global bureaucracy that infringes on the sovereignty of individual countries.

But the president is expected to stand before world leaders and a global audience and declare that UN members, acting as a collection of self-interested nations, should unite to confront global dangers, according to aides previewing his speech.

Beyond North Korea, crisis points the Republican president plans to address include Iran’s nuclear agenda, the instability in Venezuela and the fight against terrorism in Syria and elsewhere.

World leaders, many of whom will be seeing Mr Trump in person for the first time, are bound to take the measure of the man and parse his every word for clues on how he views the US role in the world and within the UN.

In brief remarks to the UN on Monday, Mr Trump chastised the world body’s bloated bureaucracy and budget, saying: “We are not seeing the results in line with this investment.”

But even with that scolding, Mr Trump pledged to the UN that the United States would be “partners in your work” to make the organisation a more effective force for world peace.

Rohingya Muslims told to stay put

Thousands of Rohingya Muslims trapped by hostile Buddhists in northwestern Myanmar have enough food and will not be granted the safe passage from two remote villages.


The Rohingya villagers said they wanted to leave but needed government protection from ethnic Rakhine Buddhists who had threatened to kill them.

They also said they were running short of food since August 25, when Rohingya militants launched deadly attacks in Rakhine state, provoking a fierce crackdown by the Myanmar military.

At least 420,000 Rohingya have since fled into neighbouring Bangladesh to escape what a senior United Nations official has called a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.

Tin Maung Swe, secretary of the Rakhine state government, said requests from the two villages for safe passage had been denied, since they had enough rice and were protected by a nearby police outpost.

Residents of Ah Nauk Pyin, one of the two Rohingya villages, said they hoped to move to the relative safety of a camp outside Sittwe, the nearby state capital.

About 90,000 Rohingya displaced by a previous bout of violence in 2012 are confined to camps in Rakhine in squalid conditions.

In a nationally televised speech on Tuesday, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi vowed to punish the perpetrators of human rights violations in Rakhine, but did not address UN accusations of ethnic cleansing by the military.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate said that many Muslims had not fled and urged foreign diplomats to study why certain areas of Rakhine state had “managed to keep the peace”.

“We can arrange for you to visit these areas and to ask them for yourself why they have not fled … even at a time when everything around them seems to be in a state or turmoil,” she said.

Britain said it has suspended its training programme for military in Myanmar due to the violence and called on the army to protect all civilians and allow aid through.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at the UN likened the violence to genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda, urging a halt to the “ongoing ethnic cleansing” and safe return of refugees.

Blake testifies about his mistaken arrest

Former tennis star James Blake has testified that a plain-clothed police officer never identified himself before throwing him to the ground and handcuffing him outside in 2015 outside his Manhattan hotel.


“He never said ‘NYPD.’ He never said ‘officer’,” Blake said at a disciplinary trial for Officer James Frascatore. “He never said ‘freeze,’ like you’d see in the movies.”

Blake testified that he remained handcuffed for about 10 minutes before police realised they had mistaken Blake for a suspect wanted in a fraud investigation. At one point, Blake said, Frascatore told him, “You know you’re safe, right?”

Blake said responded: “I don’t know I’m safe. I don’t know why I’m here.”

After being freed without an apology from the officer, a “dazed” Blake’s first instinct was to “tough it out and walk it off,” he testified. He said his wife asked him what he’d do if the same thing happened to her, which “woke me up.”

“It shouldn’t happen to me. It shouldn’t happen to anyone,” he testified. “There needs to be accountability for everybody.”

Blake’s arrest – captured in a security video – became another flashpoint in the national debate over police use of force against unarmed black men. The 37-year-old American, once the world No.4, is the child of a black father and white mother; Frascatore is white.

In an opening statement, attorney Stephen Worth argued the officer was following orders when he used a takedown move on Blake that police use every day without being disciplined. His client was charged only “because James Blake is a celebrity,” he said.

Pangai Jr is Brisbane’s Taumalolo: Glenn

Is Tevita Pangai Junior already Brisbane’s answer to Jason Taumalolo?

Broncos back-rower Alex Glenn thinks so, tipping the returning forward to do his best impersonation of a certain North Queensland enforcer in Friday night’s NRL preliminary final in Melbourne.


