Gai Waterhouse and John Singleton feud ends at Magic Millions

Reconciled: John Singleton and Gai Waterhouse. Photo: Vince CaligiuriThe spat between Australia’s most recognisable trainer, Gai Waterhouse, and racing’s larrikin owner John Singleton has ended, with the pair publicly reconciling at the Magic Millions sales on the Gold Coast this week.
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Almost two years after they had a bitter falling out over the More Joyous saga, Waterhouse and Singleton have presented a united public front at the Magic Millions sales where the trainer purchased a More Than Ready colt from Singleton’s Strawberry Hill Stud draft on Thursday.

And after Waterhouse shelled out $150,000 for the yearling, the pair hinted at again racing horses together in the future.

“It was a lovers tiff,” Waterhouse told News Limited. “I was very sad when it happened and I am very pleased he apologised and we have moved on.”

Singleton said in his mind it was as if the feud “didn’t happen” and labelled it a “domestic tiff across 23 front pages”.

At its height the More Joyous fallout had Waterhouse labelling Singleton “a sham” and “a drunk” after the advertising mogul lashed out following his star mare’s unplaced effort in the All Aged Stakes in 2013, ultimately the last run of her career.

Singleton went on national television shortly after the race and said Waterhouse’s bookmaking son Tom had told acquaintances More Joyous was not fit enough to win the All Aged Stakes before removing all the horses he owned in Waterhouse’s stable from Tulloch Lodge the next morning.

Tom Waterhouse was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing.

Singleton was later hauled before the most highly documented stewards inquiry in Australian racing history after being charged with “conduct prejudicial to the image, or interests, or welfare of racing”. He later apologised for his comments and was fined $15,000.

Stewards slapped Waterhouse with two charges for failing to report More Joyous was treated with an antibiotic for some heat in her neck in the lead-up to the race and for having failed to keep a record of treatments administered to a horse.

She was fined $7000 on both counts, but eventually had the penalty overturned and her name cleared at the Racing Appeals Tribunal.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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Retailers in the frontline of wage talks

Wage negotiations loom as a major hurdle for some of the country’s biggest retail and banking companies in the coming year, sparking calls for restraint from unions over pay claims.
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An analysis of government data reveals agreements covering more than 800,000 workers are up for negotiation this year. Once deals that are still under negotiation are added in, the conditions for more than 1 million Australians are scheduled to be settled this year.

Effectively the only time when industrial action is permitted under the current workplace laws is during the pay talks, meaning the negotiations are a delicate issue for businesses to manage.

Retailers Woolworths (across its supermarkets, Dan Murphy’s and Big W outlets), Coles, David Jones, Billabong, Luxxotica, Prouds and the Super Retail Group are all expected to tie up new deals in 2015 covering well over 200,000 workers. Unlike the other retailers, which are anticipating the expiry of agreements, the deal covering supermarkets at Coles expired in the middle of last year and it is yet to reach an agreement.

A spokesman for Coles said the supermarket agreement was in the process of being signed off and was expected to be in place early this year but declined to discuss specifics.

The big banks also have deals to get through. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (52,000 employees) is due to negotiate with its workforce by the middle of the year, Westpac’s deal expires at the end of December, while the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, similar to Coles, is still in talks over an agreement.

Also due to sit down with their employees as current deals expire are telecommunications rivals Telstra Corporation and Optus, insurers QBE, IAG and the newly privatised Medibank, Seven Network, Healthscope (In NSW) and CSL.

Last year, the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA), the union representing retail workers,  flagged a 5 per cent per annum increase claim for the 80,000 strong workforce at Coles.

The SDA was unavailable for comment on Thursday.

For Woolworths the talks will come after its total wage bill came to $7.3 billion in 2014, an increase of more than 4 per cent on the previous year.

“We have a good working relationship with the SDA and we are both eager for positive negotiations on these agreements.  We will not canvas our position at this time, and will talk directly with the union and our staff,” a spokesman said.

The deals for the grocery giants help set benchmarks for the broader sector. The negotiations will take place against a backdrop of agitation for reform from the broader business community and a Productivity Commission inquiry into industrial relations.

