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Desperate pleas from burning ferry

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 28 Desember 2014 | 23.08

A rescue operation in Greek waters is being hampered by winds as a ferry carrying 466 people caught fire.

Disaster ... passengers have pleaded via mobile phone to be saved from a burning ferry off Greece. Picture: Protothema via Twitter Source: Supplied

DESPERATE passengers have pleaded via mobile phone to be saved from a burning ferry off the Greek island of Corfu as rescuers battled gale-force winds to get to them.

But with gusts of up to 100 kilometres per hour making rescue difficult and dangerous, the crew has so far only managed to get 150 of the 478 people off the stricken "Norman Atlantic", Greek officials said.

Seas were so violent that only 35 of those have so far been lifted from a lifeboat to a tanker that came to their aid, Greek Marine Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said hours into the emergency.

He said seven merchant vessels have encircled the ferry in an attempt to shelter it from fierce Force 10 winds, as Greek and Italian firefighting vessels raced from their coasts.

On fire ... the Norman Atlantic sailing on the Adriatic Sea on December 28 was engulfed by flames. AFP/SKAI TV Source: AP

Italian navy spokesman Riccardo Rizzotto said four helicopters were already at the scene and the ship's captain had told coastguards that the ferry was now drifting towards the Albanian coast.

"The weather conditions are so bad we need an extraordinary level of support, which is effectively what is being put in place," he said.

It was unclear if there had been casualties or if there were any passengers in the water, but Rizzotto one 58-year-old Italian man has been flown to Italy suffering from the symptoms of hypothermia.

Freezing passengers huddled on the top deck of the ship told of their terror in calls to Greek television stations.

"We are on the top deck, we are soaked, we are cold and we are coughing from the smoke. There are women, children and old people," passenger Giorgos Styliaras told Mega TV.

Another told the station that "our shoes were melting" from the heat of the fire when they were mustered in the ship's reception area.

Haulage company boss Giannis Mylonas, who was in contact with three of his drivers on the vessel, said there were between 20 and 25 tanker trucks filled with olive oil on board.

"They are taking too long to find a way to help them. Let's hope this ferry will stand the heat of the fire," he told the station.

Vessels close to the ANEK Lines ferry, which caught fire 33 nautical miles off the small Greek island of Othonoi, rushed to give assistance after picking up its distress signal about 4.30am local time (1.30pm Sunday AEDT), the Greek coast guard said.

With high winds and torrential rain and sleet, Greek authorities described efforts to rescue the passengers "as particularly difficult and complicated".

The blaze on board is said to have broken out in the ferry's car deck. The Greek maritime ministry said 268 of the passengers were Greek, with the crew made up of 22 Italians and 34 Greeks.

Vessel ... passengers on board the Norman Atlantic (ferry pictured during different voyage) are calling TV stations for help. Picture: Wikipedia Source: Supplied

A few hours later, around 35 passengers had been picked up by the Greek tanker "The Spirit of Piraeus", but another 115 were still stuck in a lifeboat, with towering waves and lashing wind hampering their transfer.

Four Greek and Italian firefighting ships were on their way to the scene, which is in the middle of a busy shipping lane, as well as four Italian patrol boats. At least three Italian and Greek helicopters circled overhead.

The "Norman Atlantic" had left the Greek port of Patras and had been heading to the Italian port of Ancona when the fire took hold.

Greek Defence Minister Nikos Dendias told Mega television that Italian authorities had responded to a Greek plea for assistance and were now in charge of the rescue effort. The operation was being coordinated from the Italian ship "Europa".

The car deck of the Italian-flagged "Norman Atlantic" was believed to have been holding 195 vehicles when the fire broke out.

According to rescued passengers, the intense heat rapidly affected the rest of the ship. However, passengers stranded on the top deck of the ship later seemed to be more worried by the storm, telling Greek TV the flames were subsiding.

Neither ANEK Lines nor the ship's owners had made any comment.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Crew member’s haunting tweet

The families of passengers aboard the missing AirAsia flight QX 8501 react with shock in Surabaya and Jakarta. Courtesy: TV One Indonesia/ Metro TV

Oscar Desano (centre) is listed as a flight attendant on board the AirAsia flight. Source: DailyTelegraph

A FLIGHT attendant believed missing aboard AirAsia flight QZ8501 posted a number of haunting tweets about doomed MH370 and MH17 earlier this year.

