Why is everyone Googling Eiza Gonzalez?

She’s 23, Mexican, and has just moved to Los Angeles. So, why is Eiza Gonzalez currently trending on Google in Australia?
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Well, Miley Cyrus fans might be able to answer that question.

Yes, Gonzalez is apparently (if you believe a slew of tabloids) dating the US singer’s former beau Liam Hemsworth.

It’s safe to presume that a gaggle of Cyrus followers are hastily Googling Hemsworth’s alleged new flame as the actor, 23, and the pop star, 20, only broke off their engagement early this week.

The Aussie actor was first linked to Gonzalez when they were photographed together at the Encore Resort in Las Vegas on Saturday night, just hours after news of Hemsworth’s split with Cyrus broke.

According to the Daily Mail, Hemsworth was then photographed “passionately kissing” Gonzalez at her Beverly Hills apartment complex after the pair returned from their “wild weekend away in Las Vegas”.

So who is this Eiza Gonzalez? Those teens madly plugging her name into search engines will discover that the 23-year-old moved from Mexico to Los Angeles just weeks ago in a bid to break into the American market. (It must be said that being linked to one of Hollywood’s newest bachelors isn’t a bad way to raise your profile in Tinseltown).

Gonzalez rose to fame at the age of 16 when she starred as lead character Lola in the Mexican telenovela, Lola … Erase una vez (Lola…Once Upon A Time).

She went on to star in five Spanish-language television series, two movies and has released two albums. She gets her excellent genes from her mother, former Mexican model Glenda Reyna (who is a judge on Mexico’s Next Top Model).

In August, Gonzalez announced her split from her boyfriend of two years, Mexican businessman Pepe Diaz, on Twitter, telling her 764,000 followers that she had been single for about a month. She then tweeted that love is “our greatest happiness and pain” in life. “I choose love always!” she wrote.

It would seem that Gonzalez isn’t afraid to discuss her love life on social media. On September 11 she left a cryptic message on her Facebook page:

“It must be very difficult to accept the fact that the person you’re interested in lives in love with someone else #oops #goodluck! #whengoodisgood!.”

As a journo at the Daily Mail mused, “It cannot be clear whether she was taking an apparent dig at Miley or perhaps referring to her own love life.”

But it seems she’s more coy when discussing her (alleged) relationships in real life. When quizzed about her relationship with Hemsworth at a press conference on Friday in Mexico City, Gonzalez responded, “I have nothing to say about that subject.”

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


Newcastle council workers strike: services update

NEWCASTLE City Council employees are out on strike until midnight Friday.
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United Services Union organiser Robert Potter said more than 300 workers voted to stop work immediately during a meeting on Friday morning at Civic Park.

Union officials met with council general manager Ken Gouldthorp on Thursday night over 13 ‘‘areas of concern’’, all but one of which remain unresolved.

Mr Potter said more than 700 union members were involved in the industrial action.

Professional lifeguards were granted union permission to provide ‘‘skeleton coverage’’ at council-designated patrolled beaches.

Any wages paid to those lifeguards today will be donated to the White Ribbon campaign to stop violence against women.

COMMENT FROM COUNCIL

The stopwork meeting at Civic Park on Friday morning. Picture: Darren Pateman

The City of Newcastle General Manager KEN GOULDTHORP says Council is working to restore services to the community as quickly as possible following a resolution this morning by the United Services Union to go on strike until midnight tonight.

“Due to the commitment and dedication of many of our staff, the majority of services remain unaffected. “

Lord Mayor Jeff McCloysays Council is committed to making the changes it decided on in June this year as a result of its poor financial position.

“Some of the matters raised by union members are already before the Industrial Relations Commission for determination and many don’t affect the majority of staff.”

“I am disappointed this action has been taken and I apologise if there is any inconvenience to the community.”

The current status of services is:

Customer Enquiries Counter –The Customer Enquiries Counter and switchboard remain open to take enquiries from the public.

Waste services– Any waste not collected by 10am this morning will be collected in the next few days.

Summerhill Waste Management Centre– Summerhill will be closed and will reopen at 9am tomorrow.

Street cleaning– The Newcastle Mall will be cleaned and minimal street cleaning in other areas will continue.

Branch libraries– All libraries are closed and will reopen as normal tomorrow.

Beaches and pools– Nobbys Beach, Bar Beach and Newcastle Ocean Baths will be patrolled today.

Swimming Centres– Lambton swimming centre will be closed until 5:30am tomorrow. Stockton, Mayfield and Wallsend Swimming Centres will also reopentomorrowfor the start of the swim season.

Parking Stations– The Mall parking station will remain open.

Parks and gardens– There will be minimal impact on parks and gardens.

Public toilets– Some public toilets in high profile areas will remain open. Others will be closed to the public.

Administration– Council is processing invoices and ensuring creditors are paid.

Beresfield Childcare Centre– Operating as normal.

NewcastleArt Gallery– Operating as normal

NewcastleMuseum– Operating as normal.

Blackbutt Reserve– Operating as normal.

Event management– Events scheduled for the weekend will continue as normal.

Civic Precinct– City Hall and Civic Theatre will remain open as normal.

General Manager and Lord Mayor’s office– As normal.

Environmental Health and Complianceservices– As normal.


