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Sophie’s family reveal heartbreak

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 06 April 2014 | 23.08

Benjamin James Milward is wanted by Queensland police over the murder of French student Sophie Collombet.

Sophie Collombet, 21, was murdered in a suspected random attack on Brisbane's Southbank. Source: Supplied

INSIDE an envelope kept in a handbag on the sideboard of the Collombet kitchen there is a single photograph.

It's a private image that for now they only share with those close. It was taken a year ago and shows Sophie Collombet standing by the kitchen table surrounded by her brothers Guillaume and Lionel and parents Guy and Corrine.

THE VIOLENT PAST OF HUNTED MAN

A SMILE, A WAVE - AND SHE WAS GONE

It records a happy moment, broad smiles on all, particularly Sophie's face, and was taken on the day she was leaving for her latest "adventure", as she called it, to Brisbane. She had promised to come home to France.

"It was one of the last photos taken we have of her," her mother said yesterday as the family stood around the same table almost in the exact spot, in a near identical image one year on — except the smiles are long gone and one person is missing.

Overwhelming grief ... Sophie Collombet's brothers and parents - Lionel, Guillaume, Corinne and Guy - are in daily contact with Queensland Police. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: DailyTelegraph

No words are spoken, the photo is passed around in silence between family members again.

The distress Sophie's murder has taken on her family is etched on their creased faces and tired bloodshot eyes. In their home in the village of St-Julien-Mont-Denis high in the French Alps a saucepan with coffee is permanently on the stove for visiting well-wishers, the family's genuine village hospitality maintained in the face of unimaginable sorrow and pain. A cordless phone is also nearby as are an assortment of mobiles which ring regularly with offers of support from close friends as well as a daily call from a member of the Queensland police.

But words cannot heal the family's pain, not now at least.

Waiting for answers ... Corinne and Guy, the parents of murdered student Sophie Collombet, at their home in the village of St-Julien-Mont-Denis. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: DailyTelegraph

"It was a Monday," Mrs Collombet starts finally as she recalls the final words she shared with her 21-year-old daughter.

"We normally speak on a Sunday but she was telling me about a website where we could check the results of the local (French) council elections. She wanted to know what was happening in the village and told us how she was following on the site."

They would never speak again.

When Sophie's housemate reported her missing, a friend in France found a news web page with details of jewellery found on an unidentified body. She passed the web link to the family and together with Sophie's boyfriend Boris the jewellery was identified as those belonging to Sophie. Then came the call no parent should have to take.

Love of travel ... murdered French student Sophie Collombe with her boyfriend Boris. Source: Supplied

"Yes it was difficult (the call from police)," Mrs Collombet told News Corp. "We still can't believe it, we thought 'it can't be true, it's not true, it's not real' we still can't believe it has happened."

Mrs Collombet speaks haltingly, all the family members do and when one can't finish a sentence another will do it for them. It's the way it's been all week.

Guillaume said when they saw that jewellery on the website having already learnt Sophie had not been seen by friends for two days they instantly knew the worst.

"From that moment we knew straight away," he said. "All our family live around here and they all came to this home to talk about it. We would speak with Sophie once a week on (Skype) usually on a Sunday, normally from (our parents' home). Sometimes it was just my parents but other times me or Boris or Lionel and friends. It was a thing. She would tell us how great it was in Brisbane. She was an adventurer, very curious and loved travelling. She had friends everywhere."

Horrific ... CCTV footage shows Sophie Louise Collombet on the night she was murdered. Source: Supplied

Mr Collombet said he could not believe the support his family has had from Brisbane but also from across Australia

"The French embassy, the policemen, the (Brisbane) Town Hall people, everybody in Australia has done absolutely everything that is possible to help in any way," he said. "There is a website made for us in Australia where people have been posting messages and they get translated into French. French people living in Australia offer support, many people. The problem now is to get her back as soon as possible."

When asked why the family did not go to Brisbane when fingerprint and dental x-ray records kept matched what police found in the park near William Jolly Bridge, Mr Collombet becomes emotional.

Beyond comprehension ... floral tributes at the rotunda in Kurilpa Park where Sophie Collombet's body was found. Source: News Corp Australia

"At the beginning we couldn't decide as soon as we got the news, we couldn't make decision and also the first information they told us was she was unrecognisable so we didn't go for that reason," he said.

"But after a while we found out she was still pretty, beautiful."

Evidence of Sophie is everywhere about the Collombet home. On the mantle is a clock in the shape of a map of Australia which Sophie sent over for her mother's 50th birthday; on the fridge are postcards of koalas, Brisbane by night, Australian landscapes. Her image is also on a cushion on the sofa where family dog Isope likes to sit.

