Essendon to phase out third-term lapses ( admin posted on August 27th, 2018 )

Essendon coach John Worsfold is looking at how to stop the Bombers’ third-quarter fade-outs.Essendon admit they’re reviewing how to handle halftime in an attempt to phase out their third-term AFL fade-outs.
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It’s far from the only issue on Bombers coach John Worsfold’s plate after a 2-4 start to the season.

But going into a blockbuster MCG meeting with Hawthorn on Saturday, it’s a nut Worsfold is eager to crack.

“We’ve looked at what our program is (and) we’ve challenged each other to think of how it could be different,” he said on Friday.

“We’ll potentially do a couple of minor changes otherwise it’s just getting out there with a mindset to play strong footy.

“Certainly we’re aware we haven’t won a third quarter but we’ve lost a lot of other quarters as well.”

On that point, Worsfold is right.

Only Brisbane (six) have won fewer quarters than Essendon (seven) this season.

That won’t force Worsfold into changing from the club’s bigger-picture approach, where the club toys with positions in attempt to build for the future.

“We’ve got to work out what squad here, what playing team is going to be good enough to win a premiership at the Essendon footy club,” he said.

“We’ve got to keep exploring and finding that.

“That will mean looking at some new players and giving new players like (Adam) Saad and (Jake) Stringer the chance to grow into our team.

“(We have) an absolute focus on becoming a great team. We don’t want to panic and pick teams with a weekly focus.”

Essendon’s approach to team selection this week is influenced by their four-day break last week, when they lost to Collingwood and Melbourne.

Matt Guelfi and Jackson Merrett have been rested, with Conor McKenna and David Myers coming in.

Matthew Leuenberger’s suspension also allows Tom Bellchambers to return.

Worsfold said Orazio Fantasia was “very close” to a return and would play a half in the VFL in an attempt to return in round eight.

Travis Colyer looms as a round nine return.

Opponents Hawthorn have made two changes, with David Mirra and James Cousins dropped for James Sicily and Liam Shiels.

The Bombers and Hawks last met in round one last season, when Essendon returned a host of banned Bombers in a 25-point win at the MCG.

Despite that, Worsfold played down the traditionally strong rivalry between the two teams, which has been on the wane since the 2004 “line in the sand” contest.

“Essendon-Hawthorn. Essendon-Collingwood. The marshmallow game. The country game … Dreamtime … the Jacket wave game. We’ve pretty much got a rivalry with every club,” he said.

“(ex-coach Kevin) Sheedy created a few of those.”

Australian Associated Press

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Newcastle’s growing pains have created identity crisis ( admin posted on August 27th, 2018 )

METROPOLIS: Newcastle needs to abandon the persistent parochial association with a town and proudly and aggressively embrace its city status. Picture: Paul ScottOUR town. Our turf. Our team. How quaint and nostalgic is “our town”? Ever heard of a globally-emerging town or a smart town program? There’s been lots of “our town” palaver this past week. I’m down on town.
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Like mutton chop facial hair or a bespoke butter churn, reference to Newcastle as a town makes me want to tie my high-horse to a pole and crochet a close-knit quilt for this close-knit community. It’s a nostalgic idea but it’s wrong for now.

Despite the fetishising of revitalisation and all things new by the development lobby and its various cheer squads, nostalgia still seems to matter around Newcastle. What else could possibly explain the numbers of Novocastrians who flock to trendy Maryville or the Newcastle City Farmers Markets at sparrow’s on weekend mornings to voluntarily queue in the rain – as if it’s 1932 in the Soviet Ukraine – to buy bread?

Surely the nostalgia is for the queuing rather than the bread. Because it’s hard to be nostalgic for low glycaemic seeded spelt brought to life by skilled artisans who have nurtured a special dough-blend fermentation from field to plate with the loving assistance of non-rhyming poetry and an intense mindfulness involving yoga whales. “That’ll be eight bucks in our town thanks love. Careful of your teeth.”

The insistence of the Knights utilising the Doug Parkinson Oz-rock belter with the lyric “this game is our game, this town is our town” doesn’t help the argument to insist Newcastle be called a city. There’s been a few other cracks at creating a matchday song for the Knights, but Doug remains the go-to tune for the man at the stadium with his finger on the button.

