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James Brown to dance his way back into Melbourne City line up

These days it’s quite common for footballers of any code to use pilates, yoga and core exercises to strengthen muscle and improve their flexibility – not to mention their mental discipline.
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Ballet dancing as a fitness tool is, however, not such a familiar program.

But such was the scale of Melbourne City midfielder James Brown’s foot problem, and so difficult was it for the talented 26-year-old to speed his recovery, that he turned to the barre for assistance. He might share the same name as the Godfather of Soul, but Brown eschewed funk for a spot of “flic flac”.

While coach John van ‘t Schip does not expect Brown to be completely familiar with ballet terms like “en avante” or “en arriere”, he will certainly expect him to be “en pointe” when he makes his return to first team action for the first time in almost a year on Friday night when City take on Wellington Phoenix.

Brown has shown remarkable mental strength and determination to get his injury ravaged body back to the sort of condition it needs to be to play top level domestic soccer, while van ‘t Schip has shown great patience and belief in a player whose whole career has been dogged by the question of how good he could have been had he not constantly succumbed to injury.

Brown, one of the handful of indigenous players to have made a mark in the A-League, turned 26 earlier this month: time, if not running out for the former Gold Coast United and Newcastle Jets attacking midfielder, is passing quickly.

His coach does not expect him to start against the Phoenix, but if he is needed van ‘t Schip is sure he is ready enough now to play his part.

Brown and another victim of long term injury, young striker Marc Marino, are both included in the travelling squad which headed across to New Zealand on Thursday morning. Also in is Anthony Caceres, back from a second suspension having received two red cards in the two games he has started for City since joining the Melbourne club from Central Coast in the January window.

Marino has been out all season after requiring surgery for a knee injury he picked up in a pre-season friendly in the winter but, like Brown, has done enough to convince van ‘t Schip that he is ready to play some part in City’s run in to the race for the Premiership.

Wade Dekker and Steve Kuzmanowski are the two who were in the squad for the 4-1 win over Central Coast who have been left out to make way for the newcomers.

“Both boys have been training for weeks now and deserve a chance to be with the team. James can be a player coming in from the bench as we used Kuz, he can play in three or four positions, Marino is more specific (as a striker).

“I am not doing it to lift (their) morale, they have worked hard and they deserve to get an opportunity. Both are now to a level they can have a role with the team.

“James had a very difficult to treat injury. Mentally it was not an easy period for him. There was a moment when everyone was doubting what was going to happen. But if we need him to do something up front we have seen that he is training well.”

Brown’s last games were in March of 2015: he scored the only goal of City’s 1-0 away win against Sydney, but a week later he went down after half an hour in the home match against Brisbane and has not been seen since.

“He is over it mentally, he is happy, he is feeling great, he is running, he doesn’t have any problems physically. Things happen, other players get an opportunity, if someone doesn’t take it another one gets a chance,” his coach said.

Competition for places will only hot up over the next few weeks as more City players regain fitness. Connor Chapman, the centre back who has been out for more than two months, is expected to be back in contention for a squad place next week, while Harry Novillo, on a club suspension after a domestic incident made the news pages, will also be available for the next home match against Sydney FC.

Jack Clisby retains his spot in the squad because of the versatility he offers as he can play as a left back as well as a central defender, hence the lack of urgency about recalling veteran injury prone defender Aaron Hughes.

Van ‘t Schip is set to continue with the successful left sided combination of Michael Zullo and Ben Garuccio against a Nix team he feels should not be written off just yet.

“Wellington is always a strange game for us. We have won there 5-0, lost there 5-1, had a draw. It’s always very difficult. We know they didn’t have a lot of home games in their own stadium and they will have five home gams in the last seven and they will try to make something of their season,” said van ‘t Schip, who regards Ernie Merrick’s team as very threatening going forward but one who can be fragile if they concede goals.

He is also wary of the threat posed by his countryman, Roly Bonevacia.

“He is important for Wellington. He had a great first year, a big impact on Wellington’s game… this year the same….but this year they don’t have Nathan Burns and that was a big strength of theirs.”

Van ‘t Schip has impressed on Caceres the need to tailor his game and avoid any more unnecessary dismissals.

“I have spoken to him about the way he has to approach the game, he has to be a bit more careful. But I think two of the four fouls he made were not yellow yards. The way he is playing now is different to what he was used to at Central Coast. He has to be more careful when he comes in.”

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40 hot gifs for a 40-degree day

Looking for some more tips on how to deal with the heat today? And you want them in gif form? Say no more!
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Stay cool, like this very cool sloth.

Don’t forget to wipe away the sweat.

Always keep it classy.

Catch a wave, if you can.

Heading to the beach is definitely not the worst idea.

But don’t forget your water safety.

And be safe around dangerous rocks.

Share an ice-cream with your mates.

Dress appropriately for the weather.

And remember to wear a hat at all times.

Sunscreen is an absolute must.

Enjoy a beverage by the pool.

No, really. Enjoy a beverage by a pool.

Did we mention enjoying a beverage by the pool?

Go for a drive and feel the wind in your damn photogenic hair.

Try some of nature’s ice block–the watermelon.

You can even share it with your friends.

Tell somebody you know how hot it is.

