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Snapper defends Nigella photos

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 23 Juni 2013 | 23.08

Charles Saatchi has been cautioned over an assault on his TV presenter wife Nigella Lawson.

Nigella Lawson pictured at the the Disney ABC Television group's 2013 Winter TCA Tour event. Picture: Getty Images Source: Supplied

THE photographer who took pictures of Nigella Lawson being assaulted by her husband says the attack lasted for "27 minutes of madness" but he didn't intervene because he feared being arrested himself.

Snapper Jean-Paul says the incident outside a London restaurant shouldn't be brushed under the carpet and the celebrity chef Lawson was "properly abused" by art collector husband Charles Saatchi. "What I witnessed was 27 minutes of madness," Jean-Paul wrote in the British tabloid Sunday People, which first published his shocking pictures last weekend.

"That's how long the abuse lasted from start to finish so it was most definitely not a fleeting moment."

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg came under fire last week for suggesting Saatchi's clutching of his wife's throat could have been "just a fleeting thing".

Government minister Alistair Burt on Saturday said he would have intervened if he had witnessed the assault on the celebrity chef and there should be "no toleration" of violence against women. Jean-Paul said people had asked why he didn't intervene but the answer was simple.

"I would have been arrested," he wrote on Sunday.

"I'm paparazzi so everyone hates you to begin with.

"The best thing I could do was carry on taking the pictures because now everyone can see that Charles Saatchi is an abuser." The celebrity photographer said knowing his pictures had been seen all over the world was "so special".

"I am proud because as a photographer you want to be in the paper but you also want to take pictures that mean something. "This will be talked about for years."

Saatchi has accepted a police caution over the incident.

The 70-year-old former advertising executive admitted the pictures looked "horrific" but dismissed it as a "playful tiff" and insisted he accepted the caution to stop it "hanging over" them. Sunday People also reports a "well-placed aide" claims Lawson, 53, is "broken and desolate" following the incident.

"Neither she nor Charles are interested in counselling or trying to save the marriage," the tabloid reports the aide as saying. "It seems they are done."

The newspaper notes the celebrity chef was seen out and about on Friday without her wedding ring. AAP jcd/ldj


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Why homeowners are ignoring the RBA

Rate cuts ignored ... Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens. Picture: Gary Ramage Source: News Limited

MORE than 90 per cent of some lenders' mortgage customers have not reduced their repayments since 2011 when the RBA began the process of slashing the cash rate to the lowest level ever.

This is significant in explaining why those cuts have failed to stimulate the economy.

"We have seen a very muted response so far to interest rate cuts," said AMP chief economist Shane Oliver.

Retail sales, consumer confidence and housing approvals had not improved in the way that would have been expected, Dr Oliver said.

This is in part because homeowners have chosen to not spend the extra cash that becomes available to them when their minimum mortgage repayment falls.

Instead they are maintaining their repayments, building up a war chest in the event of further economic turmoil.

"They don't adjust as the rate goes down," Dr Oliver said. "They are still paying the same dollar amount."

Typically when a lender reduces its variable rates in response to an RBA cut, the lender will not reduce a mortgage customer's repayments - unless the customer asks.

The Greater Building Society, one of the largest in the country, says that at least nine in 10 home loan customers haven't asked.

That means they are still repaying the same amount as they were in 2011, when the Reserve Bank of Australia began a series of cuts that has reduced its benchmark rate from 4.75 per cent to 2.75 per cent.

"The level of confidence in the Australian community at the moment is really, really flighty," said Greater CEO Don Magin, whose building society provides mortgages to about 40,000 households.

A spokesman for market no.1 CBA said 65 to 70 per cent of its variable-rate customers "have not reduced their repayments" since 2011.

A homeowner with a $300,000 mortgage who chose to not lower repayments in response to the RBA cuts is on their way to clearing their loan five years ahead of time, saving more than $80,000 in interest, according to Canstar.

RBA data suggests homeowners are about $160 billion ahead on their mortgages, squirrelling away an extra $30 billion since the start of the global financial crisis.

AMP's Dr Oliver said other factors muting the effect of the RBA cuts were:

- LENDERS' failure to pass on the reductions in full to their variable home loan rates;

- MANY borrowers are on uncompetitive rates and have not sought out a better deal; and

- OFFICIAL cuts came too late.

