Commuter train, truck collide in Jakarta

Written by admin on 2019年1月19日 Categories: 南宁桑拿

A commuter train has collided with a truck hauling petrol in Indonesia’s capital, killing at least seven people and sending a fireball of orange flames and black smoke shooting skyward.


The collision in southern Jakarta on Monday killed the train engineer, a technician and at least five others, said Jakarta police spokesman Col. Rikwanto, who uses one name like many Indonesians. More than 70 people were injured, according to Budi Satriyo, chief of Suyoto Hospital.

“The engineer attempted to brake, but then a fuel truck ran onto the railway tracks and the brakes could not stop it from hitting the truck. It exploded and bounced off,” said Imron, a passenger who escaped from a vehicle nearby. “It happened so fast!”

The burned-out passenger car was seen lying on its side while plumes of black smoke billowed from parts of the engulfed train. It was headed to central Jakarta when it hit the truck carrying 24,000 litres of petrol just before noon.

About 500 passengers were aboard the train’s eight cars, and all train signals were working at the time of the crash, said train company spokesman Sukendar Mulya.

The driver survived and was being treated at a hospital.

Two train cars derailed, including a women-only car, as hundreds of panicked passengers ran away, many screaming and crying. Rescuers pulled out three bodies pinned under the wreckage, said Sukarno, a firefighter. The cause of the accident is being investigated.

“My position was near the door, but I could not move because I was … trampled by other passengers,” said Veronica, a commuter from the derailed women-only car, who uses only one name. “We managed to escape after people from outside broke the windows. I saw many victims with burns on their legs, hands and stomachs.”

She said that the carriage quickly filled with thick smoke, making it difficult to breathe.

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Kim Jong-un’s uncle reportedly executed

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North Korea has confirmed that the powerful uncle of young leader Kim Jong-Un has been purged, with some reports suggesting Jang Song-Thaek has been executed.


The official news agency KCNA accused the man once seen as the power behind the throne of being a corrupt, drug-taking womaniser bent on building his own faction in the ruling party.

South Korean analysts predicted a sweeping purge would follow, leaving Kim as the undisputed centre of power.

Free North Korea Radio – a Seoul-based radio station run by North Korean defectors – claimed Jang has already been executed.

Citing high-level sources in the North, it claims Jang and six other party and military cadres who were close to him had been executed on Thursday in the capital Pyongyang.

KCNA said Jang, once seen as his nephew’s mentor, had been stripped of all his posts and of party membership for committing criminal acts and leading a “counter-revolutionary faction”.

State TV on Monday showed photos of Jang being dragged out of his seat at a meeting by two officers – an extremely rare publication of humiliating images involving a senior official.

It was not certain if the incident happened at Sunday’s meeting. But the TV aired other photos from Sunday showing a stony-faced Kim sitting at the podium with other top officials.

Analysts said Jang’s main role had been to ensure a smooth transition after the inexperienced Kim Jong-Un came to power following the death of his father Kim Jong-Il in December 2011.

But they said Jang had become increasingly resented by the leader, who is aged about 30.

“Jong-Un has built a solid power base for the past two years, and he no longer needed a regent who appeared to be increasingly powerful and threatening,” said Paik Hak-Soon, a researcher at the South’s Sejong Institute think tank.

Seoul’s spy agency and the unification ministry that handles cross-border affairs said they had no knowledge of the reported execution.

KCNA said the meeting on Sunday confirmed it had “eliminated Jang and purged his group, unable to remain an onlooker to its acts any longer”.

The regime said it removed Jang and his associates for trying to build a faction within the party, and for appointing his followers to top positions to serve his own political ends.

The KCNA report said Jang “had improper relations with several women and was wined and dined at back parlours of deluxe restaurants”, becoming “affected by the capitalist way of living”.

Jang was also accused of hindering North Korea’s state-run production of iron, fertilisers and vinalon – a home-made synthetic fibre – by selling off resources at cheap prices and “throwing the state financial management system into confusion”.

Jang has fallen out of favour before. In 2004 he was understood to have undergone “re-education” as a steel mill labourer because of suspected corruption, but he made a comeback the following year.

Jang expanded his influence rapidly after Kim Jong-Il suffered a stroke in 2008, leaving his health impaired.

He was appointed vice chairman of the nation’s top body, the National Defence Commission, in 2010.

