27 Jul 18

Ocean treat to sink your teeth into

New sensation: Neil Perry’s Glacier 51 toothfish dish. Photo: SuppliedTen years ago, Patagonia toothfish conjured images of illegal fishing and endangered species.
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Now, one of the world’s rarest, hardest-to-catch fish is about to land in restaurants and, in about six months, in shops.

The Australian government has patrolled its territorial waters to keep out illegal fishers and Austral Fisheries, which now has a 2500-kilogram annual quota, uses hooks and lines to selectively catch the toothfish.

Chef Neil Perry describes the fish they catch 4000 kilometres offshore as ”supremely delicious, sustainable and Australian”. Perry isn’t the only enthusiast. Launched at the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival, Glacier 51 toothfish – named after the Heard Island glacial waters in which it’s caught – was so well received, salesman Dylan Skinns admitted, ”we can barely keep up with the orders”.

This week it goes on the menu at Rockpool Bar & Grill in both Sydney and Melbourne, as well as at Sake in Sydney and Grossi Florentino in Melbourne.

The fish lives in the ice-cold water of the Antarctic’s Great Southern Ocean. It’s an oily fish with a high fat content to withstand the freezing conditions, but this makes for a fish of great versatility and deep, rich flavour.

”A chef’s dream, they tell me,” Skinns says.

There were other chefs’ dreams at the festival, with Martin Benn of Sydney’s Sepia discovering salumi – handcrafted smallgoods, including rolled pancetta, flat pancetta, salami of all varieties, cured loin, dried Sardinian sausage, and guanciale (cured pork jowl). ”It will be on the bar menu [at Sepia] before the end of the week,” Benn says.

Food of the future was the focus of a panel discussion, with Peter Gilmore of Quay restaurant saying there would be less focus on foraging by chefs. More technique-driven cooking with a ”big emphasis on texture” were his tips for restaurant trends.

And David Kinch of Manresa restaurant in California agreed texture was growing in importance. ”There are certain cuts of meat that have texture … more people are realising that’s just the inherent nature of the meat and something to be celebrated,” he said.

Sue Bennett was a guest of Sunshine Coast Destination.On trend

● Marine Stewardship Council-certified sustainable Patagonia toothfish is appearing on menus in Sydney and Melbourne restaurants.

● Dining at home will enjoy a revival. For the well heeled, it will mean staff in the kitchen and a butler at the door.

● After a 12-year gap, apprenticeships for waiters are to be reintroduced. Research shows people will go back to a restaurant if the food is poor but the service is good, but finding skilled staff remains one of the industry’s greatest challenges. ”My fear is we don’t have enough kids looking for that career in the industry, but we have the resources [money to run courses],” says John Hart, Restaurant and Catering Australia chief executive.Something we never knew

Mussels change sex. When the meat is white, a mussel is male and tastes the sweetest. Mussels with orange meat are female and are generally less tasty.

It’s impossible to determine the sex before cooking.

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27 Jul 18

The way we’ll cook

Ancient grains are the future, especially quinoa. Photo: Danielle Smith1. Dust off your aprons
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We’ll be turning into our own grandmothers – pickling, preserving, jamming and marmalading, smoking and curing, dehydrating and fermenting. We’ll make fewer cheffy desserts, but there will be more baking, of cakes, pies, tarts, biscuits, slices, and what Americans call ”pie”, a cheesecake-style open tart with a biscuit crumb base and creamy filling. Sweet potato, white chocolate and banana-cream filling, come on down.

2. Remodel the kitchen

To the horror of clutter-hating kitchen designers, our kitchens will continue to change shape, as we surround ourselves with the things that make us happy and allocate more room for recycling, growing things and grills. We’ll also pinch the things we like about our favourite cafes and install them at home, from custom-made espresso machines and food served on planks and boards to smoothies and all-day breakfasts. And quinoa, of course.

3. Ancient grains are the future

The United Nations declared 2013 to be the International Year of Quinoa. It says the 3000-year-old grain is the organic food of the future, with a significant role to play in potential food security and the eradication of poverty. And there you were, thinking it was so last year. Along with other grains and seeds, quinoa is already on our shopping lists. In Donna Hay’s latest hit, Fresh and Light, it appears 13 times, in roles as varied as piecrust and sushi ”rice”.

4. We’ll probably dabble in a bit of these, too.

Singaporean laksa, ramen noodles and summer rolls, from our love and understanding of being part of south-east Asia; meatballs from Mexican to Moroccan, pasta al forno (oven-baked), slow roasts and everything-on-toast, for familiarity and much-needed comfort. Latin salsas, flavoured salts and Mexican chillies are on the menu for sheer excitement value, and porridge, native greens and raw foods for feeling good.

