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  • admin 20:39 on 15/03/2019  

    The Coalition government is continuing to sidestep whether it will support an international investigation into war crimes in Sri Lanka, despite Labor and the Greens backing it.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The US-backed resolution, to be debated by the United Nations Human Rights Council this week, aims to enforce an international independent investigation into alleged war crimes, which could lead to the prosecution of current members of the Sri Lankan government.

    While an Australian government official will attend the debate, it is unknown whether Australia will back the resolution.

    While Australia is not one of the 47 members of the council who vote, it is able to co-sponsor the resolution if it backs the inquiry.

    Opposition spokeswoman for foreign affairs Tanya Plibersek called for Australia to support the investigation on Monday, saying we should support our ”usual allies”.

    ”Our call for the Australian government is to support the draft resolution before the Human Rights Council to reduce violations and abuses and [that] puts us in company with all of our usual allies,” Ms Plibersek said.

    Under a Labor government in 2012 and 2013 the Australian government supported the Sri Lankan government to conduct its own internal investigations.

    But Liberal MP Michael Sukkar hinted the Australian government may not back the external investigation, saying the government would rather work closely with the Sri Lankan government to improve human rights.

    ”It is this approach rather than one that seeks to isolate the Sri Lanka government that we consider will ultimately achieve human rights,” he said.

    Mr Sukkar said the government was yet to receive the final text on the resolution and would ”not be pushed into making a decision by the Labor or the Greens”.

    But time is running out. The council is set to meet on Thursday in Geneva.

    In a letter to Ms Bishop, six eminent citizens including former foreign minister Gareth Evans, and former prime minister Malcolm Fraser have urged the government to support the investigation.

    Clarification: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop would attend the UN debate.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Continue reading Coalition sidestepping push for external Sri Lankan human rights inquiry
  • admin 20:39 on 15/03/2019  

    Direct: Rob Horne will start on the wing. Photo: Jenny EvansJOHANNESBURG: The Waratahs have staged a major overhaul of their back line to face the Sharks on Saturday (Sunday AEDT) after losing fullback Israel Folau to injury.
    Nanjing Night Net

    NSW coach Michael Cheika has resisted moving Kurtley Beale back into his conventional position of fullback and will instead start former Queensland utility Jono Lance in the No.15 jersey.

    Cheika has also elevated former Test centre Rob Horne to the starting line up but named him on the wing for the first time with Peter Betham and left intact the blossoming partnership of playmakers Beale and Bernard Foley.

    It will be just the second time in Folau’s career with NSW that the side has started without him. A hamstring injury incurred while with the Wallabies sidelined the dual international for the Waratahs’ season-ender against the Reds at ANZ Stadium last year, which the home side lost 14-12.

    “Obviously it’s a bit of blow when you lose one of the top players in the country,” Cheika said.

    “But there’s a bit of a silver lining there at the end of it too in the way that players will get an opportunity who have been knocking on the door for a while.

    “To be a successful team in this competition the ability to rotate and deal with injuries is part and parcel of the game.

    “As much as I would love to have him out there I am very keen on the opportunity to see the other lads run out there and see how we perform against one of the top teams.”

    The dual international remains in Sydney with a bruised and swollen throat but the Waratahs are hopeful he will join them at the weekend and be fit for their second game, against the Stormers in Cape Town, next week.

    Rookie winger Alofa Alofa drops out of the starting side, but Cheika insisted it had nothing to do with the exciting young prospect’s form.

    “[Horne] is a good, hard, fast runner and we’ll be able to use him in some of the more direct stuff,” he said.

    “He came on there against Melbourne [in the 52nd minute] and we think there’s a mix there that we can use that could be beneficial to the team … he’s done very well every time he’s come on for us and he just beat Matt Carraro to the punch.”

    Cheika has made five changes to the pack, restoring Benn Robinson to the front row, moving Sekope Kepu to tighthead and benching Paddy Ryan.

    Wycliff Palu returns to the starting side at No.8, moving captain Dave Dennis back to blindside breakaway and Jacques Potgieter back to the second row with Kane Douglas. Will Skelton will come off the bench.

    Cheika was reluctant break up the partnership of five-eighth Foley and Beale, who has been popping up at first receiver, fullback and the wing at various times so far this season.

    “I just think that they’re playing nicely together at 10-12 and Kurtley’s playing a bit all over the place anyway as part of our strategy,” he said.

    “We’re comfortable with the mix we’ve got both from an attack and defensive point of view and I’m sure we’ll be able to get our recipe right on both sides of the ball for the match to make it real competitive.”

