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Shacktastic!

Indulgence winner … Toraja Luxury just outside Byron Bay.Getting away from it all? Not any more — we want holiday homes that have it all, writes Belinda Jackson.
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For generations of Aussies, summer holidays always started with a long, “I spy”-dominated drive to the beach. The accommodation was either a caravan park, where kids ran rampant from dawn until dusk and the queue at the shower block was the essential meeting place, or the classic beach shack, built on a shoestring and furnished with the cast-offs from the family home.

We’ve always loved our beach shacks: hidden from view on the white-sand beaches of the NSW south coast or up in idyllic Byron Bay, you’ll see them among the dunes along the South Australian coastline, tucked away down sandy lanes on the Bellarine and Mornington peninsulas, so laid-back they’re almost horizontal.

Stayz, a division of Fairfax Media, recently held its annual awards for the best holiday rentals in seven categories including best for pets, romance, families and eco-friendliness, as well as a people’s choice. Judged by a panel of travel industry experts with guest ratings and reviews in the mix, the results are an eye-opener.

These days the locations are different: we’re not just running to the beach any more. Sure, there are winners in Noosa, Byron Bay and on Culburra Beach, just outside Nowra, but there are also winners in the Victorian foodie region around Kyneton, in the genteel NSW southern highlands and another on the sleepy east Gippsland coastline.

“The mix of holiday homes is changing,” says Anton Stanish, general manager of Stayz. “We’ve also got more inner-city serviced apartments, especially on the Gold Coast. They’re so convenient for fly-in holidaymakers. And we’ve got more unique properties.”

Choose your dream: a tree-house? A castle? A lighthouse? Or a yurt? A train carriage or go underground to a subterranean B&B? You might need a jetty for your own boat, or helicopter access for a particularly dramatic arrival. While the shape of the holiday house has changed, so have our requirements.

Nowadays, remember to take your iPad and smartphones, Stanish says. Far from getting away from it all, a huge percentage of holiday homes now have Wi-Fi. We’re holidaying differently: we expect great beds, pay-TV and internet access. We’re out to “enjoy ourselves” and “we’re no longer doing hardship”, he says.

With the rise in demand comes the rise in agents happy to supply, and not just traditional real estate agents. The last year has seen a rush of activity among the online players, which include behemoth Stayz, which has more than 40,000 properties on its books, HomeAway南京夜网.au with 19,000 holiday listings, and wotif南京夜网, which launched a dedicated holiday homes service in March 2012. Newcomer Airbnb, which lets people advertise not only their homes but also rooms, launched in Australia late last year, and has gone public about its intention to take on Stayz in the holiday rentals market.

With such choice available, you need to choose carefully. Think about what you’d use the property for: obviously, a couple chasing romance doesn’t need to pay for a two-bedroom house and if you’re a large group, check that there are enough bathrooms for you all.

Groups also need to ensure they have enough transport, especially if you’re booking a country house, such as a Victorian farmhouse B&B.

If you want to eat in a different restaurant every night, is a country retreat really for you, or would it be better basing yourself in a foodie town, such as the beloved spa town of Daylesford, Victoria, where you can totter home afterwards, bypassing the need for a designated driver? And while pool fences are compulsory in Australia, it also goes without saying that kids and cliff-top retreats don’t mix.

If you’re packing the pets, check that the local beaches or parks are leash-free: in summer, many beaches ban dogs in daylight hours. Hound-friendly holiday homes are on the increase and the advantage for holiday home owners is that dog owners are a sturdy bunch, with the market not so reliant on good weather.

“Many dog owners are happy to get a break from the city all year around to give their dogs a run, so dog-friendly holiday rentals are becoming increasingly popular,” says Stephen Nicholls, Fairfax Media’s national Domain editor and property trend-watcher.

However simple or complex your wishes, at the end of the day, it’s still a holiday. We’ve come a long way for the best getaway. In many properties, you’ll also find quality linen supplied, brand toiletries, top-brand coffee machines… all the lovely things we may not necessarily have at home.

You can tick off the five key factors that make a good holiday home: uniqueness, good value, the right space and size, exclusivity of use and that old real estate mantra, location, location, location.

Once upon a time, you just added water – think beaches, rivers or lakes – to make the perfect holiday home. Now, we expect dependable internet, luxury linen, professionally kitted-out kitchens and a plethora of entertainment options from restaurant strips to theme parks and, of course, a great beach.

The great Australian getaway definitely has changed as our households have changed, with more singles on the move, as well as couples young and old without kids. Holidaymakers, as Nicholls points out, want to travel with their pets, with a group of mates, or take a holiday that leaves a lighter footprint on the planet.

Families are also more adventurous – no staying at home just because we have young children, and thanks to rising petrol costs, lower airfares and more services to regional airports, many visitors will arrive at their destination by plane rather than a long road trip through countless country towns. Baby boomers are happily blowing their children’s inheritance on holidays, while the core holiday home market – inter-generational travel, which sees grandparents holidaying with all their kids – has always been a key holiday rental market.

While villa rentals are on-trend in our favourite international destinations such as Bali and Thailand, Australia’s stepping up to the plate; which is particularly timely as our obsession with overseas travel is set to wane as our dollar winds back recent gains.

Building on our existing love of a beach shack, those holiday homes are now a bit glossier, more polished, with matching linen and chic, gingham-checked breakfast baskets featuring sumptuous piles of regional produce.

Something that hasn’t changed is that the most popular spots for holiday homes remain within 2½ hours’ drive of our capital cities. “That’s about as long as young families with two kids in the back seat can tolerate for a weekend break,” Nicholls says.

For Sydneysiders, the south coast is a hot locale. Destination NSW says the most popular spot in the state for Sydney short-break holidaymakers is the south coast, with 23 per cent of us heading there, while the north coast gets 17 per cent of the traffic, and the Hunter Valley 15 per cent. The beach towns of Hyams Beach, Nowra and Huskisson remain popular as well as Nicholls’ personal favourite, Jervis Bay, right on the 2½-hour mark.

While it’s traditionally quiet in the middle of winter, Todd Gallant from Hyams Beach Real Estate says the beachside spot, which sells itself as having the whitest sand in the world, is increasingly popular with holidaymakers, though official tourism figures show its biggest rival is NSW’s north coast, with tourist traffic to Byron Bay currently booming, and we’re not even talking about across the border to the holiday mecca that is Noosa.

Not quite as far away from Sydney, Pacific Palms – specifically Blueys Beach – is just under three hours’ drive north of Sydney on the appropriately named Holiday Coast, a strong lure for time-poor north shore holidaymakers.

