Archive for October, 2018 | Monthly archive page

ACT Brumbies hardman Fotu Auelua is refusing to let another pre-season setback ruin his year

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

Resilient: Fotu Auelua will make a comeback from knee surgery next month. Photo: Stuart WalmsleyACT Brumbies hardman Fotu Auelua is refusing to let another pre-season injury setback ruin his year, vowing to make sure he has an immediate impact when he gets a delayed start to Super Rugby next month.
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Auelua also warned the Brumbies that they could not rest on results of the previous two seasons to help their bid to win the championship as they set their sights on ending an 11-year title drought.

Auelua had knee surgery last week and hopes to make a comeback within four weeks after having loose cartilage removed.

It’s the third year in a row Auelua’s season preparation has been thrown into disarray by injury.

But the 115kg destroyer says he will work tirelessly over the next four weeks to ensure he doesn’t fall behind his teammates when they begin their season on February 13.

“It does get frustrating when you do all of the pre-season and then don’t get the rewards of being able to play in games,” Auelua said.

“But they took out a lot of cartilage and that’s the reason my knee was swelling up. You always think ‘Why me?’ when you get injured. But I’ve got to find a positive.

“I’m happy I can compete and be a part of this team. I want to play my part, I want to make the most for the team and make sure I’m not behind the eight ball. We owe it to each other to do better this year. We’ve been close the last couple of years, but that’s not good enough.”

Auelua has started his rehabilitation program and could be out of action for up to six weeks.

He joins a list of Brumbies on the comeback trail, with captain Stephen Moore on track to play from the bench in round one and fullback Jesse Mogg expected to return from a shoulder reconstruction in the first five weeks of the season.

But Auelua’s absence hasn’t been all bad. His injury opened the door for former tag-team islander bash brother Ita Vaea to be on the cusp of a shock Super Rugby return more than two years after doctors found blood clots on Vaea’s heart.

The two players formed a devastating wrecking ball combination when they teamed up for the first time in 2012.

But Vaea’s life-threatening illness put his career on hold while Auelua established himself as one of the most feared players in Super Rugby.

Vaea will likely be offered a supplementary contract or extended player squad deal with the Brumbies and the powerful Tongan is in contention to play against the Queensland Reds in the season opener.

Auelua is excited at the potential of reuniting in a frightening back-row combination, adamant the duo will drive each other to reach greater heights this season.

Auelua’s contract expires at the end of the season, but he has put negotiations and his Wallabies ambitions on hold to focus on the short term and make sure he gets through the year without unfinished business.

“Ita has always had that raw ability to just smack guys and we just feed off each other,” Auelua said.

“I see things he does on the field and I think to myself ‘I’ve got to top that’. That’s the beauty of having someone in a similar mould to you. Who would have thought Ita would be back, I’m looking forward to it.

“I’m not looking too far ahead. I’ve got to be head down, arse up and work towards playing again. I don’t want to leave this group, we all started with nothing and now we’ve had massive growth.

“I don’t want to leave here and leave it incomplete. We want to do well together and win this title. It won’t be easy, but we’ve got the group to succeed.”


February 13: ACT Brumbies v Queensland Reds at Canberra Stadium, 7.40pm. Tickets available from Ticketek.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Daryl Gibson applies for top coaching job at NSW Waratahs

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

Throwing his hat into the ring: Daryl Gibson wants to replace Michael Cheika as NSW head coach next year. Photo: Brendan Esposito Throwing his hat into the ring: Daryl Gibson wants to replace Michael Cheika as NSW head coach next year. Photo: Brendan Esposito
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Throwing his hat into the ring: Daryl Gibson wants to replace Michael Cheika as NSW head coach next year. Photo: Brendan Esposito

Throwing his hat into the ring: Daryl Gibson wants to replace Michael Cheika as NSW head coach next year. Photo: Brendan Esposito

Former All Black Daryl Gibson has declared his ambition to coach the Waratahs next year as the reigning champions prepare to host two-time winners the Chiefs in a trial match on Friday.

Michael Cheika is balancing the Waratahs and Wallabies head coaching roles after taking over from Ewen McKenzie at short notice last year but will leave the NSW franchise to concentrate on the national team as soon as the Super Rugby season ends.

The Waratahs Rugby board has only recently been given the go-ahead to recruit Cheika’s replacement, and hope to have the process finalised within a month, chairman Roger Davis told Fairfax Media last week.

Gibson is Cheika’s anointed successor. The former Crusaders and Maori All Blacks assistant, who played 19 Tests at centre for New Zealand, confirmed he had told the board he was interested in the head coaching role.

“It’s a natural evolution for me, I’ve been an assistant for seven years and I believe I’m ready to lead,” Gibson said.