Davis Cup on the agenda for Tennis ACT

Canberra teenager Nick Kyrgios made his Davis Cup debut last week and Tennis ACT has ambitions to host Davis Cup matches from 2015.
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Regular professional tennis is set to return to Canberra by the 2014-15 summer, with Tennis ACT poised to launch a new, annual Australian Pro Tour event.

The tournament will debut following the $20million redevelopment at the National Sports Club in Lyneham, due for completion in November 2014.

Canberra hasn’t hosted a regular professional tournament since 2006, when the Canberra Women’s Classic, formerly the Canberra International, went bust.

The women’s event had been an Australian Open preparation tournament between 2001-06 and boasted champions such as Justin Henin and Ana Ivanovic, who went on to become world No.1.

But it eventually became unsustainable due to a lack of sponsorship, crowds and support from Tennis Australia.

Work on the refurbished Lyneham tennis facility is due to start in November and will provide Canberra with a variety of international-standard tennis surfaces, including European clay and hardcourts – indoor and outdoor.

Tennis ACT chief executive Ross Triffitt said it would put Canberra in a strong position to bid for events such as Davis Cup and Fed Cup ties from 2015.

Triffitt also revealed he was in discussions with Tennis Australia, the ACT Government and private sponsors about setting up a new tournament.

The Canberra International could be announced as early as November and would be a mixed tournament, with a men’s and women’s draw.

‘‘The redevelopment of Lyneham will allow us to bring major international events back to Canberra,’’ Triffitt said.

‘‘A marquee tennis event is very important for the growth of the sport … but people need to understand it won’t be an Australian Open series event with [Roger] Federer playing, it’s going to be an event that will feature top international players.

‘‘The Canberra Women’s Classic proved not to be sustainable in the long term, we’re looking for an event we can develop.

‘‘We want to pitch it at a sustainable level and then grow it rather than come in too big and too hard too early.

‘‘There has been a lot of thought about how that might evolve to link into the Asia Pacific Tennis League and the Australian Open series.’’

The Lyneham redevelopment is the centrepiece of Tennis ACT’s strategy to engage more interest in the sport, from elite to  grassroots levels.

A $300,000 development has just been completed at North Woden tennis club, which will enable it to host Asia Pacific Tennis League matches this summer, involving the Canberra Velocity teams, headlined by Kyrgios.

North Woden will also be the site of an ACT-funded pilot program, enabling community players to make court bookings and provide easier access to facilities for recreational players.

Hirers would book and pay online and be given access to entry security codes.

The pilot is being monitored closely by Tennis Australia for the potential roll out across the country.

Registered players in the ACT are up almost 14 per cent this year and Triffitt said the ongoing challenge was having facilities available to meet demand.

‘‘This is really our pilot club for the potential direction of a lot of the community clubs, opening access to facilities through online booking,’’ Triffitt said.

‘‘We’ve already got a lot of interest from other community clubs, so once we go through a proof of concept and iron out a lot of the bugs it will be ready to roll out at other facilities.’’

At one time tennis could have strongly claimed to be Australia’s national sport, but facilities have dwindled over the decades.

Plans to establish a multi-sport facility in the new Canberra suburb of Throsby, incorporating tennis, netball and squash, have been put on hold.

But Triffitt said Tennis ACT was working with ACT Government and private developers to establish more facilities in areas of need.

‘‘Gone are the days when they would establish a new suburb and put in a church and a tennis court,’’ Triffitt said.

‘‘We’ve seen the growth in Gungahlin, prior to that South Tuggeranong and on the horizon Molonglo. These are the areas that are perfect participation bases for a sport like ours and we don’t have facilities in those areas.

‘‘The population is growing and the demand is growing, so we’ve got to find locations for the facilities. We’re working with a private sector as well.’’

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


Mundine admits Geale wanted it more

Anthony Mundine lost against Daniel Geale earlier this year. Photo: brendan esposito\nAnthony Mundine has admitted he didn’t have the “eye of the tiger” in his loss to Daniel Geale and still dreams of booking a date with Floyd Mayweather before the superstar American retires from the sport.
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After a dominant display against Canelo Alvarez on the weekend, Mayweather has slated four fights over a 24 month period as part of his exit strategy from boxing. Potential opponents include Danny Garcia, Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao and Adrian Broner.

Despite his loss to Geale, Mundine still covets a meeting with Mayweather and at 38, wants to add his name to the list. His road back begins with ageing great Shane Mosley on October 23 in Sydney.

Mundine is treating every fight as his last at the moment and said there were no second chances for him at this late stage of his career. Should he beat Mosley, he believes more doors will open.

“My exit strategy is to try and get to Floyd Mayweather within those four fights. I’ve got plenty of time. All I need to do is get past Mosley. If I do that, I know there will be massive offers,” Mundine said.

“(US promoter) 50 Cent has already spoken about future events. But I have to get past Mosley and that’s all I’m worried about.”

Mosley is 42 and many boxing fans believe he is well past his prime. But he managed a win over Mexican Pablo Cesar Cano in May to break a streak of losses to Mayweather, Pacquiao and Alvarez.

Potentially more concerning for Mundine is the lack of will to win he believes he showed in his unanimous points loss to Geale in January. Mundine still believes the scores should have been much tighter but admits Geale was the hungrier fighter.

“Initially I was disappointed. I knew it was a close fight but when I look back and watch the video, he probably wanted it a lot more than me. That was disappointing for me,” Mundine said.