Tell somebody you don’t know how hot it is.

Just tell everybody how hot it is.

Become a fan of fans.

Airflow + ice = cool air.

No, really, make friends with your nearest fan.

Try not to sweat too much.

But if you have to sweat, at least do it somewhere others are doing it.

So you don’t look weird, of course.

Don’t get dehydrated –keep water close by.

Drink as much of it as you can.

And deserts are practically ruled out.

Don’t leave your pets to sweat, either.

If you go outside, try to stand in the shade.

Ideally, though, just stay inside.

Because it’s hot out there…and bright.

And your pale skin just isn’t equipped to deal.

Beware of heat exhaustion.

Exhaustion can lead to confusion.

But above all, remember it could be worse –it’s 40 degrees here but over 4000 degrees on the surface of the sun.

5500 degrees to be accurate.

So really…the best advice…

…is to just relax.

Hawkesbury Gazette

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Giant one-tonne ‘fatberg’ pulled from drain | photos

Part of the one-tonne wet wipes cluster removed from sewer pipes at the pumping station in Eleebana. Photo: Hunter Water
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Wet wipes vs toilet paper:See how well toilet paper breaks down when compared to wet wipes. Video: SMH

Enormous clusters of wet wipes are creating “fatbergs” that are clogging up sewer pipes across NSW, including a one-tonne cluster that blew out a pumping station near LakeMacquarie.

Three-quarters of the one-tonne cluster of sewage and wet wipes was removed with specialised equipment from the station at Eleebana.

But the rest, 300 kilograms, was removed by hand, one bucket at a time, according to Hunter Water Corporation spokesman Nick Kaiser.

“Wet wipes are responsible for around 80 per cent of all sewer blockages in Hunter Water’s system,” Mr Kaiser said.

“These can cost thousands of dollars to repair and if they occur in people’s private plumbing that cost is worn by the customer.”

Giant one-tonne ‘fatberg’ pulled from drain | photos Sydney Water workers at the Shellharbour sewage pumping station cleaning out a blockage of wet wipes. A spokesman said such clean-outs happen on a regular basis.

Sydney Water workers at the Shellharbour sewage pumping station cleaning out a blockage of wet wipes.

Sydney Water workers at the Shellharbour sewage pumping station cleaning out a blockage of wet wipes.

Wet wipes may say they’re flushable but they’re not. Photo: Sydney Water

TweetFacebookIt is a problem worldwide with wet wipes advertised as flushable taking years to break down and sometimes mixing with fats and oils to form “fatbergs”.

“Only human waste and toilet paper should ever be flushed down the toilet,” Mr Kaiser said.

A survey of consumers in the Illawarra region found one in four Illawarra residents flushed wet wipes down the toilet, which can clog up pipes and block toilets. One resident said he had been hit with a $16,000 plumbing bill.

The Water Services Association of Australia estimated wet wipes are costing water utilities $15 million per year.

According to a Sydney Water spokesman, wet wipes are clogging up the sewerage systems in the Illawarra on a “constant basis”, requiring regular removal.

Across the network, the wipes can combine with items like fats and oils to create “fatbergs” – which lead to environmental damage when the blockages create sewage overflows into creeks, rivers and beaches.

When people read “flushable” they believe that means the product will break down, but the spokesman said this wasn’t the case.

“The issue is certainly that wet wipes don’t break down like toilet paper,” he said.

“Toilet paper breaks down almost immediately when flushed. Independent tests undertaken by Choice showed that the wet wipes hadn’t broken down in any way during a 21-hour testing period.”

Last year Choice gave Kleenex a Shonky Award for its flushable wipes.

Each year, Sydney Water removes 500 tonnes of wipes from the network across the Illawarra, Blue Mountains and Sydney every year at a cost of $8 million per year.

“Many customers have told us that based on the flushablelabelling of wipes they thought it was OK to flush, only to be hit with expensive plumbing bills,” Sydney Water’s service delivery general manager Eric de Rooy said.

Sydney Water recommended ignoring the “flushable” claim on the packaging.

“Our message to customers is simple,” Mr de Rooy said.

“Keep wipes out of pipes – bin it, don’t flush it.”

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Senate medical marijuana move “terrific”: Maitland mum

THE RIGHT TO HEAL: Sam Aulton has long championed the legalisation of medicinal cannabis. Photo by Cath Bowen.This week the Senate paved the way for medicinal cannabis to be legally grown in Australia and no one could be happier than Horseshoe Bend womanSam Aulton.
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The Senate made changes to the Narcotic Drugs Act on Wednesday to create a national body that can issue licenses to growers and regulate local crops of medicinal marijuana.

In the fight to prolong her life against terminal cancer, Ms Aulton said she turned to cannabis oil in the hope it would ease her pain and boost her immune system.

But the drug’s status as a prohibited substance meant she was forced to source it illegally.

Her desperate quest for treatment almost cost her life.

“I knew I had to reach a medicinal point of one gram a day for 60 days,” she said.

“I pushed myself to that point but I knew something was wrong.”

Ms Aulton said the source she relied on for cannabis oil was selling acontaminated product.

But it was one she needed to consume in large quantities.

“My source used butane [to extract the oil].I was ingesting it.

“I spent four months eating poison and I haven’t walked since.”

