William ‘wants his kids to show feelings’

The Duke of Cambridge has called for an end to the “stiff upper lip” culture within British society.


Prince William says he wants his children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, to be able to talk about their emotions.

His comments come after Prime Minister Theresa May praised his brother Prince Harry for his bravery in revealing he sought counselling to come to terms with the death of his mother Princess Diana.

William also highlighted the importance of role models opening up about their mental health.

“Catherine and I are clear we want both George and Charlotte to grow up feeling able to talk about their emotions and feelings,” he told a British mental health charity.

“Over the past year we have visited a number of schools together where we have been amazed listening to children talk about some quite difficult subjects in a clear and emotionally articulate way, something most adults would struggle with.

“Seeing this has really given me hope things are changing and there is a generation coming up who find it normal to talk openly about emotions.”

Harry, who was 12 when Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris, said in a podcast interview at the weekend that it was not until his late 20s that he processed his grief.

Harry said he spent nearly 20 years “not thinking” about her death and eventually got help after two years of “total chaos”.

British Prime Minister Theresa May said his decision to speak out would help “smash the stigma around mental health.”

“Mental health problems affect people of all ages and all backgrounds,” May said.

“The bravery of those in public positions who speak out about their experiences helps smash the stigma around mental health and will help thousands of people to realise they are not alone.”

French candidates hold election rallies

Rival French presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen have appealed to voters at large rallies in Paris on Monday, a week out from the first round of voting.


Centrist Macron called for a “confident France” and defended his pro-European position, rejecting what he sees as the backward-looking stances of his rivals.

“Of 11 candidates, 10 want to take us back to a fantasy vision of the past,” he told the 20,000-strong crowd. “I am for both a strong France and an ambitious Europe.”

In a raucous atmosphere, Macron’s speech was regularly interrupted by chants of “we will win.”

The former economy minister reiterated his desire for a “solid and equal alliance” with Germany.

It comes after Macron criticised neighbour Germany’s disproportionate economic power in the European Union in a Monday interview with German media, saying the current situation “isn’t good for (Germany’s) own economy, nor for the economy in the eurozone.”

Meanwhile, the anti-EU Le Pen gave her speech in a 6,000-capacity hall in Paris.

She is currently just ahead of Macron in polling before the first round vote on Sunday, although her lead has shrunk recently.

“My first decision as president will be to hand over the borders to France,” Le Pen told her audience.

“Mass immigration is not a chance for France, but a drama.”

The mood in the hall was, at times, heated, with supporters regularly chanting “We are at home”. The rally was interrupted twice by protests from topless activists – one of them even reached the stage.

Near the venue, people protesting against Le Pen clashed with police, who reportedly used tear gar to disperse a few dozen protesters.

Conservative candidate Francois Fillon spoke to voters in Nice on Monday, while leftist politician Jean-Luc Melenchon – whose support has jumped strongly in the last few weeks – performed a boat tour through Paris in an attempt to garner voters’ attention.

The two candidates with the most votes in this Sunday’s election will then progress to a run-off vote on May 7.

17-year-old girl dies after Esperance shark attack

A 17-year-old girl surfing with her dad has become the third victim of a fatal shark attack in Western Australia in a year.


The girl was grabbed by the shark at Kelp Beds, near Wylie Bay, in Esperance just before 4pm on Easter Monday.

Wylie Bay Beach is closed on Tuesday, and the Department of Fisheries will be conducting beach and water patrols from early in the day.

Surfers and swimmers have been advised against going into the water for at least two days.

A supplied image obtained Tuesday, April 18, 2017 of Laeticia Brouwer, the 17-year-old who died after being attacked by a shark in Western Australia’s south.WA POLICE

Her mother and two sisters reportedly watched in horror from the beach as the she was attacked by the shark.

Police, ambulance and Esperance Marine Rescue treated the girl on the beach before she was taken to Esperance Hospital in a critical condition. But she died from her massive injuries.

The family, from Mandurah, was reportedly on an Easter holiday.

Sean Pollard lost both hands in a shark attack at the same beach in 2014.

She is WA’s third fatal shark victim in a year. Last June surfer Ben Gerring died at Mandurah and diver Doreen Collyer was killed while diving at Mindarie Marina

Recent shark attacks in WA

June 5, 2016: Doreen Collyer, 60, died while diving a kilometre out from Mindarie Marina between One and Three Mile reefs

June 4, 2016: Ben Gerring, 29, was killed after having his leg severed by a great white shark at Falcon Beach, in Mandurah.