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27 Jul 18

First blow as Gidley hit by injury

Laurie Daley’s first camp as NSW coach was just a few hours old when he suffered his first major setback: the withdrawal of bench utility Kurt Gidley due to a foot injury.
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Scans on Gidley’s foot, following an injury during the Knights’ 28-12 loss to the Warriors on Sunday, stunned the Blues just 24 hours after the squad was announced for game one. Daley said he would name a replacement on Tuesday.

Daley will likely decide who to bring in for the ANZ Stadium clash on Wednesday week by around lunchtime, to have the replacement in camp by Tuesday’s afternoon training session.

But it is clear that the replacement will not be apples for apples. Daley will now decide whether to possibly bring in a second-rower or a prop to replace Gidley, given there are few players with the Newcastle player’s ability to play so many positions. Willie Mason, Aaron Woods, Boyd Cordner, Feleti Mateo, Josh Reynolds, Josh McCrone and Wade Graham are set to be considered. Daley may decide to add more size to his side, knowing starters Luke Lewis and Greg Bird can offer utility value.

Blues skipper Paul Gallen said on Monday night he hoped Daley opted for a bigger player.

”Personally, I think they should pick another bigger bloke,” Gallen told Triple M. ”Cordner, Tim Grant, Tariq Sims or someone like that. I think they should pick a bigger bloke. I just don’t think there’s another player in the game who can do what Kurt Gidley can do. I don’t think there’s any point in picking a McCrone or someone like that. I think we maybe should go a bigger guy.”

Daley wanted to watch Monday night’s clash between South Sydney and Cronulla before making a decision, which suggested that he was considering Rabbitohs five-eighth John Sutton, who can play in the forwards, as well as Cronulla’s Todd Carney, who were both pitched as options at No.6.

Further disruptions are also possible this week, with skipper Paul Gallen (knee) and Lewis (shoulder) missing Monday night’s clash with the Rabbitohs.

Gidley played on after the injury on Sunday but MRI scans on Monday confirmed a torn ligament in his right foot.

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19 Jun 18

Fifita’s future is not so blue 

Andrew Fifita: Turned his life around and has earnt his first Origin cap for NSW. Picture: John VeageSIX years after Andrew Fifita was bailed out of jail by his frustrated mother, again, the giant Cronulla Sharks prop gets to represent his state for the first time at Origin level.
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Better than being either a ward of the state, a state inmate, and much better than being just another state crime statistic.

Fifita, about to turn 24, admitted he could easily have become a teenage statistic, if he didn’t turn his life around in Sydney’s wild, wild west.

“I was running with some gangs on the streets up around home [Blacktown], and after mum got me out I was told in court that I had to get out of town,” admitted the twin son of an indigenous Australian mother and Tongan father.

“I sort of already realised that if I didn’t leave the streets, I might go to jail for good.”

His is an amazing story. His family encouraged him to move away, and he ended up in Griffith — to grow up, and rehabilitate.

So there the nephew of former St George forward John Fifita lived and breathed country football, finished his HSC, and despite some knockbacks along the way, eventually returned to Sydney with a small contract to play for Wests Tigers, along with twin brother David Fifita (he played lower grade and is now overseas).

Andrew Fifita, the once skinny giant who was told he was too thin by some other clubs, put on weight.

Plenty of it, and soon he ended up in the scrum, alongside the more seasoned and experienced Bryce Gibbs.

Andrew also gladly represented Tonga, and the Aboriginal All Stars, and City, too.

But his promising start with the Tigers in 2010, and into 2011, he couldn’t get a big go in the top Tigers team towards the latter part of 2011.

With salary cap problems in trying to buy Kiwi international and Melbourne Storm forward Adam Blair, the Tigers on-passed Gibbs to the Sharks, who got Fifita as part of the “bargain deal” in 2012.

Today, the Tigers wish they had kept both.

With a partner and their first child born just before Christmas, Andrew Fifita is now one of the biggest impact-forwards in the NRL, averaging more than 170 metres and impressing enough to gain a bench spot in the Blues pack, and alongside team-mates Blues captain Paul Gallen and fellow international, Luke Lewis.

“He’s still a bit of a mad, big kid … but he’s settled down to become one of our very best,” said Lewis of the 196-centimetre, 118-kilogram, prop forward.

“I think he’ll create havoc when he comes on from the bench.”

This time, legal havoc, with those big damaging runs through the rucks.

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19 Jun 18

Lynch coach award ‘deserved’

Big win: NSW Swifts captain Kimberlee Green (pictured) led her team to only their second win of the ANZ Championship. Picture: Murray WilkinsonSUTHERLAND Netball’s popular representative coach Maria Lynch was a deserved winner of the 2013 coach of the year award at the NSW Sports Federation 2013 Community Sports Awards held at Parliament House.
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Lynch beat four other finalists after her successes with multiple teams at the national, state and association levels.

