Sunday, October 31, 2010

California cops warn of marijuana-laced candy- US

Los Angeles County officials issued a warning for parents to be extra careful for Halloween, because tainted treats may end up in a child's trick-or-treat bag. 

Three children in Huntington Beach were hospitalized last week after eating what looked like ordinary cookies, but the treats were laced with marijuana.

Officials said the laced products were sold in marijuana dispensaries and could be circulating around.
"These lollipops, candy bars, they look pretty legitimate. The problem is if it gets in the wrong hands and a kid licks a lollipop, they get ill or intoxicated," said Cpt. Ralph Ornelas of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Authorities said parents need to know what to look for. For instance, a lot of the products are not clearly labeled. Some treats look like regular cookies or candy, but they certainly don't smell normal.
"If something is homemade, I typically throw it away. If it's something where the wrapper is loose and it looks like it didn't come from a factory, I throw that away as well. If it's something I've never seen before, we throw that away. "said Lisa Mittleman, a parent. "They get plenty, so even if I throw a quarter of it away, it will be fine."

Officers said parents can call the police if they see any suspicious treats.

Unusable donations cost Salvos $6m

TONNES of unusable donations and rubbish dumped outside Salvation Army stores across Australia over Christmas have left the charity with its biggest multi-million dollar headache. 

The latest dumping means this year's clean-up bill for the Salvos will exceed a record $6 million, says Neville Barrett, general manager of their stores.

"It's absolutely disgusting, when that money could be so well used,'' he told AAP today.
The dumping had become the norm around this time of year "but never to this degree'', he said.
The national dumping costs at council tips last year was $5.3 million.
"Additional costs are also incurred through drivers and trucks being tied up taking rubbish to the tip when they should be picking up donations,'' he said.
He stressed the Salvos appreciated donations of good quality furniture, clothing and other items.
news image salvos 20093012
  • Multi-million dollar headache
  • Record clean up toll $6m+
  • 'It's absolutely disgusting' 
"The criteria for donations are items which you would continue to use yourself, but which are superfluous to your needs,'' he said.
As well as unusable donations, Mr Barrett said people dumped bags of household refuse outside stores.

"When you have a holiday season where there are a couple of public holidays together, people are celebrating with seafood are other things, and you get a whole lot of rubbish dumped,'' he said.
"They know that it smells and is not going to get collected by the garbage right away.''
He also asked that people do not leave their genuine donations outside stores after hours, as quality items were stolen, vandalised or damaged by the weather.

"In recent months, there have also been several arson attacks after rubbish left outside our stores has been set alight causing substantial damage to the stores concerned,'' he said.
He lamented that some people "go without to donate to the Salvos'', but when the items were left outside business hours, they did not benefit those in need.

Man claims he impersonated Tiger Woods for porn star's fake sex tape

A MAN claims he was paid to appear in a sex tape with porn star Devon James, who is selling it as a Tiger Woods sex tape. 

Philadelphia man Teneal Goyco, a cruiserweight boxer, says James and her husband, Nick, approached him at a celebrity boxing match in Philadelphia on July 30 and offered him $US1000 to pretend to be Tiger Woods while taping sex scenes with James at a local hotel, Radar Online reports.

"I was in it to make a couple bucks and have sex with a pretty lady," Mr Goyco told Radar. "I just thought I was fulfilling this woman's fantasy of having sex with Tiger Woods, as she had said she wanted."

Mr Goyco said James and her husband had him dress like Woods - pinstriped shirt, Nike hat, sweater vest - and put makeup on his face and body so his skin colour more closely matched Woods's. James referred to Mr Goyco as "Tiger" throughout the taping.

James said on October 1 that she had sold the tape to an unspecified DVD production company for $US350,000. She is taking preorders online for a video to be shipped to customers on November 15.

Mr Goyco realised what had happened when he saw James promoting the video online, he said.

Read more:

Man throws away $181m lottery ticket - reports

AN elderly woman in central England says she thinks she may have had the winning Euromillions lottery ticket worth €129 million ($181 million) - before her husband threw it away.
The woman, who was not named for safety reasons, told the Coventry Telegraph she had taken note of the numbers on her ticket but did not have the original.
"I play every week - I play the lottery, the Euromillions and the Thunderball - but my husband takes the ticket off me and I don’t see it again," she told the paper. "That’s why I always write my numbers down.”

After the ticket remained unclaimed for over a week, she checked her notepad and found the winning numbers - 09, 30, 35, 39, 46, and the Lucky Star numbers were 06 and 08.
“I went down to the newsagent and showed him my pad. He said, ‘My God, you’re a winner,’ but I said, ‘I’m not a winner - the ticket has been binned,'" she said.
The winning ticket netted an exact win of €129,818,431. It was the biggest jackpot ever scooped on the Europe-wide contest.
Read more on this story at the Coventry Telegraph.

Steven Fry claims comments on womens' sexuality "misquoted" - quits twitter

BRITISH actor, writer and comedian Stephen Fry appears to be quitting Twitter - again.
In a tweet sent one day to the year since he last threatened to leave the microblogging site - Fry wrote “bye bye” to his 1.9 million followers,  - The (London) Telegraph said.

The apparent farewell came an hour after Fry tweeted, “So some f***ing paper misquotes a humorous interview I gave, which itself misquoted me and now I'm the Antichrist. I give up.”

It’s believed the 53-year-old homosexual actor was referring to comments he made suggesting women did not enjoy sex.

Fry - who claims to have abstained from sex for 16 years - said sex was the price women paid in exchange for being in a relationship.

"I feel sorry for straight men. The only reason women will have sex with them is that sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship with a man, which is what they want," he said in an interview published in the November issue of Attitude magazine.
“If women liked sex as much as men, there would be straight cruising areas in the way there are gay cruising areas,” he added.

The star’s comments have been denounced by feminists including Australian author Germaine Greer, who accused Fry of being “under a delusion that he is an authority on female sexuality.”

The latest outcry surrounding Fry comes just days after he was taken to task for taking, and posting on Twitter, pictures from the set of the new Harry Potter movie.

Fry was shooting scenes for a sequel to last year's Sherlock Holmes film at Leavesden studios in Hertfordshire, next to the Potter set, when he took the photographs.

The images disappeared from Fry’s Twitter page not long after he had shared them, while he tweeted on Thursday: “Oops. I’ve been sent to the naughty step ...”
A year ago Fry said he would quit Twitter because there was "too much aggression and unkindness around."

Read more:

Man complains to police - Busted for not buying pot

A MAN called police to complain about some terrible marijuana he had just purchased, which turned out to be something other than pot. 

Police say the man told officers he bought the substance earlier that day and that "it was nasty'' when he smoked it.

Uniontown Detective Donald Gmitter says a field test determined the substance wasn't pot at all, but police didn't say what it was.

Even though the 21-year-old man didn't technically buy marijuana, he isn't off the hook.
Sgt Wayne Brown tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that Wednesday's incident remains under investigation, and the man could face a charge of possessing a counterfeit controlled substance.

