Carbon tax switch will be tough

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 30 Juni 2013 | 20.02

Greg Combet says switching from the carbon tax to an emissions trading system quickly could be very difficult. Source: News Limited

DUMPING the carbon tax early would be difficult, Greg Combet has warned as Labor seeks to justify abandoning its September 14 election date promise.

The admission which casts doubt on Kevin Rudd's first promise as returned leader came as Mr Combet, who is retiring from parliament, said it had been a "bruising" period in politics and a that there had been a "battle of moralities" within Labor.

He warned that moving the carbon tax, due to rise to $24.15 a tonne tomorrow, early to an emissions trading scheme to fulfil a promise Kevin Rudd made last year will be difficult. Regulators would need to be established and a new round of negotiations undertaken with Europe, where the price is currently around $6.50, in order to link Australia's scheme earlier than 2015. It would also require legislative change.

"There's also fiscal consequences and I think at the end of the day it's a matter of weighing up the policy and political merits of that proposition with the fiscal consequences and some of the practicalities that would have to be dealt with," he said.

Meet The Press Ep19 Seg 1

Mr Combet told Channel 10's Meet the Press he was leaving politics to spend more time with family and friends and to better look after his health.

"It has certainly be a very bruising affair when you reflect over the last three to four years, there has been a set of competing moralities," Mr Combet said.

"That's whats has been so difficult for so many in Labor. Yes it was brutal how Kevin Rudd lost the leadership, the process over the last three years has also been very brutal."

Kevin Rudd's return has improved Labor's chances of winning key seats in Labor heartland, a poll shows.

Mr Combet said he had been encouraged by Labor's poll rebound since Kevin Rudd returned and that his departure from politics was not because of Julia Gillard's ousting.

Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese played down the prospect of parliament returning before an election is called which would mean any promised change to the carbon tax would be taken to an election.

Speaking on Sky' News Australia, Mr Albanese said the September 14 date was only named to stop the Coalition speculating while parliament was still sitting.

Tony Abbott says he isn't surprised that a new poll shows Kevin Rudd closing the gap in the preferred Prime Minister stakes.

"There might be some slight change ... it won't be on grand final day," Mr Albanese quipped.

He said guidelines governing a local government referendum planned to coincide with the federal election were a consideration for determining the poll date.

"It is possible to bring forward the election date and still have the referendum ... you can bring it forward to mid-August," he said.

Tony Abbott fires back at Kevin Rudd's suggestion his asylum seeker policies might cause war with Indonesia. And pays respect to Julia Gillard as a 'formidable opponent'. Bolt Ep 17 Seg2

A decision on the date will not be made "in a rush", he added.

Labor would likely face opposition from the Greens if it attempted to legislate the change.

Mr Albanese, who confirmed Labor would keep the nation guessing on an election date but said late August remained a possibility for the poll.

Meet the Press, Ep19, Seg 4

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott believes Mr Rudd will hold off calling a date.

"I think there's every likelihood (Mr Rudd) will try to hold on to office for as long as possible,'' Mr Abbott told Network Ten.

"I don't think the public want the election delayed a moment longer. I think they are yearning for the chance to choose their prime minister and choose their government.''

he also said he wasn't surprised by a new poll which shows 51 per cent of voters prefer Mr Rudd as prime minister compared with 34 per cent backing Mr Abbott.

"I always have said winning government from opposition is like climbing Mt Everest," he said.

"We've always said that the polls would tighten, they would have tightened under Julia Gillard, of course they have tightened under Kevin Rudd. That's what I would expect."


20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Legal row 'sparked Nigella strangling'

Nigella Lawson has been pictured near her rented Mayfair flat without her wedding ring. Picture: Andrew Styczynski/The Sun Source: Supplied

CHARLES Saatchi and Nigella Lawson are said to be in a bitter dispute over two former personal assistants accused of misappropriating $282,000.

The case has caused tensions in Mr Saatchi and Ms Lawson's marriage and friends say it was a factor behind their row at celebrity restaurant Scott's earlier this month, when the art collector was pictured 'strangling' his wife, Britain's Mail on Sunday has revealed.

Saatchi, 70, is taking the women to the High Court after they allegedly spent tens of thousands on designer goods, taxi journeys and a flight to New York.

Friends say he last week asked Ms Lawson, 53, to move her belongings out of their Chelsea mansion after making it clear he would not apologise for grabbing her by the throat.

The Mail on Sunday reports that after Saatchi accepted a police caution for the strangling incident Nigella told the police he had never hit her before.

Italian sisters, Francesca, 34, and Elisabetta 'Lisa' Grillo, 32, are claimed to have "misappropriated" the money to splurge on luxuries such as a $6000 Virgin Atlantic flight to New York and designer goods from Prada, Miu Miu and Chanel.

They were first employed by Ms Lawson when she was married to her first husband John Diamond, who died of cancer aged 47 in 2001.

The legal case involving Nigella Lawson's former personal assistants led to tension between the TV chef and her husband, Charles Saatchi, the Mail on Sunday reports. Picture: Getty Source: Getty Images

When she married Saatchi in September 2003, both took roles working for Ms Lawson and her new husband. Francesca Grillo was paid $47,000 a year while Elisabetta was paid $44,000. Their jobs ranged from looking after Nigella's children from her first marriage - Bruno, now 17, and daughter Cosima, now 19 - and Saatchi's daughter Phoebe, 18, by second wife Kay Hartenstein. They also carried out activities directly related to Saatchi's business activities.

They were sacked last year over the allegations and Saatchi started High Court proceedings against them. They also face criminal charges and are due to appear at Isleworth Crown Court later this year.

Nigella treated them as trusted confidantes, paying tribute to their work in her 2011 cookery book Recipes From The Heart Of The Home by writing: "I give heartfelt thanks to ... my kitchen confidantes: Lisa and Francesca Grillo."

As a result, the impending cases, according to a source, have created a deep rift between the celebrity chef and her husband.

"The Grillo girls had been very close to Nigella for a long time,' the source says.

"She brought them into the marriage and she has naturally been very defensive about all this. I don't think she particularly wanted them to be sued. That's one of the things they were rowing about over the now infamous lunch.

"Charles was criticising her for allowing the assistants free rein and things clearly got a bit heated. One of them was allegedly spending money on Chanel handbags and other designer stuff. He thinks Nigella has been too easy on them."

Nigella Lawson has moved out of her marital home and is said to very upset about the legal dispute with her former employees. Source: AP

According to court documents lodged at the High Court of Justice, the sisters' responsibilities included acquiring goods and services for Saatchi, Nigella and their children.

They were given access to two credit cards but only for business purposes. They were also permitted to use a taxi fare account with ComCab, but only "for journeys undertaken in the course of carrying out their duties".

But in July 2012, Rahul Gajjar, finance director of the Saatchi Gallery group, claimed that unauthorised purchases may have been made using the credit cards, including a $6000 Virgin Atlantic flight to New York. Francesca is accused in the High Court document of "misappropriating" some $280,000 and Elisabetta $9000.

The pair, were said to be "in flagrant breach of their contractual and/or fiduciary duties as employees".

The writ says Saatchi is expecting to recover more than $45,000.

Another source connected to Saatchi says: "The sisters were often asked to fly to, say Munich, to collect a picture and Saatchi issued the pair a credit card to cover expenses.

"The pair are devout Catholics with previous good conduct with not a blemish on their record.

"It was Lisa who first started working for Nigella as a personal assistant. The story, as I understand it, is that she actually worked for Nigella when her first husband John Diamond was alive - so for longer than ten years."

Nigella is said to have been very upset about the way things ended with the sisters, who have strongly denied the allegations. When approached last week, a visibly upset Lisa said: "I don't want to talk about it."

Meanwhile, Lawson is still living in a Mayfair bolthole after being forced to remove her belongings from the family home. Saatchi is said to be convinced that Nigella's friends have been briefing against him and worried that "lots of dirty linen", could be aired in public in the criminal case against the sisters.

But friends say Lawson is - despite everything - still in love with her husband and after he accepted a police caution for the strangling incident she told the police he had never hit her before.

She is said to be distraught that Saatchi has made no attempt to get in contact with her and friends are worried about her mental state.

"She's been desperate to repair the relationship and desperate to talk to Charles," says one confidante.

"Her plans for the future are to throw herself into her career and America. But she would still consider rebuilding if he would make a gesture.

"She is doing anything she can to get some sort of reaction from him. It is Charles, by his lack of action, who is ending the marriage.

"He is still controlling Nigella, who now feels that she will be dumped without even a sorry or conversation. He has effectively dumped her by stonewalling her and asked her to move her stuff out of the family house."

