December, 2018

Austin Powers actor Verne Troyer dead at 49

Verne Troyer and Mike Myers as Mini-Me and Dr Evil in the 1999 film Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. Picture: AP Photo/New Line CinemaVerne Troyer, best known for his role as Mini Me in the Austin Powersfranchise, has died at 49.
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The sombreannouncement of his passing came via the American actor and stuntman’s official Facebook page on Sunday morning.

“It is with great sadness and incredibly heavy hearts to write that Verne passed away today,” the post read.

“Verne was an extremely caring individual. He wanted to make everyonesmile, be happy, and laugh. Anybody in need, he would help to anyextent possible. Verne hoped he made a positive change with the platform he had and worked towards spreading that message everyday.

Verne Troyer signs autographs at Supanova in Melbourne in 2014. Picture: The Age

“He inspired people around the world with his drive, determination, andattitude. On film & television sets, commercial shoots, at comic-con’s& personal appearances, to his own YouTube videos, he was there toshow everyone what he was capable of doing.”

While best known for his role as Dr Evil’s protege Mini-Me in the Austin Powers series, Troyer has a long list of appearances in film and television, including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,Boston Legal andMen In Black.

READ MORE:Mike Myers leads tributes to Verne TroyerHis short stature –Troyer stood just 2 foot 8 inches, or 81 centimetres–was a result of achondroplasia dwarfism.

I’m 27 donuts tall. #NationalDonutDaypic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/EGNatbiHKH

— Verne Troyer (@VerneTroyer) June 2, 2017

“Even though his staturewas small and his parents often wondered if he’d be able to reach upand open doors on his own in his life, he went on to open more doors for himself and others than anyone could have imagined. He alsotouched more peoples hearts than he will ever know,” the official statement said.

“Verne was also a fighter when it came to his own battles. Over theyears he’s struggled and won, struggled and won, struggled and foughtsome more, but unfortunately this time was too much.

“During this recent time of adversity he was baptized while surroundedby his family. The family appreciates that they have this time togrieve privately.”

Verne Troyer with Mike Myers and other Austin Powers in Goldmember principals Quincy Jones, Robert Wagner, Beyonce, Michael Caine, director Jay Roach and producer John Lyons at the film’s premiere in Los Angeles in 2002. Picture: AP

Lifeline: 13 11 14.


Cowboys find NRL form to beat Gold Coast

Jason Taumalolo has scored one of four North Queensland tries in a 26-14 NRL win over Gold Coast.Last year’s grand finalists North Queensland have snapped a five-game losing streak with a convincing 26-14 victory over Gold Coast in Townsville.
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Ben Hampton, Kyle Feldt, Jason Taumalolo and Coen Hess scored tries for the Cowboys, giving coach Paul Green exactly the boost he wanted after signing a new three-year contract.

Johnathan Thurston, helped by better play from his forwards, returned to form and was involved in each try, as well as being on hand to help deny Titans’ scoring chances on several of occasions.

After an opening half-hour, littered by penalties and handling errors from both sides, Hampton scored his third try of the season five minutes before the interval after a neat combination between Hess and John Asiata.

With five seconds remaining in the half, Feldt added to the score, this time Hampton providing the last pass before the winger dived over in the right corner for a 16-2 halftime lead.

The Titans started the second half brightly but could not apply scoreboard pressure. Taumalolo made them pay, taking an inside pass from Thurston 25 metres out and jinking inside a tackle before racing between the uprights.

Hess powered through three attempted tackles to extend the lead. The Titans’ scoreline was flattered by late tries to Ashley Taylor and Jarrod Wallace.

The only downside for the Cowboys, who move to just two wins out of the top eight, is a shoulder injury to Asiata.

The defeat is the Titans’ fourth of the season and their defence stands as the worst in the NRL, having conceded 197 points.

Thurston believed an improvement in discipline was key to the Cowboys ending their losing run.

“We had our backs against the wall but we’ll take a win any way we can get it,” Thurston told Fox Sports.