I think most of “We Built This City (On Rock and Roll)” is way better for a contemporary Newcastle anthem, as long as it is re-recorded by a supergroup comprising some members of Silverchair, The Screaming Jets and all of JPY.

Another influence for the longevity of ‘town’ – besides that provided by those in the media who can’t resist the rallying cry of “our town” whenever Newcastle teams drop the wooden spoon – was the Prime Television commercial from around 20 years ago that featured the Go-Betweens’ song “Streets Of Your Town”. While trumpeting the local sites – always referred to as icons by locals even if it’s the Jesmond roundabout – the advert chose to exclude Grant McLennan’s key lyric that “this town is full of battered wives”.

A combination of misplaced patriotism and predictable parochialism, “town” gifts the opportunity for convenient confusion to various state and Commonwealth funding opportunities. Whether either see Newcastle as regional or metropolitan varies between projects. The criteria determining metropolitan or regional status is as rubbery as a five-dollar counter lunch.

The Newcastle City Council – perhaps soon to be rebranded as Newcastle City without the bothersome council bit – has unanimously supported that Newcastle be regarded as a metropolitan area.

Bush pollies have long claimed NSW is a smokescreen acronym for the triumvirate of Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong. Keeping Newy and Wooly snouts from the trough available for regional projects leaves more for LGAs such as Lake Macquarie. But having to put in bids in the metro funding pot alongside Sydney leaves Newcastle (bugger Wollongong) in quite a spot.

Because when Newcastle gets into bed with Sydney, we all know who gets the blankets.

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Bishop condemns Abbas’ Holocaust comments ( admin posted on August 27th, 2018 )

Mahmoud Abbas suggested Jews were responsible for their persecution in Europe.Foreign Minister Julie Bishop is “deeply concerned” the Palestinian president has suggested European Jews caused their own historical persecution.
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Mahmoud Abbas commented on the Holocaust in a speech at the Palestinian National Congress, sparking condemnation from Israel, the United Kingdom and now Australia.

“We condemn any such comments by anyone, anywhere,” Ms Bishop told reporters on the Gold Coast on Friday.

“It’s deeply regrettable that such statements should be made.

“They are anti-Semitic, they go against the facts – the historical facts – and I’m deeply concerned that a leader would make such comments.”

Israel has accused Mr Abbas of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial after the Palestinian leader suggested in a speech that historical persecution of European Jews had been caused by their conduct.

“The Jewish issue that was widespread in all European countries… was not because of their religion, but rather their social role related to usury and banks,” the 83-year-old Palestinian leader reportedly said.

Britain’s Middle-East minister Alistair Burt said any attempt to justify or explain away any element of the Holocaust is unacceptable.

“President Abbas has shown a commitment to non-violence and a two-state solution. But his recent rhetoric does not serve the interests of the Palestinian people and is deeply unhelpful to the cause of peace,” Mr Burt said in a statement.

Mr Abbas was on Friday re-elected as chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

Australian Associated Press

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Xi praises Marxism to win China’s future ( admin posted on August 28th, 2019 )

Chinese President Xi Jinping says China must continuously improve the ability to use Marxism.Chinese President Xi Jinping has hailed Karl Marx as “the greatest thinker of modern times,” in a speech seen as part of an effort so shore up his power against domestic critics.
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Xi’s address at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing was one of a series of events in China marking the bicentennial of the philosopher-economist’s birth in 1818 in Germany.

“We must win the advantages, win the initiative, and win the future. We must continuously improve the ability to use Marxism to analyze and solve practical problems,” Xi said beneath a massive portrait of the white-bearded Marx on a stage bedecked with scarlet and gold curtains.

“Today, we commemorate Marx in order to pay tribute to the greatest thinker in the history of mankind and also to declare our firm belief in the scientific truth of Marxism,” he said.

Promoting Marx is seen in part as a way for Xi to strengthen ideological control and counter critics within the ruling Communist Party unhappy with his move in March to eliminate presidential term limits. Xi is also general secretary of the ruling Communist Party, an official that is also not term-limited.

Marx’s work became the inspiration for communism, an ideology that aims for shared ownership of the means of production and the absence of social classes.

China launched market reforms three decades ago but the party keeps an iron grip on power.