"The Reserve Bank fell asleep at the wheel" in the first four months of 2012, Dr Oliver said.

Economists at CommSec and ANZ say that the RBA still has a "bias" towards cutting the cash rate again, but if that happens it won't be until August. And there is less likelihood of a further cut if the Australian dollar keeps falling, they say.

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23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Snowden disappears in Moscow

Whistleblower Edward Snowden says the US government is hacking Chinese mobile phone companies.

THE US spy wanted by Washington, Edward Snowden, did not emerge Sunday with other passengers in the terminal after he landed in Moscow on a flight from Hong Kong.

Some fellow travellers said he may have been whisked away direct from the airport tarmac.

Snowden was not among the passengers on the Aeroflot flight who emerged into the public area of Terminal F at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport after the flight from Hong Kong arrived Sunday, an AFP correspondent reported.

But some passengers told AFP they saw a car parked next to the plane after it taxied to the terminal building, leaving the possibility he may have been taken away separately from the other passengers.

"They were getting luggage straight from the plane into the car. It seemed a little strange. I saw three pieces of luggage," Aeroflot passenger Jason Stephens from the United States told AFP.


AFP correspondents also said they saw a diplomatic car at VIP arrivals with an Ecuadorean flag. It was accompanied by an SUV, also apparently from the embassy.

Snowden's final travel plans have not been confirmed but a source within Aeroflot told Russian media he planned to head to Venezuela via Havana on Monday.

Rossiya 24 state rolling news channel speculated the ex operative could be spending the night at one of the South American embassies in Moscow.

In a post on its Twitter feed, WikiLeaks said Snowden was "accompanied by WikiLeaks legal advisers" on his flight from Hong Kong, which had refused to act on a US arrest warrant for the former contractor.

A TV screen in Hong Kong shows a news report of Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor believed to be hiding in the city. Kin Cheung/AP Photo

A source working for Aeroflot was quoted by Russian media as saying Snowden was flying together with Sarah Harrison - a WikiLeaks employee.

Anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks says Snowden is bound for an unnamed "democratic nation via a safe route for the purpose of asylum," and that he is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks said in its statement Sunday that Snowden requested the group "use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety."

Hong Kong's government confirmed earlier that Snowden has left the territory, where he had been hiding for several weeks since he revealed information on highly classified spy programs.

"Snowden today voluntarily left Hong Kong for a third country through legal and normal means,'' a Hong Kong government spokesman said in a press statement.

The statement added that Hong Kong had "not obtained adequate information'' to handle a provisional arrest warrant for Snowden issued by the United States.

The US Justice Department said Sunday that it will seek the cooperation of law enforcement authorities in countries where former NSA computer technician Edward Snowden may travel.

"We will continue to discuss this matter with Hong Kong and pursue relevant law enforcement cooperation with other countries where Mr Snowden may be attempting to travel," Chitre said.

Snowden told the South China Morning Post in one of his interviews that the US government was hacking Chinese mobile phone companies to gather data from millions of text messages.

US spies have also hacked China's prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing and Asia Pacific fibre-optic network operator Pacnet, the Post quoted Snowden as saying.

Snowden, who worked as a contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA), has been charged with espionage by the US after revealing a massive spying programme and has gone to ground after fleeing to Hong Kong.

"The NSA does all kinds of things like hack Chinese cell phone companies to steal all of your SMS data," Snowden said in the interview conducted on June 12.

Government data shows almost 900 billion text messages were exchanged in China in 2012.

The claims followed soon after a report in the Guardian in which he claimed the British government's electronic eavesdropping agency had gained secret access to fibre-optic cables carrying global internet traffic and telephone calls.

Britain's Guardian said that Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had started processing vast amounts of personal information - including Facebook posts, emails, internet histories and phonecalls - and is sharing it with the NSA.

The Post has previously quoted Snowden saying there have been more than 61,000 NSA hacking operations globally, targeting powerful "network backbones" that can yield access to hundreds of thousands of individual computers.

He said these included hundreds of targets in mainland China and Hong Kong.

Snowden told the Post in the report published on Saturday that Tsinghua University, which counts China's President Xi Jinping and previous President Hu Jintao among its graduates, was the target of extensive hacking by the US.

The university, which is home to the mainland's six major backbone networks from where internet data from millions of Chinese citizens can be gathered, was breached as recently as January, he said.

