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  • admin 11:15 on 06/18/2019  

    Brad Hogg accepted blame for the Melbourne Renegades’ loss to the Perth Scorchers at the WACA Ground on Monday night but rejected suggestions he had been distracted by signing merchandise on the boundary line moments before he his fateful drop of Ashton Turner.
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    The Renegades looked destined to finally end their winless streak against the Scorchers, having posted an imposing total of 3-185 from their 20 overs and appeared in control of the game with Perth 2-80 in the 11th over. But with Turner on 16, Hogg spilled a catch at third man off the bowling of Jack Wildermuth. Turned then turned it on, charging to 70 from 32 balls to spearhead a stunning Scorchers victory, their eighth in eight Big Bash League matches against the Renegades.

    The win took Perth to the top of the table, and while the Renegades (4-2) are still well on track to end their finals drought, the defeat could cost them a home semi-final given the top four, which also features Adelaide and Brisbane, is tight.

    Hogg, who turns 47 next month, also had Hilton Cartwright stumped for 22 and was heading for tidy figures before conceding 13 runs off what was effectively the final legitimate delivery he bowled to Turner (a six off a no-ball then another six). He ended with 1-38 from four overs.

    The match was Hogg’s first since he left the Scorchers after the 2015-16 season, and his last at his long-time home ground, with Perth moving to the new Optus Stadium for any home finals this season, and then permanently from next summer.

    Still a clear fan favourite, Hogg said he’d been emotional on game day given he was farewelling his long-time cricket home. He had smiling interactions with the crowd for much of the game, and had been signing gear just before he spilled the catch, appearing somewhat rushed as he made his way back into position with the ball travelling towards him.

    However the veteran left-arm spinner wasn’t going to use the crowd as any sort of excuse. “I’m not going to blame that. If anything … the ball was slightly to the left of the lights,” Hogg said.

    “At the end of the day, it is what it is. I dropped a catch that cost us the game, you know you’re going to have days like that.

    “At the of the day, we all drop them. You’re never happy when you drop them. I had nowhere to hide so I had to turn around and sort of smile and carry on.”

    Hogg, who added that he was yet to decide whether he could continue playing next season, suggested he was still bowling well. “It was just those last two balls [that let me down], and that’s going to happen in cricket,” he said.

    The Renegades’ next game is against the Melbourne Stars in the season’s second Melbourne derby at Etihad Stadium on Friday night. The Renegades will from this point of the tournament be without captain Aaron Finch because of n international duties, while Afghan all-rounder Mohammad Nabi’s final game for the season is on Friday night, with he, too, set to join his national side. Nabi will be replaced by West Indian Kieron Pollard, while Cameron White – who is averaging 142.5 with the bat this BBL season – is expected to take over as captain. Hogg suggested the Renegades’ batting depth could allow them to pick an extra bowler to replace Finch in the XI. The Renegades have picked the same side for all six of their games, with quick Chris Tremain, spinner Jon Holland and all-rounder Matt Short among those waiting in the wings.

    Hogg said he felt for Finch, and wanted to do “the right thing” by the departing captain if the side made the finals for the first time in five years. “He’s given his life to the Renegades, and I know what it feels like when you sort of give your heart to a club and you still haven’t got the chocolates,” Hogg said.

    Hogg also suggested that the impressive Turner, a one-time teammate, had what it took to be a future n captain.

    Continue reading Hogg not using autographs as an excuse
  • admin 11:15 on 06/18/2019  

    STRIKING: Lightning over the Port of Newcastle on Monday night. Picture: Simon Weaving
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    WHEN do heat waves stop being weather, and start being climate change?

    That seems a legitimate question to ask in the light of the blistering heat wave –brought to an end by a spectacular electrical storm on Tuesday evening –that the Hunter has experienced in recent days.

    Despite an overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that the greenhouse effect has us on an accelerating destiny with climate disaster, substantial numbers of ns are either unconcerned or somehow at ease with the increasingly bleak picture being painted by those whose job it is to understand the situation.