"She was happy always, always with a smile," Lionel, who travelled to Brisbane to see his sister last September, said. "She got along with everybody and had many friends everywhere."

Police have released CCTV footage of Sophie Collombet leaving a bus at the Cultural Centre Bus Stop from the night she was murdered.

Her wide circle of friends were across the globe, explains Mr Collombet.

"She studied a lot overseas, starting when she was really young not even 18. She did one year of languages in Chambery (south-eastern France city) then she went to Denmark in her second year and she was still not quite 18. She could have stayed in Chambery but she wanted to go. Third year she came back to France to study in Chambery again, then after that did work experience with a company in Berlin, Germany, then after to Australia. She was to come back in June."

When asked where she considered home, all said without a doubt France and the village of St-Julien-Mont-Denis surrounded by alpine peaks where she loved to ski.

"She was coming back in two months, to say hello to friends and family and then leave maybe again," Lionel said. "She didn't have an idea of where to go next, although maybe she knew and didn't tell us."

Mrs Collombet added: "That was her life. She wanted to travel she didn't want to stay too long in the same place. She would come back to France and go and come back to France again and go away to discover."


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

MH370 flew around Indo airspace

Australian planes may be sent to the southern Indian Ocean search where a 'pulse signal' was detected.

THE missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 may have flown around Indonesian airspace on the night it disappeared, in what may have been a deliberate attempt to avoid radar detection.

CNN reported a senior Malaysian government source saying that the missing jet made the detour after it had left the range of Malaysian military radar.

The latest details emerged as new satellite calculations put the likely location of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the same spot where Chinese patrol vessel Haixun 01 detected deep water acoustic sounds on two consecutive days.

In the strongest lead to date, Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston said the Haixun 01 picked up sounds coming from about 4,500m down, in two locations just two kilometres apart, on Friday and Saturday.

The searchers are seeking the jet's two black boxes, the Cockpit Voice Recorder and the Flight Data Recorder. This has raised the possibility the Haixun 01 may have heard frequencies from the two separated boxes from a crashed and broken plane.

Hopes of breakthrough ... Chinese vessel the Haixun 01 detected the signal hours after it picked up an initial pulse signal. Source: AFP

While Mr Houston viewed the developments as positive, he warned against any drawing any conclusions until the sounds had been properly evaluated.

He said the Australian Defence vessel Ocean Shield had also detected acoustic noises from its towed pinger locator on Sunday morning, in a more northern area.

But given the strength of the Chinese lead, Ocean Shield would likely be deployed to join Haixun 01 once it had fully investigated what it was picking up.

She and HMS Echo, which also has deep-sea listening equipment, would not likely arrive till later on Monday or Tuesday, in a new search area which appears to be about 1500km west of Shark Bay.

This location coincides with new advice from experts calculating the plane's likely flight path, now placing it slightly further south than they thought.

It is understood the revision is because they found issues with the satellite when it was receiving information from the flight as it headed wildly off-course on March 8.

The Chinese have reported seeing white objects floating about 90km from the new area.

News of Friday afternoon's acoustic detection was released to the world by the Chinese government's Xinhua news agency, via reporters on the boat.

Mr Houston, who is leading the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, agreed this was how he first heard about it.

Signs of hope ... the towed pinger locator on the deck of the Ocean Shield. Source: Supplied

The Australians approached the Chinese asking for more information.

"This morning we were contacted by the Chinese authorities and advised that Haixun 01 had late yesterday afternoon redetected the signals for 90 seconds within just two kilometres of the original section," Mr Houston said.

He would not be drawn to criticising the Chinese method of information sharing, preferring to see it as a positive.

"This is an important and encouraging lead, but one which I urge you to treat carefully," he said.

"Based on the new advice, the southern area (of the existing search zone, where Haixun 01 is operating) now has a higher priority."

Air and sea searchers will converge on the Haixun 01 location today, with 10 military, two civil aircraft and 13 ships participating.

Search for debris ... an observer watches as a smoke flare is deployed to mark an unidentified object. Source: Getty Images

Neither Mr Houston nor the RAN's Commodore Peter Leavy talked in terms of the vessels picking up frequencies at 37.5 kHz per second, which is the international standard beacon frequency for black boxes.

They instead talked of "fleeting acoustic events". Mr Houston said Haixun 01 stayed in the area after hearing the first sound, and picked up a more sustained event lasting 90 seconds yesterday.

As the search entered Day 30 yesterday, the batteries in the black boxes are due to fail at any time, putting greater pressure on the multinational task force.

Pleading with the media not to draw conclusions that the plane had been found, Mr Houston said for the sake of families all information had to be treated as unverified until it was confirmed.

It has been a month since Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared en route to Beijing with 239 people on board.