Read more:

Families 'priced out' by new Britain departure tax

AIRLINES have attacked the rise in Britain's airport departure tax being, warning many families would be priced out of a holiday.
A Virgin Atlantic spokesman said the Air Passenger Duty (APD) - introduced earlier this week - would make holidays "unaffordable for many'', while other airlines are also fuming and tourist destinations fear a plunge in business.
The tax, imposed at the point of purchase, is going up by 55 per cent for the longest flights.
"Holidays are an essential part of our lives and are valued even more in these difficult economic times,'' Julie Southern, Virgin Atlantic's chief commercial officer, said.
"With passengers now being asked to pay up to 10 times more tax since APD's introduction, the annual family holiday will become unaffordable for many.
"This absolutely has to be the last time that the travelling public faces APD rises.''

British Airways is also furious. Chief executive Willie Walsh has called the tax "a disgrace.''
The APD has four levels: Band A for flights up to 3200km; Band B for up to 6450km; Band C for up to 9650km and Band D for flights beyond that.
In economy class, Band A passengers face a nine percent rise from $19; Band B a 33 per cent hike from $73 to $98.
Band C passengers face a 50 per cent rise from $81 to $122, while Band D customers face a 55 per cent rise from $90 to $138.
Premium class passengers pay double those amounts, meaning the APD on first class flights to Australia will be $277.
Gareth Williams, chief executive of flight comparison site, suggested the hikes could lead long-haul travellers to fly from airports elsewhere in Europe.
"In a recent survey we found that more than three-quarters of our users would be willing to fly indirectly to save money,'' he said.
"It could have serious repercussions for the long-haul UK aviation industry.''
The government is considering replacing APD with a per-plane tax.

Read more:

Queensland scraps Go Card e-ticket scheme

PLANS for southeast Queensland's public transport system to go completely paperless have been scrapped.

Transport minister Rachel Nolan announced the backflip on Friday.
In September last year, the state government announced it would phase out paper tickets by 2011.
Ms Nolan said that one-way paper tickets would now be retained, alongside the electronic fare system "Go Cards.''
She admitted the plan to scrap paper tickets was a bit "ambitious'', considering other cities with electronic fares such as London, still had some paper ticketing on offer.
"We've listened to the community reference group, tourists and infrequent users, who have told us they would prefer to be able to purchase a single-trip ticket at a station or on-board a bus or ferry, rather than an alternative Go Card,'' Ms Nolan said in a statement.

She said the transport department had looked at disposable Go Cards for visitors and infrequent travellers, but that option was too expensive.
Opposition transport spokeswoman Fiona Simpson welcomed the move to keep some paper ticketing.
"This whole process has been shambolic, it's been so badly planned," she told ABC Radio.
"The fact that the government announced they were going to get rid of paper tickets for commuters before they even had a way of doing it."


Google not serious about privacy says senator

A Labor senator has likened Google's approach to privacy laws as similar to the exploitation of sweatshop workers across Asia. 
Google representatives on Friday fronted the Senate Communications References Committee, which is examining whether Australians are given adequate protections when they go online.

Spokesman Iarla Flynn was explaining to senators that the internet giant abides by the privacy laws of each particular country, but it failed to satisfy Labor's Doug Cameron.

"I was a bit perplexed by your response that you're bound by the laws in the country that you operate,'' he said.

"People at Nike have been using that for years to exploit workers.

"It seems to me a standard corporate response - why can't Google establish a best practice approach on this and apply it across all of its operations?''

Mr Flynn said that was what Google was doing, and rejected the Nike comparison fully.

"We've very conscious of the different frameworks around the world, we're designing our privacy policy ... we try and set that as global best practice,'' he said.

Google was quizzed about its controversial Street View application, which has been subject to legal scrutiny in many countries over the collection of private information.

Mr Flynn confirmed wireless internet data collected from Australian homes, which sparked privacy concerns here, had not been deleted yet.

While Street View had been scrapped for the time being, Google hopes to one day get its camera cars back in operation.

"We would like to do that, but we have no plans to do that at the moment,'' Mr Flynn said.

Senators from both sides expressed reservations with Google's ability to retain personal information, after Mr Flynn revealed that all gmails are digitally "read''.

The committee was told Google actively fought to maintain the trust of its users, and was keenly aware that would only be earned by adequately protecting their privacy.

The committee will hear from government representatives from the Attorney-General and Communications departments later on Friday.

US tries to do away with France's kilogram

WHEN is a kilogram not a kilogram?
When it's not, er, a kilogram.
Particularly if the kilogram in question is the kilogram against which all other kilograms have been measured for the last 130 years.
That singular beauty - a cyclinder composed of platinum-iridium - is kept in a vault in France, at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures.
It's something of a relic these days. Once upon a time there were seven artifacts in the weights and measures family.
Along with the kilogram, there was the candela, which measured luminous intensity, the kelvin (temperature), the metre (length), the ampere (electric current), the mole (substance) and the second (time).
Of all of them, only the kilogram still exists. The problem is, over 130 years, it's changed, for a range of reasons that will only make sense to people with a quantum physics degree.

Stephen Fry criticsed for tweeting

ACTOR and director Stephen Fry was scolded by the producers of the new "Harry Potter" movie after he posted pictures of the film set on Twitter. 

Fry, as character Mycroft Holmes, was shooting scenes for a sequel to last year's Guy Ritchie film Sherlock Holmes film at Leavesden studios in Hertfordshire, next to the set of the upcoming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows when he took photographs and posted them on Twitter.

One image showed the set of Harry's Hogwarts school in ruins after it is destroyed in the "Great Battle" between Harry Potter and his enemy Lord Voldemort, The (London) Daily Telegraph reported.
The images disappeared from Fry's Twitter page not long after he had shared them with his 1.9 million followers, while he tweeted: "Oops. I've been sent to the naughty step…"
The following day he tweeted: "Shall be a good boy on set today. *Sticks gaffer-tape over camera lens* Heigh ho."

Producers of the final installment of the "Harry Potter" franchise have kept tight-lipped about the movie since filming began in February 2009.
J.K. Rowling's seventh and final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, has been split into two films. The first is due out on November 19 and the second is due for release in July next year.
Stephen Fry
Actor Stephen Fry on stage at the Sydney Opera House. Source: Supplied

Wayne Carey company goes bust

A COMPANY set up by controversial AFL Hall of Fame champion Wayne Carey has gone into administration with debts of more than $100,000. 

The former North Melbourne premiership star - once the AFL's highest-paid player - told a liquidators meeting that Carey Sports Pty Ltd was unable to pay its debts after his media career crumbled in the wake of a string of high-profile scandals.

Documents obtained by the Sunday Herald Sun show the company was wound up last week, a year after Carey changed its name and placed it under voluntary administration with debts totalling $115,308.39.

His ex-wife, Sally Carey, was owed $50,000 as the company's biggest unsecured creditor.
The company's only listed asset was a $22,000 BMW car.
It also owed the Australian Taxation Office $46,308.39. Carey said last week the move was nothing more than a restructuring of his business interests.
"My finances are fine, mate," he said.