Ms Aulton said she had recently secured a more reliable source for cannabis oiland had already noticedthe benefits of returning to the treatment.

“Last year I had collapsed lungs, I was close to death,” she said.

“But I’ve started to rebuild.I feel better, stronger.”

Health Minister Sussan Ley said the Department of Health and Therapeutic goods was well advanced in considering downgrading cannabisto a controlled substancein the same category as morphine.

Ms Aulton said the most significant benefit of the legislation would be a regulated, safe and reliable medicine.

She also said she was happy patients would no longer have to hide or become criminals as they tried to improve or prolong their lives.

“I don’t want any fear of telling people they should take it,” Ms Aulton said.

“You see stories every day on Facebook about kids with epilepsy benefiting from it and I just think ‘why the hell not?’.”

Ms Aulton said preventing the use of medicinal marijuana was an injustice.

“We’re not trying to profit from it, we’re just trying to survive,” she said.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale said the changes were an important first step to legalising medicinal marijuana. However he said more work was needed to deal with how doctors would prescribe the drug and how it would be distributed.

Vacy industrial hemp farmer Bob Doyle said he supported the move but had no plans to plant a medicinal crop.

“I fully support what they’re trying to do,” he said.

“But we want people to know we’ve got industrial hemp, not medical.”

Mr Doyle grows hemp plants with low THC levels, which makesthem ideal for clothing, construction and insulation purposes while beingineffective as a medical or recreational drug.

Bob Doyle on his hemp farm in February 2015. Picture: Stuart Scott.

But he saidthat didn’t stop confused people “trying” his crop.

“We had a crop at Hinton. People just couldn’t help themselves.

“Everyone told them all they’d get was a headache but they had to try it.”

While Mr Doyle said the regulations and practicalities of medical marijuana crops would still need to be hashed out.

And while he reiterated his support for other growers to pursue the growth of medical crops in the Hunter Valley, he said issues like cross-pollination withlow THC hemp farmsand security would need to be addressed.

“Medical crops in the Hunter Valley would need to be grown in greenhouses or away from other crops,” Mr Doylesaid.

“I suspect the areas we’re talking about would be quite small and highly policed.

“But these issues are not insurmountable.”

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Meet the new emoji revamping the Like button

Facebook has launched five new emoji buttons – Angry, Sad, Wow, Haha and Love.Scroll down for the videoTIP: If the new emoji buttons aren’t appearing on your phone, completely close the app and then try again.
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If you’ve ever awkwardly hit the thumbs-up “Like” button on a Facebook post with not-so-good news, you’ll be relieved to hear the social media giant has rolledout five alternatives.

Five new emoji buttons – angry, sad, wow, haha and love – were launched worldwide on Wednesday.

The traditional “Like” button still appears at the bottom of posts, but if the user holds down the button on a smartphone, the five emoji options will be revealed.

To create “Reactions”, Facebook researchers began grouping the most common types of responses to posts. For example, “haha” and “omg so funny” were grouped under the laughter category.

They whittled down the categories to six, but later culled the “Yay” as it wasn’t universally understood.

Facebook also added animation to clarify the meaning of the emojis, making some bounce and change expression.

The Reactions were first road-tested by users in Spain and Ireland. It was later rolled out to Chile, the Philippines, Portugal, and Colombia.

As Facebook’s 1.6 billion users – who hit the “Like” button 6 billion times a day – adjust to the change, advertisers will likely be assessing how to best convert the new flood of user data into sales and revenue.

At present, the value generated just by the “Like” button for Facebook is “priceless”, Brian Blau, an analyst at Gartner, told Bloomberg. By collecting more granular data about users’ sentiments, Facebook will be able to better target its ads and also improve the News Feed algorithm in order to surface more relevant posts.

Associate Professor David Glance, director of Centre for Software Practice at the University of Western Australia said the “Like” button had been problematic for advertisers because it didn’t cover the subtleties.

“The degree of reaction is now captured and that’s an important feature. It enables advertisers to be incredibly sophisticated about how they post their ads, refining them constantly,” he said.

“The buttons, combined with your profile, demographic, your read habits and other information all now goes into the mix.”

Mark Cameron, chief executive of strategic digital consultancy Working Three, said Facebook’s business model was underpinned by ultra-targeted advertising and its goal was to create “complex psychometric profiles of users”.

“Knowing all the brands, pages, people and posts someone “Likes” gives Facebook an amazing view of each of its users – adding an additional level of behavioural interactivity allows this to get even more sophisticated,” he said in acolumn for BRW.

“It is very easy to imagine a world where someone, after seeing the post about a friend’s parent passing away, hits a button that expresses “I’m sorry” and is then is presented with an ad for flowers delivery.”

Facebook made a profit of $US3.7 billion ($5.2 billion) in 2015, up 25 per cent from a year earlier, itslatest quarterly earnings report shows. Revenue grew by 43 per cent to $US17.9 billion.