Another friend says: "Nigella has been devastated by Charles's complete radio silence and the fact that he has just ignored her.

"She has desperately been waiting for a sign or even a sorry and an indication that they can work this out. But he hasn't. Instead he privately blames her for ruining his life and feels that if they reconcile that he will forever be seen as the wife beater.

"He is very worried about his legacy and so has been quietly licking his wounds."

Yesterday, Richard Cannon of Janes Solicitors, who is acting for the Grillo sisters, issued the following statement. "'Our clients will continue to vigorously defend themselves both in the civil proceedings before the High Court and the criminal proceedings before the Crown Court."

20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Riders angry after Aussie bus farce

GreenEDGE team bus gets stuck under the overpass. Picture: Sarah Reed Source: adelaidenow

TOUR de France riders are up in arms after an Aussie team bus got wedged under the arch at the finish line, causing farcical scenes with organisers.

Mark Cavendish was among the most outspoken in his criticism after last night's opening stage was marred by a series of crashes.

The 213-kilometre ride from Porto-Vecchio to Bastia, the first stage ever to be held on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, was won in a sprint finish by Germany's Marcel Kittel of the Argos-Shimano team.

Kittel grabs Stage 1 victory in sprint

But his victory became something of a footnote at the end of a chaotic final 20 kilometres as the peloton flew along the narrow roads leading in to Bastia.

Marcel Kittel of Germany and Argos-Shimano has won the opening stage of the 2013 Tour de France, but not after a bizarre incident with Orica-GreenEDGE team bus nearly cut short the stage.

The best of the Australians was Simon Gerrans of GreenEdge, in 15th place.

The confusion was caused when the bus of Australian team the Orica-GreenEdge became stuck under the gantry at the finish line, forcing organisers to propose moving the line forward three kilometres before it was eventually moved into a safe position.

Chaos, crashes and Cadel's first test

As the peloton approached the finish, they began to up the pace in preparation for the new conclusion to the stage, only to be caught out by the decision to revert to the original plan.

Tthe GreenEDGE team bus crosses the line first and gets stuck under the overpass causing mayhem on the finish line as riders approached. Picture: Sarah Reed

A whole host of riders, including Spain's two-time Tour winner Alberto Contador, last year's green jersey winner Peter Sagan of Slovakia, and former world time trial champion Tony Martin went down in a mass crash six kilometres from the line, with the latter coming off by far the worst.

The German fainted and was later put on a stretcher and taken to hospital in Bastia, fears that he had fractured his shoulder later proving unfounded, leaving his Omega Pharma-Quick Step teammate Mark Cavendish furious.

"What caused the problems was changing the finish," he told reporters. "We heard on the radio with literally five kilometres to go that the sprint was in two kilometres, and then one kilometre later they were like 'No, it's at the original finish.' It's just carnage."

Cavendish had good reason to be unhappy, with the confusion putting paid to his chances of winning the stage and getting his hands on the overall leader's yellow jersey for the first time in his career.

Germany's Tony Martin is taken to an ambulance at the finish line after crashing in the first stage of the Tour de France. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL SANNUM LAUTEN

Contador insisted that he would be OK, while Team Sky duo Geraint Thomas and Ian Stannard were declared fit to continue after undergoing tests following their falls, with the British team just happy to see their race favourite Chris Froome come home unscathed.

"Obviously, this was a really unfortunate situation," explained Matt White, the sporting director of the Orica-GreenEdge team at the centre of the controversy.

"The bus was led under the finish gantry, and we took it for granted that there was enough clearance.

"The frantic efforts to clear the bus proved successful, and we had a few minutes notice that the finish line had been moved to its original place."

Murilo Antoniobil Fischer of Brazil, center left, Tony Martin of Germany, center right, and Tony Gallopin of France, right, wait for medical assistance after crashing in the last kilometers of the first stage of the Tour de France. (AP Photo/Joel Saget,)

The team was later fined 2000 Swiss Francs ($A2,290) by the organisers, who blamed them for their late arrival at the finish and insisted they had made the right decisions.

Despite that, there was widespread criticism from elsewhere, including from Marc Madiot, the manager of French outfit FDJ, who launched a stinging attack on the organisers.

"The organisers have not done their job properly. The Spanish president of the organising committee, who I don't know, has made a big mistake. He should face the consequences. He is Spanish, he can go home," he said.

Kittel was one of the lucky ones who avoided the crash and came through to pip Norway's Alexander Kristoff in a sprint for the line, although all riders were later awarded the same time.

Alberto Contador of Spain, center with number 91, sits on the road after a group of riders crashed during the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 213 kilometers (133 miles) with start in Porto Vecchio and finish in Bastia, Corsica island, France, Saturday June 29, 2013. AFP PHOTO /Stephane Mantey

Attention now turns to Sunday's second stage, when more drama could be in the offing as the peloton set off into Corsica's rugged interior for a 156-kilometre ride from Bastia to Ajaccio.

Twice world time-trial champion Martin was one of many riders to fall, but escaped without any fractures, his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team confirmed.

Despite that, he was suffering from concussion, a contusion on his left lung, widespread bruising, and a deep cut on his left elbow.

As a result, the team admitted doubt surrounds his chances of being at the start of Sunday's second stage.

"Any decision on his participation at the second stage of the Tour de France will be taken after considering how the clinical situation evolves during the night," the team said in a statement.

A host of riders, among them Alberto Contador, went to ground as the finish of the first stage, a 213km ride from Porto-Vecchio to Bastia on Corsica, was marred by a series of crashes.

Martin, world time trial champion in 2011 and 2012, came off the worst of all, with reports that he fainted twice before he was carried away on a stretcher to be taken to hospital in Bastia.

A total of 10 riders were hurt in the same fall six kilometres from the line, including US rider Edward King of the Cannondale team, who injured his left shoulder, and Team Sky duo Geraint Thomas and Ian Stannard.
However, Sky later confirmed that both riders have been cleared to race Sunday's second stage.

Losing a teammate of Martin's calibre would be a big blow to Mark Cavendish's prospects of enjoying a successful Tour, as the Isle of Man sprint specialist seeks to regain the green jersey for the best sprinter that he won in 2011 before losing out to Peter Sagan last year.

20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

First family's sacrifice, struggle and strife

Written By komlim puldel on Sabtu, 29 Juni 2013 | 20.02

Australia has woken up to a new dawn with Kevin Rudd as PM.

THERESE Rein was 38,000 feet above the Indian Ocean on Wednesday morning when all hell broke loose in Canberra.

Australia's First Lady - for the second time - was monitoring Twitter on her mobile phone, thanks to the aircraft's onboard wi-fi.

First came the news of a petition doing the rounds of parliament, then Julia Gillard's announcement of a ballot for the leadership. She drew a breath, knowing that, within hours, her family's life could change dramatically. Again.

"When she called it, I was in the air," Therese Rein told The Daily Telegraph yesterday.

"I was in the air watching it on Twitter. I left London on Tuesday night. I had wi-fi on the plane. Thank goodness for that - otherwise I would have been in a cone of silence.

"I was over the Indian Ocean watching it all.

"It was surreal."

Ms Rein then admitted she found out her husband was once again the Prime Minister via a tweet showing the ballot result - 57-45 - first revealed by The Daily Telegraph.

Jessica Rudd, Kevin Rudd, grand-daughter Josephine and Therese Rein at Parliament House CAnberra. Picture: Craig Greenhill

She tried to call him using the plane's airphone. It kept dropping out.

"I think I spoke to him for all of 12 seconds," she said.

"Then I'm watching the former prime minister's press conference, then Kevin's and Albo's press conference, all on Twitter. Then finally I felt I should go to sleep."

When she landed in Sydney, half an hour late, Qantas staff rushed her to a waiting domestic flight to Canberra.

"By the time I landed here it was 8.15am," she said.

"I went to the hotel to change clothes, got into the car. I still hadn't seen Kevin and I raced to Government House.

"It was amazing. I just wanted to give him a big hug and say 'Well done'."

Three years ago, then-outgoing prime minister Kevin Rudd was supported by his wife Therese Rein, son Marcus and daughter Jessica. Picture: AFP

Team Rudd had a sense that he would always be returned to The Lodge one day.

Privately Mr Rudd has admitted he always believed he would serve as the country's leader again.

But it is not something he or his family would admit to.

Mr Rudd, who is using the office of his new deputy Anthony Albanese as a temporary headquarters, said he bore no ill-will towards Ms Gillard for the events of June, 2010, or those of his colleagues who so savagely attacked him.

Is he a changed man for the experience?

