Big weekend at motocross open

Written by admin on 09/07/2018 Categories: 南京夜网

Big weekend at motocross open A Grade and B Grade riders line up for the start of the Senior Lites race. Picture: Amy Paton

Geelong rider Layla Norton builds up speed. Picture: Amy Paton

Geelong rider Aaron Murphy at his highest point. Picture: Amy Paton

The start of the A grade and B grade Senior Lites race. Picture: Amy Paton

Horsham rider Bailey Thomas jumps the highest part of the course. Picture: Amy Paton

Horsham rider Cory Watts gives a wave as he speeds by. Picture: Amy Paton

Geelong rider Peter Kearney followed by Blue Rock MCC rider Hayden Joyce. Picture: Amy Paton

Bendigo rider Toby Frisch. Picture: Amy Paton

Bacchus Marsh rider Jordan Brown. Picture: Amy Paton

A rider passes over a peak in the course. Picture: Amy Paton

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DNA in rape cold case links Perth man to New Zealand attacks

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A police image compiled from descriptions of a serial rapist operating in Hamilton in 2007. Photo: Supplied A woman who was raped by Hamilton’s serial rapist revisits the scene near the main street. Photo: Iain McGregor/Fairfax NZ

The press conference about the 2007 serial rapist case will be held at the Hamilton Central Police Station. Photo: Bruce Mercer/Fairfax NZ

Police have linked a man found dead in Perth with the rape of at least three women in New Zealand in 2007.

Details of the breakthrough were revealed by Detective Inspector Chris Page during a press conference in Hamilton on Wednesday.

The offender left New Zealand in 2008 at the age of 28, Page said. He had been working as a bouncer at a Hamilton bar. He was identified through DNA lodged through Interpol in 2015, which was matched to the body found in Perth.

It is only the DNA evidence that relates the man to the investigation into the 2007 serial rapist case, which Hamilton police dubbed Operation Phil. Page said that in May 2013, the same man was arrested in Australia for a non-sexual minor offence.  It was at that point DNA was taken.

The man died in non-suspicious circumstances in July 2013 – weeks after his DNA was taken – and police would not be releasing his name. However, they did say the Operation Phil file would be closed.

Operation Phil was investigating the rapes in 2007 of three women in Hamilton in as many months, all tied to the same offender.

On Wednesday morning, one of the three victims said a detective had informed her the suspect had been found dead by his own hand in Australia.

She spoke out six months after the 2007 attack in an effort to shed new light on the police investigation.

The then 43-year-old from Hamilton said the attack left her traumatised.

She was the third of the man’s alleged victims but unlike the first two, was not coaxed into a car by the young man.

Instead she said she was approached as she sat in the central business district in the early hours of a Saturday morning.

She had been drinking at home and had gone to a 24-hour cafe in the city to buy food and cigarettes when the man sat down beside her in Victoria Street.

“I said to him, do you know where to get any tinnies from? He said, yeah, come with me. He wasn’t scary looking or anything. I wasn’t worried at the time.”

The man, who was in his 20s with shoulder-length blond hair, led the woman behind a building on the river side of the street, where he suddenly demanded she get on her knees.

After sexually violating and raping the woman, he smacked her in the head and punched her in the face.

When the offender finally fled, the woman found a couple who helped her call police from a pay-phone.

In January 2008, he said police had been working through a process of elimination from a list of more than 1000 names since the attacks began in April 2007.

Family background inquiries had gone as far afield as Australia, he said, but no single suspect was believed to have fled across the Tasman.

“I’m confident we will get this guy . . .” he said then, “but it’s going to take time.”


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Malaysian PM Najib Razak’s gift of millions from Saudi Arabia to be probed

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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has returned almost all the money. Photo: Lai Seng SinNajib got nearly $1bn ‘personal donation’ from Saudis

Bangkok: Saudi Arabia says it will investigate a claim by Malaysia’s Attorney-General that embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak returned US$620 million ($881 million) to Saudi’s royal family from his personal bank account in 2013.

The failure of Saudi authorities to immediately confirm the transfer has deepened mystery about US$700 million that was transferred into Mr Najib’s personal bank account.

Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi said the money was an entirely legal “personal donation” from the Saudi family which asked for nothing in return.

But amid a furore over the escalating scandal that has engulfed Mr Najib his critics said it was implausible the money came as a personal donation.

A spokesperson for the Saudi Foreign Ministry said no further comment would be made at the moment about the claim by Mr Apandi, who said on Tuesday he had ordered the country’s anti-corruption commission to close an investigation into the money transfers.

Saudi Arabia King Abdullah died a year ago.

Mr Najib on Wednesday ignored a barrage of criticism for failing to explain key questions about the money, saying only in a statement the controversy “has been an unnecessary distraction for the country.”

“Now that the matter has been comprehensively put to rest, it is time to unite move on,” he said.

However opposition politicians are demanding to know what happened to US$61 million that, according to Mr Apandi, was not sent back to the Saudi Royal family from Mr Najib’s account.

They also want to know who specifically donated the money, why it was donated and why it took more than six months for the government to say where the money came from.

The Wall Street Journal has reported the money flowed to Mr Najib’s account through an anonymous British Virgin Islands company and a Swiss private bank account wholly owned by an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund that is intertwined with Malaysia’s heavily indebted sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, which Mr Najib established in 2009 and still oversees through chairmanship of an advisory committee.

The closest Mr Najib has come to explaining the money came in a statement issued hours after Mr Apandi’s announcement.

“I appreciate that political funding is a topic of concern to many people,” Mr Najib said, adding that opposition MPs had blocked party funding reform proposals he had initiated in 2010.

