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Boob job cost Jesinta bra deal

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 21 Juli 2013 | 23.08

Jesinta Campbell is an ambassador for Wonderbra. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

Jesinta Campbell Picture: Nic Gibson Source: The Daily Telegraph

TALKS between Wonderbra ambassador Jesinta Campbell and a rival bra brand collapsed two years ago after it discovered she'd had a breast enlargement.

A week after we reported Campbell's stunning admission that she had gone under the knife and had signed on as the ambassador of Wonderbra, Confidential can reveal an earlier deal failed because of the surgery.

The former Miss Universe Australia, now 21, had the boob job done as a teenager.

Industry sources tell us the Wonderbra contract was negotiated after the Bendon brand knocked Campbell back for an ambassadorship in 2011 after a garment fitter detected her secret breast implants.

"Jesinta met with Bendon a year ago with the aim of becoming an ambassador for an enhancement-style bra," a well-placed source said this week.

"During a fitting - and prior to the contract signing - Bendon discovered she had had a breast augmentation.

"They immediately terminated negotiations."

Jesinta Campbell confesses to breast implants

The bra was said to be from Bendon's Pleasure State line.

The fitter reported back to marketing executives realising that the implants might be an issue in the company's promotion of a push-up bra. Bendon executives agreed and negotiations ended.

A spokeswoman for Bendon issued a flat "no comment" when asked for a response yesterday.

Campbell's agent Sharon Finnigan confirmed the meeting with Bendon.

"Bendon had another girl lined up and that fell over in August or September 2011 and they wanted a meet and greet with Jesinta," she said. "We met with them,they agreed she'd be good for their brand but it never proceeded."

Finnigan "couldn't recall" if the talks had progressed to a bra fitting.

Finnigan counts Karl Stefanovic and Samantha Armytage among her high-profile clients.

Hanes Brands chief operating officer Bruce Abraham yesterday said Campbell did disclose her surgery before signing the contract with Wonderbra.

Campbell said she had naturally been a AA cup.

"When I was young I had a small procedure done to become a 12B," Campbell told The Sunday Telegraph last week. But if she had her time again, she'd make a different choice.

Confidential first put suspicions to Campbell concerning her enhanced assets in November 2010, three months after she ran third in the Miss Universe pageant following a racy photo shoot for men's magazine FHM.

At the time, Campbell emphatically denied having had her breasts surgically enhanced.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Man in wheelchair ignites bomb at airport

Amateur footage shows a glimpse of the moment a man detonated a home made bomb in Beijing Airport. The video fades just after the detonation of the bomb. See it in slow motion here.

A MAN in a wheelchair has ignited a home-made explosive device at Beijing's international airport, state media reports, injuring himself but no others.

The man, identified as Ji Zhongxing from Shandong province, aged 34, was being treated for injuries, the state-run Xinhua news agency said, citing police.

Saturday's explosion, which occurred in the airport's Terminal 3, caused momentary panic and confusion at one of the world's busiest airports, although no one else was hurt, Xinhua said.

Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, a Chinese foreign policy specialist at the International Crisis Group think-tank who was inside the arrivals hall at the time, described on Twitter seeing a "huge explosion followed by panic, smoke and dust".

Pictures she posted online showed a female Chinese police officer waving crowds back as dense white smoke drifted across the terminal.

A man witnesses believe injured in the explosion just before the blast.

In a separate tweet she said the blast had created "lots of excitement" and that police had become angry and "shouted crowds back and told everyone to leave".

A Chinese microblogger, under the username Ruhuaerdaye who had come to the airport to pick up his wife, posted: "Right now this place is full of armed police and firefighters", adding he could see "one person lying on the floor covered in white cloth, nearby is a wheelchair toppled over and a suitcase".

Another microblogger at the airport, Chihewanlezaibeijin, posted that someone holding a bomb "shouted for a while but nobody paid attention, until he opened up a white plastic cover over the bomb. Only after the people around him realised something was wrong did the security guards rush over. The security guards only said two words before the bomb went off".

On social media and Chinese websites a photo - purportedly taken just before the explosion occurred - showed a man sitting in a wheelchair with his hands in the air holding a white package.

State media reports a loud explosion has been heard at Terminal 3 of Beijing International Airport.

Some Chinese news and social media sites showed what they said was a blog written by the man police identified as Ji.

In it, Ji says he formerly worked as a motorcycle driver ferrying passengers in the southern Chinese city of Dongguan and was severely beaten by police staff in 2005. The veracity of the purported blog could not immediately be verified.

According to the preliminary investigation, police said that the Ji set off the device immediately after being obstructed from releasing leaflets, Xinhua said.

There were no immediate details on the content of the leaflets or what, if any, complaints the man may have.

A mobile phone shows police officers amid smoke at the site of the airport explosion.

Xinhua reported that Ji's injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.

Violent crime is rare in China had a murder rate of 1.0 per 100,000 people in 2010, according to the United Nations, among the lowest in the world.

Corruption and police harassment, however, are frequent complaints, which have caused some citizens to seek redress through the courts and petitions to government agencies though they are often blocked from doing so.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Root leaves Australia reeling

Stuart Clark says Australia are in "a world of hurt" after Joe Root batted them into submission on Day Three at Lords.

