Tunisia terrorist attack: ‘I couldn’t see anything except blood and the dead’

Tourists and visitors from the Bardo Museum are evacuated. Photo: Hassene DridiA tourist bus had just pulled up outside Tunisia’s national museum and its passengers were piling out of the vehicle ready for a day of sightseeing when militants, armed with assault rifles and grenades, opened fire on the tourists.
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It was just after midday on Wednesday, local time, and the area surrounding the Bardo National Museum was bustling with people making their way into the attraction in downtown Tunis, the country’s capital. The large museum is to many Tunisians what the Louvre is to Paris: a major tourist destination, according to the BBC.

The building is located adjacent to the national Parliament, and some reports suggest that legislators were discussing an anti-terrorism law as at least two gunmen, who were dressed in military uniforms, took aim at those stepping off the bus.

“I couldn’t see anything except blood and the dead,” the driver of one tourist bus told Reuters. “They just started opening fire on the tourists as they were getting out of the buses.”

A museum employee told Reuters that two gunmen “opened fire on the tourists as they were getting off the buses, before fleeing into the museum”.

Initial reports suggest eight people were killed as they got off the bus, an Interior Ministry spokesman said. Several more of those tourists were taken hostage and then killed, The New York Times reported, citing the Interior Ministry spokesman.

By late on Wednesday, local time, at least 19 people were dead, including 17 foreign tourists. Forty-two people were wounded,Interior Ministry spokesman Mohamed Ali Aroui said.

Italian, Polish, South African, French and Japanese tourists were among the injured and killed, Mosaique FM radio in Tunisia reported.

Yasmine Ryan, who was at the museum at the time of the attack, told the BBC that she saw “helicopters flying overhead” and “tanks rolling in” as the security situation unfolded.

Inside the museum, a French tourist identified asGeraldine said she was on a guided tour when she heard shots fired outside.

“We thought it was a party, but in fact it wasn’t – there were men on the floor,”she told French news network iTele as she was still holed up in the building.

“Then there was a movement of panic as there are lots of people in the building. There are around 40 of us holed up in a room. We are rather panic-stricken, there was lots of noise.

“Then there were no gunshots outside, then we heard things outside. We were all inside sitting on the floor in the room. We could hear ‘Allahu Akbar’ and lots of firing.

“We can’t see outside. There is a group of attackers. There have been lots of volleys of gunfire. I would say there are a lot of them or else I am mistaken because I don’t know about this kind of thing.”

A large cruise ship, the Costa Fascinosa, was docked in Tunis on Wednesday morning. The ship, carrying 3161 passengers, was on a seven-day trip of the western Mediterranean and some of the Italian passengers caught in the museum ambush were believed to have been passengers on the ship.

Ship owner Costa Crociere confirmed that some of its passengers were visiting Tunis on Wednesday and that a Bardo National Museum tour was on the itinerary. The company could not confirm how many passengers were in the museum at the time.

The cruise ship recalled all of its passengers to the ship and was in touch with local authorities and the Italian Foreign Ministry.

Piero Fassino, the mayor of Turin, told Italian television that six City Hall workers were there, but that only two had been heard from.

“We are waiting for news with a certain anguish,” he said, according to The New York Times.

Security forces entered the museum, a former palace, about two hours after the initial attack and killed two militants and freed the captives, a government spokesman said. A police officer died in the operation.

Prime Minister Habib Essid said:”It is a critical moment in our history, and a defining moment for our future.

“We have not established the identity of the two terrorists … Reports are not final, these two terrorists could have been assisted by two or three other operatives.”

Mr Essid saidan Australian was also killed.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been contacted for confirmation.

– with Reuters

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

Class prevails as Laser Hawk breaks drought at Newmarket

Laser Hawk wins the Newmarket at Broadmeadow on Wednesday and, inset, winning jockey Hugh Bowman. Picture: Ryan OslandTHERE is no substitute for class, and Hugh Bowman and Laser Hawk once again proved the old racing adage correct in combining to win the Newmarket Handicap at Broadmeadow on Wednesday.
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Laser Hawk’s last win the Rosehill Guineas in 2012 in what seems another life when trained by Gai Waterhouse.