Australian Associated Press

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Theoharous set to miss A-L grand final ( admin posted on August 28th, 2019 )

Christian Theoharous’ chances of playing the A-League grand final “doesn’t look great,” says coach.A crunching tackle from Luke Wilkshire looks set to rob exciting Melbourne Victory young gun Christian Theoharous of the chance to play in Saturday’s A-League grand final.
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The 18-year-old winger has barely trained all week and barring a miraculous late recovery in the morning, is all but certain to watch the clash from the stands at McDonald Jones Stadium.

Theoharous spent the first half of the week in a moon boot after the crude challenge from Wilkshire – which went unpunished – late in Victory’s 3-2 extra time win over Sydney FC in last weekend’s semi-final left him with strained ankle ligaments.

“It was a tackle that obviously got him pretty good,” coach Kevin Muscat told reporters.

“He’s struggled all week, if I’m honest.

“He tried to train yesterday without any assistance, an injection or anything like that and he was still pretty sore.

“It’s another 24 hours so we’ll see how he pulls up but it doesn’t look great for him.”

It’d be a heartbreaking outcome for Theoharous, who made his A-League debut last season but only announced himself this campaign with a string of electric performances off the bench.

Muscat will instead have to count on a similar late impact from Jai Ingham, who appears the most likely replacement for him in the extended squad, against the Newcastle Jets.

Striker Pierce Waring is another option.

Reports have linked Theoharous with a move to Germany at the end of this season but how the injury might affect those hopes of an overseas contract remains to be seen.

Muscat has given the rest of his squad a clean bill of health and says the gruelling impact of their 120-minute battle with the Sky Blues won’t have any negative physical affect on them whatsoever.

“Yes, Newcastle have had an extra day and they’re at home but our methodical training led by Anthony Crea will deliver to the players,” he said.

“It was said last week we were less physically prepared (than Sydney FC) but it was the opposition walking around with cramps after 115 minutes.

“We’ve dispelled that and the confidence and belief they’ve got in Anthony to deliver them to a grand final with maximum energy is great.”

Australian Associated Press

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Newcastle Beachwatch: Friday, May 11, 2018 ( admin posted on August 28th, 2019 )

Newcastle Beachwatch: Friday, May 11, 2018 STYLE: A surfer grabs a neat wave on Wednesday, May 9, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.
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BUILDING: The swell at Bar Beach on Thursday, May 10, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

CARVING: A /Newcastle surfer on Monday, May 7, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

MORNING DIP: Conditions at Newcastle city beach on Friday, May 4, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SCENES: A surfer cuts across a wave on Thursday, March 3, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SUNRISE: The morning sky on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

FIRST LIGHT: The scene before dawn on Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at Newcastle beach. Picture: Dave Anderson.

CALM: Conditions at Nobby’s beach on Tuesday, April 24, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

CARVING: Newcastle surfer Mark Richards at Ladies Lefts on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

WAVES: Surfers in the water at Dixon Park on Monday, April 16, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

Conditions on Sunday, April 15, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SWELL: Conditions in Newcastle on Wednesday, April 11, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SUNRISE: A surfer out for a morning paddle at Merewether on Monday, April 9, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

CARVING: A young surfer on a wave at Merewether on Thursday, April 5, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

STORMS: Merewether Baths on Wednesday, March 4, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SURFING: The beautiful autumn weather in Newcastle on Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

DAWN: Sunrise at Merewether on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

CLEAN: Shore rides at Dixon Park on Monday, March 26, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

WAVES: A surfer catches the big swell at Newcastle point on Friday, March 23, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SURF: A surfer at Nobbys bank on Thursday, March 22, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SWELL: The view of Nobbys breakwall on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

VIEWS: Sailor’s Rock at Merewether on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

GROMS: Merewether surfers on Monday, March 19, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SHINING THROUGH: Sunrise at Merewether on Friday, March 16, 2018, Picture: Dave Anderson.

SPRAY: Dawn surfing at Pogo’s on Wednesday, March 14, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

BARREL TIME: A surfer finds the right wave on Monday, March 12, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

OVERCAST: Rough conditions at Newcastle City Beach on Tuesday, March 6, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

KEEN: A young surfer at Merewether on Monday, March 5, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

MORNING: Surfers at Dixon Park. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: A surfer cuts loose at Merewether on Friday, March 2, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SURF: Taken on Wednesday, February 28, 2018. Photo: Dave Anderson.