    Cheika is yet to finalise the make up of the bench and is expected to make those decisions later in the week.

    Waratahs starting XV: Jono Lance, Rob Horne, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Kurtley Beale, Peter Betham, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Dave Dennis (c), Kane Douglas, Jacques Potgieter, Sekope Kepu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Continue reading Jono Lance gets nod as Michael Cheika shuffles Waratahs back line for Sharks clash
  • admin 20:39 on 15/03/2019  

    Carly Saunders and Tresne Middleton. POPULAR My Kitchen Rules contestants Carly Saunders and Tresne Middleton have been praised for revealing their romantic relationship by homosexual support services that say young gay people have few celebrity role models.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The home cooks from Maryland were promoted on the Prime7 show as being best friends, but publicly declared yesterday through an interview with New Idea magazine they had celebrated their love in a commitment ceremony.

    The couple planned an engagement party in March 2012, when they surprised 50 of their family and friends by changing into wedding dresses and bringing out a celebrant.

    Warners Bay High School food technology teacher Saunders told the magazine the pair wanted viewers to judge them on their cooking skills and initially didn’t tell the producers or the other contestants they were in a steady relationship.

    ‘‘We wanted to go on the show as ourselves and have people judge us on our cooking and not our sexual preference,’’ Saunders told New Idea, which is affiliated to the Seven Network.

    But Steve Bates Real Estate agent Middleton said many of the contestants and production staff realised early in the series.

    ‘‘They picked it up after the second instant restaurant, even though we are not a couple who indulge in public displays of affection.’’

    Budgewoi-raised Saunders, 32, and Clarence Town-raised Middleton, 29, met about eight years ago and bonded over their love of music festivals. They sport identical music-note tattoos that Saunders said were ‘‘to remind us not to get so busy making a living we forget to make a life’’.

    The couple told the magazine they had enjoyed two proposals – at a music festival a year after they met and another in England, where they worked for 10 months.

    Saunders told the Newcastle Herald in late February that participating on the show had strengthened their relationship.

    ‘‘I’ve never met anyone like Tres and we’ve been inseparable ever since we’ve known each other – she’s one of a kind,’’ she said.

    Manager Terence Humphreys from Twenty10, a non-profit support service for gay and lesbian people, praised Saunders and Middleton for ‘‘being brave’’ and becoming role models.

    “I think anyone disclosing their sexuality in the media is a good thing …

    ‘‘Young people have very few role models they can look out and see because there is so much pressure and stigma and violence against people who are LGBITQ [lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, intersex, transgender and queer], because we don’t have a big smorgasbord of celebrities to choose from.”



    IF you missed the headline, this is it: Carly and Tresne, best friends to the 2million-plus viewers of My Kitchen Rules every week, are a gay couple.

    Not the first gay people on television, but Australian television’s first reality TV gay super-couple, perhaps.

    While the audience digest this rather large morsel and its implications for a reality TV show where everything hinges on personality conflict and game play, it begs the question: in the heavily manipulated world of reality TV, just who is pulling the strings?

    The producers have said the decision to keep their sexuality out of the picture was made by the contestants themselves.

    But the secret is out, and the series is still on air. Which means the declaration has all the hallmarks of a reality TV twist, designed to affect the game or the audience’s perception.

    Whether the decision to keep their sexuality a secret is indeed their own is almost beside the point now.

    The inescapable truth is that twists and turns are the highest-denomination currency in the world of reality TV.

    Some of those are structural, such as reinstating previously jettisoned contestants on MasterChef or staging fake evictions on Big Brother. Much like exchanging tribe members on Survivor, they are simply par for the course now and barely cause a blip on the radar.

    The closest analogy to Carly and Tresne’s revelation is perhaps that of Big Brother contestant David Graham, who chose to use his appearance on the series as a platform to come out – not just to the TV audience and his housemates, but to some members of his family as well.

    Unlike most twists of this genre, Carly and Tresne’s declaration did not come via the program itself but via the Seven Network-owned New Idea magazine.

    This is clearly different. Their message is not necessarily political. Nor can it affect the outcome of the series. Or can it? Unlike some reality TV shows, audience voting does not shape the outcome of ‘‘the game’’ on My Kitchen Rules.

    But it does shape the conversation and will perhaps help Seven push the show’s ratings even higher.

    In marketing terms, the strategy has already paid off.

