Orica boss Ian Smith too explosive for the dynamite maker

The fiery management style of Ian Smith ultimately proved a little too explosive for dynamite manufacturer, Orica.
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Still, it’s not like the company did not know what it was in for when it employed the former Newcrest boss as a ‘change agent’ three years ago.

“If you have got an issue, confront it, wrestle it, pin it to the ground,”  the Broken Hill-born Smith said in his chapter of Unearthing Wisdom, a tome containing the thoughts and wisdom of 20 mining industry leaders.

“Be confrontational when you see people are not applying their capabilities to the utmost,” is another weighty piece of advice from Smith who got the bullet from his chairman, Russell Caplan, after a rather volcanic meeting with his investor relations head, Karen McRae.

Smith might have to update another line from the book where he says he has been field-tested “through nearly every catastrophic event you can think of, and survived”.

Arvi’s Wrong ‘un

Unearthing Wisdom was commissioned by head hunter Swann Global to mark its 20 year involvement with the mining industry – hence the 20 mining industry veterans interviewed.

True to its mining theme, the book came in a year late and over budget, according to a speech given by mining veteran, Ian Cockerill.

But it is hard to beat Sir Arvi Parbo’s speech which helped launch the book in Melbourne last year.

“What worked well in a given situation in the past is not necessarily translatable into other circumstances. As an example: in my time in the industry, in today’s terms I did everything wrong,” the mining industry legend said.

“I worked for the same company for 43 years, was both the Chairman and Managing Director for 15 years and, on retirement as an executive, continued as the non-executive Chairman for a further nine years. These would all be shooting offences today but there was worse: for a period I was at the same time the Chairman of three major companies in the same industry,” he said.

“Unthinkable today, but as recently as 15 years ago no-one, including corporate regulators, shareholder associations, media, or anybody else saw any problems with this, and in the then environment there weren’t any problems.”

Virgin oil

Virgin Australia boss John Borghetti has bought many interesting items in his life – budget airline, Tigerair, and scores of classic cars including a 1962 Porsche 356B. But an oil refinery?

Borghetti was asked at a business lunch in Sydney on Wednesday whether he had any interest in following in the footsteps of Virgin’s alliance partner, Delta Air Lines. The American airline decided a few years to buy its own oil refinery because it was sick of oil companies slapping large margins on the conversion of crude to jet fuel.

The Pennsylvania refinery now accounts for 75 per cent of Delta’s fuel needs in the US.

While pointing out that there is a refinery at Kurnell near Sydney Airport that his planes fly over every day, the Italian stallion made clear that he has no plans to buy it from Caltex.

“I have got my hands full with what I have got,” he said.

Borghetti might be missing a bargain given Caltex is in the process of closing the Kurnell refinery.

Besides, there is the small matter of the fuel bills for his warehouse full of vintage cars to think about.

Fashion victim

David Jones boss, Ian Nairn, was sporting the latest autumn look at the retail property shindig, SCN Big Guns lunch – a tan, no tie, and one missing shoe.

The latter was making room for a moon boot, making him the latest victim of misadventure from Woolies South Africa empire.

Woolies South Africa boss, Ian Moir, was battling with back surgery last year as he battled Solomon Lew for control of David Jones and Country Road.

Moir then failed to make it to the Woolies AGM in November after injuring both legs in a fall in Sydney earlier that month while inspecting the new acquisitions.

Back to Nairn, he was sharing beef and blue-eyed cod with retail property royalty like John Gowing – the last of the dynasty to preside over the Sydney retailer institution.

The table also included Coles property guru, Sam Pinchbeck, and Topshop director David Slade.

Don’t bank on it

The Commonwealth Bank has finally revealed what sort of fraud gets it so fired up that the bank is prepared to take the matter to the police.

Keith Hunter, the former Commonwealth Bank executive who has pleaded not guilty to bribery charges on Wednesday, was dobbed in by his former employer.

“CBA reported this matter to the NSW Police and we will continue to fully co-operate while the investigation continues,” a bank spokesman said.

So what makes this case different to the wealth management fiasco which ripped off clients? CBD hasn’t noticed any reporting to the police on that front.