The injury-ravaged six-year-old finally saluted again despite a couple of poor barrier trials and a wide passage throughout the group 3 Newmarket. There could be no excuse for those behind Laser Hawk ($9.50) as he gave all seven of his rivals five kilograms and a beating.

He ran within 0.02 seconds of the track record as he raced away to score by a length from Scorpio Queen ($26.00), with Mighty Lucky ($4 fav)a long neck away in third.

New trainer Joe Pride admitted Laser Hawk relied on class for the win.

He will look at the Doncaster Mile at Randwick on April 4 with Laser Hawk, which he inherited after the horse broke down with knee chips.

“I have a bit of luck with horses from Gooree,’’ he said of the horse stud that owns Laser Hawk. ‘‘I keep getting their tried horses and theyall seem to win races for me.

‘‘He is a group1 horse, so he deserved to have a bit of weight in a race like that but to be honest I was just hoping to see him go all right.

“He had three trials to get ready for this, but that was because he needed them.’’

Laser Hawk gave Bowman a beautiful feel after missing the start and although he was trapped wide the champion jockey was happy in running.

“I thought there wasn’t that much pressure in the race and when he was slow away I gave him a dig and thought I would get to the front,” Bowman said. “I was three wide and they were getting along, and I could see there was no use pushing on.

“I just decided to let him be comfortable and once he had a couple in front he just dropped his head. He got into a rhythm and travelled well and then was able to show his class in the straight.

“He was going to be a genuine weight-for-age horse before he got the injury and he still has that sort of ability on his day.”

It was a convincing win and trainer Kris Lees, who prepared the runner-up, was full of praise.

“The winner has gone super – he did all the work and beat them,” Lees said. “Looking at the time they went I’m very happy with my mare.

‘‘She has come back well and will get better again from run.

“There is a race during the carnival for her and I just have to work out which way I will go.”

Sleep the secret to sexual success: study

Women who slept an hour longer were 14 per cent more likely to have sex with their partner the next day. Photo: [email protected]上海龙凤419m.au Women who slept an hour longer were 14 per cent more likely to have sex with their partner the next day. Photo: [email protected]上海龙凤419m.au
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Women who slept an hour longer were 14 per cent more likely to have sex with their partner the next day. Photo: [email protected]上海龙凤419m.au

Women who slept an hour longer were 14 per cent more likely to have sex with their partner the next day. Photo: [email protected]上海龙凤419m.au

For a better time in the sack, hit the sack. That’s the implication of a new study which found young women were more likely to desire sex – and have it – if they slept longer the previous night.

Women who got an extra hour of sleep were 14 per cent more likely to have sex with their partner the next day, according to findings published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Sexual Medicine on Monday.

And women who usually slept for longer reported better genital arousal than those whose average nightly shut-eye was shorter, the study reported.

This did not necessarily mean “the more sleep the better”, lead author David Kalmbach said. Rather, maintaining a healthy amount of nightly rest was important to sexual health.

“These findings indicate that insufficient sleep can decrease sexual desire and arousal for women,” Dr Kalmbach said.

“I think the take-home message should not be that more sleep is better, but that it is important to allow ourselves to obtain the sleep that our mind and body needs.”

The study asked 171 female college students to complete a daily, web-based questionnaire on their sexual mood, sexual function and sleeping patterns, over a 14 days. The authors said they controlled for other factors that can influence sexual desire, such as wellbeing, menstruation and use of oral contraceptives.

The average age of the participants was 20, and 50 per cent had a “significant other”. The average nightly sleep duration among the participants was seven hours and 22 minutes, while almost 20 per cent of the surveyed women reported clinically significant levels of “sexual distress”.

In a quirk that surprised researchers, women experienced better vaginal lubrication and arousal the day after a shorter night’s sleep. And yet, women with longer average sleep duration reported better genital arousal than those with shorter average sleep duration.

The authors said these findings were not mutually exclusive – it was likely, they suggested, that a single night of short sleep could boost libido whereas chronic sleep deprivation would have the opposite effect.

“Women with chronically insufficient sleep may be at greater risk for genital arousal difficulties, though one night of sleep loss appears to lead to short-term improvement in genital arousal the following day,” the paper concluded.

The authors also noted the limitations of the participants’ subjective reporting and recommended further research. But the study echoes previous findings – such as a 2011 paper which found men with poor and interrupted sleep patterns had lower levels of testosterone, resulting in decreased libido.