Oscar Desano is listed as a flight attendant on board the AirAsia flight which lost contact with air control between Indonesia and Singapore.

The jet was travelling from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore when it lost contact with an Indonesian air traffic control tower.

There are reportedly 155 passengers and six crew on board Flight QZ8501.

In a post to his Twitter account on Christmas eve, he wrote: "Merry Christmas to all my beautiful friends who celebrate it".

SEARCH IS ON FOR MISSING FLIGHT QZ8501

He wrote on July 18, following the downing of MH17 by a ground-to-air missile: "I feel truly sorry for the loss of MH17 by Malaysia Airlines. It's been 2 big catastrophic event for MAS in 1 year...

"My deep condolences also for the (passengers') family, may all the casualties rest in peace...

"Hope everything will be OK also for the internal company of Malaysia Airlines... Amiiinnn..."

"Pray for Malaysia Airlines flight number MH370 Boeing 777-200 bound for Beijing, who have lost contact…," he wrote on March 8.

The post by Oscar Desano. Source: Supplied

There are emerging reports the plane may have been trying to avoid bad weather at the time it disappeared.

A leaked, and yet unconfirmed air traffic control sheet, shared by pilots on Airlines.Net, showed the A320 continuing to climb through 36,000 feet, but only registering a speed of 353 knots.

"Gives me that feeling of another AF447 ... or something similar at least,'' one pilot suggested, referring to the ill-fated Air France flight that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009, killing 228 passengers.

Other passengers believed to be on board include Indonesian relatives Boby Hartanto Winata and Ingrid Winata.

The first officer aboard missing flight QZ8501 is believed to be decorated French pilot Remi Emmanuel Plesel.

The AirAsia employee, based in Paris, was last year included on the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) Airmen Certification Database, according to the Aviation Business Gazette.

The FAA website lists Plesel as a certified private pilot of single engine aircraft.

The wait is on: Family members of passengers of missing Malaysian air carrier AirAsia flight QZ8501 gather at Juanda International airport. AFP Photo Source: AFP

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said the Australian Government is urgently seeking to get more details about the AirAsia flight that has vanished.

Ms Bishop said her office was trying to confirm whether there were any Australians on board.

"We are making inquiries with local authorities and the airline itself to determine the details," she said.

"We are urgently seeking to confirm details of the missing plane."

The passenger manifest of AirAsia flight QZ 8501. Source: Supplied

Sky News quoted Transport Ministry that official Hadi Mustofa said the aircraft lost contact at 6.17am local time.

He said the Airbus A320-200 had asked for an unusual route before it lost contact.

AirAsia QZ8501: A plane similar to the missing one. Source: News Corp Australia

Capt Iriyanto had 6100 flying hours under his belt, while his first officer had accrued 2275 flying hours.

As the wait continues to find out what happened to the flight, one A320 pilot writing on renowned aviation forum Aviation.net confirmed the weather on route was "nasty" but would not be enough to render major structural failure.

"While the weather on the route looks rather nasty, I have always found that the A320 is a really solid aircraft in turbulance. I've flown it through bad winter storms, tropical thunderstorms and all sorts of combined weather and I've never felt that the aircraft was being held together on a hope and a prayer,'' the Canada based pilot said.

An electronic sign board shows information for AirAsia flight QZ8501 bound for Singapore International Airport. Source: AFP

Originally published as Crew member's haunting tweet
23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

PM: ‘Anything humanly possible’

Pledge ... Prime Minister Tony Abbott has offered Australia's support in the search for a missing AirAsia flight. Picture: AFP Source: AFP

A search is underway after an AirAsia plane with more than 150 people on board goes missing en route from Indonesia to Singapore. Paul Chapman reports

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has pledged Australia's support in the search for a missing AirAsia flight.

Mr Abbott has called Indonesian president Joko Widodo to offer assistance after a plane carrying 162 people went missing in bad weather on its way from Indonesia to Singapore.

EXCEPTION: Aviation expert says A320's are a hard plane to bring unstuck

DISASTERS: 2014 shapes up to be disastrous year for air travel

Australia has a P3 Orion aircraft ready to go and will do whatever is "humanly possible" to help with the search, he's told the Indonesian president.

