Monthly Archives:March 2019


The NFL failed to investigate the Ray Rice case properly, according to former FBI director Robert Mueller.


“The NFL should have done more with the information it had and should have taken additional steps to obtain all available information about the February 15 incident,” Mueller said in a statement after releasing his 96-page report on the handling of the Rice matter.

The report found no evidence the league received a video of the Baltimore Ravens running back knocking out his fiancee in a casino elevator before it was published online in September.

A law enforcement official showed The Associated Press videos of the incident and said he mailed a DVD to NFL headquarters in April.

The report said a review of phone records and emails of NFL employees showed no evidence that anyone in the league had seen the video before Commissioner Roger Goodell initially suspended Rice for two games.

The private investigation without subpoena power did not include any contact with the law enforcement official who showed the AP the videos.

The officer played the AP a 12-second voicemail from an NFL office number dated April 9, in which a woman verifies receipt of the DVD and says: “You’re right, it’s terrible.”

The official, who insisted on anonymity because he was not authorised to share the evidence, says he took steps to avoid being found or identified by the NFL.

Mueller found the NFL’s deference to the law enforcement process involving Rice “led to deficiencies in the league’s collection and analysis of information during its investigation.”

He added such an approach “can foster an environment in which it is less important to understand precisely what a player did than to understand how and when the criminal justice system addresses the event.”

Mueller’s report details some of the efforts the NFL made in obtaining the video, but said the league should have taken additional steps to find out what happened inside the elevator.

The report also said the league didn’t follow up on initial conversations with the Ravens to determine whether the team had more information.

Giants owner John Mara and Steelers President Art Rooney, the men appointed by Goodell as liaisons to the investigation, said Mueller made six recommendations that the owners will review.

Rooney and Mara agreed that the league’s policy on domestic violence was insufficient.

Beal, who turned 26 on Tuesday, will now almost certainly play a part in the World Cup in England this year as well as help the New South Wales Waratahs defend the Super Rugby title.


Both teams will be guided by Michael Cheika, who replaced McKenzie when the former test prop quit in the wake of the scandal over obscene text messages sent to a female member of the Wallabies staff.

Beale, who has been involved in a string of disciplinary issues over the last few years, faced having his contract torn up over the incident but an independent tribunal instead landed him with a A$45,000 (24,181 pound) fine.

He rejoined the Wallabies squad on their November tour of Europe after regaining his fitness and won his 48th and 49th caps off the bench against England and Ireland.

“I’m really looking forward to the year ahead and am grateful to the ARU and Waratahs for the opportunity to continue my career here in Australia,” Beale said. “With the World Cup coming up, I’m looking forward to getting back out there and playing some good Rugby for the Waratahs and hopefully getting selected for the Wallabies.”

Cheika, who helped Beale resurrect his career at the Waratahs last year after alcohol problems brought a premature end to his time at the Melbourne Rebels, welcomed his retention.”Kurtley is a fantastic player who will add to our great talent pool of inside backs,” said Cheika. “I’m looking forward to getting the best out of him again over the next 12 months.”

Although Beale started his career as a flyhalf and has played much of his international rugby at fullback, Cheika has used him at inside centre at the Waratahs.

Beale is a highly skilled player whose turn of pace and ability to squeeze through the narrowest of gaps can bamboozle even the best defences.

His value as an impact player coming off the bench is heightened by his proven ability to land long penalties in clutch situations towards the end of a games.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Peter Rutherford)


A $100,000 reward has been offered for help in solving the case of a teenage girl who disappeared in a disturbing abduction in central west NSW.


Fifteen-year-old Jessica Small was last seen in Bathurst about 12.35am on October 26, 1997.

Jessica was hitchhiking with a friend, Vanessa Conlan, to a mate’s house when the pair were picked up by a man in a white Holden Commodore.

The man drove the girls a short distance before turning on them.

Vanessa managed to escape and fled down the street, thinking Jessica was behind her.

However Jessica has not been seen since.

Homicide Squad commander Superintendent Mick Willing said investigators believe she was murdered.

“It’s been almost two decades and this was a 15-year-old girl who vanished off the street of a NSW city,” he said.

Supt Willing believes there are people who know what happened to Jessica.

“I implore these people to come forward and tell us what they know.”

Investigators have spoken to dozens of people, including persons of interest, excavated a riverbank at O’Connell, about halfway between Bathurst and Oberon, and examined several vehicles.

The current investigation has been thwarted by serious failings by Bathurst police when Jessica initially disappeared.

After an inquest last year, NSW deputy state Coroner Sharon Freund found there were serious inadequacies that had complicated the investigation.

She recommended a reward to solve the case not be less than $500,000.

Supt Willing confirmed there were still persons of interest in the sights of police.


