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Bali boy’s parents deny media deal

THE parents of the teenager convicted of drug possession in Bali have denied rumours of a media deal.
Nanjing Night Net

See tomorrow’s Herald for the full interview with the family of the Morisset Park boy incarcerated for drug offences in Bali.

The 14-year-old’s father said his son was genuinely sorry about his decision to buy a small quantity of drugs while on a family holiday

“Our son did the wrong thing – there is no denying that,” he said.

For video footage of the press conference, courtesy of the SMH, click here.

“We want people to know he is genuinely sorry and remorseful for his decisions and actions in Bali.”

“He is aware of the trouble and the effect his actions have had on us his family, his friends and the Australian government.”

It was also revealed today that Therese Rein had offered her personal support to the family during the ordeal.

“She provided enormous support on a female basis which was hugely beneficial,” he said.

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Thousands gather to celebrate

Josh, 9, Matt, Emily, 7, Jo and Sophie, 5, Coates, of Mole Creek. Pictures: GEOFF ROBSON Rianon Terry, Lachlan Riley, four months, and Krystine Jeffrey, of Devonport.
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Dale and Trudy Chivers, of Turners Beach.

Angela Edwards, of Lower Barrington, Richard Howells, of Devonport, and Sheree Whittington, of Don.

A CROWD of more than 6000 people saw in the new year at Devonport’s inaugural Lantern Dreams Festival, and more than 10,000 graced the waterfront at Burnie’s Night on the Terrace.

The Devonport event was a revamp of the annual Eve in the City celebration and saw the public decorating lanterns with their wishes, thoughts, dreams and aspirations for council staff to release into the waters of the Mersey River.

Unfortunately due to the tides pushing the lanterns back on to the rocks, they were instead displayed on the footpath, with as many as possible being released into the water throughout the evening.

Braddon Liberal MHA Adam Brooks said it was a fantastic night for the community.

“There are more people here than we expected, it has turned out to be a fantastic community event and just looking around at all the smiles on the kids’ faces says it all,” he said.

Devonport Mayor Steve Martin said there was barely a spot spare as people lined both sides of the river to be entertained by acts like the beautiful voice of Erin Self, adorned in festive red.

This was followed by the first display of about $10,000 worth of fireworks, sponsored by PowerTek Australia, which lit up the sky at 9.30pm, and was followed by the midnight display at the countdown finale.

The fireworks show was created by pyrotechnics company Howard & Sons, which is known for its spectacular displays at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies, as well as previous Melbourne and Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Burnie’s Night on the Terrace kicked off at 5.30pm with the early focus being on the children, with activities like roving characters and face painting and also the popular Burnie Bay Criterium cycling race which started at 6pm.

Music on the main stage started at 7.30pm with Abbey Road, Nine Lives and Victor Charlie Charlie, who played till the early morning on the waterfront.

There was also a beach bonfire and two fireworks displays – one at 9.30pm for the kids and then again at midnight.

Burnie Mayor Steve Kons said he was extremely happy with the event.

“The weather was in our favour and families are enjoying themselves, it’s a brilliant finish to the year,” he said.

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

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Shannan Taylor’s scary ride on heroin

Recovering: Shannon Taylor. Picture by Wolter PeetersShannan Taylor lies in his hospital bed speaking quietly but clearly about his plans for the future and the incident which almost cost him his life.
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Taylor – known in the boxing world as the “Bulli Blaster” – spoke yesterday for the first time since being taken off a life support machine after a drug overdose nine days ago.

The boxer, who is now listed in a serious but stable condition, was taken to hospital with another man, after a night of partying at a Russell Vale townhouse.

Having woken from an induced coma only 72 hours earlier, Taylor yesterday first wanted to thank those closest to him for getting him through the initial stages of his remarkable recovery.

But he also spoke of the night that led to his hospitalisation, admitting he mistakenly took heroin, which led him to “a scary place”.

“You know what? We were just boys having a bit of a play,” Taylor recalled.

“We didn’t know it was the wrong stuff. It was heroin and I wouldn’t have that in a million years … I would never take heroin.

“I’ll tell you something. I never want to be on the nod again. I tell you it’s a scary place.

“I thought I was on a bus going down the coast. It was creepy.

