April, 2020

Merkel seeks Turnbull’s Trump advice

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has held productive talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.German leader Angela Merkel has used a private meeting to ask Malcolm Turnbull how he got Donald Trump to agree to tariff exemptions on n steel.
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The two leaders also made “significant progress” towards a free trade deal between the European Union and .

Dr Merkel hosted Mr Turnbull in Berlin, after the prime minister gave a speech calling for Europe to lift its restrictions on n farming exports.

It’s understood the chancellor wanted to hear of Mr Turnbull’s experience dealing with President Trump, as the EU aims to avoid steel tariffs and extend a nuclear deal with Iran.

Dr Merkel also sought information on the Indo-Pacific region, China, and how best to stimulate trade in the area.

“Germany has always been in favour to meet ‘s wish for a free trade agreement and I think we’ve made significant progress on the road towards that,” Ms Merkel told reporters in Berlin before Monday’s meeting.

Mr Turnbull said free trade was built on security, and he backed Germany’s stance on the war in Syria.

“We agree with you wholeheartedly on the need for a political solution in Syria,” he told reporters at a joint media conference.

“Russia and Iran must do more to bring to an end the horrific attacks by the Assad regime.”

France and Germany have been keeping up pressure on the United States not to pull out of a deal with Iran to limit its nuclear ambitions, and Mr Turnbull will meet with French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Tuesday to discuss the issue.

Mr Turnbull and Ms Merkel also spoke about North Korea’s nuclear program and the need for it to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Earlier, Mr Turnbull gave a speech calling for the EU to lift its restrictions on n farming exports.

He said the lifting of trade barriers would open up new markets and jobs for n and European producers.

Mr Turnbull is due to speak to the European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker on Tuesday as he pushes for a free trade deal with Europe.

He will also go to France to open the Sir John Monash Centre ahead of Anzac Day on the Western Front.


Gas prices up in benign inflation result

Reserve Bank Governor Phillip Lowe is expected to keep interest rates on hold.New inflation figures confirm won’t be joining the US in raising interest rates any time soon, a relief to highly indebted households at a time of low wages growth.
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While Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe and his central bank board may be convinced the next move in its cash rate will be up, economists are not expecting a change until well into 2019.

The consumer price index for the March quarter rose just 0.4 per cent, even lower than the benign 0.5 per cent increase economists had expected.

It kept the annual rate at 1.9 per cent and below the central bank’s two to three per cent target band.

The more interest-rate sensitive measures of underlying inflation – which smooth out volatile price swings – were also around the bottom of the target band at an average 1.95 per cent.

This average has been below target for nine consecutive quarters.

“The RBA is likely to stand fast at 1.5 per cent for quite some time,” BIS Oxford Economics head of economics Sarah Hunter told AAP, referring to the cash rate.

She did not expect a rise until the December quarter of 2019.

The official cash rate has been stuck at a record low 1.5 per cent since August 2016.

Households won’t be surprised that gas prices and other household fuels were a key factor behind the latest inflation rise, even if they may be a little sceptical about the report’s overall view of price pressures, especially if they are struggling to make ends meet in a low wage growth environment.

Gas prices rose six per cent in the quarter to be 10 per cent up on the year.

Electricity prices rose by a more modest 1.8 per cent during the first three months of the year but were still 11.7 per cent higher annually.

Other factors were the increased cost of vegetables, secondary education, pharmaceutical products and medical and hospital services.

These were partly offset by falls in overseas holidays, audio, visual and computing services and furniture.

The inflation results are unlikely to dent a new bout of confidence among consumers.

The ANZ-Roy Morgan weekly confidence index rose 2.1 per cent to its highest level in five weeks.

ANZ head of economics David Plank said the rise likely reflected some recovery in equity markets after being dogged by the threat of global trade wars.

The rise also came despite the latest jobs figures showing a record-breaking run of employment gains have come to an end.

“It is possible that increasing talk about personal income tax cuts as the Commonwealth budget approaches is boosting sentiment,” Mr Plank said.