Mr Abbott said he was sorry to hear about the tragedy, especially the many families who would be left devastated by the loss.

Support ... a letter from Prime Minister Tony Abbott's office to President Joko Widodo of Indonesia. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

Foreign Affairs minister Julie Bishop earlier said she called her counterparts in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and South Korea, all of whom have citizens aboard the aeroplane.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with their families," Ms Bishop told reporters. "We hope and pray there will be survivors."

AirAsia issued a passenger list indicating there were no Australians on the flight, but Ms Bishop said she had sought information on whether there were any dual citizens or Australian residents.

The Australian embassy in Jakarta and the Australian High Commission in Singapore have been making inquiries with local authorities.

Aircraft ... an AirAsia plane lands at Soekarno Hatta International Airport. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Air traffic controllers lost contact with the Airbus A320-200 about an hour after it left Juanda international airport in Surabaya, east Java, at 5.20am local time. It was scheduled to arrive in Singapore at 8.30am.

Shortly before disappearing, the plane asked permission from Jakarta air traffic control to track away from its flight plan and climb above adverse weather in an area renowned for severe thunderstorms.

The pilots requested "deviation due to en route weather before communication with the aircraft was lost while it was still under the control of the Indonesian Air Traffic Control (ATC)", AirAsia said in a statement on its Facebook page.

It's the third major incident to affect a Malaysian carrier this year.

AirAsia said the plane was carrying 155 passengers as well as two pilots, four flight attendants and an engineer on the flight. As well as the Indonesian passengers there were three South Koreans, one Malaysian, one British and one Singaporean, according to AirAsia's statement on Sunday night.

One French national has also been identified as part of the crew. The breakdown of passengers is 138 adults, 16 children and a baby, said Indonesia's air transportation director general Djoko Murjatmodjo.

The families of passengers aboard the missing AirAsia flight QX 8501 react with shock in Surabaya and Jakarta. Courtesy: TV One Indonesia/ Metro TV


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

‘Our shoes were melting’

A rescue operation in Greek waters is being hampered by winds as a ferry carrying 466 people caught fire.

Disaster ... passengers have pleaded via mobile phone to be saved from a burning ferry off Greece. Picture: Protothema via Twitter Source: Supplied

DESPERATE passengers have pleaded via mobile phone to be saved from a burning ferry off the Greek island of Corfu as rescuers battled gale-force winds to get to them.

But with gusts of up to 100 kilometres per hour making rescue difficult and dangerous, the crew has so far only managed to get 150 of the 478 people off the stricken "Norman Atlantic", Greek officials said.

Seas were so violent that only 35 of those have so far been lifted from a lifeboat to a tanker that came to their aid, Greek Marine Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said hours into the emergency.

He said seven merchant vessels have encircled the ferry in an attempt to shelter it from fierce Force 10 winds, as Greek and Italian firefighting vessels raced from their coasts.

On fire ... the Norman Atlantic sailing on the Adriatic Sea on December 28 was engulfed by flames. AFP/SKAI TV Source: AP

Italian navy spokesman Riccardo Rizzotto said four helicopters were already at the scene and the ship's captain had told coastguards that the ferry was now drifting towards the Albanian coast.

"The weather conditions are so bad we need an extraordinary level of support, which is effectively what is being put in place," he said.

It was unclear if there had been casualties or if there were any passengers in the water, but Rizzotto one 58-year-old Italian man has been flown to Italy suffering from the symptoms of hypothermia.

Freezing passengers huddled on the top deck of the ship told of their terror in calls to Greek television stations.

"We are on the top deck, we are soaked, we are cold and we are coughing from the smoke. There are women, children and old people," passenger Giorgos Styliaras told Mega TV.

Another told the station that "our shoes were melting" from the heat of the fire when they were mustered in the ship's reception area.

Haulage company boss Giannis Mylonas, who was in contact with three of his drivers on the vessel, said there were between 20 and 25 tanker trucks filled with olive oil on board.

"They are taking too long to find a way to help them. Let's hope this ferry will stand the heat of the fire," he told the station.

Vessels close to the ANEK Lines ferry, which caught fire 33 nautical miles off the small Greek island of Othonoi, rushed to give assistance after picking up its distress signal about 4.30am local time (1.30pm Sunday AEDT), the Greek coast guard said.

