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New Project brings Rove home

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 13 Juli 2014 | 23.08

Rove McManus will host The Project / Picture: Nic Gibson Source: News Limited

AUSTRALIAN television funnyman Rove McManus is ­heading back to the network that made him a household name and will return to prime time as host of Channel 10's The Project.

Confidential can reveal the 40-year-old is expected to put his signature to a contract today and will begin his new role midway through next month. He replaces comedian Charlie Pickering, who ­announced his resignation ­earlier this year.

The marquee signing will reunite McManus with comedic mate Peter Helliar and the hugely popular Carrie Bickmore, who both found celebrity on Rove Live in the 2000s.


Senior sources at Channel 10 told The Daily Telegraph's Taylor Auerbach the contract between McManus and the network would be reviewed at the end of the year.

The offer comes as a lifeline to the three-time Gold Logie winner, whose attempts to forge a career in the ruthless US television industry have fallen flat.

His game show Riot was axed after a handful of episodes this year and previous incarnations of his chat show format, once a staple of ­Australian television screens, failed to rate.

His return to Ten is the ­second big homecoming of the year at the network, after executives announced Grant ­Denyer had signed on to host a new-look series of Family Feud. Denyer was once a V8 Supercar reporter with the network.

Matt Doran, who has been filling in on The Project panel since Pickering's departure, was also in the running to host the show full time.

It is understood Doran was left "gutted" last week when the network told him of the ­decision to go with McManus.

Senior Ten executives are excited about Rove's signing, which will likely provide a big ratings boost to the flagship show. The Project is already rating solidly and attracts a ­national audience of about 650,000 per night.

Charlie Pickering on his last night with The Project. Source: News Corp Australia

Originally published as New Project brings Rove home

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Female Yahoo exec sued for harassment

Tech giant Yahoo is standing by its executive Maria Zhang who is accused of sexual harassment. Source: Supplied

A FEMALE executive at tech giant Yahoo is being accused of coercing a staff member into having sex with her and allegedly threatening her with being fired if she didn't.

Maria Zhang allegedly pressured a female staff member, Nan Shi, into sex —but then turned on her and gave her bad performance reviews, according to a lawsuit Ms Shi has filed a lawsuit against her former boss.

Ms Shi alleges that when she reported the behaviour to Yahoo the company put her on unpaid leave and then fired her.

Reuters reported Yahoo was named as a defendant in the case.

The lawsuit says: "Zhang told [Ms Shi] she would have a bright future at Yahoo if she had sex with her. She also stated she could take away everything from her, including her job, stocks, and future if she did not do what she wanted."

In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News Ms Shi described being forced to have sex with Zhang.

"I was in a deep sleep one morning, sleeping on the sofa because she had taken my bed, when she came in without clothes on, crawled into my blanket, and woke me up, hugging me, kissing my face and neck," she said.

Yahoo tech executive Maria Zhang is being accused of sexually harassing a female colleague Source: Supplied

"I woke up and got scared; I was shocked. I said, 'what are you doing?' She said she'd liked me a long time, but I didn't feel the same toward her. I said 'come on, we're friends; I love you as a person, but not as a lover'.''

Court documents seen by the San Jose Mercury News allege Zhang forced her subordinate to work gruelling hours and write work emails in her off-time, "sometimes right after sex".

It will be alleged Zhang "coerced" Ms Shi into having oral and digital sex against her will on a number of occasions.

The two lived together for a time after Ms Shi alleged her boss "ordered" her to live with her in Yahoo housing in Sunnyvale, California.

Both women joined Yahoo last year when it bought a start-up company Ms Zhang founded.

Yahoo is supporting Zhang and has said it will "fight vigorously to clear her name" because there was " absolutely no basis or truth to the allegations against Maria Zhang".

Earlier this year the Silicon Valley Business Journal named Zhang as one of Women of Influence of 2014.

Her profile stated that "she is passionate about supporting women", and "actively mentors other women engineers".

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘Why didn’t he do it years ago?’

Reckon Thorpie's coming out isn't news? Couldn't be more wrong. Source: AP

"I knew it all along."