AUSTRALIA'S batting has plummeted to such depths that room for error in the field this Ashes series has become non-existent.

The bowling attack, aware of the constantly brittle batting, is under pressure to be perfect in every innings.

That was the case on day three of the second Test at Lord's, when England went to stumps at 5-333, a mammoth lead of 566, with more batting likely before a declaration.



The bowlers needed to roll England for under 100 after they resumed at 3-31 on Saturday.

But Joe Root's brilliant 178no provided demoralising lesson in how to bat long periods and virtually stopped Australia's Ashes campaign in its tracks.

Root would have been caught behind early in his innings if not for a botched piece of wicket-keeping from Brad Haddin and Ian Bell (74) should also have been dismissed cheaply - caught by Steve Smith - but the third umpire wrongly ruled the ball didn't carry.

Dropped catches and bad umpiring shouldn't happen, but always will.

However, inept batting means such setbacks are far more costly for Australia, where as England have put down sitters this series and are on the verge of going up 2-0 in the series.

Fast bowling leader Peter Siddle denies the bowlers are under more pressure and emphasised the need to maintain a team outlook.

The Aussies watch England's Joe Root celebrate his century during day 3 of the second Ashes Test.

"We know what our job is, we know what our plan is, and we've just got to go out there and execute,'' he said. "At times we're doing that. We can't put any blame on the batters, it's a team game.

"We've got to improve as a whole and we're going to all do it together.''

Expectations have become far higher on the quicks and spinners than on their batting counterparts.

For example, future stars James Pattinson and Ashton Agar could be dropped for the third Test after less than impressive performances at Lord's.

Yet Australia can do little more than shuffle the deck chairs when it comes to revamping their floundering top order.

Australia's hopes of regaining the Ashes have taken a huge hit after Joe Root batted through Day Three to be 178 not out at stumps to guide England to 5/333, a lead of 566.

Proven veteran Siddle was under pressure to start in this series, because tour game form wasn't matching his reputation, and a fit squad of tearaways was knocking at the door.

Selectors would love to have a similar conundrum when picking batsmen.

David Warner is set to return for the third Test, despite scoring 6 and 11 for Australia A, but there's no quick fix.

In last summer's Sheffield Shield there were just six batsmen who managed more than one century and the now-retired Ricky Ponting was the only man to make more than 800 runs for the season.

In 2007-08 Simon Katich made 1506 to demand a Test recall.

Steve Smith takes a low catch in the gully to dismiss Ian Bell, only for third umpire Tony Hill to decide otherwise.

One century can now be enough to catch a selector's eye.

Coach Darren Lehmann accused his men of batting with a "one-day'' mindset during their farcical 128-run collapse on day two and said problems with shot selection seep down through all levels of cricket.

"Batting time is hard work and you see the England players have had a lot of hundreds in their top five,'' he said. "It's going to take time for the players to trust and believe they belong at this level. They certainly have all the attributes ... it's the execution and the match awareness.

"All state coaches would be saying the same thing about how to play long innings because in state cricket we don't have too many of those either.''

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

'Rudd's plan means we won't sail'

A boat of about 80 people stopped near Christmas Island will become the first dealt with under the PNG deal.

KEVIN Rudd's Papua New Guinea solution has bit savagely in west Java, where Afghan asylum seekers have immediately begun telling people smugglers they are cancelling their planned boat trips to Christmas Island.

After the Prime Minister's announcement, it did not take long for the news to circulate in the mountain-top resort city of Cisarua, where an estimated 5000 asylum seekers were awaiting to make boat trips.

By Saturday morning, groups of Afghan men, who are highly visible on the streets, were saying they would never accept settlement in Papua New Guinea and began instructing intermediaries working for the smugglers that they would not be going.


The Afghans generally do not pay the smugglers in advance. Because the Afghan networks have become such an established business here since 1999, the smugglers trade on their good name and their guarantees to deliver people to Australia.

Afghans - who travel cheaper by boat than people of other nationalities, usually paying around $3000 - told News Corp Australia that they would now register with the UNHCR and wait for legal resettlement because the idea of PNG seemed too shocking to them.


One man, Noor Agha, 35, an ethnic Hazara, told how he had arrived on Ashmore Reef in 2001 and had been shipped on HMAS Tobruk to Nauru. He waited there a year and a half but finally accepted a voluntary repatriation to Afghanistan after his son was born in terrible conditions in the camp.

Afghan asylum seeker Noor Agha (black shirt) and friends discuss the Australian policy changes in Cisarua. Picture: Ardiles Rante Source: Supplied

He said his return to Afghanistan had been disastrous, with his life in constant danger.

Noor arrived back in Indonesia last month, ready to try again - and hoping he could bring his family after him.


He was awaiting word of a time to be put on a boat when Mr Rudd's announcement changed his world.

"The decision of Kevin Rudd will stop the boats," said Noor, who with a group of friends, also recent arrivals, said they would no longer be going.

"I am hopeful after this decision, Kevin Rudd will take refugees (registered with) UNHCR much quicker."