"I think so. My values haven't changed but I think I discovered I was a really resilient person. That is a new strength," he said.

But a better person?

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd holding his grand daughter Josephine. Picture: Craig Greenhill

"That's for others to judge," he said.

"I learnt that it's much better to forgive than to become bitter and twisted.

"I'd simply say sometimes in national political life, we all say some pretty sharp things.

"The important thing is not to allow that sort of stuff to permanently destroy personal and professional relationships.

"You have a few brawls with people but, when you reflect, you realise the friendships and collegiality are more important."

He admits he may have tested his wife's patience, claiming she had come within a hair's breath of telling him to give up the dream: "That's when I knew it was time to go and cower in a corner."

But he firmly believes that he, above others, can reform the Labor Party.

Jessica Rudd holding her daughter Josephine. Picture: Craig Greenhill 

"Labor needs to democratise," he said.

"I believe, because I was elected in 2006 without any factional support and having been re-elected as leader with a large cross-section of support, I can speak with some experience that it is something that I have to do, to bring about a program of Labor Party reform.

"We have nothing to fear from throwing the doors of this party wide open."

So what would his wife say to Ms Gillard if she had the chance?

"Thank you for your service. It's such a big gig, it's such a big job," Ms Rein said.

"Bitterness and anger and resentment are exhausting. It exhausts people, life is short."

Daughter Jessica was sitting with her mother and 12-month daughter Josephine in an adjoining ministerial office while the madness of forming a national government buzzed around outside.

Across the corridor, in Wayne Swan's office, staff were hurling documents into a giant blue waste bin.

Jessica Rudd would not reveal whether she would join her father's campaign team, to counter Tony Abbott's three daughters.

"I don't know. It's just happened, I have no idea. I live in Beijing with a baby. Balancing all of that? Who knows. I'd love to," she said.

She was staunchly defensive of her father. But she was equally outraged by some of the treatment delivered to Ms Gillard by others.

"I think that the most recent example, which I don't want to draw any more publicity to, but you know what I'm talking about, was foul, it makes me feel sick that she had to go through that," she said.

"It is not OK. People in public life are human beings."

Speaking guardedly about his emotional rollercoaster over the past three years, Mr Rudd appears to have found a little more grace than he was remembered for during his first term - the first thing he did when he was declared the victor on Wednesday was to go up to Julia Gillard.

"I spoke to her very briefly in the caucus room and went up and shook her hand and said thank you," he said.

Jessica said she never told her father what to do but says she watched him over the past three years question his purpose in life.

"We are a family, we are not his advisors, but we certainly want the best for him.

"These are all hard decisions, they are not ones you take lightly.

"What he says to us, what mum says to us, is that in our careers we should find something you love doing and do it very well and do something in service of something bigger then yourselves

"And that is what he is doing

"He has grappled with that over the past three years, asking who am, what am I doing?

"I think, I can imagine all sorts of things for Dad, but for Dad this is what makes him tick. This is what excites him. It's about people."

Therese said the past three years had been hard to bear at times.

And she said the events since her husband had been removed by the faceless men had chipped away at people's respect for the office he now holds again.

"The person in the office of Prime Minister deserves dignity and respect boundaries have been trashed.

"It doesn't add to the discourse of the nation, and the things that are important."

20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Nigella breaks her silence on Twitter

Nigella Lawson has been spotted without her wedding ring. Andrew Styczynski / The Sun Source: Supplied

CELEBRITY chef Nigella Lawson has broken her silence for the first time since pictures of her husband grabbing her neck were made public.

The 'Domestic Goddess' tweeted a picture of a chocolate cake with the words ''Happy Birthday Bruno'' on Friday night - a cake for her son's 17th birthday.

Nigella packs her bags and leaves

It's Lawson's first tweet since June 15, the same day the controversial pictures of her husband Charles Saatchi were published.

The tweet from Nigella Lawson that made her fans happy. Source: Supplied

The tweet has been favourited by more than 450 fans and retweeted more than 110 times.

The tweet was met with welcome reaction from Lawson fans.


Another offered a sigh of relief: ''Glad to see a little joy. Happy mommy day''.

For a second day, a removalist van was outside the couple's London home removing everything from clothes and recipe books to cooking utensils, the UK Daily Mail reports, a sign divorce proceedings may be underway.

Nigella Lawson with Charles Saatchi in London last year during happier days. Picture: Dave M. Benett/Getty Images Source: Supplied

Neither Lawson nor Saatchi appeared to be at the house but her sister Horatia was spotted giving the removalists direction.

Saatchi, 70, was cautioned by police for assault.

The advertising tycoon turned modern art mogul was photographed grabbing Miss Lawson by the throat and tweaking her nose outside Scotts restaurant in central London during a 27-minute incident three weeks ago.

20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Armstrong: I'm still the record Tour winner

Team Europcar boss Jean-Rene Bernaudeau reacts angrily to Lance Armstrong's latest remarks.

THE dirty past of the Tour de France has come back to haunt the 100th edition of cycling's showcase race, with Lance Armstrong telling a newspaper he couldn't have won without doping.

Armstrong's interview with Le Monde was surprising on many levels, not least because of his long-antagonistic relationship with the respected French daily that first reported in 1999 that corticosteroids were found in the American's urine as he was riding his way to the first of his seven Tour wins. In response, Armstrong had complained that he was being persecuted by "vulture journalism, desperate journalism".

Now seemingly prepared to let bygones be bygones, Armstrong told Le Monde that he still considers himself the record-holder for Tour victories, even though all seven of his titles were stripped from him last year for doping. He also said his life has been ruined by the US Anti-Doping Agency investigation that exposed as lies his years of denials that he and his teammates doped.

The interview was the latest blast from cycling's doping-tainted recent history to rain on the Tour's 100th race. Previously, Armstrong's former rival on French roads, 1997 Tour winner Jan Ullrich, confessed to blood-doping for the first time with a Spanish doctor. French media also reported that a Senate investigation into the effectiveness of anti-doping controls pieced together evidence of drug use at the 1998 Tour by Laurent Jalabert, a former star of the race now turned broadcaster.

Not surprising in Armstrong's interview was his claim that it was "impossible" to win the Tour without doping when he was racing. Armstrong already told US television talk-show host Oprah Winfrey when he finally confessed this January that doping was just "part of the job" of being a pro-cyclist. The banned hormone erythropoietin, or EPO, wasn't detectable by cycling's doping controls until 2001 and so was widely abused because it prompts the body to produce oxygen-carrying blood cells, giving a big performance boost to endurance athletes.

Armstrong was clearly talking about his own era, rather than the Tour today. Le Monde reported that he was responding to the question: "When you raced, was it possible to perform without doping?"

"That depends on which races you wanted to win. The Tour de France? No. Impossible to win without doping. Because the Tour is a test of endurance where oxygen is decisive," Le Monde quoted Armstrong as saying. It published the interview in French.

Revelations about the scale of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal stunned the cycling world in 2012.

Some subsequent media reports about Le Monde's interview concluded that Armstrong was saying doping is still necessary now, rather than when he was winning the Tour from 1999-2005. That suggestion provoked dismay from current riders, race organisers and the sport's governing body, the International Cycling Union or UCI.

"If he's saying things like he doesn't think that it's possible to win the Tour clean, then he should be quiet - because it is possible," said American rider Tejay van Garderen of the BMC team.

UCI President Pat McQuaid called the timing of Armstrong's comments "very sad".

"I can tell him categorically that he is wrong. His comments do absolutely nothing to help cycling," McQuaid said in a statement. "The culture within cycling has changed since the Armstrong era and it is now possible to race and win clean."

"Riders and teams owners have been forthright in saying that it is possible to win clean - and I agree with them."

Lance Armstrong has said he deserves his spectacular fall and hopes he can earn forgiveness from his fans and family.

Lance Armstrong has said it was not possible to win the Tour de France without doping.

Tour de France riders are angry that Lance Armstrong has been interviewed about his past doping episodes.

In this July 24, 2002, photo, Lance Armstrong walks out of the Tour de France's anti-doping control bus after the 16th stage of the Tour de France.

20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

All of the reasons why Gen X blows. By Gen Y

Written By komlim puldel on Jumat, 21 Juni 2013 | 20.01

This awkward movie made a generation. Explains a lot. Source:

"WE'RE so sick of you Gen Ys and your laziness and your arrogance and how you've never worked a day in your lives."

Ugh. We get it. We've read every "Gen Y don't buy houses" and "Gen Y can't hold down a job" story you can cram in our Facebook news feed.

But what of Gen X? Have you ever heard us complain about you guys and your thinning hair and your "in-our-day" superiority complex?