"I was advised by my advisers to clean up my structure and that's what I have done."
Carey said all of Carey Sports Pty Ltd's debts had been "fixed up".
Minutes of a meeting held in October last year show Carey told liquidator Paul Vartelas that the company was unable to meet its debts.

"Carey Sports Pty Ltd was an entity used as a vehicle for myself to earn media income - advertising etc," the minutes quote Carey as saying.

"Due to personal issues, all job offers dried up or were not offered (and) as from (sic) 2007, the company was unable to meet its tax debts and other debts owed."
The retired champion was dumped by the Nine Network and 3AW in January 2008, days after Victoria Police used capsicum spray to subdue him following an altercation at his Port Melbourne apartment.
Carey was charged with assaulting police. Within days of the charges being laid, the Herald Sun revealed he was facing further strife in the US where he was accused of assaulting police, resisting arrest and aggravated battery of his then-partner, Kate Neilson.
Other creditors left out of pocket when Carey Sports Pty Ltd folded include an Essendon accountant and Macs Sports Promotions, the company of his former manager Anthony McConville.

Traffic link to 'worsening' child asthma

AN Australian study into childhood asthma has sounded an alarm over city living, with even apparently safe levels of traffic pollution found to exacerbate the respiratory condition.
Researchers assessed the cases of more than 600 children and adolescents who between 2002 and 2006 were rushed to West Australian hospitals suffering a serious asthma attack.

Air-quality records for the period leading up to each attack were checked, and this revealed a strong trend of rising traffic-related pollutants ahead of each hospital trip.

Atmospheric levels of nitrogen dioxide and carbon monoxide were often elevated on the day before a child suffered the asthma attack.

An epidemiologist at the University of WA, Gavin Pereira, said the study showed how traffic pollution was a major factor in the "worsening of this respiratory condition" in children.

There were other troubling implications, he said, as Australia had far more traffic-intensive cities than Perth and the effect was seen even as air quality was deemed to meet safety benchmarks.

"This study was conducted in Perth, Western Australia ... pollution levels are generally quite good in Perth," Mr Pereira said.

"I've looked at studies from California, for example, and their pollution levels are much higher than here.

"And for our study to have observed an effect when we have met air-quality guidelines is quite remarkable."

The effect was most pronounced in asthmatic children aged under four, according to the research as detailed in the latest edition of the Medical Journal of Australia.

Mr Pereira said he hoped the finding would stimulate more research into this area, and it was too soon to suggest parents of asthmatic children consider moving to areas with less traffic.

"It's not a cause for panic among parents, but policy-setters should be incorporating these sorts of factors into their decisions," he said.

"For parents, traffic pollution is ubiquitous in an urban environment - it is essentially unavoidable.

"The message should go to our planners who might be building childcare centres and schools alongside roads, and children exercising by the street all the time."

Read more:

Pink Batts greatest failure since WWII

THE coalition will introduce a bill calling for a full judicial inquiry into four deaths linked to the federal government's botched home insulation scheme.
An auditor-general's report, released in September, cleared then environment minister Peter Garrett of wrongdoing.

But opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt says a full judicial inquiry is needed because the Australian National Audit Office's report was limited to investigating the department.

Mr Hunt says his motion, to be introduced when parliament resumes in mid-November, would force the government to disclose the "full failure rate" of its $2.5 billion home insulation scheme.

This would compel Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Energy Efficiency Minister Greg Combet to table figures in parliament.

Mr Hunt's private member's bill would also seek a judicial inquiry to establish if there was a link between the program and four deaths, which the auditor-general did not have the power to look into.

"This has been the greatest failure of public policy, in a single program, since the Second World War, in my view, and it must be the subject of a full judicial inquiry," he told Sky News today.

Mr Hunt said he planned to seek the support of independent MPs and an Australian Greens MP, saying he would speak to them individually during the coming fortnight.

"I don't presume their support. I will offer them a chance to have input into the substance of the bill. They will not be given a fait accompli," he said.

"I would hope that the Greens and the independents do support us. I believe that this information should be in the public ... and I do not believe there is any barrier to them supporting us."

Mr Hunt will unveil draft details tomorrow.

Read more:

Cops get handbook for unruly witches

BRITISH police officers on patrol for Halloween celebrations have been armed with a 300-page handbook that includes information on how to deal with unruly witches. 

The handbook - prepared by London's Metropolitan police - contains information and instructions for officers on dealing with followers of various beliefs, including witchery.

The helpful advice warns police officers to be wary of a witch's Book of Shadows, which contains their spells, and to watch out for their ceremonial dagger.

Known as an "athame," the dagger is "not intended to be used as an offensive weapon but might be misinterpreted as such," the handbook explains.

The handbook also contains a glossary of pagan terms and explains the significance of events such as Halloween. It covers a wide range of ideas and beliefs, from atheism Zoroastrianism.

Nine pages of the handbook are dedicated to atheists.
The handbook says that: "Atheists have no dietary requirements other than those of the individual.
There are no designated places of worship. There are no prescribed texts. Atheists have no prayers. [But] be aware that atheists might feel offended by an assumption of faith."

Read more:

Movember is Here!

Hi Guys Movember is here. 

Movember is an annual month-long event involving the growing of moustaches during the month of November. The event has been claimed to have been invented in 1999 by group of Australian men from Adelaide.

My bro in law from Perth in Australia is looking for some sponsors. Even i donated a dollar (im broke)
If you would like to help, or at least look at his attempt on a handlebar moustache, please visit

Also more info on Movember can be found here :

Cheers all.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Facebook Profile Wall of fail for Dominos Pizza

Fans are lashing out out at poor customer service, insurance claims gone wrong and late and cold deliveries on Dominos Pizza' Facebook fan page.

Some example comments:

-The store at bundamba mucks up orders!! bad!! like 6 times in a row thats horrible!!

-This game is bullshit - 0.40 seconds to do the 100m thing? I type 90wpm and can't get it under 9 seconds. What's the point of this if the hackers/gamers can cheat, Dominos?

-Hey! Your Nedlands WA store are rude, abusive, never deliver the correct order and then overcharge for it! Twice!!

-I'm sure your pizza's would be nice if they didn't take 1 hour and 30mins and wre hot

-I ordered 3 pizzas on-line 40 minutes ago , when I got there they said they did not receive the order and I had to wait another 15 minutes...not impress.


It would appear that internet marketing is not cool for your company if your are well hated to begin with.

Read the full complaints list and HAVE YOUR SAY AGAINST POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE  here

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Where tax dollars get wasted- Australian Defence Force paying for boob jobs , sex changes.

THE military is currently considering paying about $10,000 of a sex change operation for a soldier. 
A psychological and medical assessment is being done to find whether military funds can be used as the male officer has a medically diagnosed gender identification issue.

The case follows a complaint by a trans-gender member over moves to discharge him.
The case follows an order by Defence Chief Angus Houston to review the ADF's transgender policies after a transgender member launched a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission over moves to discharge him.

