Day: May 3, 2018

David Helfgott in Europe

David Helfgott at the famous Musikverien Concert Hall in Vienna.David Helfgott has been on a three month concert tour in Europe. In April he appeared at the famous Musikverien Concert Hall in Vienna where he received a fifteen minute standing ovation after playing his signature Rachmaninov 3rd.
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In mid-May he performed Chopin for the opening ceremony of the Life Ball at the Vienna Imperial Palace.

The Ball is part of festivities to raise funds for the reduction of HIV Aids around the world and David shared the stage with it’s patron Bill Clinton and many famous international performers.

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Donaldson an ANZAC Ambassador

Mark Donaldson with his Victoria Cross.Dorrigo’s Victoria Cross recipient Corporal Mark Donaldson, Gallipoli actor Mark Lee and former Federal Minister Mark Arbib are among 25 community leaders appointed as Anzac Centenary Ambassadors.
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Minister for Citizenship and Communities, Victor Dominello said the Centenary Ambassadors would serve on an advisory council chaired by General Peter Cosgrove AC MC (Ret’d) and play an important role in leading the State’s commemorations of the Centenary of Anzac, 2014 – 2018.

“The 100th anniversary of the First World War will be a time for the people of NSW to come together and pay tribute to the first Anzacs and to all the brave servicemen and women who have since followed in their footsteps,” Mr Dominello said.

“The NSW Anzac Centenary Ambassadors will oversee and take part in a broad program of state, regional and local events throughout 2014 – 2018.

“These ambassadors have been chosen because they are leaders in their respective fields, which include the Defence Force, public sector, arts community and corporate sector. They reflect the diversity present in our community, with a range of ages and cultural backgrounds.

“I am delighted that NSW can now draw on their wealth of experience to help guide one of the most important events in our country’s history,” Mr Dominello said.

General Peter Cosgrove said the council will meet regularly in the lead up to 2014 to inform and advise the NSW Government on an appropriate program of commemoration activities in NSW.

“I’m very pleased that these highly respected people from all sectors of the community have generously chosen to use their time and expertise to help NSW commemorate the Anzacs,” General Cosgrove said.

Ambassador Mark Arbib said: “I’m honoured to help steer the direction of the Centenary commemorations in my home state. I want to make sure all Australians no matter their background can feel part of this important anniversary.”

Ambassador Elvi Wood, whose husband Sergeant Brett Wood was killed on duty in Afghanistan last year, said: “I’m honoured to be a NSW Centenary Ambassador and I look forward to providing a voice for war widows and for other family members of Australia’s servicemen and women.”

Ambassador Mark Lee said: “Through my role in the film Gallipoli, I’ve had the honour of spreading the tale of the first Anzacs. I’m delighted to continue that work as a NSW Centenary Ambassador.”

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Cats fear West Coast free kicks

West Coast’s ability to win free kicks – exhibited here by Ashton Hams – has Geelong coach Chris Scott worried ahead of Friday night.Geelong coach Chris Scott fears West Coast’s vastly-superior ability to win free kicks this season could hurt the Cats in Friday night’s AFL clash in Perth unless his players tighten their discipline.
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The Cats are the competition’s worst offenders in the free kick count, while the Eagles have enjoyed the best returns in that department, particularly at home at Patersons Stadium.

Scott said some free kicks were unavoidable if players attacked contests fiercely, but the Cats had given away too many cheap ones.

“We have spent a lot of time on the fact that we are No.1 in the comp for frees against,” Scott told reporters on Tuesday.

“Lazy free kicks, falling into someone’s back or just going a little bit high in a tackle is the stuff that we need to fix up.

“It will be a huge factor in the contested ball numbers.

“You’ve got the best in the comp against the worst in the comp.

“If that continues, that’s going to really put us behind the eight ball.”

Geelong also have to combat what is expected to be a lopsided hit-out count the Eagles’ way.

First-year Cat Orren Stephenson will again carry most of the ruck load, with Trent West (knee) still out.

But while Eagles star duo Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui are expected to dominate in the air, Scott hopes his midfielders can still control the game at ground level, as Fremantle did against West Coast last round.

“You can assume that Naitanui and Cox will get their hands to the ball more often than our ruckmen,” Scott said.

“In some respects, that makes it a little bit more predictable.

“But we don’t want to be completely reactive to them … even though we might not get first hands to the ball in the ruck contest, we’ve got to work hard to make sure we get first possession.”

