The dangerous trend among Aussie women

Written By komlim puldel on Jumat, 30 Mei 2014 | 20.02

Women are being arrested at faster rate than males in New South Wales. Source: Supplied

WOMEN are being arrested by police at a faster rate than men with big increases in drugs, harassment and threatening behaviour.

A report released today by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research shows the number of females arrested in New South Wales has grown by 2.5 per cent over the past decade, soaring past men who had an annual increase 1.7 per cent.

Dr Don Weatherburn, the Director of the Bureau, called it a "significant" change — but one that wasn't restricted to New South Wales.

In recent years there has been a rise in females committing crimes throughout Australia, notably illicit drugs and public order offences.

Women are being arrested at a rate of 2.5 per cent a year — higher than men at 1.7 per cent Source: Supplied

Those arrests were fuelling a big increase in the number of women being jailed. Since 2003 there has been a 27 per cent increase in women behind bars while men have seen an 11 per cent increase.

Of the arrest figures Dr Weatherburn said: "It's certainly a dramatic change. The gap [between men and women] is closing fairly quickly."

He admitted the numbers were a shock to researchers. "It did surprise me, I wasn't expecting it."

Women were most prolific at shoplifting (16.3 per cent), domestic assault (9.2 per cent) and non domestic assault (6.4 per cent).

But the largest increases were:

• in possession and use of ecstasy, up 21.4 per cent a year

• possession and use of other drugs, up 17.1 per cent

• harassment, threatening behaviour and private nuisance, up 14 per cent

• dealing and trafficking in amphetamines, up 13.4 per cent

• possession and use of amphetamines, up 10.6 per cent

He told the intimidation and harassment could be related to stalking "of an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend" whether it be lurking outside their house or through making malicious phone calls.

Experts say if the trend in more women being arrested continues there could be long-term consequences for the criminal justice system. Source: Supplied

Dr Weatherburn said this meant changes in the criminal justice system were needed. "The important question for Governments is, how long are you going to let this continue?"

The new report, coupled with the crime trend in recent years, meant there was a definite trend occurring. "It's no flash in the pan and not a one-off thing.

"Most people tend to think of crime as a male problem and not a female one."

He said monitoring by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre showed no increase in female use of these drugs over the last few years but small groups of women becoming more active in illicit drugs couldn't be ruled out.

The proportion of crime being committed by women in NSW has risen between 2003 and 2013, from 17.3 per cent to 18.3 per cent, so the vast majority of crime is still being committed by men.

The number of juvenile females being dealt with by police is up slightly but has not increased at as fast a rate as the adults.

Dr Weatherburn said even though crime rates were coming down arrest rates were going up. That was explained by policing catching more criminals, even though there was a smaller number overall.

20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Sex slave activist forced out of own foundation

Appearing on Fox News, Somaly Mam talks of her experiences as a young sex slave worker. Courtesy: Fox News

Anti-sex trafficking crusader Somaly Mam has been forced to quit her own charitable foundation amid reports which allege she distorted aspects of her past. Source: AP

A CAMBODIAN woman internationally recognised for her work against sexual slavery has resigned from the foundation she helped create following reports that she distorted parts of her own history.

Somaly Mam had become the pretty, glamorous face of the anti-sex trafficking movement, courting celebrities and world political leaders.

The Cambodian claimed she was an orphan, sold into sexual slavery and repeatedly raped and abused for years. Her memoir, "The Road of Lost Innocence," said she was abused and sold into prostitution as a child — one of several claims now being questioned.

She received U.S. government funding for some of her early work, as well corporate sponsorship and backing from celebrities, including actor Susan Sarandon and Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg.

She has also rubbed shoulders with some of the world's best-known celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Susan Sarandon, Katie Couric and Queen Latifah. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Mam's charity in 2012, meeting girls and young women rescued from sexual slavery.

Cambodian activist Somaly Mam walking with Queen Sofia of Spain in 2008. Pic: AFP Tang Chhin Sothy. Source: AFP

The website of her New York-based Somaly Mam Foundation lists cosmetics company Estee Lauder, finance firm Goldman Sachs and Hilton hotels as corporate sponsors. Among the journalists who wrote about her efforts was New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.

But over the past several years, Mam's life story has been slowly picked apart by childhood friends, culminating in this week's stunning ouster.

"Effective immediately, Somaly Mam has resigned from the Somaly Mam Foundation," the anti-sex slavery group tweeted.

A statement issued Wednesday by the foundation's executive-director, Gina Reiss-Wilchins, said Mam's resignation was accepted after the group was presented with the findings of a two-month investigation it had commissioned from a California-based law firm, Goodwin Procter.

Details of the findings were not released.

Mam could not be reached for comment. Calls to her phone number in Cambodia went unanswered Thursday and her office in Cambodia said it did not know where she was.

"While we are extremely saddened by this news, we remain grateful to Somaly's work over the past two decades and for helping to build a foundation that has served thousands of women and girls, and has raised critical awareness of the nearly 21 million individuals who are currently enslaved today," Reiss-Wilchins said in the statement, which was posted on the foundation's website.

Mam's fellow activist and protege, Long Pross is also no longer affiliated with the organisation.

Somaly Mam has stepped down after colleagues raised doubts about her story. Source: AFP

Mam's resignation followed a cover story in Newsweek about long-questioned aspects of her story. In Cambodia, questions had been raised for several years, especially by the newspaper The Cambodia Daily.

Among the claims that had raised doubts were that her daughter had been kidnapped by traffickers seeking revenge on her, and that eight girls who had been seized from one of her group's refuges in Cambodia in 2004 were murdered by the army there.

The New York Post also reports during a White House visit in February 2012, Mam said she said was sold into slavery at age 9 or 10. That contradicted an interview Mam gave to "The Tyra Banks Show," claiming she was 4 or 5 when her sexual enslavement began, according to Newsweek.

In her book, "The Road of Lost Innocence," Mam said she was trafficked when she was "about 16 years old."

Somaly Mam's high profile work has seen her gain high profile backing like that of Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. Source: AAP

Colleagues of Mam told The Cambodia Daily the daughter had run away from home, and the newspaper reported that she herself retracted the story of the eight murdered girls, which she had related in a speech at the United Nations.

Among those who said she was untruthful were several colleagues and her French ex-husband, Pierre Legros, who helped found her original Cambodia-based organisation, AFESIP, which is the French acronym for Acting for Women in Distressing Situations. The group, formed in 1996, says on its website that it operates in Cambodia and neighbouring Laos to rescue girls and women from forced prostitution, while the Somaly Mam Foundation acts as its fundraising arm.

In 2008, Mam was the co-winner of the $150,000 World's Children's Prize for the Rights of the Child, awarded by the Swedish Children's World Association to recognise those who defend the rights of children. In 2006, she was honoured as one of Glamour magazine's women of the year.

Glamour magazine made her story more widely known through a September 2006 article by Mariane Pearl, widow of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

The foundation will continue its work. Source: AFP

"It's one thing to know theoretically that there is child prostitution and really dire conditions in those brothels, but it was shocking," said Pearl, who visited Mam in Phnom Penh. "The girls that Somaly introduced me to are babies. ... They needed an ambassador. They needed someone to say, 'OK, this is what's going on.' She has the courage to say that, and without her there's just no voice."

The foundation was founded in 2007.

"Despite our heartfelt disappointment, the work of the Foundation and our grant partners must and will carry on," it said. "We have touched the lives of over 100,000 women and girls. We have treated nearly 6,000 individuals at a free medical clinic in Phnom Penh's red light district and engaged nearly 6,400 students in anti-trafficking activism."

Parts of this article were originally published on the New York Post. Associated Press writer Grant Peck in Bangkok, Thailand also contributed to this report.

20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Victim or suspect? MH370’s runaway

Early suspects ... Passengers on the missing Malaysian Airlines plane Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad, left, and 29-year-old Iranian Delavar Seyedmohammaderza. Source: Supplied

'Fleeing persecution' ... Pouria Nour Mohammad Mehrdad has been named as one of two Iranian men travelling on stolen passports. Picture: Facebook Source: Facebook

HE was suspected to be terrorist and accused of killing all on board Malaysia Airlines flight 370, but Pouria Nourmohammadi was just an "ordinary kid" fleeing Iran in fear of religious persecution.

It was 12 weeks ago that his mother, Niloufar Vaezi Tehrani, was waiting for her son to land in Frankfurt.

Since then she has suffered in silence, isolation and under intense scrutiny after it was revealed Pouria and another Iranian passenger — 29-year-old Delavar Seyed Mohammad Reza — had used stolen passports to board the ill-fated flight.

RELATED: The quiet continuing search for MH370

Now, for the first time, the mother-of-two has opened up about her agony and why her teenage son — who she hadn't seen in two years — had broken the law in order to reach her.

"It's not fair to push and point everything regarding this incident at Pouria; they need to look at what was the actual and real reason for this incident," she told News Corp Australia through an interpreter.

Seeking a better life ... Passenger Pouria Nourmohammadi (second left) who was travelling on a stolen passport. Pictured here with friends. Picture: Facebook Source: Supplied

"Judging people is very easy but people don't know the truth. Pouria was an ordinary kid. He was a student at university ... and he just had a normal life."

