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Pistorius settling dispute with neighbour

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 03 Maret 2013 | 23.08

Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius stands during his bail hearing over the Valentine's Day shooting death of his girlfriend. Picture: AP Source: AP

OSCAR Pistorius is settling a three-year-old case against a former neighbour over reputation damages in a dispute that has now been overshadowed by the murder charges the Olympic star faces in the Valentine's Day shooting of his girlfriend.

Pistorius' reputation management firm confirmed the plans after the Sunday Tribune first reported the story. Lunice Johnston of Vuma said that the merits in the separate case "are no longer relevant".

The Sunday Tribune said the dispute centered on accusations that Pistorius slammed a door on the former neighbour during a party while the athlete said that the woman was aggressive and injured herself.

Pistorius is free on bail facing murder charges in the shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Pistorius says he shot her, mistaking her for an intruder.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

'200 killed in police academy battle'

Free Syrian Army fighters, take their positions as they observe the Syrian army forces base of Wadi al-Deif, at the front line of Maarat al-Nuaman town, in Idlib province. Picture: Hussein Malla Source: AP

ALMOST 200 troops and rebels were killed in an eight-day battle for a police academy in the north Syrian province of Aleppo, as insurgents seized control of most of the complex, a watchdog says.

"Rebels have seized most of a police academy in Khan al-Assal in Aleppo province... after eight days of fighting that left 200 troops and rebels dead," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Britain-based watchdog added that at least 120 of those killed in the battle for one of the regime's last remaining bastions in the west of Aleppo province were army troops.

On Sunday alone, rebels killed more than 34 government troops in the facility.

After rebels battled troops for control of the sprawling eight-hectare complex, located some 11 kilometres west of Aleppo city, they combed the academy buildings today, said the Observatory.

Amateur video shot by Islamist rebels and distributed by the anti-regime Aleppo Media Centre showed a black flag flying over one of the academy buildings, while a large poster showing President Bashar al-Assad had been torn.

Another video showed rebels aboard a military vehicle captured from army hands and stashes of ammunition seized from the academy.

"This is the police academy, after it has been liberated," said an unidentified cameraman shooting an amateur video in the complex, which could not be immediately authenticated.

"I lost my brother and my best friend in this battle," a fighter identified only as Bilal told the cameraman.


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Sydney woman 'abducted, gang-raped'

A woman was taken to Sydney's Westmead Hospital after allegedly being sexually assaulted by a number of men. Picture: Brad Hunter Source: The Daily Telegraph

A YOUNG woman has been abducted and sexually assaulted by a gang of men after leaving a house party in Sydney's northwest.

Police say the 18-year-old woman left the party on Merindah Road at Baulkham Hills at 1am AEDT on Sunday when a green sedan stopped next to her near St Michaels Place.

The car, with five men inside, asked for directions to a nearby shopping centre.

The woman gave directions and continued walking.

But she was grabbed from behind by one of the men and forced into the car.

The woman was driven to an unknown location nearby and sexually assaulted by a number of men.

Following the assault, the woman was driven to Waterloo Road at Castle Hill and freed.

The victim reported the matter when she got home and was later taken to Westmead Hospital.

Detectives and State Crime Command's Sex Crimes Squad are investigating.

The man seated in the front passenger seat who asked for directions has been described as being aged about 25, of Caucasian appearance, with a chubby build and a beard.

He was wearing a red and white flannelette shirt at the time.

Descriptions of the other four males are limited at this stage, police say.

Investigators have been told the car and males were seen outside the house party on Merindah Street earlier in the night.

Police want anyone who saw the car in the area on Saturday night or Sunday morning or who has information about the identities or whereabouts of the five men to contact them immediately.


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NBN in $300m satellite deal for bush

NBN boss Mike Quigley says the satellite service is key to bridging the divide between the city and the bush. Picture: Stuart Mcevoy Source: The Australian

THE National Broadband Network will today announce a $300 million deal with a French company to build two rockets to launch satellites into space.

A national competition will also be held for students to name the satellites.