    Such a disconnection is perhaps not that surprising: here, in the Hunter region, we gain a substantial amount of our wealth from coal mining. If we accept that the combustion of fossil fuels is amajor contributor to rising carbon dioxide levels, then many of us must go about our daily roles knowing that our industry is having a measurable and negative effect on the planet.

    That is not an easy concept to rationalise, so that even if we do, deep down, accept that the scientists are right, we still have to live with ourselves, so it is easier to discount concerns about the future, and concentrate on the everyday business of living in the here and now.

    Even so, the intensity of the weekend’s heatwave isworth pausing over.

    As unlikely as it may seem, the Bureau of Meteorology confirmed that Penrith was the hottest place on earth on Sunday when its temperature peaked at 47.3 degrees in the afternoon. Plenty of places in the Hunter also pushed through the 40-degree mark. That’s 110 degrees for those older readers who still picture hot weatherin fahrenheit rather than celsius.

    But it’s the broader picture of those day-to-day occurrences that build to turn temperature into climate, and the early analysis of global 2017 weather data describes last year as the second-hottest on record, and the hottest on record for a year without the short-term warming influence of an El Nino.

    With carbon dioxide levels continuing to rise, one n National University study reported in October last year by Fairfax Media said Sydney could expect 50-degree days within a couple of decades, even within thetwo-degree warming limit agreed to in the 2015 Paris accord. Sadly, that’s just 2.7degrees above Penrith on Sunday.

    ISSUE: 38,694.

    Continue reading THE HERALD’S OPINION: Climate change and the weekend’s baking heatwave
  • admin 11:15 on 06/18/2019  

    A massive shelf cloud ploughs along the Sydney coast as severe storms hit the City. Mona Vale. Pic Nick Moir 9 jan 2018 WEATHER: A big storm hits Bondi Beach in the early evening, on 9 January 2018. Photo: Jessica Hromas
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    WEATHER: A big storm hits Tamarama Beach in the early evening, on 9 January 2018. Photo: Jessica Hromas

    SMH. Weather generic. 9th of January 2018. People watch as a storm approaches Clovelly from the south. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer

    Thunderstorms again battered Sydney on Tuesday evening, cutting power to thousands of homes after almost 22,000 lightning strikes hit the city in the early morning.

    The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning just after 6pm for large hailstones, damaging winds, heavy rainfall and possible flash flooding.

    Thunderstorms swept across the Sydney basin towards the north-east, impacting a wide area including the Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury region, Greater Wollongong, Sydney, Wollondilly and Wingecarribee.

    A forecast released by the Bureau of Meteorology showed a huge storm front advancing up the coast.

    Storms approach Sydney early on Tuesday evening. Photo: Bureau of Meteorology

    About 11,000 homes and businesses in Sydney, the Illawarra and the Southern Highlands lost power in the storm, Endeavour Energy said, after the network suffered “extensive” damage.

    “Damage has been caused by very strong winds bringing trees and branches over power lines and lightning strikes to two major substations,” a spokesperson said.

    “Power has been lost to the Bulli Zone Substation after lightning damaged both major cables to the site.

    “Endeavour Energy is bringing in extra crews to assist with restoration efforts, but has asked customers to be patient due to the extensive damage to the network.”

    Just before 11pm on Tuesday, Endeavour Energy said it had restored power to all but 2100 customers, and several hundred customers were not expected to have their power restored until Wednesday morning.

    The main suburbs affected included Prospect, Seven Hills, Kurrajong, Winmalee, Appin, Helensburgh, Stanwell Park, Douglas Park, Wilton and Otford.

    In the Southern Highlands, suburbs hit by the power outage include Bowral, Berry, Kangaroo Valley and Broughton Vale.

    Swimmers taking a dip at Bondi made a hasty exit as dark clouds and shelf clouds started gathering on the coast, while storm watchers at Mona Vale, Clovelly and Tamarama paused to take photos.

    The worst of the storm had passed by 8pm, when the Bureau said the “immediate threat of severe thunderstorms has passed”. In its place, Sydney was treated to an orange-pink sunset and a rainbow.

    Large wind gusts were recorded in the state’s south and west on Tuesday afternoon, with a gust of 98km/h felt at Parkes at 3.59pm, 122km/h recorded at Nowra at 4.54pm, and 92km/h felt at Condobolin at 2.40pm.