The government already has legislation that would allow employers greater scope to negotiate penalty rates, but it is stalled in the Senate due to questions over the support from  cross-bench senators.

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Kate Carnell said unions needed to be mindful of the ability of companies to pay, especially in areas under pressure.

“There are not too many companies that I know of that are in a position to pay more than CPI,” she said.

Ms Carnell said it should also be noted that automation was increasingly an option in the face of expensive labour, particularly in retail.

“It is really important that unions take that into account, you don’t want to price yourself out of the market. There are already queues at self-service aisles,” she said.

It was crucial the government made the stalled legislation over individual flexibility a priority in the new year.

Australian Retailers’ Association chief executive Russell Zimmerman also warned that  higher wages could mean fewer jobs.

“The unions have got to understand that the more retailers get wage pressures on them, the more they’re going to look at how they’re going to reduce their costs,” he said.

“The one thing you can do something about is your wages, and look at how you can employ less people.”

ACTU president Ged Kearney said wages growth was at a 17-year low and many workers were struggling.

“Despite this fact, employers and the Abbott Government are trying to drive down wages even further by targeting penalty rates via the Productivity Commission and review of modern awards,” she said.

A spokeswoman for CBA said negotiations have yet to begin with the union, but the bank has been operating on yearly negotiations for the past several years.

CBA has two major themes in its negotiations that it intends to carry over into the new agreement. The first is around flexibility in the workforce and the other is amalgamating their workforce into a single, group-wide agreement, which they have had some success with in the past.

A spokesman for IAG said negotiations would not start until late 2015, and it was too early to discuss what the company may push for.

A spokesman for Telstra was also unable discuss what they will be putting on the table for their new EA.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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Jedinak warns Kuwaitis can’t be taken for granted in tournament opener

Asian Cup interactive: A guide to all the teams
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The social media stars of the Asian Cup

Asian Cup 2015 quiz: Test your knowledge

KUWAIT are the rank outsiders, but Australian captain Mile Jedinak has played down expectations they will be swept aside on Friday night in the Asian Cup opener.

The Socceroos carry the weight of a nation’s expectations into the match, as well as firm favouritism.

Coach Ange Postecoglou has had 14 months at the helm of the Socceroos, including a World Cup campaign, saying all has been focused on the Asian Cup. But captain Jedinak warned that did not translate into certain victory.

‘‘They are a handful,’’ he said.

‘‘We know they’re very quick on the break. Their wide players are very tricky going forward. We’re going to have our work cut out.

He refused to nominate Australia’s chief rivals for the cup, saying that beating the Kuwaitis was his sole focus.

‘‘Our biggest rival is Kuwait,’’ he said. ‘‘Plain and simple. There’s no looking too far ahead.

‘‘I won’t allow myself to do it; I won’t allow my teammates to do it too much. We’ve had a lot to look at, a lot to digest and a lot to practise towards. That’s all coming to a head now.’’

Australia have a poor record against the Gulf state, winning just once in their past six matches.

Their last meeting was in a qualifier for the 2011 tournament, drawn 2-2 in Kuwait City.

Jedinak was the only outfield player in the current squad to play in that match.

‘‘Our team’s changed a lot since then, as I’m sure theirs has,’’ the captain said.

The veteran of Australia’s 2011 Asian Cup campaign, which ended in a final loss to Japan, preferred to draw on the memories of that Socceroos campaign.

‘‘It was a great tournament for us,’’ he said.

‘‘As a group, we grew. We didn’t get the final result we wanted, but you’ve got to use that as motivation.’’

Kuwaiti coach Nabil Maaloul made it clear all the pressure was on Australia.

Maaloul engaged in some mind games at his official match-eve media conference in Melbourne, suggesting Australia’s host-nation status could burden the Socceroos.

‘‘The match is difficult for the Australian team as it’s the opening match,’’ Maaloul said through an interpreter.

Maaloul, more comfortable speaking in his native Arabic, refused to give much away about his underdogs.

Asked if Kuwait would try to attack the Australians or defend deep and rely on counter-attacks, Maaloul replied: ‘‘I’m sorry. I can’t answer your question precisely. But it was a good question.’’

