World Rugby toughen eligibility laws but Tongan Thor free to play

World Rugby has announced players across the globe will now have to serve a five-year eligibility period before they can represent a national side. But a delay in its implementation until 2020 will allow Queensland Reds prop Taniela Tupou – known as the “Tongan Thor” – to be eligible for Wallabies selection this year.
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World Rugby executives met in Tokyo to discuss the Regulation 8 guidelines that relate to player eligibility.

A decision to extend the residency requirement from 36 months to 60 months was made with the intention of “protecting the integrity and sanctity of international rugby in the modern elite environment”.

It means players will find it significantly tougher to switch allegiances, however the increase to five years will not come into effect until December 31, 2020.

“This extension to the residency period within a forward-thinking reform package will ensure a close, credible and established link between a union and players, which is good for rugby and good for fans,” said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont.

Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver was opposed to the change as recently as last year, saying he felt the tweak would leave rugby vulnerable to having players poached by a code such as rugby league that did not have complicated international eligibility rules.

But Pulver changed his tune this year, stressing the move from three years to five would have little impact on the Wallabies.

“At a World Rugby level, what we’re trying to do is to preserve the integrity of national teams,” Pulver said in February. “Frankly, if you are a Fijian that lives in Fiji, you should play for Fiji … you shouldn’t play for any other country. Same in Tonga, same in Samoa, same right around the world. It’s very important we preserve that.

“We support this change. It is a very healthy international change. Of the last 90 players that have used the residency rule to play for Australia, only two have used the 36-month residency rule.”

The two players are Fijian born Sefa Naivalu, who made his debut off the bench last year in Pretoria against South Africa, and 11-Test winger Henry Speight from the Brumbies.

As for 20-year-old rising star Tupou, he will not be affected by the changes but will still have to serve the mandatory three-year requirement.

Tupou is eligible for Wallabies selection later this year after being picked on the spring tour at the end of 2016 as a development player.

For some time, France and Argentina have pushed for five-year eligibility requirements in the hope of preventing national sides from plucking players from other nations and getting them into their systems quickly.

Argentina were the only side at the 2015 World Cup with an entire squad of locally-born players.

World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot, who hails from Argentina, lauded the decision on Wednesday.

“This is an historic moment for the sport and a great step towards protecting the integrity, ethos and stature of international rugby,” Pichot said. “National team representation is the reward for devoting your career, your rugby life, to your nation and these amendments will ensure that the international arena is full of players devoted to their nation, who got there on merit.”

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

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Hidden garden

EXOTIC: Visitors to Mr Bull’s Gardens pose for this 19th century Lake Macquarie Library photo. Photo: history.lakemac南京夜网419论坛BULLS Garden Road near Charlestown is very familiar to most Lake Macquarie people. But what’s the real story behind it?
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Believe it or not, more than 100 years ago this road going south, off Dudley Road, went to Mr Bull’s famous exotic gardens, hidden in bush.

Today, this major tourist attraction has long disappeared. The road winds for about two kilometres from near Whitebridge Cemetery to link with Oakdale Road at Gateshead.

Best known as a traffic shortcut, it’s also the road where the landmark O’Malleys aquariums does business.

What is normally forgotten these days is that around 1860 Edmund Bull bought a 60-acre plot here, in what is now Whitebridge, to gradually create a botanical paradise.

Eight of his children worked on rotation in the gardens initially. Two brothers at a time, as young as 14 years, were left alone in the bush for a fortnight, clearing the land.

Here, they lived on corn beef, tea, flour and sugar supplemented by what they could catch, such as possums, pigeons, parrots and bandicoots.

At night, there were the haunting cries of dingoes stalking their young cattle, some of which by morning would be without their tails.

Gradually, over decades, the cleared bush developed into some of the finest gardens in Australia. Now, after land changes, only the name Bulls Garden Road stands as a reminder of past glories.

Some of the garden splendour, however, survived until at least 1936.

Lake Macquarie City librarians today believe Mr Bull’s Gardens were located east of Whitebridge’s present Bulls Garden Road. Part of the road though outlines the boundary of the original land grant.

A gully of running water once cut through the land, creating a large rock pool, or miniature lake, leading to a waterfall. On the hills, an orchard was planted to obtain a livelihood, but the rest was moulded into a ‘hobby’ scenic garden.