With high winds and torrential rain and sleet, Greek authorities described efforts to rescue the passengers "as particularly difficult and complicated".

The blaze on board is said to have broken out in the ferry's car deck. The Greek maritime ministry said 268 of the passengers were Greek, with the crew made up of 22 Italians and 34 Greeks.

Vessel ... passengers on board the Norman Atlantic (ferry pictured during different voyage) are calling TV stations for help. Picture: Wikipedia Source: Supplied

A few hours later, around 35 passengers had been picked up by the Greek tanker "The Spirit of Piraeus", but another 115 were still stuck in a lifeboat, with towering waves and lashing wind hampering their transfer.

Four Greek and Italian firefighting ships were on their way to the scene, which is in the middle of a busy shipping lane, as well as four Italian patrol boats. At least three Italian and Greek helicopters circled overhead.

The "Norman Atlantic" had left the Greek port of Patras and had been heading to the Italian port of Ancona when the fire took hold.

Greek Defence Minister Nikos Dendias told Mega television that Italian authorities had responded to a Greek plea for assistance and were now in charge of the rescue effort. The operation was being coordinated from the Italian ship "Europa".

The car deck of the Italian-flagged "Norman Atlantic" was believed to have been holding 195 vehicles when the fire broke out.

According to rescued passengers, the intense heat rapidly affected the rest of the ship. However, passengers stranded on the top deck of the ship later seemed to be more worried by the storm, telling Greek TV the flames were subsiding.

Neither ANEK Lines nor the ship's owners had made any comment.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

10 cities with cheap five-star hotels

Booking cheap flights and hotels isn't the only way to save when travelling.

Travel the world in style. Source: Getty Images

WE LOVE a good dose of luxury when we travel — especially when that luxury involves fluffy white robes, top-notch room service and bellhops at our beck and call.

What, do we sound like we're high maintenance or something?

When hostel life has you ready to call it quits, it's time to book a night in a luxury hotel. And thankfully, it doesn't have to cost your entire travel budget.

The folks at KAYAK analysed thousands of travel queries to determine which European cities offer the highest-quality hotels at the lowest prices — and what they found could change the way you approach Europe travel forever.

For example, they found you could stay at a five-star hotel in Warsaw for about ONE FOURTH the price of the average five-star room in London.

We're talking $US134 ($A165) versus $US513 ($A632), according to KAYAK estimates.*

Check out KAYAK's top European cities for cheap five-star accommodations (which also happen to be ridiculously beautiful, and some of our favourites).

*Prices listed were the average KAYAK prices for five-star rooms as of August 2014.

1. WARSAW, POLAND

Plac Zamkowy, Warsaw. Source: Getty Images

Average price of five-star room: $US134 ($A165) per night

2. THESSALONIKI, GREECE

View over Thessaloniki. Source: Getty Images

Average price of five-star room: $US139 ($A171) per night

3. BUCHAREST, ROMANIA

Bucharest, Romania. Source: Getty Images

Average price of five-star room: $US156 ($A192) per night

4. ATHENS, GREECE

The Acropolis of Athens. Source: Getty Images

Average price of five-star room: $US166 ($A204) per night

5. LISBON, PORTUGAL

Sunrise over the rooftops of Alfama, Lisbon. Source: Getty Images

Average price of five-star room: $US180 ($A222) per night

6. BUDAPEST, HUNGARY

Szechenyi Thermal Baths, Budapest. Source: Getty Images

Average price of five-star room: $US182 ($A224) per night

7. BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

Grand Place at dusk. Source: Getty Images

Average price of five-star room: $US195 ($A240) per night

8. PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

Stare Mesto Square, Prague. Source: Getty Images

Average price of five-star room: $US220 ($A271) per night

9. BERLIN, GERMANY

A tour boat on the Spree River. Source: Getty Images

Average price of five-star room: $US231 ($A284) per night

10. MADRID, SPAIN

Terrace in Plaza Mayor. Source: Getty Images

Average price of five-star room: $US246 ($A303) per night

This article originally appeared on Huffington Post and was republished with permission.


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Tensions boil over on fiery day

Centuries to Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane help India punish Australia for dropping two crucial catches at the MCG.