NBN boss Mike Quigley said choosing the company to build and launch the rockets in 2015 was a critical step in making sure up to 250,000 households, farms and businesses in remote areas got the same broadband speed city people took for granted.

"The NBN satellite service is key to bridging the divide between the city and the bush," Mr Quigley said.

"Faster speeds will allow people in regional communities to work from home like they would from the office, access video-based health services and make high-quality video calls to family and friends."

Mr Quigley said the satellites would also cover overseas territories, such as Christmas Island.

Two 777,000-tonne rockets will be built by Arianespace and launched into geostationary orbit above Australia from a spaceport in French Guiana on the North-Atlantic coast of South America.

The satellites, costing $620 million and each weighing 6.25 tonnes are being built in California.

They will be linked to 10 Earth stations costing $180 million, each with 13.5m dishes.

Arianespace beat a US company that launches rockets from Kazakhstan.

As NBN releases the first photos of the satellites, Mr Quigley said a competition would be held for schoolchildren to name them.

Someone has already suggested Kevin and Julia after the two prime ministers who have overseen the NBN.

Mr Quigley rejected another cheeky suggestion they could be named after Broadband Minister Stephen Conroy's two favourite football teams - AFL team Collingwood and the English soccer club Chelsea.

phillip.hudson@news.com.au


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Woman bitten on bum nearly loses leg

A spider bite causes a woman all sorts of problems. Picture: Thinkstock Source: Supplied

A MOTHER-of-three nearly died after being bitten by a spider while sunbathing on holiday.

Doctors had to operate to save Sue Isaac after the wound became infected by a rare flesh-eating bug.

She feared at one point they would have to amputate her leg.

Mrs Isaac, 58, was bitten on the bottom by the spider while relaxing by the pool in southern Spain.

At first she thought nothing of it but within days she began to feel unwell and a bruise that developed on her thigh began to spread. She ended up in intensive care and surgeons operated to remove dead tissue from her leg.

But she required months of further treatment before she could return home to Braintree, Essex.

Widow Mrs Isaac had been on a six-week holiday to celebrate her retirement after selling her hairdressing business.

Last night she told how she was bitten at a friend's villa at Albox, in Almeria province, on the second day of her trip last July.

"I got a sarong that I'd left out overnight on a sunbed and sat on it and thought, 'Ooh that really hurt' and I realised I'd got bitten," she said.

"It brought tears to my eyes, it was like a bee sting but it didn't go away. I put insect repellent on it and didn't think any more about it."

But over the next week Mrs Isaac started to feel unwell and noticed that a small bruise had developed on the inside of her left thigh.

"I felt poorly all the time," she said. "I had a fever, no energy. I felt giddy, I thought I was going to faint. But it was very hot so I put it down to that."

Within days, the bruise had doubled in size and was surrounded by clusters of blisters. Mrs Isaac could not get out of bed. She was taken to hospital and admitted to an intensive care unit where doctors told her an infection had entered her body via the spider bite.

Mrs Isaac was given antibiotics intravenously but, after eight days in hospital, her left thigh had swollen to three times its normal size and the bruise had grown to 10in. Lab tests found 14 types of bacteria in the wound, including flesh-eating Streptococcus pyogenes.

Doctors said that because the antibiotics were not working, the flesh had begun to die and had to be removed to stop the bacteria spreading to her vital organs. Mrs Isaac feared they would have to amputate.

"I thought I was going to die, or, at best, I thought I was going to lose my leg," she said. "The doctor came on his rounds and said, 'Right, we've got to cut it open'."

When she asked about anaesthetic he told her she wouldn't feel it because the tissue was "completely dead".

The operations saved Mrs Isaac's life – but her ordeal was far from over. After three weeks in hospital she was discharged and stayed at her friend's villa but had to visit a local hospital daily to have the wound dressed.

Doctors had to remove more dead tissue every week for three months to stop the infection spreading and allow the healthy tissue to heal.

It took a further two months for her to be well enough to return home. It meant she missed her goddaughter's wedding, the 21st birthday of one of her daughters and the 30th birthday of another.