His wife Kim Kyong-Hui, who is Kim Jong-Il’s sister, has also long been at the centre of power. She was promoted to four-star general at the same time as Kim Jong-Un in 2010.

The pair were once viewed as the ultimate power couple in Pyongyang. But in the past year Kim Kyong-Hui has been less visible, with reports that she was seriously ill and had sought hospital treatment in Singapore.

“This time, Jang is gone for good. He’ll never be allowed into politics again,” said Paik from the Sejong Institute.

Seoul was “closely monitoring” the situation in the North, said unification ministry spokesman Kim Eui-Do.

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Rescuers knew teen was dead in waves

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At least three people witnessed teen surf life saver Matthew Barclay slip beneath the waves during last year’s national championships but none of them entered the water to rescue him, an inquest into his death has heard.


A jetski operator told the coronial inquest he came within five metres of the 14-year-old’s limp body as it bobbed in large swell during the 2012 Australian Surf Life Saving Championships on the Gold Coast.

Event rescue officer Grahame Long said he had seen Matthew’s board fly in the air and the teen plunge below the surface of the ocean twice.

Mr Long told the Brisbane inquest he tried to manoeuvre his jetski to pick Matthew up but there was another competitor between him and the teen, who showed no signs of consciousness.

When the jetski operator eventually came close enough it was too late.

“If Matthew was to have resurfaced I could have grabbed him but he never resurfaced,” Mr Long said.

The jetski operator said there were two competitors on either side of Matthew who continued to race, with one pointing out to Mr Long the place Matthew was last seen.

The inquest heard it would have been too dangerous for Mr Long and another nearby jetski operator to abandon their craft in the rough seas with competitors nearby, so Mr Long raised the alarm and went to shore to brief other safety officers.

Asked how he expected Matthew was going to be rescued, Mr Long replied: “I knew we were going to be looking for a body”.

The inquest heard the swell when Matthew disappeared on March 28, 2012 was up to two metres with strong rips.

Organisers had chosen to continue the event despite safety concerns being expressed by lifeguards, parents, and some officials.

Lifeguard Dean Powell said he approached three officials in the morning, saying lifeguards had concerns for competitors’ safety after watching the under-15 girls struggle in the swell.

The professional lifeguard with 17 years’ experience said he was told by the officials the situation was being monitored, safety measures were in place and it was the boys’ turn to race.

“They also said they felt the boys could handle the situation, the conditions … the impression I got was I was holding up the carnival,” he told the inquest.

Matthew’s father Stephen Barclay, a lawyer, sat with the family’s barrister at the bar table after he was last month given leave to appear on his family’s behalf.

He didn’t directly question witnesses but advised barrister Stephen Courtney to ask certain questions.

Matthew’s mother Donna sat in the public gallery.

Outside court Mr Barclay said it had been a “very difficult day” but declined to comment further.

Matthew Barclay is the third teenager to die at Kurrawa during the national championships, following the death of 19-year-old Saxon Bird in 2010 and 15-year-old Robert Gatenby in 1996.

The inquest continues.

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Asian shares mixed after Crimea vote

Written by admin on 2019年5月21日 Categories: 南宁桑拿

Asian markets were mixed on renewed concerns over Ukraine after Crimea voted to break away from the former Soviet republic and join Russia, leading the West to warn of further sanctions against Moscow.


Investors remain cautious following a sell-off last week fuelled by weak Chinese data, while eyes are on the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday to see if it will announce any more stimulus cuts.

Tokyo slipped 0.35 per cent, or 49.99 points, to 14,277.67 and Sydney shed 0.22 per cent, or 11.8 points, to 5,317.6.

But Shanghai climbed 0.96 per cent, or 19.33 points, to 2,023.673 while Seoul added 0.40 per cent, or 7.63 points, to end at 1,927.53. Hong Kong fell 0.30 per cent, or 65.54 points. to 21,473.95.

Crimea voted overwhelmingly Sunday to join Russia, further fuelling tensions in the worst crisis between Moscow and the West since the Cold War.

While people in the predominantly Russian-speaking peninsula celebrated the result of the poll, Ukraine’s new pro-European leaders and the West branded it “illegal”.

The vote was organised after Russian forces seized de facto control of the region and pro-Moscow authorities took power in response to the ouster of Ukraine’s pro-Kremlin leader Viktor Yanukovych in February.

