Diana ‘best mum in world’

Rather, it was an image of Diana at her most intimate and unguarded – the princess as a doting mother of William and Harry.

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"To us, just two loving children, she was quite simply the best mother in the world," 22-year-old Harry says.

"She kissed us last thing at night. Her beaming smile greeted us from school.

“She laughed hysterically and uncontrollably when sharing something silly she might have said or done that day," Harry says with a mixture of princely composure and deep feeling.

Week of mourning ends

The memorial service yesterday organised by Prince William and Prince Harry climaxed a week of recalling her life and reviving old battles, albeit in a far lower key than the emotional tidal wave that swept over Britain following her death 10 years ago.

In his eulogy, Harry says it is important "that we remember our mother as she would wish to be remembered, as she was: fun-loving, generous, down to earth and entirely genuine."

The service went off with customary royal dignity, just days after published criticism from one of Diana's friends that persuaded Prince Charles' second wife, Camilla, to abandon plans of attending.

‘End the sniping’

To the princess, her close friends and legions of Dianaphiles, Camilla was the other woman who destroyed the marriage.

Richard Chartres, the bishop of London, called for an end to the sniping.

"Still 10 years after her tragic death there are regular reports of 'fury' at this or that incident and the princess' memory is used for scoring points. Let it end here," Mr Chartres says.

"Let this service mark the point at which we let her rest in peace and dwell on her memory with thanksgiving and compassion."

That may be wishful thinking.

Diana still icon

Diana's face still sells magazines and newspapers, and her story inspires an unending stream of books.

A formal inquest into her death opens later this year.

Mohamed al Fayed, whose son died with Diana in the car crash in Paris, has hired a high-paid legal team to argue that the couple were the victims of an Establishment conspiracy led by the queen's husband, Prince Philip.

A poll commissioned by Channel 4 television suggested that one in four Britons believe Diana was murdered.

Diana's admirers, many of them suspicious of the cause of her death and resentful of Charles, tied bouquets, poems and portraits to the gates of Kensington Palace, her former home.

Tribute to ‘Mum’

For Harry and his older brother William, it was a simple tribute to an adored mother.

"When she was alive, we completely took for granted her unrivalled love of life, laughter, fun and folly," he says.

"She was our guardian, friend and protector. She never once allowed her unfaltering love for us to go unspoken or undemonstrated."

Harry, who was 12 when Diana died, said losing a parent at such a tender age "is indescribably shocking and sad."

Crowd of VIPs

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip were among the 500 people in the chapel.

Prince Edward, Charles' younger brother, and his sister, Princess Anne, also were there, as were Prime Minister Gordon Brown, former prime ministers John Major and Tony Blair, and representatives of 110 charities Diana supported.

Mr Al Fayed observed his own two minutes of silence at Harrods, his department store, an hour before the memorial service.

In the past, the royal family had refrained from any public remembrance of the anniversary of the princess' death.

This year, however, William and Harry took the lead in organising the memorial service, as well as a rock concert on Diana's birthday, July 1, which drew 70,000 paying fans.

The Reverend Frank Gelli, who has led an informal service outside Kensington Palace every year, said yesterday's probably would be the last.

"It would be good if the princess was allowed to rest," he says.


Mortar kills 12 in Baghdad

A mortar barrage has slammed into a mainly Shi'ite east Baghdad neighborhood, killing 12 and wounding 31.

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A major battle also raged north of the capital where residents of a Shi'ite city were fighting what police said was a band of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Women and children were among the dead and wounded in the Baghdad mortar attack and some houses in the neighbourhood were damaged, police said.

The victims were taken to Ibin al-Nafis and Sadr hospitals.

Witnesses said US helicopters were hovering above the attack site.

Al-Qaeda counteroffensive

In Khalis, 80km north of Baghdad, police said more than 1,500 people including sheiks and dignitaries had gathered near city hall to launch the counteroffensive against al-Qeida fighters who have been regularly firing mortars into the town and kidnapping residents at illegal checkpoints.

At least seven people were killed and 18 wounded in a mortar attack on Khalis yesterday.