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Choose from tree houses, reef houses and beach houses at Amilla Fushi resort, Maldives

Amilla dive master, Ayya. Photo: Louise Southerden Amilla Fushi Tree Houses.
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Ocean Reef House. Photo: Supplied

Treehouse pool and deck. Photo: Louise Southerden

Baazaar Bar. Photo: Dean Bentick

“Welcome home.” These are the first words I hear as I step ashore at Amilla Fushi, which is strange because it’s my first time in the Maldives and  the resort had opened only a few months earlier, in March last year. Perhaps the waiter handing me my welcome drink – a deliciously sweet concoction of coconut water flavoured with cinnamon and star anise – has me confused with another guest.

But I find this is part of the ethos that infuses Amilla Fushi, which means “my island home” in Dhivehi​, the official language of the Maldives.

“There are 112 resorts in the Maldives. Our mission is to be a little different,” says Mark Hehir, the Australian chief executive officer of The Small Maldives Island Co, which conceived and manages Amilla.

“We want the resort to be less hotel-like and to have a more residential vibe, to give guests an emotional connection so they feel this is their island home away from home.”

That explains why the 67 contemporary-style villas are called houses (and room service is “home delivery”). There are beach houses, over-water reef houses, two-storey beachfront “residences” with four to eight bedrooms each, even treehouses, the first in the Maldives.

I’ve stayed in a few treehouses, but as I climb the timber stairs to my two-bedroom apartment on 12-metre concrete stilts, this one strikes me as less Swiss Family Robinson and more War of the Worlds. It’s impressive just from an engineering perspective: 220 square metres plus plunge pool and timber deck at palm-tree height, floating in a sea of greenery.

Inside, it’s fashionably kitted out like a high-end holiday house at Byron Bay, with a few innovative touches. An iPad mini allows guests to explore the resort’s offerings, make dinner and spa reservations, read newspapers and magazines from around the world, and check flight details and the weather. (The novelty wears off when I forget to put the iPad back on its charging station and it dies, leaving me without so much as a resort map to refer to.)

In addition to the inevitable pod coffee maker, there’s a tea machine with pods of jasmine, Earl Grey and English Breakfast leaf teas. It’s nice to see Australian-made Aesop toiletries in the bathrooms, in large pump bottles to reduce plastic waste. Other thoughtful touches are sunscreen and insect repellent in the minibar and a USB charging port in my bedhead.

It’s all very Steve Jobs, right down to the T-shirted staff wearing surfboard-shaped wooden pendants instead of name tags – including Mujay, my “katheeb” (literally “island chief”, but it means butler here).

Amilla even has its own time zone. Since October it has been two hours ahead of Male, the capital, not just one hour like some other resorts. All the better to stay up late, sleep in the next morning, lounge by the pool (one of the largest in the Maldives, at 62 metres), have a full day of aquatic activities – and still make it to sunset drinks.

That’s another difference between Amilla and other Maldivian resorts: the focus is not on romance and a castaway experience but on getting together with friends or in family groups for great food and good times.

To this end, there are several resort restaurants – each relaxed and unfussy (many have sand floors for barefoot dining) and also equipped with iPad minis (printed menus are so five seconds ago).

There’s the Fish & Chip Shop (another Maldivian first), Baazaar Bar (the spelling is a reference to Amilla’s location in Baa Atoll, a UNESCO biosphere reserve), Wok, Grill, Joe’s Pizza and Fresh. There’s a gourmet deli, gelateria and cafe called Emperor General Store, and a Wine Shop that operates as a cellar door.

Then there’s Lonu by Luke Mangan at the far end of the jetty (lonu means salt in Dhivehi, in keeping with Mangan’s Salt restaurants). Open to the sea breeze that swings the lampshades and lapping waves that provide the soundtrack, it has an open kitchen to encourage interaction between the chefs and diners. Upstairs is the open-air Sunset Bar, one of the best spots on the island for a cocktail when the Indian Ocean slips out of its turquoise daywear to mirror the evening sky’s pinks and mauves.

Of course, Amilla’s marine environment is another drawcard. The resort is 10 minutes by speedboat from manta ray and whale shark hot spot Hanifaru Bay, for one thing, and has world-class diving at its doorstep, run by scuba operator Dive Butler International.

Even at the spa, there’s a sense of place: the airy reception area is right on the beach, there’s an over-sea yoga deck, the 10 couples treatment “pods” are scattered around an enormous banyan tree and the sand-floored tea lounge “chill out zone” is just metres from the water.

But wait, there’s more. The Small Maldives Island Co will open a second property, Finolhu, in June, and four more within three years, each with its own vibe and for different budgets. Boats will shuttle between them so guests will be able to, say, dine on one island and charge it to their villas on another.

Too soon, it’s time to leave – in style. The pilot of our Trans Maldivian Airways seaplane might be wearing shorts and thongs, but his pressed white shirt and Aviator sunglasses are all business. As the twin props whir to life and the staff waving goodbye from the pontoon shrink from view, I see the bigger picture: Amilla and its sister-resorts are raising the bar for resorts all over the Maldives, whose gem-like atolls may never be the same again. TRIP NOTESMORE INFORMATION

See visitmaldives南京夜网/en  GETTING THERE

Singapore Airlines flies from Sydney to Male via Singapore with same-day connections daily (singaporeair南京夜网).

Amilla Fushi is 30 minutes by seaplane from Male (transmaldivian南京夜网).  Or take a short domestic flight to nearby Dharavandhoo Island and a 10-minute speedboat transfer to Amilla Fushi.  STAYING THERE

Houses start at $1760 a night including breakfast and Wi-Fi. See amilla.mv.

