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Royal couple show animal attraction at Royal Easter Show

Written By kom nampul on Sabtu, 19 April 2014 | 11.08

When the country came to town, it met the royals. And the royals met plenty of sheep. In keeping with a long tradition of royal tours to Australia, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Royal Easter Show on Good Friday morning.

The couple - who listened to description after description of grains, vegetables, crafts and merino wool grades - divided and conquered, spreading their star appeal as far as they could among the preserve makers, pumpkin polishers and beekeepers. Where William tried a hand-made chocolate, Catherine diplomatically opted for wild berry and macadamia nougat.

The duchess remained a beacon of serenity in her culturally spot-on Zimmermann dress and those ubiquitous wedges. A fail-safe approach from the duchess appears to be to ask a member of the public where they come from. Each and every producer and proud parent alike echoed the same sentiment: she seemed genuinely interested and down to earth.

Jessica Badman, 30, and her one-year-old daughter Alivia, from the Blue Mountains, presented the couple with a bouquet of red and yellow roses moments before their exit for Manly.

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''I can't believe that just happened,'' an overwhelmed Ms Badman said. ''It's just like talking to a girlfriend, she's absolutely lovely.''

Theirs was one of many bouquets proffered. Scores of presents were pressed into the arms of royal minders and police, including half a dozen Easter eggs, baby clothes, fudge and tea. A trolley miraculously appeared to cope with the flow as the vast crowds of well-wishers passed books, Possum Magic and Peppa Pig toys, and bouquet after bouquet to the royal visitors.

The duke and duchess were shown around by Royal Agricultural Society president Glenn Dudley and his wife, Jennifer, and met NSW Major Events Minister George Souris for the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate the Southee and Badgery Pavilion, a new home to the show's arts and crafts, fashion and style, and flower and garden displays.

The winning display, from the northern region, might have proudly displayed its soft alpaca wool, but Catherine had her eye on the light brown fleece for other reasons.

''The princess said [the duke] should put some on his head,'' said Lyn Cregan, 67, from Glen Innes. ''She pointed at him and said 'you need it more than me'. He laughed.''

And while Prince George may be third in line to the throne, the nine-month-old baby has the same taste as many an infant.

While admiring piles of root vegetables in the south-east Queensland display, Catherine told Diana Lisle that Prince George was particularly fond of sweet potatoes.

Never work with animals or children, the adage goes. There wasn't much hope of avoiding either at the annual agricultural celebration, and it was the Cox Pavilion that seemed to hold particular interest for William. The duke, who completed a 10-week course in agricultural management at the University of Cambridge last month, is understood to have requested to view the sheep shearing and chatted with two shearers as they tackled two of the 250 sheep that are sheared over the 14-day fair.

The royal couple bent to pat Fred the six-year-old ram, who had been taught to bow for the occasion.

Fred's owner, Jim Murray, from Wellington, said - not for the first time that day - the couple were ''absolutely lovely''. Wool from Fred's merino fleece went into a suit that was presented to the duke for his wedding.

''They fed Fred a piece of apple and were very impressed with his size and stature and how soft his muzzle was.''


11.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Push often comes to shove in the pursuit of position

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Duchess Kate.

Royal affair: Duchess of Cambridge greets Sydneysiders at Manly. Photo: Toby Zerna

Princes and princesses, kings and queens: for all the glamour and otherworldly sheen, being on the media side of the rope is often about as far from regal as you could possibly get.

The Cambridges' tour is no exception.

It goes without saying that security is tight for royal visits. But in the case of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's visit to Sydney this week, there are bureaucratic and administrative hurdles that rival the Indian train ticketing system. There is a lot of "hurry up and wait" involved. At federal, state and local levels, applications must be made, checks done and email after email of registration details, meeting point maps, dress codes, contact numbers and debriefs sent and received.

The press pack numbers more than 200, security is paramount and because – unlike their Opera House arrival on Wednesday – many venues are far from tourist attractions so they don't have the infrastructure to handle a visit on a world media scale. Still, it's a lot of bureaucracy for what amounts to watching two individuals doing their job.

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Each event – and there are more than 30 in the 10-day Australian tour – is divvied into media opportunities, each of which is contested for and carefully controlled. The application process takes many weeks and – pity the multitude of behind-the-scenes teams handling this 3D version of Sudoku – changes often.

