‘Piss poor management’: ABC blasted for axing regional radio programs

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ABC’s regional radio programming will undergo a shakeup in 2016. Photo: Andrew Quilt Coalition MP Ewen Jones has attacked the ABC’s decision. Photo: Andrew Meares
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The ABC has infuriated Coalition MPs by axing its regional flagship ‘Mornings’ programs from next year’s radio scheduleand rejigging its local news broadcasts.

The ABC will instead extend the ‘Breakfast’ programs and introduce a new feature-based program, with the working title Local Life, to run from 10am to 11am. More local news bulletins will also be produced externally.

Some regional stations – including those in Tasmania, Western and Newcastle – will be exempt from the changes.

Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said on Thursday the decision was “very disappointing”.

“If this is so good, and they claim it will deliver better services to regional communities, well, why not deliver better services for the people in Sydney and do the same thing for them?” he asked.

“I think the ABC has lost its way.”

The member for Herbert, Ewen Jones, said he was furious that the Mornings program on his local ABC North Queensland would no longer exist.

“I think that [ABC managing director] Mark Scott has lost the plot completely,” he said. “He won’t be happy until the ABC just becomes a bastion of the intelligentsia in Ultimo, Canberra and Melbourne.

“This is piss poor management from the ABC.”

Mr Jones said he had complained to Communications Minister Mitch Fifield about the decision, which he said had blindsided regional MPs. The ABC is beginning negotiations with the government about its next three-year funding deal.

Liberal MP Dan Tehan, whose electorate of Wannon receives ABC Ballarat as its local station, said: “This is an appalling decision that is treating regional ns as second-class citizens.”

Queensland senator Ian Macdonald said the ABC had cut regional broadcasting to pay for “yet another coffee machine at Ultimo”.

ABC head of regional Fiona Reynolds described the changes as “minimal” and said two local presenters would still be required in the mornings.

“This is about a change of format – there is no reduction in broadcast hours or budget cuts associated with this,” she said.

“ABC Regional is putting more focus on breakfast radio programming with increased production support at a time when we know audiences are strongest, according to the data and feedback from those audiences.”

The local 6.30am, 7.30am and 12pm news bulletins will still be produced locally and remain unchanged. Other bulletins will be produced externally, with local stories dropped into the bulletin.

Ms Reynolds said the changes would allow local reporters “the ability to get out of the office more to gather local and distinctive content”.

She acknowledged some presenters were worried about missing out on the longer slot, but said: “This is about our audiences.”

One ABC local presenter, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said: “Everyone is devastated by this – they are angry and confused.”

The changes to news coverage would result in more superficial bulletins, the presenter said.

The Abbott government last year cut the ABC’s budget by $250 million over five years. Following that decision the ABC closed down its South n production studios, axed state-based current affairs, axed the Bush Telegraph radio program and closed some regional reporting outposts. It also created a new regional division with 50 new jobs.

Labor communications spokesman Jason Clare said the Coalition MPs were hypocritical for criticising the ABC changes after cutting its budget.

In a speech earlier this month Mr Scott argued an ABC funding boost would help it deliver better regional news services.

“My central thesis tonight is that the public’s investment in news at the ABC represents better value for taxpayers than ever – and is more important than ever,” Mr Scott said.

“As commercial media operations struggle with market forces and the slow decline of their business models, the role of the ABC, particularly in respect to news, is becoming increasingly vital to the health of our democracy and culture.

“Nowhere is this being more keenly felt than in rural and regional , where news operations are contracting at an alarming rate.”

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The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Liverpool council investigated over asbestos-contaminated soil allegations

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“There could be a massive liability”: Peter Ristevski.Sydney suburbs that are asbestos dumping groundsIllegal dumping increasing in NSW
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An investigation is underway into allegations Liverpool City Council knowingly supplied asbestos-contaminated soil and fill to Casula High School and a number of parks, reserves and waterways in the area.

The allegations were raised as a matter of urgency at a meeting of the council on Wednesday night in Sydney’s south-west.

The councillor who raised the issue, Peter Ristevski, said 22 sites could be affected by contaminated fill if the allegations proved correct.

He asked the council what monitoring and testing regimes had been established to check the health of staff and residents who may have been exposed – and whether the school was notified – but his urgency motion was voted down.

