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The best recipes from MasterChef

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 27 Juli 2014 | 23.08

Masterchef is down to three contestants - Brent, Emelia and Laura -who will battle it out in the season finale over two nights, starting 7:30PM Sunday on Ten.

Best cooking seen on TV show ... George Calombaris with top three contestants Laura, Brent and Emilia at Calombaris' Press Club in Melbourne Picture: Martin Philbey Source: News Corp Australia

HE says it has been hands down the best cooking they've ever had on the show.

Now, on the eve of the MasterChef Australia finale and after tasting hundreds of dishes, George Calombaris nominates the five favourite things he ate during the show shown on Network Ten this year.

MASTERCHEF: Jamie Fleming 'absolutely devasted' in not making final three

Classic cooking ... Sarah Todd's Apple stuffed chicken roulade with carrot puree and crisp salad. Source: Supplied

Sarah Todd's Apple stuffed chicken roulade with carrot puree and crisp salad

George says: "I am a sucker for classic cooking. This year Sarah really demonstrated some great classic technique. I love this dish as it was classic in technique but modern in interpretation. Delicious as well."

Serves 4


2 small whole chickens

150g butter

2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

300g Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated

90g mushroom, finely chopped

12 sprigs thyme

12 slices pancetta

2 tbsp oil

4 carrots, 1 roughly chopped, 2 peeled and grated and 1 peeled and thinly sliced

2 stalks celery, 1 roughly chopped and 1 thinly sliced

5 onions, 1 roughly chopped

500ml chicken stock

½ cup flour

½ teaspoon chilli powder

1/3 cup milk

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Preheat water bath to 60C. Preheat deep fryer to 170C.

2. Remove breasts from chicken, discard skin. Remove thigh meat from skin and bones, cut into 1.5cm pieces and reserve. Roughly chop carcass and bones and reserve.

3. To make the roulade stuffing, place 2 tbsp butter in a frying pan and set over medium heat. Once melted, add shallots, apple, mushrooms and 4 sprigs thyme and cook until softened. Remove from heat.

4. Butterfly chicken breasts. Lay down pancetta slices on a piece of plastic wrap and top with chicken breast. Add stuffing and roll tightly. Place in water bath and cook until just cooked through, about 35 mins.

5. To make the sauce, place 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan and set over high heat. Add chicken bones and carcass and cook until brown. Add roughly chopped carrot, celery and onion and cook until browned. Add stock and 6 sprigs thyme and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer, skimming fat from top occasionally until reduced, about 40 mins. Remove from heat and strain into a clean saucepan. Add 80g cold, diced butter and whisk until melted. Set aside, keeping warm.

6. Peel remaining 4 onions and cut into flowers by making cuts all the way around but not all the way through. Place in the oven to bake until charred on the ends.

7. Place grated carrot, 40g butter, 2 sprigs thyme and ¾ cup water in a saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook until carrot is soft. Remove from heat, transfer to a blender and process to a smooth puree. Pass through a sieve into a clean saucepan, season and set aside.

8. Place flour, 1 tsp salt and chilli powder in a bowl and stir to combine. Place the milk in a bowl. Dip chicken thigh pieces in flour mix then milk then back in flour to coat.

9. Place chicken, carrot and celery in deep fryer to fry until golden. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel.

10. Place 1 tbsp oil in a fry pan and set over medium heat. Remove chicken from plastic wrap and place in fry pan. Fry until browned on all sides. Remove from heat and allow to rest.

11. To serve, slice chicken and place on serving plates. Add carrot puree, onion flower, crispy chicken, carrot and celery salad and drizzle with sauce.

Concept dish ... Emelia Jackson's Herb and garlic snails with a squid ink parmesan crumb. Source: Supplied

Emelia Jackson's Herb and garlic snails with a squid ink parmesan crumb

George says: "OMG, this dish that Emelia cooked was so yum! For me the parmesan crumbs were so delicious. Concept dishes can look great but taste ordinary. This dish took you there and tasted even better!"

Serves 4


50g parmesan cheese

50g plain flour

105g butter

20g squid ink

¼ bunch coriander, roughly chopped

¼ bunch parsley, roughly chopped

¼ bunch basil, roughly chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 x 200g jar snails and their shells

2 bunches asparagus, tips only

100 grams enoki mushrooms, tops only

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. To make the parmesan "soil", place parmesan cheese, flour, 30g butter and squid ink in a food processor and process until a coarse crumb. Transfer to an oven tray and place in the oven to bake until firm, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer to a food processor and process to a coarse crumb, set aside.

3. Increase oven to 200C.

4. To make compound butter, place herbs, garlic, shallot, lemon juice, 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, remaining 75g butter and 1 tsp salt in a food processor and process until well combined.

5. Fit snails back into shells and top with 1 tsp compound butter. Place on a shallow oven tray and place in the oven to bake until butter melts and the snails are warmed through, about 4 minutes.

6. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus tips and cook just until bright green, remove from water and place in iced water until cooled. Remove from iced water, pat dry and drizzle with remaining tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.

