Planning for the future

ELECTROLUX workers are being encouraged to seek financial advice now about their future options and not wait until their jobs are terminated.
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Orange Credit Union corporate services manager Gavin Cook said staff at the financial institution, which was established by Email workers, would do everything they could to provide financial advice for workers, even though Electrolux employees now only make up a small percentage of its customer base.

“We now have 16,000 members so our base is quite diverse and although we don’t have all the employees as our clients, we do have a percentage and we are willing to help,” Mr Cook said.

“It is important that people start to make a plan now, including those people who have worked at the plant for 40 years and may get a significant redundancy.

“For us it is business as usual, but of course our heritage is as the Email Credit Union.”

Mr Cook said it was impossible to comment on how the loss of jobs at the Orange plant in 2015 and 2016 would impact on individual clients.

“That is a complex and individual issue with so many different factors taken into consideration,” he said.

“But overall our aim, goal and objective is to get people to contact us now, so planning can start.”

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START PLANNING NOW: Orange Credit Union corporate services manager Gavin Cook encourages Electrolux workers to seek financial advice. Photo: JUDE KEOGH 1028gavincook

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Bushfire fight far from over

BATHURST residents woke once again this morningto find a thick, smoky haze blanketing the city.
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And while the immediate threat from the State Mine Fire near Lithgow has eased, and many firefighters are taking a well-earned rest, some crews still remain on the battlefront, concentrating their efforts on mopping up the fire edge.

“Most of the ground crews have finished up and there are only a few local crews patrolling around Hartley Vale,” Superintendent Tom Shirt from the Chifley/Lithgow Rural Fire Service said.

“But there is still plenty of fire activity in the Wollemi National Park and we have 42 remote area firefighters in the Marrangaroo fire camp. These are specialists who are continuing to work with helicopter crews.

“And the smoke that enveloped Bathurst yesterday morning came from the northern end of the Grose Valley. An overnight easterly whipped it up and pushed it this way.”

Supt Shirt was glowing in his praise of the Chifley strike team personnel who manned five tankers, saying they were invaluable in protecting life and property during the last few weeks.

“The crews from Chifley area are back at home after more than a week of working day and night,” he said. “The effort from those crews was absolutely fantastic.”

The State Mine Fire, which destroyed thousands of hectares in the Lithgow, Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains areas, has been downgraded to a watch and act alert – but that still may change, Supt Shirt said.

“Conditions are not horrendous, like last week,” he said.

“But it is still inhospitable country, that’s why we need the remote area specialists.

“We are now working to ‘lock in’ the fire. Strategic back-burning continues as we try to reinforce containment lines.”

And with precious little rain on the horizon and summer yet to come, Supt Shirt was keen to reinforce the warnings that have been issued in the past few weeks, because fears remain that the worst is yet to come.

He said homeowners need to be prepared for the fire season.

NOT OVER YET: Strategic back-burning continues in the Blue Mountains.

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Work to do on the region’s job losses

NEITHER federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane nor our local parliamentarians have had any success in saving the jobs of some 540 Electrolux employees but there remains a crucial role for them to play in the months ahead.
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As the thinking behind the parent company’s decision is revealed it is becoming clear that Orange has been out of its global game plan for some time and not even management in Orange knew of the production hurdle which had to be cleared to keep the gates open.

It is hardly surprising then that Electrolux at a national and international level had no interest in heeding Mr Macfarlane’s call to delay its decision until a federal assistance proposal had been put together.

Today will be the first of many meetings between local MPs at a federal and state level, council staff and bureaucrats who could help put a support package in place for affected workers and the local economy.

NSW Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham may be a little premature in lashing Prime Minister Abbott and Premier O’Farrell for not getting involved but no one should doubt his passion.

The Greens spokesman on regional development is right to focus the community’s attention on the level of support a city like Geelong is getting to help it over the closure of the Ford plant, or the response in the Illawarra to Bluescope Steel ceasing steel production. Tens of millions of dollars are being made available in these cases.

These were big job losses too, but in terms of the impact on the local economies the scale of the impact on Orange and the region is in the same league.

Canberra and Macquarie Street need to remember that it is not just Orange which will feel the blow. Simplot’s downsizing in Bathurst and mine closures in Lithgow point to a regional problem which demands a substantial state and national response.

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Valuable partnership has Tigers well placed

Ben Howarth only made 8 for Colts as his side collapsed to be all out for 123 against Rugby. Photo: Kathryn O’SullivanCRICKET
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A 113-run partnership between Yogi Chawla and Don Skinner has Newtown well placed after day one of their Pinnington Cup clash with South Dubbo at Lady Cutler 4.

Coming together with the score at 4-67 Chawla and Skinner put on the century stand in 33 overs to have Newtown at 8-218 at stumps.

Chawla top-scored with 85 while Skinner made 40 as the Tigers batted all day, with the plan of a first innings victory next week now at the forefront of their minds.