Louise Southerden travelled as a guest of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation, Singapore Airlines and Amilla Fushi Maldives.

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Defence white paper: new submarine fleet to cost taxpayers $150 billion

Defence Minister Marise Payne at Parliament House on Thursday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen The new Defence strategy includes a substantial boost to the number of people in the armed forces. Photo: Glenn Campbell
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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull launches the Defence white paper. Photo: Andrew Meares

Defence Minister Marise Payne announces a major increase in the Defence budget. Photo: Andrew Meares

Australia faces ‘broader range of threats’ than ever beforeDefence spending boost will take spending to $1 trillion

Australia’s new fleet of 12 submarines will cost at least $50 billion just to build, the Turnbull government’s Defence white paper has revealed – at stark odds with public claims by shipbuilders that they can be constructed at a fraction of that price.

The price tag of more than $4 billion per boat is spread over the next 30 years, but it does not include lifetime maintenance of the submarine fleet, which is likely to be at least that much again and perhaps twice as much, bringing the total of the program to a staggering $150 billion.

The white paper, released on Thursday, outlines Australia’s plans to defend itself for the next 20 years.

On submarines, the white paper commits to a “rolling acquisition”, which means that by the time the final boat is built, the first one will be ready to retire, creating a continuous build indefinitely.

While shipbuilders bidding to construct the submarine fleet have put the cost as low as $20 billion or less, the white paper states clearly that Defence estimates the cost of designing and constructing the fleet alone – not including sustainment – will be at least $50 billion.

Concerns about future threats of cyber attacks has been dramatically underscored by the white paper’s announcement that there will be 800 new personnel committed to cyber defence and a further $300 million on cyber hardware.

And the regional instability sparked by China’s rise features strongly in the government’s thinking, with the white paper noting that “as China grows, it will continue to seek greater influence within the region”.

Australia calls on China to provide “reassurance to its neighbours by being more transparent about its defence policies”.

Critically, the government has promised not to cut any of its promised $30 billion boost to defence no matter what happens to economic growth.

The government will meet its pledge to spend 2 per cent of GDP on defence by the 2020-21 financial year – three years earlier than promised. But now that the white paper is locked in, it will be “decoupled” from GDP growth, meaning money won’t be cut even if GDP forecasts are scaled back.

The white paper reveals the government will also significantly boost its maritime surveillance capabilities, buying an additional seven P-8 surveillance planes on top of the eight already announced, and purchasing seven Triton surveillance drones.

The white paper also commits the government to boosting the ADF’s uniformed personnel by 2500 above current plans.

The change will increase the permanent force to its largest size since 1993.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the white paper was a plan to “become more powerful on land and in the skies and more commanding both on the seas and beneath them”.

“The government’s continuous build strategy for the Australian submarine industry recognises the long construction timelines for the new submarines,” he said.

“We will ensure the Australian submarine involvement is sustainable over the longer term by building a new force of 12 regionally superior submarines, doubling the size of our current fleet.”

The defence budget will rise from $32.4 billion this year to $58.7 billion in 2025-26.

Nine per cent of the $195 billion that will be spent over the next decade on defence capability projects will go towards hi-tech areas of intelligence, electronic warfare, space and cyber capabilities.

One quarter of the $195 billion will go to the navy, including initial work on the 12 new submarines, but also on building nine anti-submarine warfare frigates and 12 offshore patrol vessels.

It will also include land-based anti-ship missiles stationed in the country’s north.

A further quarter will be spent on “enablers” such as upgrades to bases, airfields and ports, improvements to information technology and new simulators and training facilities

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Credit card skimming scams overseas: Five tips to avoid getting caught out

Be diligent on who is around you when using your credit card. Photo: iStockDuring a recent visit to Singapore my debit card was skimmed and almost $500 extracted from my account. It’s a common enough occurrence but with a little more diligence on my part it might never have happened.
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I’d made three transactions using my Citibank Visa debit card. The first was at the rooftop bar of the Marina Bay Sands where I paid for cocktails. The barman took my card away and came back a minute later with a keypad asking me to key in my PIN number. The other two transactions were at Singapore Airport next morning, where I used the same card to pay for purchases at a chemist shop and also a coffee bar. I’d normally pay cash for these small buys but I’d just used the last of my Singapore currency to pay for a taxi to the airport.

At one of these three transactions my card details were skimmed. Skimmers are card readers that harvest the data from the card’s magnetic stripe. They can either be incorporated into an existing legitimate card reader or a separate device that a salesperson will use to swipe the card a second time out of sight of the cardholder.

The other vital ingredient is your PIN, obtained by a hidden camera, by inserting a pressure sensitive pad beneath the keypad or by a careful pair of eyes. In my case, I keyed in my PIN while the keypad was resting on the counter, and the cashier could have seen me doing it.

Slightly more paranoia-inducing, a fraudster with a FLIR ONE Thermal Imager equipped smartphone can capture the thermal signature that your fingers leave behind on a keypad. All the PIN thief has to do is hover their FLIR ONE equipped smartphone over the keypad on which you’ve just tapped your PIN and bingo – the thermal image reveals which numbers you pressed. Not only are the numbers revealed but the different colours on the image show the order in which they were pressed. The device can be bought for about $400 in Australia, about $100 less on Amazon.