Many seeds and plants largely unknown then in Australiawere planted. There were seeds from America and Java and bulbs from Holland, plus 24 varieties of camellia from Japan.

The cool gully full of palms, big ferns, staghorns and fat clumps of cane was beautifully landscaped, terraced by tiers of stonewalls. Rockpools and a row of fishponds under a great coral tree completed the picture.

Both Edmund and his second wife, Mary, were later buried at nearby Whitebridge Cemetery, in 1899 and 1903 respectively.

But it was a son, Sid Bull, who did much to create the legend as we know it today. Sid, who took over management of the attraction in 1904,allowed free public access to the gardens where his family lived on site and made a good living supplying refreshments, flowers and fruit to visitors.

People caught the train to then nearby Whitebridge station. Hundreds of people flocked to the gardens each weekend or on holidays.

There were once as many as 200 horse-carriages at a time pulled up on the grass outside.

Masters of sailing ships anchored in Newcastle Harbour who had heard of the beauty of the gardens hired buggies to make a special trip to the area.

Here, beside the waterfall was a small mine from which the Bull family collected coal.

Visiting the site in 1947, Herald writer Ian Healy reported only remnants of the gardens remained between plots of sub-divided land. He then heard tales of ships’ captains who once liked to creep into the mine, with picks, to chip off small pieces “which they treasured like gold”.

One of the greatest threats to the site were occasional bush fires. Early model cars then bought visitors in bigger numbers to the gardens and thefts of flowers and fruit increased.

Mr Bull’s gardens, which had once grown all tropical fruit from paw paws, pineapples and mangoes to tulips and violets, closed in the 1930s after about 70 years.

Sidney Bull and his wife then relocated from Whitebridge to Wallsend in 1937.

His father, pioneer Edmund Bull who had come to NSW in 1837, was from a long line of gardeners who had cultivated plants in Scotland and the Isle of Wight for several hundred years.

At first he lived at Folly Park, Mayfield, in 1854 before the industries came. Bull Street was named after him.

Sidney Bull said later that his father had grown the first bananas in Newcastle, but “nobody would buy them . . . the majority of people were suspicious of their taste and worth”.

The family then eventually moved to remote Whitebridge and the rest is history.

Linking the pastWELL, well. It’s not often you learn something new about local history.

It all started when author Doug Saxon, of Fishing Point, dropped me a note recently.

FORGOTTEN FIGURE: Michael Scott, pictured around 1940.

“I’m emailing you to let you know that, after three years of research, my book, Michael Scott. An Artistic Life, has finally been printed,” he wrote.

“The final product is 162 pages (A4) with some 90 photographs.

“You’re probably never heard of Michael Scott, but in the 1950s and 1960s he was well known throughout Australia, particularly as the founder of the Blake Prize for religious art.

“He also had strong connections to the Hunter – his father was medical superintendent at the Morisset Hospital and his uncle and benefactor was AA Rankin after whom Rankin Park Hospital and the adjoining suburb are named.”

According to Saxon, Scott was also a significant figure in changing Australian church architecture in the late 1950s and 1960s.

It turns out that Scott was also a newspaper columnist, radio broadcaster and lecturer on both religious art and church architecture while holding office in a number of church, government and community organisations.

In 1946, Scott was the first public figure to call for state aid for Catholic schools.

Author Saxon’s interest in Scott began after being appointed principal of Bonnells Bay Primary School (formerly Morisset East Public) on the western shore of Lake Macquarie, in January 1983.

Here, he received a letter from Michael Scott of Dublin, Ireland, seeking information about the school he attended from 1915 to 1917.

Michael Scott planned to write an account of his “incredibly happy days in the little (Morisset) bush school”.

Then in 2012, when Saxon set out to write the school’s centenary history, he found the letter sent to him 30 years earlier.

Saxon’s follow-up research uncovered that Scott had become orphaned at age 12 and had later become a Catholic priest.

At age 17, he gave up the opportunity to be a lawyer to become a Jesuit instead, fuelled by a sense of obligation to help those who’d helped his family. Intrigued, Saxon set out on the path to discover more.