After winning the toss the Tigers started slowly with Mike and Marty Jeffrey both falling before the score was 20 as the Hornets opted to open the bowling with the spin of Nathan Astri.

The game was evenly poised at 4-67 after 24 overs but Chawla and Skinner took the game away from the Tigers.

Elliot Carlin was the next best and remains 16 not out while the wickets were shared for Newtown with Latham Craig the pick with 2-23 from 7.

Jack Busch (2-42), Andrew Cusack (1-19), Josh Smith (1-30) and Astri (1-44) were the other wicket-takers.

o o o

Macquarie will fancy their chances of a comfortable first innings victory next week after outclassing CYMS Cougars on day one of their clash at John McGrath 1.

Batting first, the Cougars struggled to put any meaningful partnerships together and suffered a late innings collapse to be all out for just 98, with Vinay Kapila taking 4-11 from 10 overs.

CYMS started in a solid fashion, with Warren Dodd Jr and Alex Bonham both getting starts before falling for 21 and 19 respectively.

From there Kapila, assisted well by Shane Dupille (2-17) and Ben Page (2-31), ran through the Cougars line-up with the last seven wickets falling for just 27 runs. In reply Luke Patis and Ed Haylock put together a patient and well-made 55 runs in the final 25 overs as the Cougars bowlers failed to make a breakthrough before stumps and now face an uphill battle to avoid their second straight defeat.

Patis (21 not out) and Haylock (26 not out) will return to the crease next week with a further 44 runs needed for first innings points.

o o o

A late innings collapse from the RSL-Colts line-up will give Rugby hope leading into next week but things still hang in the balance after the first day of their match at No 3 Oval.

Colts were set for a big total with the score at 2-87 but a collapse of 8-36 saw them all out for 123 with Rugby at 3-63 at stumps.

After winning the toss and batting, Colts started well with openers Lyndon Whitney (29) and Adam Baraclough (27) setting a solid platform but when Glenn Shepherd removed Whitney and Jakke Gardiner it signalled a stream of wickets with Blake Watmore the chief destroyer of the middle order, finishing with 4-12 from six overs.

Shepherd finished with 2-29 while Bart Goodman, Al Horrocks and Garry Goodman were the other wicket-takers.

Rugby batted for the final 24 overs of the day and find themselves 3-65 at stumps.

Dale Watmore (6) and Ross Horrocks (0) will be mindful of the way the Colts innings ended when they return to the crease next week in search of first innings points.

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Motbey’s five-wicket haul sets up Hornet’s win

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Motbey finished with the impressive figures of 5-10 from six overs for the defending third grade premiers as Newtown were bowled out for just 61.

The Hornets chased down their target with minimal fuss and Motbey was there at the end to finish with 6 not out in a memorable day.

After winning the toss and batting, Newtown made it to 27 without loss before Matt Wakely removed Brian McKinnonn and when Motbey had last week’s century-maker, Craig Pettit, caught for 12 it wasn’t long before the innings was all over.

Motbey was the by far the best with the ball while Wakely, Henry Railz, Scott Dwarte and John Byrne each picked up one scalp.

Henry Railz top-scored in reply, making just 13, but it was enough as the Newtown Gold bowlers toiled hard and took five wickets despite defending such a low total.

Tom Barber took 3-15 while Craig Edenborough was unplayable, bowling a great spell to finish with the figures of 2-0 from 4.2 overs but it was all in vain as Souths cruised to a five-wicket win.

o o o

It was Macquarie who came out on top at John McGrath 2 on Saturday in a thrilling match with Rugby.

Set 119 for victory the Blues overcame the late loss of 4-19 to win by two wickets.

Batting first Rugby had a number of batsmen make starts but no one went on to make a big score with Wayne Munro the best with 32.

Brad Hart (3-12) and James Hughes (3-29) were the best with the ball for the Blues who were in trouble early in reply when they found themselves at 2-20.

But a 44-run partnership between Dave Murray and Bharath Ramakrishnappa got their side back on track and despite the mini-collapse the Blues batsmen did enough to get their side home.

o o o

An unbeaten 66 to opening batsman Zeke Spradbrow guided CYMS to a seven wicket victory over Rugby Youth Development (YD) at Bob Dowling 4.

Lachlan Harper’s 59 helped the young Rugby side to the competitive total of 6-153 from their 40 overs but Spradbrow’s innings, which included 10 boundaries, set the tone for the Cougars as they chased down the total with five overs to spare.

The Cougars bowlers shared the six Rugby wickets as Harper was assisted by Grant Berryman (37) and H Fairall to set the total but Spradbrow, Mark Hawke (32) and Brodie Parkinson (20) all combined to seal the Cougars’ second win of the season.

o o o

In the Colts derby at Lady Cutler South 1, it was the YD side who had a dominant victory, defeating their clubmates by 74 runs.