“I thought we started with a lot of energy. We were probably a bit over enthusiastic early with our ball control. It was scrappy – we had to fight for everything tonight.

“Our discipline’s put us under the pump (during the bad run). It was a lot better. It’s a step in the right direction.”

Titans coach Garth Brennan was angry his team did not play their best football until the game was lost.

“There’s some positives the way we came together at the end,” Brennan said.

“When we started to do things we’ve worked on, we looked like a football team. At other times, we looked rudderless.

“We’re better than that. We will be better than that. We need to learn from that, feel the hurt we’re hurting at the moment and turn up at home next week and put on a good performance for our fans.”

The Titans host Cronulla next Saturday, while the Cowboys are at home later that evening to Canberra.


Queen marks 92 years at star-studded show

The Queen and the royal family have attended a star-studded concert to mark her 92nd birthday.n singer Kylie Minogue has performed at a star-studded special concert before Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, as the world’s oldest and longest-reigning living monarch celebrated her 92nd birthday.
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Welsh singer Tom Jones kicked off the show on Saturday with his hit It’s Not Unusual shortly before Elizabeth appeared in the royal box of London’s Albert Hall, flanked by her family.

Minogue, Sting, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and Shaggy were among those on the bill, along with stars of the stage and screen.

At the end of the night Elizabeth joined the stage with her son, Prince Charles.

He joked that she could not have predicted in 1948, when Charles was born, decades later a 92-year-old queen would be sharing a stage with her 70-year-old son.

Charles then led a round of cheers from members of the audience. The queen acknowledged them with a smile and her trademark royal wave.

The event is a break in tradition for the queen who usually spends her birthday privately with little public celebration, although there were nationwide events to mark her 90th.

The concert comes at the end of a week in which leaders and dignitaries from 53 countries came to London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, and featured performers from the network of mostly former British colonies.

The queen is head of the Commonwealth. The major beneficiary of Saturday’s event, televised live on BBC TV and radio, will be the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust youth charity, of which her grandson Prince Harry was appointed president this week.

Elizabeth was born on April 21, 1926, and became queen in 1952 at the age of 25, meaning she has now reigned for more than 66 years.

She still carries out official engagements but her husband Prince Philip, who spent 10 days in hospital this month for a hip replacement, retired from public life last year.

As is customary with monarch’s birthdays, soldiers from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the Honourable Artillery Company fired gun salutes in London’s Hyde Park and the Tower of London earlier on Saturday.

Elizabeth also has an “official” birthday in June, which is marked with a large parade of soldiers through central London, known as Trooping the Colour.


Gurrumul album first of kind to top charts

An album in his own language by late musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu has topped the ARIA chart.Even in death, indigenous n musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu has continued to break new ground, with his final album becoming the first in an n indigenous language to top the nation’s music charts.
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Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow) has claimed the number one spot on the ARIA albums chart on Saturday, following the album’s April 13 release.

The album, more than four years in the making, was finished just weeks before the 46-year-old blind singer, known simply as Gurrumul, died in July after a battle with kidney and liver disease.

It combines songs and harmonised chants from Gurrumul’s traditional Yolngu life with orchestral arrangements, featuring members of the n Chamber Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra among others.

Producer Michael Hohnen, Gurrumul’s musical partner and manager, says all ns can be proud of Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow)’s success.

“The history he has made taking a true n language and heritage to number one proves the strength of the underlying cultural identity of this nation,” Mr Hohnen said in a statement on Saturday.

“This album is a testament to this great n and his family, all Yolngu and the greater Aboriginal population.”

Born blind in 1971 on Elcho Island in East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, Gurrumul’s voice and music took him around the world, performing in places such as New York’s Carnegie Hall and at the Queen’s Jubilee Concert in London.

The singer’s family broke with cultural tradition to allow the use of his name beyond his death, in an effort to ensure his legacy lives on.