    A general severe thunderstorm warning remained in place on Tuesday night for Newcastle, Gosford, Mudgee, Tamworth, Gunnedah and Dubbo.

    Storms early on Tuesday morning, which delivered the large number of lightning strikes as monitored by Weatherzone, also caused power outages and train delays for morning commuters.

    Lightning affected the train network across Sydney, including the T3 Bankstown Line which was disrupted by a morning strike.

    Thunderstorms could remain a possibility in coming days, particularly in western parts of Sydney, said Weatherzone meteorologist Kim Westcott.

    Sydney, though, can expect some relief from the recent heat, with daytime temperatures easing back to more typical levels for January of about 25-26 degrees.

    The next bout of heat should arrive from Friday, with the mercury nudging back towards 30 degrees.

    The western suburbs, though, will again be in for some hot days, with 35 degrees tipped for Penrith on Friday and another day of 40 degrees for Saturday.

    Sunday may feel even cool, with a top of 23 degrees forecast for the city and 28 in the west.

    Storms may bring the best chance for more than the odd few millimetres of rain over the next week. Penrith could receive as much as 20 millimetres of rain on Saturday, the bureau said.

    Weatherzone is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website.

    with Rachel Clun

    Continue reading Storms return but a cooler spell possible by the weekend
  • admin 11:15 on 06/18/2019  

    It appears that it wasn’t just women who were allegedly subjected to actor Craig McLachlan’s inappropriate behaviour.
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    A male crew member on one of McLachlan’s shows has approached police after a Fairfax Media and ABC investigation revealed that the actor had indecently assaulted and harassed female cast members. The nature of the complaint is not known.

    In December actresses Erika Heynatz and Angela Scundi made complaints to Victoria Police alleging that a number of actresses in the 2014 Rocky Horror Show were subjected to McLachlan touching their genitals, groping their breasts, exposing himself and pressing his penis against them.

    Some of the inappropriate touching of genitals is alleged to have occurred when the women were on stage performing and McLachlan could not be seen by the audience.

    McLachlan, 52, has previously said that “these allegations are ALL made up”. He has also claimed that the women had lied and their motives were “perhaps made for financial reasons, perhaps to gain notoriety”.

    The Gold Logie award-winning actor famous for his starring roles in The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Neighbours and Home and Away has since been stood aside from the current production of The Rocky Horror Show, which opened on New Year’s Eve in Adelaide.

    Only recently the show’s creator Richard O’Brien said of McLachlan: “If most people went to the lengths Craig does, it would be offensive, but it never is with him. Of course, we have to rein him in occasionally.”

    In music legend Ian “Molly” Meldrum’s autobiography Ah Well, Nobody’s Perfect, McLachlan recounted an incident in the late 1990s when Meldrum filled in on Rocky Horror as the narrator.

    “I couldn’t help myself this night,” said McLachlan, who explained in the book that he was off stage and the audience couldn’t see him.

    Craig McLachlan and his female accusers (clockwise from top left) Angela Scundi, Christie Whelan Browne and Erika Heynatz.

    “As Molly was reading his piece, I glided my seven-inch stiletto heel on to the back of his trouser leg. By the time I got to his knee, the audience could see my shoe. I continued up – I located where I imagined his arsehole to be.

    “Molly looked down ready to give me a good serve, but I had manipulated my dick out of my G-string and was wildly swinging my member. My stiletto is a good four inches up his arse and I’m whipping my member around.

    “I was too much for Molly. He lost it and said, ‘Craig, you are awful to me!’

    “‘I’m Frank-N-Furter, you idiot’,” I hissed. “‘If you’re gonna lose it, at least stay in character!'”

    In more recent times, McLachlan has played a joke on a male colleague, sources have claimed to Fairfax Media. He would ask them to check to see if there was anything on his shoulder. When they came closer to have a look, he took the opportunity to grab their genitals.

    Continue reading Male crew member approaches police about complaint against Craig McLachlan
  • admin 11:15 on 06/18/2019  

    Beijing: It has been proposed that North Korean athletes jointly enter the Olympic stadium with South Korean athletes, behind a single Korean peninsula flag, in a revival of the peace gesture pioneered at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
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    The offer was made at the first high-level talks between North Korea and South Korea in two years at the border village of Panmunjom on Tuesday.