The ADF has previously funded up to a dozen breast augmentation and reduction operations in recent years in which female sailors received funding assistance to address "psychological" issues about breast size and confidence.
A sex change operation, from male to female, can cost up to $30,000 but a female to male operation costs significantly more.
Part of those costs are covered by Medicare, which the ADF steps in to pay if the operation is assessed as necessary for the health and deployability of personnel.

It is understood the soldier is now undergoing hormone injection treatment as preparation for surgery later this year and will be recognised by the ADF as a woman upon returning to work.
In September, Air Chief Marshal Houston issued a directive to commanders to "manage ADF transgender personnel with fairness, respect and dignity, existing medical review provisions; and ensure all personnel are not subject to unacceptable behavior".

Australia Defence Association executive director Neil James said despite the current debate about material support for deployed troops - from boots to bullets - the cost of meeting a transgender operation should "not be cause for public outcry".

"Things like this are so rare in the military, people shouldn't be tied up in knots," Mr James said.
He said Medicare part-funded such operations in the general community where there was a valid medical reason and so it should in the ADF.

An ADF spokesman yesterday would not comment on details but confirmed the sex change surgery was being assessed.

"At this stage, surgery for gender reassignment has not been funded," the spokesman said.
"Treatment for gender disorders involves a variety of clinical investigations and early treatment prior to surgical intervention.
"Approval for medical treatment is given based on a case by case basis and defence operational needs.

"Defence personnel are provided with health care specific to their individual circumstances and the clinical need of the particular medical condition.
"The cost of the medical procedures associated with gender reassignment/realignment will differ depending on the circumstances of the case, the procedures that are being undertaken, and the individuals medical needs.
"Current Defence health policy states that equity with Medicare underpins the basic entitlement to the range of medical services provided to members of the Australian Defence Force."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

NBN batteries to cost $150m a year

PROVIDING back-up batteries for 11 million phone subscribers to the National Broadband Network will cost taxpayers up to $150 million a year. 
Back-up battery units will be made mandatory on the NBN after industry concerns over consumers' ability to place emergency calls during a power outage.

Once the NBN is fully operational, about 2 million to 4 million back-up batteries are expected to be disposed of annually.

The McKinsey-KPMG implementation study into the NBN said it would cost an "additional $90m to $150m each year" to give all phone service users the emergency back-up batteries.

"This estimate is based on a high-quality sealed lead acid battery, which costs approximately $40 and has an operational life of three to five years," the implementation study said.

The price was based on heavily discounted wholesale rates for lead batteries of between 66 per cent and 79 per cent.
The study's $43 billion costing of the NBN did not include the price of a power supply unit to house the batteries. It also advised against mandatory back-up batteries because of the environmental hazards of battery disposal.
NBN Co, the company charged with building the fibre network, initially said back-ups would be optional.

Its own technical documents state that NBN Co would not supply, install or maintain a back-up battery, and that the power supply unit could be ordered as an optional component.

However, the government recently instructed NBN Co to make back-ups mandatory, after industry concerns over the ability to place emergency calls on the NBN during a power outage.
An NBN spokeswoman has confirmed residents would not be slugged with additional fees to purchase back-ups.

"NBN Co has factored the cost of the battery back-up into its business case," she said. "It will come at no cost to end-users.

"Additional details in relation to technical and operational issues are subject to further development by NBN Co, following feedback on the technical specifications. Further information will be released in due course."
The McKinsey study said NBN Co should not be required to provide battery back-ups to all Australians but should "provide a PSU with the option to insert a back-up battery for all FTTP (fibre to the premises) customers".

It warned of potential environmental problems related to the battery program.
"Providing batteries universally would involve disposing of approximately 2-4 million batteries annually," it said. "This could cause an environmental hazard if toxic lead-acid batteries used are not recycled or disposed of safely.

"If a battery back-up approach is pursued, NBN Co should explore available technologies to reduce the cost of the solution, for example, batteries that automatically enter stand-by mode unless a call is in progress."

Taxpayers are expected to pay for about $26bn of the total spending for the planned high-speed broadband project.
The government has yet to respond to the McKinsey report.

Stop selling iPad or pay $800m, Apple told

US high-tech giant Apple has been accused in China of copyright infringement, with a computer screen maker saying it owns the rights to the iPad name in the country. 

Proview Technology Co, Ltd, which is based in the southern city of Shenzhen, registered the iPad trademark in January 2000 and still owns the rights to its use in China, the Beijing News said, citing government archives.

Apple started selling its sleek iPad tablet computer in China last month, after months of grey-market action among avid buyers unwilling to wait for the official launch.

Li Su, a shareholder of Proview Technology, has demanded the California-based Apple "immediately stop its rights infringement activities" and hold fresh negotiations with the Chinese firm, according to the report.

Li threatened that the company would otherwise ask authorities to "seize relevant Apple products", it added.

The two companies held talks previously over the transfer of the trademark but had failed to reach an agreement, the report said.

Li said the reasonable price of the iPad trademark now stood at $US800 million ($A814.17 million).

Yang Rongshan, chairman of Proview Technology's parent company, said that Apple's decision to sell iPad in China was illegal and "arrogant", it said.

Spokesmen at Apple China were not immediately available to comment on the report when contacted by AFP on Wednesday.

Apple in May brought Proview Technology, its parent and affiliate companies as well as Yang to court, demanding that they be forbidden to transfer or sell the trademark to a third party, the Beijing News said.

Indians to Buy Part Of Australian Cricket Team

Cricket Australia is facing its most crucial 48 hours in recent history to combat plans of Indian investors trying to seize a share of our Twenty20 game in the biggest shake-up since Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket.

Reports reveal Australia's most powerful cricket states, New South Wales and Victoria, have already sold shares to giant Indian corporations for around $60 million in return for profits from an IPL-type eight-team tournament to start in Australia in January 2012.
CA board members will meet in Melbourne over the coming days to decide whether to accept private equity from Indian and other overseas investors as part of the ownership structure for each franchise, which could be worth $80 million each in a few seasons, four times their initial value of $20 million each.
Chief executive James Sutherland has described the setting up of the tournament as "the most significant development since World Series Cricket" and is fully aware state bodies have threatened to establish a breakaway competition if the overseas investors are turned away.
"It's a moment as big, if not bigger, than the Kerry Packer moment when his role resulted in one-day international cricket taking off and basically funding the development of Australian and world cricket for 25 or so years," CA spokesman Peter Young said.
NSW Cricket has reportedly set up a separate business entity, known as Blues Inc, to run the state's Twenty20 franchises.
It is understood the Indian investors want a 49 per cent share of the company and have all but signed off on a figure of $30 million.
"The Twenty20 franchises in Australia could eventually be worth $80 million each," said one cricket insider.
"It's a staggering amount of money considering an NRL club like Brisbane Broncos is valued at around $30 million. That's why the Indian corporations are so keen to get involved as an investment.
"One-day cricket is dying, the only Tests people care about are the Ashes and India, and everyone knows Twenty20 is the future of the game."