The budget is on May 8.


Anzac Day clash fits blockbuster billing

Sydney coach Trent Robinson knows all eyes will be on his side’s clash with St George Illawarra.Form doesn’t seem to matter too much on Anzac Day.
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But if history is anything to go by, Wednesday’s heavyweight clash between St George Illawarra and the Sydney Roosters is going to be a cracker.

Traditionally a clash between one finals-bound side and another beginning to battle, this year’s has all the making of the blockbuster billing it deserves.

In one corner there’s the table-topping Dragons. In the other there’s the most hyped team of the pre-season and opening two months of the competition in the Roosters

Both are now level on the second line of premiership betting.

Since the introduction of the Anzac Day clash in 2002, eight of their 16 matches have been decided by four points or less – including the past three.

That, despite the fact the two teams haven’t featured in the same finals series since 2010. A fact that looks certain to change this year.

“It wouldn’t matter on this day,” Roosters coach Trent Robinson said.

“It would still be a really strong clash. But I can imagine it’s going to create some interest outside of the interest of both teams.

“And it will create a bit more spice for the supporters and fans of rugby league.”

Never has it been more evident that a year is a long time in rugby league than looking back at last Anzac Day.

Just on a year ago, Mitchell Pearce kicked the winning field goal for the Roosters in golden point, after Josh Dugan sent the match to extra time for the Dragons.

Fast forward 12 months, and neither player is still with either of their clubs.

That loss kickstarted the Dragons’ fall. Gareth Widdop was injured and their spiral to ninth spot began. In comparison, the Roosters never looked like missing the eight.

This year though, Paul McGregor’s Dragons look a different side with Ben Hunt in the No.7. A collapse looks unlikely.

On the other side of the fence though the Roosters are still battling to find their mojo. The introductions of Cooper Cronk and James Tedesco haven’t brought with them the success the pre-season pressure demanded.

Last week’s 6-0 win over Canterbury typified their start to the year. They were gutsy in defence but still made 17 errors with ball in hand – taking them to a competition-high 96.

“I’ve watched the game a couple of times now,” McGregor said.

“They’re still finding their rhythm but they’re a quality side.

“They were pre-season favourites to win the competition and have got class players across the field. They’re a very good football team.

“But it doesn’t matter what side takes the park in these contests, there’s not much in it.”


* The Dragons and Roosters have each won three of the past six Anzac Day clashes.

* The Dragons lead the NRL for tries and tackle busts.

* The Roosters have made the most errors this year.


Nashville shooting suspect in custody

The manhunt for a suspect who killed four people at a Nashville Waffle House restaurant continues.Police have arrested the man suspected of shooting dead four people at a Waffle House restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee, ending a 36-hour manhunt after tips from the public led officers to search woods nearby.
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Photos posted online by Nashville police showed Travis Reinking, a 29-year-old construction worker, in custody.

He is suspected of opening fire with an assault rifle at the restaurant early on Sunday then fleeing the scene naked.

Photographed in the back of a police car, he looked dishevelled and was wearing a torn red shirt and dirty blue jeans. He had scratches on his shoulder.

No motive was known for the attack that sent shudders through one of the biggest cities in the US South.

Reinking had a pistol and ammunition in a backpack when he was arrested. He was being held at a Nashville jail on four murder charges, online jail records showed.

More than 150 city, state and local law enforcement agents searched for the gunman, who has had a history of bizarre behaviour, delusions and multiple encounters with authorities.

One such encounter was in Washington in July 2017 when he was arrested for trying to get into the White House, according to police records.

“We need to move on as a community and do what we can to curb this violence,” Nashville Mayor David Briley told a news conference near the Waffle House, describing the attack as a tragedy.

Tips from people in the neighbourhood helped lead police to search through the woods about 3km from the restaurant using sniffer dogs on the ground and aircraft overhead.

Metropolitan Nashville police Lieutenant Carlos Lara said as soon as a detective saw Reinking and ordered him to get on the ground, the suspect cooperated.