“Normally I have that eye of the tiger, that will to win is stronger than my opponent. If I did have that, like he did, I don’t reckon he would have gone 12 rounds with me because at times, it felt easy.”

Some introspection and the prospect of an upcoming fight has Mundine believing the fire in the belly has returned in time to host Mosley, who Mundine believes remains a dangerous customer despite his years.

“Definitely, it’s back. I can feel it. Because I’m at a stage in my career where it’s kill or be killed for me. It’s like a sudden death footy final. I know if I don’t get up and perform I’m out the door,” Mundine said.

“And I don’t want that to happen. I still have big dreams and I know I can match it with the best in the world.”

Mundine is in Brisbane and will be at the launch of the Brisbane Sports Performance Centre at Kangaroo Point on Saturday night.

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


Why the Gold Coast is better than a cheap holiday in Thailand or Bali

Jason Bright drives the #8 Team BOC Holden during the V8 Supercar Championship Series. Photo: Quinn RooneyThe Queensland tourism minister has warned Australian parents that an increased focus on cost cutting could rob children of future memories of an iconic Gold Coast holiday.
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Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey said much of what made Gold Coast holidays so memorable in times past was still available and readily accessible to Australian families.

“We urge Aussie parents to consider the impact on their children’s future memories before choosing cheap overseas holidays simply based on price,” she said.

“Many Australian adults are fortunate enough to have fond memories of their own childhood experiences on the Gold Coast. Nearly all the best aspects of a holiday on the Coast in times past remain accessible today, well within reach of most family holiday budgets.

“We have an obligation to our children to show them the natural attractions of the Gold Coast.”

Despite a 6 per cent increase in international visitors in the last financial year, domestic tourism to the Gold Coast has continued to suffer, partly because of record low fares to cheaper destinations such as Thailand and Bali offered by airlines departing from the Gold Coast.

Tourism operators voiced concerns at the recent DestinationQ travel conference that cheap overseas flights were negatively affecting the local travel industry, just as the increased focus on cost cutting and outsourcing of production overseas had damaged the Australian commercial retail sector.

It’s evident to most shoppers that the current race to the bottom in the retail sector through globalisation and offshoring is responsible for much cheaper goods and chronic declines in quality. Tourism operators are concerned a similar trend will damage local Gold Coast tourism and result in Australian children missing out on the famous Gold Coast holiday experience.

However, Gold Coast tourism operators are confident the V8 Supercar carnival from October 25-27, officially known as the Armor All Gold Coast 600, presents an ideal opportunity for Aussie mums and dads to relive some of the best days of their lives and share these with their youngsters.

12 reasons not to take a cheap overseas holiday:

1. The Armor All 600 V8 Supercar event

The entire family will enjoy what is shaping up to be the most spectacular race of the season – guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping!

2. The world’s best beaches

What better way to enjoy Queensland’s “beautiful one day, perfect the next” weather?

3. Adventure theme parks

Excitement and adrenaline at Movieworld, Dreamworld, Wet & Wild and don’t miss the brand new “Storm-chaser” wet roller coaster at Seaworld.

4. Surfing, fishing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding

Rent a SUP board and cruise along Currumbin Creek in style or throw a line in and catch your own dinner.

5. Fish and chips on the beach

There’s nothing quite like fish and chips from a paper wrapper with a fresh breeze and the surf roaring in the background.

6. International-class restaurants

A new breed of chefs are ready to amaze. New restaurants such as Bazaar at QT offer exciting dishes for all, no matter what your dietary preferences may be.

7. Value-for-money accommodation

Good quality hotels and family holiday apartments all along the coast are still available for the Armor All 600 V8 Supercar event.

8. V8 racing driving lessons

Thrill younger licence-holders in your family who are new to driving as they learn important new driving skills behind the wheel of a V8 supercar with expert instructors.

9. Q1 Skypoint walk

Take the twilight climb and strap yourself securely to the outside of Australia’s tallest building, and gasp at the sublime beauty of a sunset you will never forget. An absolute must for visitors of all ages and guaranteed to be an unexpected highlight of your visit.

10. Wildlife parks

What’s not to love about nursing a koala, feeding the kangaroos and having a rainbow lorikeet perch on your head?

11. Shopping

See why the Gold Coast’s retail shops and big-brand outlets continue to draw visitors from Australia and around the world.

12. Clubs, pubs and night life

At night the famous Glitter Strip really lights up with its unique style of clubs and pubs. During the day, sit on the veranda, soak up the view of the Pacific and enjoy a family meal at one of the Coast’s many surf clubs.

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


Buffett cautious amid IPO rush

Sometimes you think you’ve seen everything that can possibly happen when it comes to investing and finance. Then the Winklevoss twins prove you wrong, again. This time, they’ve suggested that Bitcoins – the virtual would-be currency – could be a national currency one day.
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Yes, the brothers famous for claiming they really were the brains behind the birth of Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) have decided an online payment method preferred mostly by criminals and paranoid anti-government types might one day carry the head of a sovereign on its obverse.

You know, I could be wrong. But the odds of that are pretty small, with the possible exception that a rogue government might just think the idea is crazy enough to work. Yes, I’m looking at you, North Korea.

But let’s face it – the imprimatur of Kim Jong-un would be the exception to prove this rule. No one has ever invoked the North Korean leadership as moral authority – and that’s unlikely to start any time soon.