Twenty20 Revolution

  • Australia's version of IPL will have eight teams
  • Two Sydney, two Melbourne, one Brisbane, one Perth, one Adelaide, one Hobart
  • Teams play each other twice before finals series
  • Tournament will be played over five weeks and will replace one-day games
  • Matches to be televised on Fox Sports and Nine and sold to India and other overseas networks
  • Starts January 2012 at all major city cricket grounds and possibly major regional areas
  • Gaps will be left in Australia's Test calendar to ensure all superstars will be available
  • Huge money will be offered by franchise owners to attract overseas stars
  • Sponsors will be offered naming rights of teams
  • Franchises will initially operate under a salary cap of between $2 million and $2.6 million
The Australian tournament will involve eight teams, two each from NSW and Victoria, and one from each of the other states. It will feature all of Australia's current stars and retired champions like Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath.
Overseas stars from India, England, West Indies and South Africa will also be offered mega-contracts to play in a tournament that will replace the traditional one-day cricket over January and February.
NSW cricket chief executive Dave Gilbert would not return text messages or phone calls on Wednesday night to discuss selling 49 per cent to Indian interests.
NSW and Victorian administrators are understod to have been secretly negotiating with the Indian companies, through a prominent middle man, for 12 months.
"The states have taken it upon themselves because they believe Cricket Australia has been too slow to embrace the game," one source said.
"All cricket's research shows the major proportion of people who watch the game are males over 45.
"They can't connect with women and kids. The states - and their investors - obviously feel they can through Twenty20 cricket, but they are not prepared to just sit back and wait while Cricket Australia has done very little about it."
Sutherland said getting the big decisions right to set up the Big Bash League (BBL) will be one of the most important moments in Australian cricket history.
"If we get BBL right, it will have a significant role to play in cricket continuing to be a major Australian sport," Sutherland said.
Cricket Australia's AGM on Thursday will include a detailed presentation on the Big Bash League.
Around 50 senior officials from Australian cricket will be at the AGM, including all 14 directors (who represent the six state cricket associations who set up CA), the State Cricket Association chief executives, Sutherland and his senior management team.
Following the AGM, the future of Twenty20 will be the major item up for discussion at a board meeting.
A NSW official, who asked not to be identified, said CA is under massive pressure to accept private investors.
"The door to private investment was opened four years ago via the Indian Premier League and this has seen an influx of funds into the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) coffers whilst other countries simply provide their players and support this revenue growth in the process," the official said.
"While India has thrived, Cricket Australia's revenues have taken a hit given the GFC, the strength of the Australian dollar, with less tourists coming, and declining gates.
"Cricket needs an injection of capital that will allow it to compete for the younger audience and women the game desperately needs."

Man who claims to have found Chaplin 'time-traveller' says Chuck Norris not responsible

IF Chuck Norris scissor kicked a hole in the space-time continuum, why hasn't Jean Claude Van Damme patched it up? 

It's these types of questions that have helped made this week possibly the weirdest in George Clarke's life to date.

As the man who claims he's spotted a time traveller in 1928 footage of a Hollywood premiere, Mr Clarke is the latest toast of the online world.

The footage - which appears to show an old woman talking on a mobile phone - was taken at the launch of a Charlie Chaplin film, The Circus, and features in the Extras section of a DVD release of the movie.
Since posting his narration of the footage on YouTube along with his claims that time travelling can be the only explanation, Mr Clarke's star is rising.
Hits for the YouTube video doubled overnight to more than a million, with viewer responses evenly divided between amazement and scorn.
"The biggest surprise I've gotten from the public is the fact that some forums and threads have been going strong for the whole week," Mr Clarke told
"They are still discussing the footage, still sending me theories, and I mean thousands and thousands."
Time Traveller 3
Did this woman stumble through a space-time continuum created by a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick?

Mr Clarke said he was happy to answer his critics and took some time to respond to readers' comments, which mainly fell into four variations:
The "no mobile towers or satellites" comment
Matt - "No cell towers means no phones....idiots!"
George Clarke - "Well, the no cell towers theory lets me see how small-minded a lot of people can be in relation to the subject. The fact that the video is focusing on what could be a time traveller, should instantly point out that if that someone had the technology and ability to do so, then they would also have the technology to communicate without the needs we have today for mobile networks."

The "why release it now" comment
Nick - "This guy says he had the footage a year ago...yet he's just showing it now?"
George Clarke - "When I first saw the footage, I was more or less happy enough to show it to family and friends to get their views and enjoy their reactions on the piece. This went on for some time, then at my film festival in August I screened to an audience of 100 and again, got the same reactions. I'm a busy boy with my own films, festivals and such, and was always hoping to get something made for Youtube a lot sooner, but only last week - at 1:30am - was I able to do so."

The “good question”
Les - "if you could time travel, why would waste your time at a Charlie Chaplin premiere?"
George Clarke - "Who says the person in question went back to see the Chaplin premiere? How about, the person went back to an earlier period and got stuck there or was in town doing something else and just happened to stroll on by?"

The “CGI” comment
Alf - "I own the same box set he shows in the clip. I have watched the extra's portion of The Circus and regret to advise the lady isn't there. It seems the lady was added by computer graphic imagery by someone in 2010 and agree with the comment that this was done as publicity to promote the filmmaker. Please note if you look at the supposed lady on mobile phone, you can see through her. Her image on film has a slight ghostly effect. She was added into the film."

George Clarke - "Alf obviously has a different version of the release. The extra feature in question is the 1928 Hollywood Premiere. It's on my DVD and a number of others from those who have contacted me. In fact, one of those other people put the full six-minute premiere footage on Youtube available through my account as a favourite. I can assure you that I didn't personally add anything - if I did, why would I hold up the cover, point out the DVD label and urge people to get their own? As for the guys that released the film, I honestly wouldn't think they would go to so much trouble for a two-second clip. So as for the ghostly effect - well, I can only say it strengthens the mystery of the visitor."

Mr Clarke says he hasn't had any feedback about the footage from anyone who might have been close to the original production, but with it spreading through Hollywood "like wildfire", he expected something soon.
Until then, the prize for the best theory comes from Gully Bill, who suggests that Chuck Norris "scissor kicked a hole in the space-time continuum and the old lady just walked on through on the way to the shops".

However, Mr Clarke thinks he's probably learnt enough about time travel this week to provide a plausible explanation for Norrisites.
"Why hasn't Jean Claude Van Damme went after her and 'timecopped' her ass back to where she belongs?" he said.
"It's possible Chuck messed up, and who knows, if he reads this he just might step up and admit to it."

Read more:

Australian tourism in 'identity crisis'

AUSTRALIA'S tourism marketing is not on the right track, one of the world's most successful tour entrepreneurs has told an international conference in Queensland. 

Bruce Poon Tip, who began Gap Adventures with nothing but a credit card and some space in his garage in Canada, believes the campaigns by Tourism Australia (TA) have lacked identity since the "golden age'' of Paul Hogan throwing a shrimp on the barbie.
Mr Tip, Wednesday's keynote speaker at the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference at Noosa, said TA's new campaign, There's Nothing Like Australia, is not much better than the disastrous Where The Bloody Hell Are You effort.