    The meeting had focused on North Korea’s participation in the winter Olympics, but also resulted in the two countries agreeing to hold separate military talks on easing border tensions.

    Tuesday’s meeting was a breakthrough after a two-year communications freeze, during which time North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had defied the international community by ratcheting up his nuclear weapons and missile program.

    Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in were able to listen in to the meeting on Tuesday morning between the two nation’s unification and sports ministers. Negotiations continued in the afternoon between officials.

    In 2000, International Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch had personally negotiated the deal for the two Koreas to wear the same uniform and enter the Olympic Stadium together, after writing to Kim Jong-il.

    North Korea responded with the idea of a single flag, because it said the “ultimate goal” was unification.

    But the mood in 2000, when a landmark summit had taken place in Pyongyang between the senior Kim and then South Korean president Kim Dae-jung, and paved the way for family reunions, is vastly different to the global mood today.

    For months, the tweeted barbs of US President Donald Trump, and verbal missives of North Korean leader Kim, have suggested the world could be on the brink of a nuclear war.

    The United Nations Security Council has imposed harsh economic sanctions on North Korea. Tough bans on its workers and companies operating in China due to take effect this month will severely cut foreign cash to the regime.

    But Kim’s New Year’s Day proposal that North Korea participate in the Winter Olympics, which open in Pyeongchang on February 9, appears to have acted as a circuit breaker.

    Ahead of the talks, the US and South Korea agreed to suspend military drills while the Olympics is held, and a hotline between north and south has reopened.

    In the meeting on Tuesday, North Korea agreed to send athletes, cheerleaders, artists, spectators, officials and a demonstration taekwondo team.

    North Korea reopened a military hotline with the south on Tuesday.

    A joint statement released on Tuesday evening said North Korea and South Korea had agreed to activate exchanges in diverse areas, and to continue talking to improve relations.

    South Korea said the two sides were “getting closer” on the joint march into the Olympic stadium, Yonhap reported.

    Earlier, during a break in the meeting, South Korean Vice Minister of Unification Chun Hae-sung quoted Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon as saying: “It is necessary to relaunch dialogue as soon as possible for peaceful settlement like denuclearisation. Based on the mutual respect and cooperation, any action that escalates tension on the peninsular should be stopped.”

    However North Korea’s chief delegate was reported to be “strongly dissatisfied” with any mention of denuclearisation.

    The office of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had earlier briefed journalists in South Korea it was premature to judge the meeting “as the beginning of something”, because North Korea may have only wanted to talk about the Olympics.

    The US policy on North Korea “remains focused on our global pressure campaign that is designed to bring Kim Jong-un to the table for meaningful negotiations,” said Brian Hook, a senior policy advisor.

    He said the US wanted “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.

    On Chinese television, commentators highlighted the importance of sports diplomacy in history, recalling “ping-pong diplomacy” was credited with thawing relations between the US and Communist China in 1971.

    The success of the American ping pong team’s tour to China in April 1971 paved the way for US president Richard Nixon’s visit 10 months later, reviving diplomatic relations after 22-years.

    Some observers cautioned that North Korea may attempt to wedge South Korea and the US, and expect an easing of tough United Nations sanctions in return for its participation in the Olympics.

    South Korea’s proposal at the meeting to hold a reunification event for families during the Lunar New Year, on February 16, was not mentioned in the joint statement.

    Family reunification has been a priority for Moon, elected in May, whose parents were North Korean refugees.

    South Korean media reported that the last time the two Koreas marched together at the Olympics was the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. Just days before the opening ceremony, speed skater Lee Bo-ran received a phone call from her coach, telling her she had been selected as the Korean Peninsula flag bearer, along with North Korean male figure skater Han Jong-in.

    “I want to see the South-North joint march again at the Winter Olympic Games. It will be more meaningful as the Team Korea will be the last team in as the host country,” she told Yonhap on Tuesday.

    Continue reading North Korea to send delegation to South Korea Olympics
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