“There could be a massive liability in terms of the health to the public,” Cr Ristevski said after the meeting.

He said the asbestos had been stored at the council’s now-defunct road base recycling facility, known as the western depot, and later mixed in with soil and other materials and used as fill.

In a letter to the council dated October 27, the United Services Union said there were at least seven locations at which contaminated fill was used, including a local high school.

The letter stated that: “At the very minimum, the union is advised that soil and fill contaminated with asbestos was used in works located at  Casula High School Craig Park Lt Cantelo [sic] Reserve McLoud [sic] ParkRickard Road Across from Harvan Park Along various waterways.”

The NSW Environment Protection Authority told Fairfax Media it was “currently investigating allegations that Liverpool Council has unlawfully disposed [of] waste at a number of properties in the Liverpool Council area”.

The union further alleged that 30,000 tonnes of contaminated soil or fill was sold by Liverpool Council to a developer working at Gregory Hills.

“The union has serious concerns that council has put the health of our members and the general community at risk of serious illness or worse,” the union’s general secretary, Graeme Kelly, wrote.

Liverpool council said it was cooperating with the EPA investigation into potentially contaminated fill at 22 sites.

“The tiny amount of asbestos located in stockpiles of material means that now we must  test and – if appropriate – rehabilitate any sites where the fill may have been used for council works,” council chief executive Carl Wulff said in a statement to Fairfax Media.

He preempted the findings of the EPA investigation and claimed there was no health risk to the public or council staff.

“Trace amounts of asbestos would not be airborne or pose a health risk to members of the public and council workers,” he said. Mr Wulff said “only a few fragments of asbestos” had so far been discovered across 10 sites.

Backfill used by the council as part of drainage works in open space between Casula High School and Myall Road was yet to be tested. “Again, this site is capped and does not pose an immediate health risk to anyone,” he said. “But the site will be tested as a matter of priority.”

A spokeswoman for the council said the accusation the asbestos was distributed knowingly was ‘scurrilous and unfounded’.

The NSW education department has confirmed asbestos was found on school grounds over the last holiday period and that the EPA was investigating its source.

“During the recent school vacation period a random contamination audit was undertaken at Casula High School,” a department spokesman said. “Once the contamination had been confirmed, the school site was cleared of contaminated material identified in the inspection.”

He said the school was declared safe by an hygienist the day before classes resumed on October 6.

“The Department of Education continues to monitor the site in order to ensure ongoing safety,” the spokesman said.

Mr Wulff said the council would remediate any site where traces of asbestos were found. But allegations that contaminated soil had been sold to a developer were not correct, he said.

Liverpool council was one of 29 Sydney councils deemed “unfit for the future” under an Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal review released last week.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

North Stradbroke mining: Labor yet to bring in repeal bill for 2019 end date

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The public has been told by the Environment Minister, the Mines Minister, the Deputy Premier and by the Premier herself, that Labor will end mining in 2019, but the repeal bill has still not been introduced. Photo: Robert RoughDuring the January election campaign the Labor party promised to “act immediately to repeal the disgraceful North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability Amendment Act”.
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The LNP’s amending legislation extended mining company Sibelco’s mining interests on North Stradbroke Island, potentially to 2035.

The Bligh government’s 2011 legislation extended expired mining leases to 2019 but imposed a restricted mine path of 337 hectares. Sibelco was dissatisfied and became a very substantial financial supporter of the LNP and Campbell Newman prior to the 2012 election. The subsequent “cash for legislation deal” called into question Newman’s honesty and the Quandamooka people launched a High Court challenge.

Throughout the events, Sibelco also was on trial for criminal charges connected with unlawful sand mining activities on Stradbroke.

Although Labor’s “immediate repeal” promise has been broken, the Labor government has consistently said it would repeal the LNP’s amendments and that mining would end in 2019.  But the delay in acting has been remarkable. Is Labor sliding back into old habits of spin and trickery? Or is it just too slow or incompetent to act?

The Institute’s October 8 report “Too close for comfort”, which exposed the mining industry’s undue influence over some politicians and public servants in Queensland, may also provide some insight. The institute refers to Stradbroke in its hard-hitting forward.

Labor’s inaction has led to the current situation where member for Cook Billy Gordon announced that he might not support the repeal.