7. To serve, spread some parmesan "soil" on each plate. Stand up asparagus tips and enoki mushrooms. Add snails, spoon over extra melted butter from cooking tray and season to taste.

Inspired by heston's presence ... Amy Shields' Surf 'n' Turf. Source: Supplied

Amy Shields' Surf 'n' Turf

"The pressure of Heston rocking up in your house would put the best chefs off their breakfast. But for Amy, she lifted and produced a cracker dish of surf and turf," George says. "I loved the flavour and the honesty of the dish and the ability not to over-think the dish just because Heston was in da house."

Serves 4



2 large onions, peeled and thickly sliced

½ bunch thyme

2 cups beef stock

1.2kg pork belly, skin scored

2 tsp olive oil



1 cup beef stock

3 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 cup dry white wine

Juice of 1 lemon

100g butter, cubed

2 tbsp cream

½ cup finely chopped parsley

White Bean Puree

1 tbsp olive oil

3 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 x 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

½ cup chicken stock

2 tbsp cream

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

Juice ½ lemon

To serve

2 tbsp olive oil

12 spears asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3

12 scallops

salt and pepper, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 160C.

2. To roast the pork, place the onions, thyme and beef stock in a large roasting pan. Place the pork on top of onions. Rub olive oil into the pork skin and sprinkle with salt. Place in the oven and cook for 1.5 hours. Increase oven temperature to 200C and continue to roast until meat is tender, about another 45 minutes. Change oven to grill setting and grill pork until skin is crunchy, about 3 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest.

3. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, place the stock, shallots, garlic and wine in a saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Allow to simmer until reduced by half. Add lemon juice and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat, strain into a clean saucepan, season and set aside.

4. To make the bean puree, place olive oil in a saucepan and set over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook until translucent. Add cannellini beans and the stock and simmer, uncovered, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender. Add cream, mustard and lemon juice and process until smooth. Set aside, keeping warm

6. Place asparagus on a baking tray. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in the oven to roast until just tender, about 8 minutes.

7. Place 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and place over high heat. Add scallops and cook until caramelised but still rare inside, about 30 seconds per side.

8. To finish the sauce, place over medium heat. Once warm, add butter, one cube at a time, whisking, until well combined. Add cream and parsley and whisk to combine.

9. To serve, carve pork into slices and place on serving plates. Add a spoonful of bean puree, 3 scallops and some roasted asparagus. Drizzle with wine, herb sauce and season with salt and pepper.

"Nailed our sensory dining experience" ... Ben Macdonald's Campfire' rib eye with charred leeks, potato in squid ink and smoked anchovies. Source: Supplied

Ben Macdonald's "Campfire" (rib eye steak with charred leeks, potatoes in squid ink and smoked anchovies)

"Ben hit the nail on the head regarding a concept dish that nailed our sensory dining experience. In saying that, the dish tasted delicious. Everything looked burnt but tasted sweet and meaty. Loved it!"


Serves 4

2 beetroot

110 ml olive oil

2 leeks, washed

2 tsp miso soup powder

2 x 400 gram rib eye steaks

8 sprigs thyme

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

190g butter

8 anchovies in oil

750ml red wine

1 carrot, roughly chopped

1 celery stick, roughly chopped

500ml beef stock

4 shallots, cut in half lengthways and peeled

4 potatoes

3 tbsp squid ink

1 tbsp mirin

12 black olives, pitted and finely chopped

Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 200C. Preheat sous vide machine to 56C.

2. Place each beetroot on a piece of foil. Drizzle each with a tsp of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap foil around beetroot and place in the oven to roast until tender, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and set aside, still wrapped in foil to keep warm.

3. To make the leek "twigs", cut white part of 1 leek into fine matchsticks and place on a paper-lined baking tray, in a single layer. Place in the oven to bake until dark brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

4. Roughly chop green part of 2 leeks and lay in a single layer on a baking tray. Place in the oven to roast until a deep, dark brown, about 30 minutes.

5. Place roasted green leeks into a sieve and crush over a bowl to collect powder. Add miso soup powder to the bowl, stir to combine and set aside.

6. Place each steak in a sous vide bag with 2 sprigs of thyme, a garlic clove and 20g butter in each. Place in sous vide machine and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from water and set aside.

7. Place the anchovies in a small bowl, add smoke using a smoking gun filled with hickory chips. Cover and allow to smoke for 5 minutes. Remove anchovies from bowl, chop into 5mm lengths, return to bowl and set aside.

8. To make the sauce, place the red wine in a saucepan and set over medium heat. Allow to boil until reduced to 100ml.

9. Meanwhile, place 2 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan and set over high heat. Roughly chop remaining white part of leek and add to hot oil with carrot and celery. Cook until brown, add beef stock and 4 sprigs thyme and allow to boil until reduced to about 100ml. Remove from heat, strain and add to reduced red wine. Set aside.

