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  • admin 13:44 on 07/18/2019  

    Sydney’s tennis facilities are in urgent need of an upgrade according to the ATP, which sees as a potential host nation of its revamped World Teams Cup in from 2020.
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    Singapore, China and the United States are all believed to be vying for the right to stage the event when it returns to the men’s calendar for the first time since 2012, but looms as the most logical location for the season-opening tournament that is set to become the key lead-up to the n Open.

    The proposed World Teams Cup is envisaged to be the biggest tennis event on the globe outside of the four grand slams, with 24 countries to be represented by most of the world’s top 100 players in a round-robin format culminating in a three-day finals series. A decision on the host nation isn’t expected until at least March.

    Securing the World Teams Cup could hinge on the NSW Government significantly improving Sydney’s tennis facilities, which have laid stagnant at Olympic Park since the 2000 Games. Should be awarded the tournament, the ATP believes Sydney should host the final given its standing on the global stage.

    Ken Rosewell Arena, which has a capacity of about 10,000 and is hosting the Sydney International this week, doesn’t have a roof, or the required corporate and player facilities to host a premier ATP event.

    Brisbane and Perth are ATP standard while a redeveloped arena in Adelaide was announced earlier this week, which places Sydney beneath that trio and Melbourne in terms of tennis infrastructure.

    The NSW Government conducted a feasibility study last year into the need for a multi-use indoor arena in the city, and says it will consider constructing one “in due course” as part of its broader stadia strategy.

    In November the Gladys Berejiklian government announced $2 billion worth of funding to rebuild Allianz and ANZ Stadiums, while construction on a new stadium at Parramatta is already underway.

    A multi-purpose indoor arena that could seat up to 12,000 people and be used for concerts alongside tennis, netball, basketball and a range of other indoor sports would cost an estimated $400 million, although that figure could change substantially.

    No public timeframe has been set on any potential new indoor arena, but the ATP is hopeful their revamped World Teams Cup will be ready to resume its place on the tennis schedule in two years.

    That leaves at risk of missing out on the tournament with the ATP keen to use Sydney to showcase the event.

    “It would be very important for Sydney to have a facility that is up to the highest standard of our sport and especially up to the highest standards of other locations in ,” the ATP’s chief player officer Ross Hutchins told Fairfax Media.

    “If we do send this event to and we are able to secure an agreement, we’d want to be in Sydney but the board and management and certainly the ATP require the levels to be very very high, and higher than what they are currently.”

    Tennis NSW has held positive discussions with sports minister Stuart Ayres over the past year about the need to improve the city’s facilities, although that dialogue is yet to progress into a planning phase.

    A second option is to upgrade the current tennis facility at Olympic Park at far less cost, before ultimately moving into the proposed indoor arena. That possibility was floated two years ago at the cost of $50m, but is yet to eventuate.

    Alison Lee, the ATP’s executive vice president international group, said Sydney’s tennis facilities were well below standard.

    “Sydney’s definitely part of the proposal but as we know Sydney’s existing venue at Homebush isn’t anywhere near up to par with the other venues around ,” Lee said.

    “Tennis in Sydney has been neglected for a long time. We moved out here with the tournament for the Olympics and I don’t think anything’s been done much to the venue out here since then.

    “Something needs to be done certainly in terms of venue as well as investment.”

    A recent Tennis study concluded hosting the World Teams Cup would inject up to $40m per year into the economy, with more than half of that benefiting Sydney alone.

    “We’ve been making the case very strongly with minister Ayres and his government colleagues that for Sydney to remain a core component of the summer of tennis, really now the time has come for us to invest in a venue,” Tennis NSW chief Lawrence Robertson said.

    “It’s not just about tennis. Tennis brings global icons and our week of tennis reaches over 200 territories worldwide and a global audience reach of over a billion viewers.

    “We believe we bring something different to the table than say NRL or the AFL or to some extent even cricket because tennis is a genuinely global sport. Sydney is seen the world over as the global city of .”

    Continue reading Sydney needs tennis upgrade to host World Teams Cup
     
  • admin 13:44 on 07/18/2019  

    The acquisitive Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, which is under scrutiny globally over its opaque ownership structure, lodged five incomplete notices with the ASX that failed to properly disclose how its major stake in Virgin was controlled.
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    HNA has told the ASX that five substantial holder notices lodged between June 2016 and October 2017 relating to its 19 per cent stake in Virgin failed to list entities that held a “relevant interest” in the airline.

    Under n corporations law, investors that control more than 5 per cent of an ASX-listed company must notify the company and the ASX when they increase or decrease their holding.

    This includes the disclosure of “relevant interest” – parties that can exercise influence over shares through ownership or other forms of control and power – that may be indirect or informal.

    HNA’s disclosure to Virgin and the ASX, dated January 2, says it failed to include several relevant parties because of “an oversight”.