“He did not try to run,” Lara said at the same news conference.

In addition to the four deaths, two people were injured in the attack.

Reinking lived in Illinois before moving to Nashville. After the White House incident, Illinois authorities revoked his licence to carry concealed weapons.

After that, Reinking’s father had told police he would lock up his son’s guns, which they said included the rifle used in the Waffle House shooting. But the father returned the weapons to his son, Nashville police said on Sunday.

Marcus Watson, an agent with the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said Reinking’s father, Jeffrey, could face federal charges if he knowingly transferred weapons to a person who was prohibited from owning them.

The killings in Tennessee’s capital were the latest in a string of high-profile US mass shootings in which a gunman used an AR-15 style rifle. These include a February 14 mass shooting when a former student killed 17 people with an AR-15 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

The shootings have fuelled a nationwide debate on gun control.

In the latest shooting the suspect fled after a 29-year-old diner, James Shaw Junior, wrestled the rifle from him.

Shaw, grazed by a bullet during the attack, was praised for his courage, but on Sunday he denied he was a hero. “I just wanted to live,” he said.


Key events for William, Kate and family

The Cambridges will soon welcome a third child to their growing family.The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a boy at London’s St. Mary’s Hospital.
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Here are some highlights in the lives of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children:

* September 2001: Prince William and Kate Middleton meet at St. Andrews University in Scotland where they are both studying art history.

* Christmas 2003: The pair reportedly become a couple after sharing a house together with two friends. In March they are pictured together on a skiing holiday in Switzerland.

* November 16, 2010: William and Kate’s engagement is announced. The prince proposed to Kate while on a private holiday to Kenya the previous month.

* April 29, 2011: The pair wed in a lavish ceremony at London’s Westminster Abbey. William is made the Duke of Cambridge by his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and Kate becomes the Duchess of Cambridge.

* December 3, 2012: The palace announces that Kate is pregnant and being treated in the hospital for acute morning sickness. The palace later announces that the baby is due in July.

* June 19, 2013: It is confirmed Kate is planning to give birth at the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in Paddington in central London, where Princess Diana gave birth to William and Prince Harry.

* July 22, 2013: Kate gives birth to a baby boy, weighing 8 pounds, 6 ounces (3.8 kilograms), with William by her side.

* July 24, 2013: Royal officials say the new prince, who is third in line to the throne, has been named George Alexander Louis

* September 8, 2014: Kensington Palace announces the duchess is pregnant with the couple’s second child.

* May 2, 2015: Kate gives birth to a daughter, weighing 8 pounds, 3 ounces (3.7 kilograms).

* May 4, 2015: The palace says the new princess is named Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

* September 4, 2017: The palace announces Kate pregnant with the couple’s third child.

* September 7, 2017: Prince George starts school at Thomas’s Battersea, a private school not far from the family’s home at Kensington Palace. His father drops him off on the first day; Kate is too ill with morning sickness to join them.

* March 22, 2018: Kate completes her final royal engagement before going on maternity leave.

* April 23, 2018: The palace says Kate has been admitted to St. Mary’s Hospital in the early stages of labour.

* -April 23, 2018: Kate gives birth at 11:01am to a boy weighing eight pounds, seven ounces (3.8kgs).


Fever confident of making netball finals

West Coast Fever skipper Courtney Bruce is upbeat about her side’s upcoming Super Netball season.New West Coast Fever captain Courtney Bruce is confident the team is good enough to make the Super Netball finals this season.
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The Fever finished seventh last season, winning just two of their 14 games to only narrowly avoid the wooden spoon.

But the recruitment of 196cm Jamaican goalshooter Jhaniele Fowler and the return from injury of Shannon Eagland has boosted hopes of a swift rise up the ladder in 2018.

The Fever have been in hot form during the pre-season, and Bruce is confident of carrying that into the season proper.

“We’re definitely talking about top-four,” Bruce said ahead of the round-one showdown with the Thunderbirds in Adelaide on Sunday.

“We want to be playing finals. We think we have the capabilities to be in that position. We’re definitely not shying away from having those conversations.

