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It's Wiggle zoom at your place

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 18 November 2012 | 23.08

The Wiggles with their Big Red Car which is up for sale. Picture: Craig Greenhill Source: The Daily Telegraph

IT'S the toot toot chugga chugga Big Red Car that made them famous and it could soon be parked in your driveway.

The Wiggles - three-quarters of whom are due to retire next month - have decided to sell their prized "skivvy red" Volkswagen Beetle cabriolet used for promotional appearances on eBay to raise money for the SIDS and Kids charity.

Blue Wiggle Anthony Field, who is staying on in the four-piece, said the charity was very special to the group.

"Sudden infant death syndrome is a cause that's extremely close to our hearts," he said. "My niece Bernadette Field died from SIDS at the age of eight months in 1988 so SIDS and Kids is a charity we've supported since we started out 21 years ago."

The Volkswagen Big Red Car auction will go live on eBay for 10 days from December 7.

News Limited motoring editor Neil Dowling said: "Car experts say a used VW cabriolet would normally sell for about $4000, but one owned by the Wiggles could fetch up to $40,000."

The winner will be announced ahead of The Wiggles' final Sydney show on December 23. Bid for the car at vwbigredcar.com.au

sSIDS and Kids CEO Leanne Raven said the money raised from the sale would be used to assist their work into health promotion, bereavement support, advocacy and research.

She said the organisation was a big fan of the band and their famous ride.

"The Wiggles have been our ambassadors for many years," she said.

"They have supported us in many ways.

"But this is very cool."

Three of the original Wiggles - Jeff Fatt, Murray Cook and Greg Page - will retire at the end of the year and are handing the reigns over to three new performers, including the group's first female Emma Watkins.

Volkswagen Australia Group managing director Anke Koeckler said the auction was a chance for someone to own a slice of Australian music history.

"As the Big Red Car people we're extremely proud to be giving one lucky Australian the chance to buy such an iconic part of The Wiggles history," she said.

"This auction is a great way for Volkswagen to help The Wiggles celebrate their 21 years together and raise much needed funds for SIDS and Kids."

To register a bid on the car visit www.vwbigredcar.com.au

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

SE Qld to clean up after severe storms

AFTER another day of intense storm activity - where a Jimboomba man was hit by lightning and a direct strike set a Bulimba house on fire - the most dangerous weather warning on Monday should be for some early morning fog.

Read through the wrapup and rolling coverage of southeast Queensland's storm activity throughout Sunday, or scroll to the bottom to see how the day started, asking how the Bureau of Meteorology failed to issue a specific warning about Saturday's freak Brisbane storm until after the damage had been done.

GALLERY: New reader photos - more images of weekend storms

10.09pm: The thunderstorm warning for the southeast coast has now been cancelled as the cleanup effort for Brisbane begins.

Trains are back underway, and Energex has advised 1177 homes are without power.

Emergency Management Queensland has warned locals to look out for fallen trees and powerlines.

10.03pm: SES units in Brisbane have responded to around 350 calls for help after the storm tonight.

More storms move in over Kings Beach, Caloundra on the night of November 18. PIC: Glenn Barnes

9.37pm: Less than 1300 homes are without power now as Energex continues the cleanup from tonight's storm.

Brisbane has 593 homes without power while the Sunshine Coast area has 444.

Power to Ipswich has almost been restored with 199 homes in blackouts and 58 homes are still without power in the Moreton Bay region.

9.20pm: A 46-year-old man was struck by lightning in Jimboomba this evening.

The man was using a high-pressure hose at his home when he was hit by lightning about 6.30pm.

The man was rushed to Logan Hospital, where he is in a stable condition.

A Department of Community Safety spokeswoman said 157 calls for help were received across SEQ during the storm.

Lightning over Brisbane City from Ascot hill late Sunday afternoon. Picture: Marc Robertson

9.09pm: The most dangerous weather warning that Brisbane can expect tomorrow morning is for some fog.

BOM senior forecaster Peter Otto said storm activity had calmed down between Maroochydore and Ipswich with residual fog expected to appear tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile a weather warning for Bundaberg is still in place but BOM says it does not look threatening.

9.06pm: After passing Brisbane and Maroochydore, Noosa is next in line for tonight's dangerous storm cell.

The storm is still producing heavy rainfalls and damaging winds but has quietened down considerably.

Lightning strikes Brisbane. Picture: Ben Baker

It is expected to pass completely off the coast later tonight.

8.31pm: The Weather Bureau said the storm is in "weakening mode" as it moves through the Sunshine Coast.

The storm cell has hit Caloundra and Maroochydore, dumping about 25mm-30mm of rain in 30 minutes.

But forecaster David Grant said there have been no reports of hail, and winds were losing their power.

"The worst of the storm has passed and it is really in weakening mode now," Mr Grant said.

"The short, heavy bursts of rainfall might sound like a lot, but it isn't for Queensland."

8.28pm: Energex have been able to more than halve the number of homes affected by power outages this evening.

More than 18,000 people were without power at the height of the storm but there are now only 6600 homes affected.

Brisbane suburbs as well as Ipswich and the Sunshine Coast have been the worst affected. 

GALLERY: New reader photos - more images of weekend storms

8.05pm: Two cars were stuck in water at Eagle Farm as thunderstorms flooded Brisbane.

The cars were on Theodore Street about 6.50pm when they got stuck.

A good Samaritan called triple 0 and was able to help the occupants out.