“I have instructed them to be put forward again for discussion,” he said.

Authorities in the United States and several other countries are continuing to investigate the money transfers and links to the 1Malaysia fund that is struggling to pay US$11 billion in debts and is selling off assets.

Mr Apandi’s announcement, which was greeted with widespread scepticism and derision, has intensified pressure on Mr Najib to resign, including from within the ranks of his long-ruling United Malays National Organisation.

Leading opposition MP Rafizi Ramli said the announcement had only made the situation “more ridiculous” and described the prime minister as a “clown”.

“This can only happen in fairytales,” he said.

National Human Rights Society president Ambiga Sreenevasan said Malaysians were entitled to know the reasons why Mr Apandi has shut down the investigation.

“So far as I can see, the explanation given is not enough because at the end any explanation must make sense and this doesn’t make sense,” she said.

Veteran newspaper editor and commentator A Kadir Jasin said Mr Najib may be safe from prosecution now “but despite the Attorney-General closing the case, the court of public opinion will continue to try him.”

“As for all of us, we have to do some serious soul searching if we care for this country and its future,” he said.

As well asserting that Mr Najib had received the money from the Saudi family, Mr Apandi said there was “no evidence” that the prime minister “had any knowledge” of about US$10 million that was transferred into his accounts from a company owned by the Finance Ministry known as SRC, which handles the savings of Malaysian government employees.

Mr Najib was “of the belief” that any of the money he spent had come from the Saudi royal family, Mr Apandi said.

Mr Apandi was appointed Attorney-General by Mr Najib when the incumbent attorney-general abruptly stepped down after the scandal broke last year.

In October Mr Apandi rejected the recommendations of Malaysia’s central bank to begin criminal proceedings against 1Malaysia Development Berhad for allegedly breaking foreign-exchange laws, saying there was insufficient evidence.

The fund is facing an auditor general’s probe into its affairs.

-With agencies

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Bloomberg editor quits over questions of aggressive-enough coverage of boss

Written by admin on 20/09/2019 Categories: 南京夜网

Billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is plotting a possible White House run. Photo: Ruth FremsonA veteran Bloomberg News editor has quit because she fears the news agency won’t cover the fledgling campaign by her billionaire boss for the White House in an aggressive-enough fashion.
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“The bottom line is, you can’t cover the circus unless you can write about one of the biggest elephants in the room,” the Huffington Post quoted Kathy Kiely, the Washington news director for Bloomberg news, as saying.

“I did not feel we could cover the Bloomberg trial balloon in the aggressive way I thought it deserved,” Kiely told HuffPost.

“I think there are a lot of good people at Bloomberg making an honest effort to work this out,” said the editor who’s covered every presidential campaign since 1980. “I just feel very strongly that the rules of the game should be the same for everybody.”

There have long been restrictions on Bloomberg News reporters on how they cover the 73-year-old former mayor of New York City, who owns the company, the report said.

There was scant coverage from the news agency about his plans, announced at the weekend, to possibly run as an independent candidate and then on Tuesday, the agency ran a Washington Post story “about the possibility of Bloomberg running at a time when 42 percent of Americans identify as independent,” the report said.

When the New York Times story first appeared, the company sent out an email reminding staff of the procedure for reporting on Bloomberg’s doings, Politico reported. Reporters were asked to “refrain” from writing about the boss’s possible candidacy without first consulting the “Standards Team”.

“Please don’t write or sum anything on Mike Bloomberg’s potential presidential run without speaking to [senior executive editor of standards at Bloomberg LP] Tim Quinson or someone else on the Standards team,” the e-mail said.

As part of the agency’s policy on how to report on themselves or the founder, the style guide says “Bloomberg News doesn’t cover Michael Bloomberg’s wealth or personal life”, Politico said.

Kiely joined Bloomberg News last year after reports of tensions over control of political coverage between the Washington and New York offices, the report said.

The Princeton graduate previously worked for The Pittsburgh Press, The Houston Post and The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, and was a White House correspondent for the New York Daily News. She served on the Standing Committee of Correspondents, which handles press credentialling and logistics for Capitol Hill and the presidential nominating conventions.

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Man charged after footage of Cronulla attack was posted on social media

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A bystander filmed the incident on his mobile phone. Photo: Seven NewsA man has been charged by police after graphic footage was uploaded to social media showing two teenage boys being attacked outside a bar near Cronulla Police Station on the weekend.
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The 27-year-old will face court on Thursday charged over the alleged assault, which left an 18-year-old man with a broken nose and another with bruising to his head in the early hours of Sunday morning.

A witness used a mobile phone to filmed the alleged attack, near Sting Bar and just across the road from Cronulla Police Station on The Kingsway, about 1.40am on Sunday. That footage was later uploaded to social media, police say.

The footage shows two teenagers attempting to run away from an older man, as the person filming pleads: “Stop, stop!”

The older man is shown in the footage punching one of the teenagers to the head, before one of the teenagers falls to the ground. The older man, who has taken off his shirt, is then shown in the footage yelling as he stands over the teenager on the ground.

Police said both 18-year-olds reported the assault to Cronulla Police Station on Monday, and detectives launched an investigation.

One of the teenagers had suffered a broken nose and facial injuries, while the other sustained bruising to the back of his head, police said.

On Wednesday afternoon, a 27-year-old man was arrested at Miranda Police Station and charged with two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm in company; recklessly causing grievous bodily harm in company; two counts of common assault; and affray.

He was refused police bail and is due to appear in Sutherland Local Court on Thursday.