“God gave me the opportunity to live through it.”

Taylor remains in the intensive care unit at Wollongong Hospital, where he is receiving support from hospital staff.

He thanked his family and friends, fellow boxers and sportspeople – including former rugby league international Terry Hill who came down from Sydney to visit him – and members of the public for their support through his ordeal.

He also revealed he would wed Bec, his long-term partner and mother of three of his children, early next year.

“Do you know I’m getting married?” Taylor said.

“I’m getting married to Bec around the 14th of February, and she said, ‘As long as you’re walking.’

“I’m feeling good. You don’t realise what life’s about … how it can be taken away.”

Taylor was blown away by the level of support he and his family had received.

“I’d like to thank Danny Green for giving me a rap. I always was upset with Danny Green because he never ever gave me a rap,” Taylor said.

“I’d like to thank [Perth trainer] Craig Christian and [WBA world super featherweight champion] Chris John for putting ‘The Bulli Blaster’ on the back of their shirts [in the world title fight in Perth last Wednesday night].”

Taylor also expressed his love for his mother, Karren, father, Steve, and sister, Kirsty.

“My mum’s been here every day,” he said. “Mum’s come through the hard part. Now she’s giving me a hiding every day, as your mum should do.

“I just want her to give me a break.”

Even though Taylor knows he has plenty of challenges ahead of him and won’t be walking out of hospital any time soon, already he has defied the odds.

He is tackling the future in a positive frame of mind.

“I can’t get up … but tomorrow I’m doing my own rehabilitation. I’m going to work with them but also I’m going to do push-ups,” he said.

“I’m going to do squats, old George Daldry stuff.

“You know what, I’m gonna get little dumb-bells, I’m gonna push ’em up. I’m gonna do it all.

“Shannan Taylor’s coming back bigger and better than ever.

“And you know what? Sober as a judge.”

With that, it was time for Taylor to have a sleep.

He’s come a long way in a short time. It is a small step in a long journey.

Illawarra Mercury

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SCG pitch set to produce good contest

SYDNEY _ SCG curator Tom Parker is more concerned about preparing a pitch that is fair to both sides than one that assists Australia’s rampant pace attack against India in the 100th cricket Test to be played at the famous ground.
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With injury-prone spearhead Ryan Harris available again, captain Michael Clarke suggested he might consider a rare four-pronged pace attack for the SCG Test against India starting on Tuesday, if the conditions were suitable.

The first three Tests of the Australian season have produced outright results on what have been widely regarded as lively wickets, offering movement and bounce and favouring the quicker bowlers.

“I just go about preparing a pitch that’s fair and just for both sides,” Parker said.

“I think it will be somewhat similar to the Ashes pitch we had last season.”

Slow bowlers captured just three out of 30 wickets in last summer’s Ashes Test at the SCG.

While regarded as a spinner’s wicket a few years back, statistics of recent times have suggested pace has probably had a more profound influence on the outcome of SCG games.

Spinners have taken just 12 of 57 Shield wickets at the SCG this season.

Parker acknowledged the SCG wickets were just as likely to help the quicks as the spinners.

“It depends on the conditions of the day,” Parker said.

“If you get overcast conditions, the ball does swing around, move around through in the air a bit.

“But as the game goes on, the pitch here at the SCG, it always turns at some stage.

“I think the first couple of days of the Test it’s clear and then from day three there’s supposed to be some showers coming, but at this stage we’re looking at a nice clear run.”

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

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Cold start to summer but beach weather on its way

GLOOMY WELCOME: Rhapsody of the Seas in Newcastle Harbour this morning. – Picture by Darren PatemanNewcastle is experiencing its coldest start to summer in decades but meteorologist Don White is predicting an above-average number of sunny days before the season is over.
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The mercury has barely reached the mid-20s since the start of December thanks to a burst of cold wind that has swept up from the south.

Sydney has had six consecutive days of temperatures lower than 23 degrees, a phenomenon not seen since 1960. The only thing stopping Newcastle from breaking a similar record was a 26-degree day on Sunday.

Mr White said he still expected an above-average summer for the Hunter.

‘‘We’ve just had a week of cool weather that coincided with the start of December,’’ he said.