“It would be a privilege to take over here, Cheik has created an excellent environment and one that I want to be a part of in the future.”

Gibson has played an influential role in the coaching triumvirate at NSW with Cheika and defence coach Nathan Grey. Gibson’s innovative coaching was pivotal to the success of the Waratahs’ back line during the past two seasons, overseeing Kurtley Beale’s move to the mid-field as a second playmaker outside No.10 Bernard Foley, Rob Horne’s conversion from outside centre to winger and Israel Folau’s game-breaking development at fullback. His patient and calculating style was also a useful foil to Cheika and Grey’s more abrasive temperaments.

The squad are preparing for their final trial match against the 2012 and 2013 title-winning Chiefs before their regular season kicks off with a Sunday afternoon match against last year’s big improvers the Force on February 15.

There is still some doubt over whether the anticipated showdown will happen between the sides’ dual internationals Folau and Sonny Bill Williams, who is fresh from a successful return to the boxing ring on Saturday. Williams said he was desperate to play some rugby, but Chiefs coach Dave Rennie is likely to defer to the New Zealand Rugby Union’s wishes around the use of Test players in a World Cup year.

“Certainly I’d imagine Dave is anxious to get [Williams] going,” Gibson said.  “He brings a lot of success through his professionalism and the way he plays, so I’d imagine he’d want his influence there pretty quickly.”

It will be a final chance for Waratahs players to vie for their place in the pecking order in the contested positions of wing, second row and hooker. “Competition is key to trying to win again, it is critical that the Wallabies don’t come in and get a free ride,” Gibson said. “They’re always looking over their shoulder worried about their spot.”

League convert Taqele Naiyarovoro has the inside running on the wing spot vacated by Alofa Alofa, with Peter Betham not expected to be declared fully fit until round one and Rob Horne all but certain to retain his spot.

In the forwards, the Waratahs need a workhorse replacement for second rower Kane Douglas, while young hookers Tolu Latu, Hugh Roach and Manly Marlins breakout Dave Parecki are being encouraged to challenge Test veteran Tatafu Polota-Nau for starting honours this season. Gibson said ex-Warriors forward Sam Lousi exceeded expectations in his first run against Sydney club sides at the weekend, while Jed Holloway had also put his hand up for a place in the second row.

The Chiefs and Waratahs have not met since their thrilling round-16 clash in New Plymouth last year, a 33-17 victory for the Waratahs that gave them crucial momentum leading into the play-offs.

Dave Rennie’s squad did not make it past the Brumbies in the first qualifying final but looked fitter than ever in a trial clash with the Blues on the weekend. “They’ll play a really high-octane game which will be great for us,” Gibson said.  “We need a really strong hit-out mainly because of the integration with our Wallaby players returning, we have to make sure they’re not too underdone going into the game against the Force. The Chiefs have set the benchmark around how hard they work and they’re a team we really respect around that.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Daniel Ricciardo upbeat about improvements

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

REACHABLE GOAL: Daniel Ricciardo expects 2014 champions Mercedes will be the team to beat in Melbourne, but says he is not intimidated by them.HE doesn’t want to give too much away, but formula one star Daniel Ricciardo reckons his new car is an improvement on last year’s three-time race winner.
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The Australian was encouraged after day one of pre-season testing at Jerez in Spain on Sunday, despite mechanical issues restricting him to just 35 laps.

He was fourth fastest behind former Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel, who put Ferrari top of the timesheets after 60 laps.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson (73 laps) was second quickest, ahead of Nico Rosberg of Mercedes (157 laps).

“I think, in general, everything is behaving as it should,” Ricciardo said.

“Obviously we had some issues here and there, but once the car’s running it seems pretty normal. So a good day one and obviously keep improving from here.”

The Renault-powered RB11 – in black and white camouflage livery – managed more mileage in one day than across all of last year’s pre-season testing, and that had Ricciardo upbeat.

“I can’t give too much away but we understand what we’re running here and I think it’s good,” he said.

“We still need to refine a few things with drive-ability – normal things for the start of the year – but generally I think it’s what we expected.

“It’s still too early to say [if it’s a step forward] but I think it is.

“We’ll see in Melbourne when everyone’s even, but for now after the first day I think there’s some positive signs.”

Ricciardo said it was no surprise 2014 champions Mercedes were among the fastest out of the garage and managed more than double the number of laps than any other team.

“They obviously came out with a pretty awesome package last year and they’re probably just refining and perfecting that even more this year,” he said.

“I expect them again to be the ones to beat coming into Melbourne.

“But I’m not intimidated either. I think it’s a reachable target for us.”