"Paul Hogan was such an everyman to everybody and I know you guys don't really put shrimps on barbies, but when you look past that he gave Australia an identity, and I just think there's been an identity crisis ever since,'' he since.

Paul Hogan
Poster from past Australian tourism campaign featuring actor PaulHogan and 'put another shrimp on the

"I just thought the new campaign was very insular and very patriotic.
"It was shot beautifully and I was amazed at how beautiful it looked, but as an outsider I didn't find it very compelling.

"If you're going for domestic tourism amongst Australians I think it was one of the best I've ever seen, but in terms of what international tourists are looking for in a campaign I don't know if that would make me want to come to Australia.
"It was a real flag-waving patriotic look at the beautiful people of Australia and how they view their country, and I don't know if that's going to attract international tourists.''
Mr Tip told the conference Australia had many problems in the field of tourism, but most of them were "good'' problems.

"You have so many assets - Australia has such diverse terrain and ecosystems on different coasts, it has beaches, different forests, skiing, and it has food and wine,'' he said.
"It's a very good problem for the tourist board to have when they're trying to find an identity for the tourism market.''

Read more:

Refund after 'horror' flight next to obese woman

AN airline has given a woman a full flight refund and promised to overhaul staff training after she was forced to sit next to an overweight passenger who spilled into half of her seat. 

Janet Ogilvie said she was faced with the awkward situation on a Porter Airlines flight from Halifax, Canada to Ottawa on September 5 this year.

Ms Ogilvie said she went to her seat to find an obese woman, who was assigned to a window seat, spilling over into half of her aisle seat, the Ottawa Citizen reports.
She claims the woman's spine was where the middle armrest comes down, and the woman also needed a belt extender to buckle up.

With no other empty seats available, Ms Ogilvie wedged herself into the 25 centimetres that were left of her seat for the one hour and forty-five minute trip.
She said she was essentially sitting on her right hip the entire journey.
"I couldn't put my left shoulder back because she was there... I was pressed up tight against her for the whole flight," Ms Ogilvie said.

Porter Airlines initially refused a refund when she complained about the situation, offering her a $100 credit card voucher instead.

"It was a terribly unpleasant experience, made worse by the fact that Porter is basically saying: 'That's your problem, not ours'.

"I don't think it's my problem that I paid for a seat and Porter gave it away to this other person."
However Ms Oglive continued to protest the situation, eventually winning a full refund of $200.
Porter Airlines Chief Executive Robert Deluce promised her that the airline's crew will be better trained "to proactively assess and immediately attempt to rectify any situation that could lead to what you encountered".

Read more:

Don't listen to iPods, attack victim warns

THE victim of a Melbourne sexual assault has urged other women not to daydream while listening to their MP3 players. 

The 25-year-old victim, "Kate", was walking home alone from the Windsor train station down busy Alma Road in St Kilda when she was attacked between 9.30pm and 9.50pm (AEDT) on Sunday, October 10.

An unknown man approached her from behind, knocked her to the ground and sexually assaulted her for between one and two minutes just 100 metres from her home.
The woman said she was not paying attention to her surroundings because she was listening to music at the time.

"I definitely don't want to listen to my iPod anymore, I was listening to my iPod and in my thoughts I was already at home so I didn't pay attention," she told reporters.
"It's a very bad idea, because you listen to the songs that you like, you're thinking a

"That's something that has changed now, when I am walking on the street now I was always pay attention to what's happening around me."

A car driving past disturbed the man, who was last seen fleeing towards Chapel Street.
Kate is a tourist who has been living in Australia for about 18 months and plans to spend another six months here, but did not want to reveal which country she was from.

"It doesn't matter if I'm going to go back to my home country or go to another country or stay here, it's always going to stay with me this thing, I can't escape from it," she said.
Detective Senior Constable Rob Keleher from the Moorabbin Sexual Offence Unit described the attack as "terrible and brazen" and urged any witnesses or anyone with information to come forward.

"The fact that she went to ground is worrying, it was on a busy road, with pedestrian and vehicular traffic, and was brazen, we're hoping someone else has seen something happen," he told reporters.
Police have released a computer-generated image of the man.
He is described as caucasian, aged in his 30s, about 180cm tall with a medium build and has ginger facial hair.
He was wearing prescription glasses, a white cap, blue T-shirt and beige shorts.

ATO evacuated after powder scare

HUNDREDS of workers have been evacuated from an Australian Taxation Office (ATO) building in Sydney's west after a letter containing suspicious powder was received. 

The letter was opened in the mailroom of the Penrith premises about 8.20am (AEST) on Thursday, police said.

An unidentified powder was found inside the envelope, prompting employees to raise the alarm.
More than 800 workers were evacuated from the building and mailroom staff were quarantined.
Police, ambulance and a Hazmat team from the NSW Fire Brigades attended the scene.
A fire brigades spokesman said later the mailroom employees had shown no signs of illness.
Forensic teams had not yet determined what the powder was but employees were allowed to return to work.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Escaped buffalo in swimming pool

A NORTH Georgia man said he and his wife found a neighbour's buffalo in their swimming pool. 

Chris Nonnemaker said he and his wife noticed two holes in the pool's cover and went outside to take a look yesterday morning in White County. Mr Nonnemaker said they noticed something moving. When he pulled the pool cover back, Mr Nonnemaker saw a buffalo that had escaped from a neighbour's home.

Mr Nonnemaker called police and videotaped the animal's rescue, which involved ropes to help coax the buffalo out near the shallow end.

Deputies said the buffalo belonged to a neighbour and escaped with two others weeks ago. They said those two were caught shortly after they got away.

The owners of the buffalo that was in the pool decided to put the animal down.

Read more:

tattooist charged over penis tattoo on man's back

A 21-year-old Queensland man has been charged by police in Ipswich for allegedly tattooing a penis on a man's back - instead of the image he had requested. 

The 25-year-old victim had been visiting the man, a professional tattooist, at his home in Bundamba last Wednesday when he was talked into getting a tattoo, The Courier-Mail said.

He wanted a yin and yang symbol with some dragons, but was instead shocked to discover the 40cm tattoo was of a penis with an obscene slogan.

The key word in the slogan was also misspelled.
The man now faces considerable cost to have the image removed.

Police said the tattooing followed an argument between the men, during which the professional tattooist allegedly took offence at something the other man said.
The victim has also alleged he was punched and thrown out of the house following the tattooing.

The 21-year-old is due to appear in Ipswich Magistrates Court on November 15 charged with two counts of assault occasioning bodily harm and one charge relating to the Public Safety Act.

Unlicenced driver jailed for belting cyclist in road rage incident

A TERRIFYING road rage attack in Victoria, during which a cyclist was chased down and belted in the face, has ended in jail for an unlicensed driver. 

A Geelong court heard the victim, David Rourke, needed facial reconstruction surgery to have four titanium plates inserted after the ordeal, the Geelong Advertiser said.
Mr Rourke also underwent dental reconstruction.