Hunter, and another former executive, allegedly received kickbacks from a US-based IT company in return for not putting a lucrative contract to public tender.

“We have no tolerance for any illegal activity by any employee and we take every situation seriously,” said the bank, which added “no customer has been affected by this matter.”

This means that, unlike the wealth management fiasco, it was the bank who suffered from this alleged fraud.

[email protected]上海龙凤419m.au

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

Sydney intern architect underpaid almost $7000

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James says they are working to educate employers and workers about what genuine learning opportunities look like. Photo: Jesse MarlowA student was underpaid almost $7000 during an internship with a Sydney firm of architects, a Fair Work Ombudsman investigation has found.
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The student was completing a masters degree in architecture when he was paid $12 per hour for six months of full-time work.

His duties included architectural drawing, consulting with clients and and conducting site visits.

The Fair Work Ombudsman found that the student, aged in his 20s, should have been paid under the Architects Award and was short-changed $6830.

He performed work that was not a part of his university studies, entitling him to a minimum wage of $16.37 per hour, rising to $21.19 an hour after his graduation.

The company also failed to pay the student his correct leave entitlements or to issue him with any pay slips.

The company back-paid the employee after the Fair Work Ombudsman’s intervention. It also agreed to donate $500 to Interns Australia.

Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James said employers need to be aware that they are at risk of breaching workplace laws if they use unpaid work schemes as a source of free or cheap labor.

“When a worker moves beyond merely learning and observing and starts assisting with business outputs and productivity, workplace laws dictate that the worker must be paid minimum employee entitlements,” Ms James said.

“We don’t want to stifle genuine learning opportunities that help young people get a foot in the door, but we also don’t want to see young people being treated unfairly through unpaid work schemes.

“We want to educate employers and workers about what genuine learning opportunities look like.”

The Fair Work Ombudsman released a report on unpaid work in 2013, which found growing numbers of Australian employers are using unpaid work schemes as an alternative to hiring paid staff.

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

SBS planning to scrap football in shock programming upheaval

Cup gone? Tim Cahill celebrates after scoring against the Netherlands during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Cup gone? Tim Cahill celebrates after scoring against the Netherlands during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
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Cup gone? Tim Cahill celebrates after scoring against the Netherlands during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Cup gone? Tim Cahill celebrates after scoring against the Netherlands during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

The spiritual home of football on Australian television, SBS, is in advanced plans to cut ties with the sport as part of a dramatic programming overhaul.

While the decision has not been finalised, Fairfax Media understand the network’s content division recently concluded that SBS’s 35-year relationship with football – among Australian television’s most iconic – should be scaled back dramatically.

The government broadcaster has the rights to show the FIFA World Cup, the UEFA Champions League and one A-League match on free-to-air television each Friday night.

Tentative discussions have been held with other free-to-air broadcasters about offloading their A-League commitments for the next two seasons. SBS and Fox Sports signed a four-year, $160 million agreement to share the rights until 2017. On Wednesday Channel 7 indicated they would be interested in televising Socceroos matches when the current agreement with SBS and Fox Sports runs out.

However, in what may be seen as a significant step backwards for the game, no broadcaster is likely to show the Friday night match on their primary channel, instead shuffling the match to their digital off-shoots.

After gaining the free-to-air rights to show A-League matches from 2013, SBS surprisingly opted to initially show live games only on SBS 2.

Despite an upgrade to the primary channel this season, the residual impact of the original decision remained, with ratings hovering either side of 100,000 viewers nationally.

The network has also been frustrated by a lack of access to premium games, with primary broadcaster Fox Sports requesting the FFA schedule big matches – like most derbies and traditional clashes – on Saturday nights.

But perhaps most shocking is the thought that the next World Cup may not be on SBS, which has broadcast each tournament since 1990.

The rights are a highly prized asset and SBS could make a huge sum of money by on-selling the broadcast agreement for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

While rival networks are still considering their options, they have all shown interest in broadcasting football during the past two years.

Fellow government broadcaster ABC took secondary rights to this year’s Asian Cup and broadcast the Socceroos’ knockout matches live, with group matches on delay.