As the six-week summer holiday fades into a nostalgic haze, the long weekender continues to rise in popularity: four-day mini-breaks are hot right now.

For a full-list of the winners of this year’s Stayz Group Holiday Rental Awards, see stayz南京夜网.au.

HOW TO CHOOSE THE IDEAL HOLIDAY HOME

BOOK WELL AHEAD

In peak times, such as Christmas, school holidays and the ski season, houses can be booked out 12 months in advance. Otherwise, allow at least three months.

GO OFF-PEAK

Most properties have midweek specials and some beach areas drop their prices in the colder months or throw in an extra night free. Traditionally, May is the slowest month.

BE ADD-ON AWARE

Many owners add special touches, particularly in their downtime, such as breakfast baskets filled with home-made jams and eggs from their own hens, or a bottle of local wine on arrival.

STAY LONGER

Some properties have two-night minimum stays on the weekends, and up to seven-night minimum stays in the peak seasons. Staying two weeks usually attracts a lower rate.

GET MOBILE

If you’re flying in, book your car at the same time, so you’re not left stranded on the ground.Stay with the stars

Our top picks of the Stayz 2013 holiday rental winners.

INDULGENCE WINNER

Toraja Luxury, NSW

A luxury pad with 180-degree ocean panoramas just outside Byron Bay. Sleeps six.

Who goes there? Honeymooners and lovers (of each other and of luxury).

When to go All year round thanks to the swimming pool, open fireplace, outdoor lounges and gourmet kitchen.

Must-visit local attraction The sparkling beaches of Broken Head and Lennox Head.

Guest comment “The pool area is a beautiful spot to while away the hours … the verandah [and all of the windows in the house] look out over rolling green pastures to the sea.”

Trip notes From $470 to $1100, minimum three nights, stayz南京夜网.au/115047.

ROMANCE WINNER

Liptrap Loft, Vic

A rustic shack in Walkerville, south Gippsland. Sleeps six.

Who goes there? Bushies for privacy and a Japanese bathhouse.

When to go Summer for the beach, winter for the whales and their calves in Waratah Bay for R&R.

Must-visit local attraction Wilson’s Promontory, 30 minutes away, is a naturist’s delight.

Guest comment “Eccentric in a beautiful way, the furniture is a delight.We will return in winter to hunker down with the fire and listen to nature’s best.”

Trip notes From $190 to $265 a night, minimum two nights, stayz南京夜网.au/22270.

OUTDOOR WINNER

The Evening Star, Vic

A polished two-bedroom cottage outside Bright, in the Victorian High Country. Sleeps four.

Who goes there? Mountain lovers, bike riders, kids over 10 years old.

When to go Autumn for the colour.

Must-visit local attraction Bright’s foodie scene and Hotham’s ski fields are 45 minutes away.

Guest comment “Deafening silence, crisp mountain air and amazing views from a gorgeous house where all the little touches have been added.”

Trip notes From $250 (weekdays) to $400 (weekends) a night, minimum two nights, stayz南京夜网.au/19289.

ECO-FRIENDLY WINNER

Riversdale Retreat, Vic

A super-slick eco-cottage at Chewton, near Castlemaine. Sleeps three.

Who goes there? Melbourne foodies. Shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival Awards 2009.

When to go Great for a cold-weather getaway.

Must-visit local attraction Daylesford and the restaurants and vintage shopping in Kyneton and Castlemaine.

Guest comment “It felt a bit like a groovy city pad in the middle of the bush. Even honoured by visits from kangaroos and red-bellied robins. Enjoyed bushwalking and the marvellous Chewton market.”

Trip notes Costs $220 a double (Monday-Thursday), $265 (Friday-Sunday), minimum two nights, stayz南京夜网.au/66476.

PET FRIENDLY WINNER

Noosa Holiday House, Qld

A three-story house at Castaways Beach, near Noosa. Sleeps eight.

Who goes there? Pet-owning design lovers.

When to go A minute from the beach, summer is hugely popular.

Must-visit local attraction The restaurant strip at Sunshine Beach; Peregian Beach design markets.

Guest comment “With the home being on three levels, we were able to have time to ourselves and our children loved the free Wi-Fi. Dog loved the backyard … lots of great bush, beach and rainforest walks.”

Trip notes From $550 to $900 a night, minimum five nights, stayz南京夜网.au/55345.

Stayz is a division of Fairfax Media.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

US retail struggles amid supposed recovery

From Wal-Mart Stores and Gap to Macy’s and McDonald’s, chains that cater to middle- and lower-income Americans say they are feeling the pinch of an uneven economic recovery.
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A host of retailers have reported tepid sales lately, highlighting the stress that consumers are feeling because of higher payroll taxes, expensive gasoline and a slow job market four years after the US economy started to rebound.

“Everyone wants to talk about recovery – it’s like the unrecovery,” Susquehanna Financial Group analystBob Summers said following the Wal-Mart results. “The demographic that they cater to, not only has it not seen improvement, I would argue that things have gotten worse.”

Look no further than Macy’s for a snapshot of the consumer. For its namesake mid-tier department stores, Macy’s reported the first decline in same-store sales in nearly four years this week, and said shoppers had been gravitating to its less expensive items. That’s a contrast with Macy’s upscale Bloomingdale’s, which came in with strong results.

The trend also turns up in results posted on Thursday by Wal-Mart, which emphasizes low pricing. Its US sales at stores open at least a year unexpectedly fell 0.3 per cent last quarter, a second decline in a row, prompting the world’s largest retailer to lower its sales forecast for the year.

Last week, a group of US retailers including Costco Wholesale and Gap reported modest gains in July same-store sales, thanks largely to bargains.

Adding to the pressure, Macy’s said many shoppers are redirecting their spending to their cars, housing and home improvement.

Automakers reported a 14 per cent US sales increase in July from a year earlier, industry consultant Autodata Corp said.

Wall Street analysts expect home improvement chain Home Depot to report same-store sales rose 7 per cent, the biggest gain of any major retailer Thomson Reuters tracks.

Outside of home improvement and cars, many retailers say economic conditions were less than ideal.

In July, US employers slowed their pace of hiring, with the number of jobs outside of farming increasing less than economists expected.

The average price for a gallon of gasoline in the United States was still high: at the end of July, it was $US3.67 compared to $US3.51 a year earlier, according to the Lundberg survey.

As of May, 47.6 million Americans, or one in seven, received food aid – highlighting the ongoing strain on Americans struggling to make ends meet. That was 1.1 million more than a year earlier, and 7 million more than in 2010.

Real wages are also stagnating: they fell 0.1 per cent between June 2012 and June 2013, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, excluding inflation and civil servants and military personnel.