Police said the city militia also said they were determined to push al-Qaeda fighters out of the nearby town of Hibhib, where the terror organisation's former leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed in an US air strike.

In central Baghdad, gunmen driving several cars waylaid a minibus headed for Sadr City, the capital's Shi'ite enclave, and abducted 13 passengers.

Interfactional talks

Meanwhile, Iraq's fractious leaders have agreed on the agenda for a political summit called by embattled Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in a bid to salvage his crumbling unity government.

The breakthrough came on the second day of preparatory talks involving the country's most senior political leaders, Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi said in a statement.

In a bid to shore up his government, Maliki announced the formation of an alliance grouping his Shiite Dawa party and Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council and the Kurdish factions of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Kurdish Democratic Party (PDK).

But the National Concord Front slammed the new tie-up as a "futile" exercise.

Mr Maliki is under growing pressure from Washington to end the infighting, concerned that it could torpedo efforts to reconcile the warring factions and undermine the work of 155,000 American troops trying to end the conflict.

The US has pushed around 30,000 extra troops as part of a "surge" into Baghdad and surrounding flashpoint provinces in a bid to stamp out the sectarian violence which has killed thousands of people in the past 18 months.

Displaced

Meanwhile, several families are displaced following suicide truck bombings that killed up to 500 people in Northern Iraq last week.

The coordinated suicide truck bombings were the worst terrorist attack since the beginning of the war.

The victims of the attack, which the US blamed on al-Qaida, were members of the Yazidis, a small Kurdish sect that has been the target of Muslim extremists who label it blasphemous.


Sudan 'overlooked rapes'

The UN's top human rights office has released new details of the rapes, reportedly carried out by soldiers and government militia.

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"The abuses may also constitute war crimes," said the report by the office of Louise Arbour, UN high commissioner for human rights.

Members of the Sudanese armed forces and allied militiamen allegedly subjected around 50 women to multiple rapes and other forms of violence in an attack on the village of Deribat in late December, it said, adding that they abducted many children.

Deribat was one of nine villages attacked in the eastern Jebel Marra region of Darfur at the time, it said, adding that 36 civilians were killed and many people were driven from their homes.

"Interviews indicate that the abducted women were systematically raped," said yesterday's report, which was compiled by a team of UN human rights investigators.

Armed forces blamed

Testimony from victims indicated that the attacks were committed by members of the Sudanese armed forces and affiliated groups, the report said.

Ms Arbour's office urged the Sudanese government to "establish an independent body to investigate abduction, rape and sexual slavery committed in the region," and said the suspects should be brought to justice.

The office said in a report last April that the military and its allies have been using rape as part of a wider assault on people belonging to the same ethnic group as some Darfuri rebels.

The report said UN representatives presented the initial findings to local authorities in Darfur, but "no investigations were carried out by the authorities," it said.

Sudanese government reaction was not immediately available.

Daughter witnessed rape

The report said a woman who had been abducted from Deribat with her 16-year-old daughter described how the women were raped in front of each other.

Those who resisted would be beaten with sticks, the report said.

The women suffered physical injuries and psychological trauma from the repeated rapes by many of the attackers, the report said.

"A number of women became pregnant as a result of the rape," posing a further health risk to them, it said.

The women were forced to cook and serve food to their abductors, but received only leftovers to eat, according to the report.

Darfur has been the scene of a bloody four-year conflict between government-backed militias and rebel forces that has so far seen more than 200,000 people killed and at least 2.5 million driven from their homes, according to UN estimates.


Wolff says teams interested in Mercedes ‘customer cars’

The Austrian brushed aside a suggestion that none of the smaller constructors, many of them struggling financially, wanted to relinquish their status and run cars provided by others.

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“It’s interesting they say that because three of them came to see me (on Friday) about whether we could supply customer cars to them,” Wolff told reporters ahead of Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.

The subject is controversial, with critics saying such a change would lead to a two-tier sport dominated by the major manufacturers.

Advocates argue that is already the case and say the sport needs to do something to ensure there are enough cars on the starting grid and reduce the costs of competing.

There are currently 10 teams, with tail-enders Manor Marussia surviving by the skin of their teeth after going into administration last year.