Garry Ashford blasted six fours and five sixes as he top scored for Colts YD with 88 and his innings set-up the victory and then Michael Parish sealed it with 5-38 from eight overs.

Parish was the second top-scorer behind Ashford, hitting 21 not out late in the innings, but the damage had already been done as the number three’s powerful innings demoralised the Colts’ bowlers.

Ben Bruce top scored for Colts with 29 in their innings but it was no where near enough as Parish took the first four wickets inside 10 overs to give the youngsters bragging rites until they next meet.

o o o

No score given for Newtown Black v South Dubbo Hornets YD

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Milestone total as Phantoms take down Yanco Hotel

LDCA A grade cricket
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PHANTOMS posted the highest score of their short A grade tenure to secure a 39-run win over Yanco Hotel at Yanco Sportsground on Saturday.

Led by a patient half-century by Ryan Thurgood (51), Phantoms were bowled out on the last over of the innings to finish on 151.

However, it was Paul Werner’s eight-over spell in the second innings that ripped the heart out of Hotel’s chase for glory as he took five consecutive middle-order wickets for 27 runs to shut down any fightback.

Thurgood was the constant for Phantoms, featuring in seven partnerships. Greg Halloran (18) proved a valuable partner, as did Richard Keith (10) and Adam Hopkins (12).

Lusty late hitting by David Haksins (18) ensured the competitive total was reached.

All six Hotel bowlers took wickets, with Mark Doyle (2-15) having the best return.

Mark Burns, Brandon Emerson and Luke Pygram also took two each, with singles to Rick Harrison and Jordan Camm.

The run chase was a tense affair, with Hotel always in with a chance even as wickets fell.

Opener Doyle (62) was the danger man, accumulating runs in classic style, dispatching the bad ball to the boundary and pushing for ones and twos.

After losing Emerson early, Doyle put on 41 with Jordan Camm (9) and 24 with Luke Pygram (11), but in the end was running out of partners after Werner’s dipping medium pace cut through the middle like a hot knife.

The return of Adam Hopkins (3-24) with the breeze signalled the end for Doyle, nicking behind while trying to keep pace with the run rate required as he watched partners going back to the sheds.

Steve Weckert chipped in with 2-21 as Hotel lost 5-12 to end its innings on 112.

PHANTOMS opener Ryan Thurgood posted a half-century to help his side to a win over Yanco Hotel.

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Masur shoulder ends prospect of Kyrgios duel

It’s the match Canberra has been waiting for, a match between a favourite son and an emerging star. The Master versus the Apprentice. Wally Masur v Nick Kyrgios.
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A showdown in the Asia-Pacific Tennis League had ACT tennis fans salivating.

But alas, it’s not going to happen.

Former world No. 8 Masur had put his name down to play for the Stanmore Wyverns, who play Canberra Velocity at North Woden on November 16, setting up the chance he’d face Kyrgios in an all-Canberra match-up.

But an injured shoulder has ruled Masur out of even the shortened format of the ATL.

Instead, 18-year-old Kyrgios could face Sandon Stolle – the 1998 US Open doubles champion.

Several former professionals have put their names down to help increase the profile of the ATL, which has been designed to give Australia’s emerging talent something to play in during the typically quiet November.

Australia Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter will play in the Queensland section.

The Velocity women, who finished sixth last summer, will face stiff opposition, with Casey Dellacqua playing for the Wyverns women.

”I had grand plans to maybe play a little bit, but I found out very quickly my shoulder’s not up to it,” Masur said. ”I’m 50, I think it’s a hangover from being 50.”

Ranked 180 in the world, Kyrgios has been struggling with an elbow injury recently, but hopes to be fit to make his Australian Open debut this summer.

He beat Radek Stepanek in his first French Open outing mid-year and also qualified for the US Open.

The former Daramalan student then made his Davis Cup debut, helping Australia back into the main group after six years in the wilderness.

Masur said there’s only one way to avoid an outbreak of second-year syndrome: hard work.

He pointed to world No.1 Rafael Nadal as the perfect example.

”If you look at ‘Rafa’ and these guys and how good they are, they just keep adding another brick to the wall, they just keep working hard to get better, and Nick’s no different,” he said.

”Nick’s had a great year and learnt a lot, and to consolidate it’s just another year of hard work.”

The Velocity men will be Kyrgios, Jake Eames, James Frawley, Alun Jones and Todd Larkham, while the women are Alison Bai, Nicole Hoynaski, Tyra Calderwood, Ashley Keir and Annabel Parolo.