We’ve had a really strong pre-season. We’re the strongest and fittest we’ve ever been.”

Fowler looms as the critical inclusion.

The 28-year-old has starred for Kiwi outfit Southern Steel in recent years, and she also helped Jamaica upset New Zealand in the bronze medal match at the recent Commonwealth Games.

Her presence gives Fever a proven goalscorer who can monster opponents.

“She’s an absolute beast underneath that post,” Bruce said.

“She’s pretty hard to stop. It gives us a lot of confidence knowing that any ball you put in, she’s going to pull it in and shoot it.

“She’s accurate, she’ll move, she’ll shoot from distance. She’s an all-rounder.”

Bruce is the first WA player to captain the Fever, and she’s keen to lead the side to success.

“I’m just going to try to replicate what I normally do,” she said when asked about her leadership style.

“The girls voted me in for a reason, and what I do well is lead on the court and have that strong voice.”


Speed likely a factor in crash that killed two young men in Corowa

The barrier made of boulders at the end of Cadell Street, which the BMW crashed into before becoming airborne.Police have praised the actions of residents who responded to a fiery crash on Sunday evening that claimed the lives of two young men.
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Bradley Potts, of Corowa and Brent Coutts, of Ascot Vale, died after the BMW they were travelling in collided with an earthen road barrier at the dead end of Cadell Street, became airborne and crashed into a garden shed on a River Street property.

Two men living within a couple hundred metres of the crash site in Corowa, on the NSW-Victoria border, were there within seconds of the crash.

One of the neighbours, who did not wish to be named, said the man who assisted with him did not hesitate and “deserved a medal”.

“Without him I couldn’t have done it –he jumped straight in, even though the car was on fire, and we were able to get him (Mr Potts) out,” he said.

“Minutes later the car caught on fire.”

Bradley Potts and Brent Coutts were killed in a crash at Corowa on Sunday.

Mr Potts was taken to Corowa Hospital where he died a short time later.

Emergency services that were responding, includingFire and Rescue NSW and Corowa VRA, did not knowthere was a second occupant in the vehicle until after the fire was extinguished about 15 minutes later.

Tributes flowed for the two young men, both aged 24, on Monday.

The Moyhu Football Netball Club wrote: “Rip Bradley Potts …to think that we won’t see you again with that cheeky grin on his face, having a joke and a beer doesn’t seem real.

“Unfortunately it is, and the Corowa boys have not lost one mate, but two.”

Speed likely a factor in crash that killed two young men The barrier made of boulders at the end of Cadell Street, which the BMW crashed into before becoming airborne.

The dead end of Cadell Street

TweetFacebook The scene of the crash on River StreetPictures: Mark JesserThe River Street resident who helped has known Mr Potts since he was a young boy and was devastated when he recognised the young man.

“He was a very nice kid, the family are well-loved, it shouldn’t have happened,” he said.

“I was out feeding my dogs and I heard the car, I thought ‘It’s not going to stop’.

“Just by knowing the speeds they were doing, it was going to be a bad outcome.”

Another man who was at the scene, who also wished to stay anonymous, had called triple-0 minutes before the crash.

“The car was doing more than that (150km/h) around South Corowa,” he said.

“I was still on the phone to police when the accident occurred.”

There is a‘road closed sign’ with the earthen barrier at the end of Cadell Street, and beyond that River Street, which also comes to a dead end at that section of road.

Detective Inspector Winston Woodward said the BMW was estimated to be travelling at speeds in excess of 150 kilometres per hour, three times the speed limit of Cadell Street, when it crashed into the barrier.

“The impact has been hard enough to dislodge a couple hundred kilogram boulder or rock which was in the retaining wall, and project that some hundred metres,” he said.

“The exact speed may be known, there are ways to examine the vehicle and components of the vehicle to find out – a brief of evidence will be prepared for the coroner.

“(With) how far the car has projected, we could have been looking at more fatalities had that vehicle gone through a house.