Photo taken at Newcastle Beach on Tuesday, February 27, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SURF: Taken on Friday, February, 23, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

Photo taken on Monday, February 19. Picture: Dave Anderson.

GIRLS RIP: Photo taken at Merewether on Thursday, February 15. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SURF: Jesse Adam four times winner Open Mens Division Merewether Surfboard Club 2017. Piucture: Davbe Anderson

BEACH: Ollie and Felix with dolphins at Merewether. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: The view at Merewether Beach on November 9. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: The view at Merewether Beach on November 8. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: The view at Newcastle Beach … Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Beautiful morning. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Chris Davis at Merewether on October 25. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Nick at Merewether on October 24. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Todd at Merewether on October 24. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Dawn at Merewether on October 23, 2017. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Erosion at Cliff. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Axel-Rose Curotta at the Mattara Classic. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Amelia Bourke at Merewether on October 20. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Amelia Bourke at Merewether on October 20. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Kite-surfers at Nobby’s. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Sunday arvo at Newcastle. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Merewether morning on September 21. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Dixon Park. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Nobbys Spit on September 20. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Stockton on September 20. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Gleaming grom at Merewether on September 19. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Hollow shorey at Pogos on September 19. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Heavy shorebreaker at Nobbys on September 18. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Backpacker surfer at Nobbys. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: The spit at Nobbys on September 18. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Morning SUP at Pogos. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Ski Paddle at Dixon. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Nobbys. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Cleaning at Merewether beach. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Ollie at Merewether. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Ollie Ryssenbeek navigates The Ladies on September 12. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Dixon Park on September 12. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Morgan Cibilic at Merewether training for the Junior Worlds on September 11. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Morgan Cibilic at Merewether training for the Junior Worlds on September 11. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Off-reef at Nobbys on September 11. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Paul Snow at Merewether. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Backside glide Merewether. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Dawn sets at Merewether on September 7. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Gulls at Nobbys on September 7. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Twin Peaks at Merewether on September 6. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Nobbys spit on September 5. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Sanding-up at Merwether on September 4. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Super Grom at Merewether on September 3. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF: Father’s Day at the beach. Picture: Dave Anderson

SURF:Photo taken on Thursday, March 1, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

SUNNY: Sunrise at Dixon Park beach on Thursday, March 13, 2018. Picture: Dave Anderson.

TweetFacebookBEACH WATCHMuch cooler day along the coast with strong offshore winds which will knock the swell down. Conditions smaller and not too consistent. Low pressure moving down the coast to provide an increase for the weekend. Swell from the East to S/E around 1m. Wind fresh to strong Westerly. Early high tide to fill some breaks and try the more protected southern corners. 1st up check Cowrie Hole,Bar Reef and Merewether. Newcastle Beach towards late morning low tide. Southern corners of Dudley and Catho. One Mile up at Port Stephens. Swimming conditions okay and it will be warmer in than out. Bar Beach, Nobbys and Merewether are patrolled. Water temp 19C.

– Dave Anderson

HUNTER BOATINGWindsWesterly 25 to 30 knots, reaching up to 35 knots offshore north of Norah Head early in the morning and again in the late evening.

Seas2 to 3 metres. Swell: Northeasterly around 1 metre.

WeatherPartly cloudy. The chance of a thunderstorm offshore.

NEWCASTLE SHIPPINGARRIVALS

Yesterday:Kanda Logger, 12.48am; Sincere Pisces, 7.10am; Pheonix Ocean, 7.36am;Taiyo, 9.30am; Sealink, 2.42pm; Ttm Hope, 7pm; New Leonindas, 11.45pm.

Today: Tohokumaru, 12.15am; Ns Silver, 2am; Spirit Of Ho-ping, 7.45am; Hl Boryeong, 12.45pm; Crystal Wind, 4pm; Ocean Rhea, 8pm.

DEPARTURES

Yesterday: Cape Harvest, 2.24am; Shinchi Maru, 3.36am; Nanakura, 4.10am; Nanchang, 8.24am; La Briantais, 3.25pm; Star Jennifer, 4.30pm; Maria Carla, 6pm; Pheonix Ocean, 10.30pm.