Ms Vaezi said her son — a kind, sensitive and helpful boy — had been desperate to flee Iran since converting to Christianity.

"People found out Pouria was Christian instead of Muslim and they started looking around him for more information and he was getting into major problems. For that reason he was desperate to get out of the country and he needed to get out as soon as he could," she said.

"When Pouria turned 18 it took longer because getting out of Iran once you turn 18 is very difficult.

"He was planning to go to Germany to be a good person, to study, work and eat. He was just looking for happiness. He was looking to be able to speak his opinion and he was looking for freedom. He just wanted to be able to (live) without fear and being anxious."

A mother's grief ... Niloufar Vaezi Tehrani says her son, MH370 Passenger Pouria Nourmohammadi, was travelling on a stolen passport to escape religious persecution. Source: Supplied

Pouria had also planned to marry his girlfriend, who remains in Iran.

"Pouria has a very good girlfriend. I am worried about her more than I'm worried about myself. She is a loving girl and she's very stressed because Pouria is missing," his mother said.

"They were both first year college students. Pouria was planning to get settled here then ask for a fiancé visa for her.

"Pouria also has a lot of friends who keep calling and saying they are anxiously following the news and waiting for him to come back."

Ms Vaezi last spoke to Pouria on March 7, about 10 minutes before he headed to Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

"We thought initially that the passport was just a made up passport. We didn't even know that the passport was stolen from somebody else," she said.

"But we were still very anxious about it. We talked a lot about this and I said they may realise the age difference between Pouria and the person on the passport.

Escape bid ... Passenger Pouria Nourmohammadi (right) who was travelling on a stolen passport. at left is his mother Niloufar Vaezi Tehrani and younger brother Ilia Nourmohammadi. Pictures: Facebook Source: Supplied

"We were basically very nervous however, despite his fear; Pouria was very excited and very happy that he was coming to see me."

But on the morning of March 8, Ms Vaezi received a call from her brother, who said a Malaysia Airlines flight was missing.

Ms Vaezi then called Pouria's friend, who he had stayed with, in Kuala Lumpur to ask him to go to the airport and inform authorities.

"After that the Malaysian embassy in Berlin called and met with me in my house in Hamburg," she said.

"After that the contact was through email ... But after a few emails the emails it became more like an interrogation or investigation, questioning me and gathering information."

Children of their times. Pouria Nourmohammadi, right, with his mother Niloufar Vaezi Tehrani and younger brother Ilia Nourmohammadi. Picture: Facebook Source: Supplied

Having battled breast cancer (resulting in a double mastectomy) and fled Iran herself, the 47-year-old said she had been dreaming of reuniting with her son before this tragedy.

Family time ... Pouria Nourmohammadi with his younger brother Ilia Nourmohammadi and a pet. Source: Supplied

"I was picturing him coming to Frankfurt and walking by my side. I picture myself hugging and kissing him. I was just waiting for him. When my brother called (to say the plane was missing) it was just so devastating," she said.

"Now I'm just waiting and listening for the phone to ring and for Pouria to come on the phone and talk to me. I don't do anything. The only thing that motivates me to get up each morning is my other son. I'm just spending my days listening for the phone.

"I'm alive because of Pouria. I don't even think of Pouria as being gone."

Ms Vaezi, who is now having regular counselling, said that until the plane is found, she won't give up hope. She even baked a cake and lit a candle for his 19th birthday on April 30 in case he came home.

"I cannot imagine why an aeroplane from that point flew all the way for seven hours and crashed into the Indian Ocean. I can't accept that. I think there is a bigger mystery behind this but unfortunately 239 passengers got involved in that mystery," she said.

Shopping expedition ... Pouria Nourmohammadi with his mother Niloufar Vaezi Tehrani Source: Supplied

"Malaysia Airlines has not contacted me at all or given me any information whatsoever. The only way I get information about the aeroplane is from media and the internet."

Relatives in the US then engaged attorney Dan Gilleon to deal with the investigators.

Mr Gilleon said that despite the two Iranian men being cleared them of any wrongdoing, Malaysia Airlines had refused to provide Pouria's ticketing information to them, saying the passenger's case was in the hands of the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP).

Innocent ... A younger Pouria Nourmohammadi, left, asleep with his younger brother Ilia Nourmohammadi Source: Supplied

"Under the Montreal convention the final destination will help determine venue and jurisdiction to prosecute the case against the airline," he said.

"We don't have any information. They won't give it to me. They won't even respond to my letter. The investigators aren't responding at all. It's just like a black hole.

"She's never talked to me about money at all. I've dealt with a lot of wrongful death cases and parents aren't even going to think about money. They just want to have closure. Her only real way of controlling anything is through legal action. I don't think that she'll particularly care (about the money)."

Neither Malaysia Airlines nor the RMP responded to News Corp.

Ms Vaezi said her only hope now is that the search is not abandoned.

"It is the pain of 239 families. I don't want the aeroplane forgot because of politics or lies or anything," she said.

"A lot of people have a lot of pain but not knowing where they are and what's happened to them is so painful. I just want to know what happened to my son and if he's alive or not.

"Every day thinking about where he is and how he is going is very difficult. I don't want years after when I die for him to come back. I just want to know where he is and what happened to him."

Frozen memory ... Pouria Nourmohammadi, right, in a posed portrait with his mother Niloufar Vaezi Tehrani and younger brother Ilia Nourmohammadi Source: Supplied

20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Burnt offerings fail to impress

Written By komlim puldel on Kamis, 29 Mei 2014 | 20.01

Kira burns her hand on a hot pan. Courtesy: Channel Ten

MasterChef's foodie 'gods' were not impressed with Sean Baxter's burnt offerings. Source: Channel 10

VICTORIA'S Sean Baxter has been eliminated from MasterChef Australia after falling flat with overcooked prawns and rock-hard flatbread.

The 31-year-old crumbled during a difficult two-part challenge that included a blindfolded taste test and then a cook-off using the correctly identified ingredients.

Baxter's exit — he is the 7th contestant eliminated — came as rival Kara Westwick suffered burns to her left hand when she accidentally grabbed a hot pan.

SCOTT ousted by the `female Zumbo"

A clearly-upset Kara was forced to push through the pain barrier to stay in the competition — and she just narrowly avoided being eliminated.

In the end, judges Gary Mehigan, Matt Preston and George Calombaris decided that Sean had made too many mistakes — and he agrees.

"I got overwhelmed," Sean says. "That was a day where I should have simplified my dish but that kitchen does strange things to you. I left everything to the last minute, didn't get my pasta done, and did a very poor substitution of flatbread."

Contestants are given three minutes to taste and identify as many ingredients as possible. Courtesy: Channel 10

The Red Team — Sean, Kira, Amy, Brent, Colin, Georgia, Rachael, Sam and Tash — were thrown into the elimination round after losing Wednesday night's Darren Purchese Dessert Degustation challenge.

Round 1 was a blind tasting where contestants had three minutes to taste a dish — Louisiana Gumbo — and a further two minutes to write down the ingredients.

Amy picked the most ingredients — 15. Kira, Sean and Tash picked 13. Georgia and Rachael identified 11 and Colin 10. Brent had 9 and Sam was last with 7.

RECAP: Emily's banana slip up

Round 2 tasked contestants with 45 minutes to cook a dish using only the ingredients they had correctly identified.

The judges identified early that Sean could have bitten off more than he could chew when he decided to make prawn and chilli sugo with eggless pasta. Mehigan, in particular, thought the dish was a lot of work for not a lot of flavour.

Sam decided to make chilli salt prawns with her limited ingredients. Kirk and Rachael both made dishes using Kransky sausage. Colin was the only contestant to identify butter in the gumbo and decided to use that to his advantage by making a rich chicken roulade.

Sean ran into trouble with his eggless pasta and decided to make flat bread instead. The judges were sceptical.

MASTERCHEF back for another season

Kira was in tears after burning her left hand when she grabbed a hot pan. She admitted being thrown off her game but was determined to fight on because she didn't want to be eliminated.

"It was sad to see Kira injure herself," Sean says. "She is such a good cook and to see her struggle was quite hard."

Colin realised his chicken was still raw with two minutes to go but turned to the frying pan in the hopes of saving his dish.

The tactic worked, with Matt Preston saying the roulade was the best dish Colin had cooked on the show.

Brent landed in the bottom three with his prawns and jalapeño salsa which was way too hot.

Brent's chargrilled prawn dish with jalapenos proves too hot for the judges. Courtesy: Channel Ten

Kira's prawns are cooked well — but that's it.

The judges told Sean his prawns were overcooked and his flatbread was like crackers — dry and tasteless.

In the end, Sean was eliminated because he made more mistakes than his rivals. The judges praised his audition dish and his steak and vegetable plate in week one — but it was downhill after that.

"I cooked all the stuff I knew at the start of the show," Sean says. "I've only got about 30 really good dishes in me. I was surrounded by brilliance."

20.01 | 0 komentar | Read More

Uproar over MH370 ping ‘mess’

Today's top trending stories and news.

Koji Kubota of the Japan Coast Guard keeps watch for debris from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Photo: AFP. Source: AFP

REVELATIONS that the underwater pings heard in early April were not from the MH370 black box has left family members of those on board angry and demanding answers.