Mitchell Pearce injury mars Newcastle’s win over Wests Tigers in Tamworth

Pearce injury mars Knights miracle NRL win in Tamworth | Photos Mitchell Pearce looks to pass the ball during the Wests Tigers clash with Newcastle at Tamworth’s Scully Park on Saturday. Picture: AAP
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Nathan Ross of the Knights loses the ball as he is tackled by David Nofoaluma and Robbie Rochow during the Wests Tigers clash with Newcastle at Tamworth’s Scully Park on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Corey Thompson, Benji Marshall and David Nofoaluma of the Tigers look on after conceding a late try during the Wests Tigers clash with Newcastle at Tamworth’s Scully Park on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Knights players celebrate their win over the Tigers in their clash at Tamworth’s Scully Park on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Chris Heighington of the Knights is tackled by Michael Chee Kam of the Tigers during the Wests Tigers clash with Newcastle at Tamworth’s Scully Park on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Lachlan Fitzgibbon of the Knights is held up by Benji Marshall and Corey Thompson during the Wests Tigers clash with Newcastle at Tamworth’s Scully Park on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Shaun Kenny-Dowall of the Knights is tackled by Michael Chee Kam and Pita Godinet during the Wests Tigers clash with Newcastle at Tamworth’s Scully Park on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Shaun Kenny-Dowall of the Knights scores a late try to win the Wests Tigers clash with Newcastle at Tamworth’s Scully Park on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Shaun Kenny-Dowall of the Knights (second left) celebrates with team mates after scoring a try in the final minutes of play to win the clash with Wests Tigers at Tamworth’s Scully Park on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Knights players celebrate Shaun Kenny-Dowall’s late try during the Wests Tigers clash with Newcastle at Tamworth’s Scully Park on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Mitchell Pearce of the Knights is tackled in his own goal by Esan Marsters and Benji Marshall during the Wests Tigers clash with Newcastle at Tamworth’s Scully Park on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Mitchell Pearce of the Knights scores a try during the Wests Tigers clash with Newcastle at Tamworth’s Scully Park on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Mitchell Pearce celebrates a try during the Wests Tigers clash with Newcastle at Tamworth’s Scully Park on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Spectators at Scully Park ahead of the Wests Tigers clash with Newcastle in Tamworth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Spectators at Scully Park ahead of the Wests Tigers clash with Newcastle in Tamworth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Spectators at Scully Park ahead of the Wests Tigers clash with Newcastle in Tamworth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Spectators at Scully Park ahead of the Wests Tigers clash with Newcastle in Tamworth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

Spectators at Scully Park ahead of the Wests Tigers clash with Newcastle in Tamworth on Saturday. Picture: AAP

TweetFacebookThe @NRLKnights have done it! #NRLTigersKnights#NRLpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/JNFqluzY9o

— NRL (@NRL) April 21, 2018


Barbara Bush remembered for dignity, wit

Former US first lady Barbara Bush has been remembered for her dignity and wit at her funeral.Former first lady Barbara Bush has been remembered at her funeral as a formidable but caring figure whose devotion to her family was matched only by her commitment to public service.
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“She was our teacher and role model in how to live a life of purpose and meaning,” one of her four sons, former Florida governor and 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush, told the crowded Houston church on Saturday.

He then drew laughs with a nod to Bush’s famously sharp tongue: “She called her style a benevolent dictatorship, but honestly, it wasn’t all that benevolent.”

Some 1500 mourners, including governors, senators and former US presidents, gathered at a televised but invitation-only service at the church to pay tribute to the matriarch of one of the country’s most prominent political dynasties, who died on Tuesday at age 92.

Bush, the wife of the 41st president of the US George HW Bush and the mother of the 43rd, George W. Bush, was lauded as an inspiration to the country and her loved ones, a woman who leavened a strong sense of decency and honour with a self-deprecating wit she employed to great effect.

“She was candid and comforting, steadfast and straightforward, honest and loving,” said the historian and author Jon Meacham, who wrote a biography of George HW Bush and was one of three eulogists whom Barbara Bush herself selected before her death.

“Barbara Bush and George Bush put country above party, the common good above political gain and service to others above the settling of scores,” he said.