Detectives are continuing to investigate the incident. */]]>

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Films: Charlie Kaufman’s Anomalisa explores meaning of life and identity

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Same again: Kate Winslet’s Clementine Kruczynski is forever doomed to fall in love with Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Photo: Supplied”I kind of make it a point,” says Charlie Kaufman​ diffidently, “not to explain why things are or what they mean.” Over the years, he has pointedly not explained a lot of things: whether Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is telling us love is an illusion; who the twin brother he gives himself in Adaptation really is; whether the quiz show host in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind is a Russian spy or not. Right now, an intense German journalist has asked whether Anomalisa, his new film about a man who sees everyone around him as identical, is supposed to be a commentary on the state of America. Even Kaufman has to laugh at that one.
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Anomalisa is co-directed by Kaufman with Duke Johnson, who makes stop-motion animation. Directors habitually worry about the so-called “uncanny valley”, that effect of CGI that looks almost real but not quite not real enough. With Anomalisa, Kaufman and Johnson move into Uncanny Valley and pull up the drawbridge: it looks very odd. It also sounds odd. Everyone except the two main characters is voiced with eerie blandness by the actor Tom Noonan. Michael is voiced by David Thewlis; Jennifer Jason Leigh plays Lisa, the only person Michael perceives as different from everyone else, his “anomaly”.

And now here we are with Kaufman, who doesn’t want to explain anything. Actually, he doesn’t need to. Everything he wants to say is in the films; you just need to join the dots. I give it a go.

So, where does it all come from? “I don’t have a lot of inspiration,” Kaufman sighs. “I mostly just sit there and worry that I don’t have any inspiration. That is really what I do. I mostly can’t write if that is what you are asking. I struggle to do it. There are no set hours … I worry, especially if I’m working on something. I worry for years, sometimes. But non-stop.”

I think we knew that. Remember the writer also called “Charlie Kaufman” in Adaptation, who can’t seem to get past the fact he’s writing a script “about flowers”. Think of the director in Synecdoche, New York who keeps building rooms on to his theatre to house scenes from the play/life that will never be finished. Until he is finished, of course, which happens to us all. Death! The briefness of our span is always in there somewhere. Look at the desiccated group of elderly in Being John Malkovich, preparing to move en masse into Malkovich’s mind. They want to live forever – but they are also dying to die.

Who are these people? In Anomalisa, the puppets representing Michael and Lisa are modelled on real people: Michael on Duke Johnson’s brother-in-law; Lisa on a woman the directors scouted in a restaurant in an informal casting. “We didn’t want them to look like the actors who were playing them,” says Kaufman. “I think it then becomes like a stunt and it takes you out of the story. You see it a lot in big-budget animations … where you go ‘oh yeah OK, it’s Chris Rock!'”

But it’s not just about letting the work stand alone. The fluidity – or terrifying uncertainty – of identity is central to Kaufman’s films. From those wannabe John Malkoviches to the humans surging with animal lusts in Human Nature to the actors playing other actors playing themselves in Synecdoche, New York, nobody is a fixed entity. And what is an entity, anyway? Just a fleshy carapace containing memories – which, as in Eternal Sunshine, can be neatly erased.

And what’s it all for? “I think we are all stuck in our bodies, stuck in our lives, stuck in our situations, you know. Stuck in the world. I think that’s true,” Kaufman says as he gets up to escape into San Sebastian’s network of bars. A man could get lost in there forever, which is possibly what he would like right now. As for being stuck in our situations: that’s Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine, forever doomed to fall in love, get bored and leave the same man, over and over again. Something similar happens to Michael in Anomalisa, but I won’t ruin it with explanations. As Kaufman advises, you can see it and work it out for yourself.

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Backlash after Joseph Fiennes cast as Michael Jackson in Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon

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Michael Jackson appears in the documentary film, Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall, directed by Spike Lee. The film is running at the Sundance Film Festival.#OscarsSoWhite: Will Smith won’t attend awards but says it’s ‘not about me’
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As the entertainment industry continues to grapple with the backlash over a second year of all-white nominations at the Academy Awards, a new casting announcement has provoked fresh criticism about the lack of diversity on screen and preference for white actors even when telling the story of people of colour.

Joseph Fiennes will play African-American pop star and icon Michael Jackson in an upcoming half-hour show by Sky Arts called Elizabeth, Michael & Marlon, which tells the story of a reported trip the star took with Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attack on New York.

The show is to be a half-hour comedy, according to the network, not a film as was reported by some media outlets, and will screen later in 2016. It tells a story first reported by Vanity Fair in 2011, about how when the Twin Towers came down, Jackson, Brando and Taylor fled New York city by car and ended up taking a long road trip together.

But the announcement this week that Jackson would be played by Fiennes, a white actor most famous for playing William Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love, clearly stuck a nerve at a time when public anger about the lack of diversity in Hollywood was already running high.

Most critics have acknowledged that casting actors to play Jackson has always been a somewhat vexed question because of the way his appearance dramatically changed throughout his career. The pop singer suffered from vitiligo, as confirmed by the case report following his death, and his skin colour lightened over his adult life. He reportedly also underwent more than one rhinoplasty surgery which altered the shape of his nose.

“You don’t cast a white actor to play Michael Jackson – you get a black guy to play him, because MJ was black even when he was ‘white’,” wrote Aisha Harris at Slate.