In 2009, the NSA also attacked Pacnet, the owner of one of the region's biggest fibre-optic networks, the Post reported, citing information provided by Snowden.

Pacnet, which is headquartered in Hong Kong and Singapore, owns 46,000 kilometres of fibre and operates in 13 countries, according to its website.

A US justice department official has confirmed that a sealed criminal complaint has been lodged with a federal court in Virginia and a provisional arrest warrant has been issued for Snowden, who fled to Hong Kong in May.

But Hong Kong government officials Saturday remained tight-lipped as to whether they had received such a request and whether Snowden had been approached.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Pranksters give mate fairytale welcome

A few roommates of Tom makeover his room into a bedroom fit for a princess.

WHEN Melbourne man Tom Overend left for a holiday, his flatmates took practical jokes to a new level.

In an elaborate stunt that has earned them global attention, the friends turned the 26-year-old's bedroom into an enchanted fairy wonderland.

A video of the jaw-dropping transformation has gone viral. From a four-post bed with frills to a pretty pink doll's house and sparkling fairy lights, no expense was spared.

They even made fairy additions to photos of Mr Overend and framed them on freshly painted pink walls.

When their victim returned exhausted from a trip through Vietnam and Cambodia this month, his reaction was caught on camera. The stunt has since been viewed online more than 340,000 times and made the news on US websites including Good Morning America and Inside Edition.

Flatmate Marc McIntyre, a set and costume designer, used a Facebook event request to rally his creative pranksters.

Tom Overend came home from an overseas trip to find his room had been turned into a fairy wonderland. Picture: Jake Nowakowski

"We decided the enchanted fairy castle theme would be nice and emasculating for Tom," Mr McIntyre said.

"We did the room about a week before he returned home and then just had to keep our cool when he initially walked in the door. It was worth it."

The bed was found on a website. Many of the girl's toys were sourced from local $2 shops.

Mr Overend, a former data analyst who is planning to return to study, took it all in his stride. "I was surprised, amazed and overjoyed that a dozen people made enough time to brighten my homecoming," he said.

"People have said that my roommates have too much time. I think, if anything, that this is evidence that they're clearly trying to fill it in."

His room remains largely unchanged.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Serena apologises to Sharapova

Maria Sharapova, left, has criticised Serena Williams for comments made about a controversial rape case in Ohio. Source: AP

UPDATE: SERENA Williams has privately apologised to arch-rival Maria Sharapova for "inadvertently" dragging the Russian into a Wimbledon slanging match between two of the sport's biggest stars.

Williams and Sharapova have traded personal barbs about their off-court partners in a controversy ignited by a Rolling Stones magazine interview.

Aware of the dangers of distraction, Williams wants a truce.
 

"I made it a point to reach out to Maria, as well, because she was inadvertently brought into the situation by assumptions made by the (Rolling Stones) reporter," Williams said.
 

"I personally talked to Maria at the player party (on Thursday), incidentally.
 

"I said, Look, I want to personally apologise to you if you are offended by being brought into my situation. I want to take this moment to just pour myself, be open, say I'm very sorry for this whole situation'."
 

The apology does not appear to have cut much ice with Sharapova, who on Saturday unleashed a withering attack on Williams, castigating the world No 1 for her reported comments about the Russian's relationship with Grigor Dimitrov.
 

Responding to Williams's remarks in Rolling Stone about an unnamed top-five player who "begins every interview with 'I'm so happy. I'm so lucky' – it's so boring", Sharapova made it clear she was the target of the American's barb.
 

Williams also said of the mystery player: "She's still not going to be invited to the cool parties. And, hey, if she wants to be with the guy with a black heart, go for it."
 

Williams is believed to have been alluding to Dimitrov, whom she once dated.
 

Completing a tangled web, Williams' current boyfriend Patrick Mouratoglou used to coach Dimitrov.
 

"If she (Williams) wants to talk about something personal, maybe she should talk about her relationship and her boyfriend that was married and is getting a divorce and has kids.," Sharapova said.
 

"Talk about other things, but not draw attention to other things. She has so much in her life, many positives, and I think that's what it should be about.
 

"Obviously I have a tremendous amount of respect for Serena and what she's achieved on the court.
 

"You can never take anything away from that.
 

"At the end of the day, we have a tremendous amount of respect for what we do on the court.  I just think she should be talking about her accomplishments, her achievements, rather than everything else that's just getting attention and controversy."
 

