Whale rescued at city beach: video, photos

Please enable Javascript to watch this videoSITTING in the back of his rented camper van in the Horseshoe Beach carpark on Friday morning, German backpacker Gerd Wiegmann initially thought his eyes were playing tricks when he saw a ‘‘big black fish’’ swimming in the Newcastle Harbour.
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Rescuers push the whale out into the harbour at Newcastle’s Horseshoe Beach.

The 23-year-old followed the dark shadow around to the popular dog beach and watched it grow larger and larger until a 6-metre juvenile humpback whale came thumping onto the shore.

‘‘It was splashing and jumping around and another guy on the beach ran over to it and was trying to push it back in,’’ Mr Wiegmann said on Friday.

‘‘I went to help as well and there was about four of us trying to turn it around, it was very hard because he was lying on his fin and he was so heavy.’’

The small group – which included University of Newcastle student Xanthe Kerr and father-of-two Hayden Ferguson – successfully pushed the flailing whale off the sandbank and into deeper water.

But their rescue effort was far from done.

During the next half-an-hour or so, the humpback, which the National Parks and Wildlife Service said was likely sick or injured, floundered up and down the shore, attempting to beach itself four more times.

On each occasion the group of rescuers grew larger and more determined, finally standing waist deep in the water to prevent the whale from coming back to shore.

‘‘It swam in circles seemingly very confused and then headed into the deeper water of the main channel,’’ one of the rescuers, Benjie Williams, said.

‘‘The last I saw of it it was headed out through the heads towards the open ocean.’’

Mr Wiegmann said the experience of rescuing a whale was ‘‘incredible’’ and joked his friends back home would not believe him.

‘‘We were very happy when we saw it swimming back to the ocean, people were shaking hands and those on the beach were cheering,’’ he said.

Ms Kerr, who came to the beach to walk her dog, said she was shocked at first but quickly jumped into the water to join the others.

‘‘I always rescue the stray dog in the neighbourhood and take it to the vet, I can’t help myself,’’ she said.

‘‘But I’ve never done anything on this scale.’’

National Parks and Wildlife Service ranger Jo Erskine said the whale was possibly ill and would most likely try to beach itself again.

‘‘We’ll keep an eye on it, if it’s beached itself multiple times then there is always a reason for that,’’ she said.

‘‘If it comes back then we would cordon off the area so it doesn’t get distressed and get a vet, someone who is experienced in marina animals to come down and assess it.’’

Whale protection group ORCA member Trisha White urged people to call the authorities if they witnessed a whale beaching.

Nobbys beach lifeguard Travis Lynch said the whale looked injured and may have been attacked by a shark.

‘‘It just looked like it was having trouble swimming, but a few members of the public said that it had puncture wounds so it might have got attacked by a shark or something,’’ he said.

‘‘And it also had damage to one of its fins.’’

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Picture Gerd Wiegmann

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Xanthe Kerr talks with NPWS Ranger Jo Erskine. Picture Darren Pateman

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Xanthe Kerr talks with NPWS Ranger Jo Erskine. Picture Darren Pateman

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. NPWS Ranger Jo Erskine. Picture Darren Pateman

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Xanthe Kerr talks with NPWS Ranger Jo Erskine. Picture Darren Pateman

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. National Parks and Wildlife Rangers at the beach. Picture Darren Pateman

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. Trisha White , ORCA member. Picture Darren Pateman

Scenes from the baby humpback whale rescue at Horseshoe Beach, inside Newcastle Harbour on Friday. one of the rescuers Gerd Wiegmann from Germany. Picture Darren Pateman.


‘Are you man enough for that woman?’: Penis-grabber fined for drunken act

A Bungendore man has expressed his shame and remorse after he grabbed another man’s penis and testicles during a night of drinking at the Royal Hotel, Bungendore.
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Paul Daniel pleaded guilty to common assault in Queanbeyan Local Court on Monday as a result of the incident.

Daniel’s solicitor Christina Lewis said her client couldn’t remember the events of Saturday, June 15 due to his state of intoxication.

According to police, the victim was having a drink at the hotel with his wife, a work colleague and the colleague’s partner.

Daniel, 32, walked up to the victim and his wife who were standing by the fireplace and asked “are you man enough to look after that woman?”