Once assigned to a media spot within an event, the real fun begins. Photographers, TV crews and the British press seem to be more adept at this than the Australians, executing a shuffling Olympic walk (picture a running stride cunningly disguised as a walk), to nab the best spots in the cattle corrals. Their alacrity is rewarded with a plum position on a flatbed truck, or raised platform, or plant pot. But it's all a risk. You never know where the royals will stand, or for how long, or in which direction they'll face. You never know who will be accompanying them, or whether Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove will stand in front of the duchess in every shot.

Kerfuffles are not uncommon despite the sense of occasion. I've seen an Australian network TV cameraman shove a visiting photographer just metres from royalty over what must have been an extra 10cm of viewing space. Expletives in the holding pen are, of course, commonplace.

Among all this, we are tweeting and updating, sending grabs and videos, answering the phone, trying to hear what Catherine is saying while Googling her dress and taking notes. It's all a rush – addictive, I dare say – and, within moments, 100 different versions of the same photo of the future king and queen of England have hurtled through space to millions of screens around the world. Words and sound – colourful, jaded, over-egged, reverential – speed off too. They're shared, ogled over, perhaps even stored for posterity.

And the press pack starts to feel less significant. As it should.


11.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Wright scores big surfing win at Bells

Breaking News Sport National Sport

Australian surfer Owen Wright has scored an upset win in the men's event at Bells Beach, beating defending champion Adriano De Souza.

Wright posted 14.33 in their round-one heat to beat De Souza's 10.33 and fellow Australian Matt Wilkinson (5.5).

Wright now goes through to round three, while De Souza and Wilkinson are into the sudden-death second round.

Brazil's De Souza had the best wave score of their heat, posting a 7.83, but his other score was a lowly 2.50 and Wright posted a seven and a 7.1.

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Wright injured his back at Bells a year ago and had to miss the rest of the world tour.

He returned to the tour in round one last month on the Gold Coast.

The men's event started on Easter Saturday in one-metre surf after two days's delay.

American legend Kelly Slater and top Australians Mick Fanning and Joel Parkinson also won their round-one heats.

De Souza's compatriot and tour leader Gabriel Medina is also through, but Michel Bourez from French Polynesia must surf in round two.

Bourez, who won last week's second world tour round at Margaret River in WA, was runner-up in his heat behind Spaniard Aritz Aranburu.

© 2014 AAP
Brought to you by aap


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Easter road toll stands at four lives lost

Australia's Easter road toll now stands at four after a tragic opening to the holiday long weekend in both Western Australia and Tasmania.

Young men aged 17 to 20 account for three of the deaths, all in WA, and the fourth fatal crash involved a Chinese woman who was on holiday in Tasmania.

All of the fatal crashes occurred on Thursday and authorities have not reported a road death on Good Friday.

On Thursday afternoon, a 17-year-old boy died after being thrown from a car which rolled several times on the Gnaraloo-Quobba Road near the WA town of Carnarvon.

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Police said the East Carnarvon boy was a passenger in a Nissan Patrol when the driver lost control of the vehicle.

People who had been following the vehicle stopped and performed CPR on the boy until ambulance crews arrived. He was taken to Carnarvon Regional Hospital but was unable to be revived.

The 17-year-old male driver was treated for cuts and bruises.

Hours later, a 20-year-old man was killed when a Ford Falcon ute he was driving hit a tree on the Collie-Williams Road near Collie at about 3pm (WST).

His passenger, a 22-year-old man from Bunbury, was knocked unconscious and taken to hospital after a passing motorist pulled him from the burning wreckage.

On Thursday evening and again in WA, a 19-year-old Bruce Rock man died after his car hit a large tree on Narembeen Rd near Bruce Rock east of Perth.

In Tasmania, the 32-year-old Chinese woman was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by her 30-year-old husband, also a Chinese national.

Their Volkswagen hatchback was involved in a head-on collision with a Hyundai delivery van on the Bass Highway, west of Port Latta, on Thursday afternoon.

The couple were taken to the North West Regional Hospital, where the woman died. The man has undergone multiple surgeries and is in a serious condition.

A 31-year-old Burnie man who was driving the van suffered minor injuries but has been released.

AAP


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Penrith release Grant to join Rabbitohs

Written By kom nampul on Jumat, 18 April 2014 | 11.08

League News National Breaking News Sport Sport

South Sydney appear to have locked in a replacement for rugby union-bound Sam Burgess, with Penrith prop Tim Grant to join the Rabbitohs next season.

The Panthers on Friday agreed to release Grant from the final two years of his contract to link up with the Redfern-based NRL club on a four-year deal from 2015.

He will, however, see out the remainder of the season with the Panthers.