This included that in 1968, Michael Scott became the first Australian Jesuit to leave to marry a woman he’d met in Dublin and fallen in love with almost 40 years earlier.

Saxon’s self-funded book ($30) is being launched on Saturday, May 13, at Adamstown Uniting Church.

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Man arrested wearing bra

Man arrested wearing bra BAIL: Keith William Green is mobbed my the media after being released from the Newcastle courthouse cells on Wednesday afternoon.
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FREE: Keith William Green is mobbed my the media after being released from the Newcastle courthouse cells on Wednesday afternoon.

TweetFacebookAccused Maryville peeping tom Keith William Green is released from custody. Story to come. @newcastleheraldpic.twitter南京夜网/ySqCDoMsvk

— Sam Rigney (@SamRigney) May 10, 2017

Keith William Green, 55, of Raymond Terrace, appeared in Newcastle Local Court in handcuffs, a pair of green prison-issue shorts and a jumper on Wednesday charged with enter dwelling with intent and peep or pry.

His solicitor, Kristy Wade, pleaded not guilty to both charges and applied for bail on Mr Green’s behalf.

According to a statement of police facts, the alleged victim was at home on Sunday night when she saw a man standing in her backyard.

She grabbed a torch and the man, who was was wearing only a pair of white underpants, fled.

Then on Tuesday night about 11.25pm, the woman was asleep in her unit when she heard someone come in.

She walked into the lounge room and saw a man –wearing nothing but a pair of dark-coloured underpants – standing behind the lounge room door, court documents state.

“The alleged victim noticed that the accused had something protruding from the rear of his head but was unable to describe this object any further,” police facts state.The woman told police she recognised the man from a few nights earlier and told him to leave.The man ran out the front door and the alleged victim called police.

Police patrolled the area and allegedly found Mr Green running along Lewis Street at 11.36pm, court documents state.

At this stage, police allegehe was wearing underpants and a dark jumper and was carrying a bundle of ladies clothes and a black wig.

When police asked about the clothes, Mr Green allegedly said they were his.When asked about the cable ties and ratchet straps, the accused replied: “I don’t know”, court documents state.

Magistrate Robert Stone granted Mr Green bail on the condition he live at Raymond Terrace, report to police, adhere to a curfew, not enter the suburb of Maryville and provide a $1000 surety.

The matter was adjourned until June 22.

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Calls for Toowoomba Citytrain services to piggyback inland rail project

Train commuters use Queensland Rail trains in Brisbane. Photo: Jorge BrancoToowoomba mayor Paul Antonio has called for a new Citytrain link between his city and Brisbane to be piggy-backed on the federal government’s $8.4 billion budget commitment for the Melbourne to Brisbane inland rail route.
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The huge spend was unveiled in federal Treasurer Scott Morrison’s second federal budget on Tuesday night and would cover most of its estimated $10.7 billion cost.

Once built, the 1700-kilometre rail link, nicknamed the “Steel Mississippi” by some, would take about 110 B-double trucks off the roads with every train journey.

Cr Antonio said the inland rail would revolutionise business in the Darling Downs, but it also needed to be future-proofed to allow for future use as a passenger route to Brisbane, 140 kilometres to Toowoomba’s east.

“We have about 100,000 people in Toowoomba and you’d probably need a bigger critical mass to make it work,” he said.

“But I think there’s an expectation in Toowoomba that upon the maturity of the inland rail route, where there’s probably two lines at least, that we’d be looking towards getting a train to Toowoomba.”

Cr Antonio said he and Lockyer Valley mayor Tanya Milligan had put together a proposal for an in-depth study into an extension of the Rosewood line to Withcott, at the base of the range.

With the inland rail, Cr Antonio said, it could go even further.

“As we build this (inland rail) line, I’ll be advocating for that capacity to be built into it,” he said.

“I think there are times to strike with projects like this and from now on is the time for us to put this on the table and say to the federal government and those who are funding this, ‘future-proof this now’.

“They’re talking about building a single-line tunnel through the hill. Why wouldn’t you at least double that and have at least a two-line tunnel, and maybe a three-line tunnel, to future-proof the project?”

Public transport lobbyist Robert Dow, from Rail: Back on Track, said the inland rail would be a “game changer” for south-east Queensland and urged all three levels of government to explore passenger options using the new tunnels through the ranges.