Sauber, Lotus and Force India have all had financial problems while former champions Red Bull have raised the possibility of quitting if Renault fail to provide them with a competitive engine or walk away themselves.

Force India and Lotus are already customers of Mercedes, using their power units, but both have said publicly they want to make and race their own cars as the current rules stipulate.

Williams also have Mercedes engines while Sauber and Manor use Ferrari units.

“I think we need to have a contingency plan in place and customer cars, or franchises, we have seen that in other sports, in NASCAR, and it functions pretty well,” said Wolff, whose own Mercedes works team are currently dominant.

“So if the contingency is about supplying our cars to customer teams, hopefully current teams, then yes we will be looking very much into it,” he added.

“I think it is a good model. As a contingency plan it works, and if we can find a business case around it, we shouldn’t rule it out.”

Reports have said a recent Strategy Group meeting, which includes the top six teams plus governing FIA and the commercial rights holder, discussed the possibility of customer cars but there was no mention in a subsequent statement.

Commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone told reporters in Monaco that he would be willing to act as a go-between and supply cars to client teams at a fixed cost..

(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)


Marriage is a parliament matter: Abbott

Gay marriage in Australia is a matter for the federal parliament rather than a popular vote, Tony Abbott believes.

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Nevertheless some MPs, including from the prime minister’s own back bench, are pushing for a referendum after Ireland voted overwhelmingly in favour of allowing same-sex marriage in a historic referendum on Saturday.

“Referendums are held in this country where there’s a proposal to change the constitution,” Mr Abbott told reporters in Brisbane on Sunday.

“I don’t think anyone’s suggesting that the constitution needs to be changed in this respect.”

Liberal backbencher Zed Seselja says he doesn’t support gay marriage, but the question should be put to the people.

“If you are going to make such a fundamental change it should go to a referendum,” he told ABC television.

Independent senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie doesn’t support gay marriage either but backs a referendum on it.

Her fellow crossbencher Glenn Lazarus also wants the matter to go to the public and South Australian independent Nick Xenophon says he’d support a referendum if that was a “circuit breaker”.

“I think the best approach is that there be a conscience vote in the parliament … after all it has been an election issue,” Senator Xenophon told Sky News.

Should a bill to legalise same-sex marriage come before parliament, the coalition party room would decide whether government MPs could vote freely on the matter.

“It’s up to members of parliament who are eager for change to decide whether they want to bring it forward,” Mr Abbott said.

The Greens have legislation for the change already before parliament. A separate bill from Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm was due to be debated in March but he decided not to go ahead without coalition MPs having a conscience vote.

Under Liberal Party rules, backbenchers can vote freely but ministers must resign if they wish to cross the floor.

Labor’s policy is to allow conscience votes on the issue but deputy leader Tanya Plibersek wants the party’s national conference in July to bind MPs to vote in favour of gay marriage.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten voiced his support for Ireland’s move on Twitter on Saturday.

“Time for Australia and our Parliament to embrace marriage equality. Congratulations Ireland,” he said.

Mr Shorten later told reporters in Ballarat he also believed the matter was one for parliament to resolve.

He reiterated calls for Mr Abbott to allow a free vote among all coalition MPs.

Greens deputy leader Scott Ludlam hopes the Irish result moves the issue along in Australia.

“There were reports last week that we may be four votes short in the House of Representatives and we might be able to carry a majority in the Senate,” he told Sky News.

His minor party colleague Sarah Hanson-Young, who proposed the bill before parliament, says she’ll push for a vote on it by the end of 2015.


Bulldogs beat Raiders in NRL thriller

NSW State of Origin discard Josh Reynolds was the hero for Canterbury on Sunday as they held on to beat Canberra 41-34 in a 13-try NRL thriller.

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Reynolds had a busy afternoon scoring two tries and was placed on report before slotting a crucial field goal in the 80th minute to break a 34-all deadlock and ensure Canterbury escaped with the points after leading 26-0 in the first half.

Halfback Moses Mbye scored a try after the restart from Reynolds’ field goal and converted on fulltime to punctuate the victory.