But Mrs Isaac says she is lucky to be alive. "At one point I asked to be left alone because I wanted to be by myself to die," she said. "I can't believe I have got through this."


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Phil and Amity win biggest Block week

Singer and former star of 'The Block' Amity Dry with husband Phil Rankine and children Poppy Lucinda and Jamieson. Source: The Advertiser

PHIL and Amity's third bedroom "secret weapon" has won them the fourth room reveal of The Block: All Stars.

After coming back from being named "chumps" last week, scoring the lowest of all four teams, the pair said they were delighted to come off with a win.

"We're absolutely stoked to win our first room," Phil told news.com.au. "We took a very big gamble with that bedroom and it paid off."

Phil and Amity's winning room. Picture: Channel Nine Source: news.com.au

The couple said they added as much as $100,000 to the value of their home by turning the formal lounge into a third bedroom.

Dubbed the "biggest week ever in the history of The Block," all four teams had to renovate not only the formal lounge room, but a hallway and a linen cupboard area.

Phil and Amity in their winning room. Picture: Channel Nine Source: news.com.au

"The formal lounge on it's own is bigger than either of the two front bedrooms, so just delivering that on its own would have been a challenge, but adding the hallway which goes on forever and a linen cupboard which you have to get right in there," Phil added.

"It was like three rooms in the one week which is absolutely horrific and saying that to actually win with that up against us makes it all the more better."

Phil and Amity's winning room. Picture: Channel Nine Source: news.com.au

Viewers may have thought that Phil had an even tougher time nursing a hangover after overindulging at the Elton John concert - but he says all wasn't as it seemed.

"It looked on the show like I had a hangover. I had a few things to do after the show and missed out on some sleep but it wasn't as massive a night as it looked. I'm too old for that, it wasn't the case at all," he said.

Josh and Jenna have won two rooms so far and Mark and Duncan one, while Dan and Dani are yet to record a win.

Phil and Amity's winning room. Picture: Channel Nine Source: news.com.au


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Shock as Nissan bumps Holden off podium

For the first time in the 79-year history of Datsun-Nissan in Australia, the car brand has outsold Holden. Source: News Limited

FOR the first time in Australian automotive history the top-three selling car brands in February were Japanese - and only two locally made cars barely made it into the top 10.

Toyota continued its 10-year dominance leading the market in February, with full importer Mazda maintaining second place for the third month in a row.

But in a move that has left industry veterans gob-smacked, Japanese counterpart Nissan bumped Holden off the podium to claim third place.

It is the first time in the 79-year history of Datsun-Nissan in Australia that it has outsold Holden - and the second time in a year Nissan has beaten Ford.

Perhaps more disturbingly for Australia's struggling car manufacturers - and the state and federal governments under fire for propping them up with taxpayer dollars - Nissan is selling more cars now than when it assembled them locally between 1972 and 1992.

Holden claims its February flop was caused by a computer glitch that restricted dealers from reporting sales.

The Holden Cruze managed to scrape into the top ten.

Its one saving grace: the Commodore and Cruze were the only locally made cars to scrape into the top 10.

Japanese brands cashed in with sharper prices across a strong line-up of small cars, SUVs and utilities, confidential preliminary figures revealed exclusively to News Limited show.

The currency's crippling effect on the Australian car industry has renewed calls on the Reserve Bank to weaken the Australian dollar, which has been at record highs for two years.

Last week an RBA report released under Freedom Of Information showed the Australian dollar was over-valued by 7 per cent, but RBA governor Glenn Stevens maintains an intervention is not required.

"The sharpest prices we've seen in decades have been driven by interventions by foreign central banks,'' Holden director of government and corporate affairs Matt Hobbs told News Limited.

"It's an issue that Australian government needs to be aware of. We have not seen this sort of currency pressure since the 1970s."

The artificially devalued Japanese Yen has enabled Australian importers of Japanese cars to offer abnormally sharp discounts. Late last year one Australian dollar bought 80 Yen, but as the Japanese currency weakened one Australian dollar was worth 90 Yen in January and climbed to almost 95 Yen at the start of March.