ASIA-PACIFIC TENNIS LEAGUEDraw for Canberra teamsMen: Canberra Velocity v Sydney Uni Lions at Newington College, Friday November 8, 4pm; Canberra Velocity v Stanmore Wyverns at North Woden, Saturday  November 16, 2pm; Canberra Velocity v Macquarie Uni Warriors at North Woden, Sunday November 17, 2pm; Next Gen Rebels v Canberra Velocity at Talus St, Sydney, Saturday November 23, 5pm.Women: Canberra Velocity v Stanmore Wyverns at Sydney University, Wednesday November 6, 11.30am; Canberra Velocity v City Lizards at North Woden, Saturday November 16, 2pm; Canberra Velocity v Sydney Uni Lions at North Woden, Sunday November 17, 2pm; NSTA Angels v Canberra Velocity at Talus St, Sydney, Saturday November 23, 5pm.

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Hair-brained critics offer stars free advice

“If it’s not collagen then please use a new make-up artist”: Criticism sent to Sky presenter Jacinta Tynan. Photo: Ellis ParrinderThe face matters, as does the decolletage, although the critic will generally deploy a far less polite term when referring to it. Body weight is obviously crucial, as is the choice of the presenter’s clothes. But for women on television, it seems, it’s mostly about the hair.
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In what looked almost like a lady-conspiracy but was more probably a zeitgeisty coincidence, two high-profile television journalists, the ABC’s Annabel Crabb and Channel Nine’s Lisa Wilkinson, spoke out over the weekend about the abuse they cop for their appearances, whenever they dare to commit an act of journalism on television using their actual faces and bodies as vessels for communication.

Despite being two of the nation’s most likeable and intelligent female journos, they are beset by abusive tweets, reader emails, and quaintly, even some letters, about how they look like old boilers/tarts/boilers-dressed-as-tarts/would-be tarts/tarts who have had make-up inexpertly applied to their tarty faces/just stupid.

They are not alone, of course. It happens to all women who appear on TV, and many of the men, too, although the comments tend not to be so acutely focused on their looks. Drum presenter and Sydney Morning Herald columnist Julia Baird has a whole category of comment she summarises neatly as ”creepy sexual stuff”.

Sky news journalist Jacinta Tynan magnetises criticism over her hair, thought by forthcoming viewers to be either too big, too frizzy or fake. During her two pregnancies, Tynan was consistently accused of having Botox on her face or collagen in her lips. Tynan wrote back to one correspondent telling her she had not had either.

”If it’s not collagen then please use a new make-up artist,” the viewer rejoined, seemingly without shame.

Are these women, as some of the reader comments on Crabb’s piece have suggested, simply participating in their own oppression by gussying up for television? Couldn’t they just refuse to wear make-up, or wear the minimal make-up their male colleagues do? Baird notes the former prime minister recently revealed she had her make-up professionally done every morning when she held that office.

”It’s just par for the course and if you do it, you don’t have to think about it, and it prevents a whole other level of criticism,” Baird says. ”It’s part of the job you accept.”

Sky News presenter and host Helen Dalley, who has been on television since the mid-1980s, says she ”gave up a long time ago reading or listening to it all”.

She points out that the make-up gender double-standard applies everywhere, not just on television. But it is women on television who cop the most abuse.

What to do about this nasty aspect of the social media age? As with praise, perhaps it is best to accept criticism only from people you respect. And it’s difficult to respect an anonymous person with a Twitter account and the world-view of a sexually confused Talibani.

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Uni floats cloning to save rare species

THE University of Newcastle is proposing a $40million program to use genetic technology to clone and reproduce native wildlife under threat of extinction.
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The project could be used to save threatened frogs, birds, freshwater fish, marsupials and other vertebrates.

The university expects to learn by Christmas if a bid to the federal government to fund the program over eight years is successful.

Bid director Professor John Rodger said the funding would allow the Wildlife Biodiversity Co-operative Research Centre to be established.

It would be a consortium of 40 institutions, including universities, zoos and state agencies, which the University of Newcastle would lead.

‘‘If successful, Newcastle will be heading the major concentration of research in this area in Australia,’’ Professor Rodger said.

He said the project aimed to develop ‘‘breakthrough technology to generate offspring from stored genomes for use in frog breeding and reintroduction programs’’.

One target is the southern corroboree frog – Australia’s most critically endangered frog – of which fewer than 100 remain in the wild.

Other frogs to be targeted could include the booroolong frog and green and golden bell frog in the Hunter.

Dr John Clulow, a University of Newcastle lecturer in the school of environmental and life sciences, said the university had developed procedures using IVF technology and sperm-freezing techniques to conserve endangered frogs.

Technology the university had developed could be used in combination with cloning to generate animals, Dr Clulow said.

‘‘We’ve developed freezing technology to store embryonic cells and that’s a move forward. Then you need a way to turn those back into frogs and linking it up with cloning is the way to do it.’’

Other plans involve working with Tasmanian devils, black cockatoos in Western Australia and a range of kangaroos.

Professor Rodger said the disease that decimated the endangered Tasmanian devil ‘‘came out of left field’’.

‘‘Generally we find out too late if a species has a problem and we haven’t saved the resources,’’ he said.

The program would store sperm, eggs and other genomic resources, so ‘‘when crises occur we’re in a far better position to respond’’.