10. Place 20g butter in a frying pan and set over medium heat. Once melted, add shallots, cut-side down and cook until browned. Transfer to the oven and cook until soft, about another 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

11. Peel potatoes and cut into irregular "charcoal like" shapes. Using an apple corer or small cutter, cut some into cylindrical shapes.

12. Place 100g butter and 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and set over medium-high heat. Once butter has melted, add potatoes and fry until lightly brown on outside and tender inside. Add squid ink and agitate pan to coat potatoes in ink until they resemble coal. Remove from heat and set aside, covered to keep warm.

13. To finish the steak, remove steaks from sous vide bags and cut each in half to resemble pieces of wood. Place 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and set over high heat. Once hot, add steak and fry until brown, about 1-2 minutes each side, or to your liking. Remove from heat and set aside to rest.

14. To finish the sauce, return saucepan to a medium heat. Add the mirin and allow to boil for 5 minutes. Add remaining 30g butter and whisk in until emulsified. Season to taste.

15. To serve, unwrap, peel, and slice each beetroot into 6 slices. Arrange 3 slices on each serving plate. Scatter some olives, anchovies and potatoes on the beetroot. Place steak pieces in reserved bowl of powder and toss to coat. Add coated steaks to each plate. Top steak with leek "twigs". Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover each plate with a cloche. Using a smoking gun, fill cloche with smoke. Serve with sauce on the side.

Simple Italian cooking ... Laura Cassai's Seared tuna with anchovies & tomato reduction, salsa verde and toasted chestnuts. Source: Supplied

Laura Cassai's Seared tuna with anchovies & tomato reduction, salsa verde and toasted chestnuts

George says: "I love Laura's cooking. It's honest and it has stayed true to its origin since she entered the competition. It's simple Italian cooking but done well. She cooked the tuna perfectly and the addition of the anchovies made the dish complete."

Serves 4

10 (160g) chestnuts

1⁄2 bunch coriander

1⁄2 bunch parsley

1⁄2 bunch dill

1 clove garlic

1⁄2 cup olive oil plus more for frying

2 tbsp capers, drained, rinsed and dried

2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped

8 cherry tomatoes plus more for garnish

1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar

2 x 2cm thick tuna steaks

3 radishes, thinly sliced on mandolin

Baby basil leaves, for garnish

Grated orange zest, for garnish

Grated lemon zest, for garnish

Salt, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 200C.

2. Score chestnuts and place on a baking tray. Place in the oven to roast until skin starts to open and peel away, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven, peel and slice and set aside.

3. To make the salsa verde, place coriander, parsley, dill, garlic and 1⁄2 cup olive oil in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.

4. Place 2 tsp olive oil in a frying pan and set over medium heat. Add capers and fry until crisp. Remove from heat and set aside on paper towel.

5. Place 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan and set over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until translucent. Add anchovies and cook until browned. Add tomatoes and stir to combine. Add red wine vinegar and stir to deglaze pan. Remove from heat and set aside.

6. Place 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan and set over medium-high heat. Add tuna and sear until golden, about 1 minute on both sides. Remove from frying pan, season and set aside to rest.

7. To serve, thinly slice rested tuna and place on serving plates. Add sliced chestnuts, radishes, capers, and shallot mix. Drizzle with salsa verde and garnish with basil leaves, orange and lemon zest.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

GP-Yes! Ricciardo storms home

AUSTRALIAN Daniel Ricciardo won the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday, his second triumph of the season, in a sensational race in which Lewis Hamilton ignored team orders to let championship leader Nico Rosberg go by.

Ricciardo, who also took the Canadian Grand Prix, came first ahead of Fernando Alonso of Ferrari in a race in which rain caused several crashes.

Britain's former world champion Hamilton was third and his Mercedes teammate Rosberg fourth. Mercedes had urged Hamilton to let Rosberg overtake in the closing stages.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Usain’s insane interview

Track star Usain Bolt has been asked a series of bizarre questions in a press conference after arriving in Glasgow for his first Commonwealth Games.

The world's fastest man Usain Bolt couldn't get out of the Commonwealth Games press conference quick enough. Source: AFP

AND this is why journalists get a bad reputation.

Usain Bolt, one of the biggest stars in world sport, rocks into town and they ask him about ... Gaza? About the Scottish referendum?

Come on, man.

The Jamaican six-time Olympic champion was holding his first press conference since arriving in Glasgow as the only bona fide global superstar of the Commonwealth Games.

But rather than treat Bolt with respect, the press made a mockery of the situation.

MORE: Day three Commonwealth Games wrap

Usain Bolt reacts to a question at his first press conference in Glasgow. Source: Getty Images

"You'll be aware that the Commonwealth Games are the friendly Games, with a subtext of human rights," one journalist began.

"In the past, the Israel and Palestine territories have tried to join the Commonwealth.

"You're a man of the world. What is your view?"

The look says it all. Source: Getty Images

A bemused Bolt responded: "The view on what situation?"

"The situation in Gaza and Israel right now," the journalist added.