“The consumer doesn’t quite have the discretionary income, or they’re hesitant to spend what they do have,” Wal-Mart Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley told reporters on a call.

A recent government report showed 5.7 per cent of Americans who had jobs in July could not get enough hours to qualify as full-time workers, the same per centage as in June.

While the unemployment rate has fallen steadily over the last year, the share of part-time workers who want more hours has barely dropped, according to BLS statistics.

“Workers are not doing well,” said Elizabeth Ashack, an economist at the BLS. “They’re losing ground because wages are not growing in real terms.”

Teen employment levels are down this summer, and that may be contributing to same-store sales declines at Aeropostale and American Eagle Outfitters.

Spending on essentials

The latest batch of retail reports shows the ways in which customers are pulling back again.

Macy’s said shoppers at its namesake chain were holding back on anything nonessential, adding it didn’t expect to make up the sales shortfall this year and cut its forecasts.

Kohl’s said comparable sales had slid for purchases paid for with a credit card, transactions typically made by people on a budget. And both Wal-Mart and Costco said sales of higher-ticket items such as electronics and games have been soft.

Several companies have said shoppers are waiting longer to buy back-to-school items, suggesting they are waiting for deals and that they see no urgency to hit stores.

This week’s results may presage more of the same next week, when big chains like Target, J.C. Penney and Sears report earnings.

In May, Target cut its profit forecast after weak sales, and this week Wells Fargo lowered its profit estimates for the discounter saying Target was unlikely to have been spared by the pullback in spending.

The S&P Index retail was down 1.9 per cent on Thursday, and many retail experts predicted it will be slow going for the industry for a while.

“The US consumer is weary in this turnaround. It has been quite anemic, relatively speaking. I think many of them just don’t see it on Main Street,” said Eric Beder at Brean Capital LLC.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Garry Lyon Who can be lucky losers?

I have no idea whether Essendon will compete in this year’s finals series. Which is a staggering thing to say, given there are just three games remaining in the 2013 season.
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But while there is a possibility that the sanctions handed down to the Bombers, in the wake of the charges laid this week, will include the loss of premiership points, there is the reality that, for the first time, nine may indeed go into eight.

And yes, those clubs that are sitting outside the top eight at the moment would only be participating in September by default, but, so what? These are unprecedented circumstances that we are dealing with, and if you think that the coaches and players of Carlton, West Coast, North Melbourne and Adelaide are going to feel bad about replacing Essendon, if that’s how the cards fall, then you are sadly mistaken.

Or, you should be, if your club has the ruthless, “never give a sucker an even break” mentality that premiership clubs are defined by. There is the possibility, in the next fortnight, that one of these clubs is going to be handed the golden ticket that has a coveted second chance at finals success attached to it.

And there is only one way that fortunate club can approach this situation. And that is to greedily embrace the twist of fate that delivers it to football’s promised land.

There is no time to dwell on the regretful circumstances that have dominated this season from start to finish.

The fact is, while none of the Blues, Eagles, Kangaroos or Crows have played consistently enough, or been able to convert match-winning leads into victories to qualify for this year’s finals series, they may very well arrive there by default.

And if they do, it is clearly the Kangaroos and the Eagles that the team that occupies fifth position on the ladder, would least like to confront.

Brad Scott has already publicly embraced the possibility of good fortune shining down on his team and would relish the opportunity to salvage something from a what-could-have-been season for his side.

Just maybe it can, in the space of a couple of weeks of finals football, turn that year into something truly memorable.

No side would relish the prospect of taking on a Kangaroos side that has been freshly handed a reprieve.

What they would encounter is a side that has a nothing-to-lose mentality, and one that should be encouraged to play with a freedom and an attacking mentality that, when executed properly, is as difficult to defy as most football played this season.

Just ask Richmond, which suffered its biggest loss for the season at the hands of the Roos just six weeks ago. It was virtually powerless to stop North’s blistering counter-attack football and succumbed to the tune of 62 points in round 15 at Etihad Stadium.

That was the Roos at their best. Big forwards Robbie Tarrant and Aaron Black hit the scoreboard; their defence kept Jack Riewoldt and Tyrone Vickery under control and their midfield group took the honours over the highly rated Tiger group.

And then, two weeks ago, they inflicted Geelong’s fourth loss of the year at the same venue, with the class acts of Brent Harvey and Daniel Wells leading the way.

On this occasion, they were challenged by a side that, admirably and rightfully arrogantly, thinks it is its right to win any sort of a dogfight, on any occasion, against any opposition.

But not this time, with the Roos unloading a monkey off their back, hanging on to a lead that they had worked hard to maintain all night.

North Melbourne would be a terribly dangerous wildcard in the event a replacement was needed for the Bombers.

The consensus among its opposition is that it is a very dangerous attacking outfit, one of the very best in the league, but there are question marks over its ability to work both ways and to add that defensive steel that most successful finals outfits possess.

I’m not sure they would be too comfortable putting that theory to the test in the first week of September.

The other side that would put shivers down the other seven sides in the eight would be the Eagles. Not, it has to be pointed out, on their output this season. They boast only a single victory over a top eight side, against the Bombers last weekend.

Their other eight wins have come against bottom 10 sides. But it is that dreaded word, “potential”, that would have sides looking over their shoulders.

A couple of weeks ago I was of the opinion that the Eagles’ season was over.

They went down to the Dockers in the derby and then the Swans the following week.

Nic Naitanui was finally rested against the Western Bulldogs, Darren Glass didn’t play, due to “soreness”, players like Cale Morton and Scott Lycett were given a chance, and when they went down by 22 points it appeared that the Eagles were done and dusted.

Add to that the speculation that John Worsfold might not have had the drive to carry on and the hot pre-season premiership favourites looked likely to limp to the line and, unbelievably, miss out on the finals.

A couple of weeks can be a long time in football. Woosha looks set to re-sign for another couple of years, Glass, Mark LeCras, Matty Priddis and Chris Masten have all come back into the side, Dean Cox has turned the clock back with a couple of vintage performances and now the whispers are that big Nic Nat may not be done for the year after all.

And, pointedly, Cox publicly declared that the Eagles would have no qualms about stepping in for the Bombers should the need arise, and that they would jump at the chance to do some damage in September.

As is increasingly the case, it’s the sides that are playing their best football at the right time of the year who prove the most formidable. It would be stretching the point to suggest that the Eagles, on the back of successive wins over the Suns and the Bombers, are back to their imposing best, but the prospect remains.

With Cox, Jack Darling, Priddis, Masten, LeCras, Josh Kennedy, Andrew Gaff, Sharrod Wellingham and Scott Selwood playing some of their best football of the year, they loom as one of the most dangerous eighth-qualified team of recent years.