Maaloul took over as Kuwait’s coach last month after the previous manager was sacked following poor results at the Gulf Cup.

Maaloul has had just one match in charge and acknowledged his preparation had been rushed for a game against an Australian side he described as a ‘‘strong team … powerful, with disciplined defence’’.

‘‘The period is very short in preparation as I started coaching just on December 18,’’ he said.

‘‘But they quickly adapted to my way of training, although this match is difficult.’’

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We’ve all ‘committed to Blatter’ at FIFA election, not Prince Ali: Sheikh Ahmad

The most influential powerbroker in Asian football, Kuwait’s Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, has revealed he will defy his “brother” Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein to back Sepp Blatter for another term as FIFA president – and that he expects nations across Asia to follow suit.
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Speaking exclusively to Fairfax Media, the head of the Olympic Council of Asia was adamant that Blatter had earned the right to extend his tenure to a fifth term, the first of which came in 1998.

The news is a significant blow to the ambitions of the Jordanian challenger, who only announced his plan to run for the top position this week and has not yet spoken publicly beyond his initial announcement on Twitter.

“I am with Blatter and I say that openly – I was actually surprised that Prince Ali even announced himself as a candidate,” Sheikh Ahmad said on Thursday night. “I respect Prince Ali as a brother but, as one man in Asia, I wish Blatter to have one more term when the general assembly is held in Kuala Lumpur [this May].

“I say that by myself, for Kuwait, that I will ask president Blatter to run for another four years. This is a commitment from my football federation, from my country, and if I don’t respect my commitment and continue with that, then nobody would respect us. That’s why we’re going with Blatter.”

Despite having only one vote, it is no secret the 51-year old has supplanted banned Qatari Mohamed Bin Hammam as Asia’s most powerful voice, one that many of region’s member nations – particularly in the Arab world – will be inclined to follow.

Sheikh Ahmad confirmed that his close Bahraini ally, Asian Football Confederation president Sheikh Salman Bin Ibrahim Al-Khalifa, would also honour his commitment to vote for Blatter.

“Salman already committed this in the Philippines [during the AFC awards night in November], before Prince Ali showed his interest,” he said. “All of us have committed to Blatter before Prince Ali showed his interest.”

These revelations came barely hours after a statement from the Oceania Football Confederation, which, at the conclusion of their annual congress, issued a press release saying “a resolution unanimously supporting FIFA president Joseph S Blatter in his bid for re-election was supported by a letter signed by all 11 OFC member associations.”

It’s a sizeable blow to Prince Ali, with much of Africa already committed to Blatter’s cause. While most of UEFA will vote in the 39-year-old’s favour, he would need to convince virtually all of the nations of North America and South America if he was any chance of ending Blatter’s 17-year reign.

The outspoken Sheikh Ahmad – who has led the OCA for 24 years – made headlines in 2006 for wanting Australia’s newly created membership of the AFC to be revoked but he says those comments were misunderstood and that he has no issue with Australia’s involvement in Asia.

“It wasn’t that I wasn’t happy that Australia was in Asia – no, no. My concept at the time was this: I don’t want to kill Oceania,” he said. “Australia is the jewel of Oceania and I was worried about the other countries of Oceania. Australia in Oceania was like China in Asia – the big countries that help develop the other nations.”

Sheikh Ahmad says he has no problem with Australia hosting this year’s Asian Cup, and even believes Oceania could follow Australia into Asia.

“Now, maybe let us bring the whole of Oceania with us [into Asia], like we are doing for 2017 for the Asian Indoor Games, where Australia plus the other 16 countries will participate with us,” he said.

“We are very glad to be here and this is actually the benefit of Australia being part of the AFC, to have an Asian Cup in Australia. It’s something which is unfamiliar for us, but we have to be happy with this by showing solidarity and unity.”

However, he may not be so pleased with Australia on Friday night when they host Kuwait in the Asian Cup’s opening match in Melbourne.

“We have to respect this Australian team and we were proud to see them play in Brazil, where they had some very good matches and showed the development of the sport in Australia, even though it’s not the first sport,” he said. “For our team, we arrive after a bad result in the Gulf Cup of Nations, leaving in the first round, and now we have a new coach.