He then stood over the victim in what the police facts described as an “intimidating manner,” before reaching out and grabbing the victim’s penis and testicles.

The victim threw his hands up in shock and said “what are you up to?” before pulling himself away. The defendant released the victim, turned around and walked to the bar.

Local Magistrate Chris Bone described the incident on Monday as a “nasty little offence”.

“This is not a minor offence: it quite easily could’ve been an indecent assault,” Magistrate Bone said.

“In other respects he seems like a decent fellow. This is a man who makes bad decisions after he has had too much to drink.

“Was it a joke? It goes a bit further than that. It’s not someone’s first instinct to act like this; it wouldn’t occur to most people. It didn’t hurt the victim, perhaps it was done to shock him. It doesn’t seem motivated by sexual feeling. I’m not sure if it was done to ridicule him.

“At the end of the day it’s probably safe to say it was most likely an attempt by the accused to try to make the victim look silly in front of his wife.”

Ms Lewis said the assault was “out of character” and wasn’t premeditated.

“My client doesn’t recall that night very well because of his level of intoxication. He is extremely ashamed and remorseful and realises his actions were completely inappropriate and plain wrong,” she said.

“This incident came about after a few too many drinks, it was a night where things got a little bit out of hand.”

Magistrate Bone warned Daniel he was at risk of going to jail, but instead issued the accused an 18-month good behaviour bond and a $1000 fine.

“The main purpose of this is to minimise the chance of offending again,” Magistrate Bone said.

“You’re very, very close to going to jail and you should bear that in mind.”

– The Queanbeyan Age

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On the inside looking out

Cuban Ambassador Pedro Monzon Barata smoking a cuban cigar. Photo: Melissa Adams Detail from the US Embassy in Canberra. Photo: Travis Longmore
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Cuban Ambassador to Australia Pedro Monzon Barata holding a Cuban cigar. Photo: Melissa Adams

For Cuban ambassador Pedro Monzon Barata, the Cuban cigar is as vital to his happiness as the air he breathes.

Like Winston Churchill, who was rarely photographed without a Romeo y Julieta clenched between his teeth, or JFK – who famously instructed his press secretary to procure him 1200 H. Upmann Petit Upmann cigars one day before extending the US trade embargo in the fierce but tiny Communist country – Barata is an aficionado.

Since arriving in Canberra three years ago, he has maintained a steady supply of the sought-after Cuban exports – extolling their health benefits over cigarettes. ”Cuban cigars are much healthier than cigarettes; they’re all organic, and not that junk that people usually smoke.”

And, at upwards of $30 each – and sometimes hundreds of dollars a pop – they wouldn’t want to be.

The mystique of a genuine Cuban cigar will be experienced by 40 keen Canberrans who will sample a traditional hand-rolled Cohiba or Partagas while they sip on a Mojito – using Havana Club rum, no other – as part of Windows to the World.

Windows to the World is the diplomatic corps’ 100th-birthday gift to Canberra, with 35 embassies and high commissions throwing open their doors to the public in a series of open days each weekend for the next month.

Many Canberrans will relish the chance to sticky-beak inside some of the dress circle addresses and through the lavishly tended gardens on display, with the US and Japanese embassies boasting some of the city’s most enviable landscaping.

The US embassy has perhaps the most famous trees in Canberra, after Eleanor Roosevelt in 1944 began the tradition of planting a tree to mark every auspicious visitor. Five presidents – from Carter to Obama – followed her lead to help make the Canberra landmark the greenest embassy in the world, according to the State Department.

Consider Windows to the World a ticket around the globe in a weekend, minus the jetlag.

A heavy emphasis will be on food – with most embassies promising exotic morsels and a family-friendly day out with dancing, performance and art and crafts on display.

Some know the hospitality drill well, such as the Thai embassy, which already attracts throngs of loyal devotees each year to its food and cultural festival and has forged a warm relationship with a hungry and appreciative city.

For others, such as the embassy of Saudi Arabia, this will be the first time it has opened to the public.

It promises Arab coffee, dates and traditional foods, showing off its small museum of artefacts and allowing children to dress up in traditional robes in what is hopefully the start of a new cross-cultural friendship.

It’s a first, too, for the Cuban embassy, with Barata determined to bring a little of the rum, tobacco, art and music of those steamy Havana nights to Canberra.