Geelong defender Josh Hunt (quad) is likely to miss the match, although the Cats have not ruled him out.

Veteran speedster David Wojcinski could return from a hamstring injury.

“He’s a player that we’d like to get back into our AFL team, particularly at Subiaco – the big ground would really suit him,” Scott said. Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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iPhone racket mastermind used network of children

Yi Zhong … admitted recruiting children to pick up the proceeds of crime.A man accused of using stolen credit card details to buy iPhones allegedly recruited children to pick up the phones and resell them on web trading site Gumtree for him.
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Yi Zhong, 22, of Strathfield, has been charged with 58 offences, mostly relating to a sophisticated racket he allegedly devised to obtain people’s credit card details, use them to buy at least 30 iPhones from major retailers and then sell them.

But police allege he did not stop at “dishonestly obtaining” iPhones. Mr Zhong allegedly used the details of stolen credit cards to buy $347 worth of flowers from Urban Flowers Concord, thousands of dollars worth of flights, hotel suites in Brisbane and Melbourne, clothes from General Pants Co., two GHD gold hair stylers and a $5995 bottle of Johnnie Walker rare scotch whisky.

In Burwood Local Court today, Mr Zhong’s solicitor, Wasim Jabakhangi, entered guilty pleas to 21 of the 58 charges, including two charges of recruiting a child to carry out or assist in criminal activity.

He pleaded guilty to recruiting a teenage girl, who cannot be named, to pick up the proceeds of crime at a Fedex depot in Rydalmere and receive stolen property at an Edensor Park address earlier this year. He recruited another teenage girl, who cannot be named, to list and sell the stolen iPhones on Gumtree.

The court heard that he also recruited an adult, Christie Hui, to purchase and pick-up the bottle of scotch whisky for him from a Vintage Cellars store.

Court documents show that since 2010, Mr Zhong had been accessing two websites, and, and an email address, [email protected]南京夜网, to fraudulently obtain the details of about 300 credit cards.

Most of his victims were Australian but 41 were American. He allegedly used the cards to buy at least 30 iPhones for a total of about $30,000 from Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Sale-Point Import Export Group.

When police went to his home, it is alleged Mr Zhong also had $8450 in cash and a 55″ Sony television suspected of being stolen.

He pleaded guilty to several charges of using credit cards and “compromised identities” of various people to obtain dozens of iPhones and other goods.

But he has disputed the number of cards he obtained fraudulently and the number of identities he obtained with the intention of using them to commit fraud.

Mr Jabakhangi said he would work with police to reach an agreed set of facts relating to the remaining matters on which Mr Zhong has plead not guilty.

Mr Zhong, who sat in the court wearing jeans, a zip-up jacket and a Fitness First backpack, will return to court later this month.

As part of his strict bail conditions in the interim, he must not access the internet or use a smartphone.

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Canberra teen allegedly caught at 197km/h

A Canberra teen is to face a NSW court after being caught allegedly driving at nearly double the speed limit on the Hume Highway at Goulburn.
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The 19-year-old Bruce man’s Holden Commodore utility was allegedly clocked at 197km/h in a 110km/h by police officers from the Goulburn Highway Patrol.

When he was pulled over, police allegedly found the driver’s NSW Provisional (P2) Licence was already suspended.

The teen was issued a Field Court Attendance Notice for drive speed dangerous and drive while suspended, and is due to appear in Goulburn Local Court on September 5.

Goulburn Local Area Command Duty Officer Evan Quarmby said speeding drivers were still over represented in crashes that killed or injured people on NSW roads.

“The dangers of travelling at excessively high speed on our roads have been well documented,” he said.

“Travelling well above the speed limit makes it harder to control and stop your vehicle if you have to respond to an unexpected hazard on the road.”

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ICAC to grill three ex-Labor ministers

The players in the Bylong Valley.The explosive allegations of corruption against three former NSW Labor ministers is set to embroil the party for months with the corruption watchdog announcing its inquiry will begin on November 1 and run until at least April.
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Last Friday the Independent Commission Against Corruption began serving summonses on witnesses to give evidence at the public inquiry.

In a media release issued today, the ICAC said it had been conducting three separate investigations “concerning corruption allegations” involving the former NSW Minister for Primary Industries and Mineral Resources, Ian Macdonald, former minister for mineral resources Eddie Obeid, and former minister for roads and commerce, Eric Roozendaal.