A thief only has to download the information collected from the skimmer and imprint that onto a fake card, key in your PIN and visit an ATM or pay for merchandise and your account says “hello friend” and pops open like a jack-in-the-box.

After Singapore I departed on a cruise and it was only a few weeks later, back in Sydney when a withdrawal was declined that I realised things were not right. I checked my account online and there were four unauthorised withdrawals at the Hotel Ibis Menteng in Jakarta. The first was for $49.44, followed by three more for $148.31 each, all on the same day. At the end of that spree my available funds had shrunk to just $29.08.

I’d become a contributing member of a US$16 billion dollar global industry. That’s the figure for worldwide credit card fraud in 2014, the most recent available figures, and more than BHP’s net profit for the same year.

When I reported the theft to Citibank at the end of December I was told it could take up to two months to reach a verdict. Less than two weeks later all the missing funds were restored to my account.

Wherever my card was skimmed it probably required help from the inside. The thief needs to get hold of the information and that usually requires someone to physically collect the data. What happens is the person at the point-of-sale is paid a commission, typically between $10-50, for every card skimmed. There are also skimming devices with wireless capabilities. Once installed, the crook can retrieve the information on a smartphone from a couple of hundred metres away.

The newer technology chip and PIN cards are more secure but these cards also have a magnetic stripe to make them backwards compatible with older-tech systems that can’t read the chip. If you’re asked to swipe a chip-and-PIN card through a reader you’re cancelling out any security advantage that the card offers.

It’s a wake-up call, and I won’t be quite such an easy mark in future. There are five simple protocols I’m adopting anytime any card leaves my wallet.

1. Never again will I allow anyone to walk away with my card.

2. Most of us have learned to cover the keypad with one hand when we punch in our PIN at an ATM. We’re much less likely to do that when we do the same in a restaurant, a shop or a bar. I’m now covering up whenever I tap in my PIN.

3. I’m going to be a lot more diligent about who might be around when I use my card.

4. When I enter my PIN I’m also going to rest my fingers on random keys , leaving behind a scrambled heat signature for any scammer who might be using a thermal imaging device.

5. I’m limiting the debit and credit transactions I make overseas to major purchases only. From now on, cash is king.

See also: The 25 most common travel mistakes and how to avoid them

See also: The best way to access your money overseas

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Kanye West’s latest rant: Taylor Swift ‘f–ked it up’ and is ‘not cool’

Kim Kardashian releases first photo of son Saint WestKanye West’s embarrassing misspelling and Zuckerberg’s $1 billion response
Nanjing Night Net

Kanye West just cannot leave well enough alone. The rapper-turned-fashion designer has hit out yet again at Taylor Swift in another lengthy harangue.

This time it was the crowd at Los Angeles’ 1OAK club on Tuesday night that had to listen to the 38-year-old’s latest rant where he made reference to the 26-year-old’s reaction to his song Famous in which he raps, “I feel like me and Taylor might have sex. I made that b**ch famous.”

“I called Taylor, I played her [Famous from his album The Life of Pablo] … I told her, ‘Look Taylor, I talked to my wife about it, and I said how do you feel about this line, Taylor?” West said.

“I was like, ‘Taylor I feel like me and you might set ourselves’ and she said, ‘Ooo, Kanye, I like that line,'” he continued.

“Here she was, her lawyer says something completely different. She’s not cool no more, she had two seconds to be cool and she fu**ed it up.”

(Sidenote: While Kanye was being Kanye in the club, old flames Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick were looking cosy and enjoying themselves. Good for them.)

West and Swift went to battle after he debuted his track at his Yeezy Season 3 show at New York Fashion Week two weeks ago that references the time he stormed the stage to protest her 2009 MTV Video Music Awards win – saying Beyonce was more deserving of it.

The Bad Blood singer has denied that she signed off on Ye’s controversial lyric and used her acceptance speech for Grammys Album of the Year last week to hit back in a not-so-subtle jibe:

“As the first woman to win Album of the Year at the Grammys twice, I will say to all of the young women out there, there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success, or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame.”

Fingers where?

Swift was not the only one who was targeted by the father of two during his diatribe.

Although his wife Kim Kardashian West mended relations after an earlier Twitter attack against his ex-girlfriend Amber Rose and her ex-husband Wiz Khalifa, West decided to reignite that rift too.    Tea anyone?A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Feb 2, 2016 at 1:45am PST

Speaking about Rose’s NSFW tweet in which she claims she used to “play in his a–hole” and added the hashtag “fingers in the booty a– b–ch”, he retorted: “That b–ch don’t never stick her fingers in my a–. I don’t play like that.”

So now you know.

No one is safe

Never one to hold back, West also took aim at rock producer, Bob Ezrin, who strayed from the idea that West is the greatest and so is his album, The Life of Pablo.

The Canadian producer and keyboardist, best known for his work with Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel and Phish, wrote a “scathing review” of the album in a newsletter for Lefsetz.