The court heard Mr Rourke's attacker, Trevor Jones, had prior convictions dating from 1986, including a charge of assault with a weapon in 2007 for another road rage incident.

A suspended jail sentence imposed on Jones had only just expired at the time of his attack on Mr Rourke.
Jones, 46, of Oberon Drive, Belmont, pleaded guilty in Geelong Magistrates' Court yesterday to charges of recklessly causing serious injury, unlicensed driving and driving an unregistered car.

Police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Kerrie Moroney said the attack happened about 10.30am on May 23, when Jones was driving west in Reserve Rd, Grovedale.

"As he accelerated into the intersection of Torquay Rd, he almost collided with a cyclist," Sen-Constable Moroney said. "The victim gave Jones 'the bird' and rode off.

"Jones then drove after the victim, passed him and stopped in front.
"He got out of his car and walked back to the victim, who veered to try and avoid him.
"Jones then struck the victim to the face causing his nose to bleed heavily."

The prosecutor said the victim sat by his bike waiting for assistance while Jones got back in his car and drove off.
"Jones was later identified following a public appeal for witnesses," Senior-Constable Moroney said.

Read more:

Coles $10 Meal a shonk - LG, CBA Nurofen also named

A $10 meal for four that actually costs $30, a credit card that makes you spend $12,000 for a $20 reward and olive oil that is anything but virgin have all netted Shonky Awards from consumer watchdog Choice. 

bizmoney curtis stone 20101026
Celebrity chef Curtis Stone in the kitchen at Sun Studios, Alexandria in Sydney / Supplied Source:

The Coles "Under $10 meal promotion", fronted by celebrity chef Curtis Stone, was singled out for failing to include all the ingredients in the price of its budget meals that are supposed to feed a family of four.
"If you include the uncosted 'pantry items' (including 3/4 bottle of wine) in Curtis' $7.76 Coq au vin it would actually cost more than $30," Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn said.

"The deal claims you can feed four people for less than $10. The catch is you have to already happen to have some of the ingredients in your pantry, which aren't included in the price.”

The Commonwealth Bank was given a Shonky for its "poor and sneaky" Awards Program that provides a $20 flight reward only after the customer has spent more than $12,000 in a year.
"(T)he way the awards points are converted to Qantas Frequent Flyer points is a low-flying jest," Mr Zinn said.
"One point only equals half of one frequent flyer and that salient fact is hidden away in some mighty small print."
Another Shonky winner was a range of olive oil brands that falsely said they were "extra virgin".
"Choice tested 28 brands of extra virgin olive oil and found half were nothing of the sort due to poor storage," Mr Zinn said.
"The mainly Mediterranean manufacturers' cried foul blaming everyone else in the supply chain.
"But consumers still aren't always getting true extra virgin quality at the point of sale, despite paying a premium.
"Ultimately, Choice wants "extra virgin" to be regulated under the Food Standards Code with mandatory requirements that all olive oils labelled 'extra virgin' meet basic purity and quality standards for the duration of their expected shelf life, as well as carry a suitable date so that consumers are able to choose the freshest oils."
Another product, Nurofen, earned a Shonky for labelling certain products as being for specific types of pain - and charging a premium - when in fact the ingredients were identical.
"The shonkiest aspect of this type of marketing is that the fast-acting painkillers labeled for specific pain types are more expensive," Mr Zinn said.

Appliance manufacturer LG were given a Shonky for claiming one of their fridges was more energy efficient that it was.
"LG have form for getting their stars mixed up in the past both washing machines and air conditioners have had their energy efficiencies overstated," Mr Zinn said.

Choice was also unimpressed with the Power Balance band which claimed to promote natural energy flow.
Mr Zinn said the product was "simply just a rubber band bracelet with a plastic hologram".
A rope by company Medalist was named and shamed for creating a product that looked like a proper climbing rope but was too weak.

And a website,, was named for secretly signing up customers without their knowledge and then charging them $144 for a minimum one-year subscription.

"This is the fifth year of the Shonky's and you'd think most companies would be doing their best to ensure they're delivering good honest products and services," Mr Zinn said.
"Yet year after year we're continually amazed by marketers' efforts to take Australians for a ride."

Boy ,11, goes for joyride, returns without car.

AN 11-year-old boy who went missing for 11 hours after driving off in his family's car yesterday was safely back with his family today, police said. 

The boy left his Mt Druitt home, in the west of Sydney, between 9am and 9.30am yesterday at the wheel of his family's white Nissan sedan.

He was seen driving erratically on the city's outskirts, a number of motorists told police, but authorities were not able to find him until he was eventually spotted about 8.30pm last night.
The boy was safe and well, police said, and he was released without charge into the care of his family.

The car was still missing.

Read more:

Shoes, Hicks interview and heckles thrown at former PM John Howard

FORMER prime minister John Howard has had shoes thrown at him during an episode of the ABC's Q&A. 

In echoes of the infamous incident in which former US president George Bush had two shoes thrown at him during a trip to Iraq in 2008, Mr Howard came under attack as he defended Australia's involvement in the war.

After explaining that he supported the US-led invasion based on the intelligence available at the time, Mr Howard was approached by the protester who removed his shoes and threw them in his direction.

As they failed to hit their target, the man shouted words to the effect: "That is for Iraqi dead."
A female audience member then shouted: "You've got blood on your hands", before walking out of the studio.
The man was led away by ABC staff

Mr Howard appeared unfazed.
"It's all right, don't worry. Forget it, forget it. Relax," he said, turning to show host Tony Jones.
An audience member then told Mr Howard "if that's all they've got to throw at you, you've got nothing to worry about".
Speaking on the ABC's Lateline immediately after Q&A, Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce said someone like Mr Howard would always divide opinion.
"He's a dynamic character, one of the greatest prime ministers this nation will ever see," Senator Joyce said.
"And people who are dynamic and people who have presence will always have the people who love them and the people who dislike them.

"And every crowd's got a fool and you had one their in your studio tonight."
It's not the first time Mr Howard has had shoes thrown at him.

He reportedly had a Doc Martin boot hurled at him as he prepared to deliver a speech to Cambridge University in 2009.

During Monday night's television appearance Mr Howard backed current federal Liberal leader Tony Abbott to lead the party into the next election, saying he had earned the right.
"I think Tony Abbott has earned right to lead the Liberal party without challenge," Mr Howard told the audience.

In a pre-taped video aired during the show, Australian-born former Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks asked him why his government had allowed him to be detained for five-and-a-half years.
"David Hicks trained with the Taliban, David Hicks was associated with groups that were behaving in a manner that was completely opposed to the interests of this country," Mr Howard said.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Fear for country ghost towns in rural NSW under Murray-Darling Basin Authority

SOME of NSW's most famous country towns are at risk of becoming ghost towns if water cuts proposed by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority go ahead, according to the nation's peak farming body. 

According to the authority's latest report, the proposed Basin-wide water cut would have the biggest impact on NSW towns and rural communities around Hay, Balranald, Jerilderie, Leeton and Hillston in the state's south and west, and Lightning Ridge, Moree, Walgett, Narrabri and Wee Waa in the northwest, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The authority proposed an average water cut of 27 to 37 per cent - higher in some regions - which would return between 3000 and 4000 gigalitres of water to the river.