Williams two weeks ago dethroned Sharapova at the French Open in straight sets and the Russian could barely look at her rival as Williams jubilated with the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.
 

The increasingly poisonous relationship between two of the most successful athletes in international sport - Sharapova, Williams and Li Na are the only women on the Forbes top 100 athlete rich list - creates a curious backdrop to Wimbledon.
 

Williams returns in search of a sixth All England Club crown and 17th major overall.
 

Riding an unbeaten streak of 31 matches, Williams is in career-best form.
 

The American is only two majors shy of equalling Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova's haul of 18 and within six of Steffi Graf's 22.
 

Only Australian Margaret Court's tally of 24 would appear out of reach.
 

"I'm really relaxed. I really enjoy every moment that I'm out there," Williams said.
 

"I always said that I felt like I have never played my best tennis.
 

"I feel like I can always do better and play better and I have always wanted to reach that level. Maybe I'm just trying to get there."
 

"I really believe age is a number at this point, because I have never felt so fit. I feel great. I look great."
 

Williams was left in shock after last season's first round loss to Virginie Razzano in Paris.
 

Since then, Williams has won 74 of 77 matches, claiming victory at Wimbledon, the Olympic Games and the US Open.
 

Extending the trend, Williams has a 43-2 record this season with titles in Brisbane, Miami, Charleston, Madrid, Rome and Paris.
 

Queensland's Sam Stosur is Australia's only women's singles entrant and will start her singles campaign tomorrow against Slovakian lucky loser Anna Schmiedlova.


 


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Kanye asks new mum Kim 'to marry him'

Kanye West has reportedly popped the question to Kim Kardashian. Picture: AP Source: AP

PROUD new father Kanye West has reportedly asked Kim Kardashian to marry him.

The proposal came just days after she gave birth to the couple's first child, a daughter they have named North.

According to The Sun the 36-year-old rap star has yet to offer her an engagement ring.

Instead he reportedly spent £500,000 ($836,000) on a rare black and tiger-stripe diamond ring as a "push present" for Kardashian. A growing phenomenon in the US, push presents are gifts given to new mums by the baby's father.

Reality star Kardashian gave birth at the Cedars Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills, California, reportedly racking up more than £100,000 on medical bills and accommodation during a four-day stay.

They have since left the hospital for a secret location.

The Sun said that the pair plan to marry in Paris this September.
 


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MPs kept in dark on disastrous Labor poll

Prime Minister Julia Gillard's top supporters say there's no way she'll step down this week.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard. Picture: Kym Smith Source: The Daily Telegraph

AN internal ALP report containing polling for 40 seats across Australia, and circulated among selected members of Julia Gillard's leadership group, shows Labor would be lucky to retain 30 to 35 seats after the election.

But the report has not been shared with most Labor MPs.

The Daily Telegraph has obtained data from the party's UMR research report compiled for the ALP national secretariat in the past two weeks.

It shows that in NSW, the swing against Labor is 10 to 12 per cent on average and warns it would lose 12 seats in NSW, the majority in Sydney.

In WA, the report warns of a wipe-out with the party unlikely to retain any seats, but for the outside chance of keeping Fremantle.

In SA, it would keep only two seats, including Kingston.

Bill Shorten under fire from Julia Gillard's backers

It would lose all four seats in Tasmania. The polling report shows that independent Andrew Wilkie would keep Denison, however.

It would also lose its two seats in the Northern Territory. In Victoria, it has forecast the loss of eight seats.

And in Queensland, Labor would be left with only Kevin Rudd's seat of Griffith and possibly the seat of Oxley.

A senior ALP source confirmed that a select group of cabinet ministers in the leadership group were aware of the report but had declined to circulate it or share the results with MPs at risk of losing their seats.

It warns that Labor, with an overall primary vote of 32 per cent, would likely only retain between 30 and 35 seats in the 150 seat House of Representatives - a loss of more than half its existing MPs.

The report showing the polling results of 40 seats across the country also reveals that the swings were twice as bad in seats held by Labor than those it didn't hold - confirming the electorate was now intent on punishing Labor.

Unions set to abandon Julia Gillard

"This reduces us to a rump. I'm not sure people realise this is going to be a defeat of the likes the Labor Party has never seen," the ALP source said.

Several MPs last night, when told of the report, demanded that the results be shared with the caucus.