It would select species with ‘‘the best genes’’ for storage and reproduction, Professor Rodger said.

The program also aimed to reintroduce species from areas where the species’ populations were normal to depleted areas to rebuild ecosystems.

Dr Clulow said it would be like seed banks for plant conservation.

‘‘If populations collapse or go extinct in the wild, we’d have a source of material to prevent their complete extinction,’’ he said.

This technique would be much stronger than breeding in captivity, he said.

AT RISK: The Southern corroboree frog.

Vidmar says Rogic must earn a start

Australian Joeys coach Tony Vidmar believes Tom Rogic may be forced to leave Scottish giant Celtic to increase his chances of playing a bigger role with the Socceroos at next year’s World Cup.
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The 20-year-old Canberra product has had limited game time with the Hoops and was an unusued substitute in Celtic’s 2-1 Scottish Premier League win over Partick Thistle on Sunday night.

Rogic could be one of a batch of talented youngsters to benefit from the appointment of new national coach Ange Postecoglou.

While the attacking midfielder was capped seven times under Holger Osieck, Rogic could play a more substantial role during Postecoglou’s five-year tenure. However, it will be tough for Postecoglou to throw Rogic into the mix while he is sitting on the bench.

Vidmar said Rogic faced a difficult decision the longer he struggled to make the first team.

”He hasn’t had much game time and it’d be frustrating for him,” Vidmar said.

”It’s up to Ange to see if he’s going to throw him in there.

”Do you need to be playing regularly for your club as a prerequisite or is Ange going to go with the best players irrespective of game time?”

Vidmar is based in Canberra as the head coach of the AIS program as well as the Australian under-17s team, the Joeys. The former Socceroo is well versed in the quality of the Scottish Premier League having made 104 appearances for Celtic’s cross-town rival, Glasgow Rangers.

The central defender was 27 when he moved to Rangers and had a decade of experience as a professional after becoming a regular in the Socceroos and having a stint in Holland with NAC Breda.

”When you’re an established player you’ve got a good chance of getting into the first team, but Tom’s at an age where he’s still developing,” Vidmar said.

”Is it the right environment where he can develop? I don’t know.

”We’ll know in the next few years.”

Postecoglou isn’t afraid to tap more experienced players on the shoulder and opt for youth as he did in instigating a clearout at Brisbane Roar.

Veterans such as Craig Moore and Danny Tiatto left the club as Postecoglou guided the Roar to back-to-back A-League championships.

Vidmar believed the timing was right for an Australian to be in charge of the national team and hoped it paved the way for other young coaches, such as himself, to possibly be considered for the role in the future.

”It gives us young coaches the belief that one day we can continue,” Vidmar said.

”Ange is there for five years and does he stay there longer or does he have a career overseas?

”During that period of time, it gives us young coaches the belief that if Ange is there then I can become the national team coach.

”We’re at a stage where we should have an Australian coach taking the Australian team.”

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South Africa to sentence 20 extremists for Nelson Mandela death plot

A South African court began sentencing on Monday 20 right-wing extremists convicted of high treason for a plot to kill Nelson Mandela and drive blacks out of the country.
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The “Boeremag” organisation had planned a right-wing coup in 2002 to overthrow the post-apartheid government.

The trial lasted almost a decade until the organisation’s members were convicted in August last year, the first guilty verdicts for treason since the end of apartheid in 1994.

“The accused had aimed to overthrow the government through unconstitutional methods that included violence,” said High Court judge Eben Jordaan as he began the two-day sentencing hearing.

“They planned a violent attack against people of colour that would certainly be followed by retaliation attacks against whites as a result,” Jordaan said at the hearing taking place in the same Pretoria courtroom where Mandela was convicted of treason in 1964.

One woman died and dozens of people were injured in blasts that shook the Johannesburg township of Soweto in October 2002.

All 20 accused were convicted of treason, but only five of murder and the plot to kill Nobel peace laureate Mandela, South Africa’s first black president.

The state is seeking life sentences for the group’s leaders and bomb specialists, and 10 to 15 years in prison for the other defendants.

South Africa does not have the death sentence.

“We are hoping for a good conviction,” said Paul Ramoloka, spokesman for specialist police unit the Hawks, who investigated the plot.

Security was tight around the courtroom, with police carrying out body searches of the public.

The Boeremag, Afrikaans for “Boer Force”, a reference to the descendants of the first Dutch colonisers, had planned to sow chaos through bomb blasts then take over military bases, replace the government with white military rule and chase all blacks and Indians from the country.

Far-right organisation the Boer Republicans bussed in its members to support the defendants during sentencing.

“I support them 100 percent because their plan was right,” the group’s leader Piet Rudolph told AFP.

“Our people are being oppressed, we are servants, and people should revolt against that.”

The sentences are expected to be handed down on Tuesday.