The area where the supposed black box pings were heard later became the focus of an intensive ocean search by an underwater vehicle over an 850 square kilometre zone.

But oceanographer Dr Erik Van Sebille warns against criticism, saying deep ocean searches are massively difficult tasks.

Selamat Osman, whose son was on board MH370, said he had been informed by Malaysian Airlines about the doubt now surrounding the supposed black box pings.

Mr Osman said from his home in Malaysia that he was disappointed in the efforts to find the plane and his son and the other 238 on board.

"I feel really disappointed. The attempt to search for the plane is not optimal yet," Mr Osman said.

"They should be working harder rather than talking and talking. In my opinion, they have too much talking rather than working. It doesn't make us really feel sure about their work."

Mr Osman said it was his big hope that the renewed search would yield some results.

FLIGHT PATH: MH370 report confirms search delays

"I am really disappointed that the search operation hasn't found anything."

Sarah Bjac, whose partner Philip Wood was on board the plane, leads a group of relatives of passengers who want more answers.

She said yesterday the latest black box twist was "consistent with the tangled mess that is this supposed investigation". Ms Bajc said from her home in Beijing: "It is a sad commentary on the situation that family members are rejoicing that there is still a chance that our loved ones are being held hostage by hijackers. It is a better option than dead at the bottom of the ocean."

She said the family members were being managed and intentionally distracted.

"I've been saying this since the first weeks. We are being managed and intentionally distracted. Lead, redaction, lead, redaction, lead — until three months later there is not a single solitary fact or piece of evidence that has been proven to be true, not one. Both the leads and the redactions come from a mix of official sources and "leaks". Nothing is logical or consistent or according to standard expected protocols much less common sense."

Mystery disappearance ... it is now believed the pings came from a source not related to the missing Malaysia Airlines plane. Source: AFP


But oceanographer Dr Erik Van Sebille warns against criticism of authorities in the search.

He said deep ocean research, particularly in a place like the southern Indian Ocean, was an incredibly difficult task.

He said oceans were full of sounds and it was not easy to discern them.

'Sounds are made at all different frequencies. The ocean is more a cacophony of these different sounds. You might think you hear one thing but it is another," Dr Van Sebille, from the University of New South Wales said yesterday.

"I think we should be very careful with our criticism. There is no team in the world that could have done a better job than this. Navies know their sounds in the ocean like nothing else," he said, adding that the Australian Navy were among world experts in underwater sounds.

Dr Van Sebille said so many things in the ocean made sounds and it was very difficult to differentiate them.

"Everything in the ocean makes sounds, from whales to shrimps that actually make clicking sounds. Biologists use instruments that make sounds to track animals," he said.

He said that while the 850quare kilometres search by Bluefin-21 did not sound like a lot, searching that amount of ocean floor was a painstakingly slow task.

No sign of the plane ... specialists prepare to launch the Phoenix Autonomous Underwater Vehicle 'Artemis' Bluefin-21 from the vessel Ocean Shield. Source: AFP


Australian authorities today discounted an area that had been considered the most likely zone.

The triangle of water in the Indian Ocean was seen as the prime area largely as a result of the acoustic pings picked up last month, and thought to be from the missing plane's black box.

But the Australian Transport Safety Bureau today advised that the search in the vicinity of the acoustic detections can now be considered complete and that the area can be discounted as the final resting place of MH370.

Transport Minister Warren Truss told parliament the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane will continue in the Indian Ocean even though it was not found in the recent search zone. He said search is about to move into a new phase and Australia was committed to doing everything it can to find the plane.

"We are still very confident that the resting place of the aircraft is in the Southern Ocean," he said.


The ATSB said Bluefin-21 completed its last mission yesterday afternoon searching the remaining areas in the vicinity of the acoustic signals which were detected in early April by the Towed Pinger Locator deployed from ADV Ocean Shield.

"The data collected on yesterday's mission has been analysed. As a result, the JACC can advise that no signs of aircraft debris have been found by the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle since it joined the search effort," it said in a statement.


The next search begins in August and is expected to take about 12 months.

"Unfortunately this is a painstaking effort in a very large ocean." The next area could be 800 kilometres long and 70km wide, he said.

Manager of opposition business, Tony Burke, said the hopes of many had been dashed by the failure to find the plane in the most recent search zone.

"Once again we offer our condolences and words of comfort to the families and friends of the passengers on MH370 who still await more news," he said.

It's over ... the search for the plane in the Indian Ocean has come to an end. Source: AP


The news has come as a shock and disappointment for relatives who are still searching for answers.

New Zealander Danica Weeks, whose mechanical engineer husband, Paul, had boarded MH370 on his way to start a new job in Mongolia, remains in Perth, where their family moved after the Christchurch earthquakes in 2011.

"When your child cries for their father, it just breaks your heart and I can't tell them the truth because I don't know," Ms Weeks told the Seven Network.

"I still haven't reconciled that he's not coming back, because I've had nothing.

"When you don't have anything — not even a piece of the plane, just nothing, and so many different stories — how can you not have a little piece of hope?" The couple have two boys, Lincoln, 3, and 13-month-old Jack


The official word came after a US Navy official told CNN this morning that the pings are now universally believed to have come from a man-made source unrelated to the missing jetliner, and not from the plane's data or cockpit voice recorders.

Michael Dean, the Navy's deputy director of ocean engineering, said that if the pings had come from the recorders, searchers would have found them.

"Our best theory at this point is that (the pings were) likely some sound produced by the ship ... or within the electronics of the Towed Pinger Locator," Dean said.

"Always your fear any time you put electronic equipment in the water is that if any water gets in and grounds or shorts something out, that you could start producing sound."

When asked if the other nations involved in the search effort also believed the pings were unrelated to MH370, Dean answered "yes".

No sign of the plane ... specialists prepare to launch the Phoenix Autonomous Underwater Vehicle 'Artemis' Bluefin-21 from the vessel Ocean Shield.

He went on to tell CNN that it is not possible to categorically rule out that the pings came from the black boxes but that there is no evidence to suggest they did.

The US Navy later dismissed Mr Dean's comments as "speculative and premature" — but that was before the ATSB's announcement this afternoon.

"The US has been working cooperatively with our Malaysian, Australian and international partners for more than two months in an effort to locate MH370," US Navy spokesman Chris Johnson said in a statement.

"Mike Dean's comments today were speculative and premature, as we continue to work with our partners to more thoroughly understand the data acquired by the Towed Pinger Locator.

"As such, we would defer to the Australians, as the lead in the search effort, to make additional information known at the appropriate time."

'Debacle' ... Prime Minister Tony Abbott with search co-ordinator Air Chief Angus Houston. Source: News Corp Australia


The latest revelation comes after News Corp Australia last week revealed that underwater scientists have labelled the search for MH370 a "debacle" and say Prime Minister Tony Abbott was playing politics when he prematurely announced the black box pingers had been found.

The acoustic experts, who do not wish to be identified, said the four crucial signals detected by a US pinger locator were almost certainly not from the missing Malaysian Airlines plane's black boxes, but from another man-made source.

They insisted that the signals were in the wrong frequency and detected too far apart to be from the boxes.

"As soon as I saw the frequency and the distance between the pings I knew it couldn't be the aircraft pinger," one scientist said.

That conclusion is supported by the lack of success from a detailed search of the area conducted by the US deep sea drone Bluefin 21.

In answer to questions from News Corp Australia the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said that the signals were "likely" sourced from electronic equipment and were "believed to be" consistent with the Flight Data Recorder.

However the scientists said the 33.3 kilohertz frequency of the signal was very different to the 37.5 kilohertz generated by underwater acoustic beacons. The signals were also detected some 30km and four days apart.

The JACC has refused a request to release recordings of the signals for independent analysis and it did not release the exact location or precise depth of the signals.

Agency head retired defence chief Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston said the signals were still being analysed to ensure nothing was overlooked.

Meanwhile the families of passengers aboard missing flight MH370 accuse Malaysia of a cover-up over newly released satellite data, saying it is incomplete and does not prove that the plane crashed in the southern Indian Ocean.

This comes as the first stage of the search off the west coast of Australia concludes without finding any debris from the missing Boeing 777.

The Malaysian Airlines flight, with 239 passengers and crew on board, disappeared in the early hours of March 8 on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Since then no trace of the jetliner has been found, despite a multi-million dollar search effort.

20.01 | 0 komentar | Read More

Reynolds cleared to play Origin II

Josh Reynolds faces the judiciary at NRL Headquarters. Source: News Corp Australia

NSW five-eighth Josh Reynolds is free to play State of Origin II.

In a verdict that will infuriate Queensland, Reynolds was successful at an NRL judiciary hearing in seeking a downgrade for a dangerous throw on Maroons winger Brent Tate during Wednesday night's Origin opener.

Reynolds won't miss a single game now and will play for Canterbury against Manly at Brookvale in round 13.

Josh Reynolds tackles Brent Tate and gets put on report. Source: News Corp Australia

Had Reynolds failed in his bid for a downgrade, he would have missed three games.

Last night was a huge gamble.

Reynolds pleaded guilty but sought to have a grade two dangerous throw charge downgraded to grade one.