December 29, 2014: Jay Muscat, 17, is killed by a great white while spearfishing at Cheynes Beach near Albany, WA.

October 2, 2014: Sean Pollard, 23, loses both hands after a shark attack at Wylie Bay Beach, near Esperance, WA.

#BREAKING @stjohn_wa transferring teenager to hospital. #esperance pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/KSziFNTmhn

— Caitlyn Rintoul (@caitlynrintoul) April 17, 2017


Thai ‘Sin City’ finds abstaining from sex hard

She is bullish because she, like tens of thousands of others in the industry, have no plans to give up their jobs.


And there are no signs the hordes of foreign sex tourists are abating.

Two hours east of Bangkok, Pattaya’s bawdy reputation hails from the Vietnam War era when American GIs partied in their downtime.

Today it spins money off its no-holds-barred reputation and its most successful sex workers earn anywhere between 70-150,000 baht ($2-4,400) a month, as much as ten times the national average wage.

“I make good money here, for me and my family,” May told AFP as she touted for clients near ‘Walking Street’ –- a mile-long drag festooned with bars and clubs pouring out ear-crushing EDM music.

But concerns about the impact on Thailand’s reputation have spurred authorities to act, while frequent reports of underage sex workers, drug abuse and mafia operations further muddy Pattaya’s name.

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May, who is transgender, said the strip has felt more subdued in recent weeks as police and soldiers conduct frequent patrols as part of a clean-up ordered by the censorious ruling junta.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Sulasak Kalokwilas is one of those tasked with what many might deem the ultimate Sisyphean task: weaning Pattaya off sex.

“We are suppressing obscene and dirty shows. We’re trying to make those bars disappear,” he explained.

WATCH: Thailand the latest boom destination for Australian retirees

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As he spoke, lines of women stood behind him in revealing outfits enticing punters into bars with names like Taboo and G-Spot as well as Fahrenheit — a nightspot boasting “The Hottest Girls in Pattaya”.

“The lady boys and women working there, they are not involved in the sex trade,” said Pattaya’s police chief Colonel Apichai Kroppeth, echoing the kind of Thai police rhetoric commonly divorced from reality.

“They work as waitresses, sit and chat with customers, some dance in shows,” he said.

Related readingBar fines, short-times 

For many residents of the city the latest moral outrage fits a familiar pattern: negative overseas headlines prompt authorities to launch high-visibility — yet limited — crackdowns on an industry that pays the bills for everyone.

“You’re expecting the poachers to be the gamekeepers?” said one westerner who has made Pattaya his home, when asked if the latest clean-up will work.

The sex trade is a cash cow for the bar owners, girls, massage parlours, hotels, taxis, mafia and, many have long alleged, the cops charged with policing.

Thais call it “pon prayote”, says British journalist Andrew Drummond who reported on crime in Thailand for two decades.

“It means everyone benefits… it brings in massive amounts of money and simply couldn’t happen without police connivance.”

Apichai insisted there was “no bribery for sure” in his force.

Prostitution is illegal in conservative Thailand. Yet it remains ubiquitous for local and foreign customers alike.

Businesses use a well worn loophole to avoid prosecution, hiring sex workers inside the bars merely to entertain and talk to patrons.

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A small “bar fine”, usually around 500 baht ($14), secures private “short time” away from the bar where any deal struck for sex is purely between the punter and prostitute.

While authorities have vowed to shutter the trade, there is little discussion on what happens to the sex workers — who often support large families with their earnings. 

There are no exact numbers, but a 2014 UNAIDS report suggested some 140,000 females are employed by sex work across Thailand. Tens of thousands are thought to operate in Pattaya alone.

Par for the course 

Tourism officials are optimistic for change, citing the increasing number of families coming to the town’s resorts and its popularity for sports, such as jet-skiing and golf.

“In terms of facilities I think we are already there,” said Suladda Sarutilavan, Pattaya’s director of tourism.

Last year some 12 million tourists — seventy percent foreigners — visited a city which now boasts over 100,000 rooms across 2,000 hotels, from cheap backpackers to swanky golf courses and family apartments. 

While not everyone who comes is a sex tourist, she admits the city’s seedy image and crime headlines are a problem. 

“It makes us feel a little bit uncomfortable,” she said.

Two recent killings have renewed the spotlight on the city’s reputation as a bolthole for foreign criminals.