“Just because our relationship and understanding of him evolved as his persona became more feminine and his skin tone more pale, that doesn’t mean he was a fundamentally different person  – he was still the same guy who donned a wildly amazing ‘fro on the cover of Off the Wall, the same dynamic superstar who had to fight to get his music videos played on MTV in the early ’80s because they were reluctant to play black artists at the time.”I’m fine with Joseph Fiennes playing Michael Jackson as long as Viola Davis plays Marlon Brando.— Sam Adams (@SamuelAAdams) January 27, 2016

There is a long history of white actors playing people of colour on screen, from crude blackface depictions of African-Americans to the recent Biblical epic Exodus, which starred Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton as Ancient Egyptians, or Emma Stone being cast as a a woman of mixed Hawaiian, Chinese and Caucasian background in Aloha.

Stereo Williams, an entertainment writer for the Daily Beast, pointed out the casting announcement came not only as the industry grappled with the #OscarsSoWhite backlash, but also followed a landmark speech in the UK by British actor Idris Elba about the lack of opportunities for black artists on screen.

“There is both a casual ambivalence and quiet hostility towards broadening the range of opportunities for non-white stars to truly thrive in the mainstream,” wrote Williams, “and things like casting a white man to play Michael Jackson only serve as further proof that there are filmmakers who are deeply determined to tune out the cultural conversation.”Too crazy for words! #JosephFiennes playing Michael Jackson! What next? Tom Cruise playing Muhammad Ali? Uma Thurman playing Rosa Parks?— Duncan Whitehead (@DuncanWhitehead) January 27, 2016

A spokeswoman for Sky did not respond to questions from Fairfax Media about the casting decision but said in a statement:

“[The show] is part of a series of comedies about unlikely stories from arts and cultural history. Sky Arts gives producers the creative freedom to cast roles as they wish, within the diversity framework which we have set.”

Fiennes confirmed the casting in an interview with WENN, in which he said the script was a “challenge”.

“It’s a lovely thing about Michael’s relationship with Liz Taylor and Marlon Brando. It’s a fun, light-hearted tongue in cheek road trip of what celebrity of that kind is like. But also it’s rather beautiful and poignant about their relationships as well,” he said.

The roles of Taylor and Brando will be played by Stockard Channing and Brian Cox.Joseph Fiennes can play Michael Jackson. (A real person). But Idris can’t play James Bond (a fake spy for a fake agency)? Cool, cool, cool.— Prentice Penny (@The_A_Prentice) January 27, 2016

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Malaysian A-G’s decision to clear PM Najib Razak over $1b gift could be reviewed

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Saudi $1bn gift to PM
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Malaysia’s anti-graft commission says it wants a review of the attorney-general’s decision to clear prime minister Najib Razak of criminal charges over a multi-million dollar scandal.

The commission’s decision scuttled a call by Mr Najib to end the controversy despite his failure to explain why almost $US700 million ($990 million) was transferred into his personal bank accounts in 2013.

Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali’s order to shutdown the commission’s investigation into the mysterious money transfers has provoked outrage and derision in the country Mr Najib has led for seven years.

Reuters quotes a source at the commission saying investigators had last month recommended that Mr Najib be charged with criminal misappropriation over the transfers.

“It’s a pretty straightforward case. We had made recommendations for charges to be filed that the attorney-general has instead chosen to reject,” said the source, who declined to be identified or to elaborate on the commission’s findings.

The independent news website Malaysiakini also quotes sources saying the commission had proposed three charges against Mr Najib under the penal code relating to “dishonest misappropriation of property”.

The website quotes sources saying the charges related the transfer of money originating from a company owned by the Finance Ministry called SRC.

The allegations are potentially explosive because SRC handles the pensions of government employees.

Malaysiakini said it could not obtain official confirmation about the charges, while Mr Najib has repeatedly denied any wrong-doing.

The commission said in a statement it will ask two panels, including the Operations Review Panel set-up to monitor its operations, to review Mr Apandi’s decision.

Hours later the commission’s strategic communications director Rohaizad Yaakob said the review request was part of its normal case management procedure prior to closing a case, adding that it should not be interpreted as rejecting the decision.

Mr Rohaizad also said that any statement made by any individual is not the official view of the commission.

Opposition MP Lim Kit Siang said he believes the commission issued the second statement due to pressure from Mr Najib’s embattled government.

“It clearly shows that the anti-corruption commission made recommendations for action to be taken against Mr Najib but this was rejected, that’s why they sought a review,” he said.

Mr Apandi announced on Tuesday that money transferred to Mr Najib was a legal “personal donation” from Saudi Arabia’s royal family and that $US620 million was returned five months later.

But authorities in Saudi Arabia have failed to confirm any transfers to or from Mr Najib’s accounts, deepening the scandal that has prompted growing calls for the prime minister to resign, including from within his long-ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).

Opposition MPs are demanding to know what happened to the $US61 million that, according to Mr Apandi, was not sent back to the Saudi Royal family from Mr Najib’s account.

They also want to know who specifically donated the money, why it was donated and why it took more than six months for the government to say where the money came from.

The Wall Street Journal has reported the money flowed to Mr Najib’s account through an anonymous British Virgin Islands company and a Swiss private bank account wholly owned by an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund that is intertwined with Malaysia’s heavily indebted sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, which Mr Najib established in 2009 and still oversees through chairmanship of an advisory committee.

Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, Mr Najib’s fiercest critic, said in a blog that having so much money in Mr Najib’s accounts was wrong in itself, and the attorney-general’s role as both judge and prosecutor amounted to an injustice.

Mr Najib, the British-educated son of a former prime minister, has maintained the backing of powerful division chiefs in his party despite the escalating scandal that has engulfed his leadership for months, analysts say.

The divisions have long benefited from largesse that has flowed through the UMNO ranks.

Mr Najib has replaced critics in his government with loyalists, sacked the previous attorney-general who had been investigating him and cracked down on the media.

