Timeline

Strong showing in pennants matches

Nola Marino Ladies Championship Fours: Winners Kerry Scott, Kath Cluning, Vicki Daniel and Glenice Kaurin.Bowls
Nanjing Night Net

PENNANTS results, Tuesday February 25.

Ladies’ first division won against Brunswick away 5-1.

Men’s first division won against Eaton Blue at home 3-1.

Men’s second division lost to Boyanup away 0-4.

Men’s thirrd division won against Binningup Green 3-1.

Pine Hauliers Mixed Meat Pack, Wednesday February 26.

There were 28 players. Winners Grahame Old and Jim Aris 4 +22, second Ray Colgan and George Saggers 4 +21, third Phil Fettes and Ian Bridges 4 +9. Target reached by Harley Johnston.

Corporate Bowls, Wednesday, February 26. First Blue Heelers with +19, second Stumpy Strikers with +18. Spider winner, Jillian Forrest

Nola Marino Ladies Championship Fours, played Thursday, February 27.

Winners: Kerry Scott, Kath Cluning, Vicki Daniel and Glenice Kaurin.

Twilight bowls, sponsored by Sports First, Friday, February 28.

There were 13 players. First Lyn Mitchell, Peter Kaurin, Kath Cluning with 4 +7. Second Graeme Carter and George Saggers with 4 +3, third Vicki Daniel and Rick Daniel with 2 +7.

McCafe Summer Scroungers, Sunday, March 2.

There were 20 players. Winner G Carter, second W Mitchell, third B Lowe. Highest scores Graeme Carter and Kevin Ginbey, with 34, Lowest score and the chocolate bar won by Jim Aris.

The next scroungers game on this Sunday.

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

Chinese leader vows to fight pollution and maintain growth

Beijing: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has  pledged to achieve a perilously difficult juggling act: push through reforms that will restructure the nation’s economy, curb its mounting environmental woes and address corruption – all while keeping its economic growth targetsteady at 7.5 per cent.
Nanjing Night Net

In his first government work report delivered as premier to the National People’s Congress, Mr Li said development remained “key to solving all our country’s problems”, despite also acknowledging that “inefficient and blind” growth in parts of the economy had contributed to “deep-seated problems”.

“We are at a critical juncture where our path upward is particularly steep,” Mr Li told the annual meeting of China’s largely rubber-stamp parliament at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, adding that global economic conditions remained uncertain.

“Deep-seated problems are surfacing. Painful structural adjustments need to be made”.

Mr Li also announced China’s 2.3 million-strong People’s Liberation Army would receive a 12.2 per cent budget increase on last year to 808 billion yuan ($147 billion), extending a nearly unbroken run of double-digit hikes in China’s defence budget for the past two decades at a time when regional tensions are high over territorial disputes in the East and South China seas.

“We will comprehensively enhance the revolutionary nature of the Chinese armed forces, further modernise them and upgrade their performance, and continue to raise their deterrence and combat capabilities in the information age,” he said.

Beijing has been locked in a war of rhetoric with Tokyo, and has accused Shinzo Abe’s government of taking a revisionist approach to Japan’s wartime history. China last month declared two memorial days commemorating the Rape of Nanking and the anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II.

In a thinly-veiled swipe at Japan on Wednesday, Mr Li said in his speech that China would “safeguard the victory of World War II . . .  and not allow anyone to reverse the course of history”.

China has been a key engine of the global economy after more than a decade of breakneck growth, but there is growing consensus that the unsustainably cavalier growth model has caused severe imbalances and debt problems that can only be addressed through a significant overhaul of the world’s second-largest economy.

Those reforms were included in an ambitious array proposed by the central government after the Third Plenum in November, which Mr Li said remained the “top priority”  this year.

The list included reforms keenly watched by financial markets, including interest rate and currency exchange liberalisation, but Mr Li reserved especially strong wording for addressing one of China’s most pressing social issues – its environment.

“Smog is affecting larger parts of China and environmental pollution has become a major problem, which is nature’s red-light warning against the model of inefficient and blind development,” he said.

“We will declare war against pollution and fight it with the same determination we battled poverty.”

China’s economic rebalancing comes at a time when President Xi Jinping has sought to consolidate power and win back the hearts and minds of ordinary Chinese through an eye-catching anti-corruption campaign.

“The social credibility system needs to be improved,” Mr Li said. “Some government employees are prone to corruption and some still do not perform their duties with integrity and diligence.”

The nearly 3000 delegates to the congress observed a minute’s silence for the victims of the Kunming railway station mass stabbing on March 1, in which 29 lives were lost.

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

Sea Cliff bridge closes for Youi commercial

Sea Cliff bridge was closed for parts of Wednesday as a television commercial was filmed on the now iconic stretch of road.
Nanjing Night Net

A spokesman for Roads and Maritime Services confirmed insurance company Youi was shooting a new commercial on the bridge.