Of course, this could all be speculation, if this Essendon saga finds its way into the courts.

But I think it’s one of the most fascinating, potential fallouts of this whole mess if, say, the Eagles or the Roos were able to win their way through until preliminary final week, on the back of a team losing all of their premiership points for the first time in history.

With the sort of year we’ve had, you wouldn’t bet against it.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

New evidence backs Dons’ Mexico link

Fresh evidence has emerged confirming reports that some Essendon players were given an unknown supplement sourced from Mexico, with the club backing away from its claim on Thursday that this did not occur.
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Multiple sources have today confirmed that evidence collected by ASADA includes information that the substance given to some Essendon players was sourced in Mexico. This includes an interview investigators conducted with the muscular dystrophy patient who was given the supplement overseas and brought it to Australia.

Fairfax Media has further confirmed that Essendon is still unable to state with certainty what was in the supplement, although the club believes it most likely contained a mixture of safe amino acids.

Today, Fairfax Media published comments that Essendon lawyer Tony Hargreaves made on Thursday and which challenged earlier reports that some players had been given an unknown supplement sourced in Mexico from a man with a muscle wasting disease.

Mr Hargreaves said he had made his Thursday comments after he had spoken to the patient in question and had been told that supplements were sourced from a neurosurgeon in the United States.

But this afternoon, Mr Hargreaves said he had received fresh information today.

“The information I based the request for a retraction on was based on a conversation I had [with a party closely involved in this matter] on Thursday. Since that time, further information has arrived that cast some doubt on whether what I was told was accurate.’’

Fairfax Media has confirmed that evidence gathered by investigators and referred to in the AFL-ASADA report states that the patient told ASADA that he had purchased supplements in both Mexico and over the border.

The evidence gathered to date also confirms that some players were given supplements suspected to have been sourced from Mexico.

A source closely involved in the drugs scandal today questioned why Essendon had sought to publicly challenge the original story rather than confront the real issue it raised: the fact that players had been given a supplement whose contents was, and remains, unknown.

The shifting claims about the provenance of the drugs also highlights the way that much of the information surrounding the scandal is heavily contested.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Pearson second fastest in heats

Sally Pearson has run her fastest time of the year to comfortably advance to the semi finals at the world championships and confidently begin her world title defence.
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Threateningly though the young American Brianna Rollins, who has burst onto the scene this year running the third fastest time ever, ran the quickest time of any of the heat winners to lay down the challenge to Pearson.

And on the field Australia’s Kim Mickle threw a new personal best 65.73m – the second biggest throw by an Australian woman ever – to automatically advance to the finals of the javelin where she joins Kathryn Mitchell who also advanced when she managed a season’s best throw of 62.8 metres.

Pearson ran a promising 12.62 seconds to easily win her heat at the Moscow World Athletics Championships and go through to the finals on Sunday morning (AEST).

“I was a bit more nervous than normal, because I think I wanted to get it right and I didn’t get it right at the start,” Pearson said.

“It was good to feel myself again I just have a bit of tidying up to do at the end of the race but that will come I think it is just because I have been waiting so long, two days off before training before this.

“It was a season’s best, I thought I would run faster but I screwed up the last hurdle and a half – if you can do that – I just have to make it cleaner.

“It was nice to be out there again and hurdling with confidence and I am not in pain which is the best thing.

“It was good fun to be out there I feel like I am a caged tiger again … I certainly got inspiration from the 4 x400 boys. It was the only event that I actually stood up out of my chair and screamed at the TV.”

Moments after Pearson’s comfortable run, Rollins ran her first heat at a major championship and was far from overwhelmed by the experience running a sharp 12.55seconds – the quickest of any heat.

In June this year at the US trials Rollins ran a world-leading time of 12.26 seconds – the third fastest time ever – a time which put the world on notice that notwithstanding the fact Pearson was already recovering from two hamstring strains, the Australian would confront a different landscape this season.

Ordinarily Pearson runs hardest and fastest in each of her heats with other runners holding something back for the finals. Rollins evidently comes from Pearson’s school of thinking for she was clean and quick over the hurdles.

The first heat of the morning had established a sluggish pace with Canadian Angela Whyte winning in just 12.93s.

Briton Tiffany Porter won her heat in 12.72s with former Olympic champion and London silver medallist Dawn Harper running a surprisingly slow 12.84 to run third yet still advanced to the semis (the first four runners in each heat went through). Queenie Harrison won her heat in the unimpressive time of 12.95s.

On the field Australia’s Kathryn Mitchell threw 62.8m with her second throw to automatically qualify for the women’s javelin.

“A little bit of stress after the first throw, that was to bow out the cobwebs and nerves the first one, but I knew it was in there I just had to be patient and put it out there and it happened to come out and pass the auto qualifier and it did.’’

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

BOXING: “I can’t wait to wear the green and gold again.”

25 YEAR OLD Shelley Watts from Laurieton has been boxing competitively since 2010. She juggles her competitive roster with work commitments plus study at Southern Cross University.
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Shelley’s immediate goal is to make the Australian team for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. With her selection to travel to Europe as part of the Boxing Australia Academy Team tour, she is one step closer to achieving this.

Shelley was selected for the eight week tour by Boxing Australia after her performance at an Australian Institute of Sport training camp in late July.

“The European tour will give me the opportunity to see what other countries are doing and more importantly, the competition I’m likely to face in Glasgow,” she said.

“I can’t wait to wear the green and gold again.”

Some assistance is needed to help the talented athlete achieve her dream. She is seeking some financial support to ensure she can take full advantage of the European tour and continue to train for the Commonwealth Games team.

“Financial support for female boxers is limited,” Shelley explained.

“Unfortunately whether you achieve your dream can come down to dollars.”

Shelley has worked hard to give herself the best possible chance to get to Glasgow.

“Adrenalin Fitness plus Mike and Paula from the Laurieton Hotel Bistro have been great supporters,” Shelley said.

“Lately I’ve needed to travel interstate for competition, which really eats into my savings.”

If you can help, Shelley would love to hear from you. She is not looking for thousands, just enough to help her reach her goal.

Shelley can be contacted via email at [email protected]南京夜网.

Laurieton’s Shelley Watts (blue) in action.

Laurieton’s Shelley Watts (blue) in action.

Laurieton’s Shelley Watts (blue) in action.