The 2015 F1 season begins with the Australian Grand Prix on March 15 at Albert Park in Melbourne. AAP

Djokovic denies faking illness against Murray in Open final

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

WINNER: Novak Djokovic in Melbourne on Monday after winning the Australian Open final on Sunday. Picture: ReutersNOVAK Djokovic insists there was no play-acting, just more “cat and mouse” tennis, in his latest Australian Open final triumph over perennial runner-up Andy Murray.
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As he savoured a record-breaking fifth Open success, Djokovic dismissed suggestions he was feigning physical problems before putting Murray to the sword in an Open final for the third time.

After trailing by a break and looking wobbly on his feet early in the pivotal third set, the world No.1 summoned the strength to win 12 of the last 13 games for a 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (4-7), 6-3, 6-0 victory.

But rather than be allowed to celebrate his eighth grand slam title win, a feat that elevated the 27-year-old alongside greats Andre Agassi, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors, Ken Rosewall and Fred Perry on the all-time majors leaderboard, Djokovic was peppered in his post-match press conference with questions about his physical issues.

On several occasions, the Serb clumsily lost his footing and balance and was often left gasping for air during the sapping encounter.

When he lamely dropped serve to fall behind 2-0 in the third set, the top seed looked down and out.

Djokovic, though, insisted his troubles were legitimate and flatly dismissed suggestions of any gamesmanship.

Tellingly, the first two brutal sets featured more than 60 rallies of nine shots or more.

“I think everybody predicted it was going to be a big battle,” Djokovic said.

“Very similar match to the Australian Open final in 2013 when we played over two hours [for] the first two sets . . . very physical, very exhausting.

“It’s normal to expect that you can’t always be at your 100 per cent, so you go through some particular moments that you can call crises during matches like these.

“This is what I had in these 15, 20 minutes. After that I felt better. I just felt very exhausted and I needed some time to regroup and recharge and get back on track. That’s what I’ve done.”

Murray admitted he should never have been distracted by his opponent’s woes and needed to learn from his latest Melbourne Park despair, his fourth in four Australian Open finals.

“It was a cat-and-mouse fight. It always is,” Djokovic said.

“We always try to outplay the opponents with the groundstrokes, with the long rallies, a lot of variety in the games: spin, flat, slice, drop shots. I think we both went out with the full repertoire of the shots we have. I hope everybody that watched it enjoyed the finals.

“From my side, it was definitely very exhausting. In winning those matches, you need to be able to find that inner strength – mental, physical, emotional, especially when you’re down in the finals and when you’re playing a top rival.

“There’s a lot of things that can influence your state of mind.

“The willpower that I had on the court today took me to where I am now.” AAP

DVD REVIEW: Before I Go To Sleep, Gone Girl, The Hundred Foot Journey

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

CAPTIVATING: Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth in the film Before I Go To Sleep.Universal Sony, 88 minutes
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NICOLE Kidman is a hit-and-miss movie star. When she’s bad, you usually blame the script – it’s too stilted, the character doesn’t fit the role, the lines are unnatural. But when she’s good, she owns the screen.

In this role, we enjoy the best side of Kidman in the role of Christine, a confused, suspicious housewife who is trying to figure out how she became a clueless captive in her own home.

We open to her rising from bed in the morning, seeing pictures of her life in a collage on the wall – happy days, wedding etc – and having her husband Ben (Colin Firth) explaining how she wakes every day with no memory of her past.

We are quickly introduced to an interloper, Dr Nasch, a neuropsychologist played by Ben Strong, who is attempting to help her regain her memory, and life.

And thus begins an intriguing thriller, as Kidman pieces together the elements – who attacked her and nearly killed her, and why? Who was she? Who did she love? Who can she trust?

Colin Firth is a natural in such roles. He’s the stand-up guy, but not necessarily the good guy. And he’s a good match for Kidman.

Rating: ★★★

– Jim Kellar

20th Century Fox, 145 minutes

GILLIAN Flynn’s 2012 novel Gone Girl was one of those rare books with something for everyone: both an ingenious thriller (the plot is worthy of Wilkie Collins) and an up-to-date satire on the battle of the sexes, sparing neither male smugness nor pseudo-feminist sanctimony.

Though Flynn’s prose may be more smart-alecky than witty, her sharpest jibes cut deep, as in the legendary passage dissecting the male fantasy of the “Cool Girl” – the kind of chilled-out hottie who maintains her ultra-feminine appeal while cursing and guzzling hot dogs like one of the guys.

Clearly Gone Girl was always going to be a movie, whatever challenges for the would-be adaptor might be posed by its convoluted dual-narrator structure. In the event, the very capable script was written by Flynn herself, presumably with input from director David Fincher, one of the most distinctive artistic personalities in today’s Hollywood.