Lynch celebrated a fifth consecutive 21/U National Netball Championship title with the NSW team in March last year, steered Sutherland Shire to a grand final victory in the Dooleys State League Waratah Cup last July, and became an integral member of the runners-up, NSW Waratahs, in the Australian Netball League last September. Lynch was assistant coach.

Lynch is “over the moon”.

“In a team sport, you share things with your team and as a coach, you are always looking for your athletes to go further and see accolades,” she said.

“It’s a wonderful recognition for the hours of work you put in, but in saying that it’s all part of being in a team sport and I share this with all the players I’ve worked with and coaches over the years.”

■Sutherland Shire Netball Association will field teams in two age groups at the three-day 2013 State Championships starting on Saturday week, June 8.

Sutherland Shire will have teams in the opens and 17 years and under divisions at Baulkham Hills, and St George Netball Association will field a 19-years and under championship team. More than 130 teams will converge on two venues for one of Netball NSW’s largest marquee events on the calendar.

■Australia will be the first country to use newly developed indoor player tracking technology to gain a competitive advantage ahead of the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships, 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2015 Netball World Cup in Sydney.

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19 Jun 18

Third-straight loss pains Hodgson

AG COLLEGE coach Stu Hodgson was lost for words on Saturday after the Southern Inland Rugby Union premier sunk to its third-consecutive defeat at Beres Ellwood Oval.
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Creeping further into the history books with the disappointing loss, the Aggies were outclassed in all facets of the game by an enthusiastic Waratahs performance, 32-8.

Scoring just one try in the effort, the Aggies were depleted with injury and confidence against an effervescent Tahs backline that refused to quit.

Sparking him into action, Hodgson struggled to comprehend the third-straight loss for the premier on Saturday.

“I told the boys at the start of the year that being the premier we pretty much had to gift every team 10 points on us before we started, because teams lift against the premier and that’s our burden,” he said.

“I never thought it would end up as untidy as this, ever. But, we just have to move on.”

Coping with a heavy injury toll, which also claimed captain Dave Armstrong and James Whiteley during the game, the Aggies failed to display their trademark confidence and precision. Despite his disappointment, Hodgson said the problem isn’t attitude based.

“I feel sorry for the boys, you can see they’re really trying but nothing seems to be working, it can’t be fun,” he said.

“Just going into contact we build pressure and then throw silly passes or make a mistake that turns the ball over and we get punished for it, and you just can’t do that.

“Waratahs played very well, their structures are in place and they’re a good side, our scrum was dominant and then we’d knock it on or have massive lapses in concentration.

“I just don’t know what it is.”

However, Hodgson said he was happy with the forward pack, but something needs to be tinkered in the backline to improve confidence.

“You play with the cattle you’ve got, but it’s just so frustrating that we can’t bank the profit from a good forward pack,” he said.

“We can’t go on making any excuses, we’re gutted but we’re just not doing the basics right.

“Ben Leaper was terrific again, but I don’t know how long he can last doing that every week, but Cam Jenkins and Stu Garret were great.”

Waratahs captain Jock Munro sails across the line to score despite a late tackle from Ag College five-eighth Ben Tett.

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29 Jun 19

Apple’s tax dodge leaves Ireland uncomfortably in spotlight

They say there is no such thing as bad publicity. Ireland might beg to differ, having been at the centre of a US Senate hearing on Apple’s tax practices at a time when the EU is working hard to crack down on tax evasion.
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On May 21, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee for Investigations dug into Apple’s tax activities in gory detail. Their findings show that Ireland has been at the centre of Apple’s success in tax avoidance.

The subcommittee found that the company used subsidiaries in Ireland to funnel about $US74 billion in income away from the US. The subsidiaries involved were incorporated in Ireland but not tax resident anywhere.

The structure allowed Apple to pay an effective tax rate of 2 per cent or less since 2003, well below Ireland’s corporate tax rate of 12.5 per cent. Perhaps the most damning part for Ireland came in the explanation of the low rate in the subcommittee’s report: “Apple told the subcommittee that, for many years, Ireland has provided Apple affiliates with a special tax rate through negotiations with the Irish government.”

This is serious. It would be awkward, to say the least, to have the government cutting deals with multinationals while also, as the holder of the EU presidency, presiding over a push for greater transparency in corporate tax dealings. Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny immediately rebutted Apple’s version of events. Is there another explanation for why Apple pays such a low tax rate?

Seamus Coffey offers one on the Irish Economy blog: Apple benefited from a loophole in the way Ireland defines taxable income. The country’s 12.5 per cent tax rate applies to income after subtracting expenses such as royalty payments for intellectual property licences. In Apple’s case, these payments are huge, significantly reducing taxable income.