    HNA said all its companies in the “chain of ownership down to the entity directly holding [Virgin] shares” were disclosed but “sister companies of those entities were incorrectly omitted as they do not directly or indirectly have an interest in those shares but instead are deemed to have a relevant interest under the Corporations Act”.

    “HNA Group is committed to complying with its ongoing disclosure obligations in the n market”, HNA said.

    HNA’s investment in Virgin was made through a Hong Kong listed entity called HNA Innovation Ventures, and its initial notice of interest lodged on June 2016 listed six other bodies that had a relevant interest in Virgin through a chain of ownership linking back to HNA Group and that two entities that own it.

    By October last year the total number of parties with relevant interests had grown to 11, and the updated Janaury 2 register lists 15 parties with relevant interests.

    The mea culpa comes as regulators and governments worldwide turn the screws on the group over its opaque and byzantine ownership.

    New Zealand’s overseas investment agency last month blocked HNA’s proposed $NZ660 million ($603 million) purchase of ANZ’s UDC Finance business because it could not determine who would ultimately control the business.

    And in November a Swiss regulator ruled it provided false information when it bought the airport services giant Gategroup.

    HNA is suing New York-based Chinese fugitive Guo Wengui over his allegations that HNA has secret ties to a high-ranking Communist Party official.

    In November HNA bought a refrigerated logistics business from ASX-listed car dealership Automotive Holdings Group for $400 million.

    The group has made more than $US40 billion of acquisitions across the globe since the start of 2016.

    Continue reading HNA Group failed to fully disclose control of Virgin China stake
     
  • admin 13:44 on 07/18/2019  

    MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Kylie Caro and Lisa Caro are married by Civial Marriage Celebrant Elizabeth Trevan in Wisteria Room in Centiennial Park, Sydney on 9 January 2018. Photo: Jessica HromasSame couples around the country are taking advantage of their new right and law to marry the person they choose regardless of gender. MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Kylie Caro and Lisa Caro with their baby daughter Isla, 1, are photographed on their wedding day in the pine forest in Centiennial Park, Sydney on 9 January 2018. Photo: Jessica Hromas
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    Eighteen months ago, Kylie and Lisa Caro walked down the aisle for the first time.

    Wearing white gowns, they met at Centennial Park to pledge their love for one another in a commitment ceremony watched by family and friends.

    But there was one thing the ceremony was unable to do: declare them legally wed.

    On Tuesday, the couple again donned their dresses. This time they were getting married, after the government voted last year to legalise same-sex marriage.

    Joined by their young daughter Isla, they walked down the aisle at Centennial Park in front of close family.

    “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” Kylie said. “We’re both still on cloud nine.”

    The pair, who started dating in 2013 and soon realised they were “soulmates”, are among the first couples to get married after the law officially changed on December 9.

    At first, the couple had no desire to have their union legally recognised, but as debate grew they realised they were guarding their emotions in case politicians voted against marriage equality.

    “We thought maybe in five or 10 years we might renew our vows and legalise it at that point, but as the bill changed and the emotions grew we realised we actually did want this more than we were letting on to ourselves,” Kylie said.

    Kylie and Lisa contacted their marriage celebrant on December 8 and signed their notice of intended marriage the next day.

    With other couples around the country, they waited the required one month, meaning Tuesday was the first possible day they could tie the knot.

    “It feels like we’ve validated what we tried to do 18 months ago,” Kylie said on Tuesday afternoon.

    “We had a beautiful wedding and it was a day we’ll always cherish, but there was that one really special element missing from it, and that was exactly what we got to fulfil this morning.”

    Though the ceremony was small, Kylie said she allowed cameras in because it was important for her and Lisa to show their love to the rest of the country.

    “For us, it was really important to share today and the joy it brought to us with , because I feel like without the voices that were heard during the postal vote, we wouldn’t have the privilege of standing there today, saying those legal vows,” Kylie said.

    “I feel like this is our way of saying thanks and showing people that this is the joy we can now experience, all because our country had the voice to say ‘let these people have equal love’.”

    To celebrate their first night as a married couple, Kylie and Lisa planned to have dinner with family at Restaurant 317 in Parramatta, where they had their first date. They hope to conceive a sibling for Isla, to be born by the end of the year.

    Continue reading ‘Soulmates’ among first same-sex couples to marry
     
  • admin 13:44 on 07/18/2019  

    Eastern suburbs lothario and “playboy rapist” Simon Monteiro will be back on the streets within a month after being granted parole, despite his victims’ fears that lives could be in danger.
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    Monteiro, who has served almost 10 years of a 12-year sentence for the rape and assault of a girlfriend in Bellevue Hill in 2009, will be eligible for parole from January 30 if his post-release accommodation passes review.

    A State Parole Authority spokeswoman said Monteiro, who has changed his name from Simon Lowe, would be released under “strict conditions such as electronic monitoring, drug and alcohol testing and psychological counselling”.