While it may have been engaged in protracted battle with the US for the past half-century, Cuba enjoys a warm bond with Australia, which has voted against the US trade embargo since 1996 at the United Nations General Assembly.

Barata says fostering bilateral links across health, trade and education means the job in Canberra is an extremely busy one. ”Canberra is a quiet city, compared with Havana, but there is too much work to ever get bored here,” he says.

His sentiment is echoed across ambassadorial ranks, with diplomats agreeing that their initial perceptions of Canberra as a small and quiet city soon give way to an appreciation of its natural charms, and the need to keep pace in a hustling intellectual and political capital.

Some find it so lovely, they’re loath to leave. Swedish ambassador Sven-Olof Petersson asked to stay on this year – an extra year beyond his five-year posting. His sprawling residence was the third embassy built in Canberra, in 1947, after the British and American embassies.

Many distinctive features, such as the Atvidaberg windows, Kolmarden marble fireplace and copper roofing, were imported from Sweden. But by the time it came to landscaping, the Swedes had run out of money and it was left to Canberra’s revered director of parks and gardens, Lindsay Pryor, to come up with the distinctly Australian feel of the gardens throughout the enormous allotment. ”We are extremely indebted to Mr Pryor,” Petersson says.

Even now, the Swedish embassy maintains a tight budget. Staff is down from five to three, and a full-time gardener has given way to regular lawn-mowing and hedge trimming, with Petersson and his wife Anita happy to take a more active role in the more mundane aspects of gardening, such as weeding. ”You’ll find an ambassador cannot keep his head up in the clouds,” he says, matter-of-factly.

To that end, the Swedes are considering hiving off part of the land they pay $75,000 a year to lease, in order to cut down the costs of operating the embassy.

It could be worse – Petersson has a friend from another European embassy who cannot afford the heating in winter and rugs up to remain inside, and says many are running on very, very slim budgets.

Long-term Canberra resident, Argentinian ambassador and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps Pedro Villagra Delgado, says Windows to the World is a good chance to dispel the fanciful notion that life as a diplomat is all champagne and Rolls-Royces.

With the dean title and ceremonial role going to the longest-serving diplomat, Delgado has been here eight years and encourages Canberrans to visit their embassies for a taste of new culture and a more realistic insight into the hard work put in by foreign representatives.

”The thing is … we are posted to the whole of Australia – to 7.7 million square kilometres – so you keep us busy all the time and there is no time to get bored,” he says.

”The impression Canberra gives is it is quiet until you start working and then it is not quiet any more.”

Centenary of Canberra creative director Robyn Archer says the diplomatic corps contributing to the centenary celebrations should be extended as an annual event – to keep the city connected and appreciative of its unique access to the international community.

It’s a concept already supported by the ACT government, with deputy chief minister Andrew Barr saying a permanent Windows to the World program about this time of year could capitalise on the interstate tourism trade in town for Floriade.

Barr, a huge fan of the wildly successful National Multicultural Food Festival, says the opening of embassies en masse would cement Canberra’s status as a truly international city.

”We have more opportunity here in Canberra than anywhere else in Australia to engage with the world,” he says. ”We should do more to celebrate that.”

Windows to the World is a free event over the next four weekends, but places must be booked at windows totheworld 南京夜网.au.

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


Big pre-grand final weekend for Melbourne auctions

Hot auction: 2 Abeckett St, Prahran East, Interest about $1.1 million. 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 car space. Adjacent to Orrong Park, the family-size floor plan has enticed about 25 groups through this elevated Edwardian. Agent: Rodney Morley Persichetti, 9826 0000. Inspect: 10.30am. Auction: 11am. Hot auction: 304/576 St Kilda Road, Melbourne $685,000-$730,000. 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 car spaces. About 30 groups have looked through this third-floor apartment in the YVE building, with six taking contracts. Agent: Hocking Stuart, 9690 5366. Inspect 11am. Auction 11.30am.
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Hot auction: 152 Rupert Street, Collingwood $540,000-$600,000. 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 0 car spaces. More than 50 groups have inspected this updated Victorian with a north-facing deck. Two or three bidders are expected. Agent: Nelson Alexander, 9353 8444. Inspect: 1.30pm. Auction: 2pm.