US President Barack Obama told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a phone call after the vote that a referendum that “occurred under duress of Russian military intervention, would never be recognised by the United States and the international community”.

He said the US and its European allies were “prepared to impose additional costs on Russia for its actions”.

“We’ve anticipated the results of the referendum. The key is what sanctions the US and the Europe will carry out and how Russia will respond to them,” said Masaru Ishibashi, head of the currency trading group at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp.

And Osao Iizuka, head of foreign-exchange trading at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, told Dow Jones Newswires: “A further escalation of military tensions would lead to more risk-averse trading.”

The developments added to selling pressure in Asia following last week’s losses in reaction to downbeat trade and industrial production figures out of Beijing.

The dollar was up in afternoon forex business, buying 101.57 yen compared with 101.36 yen in New York Friday afternoon.

The euro bought $US1.3880 and 141.08 yen against $US1.3906 and 140.73 yen.

In China the yuan weakened against the dollar after the central bank at the weekend doubled the currency’s trading band as it slowly embarks on long-anticipated financial reforms.

The People’s Bank of China said it would allow the yuan to move up or down two per cent daily – double the previous one per cent – on either side of a mid-point set under the guidance of the bank.

The Chinese unit was trading at 6.1541 to the dollar on Monday, according to the China Foreign Exchange Trading System, compared with Friday’s close of 6.1502.

On oil markets New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for April delivery, was up four cents to $98.93 in afternoon trade, and Brent North Sea crude for May fell 36 cents to $107.85.

Gold fetched $US1,378.76 an ounce at 1000 GMT (2100 AEDT) compared with $US1,370.09 late Friday.

In other markets:

— Bangkok added 0.36 per cent, or 4.92 points, to 1,377.10.

Thai Airways International gained 4.14 per cent to 15.10 baht, while telecoms company Advanced Info Service rose 1.85 per cent to 220.00 baht.

— Singapore closed up 0.60 per cent, or 18.42 points, at 3,092.14.

DBS bank gained 1.14 per cent to Sg$15.91, while vehicle agribusiness company Wilmar International gained 1.77 per cent to Sg$3.45

— Jakarta ended down 0.05 per cent, or 2.46 points, at 4,876.19.

Cigarette maker Gudang Garam fell 1.48 per cent to 48,275 rupiah, while tin producer Timah lost 0.29 per cent to 1,715 rupiah.

— Taipei rose 0.14 per cent, or 12.47 points, to 8,700.01.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co was 0.87 per cent lower at Tw$114.0 while Hon Hai Precision gained 1.40 per cent at Tw$86.7.

— Wellington added 0.17 per cent, or 8.70 points, to 5,088.03.

Telecom gained 1.22 per cent to NZ$2.48 and Air New Zealand was up 0.54 at NZ$1.87.

— Manila closed 0.14 per cent higher, adding 8.75 points to 6,399.99.

JG Summit Holdings rose two per cent to 51 pesos while SM Prime Holdings gained 1.81 per cent to 14.66 pesos.

— Mumbai was closed for a public holiday.

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Rising Suns star Martin crashes to earth

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AFL Rising Star favourite Jack Martin’s much-anticipated debut season with Gold Coast has been ruined by a shoulder injury.


No time frame has been put on his playing return as the Suns say Martin will be sidelined for an extended period after scans revealed “considerable damage” to his left AC joint.

The 19-year-old’s senior career wasn’t even a full quarter old when he sustained the injury diving for an errant kick by Tom Lynch in Gold Coast’s opening-round 18-point win over Richmond.

Expected to follow in the footsteps of clubmate Jaeger O’Meara who won last year’s Rising Star award, Martin said it was a deflating way to start his AFL career.

“It was a such a big build up and it was great that the boys got the win, but individually, I will probably remember it for all the wrong reasons,” he said in a Suns statement.

“I’m now just looking forward to starting my rehabilitation and giving myself every chance of playing some football later in the season.”

A West Australian product, Martin had shown superb skills and electric pace in the pre-season and had several AFL club captains tipping him to be the Rising Star.

Suns coaching director Malcolm Blight had also described him as the best young prospect he had seen in more than a generation.

“Jack and the club’s medical team will meet with specialists in the coming days to determine the appropriate course of action,” said Suns football operations manager Marcus Ashcroft.

“Although this is a very disappointing outcome for Jack, we will ensure we provide him with the very best medical and welfare support to assist him during his rehabilitation from the injury.”