Bolt raised his hands in the air.

"For me, I hear about it but I don't really follow politics so I can't really comment unless I have the full details."

Then it was a Scottish journalist's turn to make a fool of herself.

"Can I just ask you what your opinion is of an independence referendum on Scotland coming up in a couple of months' time. Have you got any thoughts?"

Bolt laughed.

"I didn't even know that. I'm sorry."

Bolt poses with local children and the Commonwealth Games mascot. Source: AFP

Bolt arrived on stage with local schoolkids and the Games mascot, all of them performing his trademark pose in unison.

But it was the journos who stole the show with the ridiculous questioning.

Channel 10 reporter Roz Kelly also copped heat on social media for asking for a selfie with Bolt.

When the questions finally turned to what is relevant – whether or not he would be competing at the Games – Bolt confirmed he would run in the 4x100m relay.

"For me it was very important (to be here)," Bolt said.

"I will be running in the heats of the relay because I need the runs, this is my first run for the season so I really need to get it going."

And his expectation of his first visit of Glasgow?

"A lot of rain maybe and seeing a lot of kilts around the place."

The world's fastest man could not get out of that press conference quick enough.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Best and worst things about The Block

The host of The Block, Scott Cam takes you through the upcoming season of the hit show.

Michael and Carlene – Married for seven years and have two young kids. Source: Supplied

IT'S back ... already. Another series of the popular renovation show has begun so here is a quick rundown of what we'll be faced with this time around.

Five teams will renovate a huge, old office building into a set of luxury apartments in one of Melbourne's trendiest suburbs – Prahan. Channel Nine has obviously found a formula that works for them thanks to the success of the last series and favourite glamour couple Kyal and Kara, because this time around all the teams are incredibly genetically blessed.

So who are they? Here are the Cliff Notes:

Jenna and Chris. Source: Supplied

Jenna and Chris – Young, fun couple who mentor kids through a church program. These guys look green. They have apartment 2, which has no external windows but to make up for that they have the biggest apartment and a rooftop terrace.

Michael and Carlene Source: Supplied

Michael and Carlene – Married for seven years and have two young kids. These guys are ambitious and driven.

Karstan and Maxine Source: Supplied

Karstan and Maxine – Glamour couple who met online. He is a coal worker and she is in events. These guys will cause some trouble. Karstan and Maxine's apartment has city views but is the third biggest apartment.

Darren and Deanne Source: Supplied

Darren and Deanne – Locals from Melbourne, married for eight years and have two daughters. Their home looks beautiful, so Dee obviously has style. Darren was an AFL player. You might remember him - Darren Jolly? Darren and Dee have the sought-after northerly aspect but they do have the smallest apartment in size.

Shannon and Simon Source: Supplied

Shannon and Simon – Voss brothers and surfer dudes from Sydney who will be the comedy duo. The brothers are in the second largest apartment and they have a terrace.

The best thing about The Block this year is it's huge! This is going to be one mammoth build - the 70sq-metre storage in the garage is bigger than most apartments and the couples will also have to dismantle an old office building as well which is a bit of fun.

Most of the couples have skills in trades with a plumber, a painter and a couple of carpenters so they should be some pretty amazing pads once they are finished.

We should expect some big wins on auction day this year thanks to the location of the apartments in Melbourne, too.

The worst thing is the antics they use to get a rise out of the contestants. Just like last season, some of the jokes are cringe-worthy such as the cheeseathon that was the first half-hour where Scotty tried to pretend to the teams that they were really in the Channel Nine offices. Plus, lines like this, "These Block babies need to be taught some Block discipline." And we haven't even seen Keith yet!

Also it's always a little uncomfortably creepy watching cameramen peer in on the couples while they're in their pyjamas in bed and the good old product placements are back as well. The blue boots all the contestants have been given make them look like a Smurf brigade.

But hey, it's The Block and no amount of Suzuki Swift mentions or bad puns will put us off. Let's settle in for 10 weeks of muscle tees, 3am painting parties, Keith death stares and all round renovating hell. In other words: prepare for TV bliss.

What did you think of the first episode? Share your thoughts below or chat to us on Twitter or Facebook.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘I almost quit in week one’

She was close to quitting ... now MasterChef's Emelia Jackson has been eliminated from the competition. Source: Supplied

MAKING it to the final three on MasterChef almost didn't happen for Emilia Jackson, who admits she came close to walking out of the cooking competition in the first week.

The 24-year-old Melbourne marketing assistant was sent home on Sunday night in a nailbiting judges' decision, leaving Brent Owens and Laura Cassai to face each other in the grand finale on Monday night.

JAMIE FLEMING 'absolutely devastated' at missing the MasterChef finale by a matter of days

But Emilia has revealed her exit could've happened sooner, with the heat in the kitchen becoming too much to handle just days in.

"I was going in to challenges and choking," Emelia said.

"Being constantly judged is hard to adjust to, and I really struggled. I couldn't handle some of the feedback I was getting.