The rise and rise of the selfie stick

March 30th, 2019 / / categories: 深圳桑拿网 /

“Selfie sticks” – the lightweight monopods which hold smartphones to get a better angle for self portraits – are the hot item at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where dozens of manufacturers and distributors are fielding orders to meet consumer demand.


Priced as low as $US5, the selfie sticks took some of the limelight in a show that features $US10,000 television sets and other pricey hardware.

“They’re flying off the shelves, they are one of our hottest items,” said Katie Kunsman with the New Jersey-based manufacturer and wholesaler Motion Systems, at her booth at the Las Vegas tech gathering.

Kunsman says the trend has taken off in the past few months, led by enthusiasts of extreme sports like rock climbing.

“If you go rock climbing you can get a picture from a good angle hanging off a cliff,” she said.

The origins of the selfie stick are unclear. Some say the trend began in Asia, others point to the extreme sports community and similar devices made for the GoPro camera.

The selfie sticks extend the smartphone camera away from the user by up to about 1.5 metres, providing a better angle than is possible by simply extending the device at arm’s length.

Some of the gadgets are sold at a very low price, but adding a wireless Bluetooth button to snap pictures can boost the cost to $U30 to $US40 or more.

Sometimes called “narcissticks” because they promote the self-centred picture trend, the devices have faced a ban in South Korea if they use unauthorised radio frequencies.

LOTP’s Robert Rickheeram said his firm began manufacturing and selling the sticks last year, after his parents bought one in Greece at the same time he found one in China.

“We were one of the first, although I can’t confirm we were the first” to start manufacturing and selling in the United States.

“We recognised the trend and we were able to get the website theselfiestick深圳桑拿,.”

Rickheeram said it’s not clear if any single company can be dominant in the emerging stick sector.

“Anyone can make these,” he said. “There are no patents, although we have a patent pending.”

He said his device was designed with a strong clamp that holds the smartphone securely in place.

“It has a little more bulk, but we don’t want anyone breaking their $500 smartphone,” he said.


Thousands of people again took to the streets in France and other countries, including Australia, to condemn the killing of 12 people by Islamist gunmen at Paris-based satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.


In Paris, thousands of people packed Republique square, about a kilometre from the scene of Wednesday’s massacre, for a second night running.

The square’s monument to the Republic has become a shrine to the victims of the worst terrorist attack in France for half a century and, more generally, freedom of expression.

Flowers, candles and cartoons – a tribute to the five cartoonists killed in the attack by two men out to avenge cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed who are still being sought by police – covered the base of the structure.

Many of the protesters carried placards bearing the “Je suis Charlie” (I am Charlie) slogan that has become a global cry for solidarity following the attacks.

Some came armed with pens, a symbol of press freedom.

Expressing the mood in the numbed capital Mayor Anne Hidalgo told the gathering that Parisians felt the need “to stand together and stick together”.

On Wednesday, about 100,000 people thronged impromptu gatherings across France to pay tribute to the victims and acclaim Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists as heroes.

In Sydney, a defiant rendition of La Marseillaise concluded a vigil by more than a thousand people to remember those killed.

The large crowd gathered at Sydney’s Martin Place on Thursday night to hold a minute’s silence at the same time as France stopped to remember those killed in the attack .

Vigils were also held in New York, Washington and Canada.

While the numbers at Thursday’s vigils in France were lower, across the world people continued to mobilise in solidarity with the French press and people.

In the Netherlands, thousands poured onto the streets in The Hague and Rotterdam to condemn extremism.

“Tonight I am Parisian and I am Charlie; tonight we are all Parisian and we are all Charlie,” Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said in French.

In Rome, several thousand people attended a rally outside the French embassy, while in Moscow, about 100 people defied temperatures of minus 10C to lay flowers outside the French mission.

People also gathered in their hundreds in Athens, Belgrade, Budapest, Frankfurt, Geneva, Lisbon, Prague and Zagreb.

In Africa, dozens of reporters paid respects to their slain French counterparts outside the French embassy in the former French colony of Togo.

A second consecutive protest was also planned in London.

Wendy Bridge was just a few hundred metres from the office of Charlie Hebdo when masked gunmen stormed the building, killing 11 inside and one police officer on the street in front.


The Australian-born woman said she noticed something was amiss when she saw “a particularly large” amount of police cars nearby.

“There was a lot of noise and commotion,” she says.

She then got a call from a friend and realised the alleged gunmen were heading in her direction.

“I was in shock because they said the car was going towards Pantin, and Pantin was where I was walking,” she says.

With two of the men responsible still at large, she remains unsettled.

“I think they’re going to have to crack down a bit on security, the way the Americans have,” she says.

“It’s really sad because it affects everybody’s liberty and that’s something the French really stand for.”

Fellow Australian Stephanie Hooper was shopping on the Champs-Elysees in central Paris when she heard of the attack.