Asylum seekers rely on smugglers of their own nationality. But Iranians, who have recently outstripped Afghans as the biggest group trying to get to Australia, do not have the same smuggler or information networks as the Afghans.

We spoke to a group of Iranians who had each paid $8000 to get to Australia. These men were hiding out in a villa awaiting passage, and in the company of lower-rung Iranian in the smuggler network who became irate that we were talking to his clients.

The men were confused about the news from Australia and asked us to explain what was going on.

Told of Mr Rudd's plan - that anyone arrive by boat after Friday would not have any chance of settling in Australia, but could go to PNG if they were found to be refugees - they said they would be going to Australia anyway.

"We can't get our money back," said one of the Iranians. "We go anyway. We paid the money."

The men, who had all arrived a month ago from Tehran, comforted themselves by saying that the Rudd plan was a political ruse.

Amid the disappointment, there is some hope for the people here who have registered with the UNHCR and are awaiting resettlement to a country, preferably Australia.

They are slowly coming to terms with the fact that the reason they have languished so long in this area without being resettled is because those who have gone ahead in the boats have taken their place in Australia's resettlement program.

But some have lost hope altogether and are stuck, not knowing what to do. One family, who identified as ethnic Tajic from Afghanistan, a group rarely seen in Indonesia, have lost all appeals to be recognised by the UNHCR as refugees.

Sanggita Bashardost, her mum Nabila Bashardost and father Abdul Bashardost at Cisarua. Picture: Ardiles Rante Source: Supplied

The father, Abdul Basir BaShardost, 47, paid money to the smugglers in 2011 to take his wife and five children to Australia but were ripped off.

Mr BaShardost worked for government intelligence in pre-Taliban times and says he is despised by both Taliban hardliners and the current regime. "We have no answers," he said.

Like all families, they are unable to send their children to local schools.

For many who have registered with the UNHCR, the boats were always a last resort - but it was at least an option. Now that has changed. No one we spoke to said they would ever consider taking up a new life in PNG.

For most, it is Australia or nothing. Mr Rudd's PNG solution appears to be having the desired outcome in the heart of the people-smuggling world.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Dick Johnson broke and bitter

Dick Johnson is one of the greats of Australian motorsport. We take a look back at his huge career.

I walked through my garage, the front foyer that was now a museum: glass cabinets, trophies, news clippings and cars. The fluorescents slowly lit up the room, the fading sun retreating behind the cane fields and scrub.

I ran my hand over Tru-Blu, the car that had delivered me my first Bathurst title. A rock had ruined her the year before the life-changing win, but thanks to the public and their donations, she was sitting there, reflecting the dying rays of sunlight, looking as though the boulder that had almost destroyed her and my career had never been, while the 30-kg rock sat in a cabinet three metres away.

I turned to Greens-Tuf: the car that had almost seen me killed. I slapped at the hard cold steel that had saved my life.

I then looked at the Sierras, those tricky and troublesome cars that eventually helped me secure two championship wins and a Bathurst title. The smell of grit and determination still clung to the seat's fabric, a strangely pleasant stench. They were covered in the growing gloom, the sun gone, the fluorescents not enough to cut through the dark.

The Mustangs and the 1994 Falcon that took me to my third Bathurst win were slowly disappearing into the creeping darkness. Bowe's championship charge and an assortment of other memories - some failures, some triumphs - were slowly consumed by the black.

I paced around them, nervous steps, my stomach tied in knots.

They had to go. I was broke and busted and left without a choice. I picked up the phone and agreed to sell them all for $1.1 million.

Motor racing legend Dick Johnson at his DJR headquarters at Stapylton. Picture: Peter Wallis Source: News Limited

Now comes the part of the story where I lose nearly everything I own: my boat, my house, my factory, my famous cars and my health. My dignity. The sad tale of an ex-race car driver who lost $9.1m and was left in a long battle to save his beloved race team. It hurt then and it still hurts now. I can't wait for the pain to go away, but I suspect it won't. I'm sure it will eventually kill me.

It might floor you to know that I haven't drawn a wage from my business since 2008. Some people think I'm a rich racing legend, worth a fortune. But my wife and I have been living on a paltry sum - just enough to cover for food, petrol and bills. Sometimes I have something left over to fly Jillie to watch our son Steve race. My only income comes from the factory space I rent to the team. I have nothing else. I lost it all in a dodgy deal.

Today Tru-Blu and Greens-Tuf are priceless; the rest of the cars are worth at least $10 million, although no one can actually settle on their true value, 'shitloads' being the accepted amount.

I had mortgaged my house, my factory, my boat and had spent my entire savings - all I had left now were my cars.

I had to sell them. In order to keep my race team alive.

I can still remember the day the sparkling transporter came to pick them up. It was tough, but I didn't cry or kick stones, because the bloke I sold them to, David Bowden, agreed that I would always have access to my cars and be able to keep at least four in my museum. David is a tremendous bloke, who understands what these machines mean to me, sheepskin covers, cracked dashes and all.

I was an absolutely shattered and desperate man when I signed the paperwork. I couldn't believe it had come to this.