The storm took down this large tree in Langley Avenue, Wilston. Picture: Simone Rosengren

Meanwhile, a man hole on Creek Street in Brisbane city came off because of the rain, causing road delays about 6.20pm.

No serious accidents were caused.

Energex has rushed to a suburban street at Red Hill after a 24-metre tree came crashing down on powerlines.

Residents on Vowles street are already without power and Energex is working to remove the tree.

7.53pm: Energex is slowly restoring power to homes across Brisbane this afternoon.

Around 10,5000 customers are now without power.

At the peak of the storm more than 18,000 customers were living in darkness.

Lightning strikes as seen from Woody Point Jetty looking west. Picture: Paul Hruby

An Energex spokesman said crews were working around the clock to restore power.

"We're getting reports that there is a lot of vegetation like tree branches that has come down on powerlines," he said.

He advised people to report any fallen powerlines and to not approach them.

7.48pm: Caloundra is gearing up to be hit by the storm that tore through Brisbane city this evening, pulling down trees and flooding roads.

The severe thunderstorm is expected to hit Caloundra by 8.05pm.

7.44pm: Thunderstorms are now expected to ravage Maroochydore and Coolum Beach by 8.35pm. The severe thunderstorms will include damaging winds, heavy rain and large hail.

7.41pm: The worst of the storm has passed through Brisbane with the heavy rainfall and winds now making its way through Moreton and Bribie Islands.

BOM forecaster David Grant said the peak of the activity is now over for the city.

"There's still potential of a shower… but it really reached its peak in an area between Ipswich and Archerfield this evening," he said.

Brisbane's western suburbs have received the worst rainfall, with Toowoong hit with 39mm and Bellbird Park with 36mm.

"Hail was the main thing - in terms of rain fall hasn't been that much to be honest," Mr Grant said.

He said reports had come in of hail ranging from golf ball size to cricket balls.

Moreton Island has been hit by winds of 113km/h.

7.30pm: Southeast Queensland is not the only place getting hit by storms, with about 24,000 lightning strikes recorded in wild weekend weather in NSW.

Check out the incredible show mother nature put on in Brisbane. Courtesy: DJMSKINART- Brisbane Chemtrails

The Bureau of Meteorology said the state's highest rainfall was recorded at Coffs Harbour, with 160mm in the 24 hours to 9am (AEDT) on Sunday.

Wind gusts of up to 100km/h were also recorded in the state's north.

The NSW State Emergency Service (SES) was kept busy, with 150 call outs on Saturday and Sunday, most from the northern NSW township of Woodburn

GALLERY: New reader photos - more images of weekend storms

7.22pm: A 112 km/h wind gust was recorded at Cape Moreton.

7.20pm:  Translink's Call Centre has reopened following the earlier evacuation caused by a false fire alarm.

DAMAGE DONE: Anne Thomson lost her Kelvin Grove market stall but was still smiling. Picture: Annette Dew

7.15pm: Energex crews are working through the night to restore power to more than 18,000 customers without power. Energex has reported more 25,000 lightning strikes since midday.

7.10pm: AIRPORT activity was suspended due to lightning strikes this afternoon.

A Brisbane Airport spokeswoman said it was around the fifth time that planes were forced to delay their departure.

Movement was suspended for around 45 minutes just after 5.30pm but operations have now resumed.

7pm: BRISBANE residents have stayed safe during the flash flood with ambulance crews on standby in case of an emergency.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said the wet weather and hail had not caused any significant crashes.

The Lego Robotics competition is disrupted as a wild storm hits the Kelvin Grove campus of QUT.

Short delays are on the Gateway Motorway before the Sandgate Road overpass at Deagon after a minor crash.

Another crash on the Western freeway at Indooroopilly has blocked the rightlane after the Kenmore Road overpass.

Short delays are expected.


6.55pm: Firefighters have been called to two homes that caught fire after being hit by lightning tonight.

Crews arrived to a home on Nisbet Street at Westlake to find the fire out on arrival, but firefighters are now trying to control a fire to the roof space of home on Oxford Street at Bulimba.

6.53pm: 8128 homes are now without power in the Moreton Bay region. A total of 18510 Energex customers are now in darkness.

COULD HAVE BEEN WORSE: Amie Neil's car is even more compact after the wild storm passed through Spring Hill. Picture: Annette Dew

6.43pm: THE TRANSLINK call centre has been evacuated due to the recent storm passing through the city.

The call centre's fire alarm was tripped by the recent storm, the building currently being evacuated.

Commuters have been told to refer to the website for transport information.

GALLERY: New reader photos - more images of weekend storms

6.40pm: Almost 10,000 homes in Brisbane have been left without power as the powerful storm cell sweeps its way across the city.

Energex is reporting 9849 homes without power in the Brisbane region while 134 Ipswich homes are powerless.

232 homes on the Sunshine Coast are currently without power.

6.37pm: THE STORM has blown over Brisbane city leaving a line of devastation in its wake this afternoon.

Brisbane CBD was hit by 16mm in half an hour but it was the Mitchelton and Alderley area that was pummelled by almost 40mm.

The storm is now approaching Sandgate, having already passed the northern suburbs.

Bureau of Meteorology Jonty Hall said the storm has been travelling 30-40km/h and will hold its intensity as it travels to the Sunshine Coast.

6.27pm: MUSIC lovers have taken cover in Queensland's University of Technology with the annual Harvest Festival rained out.