Chinese state media say China detected a pulse signal from the black box in the search for missing jet MH370

Time running out to find black box

Batteries in the Malaysia Airlines 777's two black boxes are due to expire by Monday.

Australian planes may be sent to the southern Indian Ocean search area where the "pulse signal" was detected.

But the Australian team leading the international search has warned there is no confirmed link to the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

Big guns ... a Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft flies over Perth returning from search operations. Source: AP

Late on Saturday it was reported by the Xinhua News Agency — apparently from Chinese reporters on the vessel — that a 15-second pulse was picked up at around 4.30pm.

The pulse was reportedly emitting pulses every second at 37.5kHz — the international standard beacon frequency for black boxes.

The Malaysia Airlines jet had two black boxes aboard, the Cockpit Voice Recorder and the Flight Data Recorder.

It would be expected that a boat such as Haixun 01, which is thought to have a hull-mounted beacon-listening device, would initially pick up a signal and then lose it as it passed over the location. It would then retrace its steps to refine the location.

The JACC did not say whether the Australian Defence support vessel Ocean Shield, which has been towing a pinger locator in areas east of the Haixun 01, will now be moved to Haixun's location.

Searching ... Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield in the search area for MH370. Picture: LSIS Bradley Darvill/Australian Defence Force Source: AFP

The location, which according to Xinhua is 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east longitude, places it in a new area beneath and above areas that have already been searched, roughly 1500km west-north-west of Shark Bay.

Chinese naval vessels Jinggangshan and Kunlunshan have already joined up with Haixun 01. Now it remains to be seen if there will be a convergence of ships and planes on the area.

An update from Mr Houston could come at around 11am WST, if he has anything to add.

In an interview with News Corp yesterday, prior to the Xinhua report, the mission commander on the Ocean Shield, James Lybrand, said it was to be expected that if a boat picked up black box signals, the sound would quickly fade as the ship moved away.

Vigil ... Malaysian Buddhists offer prayers for passengers onboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur. Source: AFP

It would then be required to turn back over the search area and "localise" the frequency emissions, which could take many hours.

Commander Lybrand said on Saturday there was "negligible" chance any pings at 37.5kHz was from biological sources, such as whales, and would almost certainly be from one of the two black boxes.

These sounds, or pulses, cannot be heard with human ears.

Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News cited its reporter on board the patrol ship as reporting that the ship's crew had "basically confirmed" that the signal was from the missing Boeing 777-200.

However, experts have cautioned that the same signal could come from "a variety of things".

"It could be a false signal," oceanographer Simon Boxall told CNN. "We've had a lot of red herrings, hyperbole on this whole search."

Waiting for answers ... MH370 has been missing for a month. Picture: Lai Seng Sin Source: AP

The view is not necessarily shared by searchers, who believe the beacon frequencies are too distinctive to be confused for anything else.

If the signals do turn out to be from the black boxes, the priority will be to narrow the location to as small an area as possible, and then to send an automated underwater vehicle (AUV) down.

It is not clear whether the Chinese have such a vessel, but the Ocean Shield does. It can take high-resolution images and has robotic arms that would be able to grab the black boxes if they were accessible.

The AUV would be controlled by underwater search experts from private firm Phoenix International, who are aboard the Ocean Shield with RAN, and the US Navy's Supervisor of Salvage.

It would also be likely the British sub MHS Tireless, which is operating in the search zone, would also be sent to the area if it was determined the pulses were a credible lead.

Urging caution ... Retired Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshall Angus Houston is heading up the Joint Agency Coordination Centre. Picture: Rob Griffith Source: AP

Mr Houston said last night that its rescue coordination centre was now in contact with the Chinese searchers.

"The RCC in Australia has spoken to the RCC in China and asked for any further information that may be relevant," he said last night.

"The deployment of RAAF assets to the area where the Chinese ship detected the sounds is being considered. I will provide further updates if, and when, more information becomes available."

It has been a month since Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared en route to Beijing on March 8 with 239 people on board.

Up to 10 military planes, three civilian jets and 11 ships have been scouring a 217,000-sq-km of ocean northwest of Perth near where investigators have hypothesised the plane went down.

Australian Defence Minister David Johnston was asked last night about Chinese reports during a live cross on ABC24 for the WA Senate election.

"I know nothing. I don't want to confirm anything because I think there has been a lot of this sort of false positives," Senator Johnston said.

"Let's wait until we have an official release.

"But look, I'm excited, I'm optimistic, but let me tell you it's a very, very big ocean out there and up until this time, we've had a lot of disappointment."


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

I will walk my Teigan down the aisle, says Alex

The rugby league community continues to offer its support to Alex McKinnon after reports that the Newcastle back-rower has been diagnosed as a quadriplegic.

