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Newcastle, so hot and cold right now

DEMAND: Dave Crane says winter clothes are already selling off the shelves.WHAT the heck is going on with this weather? And what is it doing to Newcastle’s fashion scene?
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Everywhere Topics goesaround the city, it seems no one has a cluewhat to make of Mother Nature’s state of mind. Is it hot, or cold? Jacket on, or off? Should I really be wearing those thongs, oris it time to dust off the scarf?

Topics tried to answer these important life questions as we took our jacket off, before promptly putting it back on, for the third time in 15 minutes at the weekend.

We eventually resolved that it wasn’t cold enough for a jacket – but before long a friend had us stumped again.

“I just saw someone pay $800 for a fur coat,” she thundered as she sat down for lunch. “Where would you even wear it –it’s not like it’s that cold.”

A frustrated Topics decided to further investigate, so we hit the capital of the Hunter’s high fashion scene –The Junction –to find out if there was a winter rush.

SUMMER CITY: Lindsay Otto finds that Newcastle tends to buck winter fads.

Dave Crane, the co-owner of Seraph women’s clothingstore on Kenrick Street, confirmed that winter had definitely come early.

“Winter is here,” he said.“I’m finding that people are preparing a lot earlier this year. We’re selling a lot of scarves, a lot of knitwear. It’s a relief, to be honest, becauselast year was just too hot. People just want to be ready.”

Lindsay Otto, of Otto’s women’s clothing, observed that some in the city were in “winter denial” (think: shorts and ugg boots)–but there was no cause for concern because “Newcastle doesn’t really embrace winter, anyway”.

“It’s something to do with our beach lifestyle,” she said. “You never really need much to keep warm. Something light will do.”

Whatever havocthis “in between” weather might be wreaking on tough as nails Newcastle, at least we’re not as bad as Sydney.

KEEPING IT REAL: John Nelson in his shorts and thongs at The Junction.

As one Topics correspondent noted this week of Sydney fashion on Facebook: “Man scarves. Man scarves everywhere. Sadly. Mostly wound around the neck three times and tucked into the breast of a Ted Baker tweed coat. The walk is one of purpose, hands in coat pockets, an expressionless face staring outward through heavy-rimmed Tom Fords.”

It prompted the reply: “This Northern town glances at what the big smoke is doing then ignores it.”

Merewether’s John Nelson is one proud Novocastrian thumbing his nose at the fashion elites of Sydney.

Resplendent in shorts,thongs and a polo shirt as he walked down Kenrick Street on Monday afternoon, John said simply of his fashion choice:“I’m comfortable.”

Hard to argue with that.

“I do rug up from time to time, but not now,” John explained. “It’s just not one of those days.”

Newcastle can expect a top of 21 degrees on Tuesday and Wednesday. Ask yourself, WWJD – What Would John Do?

Go behind the barsTHINK it’s cold? Spare a thought for the inmates ofMaitland Gaol. Or just seefor yourself.

Maitland council has announced the return of its popular night tours at the historic penitentiary, giving visitors another perspective of the former prison.

Visitors will experiencehow the prisoners counted down the time until their release, as well as an inside look into the many escape attempts at thejail.

A children’s tour called “Snitch’s Gaol Exploration” –narrated by “Snitch the rat” –is also promised.

The next night tours will take place between 6pm and 9.30pm on June 9 and July 14. Last entry at 8.30pm.

It pays dividends to check

This column was written on the night of the federal budget, so matters pertaining to the economy were to the fore.
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Or ‘ecomomy’ as it was published on the front page of a metropolitan newspaper recently

I don’t highlight the mistake to poke fun at someone else’s mistake.

Regular readers of this column, or my sister at least, would be aware a central theme is the importance of self-editing copy, or if possible getting another pair of eyes to check.

The typo appeared in an edition that may not have been sub-edited.

It’s the future of newspapers we are told, especially online.

But it’s not just media consumers who suffer from unedited copy.

A week before that newspaper’s mistake, reports were published of a Centrelink letter to Melbourne’s Ben Klein, a TAFE Advanced Diploma of Music Industry student.

In an effort to advise him of Austudy payments, the unsigned letter contained typographic, grammatical, spelling and factual errors.

It was so poor, on first viewing Mr Klein actually thought it a scam.

At least a dozen mistakes lined up for the honour of document doozy including the agency misspelling its own name “Cedntrelink”, and citing an irrelevant law.

Despite being about Austudy, the letter said the notice was given under “paid parental leave law”.

Music obviously soothes the soul and Mr Klein good-naturedly “marked” the letter, but gave it an F.

Department of Human Services General Manager Hank Jongensaid the letter had not been automatically generated by a computer but was in fact from a manual template and the mistakes were the result of human error.

How reassuring.

I wonder if any budget money is going to literacy programs?

Darrell Croker is senior coach at Write For Impact. CLOSER LOOK: It is important to have a second set of eyes read over your work to pick up any mistakes.