SBS is undergoing a major shift, triggered by the federal government’s decision to cut funding to the ABC and SBS.

SBS is under significant pressure from Canberra to boost ratings and lose its “niche” perception in order to maintain future funding.

Chief content officer Helen Kellie and TV and online content director Marshall Heald are believed to have identified football as an expendable part of the programming schedule.

They recently presented their recommendations – the “project shape” – to the SBS board, who offered a tentative green light. The next few months will be critical in determining how deep the proposed cuts run.

Staff have been widely unimpressed at what they believe is a rapidly morphing culture, described by one member as “increasingly corporate” and “commercial-driven”. An unpopular round of redundancies was recently undertaken on the advice of government-hired consultants.

Many inside the organisation believe the SBS company charter, which “sets out the principal functions of SBS and a number of duties it has to fulfil”, is being blatantly ignored.

“There is a very fundamental change occurring at SBS. Those in charge at the network have made it clear to everyone they intend on taking a new path,” one insider said. “They want to increase ratings by any means and appear prepared to stray from the charter, if necessary.

“If it wasn’t for SBS, football would never have found a home on Australian television all those years ago. But those in charge of content have come in from outside and have dismissed its importance.”

The rights to broadcast Champions League matches expires in two months and it is believed SBS will make no more than a token bid to secure the rights for the next three years.

Earlier this month, British broadcaster BT Sport paid £900 million (A$1.73 billion) for the next three years of European football’s elite league.

In Australia, that leaves ESPN (who have part of the existing rights), Fox Sports and Al-Jazeera’s beIN Sport to wrestle over SBS’s Champions League share.

Channel Seven recently latched onto the visits of Manchester United, Liverpool and Juventus and has bought the rights to showcase Tottenham Hotspur’s clash with Sydney FC this May. Channel Nine will broadcast the three Australian matches being played in July as part of the International Champions Cup.

Sebastian Hassett has appeared on SBS football programs

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

Are meal delivery services actually good for you?

If you are juggling work, family, study, commuting and a busy social life, chances are that you have pondered how much easier life could be if someone was preparing your meals.
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Indeed, the growth of meal delivery services in capital cities suggests the demand for healthy, pre-prepared food is set to increase. So, here are some of the options to organise a week’s worth of healthy meals, delivered to your door at the click of a button.

Lite n’ Easy

One of the original calorie-controlled meal services, Lite n’ Easy,delivers meals based on a range of calorie options. With meal plans developed by a dietitian and more than 100 meals on offer, Lite n’ Easy is an affordable way to have all your meals and snacks delivered for the week.

Nutritionally, Lite n’ Easy sticks to a low fat, high carbohydrate approach to calorie control. It offers relatively small portionsizes and relatively high proportions of carbohydrates compared to vegetables and lean proteins. While this supports a traditional low fat, high carbohydrate model of eating, this may not be the ideal dietary prescription for individuals with metabolic issues such as type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance, and for whom weight loss is the primary goal.

Pros: Delivers to all major capital cities; relatively cheap for a week’s worth of meals.

Cons: High carbohydrate meals; appears quite processed with small portion sizes.

HelloFresh

A more recent addition to the market is HelloFresh, which, unlike meal delivery options, is designed to make healthy cooking easier for busy people. Rather than meals being delivered, HelloFresh provides the raw ingredients for family friendly meals to help take the time out of shopping and meal preparation while still experiencing the joy of cooking. While the meals are not diet specific or calorie controlled, the focus is on fresh, locally sourced ingredients with recipes that are not time-consuming.

The choice of boxes you can order is flexible, as is the number of meals. Boxes are delivered to cities along the eastern seaboard on different days each week.

Pros: Allows you to cook at home so the meals remain fresh; relatively inexpensive with meals working out at about $10 each.

Cons: Not calorie or diet specific; portions of raw ingredients may be excessive.