The royalties are paid to another Apple subsidiary in a different tax jurisdiction. This is sometimes referred to as a “Dutch sandwich”, because the payments are typically funnelled through the Netherlands on their way to Bermuda, where there is no corporate tax.

Whether Ireland really is a tax haven, the perception could be just as damaging as the reality. The countries calling the shots in the EU (namely, Germany) aren’t favourably disposed to countries that lure away their tax revenue. Just ask Cyprus, which received little sympathy for its banking troubles. Ireland will almost certainly succeed in exiting its bailout program in the next year, but it may need assistance from its eurozone partners in the future.

Ireland should use the Apple drama as an opportunity to consider whether the benefits of an attractive tax regime are worth the costs. Many multinationals have set up in Ireland for access to the European market. The low corporate tax is clearly a draw, but so is the skilled, English-speaking talent pool. Multinationals have helped to keep Ireland’s exports buoyant throughout the crisis, with pharmaceuticals, chemicals and business services performing well over the past few years. As of last year, multinationals employed about 150,000 people in Ireland.

Some analysts question how much Ireland benefits from the multinationals. Most of their profits flow to shareholders outside the country. Without them, Ireland would have struggled to achieve the export-led growth it posted last year. In the longer term, a sustainable growth model must involve Ireland weaning itself from exports and fostering domestic demand.

Perhaps the Apple embarrassment will awaken it to that reality.

Bloomberg

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29 Jun 19

Analysts agree: the big four banks are expensive

Analysts are again questioning whether Australian banks are overvalued, after the financial sector led last week’s sharemarket sell-off.
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The big four banks have been trading near their historic valuation highs, with Commonwealth Bank’s price-to-earnings ratio recently lifting to about 15.5 times its annual earnings.

Before last week’s falls, CBA’s share price had risen more than 50 per cent in 12 months. The share price closed at $68.19 on Monday, 38 per cent higher than last May.

CIMB analysts John Buonaccorsi and Ashley Dalziell said local banks were about 20 per cent overvalued on most fundamental ratios.

“Using the Gordon growth model, current market pricing implies the Australian bank sector can achieve a constant 7 per cent terminal growth rate, or alternatively a 27 per cent [return on tangible equity], both of which are unlikely to be achieved,” the analysts said.

Platypus Asset Management’s chief investment officer, Don Williams, said CBA’s highest p/e ratio was in 1999 at about 17 times earnings. “We would argue that 14 or 15 times is at the high end of its valuation range and the low end is around 10,” he said

Last week, UBS analyst Jonathan Mott described CBA as the ”most expensive large bank in the world by nearly every measure”.

Using measures such as pre-provision profit, which looks at a bank’s core earnings, and tangible book value, which calculates the net asset value of a company excluding intangible assets and goodwill, the big four Australian banks were at the top of the world’s most expensive banks list, followed by the Canadian and Scandinavian banks.

Mr Williams said banks remained relatively attractive compared with other investments if investors were focusing only on yield.

”One of the reasons [banks] are trading expensive versus their own histories is because they still deliver a very high, safe, and for most of them, growing yield. As long as interest rates remain low and globally as well, the hunt for yield hasn’t disappeared … it’s just having a correction.”

But analysts said a falling dollar and expectations of an end to quantitative easing in the US led foreign investors to sell their shares in local banks last week.

“The proportion of that fall [in the banks] reflects not so much fear and loathing from a domestic investor perspective, but reflects offshore investors saying they are out of the bank holding they were in and out of Australian dollars,” Patersons Securities strategist Tony Farnham said.

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29 Jun 19

Telcos buck trend as market hit by losses

The market fell for a fifth straight day as concerns about Chinese growth and volatility on the Japanese sharemarket took their toll.
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Stocks fell more than 1 per cent in the morning, but the market clawed back half its losses thanks to a strong performance from telecommunications companies.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 23.6 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4959.9, while the broader All Ordinaries shed 25.7 points, or 0.5 per cent, to 4938.6.

Materials slumped 1.5 per cent as miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto shed 1 per cent and 2.6 per cent respectively after Shanghai copper slipped and became mired near last week’s lows.

A senior FX strategist at Royal Bank of Scotland, Greg Gibbs, said the recent disappointing growth in China could be the ”new norm”, and we should expect to see growth closer to 7 per cent.

”My impression is that clients’ confidence in the Chinese economy has wavered and they are expecting this to be a relatively weak year in China,” Mr Gibbs said.

Retailers finished weaker, with the consumer discretionary sector losing 1.1 per cent.