No. Mostly because we can't be bothered. But today we can. Today we fight back. Today we give you 20 good reasons why Gen X needs to shut itself down.

1. Lending pens and books with the caveat: "Mate, see this? It's a boomerang. It comes right back to me, OK?"

2. Incessant mentions of "my wife".

3. And the KIDS. F**k. We don't. Care.

4. Lengthy anecdotes about the way offices used to work. "We used to get paid in packets. You could tell how much money everyone around you was on."

5. Talking about pop culture when they haven't seen a (non-Pixar) movie in a decade.

6. Talking about walking to school in bare feet. As if 1970s Australia was the third world.

7. "The Twitters". It's Twitter. Just Twitter. It's not that hard.

8. Licking the tips of fingers in order to turn paper. Not necessary. The page will turn dry. Especially on an iPad.

9. Glacial pace of conducting simple computer tasks. The start button is in the bottom left-hand corner. We're not an IT help-desk.

10. Lamenting the "good old days": Reading maps. Inviting someone to a party by phone. Looking someone up in a phone book. The internet exists. Move on.

11. Talking to us about the "good old days" full stop. You're not actually that old.

12. What. The hell. Is "petty cash"? EFTPOS. It's simple.

13. On that note, what's a "checking account"?

14. "Savings? More like SPENDINGS!" Nope.

15. We don't actually "expect everything just to be handed" to us. Except the keys to the world. We'd do a better job, then find a new one in three months.

16. We'd planned to write more points but we got bored.

Apathy, for the win.

Disagree? Reckon we're Gen Y douchelords? Tell us about it on Twitter. We'll show you how to use it first | @newscomauHQ

Ed's note: Gotta love Gen Y. If it wasn't for them, who would pour my drinks and rent my investment properties?


20.01 | 0 komentar | Read More

The boy who just wanted to fit in

BEFORE: Miles is segregated from the rest of his classmates in the photo that broke his parents hearts. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

IT WAS the school portrait that Miles Ambridge's parents vowed never to show him for fear of hurting the seven-year-old's feelings.

As his classmates at Herbert Spencer Elementary School in British Columbia sit together in three neat rows, Miles, who has muscular dystrophy, is seen stranded in his wheelchair to the group's left, straining his body to get closer to the other children.

The photo made world headlines earlier this week after his heartbroken parents posted it on Facebook to raise awareness of discrimination against disabled children in schools.

Mother Anne Belanger told local media she couldn't bear to look at the photo.

"Look at the angle that he was in," she said.

"He's ostracised, he wants to be part of the gang so much."

Miles' father Don Ambridge added: "For some reason, it makes me feel even worse that he's so happy in the picture. I think it's because he's still innocent … He's still naive to how other people can treat him."

Thanks to their campaign, Lifetouch, the company who took the original photo agreed to a reshoot - with amazing results.

This time Miles sits in the front row, minus his wheelchair, sporting a proud grin.

"You can't pick him out this time," an overjoyed Ms Belanger told local newspaper The Province. "For him, to fit in, this is what it should be."

Incredibly, the new photograph has been criticised as "sending the wrong message" because it shows Miles out of his wheelchair.

But Mr Ambridge disagreed.

"All you've got to do is look at the kid sitting on the bench with a grin on his face and that's why we do it.

"He's a happy little guy."

Miles was never shown the original photo, but his parents have kept a copy in case he ever wants to see it.

On Wednesday, Ms Belanger showed her son the new class photo.

His response: "Oh, mummy, that's so nice!"


20.01 | 0 komentar | Read More

LeBron leads Heat to NBA finals win

Miami Heat have defeated the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 to take the NBA Finals Series 4-3 and win back to back NBa Championships.

THE Miami Heat, led by NBA MVP LeBron James, has won the NBA Finals for the second consecutive year by defeating the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 in Game 7.

James had 37 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat, while Dwyane Wade added 23 points and 10 rebounds and Shane Battier scored 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting from 3-point range.

James made 5 of 10 3-point attempts, all the while hounding Spurs star Tony Parker on defence.

Best pictures from the game

Tim Duncan had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs, who were trying to become the first road team to win a finals Game 7 since Washington in 1978. Kawhi Leonard added 19 points and 16 rebounds.

Parker had 10 points on 3-for-12 shooting and four assists, and Manu Ginobili scored 18 points for San Antonio, which lost for the first time in five finals appearances.

The Heat led just 72-71 going into the fourth quarter but edged that out to an eight-point lead with 7:30 to play.

King James comes up with a clutch two-pointer to put Game 7 beyond the Spurs

The Spurs missed seven of their first 10 shots and turned the ball over five times in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter.

Duncan's turnover led to Battier's sixth 3-pointer, a corner dagger that gave Miami an 88-82 lead with 3:21 to go. The delirious Heat crowd leapt to its feet, and they didn't sit down for the rest of a thrilling finish.

The Spurs were not done with, and Leonard's 3 made it 90-88. Tim Duncan had an opportunity to tie the scores but missed a simple putback, and James knocked down a 19-foot jumper with 27.9 seconds to go, effectively sealing the victory.

San Antonio's Danny Green, for five games the favourite for finals MVP thanks to his record-setting 3-point shooting, missed his first eight shots and finished with five points on 1-for-12 shooting, while Game 6 hero Ray Allen was 0 for 4 with three turnovers for Miami.

The Heat have been to three straight finals, just like they envisioned when Pat Riley brought James, Wade and Bosh together three summers ago. But it's been anything but easy for the NBA's latest super team.

They lost to Dallas in 2010, suffering the final defeat in Game 6 on their home floor, then rebounded to steamroll the Oklahoma City Thunder last season.

A costly turnover by San Antonio's Danny Green results in a dunk by the Heat's Dwyane Wade in Game 7.

This regular season was shaping up as a coronation more than a competition, with the Heat rattling off 66 victories, including a staggering 27 in a row. They entered the playoffs with an air of invincibility, but were pushed as hard as they've ever been.

In the proud Spurs, they faced an ageing core that simply wouldn't give in, which had to make this victory their most satisfying yet.

The Heat were all but eliminated in Game 6, down 13 points at the start of the fourth quarter and five with 21 seconds to play but somehow they managed to force overtime and win it to keep their back-to-back hopes alive.

"It's like you have a second chance on life,'' Bosh said. "You're not going to waste it. We were revived. We were dead. We brought ourselves back to life.''

The Heat made the most of the kind of second chance that the Spurs have so rarely given over the years. James found the perimeter shooting that had been lacking for most of the series, hitting consecutive 3s in the third quarter to get Miami going after a ragged start.

The reigning MVP also locked down Parker, the focal point of the Spurs offence, forcing him to give the ball up earlier in the shot clock than he wanted.

LeBron James of the Miami Heat celebrates after defeating the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 to win Game Seven of the 2013 NBA Finals.

Had the Heat lost, James would have fallen to 1-3 in the NBA's championship rounds, and his legion of critics would have been banging on his door with more "He's no Jordan'' vitriol.

Instead, James delivered with the clutch performances that have now become the norm for him.

He rescued the Heat in Game 6, scoring 16 points in the fourth quarter, then he followed that up with a sterling Game 7.

James missed four of his first six shots, but started to find a rhythm late in the second quarter. He converted a three-point play on an acrobatic drive to the rim and hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key for a 33-27 lead, bringing the white-clad home crowd to their feet.

Duncan just wouldn't let the Spurs fade. The 37-year-old had a three-point play, four free throws and another layup that tied the game at 40 and Ginobili's two free throws gave the Spurs the lead again at 42-40.

He scored 10 straight point in the third quarter to keep the Heat in it, hitting consecutive 3-pointers.

LeBron James reacts after making a basket against the Spurs.

It was a heartbreaking way to end it for these Spurs, who were 21 seconds from title No. 5 when everything went wrong in Game 6. Now, once again, they will face proclamations of their demise. Only this time, it may be harder to hold those off.

Duncan is 37, but coming off an All-NBA First Team season and a vintage performance in the finals. The 31-year-old Parker is nearing his apex after one of his finest seasons. But Ginobili will turn 36 next month and will be a free agent, perhaps marking the end of the three-person core that helped put the Alamo City on the NBA map, and keep it there for 10 years.

Back in 2007, when the Spurs swept James and the Cleveland Cavaliers for the franchise's fourth title, Duncan found the young superstar for a quiet moment to tell him that the league would one day be his.

Now James has four MVPs, two Olympic golds and back-to-back titles on his resume. Duncan has been right so many times throughout his career. This time, it's at his own expense.