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MLB in Sydney could be regular event

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The historic first pitch is yet to be thrown at the SCG, but organisers are hoping Major League Baseball in Sydney can become a four-yearly event.


Securing the rights to host official MLB matches has been a process nearly eight years in the making for promoter Jason Moore of Moore Sports.

However, director of the MLB’s Australia and Oceania office, Tom Nicholson revealed the first moves towards bringing America’s favourite pastime down under were made after the Sydney Olympics.

Now the dream has finally become a reality, with the LA Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks to lock horns this weekend, organisers are confident they have the infrastructure and know-how in place to host MLB matches at the SCG on a regular four-year cycle.

And it seems the desire to make baseball part of the Sydney sporting calendar isn’t a one-way street.

MLB officials are interested in Australia for its talent resources and proximity to the huge Asian market.

Nicholson confirmed Sydney is being looked at to host the MLB opening series again in 2018.

“Absolutely. We want this to be a success. We want Sydney to support it and they are,” Nicholson told AAP.

“This has never been done before especially in what we call a developing market.

“It’s OK in Japan, you just turn the key – you’ve got a ready-made baseball stadium.

“But coming somewhere as iconic as Sydney and the SCG, we’re trailblazing.

“Seeing all this hard work and the template we have now to replicate next time around, we’d love to host this every four years.

“There is a window for us on the international calendar so we’re looking at 2018 as a possibility and have it every four years thereafter.”

The MLB were initially concerned about Sydney for travel and logistical reasons, but came around to Moore’s concept for two key reasons.

The potential of the Australian Baseball League, which is to begin its fourth season, and the fact that Sydney was a safe and easy way to bring the game to Asia.

“We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves, let’s just worry about getting past the 23rd of March,” said Moore, who has negotiated the concept from the start.

“We would like to think we now have a playbook of how to do it and certainly we’ll sit down after the dust settles and speak with NSW government, speak with the SCG, speak with Major League Baseball.

“People should be aware that baseball is a growing sport in this country … there’s some great opportunity for talent here. We’re certainly over represented from Major League Baseball scouts, with 28 of 30 clubs represented by fulltime scouts in this country.

“We are the gateway to Asia and from a business to business standpoint, this is a business opportunity for them – 2.2 billion people live in our time zone.”

Arizona and LA players will touch down on Tuesday, the Diamondbacks suffering a major blow with starting pitcher Patrick Corbin ruled out with an elbow injury, while the Dodgers will be missing all-star Carl Crawford, who is staying back for the birth of his child.

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Pistorius ordered six guns before shooting

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Oscar Pistorius was in the process of buying six guns at the time he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, more than usually allowed under South African law, his murder trial has heard.


The order for three shotguns, two revolvers, and a rifle had already been invoiced to the athlete when he shot Steenkamp on February 14 last year, testified gun licensee Sean Rens on Monday.

“The transaction was cancelled a month post-incident,” he said at the start of the third week of trial.

South African law allows non-collectors to possess only four firearms.

Rens said Pistorius “had a great love and enthusiasm” for firearms.

The licensee said Pistorius told him he once drew his gun inside his house at a suspicious noise, which turned out to be the washing machine.

“He went into what we call ‘code red’, or combat mode, in other words to draw his gun and go and clear his house,” Rens testified on Monday.

Rens met the double-amputee in 2012 through a mutual friend. At the time Pistorius owned a 9 mm pistol and the pair visited a shooting range together around 10 times.

The state has drawn on previous gun incidents to depict the 27-year-old Pistorius as rash and trigger-happy, in support of the charge of premeditated murder.

The sprinter faces three additional non-related charges over firing a gun in a restaurant and from a moving car, and for the illegal possession of ammunition.

Licensing examination records showed Pistorius knew the country’s gun laws well, the court heard.

He answered correctly that he could only shoot at a person if his life was directly threatened.

Asked if he could fire at burglars stealing a television from his house, Pistorius answered: “No. Life is not in danger,” Rens said, reading from an answer sheet.

Pistorius says he shot dead Steenkamp, 29, through a locked toilet door when he mistook her for an intruder.

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Govt called on to encourage Chinese money

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Business groups want the federal government to do all it can to encourage Chinese investment in Australia to help build much needed infrastructure.