“The loss of life of two 24-year-old men is a tragic incident at any time and I can only call for people to obey the road rules.”

Police were not able to comment on who was driving the BMW.

Detective Inspector Woodward saidhe “took his hat off” to everyone who was at the scene on Sunday.

“It was a heroic act for a group of people to go into an incident which is dangerous and attempt to save a life,” he said.

“All that could be done to save the lifeof anybody inside the vehicle was being done.

“It’s a sad event all around for both people, the families of the deceased and not forgetting the emergency services personnel.”

Border Mail


Bogut sold on Kings’ grand NBL vision

NBL coaches will have to figure out how to stop Sydney Kings’ star recruit Andrew Bogut. Andrew Bogut’s NBL deal with Sydney Kings includes an ownership share in retirement.
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Andrew Bogut’s unique way into the NBL, as a future part-owner of a club, could be a template for other NBA players eyeing investment in the growing n league.

The 13-year NBA veteran sealed a two-year deal with the Sydney Kings on Tuesday described as the biggest in the league’s history

Acknowledging how far the NBL has come under new owner and director Larry Kestelman, Bogut said he “wouldn’t have even thought about it” four or five years ago.

But in what he described as world class negotiations, the 2015 NBA championship winner will now own at least 10 per cent and up to 50 per cent of the club once he hangs up his sneakers.

“I want some skin in the game, I want to see how viable this is and see where it’s going,” he said.

“If it goes as well as I think it will … there is no reason why I won’t put my own money in as well.”

Bogut said he had two clubs that would have “gone deep” in this year’s NBA play-offs interested in signing him, while he also attracted big-money offers to play in China.

However that shareholders clause, as well as the NBL’s kind 28-game regular season and the impending birth of his second child was enough to persuade him the time was right to announce his NBA retirement.

“It wasn’t easy, you never want to shut the door completely (on the NBA) but I saw how hard it was on my wife and the security was gone with one-year deals for the rest of my career,” Bogut said.

“You get a phone call and get moved coast to coast (to another club) … I didn’t want that life any more.”

“But the NBL’s in a position to do this now.”

Kestelman is open to exploring more creative deals like the one struck with the 2015 NBA Championship winner.

“I love the idea of players being involved in clubs deeper than just by playing,” the businessman told AAP.

“We’re open to all options and I think they have a lot to add and a lot to give back to the game past their retirement.

“I’m fully supportive of it. No deal is the same for any two players but I certainly think it’s opening up an interesting conversation.”

Bogut hopes his decision could set a precedent for other n NBA stars – there are seven currently playing in the NBA Finals – to come home and finish their careers in the NBL.

He said a couple, who he did not want to name, had already texted him and mentioned they could do the same.

Committing to the Boomers’ 2016 World Cup and 2020 Olympic campaigns, Bogut said he wanted to play in the NBL while he had “something left in the tank”.


Illawarra cook Gina Ottaway is set to sizzle on Masterchef China 2018

Gina Ottaway’s cooking could turn some heads on the upcoming 2018 season of Masterchef . Picture: Network TenAdvertisements have started running to promote thenext season of Masterchef with a prized Illawarra cook featuring in one of the teasers.
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In the clip Gina Ottaway stands before judges George Calombaris, Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston with her controversial dish ‘gnoccheloni’ (a combination of Italian classics gnocchi and cannelloni).

The video ends with concerned looks on the judges faces and a voice-over asking ‘will this nonna be a goner?’.

Publicity for the reality cooking competition simply says “coming soon” without a given date as to when episodes will begin airing. While there is no detailed information about the background of the current new round of contestants.

However, we do know this nonna is no klutz in the kitchen.

In 2011 the Flinders foodie was crowned ’s Super Cook, telling theMercuryat the time she was “addicted” to cooking and loved making multiple dishes at a time.

“I have met so many chefs – Manu [Feildel], George[Calombaris], Gary [Mehigan] – you name it, I’ve met them,” the then 49-year-old said.

“Mum used to always cook for us, but it was always the more basic things, whereas I’mvery experimental and I like to push the boundaries but some things just don’t work out.”