The LNP’s controversial legislation extending the mining interests of Sibelco, potentially gifting the company $1.5 billion in revenue, genuinely disgusted many people. It was an election issue, with both the Quandamooka people and Friends of Stradbroke Island leafleting Ashgrove and other electorates to ensure that voters knew more about the scandal.

Jackie Trad, in a dissenting parliamentary report in 2013, said that the LNP’s legislation “had all the hallmarks of a morally corrupt cash for legislation deal”.  Labor promised to hold an inquiry into it.

Since the election, the public has been told by the Environment Minister, the Mines Minister, the Deputy Premier and by the Premier herself, that Labor will keep its election promise to end mining in 2019, but the repeal bill has still not been introduced into parliament.

Last Friday Ms Trad said the 2019 end date was “set in stone”. A few days later, Mr Gordon, whose vote is essential, announced that he had concerns about Labor’s policy. This is recent. In June I spoke to Mr Gordon and he told me he had no concerns about the repeal of the Newman amendments. He told me the repeal was supported by the majority of North Stradbroke Island Aboriginal people. I had also sent him information about the legislative favours for Sibelco, including a copy of a paper which I presented to a corruption-related conference held in Brisbane in February this year.

In April, I spoke with Labor’s Environment Minister, Steven Miles. He told me he expected to introduce the repeal Bill to parliament in May. That would have been reasonably consistent with Labor’s promise to “immediately” repeal the Newman amendments.  Miles later told me the expected date was June. He later changed this to “sometime this year”.

The delay has allowed Sibelco and its allies, the LNP and the AWU, more time to “lobby” the three crossbench MPs, all from North Queensland incidentally. Haven’t they got other issues of more concern to their electorates? Sibelco also has been allowed more time to offer “financial incentives”, at least on Stradbroke Island.

The Katter Party has been allowed to take the initiative away from the government by putting forward Sibelco’s so-called “compromise proposal” in the form of their own bill and parroting Sibelco’s exaggerated claims to justify their bill. If successful, this may permit Sibelco to mine out all the remaining heavy mineral resources. A letter to the n Securities Exchange by the mine’s former public company owner revealed this could be achieved by 2024.

2035 was an ambit claim. Sibelco’s PR company in 2012 revealed the real goal in a leaked report tabled in parliament by Ms Trad. It was to “Achieve public endorsement by the then Queensland Opposition Leader, Campbell Newman, for the continuation of Sibelco’s NSI operations until 2027” (page 4). It is no wonder that today Sibelco welcomed the Katter Party “compromise”.

Time will tell whether this Labor government was genuine in its commitments to the voters of Queensland prior to and following the January election – not just about North Stradbroke Island. But if Labor does not succeed in repealing the Newman amendments, many voters are likely to “smell a rat” and may not forget.

Richard Carew is a partner at Carew Lawyers.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Steve Carell as you’ve never seen him before – angry, activist and very gay

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Stacie Andree (Ellen Page) and Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) in a scene from Freeheld Photo: eOne Steven Goldstein (Steve Carell) in a scene from Freeheld. Photo: eOne
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This is Steve Carell as you’ve never seen him before – angry, activist and very gay.

In this clip from the drama Freeheld, based on a true story, Carell plays Steven Goldstein, a lawyer and gay rights activist in New Jersey who acted in a landmark case for police lieutenant Laurel Hester (played here by Julianne Moore) and her partner Stacie Andree (Ellen Page).

Hester had been diagnosed with cancer, and wanted to leave her estate, including her police pension, to Andree, but the elected officials of Ocean County – known as freeholders – refused to allow her pension to pass to a same-sex partner.

“What these freeholders are doing is unconscionable,” he tells Andree, Hester and fellow cop Dane Wells (Michael Shannon).

Goldstein floats the idea of a gay pride parade, to “show them we’re a force to be reckoned with”.

When Wells tells him he doesn’t understand the conservative nature of this community, calling him “Steve”, Goldstein responds: “It’s Steven, with a V – as in very gay – and when people disrespect my gay brothers and sisters, I rain terror on them. Shock and awe. Shock and awe.”

Zach Galifianakis – like Carell, an alumnus of Saturday Night Live (though Galifianakis joined as a writer and lasted only two weeks) – was originally slated for the role of Goldstein but dropped out last August due to a scheduling conflict.