The better news for men is that watching pornography may actually aid sexual arousal. In a separate new study, researchers at Concordia College and the University of California found that men who watched porn regularly were more responsive when exposed to sexual stimuli. They also found no evidence that viewing porn led to erectile dysfunction, as has been argued by some commentators and doctors.

“Many clinicians claim that watching erotica makes men unable to respond sexually to ‘normal’ sexual situations with a partner. That was not the case in our sample,” said Nicole Prause, who co-conducted the study, published in the online peer-reviewed journal Sexual Medicine this month.

Regular porn viewers responded “more strongly” to the “very vanilla erotica” shown to the study’s participants than those who did not watch porn, Ms Prause said.

The data was collected from 280 male volunteers, 127 of whom had a steady partner.

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

Crakanthorp cranky oversnapshot: voter

The advertising trailer in a prominent position across the road from the pre-poll station. Picture: Peter StoopA HEATED exchange involving Newcastle Labor MP Tim Crakanthorp on one side and Liberal booth workers and a retired “swinging voter” on the other has been investigated by the police and the NSW Electoral Commission.
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Tempers flared at the Newcastle pre-polling station in Darby Street on Tuesday over the way that Mr Crakanthorp had parked an advertising trailer with his photos on it, hitched to a station wagon, in a prominent position across the road from the pre-poll station.

While Mr Crakanthorp says he had checked with Newcastle City Council compliance officers before leaving the vehicle parked for extended periods of time, his Liberal challenger, Karen Howard, disagrees.

“The council compliance officer told everyone that cars with advertising trailers could only stay parked like that when the driver for the day was in the vicinity,” Ms Howard said.

The disturbance began when one of Ms Howard’s campaign workers tried to photograph Mr Crakanthorp, apparently as he was about to leave in another vehicle, which could show he was “not in the vicinity”.

Mr Crakanthorp said: “Yesterday as I was leaving pre-poll, I was approached by a Liberal volunteer seeking to photograph me.

“Another man got involved, there was an exchange of words and I have reported the matter to the Newcastle returning officer, the police and parliamentary security.”

Ms Howard declined to say what happened, saying she was not there at the time, but the person Mr Crakanthorp referred to, Honeysuckle resident Tim Lees, alleged Mr Crakanthorp had “an aggressive and threatening attitude towards the young volunteer”.

Mr Lees, who describes himself as a 65-year-old swinging voter who moved to Newcastle a few years ago from Sydney’s northern beaches, said he intervened to tell Mr Crakanthorp to calm down.

He said Mr Crakanthorp then “turned his venom” on him, and that at one stage the pair were “nose to nose” in conflict.

“Seems the pressure may be getting to the member for Newcastle,” Mr Lees said.

Mr Crakanthorp disputed Mr Lees’ account and alleged that the voter had been the aggressor.

He said the council’s senior compliance officer had verified there was “no issue with the campaign car being parked where it was”.

“Polling booths can involve some rough and tumble, however it will be the people of Newcastle who decide who will represent them,” Mr Crakanthorp said. “Until then, everyone should act respectfully.”

Newcastle returning officer Ashley Cooper confirmed he had written a report about the incident and sent it to the electoral commission’s Sydney head office.

A commission spokesman confirmed the report had been received but said he was unable to release it or to detail its contents.

Ms Howard said she, too, had contacted police, having received “very third-hand information” about what had happened at the pre-poll station.

Police said said officers investigated a “verbal altercation” on Darby Street but on the information they received they believed no offence had been committed and so no formal action was taken.

Police confirmed the argument began over “the taking of photographs” and said extra patrols were being sent past the pre-poll station.

Extra patrols were also sent past one candidate’s home, as requested by the candidate.

Research infrastructure funding needs greater certainty for scientists to feel secure

Questacon director Professor Graham Durant, ANU vice-chancellor Professor Ian Young, and parliamentary secretary for industry and science Karen Andrews at the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Shell Questacon Science Circus touring outreach program. Photo: Jamila ToderasMillions of dollars of research infrastructure funding and 1700 research jobs at risk of cuts may be safe for now but, without a long-term commitment, Australia will struggle to retain scientists and attract world-class researchers to the sector.
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Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s decision to split the future funding of the $150 million National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) from the government’s university deregulation bill was welcomed by Nobel laureate Professor Brian Schmidt and ANU vice-chancellor Ian Young.