The NSW five-eighth was placed on report in the 28th minute of a match NSW won 12-8.

He is now ready to play before 82,500 fans in Origin II on June 18 at ANZ Stadium.

The verdict was a wonderful boost to Laurie Daley and his team.

Brent Tate is picked up in the tackle by Josh Reynolds and Beau Scott. Source: Getty Images

"We are really pleased with the result," said Bulldogs CEO Raelene Castle.

"It was a great decision to challenge the grading. It's great Josh is available for the Bulldogs and for State of Origin.

"Josh always plays with passion but it is never his intent to injure anyone."

The judiciary panel of Sean Garlick, Paul Whatuira and Micheal Vella took ten minutes to reach their verdict.

Nick Ghabar, representing Reynolds, was long winded in his defence, saying NSW team-mate Beau Scott played a key role in the tackle.

Josh Reynolds of the New South Wales Blues waits for the start of an NRL Origin judiciary. Source: Getty Images

Scott was charged with a grade one dangerous throw for the same tackle but escaped suspension with an early guilty plea.

"The lift got out of control, no doubt about that," Gharbar said.

On Scott's contribution, Ghabar said: "There was a shift in momentum."

Scott, according to Ghabar, "pulled Tate to the ground in a dragging motion".

NRL judiciary - Josh Reynolds faces the judiciary at NRL Headquarters. Source: News Corp Australia

"Player Scott takes over control of the tackle," Ghabar said.

"Player Reynolds loses control of the tackle. There was no driving into the ground."

Ghabar showed six similar tackles in his evidence. Reynolds did not give evidence, nor did he speak after the hearing.

Former NSW halfback Brett Kimmorley reviews a pulsating State of Origin opener and discusses Josh Reynolds' challenge against a lifting charge.

NRL counsel Peter Kite told the panel they had "assess the degree or risk in this tackle.

"He (Reynolds) lifted and achieves a dangerous position," Kite said.

"Reynolds is the player lifting and putting player Tate into a dangerous position."

Kite said Tate's head hit the ground "with some degree of force."

NRL judiciary - Josh Reynolds faces the judiciary at NRL Headquarters. Source: News Corp Australia

The NRL has already had to deal with 17 lifting tackles this season.

"That shows a very worrying trend," said Kite, who did concede Scott played a role in the tackle.

Tate told of his fears after the game.

"I have never been more frightened in all my life," Tate said. "My legs were shaking for the next 10 minutes after that.

"If we are serious about trying to stamp this out they will crack down on it. I was legitimately shaken up about it. I didn't know where I was."

Re-live all the action from the judiciary as it happens in our live blog below:

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Hyundai recalls top-selling SUVs

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 25 Mei 2014 | 20.01

An advertisement for the Hyundai ix35 series which has been recalled by the manufacturer. Courtesy: Hyundai Australia

Safety fears ... Hyundai is recalling all ix35s built from January 2011 to December 2013 because the airbag in the steering wheel may not be secured properly and the horn may not work. Source: Supplied

HYUNDAI is recalling every ix35 — Australia's biggest-selling small SUV — made over the past three years.

The South Korean car maker is recalling 32,525 examples of its ix35 built from January 2011 to December 2013 because the airbag in the steering wheel may not be secured properly and the horn may not work.

It is the second recall for the same model so far this year and part of a global recall of more than 137,500 Hyundai vehicles announced last week.

In January, Hyundai recalled 6193 of its ix35 SUVs due to a potentially faulty seatbelt pre-tensioner.

RELATED: Hyundai recalls 227,000 cars for brake light switch

MORE: Toyota recalls 300,000 vehicles

A statement from Hyundai about the latest safety issue said: "An incorrectly tightened bolt could result in the misalignment of the airbag module, possibly affecting its deployment, and could also affect the operation of the horn."

Hyundai says there have been no reported incidents in Australia but customers may notice a rattle in the steering wheel.

"It will not cause the airbag to deploy unintentionally," says the Hyundai Australia statement. "(But) the effectiveness of the airbag could be reduced if the bolt is not tightened properly."

Vehicle recall ... Hyundai says ix35 owners may notice a rattle in the steering wheel. Source: Supplied

A safety bulletin has been published on and Hyundai customers will be notified by mail in the coming days to have their cars checked free of charge and the bolts tightened if necessary.

During preliminary inspections only four vehicles have needed to have their airbag bolts tightened, the company says.

In April 2013, Hyundai called 227,000 cars back to dealers to fix a faulty brake light switch that affected eight models, most of its range, after News Corp Australia exclusively unearthed the fault 15 months earlier.

But that incident was not documented on because Hyundai successfully argued with authorities that potentially faulty brake lights were "not a safety issue" and the repairs could be done as a "dealer service campaign".

In its formative years Hyundai refused to issue a recall even after the front suspension assembly of 46 Hyundai Excel cars collapsed while in traffic and/or on the move in 1998.

The latest Hyundai ix35 safety campaign is the 33rd vehicle recall so far this year, including one for nine different types of Aston Martin models.

The biggest recalls so far this year were Toyota's bulletins issued in April which affected almost 300,000 vehicles: 118,600 Yaris small cars because the seats could slide forward and 179,000 HiLux utilities for a potential airbag failure.

Weird car recalls :

Land Rover: "assorted models" recalled because the indicators don't flash enough times with one touch (May 2014)

Chinese Foton ute: 316 vehicles recalled to replace the wheel jack (May 2014)

Aston Martin: all models made between 2007 and 2013 recalled because the accelerator pedal arm may break (January 2014)

Ford Falcon LPG sedan: 372 vehicles recalled because the wrong size wheels were fitted (February 2013)

Great Wall Motors: 23,000 utes and SUVs recalled because some gaskets contained asbestos (August 2012)

Holden Commodore ute: 34,432 vehicles recalled because the tailgate could pop open (July 2010)

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling

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Inside a killer’s twisted world

The alleged Isla Vista shooter, Elliot Rodgers wrote a chilling 140 page document providing graphic details of his murderous plot. Courtesy: Fox News

Scene of the shooting ... in California. Picture: France Kirsten, Twitter Source: Supplied

LESS than 24 hours after Elliot Rodger carried out the deadly rampage that left six innocent victims dead in a California college town, a 140-page manifesto penned by the mentally disturbed 22-year-old arrived at a local TV station.

In the rambling document, titled "My Twisted World", Rodger outlined his plans to take vengeance against those female students who had rejected him.

He had sent the document to a friend who then passed it on to KEYT-TV Channel 3 in Santa Barbara, which provided a copy to The Los Angeles Times.

In cold blood ... Elliot Rodger killed six people before taking his own life. Source: Supplied

FULL TRANSCRIPT: Read Rodger's hate-filled YouTube rant

'WHY DID CHRIS DIE?': Father lashes out

KILLER WAS A 'VERY DISTURBED BOY': grandmother tells of fears

"All of those beautiful girls I've desired so much in my life, but can never have because they despise and loathe me, I will destroy," wrote Rodger, the son of Peter Rodger, an assistant director on The Hunger Games.

Elliot Rodger details the reasons behind his mass shooting, the day before carrying out the horrific attack. WARNING: Some viewers may find disturbing.

"All of those popular people who live hedonistic lives of pleasure, I will destroy, because they never accepted me as one of them. I will kill them all and make them suffer, just as they have made me suffer. It is only fair."

Rampage ... a Facebook selfie of Elliot Rodger, who stabbed to death three of his room-mates before killing three students in a drive-by shooting in Santa Barbara. Source: Supplied

The Santa Barbara City College student took his own life after his deadly rampage, which began in his own apartment.

"I would have to kill my housemates to get them out of the way," he wrote in his manifesto. "In fact, I'd even enjoy stabbing them both to death while they slept."

It appears as though Elliot Rodger was planning the killing spree "for at least a year," Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told CNN on Sunday morning.

In his manifesto, Rodger divided his rampage up into three parts.

Deadly ... Elliot Rodger in his black BMW, which he drove during his killing spree. Source: Supplied

"On the day before the Day of Retribution, I will start the First Phase of my vengeance: Silently killing as many people as I can around Isla Vista by luring them into my apartment through some form of trickery," he wrote.


His Second Phase, he said, would represent his "War on Women".

"I will punish all females for the crime of depriving me of sex. They have starved me of sex for my entire youth, and gave that pleasure to other men," he wrote.

"In doing so, they took many years of my life away.

"I cannot kill every single female on earth, but I can deliver a devastating blow that will shake all of them to the core of their wicked hearts. I will attack the very girls who represent everything I hate in the female gender: The hottest sorority of UCSB."

Senseless killing ... student Chris Martinez was shot dead in the gun rampage. Source: No Source

The final phase, he said, would be his "ultimate showdown in the streets of Isla Vista".

In this section, he spoke of killing his family and using his parents' Mercedes SUV as "killing machines against my enemies."

Rodger also spoke of his plans for "retribution" in a chilling video posted on YouTube.

"On the day of retribution I am going to enter the hottest sorority house ... and I will slaughter every single spoiled single stuck up blonde s**t I see inside there," he said.

Earlier, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown detailed how the horror of Rodger's rampage unfolded.