Izzy’s reaching for the starsVIDEO

HARD WORKER: Izzy Roughan dreams of one day becoming an astronaut.IZZY Roughan has her mind set –she is going to be an astronaut.
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For as long as she can remember, the St Joseph’s High School student has wanted to visit outer space.

Inspired by her late grandfather’s love of astronomy, she has actively pursued her goal since she was a young child.

She regularly flies planes at Scone Aero Club to build her skills as a pilot.

Her latest goal is to raise enough money to take her to anAdvanced Space Academy Program at the United States Space and Rocket Centre in Huntsville, Alabama.

“Recently I was made aware of the 2017 iSTEM Space Camp Tour that enables selected Year 9-to-12 students from NSW, accompanied by teachers, to participate in the space academy program,” she said.

“By attending this iSTEM space camp, I will have a marvellous opportunity to feel what it’s really liketo be an astronaut.”

Her interest in leaving Earthhas grown over the years, particularly since she began studying physics and chemistry.

“It all kind of got bigger when I got to learn about it more,” she said.

“Not many people get the opportunity –it’s like one in a million that actually get to become an astronaut.

“It’s very demanding and it’s really hard to get to.

“And, by the time you become one, you’re well into your thirties or forties.

“There are a lot of people out there who want the same role, but there are only a few people that actually get it.”

Izzy has never met an astronaut before, but she is looking forward to the activities inthe US program, including meeting with like-minded students.

“I think it will be interesting to share our common interests and be able to speak to each other about it,” she said.

“The whole week [we will be] doing things that astronauts would do –being flipped upside down in those really cool machines,actually putting the space suit on,going underwater in the space suit, and just learning what it’s like to be an astronaut.”

The 17-year-old often reflects on how much work is required to make her dream a reality.

But, it never changes her aspirationto one day view the planet from a distance.

She would liketo thank Professor Tim Robertsfrom The Tom Farrell Institute, and business development manager atUmwelt Australia Julie Wicks for their assistance.

To donate, visithttps://梧桐夜网gofundme南京夜网/izzy-roughan-istem-space-camp

LIFELONG DREAM: Even when she was a baby, Izzy had space pyjamas.

To keep updated with the program, findhttps://梧桐夜网facebook南京夜网/SJAspacecamp/on Facebook.

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John Oliver roasts New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English

John Oliver has lobbed a giant, comedic grenade at New Zealand – or, as he prefers to call it, “wallaby f— island”.
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Australia’s neighbour drew the Last Week Tonight host’s ire after its Prime Minister Bill English remarked that Oliver wasn’t very funny.

The British comedian took no time in firing back, using the most recent episode of his show to label the National Party leader the “very poorest man’s Daniel Craig”.

“Bill English must know the moment he mentioned my name I was going to immediately find the stupidest, most humiliating things about him that I could,” Oliver said. “Because when it comes to Kiwis, Johnny don’t play.”

The comedian then launched straight into a rant where he called the New Zealand PM a “masturbating cyborg”, before mocking an “indescribably lame” exercise video English recently put on Facebook.

In the video, the politician describes how his exercise routine involves walking uphill and running down the “downhill bits”.

“After seeing that, I would give anything for Bill English to make a sex tape,” Oliver joked, taking aim at the PM’s monotone narrating skills.

However, the best was saved for last. Oliver – unsurprisingly – brought up last month’s now-infamous pizza post that generated headlines all around the world.

The post showed the New Zealand PM taking a selfie, along with a snap of some pizzas he cooked for his family with a controversial ingredient – tinned spaghetti.

“I think I speak on behalf of all humanity when I say, no!” Oliver shouted. “Hard no there, Bill. I do not agree with canned spaghetti on a pizza because that is not a thing anyone should be doing. A divorced dad cooking for his kids on the weekend would not put canned spaghetti on a pizza.”

The skit then concluded with Oliver listing several other pizzas English would probably enjoy, including one made with “skittles, baking soda and condoms”.

English has reportedly not seen Oliver’s latest skit, but has said the publicity can only be good for New Zealand.

It is not the first time Oliver has taken aim at the country and its politics. Last year, the British comedian performed a skit involving two giant penises after finance minister Steven Joyce was hit by a flying sex toy during a press conference.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Cassandra Sainsbury’s fiance arrives at jail with red rose

Accused drug mule Cassandra Sainsbury has been reunited with her family, including her fiance Scott Broadbridge, who arrived at the Colombian prison where she is being held carrying a single red rose.
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The 22-year-old South Australian woman was also visited by her mother, Lisa Evans, and sister, Khala Sainsbury, in a separate meeting at the El Buen Pastor women’s prison in the Colombian capital Bogota on Monday, local time.

It is the first time the former personal trainer has seen her family since she was arrested at El Dorado International Airport on April 12, allegedly with 5.8 kilograms of cocaine hidden inside 18 headphone boxes in her suitcase.

Ms Sainsbury’s family did not speak to waiting media as they arrived and left the prison, after signing deals with separate Australian networks.

