‘It’s hard to hold back my anger’: Maddie’s father

THE father of the hoax collar-bomb victim Madeline Pulver has criticised attempts by his daughter’s attacker to distance himself from the crime, describing Paul Peters as a ‘‘pretty flawed individual’’ who did an ‘‘unbelievably callous thing to our daughter’’.
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Bill Pulver and his wife Belinda sat through a sentencing hearing on Wednesday, in which a psychiatrist said  Peters was in a ‘‘psychotic state’’ when he attached a fake collar bomb to Ms Pulver’s neck on August 3 last year.

The court had also previously heard that Peters could not recall the actual crime, and only remembers walking up the steps of the Pulvers’ Mosman home. He says his memory returned about 2 hours later, when he had returned to the central coast.

Speaking after the day’s hearing, Mr Pulver said he did not believe Peters’s claim of temporary amnesia, saying his family believed the attack had been an ‘‘extraordinarily well-planned event’’.

‘‘He has very conveniently managed to forget the hour and a half when all of this nasty stuff took place, but then when he got to Avoca he logged on to three separate computers to check whether we had responded to his note,’’ Mr Pulver said.

‘‘It’s very clear this is simply an extortion case and while I don’t really question that there are some mental health issues, I think ultimately it’s an extortion.’’

He simply didn’t buy the idea being proffered that it was just a ‘‘clumsy’’ crime and Peters had wanted to get caught so he could be properly treated for a worsening psychiatric condition.

‘‘No –  he very nearly got away with it. The only reason he got caught [was because] Maddie rang me, and I immediately called the police,’’ he said.

‘‘She didn’t know at the time that this extortion letter was there. If I had known there was an extortion letter I ask myself the question many times – would I have actually rung the police? I’m really not sure what I would have done. He was unlucky not to get away with this.’’

Clutching his wife’s hand, Mr Pulver said at times he felt fury at the evidence being presented.

‘‘To be honest I look over at what I think is a pretty flawed individual, who did an unbelievably callous thing to our daughter and it’s just not normal behaviour, so it’s challenging at times to restrain the anger.

‘‘I think it’s ruined his life, his family know what it’s done …  he’ll still live with this for the rest of his life.’’

He said Maddie was unlikely to ever come to court, because ‘‘she doesn’t want to front him’’.

The consultant psychiatrist Dr Jonathan Phillips had earlier told the District Court that his diagnosis of a ‘‘psychosis’’ did not mean Peters’s actions were not well thought out.

Dr Phillips said that assessing Peters was as complex as any case he had tackled and there were times he struggled to understand what the former businessman was talking about.

The court heard that electronic evidence showed Peters had edited two ransom documents contained on a USB stick attached to the fake bomb for a total of 503 minutes.

Judge Peter Zahra will sentence Peters later this month.

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Sobering study of strained relations

COMPLEX: Niels Arestrup in You Will Be My Son.You Will Be My Son (M)
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Stars Niels Arestrup, Lorant Deutsch, Patrick Chesnais, Anne Marivin, Nicolas Bridet; directed by Gilles Legrand; 102 minutes.

The relationship between a father and a son is a complex one: love can sometimes be tainted – on one or both sides – by other, less positive feelings, such as disappointment, envy, resentment, competitiveness and excessive expectations. This sobering French film deals with two father-son relationships and won’t be for all tastes. Emotionally, it isn’t the easiest viewing, but despite a melodramatic turn towards the end, it’s a well-acted, atmospheric story. Just don’t go in expecting a frothy Gallic romp.

Widower Paul de Marseul (Niels Arestrup) runs a successful vineyard that has been in the family for generations. His son Martin (Lorant Deutsch) works in administration for him but Paul is contemptuous of his abilities as a winemaker and seldom passes up an opportunity to belittle the somewhat diffident young man and treat him with scorn and disdain. Tellingly, he has more respect for Martin’s feisty wife Alice (Anne Marivin), though she doesn’t like him because of his treatment of her husband.

Paul’s longtime estate manager, Francois (Patrick Chesnais), is dying and Martin hopes this will be his opportunity to take on a bigger role in the business. But when Francois’s son Philippe (Nicolas Bridet) arrives, having quit his winemaking job in California to be with his father, the situation becomes even more fraught. Paul is impressed with Philippe’s abilities and lavishes the praise and attention on him that he never gave Martin – even to the extent of offering him the job of estate manager when his father dies.

Although the film tends to take Martin’s side, there is complexity and depth to the characters and situations enabling us to see various points of view: Paul, though cruel, is concerned for the future of the renowned vineyard and may be justified in thinking Martin isn’t as talented a winemaker as Philippe, although how much of this situation is of Paul’s creation is arguable. Philippe, who doesn’t seem to be a bad sort, is uncomfortably caught up in the dysfunctional relationship of Paul and Martin. And Francois has his own resentments at the situation that is developing and his advice to his son is not without merit.

The music can be a little overbearing and, as noted, there’s one crucial twist that might seem a bit much. But the story, told well in straightforward fashion by director and co-writer Gilles Legrand, is a strong one. This is a film for people who like a good character piece with fine performances and something to think about.

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Cooper cops $40,000 fine from ARU for outbursts

Quade Cooper gives a statement to the media after the disciplinary hearing. Quade Cooper at ARU headquarters after the hearing.
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Quade Cooper arrives at ARU headquarters.

CooperDecCon

QUADE COOPER’S future in Australian rugby remains in limbo after the Wallabies five-eighth was fined $40,000 for criticising the team and coach Robbie Deans.

Although Cooper has signed a three-year deal with Super Rugby franchise the Reds, the ARU withdrew its top-up contract after the injured playmaker’s remarks in September.

Deputy chief executive Matt Carroll said the ARU had noted the tribunal’s findings and would consider the next step in the contracting process.