Following Mr Apandi’s announcement, Mr Najib said the controversy has been an “unnecessary distraction” for the country and claimed that “now the matter has been comprehensively put to rest” it was time for Malaysians to unite and move on.

With agencies

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Networking – Sunrise to rise earlier

Written by admin on 19/08/2019 Categories: 南京夜网

Even earlier starts for Sunrise’s David Koch and Samantha Armytage.Early riser
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Seven’s morning news and entertainment program Sunrise is to make an earlier start.  From Monday, February 1, it begins  at 5.30am, coming into line with rival Today on Nine. With a new set from renowned American television set designer Jim Fenhagan (Good Morning America and NBC Today), Sunrise will replace Seven Early News, which will move to 5am. Not Good news

Julianna Margulies, star of Ten’s The Good Wife, has hinted the series might soon be ending. The show’s creators, Robert and Michelle King, have confirmed they will leave the drama when the current season ends, then speaking at a recent awards ceremony, Margulies seemed to confirm that once they left, that was it. “I surprised Robert and Michelle tonight,”  Vulture website quoted her as saying. “They didn’t know I was going to be here. They think I’m here for them, but I’m unemployed come April, and I think you haven’t seen me in a while   – at least not in person – so I thought I should show up.” A spokesman from the series later said she was only joking. Who knew

Fans of Doctor Who will have to wait until the end of the year for a return of their hero, with the BBC announcing the only new episode of the series to screen in 2016 will be the next Christmas special, in December. The announcement came with news the current showrunner, Steven Moffatt, would be leaving the iconic program, with his final 12-part series airing in 2017 and introducing a new companion for The Doctor. Moffatt will  be replaced by Broadchurch writer Chris Chibnall from 2018. Snow wonder

The recent American blizzards halted production of several series, caused broadcast blackouts for viewers, but left one group of TV fans delighted, when Arrow (and former Torchwood/Doctor Who) star John Barrowman found himself stranded on his way to a New Jersey science fiction convention and promptly started live-tweeting the incident. For most of last Sunday, the actor posted photographs, video and anecdotes of being stuck in the convention, with fans retweeting  wildly. Sleep overs

Girls executive producer Judd Apatow has confirmed he is to launch Crashing, a half-hour comedy starring comedian Pete Holmes on HBO. The series, which will have both Apatow and Holmes as executive producers, will follow “a sweet, wholesome comedian” who has nowhere to stay after his wife leaves him, and winds up staying on the couches of New York’s finest comics. The series is loosely based on some of Holmes’ experiences. Apatow will direct the series pilot.

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Mark Buddle says Eddie Hayson and another Comanchero gave him the $60,000 cash he didn’t declare

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Mark Buddle leaves Newcastle Local Court. Photo: Dan ProudmanJust five days after finishing his latest stint on parole, former Comanchero bikie chief Mark Buddle walked up the steps of a privately chartered plane at Essendon Airport, en route for a South Pacific getaway with long-time love, Mel Ter Wisscha.
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But just before the twin engines began to kick over, Buddle asked the general manager of the aircraft’s operator what should he do about the cash he had stored in his luggage.

The once-national president of the Comanchero bikie gang was told to declare it to Customs.

Whether Buddle ever revealed how much the “significant amount” was is unclear. But stuffed between the swimmers, towels and bags sat $60,120 in cash.

The flight stopped at Newcastle Airport at 9.20am on July 28 en route to New Caledonia, and Australian Border Force officials were only told about the wads of cash when authorities indicated they would be inspecting their belongings.

Buddle and Ter Wisscha pleaded guilty in Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday on the Commonwealth charge of attempting to move $10,000 or more out of Australia without a report.

In doing so, prosecutors dropped a charge against Buddle of dealing in the proceeds of crime.

His barrister Avni Djemal, told magistrate Robert Stone that it was an oversight and the breach was only for a “small period of time”. It’s understood Buddle’s girlfriend had filled out the cards as he cannot read or write.

Mr Djemal said the money had been a gift – he had previously told the court that Buddle was rewarded for successfully completing rehabilitation for drug and alcohol problems – and there was no evidence offered that it was to be used illegally or “nefariously”.

It is understood Buddle told authorities the money was gifted to him by brothel owner Eddie Hayson and another high-ranking Comanchero, Ali Bazzi.

Mr Hayson did not answer questions about the gift when asked by Fairfax Media on Wednesday.

Mr Djemal argued in court that if Buddle had been attempting to move the money out of Australia by stealth, he would not have had the conversation at Essendon airport.

“If you are of the inclination of trying to get money out of the country surreptitiously, you would never open up the bag to [the plane company manager] and say ‘I have cash, what do I do with it?’,” Mr Djemal said.

He later added: “The money is not from illegal means and there is no evidence it was going to any illegal venture at all.”

Magistrate Robert Stone didn’t send Buddle back to jail, but he questioned why so much money was needed for a holiday.

“No satisfactory explanation has been provided as to why that amount of money had to be taken out of the country in the way that it was,” Mr Stone said.

Mr Stone ordered that the now-married couple have their passports returned, although the cash remains in the hands of authorities because of an “ongoing investigation”.

He sentenced Buddle to two months’ jail, although the couple left court on good behaviour bonds and $2000 each in fines after the eight weeks Buddle had spent behind bars on remand were taken into account.

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How well are new refugees settling into Australia?

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Youssef Darwish, a Syrian refugee, has been living in Sydney for more than a year. Photo: Janie BarrettSince arriving in Australia 16 months ago, Syrian refugee Youssef Darwish has learned English and is studying for a qualification in furniture removal and warehousing.
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He is among 70 per cent of refugees who are either working or studying to gain English language or other employment skills. He is also among the majority of new migrants who have found Australia a friendly place to live.