    “He will remain under strict supervision until his maximum sentence expires in April 2020,” the spokeswoman said. “The offender will be required to live at an approved address and not visit the local council areas of Randwick City, Waverley and Woollahra.”

    Fairfax Media revealed Monteiro’s imminent release in September, including a chilling warning from victims of the former model and aspiring actor that they fear his release could put lives at risk.

    In a submission to the parole board last year, and provided to Fairfax Media, one of his victims, Kim Gentle, said she believed Monteiro’s offending would only escalate, and pointed to the case of Adrian Bayley, the paroled rapist who raped and killed Melbourne woman Jill Meagher.

    Simon Monteiro has been granted bail. Photo: Supplied

    “His release into society not only puts me at risk again but also many of his past victims,” she wrote in her submission. “The offender is an extremely narcissistic, violent recidivist ??? with many antisocial mental health issues that are still variously diagnosed [and] with a history of committing offences whilst on bail.”

    In custody, Monteiro has assaulted prison staff and threatened to rape a guard’s wife. He was denied parole in 2015 and 2016.

    His offences have been the subject of a petition signed by more than 30,000 ns to keep him behind bars and reform the parole system “to ensure that offenders who are not truly reformed and continue to pose a risk to the community are not released, even if their sentence is up”.

    Monteiro told the parole authority the online petition was “based on a lot of things … that are not true”, and unfairly painted him as “monsters incorporated” and “the anti-christ”.

    Monteiro, 51, had once boasted Hollywood connections, including a brief relationship with Oscar nominee Barbara Hershey.

    A spokeswoman for Corrections Minister David Elliott said the state government “opposed parole and is disappointed with the outcome”.

    “Legal advice is being sought to determine what further action can be taken,” the spokeswoman said.

    Continue reading ‘Playboy rapist’ granted parole despite victims’ fears
     
  • admin 13:44 on 07/18/2019  

    The first time the Ashes changed hands in 1883, they were presented by Lady Janet Clarke and her music teacher, Florence Morphy, to English captain Ivo Bligh. The backdrop was Rupertswood, the Clarke family’s elegant mansion outside Sunbury. The next year, Bligh returned to to marry Morphy.
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    For Bligh, that made it a clean sweep.

    In the most recent rite on Sunday, the prize was presented by one n captain, Mark Taylor, to another, Steve Smith. Among the accompanying party was the vice-something-or-other of Magellan, the series sponsor. I am presuming that the moment inspired you all to rush out to buy half-a-dozen Magellans in a range of colours.

    The backdrop to this presentation was a giant pair of inflatable hands, one painted in n colours holding up four fingers, the other, in English livery, clenched to signal zero. These props looked as if they had been discarded from a children’s birthday party or a Mardi Gras float. The effect was about as charming as a pneumatic cow pat.

    But, heh, we’ve got the Ashes, so stfu England.

    Bligh’s team were welcomed to with a house party, also at Rupertswood, and a social game, at which it is probable that the urn first appeared. Joe Root’s team were greeted with veiled threats, and from Cricket this subtle and achingly evocative slogan: #beatengland.

    In televised ads, beanie-clad pre-schoolers were co-opted to the snarling cause. They were about as cute as junior Chopper Reads.

    But we’ve got the Ashes, so England can sit on it. And while, they’re at it, shove fast food buckets over their heads. Wait, no, that’s us.

    In sports marketing’s race to the bottom, CA is winning ugly. At every turn, in every competition, in every format, it seeks to dumb down the game and patronise the fans. The banality would make sense only if it emerged that somewhere in a back office, gurus are running a competition not only to take the public for fools, but to make fools of them, to see how infantile they dare be before James Sutherland finally says: enough.

    The prize is a complete set of life-sized, fully refundable Magellans.

    But, look: Scoreboard. Ashes. Stick it where it fits, England.

    Monday’s garish effort was the raising of many fingers, to England, to ideals of grace, humility, taste and sportsmanship, to the respect for opposition and the game they preach about elsewhere. Not content to let Ashes victory speak for itself, CA had to bellow over the top of it.

    So what? Didn’t England celebrate in 2010 by performing the so-called sprinkler dance on the MCG, and after that in 2013 by urinating on the pitch at The Oval?

    Yes, they did. But there is no accounting for the spontaneous and sometimes misguided actions of sportspeople in their hours of euphoric triumph.

    There is, or should be, accounting for responsible governing bodies. The English heroes of ’13 would not have thought twice before pissing from a great height. CA thought for months, set their finest minds to work, set aside a budget, approved a design, commissioned a designer and builder, also made a contingency plan for 3-0, and in what should have been a memorable moment managed only to Piss From A Great Height (trademark).

    If you were to read the summer’s official hashtag as “beaten gland”, you might be close to the process that created this monstrosity.

    Still, Ashes, heh! #beatengland, heh! Four-nil, England. Shove that up your Ivo.

    Count them, one, two, three, four, nil.

    Idiots.

    Continue reading Raised fingers make for ugly Chinans
     
  • 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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