”ARU placed contract negotiations with Quade Cooper on hold until the tribunal process had been finalised,” he said.

”Given the tribunal has handed down its decision, this matter as far as we are concerned has been finalised. ARU will now look at how we address the contract situation involving Quade Cooper.”

After more than four hours of hearings and deliberations at the ARU headquarters in St Leonards on Wednesday, the three-person tribunal found Cooper had breached the ARU’s code of conduct in two separate instances.

He was fined $10,000 for a post on Twitter criticising an ARU-licensed computer game, Rugby Challenge, and $50,000 for comments he made in the general media and on Twitter, in which he called the Wallabies culture ”toxic” and criticised the team’s style of play under Deans.

A $20,000 portion of that was suspended, as was a three-match ban, but both will be activated if Cooper breaches the code of conduct again at any point in the next two years.

The Reds playmaker apologised to rugby fans and said he received a ”very fair hearing” at ARU headquarters. ”I’m very happy with the outcome and obviously the sentence that’s been handed to me, full respect for that, and I understand that I fell well below par for what it means to be a Wallaby, and for all the supporters who are out there, my apologies,” he said.

Cooper must wait while the ARU decides whether to put its contract offer back on the table.

But in the aftermath of the four-hour hearing, Cooper, who has battled a knee injury all year and will sit out the Wallabies end-of-year tour to Europe, broached the subject of playing again in the gold jersey. ”From now I’m just looking forward to the future, and hopefully having a big year with not only my state but the Wallabies and very much looking forward to overcoming my injury and getting back on the field,” he said.

Meanwhile, back-rower Alexandre Lapandry was called up by France coach Philippe Saint-Andre on Tuesday for the Test against the Wallabies in Paris on November 10 in place of the injured flanker Wenceslas Lauret.

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Rolling updates: Essendon supplements crisis

UPDATES
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James Hird says he wants to clear his name after claims he took banned substances and will do so once ASADA and AFL investigations into Essendon’s supplment use are completed.

Chairman David Evans has read a statement to a press conference at Windy Hill in which he said Hird would not be judged until the club’s investigation and the ASADA probe are completed.

Patrick Smith ofThe Australian, speakingon SEN, and 3AW’s Neil Mitchell suspected that Hird would step down as Essendon coach for the game against Fremantle on Friday night. But it appears Hird will remain in place until the investigations are finished.

2.12pm

Andrew Demetriou addresses the media on a doorstep in inner Sydney.

He says the various investigations must be allowed to run their course.

He describes the accusations against James Hird and Essendon as “very serious allegations… I can’t think of anything more serious.”

He reiterates that Essendon came forward with its concerns about possible drug use by its players, is co-operating with all investigations and launched its own probe.

But Demetriou is worried about the possibility of practices which affect the “health and welfare of young men”.

“As a parent and not just as the CEO of the AFL, the issues as reported surrounding the potential use of various substances … are disturbing, very disturbing…”

Demetriou says he hasn’t spoken to James Hird, and says the Bomber coach must not be pre-judged and should not be stood down from his position.

“We’re at the mid-point of an ongoing investigation, the investigation needs to continue…”

He says the AFL will not make decisions based on newspaper reports.

Essendon coach James Hird accused of injecting a WADA-blacklisted drug smh南京夜网.au/afl/afl-news/h…

— smh南京夜网.au (@smh) April 10, 2013

However, Demetriou says “If any coach or official puts the duty of care of their players at risk, then they will be held accountable.”

He says a coach can be caught under the WADA code if he is influencing players to take illegal substances.

And defends the AFL’s reponse, saying the league took the matter seriously and responded immediately.

The league boss admits that he is unsure of the ramifications of the scandal for his sport, terming it “horrible” and “terrible”.

His last words? Asked about the man making many of the accusations, Demetriou said: “I will not comment about Stephen Dank.”

1.49pm

AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou is due to address the media in Sydney at 2pm.

11.47am

Chloe Saltau reports that Essendon training this morning, which went for all of 20 minutes, was light and relaxed, as was coach James Hird, who was laughing and joking with players. All relevant Bomber parties have now left for the airport for their flight to Perth. They play Fremantle at 8.30 EDT Friday night, and getting on the field to kick and handball might offer the greatest relief in the midst of all this conjecture and doubt.

11.07am

Chloe Saltau reports on the press conference of David Evans at Windy Hill:

Essendon will not make a decision about the coaching future of James Hird until investigations have run their course, chairman David Evans has said.Evans described the allegation against Hird, published by Fairfax Media, as “extremely serious and distressing”. Hird is accused of injecting a WADA-banned drug in a program where his players were given another substance that anti-doping regulators now believe should be banned.Evans backed the ASADA investigation and urged caution in regard to the allegations.”This investigation will take its time and that is taking a toll on our club. But I repeat we must give them the time and space they need to come to the conclusions about what happened and how,” Evans said in a prepared statement at Windy Hill.”They (the allegations) are of course very serious but I want to urge caution here. The board will not be making a decision about these allegations today. It is extremely important that James and the others be afforded the opportunity to talk to ASADA and the basic right to natural justice.”James Hird is a person of great respect at this club and in the broader football community and the board will not be taking decisions about the next steps until the process of the review and the investigation have taken their course.”However, he said anyone who had failed in their duty of care to players would be dealt with.”The board has made it clear the health and safety of its players is paramount and if anyone has breached their duty of care the board will act.”Hird presided over a light training at Windy Hill and is due to fly to Perth with the team on Thursday afternoon. Evans did not take questions, and did not directly respond to rumours that Hird would stand aside. But he gave no suggestion that he would not take the coaching reins against the Dockers.