STRICKEN Knights footballer Alex McKinnon is to marry his childhood sweetheart Teigan Power and has vowed that he will walk her down the aisle

He made the announcement last night on Instagram from his hospital bed in Melbourne where he is recovering from a broken neck.

Alex McKinnon and Teigan Power announce their engagement via the Newcastle Knight twitter and Alex McKinnon's Instagram feed. Source: Instagram

"This girl is my soldier, I am truly overwhelmed with the support and wishes from everybody in the rugby league society and the community at large. Your ongoing support will never be forgotten," he posted.

"PS. When life throws you struggles respond with a smile. So happy to announce Teigan and my engagement. #throughthickandthin #iwillwalkherdowntheisle."

Engaged ... Alex McKinnon and Teigan Power / Picture: Nic Gibson Source: News Corp Australia

McKinnon, 22, is still in hospital with a broken neck — and the prospect of possibly­ being a quadriplegic — after he was injured in a three-man tackle against the Melbourne Storm.

A huge outpouring of emotion followed the announcement early last week of the long-term prospects McKinnon faces.

Knights fans and the NRL community rallied behind the player with a huge show of public support at Newcastle games since his injury.

The Newcastle Knights Twitter page last night spread the good news of his engagement: "Congratulations to Alex and Teigan on their engagement #RiseForAlex."

His Knights mates were told of the news as they arrived­ in Townsville last night for tonight's game against the Cowboys.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal McKinnon texted his coach Wayne Bennett with the news two days ago but asked him to keep it secret.

Bennett last night confirmed the Instagram posting was genuine and that McKinnon­ has vowed to walk again for his wedding.

McKinnon and Teigan have been together since he was 16.

Teigan has kept a bedside vigil with the injured footballer since his accident.

Part of the reason he quit St George two years ago was to be closer to her home town of Aberdeen. Teigan moved to Newcastle to study at university and support his rugby league career.

A Knights official last night spoke about the engagement on the condition he was not named.

"It's now Alex's entire motivation­ to get up and walk again,'' the official said.

"Who knows what will happen but that's his plan and we are all absolutely thrilled for him.

"Knowing Alex he is capable of doing anything he puts his mind to."

Teigan Power and Alex McKinnon / Picture: Facebook Source: Facebook


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

McKinnon vows to walk bride down aisle

The rugby league community continues to offer its support to Alex McKinnon after reports that the Newcastle back-rower has been diagnosed as a quadriplegic.

Alex McKinnon has announced his engagement to his long-term partner Teigan Power. Source: Supplied

ALEX McKinnon has announced his engagement to his long-term partner Teigan Power — and vowed to walk her down the aisle.

The young backrower has captured the hearts and minds of the entire rugby league community as he recovers from devastating neck injuries.

From his hospital bed, McKinnon took to social media to share a photo of himself and his partner with an accompanying message saying the couple are engaged.

Alex McKinnon has announced his engagement to his long-term partner Teigan Power.. Source: Supplied

The 22-year-old fractured his C4 and C5 vertebrae when he sustained a broken neck in a three-man tackle against the Storm in round three.

BENNETT DEFENDS KNIGHTS' STAND ON MCLEAN

'LIFETIME CONTRACT' FOR MCKINNON

Melbourne's Jordan McLean was suspended for seven matches for his role in the tackle.

It's believed McKinnon was diagnosed quadriplegic by doctors and faces the prospect of life in a wheelchair.

Alex McKinnon has vowed to walk his bride-to-be, Teigan Power, down the aisle. Source: News Corp Australia


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

MH370: Satellite pinpoints location

Australian planes may be sent to the southern Indian Ocean search where a 'pulse signal' was detected.

THE missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 may have flown around Indonesian airspace on the night it disappeared, in what may have been a deliberate attempt to avoid radar detection.

CNN reported a senior Malaysian government source saying that the missing jet made the detour after it had left the range of Malaysian military radar.

The latest details emerged as new satellite calculations put the likely location of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the same spot where Chinese patrol vessel Haixun 01 detected deep water acoustic sounds on two consecutive days.

In the strongest lead to date, Air Chief Marshall Angus Houston said the Haixun 01 picked up sounds coming from about 4,500m down, in two locations just two kilometres apart, on Friday and Saturday.

The searchers are seeking the jet's two black boxes, the Cockpit Voice Recorder and the Flight Data Recorder. This has raised the possibility the Haixun 01 may have heard frequencies from the two separated boxes from a crashed and broken plane.

Hopes of breakthrough ... Chinese vessel the Haixun 01 detected the signal hours after it picked up an initial pulse signal. Source: AFP

While Mr Houston viewed the developments as positive, he warned against any drawing any conclusions until the sounds had been properly evaluated.