“I think we’re the ‘bad luck’ team to be drawn with Australia and Korea [Republic] – the hosts and a champion team. Kuwait will resist and try to show their talents, but of course, Australia have the support of their own fans. “We’re very glad to be here and this is actually the benefit of Australia being part of the AFC, to have an Asian Cup in Australia, something which is unfamiliar for us, but it’s a fact and we have to be happy with this by showing solidarity and unity.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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Socceroos primed for winning start to cup campaign

Asian Cup interactive: A guide to all the teams
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The social media stars of the Asian Cup

Asian Cup 2015 quiz: Test your knowledge

THE time for talking, promising, planning and predicting is over.

Australia and coach Ange Postecoglou on Friday night face their moment of truth when they open their Asian Cup campaign against outsiders Kuwait at AAMI Park.

The Socceroos are hot favourites to win this game, and strongly fancied to go all the way in the tournament.

For Postecoglou and his men, this match be the template for the three weeks that follow. Win, and win in the style the coach demands, and Australia can send a message to their rivals that they are the team to beat on home soil.

Such a victory would also make a statement to the Australian public that the Socceroos are a big-ticket item headlining a major international tournament in an extremely crowded summer sports market place.

If the national team gets off to a flying start ahead of group games against Oman and South Korea, then the game, and the Socceroos, will be in pole position to command the media spotlight even against such high-profile competitions as the Australian Open tennis and the build-up to cricket’s World Cup.

For Postecoglou the personal stakes are high. Appointed on a wave of popular acclaim 14 months ago, the former Brisbane and Melbourne Victory coach had a honeymoon period during the World Cup when no one expected much from a team in transition up against the world’s best.

Friendly results have been disappointing since, although the fact that all five such fixtures have been played away from home offers some mitigation.

Still, the coach has always said that he and his team should be judged on their Asian Cup performance, and judgment time is nigh.

He and the team can hardly contain their expectation.

‘‘They are going to feel some love tomorrow night and I am hoping that takes them to greater heights. A good win and a strong performance sets us up for this tournament,’’ Postecoglou said on Thursday.

‘‘That’s the clear and main objective. Anything after that we won’t think about until we have to. You lose tomorrow night and you are not out of it, but that’s certainly not our intention.

‘‘Our intention is to win, but not just win. We need to perform strongly and putsome momentum into our journey.

‘‘I believe we have already progressed although the results probably don’t show that. We have a lot more depth in areas.

‘‘I think the players themselves will realise that everything we have done the last 12 months has been preparing them for this.

‘‘This series of competitive games will really test our players out. If we can come through this with a real positive outlook it sets us up for the next four years really well.

‘‘They are ready to go. This has been almost 12 months in the making. They can’t wait to get out there.’’

Michael Brown, chief of the Asian Cup local organising committee, expects more than 550,000 people, including 45,000 overseas visitors, to attend the 32 games in 23 days, spread throughout five cities.

Some 800million people will watch on television around the world and the tournament is forecast to generate about $240million in economic activity in Australia.

All Brown needs is for the Socceroos to have a successful tournament.

‘‘Is it reliant on the Socceroos? The simple answer to that is any team-based sporting event wants the host to do well because that just takes us from a good event to a great event,’’ he said.

And Brown admits he’s ‘‘not fussed’’ about any debate on soccer becoming the biggest sport in the nation.

‘‘But you want to sit at the table with the big boys,’’ he said.

‘‘You want to be known at the same level as AFL and cricket particularly, the NRL is some states – you want to be known at that table and be equal to them.

‘‘That is the challenge for the game.’’

As chief executive officer of the cup’s local organising committee, Brown has had his challenges.

Budget plans, venue negotiations, marketing, dealing with Asia’s ‘‘language issues, different modes of organising’’ have been among them.

‘‘It’s not hard – it’s just time consuming,’’ he said.

‘‘The biggest challenge for me is … getting public recognition and getting into the media to try and promote it.

‘‘We are full of AFL, cricket, whatever the sport of the day is.’’