11.00am

A horde of media are waiting for the press conference at Windy Hill with Essendon chairman David Evans, with suspicions that Hird will in fact coach the Bombers this weekend. But this saga is changing by the moment.

10.55am

Caller Al summed up the feelings of the overwhelming majority of talkback response to the crisis by reading what appeared to be a prepared statement, attacking the media and Stephen Danks and finishing with “In Hird We Trust”.

Essendon training was brought forward to 10am from 10.30, and a very light session ended after little more than half an hour.

10.40am Chloe Saltau reports from Windy Hill:

Essendon chairman David Evans has declared the allegation that coach James Hird injected a substance prohibited by WADA as “extremely serious and very distressing”.In a statement on the club’s website, Evans did not broach the question of whether Hird would coach against Fremantle on Friday night. The chairman is due to face the media at Windy Hill at 11am.”The allegations today are extremely serious and very distressing,” Evans said.

He added that if anyone was found to have failed in their duty of care to players “we will make the appropriate decisions on behalf of the Essendon Football Club.’”Hird presided over a light training session on Thursday morning.”The Board is aware of irregular practices, and that is why we self-reported to ASADA and to the AFL,” Evans said.”The ASADA investigation commenced in early February, and we were advised by ASADA investigators that the club should not be doing our own investigation into the supplements program, but to leave the investigation and interviews with staff to ASADA. We have complied with that request and encouraged all our staff to cooperate with ASADA.”In the meantime, the board has commissioned Ziggy Switkowsky to examine Essendon’s governance.”I want to repeat that these allegations are very serious, and we want the ASADA investigation and its outcomes to be done as quickly as possible to assist us in making decisions.

“On behalf of the Board I want to make it clear that if any person at our club has failed in their duty of care to the players then we will make the appropriate decisions on behalf of the Essendon Football Club.”

10.35am

Essendon skipper Jobe Watson was quizzed about his reaction to the crisis on Fox FM’s Matt and Jo show this morning. He said players were briefed yesterday that the story was coming.

Watson says he never saw James Hird inject anything. He was asked how the story would impact on the team’s preparations for its game against Fremantle on Friday night.

“Well…obviously when we arrive at the club, there’ll be media there and when we go to the airport, but unfortunately over the last six to eight weeks, we’ve become quite good at crisis management as a playing group.

“So, I think it is a distraction at the moment… but I think that by the time we get over there, we spend some time with each other and we’ll get ready to play and we’ll play.”

However Watson admitted that the saga is having an impact on Hird and the players.

“It’s a horrible situation for him to be in, as strong as any person is, and Hirdy is probably one of the strongest people I’ve met with the highest integrity. It affects everyone. I’m sure that he’s in a very unpleasant space at the moment, and it would mainly be because of the effect that it’s having on his family.”

And what does he think of former sports scientist Stephen Danks, who is making the acusations?

“Well, I’m not really sure what his thought process is going through. I think that he is probably under a lot of pressure himself about his name and his reputation, and he’s not governed by the same rules that we are under the AFL and ASADA investigation.”

10.27am

AFL Coaches Association chief executive Danny Frawley said judgements should be reserved until the on-going investigations were completed.”I think people just need to take a deep breath. Surely coaches should be given at the very least the opportunity for the natural course of justice to be served before they’re hung out to dry. I think as Australians, whether it’s sport or family life, everyone is innocent until proven guilty and I’ve got total faith and the association’s got total faith in ASADA and the AFL coming up with the right processes in place and then let the judge make his decision.”

Frawley said his association has the utmost faith in James Hird and the coaches and Essendon until proven otherwise.

“He is everything to the AFL, look at Melbourne it was determined the club board knew nothing about actions prejudicial to the game yet they were fined $500,000 and two officials were suspended following the tanking investigation. If in the eyes of the AFL, Essendon has brought the game into disrepute, then God help the Bombers.”

The “god help” line echoes what Kevin Bartlett said less than an hour earlier.

9.50am

Radio talkback response is overwhelmingly supportive of James Hird, with many emotional Dons fans insisting their coach is a victim of ‘trial by media’. Most are completely opposed to him standing down as coach.9.46amEssendon has released the following statement from James Hird on its website:”These claims are horrifying to me, and are being made by a person or people who appear determined to destroy my reputation.”I have at all times fully adhered to, and promoted the WADA code and the AFL rules, and the code of ethics of the Essendon Football Club. I would never do anything to put the players of the Essendon Football Club or the club at risk. As I said in February, I am shocked our club is facing this situation.”I will make no further comment at this stage as I am committed to assisting the ASADA and AFL investigation.”9.45amAFL legend and commentator Kevin Bartlett on his editorial this morning:”This latest twist is the long-running investigation is damning to the AFL and head office would be horrified at the damage to the game …”The image of the game is taking an absolute hammering, what would people in the game and outside the game be thinking that Dank says he gave the players peptides from an extract of pigs’ brains.”We know that image is everything to the AFL, look at Melbourne it was determined the club board knew nothing about actions prejudicial to the game yet they were fined $500,000 and two officials were suspended following the tanking investigation. If in the eyes of the AFL, Essendon has brought the game into disrepute, then God help the Bombers”

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“I just can’t wait to get in to talk to the AFL and ASADA … I can’t wait to clear my name.”

So said Essendon coach James Hird Thursday morning, responding to questions about explosive allegations by former Bomber sports scientist Stephen Dank that he took WADA-blacklisted drugs.

Hird released a statement late on Wednesday denying the accusations, and Thursday said he would not make any further statements until the league and drug watchdog investigations are completed. Essendon is also investigating the scandal.

“Once those are completed … I will respond to these upsetting claims,” he said.

Essendon chairman David Evans was at the club’s Windy Hill base before 8am, saying the club would release a statement later in the day addressing the crisis. Essendon is due to train this morning ahead of a flight to Perth to prepare for its round three Friday night game against Fremantle.