Confidence – and risk – soars

The broader economic picture might be somewhat of a patchwork, but that’s not stopping investors.

In case you wanted proof, almost 600 US companies hit 52-week highs after the Federal Reserve’s decision to hold fire on reducing quantitative easing.

Still not convinced? The market in initial public offerings is hitting its straps, with Twitter, Freelancer南京夜网 and plenty of others lining up to list on the main exchanges, and the aforementioned Winklevoss twins figure this is an attractive market into which to tip a Bitcoin-based exchange traded fund.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not suggesting the markets are getting to bubble territory yet but it’s hard to argue that the markets aren’t – at least in part – starting to lose their inhibitions. And that’s when investors should start to be wary.

If you’re thinking I’m the guy who takes away the punchbowl just as the party gets into full swing, or the neighbour who calls the police when the music gets too loud, then I’m – at least metaphorically – guilty as charged.

Everything in moderation

I’m not suggesting the punch isn’t good or the music enjoyable – just that the result of unbridled indulgence tends to be a pretty rough hangover. That’s a day wasted in bed if you party too hard. It can be many thousands of dollars up in smoke when it comes to investing.

To torture the metaphor a little further, by all means enjoy the party. Have some punch. A little can be a good thing. Just because the market is getting more expensive doesn’t mean there aren’t good investments to be found. There are fewer than at this time 12 and 24 months ago, but they’re out there.

Warren Buffett, the greatest living investor, seems to agree, telling US cable channel CNBC that US shares are “more or less fairly priced now”.

Foolish takeaway

That said, not investing at all can be the worst form of risk. The ASX has expanded almost 30-fold in the past three decades, through wars, recessions, crashes and panics. But when speculation takes over and investors start to feel the envy of missing out on the gains others are enjoying, you know it’s time to be careful.

The single worst reason to buy an investment is the money other people are making. By the time everyone’s talking about it, most of the gains will probably have been realised, and we’re closer to the end of the party than almost everyone knows.

Only in hindsight will we realise we shouldn’t have had that last drink (or three), but by then it’s too late.

The Winklevoss twins are welcome to their Bitcoins. I wish every success to the companies floating on the stock exchange. Just remember, they’re not selling because they want you to be rich, but because they want your cash. And no one in their right mind sells cheaply.

Click here to request a Motley Fool free report entitled Secure Your Future with 3 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks.

Scott Phillips is a Motley Fool investment adviser. He owns shares in Berkshire Hathaway. Twitter @TMFGilla. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691).

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Martin wants to stay a Tiger

The disgraceful handling of troubled young footballer Dustin Martin reached a new low point on Thursday when the bewildered-looking 22-year-old was led around a football club he didn’t really want to join.
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And a club that, upon meeting Martin and upon brief reflection, came to the conclusion it did not really want him. Like Melbourne before it, Greater Western Sydney has enough of a job on its hands without taking on a high-maintenance player with social issues when what it craves is on-field leadership.

Martin clearly wants to remain at Richmond, which has been as good as home to him since he was drafted as a wayward but prodigiously talented 18-year-old and which has put in place a series of mentors and minders for him and offered him a two-year contract worth about $1million. Internally, both coach and captain are asking him to stay. Externally, either Martin’s manager Ralph Carr or his father Shane must cut their losses and make it happen. While life in many ways would be significantly less stressful for the Tigers without Martin, he remains theirs and their problem. This columnist now seriously questions whether he is worth the trouble and if Martin does return to Tigerland with his tail between his legs it would serve everyone in his camp right if the offer is reduced.

Further, the AFL Players Association’s agents board should make a point of analysing this debacle as a test case and seriously question Carr’s accreditation. He has handled this so unprofessionally and should have realised how much potential harm he could cause his client.

Next week the explosive young star should finish in the top five in the club best and fairest. If only he had the strength he demonstrates on the MCG and took a stand on his own as Reece Conca did this week and put pen to paper without waiting for his manager to get to town.

Conca has sacrificed significant money, which Fremantle had placed on the table to stay at Richmond. No one yet has put their hand up for Martin, and that GWS has chosen not to pursue him despite the difficulty that club has had luring players, shows how concerned it must be about his issues.

When Martin turned up so dishevelled he was told to leave the track in January this season, the concerned and frustrated Tigers went to AFL medicos and asked for the player to be target-tested for illegal drugs. That Martin was able to have the season he did after his problematic off-season speaks volumes for the work put into him by Richmond.

And yet Carr continued to claim all year there were offers aplenty for Martin. Richmond called his bluff in what appeared a risky but ultimately necessary stand. It seems true that Martin was being shopped around by his manager Carr because of an undertaking given to Martin’s father and yet no offer has yet been tabled. Martin appears to have begun to lose his way late in the season when his management attempted to bring the contract issues to a head on the day Richmond lost to Carlton in round 20.

Martin had a relatively frank conversation with GWS bosses, in which he acknowledged he had some work to do to clean up his reputation. That seems likely to be Richmond’s job now and a change of management wouldn’t hurt either.

Some intriguing revelations came to light during what can only be described as a cynical tyre-kicking exercise orchestrated by Carr and recorded by media from the time on Thursday morning that the young footballer arrived at Melbourne Airport.