Some delays were caused by the filming, with the Live Traffic NSW website warning motorists of ‘‘intermittent closures of lanes in both directions’’ on Wednesday.

A Wollongong City Council spokesman said approval had also been given to shoot scenes on Cliff Road in Wollongong, but road delays caused by construction may have deterred filming in that area.

Picture: WOLLONGONG TOURISM

It is far from the first time Sea Cliff Bridge has been tapped as a stunning backdrop by film makers.

A Mercury report in 2011 found 42 film and television shoots had taken place since the bridge opened in 2005, and many more have been staged since.

Holden, Subaru and Ferrari have filmed ads, while Bollywood movie We Are Family, feature film Short Beach, and hit TV show Top Gear have all featured the bridge in their productions.

Filming finished on Wednesday so no further road delays are expected.

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

Emissions rise as coal makes a comeback

Coal mining.It’s been a long time coming, but coal is making a comeback in Australia’s energy mix, with coal-fired generators lifting their share of Australia’s main power market in February.
Nanjing Night Net

As a result, carbon emissions from the National Electricity Market (NEM) covering most of eastern Australia rose for the first time in two years, according to the energy consultants Pitt & Sherry.

Black and brown coal-fired power plants supplied 75.2 per cent of the NEM’s power last month, up from 73.8 per cent a year earlier. A reduction in Snowy Hydro’s output also helped drag down the share of power from renewable sources, said Hugh Saddler, principal consultant with the company.

Australia’s stationary power industry, which is directly covered by the carbon price, has been one of the few sectors of the economy to show a reduction in carbon emissions. In the year to last September, the industry’s emissions totalled 178.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, according to government data.

Soaring gas costs as domestic prices rise towards global levels have also prompted generators to lower or even close gas-fired power stations, such as in Queensland.

“That’ll be replaced by coal for sure, and that will mean emissions will come up,” Dr Saddler said.

“Coal’s going to keep coming back,” he said, adding that “it does have implications for the 5 per cent target”. The Abbott government has committed to cutting emissions by 5 per cent of 2000 levels by 2020, and any increase, such as from the power sector, will add to the task for its direct action plan.

The main constraint on emissions from the power sector may be falling demand for power, which has been sinking for the NEM for more three years. Last month’s announcement that Alcoa will shut its aluminium plant near Geelong later this year is likely to remove 3 terawatt-hours of annual demand alone, or about 1/15th of Victoria’s total, Dr Saddler said.

Wind power, which supplied 4.1 per cent of NEM’s power last month, may also see growth stall if the Abbott government lowers or delays the renewable energy target following a review now under way.

“It’s all going to go on hold,” he said. “There won’t be new (wind) projects commissioned with the RET review going on.”

Some 786 megawatts of new wind generation capacity is committed to be built, adding the 2,743 MW already operating.

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

Records tumble at Melbourne Premier Yearling sales

Entertaining: Gai Waterhouse created great theatre on the opening day of the sales. Photo: Jenny EvansA hugely successful Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale this week had many highlights: Gai Waterhouse provided great theatre on the opening day, a new stallion star emerging and a record-breaking session-one sale netted more than $37 million.
Nanjing Night Net

Inglis’s Premier Yearling Sale continues to grow and their Oaklands Junction complex was buzzing for more than a week leading into the opening day last Sunday with sunny conditions continuing until Tuesday afternoon.

Waterhouse’s dash midway during the bidding on Lot 122 – a bay colt by Northern Meteor from dual group 2 winner Conquest – to join Eliza Park owner Cheng Ting Kong buying under the Sun Kingdom group was a rare moment.

Once she arrived alongside Cheng, Waterhouse spurred on the Hong Kong-based owner to eventually have him knocked down for $450,000, which was then the highest price paid at the sales.

“It was fantastic entertainment watching Gai run across the auditorium to join Mr Cheng and join in to bid on the Northern Meteor colt,” Inglis managing director Mark Webster declared.

Cheng’s Northern Meteor colt Fighting Sun was prepared by Waterhouse for two high-quality wins until an injury saw his racing career curtailed, and a stud career at Eliza Park is pending.

Waterhouse finished the sale with another two lots in conjunction with James Harron for $160,000, and added three other yearlings to her syndication group Round Table for $290,000.

The “new kid on the block” in the stallions category was Equiano, who shuttled to Australia for the first time in 2011 for a service fee of $16,500 at Adam Sangster’s Swettenham Stud in Nagambie.

The stallion’s colt, from Hidden Energy (Dehere) was Lot 297 and Sangster was supremely confident he would sell well due to an enormous response from buyers during parades. There was enormous jubilation from the Swettenham camp when the colt was sold for $420,000, which was the highest price ever paid for a yearling by a first-season sire in Victoria.

His buyer was the Malaysia-based Tan Sri Vincent Tan, and Mick Price has been selected to train the colt. Tan also bought a Denman colt on day one for $320,000 and Price will also train the colt.