He said the Australian Defence vessel Ocean Shield had also detected acoustic noises from its towed pinger locator on Sunday morning, in a more northern area.

But given the strength of the Chinese lead, Ocean Shield would likely be deployed to join Haixun 01 once it had fully investigated what it was picking up.

She and HMS Echo, which also has deep-sea listening equipment, would not likely arrive till later on Monday or Tuesday, in a new search area which appears to be about 1500km west of Shark Bay.

This location coincides with new advice from experts calculating the plane's likely flight path, now placing it slightly further south than they thought.

It is understood the revision is because they found issues with the satellite when it was receiving information from the flight as it headed wildly off-course on March 8.

The Chinese have reported seeing white objects floating about 90km from the new area.

News of Friday afternoon's acoustic detection was released to the world by the Chinese government's Xinhua news agency, via reporters on the boat.

Mr Houston, who is leading the Joint Agency Coordination Centre, agreed this was how he first heard about it.

Signs of hope ... the towed pinger locator on the deck of the Ocean Shield. Source: Supplied

The Australians approached the Chinese asking for more information.

"This morning we were contacted by the Chinese authorities and advised that Haixun 01 had late yesterday afternoon redetected the signals for 90 seconds within just two kilometres of the original section," Mr Houston said.

He would not be drawn to criticising the Chinese method of information sharing, preferring to see it as a positive.

"This is an important and encouraging lead, but one which I urge you to treat carefully," he said.

"Based on the new advice, the southern area (of the existing search zone, where Haixun 01 is operating) now has a higher priority."

Air and sea searchers will converge on the Haixun 01 location today, with 10 military, two civil aircraft and 13 ships participating.

Search for debris ... an observer watches as a smoke flare is deployed to mark an unidentified object. Source: Getty Images

Neither Mr Houston nor the RAN's Commodore Peter Leavy talked in terms of the vessels picking up frequencies at 37.5 kHz per second, which is the international standard beacon frequency for black boxes.

They instead talked of "fleeting acoustic events". Mr Houston said Haixun 01 stayed in the area after hearing the first sound, and picked up a more sustained event lasting 90 seconds yesterday.

As the search entered Day 30 yesterday, the batteries in the black boxes are due to fail at any time, putting greater pressure on the multinational task force.

Pleading with the media not to draw conclusions that the plane had been found, Mr Houston said for the sake of families all information had to be treated as unverified until it was confirmed.

It has been a month since Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared en route to Beijing with 239 people on board.

Chinese state media say China detected a pulse signal from the black box in the search for missing jet MH370

Time running out to find black box

Batteries in the Malaysia Airlines 777's two black boxes are due to expire by Monday.

Australian planes may be sent to the southern Indian Ocean search area where the "pulse signal" was detected.

But the Australian team leading the international search has warned there is no confirmed link to the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.

Big guns ... a Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft flies over Perth returning from search operations. Source: AP

Late on Saturday it was reported by the Xinhua News Agency — apparently from Chinese reporters on the vessel — that a 15-second pulse was picked up at around 4.30pm.

The pulse was reportedly emitting pulses every second at 37.5kHz — the international standard beacon frequency for black boxes.

The Malaysia Airlines jet had two black boxes aboard, the Cockpit Voice Recorder and the Flight Data Recorder.

It would be expected that a boat such as Haixun 01, which is thought to have a hull-mounted beacon-listening device, would initially pick up a signal and then lose it as it passed over the location. It would then retrace its steps to refine the location.

The JACC did not say whether the Australian Defence support vessel Ocean Shield, which has been towing a pinger locator in areas east of the Haixun 01, will now be moved to Haixun's location.

Searching ... Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield in the search area for MH370. Picture: LSIS Bradley Darvill/Australian Defence Force Source: AFP

The location, which according to Xinhua is 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east longitude, places it in a new area beneath and above areas that have already been searched, roughly 1500km west-north-west of Shark Bay.

Chinese naval vessels Jinggangshan and Kunlunshan have already joined up with Haixun 01. Now it remains to be seen if there will be a convergence of ships and planes on the area.

An update from Mr Houston could come at around 11am WST, if he has anything to add.

In an interview with News Corp yesterday, prior to the Xinhua report, the mission commander on the Ocean Shield, James Lybrand, said it was to be expected that if a boat picked up black box signals, the sound would quickly fade as the ship moved away.

Vigil ... Malaysian Buddhists offer prayers for passengers onboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur. Source: AFP

It would then be required to turn back over the search area and "localise" the frequency emissions, which could take many hours.

Commander Lybrand said on Saturday there was "negligible" chance any pings at 37.5kHz was from biological sources, such as whales, and would almost certainly be from one of the two black boxes.