Though she quickly rushed home, the experience has left her rattled.

“The general vibe seems a bit shocked and sad in Paris at the moment, she says.

“Everyone’s just trying to come to grips with what’s been happening.”  

The attack, which came just weeks after a siege in a Sydney cafe left two hostages dead, has been particularly bruising for those with links to both cities.

Journalist Richelle Harrison Plesse was in Sydney over Christmas before returning to Paris.

“To come back home and for this to happen here, yeah it was just complete disbelief really,” she says.

Australians at home and abroad joined a day of mourning yesterday for those killed in the massacre.




Canada, US in deep Arctic freeze

March 1st, 2019 / / categories: 深圳桑拿网 /

An Arctic blast sweeping Canada and parts of the United States this week closed schools, grounded jets, killed at least four people, and even shook the ground.


“What the hell was that?” screamed a startled woman at a loud crack produced by a “frost quake” in Ottawa on Wednesday night.

Frost quakes, or cryoseisms, occur when frozen water-saturated ground cracks in extreme cold.

The University of Toronto Climate Lab tracked dozens of such events, mostly in Ottawa and Montreal regions, but also in a few US states.

Temperatures plunged as low as minus 40C with a windchill on Thursday.

The cold is considered dangerous at this level, freezing exposed skin within minutes.

Officials in both countries urged people to stay indoors and not to travel unless absolutely necessary. Pet owners were also told not to let dogs or cats out.

People who must venture out were told to dress in layers covering all skin, to stay dry, to seek shelter and not drink alcohol which gives people a false sense of warmth.

Temperatures dropped at the beginning of the week and the cold is forecast to linger until at least Saturday.

In Ottawa, most public servants stayed home after temperatures plunged overnight after several days of snow and freezing rain.

Ice on streets sent cars sliding into ditches as road crews worked around the clock to clear snow and salt roadways – with little success.

Others were unable to get their cars started as engines were frozen solid.

Hundreds of flights were delayed or cancelled at major airports throughout the week.

Homeless shelters in most Canadian cities were packed full and hundreds of schools were closed across the continent.

In places where schools remained open, bus drivers in some cases picked up students directly from their homes.

Biting cold temperatures, bringing snow and freezing rain, were recorded as far south as Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.

As much as 30cm of snow fell or was forecast in some US southern and western plains states.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio warned of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from automotive exhaust, home heating systems and obstructed chimneys as well as poorly vented generators, kerosene heaters or gas grills.

In Detroit, firefighters’ emergency radios were reportedly freezing to their coats.

In New Jersey, police were empowered to move homeless people off the streets and into shelters.

Extreme winter weather was also blamed for an 18-vehicle pile up on a Pennsylvania highway that left two people dead and dozens injured.

In Toronto, street cars were stopped in their tracks after brake lines and doors froze, leaving as many as 250,000 riders stamping their numb feet on kerbs.

“The ageing streetcar fleet and related equipment – over 30 years (old) in many cases – do not respond well to extreme cold,” the Toronto Transit Commission said on its website.

The cold also sparked a political row between Toronto’s mayor, John Tory, and public health officials, over when to issue an extreme cold alert.

When temperatures drop below minus 15C the city typically opens emergency warming centres and reaches out to homeless people, providing additional shelter beds, transportation and other services to try to get them out of the cold.

Public health officials were accused of having waited too long to issue an alert after two men believed to be homeless froze to death – one in a bus shelter, the other in an abandoned truck – this week.

“We’re very sorry that these men died,” Howard Shapiro, Toronto’s associate medical officer of health, told the daily Globe and Mail.

A third man discovered unconscious outside overnight on Wednesday was rushed to hospital in critical condition.


Which stocks to watch in 2015

March 1st, 2019 / / categories: 深圳桑拿网 /

With 2014 at best a so-so year for most Australian investors, many are hoping for a better 2015.


Here’s a look at what to expect:


The dollar fell from more than $US1 to almost 80 US cents during 2014 and Esho Group CEO Peter Esho says exporters in particular should do well in 2015.

“The fall in the Aussie dollar is going to have huge implications for the economy and I think that’s been overlooked,” he said.

IG market strategist Evan Lucas says companies with a large percentage of their earnings derived from the US or elsewhere overseas – think QBE, CSL etc – should also benefit from the higher US dollar.


Oil prices have more than halved since July last year and that’s been great news for Qantas (which has a fuel bill of $4.5 billion) and helped the airline’s share price to double last year.

Lower prices at the petrol bowsers should also see Australians spend more in 2015 and Peter Esho expects transport businesses like Toll Holdings and Aurizon to be among the biggest beneficiaries.

“Not only do low energy costs improve their bottom line, the spillover effect is greater spending and economic activity, which will improve their volumes.”


