Selasa, 1 April 2014

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The Star Online: Metro: Sunday Metro

Nepalese man jailed for cheating in casinos

Posted: 01 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

A NEPALESE man who visited the two casinos here and marked playing cards to increase his chances of winning was sentenced to five months in prison.

Limbu Aadarsh, who is here on a social visit pass, used the "card daubing" technique on high value cards so he would know which ones to bet on when playing games such as poker and blackjack.

The 30-year-old applied coloured powdery substances to the back of playing cards when he got the chance to handle them.

This was done either by hand, or using modified cash chips that would deliver the substances.

In this manner, Aadarsh managed to win more than S$6,000 (RM15,549) from the Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa casinos between last November and March this year.

But the ploy was discovered after he used a modified chip in a losing bet and a croupier noticed the irregularities on it.

A raid of his hotel room turned up numerous items used in the scheme, such as bottles of greenish and greyish powdery substance, tape, needles, playing cards and instruction books.

Aadarsh yesterday admitted to one charge of possessing a device that facilitates cheating, and four charges of using an item for the same purpose.

Nine other counts of the latter were also taken into consideration.

Urging the court to impose various jail terms for each of the five charges, Deputy Public Prosecutor Ailene Chou said he had not acted opportunistically.

The DPP said he had gathered the items, some of them from overseas, and "methodically" proceeded to cheat while gambling.

District Judge Toh Yung Cheong agreed, noting Aadarsh needed to get various raw materials to hatch the plan. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

Man jailed for uploading nude photos of his ex

Posted: 01 Apr 2014 09:00 AM PDT

A 52-YEAR-OLD man who uploaded six nude photographs of his former girlfriend to social networking site QQ was sentenced to six weeks in jail.

Eng Eik Khoon, who is twice the age of the 26-year-old woman, had taken the pictures of her while she was sleeping in June last year. A month later, they broke up.

Wanting to embarrass her, he posted the photographs to two different QQ accounts in November.

A search of Eng's mobile phone also turned up a screenshot of a video of the couple having sex in 2012.

He had also sent her text messages threatening to reveal their relationship to others if she refused to see him again.

Eng pleaded guilty to three charges, with another two taken into consideration. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

Australia's top court recognises 'neutral' third gender

Posted: 01 Apr 2014 05:44 PM PDT

SYDNEY: Australia's highest court on Wednesday recognised the existence of a third "non-specific" gender that is neither male nor female, in a landmark ruling campaigners said will help end years of discrimination.

The High Court ruled that not everyone should be forced to identify as a man or woman when dealing with officials, saying some people could legitimately describe themselves as gender neutral.

"The High Court... recognises that a person may be neither male nor female, and so permits the registration of a person's sex as 'non?specific'," it said in a unanimous judgement.

The decision ended a long legal battle by sexual equality campaigner Norrie to overturn a New South Wales state edict that gender is an inherently "binary" concept involving only men or women.

"I'm overjoyed," the Sydney-based activist said. "It's been a long time from start to end but this has been a great outcome.

"Maybe people will understand now that there's more options than just the binary. So while an individual might be male or female, not all their friends might be and maybe they might be more accepting of that."

The 53-year-old, who uses only a single name, was born male and underwent gender reassignment surgery in 1989 to become a woman.

But the surgery failed to resolve the Scottish-born activist's ambiguity about sexual identity, prompting a push for the recognition of a new, non-traditional gender.

Norrie made global headlines in February 2010 when an application to the NSW Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages accepted that "sex non-specific" could be accepted for Norrie's records.

But soon afterwards the office revoked its decision, saying the certificate was invalid and had been issued in error. At the time, Norrie said the decision felt like being "socially assassinated".

That sparked a series of appeals which resulted in the NSW Court of Appeal recognising Norrie as gender neutral last year, a decision which the High Court backed on Wednesday. 

'Outdated notions of gender'

The Human Rights Law Centre, which provided expert testimony in Norrie's case, said the court had "rejected outdated notions of gender" in the decision.

"Sex- and gender-diverse people face problems every day accessing services and facilities that most Australians can use without thinking twice," the centre's litigation expert Anna Brown said.

"It's essential that our legal systems accurately reflect and accommodate the reality of sex and gender diversity that exists in our society. The High Court has taken an enormous leap today in achieving that goal."

Brown said the decision did not mean people could simply identify themselves as "non-specific" and expect legal recognition.

Under the law, only a person who had undergone gender reassignment surgery could nominate themselves as "non-specific" after presenting medical evidence to back up their claims, she said.

Brown added that it remains unclear who gender-neutral people would be able to marry.

"No one has actually looked at that question legally," she said, adding that there were few international precedents for the decision.

In most states across Australia same-sex couples can have civil unions or register their relationships, but the government does not consider them married under national law.

Germany last year passed a law allowing babies born with characteristics of both sexes to be registered as neither male nor female.

Several countries including Australia, Germany and Nepal also allow people to have an X on their passport rather than male or female, while social media giant Facebook recently moved to allow users to choose "other" gender options, such as "transsexual", "intersex" or "androgynous".

Activist group Gender Agenda said the court decision's impact went far beyond the legal system.

"Transgender, gender diverse and intersex people face high levels of stigma, social exclusion and discrimination," group director Samuel Rutherford said.

"To have the highest court in our land say the law recognises the reality of our existence is not only important in a practical way, but paves the way for achieving equality and freedom from discrimination." -AFP


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