When asked by the Giants about whom he looked to for advice and mentoring, Martin, in front of Carr, put forward the Richmond Football Club and key individuals within that organisation. How embarrassed Carr must have felt.

During the day Martin was contacted by coach Damien Hardwick and received text messages from his captain Trent Cotchin. He briefly spoke on Friday with outgoing president Gary March, with whom he remains close. Both Cotchin and Hardwick reassured Martin the club still regarded him as a Tiger and wanted him to stay.

Which must say something for how Richmond feels about him. But should Martin return – as now seems probable – to a club he never really left, he has some work to do to win back its trust and that of his teammates.

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


Historic plaques of Newcastle: map

See the photos as a slideshowhere
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See the map here

Wayne Mullen with the memorial to Morris Light at Newcastle City Hall. Mr Mullen has documented 80 plaques around Newcastle for an interactive map./

Anglican building, The Abbey. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Adolphe, 1804. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

35th Infantry Battalion WWI battles. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Anne Feneley plaque.Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Bank of NSW. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

City Hall administration centre.

Baptist Tabernacle stone. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Commissariat store. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

City Hall foundation stone. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Contribution of industries to war. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Convict barrack.

First hotel in Newcastle – Ship Inn. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

First private colliery. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Engineers’ plaque. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Gantry crane. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Foundation Stone, Newcastle Methodist Central Mission. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Gardiner memorial pavillion. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

General cargo wharf. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Gardiner memorial pavillion. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Goods shed. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Henry Detlev Hingst

HMAS Maitland. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Honeysuckle workshops. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Joy Cummings memorial. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Lee wharf. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Kanichi Nakayasu memorial. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Lifeboat service. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Legacy 50th anniversary. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Lillie Wood memorial chair. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

The Longworth donation. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Memorial to Merchantile Marines. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Military Barracks. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Mitchell Park memorial gates, Merewether. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Morris Light, City Hall. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

National service and combined forces memorial. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

National service and combined forces memorial. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Nesca House. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

New erecting shop. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Newcastle RSL Club. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Nobbys Surf pavillion. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Newcastle war memorial Cultural Centre. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Northumberland County Council.

Ocean Baths opening. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Old Courthouse column. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Opening of Newcastle Art Gallery. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Order of Oddfellows. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Opening of the Union Bank. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Packet Steamer Wharf. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Perway Store. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Presbyterian Memorial. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Rededicaction of war memorial, Civic Park. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Road alignment post. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Royal Newcastle Hospital foundation stone. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Shortland centenary fountain. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Shortland fountain. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Shortland fountain. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Lieutenant Shortland’s landing place.

South Newcastle beach improvements. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

St Johns Church Cooks Hill fence dedicated on Temple Day. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Stockton memorial Vietnam. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Stockton memorial Korea. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Stockton memorial Malaya. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Stockton memorial WWII. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Subalterns Barracks. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Stockton memorial WWII. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

The Store Co-op. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Torpedo mine. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Tree planted by rotary founder Paul Harris. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Tribute from the Graduate Nurses of Royal Newcastle Hospital. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Vietnam memorial Civic Park.Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Vietnam memorial Civic Park. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

War memorial cultural centre. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Warrren Chipchase. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Watt Street. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Wendouree. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

Wesley Fellowship House. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

William Dobell. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

WWI Roll of Honour. Picture: Wayne Mullen.

ARCHAEOLOGIST Wayne Mullen has documented 80 plaques in Newcastle CBD and counting as he attempts the first known recording of these historical treasures.

Mr Mullen has been uploading images and mapping the locations of the plaques, some dating back to the early 1800s, on flickr南京夜网.

‘‘Newcastle is the second oldest city in Australia so it does have a depth of history,’’ Mr Mullen said.

‘‘There’s this habit of installing plaques, I haven’t quite got a handle on. The reason I started taking pictures of the plaques is because they were essentially everywhere.’’

Based at The University of Sydney in NSW, Mr Mullen began his discovery of what he describes as Newcastle’s ‘‘forgotten treasures’’ in December 2011.

He purchased a weekender property in the CBD in 2008 and was amazed to discover how many plaques he would come across during his Saturday walks.

‘‘There are these little markers of history everywhere but what I found odd was the lack of awareness that they existed,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s been generation after generation of plaques but no generalised map.’’

The plaques include the site of the 1820 convict barracks in Watt Street and a Pacific Park tribute to former matron of Newcastle Hospital Irene Hall, who served from 1915 to 1958.

The site of Newcastle’s first wharf (1804) on the foreshore near Customs House has also been documented in metal as has the commemoration of former mayor Morris Light, situated at Newcastle City Hall.

Light, an alderman from 1902 to 1929 and mayor in 1924-25, is credited with being the moving force behind creating today’s civic centre.

He died of pneumonia in July 1929, five months before the new civic buildings, which included the town hall (renamed City Hall in 1981) and the Civic Theatre, opened.

University of Newcastle archivist Gionni DiGravio said he did not know of any official documents recording the CBD plaques.

But he said many had been highlighted on heritage walks conducted by Newcastle historical groups.

‘‘We do seem to create a lot of plaques in Newcastle,’’ he said.

He said the plaques tended to commemorate one of four things – the position of ancient buildings, war memorials, important people and early settlement sites.

A Newcastle City Council spokeswoman confirmed there was no general registry of plaques but there was information on 21 commemorative plaques in and around Newcastle that related to World War II.