Unsurprisingly, the front-page news about the extent of Essendon’s “supplements” usage was dominating the media landscape on Thursday morning, with journalists camped outside Hird’s home and at Windy Hill.

At 7.20am the AFL’s mouthpiece, afl南京夜网.au, was not reporting any of the allegations.

But on the SEN radio morning program, where former Essendon captain Tim Watson, father of Brownlow Medallist Tim works, the topic dominated the airwaves from the outset at 6am.

Watson disagreed that James Hird should have to stand down as coach, saying that the club should not react until its internal inquiry, run by former Telstra boss Ziggy Switkowski, brings in its findings.

However, the three-time premiership winning Bomber reiterated his concerns about the sports science practices at his club, asking whether “renegade, maverick” elements had hijacked player welfare at Essendon.

Last night, Watson’s wife attended another meeting for parents of players addressed by chairman David Evans.

Watson expressed his concerns in discussions withThe Age’s Jake Niall,

“I think that’s where the club has left themselves extremely open to all sorts of concerns of player welfare and that type of thing and I think that is probably as damning as anything in this whole episode.”

“Those products have been approached overseas but they haven’t been approved … here in Australia for human consumption.”

Watson questioned whether Hird would be in any state to coach the team on Friday.

“This must be taking a toll on him,” Watson said. “You pick up a daily paper, everyone is talking about this today, you see your picture there, the story relating to you, all the rest of it.

“I reckon Essendon must be monitoring his mental state to determine whether or not he is capable of fulfilling his duties as a coach.”

After two hours spent combing through the implications ofThe Age’s revelations, Watson sought some light relief.

Detailing the range of exotic animal-based products allegedly taken by Bombers players, including extract of cow’s first milk and pig’s brain peptides, Watson asked: “How long will it be before a vet is added to the coaching staff of an AFL club?”

Former ASAD chairman Richard Ings said even if the allegations were proved, Hird may not have broken any anti-drug code.

“Under the anti-doping policy there are no sanctions in place if a coach is personally using a performance enhancing drug, only if they’re giving it to players or injecting it into players.”

However, Hird could be found in breach of the AFL code of conduct covering coaches and officials, and he could be suspended by the league if found in breach of such standards.

Essendon Coach James Hird at Tullamarine Airport today before boarding a flight to Perth. Photo Joe Armao

Essendon’s coach James Hird leaves for the airport. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Essendon’s coach James Hird leaves for the airport. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Essendon’s coach James Hird leaves for the airport. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Essendon’s coach James Hird leaves for the airport. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Essendon’s coach James Hird during training Thursday morning. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Essendon’s coach James Hird during training Thursday morning. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Essendon Coach James Hird at Tullamarine Airport today before boarding a flight to Perth. Photo Joe Armao

Essendon Coach James Hird at Tullamarine Airport today before boarding a flight to Perth. Photo Joe Armao

Redland drug ring linked to network: police claim 

Source: Bayside Bulletin
Nanjing Night Net

Police have cracked an organised drug network with interstate links trafficking high quality dangerous drugs allegedly operating from houses in Redland Bay and Victoria Point.

The drugs allegedly trafficked into Queensland via Melbourne and Sydney had an estimated street value of $10million and were destined for nightclubs in the South East Queensland nightclubs.

Police swooped on a house in Point Halloran Road, Victoria Point, after arresting a 27-year-old Victoria Point man at Brisbane Airport on March 26. He is alleged to have been carrying one kilo of ice, or crystallised methylamphetamine, in his hand luggage.

The man 34-year-old brother was arrested at the Victoria Point house, where police found 2kg of crystallised methylamphetamine along with 4000 MDMA pills and a large quantity of cash.

MDMA pills have a street value of up to $35 each, and the pills were tested to be 70 to 80 percent pure.

On the same day, police raided a house in Scott Street, Redland Bay. A 19-year-old man was subsequently charged with possession of 1kg of crystallised methylamphetamine along with a large wad of cash stashed in his wardrobe.

Police claim the Redland drug ring was part of an organised drug network.

State Crime Operations Commands Detective Superintendent Steve Holahan told a press conference yesterday the Redland addresses were used as drug storage sites that were connected to large drug suppliers in Melbourne and Sydney, where two 36-year-old men were arrested yesterday.

Both men are due to appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court today. Det Supt Holahan said the arrests were made after State Drug Investigation Unit detectives raided houses in suburbs across Redland city yesterday, including Thornlands and Birkdale, to find the source of the drugs during the 19-month Operation Juliet Cheshire.

“We were very surprised at the age of many people that were caught, many were young including the 19-year-old man,” he said.

He said the operation heavily focused on the distribution of the drugs in Brisbane nightclubs. “(The supply and demand of the drugs) is probably a reflection on the culture of society, particularly young people, they’re certainly not risk adverse,” he said.

“(Clubbing) is one of those environments where you can meet hundreds of people (drug dealers). We’re trying to disturb the distribution so it doesn’t end up in the hands of young people.”

The operation resulted in a total of 89 people charged on 352 offences, including 40 charges of trafficking dangerous drugs.

Police have cracked an organised drug network with interstate links trafficking high quality dangerous drugs allegedly operating from houses in Redland Bay and Victoria Point. File Photo

The two men from Victoria Point and the Redland Bay man will appear in Brisbane Magistrates Court on May 6, charged with drug trafficking, possession of dangerous drugs and possession of the proceeds of crime.

End of rainbow crossing decried on social media

Cover-up: the rainbow pedestrian crossing is no more. Photo: Dallas KilponenSydney awoke to the end of the rainbow on Thursday, and those who took to social media overwhelmingly decried it as a golden opportunity wasted.
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More than 600 people were talking about the issue on Facebook on Wednesday, with more comments flooding Twitter as the government defended the decision to remove the landmark overnight.

