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Kearney won’t run for Labor seat

ACTU president Ged Kearney will not nominate for the prized Labor seat of Batman.
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Ms Kearney was being lobbied hard by the party’s left faction to run against Right powerbroker Senator David Feeney for the seat vacated by Martin Ferguson.

Her supporters had expected her to announce her candidacy soon but on Saturday morning she issued a statement saying she would not run.

“I want to thank all of those people who have encouraged me to run for the seat of Batman, however I will not be nominating,” ms Kearney said.

” It would have been a great privilege  but now is not the right time.

” Being elected as president of the ACTU is a commitment dear to my heart and I believe I still have a lot more to do in this role given the challenges the labour movement faces.”

She said she was proud to lead the union campaign on insecure work and That she wanted to continue to be part of the team at the ACTU fighting for workers’ rights and the role of unions in our community.

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

Fishing powers reject Antarctic parks

An attempt by Western nations, including Australia, to build support for big Antarctic marine reserves has been rebuffed by the fishing powers.
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China and Japan are said to have shot down a show of support for the reserves concept at a closed Antarctic Treaty meeting in Brussels this week. Australia has joined France and the European Union in proposing 1.9 million square kilometres of waters off eastern Antarctica for a chain of marine reserves.

In the Ross Sea, the US and New Zealand want a 1.4 million square kilometre reserve.

The reserves would restrict some fishing rights, and China took a stand against them last year at the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Other nations who objected then, including Russia, indicated that as well as future resource access, they were concerned about the need for designated marine reserves in an already tightly regulated commission system.

This has forced the commission to call only the second special meeting in its history – in Bremerhaven, Germany, in July – to tackle the marine reserves issue.

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

Car pool: Nissan Dualis

Nissan Dualis TS.The car Nissan Dualis TS
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The price From $29,990, plus on-roads

Vital statistics 1.6-litre turbo diesel 4-cyl; 96kW/320Nm; 6-sp manual; FWD; 4.5L/100km combined and 119g/km CO2 

Why we’re driving it

Nissan added a diesel variant Dualis to its compact-SUV line-up last month.

Likes

The Renault-sourced diesel engine is commendably fuel efficient given the Dualis’s 1407-kilogram kerb weight: we saw about 5.5 litres per 100 kilometres in city driving. The steering is linear and predictable. The high-ride height offers better visibility and versatility. The six-speed manual shifts smoothly. Standard features include satnav, reversing camera, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, and stop-start idle technology. Three-year/100,000-kilometre warranty and three-year 24-hour roadside assist program.

Dislikes

The Dualis suffers from turbo lag and is pretty flat off boost or under 1500rpm. No automatic gearbox available. The front wheels struggle for grip under harder acceleration. Lacks flair inside the cabin.

Would I buy one?

If I was content with a manual gearbox and could live with turbo lag, I’d consider it. But those features make the diesel variant a hard sell.

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

GALLERY: Tram Artwork

Tram art by Howard Arkley. Tram art by Lesley Dumbrell.
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Artwork tram on the circuit.

Discarded art tram in 1993.

Tram art by Jenny Watson.

Tram artwork in 1990.

Tram artwork in 1990.

The Age “Fascinating Reading” tram.

Tram artwork in 1988.

Home-made alcohol kills four in Iran

Four people have died after drinking home-made alcohol in southern Iran and 298 others were poisoned, the ISNA news agency quoted a local health official as saying.
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‘‘Nine of the victims are in a coma and have lost their vision,’’ said Hamid Najmeddin, adding that 100 of the victims were on dialysis after drinking the alcohol on Wednesday.

He said the victims were admitted to local hospitals in and near the city of Rafsanjan in the southern province of Kerman.

According to the report, all the victims were male and under 27 years old.

The consumption of alcohol has been forbidden in Iran since the 1979 revolution under sharia (Islamic) law, and violations are punishable by jail or lashing.

Only recognised Christian minorities in Iran, such as the country’s Armenian community, are allowed to produce and consume alcohol, but discreetly and behind closed doors, in order not to offend Islamic sensibilities.

But despite severe penalties under the Islamic penal law, 60 to 80 million litres of alcohol are smuggled into the country each year, according to officials, while police manage to seize only about 20 million litres.

Police chief Esmaeel Ahmadi Moghadam said last year that some 200,000 alcoholics lived in Iran.

Home distilled spirits, which sell for far less than foreign brands smuggled from abroad, are widely consumed in the Islamic republic.

But the use of industrial chemicals in their production can pose a serious health risk.

AFP

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Life expectancy goes up in smoke

If the gory photos on cigarette packs and the threat of death weren’t enough, now an academic has come up with a grim countdown-to-death for smokers.
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Smokers will literally be able to see the minutes of their life expectancy drop away with each smoke, if Massey University College of Health head Professor Paul McDonald’s idea gains traction.

He is proposing that each cigarette would be marked with six rings and a message saying each ring smoked past would take a minute off life expectancy. If it was adopted, New Zealand would be the first in the world to print warnings directly on cigarettes.

Australia was the first in the world to introduce plain packaging last year after a lengthy legal battle with tobacco companies that challenged the legislation on constitutional grounds.

The idea is still in its infancy but a preliminary survey of 10 smokers by Professor McDonald showed it would have a ”profound” effect.

People were shown sketches and mock-ups of the minutes-from-life cigarette. ”They literally have the risk under their nose … with every cigarette. It really brings the hazard home.”