“Unlike other creators in his genre like Jay-Z, Tupac, Biggie or even M.C. Hammer, it’s unlikely that we’ll be quoting too many of Kanye’s songs 20 years from now. He didn’t open up new avenues of public discourse like NWA, or introduce the world to a new art form like Grandmaster Flash, or even meaningfully and memorably address social issues through his music like Marshall, Macklemore and Kendrick,” Ezrin wrote.   A photo posted by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Feb 21, 2016 at 8:34pm PST

He added:  “He’s like that flasher who interrupts a critical game by running naked across the field. Is that art???” and that his songwriting is “is sophomoric at best”.

Well West is mad at Ezrin’s comments to say the very least and wrote to his 19.5 million followers: “Has anybody ever heard of Bob Ezrin???… What the fuck does he know about rap… Do something relevant… Please don’t speak on me bro ever again!!!”

West also spoke about Ezrin’s children adding: “Your kids are ashamed of their dad… Sorry for speaking about kids… but could you imagine if you were Bob Ezrin’s kids… I’m so sorry for them… I will send them free Yeezys to make up for the embarrassment that you have caused your family!”

Then to finish he took another shot at Swift and the Grammys:

“I made Dark Fantasy and Watch the Throne in one year and wasn’t nominated for either and you know who has two albums of the year,” he tweeted before adding: “Welcome to pop culture!!!”

Until next time… Has anybody ever heard of Bob Ezrin???— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016What the fuck does he know about rap…— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016Your kids are ashamed of their dad… Sorry for speaking about kids… but could you imagine if you were Bob Ezrin’s kids…— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016Ezrin I truly feel sorry for your friends and family that they have had to suffer an idiot like you for so many years…— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016I made Dark Fantasy and Watch the Throne in one year and wasn’t nominated for either and you know who has 2 albums of the year.— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 24, 2016

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Fifty years of ANU film culture

ANU Film Group members, from left, Brett Yeats, secretary Andrew Wellington and President Adrian Ma, in the Coombs Theatre. Photo: Elesa Kurtz Malcolm McDowell in Stanley Kubrick’s film “A Clockwork Orange”, the second-most screened film by ANU Film Group. Photo: Supplied
Nanjing Night Net

The ANU Film Group’s most programmed film is “Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964) starring Peter Sellers. Photo: Supplied

ANU Film Group members Brett Yeats and president Adrian Ma, in the projection room. Photo: Elesa Kurtz

The ANU Film Group’s 50th anniversary.

Membership is $40 a semester or $70 for a full year online or at the Coombs Lecture Theatre, ANU, before a screening. anufg.org419论坛.

In 1966, being a dedicated film buff wasn’t easy. With no internet, DVDS or VCRs and few television channels, if you wanted to see a movie, you were pretty much limited to whatever was playing in your local cinema.

But for those who were enterprising and well located, there was another possibility: the film group. Canberra film identity Andrew Pike – former operator of Electric Shadows, founder of Ronin Films, film historian and advocate – was one of a small group of Australian National University Film students who formed the ANU Film Group in 1966.

Although it’s changed a lot over the years, the group is still going strong today, shows dozens of films each year and is open for public membership – in fact, unlike the old days, nowdays non-student members far outnumber students.

It will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a birthday party screening on Sunday, February 28, in its long-time home in the Coombs Theatre, at the corner of Fellows and Garran Roads, Acton (in ANU).

The group screened 37 films in its first year. The first – on Monday, February 28, 1966 – was the 1962 Peter Sellers comedy Only Two Can Play, but to mark the 50th anniversary the group will have the 16th screening of its most popular film, the second film screened in 1966. It’s another comedy starring Sellers: Dr Strangelove, or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).

In 1966, Pike was studying history and English literature.”There was no film studies then; that was as close as I could get to the things I liked,” he says. With a few other dedicated souls, he started setting up screenings with 16mm projectors borrowed from the university visual aids unit and lugged around the campus, often on foot –”Not all of us had cars.” – as they taught themselves how to operate it.

The original home base was the Physics Lecture Theatre; in 1969, the group moved to the Coombs Lecture Theatre, where it has remained.

In the early days, he says, the society was seen as a place to be exposed to cinema beyond what was on offer on the commercial screens.

“If we got films from commercial sources it was to look at them in a different way. Psycho was one worth screening again – it’s a fantastic film.”

He remembers that at the screening of that Hitchcock classic, “the projectionist was so rapt in the film he didn’t realise there was a reel change coming up and suddenly at a certain point in the film the screen went dark and we heard the end of the reel flapping up … we heard, ‘Oh shit!’ “.

The projectionist had to hurry back and change the reel so the film could continue.

Such a popular film would help to fill the coffers if money was running low – things were run pretty informally in the early days, Pike says – but on the whole the founding members sought alternatives to the mainstream fare being presented in cinemas.

“We got films from various sources, including commercial sources, but our most interesting source of supply was the embassies. We dealt a lot with the Canadian High Commission in Sydney; we sourced a lot of films from them, mainly documentaries. There were some very exciting things being done in non-feature films: animation, experimental films, documentary.”

The French embassy, too, was an excellent source: “There were hundreds of titles, old and new, and the person in charge of non-commercial screenings was a wonderful woman named Helene Anderson who became our godmother supplier.”