Operation Jasper will examine the circumstances surrounding a decision made in 2008 by Mr Macdonald to open a mining area in the Bylong Valley, near Mudgee, for coal exploration. The public inquiry will examine “whether the decision was influenced by Edward Obeid.”

In September 2008, Mr Macdonald invited companies to apply for 11 coal exploration licences being opened up in NSW.

The Herald has previously revealed that several licences were awarded to a $1 company run by a 36-year-old Bankstown mortgage broker, Andrew Kaidbay, who had no experience in the resources industry.

Mr Kaidbay is an associate of the Obeid family and was the director of three resource companies in which the Obeids’ majority shareholding was hidden via a nominee company.

The Obeid family paid $3.65 million for Cherrydale Park in the Bylong Valley nine months before the tender opened. Mr Obeid’s son Moses encouraged associates to buy other properties in the area, telling them: “We can’t be seen to be buying them all.”

One friend, Justin Kennedy Lewis, bought Coggan Creek, where an open-cut mine is now scheduled. Another Obeid associate, Gladesville accountant John Campo, bought a key property.

Operation Jasper will also look at how Cascade Coal came to be the successful bidder for the Mount Penny and Glendon Brook licences and whether confidential information was “provided to, and used by persons associated with Cascade Coal.”

The commission is also examining the circumstances in which Monaro Coal was awarded an exploration licence of Yarrawa. Monaro Coal changed its name to Loyal Coal, the sole director of which was Andrew Kaidbay.

Cascade Coal later bought rights to the Obeids’ property for an undisclosed sum, believed to be more than $10 million. Cascade Coal, a former events management company run by boutique investment banker Richard Poole, had been set up in August 2008, the same week expressions of interest in the coal exploration licences were called.

Joining Richard Poole on the Cascade board as the tender was closing were some well-known and extremely wealthy players in the mining industry – John McGuigan, John Atkinson, Brian Flannery, John Kinghorn and Travers Duncan.

But when the publicly listed White Energy announced it had been offered the chance to buy Cascade Coal for almost $500 million, there was an outcry among shareholders. Not only was Cascade’s only asset two exploration licences acquired for $1 million but most of Cascade’s directors were also directors of White Energy. These directors stood to make close to $60 million each if the deal went ahead, which it did not.

The second investigation, Operation Acacia will examine the circumstances surrounding the issue of an invitation to a company associated with former union boss John Maitland.

“The third investigation, Operation Indus, will examine the circumstances in which Edward Obeid’s son, Moses Obeid, provided Mr Roozendaal with a Honda CRV motor vehicle in June 2007. At the time, Mr Roozendaal was the Minister for Commerce and the Minister for Roads,” said the media release.

The Herald reported last year that in mid-June 2007, Mr Roozendaal, then the roads minister, arrived at an inner-city car dealer’s and asked for the keys to his new car, a top-of-the-range black Honda CRV.

The dealer, who had previously provided cars to Eddie Obeid and members of his family said Moses Obeid had told him the Obeids were organising a car for Mr Roozendaal.

Mr Roozendaal previously confirmed that Moses Obeid had organised the purchase for him but said his actions had “all been completely kosher” and he had paid for the car himself.

Eddie Obeid said he knew nothing of the matter. “I don’t know anything about it and Eric has done me no favours in politics. What is the favour that Eric could do me? There’s no favours that Eric can do for me in anything,” Mr Obeid said last year. “You write one thing out of place, I tell you what, I will go for you, for the jugular,” he said.

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Australia’s secret service needs … a locksmith

Handy with a lockpick? Watched all the James Bond movies? Want to see the world, meet interesting people and then break into their embassy and steal their secrets?
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Then the Australian Secret Intelligence Service might have the job for you.

In a new noticeon their careers webpage ASIS, Australia’s foreign intelligence agency, has declared they are looking for a “corporate locksmith”.

“This is a unique role for a highly motivated and dedicated Locksmith to provide complex locksmith services and advice across our organisation,” the application states

“The position involves interstate and overseas travel, often at short notice.”

While such “advice” could possibly involving cracking into the safes in Canberra embassies operated by certain countries, it is more likely the job relates more to the need to keep ASIS’s own secrets secure.

The job notice states that the successful applicant would have to manage all purchasing of locks, safes and other and secure containers for the Service.