Brad Haddin gets day three of the third Test off to a cracking start for Australia with this screaming catch off just the second ball of the day

Brad Haddin helped set up Australia's mammoth first innings score with an attacking display on day two. Source: Getty Images

FOLLOW the live coverage of day three of the third Test at the MCG.

A mostly sunny day is expected in Melbourne, with a top temperature of 31C.

Play starts at 10.30am AEDT. Continue the conversation on Twitter @jaibednall

Scroll to the bottom of the page for blow-by-blow coverage.

LIVE SCOREBOARD: AUSTRALIA vs INDIA THIRD TEST

6pm — JOHNSON-KOHLI FEUD ESCALATES ON DAY THREE

Mitchell Johnson and Virat Kohli were in each others face all day. Source: Getty Images

THE ongoing tension between Mitchell Johnson and Virat Kohli threatened to boil over in a tense day three of the Boxing Day Test.

A slow day at the MCG sprang to life in the second session when Johnson threw the ball at Kohli.

The Indian batsman was out of his crease so it was fair for Johnson to try to run him out — but the ball struck Kohli hard and he fell to the ground.

Kohli falls to the ground after being hit by a ball Johnson threw. Source: Getty Images

The Aussie immediately apologised and all seemed well.

But a perturbed Kohli played and missed at the next ball and then almost offered two catching opportunities as his emotions got the better of him.

He approached Johnson at the end of the over and the pair had a heated exchange, forcing umpires to intervene.

Kohli should have been out on the first ball of Johnson's next over but was dropped at first slip by Shane Watson.

And didn't he make Australia pay.

The stylish strokemaker wasn't out until the final ball of the day, making 169 and leaving India (8/462) just 68 runs short of Australia's first innings score.

His 262 run partnership with Ajinkya Rahane (147) was batting at its best and he made sure to let Johnson know whenever he sent him to the boundary.

Johnson (1/133) did get the consolation of having Kohli caught by Brad Haddin but it was Ryan Harris (4/69) and Nathan Lyon (2/108) who led the Australian fight back in a five wicket final session.

It was a case of the best and the worst of the home side in the field as Brad Haddin plucked two screamers but several other players grassed easy chances.

5.20pm — ASHWIN GOES FOR A DUCK, INDIA CRUMBLING

That's four for Rhino. Source: Getty Images

INDIA has now lost 4/25 late on day three after Ravi Ashwin fell without scoring.

The allrounder sent a caught and bowled opportunity back to Ryan Harris, who grabbed at the ball with his right hand before securing it against his body at the second attempt.

Harris has 4/68. India is 7/434, still trailing Australia's first innings score by 96 runs.

Virat Kohli (151 not out) has been quite subdued during the collapse.

5.10pm — HARRIS GETS DHONI, COLLAPSE IS ON

MS Dhoni invented the split sweep during his short innings. Source: Getty Images

RELIABLE Ryan Harris's third wicket of the innings has Australia back in with a shot of leading on first innings in Melbourne.

Harris got MS Dhoni to tickle one through to Brad Haddin on 11, leaving India 6/430.

The visitors have battled since the end of the Ajinkya Rahane-Virat Kohli partnership.

Kohli just brought up his 150 with a nice on drive. Ravi Ashwin is the new batsman.

4.40pm — DEBUTANT COMES AND GOES

Nathan Lyon is helping to turn the tide Australia's way. Source: Getty Images

INDIAN batsman KL Rahul came in swinging and didn't last long in his debut Test innings.

The 22-year-old was dropped by Peter Siddle on one to add another blooper to Australia's horror day in the field.

But rather than using the reprieve as a message to knuckle down, Rahul tried to belt the very next ball and sent it skyward again.

This time the ball fell to Josh Hazlewood at fine leg and he made no mistake with the catch.

India's mini collapse has left the score at 5/415.

4.30pm — IT'S OVER! RAHANE FALLS FOR 147

Yes, Garry! Source: Getty Images

NATHAN Lyon has ended the biggest Indian partnership ever at the MCG, trapping Ajinkya Rahane LBW for 147.

The wicket came 262 runs after Rahane joined Virat Kohli at the crease in the first session of day three.

Rahane had just swept Lyon for the 21st boundary of his innings and tried to repeat the dose the following ball.

But he missed, the ball struck his back pad and after a long wait the umpire raised his finger.