“The opportunity exists for the state government to run commuter trains to Toowoomba in almost half the time it takes the Westlander train on the existing track and alignment,” he said.

“The travel time efficiency savings flowing from the track improvements will make rail highly competitive with cars for the journey from Toowoomba to Brisbane.”

The extension of the Citytrain network would not necessarily require expensive electrification, Mr Dow said, as diesel hybrids could be used.

“They can run out the wires to Rosewood then switch over to batteries with a diesel back-up,” he said.

“They regenerate, but can run part of the way on battery then flick over to diesel. Japan’s got these things already – these things exist.”

Transport Minister and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said while the Queensland government could eventually explore a Toowoomba Citytrain link, the Cross River Rail remained the state’s top priority.

“Unless it’s built, south-east Queensland will eventually grind to a halt,” she said.

“We must act now to make sure our public transport system keeps pace with the rate of population growth.

“We will consider further upgrades and linkages on our Citytrain network but first and most importantly, we need to get on with the job and build Cross River Rail.”

As for the freight benefits of inland rail, Cr Antonio said it would “change the way business is done right across this region”.

He said it would drive Toowoomba’s push to be a major logistical hub and a place where food could be produced and prepared for export around the world.

“Close of 50 per cent of what goes out of the Port of Brisbane comes through Toowoomba, principally on a road system that was built for a different purpose but will be replaced by the bypass soon, and secondly on a rail line that was built just on 150 years ago,” he said.

“The reality is, there’s not been a lot done to that windy, three-foot-six gauge line in the intervening period.

“… Of the 3.5 million tonnes of primary agricultural product that’s produced in this area, only 180,000 tonnes goes out on rail.

“It’s just ridiculous when its more competitive in somewhere like Goondiwindi to cart the grain on a B-double train than it is to cart on a train in reasonably sizable loads.

“So the exporters of this region are being disadvantaged terribly by the lack of infrastructure.”

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

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Economics shoots … and scores!

Imagine Steve Jobs saying the iPhone is useless or Bill Gates recommending that Microsoft Office be thrown out the window.
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Such a bizarre situation exists in the world’s most popular sport, association football (or soccer). And those who saw the nerve-wrecking A-League grand final clash between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory on Sunday probably sensed that the problem at hand is the penalty shoot-out.

The parallels between the economy and sport are stronger than they seem, and economic research can be useful in both arenas by identifying “welfare-improving” rules and policies.

In 2006, FIFA’s then president, Sepp Blatter, said: “Football World Cup, it is a passion, and when the match goes into extra time, it’s a drama. But when it comes to penalty kicks, it’s a tragedy.”

Blatter’s statement followed the 2006 World Cup final, which featured arch-rivals Italy and France and was decided by a penalty shoot-out. His statement was motivated by the large number of important matches decided in this cruel lottery.

What’s the problem? Blatter’s primary issue was not just the randomness of the shoot-out but that it doesn’t provide a team contest. It also puts extreme pressure on individual penalty takers, who may suffer major psychological trauma if they miss. One may recall the agony and tears of players such as England’s David Beckham, France’s David Trezeguet, Chelsea’s John Terry and, most recently, Melbourne Victory’s Carl Valeri and Marco Rojas, who missed the penalty kicks in Sunday’s grand final.

FIFA’s efforts to reduce the reliance on penalty shoot-outs resulted in adopting the so-called “golden goal” between 1993 and 2002, which meant “sudden death” for the team that first conceded a goal in extra time. The rule tried to ensure that there was more attacking play and thus fewer matches decided in a shoot-out.

The fiasco of this rule did not surprise economists, because they pay attention to the effects of various policies on incentives of economic subjects. It was clear to them that the golden goal not only increased the “reward” for scoring a goal – and therefore incentives for players to attack in extra time – but it also increased the “punishment” for conceding a goal – and therefore incentives to defend. As it turned out, the latter effect was stronger due to a phenomenon known as “loss aversion”, a theory for which Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky received the Nobel prize in economics in 2002. When it became apparent that the golden goal was counterproductive and led to fewer goals in extra time, FIFA abandoned it. How can economics help?