The real Goldstein told New Jersey’s The Auditor he was delighted with the casting decision.

“I’m so glad Steve Carell is playing me in Freeheld, rather than The 40 Year-Old Virgin,” he said.

Though this is the most out-and-proud role Carell – who is married (to a woman) and the father of two children – has played, technically speaking it isn’t his first gay role.

In 1996, he and Stephen Colbert provided the voices of Gary and Ace in an animated superhero comedy series called The Ambiguously Gay Duo.

In 2006 he played a gay Proust scholar recovering from a suicide attempt who is forced to go on a family road trip to a juvenile beauty pageant in the downbeat comedy Little Miss Sunshine.

And in 2014, he starred in Foxcatcher as John E. du Pont, the mega-wealthy wrestling enthusiast who shot and killed Dave Schultz in 1996, and whose relationship with his protégé Mark Schultz (played by Channing Tatum) in the film is tinged with a repressed homosexuality.

Freeheld, which is based on an Oscar-winning short documentary of the same name from 2007, opens in Thursday November 5.

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The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Uncle Jack Charles refused cab after being named Victorian senior of the year

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Shortly after being named Victorian Senior n of the Year, Jack Charles was refused a taxi ride. Shortly after being named Victorian Senior n of the Year, Jack Charles, pictured with manager Patrice Capogreco, was refused a taxi ride. Photo: Simon Schluter
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Prominent Aboriginal elder Jack Charles was refused a taxi unless he paid the fare upfront, moments after being named Victorian Senior n of the Year in Melbourne on Wednesday night.

The veteran Indigenous actor, 72, was leaving the awards ceremony in Docklands when his manager Patrice Capogreco tried to hail a cab for the pair about 9pm.

“We saw one up ahead and Uncle Jack said to me, ‘you go up and grab it, mate, you know what the cabbies are like with us Aboriginals’,” Ms Capogreco said.

“So I stopped the cab and he was fine, but as soon as he saw Uncle Jack he asked where we were going. I told him where I was going and that I would get out first, and then Uncle Jack.

“And then he demanded that we prepay. I asked why and he said ‘because he may not pay’. I told the cabbie I had a cabcharge and he said it wasn’t good enough. He said ‘I need prepay because he might not pay’.”

Mr Charles’ acting career spans more than 50 years. He co-founded ‘s first Indigenous theatre group and has starred in films including The Chant Of Jimmy Blacksmith, Blackfellas and Pan. He has also performed in many stage plays across the country and toured internationally.

On Thursday, Mr Charles said he would write a formal letter of complaint to the Taxi Services Commission.

He said the incident with the cab driver had spoiled his night. “I didn’t tolerate it,” he said. “I told him that he just racially vilified me. That his behaviour smacks of it.”

“We were just so high after winning the award, I was totally blown away. This dampened the spirits somewhat and I slept a sleepless night last night. But countering that was the joy of actually receiving this high honour in Victoria.”

Mr Charles and Ms Capogreco refused to pay the fare upfront and eventually hailed another cab. But a taxi driver later told them Melbourne cabs were allowed to request pre-paid fares from Aboriginals, Ms Capogreco said.

“This happens all the time to Indigenous ns and particularly to Uncle Jack,” she said. “It happened in Sydney when he was there for a play and his face was on 60 cabs around the city. Now it’s happening again.”

In 2013, Mr Charles said he was discriminated against by a Sydney taxi driver while in town to perform a play. It was reported at the time that he ordered a cab to take him from his apartment to the Belvoir St Theatre, but that when the taxi arrived the driver refused to take him.

Shortly after, Mr Charles saw the cab accepting a fare from a Caucasian couple.

Also in 2013, a group of eminent Aboriginal actors were repeatedly refused service by taxi drivers in Southbank, Melbourne.

Fairfax Media reported at the time that the group, including Redfern Now actor Rarriwuy Hick, Chooky Dancer Djamangi Gaykamangu and Ten Canoes actor Frances Djulibing, were refused fares by four separate cabs booked to pick them up from the Malthouse Theatre.

It was only after the Malthouse’s non-indigenous company manager hailed a taxi for the group, who were in town to rehearse an indigenous adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear, that they were able to catch a cab back to their hotel.