While a "significant number" of Basin communities showed a "low to moderate" level of vulnerability to changes in current diversion limits, several communities showed a "very high vulnerability", the report said.
A map demonstrating current community vulnerability before water cuts showed towns including Orange, Forbes, Cowra, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Albury-Wodonga and Temora are less vulnerable to cuts to water allocations.

However, towns and communities further west and further north of Sydney are much more vulnerable to cuts.
"Communities that show higher vulnerability to reductions in current diversion limits have a combination of higher sensitivity to changes in water use (ie, they have a very high dependence on water for agriculture and high agri-industry employment) and more limited levels of adaptive capacity ... compared with other Basin regions," the report said.

Acting chief executive of the National Farmers' Federation, Denita Wawn, said the authority - which is an independent body - had not done enough research into how communities would be impacted by water reductions, and said "there's a potential" towns could become ghost towns.

"The cuts were far more widespread and more significant across valleys than anticipated," Ms Wawn said.
"They're just wanting to cut the hearts of these towns. The authority needs to go back and do its sums."

Read more:

Two dead in bizarre 'ninja bike' shooting in Winnipeg

POLICE in Winnipeg warned residents to lock themselves in their homes on Sunday as they searched for a man who shot dead two people and injured a third in a bizarre shooting spree. 

Local media reported that the suspect was believed to have shot at his victims from a bicycle, using a sawed-off shotgun.
Police spokesman Jason Michalyshen told the Winnipeg Free Press that citizens should not open doors to unexpected visitors.
"It seems to be random shootings in the North End," Michalyshen told reporters. "We don't know where this individual is at this point. This is a very serious incident. It is unique and very unfortunate."
One witness told the paper the shooter was dressed as "a ninja".

Read more:

Live blog with former prime minister John Howard TODAY 12.30PM EST

WITH the publication of John Howard's autobiography, Lazarus Rising, The Australian is giving you a chance to join in a live Q & A session with Howard on Monday October 25 from 12.30pm to 1.30pm.
No prime minister of modern times has reshaped Australia and its place in the world as forcefully as John Howard. Despite an early meteoric rise to become Australia’s treasurer at just 38, the self-described economic radical and social conservative found himself sidelined by his own party.

After many years in the political wilderness, Howard bounced back, led the Coalition to a resounding victory, then got to work on his reform agenda. The Howard government privatised Telstra, dismantled excessive union power and compulsory trade union membership, instituted the unpopular goods and services tax, trimmed the public service, reduced government expenditure and established the ‘work for the dole’ scheme.

For an opportunity to ‘chat’ with Howard click here

Getting a divorce? Stay off Facebook

A MOTHER in the middle of a custody dispute has been caught boasting on her Facebook page how she thought about ripping her husband off for another $20,000. 

"Felt like being a smart arse," she wrote, signing off "Bwahahaha lol."

Lawyers are now advising their clients locked in Family Court fights to take down their Facebook pages as the networking site has become both the latest weapon and target for warring spouses.

In one case a woman discovered her husband was a bigamist when she was tipped off to look at wedding photographs of him with another bride on the other woman's Facebook page.

In another case a husband discovered he had been set up by his wife with a woman he thought he met on an internet site. He discovered the woman was a "friend" on his wife's Facebook page.

"I tell my clients just don't bloody do it, don't be silly" family law expert Michael Taussig QC said.
The woman who boasted she had thought about dragging out the Family Court case to cost her ex-husband an extra $20,000 in legal bills found it backfired on her.

Justice James Barry granted custody of the two children, aged nine and eight, to their father with the mother getting visiting rights.

He then ordered the mother to pay $15,000 of her ex-husband's estimated $35,000 legal bill, saying the mother's behaviour had been the "stuff of nightmares".

She had already strung the case out by falsely claiming her ex-husband had been sexually assaulting their children after one judgment went against her.

Then she falsely claimed the father's new wife had been assaulting them.
"The mother has over the years attempted to manipulate the court system," Justice Barry said.

Read more:

Woman with $32 000 in parking fines lashes out at critics

PARKING cheat Melissa Jaworski has achieved cult status on social networking site Facebook, with 251 requests for friends. 

But Ms Jaworski appears to be upset by her new-found fame achieved when the Geelong Advertiser revealed she had racked up $32,105 in warrants after ignoring 152 parking fines from the City of Greater Geelong with a scathing post on her Facebook page that was also emailed to the newspaper.

"To everyone that is abusing me on the Geelong Addy website, how about get your facts straight before commenting on the situation and to the Geelong Addy how about get f****d for stealing my personal picture off Facebook to publish without my permission," the post said.

"And to all the losers inboxing me how about get a f***ing life. 251 friend requests. How f***ing pathetic."

The story of the Geelong woman's massive bill, which could see her in debt to the court for almost 12 years after she reached an agreement with the sheriff to pay the fines at $150 each fortnight, has captured the attention of the national press. Online bloggers and forum users have also run the story, with many marvelling at how a 21-year-old woman managed to accumulate so many fines in about two years.
Addy readers were divided on the story, with Ms Jaworski's supporters saying she was not to blame for the fines.
"It disappoints me to see that small-minded people are so quick to judge without facts," Terrie wrote.

"The fines were only accumulated due to poor parking conditions in Geelong city."

Claire Dumont, of St Leonards, said everyone made mistakes.

"As Terrie said, Geelong has terrible parking conditions, anyone who is local here knows that," she wrote. "If you work in Geelong CBD, it is almost impossible to find a park some days.

"There are people out there who are struggling with life, people who get bashed and murdered and raped and you are all concerned with some parking fines?"
But others had little sympathy for Ms Jaworski.

"My daughter works in the city of Geelong and never gets booked and she parks on public streets," Peter, of Geelong, wrote. "I guess the difference is she abides by the law the person whom the story is about does not. Simple really."
Attempts by the Geelong Advertiser to contact Ms Jaworski for comment failed.

For local updates and to see that picture of Ms Jaworski, visit the Geelong Advertiser.

Read more:

Man ties himself to Brisbane ferry terminal as CBD shut due to 'bomb threat'

SERVICES at an inner city Brisbane wharf have been suspended and part of the city closed after a man dressed in black threatening self-harm tied himself up to the ferry terminal.
Police set up a 100-metre exclusion zone at the Eagle St Pier on Brisbane River, after being alerted about 6am (AEST).

The riverside walkway, Eagle St pier, riverside ferry terminals, along with the Eagle St city are and the Brisbane River between Holman and Thorton Sts, are all closed.

No further information was available, however The Courier-Mail reported the man allegedly threatened to blow up a boat. Sky News later said a yacht was the intended target.

Police negotiators were being brought in to speak to the man - believed to be aged in his fifties - who was "having a few issues", an officer said.

Buses are running for CityCat and ferry commuters who need to get to Eagle St from the nearest stops at QUT and Sydney St.

Read more: