Month: April 2019

Tahs ready for Super Rugby kicking assault

Centre Kurtley Beale says NSW might copy the Highlanders’ tactics for their Super Rugby clash.A fingernail away from ending Australia’s Super Rugby drought over the past two weeks, the NSW Waratahs are preparing to turn the Highlanders’ own game against them on Saturday in Sydney.
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It will be the third-successive tussle with Kiwi opposition for the Australian conference leaders, after a three-point home loss to the Blues and an agonising two-point away defeat to the Crusaders.

Although the Highlanders are third in the stacked New Zealand conference, their 7-3 record is better than any Australian side.

They are coming off a win over South African conference pacesetters the Lions, who tanned the Tahs 29-0 last month in Sydney.

In their recent clashes, the Highlanders have had plenty of success against NSW with strategic kicking, and Tahs centre Kurtley Beale said that had been the main focus of their review on Tuesday.

“They are a team that kicks a lot, so it’s important that we organise our back three and make sure that we are catching those contestables,” Beale said.

“Then applying pressure back on the Highlanders wherever we can from the back-field.

“It’s a matter of holding onto the ball and, if the defence is pretty set, then make sure that we are turning the pressure on them and trying to ping corners and try and play their game on them until we can unravel them.”

Beale and his colleagues are refusing to dwell on the negatives of giving up a 29-0 lead to the Crusaders.

“It was a great learning experience in Christchurch,” Beale said.

“As a squad, I think two weeks in a row, we’ve been a fingernail away from two good victories.

“There’s a lot of character been shown in the group – a lot of improvements from last year’s team.”

He said the main lesson from the last two weeks was the Tahs couldn’t take the pressure off.

The likely favourite for the Wallabies’ No.12 jersey in next month’s three-Test series against Six Nations champions Ireland, Beale wasn’t that impressed by his form.

“It’s a little up and down,” he said.

Australian Associated Press

Former Aust foreign correspondent dies

Australian journalist Peter O’Loughlin, who covered the closing days of the Vietnam War, has died.Australian journalist Peter O’Loughlin, who helped cover the closing days of the Vietnam War and was the founding president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Association of Australia, has died after a long illness. He was 78.
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O’Loughlin, a former Sydney bureau chief for The Associated Press, was an experienced foreign correspondent who worked across Southeast Asia before documenting the historic days when South Vietnam’s cities fell to communist forces.

In Australia he gained respect for his push to give the world’s press greater access to government leaders.

On April 1, 1975, as South Vietnam’s Da Nang was falling to the North Vietnamese, O’Loughlin was aboard a chartered merchant ship off the coast and reported and photographed the desperate scenes as 6,000 refugees boarded in eight hours.

“Years later, he never failed to choke up recalling that dreadful story,” former Associated Press and Newsweek correspondent Carl Robinson said.

Just days later in Saigon, later renamed Ho Chi Minh City, O’Loughlin covered the crash of a flight carrying orphaned babies as part of “Operation Babylift”, the name given to the mass evacuation of children from South Vietnam in the final days of the war.

When Saigon finally fell to the North Vietnamese on April 30, 1975, O’Loughlin was at the US air base in the Philippines, where the last helicopters out of the city landed, Robinson said.

O’Loughlin studied at the Royal Australian Naval College before embarking on his career in journalism and worked in London before joining the AP bureau in Manila in 1965. He moved to AP’s Bangkok bureau in 1967 and had a stint in Singapore before returning in 1974 to Sydney, from where he was sent on assignment to Vietnam.

O’Loughlin and his wife, Millie, had three daughters – Siobhan, Clare and Kate – while posted in Southeast Asia.

Australian Associated Press

Victory shed four after A-League win

Stefan Nigro (L) and three others have been released by A-League champions Melbourne Victory.A-League champions Melbourne Victory have begun planning for life after their fourth title, releasing four players including two grand finalists.
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Starting right-back Stefan Nigro and substitute Matias Sanchez will leave the champions, along with long-term injury absentee Mitch Austin and youth teamer Cameron McGilp.

Coach Kevin Muscat said telling the players they were surplus to requirements was “the hardest thing in the world”.

“It’s so raw and close to the bone … nothing hurts more than having to look players in the eye after such a high,” he told AAP.

“But we’re tasked with the responsibility to get better and the situation that we’re in, with the salary cap, and restrictions on age and visas, there’s a lot to throw in.

“One or two players might be unfortunate but there’s a lot of thought that goes into it.”

Nigro might be the unluckiest of the four.

The 21-year-old stepped into the defence in Rhys Williams’ absence through the semi-final and grand final. He has not been recontracted despite being one of Victory’s leanest earners.

Austin, 27, scored four goals for Victory since joining two years ago from Central Coast but had this campaign ruined by an ACL rupture.

Argentine midfielder Sanchez made 25 appearances, 11 from the bench, after joining on a one-year deal and was widely expected to depart.

The quartet might be the first of several faces to leave Victory, with a host of uncontracted players still to have their futures resolved.

Captain Carl Valeri, 33, is still considering his playing future, while club best-and-fairest winner Leroy George is weighing up an offer to stay on with his personal circumstances.

Lawrence Thomas is likely to stay with the champions on a two-year deal and Leigh Broxham will also sign a new deal.

Centre-backs James Donachie, who is uncontracted, and Williams, who is not, have also been the subject of overseas interest.

Australian Associated Press

Labor takes hammer to infrastructure spend

Anthony Albanese says the budget is a con job with commitments on the Never Never.Senior Labor figure Anthony Albanese says the federal budget’s building blitz is a con job with most of the spending promises on the Never Never.
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The opposition’s infrastructure spokesman used a speech to Infrastructure Partnerships Australia on Tuesday to outline his analysis of the budget, which he says is a triumph of spin over substance.

Of the $19.3 billion in new infrastructure funding, Mr Albanese said just one per cent would be spent in 2018-19, with about 20 per cent slated for investment over the next four years.

“The budget is a con job,” he said.

“It is commitments on the Never Never.”

“Four-out-of-every-five dollars allocated to infrastructure projects last week won’t be invested for at least four years.”

Road and rail funding is noted in the budget papers as a $75 billion, 10-year “rolling infrastructure plan”.

Mr Alabanese accused the government of lacking the ability to translate promises into bulldozers on worksites.

“In each of its first four budgets, the coalition has not delivered the full amount of funding it announced,” he said.

“Indeed, over these four budgets, the difference between what the government allocated and the amount actually delivered is $4.7 billion.”

Mr Albanese took aim at the the federal government’s $5 billion kitty for northern Australian building projects, after Treasurer Scott Morrison admitted the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility had been a disappointment.

Only one project has been approved, 17 are going through a due diligence process and 90 are being considered across Western Australia, since the fund was launched in 2016.

Mr Morrison was in Townsville on Tuesday to spruik an eastern rail corridor infrastructure project.

Asked if the NAIF had been a failure because it hadn’t spent money in Queensland so far, Mr Morrison responded, “It’s been disappointing to date.”

“That’s why we changed the rules. That’s why we freed it up,” he told reporters.

The overhaul includes removing the cap on 50 per cent on the amount of debt the Commonwealth can take on.

Australian Associated Press

Ice core to shed light on Australia’s weather

Researchers in Hobart have started cutting a 300-metre long ice core extracted from Antarctica.Thousand-year-old ice extracted from hundreds of metres below a remote part of Antarctica could help scientists better understand Australia’s weather history.
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Researchers on Tuesday started cutting a 300-metre long core in Hobart, extracted from east Antarctica in summer.

They hope the sample from Mount Brown can give a climate snapshot of the frozen continent and Southern Ocean and how this has impacted weather in Australia.

Tessa Vance from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre said the new sample would build on data taken from cores in the region.

“By tracking these changes over centuries … we can build a detailed picture of how Antarctic and regional climate fluctuates naturally,” she said.

An international team of seven scientists battled blizzards and heavy snow over 70 days to extract the core at a camp about 330km inland from Australia’s Davis research station.

“It was pretty woolly. It was a pretty windy site and a lot of blowy snow even when it wasn’t falling from the sky,” Dr Vance told AAP.

“It was building up outside tents on a daily basis.”

Scientists in 2015 developed a 1000-year record of drought in eastern Australia from the Law Dome ice core.

The latest ice core samples date back more than 1000 years and were shipped to Tasmania on icebreaker Aurora Australis earlier this year

They’ll be analysed in Hobart and in overseas specialist labs and are expected to shed light on weather in southern Australia.

There is little data on how weather patterns form in the Indian Ocean, an area considered the ‘birthplace’ of many storms that hit Australia, Dr Vance said.

Full results won’t be known for years but early data is encouraging.

“You can visually see summers and winters,” she said.

“It means it (the core) is high resolution. Enough to look at the kind of climate processes that we want to look at.”

Australian Associated Press

An east coast, easy feeling in Bali

Not that long ago I trumpeted the plus points of visiting Keramas on Bali’s east coast to anyone that would listen. This tale takes us a little further south but still on the east coast.
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If you really are interested in organic experiences, ones that leave you with an overall feeling of joy and that rich sensation of engaging with the real world and in this case real Bali, then this one will do that, and dare I say a whole lot more.

Penelope Jane Williams is a one of a kind woman. Passionate, thoughtful, engaging and intense in the nicest possible way. She is a woman on a mission and a visit to her delightful traditional style restaurant and cooking school that stands under the gaze of the mighty Mt Agung will be one that will remain in your soul forever. It certainly has mine.

I am talking about a little slice of Bali life called Bali Asli.What started as a small spark inside Penny while travelling throughout Asia in the late 80’s has well and truly caught fire, and no one will be distinguishing this flame in a hurry!

After all this was not an overnight achievement. Four years as an apprentice chef at the Savoy in London, followed by 12 years in Sydney at some of the city’s top shelf dining houses, it was her post as Executive Chef at the Alila Manggis hotelin Candidasa Bali that had her dream turning the way of reality.

A lot of hard work and total commitment from Penny has come to fruition in a way that not only has enriched her life but many of the local villages and it people as well.

A visit to see and taste true Balinese delights at Bali Asli comes with many choices too. Don’t just make it a lunch experience, that’s too easy really. I want you to engage on a higher level and join Penny or one of her team on one of the many unique and real opportunities that she has on offer.

My excursion was just fantastic. An easy trek through the local village where we met and interacted with the locals, well with the help of Penny’s translating skills as my Balinese is very minimal. We ventured into the hills where we met up with a local lady that makes palm wine or Tuak, this is made by a natural fermentation from the juice that runs out of the branch of the Jake palm, and is only found in East Bali. I have to say tasted pretty good too – and not just because it has an alcohol content!

We then ventured further up the mountain and visited a local farmer whose facial features told many a tale. You could see that he had toiled hard over the years producing, coconuts, banana, jack fruit, and cassava (a root vegetable) for the village. Still here he was with his cows, his thoughts and no outside interference. He had this wonderful peaceful presence and was more than happy to sit and watch us wander his patch.

Before we made our way back for lunch we stopped in to pay a visit to Lontar museum in Dukuh village where we were treated to a most delicious tea that is made from a type of small red onion. I know it doesn’t sound too inviting, but it really was lovely and was full of anti-oxidants.

The holy man that welcomed us here was a sight to behold, his features were large and he had the biggest smile that just lit up his face. He just made you feel relaxed and important, it was a special part of the trek, no doubt about it.

Lunch was calling and I was excited to savour the tastes that Penny had talked about earlier on the walk. Sitting with the incredible sight of Mt Agung as the backdrop we were treated to what can only be described as a sensation of the senses! The aromas, the visuals and of course the flavours. Oh, my it was almost too much to behold.Penny was going to have to roll me out of here.

The highlight without a doubt was the ‘Megibung’;a feast created by the king of Karangasem when he ended the war in the 1500’s. Lets’ face it, there’s a reason certain things stand up to the test of time and now I knew why this dish has – just magnificent.

Penny and the team have all sorts of adventures and experiences waiting for you and I do hope you get to partake in one on your next Bali holiday. Here are a few that are on offer.

Life in the VillageA guided trekking adventure that is suitable to anyone with a moderate fitness level will lead you into Pangi village where you will have a peek into the daily life of the Balinese. You will also enjoy breath taking views over ocean, fields and mountains and get to bathe your feet in pure spring water before returning to Bali Asli to cook your Balinese feast!

The Vespa TourThis tour starts at the King’s Palace of Amlapura with your exclusive tour behind the scenes experience followed by a ride through the streets of Karangasem and a visit to a blacksmith making traditional ceremonial knives. You continue your ride to the village of Budakling, where a holy man will show you how he makes the gold gilded decorations for the high priests head dress whilst you sit and enjoy a Balinese morning tea. Your next stop is Tirtagangga, the Royal swimming gardens, followed by a leisurely cruise to the coast where a Balinese picnic lunch will be served.

A day in the life of a Balinese LadyYou will join the chefs as they go to Amlapura market to buy the produce for the day’s menu. See, touch and smell some of the unusual ingredients and buy some supplies to take home with you. Our staff will teach you about the importance of the daily offerings and how they are linked to food. Use traditional kitchen equipment to create a truly memorable Balinese lunch.

They are just some of the experiences on offer, there are many more to choose from so have a little look at www.baliasli南京夜网.auand see what entices you.

If you are looking for some brilliant, relaxed accommodation right on the beach on Bali’s East Coast, then I suggest you try Villa Bahagia–it is the perfect location for some east coast easy feeling.

Scott McRae is the host of “A Taste of Travel” on TEN and WIN, visit www.scottmcrae南京夜网.au ​and www.atasteoftravel南京夜网.au

FFA denies Cahilltex selection conspiracy

Socceroos Jackson Irvine (L) and Josh Brillante have helped to unveil Caltex’s Tim Cahill tribute.Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop has rejected suggestions Tim Cahill’s selection in Australia’s trimmed World Cup squad had been influenced by commercial factors.
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The 38-year-old talisman was unveiled as the centre of a marketing campaign by the Socceroos’ primary sponsor Caltex, before the ink was even dry on Bert van Marwijk’s trimmed group of 26.

The opportunistic timing of the ‘Cahilltex’ campaign, whereby a number of petrol stations have been renamed in honour of the country’s leading goalscorer to coincide with the Russia tournament, triggered questions about the fairness of Cahill’s call-up.

While a long-time regular, his selection courted some controversy given his lack of game time since moving to Millwall – 63 minutes over 10 games – and the concurrent omission of in-form Hibernian striker Jamie Maclaren.

But van Marwijk had already made clear his intentions for Cahill and last week called him “a special case” given his proven ability to change a game.

And Gallop moved quickly on Tuesday to hose down talk commercial incentives had played any part.

“I say ‘have a look at Tim Cahill’s track record’,” Gallop said.

“He’s a guy who has just produced for Australian football, for the Socceroos, so many times. He did it against Syria.

“So I don’t think anyone can mock the fact that he is in the 26.”

If Cahill makes the cut for a fourth World Cup, his role is likely to be restricted to a pinch hitter off the bench, given his world-class aerial ability in the box, as well as a leader off the field.

He said he was proud to be selected and would “leave no stone unturned” during a training camp in Turkey to make the final squad of 23 on June 3.

Australian Associated Press