    Continue reading Maryland MKR pair come outto wide acclaim
  • admin 20:39 on 15/03/2019  

    Treasurer Joe Hockey has been accused of drawing too heavily on the advice of investment bankers and hedge fund managers to guide the government’s financial system inquiry.
    Nanjing Night Net

    The Treasurer appointed four business people to head the inquiry’s international advisory panel, including former Goldman Sachs investment banker Sir Michael Hintze and JP Morgan investment banker Jennifer Nason.

    Sir Michael is the founder of $12 billion London-based hedge fund CQS and is a prominent philanthropist and donor to the Conservative Party in the UK.

    Also on the advisory panel is former Westpac chief executive and Treasury deputy secretary David Morgan, who is currently head of private equity group JC Flowers in Europe and Asia, and former central banker Andrew Sheng, head of the Hong Kong think tank Fung Global Institute.

    Mr Hockey said the panel would advise the government on aspects of the inquiry’s terms of reference, including ”technological change, Australia’s global competitiveness and offshore regulatory frameworks”.

    Professor Milind Sathye, head of accounting, banking and finance at the University of Canberra, said the panel drew heavily on investment banking experience rather than retail or regulatory experience.

    ”What this means for the inquiry is that the investment banking angle will always dominate the thinking of the financial system inquiry,” he said.

    He said the government missed an opportunity to seek crucial advice from international regulators in the US and Europe, particularly in regard to stress-testing of banks in the wake of the global financial crisis.

    ”We have already seen what happens to the big five investment banks in the US – they are no longer there. They have either merged or gone out of business,” he said.

    ”From a funding perspective, it is necessary to know about investment banking, but we should not lose sight of the core business of banking in Australia, which is retail banking and strong regulatory advice.”

    The Australian Bankers’ Association chief executive Steven Munchenberg welcomed the appointments, saying they would give ”a good sense of the trends and forces that may shape our future”.

    ”We also want the Inquiry to look at the opportunities and challenges ahead for the Australian economy and the financial system that serves it,” he said.

    But Dr Richard Denniss, executive director of think tank The Australia Institute, said Mr Hockey had failed to consult a diversity of voices in appointing the international panel.

    ”It would make sense to have regulators, consumer representatives and academics from around the world,” he said.

    The government is still taking submissions to the inquiry, which will be made available to the public in April. Chris Whitehead, the chief executive of the country’s biggest credit union, CUA, said he was disappointed the government had not sought out any views from cooperative banks.

    ”It’s not adding diversity to the discussion”.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Continue reading Joe Hockey gives financial system inquiry international flavour
  • admin 20:39 on 15/03/2019  

    Staying on: Swans coach John Longmire. Photo: Sebastian CostanzoSydney has indicated that they are not overly concerned with the opening-round defeat to GWS, extending the contract of coach John Longmire for a further two years.
    Nanjing Night Net

    Longmire is now locked in at the helm of the Swans until the end of 2017, giving him the longest job security amongst the 18 AFL senior coaches.

    Longmire, 43, took over the mantle at the Swans after replacing the retiring Paul Roos at the end of 2010, under whom Longmire had served as a deputy for nine seasons. In just his second year in charge he became a premiership coach as his side defied the odds to defeat Hawthorn in the grand final.

    Newly appointed Sydney chairman Andrew Pridham was glowing in his praise of Longmire, who has won 48 of his 75 games in charge.

    “John has proven an outstanding senior coach since taking on the role in 2011,” Pridham said.

    “His work with the playing group and vision for our team is second to none.

    “On and off the field, the club is in great shape, and shoring up John’s future at until 2017 is another great step forward.”

    Should Longmire see out his contract, he would rise to third in the all-time games coached tally at the club, behind only Roos (202 games) and Rodney Eade (152 games).

    Swans chief executive Andrew Ireland outlined the importance of having leadership stability in ensuring long-term success.

    “The club believes that having an eye for the future is equally as important as the here and now,” Ireland said.

    “So having John commit to at least the end of 2017 gives him and [football manager] Dean Moore the opportunity to build the football department for not only this season, but seasons to come.

    “John is an incredibly hard-working coach who has overseen finals campaigns in each of his three seasons in charge.

    “This is a strong and united playing group that continually sets high standards for themselves and much of that is owed to John’s leadership.”

    The Swans have not been averse to long-term contracts in recent times, handing star recruit Lance Franklin a nine-year deal late last year which is set to expire in 2021, by which time Franklin will be 36.

    This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

    Continue reading Longmire extends Swans contract
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