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Commuters hit as wild weather lashes the south

The damage: A car is crushed under a fallen tree as a man pushes a bicycle nearby following a storm, in Hornsey, north London. Photo: Yui MokA major storm is battering southern Britain, with winds of almost 160km/h tearing through property and causing flooding and major travel disruption.
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The wild weather closed down a major British port, causing two ferries carrying more than 450 passengers to be stranded in stormy seas off Dover, according to French authorities.

‘‘Two ferries are blocked due to the closure of Dover port, one carrying 398 passengers and the other 65,’’ said the harbour master’s office at the French port of Calais on Monday.

The situation was said to be under control.

On the mainland, more than 7000 homes in the Bristol and Bath area have reportedly been left without power, flights and rail services across the country have been cancelled or delayed and there is widespread flooding in southern England as rain and hurricane-force winds arrived from the southwest.

Trees have been brought down by high winds, damaging property, and a number of roads left impassable by floodwater.

The rough conditions led to rescuers standing down the search for a 14-year-old boy who was washed out to sea from a beach in Newhaven, East Sussex, on England’s south coast on Sunday afternoon.

In northwest France 30,000 homes were without electricity early on Monday, said the ERDF distribution network, after wind gusts reached 133km/h in some areas knocking down power lines but no major damage or injury were reported.

Britain’s Met Office said wind reached more than 160km/h on the Isle of Wight at 5am and the Environment Agency has issued 14 flood warnings for the southwest, as well as 146 flood alerts for the rest of England and Wales.

Commuters and travellers were warned to expect major disruptions to services.

About 60 flights were cancelled at London’s Heathrow Airport on Monday, while ferry journeys have also been disrupted.

Robin Gisby from line operator Network Rail said: ‘‘If we get through this in the morning, restore the service during the afternoon and are able to start up a good service on Tuesday morning, in the circumstances I’ll be pretty pleased.’’

Cross-channel train service Eurostar said it would not be running trains on Monday until 7.00am, meaning delays to early services.

Several ferry operators said they had cancelled some cross-Channel services and Irish Sea crossings.

The so-called St Jude Storm hit the southwest late on Sunday night before tracking north eastwards across England and southern Wales throughout Monday morning.

The Met Office issued an ‘‘amber’’ wind warning for the region, the third highest in a four-level scale, and urged people to delay their Monday morning journeys to work to avoid the worst of the bad weather.


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Dami Im races to number one in the charts after X Factor win

Dami Im during her finals performance. Happy tears: When Dami was declared X-Factor champion. Photo: Channel Seven
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Ratings: X Factor smashes recordsDami Im: Australia’s pop star

Newly-crowned X Factor winner Dami Im has made an immediate impact, going straight to the top of the iTunes charts with her winner’s single, Alive.

Im, who fulfilled her favouritism to beat Taylor Henderson and Jai Waetford to the fifth X Factor title, performed the song at the end of Monday night’s finale.

While an iTunes number one is somewhat predictable for a reality talent show winner, the fact it came within 12 hours of her victory is a sign of popular she has become.

There is also considerable competition in the charts at present. One Direction is at number two in the iTunes charts, Guy Sebastian at three and Katy Perry at four, with the year’s longest-running number one (in the ARIA singles charts), Roar.

Im also has the number five song in the iTunes charts, And I’m Telling You, the song which most likely won her the title. She delivered a stunning version of Jennifer Hudson’s song during the grand final performance show on Sunday night.

In the final act of a glitzy two-hour finale on Monday, Queenslander Im, 24, was named X Factor champion, after 24 hours of public voting. Im placed her hand over her mouth and sank to her knees when the result was announced by host Luke Jacobz.

Momentarily unable to get up, she recovered, thanking God and said she wanted to use the win to “help daggy losers like me”.

Redfoo, one of the show’s judge’s said Im was “too good” and another, Natalie Bassingthwaite, said “no matter what you do it’s flawless”.

Victoria’s Taylor Henderson, 20, came second and NSW’s Jai Waetford, just 14, was third.

While Waetford and especially Henderson were affected by nerves at the business end of the competition, on Sunday night the polished Im stamped her authority on the show she’d been tipped to win by most pundits. She sang a powerhouse version of Jennifer Hudson’s And I Am Telling You, Mariah Carey’s Hero and the song written as her “winner’s single”, Alive.

Henderson, 20, forgot his lyrics on Sunday in one of his three songs, Damien Rice’s Blowers’ Daughter while Waetford, 14, became the first ever finalist to sing an original song and was solid. But he messed up mid-song the previous week.

The public voted after Sunday’s show.

Im’s win is the latest chapter in an inspiring journey. Her family settled in Brisbane from South Korea when she was just nine and Im, who taught herself to sing by copying her pop idols, admitted she had been teased over her accent when she first arrived in Australia and still suffers from severe shyness.

Im was even sent home early in the X Factor series after forgetting the words during a ‘boot camp’ performance, but was brought back after another contestant quit.