Reynolds’ one-pointer was slotted from just outside the 30m line and well towards the right touch line and coach Des Hasler said his performance sent a firm reminder to State of Origin selectors.

“I don’t know that it was a case of not being wanted by the New South Wales side,” Hasler said.

“But he certainly gave them a timely reminder.”

Hasler was particularly pleased with the way his side was able to hang on to the contest after Canberra fought back strongly to overcome a 26-point deficit after just 18 minutes.

“It was always going to be a difficult game, coming down here. I don’t think we had too many friends [in the crowd],” he said.

“It was just a matter of getting the points however we could. Obviously, the scoreline indicated the type of game that it was, but it was always going to be something special.

“We walk out of here, we get away with two competition points, and to be honest, we needed those given the nature of the competition.”

Captaining the side in the absence of injured skipper James Graham, Aiden Tolman played the full 80 minutes in the front row for Canterbury in a tireless performance.

But he was quick to deflect any attention away from his individual efforts.

“I just went out there and did what had to be done for the team, as did everyone today,” he said.

“It was a gutsy effort, it wasn’t pretty, but I suppose it’d be entertaining to watch.

“We were pretty lucky to hold on, with a special effort from Josh Reynolds. He stood up today and I’m more pleased to get the win than anything else.”

In a game with momentum swings of epic proportions, a second try to Canberra’s Sisa Waqa with five minutes remaining, converted beautifully from the sideline by Canberra captain Jarrod Croker, levelled scores at 34-34.

Raiders five-eighth Blake Austin missed a field goal attempt in the 76th minute and Canberra were left to rue a Josh Hodgson kick that handed over possession.

Canterbury were able to maintain possession inside Canberra territory before Reynolds potted the field goal in the final minute.


A timely NRL classic in Canberra

The timing of the NRL classic between Canterbury and Canberra could not have been better.

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A day after the case for a stand-alone State of Origin series was made loud and clear by a stinker of a game at Campbelltown, the Bulldogs and the Raiders produced a 13-try thriller on Sunday.

Missing four players on Origin duty for NSW, including halfback Trent Hodkinson, the Bulldogs scored seven tries to six in the 41-34 win as they rediscovered their best form.

NSW discard Josh Reynolds starred for the Bulldogs with a couple of tries and a field goal as Canterbury ended a three-game losing run.

Hodkinson’s replacement Moses Mbye was outstanding for Canterbury with the youngster making the most of his opportunity at halfback, sealing the victory with a runaway try on fulltime.

The sides scored nearly as many tries (seven) in the first half as there were points in North Queensland’s 8-0 win over hosts Wests Tigers on Saturday night.

Fans at Campbelltown had to wait until the 77th minute for a try with Antonio Winterstein’s four-pointer preventing the match from becoming the lowest-scoring game since Newtown and Canterbury’s scoreless draw in 1982.

North Queensland went into the game without Queensland Origin stars Johnathan Thurston, Matthew Scott and Michael Morgan and NSW prop James Tamou while the Tigers were missing NSW big guns Aaron Woods and skipper Robbie Farah.

Both sides produced disjointed attacking displays with the game politely referred to as “dour”.

Former NRL coach and now commentator, Matthew Elliott, is in the stand-alone camp and made his case on Sunday.

“You take key players out … you are taking quality, high quality out. You can’t expect the game to be at the same level,” Elliott said on ABC Grandstand.

“The continuity is not there, so you’re not going to get flowing footy taking key players out.”

Tigers coach Jason Taylor decided to sit out the argument with his focus on getting his misfiring young team back on track after three straight losses.

“I don’t know. Right now, that question is something that I don’t want to come up with any energy to answer,” Taylor said.

Cowboys coach Paul Green admitted the Tigers were a different proposition without their captain.

“Without Robbie there they probably lost a little bit of direction, so it just became a bit of an arm wrestle for most of the game,” Green said.

The round kicked off with premiers South Sydney defeating Parramatta 14-12 thanks to late try from young hooker Cameron McInnes in a game which didn’t reach any great heights.

Round 11 action concludes with the Monday night clash between Newcastle and Brisbane at Hunter Stadium.