Replay our rolling coverage with basketball expert Boti Nagy below

On a mobile device? Click here for a better viewing experience

20.01 | 0 komentar | Read More

Man stands up to cops. Literally

Written By komlim puldel on Kamis, 20 Juni 2013 | 20.01

Anti-government protesters in Turkey stage another round of silent protests. Paul Chapman reports.

Take that, goverment. Oof!

  • Turkish protests take a non-violent turn
  • Man stands in protest. Just stands.
  • Authorities unsure what to do
  • Turkish protests now in their third week

THIS is an outstanding story, in every sense of the word.

To be precise, this is a story about a guy out standing in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey.

All day long, Turkish man Erdem Gunduz has been standing. That's it. And his stand, if you'll excuse the pun, has quickly become one of the strongest symbols of resistance to the government in the current wave of Turkish protests.

Any resemblance to Mark Knopfler, lead singer and excellent guitarist from '80s band Dire Straits, is purely coincidental. Source:

After violence flared up at several protests across Turkey, Erdem Gunduz chose a different approach. An approach which evokes comparisons with famous peaceful protests like those of Mahatma Ghandi, and the protestor who stood up to the tank in China's Tiananmen Square.

It started at twilight on June 17, 2013, when Mr Gunduz walked across Istanbul's Taksim Square and stood facing toward the Ataturk Cultural Center. You could have mistaken him for a tourist. Except tourists generally mill about and then go somewhere.

Not Mr Gunduz. He was going nowhere. Not only that, but he barely moved a muscle. He just stood there, hands in pockets. And continued standing some more. And kept standing.

His face gave away little. His expression was nonchalant. Defiant but not aggressive. Determined rather than angry.

Standing is the new sitting Source:

As protests against the Turkish government enter their third week, activists are trying to show the government that violence is neither their aim nor their preferred method of making a point.

Mr Gunduz has now been joined by many of his countrymen and women. Not everybody is sympathetic. Some people have tried to poke him and provoke an angry response. He won't stand for that. His response is simply to stand some more.

Perhaps he passed his time listening to Elton John's "I'm Still Standing" Source:

Across Turkey, people are now standing alongside him, emulating his peaceful protest.

Turks have even created a Twitter hashtag, #duranadam, which translates as "standing man".

Prime Minister Erdogan has previously labelled the protesters terrorists, but that's become a pretty hard line to peddle given the non-violent nature of the standing protests.

Careful. Standing can lead to holding hands. Source:

The protests in Turkey originally started over a plan to build a mall on one of the rare areas of green space in Istanbul.

Protests soon grew into a movement of both right- and left-wing activists, plus regular citizens, who were angry at a government which is viewed as increasingly Islamist and authoritarian.

But many Turks remain extremely supportive of the government, which has eradicated a culture of corruption in many sectors of public life, and helped make the Turkish economy one of the strongest in Europe.

In an overnight development, the Turkish government has approved the peaceful resistance which is spreading through Turkey.

"This is not an act of violence," Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said. "We cannot condemn it."

20.01 | 0 komentar | Read More

Jager stunt goes horribly awry

A partygoer is in a coma and eight others hospitalised after a swimming pool was filled with liquid nitrogen at Jagermeister event in Mexico. Source LiveLeak

A YOUNG man remains in a coma after organisers of a party designed to promote Jagermeister pumped liquid nitrogen into a swimming pool.

Nine partygoers who were in the pool at the time were taken to hospital after four buckets of liquid nitrogen were poured in. Eight of the nine have since been released.

Last Saturday's party, held in Leon, Mexico, was attended by about 200 people, mainly young adults.

WHEN STUNTS GO WRONG: Hugh Jackman crashes into Sydney Opera House


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Witnesses told the Daily Mail party organisers, dressed in orange uniforms, had added the substance to the pool to create a smoke effect.

But shortly thereafter, party attendees noticed people in the pool passing out and losing consciousness.

It has been suggested that the liquid nitrogen had a chemical interaction with the chlorine in the pool which created toxic smoke.

A 21-year-old man, identified as Jose Ignacio Lopez del Toro by Univision Noticias, remains in a coma in Campestre Medical Hospital.

Mexican officials have launched an investigation.

In a statement from Jagermesiter headquarters in Germany, company officials said they were working with event organisers and authorities to determine what happened.

"We fully support responsible drinking and adhere to the guidelines within each market in which we operate," the Jagermeister officials said in their statement.

20.01 | 0 komentar | Read More

Sopranos star James Gandolfini dies

Gandolfini's friend and fellow cast member of The Sopranos, Vince Curatola, speaks about the death of the 51 year old actor. Credit: Fox News

JAMES Gandolfini, best known as TV mob boss Tony Soprano, has died in Italy at the age of 51.

There are conflicting reports as to whether the US actor suffered a stroke or heart attack.

Gandolfini's managers Mark Armstrong and Nancy Sanders, said he died Wednesday while on holiday in Rome. No cause of death was given.

"Our hearts are shattered and we will miss him deeply. He and his family were part of our family for many years and we are all grieving,'' said Armstrong and Sanders.

In pictures: Sopranos star James Gandolfini

Leigh Paatsch: Gandolfini changed television

James Gandolfini in his role as Tony Soprano, head of the New Jersey crime family portrayed in HBO's The Sopranos.Gandolfini has died in Italy. He was 51.

Already a well-travelled actor, Gandolfini shot to fame in 1999 as the head of a mob family on HBO TV series The Sopranos, the show that changed TV's reputation into a destination for quality drama and in turn, film actors.

HBO confirmed the star's death, saying Gandolfini was on vacation in Rome and was expected to make an appearance at the Taormina Film Festival in Sicily later this week.

"We are all in shock and feeling immeasurable sadness at the loss of a beloved member of our family. He was a special man, a great talent, but more importantly a gentle and loving person who treated everyone no matter their title or position with equal respect," HBO said in a statement.

"He touched so many of us over the years with his humour, his warmth and his humility. Our hearts go out to his wife and children during this terrible time."

Tony Sirico, Michael Imperioli, James Gandolfini and Steven Van Zandt in 'The Sopranos'.

Gandolfini lived in New York with his wife, former model Deborah Lin. The couple had a daughter, Liliana, last October. Gandolfini also had a son, Michael, from a previous marriage.

Gandolfini won three best actor Emmys and a Golden Globe for his depiction of mob boss Tony Soprano, who constantly questions his identity and purpose.

The bear-like actor eventually earned $US1 million per episode in the HBO series and Entertainment Weekly listed him as the 42nd Greatest TV Icon of All Time.

Tributes for James Gandolfini

As a tribute to James Gandolfini, this weekend Foxtel's SoHo channel will present The Top 10 Episodes of The Sopranos – as chosen by TIME magazine. This countdown will air from 1pm EST on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday's episode line up:
Where's Johnny (Season Five – Episode 5003)
Funhouse (Season Two – Episode 2013)
Long Term Parking (Season Five – Episode 5012)
Whoever Did This (Season Four – Episode 4009)
Join the Club (Season Six – Episode 6002)

Sunday's line-up:
Employee of the Month (Season Three – Episode 3004)
Whitecaps (Season Four – Episode 4013)
The Sopranos Pilot (Season One – Episode 1001)
Pine Barrens (Season Three – Episode 3011)
College (Season One – Episode 1005)

James Gandolfini, most known for his role as Tony Soprano, has died in Italy at the age of 51. Credit: Fox News

Meanwhile, fans, actors and many celebrities around the world have paid tribute to Gandolfini.

Steve Van Zandt, member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street band and Gandolfini's co-star in The Sopranos, has tweeted his sadness at Gandolfini's passing: "I have lost a brother and a best friend. The world has lost one of the greatest actors of all time."

David Chase, the show creator who cast Gandolfini in The Sopranos, has released a statement saying: "He was a genius. Anyone who saw him even in the smallest of his performances knows that.

"A great deal of that genius resided in those sad eyes. I remember telling him many times, 'You don't get it. You're like Mozart'. There would be a silence at the other end of the phone.

"For Deborah and Michael and Liliana this is crushing. And it's bad for the rest of the world.

James Gandolfini and his wife Deborah Lin at the 2008 Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. AP Photo/Chris Pizzello

"He wasn't easy sometimes. But he was my partner, he was my brother in ways I can't explain and never will be able to explain."

Chase also wrote and directed one of Gandolfini's final movie performances, in last year's coming of age drama Not Fade Away.

Gandolfini told the LA Times in December that his performance in that film was a "homage" to his own late father, James Snr.

"My father … was old school – Brooklyn, cement mason, bricklayer. He didn't understand me or my generation. He took care of his family, took care of his children," Gandolfini told the paper.

