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Tag: Australia

FBI Uncovers International Scheme to Dupe Union Out of 39M Masks for Health Care Workers

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI uncovered an international scam to sell a fake stockpile of 39 million masks to a California union representing health care workers.

FBI agents discovered there were no masks while trying to determine whether they could intercept the supplies for the Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Defense Production Act, The Los Angeles Times first reported.

U.S. Atty. Scott Brady of the Western District of Pennsylvania said the union, which he did not identify, was duped.

A Pittsburgh businessman had been trying to help the union secure millions of masks by connecting with a broker in Australia and a supplier in Kuwait, Brady said. Now the broker and supplier are the subject of a federal investigation.

“There are opportunists who are looking for any victim,” Brady said.

The union and businessman are not under investigation.

Australian Officials Annoyed That Trump Campaign Whistleblower Was Identified

Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, via LinkedIn.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Australian officials expressed “annoyance and frustration” that one of their top diplomats was identified as the source of information that triggered the Trump-Russia investigation, according to the Sydney Morning Herald

In a bombshell report on Saturday, the New York Times revealed that the wide-ranging federal investigation was prompted by revelations shared by a Trump campaign aide at an upscale London bar in May 2016. According to Australian diplomat Alexander Downer, he was told by a tipsy, boastful Trump aide, George Papadopolous, that Russia had political “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.”

Downer revealed the conversation about two months later, when droves of Clinton emails began surfacing online.

The tip was enough to prompt the FBI to launch an investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia to undermine Hillary Clinton.

Papadopolous has since pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Weekends Series on Crime: The Australian Mafia

Weekend Series on Crime: The Mafia in Australia

Parker: Australian Study Shows that Firearm Reform Law Greatly Reduced Gun-Related Fatalities

No guns sign

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

The Journal of the American Medical Association reported recently about a forty-year study in Australia about the effect on gun-related crime by the 1997 major gun law reform. The study compared the number of mass fatal shooting incidents, rates of fatal shooting incidents, firearm deaths, and firearm-caused suicides for the periods 1979 through 1996 (before the reform) with those of 1997 through 2013 (after the reform).

In 1997, after 13 fatal mass shootings (more than 5 victims) and a high rate of firearm-related fatalities, the federal and state governments in Australia enacted sweeping new gun laws. The triggering event was a massacre in 1996 in which a man used two semi-automatic long guns to kill 35 people and wound 19 others.  Rapid-fire long guns were banned as part of the reform, and the guns were subject to a mandatory buy-back program. Over one million firearms were purchased and destroyed.

The conclusions of the study were that the statute greatly reduced mass shootings, as well as the homicide rate from the use of firearms. In the 20 years since the statue Australia has not suffered a single mass firearm killing. Deaths due to firearms plummeted from 3.6 per 100,000 population to 1.3, by a factor of over 3% decline per year. The rate of firearm suicides declined by a factor of 4.8% annually. The study pointed out that part of the rate of decline on these last two categories may have been due to causes other than the gun reform law.

The study was conducted by two professors from the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney and a psychology professor at Macquarie University, both in Sydney, Australia.

Drunk Passenger, Miscommunication Prompted Fears of Hijacked Flight from Australia to Indonesia

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A drunk passenger on a flight from Australia to Indonesia and miscommunication from a pilot caused fears that a Boeing 737 had been hijacked.

BBC reports that a passenger prompted the scare by trying to enter the cockpit, causing the pilot to send a distress signal.

The crew eventually handcuffed the man, who authorities identified as Matt Christopher, a 28-year-old from Australia.

“This is no hijacking, this is a miscommunication,” Heru Sudjatmiko, a Virgin Australia official said. “There was a drunk passenger, intoxicated and aggressively behaved. He was trying to enter the cockpit, banging the door but he did not enter the cockpit.”

News of possible hijacking spread worldwide early this morning.

FBI Raids Rural Indiana Home Where Man Collected Thousands of Rare Artifacts

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI raided the property of a 91-year-old man in rural central Indiana where he stored thousands of artifacts from Native Americans, China, Russia and other countries.

Fox News reports that the massive collection by Donald Miller spanned eight decades and also included items from Australia, Haiti, New Guinea and Peru.

“The cultural value of these artifacts is immeasurable,” Jones said while refusing to divulge details of any of the items taken from Miller’s property.

Miller said he obtained the items legally and traveled to each country to get them.

“I have been in 200 countries collecting artifacts,” he said.

It wasn’t clear whether he faces charges.

Homeland Security Details Takedown on Web Exploitation Ring That Victimized 250+ Children

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Homeland Security Department helped bring down an international child exploitation ring involving as many as 27,000 people victimizing at least 251 children online, the New York Daily News reports.

DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson called the bust “one of the largest-known online child exploitation operations in history.”

Authorities alleges that a Louisiana man created a subscription-based website that disguises the identity and location of its users.

“So far, investigators have identified 251 minor victims in 37 states and five foreign countries: 228 in the United States and 23 in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Belgium. Eight of the victims were female and 243 were male. The majority of victims, 159, were 13 to 15 years old. Fifty nine victims were 16 and 17; 26 victims were 10 to 12; four victims were 7 to 9; one victim was 4 to 6; and two victims were 3 years old or younger,” the agency reported.