"Of course he's gay"

"Why didn't he just admit it years ago?"

This sums up most of the reaction to the news that Ian Thorpe is finally comfortable enough to be open about his sexuality.

Exactly. Why didn't he just come out when we all "knew" the truth years ago?

Ian Thorpe in Paris, 2003. Source: Supplied

The answer, or at least some of it, lies in the comments of an AFL commentator who thinks it's OK to use the phrase "big poofter" on national television.

Channel 7's Brian Taylor used the slur as he watched Geelong Cats superstar Harry Taylor make a 'royal wave' as he was being chaired around the field by his teammates.

Get it? He waved like a queen. What a poof.

The comment was stupid and Brian Taylor knows it. At half time he made a classic non-apology.

"In the pre-game show I said something that I regret, and I sincerely apologise in regard to Harry Taylor and anyone — and particularly Harry and any of his friends — that were offended by my remark," he said.

"I apologise for that and I sincerely regret any harm that I have caused. So, sorry for that."

It's half an apology. I'm not sorry I said it, I'm just sorry that people heard me.

It's a start, but Taylor should be sorry that he ever said the words in the first place.

AFL Legend Brian Taylor has rightly found himself in hot water. Source: Supplied

And those words are actually more revealing than he realises.

Broadcasters have a built-in warning system. It's the thing that stops a blokey footy commentator who normally might use swear words the way an artist uses a paintbrush from dropping an F-bomb on live TV.

But Taylor's warning system didn't even come close to going off when he used a vile homophobic slur on live TV.

Channel 7, to its credit, acted swiftly. Taylor was forced to make his half-hearted apology and he'll be counselled.

Some will no doubt want him sacked, but there are no winners with that outcome. He should be made to apologise properly and to understand the impact of his words.

And that's where we come back to Thorpie.

Ian Thorpe was a child when he came to international prominence.

Athens was Thorpe's second Olympics ... And he was only 21. Source: Getty Images

He may not have even had an inkling of his true sexuality when he denied it publicly.

And then he did deny it. So What next? You're stuck denying and denying, digging a bigger hole for yourself. Feeling more and more trapped, with no one on earth you can talk to.

It must have been a terrible place to be, and may go a long way to explaining the personal issues that have dogged Ian since he left the pool.

It's been suggested that Thorpie lied to us when he denied being gay for all those years.

No, he didn't.

He was on his own, deeply personal journey. A journey that even the most open-minded, tolerant person can't understand until they've been through it themself.

We'll hopefully learn more about Thorpie's journey when he sits down with Parkie on Channel 10 tonight.

The tell-all, in which Thorpie finally tells all. Source: Channel 10

It's also been suggested that this isn't "news". Thorpie's a great athlete and an Australian legend and that's all that matters.

That's true, but Thorpie's news is still 'news' in every sense of the word.

It's news for the next gay kid who has to deal with the unbelievable pressure of being the best at something.

It's news for the gay kid who idolised Thorpie and has been struggling for years with his or her own demons.

Most importantly, it's news for the Brian Taylors of this world that you can still be a big poofter and an Australian hero.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Will you be targeted by Tax Office?

CHEATING taxpayers who fail to take out private health insurance and then cook the books to escape penalty will be targeted for the first time.

The Australian Tax Office-led attack, which has about 400,000 Australians in its crosshairs, could save taxpayers millions of dollars.

SUCK IT UP: Best not to complain about Medicare Levy increase

EXTRA SCRUTINY: ATO zeros in on tax avoiders

Medicare will be requested to hand over data from last year and from the next two years to determine who has claimed an exemption from the surcharge. The information will be cross-referenced with tax returns.

Most taxpayers who don't have private health insurance face a penalty – a Medicare levy surcharge of up to 1.5 per cent of taxable income. Australians are required to take out private health insurance once their income reaches a certain threshold.

An ATO spokesman said it was the first time the Medicare levy exemption certificate was being sought from the Human Services Department, and the operation would be targeted rather than random.

"Taxpayers could incorrectly claim an exemption from the Medicare levy surcharge in their tax return,'' he said.