Like every other ambitious American male filmmaker of a certain age, Fincher wants to be Stanley Kubrick, which is to say both an uncompromising artist and a showman capable of reaching the widest public. In Fincher’s case, this often means snapping up the rights to racy bestsellers – Fight Club and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – which he can film with outward fidelity while pursuing more secretive aesthetic goals.

In a phrase, Gone Girl could be summed up as a film about image management, a central concern for characters and filmmaker alike. The protagonists – both sometime media professionals – are “types” who recognise themselves as such: Nick Elliott (Ben Affleck) is the regular guy who woos and wins golden girl Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike), then takes her back to his Missouri home town, where their marriage falls apart. When she vanishes one morning, Nick becomes a suspect in her murder – and as viewers, we’re given no guarantees about whom we should believe, though entries from Amy’s diary, dramatised in flashback, fill in some of the puzzle pieces.

Fincher’s style has changed little since Zodiac, now identifiable as his first “mature” film: tungsten lighting, limited camera movement, a sharp eye and ear for significant detail, and a funereal tone offset by fleet editing that compels us to pay attention or risk missing a clue.

Thematically, the film can be seen as a sequel to Fincher’s Facebook origin story The Social Network, engaging rather more directly with the contemporary reality of social media. Once news of the disappearance goes public, TV pundits and everyday folk are equally quick to take sides – Team Amy or Team Nick? – even as the viewer is made to suspect that both parties have plenty to hide.

As narrators of the book, Nick and Amy address the reader directly, commenting on the distance between their public and private selves. While Fincher can’t replicate this effect on film, he achieves an equivalent kind of irony simply by putting the naturally smarmy Affleck in a role that capitalises on the unbelievability of his good-guy screen persona. Other instances of stunt casting include Tyler Perry as a purring defence attorney and Neil Patrick Harris as the kind of well-spoken nutcase John Lithgow used to play for Brian de Palma.

It’s interesting to wonder how the balance of Gone Girl might have shifted if the female lead were played by an established star such as Reese Witherspoon, one of the film’s producers, or even Katherine Heigl (Grey’s Anatomy), whose refusal to be “Cool Girl” has defined her career. But Fincher is pursuing a very specific strategy in his choice of Pike, who’s less of a known quantity.

With a fraction of Affleck’s screen time, Pike has a much trickier role: she has to be poised and opaque, calm but with hints of treacherous depths. Floating through the narrative like a ghost, she embodies the aloofness that is both the film’s strength and its weakness. Fincher is not interested in the cliche of the glamorous femme fatale – but nor can he summon any trace of the romantic-comedy warmth that would give us an emotional investment in Nick and Amy’s relationship.

Rating: ★★★

– Jake Wilson

FEEL-GOOD FILM: Helen Mirren stars as Madame Mallory, the chef proprietress of a classical Michelin-starred French restaurant, in The Hundred-Foot Journey.

Buena Vista, 122 minutes

LASSE Hallstrom has created another French pastoral fairyland, much like the one he designed in 2000 for his hit adaptation of Joanne Harris’s Chocolat. And again he’s telling a story about the healing powers of good cooking.

It’s a well-stocked genre. Devotees make up lists which invariably include Babette’s Feast and Eat Drink Man Woman, and sceptics dismiss it all as “food porn”.

Hallstrom is a devotee of the feelgood movie. He makes all sorts. At his best, he can turn out something like Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, distinguished by a great cast displaying a flair for handling light, dry dialogue. At his worst, he resorts to Nicholas Sparks adaptations.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is at the Salmon Fishing end of the range. For one thing, it stars Helen Mirren, who has enough backbone to stop anything turning to mush, and as her sparring partner, she has Indian cinema’s veteran strongman Om Puri.

They play rival restaurateurs in a tiny French village in an idyllic stretch of the Midi-Pyrenees, where Mirren’s Madame Mallory has been running her establishment, Le Saule Pleureur, along classic French lines for decades. It’s housed in an elegant 19th-century manor house and has a Michelin star. Naturally, she isn’t pleased when the Kadams, who have been forced to uproot themselves from Mumbai, buy a disused farmhouse opposite her and open Maison Mumbai. While its neon lights and pulsing Bollywood music are bad enough, its kitchen aromas immediately go to war with the delicate scent of her “pigeon aux truffes”.

It’s a stand-off until the Kadams’ son and chef, Hassan (Manish Dayal), begins to take an interest in French cuisine while developing a crush on Madame Mallory’s sous chef, Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon).

The script is adapted from Richard C. Morais’ bestselling novel by Steven Knight, whose earlier engagements with multiculturalism have had a much harder edge (Dirty Pretty Things; Eastern Promises). Here, he sets a much more leisurely pace. Or maybe it’s Hallstrom’s fondness for loitering in slow-mo over each culinary creation, but it’s a slow-going film and often makes a meal out of stating the obvious.