Just 5 per cent complain of having experienced racial discrimination here.

But three-quarters of recently arrived migrants on humanitarian visas have struggled to find secure housing, according to a landmark national study to be released on Thursday.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies research, the first of its kind in 10 years, surveyed 2400 “humanitarian migrants” who had arrived in Australia from 35 countries including the Middle East and Africa, within the past five years. They ranged in age from 15 to 80.

The research found 75 per cent had difficulties obtaining housing mainly because of the cost, lack of references and language difficulties. One-third had moved house multiple times. Almost half reported their existing housing was temporary or leased for six months or less.

Mr Darwish, 25, used his new English language skills to find housing in Condell Park where he lives with his mother and father, who also migrated to Australia after the family spent two years in Egypt.

“I saw houses on the internet and made appointments and talked to an agent,” Mr Darwish said. Like many of the migrants surveyed, Mr Darwish and his parents had witnessed conflict in their home-city, Aleppo.

The study found 13 per cent reported poor physical health and 75 per cent were at risk of psychological distress.

The vast majority, 89 per cent, of the recent arrivals had experienced at least one traumatic event, including war and persecution, before arriving in Australia.

Iranian-born Mohammad Javidkia was jailed in Georgia for six months after travelling on a fake passport.

After arriving in Australia in May 2013, he met the woman he later married in Curtin Detention Centre in Western Australia.

The couple, who now live in Sydney, had their first child on December 24 and named her Evie, because she was born on Christmas “eve”.

Mr Javidkia also obtained a bridging visa at Christmas and is now seeking work.

Director of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, Anne Hollonds, said housing was an issue in many parts of Australia, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne.

“These people are more vulnerable than most because of their circumstances,” she said. “It is difficult for governments to help with that when there is such pressure all round.”

Ms Hollonds said the small proportion of refugees reporting discrimination was a welcome finding.

But the high proportion of new arrivals at risk of mental illness was troubling.

“Being able to engage in study and employment and learning English will be harder if you are dealing with trauma in your life,” she said.

“The good news is that we know about it. What we need to do is ensure that our service systems are working in a co-ordinated way to provide support for people.”

Ms Hollonds said the research findings were particularly important to help meet the needs of refugees, particularly new intakes from Syria. Education and Employment:

• 70 per cent of new arrivals are either working or studying, mainly English language.

• 7 per cent of migrants were employed Housing:

• 40 per cent said it was ‘hard’ and 35 per cent said it was ‘very hard’ to find housing, mainly due to the cost, language difficulties or not having references.

• About one-third had moved house multiple times.

• Almost half reported their current housing was temporary or a lease of six months or less. Health and life satisfaction:

• 13 per cent said their physical health was ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.

• 89 per cent reported they or their immediate family had experienced at least one type of traumatic event prior to arrival.

• 35 per cent of men and 45 per cent of women were at moderate or high risk of psychological distress compared to 7 per cent of men and 11 per cent of women in the general population.

• About one quarter said they were experiencing many problems and/or ‘not coping well’. Family:

• About half reported having had family in Australia when they arrived and 24 per cent had friends from where they used to live.

• Around half of the migrants were waiting to reunite with family currently in another country. Sense of Belonging:

• 80-90 per cent said that so far, their experience of settling into Australia has been ‘good’ or ‘very good’.

• 5 per cent had experienced discrimination usually on the streets, public transport and in local neighbourhoods.

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Public hospital crisis looms

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AMA president Brian Owler says public hospitals are facing a budgetary “black hole”. Photo: Andrew MearesThe federal government is under pressure to reform taxes following a report card on public hospitals that shows the most urgent patients are waiting longer at the emergency departments, bed ratios are deteriorating and elective surgery waiting times are static.
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The Australian Medical Association is using its annual report on the performance of public hospitals to call for an overhaul of health funding, which faces slower growth from July next year when new funding arrangements come into effect.

AMA president Brian Owler said hospitals would be insufficiently funded to meet the rising demand from 2017, when the states and territories were facing a “black hole”.

A Treasury analysis found $57 billion would be removed from the health system over 10 years.

“The issue is that the [funding] increase is not going to be anywhere near the rate of growth that is required to maintain services, let alone see an improvement,” Professor Owler said.

“What we’ve already seen in this report card is that the focus has come off the elective surgery and emergency access targets and we’ve seen performance fall.

“The states and territories are facing a public hospital funding black hole from 2017, when growth in federal funding slows to a trickle.”

The federal government has abandoned funding guarantees that were made under the National Health Reform Agreement in 2011, and from July next year it will limit funding increases to population growth and indexation.

The AMA report card shows the proportion of urgent patients seen within 30 minutes of presentation at the emergency department slipped to 68 per cent in 2014-15 after six previous years of steady improvement.

Across all emergency patients, 73 per cent were seen within the clinically recommended time of four hours, compared with a national target of 90 per cent to be seen within this time.

The median waiting time for elective surgery in 2014-15 was reduced by one day to 35 days, the same as it was in 2009-10.

Meanwhile, the bed ratio drifted to its lowest level in 2013-14, with 2.51 beds for every 1000 people aged over 65.

NSW has plateaued against most measures. Victoria’s emergency department performance has remained static but its elective surgery waiting times have improved. Queensland is is facing longer emergency department waiting times, but shorter waits for elective surgery.

But the smaller states – Tasmania, SA, the Northern Territory and the ACT – have struggled to meet their performance targets.