Rodger "repeatedly stabbed" three male victims at his apartment prior to the shootings in the town of Isla Vista, near the University of California's Santa Barbara campus.

Grief ... students attend a candlelight vigil in the college town of Isla Vista. Source: AFP

Once outside, Rodger targeted three women from across a street, killing two of them aged 22 and 19, Brown said.

Driving in his car, a black BMW, Rodger found his next victim, a 20-year-old student named Christopher Martinez, shooting him dead.

Police then went after him, Brown said, as Rodger shot indiscriminately at passers-by - injuring at least 13 - and drove all over the road.

Rodger was shot in the hip in a shootout, before zooming off once more and hitting a cyclist, throwing him onto the hood of his car.

"The suspect's vehicle then collided with several parked cars and came to a stop," said Brown, but Rodger "was obviously dead with an apparent gunshot wound to the head."

So much grief ... Students gather at the University of California's Santa Barbara campus in Isla Vista to pay tribute to the victins. Source: AFP

Three nine-millimeter semi-automatic handguns were recovered from the BMW — all legally purchased and registered — and Rodger had dozens of unused rounds of ammunition.

It has emerged that police had "contacts" with Rodger on three separate occasions before Friday's killings, the first time in July 2013, Brown said.

Richard Martinez, father of Christopher, choked up several times as he paid tribute to his son and blamed politicians and the gun lobby, asking in an emotional and at times angry speech:

Father's pain ... Richard Martinez, whose son Christopher was killed in the mass shooting, breaks down as he talks to the media. Source: AP

"When will this insanity stop?" "Our family has a message for every parent out there: you don't think it'll happen to your child until it does," he said, his face contorted with despair and rage.

"Chris was a really great kid, ask anyone who knew him. His death has left our family lost and broken." His voice shaking with emotion, Martinez rounded on politicians and the powerful National Rifle Association.

Hollywood family ... Elliot Rodger's father, British director Peter Rodger. Source: Getty Images

"Why did Chris die? Chris died because of craven, irresponsible politicians and the NRA," Martinez said, raising his voice.

"They talk about gun rights. What about Chris's right to live? When will this insanity stop?"

The bloodshed was just the latest in a string of gun massacres that have rocked the United States in recent years and is likely to trigger more passionate debate about gun rights.

Horrific ... Elliot Rodger took his own life after his deadly rampage in Santa Barbara. Source: Supplied

Anti-gun campaigner Michael Moore responded to the massacre by posting a statement on his Facebook profile describing America's national symbol as "the gun, not the eagle".

"With due respect to those who are asking me to comment on last night's tragic mass shooting ... I no longer have anything to say about what is now part of normal American life," Moore wrote.

A community in mourning gather for a candlelight vigil to honour the victims of Friday night's mass shooting in Santa Barbara, California. Courtesy: Instagram

"Everything I have to say about this, I said it 12 years ago: We are a people easily manipulated by fear which causes us to arm ourselves with a quarter BILLION guns in our homes that are often easily accessible to young people, burglars, the mentally ill and anyone who momentarily snaps."

Devastated students from the University of California's Santa Barbara campus hugged each other and wept as they gathered at a candelight vigil for those killed in the rampage.

Katie Cooper, shooting victim. Picture: Facebook Source: Facebook

Veronica Weiss, shooting victim. Picture: Facebook Source: Facebook

Earlier, residents at the Alpha Phi sorority reported hearing loud and aggressive banging on the front door that lasted for about two minutes. Shortly afterwards witnesses reported seeing young women standing outside shot by Rodger from across the street.

Those inside who refused to open the door were saved from certain death.

"He [Elliot] banged on the door, but no one opened the door so he just drove off and opened fire everywhere," said one student.

Alan Schifman, the lawyer for the Rodger family, said the 22-year-old was being treated by several therapists. He added that his parents and a social worker knew of his difficulties and had been so alarmed by his behaviour they had reported him to police.

Schifman said Rodger was a high-functioning patient with Asperger syndrome who had faced bullying through his schooling and had difficulty making friends.

Mass shooting ... bodies are seen covered on the ground after the mass drive-by shooting. Picture: AP Photo/KEYT, John Palminteri Source: AP

In the YouTube video, Rodger man rants about women who have allegedly rejected him, saying he doesn't understand why he is a 22-year-old virgin and wanted to seek his revenge.

He says: "Tomorrow is the day of retribution, the day in which I will have my revenge against humanity, against all of you.

"For the last eight years of my life, ever since I hit puberty I've been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires all because girls have never been attracted to me.

"Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men, but never to me.

"I'm 22 years old and still a virgin. I've never even kissed a girl.

"I've been through college for two and a half years … and I'm still a virgin. It has been very torturous. I've had to rot in loneliness. It's not fair.

"Girls have never been attracted to me. I will punish you all for it. It's an injustice, a crime.

"On the day of retribution I am going to enter the hottest sorority house ... and I will slaughter every single spoiled single stuck up blonde s**t I see inside there."

Murder ... paramedics at the scene of the rampage next to the University of California. Picture: NOOZHAWK Source: Supplied

Bloody scene ... Seven people, including the suspected gunman, died during the shooting rampage. Picture: AP//KEYT, John Palminteri Source: AP

A student said he saw shots fired from a BMW, fatally striking one woman and critically injuring another woman.

"I heard shots, scream, pain," Michael Vitak said.

"All emotions. I hope she is going to be fine."

Wrecked car ... a BMW sedan sits wrecked on an Isla Vista sidewalk after the driver — who allegedly gunned down six people during a blocks-long shooting rampage Picture: Urban Hikers Source: Supplied

Andrew Jun, a third year economics and accounting student who witnessed the rampage, told AFP the situation was "pretty surreal." "It's unbelievable that this kind of thing can happen," he said. Other witnesses said they initially mistook the gunshots for fireworks or firecrackers.

Sienna Schwartz, her voice breaking, recalled how she came face-to-face with the gunman.

At first, she mistook the attacker's "little black pistol" for an airsoft gun. "I turned around, and I started walking the other way. He shot, and I felt like -- I just felt, like, the wind pass right by my face," Schwartz told CNN as she choked back tears.

Nine crime scenes ... night-time drive-by shooting in a student enclave next to the University of California. Picture: NOOZHAWK Source: Supplied

By grisly coincidence, in 2001, the son of Ally McBeal and The Wire television series director Daniel Attias ran down four pedestrians with his car on a crowded street just a block away from the scene of Friday's assault.

Witnesses said that part-time college student David Attias got out of the car after his deed and shouted "I am the angel of death." He was ruled insane and locked up in a state hospital after being initially convicted of second-degree murder.

If you or someone you know may be at risk of suicide contact Lifeline 13 11 14, Beyond Blue 1300 22 46 36, or Salvo Care Line 1300 36 36 22.

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Kids most worried about bullying

Secret fears ... modern technology has enabled cyber bullying to become a much more widespread problem. Source: Supplied

BULLYING is now the number-one issue troubling school kids across Australia.

New analysis of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Census at Schools survey shows a dramatic rise in both the level of concern Aussie kids have about bullying and the number of hours children are spending in front of a computer screen.

Experts warn this is no coincidence, with smartphones, tablets and social media sites, giving kids fewer opportunities to go home and escape playground bullies.

In 2006, when Australian schoolchildren were spending an average of just three hours a week on a computer, their primary concern was tackling pollution in the country's waterways.

But with average weekly computer use soaring fourfold to 13 hours in 2013, primarily driven by the popularity of social media sites, kids across every state and territory now nominate bullying as the key issue affecting their daily lives.

Rising problem ... kids are at greater risk of more intense and frequent bullying, says child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg. Source: Supplied

Child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg said the results should serve as a "clarion call to Australian parents, to stop using screen time as a babysitter".

"The research shows very clearly that there is a correlation between access to technology, and cyber-bullying, that has been very clearly established," he said.

Dr Carr-Gregg said it was critical that parents "find their digital spine" and crack down on the amount of time children spend online.

He said kids were at greater risk of more intense and frequent bullying, as well as psychological problems including anxiety and depression, the longer they stayed glued to a computer screen.

Cyber bullying expert Susan McLean said bullying had historically affected a smaller number of children, but modern technology has enabled it to become a much more widespread problem.

"There are millions of people, more connected than ever before, almost every child has a smartphone, and the ability to connect to a bully or to a victim has increased as well," she said.

Ms McLean said parents should be discussing their children's daily activities online in the same way they would inquire about what happened in the playground.

But she said Aussie kids should be spending less time online.

"Far too often I see, in the work that I do, young people spending an inordinate amount of time online, it is mentally and physically unhealthy and we have to get back to a balance," she said.

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Seven shot in ‘mass murder’

Written By komlim puldel on Sabtu, 24 Mei 2014 | 20.01

Scene of the shooting ... in California. Picture: France Kirsten, Twitter Source: Supplied

A GUNMAN went on a drive-by shooting rampage in a Santa Barbara student enclave and at least seven people were killed, including the attacker.

Investigators believe a gunman driving a black BMW acted alone in the shootings near the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown described the shooting in the town of Isla Vista, near the University of California campus, as "a mass murder by a gunman," CNN reported.

Brown confirmed at a news conference that seven people were killed, including the gunman, and seven wounded.