I was happily retired and things were going well. I had two cars racing and my son Steve was finally behind the wheel. As a driver, I was totally done. A lot of sportspeople regret the day they retire, struggling to deal with losing the adrenalin rush and reluctantly fading away from the burning bright light. Some spiral into a world of hurt and regret. My mate John Bowe was one of those. He was diagnosed with depression once he called it quits, and continues to deal with the illness to this very day. I had no such concerns.

Dick with grandchildren Lacy (5) and Jett (8) Johnson. Picture: Peter Wallis Source: News Limited

After four decades behind the wheel, I was well and truly finished and never wanted to return, even though I was forced into a one-off cameo in 2000.

The first blow, a mere jab compared to the uppercuts that would follow, came in 2000 when I lost my good friend and general manager Wayne Cattach to V8 Supercars. Wayne was the best operator I had ever met. Appointed by Shell, he walked into my garage at Acacia Ridge one day, and I threw him the keys to the factory and my chequebook.

'It's all yours, mate,' I said on my way out. 'I'm off to the UK to buy some bits to make us go fast. You take care of the rest. Oh, and by the way, you need to hire a driver to race with us at Bathurst. See ya.'

Wayne was shocked. He didn't even know who drove for us, let alone who was on the market. But he was an extremely talented man, responsible for transforming my business into a V8 powerhouse. I was never one to live beyond my means and only spent what I had to; I never lived large. Wayne was the first person to think of my financial state, coming in and restructuring my business and life so that I could one day walk away and be able to survive.

With limited notice, Ross Palmer booted us from Acacia Ridge. I had been fortunate for so long to have had his backing, never having to worry about rent, since he'd allowed me to set up my race team workshop at his Brisbane-based plant. One day he decided he was no longer able to do this, and his executives asked me to leave. It was quite a shock and we could never work out what his reasons were. We later found out he was quite ill.

Wayne went about building me a factory that would not only be for my business, but gradually become my nest egg. He wanted to ensure I had some sort of financial security, constructing a state-of-the-art facility for my race team that the business would pay off and would also act as my superannuation fund should anything go wrong. With my blessing he built a $1.3 million V8 super factory at Stapylton, Brisbane. It wasn't only a workshop but a museum that was open to the public and housed all of my famous cars, the attraction of which brought in revenue.

He was the best operator in the business so it was no surprise when V8 Supercars came knocking and asked him to be the sport's CEO. It was a blow for me, but Wayne wasn't about to leave me high and dry. He went out and recruited his successor, Steve Horton.

Horton was with me for the next two years and was an extremely good business operator just as Wayne had promised. He was an accountant, a brilliant one at that, but had no background in motorsport. Horton was all about the bottom line and was more interested in making money than having the team win races. We suffered on track as a result, but our bank balance boomed. I had $4 million in the bank by 2002 and the factory was completely paid off, totally mine.

Dick with his son Steven Johnson at his DJR headquarters at Stapylton. Picture: Peter Wallis Source: News Limited


DJR announced Westpoint, a finance company from Western Australia, as our saviour on 8 February 2005. It was a last- minute $12 million four-year deal that was to ensure our survival until 2008.

Or that's what I thought.

I knew little of the business and was simply relieved to find a company, worth an estimated $1.7 billion, to back me for the next four years. I didn't care where the money had come from.


Without warning the blast that would forever change my life went off on 5 December 2005. I was told that Westpoint was about to go bust and my four-year deal was gone, just ten months after entering it. Turns out Westpoint were raising mezzanine funds that constituted a Ponzi scheme; they were using investors' money to pay off their interest. In short, they were a fraudulent company ripping the shirts of people's backs. I had no idea. Westpoint went into receivership on 2 February

2006, with 3542 people losing their money in an absolute disaster of a company. I was ashamed to be involved with them when the full extent of their operations were revealed.

But for me, at the end of 2004, I was left with just a month to save my team.

That's when I was approached by two people with a solution that was never supposed to leave me in the lurch again.

'You've now had two sponsors pull out and leave you in the shit,' said the person that approached me. 'It's obvious you can't rely on something you yourself can't control to run your business. We need to set up a system that will help you service your race team without you having to worry about finding sponsors. We can use the cars to promote your business, not to support it.'

I asked them to explain. They told me that there was untold money to be made in the emerging mortgage-broking business, that I could be successful and big, even bigger than John Symond of Aussie Home Loans fame. I am not a complete fool, but I was utterly desperate. I knew we couldn't find a sponsor for the next year in such a short time and thought this was the only way forward. And although I didn't have to give them any cash, I did end up relinquishing 40 per cent of DJR for a promise and a dream.

Within ten days of losing Westpoint, I was signing papers that formed a new shelf company called Nanterre Pty, which would own FirstRock Mortgage Centre, V8 Telecom, DJR and ICCS (Inter Communications Connections Services). I was a

60 per cent shareholder in the new business. I had given away almost half my race team for a majority stake in two start-up ventures and a call centre that I knew nothing about.

It would later result in me losing $9.1 million. Before grabbing that pen and signing that contract, I'd owned a $2.1 million property, a $1.3 million factory, and I had $4 million in the DJR bank. I also had an expensive boat and two of the most famous and expensive race cars in the history of Australian motorsport: Tru-Blu, which I'd bought back in 1984, and Greens-Tuf.