The polling report comes on the back of analysis by The Daily Telegraph warning that Labor would also likely be stripped of any influence in the Senate, with the Coalition being delivered command of the numbers in both houses of parliament.

Yesterday Rudd supporter and veteran ALP strategist and campaigner Bruce Hawker warned that the Labor Party and the trade union movement risked oblivion if it lost its ability to influence the Senate - with Labor and the Greens likely to be able to command no more than 36 votes out of the 76.

He warned that last time the Coalition had control of both houses, it introduced WorkChoices.

Gillard firm as Rudd backers accuse Combet of 'double dealing'

"This is very real danger for Labor if we lose control of the Senate as well as the House of Representatives because at that point the new government has carte blanche to do whatever it likes, such as industrial relations," Mr Hawker told Meet the Press. With leadership tensions likely to reach flashpoint this week, Kevin Rudd has been warned by his key supporters that he now has no choice but to challenge Julia Gillard this week for the leadership.

In a sign of growing frustration within Mr Rudd's camp, he has been told that he will have to abandon his pledge and force a spill this week to settle the leadership issue once and for all.

"He has just got to do it, even if he loses," one of Mr Rudd's key backers said yesterday.

Another senior MP supporting a change back to Mr Rudd said that it was now up to the former prime minister to make it happen.

"No one is going to do it for him. He will not get what he wants, being carried in on our shoulders."

Julia Gillard worse than Pauline Hanson

But several senior ministers yesterday again dismissed the suggestion a challenge to Ms Gillard would come this week and denied she had lost the majority support of caucus.

Defence Minister Stephen Smith said he did not believe Mr Rudd would stand up and contest.

Communications Minister Stephen Conroy joined a growing chorus of Gillard loyalists goading Mr Rudd to challenge if he believed he had the numbers.

But he said he wouldn't serve under Mr Rudd.

"I support Julia Gillard. I don't believe there will be change," Senator Conroy told Sky News' Australian Agenda.

"But I don't believe I would be in a position to be on a front bench."


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Accused speeder was not awake - mum

Kay Johnston says her son, Paul, will deny allegations of riding at 273km/h. Picture: Peter Smith Source: Herald Sun

THE mum of a motorcyclist charged with racing at 273km/h to evade police has said her son could not be responsible for the shocking incident ... because he doesn't get out of bed before noon.

Kay Johnston spoke exclusively to the Herald Sun and admitted 37-year-old Paul did stupid things, but said she would provide an alibi that he was at home at the time of the offence.

Leading Senior Constable Larry Piscioneri first recorded a motorcyclist travelling at 146km/h on the Hume Highway at 10am last Sunday.

But when he tried to intercept the vehicle, the rider accelerated to 273km/h, forcing an end to the pursuit for safety reasons.

Police raided the Johnston family home in Swanpool at 2pm on Saturday, where Mr Johnston lives in a caravan in the back garden.

He was charged with conduct endangering life, conduct endangering persons, evading police, driving in a dangerous manner, driving at dangerous speed, exceeding the speed limit, and possessing and using cannabis.

The son of retired policeman Neil Johnston was shown footage of the pursuit from the police car's dashboard camera, but has told his mother the identity of the rider cannot be seen.

"This happened at 10am and Paul doesn't even get up before noon," Ms Johnston said.

Asked if she saw her son that morning, she replied: "It is really big, it has a really big engine like a V8 or something. I would have heard if he left on it."

Ms Johnston said Paul had recently bought the bike and its number plate did include 1A, as police had earlier stated.

It is believed police obtained the full number plate after sending the dashboard camera footage to forensic experts to be enhanced.

"You can't even make the bike out in the video, but if it is his bike then maybe someone else took it," Ms Johnston said.

"We had three visitors here from Melbourne and one from Benalla for a family do - it could have been one of them.

"We just don't know."

Asked if she had supplied the contact details of these potential witnesses to police, she replied: "When they asked him where he was, he couldn't remember what he had done yesterday, let alone last week.

"We've just remembered, but we'll speak to a solicitor first. It's his word against theirs."

Police said, at 273km/h, the rider would have covered 52m a second.

"They've also taken his bike, but luckily he's got two cars he can get about in," Ms Johnston said.

Paul Johnston will appear before Benalla Magistrates' Court on August 27.

jon.kaila@news.com.au


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More
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