Are there alternatives to the penalty shoot-out that would eliminate the above shortcomings and alleviate the football tragedy? This is where economic research can help, by answering the following question: what would happen if we swapped the extra time and penalty shoot-out around? If, after a tie in regulation time (90 minutes), the shoot-out first took place, and only then did the 30-minute extra time follow? Under this new sequencing the team that scored the most goals in extra time would win – regardless of the outcome of the preceding shoot-out. Only in the event that the extra time ended in a draw would the shoot-out result become relevant and determine the winner of the game.

The positive psychological effects of this change are obvious. The team losing the shoot-out would have an opportunity to sway the match in its favour in the subsequent extra time. If it failed, it would be perceived as a failure of the team, not the individual who missed the 12-yard kick. This would naturally reduce their stress and stigmatisation.

Other effects of the proposed rule change are quantified in my study (with colleagues Liam Lenten from La Trobe University and Petr Stehl??k from University of West Bohemia) published in the Journal of Sports Economics. Our econometric analysis of a large number of football matches shows the proposed move of penalties before extra time would strongly encourage attacking play and increase scoring in extra time. According to our estimates, in competitions such as the World Cup or the European Champions League final, the rule would increase the likelihood of a goal in extra time by 45 to 60 per cent. It would therefore reduce the proportion of tedious games with scoreless extra time by half, from 50 to 25 per cent. It’s because one team would always have an incentive to attack – unlike under the status quo, whereby both teams often defend and wait for the shoot-out.

Our study shows the exact boost in extra-time scoring would depend on many factors, such as the number of goals in regulation time, tournament round, home-ground advantage and relative strength of the teams (which we measure by bookmakers’ odds). Our regression models suggest, for example, that the probability of a goal being scored in extra-time of a World Cup quarterfinal, between two equally favoured opponents tied nil all after regulation time, would increase from the current 35.2 to 61.9 per cent. If this same type of match finished one all after the regulation 90 minutes, the scoring probability would increase from 46 to 72 per cent under the new rule.

Therefore, we hope that, after the successful launch of the goal-line technology and promising trials of video-refereeing, FIFA officials decide to test other football innovations, including the proposed swap of extra time and penalties. It would allow economic research to prevent many future soccer and personal tragedies.

Dr Jan Libich is a senior lecturer in macroeconomics at La Trobe University.

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Scoping new markets

Ambition: Throat Scope founder Jennifer Holland in Newcastle. Picture: Marina Neil
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You are the first Australian female to win a silver gong at the US-based Edison awards – honouring excellence in product development – for Throat Scope. What does the win mean to you?

It was an honour to win an Edison Award in New York. The award attracts some of the biggest companies in the world, like 3M and Phillips. To be recognised at this level was an amazing achievement for us.

You invented Throat Scope in 2009 after taking your child to the doctor’s and he was in pain during a mouth examination. How has the potential for the use of your product grown since then?

I designed Throat Scope to replace the penlight and wooden tongue depressor. Doctors, dentists, paediatricians, speech pathologists and paramedics now use Throat Scope. Throat Scope makes it possible to check for sore throats, sore teeth, and mouth ulcers at home. We also want to shine light on the importance of monthly self Oral Health Checks. We’re on a mission to educate the world on the early signs of Oral Cancer. Self-examination will save lives.

Your first brush with success was going on Channel 10’s Shark Tank program and landing a financial backer in tech start up multimillionaire Steve Baxter. Is he still invested in your company?

Steve has played a large part in the Throat Scope journey. His advice is invaluable. He is still an investor in Throat Scope.

Since your appearance on Shark Tank, what have been the biggest coups for your company?

In 17 months, we’ve secured 12 distributors across 146 countries. Team Medical Supplies is one of our largest deals to date, marketing and distributing Throat Scope in Australia. We’ve set up a new warehouse in Ohio in the USA, so we can ship direct to the US. We have three new US distributors and that number is growing.

How has the focus of your business changed since its inception and are there any new markets you envisage for Throat Scope?

Throat Scope provides medical professionals with an Easy, Fast and Accurate view of the mouth, throat, teeth, gums and soft tissue. Now we want to educate everyone about the benefits of at-home, monthly oral health self-checks. If a mole changes colour or shape we know to see a doctor. The early signs of oral cancer are also simple to detect but nobody knows what to look for. Throat Scope is partnering worldwide with Oral Cancer Foundations to educate everyone on the early signs.