Now many industry experts give her a fighting chance of becoming the first Asian-Australian pop superstar and going on to a long-term career, a rare thing for reality talent show winners. While most previous reality show winner’s singles have topped the iTunes and ARIA singles charts, most have faded quickly from the spotlight.

Im is also the second woman in a row to win the show, after Samantha Jade in 2012.

The finale also featured live songs by two major American pop acts (current ARIA singles chart-topper, Katy Perry, and rock band Fallout Boy), a joint song by the three finalists and another by the most successful Australian reality show winner, Guy Sebastian. Im also repeated one of her best performances, her cover of Prince’s Purple Rain.

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

Gai Waterhouse’s Melbourne Cup dream comes at a price

As you drive from Melbourne Airport towards the city, there’s an enormous billboard stretching across the Tullamarine Freeway that cannot be missed.
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It invites you to join the Gai Waterhouse Club so you, too, can be “living the dream”.

As Waterhouse entices the good people of Melbourne to buy a piece of her inner-sanctum – for an upfront payment of $3500 – she is ever so close to buying her way to a maiden Melbourne Cup.

Fiorente is the $5 favourite. After his brave run into third place in the Cox Plate on Saturday, it is difficult to fathom any other horse, with a Cup specialist in Damien Oliver aboard, getting past him.

Waterhouse made a late appearance in the Flemington enclosure on Monday morning for the official launch of the carnival. Some had prematurely declared she snubbed the event because Myer is a major sponsor of the Victorian Racing Club, and she’s a David Jones ambassador.

Shortly after her fashionably late arrival she was mobbed, and asked what it would mean to have the Cup sitting on her mantelpiece.

“There’s a lot of trophies there, but it’s the one that’s missing,” she smiled. “It would be nice to have it if we could.”

If she did, it would be the completion of a four-year plan to win the race. While others, such as millionaire property tycoon Lloyd Williams, have long obsessed about the two-mile event, Waterhouse became serious the year she did not have a runner.

That’s when she ordered husband and bookmaker Robbie to “go find me one”. In other words, find a European stayer that can win the Melbourne Cup.

“I was sitting here four years ago, and I didn’t have a runner, and I thought, ‘I’ve got to change things,’ ” Waterhouse said. “I went home that afternoon and I said to Rob, ‘You’ve got to do something about it.’ He said, ‘What about some tried horses?’ So he started to source them, and he’s been sourcing them since.”

Robbie went and sourced Descarado (which won the Caulfield Cup) and Glencadam Gold (which won the Metropolitan) but Fiorente is the superstar.

The Waterhouses threw the bank – OK, about $1 million, so a fraction of it – to buy the Irish-bred stallion after watching him win at Newmarket in England in July last year.

Robbie had jogged the track that morning, for about 7 kilometres, along the inside rail.

Fiorente won a group 2 race later that day on the outside, where the going was much heavier.

That convinced them to go after Fiorente. It took three months of negotiations, but they finally got the expensive pound of horseflesh they desired.

Waterhouse loved what she saw from her horse in the Cox Plate, along with everyone else, when he hung on courageously despite a long journey from an ugly barrier.

“Such a sustained run,” she said of his third placing behind Shamus Award.

“Working from 1200m out from the winning post, it wasn’t a short jab or stab, it was something working up as a crescendo.”

Subsequently, she’s never been in the box seat like this before. She’s never been in the same suburb as the box seat.

When Te Akau Nick finished second to Vintage Crop in 1993, he was rated a 160-1 shot. When Nothin Leica Dane finished second to Doriemus two years later, he was 16-1. Last year, Fiorente finished second to Green Moon at 40-1.

“I’ve never had a short-priced favourite in the Cup,” Waterhouse said. “I’ve never had a favourite. They’ve all been in double-figure or triple-figure odds. It’s nice to have one that’s right in the betting.”

Her legion of critics will often point to her lack of success in Melbourne in spring, and while she brushes such barbs aside, others – including her husband – know the Cup is the race she covets the most.

Asked if that brought any added pressure, she laughs. “No, not really,” she said. “I’m used to pressure. I’ve had favourites in lots of big races. You need to cope with that or you shouldn’t be doing it.”

Should she win the Melbourne Cup, she will finally join The Club that houses Bart and Lloyd and even her late father, T.J. Smith, who won the race with Toparoa (1955) and Just a Dash (1981).

And that is a rare club that costs more than $3500 up front to join.

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Floros works towards shield spot

He’s played in back-to-back national one-day titles and Jason Floros hopes the experience gained from his first English summer will help him force his way into the powerful Queensland Sheffield Shield team.
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The Canberra junior shared in the celebrations as the Bulls claimed a stunning five-wicket win in Sunday’s Ryobi Cup final against NSW at North Sydney Oval.

While the all-rounder missed out on the team for Wednesday’s shield season opener with South Australia at the Adelaide Oval, his former ACT under-19s teammate Ryan Carters will don the gloves in a star-studded NSW team featuring Australian captain Michael Clarke.