Retailers, and other companies depending on discretionary spending from consumers have been generally weak performers for several years but the low oil price, coupled with low interest rates could finally change that.

CMC Markets market strategist Michael McCarthy thinks retailers should also benefit from the expected increase in spending, especially electronics retailers, who have been among the weakest performers in recent years.

“Although I’m not a huge fan of Harvey Norman’s business model I suspect that will be a beneficiary, as will JB Hi-Fi.”


As oil prices slumped, so, too, did the share prices of oil and gas companies.

And with no-one sure when prices will rise again the sector is best avoided, or is it?

Evan Lucas says there are good opportunities to be had for investors willing to go against the tide.

“It’s something that will turn around and when it does it will bring a very good buying opportunity, there’s no doubt that Santos and Oil Search at around $7 is undervaluing those companies.”


Woolworths and Coca Cola Amatil had a disappointing 2014, with their share prices dropping 10 per cent and 22 per cent respectively.

Peter Esho argues its only a matter of time before both come back into favour, though he concedes Coca-Cola still has issues to sort out.

*This reporter owns shares in Woolworths and Santos

A group of core al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria is planning “mass casualty attacks” against the West, the head of MI5 has warned.


As dramatic events surrounding the terrorist attack at the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris continue to unfold, Andrew Parker, director general of the Security Service, said transport networks and iconic landmarks were among Western targets of “complex and ambitious plots” by Syria-based extremists.

Aviation bomb plots and Mumbai-style shootings in crowded places are thought to be among plans being developed by the shadowy group, which has Britain among its sights.

It is understood the organisation in question is the so-called “Khorasan” cell, which is made up of jihadists sent to Syria by al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Addressing about 70 members of the Royal United Services Institute at MI5 headquarters, Parker said: “We still face more complex and ambitious plots that follow the now sadly well-established approach of al Qaeda and its imitators – attempts to cause large scale loss of life, often by attacking transport systems or iconic targets.

“We know, for example, that a group of core al Qaeda terrorists in Syria is planning mass casualty attacks against the West.”

Mr Parker says around 600 extremists are now among many Britons who have travelled to Syria, higher than previous estimates of 500, and a significant proportion has joined the extremist group IS.

He disclosed that in recent months three UK terrorist plots, which would have led to deaths, have been foiled by MI5 and its intelligence partners at MI6 and GCHQ.

It is understood the plots were a mix of mass casualty attacks and lone-wolf style killings as seen on the streets of Woolwich when Fusilier Lee Rigby was killed in 2013.


Geoff Ogilvy has not and will not venture into the Kapalua surf this year.


Returning to the US PGA Tour’s winners-only event in Maui after a five-year absence, Ogilvy is a quasi two-time defending champion, having missed his chance of a three-peat in 2011 when he cut his finger on a local reef in the lead-up.

While the surfing aficionado would love to cut loose on the waves, he knows it might not be the wisest decision this time around.

“I would go out, but can you imagine if it went wrong. The ocean will always be there,” a relaxed Ogilvy said on Thursday.

As part of golf’s elite at the time, Ogilvy had won seven times in six years, including the 2006 US Open, but the injury was the start of what turned into an almost four-year struggle.

After close to five years entrenched in the world’s top 50, including a high of No.3, Ogilvy spiralled as low as 216th last year.

There was no win in 2011, just four top-10s, and then 2012 and 2013 yielded just one top-10 finish each season, with 2013 being distinctly worse with a next-best finish of equal 27th.

Last year it appeared more of the same, Ogilvy reaching August without a top-10 result but a win late last year and a ride through the playoffs to the Tour Championship have the Victorian trending up once more.

He enters this week as world No.94, knowing the last two times he played in Hawaii he won, averaged 67 per round, shot a combined 46-under and won $US280,000 ($A303,000) for each of those eight rounds.

“It does feel like coming home. I am very comfortable here,” he said.

“It is interesting because right before I won I was over it, I was done. I was ready to shut it down for the year but now I’m here and I feel so much better for having the struggles.

“I feel a lot wiser about my game. It made me notice things and become more cerebral.

“Now I feel really good about the next few years, I am better prepared to ride the ups and downs and not chase too hard.”

With a two-year tour card exemption back up his sleeve and a trip to all four majors earned in 2015, Ogilvy has his sight set high once more.

He could start by joining Jack Nicklaus (5), Gene Littler, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Stuart Appleby as three-time event winners.

“There is no reason I can’t start strong here and get a third trophy. That’s the aim,” he said.

I’m also not done competing on Sunday’s in majors. I know I have it in me to contend and win again.

“Maybe this is the start of career No.2.

“I am excited about Augusta and St Andrews, I always get up for the US Open and I enjoy Whistling Straights.

“I’m sitting here really excited to play golf again and that is obviously a good thing.”