David Jones lost 0.8 per cent after it reported a 3.4 per cent fall in its third-quarter sales. Myer dipped 1.2 per cent while electronic goods and entertainment retailer JB Hi-Fi slipped 0.1 per cent.

Financials dragged on the market, slipping 0.2 per cent, as investors sold banks after a recent stellar performance across the sector on the back of strong earnings reports and high dividend yields.

Commonwealth Bank fell 0.8 per cent, while Westpac dipped 0.3 per cent. ANZ bucked the trend, rising 0.6 per cent after saying it would outsource 70 call-centre positions to New Zealand to improve profit.

Biotechnology firm CSL lost 0.9 per cent, while Woolworths dropped 1.1 per cent to trade at three-month lows, and Wesfarmers slipped 0.3 per cent to six-week lows.

Telcos bucked the trend, rising 0.7 per cent.

The market has now closed lower for the fifth-straight session, with the S&P/ASX 200 plumbing a five-week low.

In Asian markets broadly, Japanese volatility dominated proceedings again with the Nikkei dropping a further 3.2 per cent.

Australia’s dollar, meanwhile, provided a reprieve for traders, steadying around US96¢.

With Agencies

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29 Jun 19

Retail still in the doldrums despite glimmers of hope

Just as well Paul Zahra is a retailer instead of a banker – otherwise the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission might be wondering if he was attempting a little price signalling while announcing disappointing sales figures.
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David Jones’ Zahra isn’t the first shopkeeper to let the market know what he thinks about that nasty habit of discounting. Even while announcing a ”Super Saturday” sale, Myer’s Bernie Brookes seemed to be warning Target not to pull the trigger on a discount war. Brookes also came out as a fan of a weaker dollar, claiming there would be more pluses than minuses for Myer.

That argument seems to come down to making international online shopping a little less attractive, but a weaker Australian dollar equally makes prices on imported stuff at Myer – the vast majority of it – a little less attractive, too. Or maybe a softer currency could become an excuse for prices at the troubled discretionary department stores stabilising and inching higher.

That’s what Zahra is rather desperately hoping, even while saying he expects everyone else to be slicing prices on excess winter clothing.

So we have David Jones signalling Myer, which is signalling Target, which is busy signalling distress as the new CEO works out what the chain should be after his two predecessors let it wander in the face of the resurgence by Australia’s biggest department stores: Kmart and Big W.

And that’s why, for all the publicity they garner, David Jones and Myer aren’t nearly as important as their coverage might indicate. Far from representing the mindset of the Australian consumer and the overall health of Australian retailing, the two mid-tier department stores represent themselves as they struggle to update their 19th-century business models.

They are the middle-order players in the department store space, which itself is the smallest of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ six retail categories. Myer’s 0.4 per cent lift in April-quarter like-for-like sales last week was greeted as good news, holding out the possibility of recording its first full financial year of sales gains since 2007. Yes, 0.4 per cent – a shop assistant’s sneeze. And never mind Monday’s announcement that DJs’ like-for-like sales went backwards by 3.4 per cent.

Meanwhile, both David Jones and Myer try to make the most of their online sales picking up – doubling, says DJs, up 200 per cent, says Myer – but those percentages are from a very low base and they remain unprofitable.

I glimpsed a ”unique browsers” graph for the 2012 calendar year that showed David Jones pretty much flat throughout, Myer picking up a little and The Iconic soaring far above them. The Iconic is an Australian e-tailer – not one of those nasty foreigners avoiding GST – and works on convenience, not price.

But The Iconic doesn’t make a profit either while it’s busy buying customers. With private equity backers and founded by a couple of Boston Consulting alumni, the business plan could well be to build the brand and then offload it to either one of the two obvious local candidates struggling in cyberspace or one of the foreign retailers that relish our market – companies who think Australian consumers are just fine and far from being on strike.

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29 Jun 19

BoJ boss puts faith in Japan’s ‘resilience’

The governor of Japan’s central bank has shrugged off concerns that the recent spike in bond prices could damage the country’s fledgling recovery.
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Haruhiko Kuroda, the Bank of Japan head, said analysis by the central bank last month showed that the country could withstand an increase in market interest rates of as much as 3 per cent, as long as there were accompanying improvements in the economy.

Japan’s sharemarket crashed 7 per cent last Thursday following weak economic data in China, speculation that the US was close to winding up its money-printing program and on fears that falling Japanese government bond prices would undermine the government’s economic strategy and punch a hole in bank balance sheets.

Sharemarkets across the world also took fright, with the Australian market down 2 per cent on the day.

But Mr Kuroda said that Bank of Japan estimates in April showed that a 1 to 3 percentage point rise in interest rates would not cause problems for Japan’s financial system, as long as it was accompanied by economic improvements, since a recovery would lead to increased lending and help to improve banks’ earnings.