Sellers keen to avoid the grand final next weekend are taking their properties to market this Saturday, with 865 properties set to go under the hammer in Melbourne.

Last weekend was also a bumper weekend for auctions with 841 going ahead – the post-election weekend saw Melbourne host the highest number of auctions since Easter.

The good news for sellers is that last weekend’s solid 76 per cent clearance rate is likely to be repeated this weekend.

Again the inner city leads the auction numbers, with 177 homes set to go under the hammer this weekend. This is followed by the inner bayside with 149, the inner east with 136 and the west with 130.

Melbourne’s most popular suburb for auctions on Saturday is East Bentleigh, with 25 properties listed. Brighton and Glen Iris have 17 each, South Yarra 16 and Brunswick and Richmond 15 auctions each.

South Yarra is again the most popular suburb for unit auctions, with 14 listed this weekend, followed by St Kilda with 12 and Melbourne and East Bentleigh with 11 each.

Melbourne’s weekend auction market continues to clear significant numbers of properties despite high listing numbers. With strong competition for properties continuing, more sellers can be expected to take advantage of the strongest market conditions experienced for four years.

The weekend auction market has stepped up a gear over the past month but it will be presented with another solid test this weekend.

Dr Andrew Wilson is senior economist for Australian Property Monitors.

Twitter: @DocAndrewWilson 

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2013 Phantom Brownlow: Round 7 votes

Round 7 votes for the Age Footballer of the Year award.
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GEELONG v ESSENDON(Jake Niall) Steve Johnson (Geelong) 8 Steven Motlop (Geelong) 8 Mathew Stokes (Geelong) 8 Tom Lonergan (Geelong) 7 Heath Hocking (Essendon) 6

Projected Brownlow:3 – Steve Johnson2 – Steven Motlop1 – Mathew Stokes

PORT ADELAIDE v RICHMOND(Ashley Porter) Brett Deledio (Richmond) 8 Dustin Martin (Richmond) 8 Jack Riewoldt (Richmond) 7 Nick Vlastuin (Richmond) 7 Kane Cornes (Port Adelaide) 7

Projected Brownlow:3 – Brett Deledio2 – Dustin Martin 1 – Jack Riewoldt

BRISBANE LIONS v WEST COAST(Andrew Stafford) Matt Priddis (West Coast) 7 Matthew Leuenberger (Brisbane Lions) 7 Josh Kennedy (West Coast) 7 Pearce Hanley (Brisbane Lions) 7 Shannon Hurn (West Coast) 7

Projected Brownlow:3 – Pearce Hanley2 – Shannon Hurn1 – Matt Priddis

WESTERN BULLDOGS v NORTH MELBOURNE(Rohan Connolly) Jack Ziebell (North Melbourne) 8 Ryan Griffen (Western Bulldogs) 8 Majak Daw (North Melbourne) 7 Brent Harvey (North Melbourne) 7 Nick Lower (Western Bulldogs) 7

Projected Brownlow:3 – Jack Ziebell2 – Ryan Griffen1 – Majak Daw

HAWTHORN v SYDNEY(Greg Baum) Luke Hodge (Hawthorn) 8 Luke Breust (Hawthorn) 7Jarryd Roughead (Hawthorn) 7Josh Gibson (Hawthorn) 7 Josh Kennedy (Sydney) 7

Projected Brownlow:3 – Luke Hodge2 – Jarryd Roughead1 – Josh GibsonFREMANTLE v COLLINGWOOD(Brad Elborough) Michael Walters (Fremantle) 7 Michael Barlow (Fremantle) 6 Dane Swan (Collingwood) 6 Ryan Crowley (Fremantle) 6 Steele Sidebottom (Collingwood) 5

Projected Brownlow:3 – Michael Walters2 – Michael Barlow1 – Dane Swan

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY v ADELAIDE(Andrew Wu) Tom Lynch (Adelaide) 9 Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide) 8 Scott Thompson (Adelaide) 8 Brent Reilly (Adelaide) 7 Matthew Wright (Adelaide) 7

Projected Brownlow:3 – Tom Lynch 2 – Patrick Dangerfield1 – Scott Thompson

MELBOURNE v GOLD COAST(Emma Quayle) Gary Ablett (Gold Coast) 8 Harley Bennell (Gold Coast) 8 Matt Shaw (Gold Coast) 7 Jared Brennan (Gold Coast) 7 Zac Smith (Gold Coast) 7