Brown’s planning is coming to fruition for an event which will be attended by Asian kings, queens, princes – or as he describes them, VVIPs – very, very important people.

‘‘Pretty much every VVIP from the Asian football world is here,’’ he said. – with AAP

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PETER FITZSIMONS: Outraged but fearless

IN the face of the murderous atrocity by evil in balaclavas – the terrorist attack on the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which has left a dozen specifically targeted journalists and cartoonists as well as police officers dead – Paris has reacted in a similar manner to the way Sydney did to the murders in the Lindt cafe a fortnight ago.
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With passionate Gallic hugs, they have turned to each other, not on each other.

They have reacted with outrage to the atrocity, yes, but certainly not fear. And they have not steered their anger, at least not yet, to those who proclaim the same religion as those who have unleashed the attack – Muslims.

A particularly public display of this resolve came as 10,000 Parisians, including many French Muslims, gathered in the Place de la Republique, in the 3rd Arrondissement.

In moving scenes, students, draped over the lower reaches of the massive statue in the middle of the square, chanting ‘‘Pas plus de sangue, laisser couler d’encre!’’ – broadly, ‘‘Let the ink, not the blood flow!’’

Thousands of them raised pens in the air, in a symbol of the right to freedom of speech, most particularly as expressed by magazines such as Charlie Hebdo, which satirises a wide array of targets, not just Islam.

In an echo of John F.Kennedy’s famous ‘‘Ich bin ein Berliner’’ speech in West Berlin at the height of the Cold War, many also had signs saying ‘‘Je Suis Charlie’’ and ‘‘Nous Sommes Charlie’’.

On power poles around the square – to demonstrate they were not intimidated – some of Charlie’s latest cartoons were pasted on posters, including a tragically prescient one, the last one drawn by the magazine editor slain on Wednesday, Stephane Charbonnier.

‘‘Still no terrorist attacks in France,’’ says the headline at the top of the cartoon. But at the bottom is a crazed man in Arabic garb, carrying an AK-47 saying, ‘‘Wait! We have until the end of January to present our wishes.’’

Another one displays a drawing of the prophet Muhammad, despairing, with his hands over his crying eyes, right by a headline that reads ‘‘Muhammad overwhelmed by fundamentalists’’. The voice bubble from his mouth has him saying, ‘‘It is hard to be loved by idiots.’’

And still the chant went on, bolstered now, as thousands more arrived in the Square of the Republic.

‘‘Pas plus de sangue, laisser couler d’encre!’’

Clearly, in this place of all places, if the famous revolutionary battle cry of ‘‘liberte, egalite, fraternite’’ is to count for anything in the modern world, it has to hold now – most particularly the fraternite not to turn citizens against citizens and the liberte to continue to satirise people, religion and deities as we all see fit.

(And so say all of us. As this correspondent wrote for Fairfax Media in the wake of the Hyde Park protests of 2012, over a filmmaker’s depiction of Muhammad: ‘‘In this country you are free to worship whatever God you damn well please. Others are free to worship their Gods. And I am free to say it is all nonsense over imaginary friends.’’)

Back in Paris, leaving the square, my wife and I decided to do as most of the city was doing – go on with our plans, in our case, to go out for dinner. The restaurant, not far from the scenes of the day’s atrocities, was bustling, and, when I asked the maitre d’ if there had been any cancellations, he raised a quizzical brow and proclaimed, ‘‘Rien du tout’’ (None at all). And indeed it was full.

To my amazement, from the back of the restaurant, late in the night, could be heard a raucous French version of Happy Birthday, a song I suspect was not sung in any Sydney restaurants on the day of the Lindt cafe murders.

And all this, despite the fact that, at this time, two of the gunmen were still on the loose.

Coming back to our hotel – about 100metres down from the Elysee Palace, with its flag at half-mast – our taxi was blocked by heavily armed police officers and we had to walk the last part to the entrance, but, beyond that, life in the city seemed to be going on as normal.

As I finish, it is 3 o’clock in the silent watch of the night, and Paris is just that.

All quiet on the Western Front.

Peter FitzSimons is in Paris on holiday,

with his wife Lisa Wilkinson.