I am now fighting to save my team and my house. The rest is lost.

Dick with his wife Jill Johnson at his DJR headquarters at Stapylton. Picture: Peter Wallis Source: News Limited

It hit the Fans

I was approached during the 2007 season and told how bad things had become.

A $1.1 million mortgage had been taken on my workshop, the V8 super factory Cattach had set up to be my super fund. Apparently I had signed the documents, but I honestly had no idea. The money had been put back into the business and was keeping us afloat - for now.

So in total, I'd already lost $4 million in savings, another

$1.1 million on my workshop and nest egg, and now all I had to offer was my house and my cars. I took out a $2.1 million mortgage on my house. That was a lifeline for the moment.

But what I had to do next almost killed me.

I had to sell the cars that had made my name. The sweat- stained and battle-worn beasts that had made me the man I am.

My life's work and my trophies

Looking back, I don't regret the decision because I had no choice. I had to compromise either my race cars - relics of my past - or my future. I had about 30 employees: my son one of them. If I hadn't sold the cars, all the people I loved would have been out on the street.

Nanterre Pty was in receivership and the creditors were demanding cash. I had to offer them everything I could, or my business would be done.

I've had many lows in my life, none more so than walking into a hotel to plead to a bunch of poor sods to take everything I had to give, my famous race team about to die.

Fitzy's Hotel

I drove to Fitzy's Hotel, near Logan, Brisbane on my own, steeling myself for the angry mob I was about to confront. I was utterly embarrassed with the amount I was going to offer them, but that was all I had.

On 8 March 2008, I met my creditors, who had the power to accept my offer, or reject it and kill off a race team that had been around for almost three decades. I walked into a makeshift boardroom, completely shitting myself. Only eight of the 50 or so creditors had turned up, but it was still enough to turn me white.

I sat at the table and the receiver introduced me and my plan, offering a minimal amount of return on the dollar. I was then asked to explain to the creditors what had happened with the failed enterprise and what I could do. Needless to say, they were pissed, asking 'How much?' and 'When will we get it?'. I told them what I had to give.

Thankfully they accepted.

It was damn right embarrassing. And completely terrifying. I felt like an absolute prick having to attend such a meeting, addressing these genuine, down-to-earth people who had trusted something I'd believed in myself.

And it made me sick.

I walked away from the ball-busting meeting with a debt of $4 million. I had lost everything and was at the mercy of the bank. I could have retired from the sport a rich man in

1999, but all I had now was a multi-million dollar debt.

Dick Johnson on the track for Dick Johnson Racing. Source: News Limited

I am 68 now and I look old beyond my years. I am not a healthy man, the reasons for which mostly stem back to that traumatic period of my life.

Since starting those companies, I couldn't sleep, let alone eat. I constantly felt sick in the guts. I never believed in stress; I thought it was a myth. But from that day I have battled through pulsating problems that have made me older than I seem. It's hard to truly understand stress until you've experienced it. Stomach tied in knots, it's completely draining and all consuming. I've been dealing with this feeling for years now and it never seems to go away. I was never a big drinker, but around that time I turned to the bottle to help me sleep and forget my troubles at night.

I suppose I haven't been well since 1990, all those years of driving also taking its toll. I have had nine operations for sinus-related problems, which in the last ten years of my career got so bad that a piece of cloth rag was sewn into my race gloves so I could wipe away the muck pouring from my eyes. At times I couldn't see. I'd burst an eardrum almost every time I'm in the air flying to races, muck flowing everywhere at its worst. The sinus also gave me crippling headaches to the point where sometimes I had to lie down in the truck, buried in complete darkness before I jumped behind the wheel. I was in utter agony, but it never once stopped me from racing.

I am now paying heavily for those accidents and countless laps in my motor racing career. I have a titanium knee and a titanium hip. I have been in and out of hospital for years, dealing with infections and surgeons having to go back in to clean them up. I have been told not to travel, and I shuffle instead of walk. But still, I haven't missed a race.

To this day, I walk with my fists up, readying myself for blows. Every day is a challenge, but I am up for the fight. I know I have aged, I know I'm not well, but I'm determined to continue despite all that's affecting me. My family has kept me strong throughout my trials and tribulations, especially during that traumatic time of my life when everything seemed to have been taken away from me. But amid this hellish period a little bundle of bliss arrived, making me realise what life was all about.

My grandson Jett was born in March 2005. He is arguably the best thing that has ever happened to me. I was in the deepest shit, feeling completely desperate, and when he came along he made that all go away. I'd sit with him in my arms, and Jett would make me forget about everything else, and I was alive again.

Family is the one thing that has been constant in my life, and young Jett gave me the will to fight on. He is my inspiration, as are Jillie, Steve, Kel, Lacy and my brothers and my sisters. As was Jillie's mum and her dad; my parents too. And, of course, all my mates and lifelong friends.

I also made a quiet promise to myself, one I hope I'll be able to keep. As I walked out of Fitzy's Hotel, I vowed to pay back all those poor people who had lost their money in the failed company. We're not talking millions, and under law I'm not obligated to do anything. But that's not my style. I can't sleep knowing that I caused problems for these people, and if I get back on my feet I will give them every cent back. I dream of the day I will be able to call them into a room and put the money down on the table and apologise. I would love to show them just how much their support meant to me and that I am indeed genuinely sorry.