At the end of session one, Equiano had 15 yearlings sell for an average of $105,200, giving breeders a handsome return on their service fee of $16,500.

Equiano is a son of Acclamation and a two-time winner of the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, beating Takeover Target in the second of his wins.

The stallion’s popularity helped the turnover for the session one sale swell to $37,317,181, with a record average of $83,671, and Inglis’s management were on top of the world with their Easter sale a month away.

Inglis conducted its Blue Riband session on day two, with 48 lots offered and the sales company selecting yearlings they believed would prove to be middle-distance performers. The average for the 38 lots sold was $129,405.

The deceased Northern Meteor was the leading stallion at the Premier Sales, with five lots averaging $198,000. Fastnet Rock had seven sell for an average of $185,000, Magnus had three sell at $176,667 and Exceed and Excel was next with seven yearlings averaging $172,143.

New Zealander Dean Hawthorne was the leading buyer, signing for nine lots for a total of $1,198,000. David Hayes bought 10 lots for $1.15 million, while Price purchased seven for $595,000, plus the two yearlings bought by Tan for $740,000.

Lloyd Williams purchased one lot at the sales, which naturally was a staying breed, a son of High Chaparral from the Green Desert mare Real Pzazz.

Yearlings by Lonhro and his son Denman, who had 14 yearlings sell at an average of $110,179, were popular, as was Encosta De Lago who had 18 yearlings average $99,172. I Am Invincible was again a favourite, his three yearlings averaging $96,667 off a $11,000 service fee.Snowdens pleased with purchases

Peter Snowden and son Paul were buying at their first Melbourne sale and a number of their purchases came from stallions both knew plenty about, including the Darley sires Exceed and Excel, Lonhro and Authorized.

The Exceed and Excel yearling was the most expensive at $270,000, while the Authorized colt fetched $200,000 and the Lonhro filly sold for $175,000. Snowden was extremely pleased with his purchases, especially the Exceed and Excel filly, which he said was in a similar mould to his Golden Slipper favourite Earthquake.

“I could have sold her five times,” Snowden claimed. “She was so popular with owners and looks to be a ready-made two-year-old.”Snitzel the top stallion

The Australian Stud Book has updated the number of coverings by Australia’s top stallions in the 2013 with current premiership leader Snitzel the most sought-after.

Figures from the keeper of the Stud Book, Sue Ormsby, reveal Snitzel served 225 broodmares at a price of $49,500, three ahead of Sebring, whose fee was $38,500. Fastnet Rock, Australia’s costliest sire at $275,000, covered bringing in more than $55 million for Coolmore Stud.

Second season sires So You Think ($66,000) and Smart Missile $22,000) covered 205 and 196 mares, respectively, with newcomers Pierro ($77,000) and All Too Hard (176) both enjoying enormous first season response, vindicating the huge money paid for the two racetrack superstars.

In 2012 Snitzel covered 249 mares at $33,000 and Fastnet Rock cracked the 200 barrier for the sixth time in the past seven seasons. Lonhro, who has sired 110 winners so far this season, covered 124 mares and was the sire of Pierro as well as Denman who served 184 mares.

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

Goulding jnr looks to succeed where dad failed

Bobbie Goulding jnr, son of British rugby league great Bobbie Goulding. Photo: Sahlan HayesUltimate League: Click here to sign up for our Fantasy NRL game 
Nanjing Night Net

Bobbie Goulding jnr was only given 10 days notice before flying out to join Newtown this season but the English halfback believes he is better prepared to forge a succesful career in Australia than his famous father was.

Goulding, who turned 21 on Tuesday, made his Super League debut last season and played for Wakefield in the Boxing Day clash with Leeds but decided to make the bold move to Sydney after the cash-strapped Wildcats failed to finalise a promised contract.

By signing with the Jets, Goulding has effectively joined the club where his father Bobbie Goulding snr had a short and controversial stint in 1991, as the NSW Cup side is the feeder team for the Sydney Roosters.

Goulding snr, who was considered one of England’s greatest halfbacks, is best remembered at the Roosters for his failure to play a first grade game and the bizzare circumstances of his abrupt departure, which included dumping his club-sponsored car at the airport and boarding a flight without telling anyone.

Goulding jnr said it was the first time his father had lived away from home, whereas he had to move to Yorkshire to play for Wakefield last year.

“That has probably been a stepping stone for me coming out here because obviously I had to learn to clean my own clothes and cook my own food and stuff,” Goulding said.

“I think it would have been a lot harder for me to just go straight from home to another country on the other side of the world.

“I think that is probably why my dad didn’t last too long out here. I think he moved straight from home – he lived at home with my nan and grandad while he played for Wigan – and it was back when the competitions were at different times of the year.

“I remember we always used to take the mickey out of him because he couldn’t stay away from home for more than four weeks, I think it was.”

Having found a place to live not far from Henson Park, at Petersham, Goulding’s focus is on league and he has already enjoyed playing alongside the likes of Sonny Bill Williams, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Boyd Cordner and James Maloney in a trial match against Newcastle at Wyong.