In January, British businessman Tony Kenway was gunned down as he left the gym, a hit police linked to “boiler room” scams.

In 2015 an Australian former Hells Angel was kidnapped in broad daylight and murdered.

Foreigners who have made Pattaya home lament the killings, but say they fail to tell the wider picture of a largely safe, affordable city.

“Every night I went out in Coventry there was always one or two fights. I feel completely safe here,” said Briton Bryan Flowers, who moved to Pattaya a decade ago and now owns a dozen bars.

Others argue fancy hotels, malls and golf courses can flourish in step with the town’s party reputation.

“It’s why a lot of people come here,” Simon Peatfield, another Brit who owns restaurants and sports bars, said.

“There’s only so much golf you can play.”

Tensions run high ahead of election in Indonesia’s capital

Residents of Indonesia’s capital Jakarta will go to the polls on Wednesday in an election that could have chilling implications for the country’s reputation as a tolerant democracy.


Surveys have shown the race tightening to a statistical dead heat, with incumbent Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese Christian, closing in on rival Anies Baswedan, a former education minister.

The election has revealed deep divisions along ethnic and religious lines in Indonesia and experts say it could have far reaching consequences.

“There is a great deal of tension and anxiety about this because the whole thing is a proxy for a number of things,” Dr Tim Lindsey, an Indonesia expert at the University of Melbourne, told SBS. “A power struggle between some very powerful figures … It is also a proxy about pluralism.”

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Mr Purnama is standing trial on blasphemy charges stemming from a divisive campaign that also featured mass rallies led by Islamist hardliners and alleged plots to overthrow President Joko Widodo, who is popularly known as Jokowi.

The charges stem from an edited video circulated last September suggesting Mr Purnama had mocked a verse in the Koran used by his opponents to argue that Muslims should not vote for a person holding different religious beliefs.

It brought hundreds of thousands of protesters onto the streets in several mass demonstrations before Mr Purnama was put on trial for blasphemy. He faces up to four years in prison and possible disqualification if he does win the election.

Prosecutors are expected to recommend a sentence at a hearing the day after the election. A verdict is due next month.

File image of Muslim protesters shouting slogans during a protest against Jakarta’s governor in Indonesia, 31 March 2017. (AAP)AAP

The vast majority of Indonesian Muslims practice a moderate form of Islam and religious freedom and diversity is enshrined in the state ideology. But hardline Islamist groups, most of which favor Islamic sharia law, have established a stronger foothold in recent years.

Indonesian police on Monday blocked plans by hardline Islamist groups to guard polling booths during Wednesday’s vote for Jakarta governor, citing the potential for clashes in an election that has stoked religious tensions.

A coalition of hardline Islamic groups said late last week it would deploy at least 100 monitors at each polling station in the Indonesian capital city of 10 million people.

“Any mobilization of masses that is aimed at physical or psychological intimidation, especially at polling stations, is prohibited,” the city police said in a joint statement with the elections commission.

Around 66,000 police and military personnel will be deployed on voting day, police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar said.

“We are increasing our presence at polling stations as well, so please trust that the state apparatus will remain neutral and safeguard the election,” he added.

Mr Purnama, Jakarta’s first ethnic Chinese and Christian leader, took over the Jakarta governorship from Widodo after he became president in the 2014 general election.

Dr Lindsey said Ahok has been a relatively effective governor, who has cracked down on official corruption and made tough decisions.

But his run for the Jakarta governorship has triggered latent discrimination against Indonesians with Chinese backgrounds, he said.

“A lot of this which appears to be about religion is driven by racial hatred,” Dr Lindsey said.

Ahok’s rival, Mr Baswedan, has appeared publicly – twice – with the leadership of one of the main organizers of the anti-Purnama protests, the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).

“We believe that because Jakarta and Indonesia is majority-Muslim, it should be led by a Muslim,” said Novel Bamukmin, head of the Jakarta chapter of the FPI. “While our ultimate call is for full sharia, our hope is that the winner will at least introduce policies that are aligned with Islam.”

Mr Baswedan’s running mate, Sandiaga Uno, denies the pair intends to implement sharia law in Jakarta and said their appearances at the FPI rallies were “a way to start a dialogue”.

But they do encourage a more conservative culture for the city with religious entertainment venues that are “sharia-compliant” and which “shy away from alcohol”, Mr Uno said.

“That would be the type of policy that I want to attract investors to put money into, to create tourist destinations for sharia-compliant or religious-related tourism,” he said.