These sounds, or pulses, cannot be heard with human ears.

Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News cited its reporter on board the patrol ship as reporting that the ship's crew had "basically confirmed" that the signal was from the missing Boeing 777-200.

However, experts have cautioned that the same signal could come from "a variety of things".

"It could be a false signal," oceanographer Simon Boxall told CNN. "We've had a lot of red herrings, hyperbole on this whole search."

Waiting for answers ... MH370 has been missing for a month. Picture: Lai Seng Sin Source: AP

The view is not necessarily shared by searchers, who believe the beacon frequencies are too distinctive to be confused for anything else.

If the signals do turn out to be from the black boxes, the priority will be to narrow the location to as small an area as possible, and then to send an automated underwater vehicle (AUV) down.

It is not clear whether the Chinese have such a vessel, but the Ocean Shield does. It can take high-resolution images and has robotic arms that would be able to grab the black boxes if they were accessible.

The AUV would be controlled by underwater search experts from private firm Phoenix International, who are aboard the Ocean Shield with RAN, and the US Navy's Supervisor of Salvage.

It would also be likely the British sub MHS Tireless, which is operating in the search zone, would also be sent to the area if it was determined the pulses were a credible lead.

Urging caution ... Retired Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshall Angus Houston is heading up the Joint Agency Coordination Centre. Picture: Rob Griffith Source: AP

Mr Houston said last night that its rescue coordination centre was now in contact with the Chinese searchers.

"The RCC in Australia has spoken to the RCC in China and asked for any further information that may be relevant," he said last night.

"The deployment of RAAF assets to the area where the Chinese ship detected the sounds is being considered. I will provide further updates if, and when, more information becomes available."

It has been a month since Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared en route to Beijing on March 8 with 239 people on board.

Up to 10 military planes, three civilian jets and 11 ships have been scouring a 217,000-sq-km of ocean northwest of Perth near where investigators have hypothesised the plane went down.

Australian Defence Minister David Johnston was asked last night about Chinese reports during a live cross on ABC24 for the WA Senate election.

"I know nothing. I don't want to confirm anything because I think there has been a lot of this sort of false positives," Senator Johnston said.

"Let's wait until we have an official release.

"But look, I'm excited, I'm optimistic, but let me tell you it's a very, very big ocean out there and up until this time, we've had a lot of disappointment."


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Is this Australia’s biggest catfight ever?

It's about to be a, what? GIRLFIGHT Source: Supplied

IN episode seven of The Real Housewives of Melbourne, Chyka arranges for her five best frenemies to accompany her on a mini-break at an exclusive resort in Mission Beach, Queensland.

The ladies are thrilled with the prospect of having a scrag fight in a tropical setting.

Before they go, Jackie and Lydia shop for holiday outfits. At one point during their champagne-fuelled spree, Lydia picks an outfit off the rack and asks, "Are they pant?"

"ARE THEY PANT."

Five out of the six arrive in Queensland, ready for their chopper flight to Mission Beach. Gina's nowhere to be seen, and Janet is ANGRY. We're going to assume Janet had one of those mums who's always 45 minutes late to pick them up from school, because she does not respond well to tardiness.

"Gina's such a bitc-shhhh here she comes" Source: Foxtel

Gina suddenly emerges from a neighbouring aircraft hangar, and with all six housewives present, they're ready to depart. Andrea, who has a fear of flying, is terrified. Lydia's very excited.

"Hearing the propellers, hearing the horsepower in a motor of a helicopter just SO turns me on. Yeah … fast and hard," she moans, her lip quivering.

Look, if the helicopter does fall out of the sky, at least someone's going to get an orgasm out of it.

Lydia in the helicopter, her body wracked with wave after wave of erotic pleasure. Source: Foxtel

Jackie and Gina make small talk in their chopper, and Jackie casually mentions how much she'd love to see Gina without her inch-thick make-up. Chyka echoes her sentiments. The pair are trying to keep it light, but it's clear they've been wanting to say this to Gina for a while.

Sensing she's being ambushed with a make-up intervention while trapped in a tin can hundreds of metres in the air, Gina pulls this face:

"Come at me with a tub of cold cream and I WILL CUT YOU." Source: Foxtel

The girls arrive at the resort which, like every single bar, restaurant and attraction they visit throughout the series, is completely empty. It's like there's been a zombie apocalypse and only the women of Toorak were spared.

Janet suggests they all go for a dip in the pool.

"NO HEAD UNDER!" Gina interjects, panic showing as she wonders if this whole weekend has been engineered to get her make-up off.

On a walk around Mission Beach the next day, Jackie, Andrea and Lydia talk about their favourite subject: Gina being a moll.