What does an average day entail for you?

Most nights I have one or two calls to the US. I start my morning about 4:30am to get some work in before the children wake and also to coincide with US hours. I jump on the treadmill to run for 20 minutes and read emails. When the children wake, I’m in mum mode, getting breakfast, making lunches, dressing them, last minute homework, bags packed and then school drop off for three of my four children. With my fourth child in tow I head into the office for the day and leave about 2:55pm to do school pick up. I’m with the children in the afternoon, taxiing everyone to after school sports and dance. Then its homework, dinner, bath, books, bed and back to work for another couple of hours. My life is crazy but somehow it works. I love Sunday; I switch off and spend quality time with my family.

What are your current business goals?

The goal for Throat Scope and Holland Healthcare is to invent and develop revolutionary medical devices for the healthcare and home market. In 5 years our business will be on par with some of the leading global medical device companies.

What other medical devices are you working on?

We’ll soon be launching the Throat Scope App for parents and healthcare professionals. We’re also working on two new medical devices due out in 2018.

What drives you?

My motivation and drive come from my children. I want them to understand the importance of hard work, persistence and above all I want them to believe in themselves and have the confidence and courage to follow their dreams.

What is the biggest challenge to your business?

Challenges are part of growing, building and learning in business. A challenge for us now is the US company set up; finding the right staff, setting up the warehouse and office to run efficiently, and the intercompany transactions between home and the US.

What is the best part?

Definitely donating Throat Scope to doctors overseas who complete aid work in third world countries. I hope to one day go over and experience this first hand.

You have four young children and a hubby who is away a lot for work. What are your survival tools?

Becoming a mother during my start-up journey gave me all the skills, patience and perseverance I needed to succeed as an entrepreneur. Let’s face it; negotiating with a sick toddler at 3:00am is tough. If you survive that you can do anything.

Jennifer Holland

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Kantarovski survives Jets cleanout

Kantarovski survives Jets cleanout LAST MAN STANDING: Ben Kantarovski has been offered a one-year contract extension at the Jets. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
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OUT: Andrew Hoole

OUT: Daniel Mullen

OUT: Mateo Poljak

OUT: Ma Leilei

OFF-FIELD OPTION: Labinot Haliti

OUT: Morten Nordstrand


OUT: Tomislav Arcaba

OUT: Harry Sawyer

OUT: Joel Allwright

TweetFacebook The cleanout means the Jets have 17 contracted players, plus Kantarovski if he accepts the offer of a one-year contract extension, leaving five vacancies for new players.

Kantarovski’s wage lies outside the salary cap under the A-League’s concession for club loyalty.

The Jets have signed Mariners striker Roy O’Donovan, Melbourne Victory defender Daniel Georgevski, who won the Joe Marston Medal as player of the match in Sunday’s grand final, and youngsters Kosta Petratos and Mario Shabow for next season.

It is understood club management have drawn up a list of potential recruits which includes 31-year-old Socceroo Mark Milligan, who is halfway through a two-year contract at Baniyas SC in the United Arab Emirates, and former Jets forward Nathan Burns.

Also mentioned as possible targetsare 28-year-old Wanderers midfielder Mitch Nichols, Victory’s 31-year-old Spanishcentre back Alan Baro, Adelaide midfielder Marcelo Carrusca and former Wellington Phoenix keeper Glenn Moss.

Meanwhile, Queensland winger Joe Champness, one of two youth players the Jets sent to Portugal this year to develop their games, has earned a trial with Brighton and Hove Albion’s under-23s.Brighton won promotion from the English Championship to the Premier League last month.

Champness, a former Roar youth player, has not played for the Jets but signed an 18-month scholarship deal with the club in January before joining Portuguese club Academica on loan with Antonee Burke.

In other news, Spanish coach Guillermo Amor has left Adelaide after the Reds finished ninth this season.

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Whatever suits in battle to dress up

FASHION DARTBOARD: Statistics suggest that when it comes to selecting a suit it’s all in the eye of the beholder.SIMON WALKER: That’s Life archive
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Buying a suit for a pressing social engagement is a fashion crisis we all face at some stage of life. Usually the last minute.