There's still a long way to go. But where there is life, there is hope.

Edited extract from Dick Johnson: The Autobiography of a True-blue Aussie Sporting Legend by Dick Johnson and James Phelps. Random House/rrp $34.95

Be one of the first 100 readers to buy Dick Johnson - The Autobiography of a True-blue Aussie Sporting Legend for $32.95 including delivery, and receive a copy signed by Dick Johnson ph: 1300 306 107 from 10am Monday or Post a cheque to Book Offers: P.O Box 14730 Melbourne Vic 8001. Please allow 14 days for delivery.

Cover image of Dick Johnson's autobiography. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Inside the hellhole of a Bali prison

Australian Paul Conibeer who is prison in Bali's Kerobokan prison. Source: Supplied

THE guards at Bali's feared Kerobokan prison look at me with only mild interest, the only white man in a huddled group of chattering visitors with a plastic bag full of groceries at my feet. The air is humid as only Bali can be. Sweat a constant companion, along with a few nerves. I'm about to go and meet a man who I've never met, who doesn't know I'm coming. A man who has quite a story to tell….

I got here a few weeks ago to shoot a documentary. Stepping off the plane is an experience in itself. A prickle of sweat confirms my arrival as I'm drowned in close to one hundred per cent humidity and stifling heat. Long queues of bored passengers, customs as basic as it gets. You have a passport and money, and Bali wants you to use both.

It's by far Australia's favourite holiday destination. Close to one million of us are expected to file through Denpasar airport this year, battle the hectic traffic and the street hawkers, and stand on those magnificent beaches framed by waves that every surfer dreams of. Hotels can be cheap, beer is even cheaper, and everything and anything can be bought on the street.

But we are not alone in our love of this place. When you add domestic tourists with international, Bali is flooded yearly with eight million people, a number that's twice its population. Many feel that a growing desperation for the tourist dollar, fuelled by the chasm of disparity between the Rupiah and just about any other currency, has changed a place with a reputation of being one of the friendliest destinations on earth.

Consider this. In 2012 an Australian died in Bali every nine days. That's almost one a week. A lot of it is from misadventure like motorbike accidents, or drug overdoses, but there is also a long list of murders. Add to this the number of assaults, rapes, and robberies, and Bali has a dark side that's not advertised in the brochures.

One of the cases we pursued was that of Queensland surfer Mark Ovenden. His body was found next to his scooter down a dirt track. His injuries were severe. Even though his motorbike was upright, it was originally passed off as a road accident. That was until the coroners report came in. Mark died of strangulation, his oesophagus had been crushed. But by now, the evidence had been handled by many people, the crime scene contaminated. His family was told police are working on it. That was more than two years ago.

We walked into Denpasar police station, and were directed to a small dank room out the back. We were there to collect his belongings on behalf of the family and to try and get some answers. We were not expecting what happened next.

All of Marks remaining worldly possessions, a camera, shoes, wallet, ID, a laptop, were stuffed into two shoeboxes. Written on the top in permanent marker was his name, the detective in charge and the date it was brought in. This was the extent of the filing system. The lead detective signed it over to us, and that was that.

Knives from inside the prison. Source: Supplied

But before we left I asked him where they were with the case. There is no case, he replied. Mark died of natural causes.

In disbelief I pointed out the coroners report, he looked at the file again. Some time passed before he eventually told me, yes, yes, actually we are still looking for the suspects.

No they're not, and it doesn't take a detective to work that out. Marks family will most likely never find out who murdered their son so brutally and left him to die on a dirt road, and his case is not an isolated one. We looked into three equally mysterious deaths. They all had the same hallmarks. Severe injuries, obvious suspicions coupled with police incompetence or complete inaction. In some cases family members were openly told they would need to pay the police to get things done.

Sometimes however, Australians are to blame for the trouble they find themselves in. The temptations are simply far too strong, especially to the party crowd.

They are drawn to the temples of excess that populate Kuta with flashing lights and competing sound systems that blare distorted music into next week. The pubs and clubs are legendary. Foam parties, rooftop bars, and barman who will never tell you you've had enough. Many of these places are either owned, or run by security teams connected to the many gangs that have carved up Kuta. We looked into a story where the security teams themselves are the ones spiking drinks, ripping people off, handing out gang bashings, and worse.

Fuelling all this is what you can buy on the street. Lets start with what's legal, pseudoephedrine, otherwise known as speed, and hallucinogenic mushrooms which, incredibly, you can buy in milkshake form. Then there's the other stuff. Cocaine, ecstasy, and ice. We walked the streets with hidden cameras, and caught the dealers offering, cajoling, showing handfuls of their product. At times following us aggressively, promising low prices like we were bartering for a Bintang T-shirt. Add this to copious amounts of alcohol and it's no wonder the hospitals here do a roaring trade with banged up Australian's. In the time we were there, we saw numerous patients with black eyes, broken noses, a split lip that required more than 20 stitches from a king hit.