Eat Fit Food

The brainchild of health and fitness entrepreneur Bianca Monley, who had a vision of selling healthy, calorie-controlled meals to her clients, Eat Fit Food delivers meals daily in Sydney and Melbourne. With much of the produce coming from the Eat Fit Food Farm, a range of calorie-controlled individual meals or programs are available to suit most dietary requirements.

With a commitment to using wholefoods, Eat Fit Food is arguably the meal delivery service that offers the freshest options, although you do pay for this with the average meal costing close to $20 once delivery costs are considered. The bonus of spending a little more is the higher protein and vegetable content of these meals compared with traditional frozen meals, which is of major nutritional benefit.

Pros: Daily food delivery; a range of calorie-controlled options available.

Cons: Relatively expensive as good quality food including fresh vegetables and lean proteins are expensive.

Dietlicious

For the past five years, the team at Dietlicious has been offering a calorie-controlled meal delivery service that caters for a range of dietary preferences: from wheat and gluten-free to pre/diabetic meals, along with a specialty men’s range, and all food sourced from Australia.

The Dietlicious dietary approach is flexible and the range of programs and individual meal choices suit most dietary regimes and budgets. Programs are popular (with both the “kick start” and “cleanse” options) but individual meals can be purchased. Dietlicious meals are delivered two to three times each week, which may mean that some need to be frozen and that may not suit those who prefer fresh food daily. Customers can also order extras such as vegetables and snacks, which can be a handy addition to bulk up the nutritional content of any diet for busy people.

Pros: Large range of programs and caters for a range of dietary preferences; flexible program to suit your needs.

Cons: Deliveries are made only a couple of times each week, meaning some meals may need to be frozen.

Follow Life&Style on TwitterSusie Burrell is an accredited practising dietitian

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

Ausgrid workers give notice for industrial action

A UNION representing Ausgrid workers has notified the company on Wednesday that staff will undertake a series of work stoppages and other industrial action in the coming weeks.
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Workers in depots and offices including Wallsend, Charlestown and Belmont will stop work for four hours on March 31, while a second stoppage on April 1 will include staff inGosford, Ourimbah, Somersby, Tuggerah and Singleton.

Muswellbrook, Merriwa, Maitland, Cessnock, Salt Ash and Thornton staff will stop work on April 8.

Minimum staff will be available during the stoppages for the public’s sake, the union said in a statement, while call centre workers will read a short statement at the end of non-emergency calls explaining why workers are taking industrial action.

United Services Union energy manager Scott McNamara said job security was the primary concern for workers ahead of the March 28 election, specifically the Baird government’s plans to privatise the energy network to fund infrastructure.

“Mike Baird has previously claimed that privatisation won’t see jobs and services slashed at the electricity network companies, but the NSW Government’s refusal to provide workers with a written guarantee that no forced redundancies will occur undermines that claim,” Mr McNamara said.

“Our members have tried everything in their power to resolve this issue, including agreeing to a reduced pay offer, but unfortunately they’ve been left with no option but to escalate the matter in light of management’s refusal to budge.”

An Ausgrid spokeswoman said the company respected employees’ right to industrial action but maintained it was unnecessary in this case.

The spokeswoman said the company was unable to reach a final agreement until the Australian Energy Regulator decided on the company’s revenue in late April.

“The unions’ decision to take industrial action before the AER’s decision is pointless and premature,” she said.

“We do note the union’s statement that they will commit to minimum safe staffing arrangements, however a proper risk assessment willneed to be carried out to assess whether the stoppage could threaten the safe operation of the electricity network,” she said.

Easts out to prove they’re back from the brink in John I Dent Cup

Representatives of the seven clubs Tom Gilmore (Uni-Norths), Dan Penca (Queanbeyan), Andrew Barrell (Gungahlin), Joseph Shirley (Easts), Gareth Clouston (Tuggeranong), Tim Johnston (Royals) and Peter Raines (Wests). Photo: Graham TidyThieves ransacked Easts’ training facilities and caused more than $15,000 worth of damage, but the foundation John I Dent club is determined to rebuild their reputation on and off the field this year.
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Less than a year after Easts forfeited a match and there were fears for the club’s first-grade future, president Greg Dennis said they are determined to win back respect by rebuilding from the bottom up.