Local films weren’t neglected, either.

“We ran a lot of Australian films when we could get [them] – in the 1960s, before the birth of government subsidies, the typical Australian film was ‘underground’ – self-funded and distributed.”

The group showed films such as the experimental Marinetti (1969) by Albie Thoms and ran and repeated them frequently. And these stimulated action.

“We all started making films under the inspiration of the underground films,” Pike says. “It was a very all-consuming culture.”

The ANU had a creative fellowship that in 1969 brought husband and wife filmmakers Arthur and Corinne Cantrill to the university.

“They were here for three or four years,” Pike says. “We would show their work at ANU Film Group.”

They ran workshops and experimental film events and contributed, Pike says, to an “extraordinary” film culture at the university.

“The ANU Film Group was at the centre of it all.”

Although his links with the group loosened for many years after he left university in the early 1970s to work at the Center Cinema – the start of a distinguished career in the Australian film industry – he remembers his time there fondly and has a life membership with the group.

“The 1960s were a very exciting time for world cinema.”

The ANU Film Group continued to develop over the following decades. In 1976, a decade after it began, it screened more than 150 feature films.

By the mid-1970s, it had acquired second-hand 35mm projectors – later replaced by new ones – and Super 8 equipment, and despite the advent of home video in the 1980s, falling membership and a decrease in funds, the group survived.

In 1990, with the help of the university, a new Dolby Stereo system was installed in the Coombs Theatre andaccounting and record-keeping practises were improved. The sound system was upgraded in 1996 to a new Dolby Digital six-track sound processor, the first in Australia, with new speakers and acoustic panelling, and in 1997 a bigger screen was installed and projectors were upgraded.

Digital projection was adopted in 2014 and, again with university assistance, a new digital projector and server were purchased at a cost of over $100,000 (the first digital screening was Frozen). The theatre doesn’t have 3D projection: the group would have to pay a licensing fee for each screening and the demand is not sufficient to make it worthwhile.

The group has a membership of about 1500 and the cinema can hold 371 people. Obviously all the members can’t come to every session, but if there’s sufficient demand, films may be rescreened.

The current 20 committee members – all volunteers, although the projectionists are paid professionals employed casually – include the president, Adrian Ma, who’s been on the committee for almost eight years, vice-president Tamara Cain, secretary Andrew Wellington and treasurer Xin Yi Tan.

Ma says, “A lot of people devote a lot of their time to it … there are people who have been on the committee for more than 20 years.”

He says the culture of movie-going has changed over time and the society has changed with it.

“There’s a lot of emphasis on home entertainment, phones, iPads, many ways of watching movies, but it’s important to keep the community sense of cinema alive, that thrill of watching movies on a screen with other people.”

While the committee now selects movies for each year’s program, it does poll members for their choices.

Many of the same movies come up repeatedly as requests – The Princess Bride, for example – but screenings of such older movies are not always well attended and, with a mix of mainstream and arthouse cinemas in Canberra showing “retro” programs as well as current movies, the group tries to look ahead to what will be available in the coming year and likely to be popular, as well as cater to requests for older and more unusual fare.

The group retains ties with local filmmakers, too: among its activities this year are Q&A screenings with Canberra directors (see events). And they are always on the lookout for ideas for theme nights and other ways to make screenings special.

“The more ideas we can get, the better. People who have special events in mind, people who are in touch with directors – we’re all ears.”

ANU Film Group Semester One 50th Anniversary Events.

1. 50th Anniversary Birthday Party: Sunday, February 28, at 6pm.

To mark the group’s first recorded screening 50 years ago, a screening of Dr Strangelove, the group’s most screened film and the second film screened in the 1966 program.

2. Oscars on the Big Screen: Monday, February 29, at 7.30pm.

Watch the 88th Academy Awards on the big screen to find out how many prizes Mad Max: Fury Road takes home and see whether Leonardo DiCaprio finally wins a best actor Oscar.

3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens Dress Up screening.

On March 10 at 7.30pm, get in the spirit of the Force by dressing up as your favourite Star Wars character.

4. Back to the Film Group Anniversary Screenings

One film from each decade that’s celebrating a special anniversary this year (to be continued in Semester Two).

March 17, at 7.30pm: Batman: The Movie (1966)

April 21, at 7.30pm: Rocky (1976)

May 26, at 7.30pm: Crocodile Dundee (1986)

5. Filmmaker Q&A screenings

April 16, at 7pm: Me and My Mates Vs. the Zombie Apocalypse. Followed by a Q&A with writer/director Declan Shrubb and guests.

May 21 at 7pm: Sherpa. Followed by a Q&A with director Jennifer Peedom.

ANU Film Group’s most screened films (as of 2015):

15 times – Dr Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)  – 16 times on Sunday.

11 times – A Clockwork Orange (1971)

10 times – 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

10 times – Casablanca (1942)

10 times – Citizen Kane (1941)

9 times – Some Like It Hot (1959)

8 times – Taxi Driver (1976)

8 times – If… (1968)

8 times – Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

8 times – Metropolis (1927)

8 times – North By Northwest (1959)

7 times – Alien (1979)

7 times – Blade Runner (1982)

7 times – Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)

7 times – Psycho (1960)

7 times – The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

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