"It reached a point where I wondered why I was putting myself through the stress."

Then there were two ... MasterChef final three Laura Cassai, Brent Owens and Emelia Jackson. Source: Channel 10

Determined to give it a go, Emelia set herself a deadline of six weeks, after which time she'd pack her bags and quit the Channel Ten competition if things hadn't improved.

"I considered walking away but gave it a go. Thankfully, I was in love with it by week three."

Emelia's growing confidence was rewarded with praise from the judges and a spot in the top three.

However that confidence was at times misjudged, with viewers on occasion criticising her for appearing smug.

When she heard about some of the things being said on social media, Emelia imposed a ban on reading the comments.

"I'm aware it can be quite negative so I've tried to stay away from it. I've heard about some of the comments. It doesn't really bother me because I know who I am as a person. I'm confident with who I am."

Suck it up ... Emelia has been booted, leaving Laura and Brent to battle it out, Source: Channel 10

A positive to come out of Sunday's emotional elimination for Emelia was a shock offer from judge George Calombaris to work in his restaurant, The Press Club.

"That was pretty incredible! I really wasn't expecting it all. It was a huge accolade for me."

Not wasting any time, she has worked a few casual shifts in the kitchen's pastry section already.

"I really loved it. It's an amazing team and everyone is very supportive."

Brent and Laura will battle it out on Monday night for the title of MasterChef winner.

23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Aussie bid to reach MH17 stalls

Australia has increased its number of officials on the way to the crash site of MH17. The team of 230, comprising 190 federal police and defence personnel, including medical specialists, are either in Ukraine or on the way.

Last remains ... Soldiers carry coffins of victims at Eindhoven military airport. Picture: Vincent Jannink Source: AFP

HOPES Australian Federal Police officers would be deployed to the MH17 crash site in Ukraine are on ice tonight after the mission leaders said the area was too dangerous.

The first 11 unarmed officers were to have been part of a Dutch-led humanitarian mission, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said this afternoon.

While acknowledging it would be a risky mission, Mr Abbott reiterated the message that it would be a primarily police operation, with just a small military contingent.

"Our objective is to get in, get cracking and to get out," he told reporters in Canberra.

But the Netherlands' security and justice department tonight said the situation is too unstable for a large contingent to carry out its work.

"The team of 30 Dutch forensic experts currently has no safe passage to the crash site," the department said in a statement. "Because of fighting in the region the situation is still too unstable to safely go to the crash site to work."

The department said the Dutch team was remaining in the the rebel-controlled city of Donetsk.

'Get in and get out' ... PM Tony Abbott addresses reporters this afternoon on the Australian police mission to the MH17 site. Source: News Corp Australia

Russian-backed separatists — who are believed to have shot the plane down, killing 298, more than a week ago — in control of the area around the crash site in Ukraine have agreed to allow an unarmed international police team to recover more bodies and start a forensic examination of wreckage.

But the Ukraine army is beginning an assault on the separatists, ramping up the dangers.

The Dutch-Australian mission is search for unrecovered bodies and remains and conduct a forensic examination of the crash site. The team will stay as long as possible to do a professional job, but it should take no longer than two to three weeks.

"We don't want to be there any longer than is absolutely necessary," Mr Abbott said.

The prime minister stressed the mission was solely humanitarian and had "absolutely nothing" to do with the politics of eastern Europe.

"Others can get involved if they wish ... our whole and sole purpose is to claim our dead and bring them home," he said.

The 170 AFP cops are part of a team of 230, also comprising defence personnel and medical specialists, either in Ukraine or on the way, who have been awaiting permission from that country's parliament to enter the site.

Tragic scene ... Angela Rudhart-Dyczynski and Jerzy Dyczynsk from Australia react as they arrive at the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 to look for their late 25 years old daughter Fatima. Source: AFP

Sending armed defence personnel into a war zone has been criticised by some, with one unnamed senior defence source telling Fairfax newspapers the operation should be a civilian one.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said "a number'' of those in the operation would be armed, but she would not say how many.

``But the main focus is on having police investigators, those who are expert in body identification and those who are expert in investigations, Dutch and Australian at this stage (on the site),'' she told Network Ten, stressing that it remained a non-threatening operation.

The PM's special envoy former Air Chief Marshal Houston also this morning described attempts to secure the site and retrieve the remaining bodies from the Malaysia Airlines plane that crashed more than a week ago, killing 298, as a humanitarian operation.

Long search ... members of the Ukrainian State Emergency Service search for bodies in a field near the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), in Donetsk region. Source: AFP

"I think it is going to be very important to posture a non-aggressive, non-threatening force so that nobody will interfere with it.''

Several other countries affected by the disaster have voiced support for an armed force and have offered resources and personnel.

Ms Bishop is pushing for the Ukrainian parliament to ratify a deployment agreement, which would allow arms for self-defence, at a special sitting on Tuesday.

She said any delay following the collapse of Ukraine's governing coalition was unacceptable.