Laurieton’s Shelley Watts (blue) in action.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Back streets given new life and style

Sharp: Syracuse features 27 apartments in a range of configurations with contemporary decor.Hawthorn streets between the railway line and Burwood Road are being eyed by developers for apartment developments, replacing the not-so-special mix of low-rise commercial buildings and what can best be described as ”remnant” housing.
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From Power Street in the west through almost to Burke Road in the east, the ”backstreets” are being revitalised with apartment blocks that put residents within walking distance of Glenferrie or Burke Road shops and either Glenferrie or Auburn train stations.

The latest project is Syracuse, at 8 Queens Avenue, which will put a seven-level block of 27 apartments on a wide site now occupied by a two-storey commercial building.

Queens Avenue has the Auburn Road shops at its eastern end and, at the western end, there is Henry Street and its underpass connection to the large and pretty Central Gardens. So, for residents there will be shops, transport and open space within easy walking distance. Unlike some developments, the block will not back onto the train line but will be on the other side of the street.

There are eight one-bedroom apartments and 19 two-bedroom apartments in a block whose exterior will add a sharp modern look to the street, with green, white and grey the highlight colours on the angled frames that front each level. At ground level, Syracuse will front the street but the upper levels will be set back.

One-bedroom apartments range from 46 square metres to 62 square metres and have balconies ranging from eight square metres to 13 square metres. Prices are from $379,000 to $479,000.

Two-bedroom apartments range from 60 square metres to 78 square metres and have balconies of between eight square metres and 56 square metres. Eight of these have two bathrooms, and all apartments have parking and a storage cage. Prices vary widely – from $539,000 to $759,000.

A sixth-floor, two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment, with views from the wraparound balcony, is $629,000 while, one floor down, a similar-sized apartment with a smaller balcony is $564,000.

Buyers have a choice of two colour schemes featuring grey and white. Many apartments have a study nook, and kitchens have Smeg appliances. Apartments also include a Fisher & Paykel fridge, washing machine and dryer.

A little more than half have sold, to a mix of investors and owner-occupiers. Construction is due to begin later this year.

A display suite is open Saturdays 11am-noon and Beller, 9510 1966, is marketing the project.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

GALLERY: JACK NEWTON: 30 years after the accident

Jack Newton at home. Picture: Simone De Peak Jack Newton at home. Picture: Simone De Peak
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THE distinctive scent of freshly cut grass and horse manure greets me as I pull up at the Newton family’s sprawling seven-acre Cardiff Heights property. It is an idyllic setting featuring a natural spring, quaint stone bridge, decades-old timber stable, statue-still chestnut horses, white fence posts, a flock of brown flecked ducks, squawking cockatoos, a large swimming pool, tennis court and white weatherboard home.

When the family moved here from Warners Bay in 1984, Newton named the property Augusta in honour of the famed American golf course in Georgia that is home to the annual Masters tournament. Newton was first invited to the prestigious competition in 1976 and was runner-up in 1980, tying for second behind Seve Ballesteros and joining the group of five Aussie runners-up that also includes Jim Ferrier and Bruce Crampton.

Queenslander Adam Scott ended decades of near-misses and heartbreak in April this year when he defeated 2009 champion Angel Cabrera with a birdie at the second hole of a sudden-death play-off. The 32-year-old’s victory was stunning and Newton, who challenged Scott two years ago at a Melbourne press conference about his lacklustre putting form, reckons it came down to two factors.

‘‘He accepted it [putting] was an issue and changed to the long putter and he’s now got the best caddie in the game. [Steve] Williams is the sort of guy who expects majors wins – he’s caddied for Norman and Woods. They were two significant changes and his career’s turned around. He’s starting to believe he can win majors and so he should.

‘‘But I don’t think I’m on his Christmas card list,’’ the straight-shooting 63-year-old adds with a devilish chuckle.

We are sitting at the dining table; Newton at the head with his back to the glass doors that open out to the alluring swimming pool, and wife Jackie closest to the kitchen. The unpretentious home has been extended over the years to accommodate the couple’s children, former golf pro Kristie and Penrith Panthers second-rower Clint, who grew up swimming and riding with friends on weekends when they weren’t playing sport.

While the children now live separate lives – Kristie in Melbourne and Clint in Sydney – Augusta remains the sentimental centre of Newton family life. The interior is the antithesis of contemporary minimalism with shelves lined with knick-knacks collected during extensive travels and white walls adorned with artwork. The treasured clutter charts the family’s colourful history, but the one event that dramatically altered all of their lives is represented in the most profound way – the empty right sleeve of Newton’s navy and white polo shirt.

July24 marked the 30th anniversary of Newton’s horrific accident at Sydney Airport, which shocked the nation and made international headlines. The facts are well-known: Newton had travelled south with four friends – including the experienced pilot – in a small plane to watch the Sydney Swans play; as the plane readied for departure that Sunday night Newton, who had not made it on board, was struck by the Cessna’s propeller.

Friend Frank D’Arcy, who was credited with helping to save Newton’s life as he lay injured and bleeding profusely on the tarmac, told the Herald: ‘‘We didn’t think he was coming, then he appeared outside on the left side of the aeroplane. He couldn’t get aboard and must have been trying to get around to the door on the other side … But an aeroplane is not like a motor car, you can’t just walk around to the other side. And there are no rear vision mirrors on a plane. It was very dark there. Pitch black’’.

The propeller sheared off his right arm, sliced open his abdomen and struck the right side of his face, destroying his eye. Renowned ophthalmologist Fred Hollows was one of three highly respected medicos who repaired Newton’s brutal injuries. ‘‘It was really lucky that the Prince of Wales had its A team on that night,’’ quips Newton.

While he can’t remember anything about that night, witnesses have told him that he tried to get up off the tarmac. D’Arcy held him down.

‘‘I could have walked around the corner and got an Aeropelican flight,’’ reflects Newton, but it is the only time he even hints at regret.

He would normally have been at the British Open golf tournament, but a persistent elbow strain – he can no longer remember which arm had been afflicted though he thinks it was the right one – meant that he didn’t make the trip to the UK that week. ‘‘It’s like most accidents,’’ offers Jackie philosophically. ‘‘It was an accumulation of a few factors.’’

When did Newton first learn of his injuries? ‘‘I can remember waking up after the first operation and I sort of went …’’ – he rubs his right shoulder – ‘‘and said, ‘Where’s my arm gone?’ The nurse said, ‘You’ve lost your arm’. Jesus, you can imagine. I think at that point I passed out again. It was a gradual process of accepting the fact that it was gone.’’

He also had to accept that his career was gone, too.