The western Sydney outfit said Grant had approached club officials "several weeks ago" about a possible release, but eventually agreed to stay until the end of 2016.

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"However, after a change of heart he again approached club bosses to ask for a release, which has today been formalised," the Panthers said in a statement.

"The Panthers respect Tim's decision and wish him all the best for his future."

The 26-year-old has played 114 first-grade games for the Panthers since his debut in 2007, as well as two State of Origin appearances for NSW.

Rabbitohs coach Michael Maguire said Grant would add plenty of firepower to his forward pack, which will be without Burgess next season after he signed a three-year deal with UK rugby outfit Bath.

"Tim has represented his state and played over 100 first grade games, so he will bring experience to our pack as well as strong defence and plenty of size," Maguire said.

"He will add strength to our front row rotation, and we're looking forward to him joining our squad next pre-season."

Grant said he was excited about the move but admitted he still had some unfinished business at the foot of the mountains.

"I still have a job to do here at Penrith for the remainder of this season, and I'll be doing everything I can to help the Panthers have a successful year in 2014," he said.

© 2014 AAP
Brought to you by aap


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Roosters rally around Maloney

Sydney Roosters have rallied around out-of-sorts playmaker James Maloney as the NRL premiers seek to break an unprecedented three-match losing streak under coach Trent Robinson.

After six rounds the Roosters have slumped to 2-4 and sit 11th on the premiership ladder.

Maloney has borne the brunt for the tricolours' early-season woes with NSW coach Laurie Daley challenging him to lift his game.

But Roosters prop Sam Moa says Maloney isn't solely to blame for the Roosters' poor start to their title defence ahead of their match against Cronulla at Remondis Stadium on Saturday night.

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The Kiwi international says the Roosters' forwards need to improve their efforts too.

"We have lost our way in attack a bit, but when you are not making the yards that you normally do it is really hard for the halves to get on the end of it and put some pressure on with their kicks," Moa said at training on Friday.

"We are right behind Jimmy, we have to take some of that blame us forwards so he is not on his own that is for sure.

"Jimmy is a great character, he is awesome to have in the team, he knows we have got his back and vice versa.

"He is a proven player, all the big games we played last year and even this year he has certainly stepped up to the mark."

The Roosters have narrowly lost their last three games to Manly, Canterbury and Parramatta.

It is the first time they have lost three straight games since Robinson joined the eastern suburbs-based club last season.

They face an equally desperate Sharks side, who sit on the bottom of the NRL ladder and have won just one of their first six games.

"You can't look too much into their form, it is always a tough ground to play at, they are always strong there," Moa said.

"You will see a change in mindset this week, you will see a bit more hunger and desire that was something that we lost that over the last few weeks."


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Shocking facts about everyday domestic appliances

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Potentially deadly: Dodgy household appliances in NSW homes have contributed to more than 120 cases of electric shock in the past three months. Photo: Glen Hunt

They are lurking in your bedroom, kitchen and lounge room and have the ability to break your bones and even kill.

Dodgy appliances in NSW homes have contributed to more than 120 cases of electric shock in the past three months.

They think they've got all the hazards covered but they haven't. 

Two men died from shocks in the same period.

The rising number of shocks has sparked a warning from paramedics for people to be more wary of their electrical appliances.

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NSW Ambulance Inspector Giles Buchanan said most electric shocks were caused by faulty appliances and power cords.

"We've had people who have received jolts from their fridge, toaster, microwave oven, hair straightener, computer - just about every household appliance," he said. "You can also be thrown across the room and this can also result in broken bones.''

Even mild shocks could cause serious injury and death, he said.

"Irrespective of the voltage, electric shock can be fatal,'' Mr Buchanan said.

''In the case of heart dysrhythmias - particularly if you are susceptible - that extra electrical charge can be enough to stop your heart.''

Most cases involved tradesmen, but many people were shocked trying to do handy work at home without taking proper precautions.

"They think they've got all the hazards covered but they haven't,'' Mr Buchanan said. ''They might have isolated the wrong board or something like that."

People were advised to keep alert for frayed cords, to keep children away from power sockets and to check where underground cables were before digging in the garden.

Other ways to avoid shocks included turning power off before unplugging electrical goods and keeping hairdryers away from sinks, toilets and baths.

Ways people were shocked  

  • Touching the cord on a drink vending machine  

  • Hitting a power cable while digging in the garden  

  • Falling into an electricity provider's hole 

  • Making toast

  • Using a DVD player  

  • Opening a microwave  

  • Using a hair straightener or dryer


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NSW cabinet decided over Easter break

National Breaking News National

While most of NSW enjoys a break from work, the state's new premier Mike Baird will spend the Easter weekend deciding on a cabinet he says will be based on merit.