At 6pm, severe thunderstorms were detected at Brisbane CBD, Enoggera, Nudgee and Aspley with music lovers forced to leave the Brisbane Botanic gardens venue and public transport experiencing serious delays.

Both Cleveland and the Ipswich/Rosewood lines have major delays while all other lines are experiencing minor delays.

The thunderstorm is now moving northeast with Strathpine, Redcliffe, Rainbow Beach and Wide Bay are expected to be hit by the storm by 6:30 pm while the waters off Bribie Island, Double Is Point, Inskip and Inskip Point will be lashed by the heavy rains by 7pm.

6.15pm: ROADS have been turned into rivers as a large storm cell hits Brisbane city this evening.

The storm has been brewing all day as flash floods lash Brisbane, while warnings have been issued for Maroochydoore, Gympie, Bundaberg, Kingaroyu, Noosa, Hervey Bay, Fraser Island and Hervey Bay waters as the storm continues to move north.

Double Island Point near Rainbow Beach was hit with winds of more than 90km/h and Jandowae and Beerburrum were pelted with more than 4cm hail this afternoon.

Department of Community Safety has warned residents at Strathpine, Redcliffe, Deception Bay waters and Beachmere are in the firing line by 6.35pm.


6.03pm: HAIL as big as 9cms could hit the city as thunder and lightning storms roll towards up from Ipswich.

Jindalee has already been affected by the hail storm, with almost 3000 Energex customers now without power.

Reports of flooding roads have already hit the city, and the Bureau is warning the heavy rain will get worse.

Meanwhile, Harvest Festival goers are leaving the Brisbane Botanical gardens in droves as organisers postpone the event because of the rain.

5.59pm: THE "very dangerous" thunderstorms forecast has hit Ipswich and Brisbane's southern suburbs, with large hailstones falling in Oxley and torrential rain in Brisbane's CBD.

The Bureau of Meteorology warns that, at 6:00 pm, severe thunderstorms were detected on weather radar near Brisbane CBD, Enoggera, Nudgee and Aspley.

5.49pm: BRISBANE is bracing for the next deluge to hit as the storm cell races towards the city.

The 5.50pm storm expected to hit Ipswich has already passed the southern town and is already up to Oxley.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Services Brisbane duty manager of operations said there were no reports of serious injuries or damage but all crews were on standby.

5.20pm: People in Brisbane and Ipswich, and parts of Logan, Gympie, Ipswich, Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast, Scenic Rim and Somerset areas have been told to brace for damaging wind, heavy rainfall and large hailstones.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned that "very dangerous" thunderstorms with large hailstones were detected at Bundamba Lagoon, and are tracking north.

The storms are forecast to hit Ipswich, Lake Manchester and Upper Brookfield by 5:50 pm and Strathpine, Lake Samsonvale and Dayboro by 6:20 pm.

Meanwhile, approximately 8,987 homes and businesses are without power on the Sunshine Coast following a smaller storm cell that hit at 4pm.

Energex said it was working to restore power as soon as possible, with a further 281 households without power across Brisbane, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley and Somerset.

3.54pm: The Weather Channel has warned a second band of storms is headed towards Brisbane, as the first cluster of severe storms moves in on the Sunshine Coast.

The Bureau of Meteorology warned at 3.35pm that the thunderstorms had hit near Maroochydore, Caloundra and the NSW border, and are tracking northeast.

They are forecast to hit the area south of Noosa Heads, Kenilworth, Yandina, Coolum Beach and Eumundi by 4:05 pm and Noosa Heads and Pomona by 4:35 pm.

But Richard Whitaker from the Weather Channel warned Brisbane "was not out of the woods just yet".

"There is another line of severe storms that is developing from Toowoomba and moving southwest into the city," he said.

He predicted the storms could potentially affect the Brisbane metropolitan area within the next two hours.

12.15pm: A CLUSTER of "very dangerous" storms have hit north of Brisbane with reports of strong gusts and hail pounding the area.

Storms have already dropped 3cm hail at Caboolture at 2.20pm, 4cm hail at Jandowae at 1.50pm and 2cm-3cm at Yamanto at 1.10pm.

The Bureau of Meteorology said that, at 2.20pm, "very dangerous thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near Beerburrum".

The Bureau said the storms are forecast to hit the area southeast of Caloundra and northern Bribie Island by 2.50pm.

Other severe thunderstorms were located near Caloundra, the area east of Somerset Dam and the area northeast of Jandowae.

They are forecast to affect Dayboro, Mount Mee, Bauple and the ranges north of Jandowae by 2:50 pm and Caboolture, the area northwest of Kingaroy, Wamuran, Cape Moreton, Toolara and Tin Can Bay by 3.20 pm.

GALLERY: All the images from both Brisbane storms

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Jonty Hall said of biggest concern, were storms striking near Dayboro and Somerset Dam.

There have also been reports of strong storms east of Ipswich, west of Greenbank, west of Dalby, Biggenden and Gin Gin.

He added severe storms were tracking towards Strathpine and Redcliffe, north of Brisbane, while most of Logan City was under threat.

He said there had been reports of hailstones 2cm to 3cm wide at Yamanto in Ipswich.

Small hailstones hit Caloundra as bucketing rain pelted down about 2.15pm Sunday.

After an earlier sunny break in the weather, thick dark clouds took over the southern end of the Sunshine Coast as a thunderstorm passed quickly over the region.