The foreign minister was speaking in Amsterdam, near where the bodies recovered from the MH17 crash site have been taken for identification.


Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said she had yet to receive a briefing from the government on the latest developments.

"We have gone out of our way, as a Labor opposition, to be supportive of the government's efforts,'' she told ABC TV.

"We think that this is a time for national unity.''


CBS News early today reported unreleased data from one of MH17's black box flight recorders show "findings consistent with the plane's fuselage being hit multiple times by shrapnel from a missile explosion."

The report has been widely repeated by other media but relies on an unnamed "European air safety official" who described the finding as "massive explosive decompression."

The two black boxes were handed over by pro-Russian rebels last week.


The last of the MH17 bodies that were trained out of eastern Ukraine have arrived in the Netherlands to be met with quiet applause from more than 300 grieving relatives.

Thirty-eight coffins were transported from Kharkiv to Eindhoven air base on Saturday aboard an Australian C17 Globemaster and a Dutch C130 Hercules.

The same C17 had earlier carried more than 100 unarmed Australian police in the other direction. The batch of Federal Police, who had been in London, left on the C17 on the outward bound flight to Kharkiv to help secure the safety of forensic investigators at the crash site.

Memorial ... People travelling through Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, Holland, lay floral tributes to remember the victims of Flight MH17. Picture by Ben Stevens / i-Images Source: News Corp Australia

The Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop attended the final repatriation of these bodies into the Netherlands early this morning. It is believed Ms Bishop also farewelled the Australian police earlier in the day in an operation that was kept under wraps.

As has been the case for the previous three days, the final delivery of bodies was received with full military gravitas and honour, including a minutes silence and the 17 country flags flown at half mast. They were escorted by motorcycles an hour up the country to Hilversum where the forensic examinations are taking place.


PATRICK CARLYON: The barbarians at MH17 site

VICTORIAN FAMILY PERISHED: Grandparents living a nightmare

Sombre scene ... Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, right, and his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop. Picture: Sergey Bobok Source: AFP

The Dutch government says the first victim has been identified from the Malaysia Airlines disaster.

Details of the victim have not been released, but it was reported to be a Dutch national. Next of kin have been informed.

Some 200 forensic experts are working at a military barracks in the city of Hilversum to identify human remains recovered from the site.

The Dutch aren't sure how many bodies are now in the Netherlands, but in total 227 coffins carrying remains have arrived since the shuttle flights began on Wednesday.

An unknown number of bodies remain at the crash site in rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine.

In further developments Ms Bishop warned other parents against travelling to the crash site after bereaved Australian parents Angela and George Dyczynski arrived at the Ukrainian war zone to find the remains of their only child, Fatima.

Crash site ... Flowers left by parents of an victim of the crash laid on a piece of MH17, near the village of Grabovo. Picture: Bulent Kilic Source: AFP

"It would be ill advised for people to go to the site," Ms Bishop said.

"It is still in the middle of a war zone, there are heavily armed separatists who are engaged in conflict with the Ukraine military and the separatists are around the crash site."

The Perth parents undertook an exhausting and arduous three day multi-country expedition defying government warnings.

MH17: Shot down plane exposes Ukraine's heartbreaking plight

MH17: Tony Abbott increases Australian personnel in Ukraine


This comes as a team of forensic experts from seven nations prepares to depart Kharkiv after completing the first traumatic stage of sorting bodies and human remains.

The bodies and remains were earlier removed in shambolic fashion from the crash site by separatists and volunteers and put on a train with four coldroom carriages in the nearby conflict city of Donetsk before being taken north to Kharkiv.

Since Wednesday, a forensic team of Dutch, British, Malaysian, American, German, Swiss and seven Australians has been emptying each carriage in turn and taking them to a factory in a deserted industrial complex on the outskirts of the city.

Sad procession ... A convoy of hearses carry bodies in Boxtel, Netherlands. Picture: Peter Macdiarmid Source: Getty Images

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Dr Who teaser has fans guessing

New Doctor ... Peter Capaldi is the twelfth incarnation of the famous Time Lord. Source: Supplied

DOCTOR Who fans rejoice! A new teaser trailer for the forthcoming series of the wildly popular series has been released, giving fans a brief taste of what's to come.

The 15-second clip features Peter Capaldi's latest (and twelfth) Time Lord sitting crossed-legged on top of the Tardis as it floats through space, with the earth and the sun in the background.

The Doctor appears to be meditating, but as the camera zooms in, his eyes open and he says, "Listen!" before the trailer ends.

With each passing day, the hype around the upcoming season gets ramped up a notch, and while the latest trailer gives nothing away, it has fans speculating about what it all means.

Fans have speculated that "listen" is a reference to the Doctor's arch-nemesis — the Master — and the drum beat that was implanted in his mind by the Time Lords.

The Master, who was portrayed by John Simm, last made an appearance in The End of Time. There have been rumours that the villainous Master could be returning, with a new actor taking on the role as a new incarnation of the character.

