Jakarta archbishop slams death penalty

Jakarta’s Catholic Archbishop has expressed his concern over Indonesia’s use of the death penalty, adding the treatment of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran was a show of force over humanity.


Following Easter Sunday mass in Jakarta, Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo told reporters the church was strictly against the use of the death penalty.

He said he was saddened by the heavy-handed relocation of Australians Chan and Sukumaran from Kerobokan prison to the island where their execution is being planned.

The operation involved hundreds of balaclava-clad police and Sukhoi fighter jets.

“These men were handcuffed, was it necessary to be guarded by Sukhoi?” the archbishop said.

“For me that’s not strictness, for me that’s very saddening because it’s obvious that power wants to show itself and human dignity is not cherished.” The archbishop said using the death penalty was “a failure of humanity”.

He raised concerns also for Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, 30, who is set to face the firing squad with Chan, 31, and Sukumaran, 33.

Veloso has been denied a judicial review of her heroin smuggling trial, even though she didn’t have a qualified translator, and despite concerns the domestic worker was set up.

“I’m not sure at all that she’s guilty,” Archbishop Ignatius said.

“I don’t know about the evidence in the trial, but what I know that she doesn’t understand English … she knows only Tagalog and when she was on trial, no one translated in that language.

“How could the trial have been fair?” The Philippines government says it plans to file a second application for a judicial review for the single mother of two.

Meanwhile a court will on Monday decide whether Chan and Sukumaran can challenge the president’s decision to deny them clemency.

Jakarta plans to send 10 drug offenders to the firing squad at once – its biggest ever execution – but is waiting for all to run out of legal options.

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Scientists restart Large Hadron Collider

Scientists have successfully restarted the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the most powerful atom-smasher ever built, hoping to enter a new realm of physics and make history for the second time.


Two beams of particles travelling a whisker below the speed of light were sent flying in opposite directions through the LHC’s 27 kilometres of circular underground tunnels straddling the Swiss-French border.

Amid scenes of jubilation in the LHC control room, Professor Rolf Heuer, director general of Cern, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, said: “Congratulations. Thank you very much everyone… now the hard work starts.”

Currently the 3.74 billion machine is running at a low “injection” energy of 450 giga-electron volts (GeV). In June, the energy level will be ramped up to a record-breaking 13 tera-electron volts (TeV) and experiments probing the fundamental building blocks of the universe can begin.

Two years ago the LHC team, which includes a number of British physicists, astounded the world with the discovery of the Higgs boson, an elementary particle that gives other particles mass.

Now the scientists have their sights set on an even more exotic trophy – dark matter, the invisible, undetectable material that makes up 84 per cent of matter in the universe and binds galaxies together yet whose nature is unknown.

With a beam energy of 13 TeV – almost twice that which produced the Higgs boson – it is conceivable that the LHC will capture dark matter, marking a leap forward in our understanding of the universe.

A technical hitch had delayed the restart of the LHC after a two year re-fit and upgrade.

An electrical short circuit prompted fears that operations could be put back weeks or even months. However, engineers quickly located the problem – a small piece of metal debris – and removed it.

As tension built during the final minutes before the restart, Frederick Bordry, Cern’s director for accelerators and technology, handed out Easter eggs to staff in the LHC control room.

The particles of protons, the “hearts” of atoms, travel round the LHC at just three metres per second below the speed of light.

When experiments begin they will be smashed together in four giant detectors located around the beam ring, sparking the creation of new particles and hopefully opening up a new era in physics.

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Dwyer becomes most capped hockey player

Jamie Dwyer became Australia’s most-capped hockey player and scored his 207th goal in the Kookaburras’ 7-0 win over Canada on Sunday at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia.


It was Dwyer’s 322nd appearance for Australia, passing Jay Stacy, who retired following the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

“I’m very honoured to have played for Australia,” Dwyer said.

“It feels a bit weird passing Jay’s record because Jay was one of the main reasons I wanted to play for the Kookaburras.