Brisbane have received a shot in the arm after welcoming back skipper Darius Boyd from a two-week hamstring injury for the grand final qualifier at AAMI Park.

But Glenn believed Pangai Jr’s return from his own fortnight-long hamstring complaint was just as important to their chances of upsetting the Storm.

Pangai Jr hasn’t exactly punched out Taumalolo-esque numbers this season.

Unlike the Cowboys wrecking ball’s 200m-plus efforts, Pangai Jr makes 86m a game averaging only 26 minutes a match off the bench.

However, Glenn tipped Pangai Jr to wreak havoc just like the reigning Dally M medallist against runaway favourites Melbourne.

“He has that X-factor as a forward,” Glenn said.

“He has that offload, he has the power.

“I think he is bit like Jase Taumalolo.

“He has that power and can build some momentum and really get us going forward.

“It’s great to have him back in the side and adding that punch to our bench.”

Glenn said Pangai Jr had sparked a Brisbane bench he believes will go a long way to helping the glamour club book their second grand final in three years.

Pangai will reunite with impressive bench forwards Joe Ofahengaue and Herman Ese’ese against Melbourne.

“Once he gets out there he is screaming for the ball trying to get into the game and that is what I love,” Glenn said of Pangai Jr.

“That’s what our bench has been bringing all year.”

Brisbane veteran forward Sam Thaiday believes Pangai Jr shared the Broncos’ most important job on Friday night.

“To be honest they are the four most crucial positions in the team – the four bench players,” he said.

“If they don’t come on and keep doing what the starting pack have done or come on and change momentum they are not really doing their job.

“But our bench have been fantastic.

“Tevita is a big powerful forward, his running game is amazing for us and I think he has worked really hard on his defence.

“You need that explosive impact off the bench and that is what Tevita brings.”

Week off may bite Melbourne: Thaiday

A week off may come back to bite Melbourne when they face a battle-hardened Brisbane in an NRL preliminary final, Broncos veteran Sam Thaiday says.


But the evergreen Bronco admits they will still have to produce their best game of the year to pull off a boilover against the runaway title favourites at AAMI Park on Friday.

Taking on a fresh Storm outfit in their own backyard should be a daunting prospect for the Broncos but Thaiday believes they may have the jump on a Storm side returning from a weekend’s rest.

Thaiday said the Broncos were primed for a finals grind after their hard-earned 13-6 semi-final win over Penrith.

In contrast, Melbourne may struggle to regain their winning momentum after a week’s break since their qualifying final triumph over Parramatta, he says.

Asked if the week off may hinder Melbourne, Thaiday said: “It is a question that has been tossed up a fair bit.

“Sometimes the week off isn’t necessarily a good thing.

“We know we have played a tough game of footy last week where we really needed to scramble in defence and work hard for the win.

“Hopefully that is going to help us going down to Melbourne.

“But I know Melbourne. They wouldn’t have been kicking their feet up last week.”

Brisbane had contrasting losses to Melbourne this season – a nail-biting 14-12 result at AAMI Park in round three and a 42-12 round-17 blowout at Suncorp Stadium.

Thaiday said they had looked over video of both matches but knew what they had to do against Melbourne – bring their best.

“We’ve watched a fair bit of tape, and the last two times we played them,” he said.

“We had a lot of unforced errors and played very uncharacteristically.

“There are a few simple things to fix but we just need to play our best football of the year to win – it’s that simple.”

Brisbane hooker Ben Hunt said the Broncos were not afraid of facing Melbourne despite a lousy recent record.

Brisbane have won just four of their last 23 games against the Storm.

“There is never any fear. We just have to turn up with a good attitude,” he said.

“But yeah, plain and simple we will have to play our best game (to win).

“They have been the No.1 team all year and we have to be better.”

What Trump has said about the UN

President Donald Trump delivered his first speech before the United Nations on Tuesday, touting US sovereignty and threatening to “totally destroy” North Korea.


Trump has been critical of the United Nations and complained about the cost to the United States of helping to fund the 193-nation body.

Related Reading

Below are some comments he has made about it over the years.

* September 19, 2017, at a luncheon hosted by Secretary General:

“For years I’ve been a critic, but I’ve also been somebody that said that the United Nations has tremendous potential.”