Heavy rain was experienced but the winds were not damaging.

Energex said there had been reports of 6,300 lightning strikes cloud to ground since 8am.

Approximately 300 households are still without power.

Send us your storm pictures via email to cmonline@qnp.newsltd.com.au or MMS 0428 258 117 (include your full name with MMS for attribution)

Earlier, lightning strikes sparked between 10 and 15 grass fires southwest of Brisbane.

A Queensland Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said the fires were burning in several locations including Ravensbourne.

"They are going pretty much everywhere but it doesn't say how big they are," the spokeswoman said.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Jonty Hall said storm activity was beginning and was tipped to "heat up" from lunchtime onwards.

"At the moment it is still unstable, with showers and thunderstorms and a few storms developing now," he said.

"It's a lot weaker than yesterday at this stage, but could become quite severe out west from lunchtime."

He said the area from east of the Darling Downs across to the coast, and as far north as the Fraser Coast, may be hit by damaging winds and heavy rainfall.

Services are returning to normal on the Caboolture line after a power outage between Petrie and Caboolture stations on Sunday morning.

A Translink spokesman said trains had resumed following the outage at 7.30am but commuters should expect residual delays of up to 15 minutes.

Commuters have also been warned to expect some minor delays for buses and trains today "due to debris and flash flooding".

"We've got a blanket alert for all services, and encourage customers to stay safe when boarding and exiting services," the spokesman said.

Brisbane Airport is also recovering from delays after storm activity halted operations on the tarmac this morning.

GALLERY: All the images from both Brisbane storms

"There was earlier a restriction on moving people on the tarmac due to the risk of lightning strikes," said Leonie Vandeven from Brisbane Airport Corporation.

"It meant the baggage handlers couldn't unload or load, which can contribute to delays."

"But (after 10.35am) the warning lights were lifted and they are getting back into operation now."

Lifeguards have closed Bribie Island's main beach due to ongoing lightning strikes in the area.  Sunshine Coast beaches remain open.

Queenslanders this morning woke up to survey the damage from the two severe storm cells that ripped through the southeast yesterday.

The strongest storm developed in the eastern Darling Downs region, near Pitsworth, where hail of up to 10cm in size pummelled the land.

"Fortunately, though, that stayed mostly rural, and didn't come into any built-up areas," Mr Hall said.

"That was the main storm from yesterday. Apart from that, we had some pretty heavy rain fall as the storms merged and pushed eastwards."

The Lockyer Valley received the highest rainfall with 114mm dumped yesterday.

Meanwhile, in Brisbane, Alderley recorded 90mm, and Toowong had 88mm.

Gusts of up to 90km/h also blew across Moreton Bay – the highest recorded reading yesterday.

Home Roofing Brisbane owner Carl Yaxley said the company had been flooded with 30 to 40 calls from homes and businesses complaining of roof leaks.

"Since about 10am yesterday, we have been getting a lot of calls about roofs that have flooded, and trees going through tiled roofs" he said.

The worst damage he saw was a commercial business in Herston where the gutters were so choked by leaves the water overflowed into the ceiling cavity.

"There was so much water the ceiling actually dropped," he said.

"This weather has made a mess – and created a lot of work for insurance companies."

Mr Yaxley said "no one" was prepared for the intensity of the storms when they hit.

"That's the first thing they said – people were very, very surprised," he said.

The owner said the roof repair company has rostered six people on call to cope with the extra work.

Send us your storm pictures via email to cmonline@qnp.newsltd.com.au or MMS 0428 258 117

"But I don't think we'll see the real volume until Monday or Tuesday (when the home owner gets on to the insurance company," he said.

An Energex spokeswoman said the company had restored power to 6,500 homes and businesses across the southeast since 4.30am on Sunday, with a further 400 still without power.

"These were a combination of restoration from the line to the house, but also some fallen powerlines," she said.

"But Energex are turning over jobs really quickly and we are looking for restoration around lunchtime," she said.

She said there had been almost 4,500 ground lightning strikes since 6am.

A Community Safety spokeswoman said emergency services received 173 calls for assistance between 5am Saturday and 5am Sunday.

"These were mostly requests for assistance with leaking roofs, minor flooding and tarping," she said.

"These requests were mostly isolated yesterday to the Brisbane CBD and inner-Brisbane suburbs."

Meanwhile, the weather bureau has come under fire for failing to issue a specific warning about yesterday's freak Brisbane storm until after the damage had been done.

The bureau had warned that storms were likely to hit during the day, and at 8.20am a forecaster told couriermail.com.au they were expecting "the main round of thunderstorms will develop from about the middle part of the day".

But as the freak storm began to form minutes later, the bureau fell silent.

GALLERY: All the images from both Brisbane storms

From 8am, amateur weather watchers were warning on web-based forums about the intense cell systems that were forming at Inglewood and moving towards the coast.

By 10am it was clear to anybody watching the weather radar on the bureau's own website that a big storm was headed towards the city - and Energex's lightning tracker recorded more than 1000 strikes during the next 30 minutes.

People started leaving comments on the bureau's Facebook page to ask for a storm update. But still the bureau remained silent.

The front of the storm smashed into the suburbs about 10.30am, with its massive winds described by those in its path as a freak storm much stronger than the usual summer blows.

See how the storms developed yesterday, with rolling coverage from 8am till midnight

Another 2000 lightning strikes later, the bureau issued its first specific warning about the storm.