The Australia China Business Council met with a number of ministers in Canberra on Monday, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who will lead a trade delegation to China in mid-April.

The council’s national president Duncan Calder said Australia must do all it can to deliver a level playing field for Chinese investment.

His call follows recent University of Sydney/KPMG research which found in 2013 Australia was overtaken by the United States as the preferred destination for China’s direct investment.

“Anything we can do to encourage Chinese investment … can only be positive for the Australian economy,” Mr Calder told reporters.

Mr Calder said he was encouraged by what he heard at the meetings, which centred around cutting regulations and making it simpler and easier for business to succeed.

“What we want is just to make sure that the environment in which trade occurs is one where there is no `big government,” Mr Calder said.

Over 135 council members from around Australia attended the networking day at Parliament House.

It included sessions with Mr Abbott, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Treasurer Joe Hockey, Trade Minister Andrew Robb, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane and Small Business Minister Bruce Billson.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Palmer United Party Leader Clive Palmer also took part.

Freight operator Aurizon’s managing director Lance Hockridge said all ministers spoke of the importance of the relationship with China and how that translates into real and tangible benefits for Australians.

“The prime minister and the other ministers going to China in two or three weeks is a tremendous representation of the commitment and change that we are seeking,” Mr Hockridge told reporters.

He said the relationship with China offers opportunities that simply cannot be taken for granted.

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Crimea asks to join Russia after vote

Written by admin on 2019年4月21日 Categories: 南宁桑拿

Crimea has declared independence and applied to join Russia while the Kremlin braced for sanctions after the flashpoint peninsula voted to leave Ukraine in a referendum that has sparked the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.


Officials results from Sunday’s poll showed 96.6 per cent of the voters in the mostly-Russian speaking region opting to switch to Kremlin rule in the most radical redrawing of the map of Europe since Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia.

“Crimea appeals to the United Nations and to all countries of the world to recognise it as an independent state,” said a declaration adopted by the region’s Russian-backed assembly.

Ukraine’s interim president Oleksandr Turchynov denounced the vote as a “great farce” and watched from a podium as agitated MPs approved a partial mobilisation of the army aimed at countering Russian troops’ effective seizure of Crimea at the beginning of March.

The defence minister also insisted Ukrainian troops would stay in the strategic Black Sea region.

Most of the international community has rejected the referendum as illegal because Russia had vowed to respect its neighbour’s territorial integrity under a milestone 1994 agreement that saw Ukraine renounce its Soviet-era nuclear arms.

But the government in Crimea announced a series of measures to sever the ties with Ukraine – including seizing Ukrainian institutions and even plans to set the peninsula on Moscow time.

The White House said US President Barack Obama warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that Washington and its allies would “never” recognise Crimea’s breakaway vote.

Obama warned that “Russia’s actions were in violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and that, in coordination with our European partners, we are prepared to impose additional costs on Russia for its actions,” the White House said.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton also said Europe needed to send the “strongest possible signals” to Russia at a meeting of the 28-nation bloc’s foreign ministers Monday.

The ministers are widely expected to approve “targeted” sanctions against Russian or pro-Kremlin Ukrainian leaders that could include both travel restrictions and asset freezes.

The measures – reportedly affecting top Russian ministers and presidential aides but not Putin himself – are meant to demonstrate the West’s united resolve to punish the Kremlin for its overt show of post-Soviet might.

Putin has signalled no intention to turn back on what he describes as his defence of ethnic Russians who have come under increasing attack from Ukrainian ultranationalists since last month’s ouster in Kiev of a pro-Kremlin regime by a far more nationalist but Western-leaning team.

The Kremlin said Putin “emphasised” to Obama that the referendum “was fully in line with the norms of international law and the UN charter”.

It said Putin pointed out “the well-known precedent of Kosovo” – a mostly Muslim region of former Soviet ally Yugoslavia whose independence is backed by Washington but not recognised by the Kremlin.

Russia’s lower house of parliament is expected to debate legislation on Friday simplifying the process under which the Kremlin can annex another part of a sovereign state.

But the overwhelming margin of victory for the pro-Kremlin camp in Crimea underscores the degree of mistrust in the heavily Russified southeastern swathes have for the European leanings of those who rose to power on the back of three months of deadly protests in Kiev.

Alcohol-fuelled celebrations swept cities across the diamond-shaped Black Sea peninsula as Russian flags waved and refrains from Soviet-era songs filled the rain-soaked streets.