After being voted leader of the NSW Liberal Party unopposed on Thursday, Mike Baird spent a busy Good Friday rushing between meetings, church and media engagements.

His new title also gave him a ticket to meet the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they visited Manly on Friday afternoon.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Baird, who's still shocked by his predecessor Barry O'Farrell's resignation, said no final decision on the line-up of his new cabinet had been made.

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"We're considering that over this weekend," he said at Manly Wharf in his Northern Beaches electorate.

"The team that we take will be a team that's experienced, it will be a team that's visionary and it will be a team that is up for the fight."

The former treasurer, who supports the sale of the state's $30 billion "poles and wires" electricity infrastructure, said decisions to liquidate government assets would be "done with a mandate".

"In terms of our asset recycle program, we are considering potential other options in the lead-up to the election but it will be done with a mandate and it will be done with the full endorsement of cabinet and the party room."

Mr Baird will also decide whether, as premier, he keeps the portfolio of Western Sydney, as Mr O'Farrell did in office.

He supported Mr O'Farrell's decision to stay in his seat and reconsider his position at the next election.

Mr O'Farrell resigned after giving misleading evidence to the corruption watchdog about a gift of a $3000 bottle of wine.

© 2014 AAP
Brought to you by aap


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Goward pulls out of deputy leader ballot

Written By kom nampul on Kamis, 17 April 2014 | 11.08

Breaking News National National

Community Services Minister Pru Goward has pulled out of the running for the deputy leadership of the NSW Liberal Party.

"After discussions with my colleagues, including the Treasurer, Mike Baird, and the Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, I have decided not to nominate for the position of Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party in this afternoon's ballot," she said in a statement on Thursday.

"This decision has not been taken lightly, however my primary focus is the unity of the NSW Liberal Party, and the delivery of a stable, competent government for the people of NSW."

Ms Goward had announced earlier in the day that she was nominating herself for the deputy role, saying she wanted to be part of a "balanced" team.

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She was expected to garner support from regional MPs but was tipped to lose out to Ms Berejiklian who enjoys the strong backing of the party's left.

Health Minister Jillian Skinner earlier stepped down from the deputy leadership role, saying she was supporting Ms Berejiklian to replace her.

Ms Skinner commended Mr Baird and Ms Berejiklian for announcing their joint bid to contest the party's leadership, saying it ensured a "seamless transition".

© 2014 AAP
Brought to you by aap


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I'm not sad the bump is dead: Ross Lyon

The bump is dead, and Fremantle coach Ross Lyon couldn't be happier.

Under the AFL's latest crackdown on head-high hits, players who opt to bump instead of tackle are now held responsible for any contact to the head.

Star Dockers midfielder Nat Fyfe copped a two-week ban a fortnight ago when his shoulder-to-shoulder bump on Gold Coast's Michael Rischitelli resulted in a head clash.

Although some AFL greats such as Mark Ricciuto are mourning the death of the bump, Lyon feels it's a move in the right direction, saying the practise was "barbaric" at times during his own playing days.

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Lyon says he would now prefer his players not to bump when possible.

"We're trying to avoid significant injuries and concussions, because it's a serious issue. So therefore, I'm really supportive of the changes," said Lyon, who played for Fitzroy and Brisbane during the 1980s and '90s.

"I think (when) the laws were that loose, it was quite brutal and quite dangerous. I'll be happy for my son to play the game (now).

"The head is sacrosanct - we all get that.

"We understand there are some grey areas. If you choose to bump, you want to have a really good technique, because as soon as you hit them high you're in trouble.

"I think the bump's dead. Unless you hit it perfectly below the shoulders, you're going to be in a lot of trouble."

Fyfe is free to return for Saturday's clash with Sydney at the SCG, with the 22-year-old shaking off some recent leg niggles to take part in training on Thursday.

But goalsneak Michael Walters is set to miss the rest of the season due to a serious ankle injury.

Walters was due to undergo surgery to repair tendon damage in his left ankle on Thursday, with Lyon saying the 23-year-old was only a slim chance to return at the tail end of the season.

Walters kicked a team-high 46 goals last year and Lyon said the onus was on the rest of the team to contribute regularly to the score sheet to fill the void.

"It's about sharing the load, and at the end of the day we've got plenty of young guys around that are looking for opportunities, of which Hayden (Crozier) is one of them," Lyon said.


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