NO KITCHEN KLUTZ: Cooking ‘addict’ Gina Ottaway (pictured in 2012) had a dream to be on a cooking show. Her dreams will soon be coming true on Masterchef though her dishes could turn some heads. Sylvia Liber

At the time Ms Ottaway said her dream was to have her owntelevision show on the evolution of food in a multicultural society.

Gina OttawayMastercheflooks like producers have cranked it up a notch with guest appearances by Gordon Ramsay, Nigella Lawsonn and his Royal Highness Prince Charles.

Also on the show this year is a nail-biting challenge featuring the legendary Melbourne Football Club, a challenge in the hills of the Dandenong Ranges, and a week exploring picturesque South , with challenges among the vines of the Barossa Valley and in the hustle and bustle of Adelaide’s CBD.

A screen shot of Gina Ottaway from the upcoming 2018 season of Masterchef . Picture: Network Ten

Familiar faces making a return include Shannon Bennet as mentor, last year’s winner Diana Chan joins winners from every other past season (yes, Julie Goodwin will return), plus Maggie Beer, Curtis Stone, Alla Wolf-Tasker, Darren Purchese and Adriano Zumbo.

The ultimate winner walks away with $250,000 and a monthly column in Delicious magazine.

FLASHBACK: Gina Ottaway (pictured in 2012) has met so many great chefs before, but had a real soft sport for Jamie Oliver. Sylvia Liber

Illawarra Mercury


Tigers’ late surge sinks Demons in AFL

Demons veteran Jordan Lewis will miss Melbourne’s clash with Richmond with a broken hand. Dustin Martin finished with 26 possessions for the Tigers, including 10 clearances.
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Richmond have stormed to the top of the AFL ladder with a late burst sealing a 46-point win over a fading Melbourne in the Anzac Day eve clash at the MCG.

The Demons trailed by just six points in the third quarter, but the Tigers slammed home seven of the last nine goals of the game to score a 15.12 (102) to 8.8 (56) win in front of 77,071 fans.

Dustin Martin was quiet early but warmed into the contest to finish with 26 possessions, including 10 clearances.

Kane Lambert (29 disposals), Shane Edwards (26) and Bachar Houli (26) were also important, while Jack Higgins led the way in attack with three goals in just his second AFL appearance.

“It was a tough old game … it was a bit of an arm wrestle there for a long period of time,” Tigers coach Damien Hardwick said.

“High pressure, high contest and I thought we were probably on the ropes early in the first and third quarters, so I was really pleased with how (we) stood up to that challenge.

“Then we started to grind away and got it on our terms towards the end.”

It was another uneven performance from Melbourne, who slipped to a 2-3 record with the loss.

The Demons endured nine days of intense criticism after their limp effort in a 67-point thumping by Hawthorn and they started like they had a point to prove.

But while they had the Tigers on the back foot, they let themselves down with costly skill errors.

Richmond soaked up the early pressure and counter-attacked effectively when opportunities presented to lead by three points at the first break.

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin conceded his erratic team couldn’t be trusted in the lead-up to the big clash and they wilted under the Tigers’ pressure in the second quarter.

Martin and Reece Conca got on top at the stoppages and Richmond should have been more than 20 points up at halftime after dominating the inside-50 count 19-5.

The Demons suffered a blow when Dean Kent’s night ended with a hamstring injury, but they took the fight back up to the Tigers after the restart.

Clayton Oliver (31 possessions) and Nathan Jones (30) provided the spark as the margin was sliced to just six points, but as they had done all night, Hardwick’s men answered the challenge.

They led by 19 points at three-quarter time and finished the Demons in clinical fashion.

“For three quarters I thought we brought our intensity and the way that we want to play,” Goodwin said.

“Clearly we still need to add some polish to what we’re doing.

“But I thought generally our intensity around the contest was strong right up until the last quarter.

“It was a step forward.”

Jake Melksham kicked a career-high four goals and Max Gawn had 56 hitouts for Melbourne.


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