“Japan’s financial system as a whole seems to possess sufficient resilience against such shocks as a rise in interest rates and deterioration in economic conditions,” Mr Kuroda said.

Mr Kuroda and Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, have launched a vast stimulus program, promising in April to inject $US1.4 trillion into the economy in less than two years through quantitative easing, to jolt the Japanese economy out of a 15-year deflationary malaise and lift inflation to 2 per cent.

The policy triggered a huge sharemarket rally. But a surge in bond yields, which means bond prices have fallen, has threatened to make government borrowing expensive.

Domestic banks could be forced to take losses on their large holdings of Japanese government debt.

Mr Kuroda said that the Bank of Japan was watching for any signs of overheating in asset prices and would take “appropriate action” if financial imbalances emerge, suggesting it might unwind its ultra-loose policy.

The Nikkei slid another 2.5 per cent on Monday but remains up 36 per cent for the year.

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28 May 19

GALLERY: Killer admits nursing home fire

DOROTHY Sterling, 80, and Dorothy Wu, 85, were probably the first to die.
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Their nurse, Roger Dean, set fire to an empty bed in their Quakers Hill nursing home room and then left them to perish, knowing they were incapable of moving unaided.

Then he destroyed evidence that he had stolen prescription drugs from the home and told a chaplain: “Things like this make me lose my faith in God”.

On the first day of his Supreme Court trial yesterday, Dean, 37, pleaded guilty to the murders of 11 elderly residents who died as a result of the fires he lit at the home on November 18, 2011.

He also admitted to causing grievous bodily harm to a further eight residents who were injured in the blaze, described by paramedics and firefighters as one of the worst scenes they had ever come across.

According to Crown documents, the registered nurse had stolen more than 200 pills from the nursing home the night before and police officers were called to the home during his November 18 night shift to investigate the theft.

Dean had only been working at the home two months, but a nurse’s assistant had already made several complaints about his care standards, although no action was taken.

Around 4.50am, Dean set an empty bed on fire in one wing, before moving to the room where Ms Wu and Ms Sterling were sleeping.

He convinced a firefighter to let him back into the building, saying he needed to get the drug books. He took these home and destroyed them.

He was arrested and charged later that evening, telling police it was Satan telling him to do it.

Victims’ families wept as he pleaded guilty to the 11 counts of murder. AAP

82-year-old Caesar Galea. victim of the Quakers Hill Nursing Home fire.

Doris Becke, 96, victim of the Quakers Hill Nursing Home fire.

Verna Webeck, victim of the Quakers Hill Nursing Home fire.

Neeltje Valkay, 90, victim of the Quakers Hill Nursing Home fire.

Dorothy Sterling, victim of the Quakers Hill Nursing Home fire.

Alma Smith, victim of the Quakers Hill Nursing Home fire.

Reginald Green, victim of the Quakers Hill Nursing Home fire.

Lola Bennett, victim of the Quakers Hill Nursing Home fire.

Urbana Alipio who died aged 79, victim of the Quakers Hill Nursing Home fire.

Dorothy Wu, victim of the Quakers Hill Nursing Home fire.


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28 May 19

Vixens’ showing praised, but coach wants more

Better, but not perfect. The worst performance of the Melbourne Vixens’ season may have been followed by an improved showing against the Southern Steel, but coach Simone McKinnis has warned that even more will be necessary against the third-placed Queensland Firebirds in Brisbane on Sunday.
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The Vixens won 58-52 at Hisense Arena on Monday night to return to second spot and tip the Steel out of the top four, but faded in the final minutes of the first two quarters and again when the match was safe in the last. The all-court defensive pressure pleased the coach overall, but not the brief fadeouts.

“I am happy with that,” McKinnis said of the follow-up to the Vixens biggest loss in almost two years, an 11-goal beating by the Firebirds at home in the previous round. “Just the defensive pressure, as a team, we just really needed to lift that, so I thought the work ethic in the group, and sticking to task, in terms of what we wanted to do out there on court, I thought it was very good and much improved.

“I’m pleased with the way we approached the match, I’m pleased (with) the aspects we were very strong and definite about … there on court, but certainly there’d be areas that we’d certainly need to improve on heading into next week with (the) Firebirds.”

McKinnis praised the “fantastic” game of maturing goal attack Tegan Caldwell, whose string of seven unanswered goals in the decisive third quarter helped to retrieve the match, and circle defenders Geva Mentor – a standout for her effort against league scoring leader Jhaniele Fowler, despite the Jamaican’s 45-goal haul – and captain Bianca Chatfield.

“I think the benefits of tonight’s match is they would have felt the rewards of the hard work, the defensive pressure through (the) court, as a team, so that’s important heading into next week,” McKinnis said.