Today: Asahi Maru, 2.45am; Sincere Pisces, 3.30am; Cape Zenith, 4.49am; Taiyo, 2.45pm; Tohokumaru, 5.30pm.

AIR QUALITYNewcastleGood

WallsendGood

BeresfieldGood

SingletonFair

MuswellbrookFair

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Six-storey deep sinkhole opens on NZ farm ( admin posted on August 28th, 2019 )

The area often develops sinkholes due to degrading limestone rock beneath the ground’s surface.A spectacular sinkhole the length of two football fields and the depth of a six-storey building has opened up on a New Zealand farm.
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A worker stumbled upon the chasm before dawn this week when he was rounding up cows for milking on the farm near the North Island town of Rotorua. It appeared after several days of heavy rainfall.

Farm manager Colin Tremain told Newshub television he didn’t realise just how big the hole was until he saw it in the daylight.

He said the area often developed sinkholes due to degrading limestone rock beneath the ground’s surface.

GNS Science volcanologist Brad Scott told Newshub the sinkhole was three times larger than any he’d seen before.

He said an underground cavity would have developed over decades.

Tremain said he’s planning to install a fence so livestock don’t fall into the sinkhole.

Australian Associated Press

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A-League grand final: Jets striker hopes to repeat history for sports mad city ( admin posted on August 28th, 2019 )

IN THE ZONE: Newcastle Jets striker Roy O’Donovan at the final hit out before the A-League grand final against Melbourne Victory on Saturday. Picture” Max Mason-HubersJETS’ hired gun Roy O’Donovan was a teenage rookie when the strikerhelped steer his home town club Cork City to a league title on the final day of the season.
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It was a day he will never forget.

“We don’t have the same grand-final thing over there, but it happened to be the first and second placed team played each other in the last game of the season,” he said. “It was at our home ground and if they won, they won the league. If we won, we won the league.”

Cork City beat Derry City, sparking wild scenes.

“Cork is not the capital. It is a big industrial city, it is working class but they love their sport and they love a winning team,” O’Donovan said.

O’Donovan has since played at Wembley, where hisNorthampton Town were defeated by Bradford City in England’s 2013 League Two play-off final and has won the Singapore League Cup with Brunei DPMM.

But he said a win over Victory in the A-League grand final would rank along side the Cork triumph.

“This is up there, this is huge,” he said. “The beauty of football is that I have got to play in lots of different places. Australia is special for me. It feels like home, maybe because of that connection with Cork and a sporting city.”

I’m looking forward to Saturday and hopefully doing something special.”

After migrating north from the Central Coast, O’Donovan made an instant impact at the Jets, netting seven goals in five games until injury, suspension and inconsistency hampered the 32-year-old’s campaign.

“Of course it has been frustrating,” he said. “I was flying the first six weeks and my aspiration and goals were a lot higher but you cut them back with the injury.That 10-12 week period out was hard but it would have been a lot worse if I’d been sitting up in the stands and we were losing every week.”

Three weeks ago he turned a corner, bagging a double in a 8-2 rout of his old club.

“Melbourne Victory have a fantastic team so they’re going to pose a different challenge to what Melbourne City did,” he said.

“But it’s something we’re all relishing. You want to play against the best the A-League has to offer and Victory are definitely up there.”

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Williamtown fatal crash:  Family keeping hope alive with DPP appeal ( admin posted on July 28th, 2019 )

TRAGEDY: The scene of the fatal crash at Williamtown on January 21, 2015. In April, nearly a year after being found guilty, Robert Gawdat Shashati was jailed for two years and three months. The DPP has now lodged an inadequacy appeal against the sentence. Picture: Simone De PeakTHE MOTHER of a seven-year-old boy killed when his ice-fuelled uncle crashed into an embankment at Williamtownis hopeful justice can still be served after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) lodged an inadequacy appeal against the two-yearjail term he received last month.
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Robert Gawdat Shashati, 38, was weaving in and out of traffic, crossing to the wrong side of the road, swearing, speeding, blasting loud musicand undertaking cars on the grass verge before he crashed on Medowie Road and killed his nephew, Marcus Shashati, on January 21, 2015.

And after a protracted andemotional three-year legal process, which was complicated when the trial judge became ill and died, Shashati was in April jailed for a maximum of four years and six months, with a non-parole period of two years and three months, a decision that prompted Marcus’s mother, Claudia Boyagi Shashati, to collapse outside a Sydney court.