* September 19, 2017, in a speech at the UN General Assembly:

“Too often the focus of this organisation has not been on results, but on bureaucracy and process.

“The United States is one out of 193 countries in the United Nations, and yet we pay 22 per cent of the entire budget and more. In fact, we pay far more than anybody realises.”

* April 2017, at lunch with Security Council Ambassadors:

“I also want to say to you that I have long felt the United Nations is an underperformer but has tremendous potential. There are those people that think it’s an underperformer and will never perform.”

* December 2016, in a tweet:

“The United Nations has such great potential but right now it is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time. So sad!”

* March 2016, in an American-Israel Public Affairs Committee speech:

“Which brings me to my next point, the utter weakness and incompetence of the United Nations. The United Nations is not a friend of democracy, it’s not a friend to freedom, it’s not a friend even to the United States of America where, as you know, it has its home. And it surely is not a friend to Israel.”

* October 2012, in a tweet:

“The cheap 12 inch sq. marble tiles behind speaker at UN always bothered me. I will replace with beautiful large marble slabs if they ask me.”

* September 2011, in a tweet:

“Why is the UN planning to attack @Israel’s sovereignty and ignore Iran’s nuclear program? The US should look at future funding.”

* July 2005, at a Senate committee hearing on renovation of headquarters

“I am a big fan, a very big fan of the United Nations and all it stands for. I cannot speak as to what has been happening over the last number of years because it certainly has not been good, but the concept of the United Nations … is very important to me and very important to the world as far as I am concerned.”

German elections: Syrian refugees back Merkel as she is tipped to win her fourth term

German Chancellor Angela Merkel looks to be heading into her fourth term after earning support from the refugee community.


Her popularity with this community is a stark contrast to the reception she gets in Wolgast in her electorate that she has held since 1990 when it was created.

During a visit this week, she was met with hostility as residents greeted her with shouts of “traitor”.

But the leader does not seem to be deterred by the hecklers, saying: “There are some who whistle and shout but I don’t think that is enough to move Germany forward.”

While the residents of her electorate were the ones who elevated her to Germany’s highest office, this time around her most enthusiastic supporters are the community’s newest members – Syrian refugees.

One refugee said the chancellor opened her country to new arrivals when some did not.

“Only Ms Merkel said to us “come to Germany” and “welcome”. Other people didn’t,” the refugee told SBS World News.

Iraqi refugee Zeyad has been living at the former Templehof Airport where 2,000 people once camped for two yearsSBS

Refugee Naya fled Syria with her mum and sister, leaving behind her father and friends, by crossing the Mediterranean Sea, walking country to country before finally arriving in Germany by train.

“Through the window I saw lots of really colourful houses and I still have that picture in my head of how Germany first looked, and how different it was,” she told SBS World News.

“Here in Germany if you want something you have to work at it and if you keep trying you will get it, definitely.”

But not everyone is having such an easy time in Germany.

Iraqi refugee Zeyad has been living at the former Templehof Airport, south of Berlin, where 2,000 people once camped for two years – now only a few hundred remain.

Zeyad can stay in Germany but now he has nowhere to live or work.

“I can’t find any friends. The Germans have no time for me or the others, they’re all working, working, working, and I have to study German on my own,” he said.

After poll boost, German populists AfD attack Islam

The Muslim religion “does not belong in Germany”, said a top candidate of the Alternative for Germany, Alexander Gauland, who argued that its “political doctrine is not compatible with a free country”.


“Islamist rhetoric and violence and terror have roots in the Koran and in the teachings of Islam,” he told reporters.

Gauland and the other top AfD candidate, Alice Weidel, have stirred controversy before Sunday’s general election.

Gauland has argued Germany should be proud of its veterans of two world wars. And Weidel has reportedly employed an asylum seeker without paying tax, a claim she has denied.

Latest polls show the AfD at 10-12 per cent, up from eight-10 percent, potentially making it Germany’s third-strongest party.

0:00 SBS Chief Europe Correspondent Brett Mason talks to AFD candidate Leif-Erik Holm Share SBS Chief Europe Correspondent Brett Mason talks to AFD candidate Leif-Erik Holm

But Merkel’s CDU and its Bavarian allies CSU slipped two points to 36 percent, close to the all-time low of 35 percent when the Social Democrats (SPD) led by Gerhard Schroeder defeated them in 1998.