While he is committed to Newtown, Goulding’s ambition is to play with that calibre of stars every week.

“We all got to play with a lot of the superstars up at Wyong and that was surreal because I went to a lot of games in the World Cup back in England and you see all the stars playing for the Kiwis and the Kangaroos and a couple of months later I am putting my boots on in the changing room with them,” he said

“I am just grateful to the Jets for giving me the opportunity to come out here so this year I want to play well for the Jets, hopefully take them to a grand final and hopefully turn some heads in the NRL in process.

“I played in the Super League last year and I got a really good taste of it, so to not be offered another contract because of money problems was disappointing.

“But I believe everything happens for a reason and two days after I finished with Wakefield I got a phone call about coming to Australia and 10 days later I was on the plane.

“It was a bit of a whirlwhind but I have come out here now and hopefully that will make me a better player and a better person, and that will do me good in the future – whether that is in the NRL or I go back to Super League.”

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

Wests Tigers quartetwinning battle of the boils

LATE MAIL
Nanjing Night Net

Had the planets aligned, Josh Hoffman would have been running out for the Bulldogs on Friday night. Instead, he’ll be facing them when he runs out at five-eighth for Brisbane at ANZ Stadium. Moses Mbye is likely to drop off the Bulldogs’ bench.

Jamal Idris’ debut for the Panthers could be delayed by a week as he battles a hamstring injury. Teammate Jamie Soward has been cleared of an ankle injury and will play while Jeremy Latimore is on standby for Tim Grant. Newcastle’s Jeremy Smith (knee) is in doubt, with veteran David Fa’alogo is on standby.

Off-season surgery will keep Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk out for at least one week, while Manly are expected to be 1-17 for the round-one blockbuster at Brookvale. Wingers David Williams and Jorge Taufua are both sidelined.

North Queensland and Canberra are likely to be unchanged to kick off their seasons at 1300 Smiles Stadium on Saturday night.

Wests Tigers are sweating on Robbie Farah and Chris Lawrence to recover from an outbreak of boils after the duo missed training on Friday. Aaron Woods and Pat Richards have also suffered from boils during the week but the quartet are expected to play St George Illawarra at ANZ Stadium on Sunday. The Dragons are expected to be unchanged with Englishman Mike Cooper dropping off an extended bench.

Brad Arthur’s Parramatta should be unchanged in what will be Arthur’s first match in charge as a full-time NRL coach. Warriors coach Matthew Elliott has named Carlos Tuimavave ahead of Konrad Hurrell while back-rower John Palavi will make his debut.

The Sharks have a stack of injury concerns with Todd Carney racing the clock to be fit after straining his hamstring. At this stage, Carney is unlikely to play while teammate Beau Ryan is struggling with a neck injury. Bryce Gibbs (hand) should play as will Wade Graham who should overcome an infected boil to play the Titans. Despite not being named, veteran Chris Heighington is unlikely to be a late inclusion. A shoulder injury to Ryan James has the Titan in doubt.

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

Rose ready to experience rivalry from the other side

Ultimate League: Click here to sign up for our Fantasy NRL game 
Nanjing Night Net

George Rose had a great view of the infamous DonnyBrookvale stoush.

“I was just about to be subbed on for Darcy Lussick,” Rose recalled. “Darcy ended up being sin binned and I was standing on the sideline ready to go on with the interchange card when all hell broke lose. It was quite an enjoyable night.”

Having transferred from Manly to Melbourne, Rose now has a chance to experience one of the NRL’s most intense rivalries from the other side. And the cult hero hasn’t had to wait long to face his former Sea Eagles teammates, with the 2007-08 grand finalists drawn to open their campaigns at Brookvale Oval on Saturday.

“I’d love to come out and have a great game against them, but it’s usually a few games into the season before you start playing good footy,” Rose said.

“It will be good to get the nervousness out of me against them, otherwise I’d be counting down the rounds until we play them.

“It will be a bit weird, but it will be fun to play against the boys.”

From the moment the NRL draw was announced, there has been banter with his former teammates, which has intensified in the lead up to their premiership opener.

“There’s been a bit going on, a bit of chit-chat,” he said. “We’ll see who gets the last laugh.

“It’s strange, particularly with the supporters being staunch against each club. That’s been odd for me. I’ve had a few Storm supporters come up and apologise for things they’ve said to me in the past, which is lovely. It’s good to know I’ve got them on my side.

“Some Manly fans have mentioned they’ll find it hard to clap me on Saturday night, but it’s good I can still have some support for both sides.”

Whether there are the same fireworks as the DonnyBrookvale ignited by Adam Blair and Glenn Stewart in 2011 remains to be seen.

However, the decision to cut Rose could be a costly one for Manly. The grand finalists have also lost front-rowers Brent Kite (Panthers), Richie Fa’aoso (retirement), David Gower (Eels) and Joe Galuvao (retirement) in the off-season, while co-captain Jason King remains sidelined with injury.