Like most security and intelligence agencies, ASIS uses state of the art secure containers to protect their many and varied “products”.

Like Australia’s five other intelligence agencies, ASIS has undergone remarkable decade of growth since the terrorist attacks of 2001, with its annual budget appropriations growing from $54 million in 2002 to $246 million this year.

For the first time in its sixty year history, last month the Service’s Director-General, Nick Warner, gave a public speech during which he said the 21st century had provided ASIS’s work with “a new urgency and importance”.

Even applying to be the official ASIS locksmith is likely to be an interesting endeavour, as a disclaimer on their website states.

“All applications for employment with ASIS are handled in the strictest confidence. It is essential that you maintain a similar level of confidentiality and that you not discuss your application with others.”

And sadly for all those Ian Fleming enthusiasts, the applicant must have a qualification from the Australian government Security Construction and Equipment Committee, or SCEC.

A SCEC qualification requires a federal police check, which presumably rules out talented but “self-taught” safe-breakers.

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Seniors’ mowing rebate clipped

Senior Queenslanders will no longer receive ongoing lawn mowing rebates under the Home Assist Secure program, according to a letter sent to clients in southwest Brisbane.
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The Home Assist Secure program helps older people and residents with disabilities to deal with practical housing-related difficulties so they can remain living in their home, including providing subsidised maintenance and safety modifications.

Housing and Public Works Minister Bruce Flegg issued a statement this morning saying he wanted to reassure elderly Queenslanders “that there are no plans to scrap the popular Home Assist Secure service” amid the current Newman government cost-cutting.

“Like all government programs, we want to ensure that they are operating as efficiently as possible,” he said in the statement.

“However, this is a vital service and it will continue to be fully funded.”

But the state opposition said a $10 lawn mowing rebate provided on an ongoing basis under the program would be axed.

The opposition gave the media a letter sent from one of the Home Assist Secure service providers to clients in southwest Brisbane, which stated it had been determined that ongoing lawn mowing did not meet the requirements of the program guidelines.

“As from 30th September 2012, ongoing law mowing under the Home Assist Secure program will cease,” the July 9 letter stated.

“Within this period you will be required to make your arrangements with the lawn mowing in the future.

“A list of contractors currently used by Home Assist Secure is attached and can be contacted by you to receive a quote for your lawn and future service.”

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the rebate had given elderly people a discount of $10 when a contractor mowed their lawn.

She said the axing of the rebate was a “mean-spirited attack” and she accused the state government of “sinking to a new low”.

“This would not be a huge saving but there are thousands of people out there that are utilising this service,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“We can hear Bruce Flegg saying all he wants he’s not cutting the [Home Assist Secure] program but here it is in black and white,” she said of the letter about the mowing rebate.

Further comment is being sought from Dr Flegg.

However, brisbanetimes南京夜网.au understands mowing rebate vouchers may still be handed to clients on a short-term basis to help their transition from cutting their own lawns to using contractors. The issue is with ongoing mowing services.

It is also understood changes may be in the works that are a positive for Home Assist Secure clients. Confirmation of these other measures is being sought.

The Department of Housing and Public Works says Home Assist Secure provides free information and referrals about home maintenance, falls prevention, repairs and modifications and home security.

Eligible clients can access subsidised assistance for minor home maintenance, repairs and modifications which relate to health, safety and security, according to the department’s website.

Free information and referrals are available to people aged 60 years or older or to anyone with a disability so long as they live in their own home or rental housing.

Subsidised help is available to people who receive a federal government payment or allowance and cannot use other forms of assistance, such as Home and Community Care, Veterans’ Affairs, family or friends.

Money is provided to community-based organisations to employ staff and to pay trades people to provide Home Assist Secure services, the department’s website states.

More to come…

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‘I’ve just killed a man’ with a ‘tomahawk’: prosecution alleges accused confessed

He’s “dead in bed”.
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The prosecution case against North Maclean man, Trevor McKenzie Dunford, opened with a recounting of the Mr Dunford’s call to triple 0, just minutes after he allegedly killed his brother-in-law on March 10, 2008.

The first day of Mr Dunford’s murder trial began in the Brisbane Supreme Court this morning.

Crown prosecutor Sal Vasta told the jury of five men and seven women that they would hear that “actions spoke louder than words” and Mr Dunford intended on killing his partner’s brother, Gary John Grindrod, when he struck him with a tomahawk axe in the head four times.