Brown said the suspect exchanged gunfire with deputies and then drove off and crashed into a parked car.

Deputies found the suspect inside the BMW dead from a gunshot wound to the head. But the sheriff said he did not know if the suspect was shot and killed by deputies or if the wound was self-inflicted. A semiautomatic handgun was recovered.

Seven killed ... a nighttime drive-by shooting in a student enclave next to the University of California. Picture: NOOZHAWK Source: Supplied

It wasn't immediately clear what touched off the gunfire or what the suspect's motivation might have been. The sheriff said that the circumstances surrounding the shootings were under investigation.

Authorities searching for a motive were looking into a video posted on social media that contains a man's tirade against women who supposedly rebuffed him, Brown said.

The sheriff is not releasing the suspect's name.

Brown, however, confirmed that written and video material left by 22-year-old Elliot Rodger of Calabasas in the hours and days leading up to the shooting is being reviewed as evidence in to the massacre. "It appears to be connected," he said, the Independent reports.

Paramedics on the scene ... a nighttime drive-by shooting in a student enclave next to the University of California. Picture: NOOZHAWK Source: Supplied

Brown said the shootings occurred at several sites in the town, resulting in nine crime scenes.

Santa Barbara County sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Hoover told KEYT-TV the gunfire broke out around 9.30pm. Friday in the Isla Vista neighbourhood.

A student told the station he saw shots fired from a BMW, fatally striking one woman and critically injuring another woman.

"I heard shots, scream, pain," Michael Vitak said.

"All emotions. I hope she is going to be fine."

Wrecked car ... a BMW sedan sits wrecked on an Isla Vista sidewalk after the driver — who allegedly gunned down six people during a blocks-long shooting rampage Picture: Urban Hikers Source: Supplied

Xavier Mozejewski told NewsChannel 3 reporter Victoria Sanchez that he witnessed some of the violence and described it as an "old western shoot-out."

The station said a black BMW slammed into as many as two cars.

The shooting prompted officials to issue alerts urging people to stay indoors.

The seven injured victims are being treated at Santa Barbara Cottage hospital — some for gunshot wounds, others for trauma sustained when the suspect crashed his car as he was pursued — and one recently underwent surgery for life-threatening injuries.

Nine crime scenes ... nighttime drive-by shooting in a student enclave next to the University of California. Picture: NOOZHAWK Source: Supplied

Isla Vista is known for parties, including an annual spring bash that turned into a violent blowout last month as young people clashed with police and tossed rocks and bottles.

A university police officer and four deputies were injured and 130 people were arrested.

The incident occurred over a 10-minute period, from the first emergency call at 9.27pm to the suspect's discovery, KEYT-TV reported.

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Vivid drowning victim named

Investigators are retracing the final steps of a man who drowned at the Vivid Festival on Sydney Harbour.

Distraught ... A woman who helped the police search talks to officers: Gordon McComiskie Source: News Corp Australia

FRIENDS and loved ones of a man who fell and drowned in Darling Harbour during the first night of the Vivid Festival have paid emotional tribute to the "greatest guy" they knew.

Brendan Hickey, an Irishman based in Randwick, died after accidentally plunging into the water at Cockle Bay Wharf at about 11pm on Friday.

Two friends jumped into the harbour fully-clothed and desperately tried to save the 34-year-old before water police arrived.

Divers recovered the body at 1:30am yesterday.

34-year-old Brendan Hickey. Source: Supplied

The tragic death has prompted an outpouring of grief on Facebook, with Hickey described as "the greatest guy I knew" by Suzanne Colgan.

"I cannot believe this sad news," wrote Fiona Syombua. "Brendan Hickey (was) very happy, ever smiling, gone too soon. I will always live to remember you."

Another friend, Joanne Pizel, wrote: "I just heard the news. Totally shocked. So terrible :-(. Can't imagine what you are going through. Thinking of you all."

Hickey's family did not want to comment yesterday when contacted by The Sunday Telegraph but believe his death was an accident.

Police said there was no suggestion of "skylarking" with witnesses saying they heard a splash and then saw a man in the water.

It has not yet been established if alcohol or other substances were a factor.

"We haven't been able to confirm (whether it was) a trip, a fall or a push," Marine Area Command Acting Superintendent Joe McNulty said.

Officers are examining CCTV footage.

The frantic search for Hickey played out as the Vivid light show with blaring dance music continued with thousands of people seemingly unaware of the unfolding tragedy.

Vivid organisers said they were "shocked and saddened ... by this tragic incident and express our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased man".

Police and partygoers look on as the search starts. Picture: Gordon McComiskie Source: News Corp Australia

The scene last night. Picture: Gordon McComiskie Source: News Corp Australia

Police sealed off the area as divers moved in. Picture: Gordon McComiskie Source: News Corp Australia

The scene where the tragedy occurred. Picture: Gordon McComiskie Source: News Corp Australia

There were reports that the man was a poor swimmer, but Acting Superintendent Joe McNulty, Commander of the Marine Area Command said that has not been confirmed.

"His friends have been very emotionally affected by the incident which hasn't helped us with the investigation to date," he said.

"We haven't been able to confirm a trip, a fall or a push. There is no suggestion of skylarking at this stage.

"Witnesses said they heard a splash and they saw the 34-year-old man in the water."

A full-scale helicopter search was launched to look for the man who fell into the water and disappeared outside Home Nightclub about 11pm.

In tears ... The man's friend who dove in the water to join the search Picture: Gordon McComiskie Source: News Corp Australia

Police at the spot where the man fell. Picture: Gordon McComiskie Source: News Corp Australia

Emergency services scour the pier for the missing man. Picture: Gordon McComiskie Source: News Corp Australia

The victim's friends, a man and a woman, dived in after him fully-clothed before water police arrived and divers entered the water and searched under the wooden pier he had fallen from.

The frantic search played out as the Vivid light show with blaring dance music continued with thousands of people besides those close by seemingly unaware of the unfolding tragedy.

"At first I thought someone had lost their wallet, and then it got really urgent with people jumping in," Stephan Odisho said.

James Harb said "no one saw him go in but then a guy and a girl jumped in after him screaming his name. They should've stopped the performance."

The enormity of the situation became apparent to those crowding the harbour's edge as police pushed people back and an Ambulance NSW helicopter descended and shone its light into the water.

Police and the public scour the water's edge. Picture: Gordon McComiskie Source: News Corp Australia

A police diver in the water. Picture: Gordon McComiskie Source: News Corp Australia

A diver searches an area next to the pier where the man fell. Picture: Gordon McComiskie Source: News Corp Australia

Police said they could not yet confirm if the victim was affected by alcohol or other substances until toxicology tests are undertaken.

"Our investigators are looking into events that led up to the incident , where they were during the evening," Acting Superintendent McNulty said.

Police are keen to speak to any person who saw the man who entered the water. Investigators are also examining CCTV footage from nearby venues to determine how the man ended up in the water.

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Angelina’s secret Aussie sleepover

Maleficent, the untold story of Disney's most iconic villain from the 1959 classic Sleeping Beauty. Courtesy: Disney

THERE was a time — long before Brad Pitt — when Angelina Jolie raised a cynical eyebrow at the foolish fairytale notion of "love's true kiss".

"Absolutely!" she almost roars. "I laughed at that a lot growing up. I still find it funny."

Which goes some way to explaining why, when Jolie watched Disney's Sleeping Beauty as a child, it was not the princess that stuck with her, but the evil fairy that cursed the child: Maleficent.

Now, as a grown woman with kids of her own, Jolie is enormously pleased to be telling Maleficent's side of the story — what was it that pushed this cartoon villain so far that she would show up at a baby princess's christening and curse her to prick her finger and die on her 16th birthday?

From the outside, it may look like just another blockbuster movie, but from Jolie's perspective, playing the titular role in Maleficent was the holy grail every female actor is hunting for: the ultimate complicated woman.

Some have even interpreted the film to be a feminist manifesto, an idea that makes Jolie throw her head back with laughter.

"We can't scare the men!" she whispers, conspiratorially.

If the film does have a moral, she says, it's about finding a way to break down the walls we put up after facing the tough things in life.

"Maleficent decides she can't trust and she puts her wall up and gets angry and goes to the extreme — we all kind of know what that is. So, what are the things in life that help us to open up again?"

JOLIE'S TRAVELS: The mega mansion in Sydney where they stayed

BRANGELINA: Their PA reveals more details of their Queensland visit

DREAMWORLD DRAMA: Jolie-Pitt reps fail to honour pledge to support park

Favours a villain ... Angelina Jolie always wanted to be Maleficent rather than the princess, Sleeping Beauty. Source: Supplied

The problem is, Maleficent takes extreme to the extreme. A great, complex character to play, sure. But would anyone like her?

"We really didn't know if we were going to pull it off, even while we were doing it," Jolie admits. "I remember Linda (Woolverton, who wrote the movie) saying to me, 'If the centre of this is that she curses a baby, how could you ever have a film where people connect to her? When she walks into the christening, are you on her side? Could that ever be possible?' "

South African actor Sharlto Copley plays King Stefan, the man whose unforgivable act sets Maleficent on to the path of vengeance. Copley has played a few unlovable characters in his time and reckons if anyone was going to pull off that impossible task, it was Jolie.