Honda Australia has even reverted to sourcing some cars from Japan rather than low-cost Thailand because it can get just as good a deal, if not better.

The special edition Jazz "Vibe'' sells for less than the Thailand-made versions of the same car.Brand-new models of the Nissan Pulsar, Toyota Corolla and Toyota RAV4 have been released in the past three months with the same or cheaper prices than they started with in the 1990s - despite being much better equipped.

It's not only Japanese brands reaping the rewards. The Australian car industry is caught in a pincer movement as European brands have also made the most of favourable exchange rates.

Last week Mercedes released a car that was cheaper than a Holden Commodore (when recommended retail prices are compared: $35,690 versus $35,990 plus on-road costs) and yet the baby Benz has more standard equipment.

Last year a Mercedes was the second-highest selling medium-size sedan after the Toyota Camry and ahead of the Mazda6 and Subaru Liberty.

In a further sign of the fragmentation of the new-car market, the bulk of the top 20 sellers are separated by less than 500 sales. Historically, the gaps in sales volumes between each model have been much wider.

This reporter is on Twitter: @JoshuaDowling

Top-selling brands in February (and how they compare to the same month last year)

Toyota 15,992 (up 7 per cent)
Mazda 8728 (up 0.4 per cent)
Nissan 8225 (up 32 per cent)
Holden 7687 (down 20 per cent)
Hyundai 7505 (up 1 per cent)
Ford 6590 (down 5 per cent)
Volkswagen 4190 (up 1.4 per cent)
Honda 3862 (up 48 per cent)
Subaru 3104 (down 3.8 per cent)

Top-selling cars in February (and how they compare to the same month last year)

Mazda3 3378 (down 11 per cent)
Toyota HiLux 3319 (up 46 per cent)
Toyota Corolla 3158 (up 0.5 per cent)
Nissan Navara 2639 (up 30 per cent)
Mitsubishi Triton 2336 (up 72 per cent)
Hyundai i30 2055 (down 15 per cent)
Ford Ranger 1739 (up 118 per cent)
Holden Commodore 1733 (down 42 per cent)
Holden Cruze 1730 (down 39 per cent)
Nissan Dualis 1548 (up 70 per cent)

Confidential preliminary figures shared among the car industry.

Official February data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries is due out later this week.


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Mum 'seduced' by toddler killer

A police photo from 1993 shows Jon Venables (10), who along with Robert Thompson, also 10, kidnapped then killed 2-year-old toddler James Bulger from a shopping centre in northern England. Source: Supplied

A SINGLE mother has told of her "chilling" online encounter with murderer Jon Venables.

Venables, 30, was 10 when he and a friend lured two-year-old James Bulger away from an English shopping centre and murdered him.

Sarah Finn, 36, says Venables set about seducing her after the pair connected via internet social networking site MySpace in 2007, sharing a love of music festivals and rock music, according to The Sun.

Finn and Venables, who used a pseudonym online, began communicating via instant message and Facebook, swapped mobile phone numbers and shared webcam chats over the course of a year. Finn says she initially found him "charming" although there were some "alarm bells".

"He nearly became mine - and that terrifies me," she says, adding that he asked her many times to meet up with him in person.

When the online relationship took a distinctly sexual turn, after Venables forwarded a photo of his penis, Finn cooled things off. By 2008 all contact had ceased between the pair. By 2010, Venables was once again behind bars for offences involving more than 100 sex abuse photos, including some of children as young as two.

It was only later Finn discovered Venables' true identity, when she was contacted by a woman linked to a true crime enthusiast.

The image that haunted the world, of James Bulger being led away by his killers in The Strand shopping centre.

"It's chilling to think our relationship could have gone further and I may possibly have introduced him to my son who was ten — the same age he was when he killed James," says Finn.

Bulger's father says of his son's killer: "Venables always was and remains a very sick and manipulative individual. This is a perfect example of how dangerous he still is."
 


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