By then the front of the storm had passed over the inner-western suburbs and the central business district and was almost at the coast.

In a statement, the bureau's Queensland regional director Rob Webb defended the timing of the warning.

"The short duration - from minutes, and often less than an hour - and very localised nature of thunderstorms makes them difficult to predict in detail with a long lead time," he said.

Send us your storm pictures via email to cmonline@qnp.newsltd.com.au or MMS 0428 258 117

"Early Thursday morning the bureau's forecasts for southeast Queensland picked up on the underlying meteorological conditions to indicate severe storms could develop over the weekend, and this was reported in regular radio crosses and news bulletins on Friday.

"As the storm approached the Brisbane CBD, it started to show signs of severe storm characteristics and forecasters issued warnings.

"The Bureau of Meteorology doesn't aim to issue warnings for every thunderstorm, but uses thresholds to ensure there isn't complacency in the community due to over-warning."

But the bureau's Facebook page was inundated through the day with critics.

GALLERY: All the images from both Brisbane storms

The bureau was quick to issue frequent severe storm warnings during the afternoon and evening as another round of storms swept across southeast Queensland.

The evening storm left almost 30,000 homes without power as more than 22,000 lightning strikes were recorded.

---- additional reporting by Kate McKenna, Renee Viellaris and Kathleen Donaghey

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Crowe reveals: 'Why I'm selling out'

Academy Award winner and rugby league tragic Russell Crowe will sell out of South Sydney at the end of 2013, according to reports.

Russell Crowe watches on during the NRL preliminary final between the Bulldogs and Souths at ANZ Stadium. Source: Getty Images

HE will walk away from South Sydney after next season but Rabbitohs co-owner Russell Crowe last night declared: "South Sydney 'til I die - one red eye, one green eye."

Crowe will sell his 37.5 per cent stake in the club after a difficult year professionally and personally.

Speaking exclusively from New York, Crowe said: "I have loved the responsibility of bringing South Sydney back to being a competitive force."

Souths will hold a press conference this morning at Redfern Oval to confirm Crowe's exit.

Crowe and co-owner Peter Holmes a Court bought 75 per cent of the club in March 2006, the club's members owning the remaining 25 per cent. They have tipped in a combined total of about $11 million.

There was anxiety last night among Souths fans, worried who might buy their famous club. Members will only get the chance to buy back the club if the Rabbitohs go into administration, an unlikely possibility given the NRL's $1 billion broadcast deal.

Crowe secured proud old club's future

The Daily Telegraph contacted Holmes a Court in New York but he would not reveal his plans for the club.

Crowe's long-time antagonist, Souths legend George Piggins, said: "Football clubs aren't easy to sell."

Holmes a Court and Crowe share four seats on a seven-man board.

The Rabbitohs' 2012 season was the most successful in decades, with new coach Michael Maguire getting them to within one match of the grand final appearance.

Crowe lured some of rugby league's best players to Redfern including Craig Wing, Roy Asotasi, Sam Burgess and Greg Inglis.

Souths enjoyed their strongest year since re-admittance in 2002, reaching the preliminary final before losing to Canterbury.

"It's pretty simple, I have to make more time for my family," he said. "I have loved the responsibility of bringing South Sydney back to being a competitive force.

"With many player contracts long-term and a great coach in place it's the right time. This will only be a change at the corporate level of Blackcourt, the company that Peter and I control.

"Members and fans should understand that nothing will change at a club level."

He then added: "South Sydney 'til I die - one red eye, one green eye."

Source: The Daily Telegraph

Peter Holmes a Court added:"Russell has announced that this will be his last season as an owner of the Rabbitohs," he said. "There are so many great things that he has done over the last six seasons that will never be seen.

"One thing that will always stay with the club is his pursuit of excellence in everything we do, a drive that has to be seen to be believed.

"This passion and focus is now in the club's DNA and it won't ever leave.

"All praise to him for his investment, his passion, his time and his love of the Rabbitohs. I consider myself fortunate to have been by his side for some of the ride. The club's never been stronger."

Piggins said Crowe's decision had come quicker than he an

 "I don't know the reasons but I do know it's left Souths in a very poor position," he said.

 "Football clubs aren't easy to sell. This has come a little quicker than I thought.

"I was worried about this in the first place.

"Souths now have to find someone to buy them. They don't have leagues club backing so they have a lot of thinking to do.

"Homebush (ANZ Stadium) is hard enough to get to. The new owners might take it further away. If the club goes out of the state or to country areas, the fans will be watching it on TV like I do."

Asked would he now attend matches, Piggins said: "If they came back to Redfern or the SCG I might wander back.

"But I'm not 40 anymore. I am nearly 70 and it's difficult getting to the western suburbs.

"It's not just Russell Crowe. Every club has a few billygoats (in their fan base) and if they have a shot at you, you may not hold your temper. I've had enough (of attending games)."

Pressed on whether he would he buy Crowe's shares, Piggins said: "No way in the world."

Acting NRL chief executive Shane Mattiske also added: "Russell has demonstrated a real passion for the club and a real dedication to help the club succeed. It will be a real change if Russell isn't at the club next season."

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

'Giant twister' is something to spout about

Source: The Daily Telegraph

ERIN Townsend was having lunch with friends on her Long Beach balcony yesterday when the temperature suddenly dropped and the sky turned black.

Then they saw the roaring water spout about 1km out to sea.