But both believe the government needs to engage with all sides of politics to reform the university sector and hope the one-year of NCRIS funding will bridge the scheme until a review of research infrastructure funding being conducted by chief scientist Ian Chubb and Phillip Clarke will establish a new system.

Professor Schmidt said the threat to NCRIS – a body which funds 27 research facilities rather than individual projects – had the sector in “panic mode”.

“Most of the damage has been avoided but we do have an issue coming up in a year from now when this whole cycle will repeat, so we need to bridge to this Phillip Clarke review which will look at infrastructure funding long term.”

Speaking after the 30-year anniversary celebrations of Questacon’s travelling outreach show the Science Circus, Mrs Andrews said she hoped researchers and scientists felt more confident about their futures after the “good outcome” for NCRIS funding.

But she said the way research funding was organised in Australia had to be reformed with scientists telling her they had to spend too long writing grant proposals many of which had a low success rate.

“Why are we having our top research scientists spending their time writing grant applications when they should be out there doing research?” she said.

But Professor Young said scientists were their “own worst enemies” feeling compelled to go into a great level of detail.

“The real problem is the [research grant] success rate is so low… the level of funding for research isn’t sufficient in this country,” he said.

Professor Schmidt said both sides of politics while in government have attempted to offset all research funding within the one portfolio of education, when the research cut across many different portfolios.

“To just slug it out of the universities, which is what I fear is going to happen, is not doing the problem justice and is causing even more pain to a university system under incredible duress due to the uncertainty to these higher education reforms,” he said.

Professor Young said the ANU would have lost $15 million if the NCRIS funding had not been secured.

“If you’re trying to attract world-class people to come and work in those environments they want more than a year of certainty about their future,” he said.

Beyond the deregulation of fees, Professor Young said broader discussion was needed about how to sustain major research universities.

Both Professor Schmidt and Professor Young believe the “super profits tax” style suggestion from HECS’ architect Bruce Chapman – allowing universities to set their own fees but face a levy if they raise fees over a set amount – could be a way forward for the reforms, but only if all sides of politics were engaged.

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

Blacktown mayor’s 90-storey tower plan to block Badgerys Creek airport ‘stupid’

Determined: Blacktown mayor Stephen Bali wants to build towers to sabotage the second airport at Badgerys Creek. Photo: Fairfax-Media-Australia Anti-airport: Stephen Bali has invited developers to build 90-storey towers in the heart of Blacktown. Photo: Phyllis Macgraw
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A western Sydney mayor’s scheme to sabotage the building of the new airport at Badgerys Creek by advocating building new apartment buildings up to 90 storeys high to block planes’ routes has outraged neighbouring councils.

“The only real way 90-storey buildings would stop planes would be if you built them actually on the runway,” said Penrith mayor Ross Fowler. “And, in any case, if you were against the airport, it would be better to put up logical, sensible arguments rather than this stupidity.”

Blacktown mayor Stephen Bali said on Tuesday he was inviting property developers into his area to build massive towers in the hope of scuppering the airport. He feels the planes will be too noisy and will disturb locals at night.

On Wednesday Mr Bali told Domain: “If that’s what it takes to make people think again about the airport, then I’d welcome any developers contacting me.”

“I’ve already had a number come to me since then about proposing 20 storeys or more, but if anyone comes up with a 90-storey building, we’re happy to go through all the planning processes,” he said.

“We don’t want four million people living around the airport being subjected to 24-7 noise.”

But his words have brought condemnation from fellow mayors in western Sydney. Mr Fowler said: “Everyone recognises the benefits of the airport in terms of the investment and job opportunities and the chance for people to work closer to home.”

Liverpool mayor Ned Mannoun said Mr Bali’s comments show why such decisions “should be left to the experts, rather than politicians”.

“Our council is 100 per cent in favour of the airport because of the investment and jobs it will bring,” Mr Mannoun said.

“At the moment, 70 per cent of the workforce have to travel outside the local government area to go to work, which is unsustainable.

“This airport will bring us a lot of economic benefits.”