“I think the rainbow crossing being taken down was foolish. It could have been a great tourism/political statement for Sydney. Shame,” said @DavidCampbell73.

Melbourne-based @malvage also took to Twitter to share the sentiment: “Last trip to Sydney I missed out on the giant duck in the harbour; next one I’ll be missing out on the #rainbowcrossing Disappointing.”

The “Save the Rainbow Crossing” Facebook page, which attracted more than 500 supporters, documented its Wednesday night removal. A series of photos showed the pedestrian barriers and work crews moving in before the colours disappeared under a fresh layer of asphalt.

“So sooo sad and unfair! Not to mention the waste of the tax payer money,” said one commenter, Susana Moris.

Roads Minister Duncan Gay, who cited safety concerns in ripping up the paintwork installed temporarily for Mardi Gras, drew much of the online fire.

“Painting the rainbow black symbolises exactly what Duncan Gay and like-minded MPs are doing to Sydney … Filthy,” said @duongdustin.

“Colours on a road pose a safety risk. Shooters in National Parks don’t. NSW today,” said @journeytime.

@lizknits99: “Imagine if The borough in London ripped up the crossing in Abbey Road because it was a safety risk.”

Only one of 246 pictures on Instragram that used the “rainbowcrossing” hashtag showed images of people lying down on the Oxford Street landmark.

But @DigitalMediaBoy reported: “Twice during the #rainbowcrossing trial I saw 1 tourist & 1 Aussie lie down on rd during green light. I want x’ing too but…”

The crossing debate, which attracted international attention, also prompted at least one overseas call for Taylor Square pedestrians disgruntled by the decision to wait for the signal, cross, and now move on.

“I need Sydney-based volunteers who are willing to smack sense into people mourning the rainbow loss on my behalf,” New York-based @mostlyFilth said.

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

Senior public servant accused of ‘act of foreign interference’

Australia’s domestic spy agency has lost a legal battle to censor the details of alleged foreign espionage activities by a friendly nation.
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But the Federal Court in Canberra has kept a gag order in place for a fortnight to give ASIO time to appeal the decision.

Read the court’s full decision

Justice Lindsay Foster, in a judgment published on Thursday, found keeping details of the espionage secret could not be justified as the information would not affect Australian national security.

The legal stoush relates to the case of Yeon Kim, a senior Commonwealth public servant who had his decade-long secret security clearance revoked by ASIO in 2011 amid allegations he had unreported contact with foreign spies.

Kim was accused of an “act of foreign interference” in allegedly passing information about top level negotiations between Australia and country X – which still cannot be named – concerning a bilateral trade agreement.

The judgment noted that while country X was generally friendly, its economic interests often rivalled Australia’s.

Without the security clearance, Kim’s career in his field would end, so he took the matter to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and then the Federal Court to get a review of the adverse security assessment.

The appeal has not yet been fixed for hearing.

ASIO applied to keep from the public information that would reveal the name of country X, the name of the intelligence service of country X or the names of the intelligence officers working for that intelligence service.

The spy organisation said it had discovered that agents located in Australia from country X had taken steps to cultivate Australian officials and public servants to obtain sensitive information relevant to government-to-government negotiations concerning matters of trade.

In a confidential affidavit, ASIO’s chief, David Irvine, said the agency had addressed the issue and believed that the inappropriate activities had ceased.

The affidavit said country X had asked ASIO to do all in its power to prevent public disclosure of the fact that its intelligence service had been acting within Australia.

“The [Director-General of Security] said that disclosure of the activities of the intelligence service of country X in Australia would have a detrimental impact on the ongoing relationship between the two countries,” the judgment said.

“He said it would have an impact on the level of co-operation received from that country.

“In addition, he said that revealing the names of the relevant intelligence officers of the intelligence service of country X would effectively prevent them from ever acting in such a capacity in the future.”

But Kim’s lawyers, Colquhoun Murphy, argued the purpose of ASIO’s application was political or diplomatic and had been sought to avoid embarrassment for country X.

They noted that publication of his name would leave little doubt about which foreign country was involved.

“If the motivation for the orders sought by [ASIO] is in fact to avoid some kind of political or diplomatic embarrassment, then it is reasonable for the court to consider carefully why and how the avoidance of such embarrassment is necessary for the ‘security’ of the Commonwealth,” Kim’s written submission said.

“A reasonable observer might well take the view that it is a matter of legitimate interest to citizens of Australia to know if agents of friendly nations have engaged in activities inconsistent with diplomatic cover involving an attempt to cultivate a senior public servant in Australia.”

Kim also argued an excess of secrecy applied to his case meant he had been unable to defend himself adequately and resulted also in him remaining in the dark about precisely what it was he was alleged to have done.

Justice Foster ruled that keeping the information secret could not be justified.

“It may well be that the unnecessary imposition of secrecy on material ultimately works to the prejudice of the applicant in the two sets of proceedings which he has brought in this court. The court should do everything in its power to prevent such an outcome,” the judge said.

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Mosman waterfront with skyline views

Flying high: The waterfront Mosman property of Steve and Lorraine Padgett comes with a landmark boat shed. Second-chance draw: The Howard Tanner-renovated hosue of Louise and David Glen, on Ocean Street, Woollahra.
Nanjing Night Net

Sun sets on Sundorne: The long-held Bellevue Hill mansion.

The late Claire Dan.

Around the Blok: Wrights Point.

Around the Blok: Wrights Point.

Wunulla Road, Point Piper.

Wolaroi Crescent, Tamarama.

Claraville, St Peters.

One of the most tempting listings to hit the autumn market is Curraghbeena House, the Mosman waterfront home of Alliance Aviation Services founder and chairman Steve Padgett and his wife, Lorraine.