FAIRFAX NZ

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

29 weapons seized in Police raids

Source: The Advocate
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ELEVEN people have been charged inrelation to a number of firearm seizures around the state.

Tasmania Police has held 22 searches aspart of Operation Unification – Illicit Firearms, and during the search hasseized 29 weapons.

The aim of the campaign is to removeillicit firearms from the community for public safety reasons.

“Communities talk and information,regardless of how insignificant it may seem, can assist us in locating andseizing illicit firearms,” Detective Inspector Plumpton said.

Operation Unification also serves as areminder for firearms owners to ensure their firearms are registered and safelysecured.

Members of the public who may have anyinformation in relation to illicit firearms and associated criminal activitycan contact Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.

Police said all reports will be actedupon.

Operation Unification finishes nextFriday.

Firearm safety information can be foundon the Tasmania Police website www.police.tas.gov.au.

Tasmania Police has held 22 searches as part of Operation Unification – Illicit Firearms, and during the search has seized 29 weapons.

Priest to face child indecency charges

A Canberra Catholic priest will face the ACT Magistrates Court next week to answer allegations he groped a girl three times in the 1990s. Photo: Graham Tidy.Source: Canberra Times
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A Canberra Catholic priest has been charged over historical acts ofindecency on a child in the 1990s.

Father Edward Evans, 83, of Braddon, will face the ACT Magistrates Courtnext week to answer allegations he groped the girl, aged between 10 and 16years, three times.

The elderly priest has pledged to fight the charges.

The three offences allegedly occurred between 1995 and 1997 at Father’sEvans’ Braddon home, according to police.

Father Evans has a long association with Canberra’s German Catholiccommunity. He has worked as a German-language chaplain for the German communityin Canberra, and represents the country’s Catholic mission.

Father Evans formerly worked from St Patrick’s Catholic Church inBraddon, a church that conducts Masses in German every Sunday.

The priest was the subject of a ”lengthy investigation” by CriminalInvestigations detectives.

ACT Policing said officers arrested him at City Police Station onWednesday afternoon. He was charged and granted police bail, subject to anumber of conditions.

Father Evans is expected to appear in court on June 7.

The accused man’s lawyer, Ben Aulich, told Fairfax Media in a statementthat his client would fight the allegations.

”I hold instructions to enter pleas of not guilty to the charges beforethe court,” Mr Aulich said.

”My client has faith in the criminal justice system and is anxious tohave this matter heard and to clear his name.”

The Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn declined to comment onthe matter.

ACT Policing has not formally released the man’s identity.

`Gravely ill’ woman accused of $3.5 million fraud

Source: The Age
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A “gravely ill” woman who needed daily home care has allegedlydefrauded about $3.5 million from businesses across Victoria.

Kylie Renee Lynd was extradited from Tamworth, NSW to Victoria this weekto face 56 charges of obtaining property by deception.

The offences span seven years, with most happening in the Warrnamboolarea in Victoria’s south-west.’

The 35-year-old appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates Court briefly onFriday, having flown to the city from Tamworth on Thursday afternoon.

Wearing a loose black top, she appeared in pain and moved stiffly to herseat in the dock.

Her lawyer described his client as “gravely ill,” sufferingfrom rheumatoid arthritis and kidney stones.

“Prior to her arrest she was subject to daily home care,” herlawyer said.

“She has been suffering while in custody.”

She didn’t apply for bail.

A warrant was issued for her arrest after she did not appear at theWarrnambool Magistrates Court while on bail in January 2006.

Recently, she had been living in Dungowan, about 25 kilometressouth-east of Tamworth.

Detective Senior Constable Roger McClure of Hamilton police, insouth-west Victoria, accompanied her back to Victoria on a lunch time flight onThursday.

She did not oppose the extradition.

Melbourne magistrate Peter Reardon allowed a request from her lawyer tobe transferred to Victoria’s woman’s prison, the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre, andbe treated by a doctor.

Her case was adjourned to July 2 where it will be heard at theWarrnambool Magistrates Court.

She will remain in custody until then.

Kylie Renee Lynd was extradited from Tamworth to Victoria this week to face 56 charges of obtaining property by deception, amounting to $3.5 million.

Sign of the times as Yancoal cuts costs

Yancoal Australia, one of the largest remaining listed coalminers, has warned of continued ”difficult” conditions in the global market, with sluggish demand and rising export volumes forcing all producers to cut costs.
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The main focus is on cost reduction at the company’s mines and at head office, it told shareholders at Friday’s annual meeting, which it expects to result in higher profits.

At the same time, the group is planning to boost output, which will rise to an estimated 24 million tonnes by 2017 from 14 million tonnes in 2012.

Over the past 12 months, Yancoal finalised the acquisition of Gloucester Coal, elevating it to the ranks of one of the country’s largest coal producers.

With weak export prices, Yancoal said it was pushing to cut production costs to less than $60 a tonne, from $65 at present.

As part of this, it has flagged cutting overall costs by up to $380 million from 2014, with about half the planned savings coming from optimising infrastructure, and the balance spread across head office functions and improvements from other factors, such as coal blending.

The costcutting comes as both coking and steaming coal prices are expected to remain subdued for the rest of the year.

With the spot hard-coking coal price trading below the recently negotiated second quarter benchmark price, and weak demand from the steel industry and forecast output growth from local producers, export prices will remain under pressure.

Strong supply growth from both Australia and Indonesia is forecast to outstrip demand growth for the next three years, which signals a weak outlook for thermal coal prices.

The one positive may come from a weaker Australian dollar, which might help boost profit margins.

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