Chief executive of the Taxi Services Commission Aaron de Rozario said it took complaints about discrimination very seriously and was investigating the incident.

“Everyone has the right to travel in a taxi without fear of discrimination,” he said. “We are currently investigating this matter based on the information available.”

He encouraged anyone with a complaint about their taxi experience to provide feedback to the taxi company or the TSC.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

The 116 things that can give you cancer

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Sausages cause cancer, the World Health Organisation has declared. Photo: Fairfax Media Sausages cause cancer, the World Health Organisation has declared. Photo: Fairfax Media
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Sausages cause cancer, the World Health Organisation has declared. Photo: Fairfax Media

Sausages cause cancer, the World Health Organisation has declared. Photo: Fairfax Media

Many people reeled in shock when it was revealed the World Health Organisation had classed processed meat as a cancer risk, alongside smoking.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, we also found we can’t trust exactly what goes into our sausages.

The sausage problem still hasn’t been solved, but people worried about processed meat can either relax about the fact a lot of things we encounter pose a cancer risk, or freak out that there is a list of 116 everyday objects and activities which can give us cancer.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has released a list of these for our perusal. Red meat doesn’t feature, although processed meat does, because red meat is only probably linked to the diseases.

The list does however include contraception, smoking, sunbeds, the very air we breathe – if we live in a polluted city – solar energy from the sun, and many more objects and activities many of us encounter in our day-to-day lives.

This list doesn’t include probable cancer risks – everything featured definitely causes cancer.

1. Tobacco smoking

2. Sunlamps and sunbeds

3. Aluminium production

4. Arsenic in drinking water

5. Auramine production

6. Boot and shoe manufacture and repair

7. Chimney sweeping

8. Coal gasification

9. Coal tar distillation

10. Coke (fuel) production

11. Furniture and cabinet making

12. Haematite mining (underground) with exposure to radon

13. Secondhand smoke

14. Iron and steel founding

15. Isopropanol manufacture (strong-acid process)

16. Magenta dye manufacturing

17. Occupational exposure as a painter

18. Paving and roofing with coal-tar pitch

19. Rubber industry

20. Occupational exposure of strong inorganic acid mists containing sulphuric acid

21. Naturally occurring mixtures of aflatoxins (produced by funghi)

22. Alcoholic beverages

23. Areca nut – often chewed with betel leaf

24. Betel quid without tobacco

25. Betel quid with tobacco

26. Coal tar pitches

27. Coal tars

28. Indoor emissions from household combustion of coal

29. Diesel exhaust

30. Mineral oils, untreated and mildly treated

31. Phenacetin, a pain and fever reducing drug

32. Plants containing aristolochic acid (used in Chinese herbal medicine)

33. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) – widely used in electrical equipment in the past, banned in many countries in the 1970s

34. Chinese-style salted fish

35. Shale oils

36. Soots

37. Smokeless tobacco products

38. Wood dust

39. Processed meat

40. Acetaldehyde

41. 4-Aminobiphenyl

42. Aristolochic acids and plants containing them

43. Asbestos

44. Arsenic and arsenic compounds

45. Azathioprine

46. Benzene

47. Benzidine

48. Benzo[a]pyrene

49. Beryllium and beryllium compounds

50. Chlornapazine (N,N-Bis(2-chloroethyl)-2-naphthylamine)

51. Bis(chloromethyl)ether

52. Chloromethyl methyl ether

53. 1,3-Butadiene

54. 1,4-Butanediol dimethanesulfonate (Busulphan, Myleran)

55. Cadmium and cadmium compounds

56. Chlorambucil

57. Methyl-CCNU (1-(2-Chloroethyl)-3-(4-methylcyclohexyl)-1-nitrosourea; Semustine)

58. Chromium(VI) compounds

59. Ciclosporin

60. Contraceptives, hormonal, combined forms (those containing both oestrogen and a progestogen)

61. Contraceptives, oral, sequential forms of hormonal contraception (a period of oestrogen-only followed by a period of both oestrogen and a progestogen)