“I watched him at the ’92 Olympics (Barcelona) and in ’96 (Atlanta), as a kid I had posters on my wall of him and he’s someone I looked up to,” Dwyer said.

Five times named world player of the year, Dwyer scored the Kookaburras’ fourth goal in the opening-day rout of Canada.

“I’m glad it’s done now. There were times last year when I thought that it wasn’t going to happen,” he said.

“I’ve never played for personal milestones. I love being out there as part of the team.”

Victorian Tim Cross debuted for the world No.1 Australians and scored his first goal just 12 minutes in against Canada.

It was followed a minute later by Dylan Wotherspoon’s first goal in only his fifth senior appearance.

Dwyer said it was exciting to see Australia’s future looking so bright.

“Tim Cross is my roommate here in Malaysia. He’s a young enthusiastic guy who works hard and wants to learn.

“A week and a half ago, he probably had no thoughts of playing here and then he’s come in for an injury and put his first shot into the corner.

“That should be a bit of a confidence booster. “I try to give advice and share my experience with guys like him and Dylan Wotherspoon but I also love to feed off their energy.”

Despite the world champions’ dominance over the 15th-ranked Canadians, it remained 2-0 until shortly before three-quarter time when Eddie Ockenden struck a third.

In the final 10 minutes, play began to open up and Dwyer struck, marking his return to senior international hockey after almost nine months out.

His last game, and last goal, came in June’s 6-1 World Cup final demolition of the Netherlands in The Hague with the two-time World Cup winner not selected for the Commonwealth Games and ruled out of the Champions Trophy in December through injury.

Trent Mitton scored 60 seconds after Dwyer to make it 5-0, before a Glenn Simpson penalty corner took it 6-0 and a strike by Jake Whetton finished off the 7-0 win.

Kookaburras coach Graham Reid hailed Dwyer’s performance for Australia.

“Jamie is a very special player with a unique set of skills and qualities.

“His commitment, passion for the game and determination has led to his extraordinary longevity in the game at the top level.

“Today’s game was a recognition and celebration for Jamie and all players, coaches and off-field staff that have been a part of his career.

“But Jamie now has a firm eye on the present and the future and what extra he can bring to the Kookaburras’ group to take us to another level.”

Australia’s next play Malaysia on Monday at 10:30pm (AEST).

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FIFA election campaign swings through Cairo

The three candidates vying to unseat incumbent Sepp Blatter will be all in the Egyptian capital for Tuesday’s Confederation of African Football Congress to canvas support on a continent expected to be solidly behind the FIFA president as he bids for a fifth successive term in office.


FIFA vice-president Prince Ali Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan, Dutch FA president Michael van Praag and former Portugal international Luis Figo are not expected to make much headway among the 54 African countries who have traditionally been backers of Blatter.

But they will attempt to persuade individual countries of their credentials while Blatter will be hoping for an enthusiastic acclamation at the congress to bolster his status as firm favourite for the poll in Zurich at the end of May.

The CAF congress is the latest stop for all candidates, who have already swung through similar confederation congresses in Asuncion and Vienna. Next they will be in the Bahamas for the CONCACAF congress next week, followed by the Asian version in Bahrain at the end of the month.

Blatter used a column in the latest edition of his organisation’s mouthpiece FIFA Weekly to call for respect for the African game. “The refreshing skills and technical finesse of the African teams are among the greatest attractions at the World Cup,” he wrote.

Luis Figo responded on Sunday by saying: “Africa lives and loves football much as I do. I know that FIFA has been doing relevant things in Africa but FIFA can and should do much more to help develop African football.”

The Congress will elect two places to the all-important FIFA executive committee and also pass an amendment to the statutes, doing away with age limits for office bearers to allow CAF president Issa Hayatou to continue his long-standing tenure at the head of the organisation.

CAF will also decide the next host of the African Nations Cup in 2017, after the withdrawal of war-torn Libya, and hold the draw for the qualifiers on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Justin Palmer)

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