Former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, current first lady Melania Trump, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former first lady Michelle Obama were all on hand for the service.

President Donald Trump, who clashed with the Bush family during his 2016 campaign, did not travel to Houston. The White House said this week he wanted to avoid disrupting the service with added security.

In a Twitter post, Trump said his “thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bush family”.

Former president Jimmy Carter was overseas and unable to attend.

Barbara Bush’s longtime friend, Susan Baker, the wife of former Secretary of State James Baker, described her in a eulogy as a “tough but loving enforcer” whose 73-year marriage to her husband was a real-life fairy tale.

George HW Bush would write a letter to his wife on each wedding anniversary, Jeb Bush said, before reading aloud one such letter from 1994, a year after his father left the White House.

“I was very happy on that day in 1945, but I’m even happier today,” he read, as his 93-year-old father squeezed his eyes shut and wept. “You have given me joy that few men know … I have climbed perhaps the highest mountain in the world, but even that cannot hold a candle to being Barbara’s husband.”

As the service ended, Bush’s grandsons bore her casket out of the church, with George W. Bush pushing his father in a wheelchair directly behind it.

Barbara Bush will be buried on the grounds of the George HW Bush Library and Museum at Texas A&M University in College Station, next to her daughter Robin, who died of leukaemia at the age of three.


Richardson praises fans after AFL draw

St Kilda coach Alan Richardson has praised Saints fans for their influence in the draw with GWS.A sparse St Kilda home crowd found its voice when it was needed in their AFL draw with GWS.
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Saints coach Alan Richardson praised the Saints’ fans for their influence in the last few minutes of Saturday afternoon’s match.

The Giants looked set for a regulation win in a scrappy match under the roof when they led by 18 points.

But St Kilda brought the crowd of 14,956 alive with a storming three-goal run.

“It had an impact in the last quarter – I would have thought there were 25 (thousand) there today,” Richardson said.

“I had no idea about the numbers but, for those fans who turned up, they made a difference late.

“I was really pleased with the way our fans supported our group.”

St Kilda had lost their past three matches badly and Saturday was their fourth-lowest crowd at the venue. And, it was their worst Etihad Stadium attendance in four years.

“That’s my job – I’m the footy coach,” Richardson said.

“We just have to be much more consistent with our performance and I’m sure we’ll get that support.

“We know we have to get going and today was a step in the right direction.”

GWS coach Leon Cameron said they were lucky to escape with the draw and was disappointed for Stephen Coniglio, who played his 100th match.

“It’s a hollow feeling – Stephen Coniglio, he’s an important part of our footy club and it’s his 100th game,” Cameron said.

“Those little milestones don’t mean everything, but they’re there for a reason.

“Collectively, we needed to probably add a little bit more to that milestone.”


Reds’ Slipper in Super Rugby injury doubt

James Slipper lasted just 20 minutes before a shoulder injury during the Reds’ loss to the Chiefs.Queensland captain James Slipper fears a nagging collarbone injury may sideline him as the Reds desperately search to rediscover their early-season Super Rugby form.
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The prop saw barely 20 minutes of action at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night, watching from the bench as the Chiefs strolled to a 36-12 victory.

Slipper admitted the injury was worse than he had initially thought, putting in doubt for Saturday’s clash with the Lions.

“I’ve been carrying a bit of a collarbone injury; I didn’t think it was that serious, but was just a bit painful tonight,” he said.

“I’ll do everything I can, put my hand up (to play), but I’m sure there’s people above me that will make that decision for me.”

The Reds showed plenty under new coach Brad Thorn to win three on the trot, but four straight defeats since then have seen them lose ground.

Now 3-5 and on 13 points, the Reds are well back from the conference-leading Waratahs (24), while the Brumbies (21) play the Jaguares at home on Sunday.

Thorn said his side need to remove the basic errors and show the form that was on display six weeks earlier in Brisbane when they beat the Bulls.

“The first 10, 20, 30 minutes, you can’t go into your shell,” he said.

“It’s not a choice that you have.