62. Cyclophosphamide

63. Diethylstilboestrol

64. Dyes metabolized to benzidine

65. Epstein-Barr virus

66. Oestrogens, nonsteroidal

67. Oestrogens, steroidal

68. Oestrogen therapy, postmenopausal

69. Ethanol in alcoholic beverages

70. Erionite

71. Ethylene oxide

72. Etoposide alone and in combination with cisplatin and bleomycin

73. Formaldehyde

74. Gallium arsenide

75. Helicobacter pylori (infection with)

76. Hepatitis B virus (chronic infection with)

77. Hepatitis C virus (chronic infection with)

78. Herbal remedies containing plant species of the genus Aristolochia

79. Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (infection with)

80. Human papillomavirus type 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59 and 66

81. Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type-I

82. Melphalan

83. Methoxsalen (8-Methoxypsoralen) plus ultraviolet A-radiation

84. 4,4′-methylene-bis(2-chloroaniline) (MOCA)

85. MOPP and other combined chemotherapy including alkylating agents

86. Mustard gas (sulphur mustard)

87. 2-Naphthylamine

88. Neutron radiation

89. Nickel compounds

90. 4-(N-Nitrosomethylamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK)

91. N-Nitrosonornicotine (NNN)

92. Opisthorchis viverrini (infection with)

93. Outdoor air pollution

94. Particulate matter in outdoor air pollution

95. Phosphorus-32, as phosphate

96. Plutonium-239 and its decay products (may contain plutonium-240 and other isotopes), as aerosols

97. Radioiodines, short-lived isotopes, including iodine-131, from atomic reactor accidents and nuclear weapons detonation (exposure during childhood)

98. Radionuclides, α-particle-emitting, internally deposited

99. Radionuclides, β-particle-emitting, internally deposited

100. Radium-224 and its decay products

101. Radium-226 and its decay products

102. Radium-228 and its decay products

103. Radon-222 and its decay products

104. Schistosoma haematobium (infection with)

105. Silica, crystalline (inhaled in the form of quartz or cristobalite from occupational sources)

106. Solar radiation

107. Talc containing asbestiform fibres

108. Tamoxifen

109. 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin

110. Thiotepa (1,1′,1″-phosphinothioylidynetrisaziridine)

111. Thorium-232 and its decay products, administered intravenously as a colloidal dispersion of thorium-232 dioxide

112. Treosulfan

113. Ortho-toluidine

114. Vinyl chloride

115. Ultraviolet radiation

116. X-radiation and gamma radiation

The Telegraph, UK

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Buchanan mosque: Newcastle Muslim Association outlines plans for Maitland site

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Newcastle Muslim Association spokeswoman Diana Rah outside Newcastle Mosque at Wallsend. BUCHANAN could host the Hunter’s first purpose-built mosque if a Newcastle Muslim Association proposal revealed on Thursday wins approval.
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Almost four years after the Association’s plans for a place of worship at Elermore Vale mosque were scuppered in court, the Wallsend-based Islamic group has announced it will seek approval to build a prayer space and small funeral home on a property between Maitland and Kurri Kurri just off the Hunter Expressway.

While formal plans are yet to be lodged for the site, Newcastle Muslim Association spokeswoman Diana Rah said specialist studies had been completed.

The existing Islamic community will not relocate from Wallsend, she said, but the NMA was striving to be proactive with neighbours and the wider community from the beginning.

‘‘We are confident that this site is suitable to fulfil the needs of our proposal,’’ Ms Rah said.

‘‘It is in a central position within 20 minutes from Newcastle, has a zone that permits a place of worship and ticks all the boxes.’’

Documents given to neighbours estimate 200 people will attend the site on a Friday between midday and 3pm for prayer.

During two annual festivals, that number may increase to 450 people.

An illustration on the documents features no minarets and states there will be no call to prayer.

Laurence Beveridge, one of the residents who lives opposite the proposed development site, said he and his wife retired to the area for a rural outlook and peace and quiet, which they believe would be ruined by the mosque.

“I object in the strongest terms,” Mr Beveridge said.

“I have owned the property for 30-odd years, but I would not live next door to that.”

Another neighbour, who wished to remain nameless, said he was not 100 per cent against the development but did have concerns.

“I don’t like it being so close to the road and I am worried about the traffic it will add to the area,” he said.

“We are a rural community, I don’t think it is a suitable development for the location.

“It also concerns me that it might bring vandalism and things to the area because of the reaction to buildings like this in other places.”

News of the Buchanan plan comes almost four years after a $6.8 million plan for an Elermore Vale mosque on Croudace Road was denied in court.