The wicketkeeper will make his first shield appearance for the Blues in the four-day match with Tasmania at Blacktown, also starting on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old played 11 shield games for Victoria before moving to NSW on a rookie contract.

Floros, 22, has made four first-class appearances for Queensland, but is earning a reputation as a short-form specialist.

His hard-hitting batting in the middle order along with his improving off-spin bowling make him a valuable proposition in the 50-over and Twenty20 formats.

Floros is coming off an enjoyable first stint in England as the import for club side Bishop’s Stortford.

”Being an overseas player over there they put a lot of pressure on you to perform and I guess playing professional cricket that’s what you want,” Floros said.

”You want to have that sort of pressure on you all the time so you get used to it.

”Being over there in an Ashes year was pretty daunting, especially when we’re losing.”

Floros will continue to press his claims for shield selection through the Brisbane grade competition.

He will then turn his focus to the Big Bash League where he has retained his spot with the Sydney Thunder.

Floros missed out with the bat in the Ryobi Cup final, making just two, to go with a handy five overs for just 25 runs with the ball.

He was on the edge of his seat as Chris Lynn plonked the first ball of the final over over the fence to make the most of Usman Khawaja’s chanceless innings of 104, which laid the platform for the victory.

”We’re in the box and when Lynny hit that last six, Usman jumped over the top of me and basically squashed me,” Floros laughed. ”It was amazing.”

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Gala still reigns supreme in a long history of Cup battlers

Epic underdog: Frank Reys pilots Gala Supreme, centre, to victory in 1973. Photo: Fairfax ArchiveWhen it comes to the Melbourne Cup dream, Gala Supreme, featuring jockey Frank Reys and a strong supporting cast, is hard to beat.
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The turf in Australia was more the playground of the people, rather than the sport of kings and aristocracy of Britain.

Certainly the rich and famous always had a role here but no greater than rags to riches.

Now with the internationalisation, the Big One is getting away from the battlers, described as those with determination but from a restricted financial background.

Invaders and meeting the qualifying clauses, albeit seeking an improved standard, have taken much of the Aussie and New Zealand flavour out of the 3200 metre staying test at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.

Gala Supreme was an epic underdog in 1973.

Owner Pat Curtain described himself as a “battler”, trainer Ray Hutchins was very capable but a lesser light, but no man or horse overcame Struggle St like Reys.

Yet Reys, one of 14 children with a Filipino father, a corn farmer in Cairns, graced the microphone after the Gala Supreme triumph with special brand of fair-dinkum more dignity. It was later divulged that Reys descended from the Djiribul people.

“I kept picking myself up off the ground and hoping I would win a Melbourne Cup,” he said. “It’s something every Australian jockey dreams about. It’s the greatest thing that ever happened to me. I thank the Lord, my family and my trainer.”

He’d been down for a long count.

“Last July when I started to feel well again I pleaded with my wife Noeline for just one more crack,” he related.

According to Maurice Cavanagh’s Melbourne Cup, Reys was known as “Autumn Leaves” because of his falls.

In 1969, he fell at Kyneton, suffering a broken shoulder and concussion, three months later a Geelong spill put him out for six months with a fractured pelvis.

It was fractured again when a horse reared over him. Two months later a heavy fall left the jockey with a broken nose and cheekbone.

“I suppose I had broken every bone in my body,” he maintained. ”I got so damn sick I almost gave it away. My limbs just wouldn’t function properly.”

But then on ground level or in a vehicle he also struck trouble.

A horse was entangled in a barbed wire fence at a friend’s property, and the jockey attempted to free it. Reys became entwined, too, landing in Healesville Hospital.

Perhaps Curtain acquired Huntly Lodge Stud, near Sunbury in Victoria, but he made his name as a horse barber, an expert at equine clipping, subsidising his dairy farming.

He bred Gala Supreme, which was sold to Mario Giretti, a former service station owner, for $2500. Giretti had the colt gelded but discovered Gala Supreme “did not have a good heart score”.

Curtain took him back because, “if he’s not 100 per cent I don’t want to sell him to anyone”.

Thus Curtain set out to prove there was nothing amiss with Gala Supremes’ ticker.

After being broken in by John Patterson he was sent to Phil Burke but the trainer died and the gelding went to Ray Hutchins.

Hutchins made a key move for the Melbourne Cup. Gala Supreme was runner-up in the Caulfield Cup and the fashion of the day was another race was needed before the Big One.

“He does not need more racing, a hard race will knock him out,” Hutchins decreed.

Gala Supreme drew the outside, 24, but after the field had gone about 500m Reys had him near the rails.

With 50m to go the jockey sent Gala Supreme between two rivals in a race-winning move and scored by a neck from Glengowan with Daneson a half-length further back.

Obviously one of the great rides driven by adversity and stimulated by a dream time.

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