Ecclestone tells Rosberg: Hamilton is better for business

“I am a huge Lewis fan because he is a super promoter of the sport,” Ecclestone said in a conversation with Hamilton’s Mercedes team mate Rosberg published on the official formula1.

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com website.

“From a pure business aspect — sorry Nico if I have to say this — you are not so good for my business.”

When Rosberg told Ecclestone that was a “hard call”, Ecclestone pointed to the lack of a German Grand Prix this season.

“It sounds harder than it meant. Unfortunately you don’t have the German fans on your side. As the cancellation of the German Grand Prix indicates, Germany is a terrible market for Formula One.

“On the contrary Lewis is a hero in the UK. The British love Formula One. Sebastian is also not doing much for F1. People hardly recognise him on the street.”

Double champion Hamilton, who was on pole for Sunday’s showcase Monaco Grand Prix ahead of Rosberg and Ferrari’s Vettel, has become a familiar face in celebrity magazines and websites for his jet-setting lifestyle.

The 30-year-old Briton has made friends in Hollywood and the U.S. music scene as well as the fashion industry.

“I still believe that Lewis is the best champion that we have had in a long, long time. He manages to get to all different walks of life: red carpet, fashion business, and music — you name it,” Ecclestone told Rosberg.

“That is not your fault or his. You two are just very different characters.

“Nico is not seeking the limelight as Lewis does. Lewis wants to be famous,” explained the 84-year-old Briton. “I am happy that we have somebody like Lewis. I also couldn’t be like Lewis. I don’t like gold jewellery.”

Ecclestone also said the team principals should be more prominent, and said new Ferrari boss Maurizio Arrivabene was a character “only for himself and not for Formula One”.

(Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)


Demons too tough for AFL Bulldogs

Melbourne key forward Jesse Hogan arrived on the AFL’s big stage on Sunday, helping the Demons to an impressive 39-point victory over the Western Bulldogs.

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With Hogan impressing the most, the Demons won 15.13 (103) to 9.10 (64) on an afternoon when coach Paul Roos said his team didn’t have a bad player,

The victory, the largest of Roos’ time at the club, was earned by tough tackling and a sharper attack.

Hogan and Cam Pedersen kicked three goals each as Aaron VandenBerg, Nathan Jones and Bernie Vince – who tagged Marcus Bontempelli out of the contest – set the tone.

Melbourne out-tackled the league’s No.1 tacklers, wresting control of the match either side of half-time by kicking six unanswered goals.

Roos was understandably delighted by Hogan’s 21 disposals and goalkicking but said he was most pleased by his huge workrate.

“He was on the wing and he ended up running all the way across the ground to get a mark,” he said.

“It’s great when you have young kids that have really good instincts and they’re really good competitors.”

Demons skipper Jones broke open the contest in the second term with 11 touches and four clearances.

His work was key in propelling the Demons forward, where Hogan loomed large.

In contrast, the Bulldogs’ teenage target man Tom Boyd was substituted out of the match in the third quarter with just one handball and one hit-out to his name.

The Demons increased their lead to 33 points early in the third term, which included two Jeremy Howe marks for the highlight reel.

But the Bulldogs fought back, finding space to stretch their legs.

Jake Stringer kicked two third-quarter goals and when Liam Picken goalled early in the last, their deficit was just seven.

From there, Melbourne took over.

Hogan turned provider for the impressive Pedersen, who kicked his third early in the final term to begin a Demon rout.

Vince added to his fine day with two goals of his own, while Jeff Garlett’s checkside snap from the boundary brought cheers from the 29,381-strong crowd.

Beaten coach Luke Beveridge was understandably upset by the performance, which included the ugly half-time scoreline of 3.9 after long periods of dominance.

“We probably didn’t see today coming,” Beveridge said.

“We were shabby in a lot of areas today.

“This game is always one of energy and commitment to everything in the game and the opposition had a little bit more than us today and they got us.”


Beveridge staggered by Minson VFL report

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge says it would be “drastically wrong” for ruckman Will Minson to be suspended after making contact with a VFL umpire.