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Nathan Tinkler may lose control of Jets as chief executive, chairman resign

Another one bites the dust. Nathan Tinkler may now lose the Newcastle Jets. Photo: Fairfax Media Another one bites the dust. Nathan Tinkler may now lose the Newcastle Jets. Photo: Fairfax Media
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Another one bites the dust. Nathan Tinkler may now lose the Newcastle Jets. Photo: Fairfax Media

Another one bites the dust. Nathan Tinkler may now lose the Newcastle Jets. Photo: Fairfax Media

Nathan Tinkler could be forced to relinquish his second football club inside seven months after another tumultuous setback for the Newcastle Jets.

The embattled A-League outfit was rocked on Thursday by the resignations of chief executive Robbie Middleby and chairman Ray Baartz, both announced simultaneously on the club’s website.

In the statement Middleby said he would continue to serve the club for the “next few weeks” during an internal review process and was hopeful his exit would “aid the transition to new ownership and allow the club to start a new chapter”.

Baartz’s departure was effective immediately.

Neither of the two officials, who have been mainstays since Tinkler assumed ownership of the Jets in October, 2010, were available for comment when contacted by the Newcastle Herald.

Already in a state of flux after Tinkler’s declaration last August that the Jets were on the market and he “can’t wait” to sell the franchise, Thursday’s developments left the Jets in a full-blown crisis.

Football Federation Australia reacted by deploying senior executives Damian de Bohun, the A-League chief, and John Kelly, the FFA’s chief operating officer, to visit Jets headquarters on Monday to assess the club’s viability.

The governing body has waited patiently for five months while Jets management have held negotiations with an unspecified number of interested parties, in particular Scottish Premier League club Dundee United.

But as one informed source told the Herald yesterday: “If they want to sell the club, they had better close the deal pretty quickly.”

Rumours have been circulating for weeks that the FFA would step in and assume control of the Jets after the Asian Cup tournament, which ends on January 31, prompting repeated denials from the powers that be.

But it now seems that unless de Bohun and Kelly are convinced Tinkler’s Hunter Sports Group are capable of continuing to fund the Jets, FFA will start the process of removing the struggling tycoon, just as the NRL ousted him as Newcastle Knights owner last June.

In a measured statement yesterday, FFA chief executive David Gallop said: “FFA regrets that Ray Baartz and Robbie Middleby have resigned. They are committed Newcastle football people and have given so much to the Jets.

“It’s very disruptive for a club to lose its chairman and CEO mid-season. Obviously this instability comes at a time when the club is already in a holding pattern.

“FFA wants to see the ownership situation resolved as soon as possible. The immediate steps will include sending senior FFA personnel  to Newcastle next week  to assess the club’s current operating position.”

Tinkler’s hopes of retaining the Jets, at least until he can sell them, were not helped on Thursday by suggestions that businesses in his group had their internet disconnected because bills had not been paid.

A spokesman said “the club’s email system is down so we are using temporary addresses” but  subsequently said the Jets were in the process of “changing” internet providers.

Baartz and Middleby, both former Newcastle captains at national league level and Socceroos representatives, have attracted increasing criticism from disgruntled fans after a disastrous season that has yielded just one win from Newcastle’s first 14 games.

In his statement yesterday, Middleby said:  “My time at the Jets has been challenging, however, as someone born and bred in Newcastle, it has been an honour to be part of this club and football community and I will be forever grateful for that opportunity.

“This decision has been a very difficult one but one that I have made in the best interest of the club and especially my family. I have and will always support this club and wish the members, staff and players all the best for the future. I hope that this decision can aid the transition to new ownership and allow the club to start a new chapter.

“I will use the next few weeks to support the mid-season review process and making this decision now will allow me to give an honest and independent appraisal of where the club is at and provide recommendations of how it could best move forward.”

Baartz said: “Football in the Hunter Region has always been a major part of my life and it has been a privilege to be involved with the Jets.

“I wish the fans and everyone involved at the club all the best for the remainder of the season and in particular the future of this great club.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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Land council acted independently: CEO

RAIL CLAIM: Land council chief Steven Slee, left, and deputy chairman Richard Green at the Merewether Street crossing. Picture: Max Mason-HubersLand claim on rail line
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AWABAKAL Aboriginal Land Council says Save Our Rail did not ask the group to lodge a land claim on the Newcastle to Wickham rail line.