Merkel’s conservative alliance however still commanded a huge lead over the SPD of her top rival Martin Schulz, which slipped to 23 percent.

The trend suggests the AfD will not only be the first right-wing nationalist party to enter the German parliament since 1945 but, depending on what coalition emerges, could also lead the opposition in the Bundestag.

Weidel’s ambitions do not stop there. She told the Frankfurter Rundschau daily on Saturday that “the aim of all parties is not to be the opposition, but to govern”.

“All our lawmakers should gain professionalism very quickly during the first term, so that by 2021 we are able to govern.”

“New Germans? We’ll make them ourselves” #AfD #GermanyDecides #BTW17  @SBSNews pic南京桑拿按摩論壇,/xCkBp5xSQg

— Brett Mason (@BrettMasonNews) September 17, 2017’Bikinis, not burkas’

Founded as an anti-euro party, the AfD recorded a surge in support after it began capitalising on unease in Germany over the arrival of more than a million asylum seekers since 2015.

Its members now sit in 13 of 16 state assemblies and, eyeing the national parliament, have plastered towns and cities with posters carrying the slogans “Burkas? We prefer bikinis” or “New Germans? We make them ourselves!”

Its supporters have loudly disrupted Merkel’s rallies, where they loudly jeer, boo and whistle in a bid to drown her out.

One such protester — who shouted “traitor” at Merkel on Saturday in her Baltic coast constituency Stralsund — said he was voting AfD because “the issues they raise relate to me”.

“Merkel said 12 years ago that there must be controlled immigration,” but now “we have uncontrolled immigration, terror attacks”, he told AFP.

“For me, she is not electable, and untenable for the people,” said the man, who identified himself only as a truck driver born in Stralsund.

“Burqas? We like bikinis” #AfD #GermanyDecides #BTW17 @SBSNews pic南京桑拿按摩論壇,/eXdPGDgYYk

— Brett Mason (@BrettMasonNews) September 17, 2017

As alarm has grown over the AfD’s rise, Schulz, who has described the party as “far-right” and its leaders as “racists”, warned however against ostracising its supporters.

“We must fight against the leaders of the party, but we must not attack their sympathisers,” said the SPD candidate. 

“We must listen to the people who are attracted to the AfD. There’s no doubt about it. They must be won back.”

A leader of the far-left Linke party, Katja Kipping, also urged voters to close ranks and stop the AfD from becoming the biggest opposition force in Germany.

“Those who want to stop a right-wing opposition leader must rely on the left,” she told national news agency DPA.

0:00 AfD campaigning for ‘Germany first’ Share AfD campaigning for ‘Germany first’


Ultra-high resolution images created

A new form of high-resolution ‘printing’ which could be developed for anti-counterfeiting measures in banknotes has been discovered by scientists.


The nanoscale printing breakthrough could also have implications for data storage and digital imaging.

Engineers from the University of Glasgow have developed nanoscale plasmonic colour filters that display different colours depending on the orientation of the light which hits it.

This new technique allows the ‘printing’ of two entirely different, but exceptionally detailed, full-colour images within the same surface area.

The team, from the university’s School of Engineering, have demonstrated their technique with several examples, including a nanoscale image which shows the university’s crest when the light reaches it in one orientation, and an image of the university tower when the orientation of the light is reversed.

“We’ve discovered that if we make colour pixels from tiny cross-shaped indents on a strip of aluminium film, the colour they display becomes polarisation-dependent, allowing us to encode two colours into a single pixel, and then select which colour is displayed by shining different polarisations of light at the surface,” said biomedical engineering lecturer Dr Alasdair Clark, lead author of the research paper.

“By changing the size and shape of the nanoscale indent, we can create a wide range of different colours at very high resolutions.”

Instead of relying on dyes and pigments, as in traditional printing, structural colour uses specially structured nanomaterials to render colours.

These allow for much higher-resolution prints which do not fade over time.

While a typical printed image in a magazine might consist of around 300 coloured dots per inch of page, or 300 DPI, a page ‘printed’ with structural colour techniques could reach a resolution of 100,000 DPI or more.