"What we as children didn't realise is our father was a man who had dreams, aspirations and maybe there were things he wanted to do and he couldn't because he had a family. When I realised that … I wished I was a better son."

Actors Robert Iler (C), with Edie Falco (L) and James Gandolfini toasting with drinks at the dinner table in The Sopranos

Australian director Andrew Dominik described Gandolfini as "one of THE great actors" and a "deeply sensitive guy" after working with the late actor on last year's hitman drama Killing Them Softly.

Opinion from movie aficionados on Twitter this morning was that, while universally revered for The Sopranos, Gandolfini's film work was highly underrated.

The New Jersey native, who began his acting career on stages in New York, was one of Hollywood's first-choice supporting players.

His breakthrough came as the hitman Virgil in Tony Scott's 1993 crime hit, True Romance, with Christian Slater and Christopher Walken.

He went on to roles in films such as Killing Them Softly alongside Brad Pitt, as a creature voice in the Australian-shot Where the Wild Things Are, in Kathryn Bigelow's acclaimed Zero Dark Thirty and comedy In the Loop.

james Gandolfini with then-wife Marcy at the 2000 Emmys where he won a best actor award. AFP / Scott Nelson

It is believed the last film he shot was Animal Rescue, a crime drama co-starring Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace.

He also recently filmed Enough Said, a comedy with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Toni Collette.

Gandolfini said he was reluctant to take on another gangster role in Killing Them Softly, directed by Australian Andrew Dominik, but eventually found a way to play his doomed hit-man.

He told US television: "I started thinking, 'I've done a bunch of these guys and this is kind of the final nail in the coffin. This is where you are at the end'. So maybe if I played it that way in my mind, this is the last one, then it got interesting."

Dominik said "He does very little, when you're shooting, that's not usable or believable. There's not much that I did except encourage him. It's not like he needs hand-holding."

He said Gandolfini gave himself "a hard time" during the shoot. After seeing the movie, Gandolfini believed one of his scenes was "s---" and told the director just that.

"Sometimes it's difficult to even get a word in because he's beating himself up so bad. He's a really nice guy, really, deeply sensitive guy, and I guess that's why he's so affecting. When [his character] Mickey's talking about his wife or some girl he's in love with, I feel like I can see his soul or something."

Rod Lurie, writer and creator of the TV show Commander in Chief (starring Geena Davis as the first female President), directed Gandolfini in the 2001 film The Last Castle.

Lurie recalled on Twitter complimenting his leading man, Robert Redford, on his acting during the shoot. Lurie said Redford "smiled, pointed to James Gandolfini and said, 'That's an actor'."

Lurie also revealed "inside" information via tweet that Gandolfini was to return to working with Lurie and HBO for a project called Sacco and Vanzetti.

Sacco and Vanzetti were real life anarchists who were executed in the US in 1927 – the Italian immigrants convicted of murder in a high profile trial which is today considered a miscarriage of justice.

Russell Crowe has joined in the outpouring of grief for Gandolfini on Twitter.

"Sad to hear about James Gandolfini ," tweeted the Aussie actor.

"First met Jimmy back in '94.He was roommates in NY with Lenny Loftin. Lovely man. RIP Jimmy."

Crowe co-starred with Loftin in one of his first big Hollywood movies, LA Confidential.

Mourning his loss on Twitter were fellow actors including Albert Brooks who wrote, "RIP James Gandolfini. One hell of an actor."

Jonah Hill said he was "truly heartbroken to hear that James Gandolfini has passed away. He is one of my all time favourite actors. Tragic loss."

Tom Sizemore tweeted that Gandolfini would "forever" be "the dude in True Romance to me. RIP. Damn."

Steve Carell said the loss was "unbelievably sad news. A fine man".

Lost creator and Star Trek into Darkness screenwriter Damon Lindelof tweeted: "James Gandolfini. You created an icon. And you cut to black way too abruptly. Thank you, and rest in peace."

Actor Kirstie Alley tweeted: "James Gandolfini … this sucks!!! You are so loved and admired … I hope somehow you know that."

Read more tweets about James Gandolfini


20.01 | 0 komentar | Read More

Insulting receipt served with chicken and fries

Written By komlim puldel on Rabu, 19 Juni 2013 | 20.02

Friendly's Sports Bar and Grill. Source: Google Plus. Source: Supplied

Joe Gibson's receipt from Friendly's Sports Bar had an unwanted addition on the bill. Source: Facebook. Source: Supplied

IT was an ideal Father's Day afternoon.

Missouri father Joseph Gibson took his three-year-old son to the Botanic Gardens, before popping into Friendly's Sports Bar for a 7-up, chicken and fries.

Everything went according to plan, until Mr Gibson received a bill with "F***in needy kids" printed right above the $13.75 charge.

Mr Gibson posted the receipt on the St Louis Post DispatchFacebook page to vent his anger.

"My child and I sat in for a late lunch early dinner. The receipt explains for what. I called the manager or someone in charged [sic] I explained how offended I was and what actions were going to be taken. (They said) 'If you're that highly offended then dont come in' ... click ... this place isnt so friendly. I got nowhere with management. maybe you can help," he wrote.

It is the latest in a string of receipts gone viral, after US restaurant Applebee's fired a waitress for posting a note she received from a pastor online, while three women got a cheque describing them as "fat girls" from a California restaurant.

Mr Gibson's post ignited comments online, with some saying there was no excuse for a restaurant named Friendly's to serve up such a charge.

"Maybe the waitress did have a hard time with the table. But, there was NO reason in the world to print that on a receipt. So much for the friendly in friendly sports bar." Barb Cavner Larson wrote on Facebook.

Others sided with restaurant owner Denny Domachowski, who told the St Louis Post Dispatch they don't usually allow children in the bar or menu substitutions, but he decided to make an exception for Father's Day.

"They accommodated you and your kid by a) breaking their own rules to allow you to bring him and b) broke their own rules by allowing a substitution. Yes customers in an adult bar with children are a joke. Chill out and find a nice hobby," said Jay Shemwell.

Mr Domachowski said the comment was written as an instruction between the restaurant server and the kitchen staff and should never have made it to the table.

"Normally, those (kitchen) instructions are cleared off the bill before it's printed out and given to the customer," he told the Post Dispatch . "But, obviously, they weren't."

"I can understand why the gentleman was upset ... and that's why I apologise."

However Friendly's Sports Bar appeared to laugh off the story on their Facebook page, posting "Ain't no thing but a chicken wang" with commenters still divided over who was right.

"If you all think waitstaff doesn't constantly joke about their clients, you've obviously never worked in a restaurant. Fine dining or otherwise, it's just how we roll. Relax, take a joke," wrote Jessica Dunek.

Pat Fisher thought otherwise: "That's fine. But resorting to profanity on a receipt? come on...keep it among the workers and don't bring the customers (who put $$ in your pockets) into it," he wrote.


20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

The 6 biggest money mistakes young people make

MANAGING your money is boring, obviously, but buying things is not.

Taking money stuff seriously from a young age means you will have more of it. Having more money means you can buy more things.

If this sounds patronising, we're sorry. But a lot of the biggest money mistakes young people make are pretty straightforward.

And Gen Xs and Baby Boomers shouldn't get too smug because a lot of these problems ring true for them as well.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission's MoneySmart service has spent 18 months researching and consulting with 18-25 year olds to understand the challenges they face when managing their money.

We asked MoneySmart senior executive Robert Drake to run through the biggest money mistakes they make, and the problems they pose in the long-term.

They get too credit happy

The most obvious mistake young people make when it comes to credit cards is that they think about credit as being free money.

It might sound silly to point this out, because deep down we all know that the money isn't free. Still, every young person has that friend who just keeps adding to their credit card debt.

Most young people have few serious financial responsibilities - they're not yet tied to monthly mortgage payments or a family they have to support.

"That can lead to be people being a little less disciplined about their money but also a lot of young people are really just thinking about today, thinking tomorrow can take care of itself. That approach doesn't always work," Mr Drake said.

Long term it poses big problems. If you get behind of payments it can affect your credit report so later on down the track when you want to get a loan you suddenly find no bank will take you.

They get too excited about their first car

When buying their first car, young people tend to focus on the car they want rather than how they will afford it or what is the best value for money.

Cars are a pretty bad investment - they start depreciating immediately after you buy them and come with a lot of other taxes and on the road costs - which makes it even more important to focus on how you will finance it.

The first thing to think about is the loan. Buying a first car is exciting but once you make a decision don't get swept up in the moment. The loan offered at a car yard is likely more expensive than the loan you could get at a bank or a credit union.