Asked if he had something to prove, Rose said: “Not really, I’m still close to a lot of players and they knew my reasons for leaving. I haven’t got anything to prove [to other people]; it’s more proving things to myself. I want to still be playing good football. It’s weird I’m not doing it with the teammates I’ve done it with for the last eight years, but it would be good if they could let me in for a few tries, make things a bit better for me.”

The Indigenous All Stars representative has lost eight kilograms since shifting south in what he described as the most brutal pre-season of his career.

“I’ve had big shifts with my weight; I’ve gained a lot of muscle and cut a lot of fat,” he said. “That’s been good, the training staff has been great, they’ve made me work hard. Every kilo was a lot of sweat and tears and slog.

“Honestly, there were a few times where you’re pushed to your absolute brink [and considered quitting]. I’m glad I stuck around because the fun starts now. I’d hate to miss out on the good stuff.”

The Storm and Sea Eagles have been the most successful clubs of the past decade, but Rose said their approaches couldn’t be more different.

“It’s amazing that two clubs so similar in success are so different in how they achieve it,” he said.

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

Women vulnerable as technology helps stalkers

Social media and email accounts are being hacked and women stalked as smartphones with global positioning technology create new avenues for domestic violence.
Nanjing Night Net

The technology has created a constantly evolving threat to the safety of women fleeing abuse, a first of its kind Victorian study has found.

“It’s old behaviour with new tools and it’s very easy to do,” said Karen Bentley, a technology trainer working with the Women’s Services Network, Australia’s peak body for family violence services.

The Domestic Violence Resource Centre of Victoria surveyed 152 workers from Melbourne’s domestic violence sector and 46 survivors in response to mounting anecdotal evidence about smarphone harassment.

More than 96 per cent of the workers reported direct experiences of perpetrators using mobile technologies to stalk women, and about 29 per cent of workers pinpointed GPS or GPS-based applications like Apple’s Find my iPhone or Find my Friends.

The apps were designed to track missing devices or connect friends, but like social media accounts, they become weapons of abuse in the wrong hands, said DVRCV researcher Dr Delanie Woodlock. “It’s as if abusers can be omnipotent now,” she said.

One domestic violence worker reported: “One family had to flee the entire district as the perpetrator located them due to the victim’s son becoming friends with another boy on Facebook who had his location linked to his name.”

Brenda* discovered her husband was monitoring her emails through a forwarding rule he set up after hacking her account and taking control of her phone. “I don’t have any privacy of my own, I can’t email, I can’t talk to support workers, because he knows everything,” she said.

Claire*, a Melbourne-based domestic violence worker, recently assisted a woman fleeing violence who was being stalked by her former partner through Find My Friends. “He drove to within metres of the front door of the refuge,” she said.

But less than half of the survivors of abuse interviewed by the DVRCV told somebody about it, with an even smaller proportion of those who did seek help choosing to go the police instead of friends and family.

Survivors reported feeling embarassed, afraid, confused or that they would not be believed if they sought help for technology-facilitated stalking.

Only 17 per cent of the survivors who took out violence intervention orders felt they had been effective.

“The harassment has continued, especially via online avenues for years,” one woman wrote. “It seems anything online is much more difficult for the police to prove and take to court. Seems to be not taken seriously.”

Ms Bentley said police stations varied dramatically in their approach to the issue. “We hear about some great work, but some police services are really struggling with this,” she said.

“If there’s not a specific piece of legislation that you can get them charged under you might have to use a variety of different laws, none of which quite fit.”

Dr Woodlock said survivors and social workers often became investigators themselves, compiling proof to convince police and the courts the abuse was real.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said smartphone stalking could be prosecuted under the state’s existing crime legislation, which made surveillance behaviour illegal. “This surveillance would extend to tracking devices,” she said. “Victoria Police always takes any stalking matter seriously, and the use of a tracking device on a mobile phone would form part of the evidence for any stalking investigation.”

She said cases involving technology-facilitated abuse were generally investigated at a regional level, with the E-Crime Squad able to assist when needed.

Information on smartphone safety is available at smartsafe.org.au.

*Brenda and Claire’s names have been changed to protect their safety.