For younger readers, and even those with hazy memories of that time, to put the sudden and premature end of Newton’s career into a contemporary context, imagine Adam Scott ‘‘being struck down before his US Masters win’’, says sport journalist Will Swanton, co-author of Amen: How Adam Scott won the US Masters and Broke the Curse of Augusta National. ‘‘It’s very cruel that Jack was robbed of the same chance [to win a major]. He was a giant of the game and probably would have done it. Maybe that’s why he loses patience when he thinks young guys are wasting their talent.’’

‘‘You don’t become a giant of the game without the wins,’’ says former professional golfer-turned-commentator Brett Ogle, ‘‘and he was winning. He was contending for majors and was very unlucky not to win a couple, very unlucky. He was a superstar in his prime.’’

He had been runner-up in the 1975 British Open, which the preppy 25-year-old American Tom Watson won by one stroke after an 18-hole play-off with Newton, also 25, and described by an English commentator as ‘‘casually, shamblingly [sic] flamboyant’’.

He won the Australian Open in 1979 and tied for second at the US Masters in 1980. He was 33 at the time of the accident.

‘‘I felt there were all sorts of options for me,’’ he says. ‘‘The common perception was that you were at your best as a golfer between 30 and 40.’’

While the accident crushed Newton’s dreams and almost claimed his life, it is what he did next that defines him.

JACK Newton snr was a Cessnock coalminer like his father. He was also a hard task master and strong golfer who instilled a love of sport in his rambunctious son, known by family members as Jack jnr. (‘‘Don’t ever call your kid the same name as a parent, especially when they both play golf,’’ complains Newton). When Jack snr moved the family to Sydney so he could retrain as a police officer, Newton ‘‘had a go with most sports’’. ‘‘I went to school to play sport, really,’’ he jokes. ‘‘I played rugby, league, soccer, cricket. Dad had been a league player in Cessnock, but he told me to give the game away and concentrate on golf. I enjoyed the rough and tumble, the team thing, but golf is a very good game for young people. It involves discipline, honesty and integrity.

‘‘When I was at Epping High I copped a bit of stick about golf. It was seen as a pussy’s game,’’ he laughs heartily, with the confidence of someone who became a professional player at 21 and won his first international tournament, the Dutch Open, a year later. He may be many things – egotistical, opinionated, brutally honest, competitive and stubborn – but no one would describe him as a pussy.

Newton has always been one of the boys. He enjoys a drink and a good time, and likes to be around people who enjoy a drink and a good time. His colourful language is legendary and he loves telling stories. He tells me about meeting the British actor and writer Robert Shaw, well-known for his role as the dissolute Quint in the film Jaws, in a small bar in Spain.

‘‘Tuesdays were practice round days, pretty boring, so me and this South African guy I used to travel with went and had a drink,’’ Newton recounts. ‘‘A guy came over and said, ‘I heard you talking, you’ve got an Australian accent’. He introduced himself as Robert and we had a few more drinks.

‘‘I said, ‘What do you do?’. He said he was an actor staying at Orson Welles’s villa and writing some short stories. I asked him what sort of acting, and he said stage and film. I asked which movies and he said, ‘Jaws, [The Taking of] Pelham One Two Three. It was Robert Shaw!

‘‘We talked about all those really important issues such as who was the best sort in Hollywood.’’ More belly laughs.

The pair became friends. ‘‘In those days, there were none of those,’’ says Newton, nodding in the direction of the snoozing laptop at the other end of the table, ‘‘so everywhere I went [to compete] he’d send me a telegram and wish me luck.

‘‘The poor bastard died when he was 52.’’

Newton believes the 1970s was the best era to be a professional golfer. Strict fitness regimens, intense media scrutiny and large entourages didn’t begin to make an impact until the ’80s. ‘‘We had more fun. It’s all about the money now. The numbers are now greater, the depth is greater, but the great players of my era, with the equipment they’ve got now, those blokes would murder ‘em. I’m talking about Nicklaus, Player, Trevino, Seve.

‘‘In ’72 I had eight top 10 finishes and won two tournaments – all for £19,000. These blokes today wouldn’t get out of bed for that.’’

‘‘I’ve heard some amazing stories [about the ’70s],’’ offers Ogle. ‘‘Back in the days of Bob Shearer and Ian Stanley the winner’s cheque would go on the bar on a Sunday night and they’d drink through to Monday.

‘‘Things started to change in the mid-’80s. Greg Norman really changed it up, hitting the gym, and fitness programs and trainers came in. Everyone was looking for an edge.’’

But it wasn’t all boozy post-tournament celebrations. While sport psychology was in its infancy, Newton admits to hiding in the toilet and reading The Power of Positive Thinking and Maxwell Maltz’s influential Psycho-Cybernetics, which included techniques to develop a positive inner goal as a means of developing a positive outer goal. ‘‘If anyone had seen me reading, they would have thought I was a lunatic.’’

It was all about finding that edge.

NEWTON has always been a tough bugger.

‘‘His parents were doers,’’ says Kristie Newton, ‘‘and they held down all these different jobs to pay for him to be at two different [golf] clubs.

‘‘You can see that the way he was raised affected how he dealt with his injuries.’’

Kristie remembers the night of the accident, though she hasn’t told many people. The 35-year-old recalls waking up during the night and going in to see her mother, only to find family friends in her parents’ bed.

‘‘I freaked out,’’ she recalls. ‘‘They didn’t tell me there’d been an accident, they just said that mum had to go to Sydney to be with dad. I can remember flashes – visiting mum at the hospital quarters where she was staying to be near dad, and waiting around a lot and forever doing crayon drawings. We were too young to have bad memories.’’

Jackie, 65, had been stitching a pair of Newton’s pants in readiness for a tournament in Japan the following week when friends knocked on the front door. ‘‘They told me there’d been an accident. I rang the hospital and they said to get down there. They couldn’t tell me if he’d survive or not.’’

Newton was in intensive care for eight weeks. A large part of his bowel had to be removed and he lost half his liver.

‘‘I took the kids to Coogee one day and told them what happened,’’ Jackie recalls through tears. ‘‘Kristie looked at me and said, ‘Can daddy still cuddle me?’ I said, ‘Daddy can cuddle you with one arm’.’’

Once Newton was eventually discharged from hospital – he had two more operations in the first 12 months – the family moved in with his parents at Carlingford so he could travel to the Mount Wilga Rehabilitation Hospital near Hornsby. It was a challenging period. Newton, who had been so powerful and fearless on the golf course, had to learn to use his left hand to hold a pen, to tie his laces, to ‘‘wipe my bum’’, as well as having to adjust to having one eye. ‘‘If the accident didn’t sharpen me up, that did,’’ he says. ‘‘I was so right handed, it was a joke. A few pens whistled around the room with frustration.’’