Projected Brownlow:3 – Gary Ablett2 – Dion Prestia 1 – Harley Bennell

ST KILDA v CARLTON(Michael Gleeson) Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda) 8 Lachie Henderson (Carlton) 8 Ben McEvoy (St Kilda) 8 Jack Steven (St Kilda) 7 Brock McLean (Carlton) 6

Projected Brownlow:3 – Jack Steven2 – Nick Riewoldt1 – Lachie Henderson

THE TOTALS Mathew Stokes (Geelong) 37 Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn) 37 Travis Boak (Port Adelaide) 37 Jobe Watson (Essendon) 34 Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide) 32 Gary Ablett (Gold Coast) 31 Travis Cloke (Collingwood) 31 Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood) 30 Luke Hodge (Hawthorn) 30 Kane Cornes (Port Adelaide) 29 Josh Kennedy (Sydney) 29 Michael Barlow (Fremantle) 28 Matt Priddis (West Coast) 28 Daniel Hannebery (Sydney) 28 Jarrad McVeigh (Sydney) 24 Steve Johnson (Geelong) 24 Harry Taylor (Geelong) 24 David Zaharakis (Essendon) 23 Hamish Hartlett (Port Adelaide) 23 Grant Birchall (Hawthorn) 23 Brett Deledio (Richmond) 22 Dustin Martin (Richmond) 22 Marc Murphy (Carlton) 22 Michael Barlow (Fremantle) 22 Chris Yarran (Carlton) 22 Justin Westhoff (Port Adelaide) 22 Kieren Jack (Sydney) 22

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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.”

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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.’’

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iOS 7 security flaws uncovered as new iPhones released

Vulnerability: The iOS 7 lock screen. Photo: James W. ManningSecurity flaws have been uncovered in Apple’s new iOS 7 software, just a day after its release.
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A thief who steals an iPhone or iPad running the new software would be able to exploit the flaw and disable the Find my iPhone feature, used by owners and police to track down stolen Apple devices, even if the thief does not have the password for the device.

In iOS 7, a new Control Centre feature houses all of the basic settings for the iPhone and it can be accessed from swiping up on any screen, including from the lock screen visible before you type in your password. Apple’s sassy personal digital assistant, Siri, is also available from the lock screen by default in iOS 7.

A user can use the Control Centre or instruct Siri to put the device into aeroplane mode, which cuts off all mobile data, reception, Wi-Fi and GPS connections, rendering the Find my iPhone feature useless.

Apple users who have upgraded to iOS 7 can protect themselves from the potential security vulnerability by turning off access to Siri and Control Centre from the lock screen under their device’s settings.

The company has not commented publicly on the security flaw and did not respond to requests for comment.

Forbes reported that Jose Rodriguez, of Spain’s Canary Islands, had uncovered another iOS 7 security vulnerability that again takes advantage of Control Centre access from the lock screen.

Under this exploit, users without the device’s password are able to bypass the lock screen in seconds to access photos, email, Twitter and other applications.

As Rodriguez demonstrates in a YouTube video, users can swipe up on the lock screen to access the centre and then open the alarm clock. Users can then hold down the device’s sleep button, which brings up the option to turn it off. But if a user taps cancel and then double-clicks the phone’s home button, they will be taken to the multi-tasking screen, which allows access to the camera and photos and the ability to share those photos from the device-owner’s accounts.

Essentially, anyone who picks up the phone would be able to hijack the iPhone or iPad owner’s email, Twitter, Facebook and Flickr accounts.

An Apple spokeswoman said the company was preparing a fix that it would deliver as a future update to iOS 7. “Apple takes user security very seriously,” she said.

Apple devices on to which the new iOS 7 software has been downloaded are vulnerable to both security flaws, as are the new iPhone 5s and 5c, which were released in Australia, the United States and other countries on Friday.

Meanwhile, security researchers have questioned Apple’s claims that its iMessage service is secured using strong encryption after uncovering what they say is a flaw that enables messages to be spied on.