The expert’s safety tips

– Turn location services off

– Set up a secret lock and a PIN on your phone

– Do not share an Apple/iTunes/iCloud account

If you suspect you’re being tracked:

– Return your phone to default settings

– Disable Wi-Fi and 3G/4G

– Take screenshots of anything suspicious

Key Findings:

The 152 workers

– 94 per cent felt stalking was an issue for women experiencing domestic violence

– 85 per cent felt there was not enough protection for women being stalked

– 97 per cent reported mobile technologies had been used to stalk women

– 82 per cent reported smartphones had been used

– 29 per cent reported GPS tracking was used

The 46 survivors

– 63 per cent were made to feel they were being watched or tracked

– 51 per cent believed they were being followed

– 44 per cent sought help and 30 per cent of those took out intervention orders

– Only 17 per cent of those who took out intervention orders found them useful

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

Mercedes Corby apologises to Indonesians for TV interview

Mercedes Corby issues the public apology outside her house in Kuta, Bali. Photo: Sonny TumbelakaMercedes Corby has issued an apology “from the bottom of my heart” for any offence caused in Indonesia by her Sunday Night interview about sister Schapelle.
Nanjing Night Net

As Indonesian media networks spent another day criticising the Corby family over the interview, Mercedes is trying to mitigate the damage done when she speculated on the Seven Network program that the marijuana in Schapelle’s boogie board bag in 2004 “could have been from Indonesia”.

Meanwhile, Schapelle’s brother-in-law, Wayan Widyartha, also admitted that the family “can’t handle” the way the situation has spiralled out of control since the interview last Sunday.

Mercedes Corby appeared looking shaken and pale at the front gate of the family’s Kuta compound on Thursday morning.

“From the bottom of my heart, I am very sorry to the people of Indonesia if my interview on Australian TV caused unease,” she said.

“I apologise if my words were disrespectful to Indonesia; I did not intend any disrespect. Our family are thankful and grateful that Schapelle is free on parole, and we thank the Indonesian government.”

She answered no questions.

Mr Wayan stopped briefly afterwards and said: “Everything is going big and we can’t handle it. Not in my mind”.

Asked if he was concerned that the Indonesian justice ministry might revoke his sister-in-law’s parole and return her to Kerobokan prison, he said “we’re all worried”.

“We’re worried. We don’t want her to go back. [For] nine years we’re sad,” he said. He then switched to Indonesian to say “sakit hati”, literally meaning “heartsick”.

“Nine years we’ve been sad, we’ve hurt, we’ve suffered,” he said. “We hope everybody understands and that they can help us with a successful parole”.

Schapelle herself was “a bit better” on Thursday, Mr Wayan said.

The Indonesian Law and Justice Minister, Amir Syamsuddin, appears no closer to making a decision on Corby’s fate, telling reporters late on Wednesday he was still seeking formal advice from the Bali Parole board.

On Thursday morning he left Jakarta for the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, where he is seeking a parliamentary seat for the upcoming election, and where he will stay over the weekend.

The corrections division head of the Bali Justice Office, Sanur Agus, has confirmed that the minister has been given advice that he has two options on the table – to revoke Corby’s parole for causing community restlessness, or not to. However, he said: “We still haven’t finished our report; we still need to file our documents and it’s still in progress.”

Local TV network Metro TV has spent much of the week criticising the Corby family. On Thursday, the network ran yet another morning spot in which it used footage from the Seven Network interview to show Schapelle looking gleeful and happy. The final shot, also taken from the Seven documentary, was of her “high fiving” a guard in the car as she left the prison.

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

How to make cold-brew tea

The cold pressed Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess of Compassion) Oolong Tea in a cup. Photo: Harrison SaragossiVIDEO:Join tea expert Hannah Dupree as she demonstrates how to add further depth and structure to spirits and some fabulous new ways to use tea.
Nanjing Night Net

Tea has been consumed in many parts of the world for hundreds of years, but iced tea is far more contemporary and is believed to have evolved from the alcoholic tea punches served in England in the 19th century.

In America its popularity can be traced to the St Louis Fair of 1905, when tea merchant Richard Blechynden, charged with overseeing the tea pavilion and faced with a blistering hot day and few customers, decided to serve his tea over ice in glasses.

Today iced tea or “sweet tea” is the beverage of choice in the American south, where it is even offered at McDonald’s outlets.

The drink hasn’t been embraced as fervently in Australia. There are only a few brands of ready-to-drink iced tea in the market and all, like their American counterparts, are on the super-sweet side.

Tea educator and business owner May King Tsang says if she ever buys iced tea she will go to an Asian supermarket for unsweetened Japanese iced tea, or Taiwanese or Chinese versions.

“The oolong is delicious, but green iced teas can sometimes be a bit bitter and it may put you off if you’re not accustomed to it,” Tsang says.

Tsang prefers to make her own cold-brew tea at home. While some people like to use boiling water and then cool the brew using ice, Tsang says this method can result in a bitter tasting tea. “People often add ice because they need to dilute a poor-tasting tea.” Tsang says using cold water and allowing the tea leaves to steep over a long period produces a more consistent, superior flavour.

Tsang confesses she does not use ice at all in her cold-brew tea. The term cold-pressed tea, or cold fusion tea, is sometimes used to describe this method of making tea. Tsang says she uses the term “cold-pressed” because it sounds more appealing than “cold-brewed” tea.

Cold-brew teas can be made with any type of tea, but the result will only be as good as the tea you put in it. If you want a fruity tea, add real fruits to enhance or complement the taste, Tsang says.