But Mirren and the exuberant Puri extract nice comic moments from their sedate explorations of the theory that opposites attract, and Le Bon and the equally beautiful Dayal make beguiling lovers.

As usual, Hallstrom does send you home feeling good, but you may experience a strong urge to doze off at the 50-foot mark.

Rating: ★★★

– Sandra Hall

The winners of the Sin City: A Dame to Kill For DVDs are: B. Anderson, of Lambton; L. Roach, of Windale; B. Dunkley, of North Lambton; E. Rentell, of Charlestown; and D. Threlfall, of Floraville.

Community ambassador program could prove to be the legacy of 2015 Asian Cup

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

One team: Mohammad Othman of Melbourne at Canberra Stadium to see Iraq take on Palestine in the Asian Cup. Photo: Melissa AdamsThe 2015 Asian Cup could have a legacy far greater than covered benches at football grounds as Football Federation of Australia are in discussions to maintain the community ambassador program that helped make the tournament a success.
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An ambassador program run by Red Elephant Projects and funded by the 2015 Asian Cup LOC was a major driving force behind the high ticket sales for games not involving the host nation and it could now help boost support for the A-League and other games. Members of the program, most of them volunteers, worked for more than 18 months with Australia’s ethnic communities to help make the 2015 Asian Cup popular among expatriates from competing nations.

In promoting the tournament, Iraqi-Australian Abrar Al Salehcan claim to have achieved something no Iraqi government has in uniting the various religious and racial backgrounds of her community behind one cause. Whether Shi’as, Sunnis or Christians, Assyrians, Kurds or Arab-Iraqis, Al Saleh and her team of ambassadors drew the various backgrounds of the broader Iraqi community together for the sole purpose of supporting their national team.

As the convenor of the Iraqi ambassador program, Al Saleh oversaw the operation of building support for her team by promoting the tournament and arranging tickets and travel for thousands of supporters. With the diverse background of the Iraqi community – one at times fraught with tension – the job was “not a full-time job, but a 24/7 job” as it could be as simple as handing out flyers and as complicated as organising community events.

“Difficult, challenging – extremely challenging, there was a lot of politics going around… I have to admit, it was very challenging but extremely rewarding,” Al Saleh said. “Look at today [Iraq v Palestine], we’re all sitting on the same level and you don’t know what our backgrounds are, we’re just all here for Iraq.”

Invited into the program because of her communication skills, Al Saleh faced struggles as a woman leading her program and sought to assist Iraq’s female supporters by arranging specific transport for them to attend games interstate. There were constant challenges but she says her reward was seeing thousands of Iraqi supporters stand together.

Events such as community Asian Cups organised by specific A-League clubs were part of the multicultural engagement programs that promoted the tournament among communities. Since March 2013 the program used multicultural media campaigns, targeted language advertisements, futsal events for ethnic communities and involvement of film festivals to drive support that attributed to an average attendance for non-Australia games of 14,727.

The program primarily worked with Chinese, Iranian, Japanese, Korean and Iraqi communities and is set to remain in place up until the A-League finals series in April. It could be expanded to other cultures to ensure Australian football retains a strong multicultural foundation.

“The FFA are very interested in continuing the legacy of the community ambassador program. If it’s going to be a multicultural program, then we have to bring in non-Asian ambassadors as well,” Red Elephant’s Patrick Skene said.

Taka Sasaki became the community ambassador for Japan after having organised a cultural football team and ticket arrangements. He was personally credited with distributing 1,000 tickets for Japan’s opening game against Jordan in Melbourne on top of the immeasurable publicity raised within the Japanese community of Australia. Sasaki worked tirelessly in promoting the tournament in Japanese-Australian media and events in Melbourne and was rewarded by the AFC to become the official team liaison of the Blue Samurai for the tournament.

“It was a precious time for me working with the national team. I was with [Keisuke] Honda, [Shinji} Kagawa and eating together and joking around with them, seeing them playing and practising just in front of me,” Sasaki said.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

James Faulkner to follow different World Cup injury path to Michael Clarke

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Cricket Australia will give James Faulkner a different timeline to Michael Clarke for his recovery from a suspected side strain which is jeopardising the all-rounder’s availability for the start of the World Cup.
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Faulkner flew to Melbourne on Monday for scans on the injury to his right side but initial fears are he has a moderate grade strain. Fast bowlers commonly need at least four to six weeks to recover from side strains, also known as intercostal strains, and if Faulkner faces a similar rehabilitation period he will miss at least Australia’s first three matches of the tournament.

Unless the injury sidelines him until the end of the World Cup, Faulkner will be given beyond the February 21 deadline handed by selectors to Clarke to prove his fitness.