INADEQUACY APPEAL: Robert Shashati outside Sydney’s Downing Centre in March. Picture: Sam Rigney

“Marcus received a death penalty, we received life, and the convicted gets bed-and-breakfast,” Ms Boyagi Shashati said after the decision.

“The penalty served today wasn’t harsh enough, and neither is it long enough.”

And, it appears,the prosecution agrees,with the DPP lodging an inadequacy appeal against the length of the sentence in the Court of Criminal Appeal.

“We are certainly grateful that the DPP have acted so quickly in relation to this matter,” Ms Boyagi Shashati told the Newcastle Herald.

“And we are still hopeful that justice will be fairly served this time around for Marcus.We will keep positive and see it through.”

Shashati was last year found guilty of aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death, which carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail, after a trial in Newcastle District Court.

He had pleaded guilty to dangerous driving occasioning death, but, despite a blood analysis finding he had 0.32mg/L of methylamphetamine in his system,had denied being “very substantially impaired” by ice at the time of the crash.

Throughout thetrial, Shashati had maintained he had last used ice five days before the crash.

But once convicted, Shashati changed his story and told judge Peter Maiden – who took over the matter when acting judge Raymond McLoughlin became ill and died in January – he now remembered he had smoked ice on the day of the crash.

“The last time I consumed methylamphetamine [before the crash] was after lunch,” Shashati said.

The defence had pressed Mr Maiden for a discount on his sentence because, they said, his plea narrowed the issue of the trial and saved court time.

But his not guilty plea and version about his ice use meantMarcus’s two brothers had to give evidence and re-live that horrific day.

The court heard Shashati had sought help for his drug problems and depression, and had developed a strong religious faith.

“I do find he expressed remorse and is unlikely to offend again in this way,” the judge said.

Judge Maiden’s sentence means that Shashati iscurrently eligible for parole in July, 2020.

The matter is listed for mention in the Court of Criminal Appeal on June 27.

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Qld govt response to koala report slammed ( admin posted on July 28th, 2019 )

Wildlife experts have slammed the Queensland government’s response to a report on koalas.The Queensland government’s response to a expert panel report addressing the koala’s drastically dwindling numbers has been labelled “hot air”.
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Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch has vowed to hone the state government’s protection strategy after accepting all six recommendations by an expert panel.

She will also set up a Koala Advisory Council to oversee the strategy after the panel noted the state’s koala population decline may be escalating.

Ms Enoch on Friday said the council would comprise government, industry and community stakeholders, also pointing to the tightened tree-clearing laws passed in state parliament on Thursday.

“The recommendations provide a thorough and innovative template to balance urban growth with the need to address the decline of koalas in southeast Queensland,” she said.

But Australian Koala Foundation boss Deborah Tabart said the response falls short.

“What I would say to the premier is ‘you need to stop any habitats going down now’,” she told AAP.

Panel leader Jonathan Rhodes, from the University of Queensland, said the report has put the state on a clearer path to better koala protection.

He said habitat loss was the primary reason for the decline but it’s not known how many koalas are left in the wild.

Associate Professor Rhodes said the dramatic decline in southeast Queensland was worst shown in the Redlands area where numbers have dropped by 80 per cent in 20 years.

“Loss of habitat is from urban development, which is regulated by the planning framework,” he said.

“If we’re serious about trying to protect koalas in southeast Queensland, we have to look at the planning framework.”

Ms Tabart criticised the establishment of the advisory council given the inclusion of business representatives.

“It’s all just hot air,” she said.

“It’s always just yet another committee. This panel was supposed to be the experts. Who are they going to invite? The developers, I suppose.

“If you do not allow koalas to live in their trees and have access to other bushland, extinction occurs.

“The koala needs a piece of legislation saying, ‘these trees cannot be cut down’. That’s the only way this is going to work.”

Australian Associated Press

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Aust journo jailed in Cambodia in hospital ( admin posted on July 28th, 2019 )

An Australian journalist and filmmaker jailed in Cambodia on espionage charges has been sent to a prison hospital after contracting a chest infection and suffering dizzy spells, his family says.
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James Ricketson is staying at the hospital inside the notorious Prey Sar Prison, following a visit to a Phnom Penh hospital last month with chest pains, Alexandra Kennett, partner of James’ son Jesse, told AAP.