Mr Vasta said Mr Dunford had admitted to the killing, first in an emergency phone call to police at 8.45pm on March 10 and later while speaking with police officers.

Mr Vasta recounted a phone call Mr Dunford had made to triple 0 where he allegedly told the operator: “I’ve just killed a man”.

Asked how, Mr Dunford allegedly replied “with a tomahawk”.

Mr Vasta said Mr Dunford gave his girlfriend’s brother’s name when asked who he had killed. When the operator asked where Mr Grindrod was, Mr Dunford answered “dead in bed”.

Mr Vasta said when police arrived at the Mount Lindesay Highway property some 10 minutes after the triple 0 phone call, Mr Dunford – dressed in a t-shirt and shorts with no shoes – emerged from the home and allegedly said “sorry, fellas” and “I did it”.

Mr Vasta said the jury would be played the emergency phone call as the trial progressed.

The court was also told that after being read his rights by police, Mr Dunford was asked if there was anything the officers could get for him, to which he allegedly answered “wind the clock back”.

The Crown alleged that in between the phone call to police and officers arriving at the acreage North McLean property, Mr Dunford made a phone call to his daughter in North Queensland and said he was sorry, but he had “just killed Gary”.

Mr Vasta said Mr Dunford told his daughter “he just pushed me too far and I’ve hit him four times in the head with a tomahawk”, before apologising again and saying goodbye.

Mr Vasta said Mr Dunford, his partner of three years Rosemary Conlon, and her brother, the deceased man, lived together at the Mount Lindesay Highway property at Maclean.

Describing Mr Dunford’s relationship with Ms Conlon as “turbulent” at times, Mr Vasta said Mr Dunford, a truck driver and Ms Conlon’s brother, Mr Grindrod did not “really get on that well”.

“They stayed out of each other’s way,” Mr Vasta said, briefly explaining about some “petty arguments” the pair had had about drinking each other’s beer.

On the night of the alleged murder, Mr Vasta said Ms Conlon had told police Mr Dunford had been drinking and was argumentative, having accused her of lying about what she had eaten for lunch.

She said her brother had eaten his dinner in a separate room from Mr Dunford and after serving Mr Grindrod his lamb chops, she did not see him again, but had heard him eating and assumed he had gone to bed.

Ms Conlon told police Mr Dunford had said to her: “I’m going to do something for you, not that I want to” while she was watching television and had left the room again.

She told police she heard a screen door in the home opening and closing.

Ms Conlon later told police she heard a sound “like a frozen bottle of ice being smashed on concrete” and described it as a “hard sound” that finished “with a thud”.

She told the police offices that she left the living room after Mr Dunford returned and made a phone call where she heard him say “I’ve killed a man”.

Mr Vasta said that was the call to emergency services.

Mr Dunford sat today in the dock wearing a blue suit, with his white hair neatly brushed.

He slumped as details of the alleged murder were read out to the court and sighed loudly as Mr Vasta spoke of one of the police interviews.

The trial before Justice Glenn Martin continues.

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Cricket to start in middle of football finals

Cricket Australia have been forced to start their domestic season in the middle of the NRL and AFL finals in a bid to have the national team ready for the summer’s marquee Test series against South Africa.
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With the national team due to start their Test campaign this season in early November, CA has opted to play the opening round of the Shield in mid-September to give players a chance to be match fit to take on the powerful Proteas.

The start date for the Shield is one month earlier than last season and is designed to give prospective Test players the chance to play in potentially three longer-form games for their state before the battle against South Africa.

The presence of the Champions League Twenty20 has also necessitated an earlier start, CA say.

“I have no doubt there will be comment about starting the season while football codes are still in operation but we want to give our cricketers the best opportunities to prepare for international cricket and balancing that with an opportunity for some to play on a global stage, such as at Champions League Twenty20,” said CA chief James Sutherland.

“The first Vodafone Test in Brisbane is starting three weeks earlier than last season and we want to align out interstate programming accordingly to provide players with adequate opportunities to prepare for that series, as well as providing aspirants with plenty of opportunities.”

NSW and Western Australia kick of the domestic season with a one-dayer in Perth on September 16 followed by a Shield game two days later.

The two states have been chosen for the early start as a large portion of their squads will be involved in Champions League action with Big Bash franchises Sydney Sixers and Perth Scorchers.

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