Clarke hit the airwaves on Monday as part of a commercial promotion organised months in advance declaring he was prepared to play under Smith if punted as skipper and denied his relationship with Marsh was strained.

Although Ricky Ponting played on after stepping down as skipper in 2011, it is not common in Australia for a former captain to play on after stepping down. But Clarke said “most definitely I would”.

“I feel for Smithy because I sat in his shoes when a lot of the media were calling for Ricky Ponting (to go),” Clarke said on Brisbane’s Triple M. “It’s certainly not personal between Smithy and I. We’ve been friends for a long time and we’ll continue to be. The people that sit above both him and I will make their decisions.”

Clarke, 33, said he still enjoyed a “good relationship” with chairman of selectors Rod Marsh, whom he has known since he was a teenager at the Australian Cricket Academy in the late 1990s.

Marsh said in announcing the World Cup squad three weeks ago that Clarke had been set that timeframe because they wanted the side to be “completely settled” by then, though CA team performance manager Pat Howard then said the ruling was only for players with “chronic injuries”.

“We fully expect there will be small, day-to-day injuries,” Howard said on January 12.

But the different set of rules set to be applied to Faulkner will not go unnoticed by Clarke, who made his comeback to competitive cricket on the weekend at grade level.

Clarke said he is seven days ahead of schedule, but he still faces an uphill task to lead his country at the World Cup.

Faulkner is a key player in Australia’s quest to win the 50-over showpiece on home soil so important is his powerful hitting with the bat and his ability to bowl effectively in the closing overs.

Moises Henriques will come into calculations should Faulkner be ruled out of the tournament though given the squad already contains all-rounders Shane Watson and Mitch Marsh, a specialist batsman, such as Cameron White or Shaun Marsh, will also be considered.

Clarke and selectors have been at loggerheads several times in the past six months, including run-ins over selection in Zimbabwe, the UAE and his comeback from a hamstring injury in late November before the first Test against India.

“We’re two very strong people so we do regularly communicate and disagree with things but the one thing we’ve always done, we back it like we made it ourselves. I think our relationship has always been that way,” Clarke said.

“That’s probably what I love so much about Rod, he’s very similar to my father, he’ll always be honest to me whether that’s positive or constructive criticism.

“I’ve always had a good relationship with him and long may that continue.”

Clarke is ahead of schedule in his recovery from hamstring tendon surgery. He will take the next step in his comeback on Thursday when he resumes fielding in a limited capacity in a match for a CA XI against Bangladesh in Brisbane.

He said he would “respect and accept” the selectors’ call should he not prove his fitness for the World Cup. Clarke received backing from close friend Shane Warne, who believes Australia cannot win the tournament without their captain, though he also said Australia would be hard to beat in their current form and had match winners with bat and ball.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Building waste dumped on bush tracknear Freemans Drive, Cooranbong

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Building waste dumped on bush track HAZARDOUS: The asbestos is believed to have been dumped in the bush by a contractor trying to avoid tip fees. Picture: Peter Stoop.
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HAZARDOUS: The asbestos is believed to have been dumped in the bush by a contractor trying to avoid tip fees. Picture: Peter Stoop.

HAZARDOUS: The asbestos is believed to have been dumped in the bush by a contractor trying to avoid tip fees. Picture: Peter Stoop.

HAZARDOUS: The asbestos is believed to have been dumped in the bush by a contractor trying to avoid tip fees. Picture: Peter Stoop.

HAZARDOUS: The asbestos is believed to have been dumped in the bush by a contractor trying to avoid tip fees. Picture: Peter Stoop.

HAZARDOUS: The asbestos is believed to have been dumped in the bush by a contractor trying to avoid tip fees. Picture: Peter Stoop.

TweetFacebookENOUGH building sheeting to build a shed lies exposed to the elements at an illegal dump site a couple of hundred metres down a bush track off Freemans Drive, Cooranbong.

The track, a stone’s throw from the M1 motorway, is also littered with assorted building waste, garden waste and electrical goods.

There are dozens of such sites scattered throughout the Lower Hunter’s bushland that are a blight on the environment.

The discovery of a similar site at Tarro last week sparked outrage on social media.

The discardedsheeting at the Cooranbong appears to have been dumped by a professional contractor seeking to avoid tip fees.

A Lake Macquarie spokeswoman said the sheeting wastewas not present when council officers inspected the area in December 2014.

Twenty tyres were removed from the area in January.

‘‘Illegal dumping is a problem that Lake Macquarie City Council has been working hard to stamp out for many years – and we are not alone,’’ she said.

‘‘Illegal dumping costs the Hunter region’s ratepayers more than $2 million each year. It not only reduces available council resources and can be a threat to human health, it also causes environmental damage that can have lasting effects into the future.’’