"We just saw this giant twister with all this water swirling around in it," Ms Townsend, 27, said.

"I've definitely not seen anything like it before."

As severe storms battered the south and northeast of the state over the weekend, a water spout appeared off Long Beach, at Batemans Bay on the south coast about 2pm yesterday - lasting about 15 minutes.

Ms Townsend's friend Michael Syne took photographs of the water spout as it moved from the middle of Long Beach around the headland before breaking up.

"We had been swimming just 10 minutes before that and all of a sudden it got really cold. In that 10 minutes, it became really windy and no one was out on the beach or swimming," she said.

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Mick Logan didn't have specific details on the size of yesterday's spout but said they can reach speeds of up to 160km/h.

He said a southerly change coupled with a looming thunderstorm created the spout.

"They're more common coming in to winter than at this time of year ... and they're still pretty rare, which is what makes this one so impressive," he said.

The Weather Channel's chief meteorologist Dick Whitaker said thunderstorms and driving rains which lashed the south coast and parts of the north coast near the Queensland border were easing overnight and today.

One house was destroyed and about a dozen others severely damaged at Woodburn, south of Ballina, on Saturday night.

The SES said strong winds that brought down power lines left about 2000 homes without power, while emergency services were called out to 120 clean-up jobs yesterday.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Drunk, naked, bloodied . . . but proud

A picture of a schoolie passed out that was posted onliine Source: Supplied

A naked teenage boy dancing on a table covered in empty alcohol bottles. Source: Supplied

These schoolies were photographed naked and the picture posted online. Source: Supplied

A picture of a schoolie with a bloody eye posted online. Source: Supplied

A teen with a bruised and swollen face from a drunken fist fight. Source: Supplied

OUT of control schoolies are documenting their debauchery on social media, publishing photographs of dangerous drinking, fight-related injuries and nudity on public photo sharing websites.

A picture of a teen with a bruised and swollen face from a drunken fist fight, and another with a bloody eye, are among some of the most shocking uploaded by school leavers to photo sharing network Instagram over the first weekend of the Schoolies festival.

Many pictures, all publicly viewable and tagged with the keyword "schoolies", show teens vomiting, passed out in public or so drunk they cannot stand, while others show party-goers dangerously drinking from "beer bongs" - devices designed to facilitate rapid alcohol consumption.

In one picture, a teenage girl is shown on her knees drinking from a beer bong being held by a teenage boy while two others watch.

A comment left on the photo by another user reads: ''#mumwouldbeproudslut''.

In another, taken in popular Schoolies destination Bali, a teenage boy is seemingly unconscious lying on the ground while his friends pose smiling around him.

The caption reads: ''The state everyone should be in after a night out in Bali.''

Teens have also uploaded indecent photos to the internet, including one of a girl flashing her bare chest from an apartment window and another of a naked teenage boy dancing on a table covered in empty alcohol bottles.

Some of the teens pictured are under 18, according to their Instagram profile information.

None of the Instagram users who uploaded the pictures responded to requests for comment.

Many of the photos were posted just hours after major employers warned partying school leavers to think twice about uploading inappropriate pictures to social media.

Hays Recruitment regional manager Shane Little said employers looked at potential new recruits' social media profiles to monitor behaviour, and any evidence of schoolies' indiscretions could jeopardise future employment.

''What somebody does on their holidays should not really be taken into account when evaluating somebody's suitability for a job - but it is,'' Mr Little said.

Ted Noffs Foundation's spokesman Mark Ferry urged schoolies to wait until the next morning before they posted party pictures online.

''What seems like a laugh is something that, the next morning, you might not want the world to see,'' he said.

''Some of these things go viral and go way beyond what was intended at the time.''

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Tears as woman's body found

A body of a woman believed to be Sarah Cafferkey was found in a house in Point Cook. Source: Herald Sun

A MANHUNT was under way after the body of a woman believed to be Sarah Cafferkey was found in a house in Melbourne's west.

Homicide squad investigators raided a house in Fongeo Drive, Point Cook, late on Saturday night, discovering a body inside.

Although Victoria Police have not formally identified the body, the discovery was made by detectives probing Ms Cafferkey's disappearance.

The house, in a new estate, is believed to be rented by two men. It was under police guard last night as forensic experts scoured the crime scene.

Ms Cafferkey's mother, Noelle Dickson, said she did not want to talk in detail about her daughter's disappearance because it was too upsetting, but police had made the case their top priority and were aware of Facebook threats to her daughter.

Friends in shock, disbelief

"Obviously police have been all over the Facebook page," Ms Dickson said.

"This is a top priority for the homicide squad.

"I can't talk about this because it just upsets me."

A screenshot of Ms Cafferkey's Facebook page shows she was in a dispute before disappearing.

"Mature people of the opposite sex's (sic) are able to have a friendship based on genuine interest and care for each other. Stop being immature over Facebook please, I have had enough," she wrote on November 4.

"I will delete you if you are unable to be civil," Ms Cafferkey wrote.

The Point Cook home where a woman's body was found. Picture: Norm Oorloff Source: Herald Sun

Police would not reveal whether the Facebook page was part of their investigations or an unrelated incident.

Detectives also would not elaborate on whether anyone had been questioned or the circumstances of the death.

Det-Sgt Mark Hatt of the homicide squad said police executed a search warrant late on Saturday night and found the body.

"Today that body is being examined as part of a post mortem," he said yesterday.