"People want to get it now or think 'Hey it's easy, I can get it all in one place,' and then you find out you've actually paid thousands of dollar extra just to save a few hours checking around," Mr Drake said.

And make sure you get enough insurance.

"Even if you've got an older car, if you run into the back of a Mercedes it's going to cost you a lot more money to get it fixed if you don't have third party property insurance. If you damage your car you could end up in a situation where your car's a write off and you're still paying off the car for five years."

They get overwhelmed by their first job

Most people starting their first job don't know their rights back to front.

They might not know what they should be getting paid, or that they don't have to work "trial shifts" for free, or that they are entitled to penalty rates on weekends.

Nervousness around checking rights at the beginning of a job can end up costing hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost wages over the long-term.

They don't take superannuation seriously

Another big mistake young people make is that they don't pay attention to the superannuation accounts they join. It's too confusing, and retirement is so far away.

But if you move between jobs while studying or while starting your career you can quickly rack up multiple accounts, meaning you're paying multiple fees.

It's also a nightmare to track them all down when you finally do decide to take your superannuation seriously (take it from this reporter).

They're not prepared when they move out of home

When people first move out of home they are aware of the obvious cost of rent, but can be surprised by the one off costs that come along with it. Having to pay bond, connection fees for a phone, big furniture items or the first big grocery shop all adds up.

Mr Drake says young people also need a rough budget to work out how they're going to get by week to week.

"When you sign contracts understand what your obligations are and think ahead about what will happen if something goes not according to plan. What if someone needs to move out? What if you don't get as many shifts at work?"

Or you could find yourself in a situation where the money coming in isn't enough to pay the bills and you're forced to move back home.

"Having to move back home with your parents at 25 is not a thing that most people would look forward to. That's a bit humiliating."

They spend too much on their phone

We all know about bill shock. But another big problem for young people is forking out for an expensive phone only to lose or break it.

And if you're signed onto a contract, you still have to keep paying the bills.

"We give the same advice about a car. If you can't afford the car and the insurance then you can't afford the car,' Mr Drake said.

In other words, if you have a cool phone you should probably get insurance. Otherwise make do with your old Nokia 3315.

For more money tips for young people visit the MoneySmart Rookie page


20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Braziliant! Socceroos seal Cup spot

The Socceroos have stepped out to meet their fans at Circular Quay, Sydney following their win over Iraq.

The Socceroos book their spot in next year's Brazil World Cup after holding off a brave Iraq side in Sydney.

Socceroos coach Holger Osieck praises his troops and reflects on what it means to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Josh Kennedy celebrates his goal for Australia during the World Cup Qualifier between the Socceroos v Iraq at Stadium Australia, Sydney Olympic Park. Picture: Evans Mark Source: The Daily Telegraph

Australia's Tim Cahill has a shot at goal during the World Cup qualifier between Australia Socceroos and Iraq at Stadium Australia, Homebush, Sydney. Picture: Costello Brett Source: The Daily Telegraph

Sasa Ognenovski heads over the bar during the World Cup Qualifier between the Socceroos v Iraq at Stadium Australia, Sydney Olympic Park. Picture: Mark Evans Source: The Daily Telegraph

  • Watch a full replay of the match below on News+ websites (Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph and Courier-Mail)

WELL, you didn't really doubt them did you? The team that likes to do it the hard way is going to the World Cup, but guess what? They did it the hard way.

An 82nd-minute goal from Josh Kennedy punctured Iraq's resistance, earning the Socceroos the narrowest of wins.

But ultimately no one cared about the margin, for the win was enough to confirm a third consecutive appearance at the World Cup finals.

Kennedy had only been on the pitch for five minutes, introduced for Tim Cahill to the latter's annoyance, when he met Bresciano's right-wing cross with a thumping downward header.

Socceroos seal World Cup spot

Every member of the squad and the coaching staff ran with delirium to the corner, bar coach Holger Osieck, who stood with his arms aloft. Minutes later the whole crowd followed suit, and the party was under way.

There was no surprise at Osieck's naming of an unchanged team after the quality of the two most recent performances, and this time there weren't early nerves from the green and gold. The crowd craved an early goal and it so nearly came as Australia hit their stride instantly.

Lucas Neill's astute pass found Robbie Kruse in space and he combined brilliantly with Cahill to work an opening for the latter, only for his goal-bound shot to be turned aside spectacularly by Noor Sabri in the Iraqi goal.

Across the pitch there was good movement, with Brett Holman constantly looking to link with Kruse, and Waleed Salim Edwereag incurring a yellow card for a lunging tackle on Tommy Oar.

The first half from the Socceroos' must-win final game in their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign against Iraq.

Just before the quarter hour the breakthrough almost came from an unlikely source, as Mark Bresciano found Neill on the right for a cross that Sasa Ognenovski met with a wasteful diving header.

Kruse was the go-to man, flitting constantly to find space and demanding the ball, while Cahill roamed deep and wide to disrupt the Iraqi defence.

Holger hails resilient Kennedy

It was the New York Red Bulls star whose clever pass released Holman into the box, but he was denied by a desperate tackle from Ali Adnan Kadhim.

Then on 35 minutes Cahill was a whisker away with a hooked volley over his own shoulder after Noor spilled Matt McKay's looping cross.

The second half from the Socceroos' must-win final game in their FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign against Iraq.

From Iraq there was little real threat during the opening stanza, bar one glorious cross-field ball from Saif Salman Hashim, and errant backpasses on a surface that invited suspicion were the greatest threat to Mark Schwarzer.

But as the half ended Noor's only real alarm remained the early shot from Cahill, despite long periods of pressure from the home team.

Schwarzer would be tested within seconds of the restart though, thanks again to carelessness in his own defence. Three times the ball was given away and finally Salman took the invitation to let fly with a skidding shot the goalkeeper did well to hold.

As the rain came down, the game opened up.

Relieved Socceroos let off steam

Oar brought the crowd to their feet with a barnstorming run, then Iraq broke with pace and only Neill's astute positioning denied Dhurgham Ismael Dawood.

Emboldened, Iraq began to play with verve through midfield with Salman's vision sparking alarm in the home ranks. The Socceroos' own playmaker, Bresciano, sought to reply in kind with a rasping drive over the bar from 20m, then creating space for a low cross that Noor dived to gather.

On the hour Osieck made his move and Tom Rogic came on to acclaim. Within seconds the 20-year-old was marauding through the Iraqi defence, and from a subsequent corner Australia thought they had the lead.

Wilkshire's delivery was headed up by Cahill and volleyed spectacularly into the top corner by Kruse, only for referee Faghani Alireza to pull up Ognenovski for a foul. 

Australia 1 (Josh Kennedy 83) bt Iraq 0 at ANZ Stadium. Crowd: 80,523 Referee: Alireza Faghani

Party first, down to business later

Hardly beautiful but result is perfect

Replay how the action unfolded on our match blog below.

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20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

The Voice: What we rated and hated

Written By komlim puldel on Selasa, 18 Juni 2013 | 20.02

The Voice final 16 perform 'You're the Voice' ... reminding them which show they were on. Source: Supplied

The final four await the winners announcement. Harrison knows he's got this one in the bag. Source: Supplied

THE Voice has finally wrapped, with red hot favourite Harrison Craig taking out the title in an emotionally-charged finale. Here's what we loved and loathed from last night's epic showdown.


Harrison's adorable little ginger-haired brother, Connor. Sign him up for next season.

Delta's outfits. Loved all three of them - the Steven Khalil crystallised gown, the top-and-skirt combo by Alex Perry and Constantina Lou and the Alex Perry dress for her duet with Celia Pavey.

Delta Goodrem rocked out in some stunning outfits, even if her dancing wasn't quite up to scratch. Picture: Twitter Source: Twitter

Host Darren McMullen copping a mouthful of glittering confetti after Harrison was announced as the winner. Brilliant.

Luke Kennedy's duet with coach Ricky. They killed the Moulin Rouge remix of The Police hit, Roxanne.

The Latin crooner's world premiere of his new single, Come With Me, which won him a standing ovation.

Ricky Martin rocks out on stage, wowing the crowd with his new single 'Come with me'. Source: Supplied

Seal's shiny silver shoes - seriously cool.

Harrison Craig does a good job keeping his focus on the song, and not Seal's silver shoes. Source: Supplied

Lead singer Ryan Tedder and the guys from OneRepublic performing their hit song, Counting Stars.

Frontman Ryan Tedder and his band OneRepublic singing hit single, Counting Stars. Picture: Twitter Source: Twitter

Harrison's beautiful manners. Could this young man with the big blue eyes get any sweeter?