Lake Macquarie has joined forces with the Environment Protection Authority, Wyong, Cessnock, Gosford, Upper Hunter, Maitland, Dungog, Newcastle, Muswellbrook and Singleton councils to create the a Regional Illegal Dumping Squad.

The introduction of a regional approach to aims to reduce the number of illegal dumping incidents in the region and improve enforcement.

‘‘The most successful prosecutions of illegal dumping result from community reports of dumpings, either vehicle registration details or individuals sighted dumping,’’ the spokeswoman said.

An Environment Protection Authority spokeswoman it would investigate the building waste discovery at Cooranbong in conjunction with Lake Macquarie Council.

Anyone who is aware of illegally dumped material, especially when it is hazardous, should contact the EPA Environment line on 131 555 The Environment line operates 24 hours a day seven days a week.

Phytotech chief Ross Smith exits following Facebook rant controversy

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

The founder of Australia’s first listed medical marijuana company has resigned after a series of threatening and explicit rants was allegedly posted on social media.
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The departure of Ross Smith, executive director of medical marijuana company Phytotech, was announced to the Australian Securities Exchange on Monday afternoon.

Mr Smith did not mention the social media messages, which he says were the work of hackers, in the announcement.

He stated that he was confident that Phytotech would “go on to become a huge success. I will continue to stay living in Israel while looking for the next big thing in biotechnology and technology”.

The messages appear to have been directed at a user on the investment-focused internet chat forum HotCopper.

The user had discussed performance shares held by Phytotech’s management team.

A message on Mr Smith’s Facebook page stated that he and his “special forces bodyguards” had tracked forum user “Harry” down to an address in Perth.

“We have already tracked Harry down to an address in Perth and guess what? He … has a problem with me… Guess what c***? We will be paying you a visit and my friends are very very good at what they do.”

The alleged message is no longer visible.

But two others present on his page included: “Missing my FN TAC 7.62mm Sniper Rifle at present. 800m practice rounds in target. It makes for a clean head shot to create red mist”, which is posted alongside a picture of a rifle, and “Someone once said once that violence doesn’t solve problems. I think not, just ask the founding fathers of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”

However, Mr Smith told Fairfax that “It appears that my Gmail account got hacked and that is how they got into my Facebook account.

“I still cannot recover my Gmail account because they changed my password,” he said.

“You can see that I discovered this at 8.30am local time yesterday.  Pretty impressive cyber attack actually. These are the guys I am dealing with.”

Mr Smith declined to detail the circumstances of his resignation.

But he accused forum users of a campaign against him.

“I am going to sue HotCopper because of the clear and blatant disregard for their own posting rules and major breaches of ASIC regulations in regards to the incredible personal attacks on me. They might as well just have a posting thread of ‘I hate Ross Smith’,” he said.

Mr Smith claimed an individual at HotCopper “has a vendetta against me and was behind an orchestrated campaign of defamatory remarks against myself and of misleading information against Phytotech”.

Mr Smith said he was taking legal advice and would be “coming after everyone associated with HotCopper and the posts”.

The experience meant it was unlikely he would take a directorship with another public company, Mr Smith said.

“These trolls from HotCopper seem to operate with impunity, with ASIC simply sitting back allowing it to happen.”

Mr Smith said he was pursuing  opportunities with Israeli companies. “Israel is an amazing hotbed of technical innovation and I am in advanced discussions with several incredible biotechnology and technology companies,” he said.

HotCopper managing director Greg D’Arcy, however, said that the person behind the initial HotCopper post was not a part-owner of HotCopper.

Mr D’Arcy said that at no stage had Smith reported to HotCopper management that the Facebook post being quoted on HotCopper was written by hackers.

Mr Smith said on his Facebook page on Tuesday that Phytotech’s performance now entitled him to millions of performance rights, which can be converted into shares. In order to achieve the rights, Phytoech’s five-day Volume Weighted Average Price had to exceed 60 cents.

“In case anyone is interested, yes I achieved the PYL performance hurdles in 5 days. VWAP = Volume Weighted Average Price. It blasted through 60 cents so job done. I have appointed a strong management team. So the other 5m PS are in the bag. Management is not my strong point. Having a great time is more like it”.

