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Two years’ jail for child porn, indecent assault

Christopher John Wright, 33, pleaded guilty to child pornography and indecent assault charges. He was yesterday jailed for two years.HUNDREDS of children were made victim to the “depravity” of a West Launceston man, a Supreme Court judge has said.
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Christopher John Wright, 33, was jailed for two years yesterday after being convicted of child porn and indecent assault.

Wright was charged after an Australian Federal Police search of his home on January 18 uncovered 2453 images, 206 videos and 106 text files about child pornography.

He pleaded guilty on December 8 to accessing child porn between March 1, 2005, and January 18, 2011 and transmitting child pornography between May 21, 2009, and October 31, 2010.

He also made child porn by taking photographs on his phone of committing an indecent act with a 10-year-old girl in the Launceston area on February 14, 2010, and taking photos and videos of his indecent assault of the same girl on April 25, 2010.

The abuse occurred at a community centre while her family was in the next room.

It was uncovered after a police examination of the images stored on his laptop.

Wright had emailed one of the videos to two other people.

Chief Justice Crawford said Wright’s crimes were so serious that imprisonment was the only appropriate sentence.

“All of the children depicted in the still images and video clips, as well as the little girl (in Launceston), are victims of his depravity,” Chief Justice Crawford said.

A random selection of the images and videos was played at the Supreme Court in Launceston when Wright entered his guilty plea.

The files were classified on the Oliver Scale as ranging between level 1, depicting children posing erotically, to level 5, depicting sadism or bestiality involving children.

Chief Justice Crawford said Wright traded the images and videos through international networks.

“During the period in question, he exchanged such material with people using 36 different email addresses in places as diverse as the United Kingdom, France and Germany,” Chief Justice Crawford said.

“In all he sent 86 still child pornographic images to 24 email addresses in a 14-month period.”

Wright will be eligible for release in December 2013 if he provides a $5000 surety to be of good behaviour for three years.

He will then be placed on the sex offenders register for six years.

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

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Review: Breaking Dawn Part 1

A scene from the new movie.The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (MA)
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General release (117 minutes)

EASY as it would be to leap upon the Twilight-bashing bandwagon, this latest film in the phenomenally successful teen-pleasing vampires v werewolves romantic saga is the most engaging, incident-packed, dramatically satisfying yarn yet. The mood is darker, the stakes are higher and – lo! – the acting from the young cast is actually convincing.

There’s less action, admittedly, but that’s only because the gnarled love triangle between pasty-faced vampire Edward (Robert Pattinson), ab-ripped werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) and sourpuss mortal Bella (Kristen Stewart) has become more twisted than ever.

Having finally tied the knot, Edward and Bella (looking hot in her unforgiving wedding dress, by the way) honeymoon in Rio. After a bed-smashing session of sex – the film’s first half is thankfully peppered with humour – Bella discovers she’s got a little vampire gestating inside her.

It’s a first for the vampires, and very bad news; not only could the mini-Drac kill Bella, the werewolves decide to void their truce with the vamps and kill her. This puts Jacob in a sticky spot, having to choose between his tribe and the woman he loves.

Devout fans of the previous Twilight films and of the doorstop-sized novels by Stephenie Meyer (a producer on the film) will revel in the film’s carefully measured earnestness. But those forced to see Breaking Dawn under silent protest – fathers, mothers, boys hoping to impress a date – should appreciate the film’s spurning of cliches: these vampires like crucifixes, are fine with daylight and don’t sprout fangs every time they hear the dinner bell.

The film has been hit by nasty reviews from Variety (”disappointing … an unconsummated opportunity”), Screen International (”dramatically leaden tale”), The Guardian (”boring”) and The Hollywood Reporter (”You can practically hear every second ticking by”).

These are unfair, for what none mention, and what deserves high praise, is that the film is as perfectly consistent in tone, style and emotional pitch as the first three. Director Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters; Dreamgirls) clearly knows better than to mess with the formula.

And the film certainly can’t be faulted for not catering to fan expectations. Within the opening 60 seconds Lautner rips off his shirt and bears that cobblestone torso. Now that’s respecting your audience.

The Age

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Who’s that on the tube?

A phone call during the week moved the issue of the shoplifter’s photo on display behind the counter to a big new arena. The call was from a director of the company behind whotube南京夜网, Karen Flint, after she’d read my column about a Lake Macquarie retailer who believes he has no alternative but to display in his shop photos taken from CCTV video showing shoplifters at work.
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Three months ago the Flint and Saxton families of the Maitland area, former or current police officers, launched whotube南京夜网 to show the video itself, and that is displayed in much the same way video is shown on YouTube. In the whotube system a retailer loads onto the website a clip of a person who appears to be stealing and beneath the clip is a tab inviting viewers to share any information they may have about the person shown pocketing the chocolate bar, stealing the $7500 macaw or committing a robbery. That information goes directly by email to the retailer. A pointed addition is an email alert that goes to registered users within a certain distance from the scene of the alleged crime when a video is loaded, and among those may be retailers who’ll recognise the thief as one of their customers, one of their customers they’ll no longer want. It’s free, by the way, with the website owners hoping to turn a dollar with advertising.

Karen Flint says they have been assured by lawyers that they are not breaching the law by showing such video, and I’d imagine a lawyer came up with the disclaimer at the start of each clip: “‘‘Persons depicted in footage and/or videos have not necessarily committed any crime but may be able to assist the content provider with their inquiries.’’ I like that.

Is it fair? I mean, is it fair that a woman who steals a sandwich, as one woman appears to in a Newcastle East shop, be exposed to public disgrace? Should she be excused if she was hungry or penniless? One complainant, so far the only complainant, believes showing this particular clip is unfair.