"This program is aimed at reducing the risk of taxpayers claiming the exemption when they are not entitled to do so."

"This program is called the Medicare Levy Exemption Certificate data matching program and its purpose is to ensure taxpayers are not unfairly avoiding their obligations with paying the Medicare levy and in certain situations this extends to their Medicare levy surcharge.

"It's objectives are to ensure taxpayers who are exempt from the Medicare levy are receiving their entitled exemption; to ensure taxpayers not entitled to the exemption are not unfairly avoiding their taxation obligations; to promote voluntary compliance and strengthen community confidence in the integrity of the tax system and to provide possible opportunities to satisfy the ATO's wider compliance," the ATO spokesman said.

"(We will) cross reference information reported in tax returns against transactions provided to us by third parties.''

Medicare issues about 130,000 exemption certificates each year. Taxpayers may be exempt from paying the levy if they have medical reasons, are foreign residents or live on Norfolk Island.

A Human Services spokesman said under the arrangement with the ATO it would automatically share information about who had an exemption.

Originally published as Will you be targeted by Tax Office?
23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘The pool was full of blood’

Would you have a go at the Vertigo? A 100 kilometer an hour water slide that has seen tourists injured.

Aqualandia in the Spanish resort of Benidorm Source: Supplied

IT'S a thrillseeker's worst nightmare.

A theme park outing went horribly wrong in Spain when a British tourist, Jamie Norman, had his face smashed open while riding a waterslide at Aqualandia, in the resort of Benidorm.

He had been standing in a capsule 33 metres high and it was on his third go that things went wrong. The slide is designed so riders fall down the steep slide, through a trapdoor, and into the water.

But that's not what happened.

Instead a trapdoor failed to open all the way and Mr Norman fell through, crushing his face, legs and arm against it.

The 27-year-old told the The Mirror: "I could have been killed. If I'd been knocked unconscious I could have lost control and fallen and drowned in the pool. I took an almighty crack on my face."

Mr Norman knew something was wrong because the trapdoor didn't clonk when it opened like it had previously.

The Vertigo waterslide where people drop 33m down a steep slide into the water. Source: Supplied

"As I fell I felt it scrape all down my legs and arms and then smack into my face. When I got to the bottom the pool was full of blood."

He told the newspaper that only 10 minutes after the incident the ride was back operating. He believed the staff were more interested in getting him out of the park.

"I was obviously quite distressed but they just said, 'We'll sew you up'. I was treated by an on-site doctor — they didn't bother calling an ambulance or anything.

"A guy turned up who said he was the second manager. He just offered me free tickets for the zoo as he ushered us to the exit."

Big drop — British tourist Jamie Norman fell 33m down this water slide but scrapped past a trap door that hadn't fully opened. Source: Supplied

The incident Mr Norman prompted him to rethink his attitude towards safety. Until now he thought standards in the United Kingdom were too strict but "over there it's something else".

"Just look at my face. How could they say that ride was safe? It ruined the holiday, I was covered in scabs, stitches and bandages."

A spokesman for Aqualandia told The Mirror they made "exhaustive checks" on all their equipment, each day.

"We would never open — or reopen — a ride that wasn't safe."

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Corpse falls out of coroner’s van

Left behind ... Jerry Bradley snapped a photo of the corpse in the midst of traffic, later posting it online. Picture: Facebook Source: Supplied

A US man waiting at traffic lights was startled to see a stretcher fall from the back of a coroner's vehicle into the street, apparently with a corpse strapped to it.

Jerry Bradley was coming out of a Pennsylvania shopping centre when he saw the stretcher come out of the van and end up in the middle of the traffic, LevittownNow.com reports.

"At first I thought someone was pulling a prank, but traffic was just driving around," he said.

Mr Bradley saw what appeared to be a body in a bag, covered by a sheet and strapped to the stretcher. He snapped a photograph and then went to assist.

"I helped a woman from the coroner's office get it out of the road, as it appeared to be broken a little," Mr Bradley said.