Land council chief executive Steven Slee was responding to critics who said the council was working in concert with the community group.

“We did not speak to them [Save Our Rail] about our claim at all,” Mr Slee said.

“Our primary goal is to stop [the corridor] being sold to developers.

“If our claim is successful it may well be that the land can be used for both light rail and a walking track.”

The Newcastle Herald reported on Thursday that the Awabakal Land Council had lodged claims over several parcels of land in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, including the 2.2-kilometre stretch of rail corridor.

Mr Slee said he had received more than a dozen emails in support of the land council’s action on the corridor.

About two-thirds of those who voted on the Herald website on Thursday, however, said they did not support the claim on the rail line.

“I am sick of these people telling me that it was my relatives that took land off them,” a person using the pseudonym “Annoyed” wrote on the Herald’s website.

“By the way, if the land council gets the land, I am sending them a bill for my tax money that was spent upholding the land up until now.”

Others were more supportive.

“It saddens me to see how many people in Newcastle show how they are against the Aboriginals; we forced them off their land in the beginning and now the white, rich, developing land-grabbers are taking their land off them again, as in the rail corridor,” James Edwards wrote.

A Hunter Development Corporation spokesman said it would be inappropriate to comment on the land claim given the current proceedings.

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Paris Charlie Hebdo shootings: victims named

In a photo and just five short words, a daughter’s Instagram post summed up the raw tragedy at the centre of the terrorist attack in Paris.
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“Papa est parti pas Wolinski,” it read, which translates to “Papa has left (is gone), not Wolinski.”

The words were accompanied by an image of what is thought to be Georges Wolinski’s study, his drawing board on his desk with a pencil on a white page.

Wolinski was among the 12 people killed in the shooting attack at French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

The Instagram post highlighted that to their families, the victims of the tragedy were more than national icons.

Georges Wolinski

Wolinski, 80, was well-known for his tongue-in-cheek spoofs on romance and sexuality, though never refrained from making cynical observations on politics and society.

Born in French Tunisia to Jewish parents of Polish and Tunisian descent, Wolinski moved to Paris as a teenager to study archiceture though quickly moved to cartoons after graduating.

He became well-known in France for his cartoons in Charlie Hebdo, as well as other publications including Liberation, L’Echo de savanes and Paris-Match.

He was a contributor for the predecessor of Charlie Hebdo, Hara-Kiri, writing what were sometimes considered “vulgar” political comic strips and cartoons.

He never abandoned his Jewish identity and provided insightful drawings for the French version of Dan Greenburg’s 1965 global best-seller, “How to be a Jewish Mother: a very lovely training manual”.

Stephane “Charb” Charbonnier

Charbonnier, 47, the magazine’s editor and chief cartoonist, was allegedly the main target of the attack on the newsroom.

He began editing Charlie Hebdo in 2009 and had been the victim of death threats due to controversial cartoons of the prophet Muhammad.

His best known illustrations were an anti-capitalist cat and dog, known as Maurice and Patapon.

Charbonnier was put under police protection in 2011 after the Charlie Hebdo offices were firebombed and destroyed. In 2012 he ignored the advice of the French government and published crude pictures of Muhammad, which is prohibited under Islamic law. A brigadier in the protection service named Franck Brinsolaro was assigned to protedct the Carlie Hebdo offices. He was one of the 12 murdered on Wednesday.

Charbonnier once told Le Monde that, as a single man, he did not fear retaliation, and that he would rather “die standing than live on my knees”.

An eery cartoon of Charbonnier’s was shared on Wednesday. Under the words “still no attacks in France”, a man dressed as an Islamic extremist says he has until the end of January to present his New Year’s wishes.