"For Angie in this role, where she will go and say 'I hate you' to a baby, it's like, very few movie stars that are loved by millions will do that. The fans won't let them!" he says.

"Even if they have the acting chops to do it, it's going to be tough. She's one of the few that is in a position to do a role like this and really own it the way she did."

Sneak peek .. Sharlto Copley, who plays King Stefan, says that if anyone could pull off the character of Maleficent, it was Angelina Jolie. Source: Supplied

Helping Jolie own it is that magnificent Maleficent costume — the horns, the glowing eyes, the raised cheekbones, the long black cloak, the high collar and the staff.

When her son Pax saw her like that, he ran away. The star herself says it made "the little girl in me" come rushing back.

"It was play time! It's the thing that we forget as actors: we take ourselves so seriously. It's entertainment, it's fantasy, it's fun. It was the little girl in me stepping into this character that I'd always been very curious about.

"When I saw my shadow (as Maleficent), it was as if it was the little girl looking at the shadow on the wall and thinking, 'Wow, we've grown up! And they're letting us play her. How fun!'."

Indeed, it seems as if there's an unwritten rule that once you're a serious actor, fairytales and fantasies are things …

On set ... Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, left, in a scene with her daughter Vivienne Jolie-Pitt, portraying Young Aurora. Source: AP

"…you don't do," says Jolie, finishing the thought. "Fortunately, I've never listened to that. I do all different types of things. I've always gone back and forth with action movies because I love them and I have fun with them. Then I've done serious movies … I've tried very hard to always do a bit of everything so I'm always allowed to do a bit of everything.

"But, honestly, I never thought I would be able to do a Disney movie. I certainly didn't think I would do something that was so comedic, because I don't think of myself as being able to be funny."

Angelina Jolie: the woman who has it all, except for the funny gene? Maybe not. She reckons her kids have loosened her up a bit.

"This film really came out of 10-12 years of raising kids and making them laugh and finding a different way of being an artist — it's not just about what you want to express and connecting deeply to the audience. It is also this lighter, more wonderful thing about the magic of it all."

The Jolie-Pitt kids not only helped their mother find her funny bone — they helped her make the movie. Her equal-youngest, Vivienne, plays the young Princess Aurora, while Pax and Zahara cameo briefly as guests at the christening.

In Australia ... Angelina Jolie on set in Pitt St, Sydney, filming her movie, Unbroken. Picture: Bradley Hunter Source: News Limited

Yet Jolie and Pitt are adamant they don't want their kids (the brood also includes Maddox, Shiloh and Knox) to go into acting.

Funnily enough, Jolie may also be on the way out. She says it's going to take a lot to get her in front of a camera from here on in.

"But, fortunately, I'll find those few special things and I think I'll enjoy it more now because I will do only the ones that I love — and not as career choices but just as experiences in life."

Her new passion is being a director and promotion for Maleficent has taken her away from editing her second movie, Unbroken.

In love ... Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at the Maleficent exhibit in London, loved their time together in Sydney. Picture: Joel Ryan Source: AP

"This is the stage where you start to get insecure and worried that you didn't do everything," she laughs.

The true story of US war hero and Olympic athlete, Louis Zamperini, who survived a plane crash, 47 days on a liferaft in the middle of the ocean and a Japanese internment camp, this is no small vanity project — a Boxing Day release date is testament to its blockbuster potential.

Jolie may be insecure, but she's also quietly confident that she's done justice to her subject.

"It's just a matter of sculpting it. Because Louis has such a big life.

"You could almost make a film about any one chapter of his life — the raft alone could have been a film. So it's hard to have to fit it all into the movie."

Sultry and sexy ... actress Angelina Jolie. Source: Supplied

Unbroken was shot over several months in NSW and Queensland, wrapping earlier this year.

"I loved working there," says Jolie of her time in Australia. "The children learnt how to surf and skate. We loved the zoo (Taronga) — I slept in the zoo three times by the time we left, with your crazy birds.

"The first morning I woke up in the zoo, about 5 o'clock, I thought Brad was outside playing a trick on me with a whistle. It was your crazy birds! I didn't actually think it was possible to make that sound that early in the morning."


20.01 | 0 komentar | Read More

Live: Geelong v North Melbourne

Written By komlim puldel on Jumat, 23 Mei 2014 | 20.01

Brent Harvey and Joel Selwood clash in the second quarter. Picture: Wayne Ludbey Source: News Corp Australia

A BLISTERING first half has Geelong well placed against North Melbourne at Simonds Stadium.

Looking to defy the Perth curse, the Cats have been full of running and lead 10.9 (69) to 5.4 (34).

The Kangaroos haven't been able to get near the ball but are doing just enough to stay in touch.


Geelong full forward Tom Hawkins is in top form and his kicked three goals while setting up several others for his teammates.

James Kelly and Jimmy Bartel are leading with way for the Cats with 23 and 17 touches respectively.

Levi Greenwood and Brent Harvey have 15 possessions each while Lindsay Thomas has two goals.

Both teams have been hit by early injuries.

Geelong lost key defender Tom Lonergan to concussion and he was subbed out for Mark Blicavs.

Kangaroos defender Joel Tippett suffered a suspected torn pectoral muscle with Ryan Bastinac poised to replce him.


Friday 23 May at Simonds Stadium, 7.50pm (EST)


B: J.Rivers, T.Lonergan, C.Enright

HB: A.Mackie, H.Taylor, C.Guthrie

C: M.Blicavs, J.Selwood, M.Duncan

HF: T.Varcoe, H.McIntosh, M.Stokes

F: J.Murdoch, T.Hawkins, J.Bartel

Foll: D.Simpson, J.Kelly, G.Horlin-Smith

I/C: J.Bews, J.Sheringham, S.Motlop, J.Stringer

Emg: T.Hunt, J.Jansen, J.Walker

INS: M.Stokes, J.Stringer

OUTS S.Johnson (suspended), T.Hunt


B: L.McDonald, J.Tippett, L.Hansen

HB: N.Dal Santo, S.Thompson, L.Greenwood

C: S.Gibson, A.Swallow, R.Nahas

HF: L.Thomas, A.Black, L.Adams

F: M.Daw, D.Petrie, B.Harvey

Foll: T.Goldstein, J.Ziebell, B.Cunnington

I/C: R.Bastinac, M.Firrito, S.Atley, S.Wright

Emg: L.Anthony, S.McMahon, M.Wood

INS: M.Firrito

OUTS S.McMahon

20.01 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘You’ll want to stick your head in a blender’

After a bad blind date, a man and woman find themselves stuck together at a resort for families, where their attractions grows as their respective kids benefit from the burgeoning relationship.

Adam Sandler's new film is being panned by the critics. Source: AFP

ADAM Sandler's movies rarely impress the critics. But his latest attempt at humour is being caned like no other.

The film is called Blended. It's about a single father (Sandler), who goes on a terrible blind date with a single mother (Drew Barrymore), then gets stuck with her on a trip to Africa.

The parents realise they have some things in common (i.e. they're parents), and start to like each other a little more.

Sure, the concept is a little tired, but how bad could this film really be?

"The laugh count is right up there with being diagnosed with late-stage cancer," writes the Daily Mirror's David Edwards.


Don't look so surprised, Drew. Source: AP

"The two stars, who worked so well together in The Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates, display precisely zero chemistry, while the 'humour' is both cynical and childish."

Edwards' piece is headlined "Adam Sandler's Blended will make you want to stick your head in a blender instead", which seems pretty emphatic.

Meanwhile, over the New York Times , film critic A.O. Scott is struggling to contain his lack of enthusiasm.

"Because life is short and I have other things to be upset about, I will not dwell on the offensive aspects of Blended," Scott writes.

"Its retrograde gender politics, its delight in the humiliation of children, its sentimental hypocrisy about male behaviour, its quasi-zoological depictions of Africans as servile, dancing drum-playing simpletons ... I'm sorry. That's just what I said I wouldn't do."

He really didn't like this bit. Source: AP

Those flaws actually annoy Scott less than practically everything else in the film.

"I find myself more bothered by the sheer audience-insulting incompetence of the filmmaking and the writing," he says.

"Most of Blended has the look and pacing of a three-camera sitcom filmed by a bunch of eighth graders and conceived by their less bright classmates."

Linda Barnard of the Toronto Star reckons Sandler's jokes, which were bad to begin with, are re-used a little too much.

"The gags about masturbation, girls who look like boys, lesbians and cutie who talks like the Exorcist's demon recycle endlessly," she says.

"Blended is a movie with training wheels, where everything is spelled out and the path to Lauren (Barrymore) and Jim (Sandler) moving from 'I hate you' to 'I do' is lit up like a landing strip in the desert."

Drew Barrymore stars. Adam Sandler, not so much. Source: AP

In all fairness, there have been some sort of kind words for the film, courtesy of Deadspin's Tim Grierson .

"Blended isn't very good — I wouldn't even say it's good — but it is several degrees more tolerable than Sandler's recent films ... carrying a faint enough trace of likability to suggest what the guy could do if he really applied himself," Grierson writes.

"I definitely wouldn't say I recommend it, but if you're stuck going to it with your kids or significant other, the good news is that it's more tolerable than you probably expect."