In April, Apple’s iMessage service attracted attention after a document showed the US Drug Enforcement Agency was complaining internally about not being able to snoop on communications sent using the service. Apple has consistently said the messages are exchanged using “secure end-to-end encryption”, meaning it can’t hand them over to authorities. Even after the technology giant was linked to the US National Security Agency’s PRISM surveillance program in June, it put out a statement reiterating that iMessage conversations “are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them. Apple cannot decrypt that data.”

However, it seems the service is not as secure as Apple would like to you to believe. Two researchers at security firm Quarkslab claim they have been studying the protocol used by iMessage and that “Apple can technically read your iMessages whenever they want”. The researchers, who are due to present their findings at the HITB Security Conference in Asia in October, have apparently found a way to circumvent the encryption, using a so-called “man-in-the-middle” attack, which usually involves a hacker covertly bypassing the encryption by using a fake security certificate.

The fact that this may be possible with iMessage is not evidence that Apple has been reading people’s messages, but it does mean the company’s encryption is vulnerable to being exploited by a sophisticated hacker group or spy agency. One of the Quarkslab researchers told Techcrunch that “the iMessage protocol is strong”, though added that “Apple or a powerful institution (NSA is randomly chosen as an example) could tamper with it”. The researchers say they are planning to release a tool that will shield against potential iMessage snooping attacks and hope to work with Apple to strengthen the security of the service.

Apple had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

with Slate and Reuters

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


Tony Abbott, minister for women? No thanks

One-woman cabinet: PM Tony Abbott has announced he will take personal responsibility for women’s issues. Photo: Andrew MearesWhen the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, announced his new cabinet on Monday, it was broad brushstroke. A day later, we discover Mr Abbott will be responsible for women’s policies and programs, with the assistance of West Australian senator Michaelia Cash, as minister assisting.
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His reason? “This will ensure that these key whole-of-government priorities are at the centre of government.” And the real agenda? To ensure that he has final control over decisions which affect women. His values align with a society which says women are not equal. It’s not just that they are not the same as men, they don’t deserve equality.

At first appearance, it is not exactly like appointing a rumoured climate change denier as the Minister for Science. Or an anti-vaccination fruit loop – if those people still exist – as the Minister for Health.

It’s much worse. Here’s why. Mr Abbott believes men and women have different abilities – and he considers that position to be evidence-based.

Four Corners’ Liz Jackson reported in 2010 that Mr Abbott had said in the 1970s*: “I think it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons.”

This explanation might have washed when men were hunters and women were gatherers – but technology has removed the physical differential out of most tasks. And naked ambition should account for the rest.

Mr Abbott’s own daughters say that their father has always encouraged them to be the best – but judging by this comment, the best might not include being the best civil engineers, orthopaedic surgeons or firefighters. Best within limits is not best at all.

Mr Abbott on women’s health rights? In 2004, he said: ‘‘Abortion is the easy way out. It’s hardly surprising that people should choose the most convenient exit from awkward situations.’’ And seven years ago, when the vast majority of Australian parents were privileged to be able to have their daughters vaccinated  against the virus which causes cervical cancer, Mr Abbott, whose views on virginity as a gift  are well known, said no.‘‘I won’t be rushing out to get my daughters vaccinated [for cervical cancer], maybe that’s because I’m a cruel, callow, callous, heartless bastard but, look, I won’t be.’’ In Australia, cases of human papilloma virus infection have dropped nearly 60 per cent since the immunisation program began.

This appointment should never have happened in Australia in 2013. We are a modern educated nation which should pride itself on the high levels of women’s educational attainment. The World Economic Forum rates us as No. 1 on that measure. There are talented women in the Liberal Party who have been marginalised; John Howard had more women on his front bench and if Mr Abbott perceives a decline in merit of female candidates, it is one over which he has presided.

He has led the Liberal Party at the same time as the Party has experienced a decline in women’s participation at top levels. Senior Liberal women have publicly protested over the systemic sexism in the party. They’ve done it with real names and real quotes all over mainstream media.

And if he’s allowed that to happen in his own party, where he must experience some backlash, imagine what he’s going to do to the rest of us.

Jenna Price is a co-founder of the feminist movement Destroy the Joint, a Canberra Times columnist and a senior lecturer in journalism and social media at the University of Technology Sydney. facebook南京夜网/destroythejoint

* Correction: An earlier version of this piece incorrectly stated that Mr Abbott made this remark in 2010. It was reported in 2010, but the quote was from the 1970s.

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