Kohli is 140 not out. India is 4/409.

4pm — INDIAN DUO RUB SALT INTO WOUNDS

It's been a long day for Ryan Harris and the Australian bowlers. Source: Getty Images

ODDS of a draw in the third Test continue to tumble as India looks increasingly likely of reaching Australia's first innings score of 530.

Virat Kohli (124 not out) and Ajinkya Rahane (123 not out) — both dropped earlier in the day — continue to dominate the Australian attack.

Kohli recently took 15 runs from one Mitchell Johnson over — including hitting three consecutive boundaries — as the run rate climbs toward four an over.

India is 3/368, just 166 runs behind.

3pm — JOHNSON AND KOHLI INVOLVED IN SPAT

Mitchell Johnson and Virat Kohli have been in each others faces this afternoon. Source: Getty Images

AN undoubtedly slow day at the MCG sprang to life in the second session when Mitchell Johnson and Virat Kohli squared off.

Johnson came back into the attack when Australia took the new ball and immediately turned up the heat by throwing the ball at Kohli in the 83rd over.

The Indian batsman was out of his crease so it was fair for Johnson to try to run him out — but the ball struck Kohli hard and he fell to the ground.

Kohli falls to the ground after being hit by a ball Johnson threw. Source: Getty Images

The Aussie immediately apologised and all seemed well.

But a perturbed Kohli played and missed at the next ball and then almost offered two catching opportunities as his emotions got the better of him.

He approached Johnson at the end of the over and the pair had a heated exchange, forcing umpires to intervene.

Kohli should have been out on the first ball of Johnson's next over but was dropped at first slip by Shane Watson.

He is now 103 not out. Ajinkya Rahane has raced to 111 not out from just 139 balls. India is 3/335 at the tea break and closing fast on Australia's first innings score of 530.

2.30pm — TWITTER REACTS TO HADDIN'S CATCH

Here in Australia, we don't do internet reactions quite as well as the United States.

But there's been a few neat Twitter posts celebrating Brad Haddin's amazing catch this morning (which you can view in the video player above).

Here are some of the best:

Unfortunately Shane Watson copped it (when doesn't he?) for his reaction to Haddin's dive.

This is probably the best photograph of the catch.

2.25pm — WATSON JOINS THE DROP PARTY

Rahane and Kohli should both be back in the changerooms. Source: Getty Images

SHANE Watson put down a tough chance diving low to his right at a ball that was travelling quite quickly when Virat Kohli was on 88.

It followed an earlier blunder by Nathan Lyon. The score is now 3/296.

Watch how the action has unfolded so far on day three of Australia's third Test with India

1.55pm — LYON DROPS A SITTER, INDIA HALFWAY HOME

Nathan Lyon has toiled without reward on day three and he only has himself to blame. Source: Getty Images

NATHAN Lyon just gave Ajinkya Rahane a late Christmas present.

The Aussie spinner put down one of the easiest caught and bowled chances he's ever seen to hand India a reprieve.

It could prove to be a crucial mistake given the timing. If Lyon had held the chance Australia would have a new batsman at the crease right as they're taking the new ball.

Rahane and Virat Kohli are putting together quite a partnership at the MCG.

The Indian duo have added 129 runs since Murali Vijay's wicket to move past the halfway point in their pursuit of Australia's first innings total of 530.

Kohli is 84 not out and Rahane 71 not out. The score is 3/276.

Nathan Lyon watches the ball fly right through his fingers in a horror drop during Australia's third Test with India

12.30pm — KOHLI LOOMS AS THE KEY

Virat Kohli has posted an eye-catching half century. Source: Getty Images

VIRAT Kohli is standing in the way of Australia's hopes of removing India quickly on day three.

The stylish Indian No. 4 has played an array of shots to reach 60 not out.

He's combined with Ajinkya Rahane (43 not out) in a 77 run fourth wicket partnership to take India to 3/224 at lunch. The visitors added 2/116 for the session.

Ryan Harris (2/40) has been the most successful Australian bowler. Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon are wicketless.

11.50pm — INDIAN GREAT SLAMS BOWLERS

Apparently Australia isn't the only country with former cricketers who like getting stuck into current players. Source: Supplied

INDIAN legend Sunil Gavaskar wants an axe taken to India's bowling attack — which he labelled as hopeless after Australia scored 530 on day two.