“We’re free of the occupation!” Lucia Prokorovna said amid bursts of fireworks in Russia’s historic naval port of Sevastopol.

“Ukraine was attached to Crimea like a sack of potatoes,” the 60-year-old said in reference to the sentimental but what proved to be explosive decision by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushev – a native Ukrainian – to present the peninsula to Kiev as a gift in 1954.

Crimea’s self-declared premier Sergiy Aksyonov – recognised by Moscow but rejected as illegitimate by Kiev and most of the world – hailed the referendum as an “historic moment”.

“We’re going home. Crimea is going to Russia,” he told those gathered on Lenin Square.

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Gale steals the show at festival opening

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Models Montana Cox and Jessica Gomes led the runway charge at the Melbourne Fashion Festival opening night, but Megan Gale stole the show from the front row.


Gale, who is due to give birth in May, glowed in a Scanlan Theodore front zip-up black and white digital print dress, which hugged her baby bump beautifully.

“It’s very comfortable considering my current condition,” Gale said.

“I have been really fortunate I have been able to wear a lot of the brands that I’ve loved for years.

“A lot of them have very maternity and bump-friendly shapes and also the fabrics handle really well, so I’ve found just upsizing a little bit and still being able to wear the designers that I love hasn’t been too much of a problem.”

Gale, who is a brand ambassador for David Jones, nominated monochrome, grey and animal prints as key trends for autumn/winter.

“I love these big wide-brimmed felt hats as well. They’re great for a bad hair day when it’s windy and rainy.”

Gomes said leather is among her favourite winter trends.

“I love all the classic pieces like black and whites, the tailored pieces, the blazers, the leather pants – I love leather, all the leather dresses, Dion Lee, Willow and Josh Goot are some of my favourite designers.”

Creamy turtle neck knits and oversized grey cardigans were key pieces in the Jac + Jack collection.

Scanlan Theodore, Ginger & Smart and Bassike showcased block blues, mostly navy, while Bec & Bridge models sported navy overlaid with a gold print.

Bianca Spender also dipped into blue including a brilliant cobalt dress with back cut outs but the prettiest in the blue stakes went to Lover, featuring Cox in a greyish pale blue lace dress with three-quarter length sleeves.

Camilla Franks created the most eye-catching looks of the night with shimmering bohemian pieces from her winter 2014 collection, And God Created Woman.

Franks will be honoured in a grand showcase event on Wednesday in collaboration with composer Jonathan Dreyfus and brass and percussion musicians from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

“I had a year of looking at myself and all the different voices … love, insecurity, peace, the different hats that I wear and I thought it would be a really interesting thing to do a gallery of prints that reflect those voices.”

The Melbourne Fashion Festival runs until March 23.

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Audit to be released when appropriate: PM

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A senior federal opposition frontbencher says while the previous Labor government took its time considering the Henry tax review it didn’t sit on it during an election campaign.


Neither did that report contain 900 pages of “secret budget cuts”, unlike the federal government’s commission of audit, Opposition Senate Leader Penny Wong says.

“If there is nothing to hide, why won’t Mr Abbott release it?” Senator Wong told Sky News on Monday.

She said there were 2.5 million West Australians who might be interested in what sort of cuts might be proposed.

The opposition has tried to turn up the heat on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to release the audit’s interim report ahead of the West Australian Senate election re-run in April.

The government received the interim report in mid-February.

Mr Abbott was repeatedly quizzed on the report during question time on Monday but he maintained it would be released at the appropriate time, after it had been properly considered.

“The job of government is not to bombard people … with paper,” Mr Abbott said.

The previous Labor government held the Gonski report into school funding for two months and the Henry tax review for four months, he said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten asked why Mr Abbott was defying a Senate order to release the report?

Mr Abbott said Labor, in the last parliament, had failed to comply with over 40 Senate orders.

“So if this a fault on our part, the fault on their part is 40 times greater,” Mr Abbott said.

Treasurer Joe Hockey said Labor could “cry all it wants” for the report but they should know the answers because they created the problems.

The audit’s final report is due at the end of March and its recommendations will be used in forming Mr Hockey’s first budget in May.

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PNG inquiry to visit Manus Island centre

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The judge presiding over the Papua New Guinean inquiry into the treatment of asylum seekers on Manus Island has refused calls to step down on the grounds of bias, on the eve of the inquiry visiting the controversial centre.