Mr Broadbridge arrived in Colombia late last week with a crew from Channel Seven’s Sunday Night program, while Ms Sainsbury’s mother and sister have signed a deal with Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes.

Mr Broadbridge was carrying an overnight bag, a plastic bag and a red rose when he arrived at the prison.

He spent about an hour visiting his fiancee, before Ms Sainsbury’s mother and sister arrived with several bags and spent a similar length of time visiting, according to Channel Nine.

Ms Sainsbury’s Colombian lawyer Orlando Herran also visited her in prison, saying his client was “fine … she is meeting with Scott”.

Ms Sainsbury has denied any knowledge of the drugs in her suitcase.

She has reportedly told authorities that she was tricked and given the headphones by a man she knew only as Angelo or Tom, who had been showing her around Bogota.

The man offered to buy her the headphones cheaply and brought them to her shortly before she was due to fly out, Ms Sainsbury claims.

She said she planned to give the headphones as gifts to friends and members of her wedding party.

Police arrested her inside the airport as she prepared to board a flight to London.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Cast adrift, clinging to a door, students slam minister

On Monday night, a post-budget edition of Q&A was chock full of big questions. It was beamed to us Live From The Gold Coast, a miracle of science and medicine unimagined by previous generations, but otherwise the answers to modern life were less confidently come by.
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Is the age of entitlement over? (Answer: Depends.)

Are our major political parties the definition of insanity? (Answer: Well, come on now??? how many fingers am I holding up?)

Are governments deliberately targeting young people? (Answer: Pop this apple on your head and sit very, very still.)

And this: how does a cabaret at the Twin Towns Services Club ever end if there is this much recurring applause? It’s a wonder a Roy Orbison tribute band ever manages to finish a show.

“Thank you,” said host Tony Jones early on. “We can’t be clapping every statement.”

Oh, but they could Tony. They could.

There was much applause, and even a bit of lively shouting, by way of a band of student protesters.

Leading the youthful rebellion was Molly James, who wanted to know of Education Minister Simon Birmingham: “While you were at university you were an active student politician who campaigned for fair treatment from government ??? why is it now 20 years on that your view has complete changed?”

Birmingham: “A lot’s changed in the last 20, 30 years. A lot’s changed in the last decade. We’ve seen enormous growth in the number of Australian students going to university???” – and then came the shouting, shouting with which fellow panellist Larissa Waters nodded in furious agreement while issuing a plea to security: “Don’t drag her out.”

This fell on deaf ears; the dragging had already commenced. A second questioner, Bec De Graaf, had a related, omnibus question: “Higher utility costs, more tax, higher health costs, low wage growth and a low exchange rate will ultimately affect everybody.The cost of a degree and lowering the wage level at which it has to be paid back will make the attractiveness of higher education a little lower in a competitive world job market. As a single mum of four children, who I’m trying to encourage to go to university and with me starting university next year, how does this make our already becoming outdated degree seem like a great pathway?”

When this question came to Innes Willox, head of the Australian Industry group, he trod carefully.

“Good on you. Fantastic,” Willox responded to De Graaf encouragingly, no doubt remembering his previous outing on Q&A, on the opening day of last year’s federal election campaign, when he found himself front-and-centre for the brutal pile-on administered to audience questioner Duncan Storrar. Everyone present for the Storrar encounter is older and wiser about the perils of live television now, though the perils of talking about the economic pie remain a trap.

On the notorious night in May 2016, it was Turnbull minister Kelly O’Dwyer advising Storrar: “The critical thing here is that we actually need to grow the pie.”

On Monday night, Willox told De Graaf: “The issue is that our pie is just this big. Our fiscal pie is just this big???. we all wish it would and it could, but to get money it needs to raise taxes and we go back to that circular argument.”

Larissa Waters: “Not corporate taxes in your book. Definitely not those.”

It fell to the final questioner, Joshua Lucey, to most forcefully hammer home the point the students had come to make: “My question to you is, why are you targeting my generation and our desire to – at some point – live the life you have been enjoying?”

In response, Birmingham proffered the Government’s budget measures to help young people save for a house deposit. Labor’s Chris Bowen called that policy plan “a complete joke” and declared: “Young people are targeted by this government.” Willox empathised with the questioner: “I have three kids. I’d rather be 53 than 23. I wouldn’t want to go through that again.”

Questioner Lucey remained unimpressed, delivering the closing reprimand to all of them: “I don’t know what century you think you live in. I think you’re totally out of touch. I would really love to know how much you paid for your degree. Somehow none of you own how much you earn or how much you had to pay for the struggles that we are currently enduring. I have not seen a single politician come out during this budget time and say [what] they’re earning and what they’re taking in by us is obscene and that it’s unrealistic to represent people like us that are struggling so much.”

In essence, Lucey was asking the politicians and business folk: how do you sleep at night?

For viewers trained by A Current Affair to believe that young people on the Gold Coast only prompted this question during Schoolies Week, this may have come as a revelation – and a reminder that the Millennials are also the Titanic Generation: forever wondering why the Baby Boomers cast them adrift clinging to a door, unable to reach a lifeboat, with Celine Dion wailing in the background.