“The only thing not to be happy about was that towards the end of quarters, the last two or three minutes of each quarter, there was a little bit of a drop-off, and even the finish of that (last) quarter we sort of stood still a little bit, so that’s something we need to address, because you can’t have patches of not being full-on.”

So, for the second time in 15 days, the focus now is the Firebirds, who share a 7-2 record and trail only on percentage, with the advantage of playing the return bout at home. Is such a quick rematch for better or worse?

“I think it’s probably good,” McKinnis. “We were really disappointed last Sunday, very disappointed, and it was a long week this week because everybody just wanted to get out and play again. I think it’s good for us to be playing them again. They know the game from last time, they know what they want to do differently, and they’ve got the opportunity within a tight time frame to turn that around, so we’ve got to see that as a positive opportunity.”

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


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28 May 19

Crucial win has Vixens well placed

Melbourne Vixens’ week-long exile from the ANZ Championship’s top two ended with a 58-52 win against the Southern Steel at Hisense Arena, thus sentencing the New Zealand finals aspirant to a 14th consecutive loss in Australia while enhancing their own prospects of earning a double chance.
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With just four rounds of the regular season remaining, the Vixens overtook surprise round 10 losers the Queensland Firebirds courtesy of a fine third-quarter performance finished off by goal attack Tegan Caldwell (33 goals from 37 attempts) and the improved all-court defensive effort demanded by coach Simone McKinnis and anchored by circle duo Bianca Chatfield and Geva Mentor.

Having suffered their biggest loss – 11 goals – in almost two years against the Firebirds the previous week, the Vixens managed to hold the league’s leading scorer, the 198-centimetre Jhaniele Fowler (45/50) below her season average of 51.5 goals, despite winning just one quarter – the third, decisively.

The Steel may be rivalling perennial finalists the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic as the leading New Zealand team this season, but it remains the only Kiwi outfit not to have won a match across the Tasman. Still, it is one of the season’s big improvers, and lost few friends on this visit.

The second of the Vixens’ two Monday night games drew another healthy crowd, including a group of St Kilda footballers in a courtside box, among them Nick Dal Santo, Leigh Montagna, Sam Fisher and Justin Koschitzke. And the home team started with far more intensity than last week, working to a comfortable 15-10 lead before a lapse in the last two minutes of the first quarter allowed the Steel to level at 15-15 at the break.

It was a similar pattern in the second quarter, with the Vixens working their way ahead, helped by a productive Caldwell in attack, and several timely deflections from the admirable Mentor at the other end. But again the Steel persevered, capitalising on some ball-handling errors, while Australian-born wing attack Courtney Tairi racked-up the goal assists to Fowler, who had 27 goals to half-time.

Yet although the Steel extended its challenge into the third, it was Caldwell who inspired the recovery, scoring seven consecutive goals to turn a two-goal deficit into a five-goal advantage that had stretched to 45-38 at the last change.

What Caldwell lacks in height, relatively, she compensates for with speed and fitness, and she eventually ran Steel goal defence Rachel Rasmussen off her feet.

The Vixens travel to Brisbane next week for a rematch with the Firebirds, just a fortnight after their disappointing 57-46 loss at home. Three further rounds remain before the finals, with a final trip to New Zealand to play the Magic sandwiched between Hisense Arena fixtures against the Swifts and Fever.

Earlier, the top-placed Adelaide Thunderbirds extended their advantage with a 62-58 win over Canterbury Tactix in Christchurch, with Carla Borrego dominating with 45 goals.

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


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28 May 19

Fifita caps off big week with star turn

Dominant: Andrew Fifita. Photo: John VeageAndrew Fifita put aside the “toughest” period of his career with arguably his most dominant performance in leading a spirited Cronulla side to a major upset win against South Sydney.
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Fifita said he had struggled to focus on the match after being told he would make his NSW debut 24 hours before playing for the Sharks. But when he walked onto Sharks Stadium, he looked like a man possessed, carrying his Cronulla side to an important victory after being named as one of three NSW debutants.

“It was the toughest 48 hours of my career,” Fifita said. “I tried to brush NSW and focus on Cronulla. My main focus was to try and prepare the same way as I do each week.

“Anyone who gets selected for NSW, especially at my age, it comes as a big shock.”

He ran for a game high 200 metres from 23 hit ups and made 43 tackles in an inspired performance after playing near unbroken 65 minutes.

“That’s my job, I’m a front rower,” Fifita said. “My job is to get the ball and run forward.

“I just want to do my own job for NSW. I’m coming off the bench to bring that impact.”

Like he will for NSW in game I, Fifita started from the interchange bench in his team’s two-point win.

