themcglynn.com

12 Jan

Events of Interest and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

Boy told rescuers to save brother first

The McGlynn: Words to carry with you always  ‘Save my brother first’.”

Jordan Rice, teenager killed in Queensland floods
Teenager sacrificed his own life to save 10-year-old brother as torrent surged around stranded car in Toowoomba

A 13-year-old victim of the devastating floods that swept through the Australian city of Toowoomba earlier this week died after asking his rescuer to save his little brother first.

Jordan Rice and his mother, Donna, were killed on Monday afternoon after being carried off by the floodwaters that had risen around their stranded car.

At least 10 people lost their lives in what police in the Queensland city described as an “inland instant tsunami”. Another 18 are feared dead.

Details of the teenager’s sacrifice emerged today after his father spoke to the local paper.

John Tyson told the Toowoomba Chronicle that Ms Rice and their sons, Jordan and Blake, were on their way back from a trip to buy school uniform when the waters rose up around their car as they drove through the city’s central business district at around 2pm on Monday.

After the engine cut out, Rice, 43, managed to get through to the emergency services, who told the family to stay where they were.

But as the waters grew higher, the three had to climb on to the roof of the car.

“All these people were just standing around until an old scrawny guy grabbed a bit of rope, wrapped it around himself and jumped in,” said Tyson.

“Jordan can’t swim and is terrified of water. But when the man went to rescue him, he said, ‘Save my brother first’.”

Although the rescuer managed to save 10-year-old Blake, the rope broke when he tried to tie it around Rice and Jordan, and mother and son were swept downstream.

After holding on to a tree for a little while, the pair were carried off by the floodwaters.

Tyson began to cry as his spoke of the bravery his son had shown in his final moments.

“I can only imagine what was going on inside to give up his life to save his brother, even though he was petrified of water,” he told the Chronicle. “He is our little hero.”

The father described his partner and Jordan as “the unsung heroes of my life”, adding: “She was my soulmate.”

Tyson also thanked the man who had risked his own life to help his family and save Blake.

There were also fears today for a Toowoomba-based man who was last seen sitting on the roof of his stranded car with his wife and young son.

Footage shot by a news helicopter showed the man, identified as James Perry, awaiting rescue on Monday afternoon after trying to cross a river near the town of Grantham.

Perry’s wife, Jenny, and his son, Ted, were saved by a helicopter, but when it returned, the chopper could not find Perry or his car.

The Queensland premier, Anna Bligh, said that many members of the public had rung her office to ask after the family and say how upset they had been by the footage.

Perry, who is 39, is one of more than 50 people to be declared missing in the region.

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News

News

Pakistan’s blasphemy law

Is the conservative religious base in this troubled country slowly taking over?
Inside Story Last Modified: 12 Jan 2011 10:48 GMT

Pakistan’s blasphemy law is in the spotlight once again – following the assassination of Salman Taseer last week. The governor of Punjab was gunned down for supporting proposed reforms to the law – which says anyone who is convicted of speaking ill of Islam faces the death penalty.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the chairman of Pakistan People’s Party, vowed to continue Taseer’s mission. And now Pope Benedict XVI has stepped into the row, calling for the law’s repeal. But inside the country, its supporters have been taking to the streets.

Inside Story, with presenter James Bays, discusses the ongoing controversy over the blasphemy law in Pakistan.

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Lebanese government collapses

Government falls after Hezbollah and allies withdraw from coalition in row over UN probe into murder of Rafiq al-Hariri.
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2011 17:13 GMT
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More die in Cote d’Ivoire violence

At least five police officers killed in renewed clashes amid standoff over disputed presidential election.
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2011 12:53 GMT
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Is peace “too much to ask” in 2011?

Mark LeVine 12 Jan 2011 13:52 GMT
Gaza’s youth lash out at the institutions maintaining the seeming status quo on the hopelessness in Gaza.
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Rogue militias abuse rural Afghans

Mujib Mashal 12 Jan 2011 11:39 GMT
Villagers and regional leaders accuse semi-official Arbakai of extortion and violence as country forms new local force.

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Australia’s deadly floods threaten 20,000 homes

The surging, muddy water reached the tops of traffic lights in some neighbourhoods of Brisbane.

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Politics as usual in a city struggling to come to terms with its grief

David Usborne: As Americans mourn a national tragedy, they have also been grappling with hard questions about their ideological divide.
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