The Land and Environment Court ultimately quashed those plans in March 2012 when updated zoning plans prohibited a place of worship on the 8300 square metre site.

The Newcastle Herald reported at the time more than 1022 individual submissions were made against the mosque, with 32 supporting the plan.

While the Hunter Expressway has reduced travel time between Newcastle’s west and Buchanan, Ms Rah said it was not simply a matter of finding a new site for the old plan.

‘‘The purpose of the new prayer facility is a little different to the Elermore Vale proposal and is on a smaller scale with a layout more suited to the area,’’ she said.

‘‘One of the main purposes is to accommodate for the two festivals held each year.’’

In a wider context, the Hunter proposal also follows far-right groups clashing with counter-protesters in the latest chapter of a long-running wave of ugly opposition to a mosque proposal in Bendigo.

An illustration in documents given to Buchanan residents near a planned Newcastle Muslim Association mosque. No plans have been lodged for the building yet.

Hundreds clashed in the town centre in late August, forcing police to shut swathes of the town as United Patriots Front met with counter-protests by No Room for Racism and the Socialist Alternative.

Asked whether that reaction had guided how the Newcastle Muslim Association approached its proposal, Ms Rah said the Islamic community was taking a consultative approach.

‘‘We request that whoever has a query or question to please come forward,’’ she said.

‘‘We are open and committed to any concerns of the community.’’

Maitland doctor and Muslim Fazal Moughal, who has publicly called for a prayer area to be established in the city, said the development was good but still too far away for residents.

“We still need one here in Maitland,” he said.

“I’m sure it will be very peaceful but it is too far away.”

While the national Mosque Open Day will be held on Saturday, a lack of space has forced Wallsend’s community to hold its main activities on Sunday.

The Wallsend mosque will be open between 11am and 2pm on Saturday, with tours and a broader schedule of events running between 10.30am and 3.30pm on Sunday.

James Packer and Robert De Niro in Nobu restaurant joint venture

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Business buddies: James Packer and film star Robert De Niro during a news conference in Macau this week. Photo: Kin CheungFresh from working together on film sets, casino billionaire James Packer and Hollywood star Robert De Niro have struck a business deal in the kitchen.
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Crown Resorts, the casino operator half-owned by Mr Packer, has paid $US100 million ($141 million) for 20 per cent of Nobu, the acclaimed Japanese restaurant chain owned by De Niro, along with celebrity chef Nobu Matsuhisa and film producer Meir Teper.

Three Of Nobu’s 32 restaurants around the globe are in Crown casino complexes: Crown Perth, Crown Melbourne and City of Dreams Manila, which is part-owned by Crown’s Asian casino venture, Melco Crown.

Part of Crown’s business strategy is for the brands within its casinos to be replicated across its global properties.

Mr Packer and De Niro have forged a relationship via the n casino mogul’s film production company, RatPac Entertainment, which he owns with Hollywood production guru Brett Ratner.

De Niro also starred in The Audition, a short film made at a reported cost of $US70 million to promote the opening of Melco’s latest Macau casino, Studio City. The $US4 billion casino opened this week.

Crown chairman Robert Rankin said several new Nobu hotel and restaurant openings were planned.

“We see the Nobu brand as complementary to Crown Resorts’ global luxury entertainment positioning and the Nobu business has an attractive near-term growth profile,” he said. “James Packer established Crown’s relationship with Nobu some years ago . . . This acquisition cements that existing strong relationship.”

As part of the deal, Crown will nominate Mr Packer to join the Nobu board as one of four directors.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Glue Society’s comedy-horror Watch with Mother is a sketch show like no other

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Watch with Mother will have you laughing while gripping the edge of your seat. Photo: SuppliedWhen you hear the word “sketch”, inevitably you think of comedy. And there are laughs to be had in Watch with Mother. But really this is a sketch show of an altogether different kind. Sketch horror.
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The six-part, n-made series features 10 regular storylines, and the action within any one episode zips speedily and disconcertingly between them. One minute we’re in a basement with a middle-aged man who’s recording the screams of the much younger man he’s torturing (he’s composing a symphony of terror); the next we’re on a deserted country road at night, where an elderly woman is attacked by a back-from-the-dead killer kangaroo; then we’re in the garage of a suburban house, where a man is dragging the body of a young woman from the boot of his HR Holden.