“If you’re making a lot of errors (against the Lions next Saturday) it’s going to be a tough day.”

Meanwhile, Chiefs playmaker Damian McKenzie has been cleared of any injuries despite not returning after a first-half head knock against the Reds.

“He’s alright; he’s pretty angry we dragged him but he’s a special player and we take no risks with him,” Chiefs coach Colin Cooper said, revealing he had passed the head injury assessment.

“But we still pulled him because he was dazed … that’s why he was grumpy.”


Bulldogs AFL horror show puzzles Beveridge

Luke Beveridge isn’t sure where it’s going wrong for the Bulldogs after a fourth loss in five games.Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge admits he was left scratching his head by his team’s “total breakdown in skill” during their 54-point AFL loss to Fremantle.
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The Bulldogs’ horror show included a host of comical turnovers by foot that killed the side’s chances of victory on Saturday.

Beveridge’s outfit is a shadow of the team that won the 2016 flag, with the Bulldogs now sitting at 1-4 and facing a mammoth task to make the finals.

The Bulldogs opened their season with two bad losses but showed some good fight against Essendon and Sydney over the past fortnight.

They took a major step backwards against the Dockers, however, with Beveridge left frustrated by their over-use of the ball and simple skill errors.

“You scratch your head a bit. We’re better than that,” Beveridge said when asked about some of their kicking turnovers.

“As a coach I believe in our players and their capabilities, so in some ways it becomes surprising when you have a total breakdown in skill or there’s a perceived pressure that creeps into one or two of your players’ heads.

“Sometimes with younger players it’s just par for the course and that’s going to take a while to work itself out.

“But all we can do is keep developing them and putting time into them during the week and reminding them that they are better players than they showed and stay positive.”

The Bulldogs have a chance to bounce back over the next three weeks when they take on strugglers Carlton, Gold Coast, and Brisbane.

But they will be without veteran Tory Dickson, who tore his left hamstring against the Dockers.

Lachie Hunter will return from suspension for Friday night’s clash with Carlton, while Beveridge said Bailey Williams (ear infection) and Hayden Crozier could also come under consideration.

Premiership forward Tom Boyd kicked just two goals from seven disposals against the Dockers in his first match of the year but Beveridge said he saw enough encouraging signs from the 22-year-old.

“He took some bites and kicked two goals. That’s good,” Beveridge said.

“He’s been out of the game for some time, so positive signs for Tom.”


E coli scare forces mass toss of cos in US

Consumers in the US have been urged to throw away cos lettuce after an E coli outbreak.US health officials have told consumers to throw away any store-bought cos lettuce, called romaine in America, and warned restaurants not to serve it amid an E coli outbreak that has sickened more than 50 people in several states.
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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded its warning about tainted romaine from Arizona, saying information from new illnesses led it to caution against eating any forms of the lettuce that may have come from the city of Yuma. Officials have not found the origin of the contaminated vegetables.

Previously, CDC officials had only warned against chopped romaine by itself or as part of salads and salad mixes. But they are now extending the risk to heads or hearts of romaine lettuce.

People at an Alaska correctional facility recently reported feeling ill after eating from whole heads of romaine lettuce. They were traced to lettuce harvested in the Yuma region, according to the CDC.

So far, the outbreak has infected 53 people in 16 states. At least 31 have been hospitalised, including five with kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

Symptoms of E coli infection include diarrhoea, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

The CDC’s updated advisory said consumers nationwide should not buy or eat romaine lettuce from a grocery store or restaurant unless they can get confirmation it did not come from Yuma. People also should toss any romaine they already have at home unless it’s known it didn’t come from the area, the agency said.

Restaurants and retailers were warned not to serve or sell romaine lettuce from Yuma.

Romaine grown in coastal and central California, Florida and central Mexico is not at risk, according to the Produce Marketing Association.

The Yuma region, which is roughly 185 miles (298km) southwest of Phoenix and close to the California border, is referred to as the country’s “winter vegetable capital.” It is known for its agriculture and often revels in it with events like a lettuce festival.


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