One of the adventures in series eight will feature the Doctor and Clara going to Lanzarote. The Doctor has not been there since 1984 in the Planet of Fire serial where he encountered the Master, and it could potentially be where the two adversaries meet again in 2014.

Star turn ... Capaldi being announced as the new Doctor Who last year. Source: Supplied

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Shelley wins marathon gold for Australia

Track star Usain Bolt has been asked a series of bizarre questions in a press conference after arriving in Glasgow for his first Commonwealth Games.

Michael Shelley celebrates after winning the men's marathon at Glasgow Green. Picture: Adam Head Source: News Corp Australia

WELCOME to our rolling coverage of Day 4 of the Commonwealth Games.

Stay with us for updates throughout a jam-packed day of action. Latest updates on top and all times AEST.

Here's the headlines so far:

- Michael Shelley has pulled off an incredible win in the men's marathon, taking gold with a little help from former winner and chef de mission Steve Moneghetti.

- Shelley's win inspired South Australian Jess Trengove to take bronze in the women's marathon.

- The Aussie sevens team came back from the dead against Wales, scoring after the siren to steal through to the semis after conceding the first three tries of the game.

- The Diamonds easily beat Barbados and are making no apologies for playing rough when required.

- The Hockeyroos also won easily, hammering the home nation 9-0.

1.10am - BREEN WINS 100m HEAT

MELISSA Breen is safely through to the 100m semis.

The Aussie record-holder won her heat in a solid time of 11.54.

Jodie Kenny celebrates after scoring her second against Scotland. Picture: Adam Head Source: News Corp Australia


THE Hockeyroos are moving powerfully through these Games, today outclassing Scotland 9-0.

Australia's first seven goals came from penalty corners with tall defender Jodie Kenny scoring three and Anna Flanagan two.

Scotland received strong support from its home crowd yesterday but Kenny turned down the volume level with two early goals and would have had a third had Scotland keeper Amy Gibson not pulled off a stunning save.


AUSTRALIA's netballers have easily beaten Barbados as they march towards Glasgow's semi-finals, making no apologies for their physical play, Jon Ralph writes.

The Diamonds used their third pool game against Delhi 2010's seventh-placed side to test the depth of their 12-woman squad in an effortless 77-27 victory.

They made easy work of Barbados despite a handful of heavy fouls by Barbadan captain Latonia Blackman on Tegan Caldwell.

"It is definitely a physical game, but it is games like that that make the sport really exciting,'' said defender Julie Corletto.

"Everyone is putting their body on the line right down to the last seconds of the game.''

Australia's Pama Fou and relieved teammates leave the Ibrox pitch after beating Wales. Source: AFP


PAMA Fou scored a dramatic matchwinner a minute after the siren to help Australia's sevens side steal a quarter-final victory from Wales, and keep their Commonwealth Games medal hopes alive, Iain Payten writes.

The bumbling Aussies looked dead and buried in the first half after the Welsh raced out to a three-try, 19-0 lead, much to the delight of the huge Ibrox Stadium crowd.

But the Aussies refused to give in, tightened up some sloppy ball retention and rallied back to claim an unlikely win and set up a semi-final date with New Zealand.


Michael Shelley wins the men's marathon and gets a hug from teammate Liam Adams and Steve Moneghetti at Glasgow Green. Picture: Adam Head Source: News Corp Australia


MARATHON winner Michael Shelley has revealed how 1994 gold-medallist and chef de mission Steve Moneghetti ran the last 1km with him, offering invaluable support.

"Seeing Monas out on the course right towards the end was pretty special," Shelley said.

"He was yelling out and I was just trying to dig deep. I was hoping I wouldn't blow up like I had in the past and I was fortunate enough not to blow so it was good.

"I just put my head down and bum up, I didn't think about it (winning) too much because anything can happen and I had a little bit of things going on with legs so I just had to keep going and keep digging."


Jess Trengrove on her way to bronze in the women's marathon. Source: Getty Images


TO cap off a great day for Australian distance running Jess Trengove won the bronze medal in the women's marathon, Scott Gullan writes.

The 26-year-old South Australian lost her way midway through the race but surged over the final 5km to get on the podium.

Kenya's Flomena Daniel won gold in 2hr26.45sec from teammate Caroline Kilel with Trengove another three minutes behind.

Trengove said hearing the news that teammate Michael Shelley had won the men's marathon while she was still on the course propelled her to the finish line.


Cate Campbell is in 'cruise control' in the Commonwealth Games pool. Source: Getty Images


WORLD champion Cate Campbell has issued a warning she was ready to fire in the 100m freestyle, cruising to an enormous win the heats in a time of 53.20s, Todd Balym writes.

Australia's new pool queen Emma McKeon was second fastest in 54.19s with Bronte Campbell third in 54.42s to set up a chance for a podium cleansweep on Monday night.

Cate Campbell said she was in "cruise control" for most of the race and would be ready to take it to another level in the semis and final.