Thieves broke into their Griffith Oval storage shed three times, slashing tackling pads, spray painting equipment and destroying two sets of jerseys to inflict more pain on the battling team.

There was also a squatter living in the storage shed for two weeks, but Dennis hopes new coach John Ross can create a fresh environment and a new culture to get Easts back on their feet.

Rival clubs questioned the sustainability of Easts’ future last year when they lost 92-0 to the Tuggeranong Vikings and then forfeited a game just four days later.

“Clubs had every right to feel that way, at an administration level we were a shambles, the player strength was inadequate and there was a culture of defeat,” Dennis said.

“It’s a credit to the people that have stuck strong with the club … if we didn’t make the changes last year, we may have lost the club.

“We’ve shaken up the place, bringing in key contributors for the direction of the club whereas in the past it was young kids trying to do their best for the club. It’s now or never. Success breeds success.”

The Canberra premier division begins this weekend, with Easts lining up against the Uni-Norths Owls for a chance to get their season off to a winning start.

Easts have shifted their base from Jerrabomberra Oval to Griffith Oval, but still have to make sure they complete the right booking protocols with the ACT government to ensure they’ve got a place to train and play.

Ross has put the foundations in place for Easts to have success, targeting key juniors from Canberra’s top rugby schools and adding a hard edge to the squad’s approach to games.

Dennis is also hopeful the club’s former players will answer a call to arms and help give Easts the extra support it needs to stay in the first grade competition.

“Forfeiting … I don’t know if shame is the right word, but it hurt. It’s not easy going out there and getting smacked, you take it personally,” said lock Joe Shirley.

“One thing I’m looking forward to is being competitive again and restoring some pride back in the Easts name. Easts traditionally have been known as the ragtag group that can have fun off the field, but isn’t very good on it.

“But we want to turn that around. It seems what can go wrong will go wrong [with the thieves] … they should call us the Murphy’s Law at Easts. But it can only make us stronger and when we do turn it around, it will be an amazing feeling.”

JOHN I DENT CUP ROUND 1

Saturday: Queanbeyan Whites v Gungahlin Eagles at Campese field, Uni-Norths Owls v Easts at RMC, Wests v Royals at Radford College. All games at 3.05pm. Tuggeranong Vikings – bye.

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

Unlawful share trade by blue chip broker earns millions

Baillieu Holst director Stephen Macaw (right) and NewSat Limited CEO Adrian Ballintine (centre). Federal National Party senator John Williams has vowed to grill ASIC officials over the Baillieu Holst shares matter Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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A director of blue chip stockbroking firm Baillieu Holst unlawfully sold 17 million shares that earned millions of dollars for an entity associated with his brother.

But Fairfax Media can reveal the prestigious Collins Street firm was never punished by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, despite the deal breaching Australia’s market integrity laws that ban the trading of unquoted securities.

Dealing in unquoted shares is outlawed to ensure fair trading and the timely disclosure of important information that may affect a company’s share price.

In a decision that has incensed its critics, ASIC allowed Baillieu Holst to handle the matter after the firm “self-reported” the breach. Under ASIC’s rules, Baillieu Holst could have been publicly sanctioned and fined $100,000.

Baillieu Holst has impeccable stockbroking pedigree and was formed after the 2012 merger of two of Victoria’s 19th century broking firms E.L & C Baillieu and F.W Holst. Although the firm was founded by the ancestors of former Victorian premier Ted Baillieu and still carries the famous family’s name, it has not had a Baillieu on the board since 1999.

Its breach of ASIC’s rules involves the trading of 17 million shares in the Melbourne satellite company NewSat, which has $400 million in US and French government-backed finance to fulfil its ambition of launching Australia’s first privately owned and operated satellite.

But as Fairfax Media revealed last month, NewSat’s questionable corporate governance and high spending — including its financial dealings with the motor yacht company of NewSat chief executive Adrian Ballintine — has led to a deteriorating relationship with its lenders.

Baillieu Holst director Stephen Macaw traded the 17 million NewSat shares to clients of the firm on the morning of 29 October 2013 at 52¢ apiece, generating $8.8 million for an offshore entity associated with his brother.