The World War II plaques were placed at different locations by the Newcastle Australia Remembers Committee in 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.


Should Eagles fans support Dockers?

Eagles, DockersThe argument against
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– Michael Hopkin

“Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies,” Gore Vidal once said. History doesn’t record whether the great philosopher-playwright followed the AFL, but he seemed to have a pretty good grasp on the hardcore footy fan’s mindset.

There are two facets to supporting a football team: hoping your team wins, and hoping with almost equal fervour that the neighbours get stuffed. That way, you get two doses of joy/despair each weekend, instead of one.

But even that is too rational an argument. The simple fact is that sport is about bragging rights. Eagles fans, don’t you enjoy being the only Perth team to have won a flag? Are you really, honestly excited about the prospect of losing that oh-so-precious title?

And Dockers fans, how much sweeter would Grand Final glory be if it really, really annoyed your Eagles-supporting mates?

ABC 720’s Geoff Hutchison got it exactly right when he said on his Facebook page: “There are some of you out there masquerading as Dockers supporters under the “we support WA teams” guise. Bugger off. This isn’t for you. It’s for those who stuck fast.”

Of course I appreciate the traditional enmity between WA and Victoria when it comes to footy. And, in the scheme of things, the 19 years since the Dockers were born isn’t actually that long in terms of creating a proper, grudging rivalry.

But as a Pom who grew up with the English football culture, I’m a firm believer that crosstown enmity should trump everything.

Try asking a Manchester City fan whether they barrack for Manchester United against foreign opposition. You’d get a lecture about “the real Manchester”, probably peppered with a healthy amount of swearing.

I once terrified my mates by wildly cheering a Barcelona goal in the 2006 Champions League final, which we were watching in a fairly rough London pub full of Arsenal fans.

Yet I was merely doing my duty. As a Tottenham fan, you couldn’t pay me to barrack for Arsenal, even if they were playing against Satan FC. (Wait, they are Satan FC.)

This, incidentally, is one thing that English football commentators routinely get wrong when reporting on Europe-wide competitions. They see their job as involving barracking for the “home” side, when the reality is that a solid 80 per cent of people watching would love to see Chelsea fall on their faces against some semi-professional Albanian journeymen no one’s ever heard of before.

Anyway, I digress. The simple fact is that Eagles fans have no business supporting the Dockers. At the risk of offending many, many people, I’d suggest that cheering Freo this week makes you less of an Eagles fan.

In fact, Fremantle’s possible success represents a handy litmus test for Eagles fans. (Litmus test, purple, see? Ah, never mind.) If you hope the Dockers win, then feel free to refer to yourself as a ‘WA footy fan’. But you’re only allowed to call yourself an Eagles fan if the prospect of a Fremantle flag fills your mouth with acrid bile.

Sure, being a touchy-feely footy fan is all well and good. But the hardcore haters have got it right. After all, isn’t schadenfreude more fun?

As someone with no strong AFL allegiance, I can barrack for whomever I want. Although a Dockers fan once spent an entire evening explaining to me his thesis that Fremantle are “the Tottenham of the AFL”, while the Eagles are like the ever-arrogant Arsenal.

So go the Dockers!

***

The argument for

– Liam Ducey

Full disclosure – I used to be one of those give-no-quarter, one-eyed Eagles supporters. I’d go for West Coast, and whoever was playing the Dockers. Family doesn’t come into it. Mum’s a Docker and East Fremantle, Dad and I are Eagles and East Perth.

If you were a Dockers fan, you were open to ridicule. I’d delight in it. I told myself there was no way I’d ever barrack for those blokes down the road. Fremantle and all its associated delights could sink into the ocean, I’d say, and I wouldn’t even notice. As long as Mojo’s was spared, I’d be OK with that.

In recent weeks, probably the last six, my vernacular has changed when I’m talking about the Dockers.

Instead of ‘they’, I’ve started saying ‘we’. I’ve embraced the Dockers without even realising it.

My best friend, a former WA Student Scientist of the Year was the first to pick up on it. All he asked me was why I’ve changed my core ideology. I couldn’t explain it.  Why was I suddenly, inexplicably supporting the Dockers?

Well, I’ve figured it out. My WAtoday南京夜网.au colleague, Mike Hopkin, lacks a fundamental understanding of the way Australia works. This isn’t town versus town. This is state versus state. The battle lines are fluid in Australia, they can go two ways.

I’d never support the Dockers against the Eagles. It’s just not going to happen. But against those bloody Victorians, against those wise men from the East, against those AFL bureaucrats in Melbourne, team allegiance, at least for me, takes a back seat for the pure and utter contempt every West Australian should have for that mob.

To put it in terms Mike might understand, it’s like mad England fans supporting Ireland in the 1994 World Cup. It’s not their first team of choice, but we’ll be damned if any other club is going to get our support.

This might be lost on a younger generation who may not remember State of Origin and serves as a pretty good argument as to why it needs to come back. But it also points to the type of team the Dockers have become. I would never have admitted this in the past, but they are playing some breathtaking football.

Real AFL fans, as much as they love their own teams, they can acknowledge, and even appreciate, when a team is on a real tear. Champagne football. Call it what you want. Feel free to say I’ve jumped on the bandwagon. Feel free to ridicule. But I’ll say for the first time that as a paid up Eagles member, I’m behind the Dockers, and if you’re a proud Western Australian and a proud football fan, you should be too.