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Minson was playing for the Bulldogs’ VFL side Footscray when he was sent off in the second term of Sunday’s match against North Ballarat at Whitten Oval.

Beveridge, who was at the match before heading to the MCG for the Bulldogs AFL clash with Melbourne, said the incident was “laughable”.

Minson appears to gently pat the umpire on the back as he runs back to the centre square after a Bulldogs goal.

“It would stagger me if anything happened in regards to it,” he said.

“Over the course of my career I patted umpires on the back, I talked to them with my hand on their shoulder.

“There’s always a rapport between players and umpires and I think this one just took it the wrong way.

“Something has gone drastically wrong if it’s not thrown out straight away.”

The 2013 All Australian has not played in the AFL since round three.

While Footscray powered on to a 146-point VFL win over North Ballarat without Minson, the Western Bulldogs went down to Melbourne by 39 points in their AFL clash later on Sunday.

Beveridge said the combination of the two results could lead to a shake-up in his AFL team to face GWS Giants on Saturday.

“It’s really disappointing because Will was terrific up to that point,” he said.

“We consider him every week and he’ll be a chance to come in next week.”

“Lots of boys put their hands up (in the VFL for AFL selection) so we’ll see what we do during the week.”

One that could miss out is former Giant Tom Boyd.

The 19-year-old key forward was subbed out of the game in the third term with just one hit-out and one handball to his name.

Beveridge said he was “probably due for a bit of a spell”.

“He wasn’t having his greatest day,” he said.

“The important thing for Boydy is he gets as much game time and experience as he can without cooking him.


Mass graves of suspected migrants found

Malaysia has found mass graves feared to contain the bodies of Bangladeshi and Rohingya migrants at the centre of a regional human-trafficking crisis.

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Home Minister Zahid Hamidi was quoted by The Star newspaper’s website as saying the graves were found near suspected detention camps run by people traffickers.

“But we don’t know how many there are. We are probably going to find more bodies,” Zahid was quoted as saying.

Thai police found secret human-trafficking jungle camps on their side of the border in early May and dozens of shallow graves.

The report quoting Zahid gave few details but the Malay-language newspaper Utusan Malaysia, citing an unnamed source, earlier reported that about 30 mass graves had been found containing “hundreds of skeletons”.

The Star, also quoting sources, had said the graves were “believed to contain nearly 100 Rohingya migrants”.

Thailand began a crackdown on human trafficking and smuggling following the discovery of its mass graves, which appears to have thrown regional trafficking routes into chaos.

Many migrants previously tried to enter Malaysia, their favoured destination, via its land border with Thailand.

With traffickers apparently now abandoning their human cargo at sea, boats filled with hundreds of starving migrants from the two countries have sought desperately to land in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia, which turned them away.

Facing growing international pressure, Malaysia and Indonesia said last week they would admit boat people, who are to be repatriated or resettled with the help of international agencies.

Indonesia’s military said President Joko Widodo had ordered the country to start search and rescue operations for stranded migrant boats, an operation that began on Friday.

“We will save the migrants and take them to shore,” military spokesman Fuad Basya told AFP, adding that as of late Saturday, no new boats had been sighted.

Previously, Indonesian fisherman have helped hundreds of stranded Bangladeshis and Rohingya to shore.

The Malaysian government announced on Thursday that its navy and coastguard would be mobilised for search operations but so far it has not reported any rescues.

Widodo reportedly indicated on Sunday that Jakarta would need help footing the bill for housing thousands of destitute people.

“We’re counting and making calculations on the costs involved,” he was quoted as saying on Detikcom news website. “We still need international support on how this would be managed.”

Malaysian media said the latest mass graves were found near Padang Besar and Wang Kelian, two towns along the Thai border in the Malaysian state of Perlis.

Police declined to release information but the national police chief will hold a news conference on the matter on Monday.

Malaysia’s government had previously denied that any such mass graves or slave camps existed on its soil.

“I am shocked!” Zahid was quoted by The Star as saying.

He added that some of the camps may have been there for as long as five years, and that Malaysian citizens were suspected to have been involved.


Our most mature win: Richmond coach

Coach Damien Hardwick rates Richmond’s stirring away victory against Port Adelaide as the most mature win in his time at the AFL club.