‘‘… People shouldn’t panic; they’ll be able to get their swimmers out and head down to the beach again soon.’’

But not just yet.

The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting showers, cloudy conditions and temperatures in the low-20s for the next seven days.

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Plenty of fun and sun at Bridport

Elliot Cron, 6, and Angus Cron, 9, of Bridport, show their paddle power. Picture: WILL SWANBRIDPORT Surf Life Saving Club yesterday held its first Swim The Pier race of the season.
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Club captain Paul Hawkins said that about a dozen people entered the 11am swim, which will be repeated at 11am each Saturday until the season closed in March.

“We also performed our first rescue of the season, on Friday,” Hawkins said.

“There was a bloke off Old Pier Beach who seemed to be paddling a bit and then resting, but not getting anywhere – he’d been out there about four hours and was burned to a crisp.

“We towed him back to shore.

“But even that wasn’t our first incident of the season – at one of the school trips coming up to the end of the year, a young girl dropped dead because her heart just stopped.

“Our patrol member performed compressions while the teacher performed EAR and brought her back before the ambulance arrived.”

Hawkins said that the club would hold a Nippers’ training session for children aged 7 to 13 today, 11am-12.30pm, followed by senior and bronze medallion training until 3pm.

The Old Pier was yesterday a hive of activity as holidaymakers sought sanctuary in the refreshing waters as the temperature headed towards a top of 22 degrees.

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

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The bird is the word at Christmas

WHETHER you are having two or 20 around your table at Christmas there is sure to be a succulent turkey cut that is suitable.
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For those that don’t want too many leftovers try drumsticks, a rolled breast, schnitzels or a boned leg (usually sold as leg roast).

There is also a turkey buffe, (the marketing name for a bird with the breast fillets and wing still on the bone) and of course the whole bird.

But for something really impressive, Inghams new premade Christmas Turducken will be available exclusively through Woolworths stores nationally.

It is comprised of a whole deboned turkey with the legs intact, stuffed with duck and chicken breasts and an exotic fruit stuffing.

For something a little more traditional, try roasting a whole turkey with fig and couscous stuffing (see recipe, below).

❏If there is any turkey leftover, it will make delicious toasted turkey sandwiches. Just preheat a sandwich press or griller and make a filling of turkey meat, baby spinach leaves, good mayo, sliced tomato and a little cranberry sauce.

❏Turkey caesar salad is very moreish especially when made with baby cos leaves (sometimes labelled little gem). Toast croutons and crisp some bacon pieces in a hot pan and toss the lot in a bowl. Make a dressing with chopped garlic, chopped anchovies, lemon juice, vegetable oil and a little Dijon mustard. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve with parmesan shavings and hot bread rolls.

❏If unexpected guests drop in on Boxing Day make a light lunch with shredded turkey meat, baby rocket leaves, toasted walnut halves, canned whole baby beetroot and dollops of blue cheese. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl, top with finely sliced baby fennel and drizzle with vinaigrette.

WHOLE TURKEY WITH ROASTED FIGS AND COUSCOUS STUFFING

Ingredients

100g butter

1 large brown onion, finely chopped

2 cups chicken stock

2 cups couscous

1 large orange, finely grated rind and ½ cup juice

½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

½ cup finely diced dried figs

½ cup parsley leaves, chopped

1 x 6.5kg whole turkey

1 cup fig jam

8 fresh figs, halved lengthways

½ cup honey

2 pink grapefruit, skin and pith removed

2 oranges, skin and pith removed

1 bunch watercress, sprigs removed

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Method

❏Melt 60g butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. When melted, add onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to the boil. Transfer to a bowl. Add couscous and stir until combined. Cover and stand for 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed by the couscous. Break up couscous grains with a fork. Add orange rind, orange juice, walnuts, figs and parsley. Stir until well combined. Fill turkey cavity with couscous stuffing.

❏Tuck wings under turkey and secure legs with kitchen twine. Place a wire rack into a large roasting pan and put turkey onto rack. Spray pieces of foil with olive oil cooking spray and place over breasts and ends of drumsticks to prevent turkey colouring too much whilst cooking. Pour 1 cup of water around turkey. Cook at 175° for about 3-4 hours , covering loosely with a large sheet of foil if turkey should begin to colour too much. Remove foil 30 minutes before end of cooking time.