Set at the tip of Curraghbeena Point, between Mosman Bay and Little Sirius Cove, the property is a landmark due to its Chinese-style timber boat shed, one of only two of this type on the harbour – the other is at Point Piper. With unobstructed harbour views to the city skyline, the meticulous restoration of the circa-1905 residence was overseen by architects Gary Barnes and

Mike Blakeney. Rebuilt in keeping with its architectural integrity, the four-bedroom, four-bathroom residence features an elegant formal reception hall with panoramic harbour views. Previously, the house had been split into three apartments purchased by the Padgetts between 1996 and 2004 for a total of $2,295,000.

While being sold as one dwelling, the three-level building retains its existing strata approval – and the versatile layout could be configured as three luxurious apartments. With landscaped terraced gardens and a staircase leading down to a sandstone-wall harbour swimming pool, the property is expected to fetch more than $7 million at auction on May 30 through Kingsley Yates of Ray White Lower North Shore.

Second-chance draw

Lingering on the market, since it passed in on a $7 million vendor bid at auction three weeks ago through McGrath agent Ben Collier, is a Woollahra residence owned by Louise Glen, wife of David Glen, managing director of ATM company Banktech. The two-storey Victorian residence, on a 765-square-metre block in Ocean Street, near the corner of Trelawney Street, was extensively renovated by architect Howard Tanner after it last traded for $4.9 million in March 2009. The property is for sale because the Glens have moved to another Woollahra house bought for $9 million in late 2011. The Edgecliff Road residence had been the home of bankrupt Keddies solicitor Scott Roulstone.

Sun sets on Sundorne

The Bellevue Hill home of the late Claire Dan, AM, OBE is set for auction on May 22 with price hopes of more than $11 million-plus through BHR Estate Agents and Sydney Sotheby’s International Realty. Named Sundorne, the Victoria Road residence was the matrimonial home of Dan and the late transport magnate Sir Peter Abeles, who bought it in 1958 from the Simpson family for about £60,000. After divorcing in the late 1960s, Dan retained a life tenancy of the

six-bedroom mansion on a 2550-square-metre block. It has a floodlit tennis court and swimming pool. A prominent arts philanthropist for four decades, Dan was founder of the Sydney International Piano Competition and managing director of Cladan Cultural Institute of Australia. She died in October 2012.

Shh!

Who snapped up the Point Piper home of Barbara Moran, a daughter of the late healthcare tycoon Doug Moran and his wife, Greta, for more than $6 million during Easter? Sold through Brad Pillinger, the Wentworth Street residence (on a 601-square-metre block with north-easterly views across Rose Bay) had been renovated since the Wieder family sold it for $6 million in 2007.

 Which food industry executive’s wife has bought at Hunters Hill for $5.8 million? Sold through McGrath’s Tracey Dixon, the five-bedroom residence is on a 2676-square-metre block two minutes’ walk from Alexandra Street shops.

Around the Blok: At Drummoyne

In a prominent north-facing position on Wrights Point, the three-level residence was built after the property sold for $6 million in late 2007 to the Arnaout family.

Of palatial proportions and built with no expense spared, it has five spacious bedrooms (including a private main bedroom wing), formal and casual living and dining areas, a state-of-the-art kitchen, gymnasium, sauna, wine room, four-car garage, guest apartment, rooftop terrace and a lift.

For sale through Adrian Sereni and Warwick Williams of Warwick Williams Real Estate, the property has a swimming pool and a level lawn leading to the historic Drummoyne steps for direct harbour access.

The Arnaout family’s Iris Hotel Group bought the Hunters Hill Hotel in 1995 and then built a portfolio of pubs valued at $350 million during a 12-year period. Their hotel ventures have included the Clovelly Hotel, PJ’s Irish Pub in Parramatta and PJ Gallaghers at Drummoyne.

Healthy result

A Point Piper mansion sold for more than $7 million two weeks ago through agent Alison Coopes. The deal on the Wunulla Road residence, owned by medico Simon Wertheimer and his wife, Lorraine, was stitched up on the weekend before its scheduled auction.

The circa-1900s residence has six bedrooms, seven bathrooms, beautiful formal living rooms, a huge modern family room, a three-room attic and harbour views. Named Arn, the property last traded for $3.03 million in 2000. Two weeks before the sale of Arn, Coopes (in conjunction with Savills) notched up the highest auction price of the year when a Bellevue Hill residence sold under the hammer for $7.7 million. The Victoria Road residence had been renovated by a group of developers including Tony Petersen.

Barbosa Bonanza

Also in the eastern suburbs, the long-held Tamarama home of recruitment consultant Anne Barbosaand her husband, Luis, has sold for more than $5 million through Blacket & Glasgow agent Peter Blacket. Set high above the beach in Wolaroi Crescent, the four-bedroom house has spectacular north-easterly beach and ocean views.

The Barbosas bought the 382-square-metre property for $310,000 in 1986. Five years ago, Blacket negotiated Tamarama’s $11 million residential record price of a Thompson Street house sold to Marco Rossi, managing director of the construction company Built. And three weeks ago Blacket negotiated the sale of the Strauss family’s 1162-square-metre Bellevue Hill estate for more than $6 million. The Bulkara Road property last traded for $820,000 in 1986.

St Peters record

The inner-west suburb of St Peters has a new residential record of $2.15 million following last weekend’s sale of the home of the late artist David Boyd and his late wife Hermia. Named Claraville, the 1500-square-metre property in Silver Street is the suburb’s largest residential landholding. The six-bedroom Victorian mansion, which had been the Boyds’ home since 1988 when it traded for $250,000, sold through agent Brad Pillinger. More than 300 groups inspected the house.