Such massive towers would be equally unwelcome in Campbelltown, says its mayor, Paul Lake.

While he feels the airport at Badgerys Creek should have a night curfew, like Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport, and there should be a trial of flights 24-7 in Sydney before allowing them in western Sydney, he said the airport is already decided.

“It’s going to happen but we want to safeguard the quality of life of the residents,” he said. “And as for 90-storey towers … I’d be buried alive if we were to agree to that!”

Even where such lofty towers are actually being proposed and debated – in  Parramatta – the mayor Scott Lloyd is unsympathetic. By the time the plans actually got through anywhere else, the airport could be operational, he said.

“It’s ludicrous to say that,” he said. “There’s already legislation in place stopping new developments in the flight path anyway. And we are looking forward to Western Sydney Airport. We’ll benefit with jobs, infrastructure, satellite industries, services transport, logistics …”

Mr Bali’s remarks have, however, drawn attention to local reservations about possible noise problems for western Sydney, believes Fairfield mayor Frank Carbone. “If people in Blacktown, 20km away, are going to be so impacted, then what about the noise levels for those closer to the airport?” he said.

“I’m in favour of the airport, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions, like the noise, infrastructure, grants to improve the acoustics for people’s homes, and the need for better community consultation. But I’m not supportive of 90-storey buildings that, in my view, will bring the slums of the future.”

That’s not to say developers would be so eager to build 90-storey blocks in Blacktown, either. Developer Theo Groutsis of Better Buildings, which has already developed apartments in the area, such as the 20-level Centralis tower, is unmoved by Mr Bali’s comments.

“We don’t make decisions based on stopping things going ahead,” he said. “We make them on economic viability and whether a lot of factors stack up.”

Tony Hadchiti, the president of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils, also says such towers should be built only when they’re needed.

“We should be planning our cities based on what our cities cater for, not saying we want buildings to stop airports,” he said. “Both sides of government have committed to this airport and we should allow the process to take place. This is set to be the biggest game-changer for western Sydney.”

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

$25m kick-start for new Lower Hunter hospital

An artist’s impression of the proposed new hospital.EDITORIAL: Money for Maitland hospital
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CONSTRUCTION of the Lower Hunter’s new hospital will start in the next term of a re-elected Baird government, with $25million pledged to kick-start the project worth more than $400million.

In the Liberal Party’s strongest pitch yet to hang on to the seat of Maitland, Health Minister Jillian Skinner will join candidate Steve Thomson to announce on Thursday that $25million has been set aside from the Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund to start ground works at the Metford site for the new hospital.

It will also spend $3.8million on a new ambulance station in the area, which could be built either near the new hospital or as a major upgrade of the existing Rutherford station.

Ms Skinner said residents would soon be able to see work start on the project.

It is needed because of the mounting pressure the region’s growing population is putting on the existing Maitland Hospital, and to reduce the need for Lower Hunter residents to go to the John Hunter Hospital, freeing up capacity there, she said.

‘‘To say the [new] Maitland Hospital will be a game changer for this region doesn’t even scratch the surface of how important this project is,’’ Mrs Skinner said.

‘‘It will transform healthcare for this rapidly growing region.’’

The new hospital’s location on the former PGH bricks site will include an emergency department, cancer services, more inpatient beds, and other services. Exactly when work will start depends on the company CSR finishing the site’s remediation.

But unlike a number of government infrastructure promises, the hospital is not contingent on the leasing of the state’s poles and wires.

However, the government says it is yet to determine whether it will be a wholly government-built project, a public-private partnership or privately built and managed, leaving voters in the dark before they cast their vote.

Mrs Skinner said the decision would be made after the final business case is handed to NSW Treasury mid year.

Its planners have also been considering whether to sell the existing hospital site and Morisset hospital to help fund the project.

But the minister said the new hospital would cater for public patients regardless of the procurement model, and only the government could be trusted to deliver the project.

‘‘The Baird government has made its commitment to delivering a new hospital for Maitland clear – we chose the site, started the remediation, progressed the master planning and have worked with the clinicians and the community to determine the clinical services needs,’’ she said.

Mr Thomson said it would ensure residents were able to receive more complex clinical care closer to home.

Premier Mike Baird will be campaigning in Newcastle on Thursday.