At least until next season, all bets are off.

***

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


iPhone 5s, 5c plans released by Telstra, Optus, Vodafone

Decisions: Two new iPhone models were released on Friday. Photo: Getty Images/AFPiOS 7 security flaws uncoveredHackathon to crack fingerprint scanner
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The release of a popular new phone model such as the iPhone provides mobile companies with an opportunity to steal market share by offering consumers the best deal possible and locking them into one- or two-year contracts.

Australia’s three big mobile carriers, Optus, Vodafone and Telstra, have all released their pricing with prices for the new iPhone 5 models, starting at $46 per month on a two-year contract.

Since the introduction of new consumer protection codes, all telcos must release a simple one-page summary of what they are offering, but it still takes a bit of mathematical wizardry to work out the most appropriate plan.

For example, the cheapest way to acquire the 5c handset on a two-year plan is through Vodafone for $46 per month. However, this plan has very low call and data inclusions so users might get stung by excess usage charges over the two-year contract.

For heavy data users, Vodafone and Virgin currently offer the most generous allowances, with 5 gigabytes (GB) and 6 GB per month respectively, as long as consumers are willing to pay at least $100 per month.

Meanwhile the new 5s model – the one that comes in gold and silver – starts at $51 per month on Vodafone’s network, $62 per month on Optus, $51 per month with Virgin (which uses the Optus network) or $78 per month on Telstra. The Telstra plan lets customers download 1 GB of data every month, whereas the other carriers’ plans only allow 200 megabytes per month.

FaceTime

But a new feature in Apple’s new iOS 7 operating software, which allows users to make calls using mobile data rather than tradition telephone calls, may mean talk time is much less important in mobile plans than before.

With the option of audio-only calls in the Apple app FaceTime, iPhone users will be able to talk to other iPhone users via Wi-Fi or mobile data. FaceTime over a mobile data connection is available on the iPhone 4S or later and is supported on iPad 2 or later, iPad mini, iPod touch (4th generation) or later, and many Macs.

Before this, users could press the home button while they talked for the video to disappear to save on bandwidth costs. The new method makes this easier.

Contracts

Acquiring a phone through a contract involves complex calculations and weighing up the most suitable phone model against the contract’s long-term cost, included value and the quality of the mobile network.

Consumers could also buy the phone outright from Apple or any other retailer and then pay for access to any network on a month by month basis.

The 5s model costs between $869 and $1129 depending on storage capacity, while the 5c costs between $739 and $869. However, acquiring handsets through long-term contracts has always been popular in Australia because consumers feel they get the handset at a discount – the 5c would cost $30.80 per month if purchased outright and repaid interest-free over two years.

The carriers charge much lower or no handset repayment fees for contracts that cost about $100 per month, so high volume users can acquire a phone without increasing their monthly costs.

A survey by Roy Morgan research over the six months to June found 40 per cent of existing iPhone owners in Australia were in a position to upgrade – 17 per cent were within six months of the end of their contract, and the rest already own their phone outright.

The 5s and 5c both work on the three mobile carriers’ new 4G networks, but consumers should still check network coverage in their area as rollouts have not finished.

Correction: An earlier version of this story said Optus’ 5s plans started at $52. In fact they start at $62. 

With Ben Grubb

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


Man jailed for killing best friend in botched drug attack

The house where Khaldoun Abbas went to confront Jui Wei ”Alan” Huang over an unpaid drug debt.It was a “half-baked attempt at gangsterism” that ended with his best mate dead, a baby girl effectively without a father and two families devastated for years to come.
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Khaldoun Abbas was sentenced to at least eight years in prison on Friday for accidentally shooting his childhood friend in 2011 during a botched attempt to recover a $500 drug debt.

Abbas, then 18, had gone to the Rockdale home of small-time drug dealer and addict Jui Wei “Alan” Huang to force him into repaying the money.

Two close friends, 18-year-old Aydin Dogan and a 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, joined him and together they pinned Huang to the ground and bashed him around the head and legs.

Abbas took out a small, black semi-automatic handgun and held it towards Mr Huang’s legs while trying to slap him.

He ordered Mr Huang to get up but, in the process, was accidentally bumped, causing him to discharge the firearm in the face of the 17-year-old, his childhood friend.

He then dropped the pistol on the ground, accidentally firing it again as he picked it up, before running from the house.

“It was a half-baked attempt at gangsterism that has left his good friend dead, a family devastated, him in prison and his daughter effectively fatherless,” Justice Robert Beech-Jones said as he handed down the sentence for manslaughter, assault and firearm possession.

The bullet travelled through the teenager’s left check and into his brain, causing hypoxic brain damage and a subdural haemorrhage.

The victim’s seven siblings were preparing a Ramadan feast at their home on August 6, 2011, when they received a call from police.

“Instead the evening ended with the siblings assembled at St George Hospital with their brother on life support,” Justice Beech-Jones said.

His parents immediately flew home from Lebanon to be by their son’s side.

Outside court, two of the victim’s brothers said their mother had continued to visit the grave site every day since the death.

Abbas had shown deep remorse and grief at killing his best friend and Justice Beech-Jones accepted that he had no intention to use the firearm during his “escapade of gangsterism”.