"Gina thinks she's busier than everybody else. Well, whether you've got a little bit to do or a lot to do, you're busy. I'M busy," says Lydia, whose schedule is so packed she hasn't even had time to fly to King Island to buy cheese this week.

There's something about fresh air and nature that makes you want to slag people off. Source: Foxtel

They compare notes on their problems with Gina. She's called them the 'c' word, threatened them with legal action if they discussed certain topics on camera, and was "incredibly derogatory about a book idea that Lydia had," says Andrea.

Well, that last one is just plain rude. Lydia, we will TOTALLY buy your erotic memoir about the forbidden love affair between a woman and a helicopter.

Showing remarkable restraint, Jackie manages to make it through the entire scene without saying "Shine shine shine" — oh, wait, there it is.

After their nature walk, the ladies assemble by the pool for a yoga session with a very serious instructor named Sue.

Jackie: So Sue, I don't know if you know, but I'm actually a professional psychic!

Sue (disinterestedly): Right, OK.

Jackie: Yoga is a big part of using that in your everyday life, so it'll be quite interesting to see how we all flow!

Sue (even more disinterestedly): Yeah, it'll be very interesting.

Nothing says 'beachside holiday' like crushing bricks with your woo-hoo. Source: Foxtel

During yoga, Sue asks the Housewives to take foam blocks and squeeze them between their legs. "Oh, here's a bit of action," jokes Gina. Lydia's too busy squeezing tightly to her block and thinking of helicopters to laugh.

After yoga, the six change into their best Euro-trash kaftans and take up position on the poolside daybeds. Gina and Andrea arrive first, and have that awkward moment when you're stuck alone with someone you usually only hang with in a group setting and you suddenly realise you have NOTHING TO TALK ABOUT.

Andrea: "So ... Remember when you called me a c**t? That was fun." Source: Foxtel

The other women arrive soon enough, Jackie positioning herself next to Gina. The pair are becoming fast friends: they discuss life, love, parenting, and the eternal search for happiness.

Over on the other daybed, Andrea and Lydia talk about ... spray tans.

On the opposite side of the pool, Janet opens up to Chyka about her 25-year-old son, Jake. She's been his carer for the past year, ever since he suffered third degree burns to 70% of his body in a fire.

As she shares this inspiring story of survival and motherly love, the pair shed a few tears, agreeing that these sort of near-death experiences serve as a reminder not to sweat the small stuff; to live each day with positivity and grace.

Which obviously means it's time for a catfight.

Sitting down to a lovely ambush — I mean dinner. Source: Foxtel

The claws come out at dinner. First, Janet harps on about Gina's persistent lateness. Gina apologises, explaining that as a working mother of two, she leads a busy life.

"You're not as busy as I am!" Andrea yells, which elicits this expression from Gina.

"Gurl please." Source: Foxtel

Gina continues to apologise profusely to Janet, who's still yelling at her. Then Lydia weighs in, telling Gina she knows she called her a c*** in a previous episode.

Gina insists she said no such thing. Hmm:

Sorry Gina. Source: Foxtel

Lydia is further outraged by a joke that Gina made behind her back, suggesting her planned book would be all about "her vagina." Gina assures her it was just a glib remark, and she meant no harm.

"Well, she doesn't cook COCKS does she? It's the same thing!" Lydia screams, gesturing to a dumbfounded Chyka.

Andrea then launches into Gina, counting out her problems on her fingers, one by one. She lingers on one particular finger:

Andrea, it's manners 101: don't finger anyone during dinner. Wait until dessert. Source: Foxtel

Andrea's angry that during the tennis match she hosted in the previous episode, Gina arrived late, left make-up on her hand towels and wore high heels on her tennis court. She puts it all much more elegantly, though:

"I had these French embroidered hand towels — there was brown s**t all over 'em!"

"You obviously don't own a tennis court — I DO. Do you even own a tennis court?"

"You are crude, you are vulgar, you are confrontational and aggressive! I actually get offended even looking at you!"

"Well don't look, darling," Gina shrugs.

With that, the other girls start to yell over the top of each other, each eager to outline their many and varied reasons for loathing Gina.

Realising she's no longer needed, Gina focuses on something more important: fixing her make-up.

"Let me know when you've tired yourselves out." Source: Foxtel

It's all reminiscent of that devastating early scene in Muriel's Wedding when Tania Degano and the other Porpoise Spit bitches tell Muriel she can't hang out with them any more. Except that, unlike Muriel, Gina Liano don't care.

"Really, go and combust in a corner. No interest," Gina sighs.

"[Lydia] actually reminds me of a puppy I used to have. I had an older male dog — that would be Andrea — and this other dog who used to roll over and piddle every time you looked at her. That's Lydia."