Mr Bradley later posted the photo to Facebook, where is has been shared more than 1600 hundred times. "Weird thing was the coroner staff drove up the street and parked 2 blocks away," Mr Bradley writes on Facebook. "I helped her get the stretcher our of street. Then she wheeled it up to dunkin doughnuts and loaded it back in her truck."

The Bucks County Coroner's office later released a statement, explaining a "rear door mechanical malfunction had taken place during the transport of a deceased individual.

"The driver immediately knew that this malfunction occurred," they added. "The driver of the transport vehicle returned to make the transport complete, with the help of a bystander and in a matter of moments. Care was taken to respect the deceased individual in this instance."

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘I’m proud to be a gay man’

Swimming hero Ian Thorpe confirms his sexuality for the first time to veteran British interviewer Sir Michael Parkinson. Courtesy: Channel 10

With no question off limits, Sir Michael Parkinson CBE explores the private and sometimes troubled world of Ian Thorpe OAM.

Swimmer Ian Thorpe of Australia speaks with reporters during a press conference near the Olympic Stadium in London. Picture: AFP / file Source: AFP

IT'S the interview revelation that had Australia clapping their hands for Ian Thorpe the champion once more.

After years of public denials and endless speculation surrounding his sexuality, the Olympic swimming champion has finally opened up and revealed the truth – he is gay.

In a TV tell-all on Channel 10, Thorpe, 31, sat down with British talk show legend Sir Michael Parkinson and bravely addressed the question that has dogged him for years.




Parkinson asked Thorpe when he was first faced with the question of his sexuality – he recalled that he was just 16 years old.

Ian Thorpe with one of his many gold medals. Source: AFP

"You've always said that you're not gay, you've always said that your sexual experiences have been with women. Is all of that true?"

"Well that's true, but I've thought about this for a long time. I'm not straight and this is only something that very recently - we're talking in the past two weeks - I've been comfortable telling the closest people around me."

"I've wanted to [come out] for some time, but I couldn't, I didn't feel as though I could. The problem was, I was asked at such a young age about my sexuality.

Sir Michael Parkinson interviews Ian Thorpe in a world exclusive on Channel 10. Source: Channel 10

"What happened was, I felt that the lie had become so big that I didn't want people to question my integrity and a little bit of ego comes into this. I didn't want people to think that I had lied about everything.

"I'm comfortable saying I'm a gay man. And I don't want people to feel the same way I did. You can grow up, you can be comfortable and you can be gay."

Swimmers (L-R) Ian Thorpe, Grant Hackett & Michael Klim cheer home teammate Kowalski during final leg before winning final of 4x200 freestyle relay at World Championships in Perth, 13/01/98. Source: News Corp Australia

"A part of me didn't know if Australia wanted its champion to be gay. I am telling not only Australia I'm telling the world that I am and I hope this makes it easier for others now."

The Australian icon added that upon telling family and friends they admitted they had their suspicions but have been incredibly supportive. "I'm pleased to say in telling them, especially my parents, they love me, and they support me.

"I am telling the world that I am gay … and I hope this makes it easier for others now, and even if you've held it in for years, it feels easier to get it out."

The record-breaker admitted that he is ashamed he didn't come out earlier but said that he didn't have the courage or the strength to "break the lie".

Swimmer Ian Thorpe raises his arm after winning final of men's 400 freestyle at World Championships in Perth, 15/01/98. Picture: Gregg Porteous. Source: News Corp Australia

In the remainder of the hour-long interview with Parkinson, the man we all know and love is devastatingly candid about his injuries, including a broken shoulder that may never allow him to swim again, and his demons which have taken their toll on the champ over the years.

"I had depression before I was 19, he admitted. "I had it growing up but the severity of it really hit me then… I knew I was a little bit different but there were times that I just wasn't happy… It was this lethargy that followed me that I didn't understand and with all of those kind of achievements I didn't understand why I wasn't completely over the moon."

The five-time Olympic gold medalist revealed he began taking antidepressants at the age of 18: "I knew that I needed to have something that was a safety net for me," he said.

Thorpe says he did seek help but kept his illness from his family and swim team. "Anti-depressants removed the worst part of where you can go to with depression such as suicide but they also dulled the good times," he said.