Beautiful original features include stained-glass windows and timber joinery. Behind the house are stables used as an artist’s studio. A member of the Boyd artistic dynasty, David Boyd was a son of artist William Merric Boyd and grandson of Arthur Boyd. The late Hermia Boyd is best known for her work as a sculptor and potter.

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Rehtaeh’s tragedy: teen, 17, commits suicide after photo of alleged gang rape sparks bullying campaign

Rehtaeh Parsons Rehtaeh Parsons
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Parsons

Took her own life: Rehtaeh Parsons. Photo: Screen grab, CBC News

Speaking out: Leah Parsons right, wants people to be aware of her daughter’s case. Photo: Screen grab, CBC News

It was meant to be a harmless night of teenage fun: a small group of school students had gathered at a friend’s house, to talk and joke over a few drinks.

But the tragic consequences of that night more than a year ago culminated this week in the death of a 17-year-old girl, an anguished family demanding answers and a public outcry about how the Canadian justice system could have let off her alleged attackers.

Rehtaeh Parsons, 17, was taken off life support at a Nova Scotia hospital on Sunday, three days after she attempted to commit suicide at her home in Cole Harbour.

Rehtaeh’s mother, Leah Parsons, says her daughter was a sensitive soul who loved art, animals and had a big heart.

“Rehtaeh stood up for others, showed compassion to animals and people. She was an amazing artist. She made my life complete,” Ms Parsons wrote on a Facebook page dedicated to her daughter.

“When Rehtaeh was born I dedicated everything to her and promised her the world. Others in this world took that away from her.”

On the night of the party in November 2011, Rehtaeh had gone with a friend to another person’s house, where a number of students had gathered.

Her mother alleges Rehtaeh was gang raped by four teenage boys, one of whom took a photo of the attack. That photo was then circulated around her school, sparking a bullying campaign that ended 18 months later in Rehtaeh’s death.

In an interview with CBC Radio, Ms Parsons said her daughter had drunk a lot of vodka and only remembered “bits and pieces” of the night.

She said her daughter initially kept the incident to herself and was trying to forget about it when three days later she discovered a photo was circulating among her classmates.

“She walked into school and everyone started calling her a slut,” Ms Parsons said.

She said her daughter broke down in the kitchen and revealed to her what had happened. It was then that her mother called police to report the alleged assault.

Ms Parsons wrote on Facebook that her daughter’s life soon became “so bad she had to move out of her own community to try to start anew in Halifax”, and she began to “struggle emotionally with depression and anger”.

Rehtaeh was hospitalised for six weeks when her thoughts turned towards suicide.

Police investigating the case said they had concluded that it came down to a “he said, she said” situation, Ms Parsons wrote.

She claims investigators told her that they believed the boys raped Rehtaeh, but “the proof in a court of law was difficult to gather”.

Scott MacRae, a spokesman for Halifax Royal Canadian Mounted Police, told ABCNews南京夜网 that the investigation into the alleged rape started in November 2011 and lasted almost a year.

“At the end of the … investigation, police, along with the crown attorney, concluded there was insufficient evidence to proceed with charges,” he said.

In the wake of Rehtaeh’s death, Nova Scotia Justice Minister Ross Landry said he was now reviewing the case.

Hacker group Anonymous has released a statement saying it knows the identities of at least two of the four boys involved in the alleged gang rape, and has threatened to release their names unless the police “take immediate legal action against the individuals in question”.

“If we were able to locate these boys within 2 hours, it will not be long before someone else finds them,” Anonymous wrote.

“We do not approve of vigilante justice as the media claims. That would mean we approve of violent actions against these rapists at the hands of an unruly mob. What we want is justice. And That’s your job. So do it.”

Anonymous has become involved in similar cases before, most famously, the Steubenville, Ohio rape case which resulted in the conviction of two high school football players.

The group also exposed the identity of a man they said was responsible for the online bullying which culminated in the suicide of 15-year-old Canadian student Amanda Todd last year, weeks after she posted a moving video detailing her plight with online bullying on YouTube.

Dr Damian Maher, a lecturer at University of Technology, Sydney who specialises in cyberbullying, said photos on social media of a young person allegedly being sexually assaulted would constitute a crime in Australia.

Anything of that nature should be reported to police, and should also be reported to the social networking sites that they appeared on, he said.

“People have rights when it comes to images of them being circulated on the internet,” he said.

He urged people who were being cyberbullied to remove contact with the perpetrators by, for example, unfriending them on Facebook.

However, that could be difficult for younger people, whose social network online was often the same as off-line.

“Young people are very susceptible to those types of taunts,” he said.

“If someone is in a situation where they’re being bullied, I think being able to turn to someone else for support and share it with another person is the most immediate way to hep a person through that.

“Counselling also may be a way to work through the issue.”

Support is available for anyone who may be distressed by calling Lifeline 131 114, Mensline 1300 789 978, Kids Helpline 1800 551 800.

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Swisse sidesteps ban with relabelling

High-profile vitamins company Swisse has evaded an attempt by authorities to ban its appetite suppressant product just as the group launches a push into the US featuring actor Nicole Kidman.
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The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) last week cancelled the registration of Swisse’s Ultiboost Appetite Suppressant because there was ‘‘insufficient evidence to support the indications for the product and the presentation of the product was unacceptable’’.

However, the company has registered a new product with exactly the same ingredient, an extract of an Indian cactus, under the name Ultiboost Hunger Control.

‘‘We’ve changed the name but the ingredients remain the same,’’ Swisse head of media Mitch Catlin said.

Chief executive Radek Sali said: ‘‘It remains a popular product in Australia and it is on the shelf at all retail outlets.”

The company claims research shows the cactus extract significantly reduces hunger, but La Trobe University associate adjunct professor Dr Ken Harvey said there was no scientific proof the product worked.