"The body was located throughout the night, so in the early hours of (Sunday) morning ."

Det-Sgt Hatt confirmed no one was under arrest and the investigation into what had happened to Ms Cafferkey was ongoing.

The case, which was taken up by the homicide squad in the middle of last week, is now considered a murder investigation.

Neighbours believe the house where two men were renting had been vacant for about a week, but they had not seen a woman enter it.

Catherine Bennett, who lives near the Fongeo Drive house, said two men rented the house but she had not seen anyone there for the past week.

"One of them had only just moved in about four to six weeks ago," she said.

"He had a little dog and we didn't see him much. I haven't seen him for a good week or so. It's scary. It's horrible.

We've got kids and we live in a nice street. I never saw the girl or any girl going in or out. I haven't seen anyone in the house for about a week."

More details about the nature of the death are expected to be revealed in the next 24 hours as the Coroner's office begins its probe.

Police have previously revealed that Ms Cafferkey has not accessed her bank account or used her mobile phone since she disappeared.

She was last seen by her mother on November 9 and fears for her safety were heightened after her car was discovered on Thursday in Owen St, Maribyrnong.

Ms Dickson said homicide squad detectives had spoken to her.

"They were just asking me about school, what type of person she is, her life and what she liked doing," she said.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Smartphones push for Christmas rush

The Samsung Galaxy Note II is the world's largest smartphone, with a 5.5-inch screen. Picture: Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson Source: News Limited

THE FINAL and fiercest battle in this year's phone wars is underway.

Smartphone makers are rushing stock to retailers knowing tech-loving shoppers will eagerly hand over their money in the weeks before Christmas.

The world's biggest smartphone - dubbed the phablet - goes on sale in Australia this week.

Like other new releases, Samsung's Galaxy Note II is likely to be snapped up in record numbers.

Google sold out of its latest smartphone in just 22 minutes last week, and buyers snapped-up all of Telstra's new Windows Phone 8 devices from Nokia.

Optus and Telstra also launched a raft of new 4G smartphones, including models for first-time users and pre-paid handsets for those looking to phone in Christmas gifts.

Samsung Australia telecommunications vice-president Tyler McGee said the company had worked hard to get the 5.5-inch Galaxy Note II out before the Christmas rush, after consumers in other countries snapped up 3 million in its first month on sale.

"Christmas is a very important time for smartphone sales," Mr McGee said. "There are a lot of people who buy smartphones as gifts and there are plenty of people who buy themselves a phone gift for Christmas."

Mr McGee said the unusually large phone was likely to be popular with business people "looking to replace a paper diary or organiser" and female users who could comfortably carry a large phone in a handbag.

But Samsung is hardly the only company selling pre-Yuletide smartphones. Google launched its latest smartphone, the LG-made Nexus 4, to buyers in seven countries this week, starting with Australia.

The 16GB phone model sold out here within 22 minutes.

LG senior mobile marketing manager Brad Reed said the company was surprised by the sell-out, but hoped it would help rebuild the company's "credibility with consumers" after a tough run.

"We're delighted with the attention given to the Nexus 4," he said. "I don't know the volume of units Google sold but 22 minutes is a record."

Telstra also sold all available Nokia Windows Phone 8 handsets this week, with the Lumia 920 now unavailable in stores until November 27.

A Telstra representative said global demand for the phone had been "higher than expected".

The company also launched a suite of 4G prepaid phones early this week, while rival Optus debuted another 4G phone, the HTC One SV.

Smartphone ownership has almost doubled in Australia in the past year, according to a new report from the Australian Communications and Media Authority, which found 49 per cent of Australians own smartphones, up from just one in four people.


Samsung Galaxy Note II: This phone-tablet hybrid is the biggest smartphone ever released thanks to its 5.5-inch screen. It also features cutting-edge features including a 1.6GHz quad-core chip, the ability to take notes with a stylus while on the phone, and to show two apps on screen at once.

Google Nexus 4: The 16GB version of this LG-made smartphone sold out in Australia in just 22 minutes. Perhaps the sales rush was due to Google's software additions, including a Photo Sphere mode for panoramic images in all directions, or perhaps because it can charge wirelessly and offers a crisp 4.7-inch screen.

Nokia Lumia 920: Nokia's first Windows 8 phone could be part of a comeback. The colourful block offers the biggest screen on any Nokia to date - a 4.5-inch display - and is one of the first phones to use Windows Phone 8 software. The phone uses a dual-core chip and an 8.7-megapixel camera.

Telstra EasyTouch 4G: Telstra could recruit new smartphone users with this pre-paid phone. The EasyTouch 4G is a basic Google Android model for first-time users. It features on-screen guides, four Telstra-made widgets for quick access to basic tasks and an easy-to-read 4.3-inch screen.

Dad: HTC Windows Phone 8X

- Uses Microsoft Windows software with which PC-using dads may be familiar

- Offers a unibody polycarbonate exterior good for slipping into back pockets

- Features a capable 8-megpixel camera for family portraits

Grandma/Grandpa: Telstra EasyTouch 4G

- Features a substantial 4.3-inch screen for easy viewing

- On-screen descriptions guide you through tasks

- Offers 4G connectivity for quick sharing

Mum: Samsung Galaxy S III 4G

- Samsung's flagship smartphone comes with 4G speed for fast photo sharing

- Offers easy-to-use software extras like announcing "Snap" to take a photo

- Comes with a free Navigator GPS app for street-by-street driving directions

Teenagers: Apple iPhone 5

- iMessage lets users send messages using the internet, saving on text message fees

- Offers the greatest library of apps, including games and streaming music services

- Facebook and Twitter are now built into the phone's software for quick updates

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Schoolies completely lose it in Bali

Australian schoolies partying hard in Bali during their end-of-year holidays. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro Source: adelaidenow

BALI has gone berserk with schoolies - with the teens' disregard for terrorism warnings just as crazy as their drunken partying.