The ages of those flooding the streets are mostly young and about to get younger. The Gold Coast, once the mecca for schoolies week, has cleaned up its act so much, has come down so hard on hell raising kids, last year saw a record number head to Bali. No pesky door checks for smuggled booze, no tedious lines to scrutinise I.D. no barman telling you, you can only order a few shots at a time. Just hit the go button, and hope you get home. With some luck the spirits won't be laced with the local and sometimes deadly vodka known as Arak, or like a recent survey found, ethanol. Apparently it works just as well in your blood stream as it does in your car, except it's an accident waiting to happen.

And while Bali can seem like a place without rules, without boundaries, if you do find yourself on the wrong side of the law, you'll find out just how wrong you are. Indonesian law is not like it is back home. It's a different legal system, harsh laws, and even harsher penalties. Just ask Schapelle Corby, or any member of the Bali nine, or the families of the ten drug smugglers that have either been executed, or due to be, this year alone. Each will be tied to a post, alone, on a remote island, in the dark, waiting for the orders from the firing squad in standing front of them.

You know the big names, but it might surprise you to find out there are close to 20 Australians behind the razor wire at Kerobokan prison, otherwise known as Hotel K, although it's unlike any hotel I've ever been to.

After more than two hours, finally the guard at the gate yells out my number in Bahasa and an Indonesian woman next to me shoves me forward, I head through the metal door and into a small room packed with guards, I hand over the grubby plastic card with my number on it, and my mobile phone. Two of them start rummage through my bag of groceries. I ask them about their day, but no one responds. Another man pats me down and sends me on my way with a toothy grin.

The visitor's area is nothing but a square concrete floor with a corrugated iron roof. The temperature is stifling, and not helped by the number of people inside. Visitors mixing with inmates, who come and go as they please. The men with wives and girlfriends try and take the corners and the walls. Larger groups get pushed to the middle. There are reed matts if you're lucky. The concentrated noise of people talking is deafening. I can make out some members of the Bali Nine. Andrew Chan is sitting in a prayer circle holding hands.

I palm some rupiah to one of the guards. "Paul" I say. "Aussie Paul". "He's a friend of mine". Its some time before a confused face appears. He looks in better shape than I thought he'd be. Friendly, a little weather beaten, wary. I shake his hand, we sit down on the concrete and I explain why I'm here.

Paul Conibeer who is in Bali's notorious Kerobokan prison Source: Supplied

Paul Conibeer's case defies belief. He's just spent one year in Kerobokan prison, eating handfuls of rice at meal times, and bunking down shoulder to shoulder with hundreds of Indonesians on concrete floors, for what amounts to an unpaid hotel bill in Kuta.

A dispute over that bill, led to police involvement, and once he was in custody he claims police demanded bribe money to release him, a figure that escalated to a point where he simply couldn't pay. He took a chance on the legal system, and it came down hard. One year in Kerobokan.

Using a smuggled mobile phone Paul has documented his time behind the walls. The drugs, the weapons, the wild parties, the brutal enforcement of prison rules. The men murdered before his eyes.

Previously the only look inside these walls has been stage managed by prison guards. Painting, dancing, family time. Paul's account, backed up by photos and video, is the real hotel K. A look behind the scenes through the eyes of an Australian inmate just trying to survive. It is at times, hard to comprehend that such a place exists.

Don't get me wrong. As a keen surfer I love Indonesia. Have travelled there more than half a dozen times. Bali, Nusa Lembongan, Lombok, Sumbawa, Sumatra, Nias. It's a beautiful place with beautiful people. And the documentary that airs this Sunday tells the whole story of the place they call the island of the gods, not just the dangers. And Australians are not totally blameless either. You only need to spend a few days in Kuta to realise that drunk and out of control Aussies are contributing to the problem. The Balinese are generally a gentle people with a spiritual and religious culture. Marauding groups of loud obnoxious boozed up Aussies don't help their opinion of us and could be partly responsible for what appears to be a growing malevolence towards us.

What is certain is the statistics and numbers don't lie. It's become a dangerous place for travelling Australians. Murders and rapes that go unsolved, assaults and robberies that leave people disfigured and scarred. A place where magic mushrooms and speed are perfectly legal, but a justice system that will sentence you to 20 years jail for a bag of weed. A place where, like it or not, police corruption is part of the system, and Australian authorities have very little influence. This, despite an increase in the money we give them, to well over 600 million dollars a year.

It's long been our playground, our favourite holiday destination, but have we loved this place too much? To me it's still paradise, it's just that now, I see a lot more than the surf and the palm trees.

Bali - The Dark Side of Paradise

Tonight at 8.30pm, Channel Nine

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Parents sue for $109m over death

The last photo of Nathan Chaina (left) with brother Mathew taken during the school excursion in which he lost his life in 1999. Supplied By Family. Source: The Sunday Telegraph

George and Rita Chaina with their sons Jean-Pierre and Mathew at the family home in Vaucluse. Picture: Taylor Adam Source: The Sunday Telegraph

THE family of a 15-year-old boy who drowned in floodwaters during an excursion with one of Sydney's most prestigious schools has spoken for the first time about how the tragedy left them in emotional and financial ruin.