At one point in the dinner table fracas, Lydia suddenly screams out, "WHAT ABOUT ME? I NEARLY DIED!"

It's not clear what she's referring to or who she's directing it at, but it's a Logie-worthy performance nonetheless.

The next morning, Gina packs her bags and leaves for Melbourne. Safe to say she didn't enjoy her time in Mission Beach.

"It's been pretty hideous — worse than eating cat food, quite frankly."

With Gina gone, peacekeeper Chyka sits the two lead Mean Girls down and gives them a thorough talking-to. "It was a major attack," she tells them. Lydia in particular pulls major stank face:

"We do get to keep these bathrobes, right?" Source: Foxtel

As the episode finishes, the women sit down to a seafood lunch and Lydia accuses Chyka of being a fence sitter for not joining the attack on Gina the previous evening.

We think the term you're looking for is 'decent human being', Lydia.

"Where to from here? Let's all act like mature ladies and get on," says Lydia, pictured below doing just that.

Lydia, you don't look very tran-kweel here. Source: Foxtel

"Now, no more on the issue! I'm sure we've got other things we can talk about," says Chyka.

"Yes, many other things," Lydia agrees.

The screen fades to black as the ladies sit around the table silently eating their lobster tails.

GINA PLEASE COME BACK.

Previous recaps:

Housewives episode six: Everybody Hates Gina

Housewives episode five: Meeting in the ladies room

Housewives episode four: One-night stands and drunk ski trips

Housewives episode three: Girls gone wild

Housewives episode two: Angels and demons

Housewives episode one: The ladies in their own words

Catch The Real Housewives of Melbourne, Sundays 8:30pm on Foxtel's Arena channel.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Mars, Earth and sun to align

Cosmic event... The sun will be exactly between Earth and Mars. Source: Supplied

A RARE space event will happen this week when Mars will be exactly opposite the sun to the Earth.

The cosmic alignment, known as an opposition, will take place on Wednesday (April 8).

On the day of opposition, Mars, Earth and the sun fall on a straight line.

While Mars' orbit of the sun is more elliptical (oval-shaped) than the Earth's, our planet is closer to the sun, meaning it completes its orbit in 365 days, compared to 687 days for Mars.

These differences mean an opposition is rare, occurring about once every couple of years.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Aussie zombie show in Cannes win

Fear factor... The new show features contestants in a zombie apocalypse. Source: Supplied

A PACK of zombies has won Australian production house The Feds an international award at the MIPTV market in Cannes.

The win at the MIPFormats International Pitch comes with a 25,000 euro package from Warner Brothers to help develop the project, Zombie Boot Camp, for television and online.

Zombie Boot Camp, an Australian developed reality TV format, is a disruptive play on the endurance challenge with a morbid twist, pitting 16 contestants against each other and the end of the world in the zombie apocalypse.

The MIPFormats contest is the global pitching event for creators and producers around the world with original, non-scripted entertainment formats.

This is the second year in a row an Australian entry has won the contest and looks set to help confirm Australia as key player in the formats genre.

"This is a great recognition of the power of Australian storytelling and an illustration of the international opportunities that are available to Australian content producers," Reed Midem UK managing director, Peter Rhodes, OBE, said.

"This win is particularly significant as it sets the tone for MIPTV which features a strong Australian contingent and will be honouring Seven West Media CEO Tim Worner with the Médaille d'Honneur Award."

This years The Feds faced stiff competition in the finals from contestants from Italy and Spain and two groups from Ireland.

"This win is a testament to the rich and diverse content that is coming out of Australia right now," The Feds' founder and director of content and broadcast, Lizzy Nash, said.

AUSSIE GROUP WINS INTERNATIONAL EMMY

"The Feds are proud to be taking our innovation globally with such a supportive development partner in Warner Bros."

Zombie Boot Camp trains 16 contestants for the fight of their lives — the Zombie Apocalypse.

Every episode contestants in two teams will compete in a survival challenge, testing their skills in everything from skull protection to improvised bullets.

Big win... The Feds team celebrates the win on stage at the Palais des Festival, Cannes. Source: Supplied

The winning team will be given immunity; the losing team must choose three contestants to face the Zombies.

Two contestants will escape but the last to reach the escape hatch will be taken.

In the finale the final two will face 200 zombies including their old team members in a zombie battle.

The Feds is an Australian-based production company with a focus on developing content across all media platforms.

"This year's finalists showed a great variety of original and entertaining ideas and they all did a brilliant job pitching to our jury," Warner Bros international TV production senior vice president, creative, format development and sales, Andrew Zein, said.

"Zombie Boot Camp is definitely a unique idea! We look forward to working with production company, The Feds, on developing their format further for the international market."


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More
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