Fairfax Media has confirmed the NewSat shares had not been formally quoted as required under Australian law. NewSat only advised the market it had issued the 17 million shares seven hours after they already had been sold.

NewSat had promised the shares as a form of repayment to an offshore entity associated with Mr Macaw’s brother, Scott Macaw.

In July 2013, New Zealand-registered Orbital Capital made a secret 180-day, $5 million loan to NewSat to bridge a funding shortfall of $2.9 million.

As part of the deal – which was not disclosed to the market at the time – NewSat agreed to pay Orbital a fixed interest fee of $1.4 million, which was an extraordinary interest rate of 56 per cent.

To repay the loan and interest, NewSat agreed to provide Orbital with 17 million shares at a 25 per cent discount to their market value.

NewSat and Orbital agreed to end the loan deal early in late October 2013, a time the company’s share price was the highest it had been in months. With Baillieu Holst immediately selling the shares at 52¢ apiece, Orbital made a profit of $2.4 million in addition to its $1.4 million interest fee.

It is understood that the loan was negotiated directly between NewSat and Orbital and did not involve Baillieu Holst or Stephen Macaw, who had led NewSat’s equity raisings.

Orbital’s principal, Zurich businessman Christoph Dietsche, is on the board of a Danish company with Scott Macaw. Orbital was also associated with now defunct New Zealand company, Kiwi Deposit Building Society, which was co-directed by the Denmark-based Scott Macaw.

The unexpected selling of 17 million shares – which was about five times NewSat’s average daily trading volume at the time – was a disaster for shareholders, who saw the share price fall from 57¢ to 38¢ in less than two weeks.

To conceal the debacle, NewSat released a series of misleading statements to the Australian Securities Exchange and ASIC which failed to disclose that the Orbital shares had already been sold. “Our statements were an attempt to paper over a pile of shit,” a former senior NewSat executive told Fairfax Media recently.

But just as no regulatory action was taken against Baillieu Holst for breaching market integrity rules, NewSat has also not been asked to account for its statements. ASIC declined to answer questions about its actions.

Federal National Party senator John Williams has vowed to grill ASIC officials over the Baillieu Holst shares matter when they appear before a parliamentary committee on Friday. Greens leader Christine Milne said the case reinforced a perception that “it seems that there are two laws in Australia, one for the big end of town and one for everyone else”.

NewSat legal counsel Bill Abbott said on Tuesday that in hindsight it would have been advisable to have advised the market that Orbital had immediately sold the shares. But he added that he was busy ensuring “the legalities got in place as soon as humanly possible”.

Prior to trading the shares, Baillieu Holst’s Stephen Macaw is believed to have been assured by NewSat that he was legally able to do so. However, he failed to check whether NewSat had actually submitted all the paperwork to make the share trade legal.

In a statement, Baillieu Holst said it took immediate action once it became aware an “administrative error” had been made. This included reporting the breach to ASIC, engaging external lawyers to conduct a review and taking “appropriate action” internally.

The firm said neither it nor Stephen Macaw had a conflict of interest in relation to its role raising capital for NewSat. It said NewSat had its own relationship with entities associated with Scott Macaw that provided finance.

“To the extent that these entities used Baillieu Holst as a broker, they did so on normal commercial terms and with appropriate disclosure by Stephen Macaw to Baillieu Holst management.”

Scott Macaw’s Kiwi Deposit also traded NewSat shares and held $2 million worth of them at the time it went out of business in April 2013. Kiwi Deposit also has an outstanding $440,000 loan to Mr Ballintine’s yacht company.

Kiwi Deposit ran into trouble in New Zealand in 2012 when ASB bank moved to terminate its relationship and close dozens of accounts. A senior ASB executive told New Zealand’s High Court of his bank’s concerns about certain Kiwi Deposit transactions, including a US$ 1 milion transfer from a Tunisian company to an Islamic bank in the United Arab Emirates via a Kiwi Deposit account.

with Mark Hawthorne and Lucy Battersby

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

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
Shanghai night field

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.