Herald Breakfast – March 19 2015

Morning Shot: Instagram’s @mickloxleyphotography shared this sunrise on Thursday. Weather:Mostly sunny in Newcastle (27 degrees) and Maitland (33 degrees) with sunshine in Scone (35 degrees).
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Trains:Passengers travelling on the 5:45am Central to Hamilton train were advised to allow an additional 20 minutes travel time due to the train requiring mechanical repairs at Thornleigh earlier.

Traffic: No major incidents reported on Hunter roads.

Beachwatch:It’s going to be warm and partly cloudy today so another goodpretty day beachside. The wind will be south-west to south-east with the swell from the east around half to one metre. Mostopen beaches will be feeling the effects of the wind with thesouthern ends being the better value.

Morning Shot:Instagram’s @mickloxleyphotography shared this sunrise on Thursday.

Ten penalised in widespreaduni cheating scandal:THE University of Newcastle has expelled two students and suspended a further eight after its investigation into a widespread cheating scandal centred onan online essay writing company.

Massive medical costs in the Hunter:THE Hunter is home to some of the biggest medical bills for people who visit their family doctor 12 or more times per year in Australia.

Crakanthorp cranky over snapshot, voter claims: A HEATED exchange involving Newcastle Labor MP Tim Crakanthorp on one side and Liberal booth workers and a retired “swinging voter” on the other has been investigated by the police and the NSW Electoral Commission.

Kade Snowden’s push for pack leadership:His role is uncomplicated and unglamorous but should never be underestimated.

Thurston shocked at Newcastle tackle: The Queensland playmakerfeared he might have suffered a neck injury after a dangerous tackle by Newcastle players and believes they should have known better considering the injury suffered by Alex McKinnon.

Herald Half-Time: Do the Jets have anything left to play for?ONLINE SHOWJoin the panel as theydiscuss the 4-0 thumping against Melbourne City and where the Jets go from here.

Uni cheats kicked out

THE University of Newcastle has expelled two students and suspended a further eight after its investigation into a widespread cheating scandal centred on an online essay writing company.
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About 70 other students from four other NSW universities are also facing severe penalties, including expulsion, after being identified in connection with the Sydney-based My Master company.

The students were identified using data provided by Fairfax Media, following an investigation last year that revealed up to 1000 students from 16 universities had hired the Sydney-based My Master company to ghost-write their assignments and sit online tests.

The data, which was insecurely stored on the now-defunct My Master website, included copies of the purchased assignments, bank receipts showing proof of payment, and in some instances suspected names and student numbers of those involved. The website was written in Chinese and was marketed to international students studying at universities in NSW.

The University of Newcastle – the only institution to have mostly finalised its internal investigation into the scandal – confirmed it had expelled two students and suspended a further eight for using the My Master service.

A total of 31 students were found to have breached the university’s academic misconduct protocol, deputy vice-chancellor Andrew Parfitt said.

All of them were international students based at the University of Newcastle’s Sydney campus.

When the cheating allegations were put to them, ‘‘the vast majority of students’’ admitted to buying their assignments and ‘‘expressed regret,’’ Professor Parfitt said.

Among them, 24 students received a fail grade for courses completed in 2014 – a penalty which was applied 51 times, indicating some students had bought their assignments for multiple courses.

Those students were suspended or expelled.

The two expelled students had used the My Master service four or five times, or had previous misconduct breaches on their record, he said.

‘‘I think we’ve always known there are various forms students use for cheating. But we have a very strong process in place here.’’

Professor Parfitt said the university was still pursuing a number of former students who had not responded to the cheating allegations.

Those who graduated last year risked having their degrees revoked.

Four months after the cheating scandal was uncovered, the four other worst-affected universities – Macquarie University, University of Technology Sydney, University of Sydney, University of NSW – have told Fairfax Media that their internal investigations are still under way, but a number of students had been identified.

All universities, except UNSW, listed expulsion as the maximum possible penalty for students found to have breached academic protocol in their dealings with My Master.

At UNSW, the maximum penalty is 18 months’ suspension from the university. All universities contacted by Fairfax Media said no penalties would be imposed until all appeal processes had been exhausted.

Macquarie University – the worst-affected university with students logging 128 requests for work in 2014 – confirmed 43 ‘‘current and former students’’ had been asked to attend disciplinary committee hearings to explain how their names were among the files held on the My Master website.