His coach, Shane Flanagan, described his team’s performance as “brave”, was more direct with his praise of the front-rower.

“It was typical of Andrew,” Flanagan said. “I spoke with him about really enjoying the next couple of days, celebrating being picked. It’s something special but he put everything aside.

“[The team’s performance] wasn’t technically perfect but it was brave and courageous.”

The top of the table South Sydney side struggled to adjust to the wet conditions. South Sydney coach Michael Maguire was critical of his teams conceding 11 penalties and as many errors.

“We were off the pace,” Maguire said. “We got taught a lesson that every game you need to turn up. We slipped with our defence.

“It’s just about getting bodies in front.

“We are aware of what we need to do.”

Maguire said Queensland back rower Ben Te’o is in no doubt for Origin despite leaving the field late in the first half with a cork to his shin, although he returned midway through the second half. Five-eighth John Sutton is also OK after leaving the field was concussion.

For the Sharks, halfback Jeff Robson left the field late in the game with an ankle sprain but Flanagan did not expect the injury to keep Robson on the sidelines for an extended period.

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


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28 May 19

FAN ZONE: Kurt out of Origin I

KURT Gidley’s representative curse has struck again.
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The inspirational Newcastle Knights captain has been ruled out of the first game of the State of Origin series against Queensland at ANZ Stadium tomorrow week after he was diagnosed last night with a torn ligament in his foot.

Blues coach Laurie Daley will name Gidley’s replacement today.

According to a NSW Rugby League statement issued last night, Blues medical staff ‘‘ruled Gidley out following scans which revealed a slight ligament tear sustained in the Knights’ match against the Warriors yesterday’’.

It is understood Gidley had a pain-killing needle in his foot at half-time of Newcastle’s 44-8 victory over the Bulldogs at Hunter Stadium nine days ago but it is not known whether that was related to the injury he suffered in their 28-12 loss to the Warriors in Auckland on Sunday.

A five-time former NSW captain, 30-year-old Gidley had been named on the bench as the Blues’ utility player but his latest injury setback has continued his cruel run of luck on the eve of representative games.

He had surgery last April to repair torn cartilage in his right knee and was unavailable for selection for Australia’s Anzac Test against New Zealand, then suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in his comeback match for the Knights and missed the entire Origin series.

In 2011, he missed the Anzac Test due to a dislocated shoulder and missed the end-of-season Four Nations tour to England because he had to undergo knee surgery.

Gidley missed the first five games of the 2010 NRL season after suffering a knee injury when tackled by then Knights teammate Cory Paterson in the inaugural All Stars match.

In 2008, after being told that he would be NSW halfback for the opening game of the Origin series, he suffered a fractured cheekbone playing for the Knights against Melbourne at Olympic Park the night before the team was officially announced and he missed the series opener.

He returned on the bench for game two and was fullback for the decider, which Queensland won 16-10.

Later that year, Gidley tore cartilage in his left knee in Australia’s first game of the Centenary World Cup, a 30-6 victory over New Zealand in Sydney, and missed the rest of the tournament.

A shoulder injury sidelined him from the second Origin game in 2007.

The news that Gidley had been ruled out came as a major surprise after his positive comments at a NSW press conference earlier yesterday.

‘‘I’m just trying to get my body right and feeling 100percent and I feel over the past month I’ve been playing some better footy,’’ Gidley said.

‘‘My body’s feeling good. I’m excited and I’m enjoying my footy at the moment.’’

Gidley added that he was not concerned about critics who had questioned his selection.

‘‘It doesn’t affect me at all. Everybody is entitled to their opinion on who should be in the team,’’ said Gidley, who had been keen to try to help NSW end Queensland’s seven-year domination.

‘‘The opinion of the coach is the only one that I worry about, and Laurie rang me at the end of last week and told me I was in.

‘‘I am really happy to be involved again especially after missing last year. I was sitting at home, back on a lounge watching Origin again … it’d been a while since I’ve done that.

‘‘I got a few boys around to watch it and I was just like a fan again, watching the boys and supporting and screaming at the telly and doing all those sorts of things that supporters do. It was disappointing watching them going down in the last game but I was really proud of their efforts.

‘‘Everyone here in the camp is desperate to end this drought. We all think we have the team to do it.’’

KURT’S REP MATCHES MISSED THROUGH INJURY

2007 – AC joint (Origin II)

2008 – fractured cheekbone (Origin I)

2008 – knee (World Cup)

2010 – knee (All Stars game) *

2011 – dislocated shoulder (Anzac Test)

2011 – knee surgery (Four Nations tour)

2012 – knee surgery (Anzac Test)

2012 – shoulder surgery (Origin series)

2013 – foot injury (Origin I)

* injured during game

Kurt Gidley has missed a lot of big games due to injury.


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