Their hearts, one hopes, will go on.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Medicinal cannabis works, just ask 12-year-old Jai Whitelaw

Wonderful results: Jai Whitelaw experienced up to 500 seizures a day and had exhausted all traditional medical avenues. Then he tried medicinal cannabis.The decision to include Port Macquarie Base Hospital ina trial of medicinal cannabis has met with a strongly favourable response.
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The trial will include some 80 people and will focus on patients who are suffering from chemotherapy-induced nausea or vomiting.

The year-long trial will get underway shortly.

While there is mainly positive reaction to the decision to broaden the trial from two hospitals to a total of nine hospitals around the state, some sections of the community are concerned the trial is too little too late.

Crescent Head resident Tony Bower is an advocate for the use of medicinal cannabis. He operates Mullaways Medical Cannabis Pty Ltd.

One of his patients is 12 year old Jai Whitelaw from Queensland who was diagnosed with three rare forms of epilepsy as a five year old in 2010.

Jai’s mum Michelle says the government and medical argument that too little is known about the ramifications of using medicinal cannabis are wrong.

“My frustration is that Tony is providing medicine for some 200 sick kids. So, why aren’t they listening to him as the medicine maker,” she questioned.

“We have the very clear medical evidence that Jai is now seizure free.

“Change the laws.

“I just don’t get it. I don’t smoke cannabis. The medicine that comes from Tony’s company is harmless. We are not hurting anyone.

“We are saving our son. He had an expiry date and now he’s exceeded that.”

After exhausting all traditional medical treatments and pharmaceutical products, Jai was ‘essentially discharged from hospital and we were told to take him and just love him’.

In 2012 Jai was in hospital for all but five weeks while the following year was slightly better with him spending a total of 12 weeks at home.

He suffered numerous broken bones as the result of his falls associated with the seizures and his father and siblings have performed CPR on the youngster on numerous occasions.

In 2014 Jai was taking 35 tablets a day and was having up to 500 seizures a day.

“We were told by the medical fraternity that there was nothing more to do,” Michelle said.

Their life changed dramatically when Michelle eventually got in contact with Tony.

She says Tony told her that he made the medicine, did not take any payment and only asked that they document the amount and frequency of the tinctures.

After just the second day of administering her medicine, Michelle says there was a dramatic change in Jai.

“The seizures stopped. He is now, basically, seizure free and is counting up to nearly 700 days free.”

With such remarkable results, Michelle took Jai back to their medical specialists and went through further testing. They came back clear.

“Specialists need the science. So, let’s give them the science. Let’s give them more trials,” Michelle said.

With no hospital admissions for ‘a very long time’ Michelle said her family now has what every normal family has: normality.

Ballarat’s killer chef had mental health problems, inquest hears

Marcus Volke and (inset) Mayang Prasetyo.A former Ballarat man who killed and dismembered his Indonesian partner before taking his own life in 2014 had seen a doctor for anxiety, depression and a sleep disorder in the weeks before their deaths, an inquest has heard.
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Mayang Prasetyo, a transgender escort, was allegedly murdered and maimed by Brisbane chef Marcus Volke at their apartment before he then fled the scene and took his own life in a nearby industrial bin soon after police arrived for a welfare check.

During questioning before state coroner Terry Ryan on Monday, Detective Sergeant Joshua Walsh said Volke had presented to a Newstead-based doctor for mental health issues two weeks before the couple’s deaths in October 2014.

Detective Sergeant Walsh, who investigated Volke’s death, also said police had obtained medical records showing that he had sought treatment at the Ballarat Base Hospital when he was 16 years old.

Before moving to Brisbane, Mr Volke had lived in Haddon and attended Ballarat High School.

He had a keen interest in martial arts and was a member of Haddon’s Damashii Dojo.

Volke had met the victim while working as an escort in Melbourne’s club scene to pay off $9000 in credit card debts, the court heard.

Marcus Volke had a keen interest in martial arts. Photo: supplied.

In her opening address, counsel assisting Emily Cooper said neighbours had noticed a foul smell coming from the couple’s apartment on October 3, a day after they were heard arguing.

Mayang Prasetyo

That same day, Volke presented to Royal Brisbane Hospital for treatment to a cut on his hand, Ms Cooper said.

A manager of the Teneriffe apartment building where the couple lived contacted police on October 4 and reported seeing blood stains and cleaning products inside the unit.

One of the officers who responded to the report, Senior Constable Bryan Reid, said the building manager was concerned something wasn’t right.

“They knew that there was a female that lived there with the man and they hadn’t seen her for a couple days, and there was a foul sort of odour around there,” Sen Const Reid told the court.

“It was a bad smell, it was something I hadn’t smelt before and can’t really describe.”

Police questioned Volke outside the apartment and then allowed him to go back inside to tether his dogs so they could enter.

When he went back inside, Volke locked the door, self-harmed and exited from the rear of the building. He was later found dead inside a nearby bin.