Christian Sprenger has begun the process of casting aside his troubled meet with a strong 27.57s heat swim in the 50m breaststroke to qualify in fifth place for tonight's semi-finals. Aussie teammate Kenneth To also progressed to the semis in 16th place in 29.17s.

Reigning champion Alicia Coutts looked in control as she qualified second fastest for the final of the 200m medley in 2:12.00 behind England's Siobhan O'Connor (2:11.42).

Fellow Aussie Emily Seebohm qualified sixth fastest in 2:14.66, setting her up for two finals tonight in the 200m backstroke and 200m medley.

Butterfly duo Jayden Hadler and Chris Wright made promising starts to their 100m campaigns with solid heat swims to qualify second and third fastest for the semi-finals.

Hadler clocked 52.81s, just ahead of Wright in 52.89s, with teammate Tommaso D'Orsogna also moving through in eighth in 53.53s.

Sally Hunter used the excitement of her 200m silver medal last night to post a strong 100m breaststroke heat swim of 1:08.42 – qualifying third fastest for tonight's semi-finals.

Commonwealth Games 50m champion Leiston Pickett qualified in eighth in 1:09.46 while team rookie Lorna Tonks had a strong swim in fifth in 1:09.03.

Teenage rookie Alanna Bowles produced a shock 800m freestyle heat swim to be the third fastest qualifier for Monday night's final.

Bowles, 16, sat on the shoulder of Kiwi world No.3 Lauren Boyle to smash her personal best time by four seconds to touch the wall in 8:25.19.

Australian record holder Jessica Ashwood worked into her race, building over the final 300m to be fifth fastest in the heats in 8:34.21 while Laura Crockart took the eighth spot in the final in 8:37.22.

Australia's men's 4x200m freestyle team set themselves for what is an almost guaranteed gold medal tonight with a commanding heat win in 7:12.85.

The team Thomas Fraser-Holmes, David McKeon, Ned McKendry and Mack Horton finished well ahead of South Africa (7:16.44) and Scotland (7:18.93) with Cameron McEvoy to be added to the team tonight.

Michael Shelley celebrates after winning the men's marathon at Glasgow Green. Picture: Adam Head Source: News Corp Australia


HE ran the race of his life for silver in the heat of Delhi four years ago and in the wet of Glasgow Michael Shelley went one better, Scott Gullan writes.

The Queensland marathoner became the fourth Australian to win Commonwealth gold with a brilliant display, breaking the back of his main challenger, Kenyan Stephen Chemlany, over the final five kilometres.

Shelley raised his arms in triumph as he crossed the line in a new personal best time of 2hr11min15sec.

It was an inspired performance from the 30-year-old whose previous best performance was the silver medal in Delhi. He was 16th at the 2012 London Olympics.

Shelley's name goes alongside some of Australia's greatest distance runners with our previous winners Rob de Castella (1982 and 1986), Steve Moneghetti (1994) and Dave Power (1958).



AUSTRALIA'S world No.2 Belinda Hocking has secured a comfortable path through to the final in the 200m backstroke, qualifying third fastest in 2:11.07, Todd Balym writes.

Teammates Emily Seebohm (2:11.47) and rookie Madi Wilson (2:11.53) also had impressive and controlled heat swims to progress in fourth and fifth place.

GLASGOW COMMONWEALTH GAMES 2014- Steve Moneghetti speaks to the media during the Australian Athletics press conference at the Main Press Centre, Glasgow. Pics Adam Head Source: News Corp Australia


AUSTRALIAN chef de mission Steve Moneghetti has admitted Sally Pearson is suffering frustration leading into Glasgow after being fined for her non-appearance at a pre-Games training camp.

As revealed by Scott Gullan this morning, Pearson's preparations have been compromised by a dramatic fallout with team management and her relationship with head coach Eric Hollingsworth has deteriorated to the point where they're no longer on speaking terms.

Moneghetti said he would not personally intervene in the dispute and is adamant Pearson has the composure to put the distraction behind her and defend her Delhi 100m hurdles gold.

"I know what I read in the paper. (She had) some issues leading in with her funding and she dealt with that very well and she hasn't let that affect the way she has been a member of this team,'' he said.

"She is a leader. She is a leader of our team, she is a leader of the athletics team. She is looking at the overall picture and while she might have opinions on certain things it is very clear to me that she is separating that and at this point she is very focused on representing her country at the Commonwealth Games.

"We will be happy and the athletics team will be happy that the athletics program kicks off today. They can let their legs, arms and bodies do the talking. Actions speak louder than words."


Jess Trengove (centre) among the runners at the start line of the women's Commonwealth Games marathon. Source: Getty Images


AUSTRALIA'S Jess Trengove is pounding the damp streets of Glasgow, keeping pace with the leaders after 10km along with Melanie Panayiotou and Sarah Klein.

Jess's brother and AFL star Jack will be cheering her home as she finishes around 9pm AEST, hopefully in medal contention.

There's little separating them in the men's race which is past the halfway stage, with Australia's Martin Dent, Michael Shelley and Liam Adams all still in touch.


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