“James has been experiencing a large variety of medical complaints since the hot season started. He has recently been moved to the prison hospital for supervision but unfortunately they do not have the provisions to offer him sufficient care,” she said.

She said Ricketson was also suffering from skin irritations, loss of energy, loss of weight and frequent dizzy spells and his family was hopeful that he can be moved to a more equipped hospital for a proper medical examination and diagnosis.

“We are deeply concerned about his health situation given that we have not seen any improvements for months now and as we move further into the hot season, we are worried that his condition is only going to get worse without proper treatment.”

“Without this we have little faith that his condition will improve,” Kennett said.

Ricketson was accused of gathering information that poses a threat to Cambodia’s national security, which has been linked to the dissolution of the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party, amid a crackdown on political dissent ahead of elections scheduled for July 29.

Police are evaluating data on the journalist’s computer and mobile phones, including thousands of emails, which were confiscated at the time of his arrest in June last year.

The filmmaker sent a letter to the Australian ambassador to Cambodia in April that was published on Facebook on Thursday.

He urged the Australian embassy to ensure he receives “the full medical check-up that was agreed upon,” along with treatment for chest pain and lung fluid.

“It is now 10 days since an X-ray of my chest was taken at the Calmette hospital – if the nature of my problem has been identified by the radiologist or doctor, this information has not been passed on to me,” Ricketson wrote in the letter.

His plight has moved many in Australia, where a petition calling for his release has generated some 66,000 signatures. Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has intervened and written a letter to the Cambodian government on Ricketson’s behalf.

He has been refused bail and a date has yet to be set for his next hearing, as the “judge is still conducting his investigation in the case,” his lawyer Peung Yok Hiep told dpa.

Ricketson says there is no case to answer and that he was simply carrying out his work as a journalist when arrested.

The Australian Embassy, which is providing regular consular assistance, in Phnom Penh could not be reached for comment.

Australian Associated Press

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Media trying to destroy my legacy: R.Kelly ( admin posted on July 28th, 2019 )

Singer R. Kelly says he is ‘heartbroken’ by the allegations of sexual mistreatment of women.US singer R. Kelly says the media is attempting to distort and destroy his legacy by reporting allegations that he sexually mistreats women.
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The R&B artist said in a statement Friday that he is “heartbroken” by the accusations.

Calling himself “a God-fearing man, a son, a brother, and most importantly a father,” Kelly said the media “has dissected and manipulated these false allegations”.

Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges in Chicago in 2008, but speculation about his alleged sexual misconduct has continued. Last month, the MuteRKelly hashtag campaign was launched.

He said he is not the subject of any criminal investigations.

Kelly said the accusations “perpetuated by the media” are an “attempt to distort my character and to destroy my legacy that I have worked so hard to build”.

Australian Associated Press

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Australia boosts aid to Myanmar crisis ( admin posted on July 28th, 2019 )

Australia is chipping in an extra $13 million in aid to help people from Myanmar ethnic minority groups fleeing violence at the hands of the country’s military.
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The plight of Rohingya people in Rakhine state has received much international attention, following an exodus of more than 700,000 people to neighbouring Bangladesh after a military crackdown last August.

An estimated 500,000 Rohingya people remaining behind in Myanmar are in need of humanitarian relief.

Human rights abuses and conflict in Kachin and the northern Shan states have also ramped up.

Since early April, an estimated 5000 people in the northern Kachin state have fled their homes because of intensified fighting between the military and rebels.

“The Australian government calls on all parties to end the fighting, protect civilian populations, and allow humanitarian assistance to be delivered to affected communities,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.

Ms Bishop said the $13 million would go to aid groups such as Save the Children and the UN’s refugee agency to help provide health care, shelter and schooling in Rakhine state.

Save the Children will receive $1 million to train teachers and expand an existing education program in Rakhine state which works with displaced kids.

In Kachin and Shan states Australia’s support would help protect families fleeing violence.

Last week, Ms Bishop announced an extra $15 million of assistance for the Rohingya refugee camps at Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.

Australia’s total assistance to the Rohingya crisis is $51.5 million since last September.

Australian Associated Press

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