Generally the experience is graphic, so in an effort to encapsulate, and indeed pixelate, the factors at play, I’ve come up with a graph (see right).

You’ll notice a slight gender bias, and that the criteria are vague and the percentages don’t add up. Welcome to fashion. Invert to to your needs as we dive deep into the data.

To put you in the picture, we’d been invited to a wedding weeks ago and we/I obviously needed some new clothes.

To quote the treasurer, “better days ahead”.The oldfallback of recycling what’s in the wardrobe, yet again, had been rejected. We/I needed to regenerate fashionistically. But why rush into it? Cue the last minute.

So we’re fashion in the field, hitting the change rooms like Australia’s Next Top Model, not. Clothes of various ill-fitting fabric, texture, length and style are being flungat pace in the face. The Met ball has nothing on some of the garb beingparaded.

Legs aren’t long enough, cuffs aren’t peaking out, shoulders are too puffy and eyes are getting that way too.

One of them’son the mirror checking the crotch, the other’s on the partner who has a kind of “over it” look on theface.

There’s a lot of intel to take in. The lighting’s poor. The music’s loud. The sales assistant has stopped asking my opinion and is communicating directly to the partner. And we’ve only just got here.

It feels likeI am being accessorised, and I have to say, it’s dehumanising. “Now you see what we go through!!!” exclaims the partner.

In that moment I am able to distil the four major ingredients that influencea man when it comes to selecting a suit. And you’ll see that none of them really count until you get to the last one.

Starting in descending order of importance, colour.

Worth 10 per cent of worry afterRobbie O gave us mustard yellow. Then there’s undertaker black, accountant grey and poo brown. Say no more. That is until you discover that the new black this year is blue.

Which is how the ego feels as I don a flecked and textured borderline cobalt number, copping in the process an observation from sassy second shop assistant that this style is really “common”.

I think he meant “popular”, but itcame across as aninsensitive thing to say, particularly to the second shop assistant who thought I wasabout to pull out of the sale.

It was touch and go, but we are now up tothe third most important point on the graph –the suit nearly fits.

Definitely worth another 10 per cent of fretting, particularly after three hours of squeezing into and out of all manner of neck-choking, gut-pinching, derma-braising combos.

Which gets us to the second most important thing,timing. The wedding is basically tomorrow and the shops are nearly shut.This is definitely worth worrying about unless you want to turn up to the ceremony nude.

Which heraldsthe ultimate factor that undoes all other considerations – does the partner like it?

Hard to tell as theyslump in the corner. But with one last effort thethumb comes up. We have a winner –my credit card company. Good debt or bad debt? Let the wedding snaps decide.

In the meantime I’m dressing this up as a graphic relief.

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‘Missing’ construction figure’s company seeks funds

Vince Santoro owner of Elite Civil Group. Supplied Photo: Supplied
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An excavation firm, whose owner vanished claiming to be in police protection while owing more than $5 million in unpaid bills, has made an application to access more money from the sale of two Sydney properties.

Vincent Santoro, the director of Elite Civil Group, vanished from Sydney in February 2014 amid claims from subcontractors he owed at least $5 million in unpaid debts across seven construction sites to more than 50 firms.

It led to bikie gangs turning up at construction sites across Sydney and loading machinery onto trucks in a bid to reclaim debts.

At one site bikies even took the microwave from the staff kitchen and loose change from a worker’s pocket.

Now, Elite Civil Group and its liquidator Mitchell Warren Bell have made an application in the NSW Supreme Court to be paid money held by the court on behalf of Mr Santoro’s wife, Rene Santoro.

That money is from the court-ordered sale of two homes in Mrs Santoro’s name – one at Horningsea Park in Sydney’s south-west and the other in the southern suburb of Barden Ridge.

Creditors have contacted Fairfax Media concerned they still will not see any of the $5 million in payments they are owed by Mr Santoro, who was most recently seen fishing in far north Queensland.

In the days before he was last seen in Sydney, Mr Santoro transferred $500,000 in 12 transactions from his company’s bank accounts into that of his wife.