“We know that public hospitals are facing growing demand, particularly in the emergency departments, where patients in the highest triage category are making up the majority of the numbers,” Professor Owler said.

It was not for the AMA to recommend whether increased funding should be achieved by an increase to the GST or a rise in the Medicare levy.

“But any change in the taxation policy should not just be used to give income tax cuts, as the Treasurer has suggested.”

NSW Premier Mike Baird has called for the GST to be lifted to 15 per cent for the health system to survive, warning that the state risked “tumbling off a fiscal cliff”.

Health Minister Sussan Ley declined to answer questions on the extent to which changes to the health budget affected hospital performance or whether future funding should take into account the growing burden of chronic disease.

“Hospital spending under the Turnbull government increases each and every year and there were no policy changes in the 2015-16 Budget or MYEFO which affect this,” she said instead.

“Commonwealth public hospital funding continues to grow over the next four years, with an increase of $3.3 billion or around 21.5 per cent.”

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2016: The television year ahead

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One of 2016’s most intriguing offerings, Cleverman. Photo: ABCEmbracing the world stage – finally
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Love, crime and politics … where would television’s narrative be without those three vital ingredients? Despite the tendency to imagine television is a realm of ever-diminishing returns for the audience, this year looks promising.

Even the commercial networks, whose slates are typically the least thrilling, have dished up a few things which are rich in promise. On cable, and in streaming, where there is more room for bold ideas to breathe, it looks even more interesting.

There are some very ambitious ideas, including the brilliant Cleverman, which meshes indigenous mythology with the kind of genre-spinning television you expect from Britain or the United States. And some simply brilliant ones, such as the Luhrmann-Martin Netflix drama The Get Down.

Revealingly too, it seems often the best ideas are both the simplest and the truest. Former prime minister John Howard’s exploration of the Menzies legacy is already one of the buzziest programs of the year. Ditto American Crime Story, which is tackling the trial of O. J. Simpson. Please note: no producers were killed in the compilation of this story. Oh, and there are no dating shows in it. Not a single one. You’re welcome. SIX OF THE BEST

Brock (Ten)

What is it? A telemovie biography of one of Australia’s most successful race car drivers, Sandown 500, Australian Touring Car and Bathurst 24 Hour champion Peter Brock, who died in 2006.

Star factor: Matthew Le Nevez as Brock, Ella Scott Lynch as his wife Bev, plus Brendan Cowell, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Nadia Townsend and Steve Bisley.

Why it’s a gonna be huge: Brock’s life is a largely untold story, packaged in a genre where Ten has proven form.

Cleverman (ABC)

What is it? A thriller set in the near future about a species from ancient mythology who live among us, but must “battle for survival in a world that wants to silence, exploit and destroy them”.

Star factor: Game of Thrones actor Iain Glen, plus Frances O’Connor, Deborah Mailman and Hunter Page-Lochard, plus directors Wayne Blair and Leah Purcell.

Why it’s a gonna be huge: It’s a sharp, high-concept genre drama from two brilliant production companies, Goalpost and Pukeko, which is easily the equal of anything from overseas.

The Get Down (Netflix)

What is it? A “mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco, told through the lives and music of the South Bronx kids who changed the city, and the world”.

Star factor: Australian director Baz Luhrmann, Academy-Award winner Catherine Martin, writer Stephen Adly Guirgis and hip-hop pioneers Grandmaster Flash, DJ Kool Herc, and Afrika Bambaataa.

Why it’s a gonna be huge: The genius of the Luhrmann-Martin partnership, the creative freedom (and track record) of streamcaster Netflix and a kickass soundtrack.

Howard on Menzies (ABC)

What is it? Australia’s second longest-serving prime minister John Howard explores the life and legacy of its first, “our most successful and influential political leader”, Robert Menzies.

Star factor: Howard as host and interviewer, plus an all-star line-up of conversation subjects, including former prime minister Bob Hawke, media mogul Rupert Murdoch and comedian Barry Humphries.

Why it’s a gonna be huge: It’s a relatively simple idea, approached in an original way, with a most unlikely TV host as guide, and executed on the grandest of scales.

Secret City (Showcase)

What is it: A political thriller based on the novels The Mandarin Code and The Marmalade Files by journalists Chris Uhlmann and Steve Lewis.

Star factor: A top-notch cast, including Anna Torv, Damon Herriman, Dan Wyllie, Mekhi Phifer, Miranda Tapsell, Jacki Weaver, Alex Dimitriades and Alan Dale.

Why it’s a gonna be huge: Ripper cast, plus a top-notch writing team which includes Kris Mrksa, Belinda Chayko, Matt Cameron, Marieke Hardy and Greg Waters.

Wolf Creek (Stan)

What is it: A spin-off from the hit Wolf Creek movies, the series follows an American tourist who escapes the clutches of killer Mick Taylor and embarks on a mission to take revenge.

Star factor: John Jarratt, who played the serial killer Mick Taylor in two Wolf Creek films in 2005 and 2013, returns to star in the spin-off series.

Why it’s a gonna be huge: The original film was a global smash, pulling almost $US30 million in box office.

In sitcom Here come the Habibs, a Lebanese-Australian family moves to Vaucluse. AND THE A-Z OF THE REST

American Crime Story, The People vs O. J. Simpson (Ten)

An all-star cast, including John Travolta, Cuba Gooding jnr and David Schwimmer, bring to life the now infamous trial of footballer-turned-actor O. J. Simpson.

Australian Survivor (Ten)

Though its first iteration was not a success, the iconic American reality franchise has been exhumed for another go round.