Joel's hair - Fluoro green with GC emblazoned in the back. Must be missing his bro, Benji.

Joel Madden's trendy do last night. Loving the Good Charlotte shout-out. Picture: Twitter Source: Twitter

The massive cheer from the audience as Joel made his exit - that man has had one hellish week.


Poor Harrison having to perform his new single, Unconditional, while holding back the tears. Could have given the kid a minute to catch his breath.

We're not sure but did Joel Madden momentarily forget the words during his duet with Danny Ross?

The Voice producers had to remind Harrison of his name ... just in case he forgot in the emotional moments after he was announced the winner. Source: Supplied

Wayyy too much chat about bromances, brothers from other mothers and sisters from other misters.

The suspense. Parents around Australia were at war with their kids over the meaning of "just moments away".

Robin Thicke's sweaty performance of Blurred Lines. How many times can one singer use the word "B*tch" during primetime TV viewing?

An extra layer of clothing on those three back-up dancers wouldn't have gone astray either.

Perhaps the creepiest performance of the night - Robin Thicke strutted out on stage with dark sunnies and skimpy girls. Source: Supplied

Delta's awkward arm-twirling dancing. We were all waiting for her to take a tumble off the stage in those magnificent Alexander McQueen boots.

The excess of promos for Australia's Got Talent. Although Kyle soaring through space on a star was a laugh.

Kyle 'I do all my own stunts' Sandilands. Picture: Twitter / @kyleandjackieo Source: Twitter

 What did we miss from last night's finale? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.

Follow Charlotte Willis on Twitter

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How to get a body like Superman

Henry Cavill as Superman in Man of Steel. Picture: AP Source: AP

SUPERMAN actor Henry Cavill says he ate 5,000 calories (over 21,000 kilojoules) a day to bulk up for Man Of Steel.

Cavill has given fans a glimpse into the gruelling fitness regime he undertook to transform his body from "Fat Cavill" to Man Of Steel.

The results are clear in a workout video produced by the 30-year-old when he strips off his shirt to reveal his toned physique.

Henry Cavill in his workout video. Picture: Supplied Source:

He credits his trainer Mark Twight with the transformation.

"He's opened my eyes to seeing past what I thought were my limits. He's a remarkable man, truly," he said.

However Cavill revealed that despite his incredible frame, he used to be self-conscious about his body.

"I was fat ... I was Fat Cavill", he told Details magazine.

Henry Cavill in his workout video. Picture: Supplied Source:

But after he landed his first major role in the 2002 film The Count of Monte Cristo he was inspired to lose weight and get in shape.

"I lost one and a half stone and I wasn't Fat Cavil anymore," he revealed.

He says he ate 5,000 calories a day and worked out for two and a half hours a day to get to get into Superman shape.

Henry Cavill in his workout video. Picture: Supplied Source:

"You've got to eat protein first, then a little bit of carbs ... you've gotta keep your hunger levels going."

"I'm training two and a half hours a day, pushing my body beyond its normal limits, putting on a lot of muscle mass and just making myself look like Superman," he said.

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Raiders to decide on Fergo's future

While Ferguson is suspended by the NRL, former NSW Origin player Adamson says punishment doesn't send a strong message.

Matthew Johns and Mark Geyer say their struggling to comprehend how Blake Ferguson could be out with former Canberra teammate Josh Dugan, without seeing the warning signs.

NRL Chief Executive Dave Smith says there was no option but to take a harsh line approach and suspend Blake Ferguson's registration.

NSW Origin player Blake Ferguson arrives at Waverley police station on Monday afternoon. Picture: Toby Zerna Source: The Daily Telegraph

Josh Dugan, front, and Blake Ferguson earlier this year. Source: Supplied

UPDATE: THE Canberra Raiders will make a decision on Blake Ferguson's future within the next 24 hours after the Origin winger was charged last night with indecent assault.

The NSW State of Origin camp was thrown into turmoil after Ferguson was sacked for Origin II in Brisbane next week.

And a clearly fed-up NRL reacted further by suspending him from all matches "over repeated behavioural issues involving the abuse of alcohol".


This morning the Raiders released a statement saying it supported the actions of the NRL in regard to standing Blake Ferguson down from Origin and will meet with the player and the board in the next 24 hours to determine the club's outcome for his future.

"We recognise this process is going to involve discussions with the NRL and also the need for the club to continue to send a strong message in this area," Raiders CEO Don Furner said.

"We have been in constant consultation with the NRL integrity unit and will continue to work with them to determine the best course of action for Blake, the Raiders and the NRL.

Ferguson was yesterday arrested and charged with indecently assaulting a woman at a Sydney nightclub.

He was bailed to appear in Waverley Local Court on July 16.  

NSW winger Blake Ferguson with a couple of beers. Picture: Bill Hearne Source: The Daily Telegraph

The 23-year-old Canberra Raiders winger is alleged to have groped a 23-year-old woman, who slapped him after the incident at a Cronulla bar on Sunday night. Police sources said CCTV footage captured the alleged incident at 2230 Restaurant and Bar in Cronulla Mall about 10.30pm.

It is understood Ferguson's NSW teammate Josh Dugan, who was also drinking, has been cleared of any involvement by the CCTV footage.


"After the incident there was an exchange between Ferguson and a male friend of the girl," the police source said.

"They left the club and went straight to the police station and complained."


Ferguson was reportedly ejected from the premises and then refused re-entry by security, who were acting on the advice of police. But, according to a witness, Ferguson re-entered through a rear door before the alleged altercation took place.

He arrived at Waverley police station last night flanked by Blues team managers Craig Young and Burt Lowrie and solicitor Paul McGirr.

NRL Chief Executive Dave Smith says there was no option but to take a harsh line approach and suspend Blake Ferguson's registration.

Ferguson becomes the second NSW player stood down for Origin II after prop James Tamou was cut from the squad after a high-range DUI reading while driving unlicensed.

The integrity unit made a recommendation to NRL chief executive Dave Smith last night that Ferguson be sacked from the Blues side.

Blake Ferguson in action for the Blues in Origin I. Picture: Gregg Porteous Source: The Daily Telegraph

"The fans do not want to see the game tarnished and neither do the players," Smith said.

"It's time for people to understand that the game isn't going to accept this sort of (alleged) behaviour.


"The first step in Blake's case is to make a clear call in relation to Origin and we will consult with the Raiders to determine the minimum period we would look at in terms of suspension."

Ferguson and NSW team-mate Josh Dugan were drinking at 2230 Restaurant and Bar in Cronulla when the alleged incident occurred.

Matthew Johns and Mark Geyer say their struggling to comprehend how Blake Ferguson could be out with former Canberra teammate Josh Dugan, without seeing the warning signs.

The same two players were caught drinking on a Canberra rooftop earlier this season, Dugan was subsequently sacked by the Raiders.

A source close to Canberra said: "This is why we had to spilt them." 

The 2230 bar and restaurant in Cronulla, where the Blake Ferguson incident is alleged to have taken place. Picture: Brett Costello Source: The Daily Telegraph

Patrons at the bar claim Dugan didn't misbehave but was drinking despite having a scan yesterday on an injured ankle. He will not face any action.

St George Illawarra will also be frustrated Dugan was drinking after wearing a moon boot for his injury twice in the past two weeks.

Canberra continue to prove they have what it takes to finish in the top eight, disposing of Penrith 24-12.


Age: 23

NRL games: 101

March: Makes NRL debut for Cronulla in round one clash with Penrith

January: Called up to play for the Indigenous All Stars, following injury to Justin Hodges
July: Angers Cronulla fans by announcing he plans to leave the club in order to play for a team capable of winning a premiership
August: Signs two-year deal with Canberra

April: Makes NSW Country Origin debut and named man of the match, scoring a double in 24-22 loss to City
May: Suspended by Raiders for one week, along with Josh Dugan, for breaching the club's alcohol policy by reporting to training while drunk
November: Removed from a music festival after reportedly spitting on patrons.

January: Walks out of emerging Blues camp due to personal issues, before later apologising to NSW coach Laurie Daley
March: Finds himself in trouble after drinking with Dugan instead of turning up to a recovery session. Ferguson is fined $10,000, banned for one week and ordered to undergo counselling sessions. Dugan is sacked.
March: After serving one-week suspension, Ferguson returns and vows to stay off alcohol for six weeks to turn his season around
May: Makes his State of Origin debut for NSW in a 14-6 victory
June: Named to take on Queensland in game two alongside good mate Dugan. After a drinking session, Ferguson is investigated over an alleged incident at a Cronulla nightspot.

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