That's probably about as good as Sandler will get from the critics this time around.

It's Friday night. Let's talk Sandler films. Tell us which you think is the best, and which is the worst: @SamClench | @newscomauHQ

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Protester ‘set herself on fire’

Footage of the incident has emerged on YouTube. Source: YouTube

A 67-YEAR-OLD woman has reportedly set herself on fire during a protest in Vietnam.

According to a Vietnamese paper, The Thanh Nien Daily , the woman carried banners protesting China to the gate of Ho Chi Minh City's Reunification Palace and burned herself to death at 6am (local time) on Friday morning.

The disturbing incident was captured on video, which was later uploaded to YouTube. The woman has been identified as Le Thi Tuyet Mai.

Palace guards put out the fire in three minutes, but by that time, the woman was already dead.

Authorities say she caught a taxi to the front gate of the Reunification Palace with seven anti-China banners, a petrol can and a lighter before setting herself on fire.

Police are still investigating the horrifying incident.

A local government official, Le Truong Hieu, told the paper he believed the suicide was inspired by "serious life problems", along with China's controversial placement of a mobile oil rig in Vietnamese waters.

Near the site of the oil rig, a Vietnamese Coast Guard ship (blue) goes past a Chinese Coast Guard ship (white). Pic: AFP Source: AFP

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, and its southeast Asian neighbours have expressed growing alarm over what they see as Beijing's increasingly aggressive actions.

On Wednesday, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said China's deployment of the rig had "seriously threatened peace". The act has already sparked tense confrontations at sea between dozens of Chinese and Vietnamese ships.

The area is believed to harbour vast oil and gas deposits.

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Baseball pro drills kids at dodgeball

Written By komlim puldel on Kamis, 22 Mei 2014 | 20.02

While in New York for a series against the Mets, a few Dodgers players took some time to participate in a friendly game of dodgeball with some local school kids, which they dominated. Courtesy Instagram/deeg5599

Drew Butera lets rip. Source: Instagram

WELCOME to the big leagues, son.

It was supposed to be a friendly game of dodgeball. But when the Los Angeles Dodgers took on some local school kids while in New York, the competitive instincts took over.

As you can see in the video above, Dodgers back-up catcher Drew Butera — who sometimes fills in as a pitcher — got right into it.

Maybe a little too into it.

Drew Butera on the mound for the Dodgers. Source: AFP

Butera completely dominated, which may go some way towards explaining why they call them the Dodgers.

"Hey, he was talking trash," Butera said with a smile today.

Butera said it hadn't been that long since he had played the schoolyard game.

"I played it in 2010, when we were on a cruise," he said. "But no, I'm not a professional dodgeball player."

20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

The bucket list wish dying boy never got to see

Reece Puddington died after a six-year battle with cancer. Picture: Facebook Source: Supplied

A DYING boy drew up a bucket list. Like most kids, Reece Puddington, 11, had plenty of dreams he wanted to come true, including meeting his favourite movie star Johnny Depp.

But the youngster, from Kent in England, didn't live long enough to see the final thing on his list come to fruition — a beach retreat for sick kids.

Reece was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in 2008 and despite a brave battle he died on Tuesday.

In February, he posted online his wishes, which included meeting Depp dressed as a pirate, getting an iPhone, a hobbit house and a cool holiday.

Although he understood some wishes were achievable and others weren't, there was one dream he wanted to fulfil and set up a Facebook page to make his beach retreat a reality.

Just two weeks ago, Reece revealed the true extent of his illness and how it would be his final post.

"Hi everyone,

I know it's been a while since my last proper update, but to be honest there hasn't been anything different to report.

My life was still very much about gaming, movies, eating and very little medical intervention etc. All was going well until the past week where there have been some noticeable little changes.

As it's been 6 years today since I was originally diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, I feel it's the perfect time to announce that this will be my last update ... I'm simply too weak and tired to have an active roll in my blog now.

Thank you to each and every one of you that's taken the time to like my page, follow, share, like and comment on my posts and for all the donations towards my bucket list.

You guys rock! oh and don't forget, although it's too late for me to have a beach hut, themes lots of children who could still benefit from one, so please keep the donations coming.

Love Reece. x"

He certainly inspired, with more than half the money so far raised towards the $60,000 project.

20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More

Thai general declares coup official

Thailand's military chief says they are taking control of the government to 'restore order' in the country.

In control ... Thai army soldiers have surrounded a building containing the nation's leaders after their general declared a coup d'etat. Picture: Nicolas ASFOURI Source: AFP

Coup announced ... General Prayuth Chan-Ocha announces on national television that the army has now taken control of all government functions. Source: Supplied

THAILAND'S army has officially staged a coup, saying it is taking control of the country's government.

As troops moved to surround a building where government talks on the nation's crisis were scheduled to begin, General Prayuth Chan-Ocha declared the coup d'etat on national television.

"In order for the country to return to normal quickly the National Peace Keeping Committee comprised of the army, the Thai armed forces, the Royal Air Force and the police need to seize power as of May 22 at 4.30 pm," the army chief said.

A 10pm to 5am curfew has since been imposed upon the strife-torn nation as soldiers moved to disperse protest gatherings. All national broadcasting was suspended and replaced with the commission's announcements and broadcasts of patriotic music.

The military has also declared the country's constitution has been suspended.

There was no immediate sign of soldiers patrolling central Bangkok, but troops were deployed to two areas of the capital where competing groups of protesters had gathered, raising fears of street clashes.

The opponents in Thailand's political crisis had been meeting today for a second round of talks being mediated by the country's army chief.

Martial law was invoked on Tuesday and the nation's politicians summoned in what the general said was an effort to end six months of turmoil.

The closed-door talks at an army facility in Bangkok were taking place after the army gave itself expansive powers and broadly censoring the media. Most Thais had been watching the talks with a mix of scepticism and hope.

Suthep Thaugsuban, who has been leading more than six months of anti-government protests, was led away as hundreds of extra troops surrounded the venue.

The coup is the 12th since the country's absolute monarchy ended in 1932.

"All Thais must remain calm and government officials must work as normal,'' the general said.

The army chief said that the military would ``provide protection'' for foreigners in Thailand.

Other protest leaders present at the talks were also later seen being taken away by the army, although it was unclear whether they had been formally detained.

Many of the country's highest-profile figures were summoned for the gathering of political enemies. They included the acting prime minister — who declined to attend Wednesday's first round of talks but sent four representatives in his place — and anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, as well as Suthep's rival from the pro-government Red Shirt group, Jatuporn Prompan.

Also summoned for the negotiations were leaders of the ruling Pheu Thai party and the opposition Democrat Party, as well as the five-member Election Commission and representatives from the Senate, which has anti-government members pushing a plan to replace the government with an appointed leader.

In a televised announcement on Thursday, the army said the ``meeting to solve the political conflict'' would enter its second phase later in the day, and that the army chief ``would like to invite'' the political leaders to return.

A government official, Paradorn Pattanathabutr, contacted shortly after the coup announcement said that the four ministers attending the meeting were still being held by the military.

``The rest of us who are outside are still fine and in the safe places. However, the situation is very worrying. We have to monitor it closely and don't know what else can happen,'' he said.

Tensions high

Thousands of the pro-government Red Shirt protesters are holding their own rally on the outskirts of Bangkok and say they will not tolerate the removal of the elected government.

One of the army's explanations for declaring martial law was to avoid feared clashes between the two sides, and more violence in a crisis that has already left 28 people dead and hundreds injured, many by drive-by shootings and grenades hurled at protest sites.

Highlighting the threat of violence, the army announced Thursday that it had made five seizures of weapons this week in the provinces, including grenades, semiautomatic rifles and ammunition. The army said it had no immediate proof the weapons were related to political violence.


Thailand has been gripped by bouts of political instability for more than seven years.

The political crisis broadly pits a Bangkok-based royalist elite and its backers against the billionaire family of former premier Thaksin Shinawatra.

Thaksin, a former tycoon-turned-populist politician, was ousted by the military in a coup in 2006 but still enjoys strong support, particularly in rural northern Thailand.

His sister Yingluck Shinawatra was dismissed as prime minister earlier this month in a controversial court ruling after months of protests seeking her overthrow.

Her supporters have warned of possible civil war if opposition demonstrators achieve their goal of seeing an unelected interim premier take power to oversee vaguely defined reforms widely seen as a bid to cripple the Thaksin family's political power.

The military intervened three days ago when it declared martial law - but denied the takeover was a coup.

The English-language Bangkok Post ran a commentary Thursday titled ``Coup or No Coup, Task Ahead Is Huge.'' The column questioned the military's intentions and its stated goal of imposing martial law to bring about a democratic solution.

``Will the army chief be able to persuade politicians to bridge their differences and start talking, to place the national interest beyond that of their own? No one knows,'' the column said. ``At this stage, the people realise they have no choice but to place their trust in the army chief.''

Suthep's anti-government movement, which started in November, had blocked elections and vowed to overthrow the Thai government. Thousands of his supporters were gathered in Bangkok's historic district near the prime minister's office compound, which has been vacant for months due to security concerns.

20.02 | 0 komentar | Read More Techie Blogger Techie Blogger