He and his packed lunch would get picked up in a mini bus filled with other outpatients.

Newton worked hard with the ‘‘physical terrorists’’ and was determined to reclaim his independence. There was no room for self-pity or defeat.

‘‘I saw young kids aged 14, 15, who had all sorts of things wrong with them. There was a bloke who’d been blown up in the Vietnam War and I remember distinctly he took one step in Mount Wilga and the roof nearly came off because everyone was happy because this bloke had taken one step.

‘‘That put things in perspective for me. I thought, shit, I’m not that badly off really. To play golf you psychologically have to be pretty tough. You’re on your own and it’s such a difficult game. I think that helped me as far as my mental strength went and I’ve always maintained that people who have these sorts of things happen to them, the worst thing is pity because that will drive you to sit in the corner for the rest of your life.

‘‘All I needed was the support of friends and family.’’

EVERYONE adores Jackie Newton. She is the rangy, attractive, former British model who smooths out Newton’s rough edges. Where Newton is pugnacious and stubborn, Jackie is warm and diplomatic. They are chalk and cheese, but very tight-knit. They met in England at a 1972 tournament and have been married 39 years. They relish being grandparents to Kristie’s three-year-old daughter Matilda with husband and former Hawthorn player Ben Dixon, and are looking forward to welcoming the couple’s second child in November. Clint will become a first-time father in October.

‘‘I see them as Bonny and Clyde, as Sonny and Cher,’’ jokes Clint Newton, 32. ‘‘They’re meant to be together. I’ve never shied away from the fact that I was extremely lucky to have two loving and supportive parents. Like every family, we’ve had the odd argument, but we’d always make up.’’

‘‘Everyone tells me how lucky I am,’’ says Newton, ‘‘but as I keep reminding her, I dragged her out of the gutters of London and brought her to treasure island, which she hates to hear,’’ he cackles.

‘‘If you hadn’t run into me, you’d be in the gutters of London,’’ Jackie fires back.

Their desks are side by side in the home office and both work tirelessly for the Jack Newton Junior Golf Foundation, which was established in 1986 and funded largely from the proceeds of the annual Jack Newton Celebrity Classic. Newton has raised more than $3million for junior golf, as well as diabetes research and awareness campaigns (Newton was diagnosed with the disease in the early ‘90s and his father died from diabetes-related complications).

‘‘I don’t care what level kids play at, if you’re in that [sporting] environment, I think your chances of ducking all the problems out there are far greater than if you are not playing something,’’ says Newton.

He is insistent that sportspeople give back to the community. ‘‘He’s given it to me right between the eyes before and I respect that,’’ says Brett Ogle. ‘‘I don’t like it, but he’s probably right. He’s done it when he’s thought I’ve been dodging something I should have doing such as putting more back into golf. He doesn’t see it as just about signing cheques.’’

After three decades, Newton still endures frequent pain. The non-existent fingers attached to his phantom right arm regularly cramp. At other times, his fist will clench and pain ‘‘as bad as the worst tooth ache you can ever imagine’’ will shoot down his arm. Keeping busy provides a welcome distraction from the discomfort, and Newton isn’t one to sit around doing nothing.

‘‘I’ve never heard him complain about the accident; he’s just always been so positive,’’ says longtime friend and former Belmont Golf Club pro Paul Robertson. ‘‘His zest for life is probably what helped him pull through. He likes participating. A lesser person could have turned into a loner and just dropped out, but he’s come through and is someone to admire.’’

As well as his charity work, Newton has also carved out roles as a golf course designer and respected commentator – mainly with Channel 7 – though it seems ‘‘they have pensioned me off’’.

He still lives and breathes the sport, having taught himself to play with his left hand and a right-handed stance. He is due to tee off at Newcastle Golf Club today and is eager to finish the interview on time. He’s ‘‘on a hot streak at the moment’’, though Jackie says he still comes home and says he’s going to give it away. ‘‘I’ve heard that so many times,’’ she laughs.

‘‘He loves the game and he loves to win,’’ says Robertson, 67. ‘‘He’s got a couple of handicaps – the handicap he’s on, and the handicap he can play, which are two different things.

‘‘My handicap is about 12 and I reckon he should be on the same one, but sometimes it’s more than me so I’ve got to give him some start. He always seems to win.’’

Ogle, who fronts The Golf Show on Fox Sports, recorded a special with Newton three months ago. They played at Cessnock’s Stonebridge Golf Course, which Newton designed.

‘‘At the third hole he chipped in from about 50 yards out, left handed, up on to the green like the Jack of old. It was just awesome,’’ Ogle laughs.

‘‘I gave his stump a high five it was so good. I thought, you’ve still got it you old bugger. And then he says to me,rubbing it in, ‘Get that up ya Bogle’.’’

Jack Newton speaking at the Lake Macquarie Business Club lunch in 2007.

Jack Newton watches his son Clint during the the 2007 NRL grand final between the Melbourne Storm and Manly.

Jack Newton upon receiving a Queens Birthday honour for his service to golf in 2007.

Jack Newton.

Golfer Jack Newton playing golf again at Noosa a year after his accident.

Jack Newton in action on day two of the NSW Open Golf Championship at The Lakes golf course on November 2, 1979.

Jack Newton in 1979.

Jack Newton.

Jack Newton.

Jack Newton.

ack Newton, left, and Tom Watson, of the USA, hold the British Open trophy after they tied for a playoff in 1975.

Jack Newton in 1979.

Jack Newton and wife Jackie in 1975.

A smoking Jack Newton during the Piccadilly World Match Play golf championship in 1975.

Jack Newton at Noosa in 1984.

Jack Newton on October 8, 1983.

Jack Newton before July 24, 1983.

Jack Newton shows Newcastle lord mayor Joy Cummings and caddy Gavin Croush of Beresfield how to use an iron at the opening of the 11-hole Beresfield golf course on June 4, 1983.

Jack Newton and his wife Jackie leaving hospital on September 24, 1983.

Jack Newton lines up a putt on the 18th hole during the British Open in 1975.

Jack Newton before his accident in 1983.

Jack Newton on October 8, 1983.

Jack Newton and three-year-old daughter Kristie on a practice fairway during the Australian Open in 1981.

Jackie and Jack Newton with baby Kristie (4 weeks) at Warners Bay in September, 1978.

Jack Newton (left) with golfers Greg Norman and Neil Gaudion.

Jack Newton at home. Picture: Simone De Peak

Jack Newton with wife Jackie at home. Picture: Simone De Peak

The front page of the Newcastle Herald on July 26, 1983.

Jack Newton with granddaughter Matilda, in 2012.