"It's frustrating when you expect from them. I never had any expectations from this bowling attack. Yes you do hope that they perform but realistically it was not possible," Gavaskar told Indian television.

"I am trying to find a suitable word to describe their performance. In one word, they were hopeless. Look this is more or less the same bowling attack that has been there since 2011 and they haven't performed in South Africa, New Zealand or England where conditions for bowling were better.

"If they couldn't perform there, no way that they would have performed on Australian wickets, which is better for batting. It was expecting too much from them. I believe there is no harm in trying out a new attack as they can't perform worse than this."

The Indian batsmen are faring slightly better on day three, taking the score to 3/182.

Virat Kohli (37) and Ajinkya Rahane (24) are the not out batsmen.

Watch the highlights so far from the third day of Australia's third Test with India

11.25am — WATSON STRIKES TO REMOVE VIJAY

Shane Watson ... a bowling all-rounder? Source: Getty Images

SHANE Watson's impressive series with the ball has continued with the wicket of Murali Vijay for 68 on day three.

Vijay fell in a similar fashion to Cheteshwar Pujara, attempting to cut a rising delivery only to edge it to the slips cordon.

Shaun Marsh took the catch for Australia to leave the visitors 3/147.

11.20am — VIJAY, KOHLI SURVIVE TESTING TIME

Murali Vijay was struck on the head by a Mitchell Johnson delivery. Source: Getty Images

INDIA's two class batsmen — Murali Vijay and Virat Kohli — are engaged in a ding dong battle with Australia's pace attack.

And they're managing to survive — and prosper.

Vijay has been tested by some short pitched Mitchell Johnson bowling but has moved to 67 not out.

Kohli (22 not out) is also playing well. The visitors are 2/142.

10.35am — HADDIN PLUCKS 'CATCH OF THE SEASON'

BRAD Haddin has taken one of the best catches you're likely to see from a wicketkeeper to help Ryan Harris remove Cheteshwar Pujara (25) with the second ball of day three.

Pujara tried to cut a delivery that wasn't that wide and sent an edge flying high to Haddin's right.

The Aussie veteran dived full length and just caught the ball in the webbing of his right glove to claim his 250th Test dismissal.

Veteran commentator Bill Lawry described it as "the catch of the season". Former Aussie keeper Adam Gilchrist tweeted: "Wow, brilliant.".

It was the perfect response to a rare error when he dropped Pujara late on day two.

India is 2/108.

10.15am — HADDIN COMES OUT SWINGING

India targeted Haddin with short pitch bowling. Source: News Corp Australia

THE to and fro between Brad Haddin and the Indian cricket team has continued this morning with the Aussie wicketkeeper claiming the visitors have no plan B.

Haddin found himself in the firing line in the first innings when the Indians tried to bounce him out — a strategy Ravi Ashwin says his team plans to stick with.

"We really thought Haddin had a genuine weakness over there. We continue to think he has a weakness over there. We will continue to target him in the next innings and the next Test match as well. He doesn't quite look that comfortable to us," Ashwin said.

Haddin returned serve this morning in an interview with Ian Healy on Channel 9.

Healy asked Haddin if he'd been surprised at the pluck shown by the Indian side during the series and it was clear Haddin was reluctant to give them much credit.

"We know if we get on top of that little momentum they can get, we know they find it real hard to come back and have a plan B," Haddin said.

"They've got one plan but once we got through that ... we scored at five an over.

"We know if we can keep their bowlers coming back they find it a lot tougher than most to keep backing up."

Haddin's half century early on day two set the tone for Australia as they scored freely to post a first innings score of 530.

"It was pretty obvious where they were going to bowl, so I was going to fight fire with fire," he said.

The visitors resume at 1/108 this morning but Haddin is confident Australia can find the 19 wickets needed to win the game.

"The rate we scored at has allowed us time to bowl India out — and I think we need that on this wicket," he said.

"I thought the way we went about our business yesterday was first class."


23.08 | 0 komentar | Read More

Axe killing then Christmas lunch

Once happy couple Dustin Klopp and Stephanie Kilhefner on their wedding day in 2011. He rang police a day after he allegedly killed her with an axe on Christmas Eve after an argument. Source: Supplied

A MAN allegedly axed his wife to death on Christmas Eve and then took their children to relatives' home to celebrate Christmas.