Charb dans le dernier @Charlie_Hebdo_ // prophétie glaçante pic.twitter整形美容医院m/52WHijF6gN— jerome bermyn (@jbermyn) January 7, 2015The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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Tony Abbott claims he doesn’t even have John Howard’s bowling ability

Busy man: Tony Abbott talks to Glenn McGrath on Jane McGrath day at the SCG. Photo: James Brickwood Booby prize: The winning cake. Photo: James Brickwood
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

Tony Abbott has gone into bat for his former boss, defending the much-replayed delivery John Howard sent down while on a visit to Pakistan 10 years ago. Howard, a cricket tragic who is patron of Cricket NSW, just about yorked himself with the infamous ball in 2005, but his successor as a Coalition Prime Minister reckons he wouldn’t have done any better. “It wasn’t the most elegant delivery, but nevertheless it was poetry in motion compared to my bowling,” Abbott said during a stint in the Channel Nine commentary box on Thursday. The PM noted last week when the Australian and Indian teams visited Kirribilli House that sledging was his only skill as a cricketer and on Thursday recalled his time playing the game socially while at Oxford University. “The only way to get a drink in England in those days during the middle of the day was to be playing sport because the pavilion bars could be open when the pubs had to shut,” Abbott told the ABC’s Jim Maxwell. “So the truth, Jim, is I was probably a drinker first and a cricketer second. The safest place to put your beer when I was playing was behind the stumps, particularly when I was bowling.” There was no mention while he was on air of ABC budget cuts, which would have been an interesting discussion point given Maxwell’s respected colleague Drew Morphett is calling his final Test as a full-time commentator for the national broadcaster. Morphett was in November axed as part of $254 million in cuts. Taking the cake

Abbott was a busy man at the cricket, also judging a cake competition during the McGrath Foundation High Tea, a fixture during the Pink Test each year. There were a few eyebrows raised with his selection – a cake with the word “boob” written in icing. Asked by the function’s host Adam Spencer why he chose the winner he said he liked it because it was “suggestive”.  Cheers for Bob

Speaking of former PMs, it wouldn’t be a Sydney Test these days without Bob Hawke being spotted with a beer in his hand. On India’s last trip here three years ago he was challenged to neck a beer by a spectator and obliged with a display that is still on Youtube, and he repeated the trick while watching Australia play England 12 months ago. On Thursday the broadcast cameras found the 85-year-old in the morning session and when his image was shot up on the big screens – with glass of beer in hand – it brought one of the biggest roars of the day.   Tributes continue

Australia’s return to the SCG for the first time since Phillip Hughes’ death has been handled expertly by organisers, with respectful tributes made to the late batsman and his family invited along to watch the fourth Test in a private box. In another nice touch Hughes’ father Greg has been given honorary life membership by the SCG Trust. The next big thing?

It’s awards season in Hollywood and the same can be said of cricket, with the Allan Border Medal just around the corner. If AB Medal night is the Oscars then the Australian Cricket Media Association bash is the Golden Globes (well, to cricket journos anyway!). The annual affair, held on Thursday night in Sydney, always makes a presentation to the Australian cricketer judged the emerging player of the year and Thursday night’s recipient was Josh Hazlewood. It was only 12 months ago that Steve Smith won the up-and-comers’ prize and in a demonstration of how far he has come he was on Thursday awarded the McGilvray Medal as the ABC Test cricketer of the year. The other major presentation at the media shindig was made to bowtie-wearing former Cricket Australia public affairs chief Peter Young, for years the game’s best spinner. No fanfare for Poms

England’s low-key arrival for the tri-series and then the World Cup could hardly have been in more contrast to how Kevin Pietersen and co. were received when they turned up here for the Ashes 14 months ago. The Poms’ one-day squad snuck quietly into Canberra, where they have a couple of warm-up games against an ACT Invitational side and a Prime Minister’s XI before taking on Australia at the SCG next Friday.   Lord’s revisited

When Australia were last in England for the Ashes 18 months ago the black and gold striped blazer-wearing Sydney Cricket Ground XI played a match on the Nursery Ground at Lord’s. This year, with the Ashes back on again, they’re heading back to the home of cricket as part of their village cricket tour but this time will be on the main arena. They’ll have to do it, though, without Simon Katich, who made a guest appearance at No.3 for them in 2013 in their match against a Marylebone Cricket Club selection on the Nursery Ground.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

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