Inside the apartment, police discovered some of Miss Prasetyo’s remains in a black garbage bag inside the washing machine, while her feet were found protruding from a stock pot on the kitchen floor, next to a pool of Volke’s blood.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact:

Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

– with AAP

Hunter BreakfastTuesday, May 16, 2017

Weather: Mostly sunny in Newcastle (20 degrees) and Nelson Bay (21 degrees). Sunny in Wallsend, Raymond Terrace andToronto (all21 degrees).
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Traffic: No major incidents reported on Hunter roads.

Trains: Delays on the Hunter and Newcastle lines. Buses replaced the 6.07am Scone to Hamilton train due to mechanical repairs. Passengers have been urged to allow extra travel time as a result. Delays can also be expected between Sydney and Newcastle due to urgent signal repairs at Cockle Creek.

Beachwatch:Good chance of some clean big waves during the morning. Wind is keeping the swell off the coast so some beaches will seem smaller.Swells from the south increasing 2 to 3m with a 2nd swell from the East at 1m.Wind moderate West to S/W.Low tide is first up and that will suit Nobbys Reef and Bank.Few bigger sets off Pogos and Merewether.Looking for some protection,then try Blacksmiths and Catho in the corners to the south. Fingal up at Port Stephens.Only swim at patrolled beaches with sweeps running north.Erosion in southern corners and water temps on 19C.

Hunter headlinesTHE University of Newcastle says “The World Needs New”. Staff say they need to know whether they still have jobs. Read more.

THE “outstanding” actions of a Hunterman who saved the life of an unconscious swimmer at south Newcastle Beach last year have been recognised at Government House. Read more.

THE Hunter has contributed more than $20billion to the state’s coffers through the sale of publicly-owned entities over almostthree decades, a new analysis reveals. Read more.

Preparation for a Port Stephens koala hospital and ecotourism facility has begun, with preliminary site works likely within a month. Read more.

SPECIALIST detectives have released images of two gunmen suspected of carefully choosingtheir time before storming theSwansea Workers Club and pointinga sawn-off shotgun at staff during a violent armed robbery earlier this year. Read more.

A Lake Macquarie campaign is tackling ugly parent syndrome at junior sport.Read more.

DANE Gagai insists his focus is on the Knights and has refused to buy into speculation that the Origin star is poised to sign a lucrative three-year deal with South Sydney.Read more.

THE recruitment of New Zealand international goalkeeper Glen Moss is just the start as the Jets go “full throttle” to build a squad capable of challenging for the A-League. Read more.

State of the nationNeed a national news snapshot first thing –well, we have you covered.

► BALLARAT, VIC:A former Ballarat man who killed and dismembered his Indonesian partner before taking his own life in 2014 had seen a doctor for anxiety, depression and a sleep disorder in the weeks before their deaths, an inquest has heard.

► PORT MACQUARIE, NSW:The decision to includePort Macquarie Base Hospital ina trial of medicinal cannabishas met with a strongly favourable response.Crescent Head resident Tony Bower is an advocate for the use of medicinal cannabis. He operates Mullaways Medical Cannabis Pty Ltd.One of his patients is 12 year old Jai Whitelaw from Queensland who was diagnosed with three rare forms of epilepsy as a five year old in 2010.

►TASMANIA:A petition has been started to ban child sex offender Nicolaas Bester from the University of Tasmania Hobart campus and terminate his PhD scholarship.National Union of Students women’s officer and University of Tasmania student, Heidi La Paglia, started the petition which demands that the university take this action in the interests of student safety.

►BENDIGO, VIC:Beccky Johns was a passionate supporter of Kidney Health Australia and its work with kids, so no doubt her dad Paul will be channelling her enthusiasm when he embarks on the 4000-kilometre Kidney Kar Rally in a few months’ time.

► HUNTER, NSW:TheHunter has contributed more than $20billion to the state’s coffers through the sale of publicly-owned entities over almostthree decades, a new analysis reveals.

►TASMANIA:Tasmania Police officers will soon have extra protection with the introduction of body cameras.Police Minister Rene Hidding announced the $3.4 million state budget commitment to police safety on Monday.The funds will allow the roll out of Body Worn Cameras for all frontline officers in the stateover the next four years.

►WESTERN VICTORIA:A speeding driver who allegedly evaded police for about 250 kilometres was arrested after his tyres were spiked during a major police operation.

►NOWRA, NSW:Rubbish dumped at the Salvation Army’s South Nowra store is costing the organisation more than $20,000 a year.

National news► Papua New Guinea police have conceded multiple gunshots were fired into Australia’s refugee compound on Manus Island during an Easter rampage that has been shrouded in mystery and conjecture.It followed a report by charity Amnesty International claiming to have established “with a degree of certainty” that bullets were fired into the regional processing centre, despite initial police denials.

► Former prime ministers Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott, whose famous clashes were some of the most hostile in Australian political history, will both be presented with honorary doctorates by Israeli universities this week.

► The tweets started just after 9pm on Friday and kept coming relentlessly, in alphabetical order, for the next 48 hours.Over 2000 tweets in total – all aimed at Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young – listing how much each public school in NSW would lose unless the Turnbull government funds the six-year Gonski agreements in full.

►Marine scientists heading out on a month-long voyage to explore for the first time the deep waters off Australia’s east coast, estimate that up to half of all animals they encounter will be new species or, at least, ones never seen in Australian waters.Led byMuseums Victoria, the international team of researchers will sample and film the cold, dark abyss that begins where Australia’s continental shelf ends.

National weather radarInternational news►The jury has been sworn in for the trial of Australian entertainer Rolf Harris who is accused of four counts of indecent assault against three women, two of whom were teenagers..

►Australian woman Sara Connor has had her jail sentence increased to five years for the fatal group assault of a Bali police officer after the prosecution appealed to the High Court.The increased sentence will come as a bitter blow to the 46-year-old from Byron Bay, who was not in court. She had faced an anxious wait for the ruling from Bali’s Kerobokan jail.

► A guard at the Colombian prison where accused drug mule Cassandra Sainsbury is being held has accused the Australian of being an attention seeker and lying about the conditions inside the facility, Channel Nine reports..

On this day1953:Happy birthday Pierce Brosnan! The Irish-American actor turns 64 today. He is also known by Bond, James Bond, having been the fifth actor to portray the secret agent. But his talents don’t end there. Check out Brosnan in action during the 2008 musical Mamma Mia!:

Faces of Australia:Steve TowleWELL-KNOWNNSW Ambulance inspector Steve Towle will take to the road for his last shift onFriday, May 19, bringing to a close a tremendous 42 years of dedicated service.

Based at Port Macquarie for the past 30 years, Mr Towle will take with him a sense of pride at the many patients he has treated and assisted along the way.

“I will miss the interaction with patients, making them feel better and reassuring them. A lot of our patients are aged 80 and over and reassurance goes a long way,” he said.

Mr Towle signed up in November 1975 at age 18, inspired by his father Fred who had been an honourary (volunteer paramedic) for about 10 years.

“I started out working in a bank, which didn’t inspire me that much. So I had a think about what I liked to do,” Mr Towle said.Read more.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Which of your fave US shows are coming back – and which ones aren’t?

2 Broke Girls, the controversial sitcom which was once a primetime fixture on Channel Nine, has been cancelled after six seasons – the biggest scalp yet from the US TV industry’s “upfronts”.
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The upfronts, the period where networks reveal their upcoming fall primetime schedules – and notable omissions – in a bid to secure early advertisers, has seen mixed fortunes for a number of big-name TV imports, including the one-time Nine hit.

A longtime critical punching bag for its reliance on racist stereotypes for punchlines (even Kevin Rudd once infamously got involved), the series – starring Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs as a couple of wisecracking diner waitresses – steadily saw its ratings drop since its debut in 2011 where its lead-in was the hit Two and a Half Men.

In December, Nine reportedly paid $86 million to renegotiate its syndication contract with Warner Bros, allowing it to dump the underperforming show.

Conservative commentators in the US have also cried foul over the cancellation of Tim Allen’s Trump-friendly sitcom Last Man Standing – which airs locally on Ten’s multi-channel Eleven – despite consistent ratings.

They’ve even led calls for a boycott of network ABC over its alleged “liberal bias” in axing the show, which stars noted Republican Tim Allen as a Democrats-bashing family man.

Other cancellations to affect local viewers include Eleven’s animation favourite Son of Zorn and the supernatural procedural Sleepy Hollow.

In bittersweet news, popular programs like Shonda Rhimes’ Scandal (Seven) and Zooey Deschanel’s New Girl (Eleven) have both been issued seventh season reprieves, with their upcoming seasons announced to be their last.

Of course, many local favourites are set to return.

Ten’s Modern Family was renewed for two more seasons, which will take it through to its tenth season, with the cast rumoured to have struck “significant pay increases” from around $US350,000 to $US500,000 per episode.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the cult favourite inexplicably buried by Ten in late-night screenings on Eleven, will return for season three, while Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the cop comedy currently being fast-tracked by SBS, will return for season five.

In one of the bigger announcements of these upfronts, American network ABC revealed American Idol is set for a reboot, with Katy Perry to be confirmed as a judge on the show later this week, according to TMZ.

Simon Cowell, the acerbic judge who appeared on the show from 2002 to 2010, revealed he was asked to return to the program, but “the answer is no”.

“I have no interest,” he told Variety. “My memories are when we first started. It was a different time… You can’t recreate that.”

A Channel Ten spokesperson said the network has “no plans” as yet to revive the show locally here.


Blindspot (Seven)

Blue Bloods (Ten)

Bob’s Burgers (Eleven)

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (SBS Viceland)

Chicago Fire (Seven)

Chicago Med (Nine)

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (Eleven)

Elementary (Ten)

Empire (Ten)

Family Guy (7Mate)

Fresh Off The Boat (Eleven)

Hawaii Five-O (Ten)

How to Get Away with Murder (Seven)

Law & Order: SVU (Ten)

Lethal Weapon (Nine)

Madam Secretary (Ten)

Modern Family (Ten)

NCIS: New Orleans (Ten)

Once Upon a Time (7Flix)

Scorpion (Ten)

Speechless (Eleven)

Survivor (9Go)

The Amazing Race (Seven)

The Bachelor US (9Life)

The Bachelorette US (9Life)

The Goldbergs (Seven)

The Middle (9Go)

The Simpsons (Eleven)

This Is Us (Ten)


New Girl (Eleven)

Scandal (Seven)


2 Broke Girls (Nine)

Last Man Standing (Eleven)

Sleepy Hollow (Eleven)

Son of Zorn (Eleven)

– with Washington Post

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

MasterChef fans mourn the loss of show favourite Pia

It came down to a choice between Italian mother Pia Gava, 48, and Bondi doctor and father Ray Silva, 42.
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It may be because she comes across as someone who gives cuddles behind the scenes to anyone struggling with the pressure of MasterChef or any homesick teens who are surrounded by much older adults, but the madre of the show will be sorely missed by fans for more than just her Italian cooking.

Pia’s commentary throughout has been kind, considerate and devoid of any ego. She’s not out to “prove herself” or make tricky concoctions.

Her delicious gnocchi (not quite MasterChef’s “death dish” – that being risotto) in the auditions cemented herself as a gutsy home cook.

She told Fairfax Media: “Before I sent off the application, I sat down with my family. My son will be in Year 12 and I had to say, ‘Look, I might not be here to support you and I won’t do this unless you are OK with me not being here.’ They just said, ‘Are you crazy? You’ve helped us all the time, this is for you.’ ” Where my MasterChef adventure began…Gorgonzola Gnocchi & Parmesan crisps. Anyone made gnocchi lately?#masterchefaupic.twitter南京夜网/Sd0wBd4Fhn??? Pia Gava (@PiaGavaCooks) May 13, 2017Well done Top 3 @[email protected]@Eloise_Praino I’m so proud of you! Now I need to get ready for the Pressure Test! ????#MasterChefAUhttps://t.co/5E25KNrGVS??? Pia Gava (@PiaGavaCooks) May 14, 2017Done, done & done…we did it @[email protected]#MasterChefAUhttps://t.co/SMemPwaMah??? Pia Gava (@PiaGavaCooks) May 15, 2017Looks like @PeteMorganAU has done a spectacular job of replicating @andybowdypastry’s majestic ‘Rita’ cake. #MasterChefAUpic.twitter南京夜网/3gfmqWUDay??? #MasterChefAU (@masterchefau) May 15, 2017We’ve loved having you in the #MasterChefAU kitchen @PiaGavaCooks, we wish you all the best! #MasterChefAUpic.twitter南京夜网/1Q7tAfJKkm??? #MasterChefAU (@masterchefau) May 15, 2017Loved creating the beautiful Rita cake! I’ll miss the adventure. Remaining contestants…Smash it! #masterchefaupic.twitter南京夜网/ITImkPCkPa??? Pia Gava (@PiaGavaCooks) May 15, 2017Hearts across the nation break

Bye Pia #[email protected]@[email protected]@[email protected]@RossAndJohn??? Lyn West (@LynWest65) May 15, 2017It’s a travesty that Pia is gone when others who shall remain nameless are still there. But that’s the way the cake crumbles. #MasterchefAU??? Erin Van Krimpen (@erinvk) May 15, 2017I want a copy of Pia’s family cookbook. #masterchefau??? Sam D (@SamDickfos) May 15, 2017#masterchefau great job Pia, you were one of my faves Ciao!!??? Bill Devanney (@BillDevanney) May 15, 2017WHY IS PIA LEAVING pic.twitter南京夜网/sLt6fyOLmY??? kens 🙂 (@fukendall) May 15, 2017Aww Pia! I liked her. #masterchefau??? Jessica (@_jessticulate) May 15, 2017Oh Pia. Way too early to leave #MasterChefAU??? anonymissjane (@anonymissjane) May 15, 2017AAAARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHH. I really think Pia had a lot more to give. Hope she goes on to doing more. #Masterchefau??? Peter (@Doonks) May 15, 2017Pia

Even Mr TV is crying!!#[email protected]??? Mr TV (@Television_AU) May 15, 2017Oh no….Pia!!! Noooooooooo #MasterChefAU??? Ariadne Quinn (@ariadne_quinn) May 15, [email protected] absolutely devastated that Pia is going home! #MasterChefAU??? Esther Wong (@essiemybessie) May 15, 2017This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Students set to protest Q&A’s post-budget special

Being an ABC producer is a tough gig.
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On one hand you have to wrangle federal politicians, some of whom are way, way too keen to be on the program (while others have to be practically carried on, kicking and screaming). Then, there is the tricky art of who gets let into the studio audience and who doesn’t.

Q&A staff have, over the past day or so, been negotiating with student activists furious that a young person won’t be on Monday night’s post-budget panel.

The episode, which will be broadcast live from the Gold Coast, is set to feature education minister Simon Birmingham, shadow treasurer Chris Bowen and Greens senator Larissa Waters.

Innes Willox, from business lobby group Australian Industry Group, and academic Miranda Stewart, will also appear.

The National Union of Students is furious that there isn’t a single young person on Monday night’s panel after the Turnbull government signalled its intention to cut university funding and require students to repay their higher education loans sooner.

NUS president Sophie Johnston said it was disappointing a young person won’t be on Q&A to talk about how they will be “hit hard” by the 2017 budget.

“Unfortunately, that hasn’t been changed or rectified,” she said. “This whole budget is a war on young people. They’re calling education bad debt and penalty rates are going to be cut. All these measures are constantly going after young people and not investing in our futures.”

After being called out about the lack of millennials on the panel, a Q&A producer offered the student union a ticket for a representative to sit in the live audience. After all, best not to risk a repeat of 2014 when a group of Sydney students halted the broadcasting of a panel featuring then education minister Christopher Pyne.

This peace offering, however, was rejected – with NUS deciding to instead protest outside Q&A’s Gold Coast studio. The union has also accused Q&A of scouring students’ Facebook pages and knocking back their individual requests to be part of the live audience (this is, of course, standard practice following the 2014 debacle).

Johnston said she could understand Q&A did not want to risk the live broadcast being disrupted, but that was no excuse for not having a young person on the panel to dissect the budget.

“Young people deserve to be heard,” she said.

A view Q&A producers no doubt share, but in practice – this time around – have decided to take as comment.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

The difference half a degree will make for Australia

Australia will endure more heatwaves, droughts and coral bleaching at 1.5 degrees of warming but the extremes will be considerably less than if global temperatures increase by 2 degrees, new research shows.
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In some of the first research on the impacts for Australia of the 1.5 degree to 2 degree range agreed at the Paris climate summit in 2015, Melbourne University scientists have found the chances of a repeat of events such as the “angry summer” of 2012-13 are significantly reduced at the lower end of the warming scale.

That summer, which remains the country’s hottest, was already about 10 times more likely than without the 1 degree of warming already experienced since pre-industrial times, said Dr Andrew King, a Melbourne University climate scientist and lead author of the paper published in Nature Climate Change.

At warming of 1.5 degrees, the odds of such a summer with its heat extremes and bush fire-conducive weather increases from about 44 per cent now to 57 per cent. The chance rises to 77 per cent in a 2-degree warmer world, the researchers found.

Australian droughts, too, are likely to be made worse with warming to 1.5 degrees – but less so than compared with heating beyond that level. For instance, the extremely dry year of 2006 would be about a 50-50 proposition in any year at 1.5 degrees, but almost a three-in-four years chance at 2 degrees.

Almost all of the increase in drought risks comes from warming temperatures adding to evaporation, rather than changes in rainfall deficits, the models show.

(See chart below of the likelihood of extremes in any year as temperatures rise.) Drying out

However Will Steffen, an emeritus professor at the Australian National University and a member of the Climate Council, said rainfall changes are harder to predict than temperature rises and models may be underestimating the shift.

“The drop in rainfall that we’ve seen in south-eastern Australia in the last 20 to 30 years – across Victoria, southern NSW and southern South Australia – is about where the models were predicting for 2030 or 2035,” Professor Steffen said.

“We may actually experience bigger swings in rainfall than the models are capable of simulating.”

The research, though, is valuable in demonstrating risks are unlikely to increase steadily but jump sharply in ways that affect wildlife, humans and agriculture alike, he said.

“A lot of ecosystems do not respond linearly to rainfall or water availability changes,” Professor Steffen said. “There are thresholds and tipping points.”

(See Bureau of Meteorology chart showing how more than half of Australia had summer heat in the top 10 per cent of years in 2012-13.) Coral Sea dangers

Among the most extreme impacts of a warming world are already being witnessed on the Great Barrier Reef, where two hot summers have resulted in unprecedented coral bleaching with as much as two-thirds of reefs affected.

The research found a repeat of the marine heatwave in the Coral Sea in 2016 – which alone killed off more than one-fifth of the Great Barrier Reef corals – would rise from about a one-in-three chance at current conditions to a 64 per cent chance at 1.5 degrees of warming.

“If we follow high-emission scenarios, events like last year would be really cold events by the mid to late-21st century,” Dr King, who is also a researcher at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, said. “It’s really quite alarming.”

Both Dr King and Professor Steffen said the threat facing the reef should prompt policymakers to act to ensure temperature rises are kept to 1.5 degrees. Drastic and urgent cuts to greenhouse gas emissions – beyond what was pledged at Paris – would be needed to reach that goal.

“When you look at Australia versus other OECD nations, our pledges are more like a 3.5 degree to 4-degree world, so we are woefully, woefully inadequate in terms of our action given these sorts of projections,” Professor Steffen said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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