Snowden not interrogated by Russians: Assange

Julian AssangeUnited States intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden has not been interrogated by the Russian security services, according to WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who is hopeful there will be a wider “rollout” of revelations about the global nature of US internet and telecommunications surveillance.
Nanjing Night Net

In an interview with Fairfax Media, Mr Assange has confirmed that WikiLeaks personnel have continuously accompanied Mr Snowden since he left Hong Kong for Moscow on June 23, and that he has not been interviewed by Russian intelligence.

“Since Hong Kong we have had someone physically by his side the entire time,” Mr Assange said. “We have had someone with him for 54 days.”

Numerous US and other media reports have speculated that Mr Snowden has fallen into the hands of the Russian state security services, specifically the Federal Security Service (FSB), successor to the Soviet-era KGB.

However Mr Assange said WikiLeaks has been “watching the situation closely and the Russian authorities have behaved well”.

“My interpretation is that this is a political and diplomatic matter that long ago rose above being just an intelligence matter,” he said.

Specifically asked whether Mr Snowden had been interviewed by the FSB or any other Russian intelligence agency, Mr Assange replied “No, he has not”.

The US government has condemned Mr Snowden’s disclosure of top-secret National Security Agency surveillance programs and called for him to be returned to the US to face prosecution. On August 1, Mr Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia for one year. In response US President Barack Obama cancelled a planned summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr Assange said that “bellicose threats” from Washington over Mr Snowden’s case had scored a “diplomatic own goal” in the United States’ relations with Russia and other countries, especially in Latin America after Bolivian president Evo Morales’ plane was forced to divert from a return flight from Moscow after US authorities wrongly alleged Mr Snowden had been smuggled aboard.

Asked why WikiLeaks had been the only organisation to intervene directly to support Mr Snowden, facilitating his travel from Hong Kong to Russia and organising a legal defence fund, Mr Assange said it was a matter of “having the skills set and international network to do it” as well as a case of “practising what you preach”.

He said media organisations had an obligation wherever possible to protect sources by maintaining confidentiality or, when a source disclosed themselves, by offering other practical assistance.

“There is a moral obligation, and in order to maximise the amount of important information coming to the public you have to make the source feel comfortable with that. That’s one of the reasons for our involvement in the Snowden matter.”

Mr Assange said WikiLeaks’ assessment of the legal situation in Hong Kong had been that sooner or later the Hong Kong government would have moved to process a US extradition request, and that Mr Snowden would have most likely been denied bail and imprisoned while the matter was decided.

In contrast, Mr Assange said it had always appeared he would be “safe from extradition from Russia”.

Asked about The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald’s statements that as far as he is aware only he and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras have access to the full archive of classified intelligence documents leaked by Mr Snowden, Mr Assange said he would not comment on a question relating to the sourcing of a publication or possible publication.

However he did suggest that a wider disclosure of Mr Snowden’s material may yet take place beyond the “heavy US and European focus” of reporting by The Guardian, The Washington Post and Der Spiegel newspapers.

“Hopefully one day, not too far in the future, we will see a WikiLeaks file rollout to media organisations,” Mr Assange said. “That is the way I would do it, like Cablegate [WikiLeaks’ release of US diplomatic cables in late 2012] that had an important effect on every country.”

“I would like to see the organisations involved learn from our successes and see a global rollout like Cablegate.

“Everything else being equal, material should be published as soon as possible … otherwise governments or agencies start to cover up, [and] work out how to prepare their spin.”

In a statement released on Thursday Mr Snowden said he wanted to set the record straight after lawyers associated with his father, Lon Snowden, had “misled” journalists into “printing false claims about my situation”.

In an emailed statement to The Huffington Post news website, Mr Snowden said that neither his father, his father’s lawyer Bruce Fein, nor Fein’s wife and spokeswoman Mattie Fein “represent me in any way” and “do not possess any special knowledge regarding my situation or future plans”.

Ms Fein had told The Wall Street Journal that Lon Snowden’s legal team didn’t trust Mr Greenwald or WikiLeaks.

Mr Snowden responded to “correct the record”, saying that “I’ve been fortunate to have legal advice from an international team of some of the finest lawyers in the world, and to work with journalists whose integrity and courage are beyond question. There is no conflict amongst myself and any of the individuals or organisations with whom I have been involved.”

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What to drink … McLaren Vale Wines

McLaren Vale. Hero Rotator
Nanjing Night Net

One of the many vineyards in McLaren Vale. Photo: Adam Bruzzone

Up to $25

Paxton Shiraz Rose 2013 $19

If McLaren Vale producers couldn’t make decent rose from shiraz, something would be awry. And that’s certainly not the case with the Paxton shiraz rose, sourced from a biodynamically grown single vineyard; it has a spicy nose that follows through on the palate. I generally prefer super dry styles of rose, but the sweetness on the palate of this juicy, full-bodied wine is balanced by acidity and fleshier texture. It means this rose can handle food with a bit more heat, such as beef with black bean sauce and chillies. Available from paxtonvineyards南京夜网.

UP TO $25

Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards Vermentino 2013 $24

McLaren Vale is famous for its full-bodied luscious shiraz, but it’s also perfect for more alternative varieties. Oliver’s Taranga vineyards have been leading the way with selections of those from sagrantino and tempranillo to fiano and vermentino. It is spurred on by winemaker Corrina Wright’s love of these wines. The 2013 whites have just been released and, as this vermentino reveals, they are super fresh and vibrant. Tasting this, I’m craving summer and a bowl of salty fried shrimp. And an ocean view. Try oliverstaranga南京夜网.

OVER $50

S.C Pannell Grenache 2011 $55

Each year I look forward to what Stephen Pannell does with grenache, whether in blends or this varietal sourced from 69-year-old vines, and that’s because he makes some of the most profound yet energetic examples. The cooler and demanding 2011 vintage has resulted in a wine that’s just shy of full-bodied with more red fruits – the wine is, as always, a savoury nuanced grenache. Neatly balanced with refreshing acidity, sandy yet ripe tannins – all that’s needed is paella studded with lots of spicy chorizo and mussels. From Prince Wine Store.

SPLURGE

Toby Bekkers Syrah 2011 $110

Toby Bekkers is a specialist in organic and biodynamic practices who has established a label of the same name with his French-born wife and winemaker, Emmanuelle. The 2011 syrah is the inaugural wine and most definitely in the splurge category. But it is also superb with great definition and will age at least 12 years. It reveals a surprisingly subtle yet fragrant nose, plus a savoury more meaty character; it’s the palate that’s so good. Full-bodied but not heavy, and the oak adds to the wine’s mouth-feel. At bekkerswine南京夜网.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.