Thousands of overly excited schoolies making the pilgrimage abroad have touched down in Bali despite Australian Government warnings that there is a high chance they could become victims of a terrorist attack.

While Queensland's Gold Coast remained the preferred choice to celebrate school's end, an increasing number of Year 12 students are choosing Bali as their schoolies venue.

It is estimated that 6000 Australian school-leavers will pour into the region over the next three weeks to revel in the 32-degree heat.

Cheap airfares and accommodation, low-price booze and cigarettes, a lack of parental supervision and no enforcement of a drinking age means the first taste freedom for schoolies partying under neon lights is even sweeter.

Australian schoolies partying hard in Bali during their end-of-year holidays. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

"I am going to spend $500 here for my whole stay, that's everything, you can't do that in Aussie," said 18-year-old Michael Del Callo from St Josephs College in Geelong, Victoria.

But Foreign Minister Bob Carr has issued a fresh warning that the Indonesian party hub faces a high and genuine risk of terrorist attack. The bombings in 2002 and 2005 claimed the lives of several Australian party-goers.

That message appears to have fallen on deaf ears, with schoolies in and around Kuta saying they had no idea such a warning existed.

Senator Carr also warned there is little that can be done to help young Australians who find themselves on the wrong side of the law with drugs and violence.

Australian schoolies partying hard in Bali during their end-of-year holidays. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

"I had no idea whatsoever," said 18-year-old Ben Phillips of Carroll College. The NSW teenager added: "My mum would freak out if she knew that."

Mr Phillips said within 24 hours of arriving in Bali he had been approached to purchase drugs on countless occasions.

"It feels like they have tried to sell me mushrooms, cocaine and marijuana about 300 times. But I just shake my head and walk past."

Like a string of students News Limited spoke, Mr Phillips said the highly publicised cases of Schapelle Corby and the 14-year-old "Bali Boy" made them think twice before buying illicit substances.

Australian schoolies partying hard in Bali during their end-of-year holidays. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

"Nobody wants to end up like them, imagine that."

A student from Tomaree High School in Salamander Bay, NSW, who did not give his name, said despite the travel advice he was determined to party on.

"If something happens, it happens. You only live once, I doubt we will get bombed."

Schoolies decided to venture into Bali because the Gold Coast had become tired and cliched. They desired an international feel to their celebrations, void of rules and structure.

Australian schoolies partying hard in Bali during their end-of-year holidays. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

"F*** the Gold Coast, it's overrated, I want to get really loose with my mates," commented Nathan Dawe from Victoria Point in Queensland.

And loose they have been - and the cliched behaviour travels too.

At the weekend, thong-wearing schoolies packed Kuta's famous nightclubs Sky Garden, Paddy's Pub, Bounty and Tavern Bar to let their hair down - literally - and dance to top-40 hits in ways that would cause their parents' toes to curl back home. Here it is one big 24-hour never-ending party.

At the Engine Room nightclub some female schoolies stripped off almost all clothing to gyrate and perform on steel poles while their sweaty male counterparts, with silk boxers riding high above their waists, enjoying the dancing company of $40-per-hour sex workers who frequent popular night-spots chasing foreign dollars.

Australian schoolies partying hard in Bali during their end-of-year holidays. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

Countless numbers of barely-comprehensible schoolies wandered Kuta late into the night, often alone, illustrating how over-indulgence of $2 Bintang pilsener and cheap cocktails with names like Sexotic and Bali Aussie can cause a night that may not be remembered the next day.

One schoolie was visibly struggling to get himself home to his hotel room as he stumbled down Legian St skulling a 40-ounce bottle of Grey Goose vodka.

In a human-sized bird cage during the early hours of Sunday at least eight schoolies kissed and touched each other intimately all while playing it up for the cameras owned by local men. Bali really has gone berserk.

One self-described "toolie" - the term given to men who are not celebrating the end of high school but rather want to seduce female schoolies - said he had enjoyed little success.

Australian schoolies partying hard in Bali during their end-of-year holidays. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

"They are really hard to crack on to so I have just been going for the prostitutes, they are cheap," said the fitter and turner.

Tomaree 17-year-old Paige Russo is on holiday for 13 days and said her mother had warned her about the dangers of Bali and the individuals likely to prey on schoolies.

"She has been quite worried, she wants me to contact her every day," said Ms Russo. "But I am fine, all our mates are looking after each other."

While News Limited spoke to the teenager, who is about to embark on a radiology degree, she and her friend Jasmine Meagher were offered ephedrine on two occasions. They declined.

Australian schoolies partying hard in Bali during their end-of-year holidays. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

Government officials were unable to confirm last night how many schoolies had required consular assistance or been arrested.

A Department of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman said no additional resources would be deployed to Bali for schoolies.

Local police officers reported no trouble except for increased road congestion caused by schoolies riding scooters.

Australian schoolies partying hard in Bali during their end-of-year holidays. Picture: Lukman S. Bintoro

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More
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