Justice David Cannings on Monday also ruled it would be up to asylum seekers if they wanted their names suppressed when they gave evidence before the court.

Lawyers acting for the PNG government on Monday asked Justice Cannings to step down from the inquiry he launched, on the grounds that proceedings were moving unusually fast and that he previously oversaw another challenge to the centre.

Justice Cannings disclosed at the start of the hearings that the Cairns-based public health specialist chosen to investigate the centre, Dr Paul Crouch-Chivers, was a personal friend.

On Monday afternoon the judge ruled that a reasonable or fair-minded person would not find that he was biased.

“I don’t consider that knowledge of that relationship … would be a concern for a reasonable or fair-minds observer to think that I would approach the doctor’s evidence or his role in these proceedings in anything other than an impartial or independent way,” he said.

“I am of the view … that Dr Crouch-Chivers is eminently well qualified and experienced in the area of public health, and that his (37 years of) experience as a medical professional in PNG … makes him ideally suitable,” he said.

Peter Kuman, acting on behalf of the state, argued there was an apprehension of bias based on Justice Cannings’ friendship with Dr Crouch-Chivers, as well as his presiding over opposition leader Belden Namah’s challenge to the legality of the centre in 2013.

Mr Kuman also argued that because Justice Cannings commenced these latest proceedings, he could not preside over them.

But Justice Cannings dismissed all three points of Mr Kuman’s application.

Another application to suppress the names of asylum seekers was also dismissed.

Justice Cannings also said he thought a layperson would be impressed at the speed of the proceedings, expected to conclude by the end of March.

Read to the inquiry were sections of a letter by Australian High Commissioner Deborah Stokes highlighting potential dangers to asylum seekers in their country of origin if their identities were made public.

But Justice Cannings declined the PNG government’s application.

“To impose a blanket suppression order on transferees who come to give evidence may have the side-effect of discouraging them from giving evidence,” he said.

“Everyone in PNG has the right to privacy.

“Perhaps the corollary of that is everyone in PNG has the right to disclosure.”

PNG public solicitor Frazer Pitpit told the court he had 32 affidavits from transferees, in 13 languages.

In a late submission on Monday, Sydney lawyer Jay Williams notified the court 75 asylum seekers wished to join the proceedings as interested parties.

Justice Cannings ordered his judge’s associate to write a letter to immigration officials to allow Mr Williams into the country so he could appear in court on Manus Island on Wednesday.

Under PNG law, judges can mount their own human rights hearings.

Justice Cannings launched the inquiry last month following a riot in which 23-year-old asylum seeker Reza Berati died.

Dr Crouch-Chivers is expected to visit the centre on Wednesday, and give evidence at a later date.

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Aussie hockey men still unbeaten

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The Kookaburras have maintained their undefeated record in game three of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh with a resounding 7-0 win over Commonwealth Games opponents South Africa on Monday.


Despite the score being 0-0 for the first half hour of the match, the Kookaburras took advantage of three opportunities in quick succession to go in 3-0 up at the halftime break.

Trent Mitton opened the scoring just a day after his 50th appearance for Australia before Jamie Dwyer finished a surging solo run with a powerful tomahawk into the far corner for 2-0.

On the stroke of halftime Nick Budgeon took his tally for the tournament to five as he netted another penalty corner.

The Tasmanian has now scored in every one of the Kookaburras’ opening three matches at this tournament.

In the second half, Dwyer’s scored again for 4-0 after excellent work from fellow veteran Rob Hammond.

Six minutes later it was 5-0 as powerful Victorian Chris Ciriello scored his 70th international goal and Daniel Beale then added his name to the score sheet with quarter of an hour remaining to make it 6-0.

Finally, captain Mark Knowles rounded off proceedings, crashing home a loose ball for 7-0.

“I expected a reaction from South Africa because they had a bad match against China,” Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth said.

“We had chances to score before we did but we didn’t take them and that’s frustrating.

“We tried a few things on corners – it was a chance to experiment but you still want to score them.”

The Kookaburras are sitting top of the standings and are yet to concede a goal in the competition.

Queenslander Matt Gohdes missed the match with a bruised foot after being struck in Sunday’s contest against Canada.

X-rays showed no sign of a break and he is expected to be in contention to play in the Kookaburras’ next match, against Korea on Thursday.

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