Professor John Simons, deputy Vice-Chancellor of Macquarie University, said the university had commissioned an independent investigation to audit the data provided by Fairfax Media and would ‘‘leave no stone unturned in establishing whether or not cheating had occurred’’.

‘‘Some of these students may be completely innocently mentioned [in the Fairfax data]. This is for the disciplinary process to uncover,’’ he said.

A spokeswoman for the University of NSW said 19 students had been issued with ‘‘notices of allegation’’ in relation to 18 assignments, after plagiarism detection software had matched copies of the purchased assignments with those handed in by the students last year.

A further 11 students are under investigation at the University of Technology, Sydney, deputy vice-chancellor Shirley Alexander confirmed.

Attempts were also being made to identify students in connection with 53 assignment that had been purchased using fake names.

Three students at the University of Sydney are also being investigated.

During the course of Fairfax Media’s investigation, it was revealed that the My Master company had received more than 700 requests for work from NSW university students and turned over more than $160,000 in 2014, with some students paying up to $1000 for an assignment.

Entertainment from when radio was king

Film stars Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were also popular radio performers in the 1950s.Radio has been around for almost 200 years but podcasting is a relatively recent form of communication. The Boxcars711 Old Time Radio Pod combines media, taking recordings of radio programs created between 1930 and 1970 and making them available as podcasts.
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The podcast originates from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is hosted by veteran radio DJ Bob Camardella, although his recorded input here is mostly limited to occasional episode introductions. According to hosting site Podomatic, Boxcars711 pushes out more than 4.2 million downloads a year.

It’s amazing that so many shows have been preserved, and for the most part sound quality is good to excellent. At worst, some programs sound as if you’re listening to a scratchy old phonograph record. Several shows are released each day; I’ve been listening for several years and am still hearing new material. The Old Time Radio Radio Researchers Group database lists more than 212,000 individual episodes of about 2250 series that were produced.

If you’re old enough to remember a time before television, when radio was a vital part of the average family’s home entertainment, you’ll enjoy renewing the experience. For children of the 1950s and early ’60s, it’s fun discovering the roots of many of popular TV shows of the time. But if you just want to listen to some great stories, without being tied to a screen, and let your imagination run, you’ll love these podcasts. Most were recorded in studios and distributed to affiliated stations for rebroadcast, but many – especially comedy programs – were performed and recorded in front of audiences and you can hear their reactions and even, occasionally, actors flubbing their lines.

They were broadcast on commercial radio networks and most of the preserved recordings have had the advertising content removed. But when the ads have been left in, it’s a real eye-opener for how attitudes have changed. Children’s shows such as the western Wild Bill Hickok were sponsored by breakfast cereals whose claim to fame was the huge amount of sugar they contained, and children were encouraged to snack on them all day long (childhood obesity, anyone?). Cigarette companies were also big sponsors (doctors attest that one brand is less irritating to your throat).

Most of the programs are about 30 minutes long and they include drama, western, comedy, crime, horror, medical and science fiction. There are even programs in which the main characters are newspaper journalists. By far the most popular genre was detective and police stories. The best-known of those making the transition from books to radio include Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes, but there were others such as The Falcon, The Whisperer, The Blue Beetle, The Shadow and Boston Blackie. Westerns were also popular, and familiar titles include Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers, and Have Gun, Will Travel. As for comedy, shows by Groucho Marx, Jack Benny, George Burns and Milton Berle are as funny today as they were 60 years ago.

Radio had its very own star performers, many of whom, such as Jack Webb, were able to move over to television as the little screen gradually consumed the home audience, but several film stars also worked in radio. Frank Sinatra featured as an adventurer named Rocky Fortune, James Stewart played a cowboy known as The Six Shooter, and Vincent Price was The Saint. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall starred in a show called Bold Venture that lasted for more than 50 episodes.

Most of the shows originated on American radio networks but the collection includes series from Britain, South Africa and, from Australia, the Caltex Theatre.

Boxcars711 is available via iTunes or from http://boxcars711.podomatic上海龙凤419m/

Old Time Radio Radio Researchers Group: http://www.otrr上海龙凤419/pg02_otrdb.htm

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