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The Tigers stunned Port by 33 points as Melbourne upset the Western Bulldogs by 39 points and Essendon overwhelmed Brisbane by 58 points in Sunday’s games.

The Tigers’ 11.10 (76) to 5.13 (43) victory heaps more pressure on Port Adelaide, who sit in 13th spot on the ladder after three consecutive losses.

“It was a mature a win that I have seen at our footy club,” said Hardwick, this his sixth season as Richmond coach.

“Port are a proud club; they’d be disappointed after their loss last week to Brisbane; they’re playing for a club legend in Kane Cornes.

“We knew it was going to be a fierce contest and for our guys to absorb that … it was a really mature performance.”

Port’s Cornes ended his AFL career at 300 games, retiring after the loss to the Tigers.

And like Port, the Western Bulldogs’ losing streak is now at three games.

Melbourne’s 15.13 (103) to 9.10 (64) win over the Dogs at the MCG ended the Demons’ own three-game losing streak.

Meanwhile, Essendon coach James Hird hailed his team’s improvement after they overwhelmed the Lions with 12 goals in the second half for a 21.10 (136) to 12.6 (78) win.

“What I really liked about our game today was the pressure we put on the opposition, the way we won the contest,” Hird said.

“We’re pretty confident that if we do that and we do that well then the rest of the game will take care of itself.”

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson said on the ABC that the two-time defending premiers are “teetering” after Saturday night’s thrilling four-point loss to Sydney.

The Hawks are yet to win two in a row this season, while the Swans are third on a ladder where all top four spots belong to non-Victorian teams.

Fremantle stayed unbeaten, two games clear on top, thanks to their 73-point mauling of North Melbourne on Saturday night.

West Coast’s 53-point win over St Kilda meant they maintained second place, while GWS – who beat Adelaide by four goals on Saturday – remain in fourth position.

Collingwood had a much-needed big win, thumping Gold Coast away by 69 points.

Geelong’s 77-point win over Carlton on Friday night ensured the Blues and the future of their coach Mick Malthouse would dominate the AFL discussion over the weekend.


I won’t lose trust in players: Port coach

Port Adelaide have been dodging bullets all AFL season – but now, they’re starting to hit says coach Ken Hinkley.

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Richmond are the latest to find Port’s target, upsetting the Power by 33 points at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

The Tigers rose into the top eight after Jack Riewoldt’s four-goal haul inspired a gutsy 11.10 (73) to 5.13 (43) victory.

“It was a mature a win that I have seen at our footy club,” said Richmond’s six-year coach Damien Hardwick.

The Tigers were never headed, spoiling the retirement party of Port stalwart Kane Cornes, who played his 300th and final AFL game.

The result leaves Port precariously placed: the pre-season premiership fancy have lost three in a row and are a lowly 13th with three wins and five losses.

Hinkley admitted Port’s confidence was dented but retained faith in his players to save their season.

“If you lost trust, everything can just disappear forever. And that is not going to happen with us. I am not going to lose trust,” Hinkley said.

“I’m more worried about what happens now, how we actually react.

“This is not the only time we have been in a bit of a hole … but we have got great pride at this footy club and we will fight back.

“I have got great belief in this group and I won’t lose that. I will never lose that.”

Port’s celebration of Cornes’s stellar career fell flat – they were goal-less in the first quarter; trailed by 23 points at halftime; were 13 points down at the last change.

Richmond and Riewoldt then expertly snuffed out any hope of a Port fightback by booting four goals to one in the last term to leave Port with their lowest-ever score under Hinkley.

“I said we were dodging bullets after round three. And unfortunately some of them have landed now and they have hit us where it hurts,” Hinkley said.

The Power found few winners – captain Travis Boak collected a game-high 32 disposals while Robbie Gray and Cornes had 28 touches each.

But they were overwhelmed by Riewoldt, Brett Deledio (28 disposals, one goal), Brandon Ellis (30 possessions, one goal), Dustin Martin (29 touches, one goal), Shaun Grigg (26 touches) and Anthony Miles (26 disposals).