Ian Thorpe, Australian swimmer, during a portrait session at the office of his book publisher Simon and Schuster, Bloomsbury, London on November 8 2012 (Photo by Tom Jenkins) Source: Getty Images

He then turned to alcohol when he realised that antidepressants weren't working for him. "It becomes cyclical. You start to drink, you start to self-medicate and I kind of felt that it was unfair, that I was doing the right thing taking my antidepressants. And so I tried drinking."

Thorpe admitted he should have opened up to his friends but he says he was trying to protect them.

"I didn't want to share my problems with people and I didn't want anyone else to know that I'm unhappy because I'm living what is, you know, the dream life for an Australian. I should be having the time of my life, and I'm not."

When talking of his depression the once-fastest swimmer alive admitted there were days when he couldn't even get out of bed and often turned up to the pool for training hung-over.

"I have to say that turning up with a hangover is a lot easier than what it was to turn up feeling completely depressed and forcing yourself out of bed," he said.

On his suicidal thoughts, he clarified: "I believe there is a difference in thinking about suicide and then actually contemplating suicide," adding: "I couldn't deal with leaving friends and family, I couldn't do it to them."

Sitting opposite Parkinson, Thorpie looks tired and older than his 31 years but his huge frame dressed all in black towers over the talk-show personality, reminding us all what a formidable force he still is.

And he's not ready to give up on his "intimate relationship with swimming" just yet.

"I want to be able to swim. I've gone through a period where I loathe swimming and I wanted nothing to do with it. I've reflected on it and I do want to swim again, and I'll do my darnedest to get there again," he assured, hinting at a future in the pool, coaching youngsters.

Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe poses at the Pan Pacific Hotel on November 1, 2011 in Singapore. Source: Getty Images

"If I was to take on some other projects, it would be with top swimmers and give them an insight into what swimming is for me."

From the very beginning Ian Thorpe was a "winner". Even as a youngster he surpassed his friends, his competitors and his rivals.

He went on to win five Olympic gold medals, break 22 world records and win the hearts of a nation.

Thorpie's admission that he is gay has unsurprisingly been met by a flood of support from the public on social media, both in Australia and across the world.

The hashtag #onyathorpie began trending on Twitter over the weekend.

Thorpe concludes the incredibly emotional interview by telling Parkinson that he would love a career in television and is looking forward to working with Ten during the Commonwealth Games.. "I much prefer the chair that you're sitting in," he told Parkinson.

"I look at my life, I've made mistakes but I've made good choices with my life and I think I've got back to one of the core values which is most important to me, which is my honesty and my integrity. This is one thing that I value more than anything else and I've just offered it to people."

For support and information about depression contact Lifeline on 13114 beyondblue on 1300224636 Mental Health Line on 1800 011 511 MensLine Australia on 1300 78 99 78.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Is ‘lonely’ polar bear going crazy?

Baking heat ... Experts fear the solitude and the soaring temperatures are getting to Arturo. Picture: Youtube Source: Supplied

ANIMAL campaigners are seriously worried about the mental health of a polar bear in an Argentine zoo, saying he is lonely, depressed and showing signs of going insane.

Arturo is the last polar bear in Argentina and has been on his own his pen at the Mendoza Zoo since his companion died two years ago.

Experts fear the solitude and the soaring temperatures (it can reach up to 40C in the summer months) are getting to him, the Independent reported.

They say his behaviour has become "abnormal" with the animal filmed pacing back and forth, swaying his head from side to side and bearing his teeth.

Lonely ... Arturo is the last polar bear in Argentina. Picture: Youtube Source: Supplied

An online petition on Change.org calling for Arturo to be moved to a zoo in Canada where the temperatures are more in line with his natural habitat has attracted 25,000 signatures.

But despite pressure from protesters experts say the 25-year-old bear is too old and fragile to make the journey north.

Campaigners, however, dismissed this evaluation and said the bear needed to be moved to avoid a similar fate to Winner, a polar bear from Argentina's Buenos Aires City Zoo, who was killed by the high temperatures in a heatwave that hit the city in 2012.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More
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