“For a natural floral or fruity tea, try jasmine tea (such as Jasmine Buddha Tears) or osmanthus oolong. Osmanthus is a traditional Chinese flower that has hints of apricot. Or try tea that has no fruit or herb added to it, such as Tie Guan Yin (Iron Goddess of Compassion, often referred to as Iron Goddess of Mercy), with a natural floral sweetness reminiscent of orchids, which makes an absolutely delightful cup.”

According to Tsang, French Earl Grey is becoming as popular as the conventional Earl Grey for making iced tea.

“It is the addition of roses that help to cut through the citrus note of the bergamot oil,” she says.

Tsang also recommends Stockholm blend; a black tea with citrus, flowers and fruits added to it.

If you prefer your iced tea to have a natural sweetness, Tsang recommends Daintree vanilla tea, which is naturally sweet.

“Generally, most vanilla teas are artificially flavoured and can often taste like chewing on perfume, because the intent is to mask the low quality of the tea under the (artificial) vanilla flavour,” she says. “But the tea and the vanilla in this (both grown in tropical north Queensland) are well balanced and don’t overpower each other. It’s full of natural sweetness but with a robustness from the black tea.”

Loose leaf tea is preferable, because the teas you find in the traditional square tea bags are typically of the lowest quality. However, the pyramid shaped bags where you can see the loose leaf tea, flowers and herbs that have been added into the bag can make a great iced tea.

Why cold-brew?

Many people make iced-tea by making up a traditional tea brew with boiling water, but they double the amount of tea and then add a large amount of ice and cold water to both dilute the concentrate and to cool the tea before popping it into the fridge. However, with this method, the tannins are more likely to come through, imparting a bitter note. This method is also prone to producing inconsistent results.

Try cold-pressed tea instead. As with cold-pressed coffee, this method is time consuming. However, the process is simple, needs very little preparation and it is certainly worth the wait.

To make cold-brew tea

1. Take a standard-sized empty water bottle.

2. Add approximately one teaspoon of tea leaves directly into the water bottle. There is no need for complicated infusers.

3. Add freshly drawn water from the tap (or of you live in a hard water area, filtered water) into the water bottle.

4. Screw the bottle top on, put it in the fridge and let the water and tea make magic together. Leave overnight, or for at least six to eight hours, for the perfect iced tea.

Straining

Tsang says quality loose leaf tea, such as a tightly rolled oolong, tends to sink to the bottom of the bottle so there is no need to get rid of the leaves. But for smaller leafed tea, or a lower-quality leaf where there are many small particles, it may be a good idea to use a tea strainer and pour the tea from one container to another.

To ice, or not to ice?

If you want to pour your cold-brew tea over ice, do so – but be aware that you will dilute the flavour and may need to add more leaves at the beginning.

Sweetening cold-brew tea

Tsang prefers to use honey rather than sugar to sweeten her cold-pressed tea, and advocates raw sugar rather than refined white sugar. If using honey, experiment. “Certain honeys work well with some teas but don’t for others,” explains Tsang. For example, a tea with floral notes will work well with a similar-flavoured honey. Generally, teas with sweet notes already (such as vanilla) work better with sweeterners. Honey with more depth would pair with a delicate yet robust tea such as a lightly oxidised oolong or a white tea such as Bai Mu Dan (white peony).

Fruit tea

Add your fruit of choice to your tea brew a couple of hours before serving. What you choose to add depends on the type of fruit. If using a tea with a citrus note, such as Earl Grey, then add slices of orange to your cold-pressed tea. If your tea has a sweeter fruit note to it (such as in Tie Guan Yin or Iron Goddess of Compassion), adding slices of peaches or plum might work well. It’s up to you whether to leave the fruit in the tea when serving.

May King Tsang is the owner of MayKing Tea. She runs regular tea appreciation classes. She is currenly appearing at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art  demonstrating a Chinese Gong Fu tea ceremony every Sunday at 1pm and 2pm until Sunday May 11, as part of GOMA’s Falling Back to Earth exhibition.

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

Kelly not fazed by filling Sandow’s boots

Unfazed: Luke Kelly says he is looking forward to starting the season as the team’s first-choice halfback. Photo: Christopher De JongLuke Kelly says he’s unfazed by the pressure of starting the season in the Parramatta No.7 jersey and is determined to repay the faith shown in him by coach Brad Arthur.
Nanjing Night Net

Kelly will partner Brisbane recruit Corey Norman in the halves for the first time at NRL level against the Warriors, leaving rival halfback Chris Sandow as the highest paid player in feeder club Wentworthville’s history.

Norman will be one of four players making their Eels debut against the Warriors on Sunday night, along with star centre Will Hopoate, hooker Nathan Peats and backrower Manu Ma’u.

Most focus will be on the return of Hopoate, who makes his long-awaited comeback from a two-year Mormon mission. But it’s the men distributing him the ball who will have the biggest influence on Parramatta’s season.