Phytotech shares listed at 20¢ in January, raising $5.9 million. The shares reached a peak of 92¢ cents but closed on Tuesday at 35.5¢.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

From Middle-earth to Salem: The Hobbit’s Richard Armitage leapt at chance to star in Old Vic production of The Crucible

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

Richard Armitage (John Proctor) and Anna Madeley (Elizabeth Proctor) in the Old Vic production of Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible”, which is screening in selected cinemas. Photo: Johan Persson Richard Armitage (John Proctor) and Anna Madeley (Elizabeth Proctor) in the Old Vic production of Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible”, which is screening in selected cinemas. Photo: Johan Persson
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

Richard Armitage (John Proctor) and Anna Madeley (Elizabeth Proctor) in the Old Vic production of Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible”, which is screening in selected cinemas. Photo: Johan Persson

Richard Armitage (John Proctor) and Anna Madeley (Elizabeth Proctor) in the Old Vic production of Arthur Miller’s play “The Crucible”, which is screening in selected cinemas. Photo: Johan Persson

Actor Richard Armitage spent more than 10 years waiting for the right moment to return to the stage, and after his most high-profile movie role, playing the heroic Thorin Oakenshield in The Hobbit trilogy, he knew that this was it. “Being in The Hobbit was immersive, it was amazing. I adored being in New Zealand, and I loved being that character for a really long time.”

But he leapt at the chance to play John Proctor in a new production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, at London’s Old Vic. “Going back into a play like this, where you really just have the bare bones of text and very little else, was a deliberate antidote”, he says, to the techno world of Middle-earth on screen.

Yael Farber’s fierce, intense production opened to rave reviews. Now Australian audiences have a chance to see it, filmed live, in cinemas around the country.

Armitage, 43, remembers reading The Crucible as a drama student, and connecting with the part and the play. He studied drama at LAMDA and worked on stage and in musical theatre before beginning a range of TV roles. He played leads in North and South and Robin Hood, and had three seasons in the espionage series Spooks. He now lives in New York.

Before rehearsals for The Crucible began, his own preparation involved a visit to Salem, where the play is set. “I always think it’s the most potent sort of thing, to go to the source. [I] wanted to try to connect with who they were as people, tread the paths they trod.” Reading Arthur Miller’s autobiography, Timebends, was an extra incentive; Miller went there to explore the place, “and I was looking for the ways that Miller and his works connect”. He feels that the voice of Proctor is very much Miller’s voice.

In the rehearsal room, he recalls, “we had a huge board where we bought images and pieces of music and our collective ideas, so you could really see where other people were finding sources.” The cast of 23 spanned generations, from actors fresh out of drama school to performers in their 80s. “They brought books about the Holocaust, images of Eastern Europe, Africa, the Far East. None of it was going to put a stamp on the play that was too identifiable,” he says, but it emphasised the scope and range of the text.

There was also intense physical preparation, and exercises and improvisations that brought out the conditions under which these characters lived, colonists in a small religious community, “working the land and tryng to survive. We created a kind of church for ourselves we’d attend every day”. There was a sermon, “and we brought our collective thoughts on what that would be about, and what would be spoken at these meetings that were so central to the culture”.

Miller’s play, set during the witchcraft trials of Salem in 1692, and written under the shadow of the anti-Communist scare of the 1950s, has perpetual relevance, Armitage believes. “I think he was looking to the past and seeing into the future, he was saying it has happened before, it will happen again, and it’s happening now in my world. When a society ‘others’ its own people, and legislates to perpetuate that othering, it’s quite a simple idea, but it has so many cultural resonances.”

But the play, he says, is also a powerful exploration of character. He talks about investigating the complexities of the relationship between Proctor and his wife, Elizabeth (Anna Madeley), of its fault lines and its strengths. In Act Two, he says, “we’re not seeing a couple fighting, we’re seeing a couple fighting to hold themselves together; their love is so deep, but their relationship is so damaged, and the circumstances of their universe get so ahead of them that they have no time”. For him, the final act is in many ways, “Elizabeth’s act”.

What’s more, he adds, everyone on stage, at one point or another, has a crucial role in the drama. “I really believe in the ensemble principle,” he says emphatically, “and there are no small parts in this play”.

He is sure he will be back on stage soon, but the Crucible experience, he says, “has set the bar really high, it’s hard to find something that will come up to that. I feel Yael has been a real teacher for me, and I do think we’ll work together again.” Whatever happens, he adds, “I took away a toolkit of ideas and ways of working that I will probably always apply.

“I wasn’t the only one who felt like that. It was interesting, Annie Firbank (who plays the character of Rebecca Nurse), she’s in her 80s, and I remember she said, ‘I’ve never worked like this before, I’ve never made discoveries in the rehearsal room like this’. To be so changed at that stage in your career is exciting.”

It was the same, he says for Samantha Colley, just out of drama school, and playing the pivotal role of Abigail Williams, the young woman who drives the charges of witchcraft in the community. “She said to me on the last night, ‘I’m worried I’ll never find anyone like Yael again.’ I said to her, ‘You’ll always take with you what she gave you. And I’m sure you’ll work together again’.”

The Crucible screens in short seasons at selected cinemas nationally from February 4. See cinemalive整形美容医院m for details.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.