He then stunned police by calling and confessing to the crime — before investigators even knew one had been committed.

Police allege Dustin Lee Klopp, 36, punched his wife Stephanie Kilhefner, cut her throat and bashed her head with an axe in their Pennsylvania home.

After the killing he tried to clean up the blood and moved his wife's body a shed on their property.

The following day he took their two children to his parents house to celebrate Christmas. It isn't known if he told them about what happened but later that day he phoned police to say he killed Ms Kilhefner and wanted to turn himself in.

About an hour later he arrived at the police station.

He has been charged with homicide, abuse of a corpse and tampering with or fabricating evidence and is in custody.

Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said the children, aged 5 and 2, didn't witness the murder.

Dustin L Klopp called police on Christmas Day and told them he had killed his wife with an axe. Source: Supplied

He wouldn't say what the couple were arguing about.

"I don't know what he said ... What difference does it make? There's nothing that justifies it," said Stedman.

He told Lancaster Online a usual scenario when people called to confess in homicide cases was when they acted in self-defence.

So this case baffled him.

"I can't think of another one like this where [nearly a day goes by] and we get a phone call before we even know there's a crime."

Klopp has previously been before the courts on burglary and drugs charges. His former lawyer, Cory Miller, was stunned when he heard the news.

The couple were married in 2011.

"They both seemed to be very level-headed individuals. "He never struck me as a violent individual."

An autopsy would be performed on Ms Kilhefner tomorrow.

Neighbours told the Lancaster Online Klopp seemed "paranoid".

Tim and Sheila Rohrer saw them regularly because they shared a driveway.

"She was very nice ... and always stop and say hello," Mr Rohrer said of Kilhefner.

"He always struck me as being kind of paranoid."

Rohrer said Klopp told him to "let him know if I saw anybody hanging around, or disturbing his horses," he said. "That always seemed strange to me."

He recalled a FedEx driver once told his wife he didn't like going to their house "because he was cussed at.

"That's what I mean. I just got the impression he was paranoid."

The couple's Pennsylvania home where the alleged murder took place on Christmas Eve. Source: Supplied


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Air Asia ‘search and rescue’ mission

An AirAsia flight flying from Indonesia to Singapore has reportedly lost contact with air traffic control.

An AirAsia Airbus A320-200 has lost contact with air traffic control. Source: Supplied

AN Air Asia jet has lost contact with air traffic control.

The jet was travelling from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore when contact was lost.

Sky News reports there are 155 passengers and six crew on-board Flight QZ8501.

The network quoted Transport Ministry official Hadi Mustofa as saying the aircraft lost contact with the Jakarta air traffic control tower at 6.17am local time.

He said the plane, an Airbus A320-200, had asked for an unusual route before it lost contact.

There are emerging reports the plane may have been trying to avoid bad weather at the time it disappeared.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, the plane was more than 200 nautical miles south east from Singaporean airspace at the time.

SBS is reporting there are no Australians on-board.

The flight was due in Singapore more than three hours ago.

The blue line shows where contact was lost. Picture: Flightradar24.c0m Source: Supplied

As concerned relatives began arriving at Surabaya Airport, officials posted a list of those on-board.

In a statement Air Asia said a search was currently underway.

"At this time, search and rescue operations are in progress and AirAsia is cooperating fully and assisting the rescue service."

It said it had "no further information".

An Emergency Call Centre has been set up for family or friends of those on board the aircraft. The number is: +622129850801.

Of the people on-board there were 138 adults, sixteen children and one infant.

Air Asia is Malaysia's low-cost airline based in Kuala Lumpur, however the missing jet is from the Indonesian subsidiary.

The company is based in KL, and is considered a good airline with an impeccable safety record.

The disappearance of QZ8501 is the third major incident involving an Asian airline this year.

MH370 went missing on March 8 with 239 passengers on board and was flying from Kuala Lumpur, to Beijing in China.

Despite an extensive search, no trace of the plane has yet been found.

Then in July, MH17 was shot down by a missile over rebel-held Ukraine with 28 Australians among the 298 dead.

Meanwhile Air Asia has changed its Facebook profile picture from red to grey after announcing the disappearance of the A320-200.

More to come ...


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