Barracuda (ABC)

A telemovie based on the Christos Tsiolkas novel about a young boy destined to become a swimming superstar. Stars Matt Nable, Rachel Griffiths and Jeremy Lindsay Taylor.

Chelsea Does (Netflix)

A four-part documentary series in which US comedian Chelsea Handler gets up close and personal with four subjects: marriage, racism, Silicon Valley and drugs.

The Crown (Netflix)

Ambitious 10-hour drama about the British royal family, starring Claire Foy as young Princess Elizabeth and former Dr Who star Matt Smith as the future Prince Philip.

Dafuq (ABC iView)

News satire following three “reporters” for a “non-mainstream, cross platform” news program who chase the stories no one else will, and make them all about themselves.

Deep Water (SBS)

An ambitious drama inspired by the gay hate murders in Sydney in the 1980s and 1990s, exploring “the brutal murders, the scores of assaults, the unsolved cold cases”.

Fuller House (Netflix)

Sequel to the ’80s/’90s sitcom Full House, in which D. J. (Candace Cameron-Bure) is now widowed and living in San Francisco with her sister Stephanie and best friend Kimmy.

Hanson: The Years that Shook Australia (SBS)

Documentary exploring the “most divisive politician of the 1990s” Pauline Hanson, “who said what some Australians were thinking and was destroyed for it”.

Here Come The Habibs (Nine)

Comedy about a Lebanese migrant family who strike it rich and move to Australia’s poshest postcode, and into the sights of snooty neighbour Olivia (Helen Dallimore).

Hide & Seek (Nine)

A contemporary crime thriller, from Matchbox Pictures, about police investigators on the trail of a network of potential terrorists who have entered Australia using false passports.

House of Bond (Nine)

The “rags-to-riches-to-rags” story of controversial business tycoon, and one-time Nine Network owner, Alan Bond, whose greed and ambition brought his empire to ruin.

Ice Wars (ABC)

Four-part documentary about the impact of crystal methamphetamine – “ice” – in Australia, from the police and health services, to the toxic waste the drug’s production leaves behind.

The Kettering Incident (Showcase)

A woman, haunted by past events, returns to a small town in Tasmania. Ripper cast includes Kris McQuade, Damon Gameau, Damien Garvey and Sacha Horler.

Love (Netflix)

A modern romantic comedy from Judd Apatow about Gus (Paul Rust) and Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) who “navigate the exhilarations and humiliations of intimacy, commitment and love”.

Lucifer (FX)

British actor Tom Ellis plays Lucifer, who has moved to Los Angeles to indulge in “wine, women and song”. But is the prince of hell a bad guy? Or a good guy? Or something in between?

Molly (Seven)

A two-part mini-series about the life of music journalist Ian “Molly” Meldrum, who came from a humble childhood in Quambatook to become one of Australia’s most influential cultural icons.

Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday (Netflix)

The “fun-loving hero of TV, stage and film” Pee-Wee Herman returns in a television film about his first ever holiday. Great cast includes Paul Reubens, Joe Manganiello and Alia Shawkat.

Primetime Comedy Pilot Season (ABC)

Six comedy pilots, from Eddie Perfect, Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan, Ronny Chieng, Lawrence Mooney, Matt Lovkis and others, which may return as full-blown series.

The Ranch (Netflix)

Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Sam Elliott and Debra Winger star in a comedy with a somewhat susdy premise, about a failed footballer who returns home to his family’s ranch.

The Rookie (Go!)

The rugby league version of Foxtel’s AFL series The Recruit, this is a reality series which will give an amateur rugby league player a shot at being “drafted” by an NRL club.

Rosehaven (ABC)

Comedy series starring Luke McGregor and Celia Pacquola about a man who returns to his hometown and finds an old friend on his doorstep, on the run from her own marriage.

The Secret Daughter (Seven)

Jessica Mauboy stars as a country pub singer whose life is changed after a chance meeting in a series described as “a contemporary family drama”.

Stranger Things (Netflix)

A drama series from the makers of Wayward Pines about the disappearance of a young boy in the 1980s and the subsequent investigation which unearths terrifying supernatural forces.

Sunday Night Takeaway (Seven)

A local adaptation of the British live studio format Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway, which involves audience games and live music performances.

Top Knot Detective (SBS)

A mockumentary exploring the legacy of the “completely made-up Japanese ’90s SBS hit Ronin Suiri Tentai, or as it’s better known in Australia Top Knot Detective”.

Tutankhamun (SBS)

Sam Neill stars in a four-part drama from the British broadcaster ITV about the “history, romance, intrigue and adventure” of Howard Carter’s discovery of the lost tomb of Tutankhamun.

Vinyl (Showcase)

“A ride through the sex and drug-addled music business at the dawn of punk, disco, and hip-hop” from producer/director Martin Scorsese, writer Terence Winter and co-producer Mick Jagger.

Wanted (Seven)

Rebecca Gibney and Geraldine Hakewill play two women who are “swept up in a roller coaster chase across Australia in a car full of money”; also stars Stephen Peacocke.

War and Peace (BBC First)

An epic adaptation of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, starring Jim Broadbent, Gillian Anderson and Greta Scacchi, from Pride and Prejudice writer Andrew Davies.

Westworld (Showcase)

A reboot for television based on the iconic science fiction film of the same name, this is a “dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin”.

The Wrong Girl (Ten)

A modern romantic comedy about two flatmates who swear off men, until one of them falls in love with a man she meets at work; from House Husbands producers Playmaker Media.

The X-Files (Ten)

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson return as FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully in a six-hour limited series about a special unit of the FBI which investigates paranormal events.

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