The wooden spooners have struggled to find a long-term halfback solution since Peter Sterling retired, with Sandow tipped to fill that role when he signed a $550,000 per annum deal two years ago. However, on and off-field issues have limited him to just 38 games since his much-trumpeted announcement and he is now being linked with a move to Brisbane.

Kelly has played 22 games for the blue and golds in that time but it’s the first time he has begun the season as the preferred halfback. The Katherine product said he was unconcerned about the pressure the role brought.

“It’s a great opportunity, if you see it as a burden you probably shouldn’t be here, you should be doing something else for a living,” Kelly said.

“Hopefully I can keep it. It’s more exciting than anything.”

Kelly, who will mark Warriors star Shaun Johnson, has a long association with Arthur from their stint together at Melbourne.

“I’ve known Brad for a long time and I’ve played a lot of footy under him,” he said.

“It’s exciting, a lot of the other boys know Brad from when he was here at Parra. He’s a good coach and a good bloke, which is why everyone was keen to get him back here.”

Norman was anointed as the long-term successor to legendary pivot Darren Lockyer at Brisbane, but was shunted to fullback and, in his last days as a Bronco, to the Queensland Cup. Had he stayed put, he would probably be wearing the Brisbane No.6 jersey he coveted, given the club’s high injury toll, the retirement of Scott Prince and the release of Peter Wallace to Penrith. But Norman is philosophical about the turn of events and has no regrets about his decision to shift south.

“Obviously the opportunity to play in the halves, I wanted to get down there and grab that,” Norman said.

“At the time with Princey and Wal were there I didn’t know what the future was going to hold. It’s a bit weird but that’s the way things go, life doesn’t always go the way you think it’s going to be.

“Obviously the Eels weren’t going too well the last couple of years. But when I got here it totally changed my perception of them, everyone was positive. They’ve got two wooden spoons but I’ve just come down here to play footy.”

Norman and Kelly stressed it would take time to gel but were excited by the prospect of playing alongside former NSW three-quarter Hopoate.

“The thing he has impressed everyone with is his training ethic,” Kelly said.

“The way he works is unbelievable. We can’t expect miracles from him, he’s been away for two years, but as the year goes on you’ll see some good footy out of him.”

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

Australian cricket team winning matches but losing fans with poor behaviour

Congratulations to the Australian cricket team. After a tumultuous period in which they were beaten in India and England, they responded with wins against the old enemy and, now, the world’s No.1 ranked team, South Africa. The results will be long remembered. So too the way in which they were achieved.
Nanjing Night Net

Australians love to feel pride in their national cricket team. But not everyone is looking for a South African workmate to roast on Thursday. Certainly there are those who feel immense thrill and admiration after the team’s win in Cape Town on Wednesday, which sealed a gripping 2-1 series win. Captain Michael Clarke’s heroic century in the face of Morne Morkel’s pace and bounce was perhaps the best of his career, David Warner’s explosive tons in each innings confirm him as the world’s form batsman and Mitchell Johnson’s seven-wicket match haul was the cherry on top of an extraordinary summer.

But – and this happens far too often – judging by commentary on websites and blogs across the country, a chunk of people too large to ignore feels disappointed by the team’s behaviour. Many feel unrepresented by Clarke’s men, just as they did at times when Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh led the side. And, they’re sad about it because, if there is one sporting team above others that Australians want to have speaking on their behalf – representing their better qualities – it’s the national cricket team.

So, were Australians being spoken for when Warner accused South Africa of ball tampering, questioned the work ethic of opponent, Vernon Philander, the world’s No.2 ranked bowler, and said the Proteas looked lazy in the field?

Was recalled bowler James Pattinson acting on behalf of Australia when he incessantly sledged the world’s top-ranked batsman, AB de Villiers, among others?

What about the several close-in fielders abusing first-innings top-scorer and South Africa Twenty20 captain, Faf du Plessis, for picking up the ball and tossing it back to the bowler? Were they acting on behalf of Australia or acting, as du Plessis later said, like “a pack of dogs”? And, when the Australians woofed at du Plessis after his second-innings dismissal, were they displaying the nation’s best traits?

Throw in an umpire’s warning to the Australians about scuffing the ball, a confrontation between the players and an umpire after a controversial decision went against them and a post-match apology from Clarke after his run-in with Dale Steyn and you have yet another polarising Australian Test team performance.

No one suggests love-ins with opponents. We all know to some extent – some by having played the game, others by long following it – that Test cricket is an extremely competitive environment. Matches stretch on for days in the heat and dust. Small decisions can change contests and careers. In this high-pressure game of ultra-endurance, things inevitably go wrong and fuses get blown. Certainly, the behaviour of many of Australia’s opponents, particularly in recent years, has been no better.

But that’s no excuse. The Australian psyche is characterised by uncompromising toughness, determination and dignity. Those traits must no longer be confused with boorish and bullying behaviour. After another significant win by our national cricket team, too many people are only half-celebrating. Too many people feel the team has not spoken for them.

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