The Chainas are suing Scots College and the Presbyterian Church for a record $109 million in the NSW Supreme Court after their son Nathan was killed when he fell into a swollen creek at the school's Glengarry campus in Kangaroo Valley on October 24, 1999.

In their first sit-down interview in the 14 years since his death, the Chaina family, from Vaucluse in the city's east, said they had spent $20 million in legal fees seeking justice over the tragedy, which has left them battling depression and suicidal thoughts.

Every night, Nathan's parents George and Rita set a place for him at dinner and later go into his bedroom which has been kept exactly how he left it, complete with a poster of a model on the wall to "tuck him in".

Their lives and those of his brothers, Jean-Pierre and Mathew, have never been the same.

A coroner found in 2001 that the school was primarily responsible for Nathan's death because it had not trained the boys to cope in extreme conditions, ignored weather reports and warnings and had almost no communication with the hikers.

While the school admitted liability, Nathan's mother, Rita, said the family has never received a formal apology from them, only pleas for them to drop their civil case, which they launched in 2002.

The family are seeking to recoup their legal fees and the money they claim they would have earned from a cleaning product invented by Nathan's father George, which they say he was no longer able to work on following the death.

After going through seven legal firms, the family had to start representing themselves in the action from last week after no longer being able to afford exorbitant lawyers' fees.

George and Rita Chaina with their sons Jean-Pierre and Mathew at the family home in Vaucluse. Picture: Taylor Adam Source: The Sunday Telegraph

Their request to have the matter adjourned was denied.

"We've had some horrible times but the thing is, we're fighting because they've done the wrong thing and we want to make sure it never happens again," Mrs Chaina said. "The legal system has failed us."

Mathew, who watched in horror aged 13 as his older brother was swept to his death, said he would not be able to get closure until the case was finished.

"It's not a dream in my head, it's not a movie," he said, fighting back tears. "Part of me is still there wanting to finish (the hike). There are times I've wanted to go back there and kill myself.

"We definitely need closure and we can't get closure until this case is over and we get justice for Nathan. It's not about money. Whatever money we get, it's not going to bring Nathan back."

The family said while many schools had changed their outdoor education policies in the wake of the coroner's recommendations, there was still much more to do in protecting students' safety.

The hearing in the NSW Supreme Court continues Monday.

Scots College declined to comment while the matter was before the court.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Woman's roller-coaster death probed

A woman is dead after falling out of a moving roller coaster at an amusement park in Texas. Julie Noce reports.

Emergency personnel on the scene at Six Flags in Arlington, Texas, after a woman died on the Texas Giant roller-coaster. Picture: The Dallas Morning News/Tom Fox Source: AP

Investigators will try to determine Saturday if a woman who died while riding a roller-coaster at a Six Flags amusement park in North Texas fell from the ride after not being properly secured by staff.

The ride is dubbed the tallest steel-hybrid coaster in the world.

The accident happened just after 6.30pm (9.30am AEST) Friday at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington. Park spokeswoman Sharon Parker confirmed that a woman died while riding the Texas Giant roller-coaster but did not specify how she was killed. Witnesses told local media outlets that the woman fell.

"She goes up like this. Then when it drops to come down, that's when it (the safety bar) released and she just tumbled," Carmen Brown of Arlington told The Dallas Morning News. Ms Brown said she was waiting in line to get on the ride when the accident happened.

Ms Brown said she also witnessed the woman being strapped into the ride.

"They didn't secure her right. One of the employees from the park - one of the ladies - she asked her to click her more than once, and they were like, 'As long you heard it click, you're OK.' Everybody else is like, 'Click, click, click.' Hers only clicked once. Hers was the only one that went down once, and she didn't feel safe, but they let her still get on the ride."

Six Flags expressed sadness over the death and said it was temporarily closing the section of the park around the accident site. It didn't say how long the area would be closed. A message left for Parker by The Associated Press was not returned.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends during this difficult time," the park's statement said.

The Texas Giant reaches 14 storeys high and has a drop of 79 degrees and a bank of 95 degrees. It can carry up to 24 riders. The ride first opened in 1990 as an all-wooden coaster but underwent a US$10 million ($10.8 million) renovation in 2010 to install steel-hybrid rails before reopening in 2011.

Ms Brown said she was next in line behind the woman and saw her being strapped into her seat next to her son.

"We heard her screaming. We were like, 'Did she just fall?'" Ms Brown said.

Arlington police Sergeant Christopher Cook, the department spokesman, referred all questions to Ms Parker. No other details were available.

In another amusement park accident Friday, a boat on an Ohio thrill ride accidentally rolled backward down a hill and flipped over in water when the ride malfunctioned, injuring all seven people on it. Operators stopped the Shoot the Rapids water ride after the accident, which occurred on the ride's first hill, the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio, said.

In 1999, a 28-year-old Arkansas woman drowned and 10 other passengers were injured when a raft-like boat on the Roaring Rapids ride at Six Flags overturned in 60 to 90 centimetres of water about 60 metres from the end of the ride.

Six Flags Over Texas opened in 1961 as the first amusement park in the Six Flags system. It is 27 kilometres west of downtown Dallas.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More
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