❏Place remaining butter in microwave and cook until melted. Add fig jam and stir until combined. Brush turkey liberally with the mixture and roast for another 30 minutes. Put figs onto a baking paper-lined tray. Place 1 tablespoon of honey in a jug and drizzle remainder over figs. Roast figs for 20 minutes or until soft.

❏Remove segments from grapefruit and oranges over a bowl to catch the juices. Put watercress into a large bowl. Add grapefruit and orange segments and toss until combined. Transfer to a serving platter. Add oil and ¼ cup of the juices to jug with honey. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk until combined. Drizzle dressing over salad just before serving.

❏To serve, transfer turkey to a serving platter. Brush with remaining jam mixture and place roasted figs around turkey. Serve with salad. Serves 6-8.

Recipe courtesy of Inghams

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GreenEDGE cyclists aim to perform

MELBOURNE _ The only factor bigger than GreenEDGE’s presence in the Bay Classic cycling series will be the pressure on the new team to perform.
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Australia’s first WorldTour team will make its much-anticipated debut from today in the four-race classic _ starting with twilight racing on New Year’s Day at Geelong _ which traditionally opens the domestic cycling year.

GreenEDGE will be the main story of the next month as it also enters a big team in the national road championships at Ballarat and then makes its official WorldTour debut in Adelaide at the Tour Down Under.

It will have two teams in the men’s elite classic series, with defending series champion Matt Goss leading the GreenEDGE line-up.

Legendary sprinter Robbie McEwen and rising star Leigh Howard will also be in that five-man team.

Its Mitchelton Wines team will feature Baden Cooke and Allan Davis, who also have impeccable sprinting credentials.

But the depth of talent in Australian cycling means the two GreenEDGE teams will face formidable opposition.

Former series winner Chris Sutton will lead the strong Urban Hotels team.

The Bike Bug line-up will include Tour de France stage winner Heinrich Haussler and Steele Von Hoff, a rider who dominated sprint finishes in the 2010 domestic season.

Degani will feature New Zealander Greg Henderson, another sprinter with a strong record in this series.

“When you go out there you always want to do well, but I think everyone is going to be super motivated to do well especially (with it) being GreenEDGE’s first race,” Goss said.

“Hopefully it doesn’t take us too long to get the first runs on the board.

“It would be nice to get a win on January 1.”

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

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Reserve Bank lowers rate to 4.25 per cent

The Reserve Bank has delivered an early Christmas gift to borrowers and retailers by cutting its key interest rate for the second month in a row.
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The central bank cut its cash rate 25 basis points to 4.25 per cent, marking the first back-to-back monthly cuts since April 2009.

If passed along in full by the banks, today’s cut will save the average mortgage holder – with a $300,000, 25-year mortgage – about $47 a month. Retailers had been calling for a rate reduction to help bolster tepid sales heading in the final few weeks of 2011.

Economists had been split almost evenly between those forecasting a rate cut or a rate pause. Financial markets, though, had tipped the central bank would again cut rates as the global economic outlook dims.

The Reserve Bank board is not due to meet again to set interest rates until February 7 next year.

SMH

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Technology spells end of story for Peabody Books

EVERYTHING ON SALE: Shop owner Janine Warne, outside Peabody Books at Wallsend yesterday. – Picture by Anita JonesJANINE Warne will close the doors on almost 70 years of history when Wallsend second-hand bookstore Peabody Books shuts two days before Christmas.
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Ms Warne says technology is to blame.

She said people buying books online and getting eBooks had destroyed the little Council Street store.

Every book in the shop, including titles by Bryce Courtenay, John Grisham and Jeffrey Archer, is $2 or less until the doors shut on December 23.

‘‘It’s a real shame but in the last 12 months the business has really gone downhill and my lease has come up, and I couldn’t take the risk of signing another lease so I’ve had to close,’’ Ms Warne said.

Ms Warne had listed the shop for sale but said she was not holding her breath that a buyer would come along.

‘‘I think if someone put a lot of the stock online they’d go ok, but I don’t have that expertise,’’ she said.

‘‘This was going to be my retirement plan but it didn’t work out that way, sadly.’’

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