“The challenge for us really was to make this series both comedy and horror, says Peter Baker, director of Watch with Mother and member of The Glue Society, the seven-man team that made it.

“We really wanted to make something that didn’t exist. We wanted moments where it’s horrific to watch, but also with humour in there as well.”

It’s a difficult line to walk, Baker admits, but one he thinks they’ve managed, citing one sketch featuring the “chicken dance torture scene”.

Clearly, this isn’t your standard television half hour.

In fact, Watch with Mother didn’t start as a television half-hour of any sort.

Originally released in September 2012, the show was originally produced as a piece of interactive content for tablets.

“It was self-funded, and we set out to create something experimental,” says The Glue Society’s Jonathan Kneebone.

It was a big production, with Oscar-winning cinematographer Russell Boyd shooting it, and a crew of 100 and a cast of 80 reportedly on board.

The show was released via Google Play and Apple’s app store, and much was made of the fact the app allowed viewers “to watch each episode in a ‘Shuffle’ mode – as well as including behind the scenes material, plus image galleries and character biographies”.

“I’m really surprised other broadcasters aren’t doing this,” Baker says. “I mean you can buy episodes of other series, we packaged this up as a ‘virtual box set'”.

Kneebone won’t reveal how many copies were downloaded, but concedes that, “In reality I think we were somewhat ahead of the curve, with people only now coming to terms with content on their devices.”

In retrospect, he says, “this kind of idea might best be launched as a YouTube channel finding its audience that way”.

But an audience there certainly appears to be. The Glue Collective were invited to take the program to the annual TV salesfest Mipcom​ in Cannes, where Sony picked it up for the US (to be screened on the now-defunct cable channel Fearnet). Locally, SBS bought it, and Kneebone is especially excited about the idea of people watching it via the network’s On Demand service.

Over this past weekend, he says, the trailer has been viewed 100,000 times on Facebook.

Still, it’s been a long journey from bold idea to finding a wider audience. But Kneebone and co are anything but discouraged.

“We are already in development of new characters for online sketches – some horror, some simply comedic – to unveil on our own channel,” Kneebone says. You have been warned.


Watch with Mother


SBS On Demand and iTunes, available now

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of ChangZhou Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Bowe Maddigan in court over murder of Wangaratta schoolgirl Zoe Buttigieg

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ACCUSED: Bowe Madigan is led into a vehicle by police officers outside Wangaratta Magistrate’s Court. Picture: MARK JESSERThe man accused of the sexual assault and murder of 11-year-old Zoe Buttigieg has faced court.
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Bowe Maddigan, 29, of Mildura sat in the Wangaratta Magistrates Court with a straight face as his case was heard, closing his eyes multiple times.

He has been charged with murder, sexual penetration of a child under 16 and indecent act on a child under 16.

The accused wore a white shirt and black pants, his long hair tied into a bun and his beard kept neat.

Three police guarded Maddigan in the dock, but the man had not been any trouble in the holding cells so they did not place him in handcuffs.

Maddigan did not have any support in the courtroom, while one person representing the victim’s family did attend.

The case was adjourned until February 11, 2016.

Police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Heath Dosser said he was unsure of Maddigan’s health.

“He was released by Kerferd (mental health unit at Wangaratta hospital) and arrested immediately after his release,” he said.

“It’s not known if there are any drug or alcohol or mental health issues.”

Solicitor Joe Battiato did not make an application for bail.

The court requested extra security on Thursday.

Police checked bags and used metal detectors to scan everyone walking into the courtroom.

The man charged with murder of 11yo girl has arrived at Wangaratta court. @bordermailpic.twitter整形美容医院m/NQuPOLK0hp

— Shana Morgan (@shana_morgan) October 28, 2015Bowe Maddigan has been remanded until February 2016 over the alleged murder of a Wangaratta girl. Said nothing in court.

— Shana Morgan (@shana_morgan) October 28, 2015

There wasa party at the house on Saturday night, and an altercation is believed to have occurred after midnight.

Neighbours had reported a loud wailing scream about 11am on Sunday before police and paramedics arrived at the home.

The grieving family has asked for privacy as they prepare for the funeral.

Border Mail

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