Dr Harvey, who lodged the complaint that led to the TGA taking action, said Swisse had dropped a claim it caused weight loss but continued to argue it suppresses appetite.

Kidman is the star of new Swisse commercials promoting four other products in the company’s vitamins range.

Swisse increased its use of celebrity endorsements in 2011 after hiring Mr Catlin, who was formerly head of public relations at Myer.

As part of its publicity blitz it set up a marquee at the Melbourne Cup and hired Kidman, tennis player Lleyton Hewitt, test cricket captain Ricky Ponting, TV host Sonia Kruger and others as brand ‘‘ambassadors’’.

It was also the driving force behind last month’s visit to Australia by talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, which drew saturation media coverage.

On Sunday, Swisse aired the new TV commercials starring Kidman in Australia, and the company plans to roll out a big US promotional push later this month during DeGeneres’ NBC TV talk show.

It has also been mooted as a potential takeover target, with the private equity arm of LVMH, the world’s largest luxury good maker, reportedly a possible buyer.

The company is yet to file a financial report for 2012, but company records show it made a profit of $8.8 million in 2011, up from $3.8 million in 2010, after sales surged from $56.3 million to $92.6 million.

Dr Harvey said that in practice removal of products from the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods ‘‘means little’’.

‘‘It takes a long time to achieve, pharmacists and others continue to promote and sell delisted products until they are out of stock, and the companies involved invariably create and list new products with the same ingredients and only slightly modified claims,’’ he said.

‘‘All of this provides little protection to consumers who continue to be ripped off.’’

Health Department spokeswoman Kay McNiece could not be reached for comment on Thursday morning.

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Norman still leaving Broncos

There will be no backflip from Corey Norman, according to Broncos coach Anthony Griffin, who has poured ice water on rumours the fullback may stay at Red Hill after all.
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Norman, 22, has signed a lucrative three-year deal with Parramatta and will leave the Broncos at the end of the season, having been involved with the Brisbane club since he was 16.

His decision has sparked a surge in form that has helped Brisbane put a spring in their step ahead of Friday night’s derby against the Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium.

Winning changes everything and it didn’t take long for rumours to surface that Norman was rethinking his move to the west of Sydney, with Nine suggesting on Wednesday night that the playmaker was getting cold feet.

It’s not without precedent this season. Canberra’s Josh Papalii backed out after signing a three-year deal with the Eels, leaving Parramatta fuming.

Griffin said Norman wouldn’t be following suit and the Broncos had already started planning life beyond Norman, who prefers playing five-eighth but is behind 2013 signing Scott Prince in the pecking order.

“No. We’ve moved on. As you know, there was a rumour. You blokes are always writing something about us but it certainly hasn’t come from us,” Griffin said.

“He’s made his decision. We respect that and we’ve moved on from that, as he has. The important thing for him is he plays good football, which he’s doing at the moment.

“He has been one of our best. That’s what we expect from him. We just need to keep doing that this week.”

Norman’s silky touch in the backline has come at a good time for Brisbane, given the quality of opponents they have had to deal with of late and the challenge ahead of them on Friday.

It’s also made Broncos fans realise what they will be missing. Norman has been a slow burner at Red Hill but is finally showing the class that many at the club believed he possessed.

And while Griffin has snuffed out any hope of Norman staying, there was some good news at Red Hill, with captain Sam Thaiday becoming a first-time father two days before the Queensland derby.

Thaiday and wife Rachel welcomed a baby girl early on Wednesday night, but the player will still line up against the Cowboys after training in the final preparation on Thursday morning.

The name is yet to be revealed.

“He hasn’t even got a name for her yet,” Griffin said. “He might be holding out for a Woman’s Day deal.”

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Fantasia quits Bulldogs for Hawks role

James Fantasia has become Hawthorn’s general manager of football. Photo: Vince CaligiuriWestern Bulldogs general manager of football James Fantasia has resigned and taken up the same position at Hawthorn.
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Fantasia replaces Mark Evans, who recently left for a role as football operations manager with the AFL.

Fantasia headed the Bulldogs’ football department for six years after a stint as recruiter for Adelaide between 1995 and 2007.

He previously held roles with Norwood Football Club in the South Australian National Football League, and as general manager of game development with the SANFL.

Hawthorn chief executive Stuart Fox said his club was thrilled to welcome Fantasia to the Hawks, saying his ”wealth of experience and industry knowledge will be of great benefit” to the club.

”We have been impressed with James’ leadership style and we’re confident he will fit into the high-performance culture at Hawthorn well,” Fox said.

”James is a quality operator, an outstanding character and is highly respected within the football industry, and we look forward to having him join our team.”

Bulldogs chief executive Simon Garlick paid tribute to Fantasia’s work in transforming its football department.

”James has played a significant role in the evolution of the Western Bulldogs Football Club, both in his role as general manager of football and as a valued part of the club’s executive management team,” Garlick said on Thursday.

He admitted to SEN radio that there was a “tinge of regret” in the departure, but his club was realistic about the AFL, where such movement between clubs was common.

He said the Bulldogs were now in the “enviable” position of having a “real depth of experience in their football department.”

“We’ve got really good coverage there,” Garlick said.

He said Fantasia’s contribution to the club would be an enduring one.

”Perhaps the greatest contribution James has made to the club is best reflected by the strength of the football department he has been integral in building and the calibre of people that have been brought into footy on his watch,” Garlick said.

He would not be drawn on speculation that former Geelong player and NFL punter Ben Graham would be a leading candidate to fill the vacancy.

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Mobile photography at fashion week

Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers. Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.
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Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.

Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.

Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.

Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.

Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.

Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.

Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.

Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.

Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.

Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.

Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.

Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.

Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.

Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.

Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.

Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.

Mobile photography at the 2013 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia by Getty Images photographers.