After the incident, Abbas told police he had no idea where the gun’s safety catch was.

“I didn’t even know that it was loaded,” he said.

However, Justice Beech-Jones said that “unlike his friend, [Abbas] will have an opportunity to make a life for himself” when he is released.

Abbas’ wife gave birth to a girl 19 months ago while he was in custody and he will be eligible for parole in 2019, when his daughter is seven years old.

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


Hugh Jackman should hang up his claws: Variety report

Are Wolverine’s days numbered? Variety thinks Hugh Jackman is long overdue for a change of screen.Influential Hollywood entertainment magazine Variety says it’s time for Hugh Jackman to hang up his Wolverine claws and focus on other roles.
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The call comes with the release of Jackman’s latest movie, the critically acclaimed Prisoners, directed by Denis Villeneuve.

Also starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis, Jackman plays a distraught father whose daughter is abducted.

Variety film editor Ramin Setoodeh argues that Jackman’s career has never been in better shape but he risks being typecast by the Wolverine/X-Men series, in which he recently had his sixth outing.

The Golden Globe winner is also due to reprise the role next year in X-Men Days of Future Past, despite less than stellar box office taking for this year’s The Wolverine.

“All of which leads to a bigger question: Is Wolverine now a liability for Hugh Jackman’s career?” asks Setoodeh.

“Wolverine has been both a blessing and curse for Jackman. The Marvel comic book character was the role that put the unknown Australian actor on the map … but it also typecast him.”

Jackman has spent more time playing Wolverine than Daniel Radcliffe devoted to the role of Harry Potter.

“Unlike Batman or Superman, Wolverine just isn’t that deep. Jackman has already explored all the various depths — and more — with the character,” says Setoodeh.

“It’s time to retire those claws.”

Meanwhile, Jackman is set to received a lifetime achievement award at the San Sebastian film festival, which opens today.

The 44-year-old will collect the Spanish festival’s Donostia Award – the Basque name for the coastal city San Sebastian – on Friday just before Prisoners is screened.

In announcing the award, festival directors called Jackman “one of the most versatile actors of our time.”

Past winners of the award include Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffmann.

With AFP

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


States must unite for GST reform

So it begins. WA Premier Colin Barnett has started a political process that will inevitably lead to significant tax reform, including his desired increase in the GST’s scope and/or rate. How long the process takes will depend upon the integrity of our state and federal politicians. Yes, it is likely to be many years.
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Barnett called for leadership on the GST issue from Tony Abbott, but it’s not the federal government that needs tax reform, let alone the political cost of broken promises and scare campaigns. The “leadership” is going to have to come from those who most urgently require it – the states. Only when the states unite in demanding change will Abbott be able to wash his hands of it, pointing out as his treasurer already has that the GST is the states’ tax merely administered by the commonwealth.

One of the achievements of the 2011 tax summit (that the then-opposition childishly snubbed), was to spell out that the states are all hurtling at varying speeds towards a fiscal brick wall. They’ve trashed their own tax bases and show little inclination to take politically unpopular decisions to fix their inequitable and damaging revenue sources, but they’re all facing soaring health, education and infrastructure needs. Which is why it has been argued here before that we’ll only get serious about changing the system when the states demand it.

Barnett is the first to make the demand. If his remains a lone voice, he will be ignored by Canberra. As usual, our pollies are more interested in keeping the better-paying jobs of government than acting first and foremost in the best interests of the nation. If the WA premier can build consensus among his peers though, the game changes.

While that’s happening the premiers are far from powerless. A small example of Barnett’s own weakness – the sort of thing that catches a ratings agency’s eye – was his backdown on reforming WA’s over-the-top solar power feed-in tariff. Like similar stupid and inequitable schemes in other states, the majority end up subsidising a minority to little purpose – a bit like the motor vehicle FBT/novated lease lurk.

The bigger and more beneficial potential reform that’s already in the states’ own hands is to move from reliance on economically and socially damaging real-estate stamp duty to a broad land tax without exceptions. It was all spelt out in the Henry Review, but only the ACT government has had the integrity to do something about it. Why would any premier expect the Abbott family to risk years of comfortable living in Kirribilli House when the states aren’t first prepared to help themselves?

The encouraging aspect of Abbott’s budget reply speech this year and his pre-pre-election policy was to genuinely entertain tax reform, including an examination of GST changes. Maybe the promise that “we won’t change the GST” left wriggle room to mean “we won’t change the GST, but it’s the states’ tax so if they want to change it, we won’t stand in their way”. That spreads the political pain.

I’ve long argued significant tax reform requires three things:

1. Genuine political leadership. (No sign of that.)

2. A responsible opposition. (We only have a GST thanks to Meg Lees’ Australian Democrats being responsible opposition in the Senate. After the last three years, there’s not much chance of the current main opposition parties behaving responsibly for the Abbott government.)

3. Failing the above, or as well as – a crisis.

We will see financial crises soon enough at the state government level if governments attempt to provide the infrastructure and services their electors demand. WA losing one notch of its credit rating is nothing like a crisis, just a slight political embarrassment in the general scheme of things. The current crop of premiers might well figure that they’ll be gone before their states get to the crisis stage, when full hospitals and growing aged-care scandals and creaking infrastructure enforce change. History will record them as cowards and failures if they do so.

Michael Pascoe is a BusinessDay contributing editor.

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