Mr Santoro later told a hearing in the Federal Court of Australia that he did so because he was being extorted and forced to pay $300,000 to a known identity.

He told the court he paid the money because he had been sent a text message that read: “Vince, you dog, Vince you dog. If you don’t go and withdraw that 100k and bring it to me today I’m gonna … kill your dog of a son. Got it?”

But Mr Santoro’s phone records, and those of the person he claimed to have been extorted by, were produced before the court and revealed the threatening message was never sent.

Mr Santoro claimed he visited Green Valley police station a few days later and was placed in “police asylum”.

He told the court that due to the level of threats he received over a 48-hour period, he was told he was being put in protection and moved away. The $500,000 he withdrew from the company accounts were meant to be his living expenses, he told the court.

Fairfax Media has ascertained that Mr Santoro is not in police custody.

During the court hearing Mr Santoro also admitted to having a membership to an exclusive level of The Star casino for “spending more than the average person on the gaming floor”.

At the time he fled Sydney in February 2014, Mr Santoro and his family also had more than 40 bank accounts in their names.

He is now understood to be living in Cairns while court action continues in a bid to recoup the money he owes.

Mr Santoro has previously been the manager of more than a dozen companies, all of which have been “sunk” or deregistered.

Bank statements, viewed by Fairfax Media, show Mr Santoro transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars from the company’s bank account into personal accounts via a number of transactions between December 2013 and February 2014.

His bank accounts were frozen by the courts after he attempted to withdraw money from a bank in South Australia in the weeks after he left Sydney.

Fairfax Media was unable to reach Mr Santoro for comment.

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

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Don’t play the blame game

Don’t play the blame game Helping Hand: Dr Anousha Victoire helps sexual assault victims at the Newcastle Sexual Assault Service. Hundreds of Hunter people are victims of sex crimes each year. Picture: Simone De Peak.
Nanjing Night Net

TweetFacebookNewcastle Herald reported on Monday that1246 sex crimes occurredin the Hunter last year.

Three quarters of the victims were children and juveniles, including about 700 females and more than 200 males.

Dr Anousha Victoire said 98 per cent of the service’spatients were female.

Nevertheless, the service does see male and transgender clients.

Dr Victoire said it was important for victims to have people who “believe them and are ready to support them”.

“If someone as a friend comes to you and discloses a sexual assault, the main thing you could do is validate what they’re saying,” said Dr Victoire, who is the Newcastle Sexual Assault Service’s medical lead.

“Often the first thing people will say is ‘what were you doing there, why were you wearing that, why did you go to his house?’.”

She said this type of reaction can worsen the guilt and shame that victims feel.

“It might make them less likely to come forward to police,” she said.

About 100 to 120 victims seek help each year from the service for “crisis support” after an assault.

“That’s the last couple of years. Five years ago, we were only seeing half that,” Dr Victoire said.

“I don’t think less assaults were happening back then, I think it was just that people weren’t coming forward to get help because of the stigma around sexual assault.

“People worry about being blamed.”

Dr Victoire urged victims to contact the service or present to John Hunter Hospital or police, as soon as possible after an incident.

“Don’t delay. Some people wait and go home and think about it and then come.

“Every hour, the potential for evidence to be lost increases.”

She added that there were time limits for emergency contraceptive pills to be effective.

Dr Victoire said victims who attend the service do not have to proceed with reporting the crime to police.

Some victims who seek the service’s help choose not to have a forensic medical examination.

“Sometimes we’re just giving medical care for pregnancy prevention and advice about sexually transmitted infections,” she said.

Treatment may involve a prophylaxis to stop a victim acquiring an infection.

The service provides support to dozens of other victims, beyond the immediate time surrounding an incident.

“Even if ithappened a while ago, the service is there to provide ongoing counselling and support,” she said.

“We can also give support to victims who have decided to go forward to court.”

The Newcastle Sexual Assault Service is on 4924 6333.

The NSW Rape Crisis line is 1800 424 017,Kids Helpline is 1800 551 800,Lifeline is13 11 14 and MensLine Australia is1300 789 978.


Hunter MP’s terrifying sexual assault ordeal

Offences for rape and other sexual offences hit 1246 in the Hunter last year

Hundreds of children abusedin the Hunter

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