Go to whotube南京夜网 and tell us whether it is technology delivering just deserts. Type Benalla into the Location box and see a woman taking a wallet left behind by a previous customer; type in Shortland and see an elderly man in a red hat appear to steal a chocolate bar or confectionery as he leaves a newsagency with a newspaper. Just deserts? And would you hit the tab to give the name? Have you?

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30 wait in vain for beds at LGH

Neroli EllisTHIRTY patients were left waiting in emergency at the Launceston General Hospital with no spare beds available for them yesterday.
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A spike in demand coincided with the planned closure of medical ward 4D.

The Australian Nursing Federation Tasmanian branch said a new unit, not due to open until January 2, had to be used as an overflow area.

State secretary Neroli Ellis said the “crisis situation” would become a daily reality as a result of permanent bed closures driven by budget cuts.

Ms Ellis said the hospital already had high occupancy rates and an average of 22 emergency admissions a day.

“Now with 44 beds closing, we’re going to see an increasing pressure on access to beds,” Ms Ellis said.

A new acute medical unit is being used as an overflow area to cope with the demand.

Ms Ellis said the unit was not ready, with furniture and medications still unpacked.

“There’s a whole range of inappropriate safety issues that we have raised,” she said.

Liberal health spokesman Jeremy Rockliff said phones weren’t even working in the new area.

“The hospital has literally run out of beds, at the same time as the Labor-Green government is closing a 32-bed ward,” Mr Rockliff said.

Northern Area Health Service chief executive John Kirwan confirmed ward 4D was closed yesterday as planned.

The 28-bed ward has been gradually emptied since the start of the month, with the final four patients moved yesterday.

It is one of the measures the hospital is being forced to take to reduce spending.

Twenty surgical beds will also be closed in the next couple of weeks.

Mr Kirwan said hospital staff were managing the high occupancy situation well.

He said there had been a minor problem with telephones in the AMU overflow area yesterday, which was quickly fixed.

He said there was no risk to patients and staff as other phones were available.

One category 2 operation was cancelled and a category 1 surgery, the highest priority, had to be shifted to a private hospital.

Health Minister Michelle O’Byrne accused Mr Rockliff of deliberately trying to frighten the community.

“To try and paint the LGH as being in a state of chaos is irresponsible and completely incorrect,” she said.

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A tribute to influential storyteller Nick Cave

Muscles, Adalita, Urthboy, Dan Sultan and Bertie Blackman.Straight To You: triple j’s Tribute to Nick Cave plays Newcastle Panthers on Saturday night. Tickets $59.40 plus booking fee through Moshtix or at the door.
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FORGET nursery rhymes and simple childhood songs. Bertie Blackman had her first taste of Nick Cave’s brooding melodies at the tender age of six.

Now the singer-songwriter is taking to the stage to perform Cave’s songs as part of Straight To You: triple j’s Tribute to Nick Cave, which comes to Newcastle on Saturday.

Blackman, the daughter of renowned Australian artist Charles Blackman and a critically acclaimed musician in her own right, recalled growing up with Nick Cave on the stereo and the deep-voiced singer’s influence on her music.

‘‘I first heard his stuff and remembered the impact when I was about six, I think. I was really little,’’ Blackman said. ‘‘My family were really big fans of his so it was always on the playlist of stereos growing up and I just nicked the CDs that Mum had.’’

Cave’s impact on Blackman was so great that she agreed to do the tribute show – her first and only foray into the field.

‘‘He’s one of my great heroes so it’s a real honour to be doing this tribute. You have to have a great connection with someone to do something like this,’’ she said.

‘‘Nick Cave is a great man and paying homage to someone of his stature is an honour, but is also a responsibility to do justice to his great work and share it with the country.’’

Blackman spoke to LIVE after the Straight To You tour had kicked off with the first show in Ballarat. She is juggling finishing her fourth album with the tribute shows.

Other artists on the bill for the tour include Abbe May, Adalita, Alex Burnett (Sparkadia), Ben Corbett (Gentle Ben And His Sensitive Side), Dan Sultan, Jake Stone (Bluejuice), Johnny Mackay (Children Collide), Kram (Spiderbait), Lanie Lane, Lisa Mitchell, Muscles, Tim Rogers (You Am I) and Urthboy (The Herd).

The concert will also feature a band led by Sydney writer and musician Cameron Bruce, who was musical director for Cannot Buy My Soul, the acclaimed concerts celebrating the music of Kev Carmody.

‘‘It is kind of like being in a school spectacular or something because we’re all in buses together and all hanging out and everyone is in the same hotel,’’ Blackman said. ‘‘You get to know all these amazing Australian performers that you see around festivals and you never really get to spend time with them because you’re all so transient.’’

Blackman said the artists were banding together to use their skills on different songs – she is back behind the drum kit for a few, while other artists are playing the horn, cello and providing back-up vocals on some songs. Lisa Mitchell and Jake Stone even slow-dance during a ‘‘really beautiful’’ version of Into My Arms.

‘‘There’s duets and solos, so it’s a really big mix of energy and stuff. It was really good because everyone is really diverse in what they do and who they are and their connections with Nick Cave,’’ Blackman said. ‘‘When I was watching side of stage I really enjoyed seeing artists interact who you would normally never see together.’’

Case in point – Blackman is performing a duet of Do You Love Me? with songwriter, performer and DJ Muscles.

‘‘His voice and vibe is the most similar to Nick Cave’s out of anyone there, which is a surprising and unexpected thing. We have a really good musical connection so I really enjoy singing that with him and I really love that song,’’ she said.

Blackman is also performing The Mercy Seat, which she describes as one of her favourite Nick Cave songs.

‘‘It’s a very prophetic, emotional song – not that all his songs aren’t emotional – but it’s about someone who is denying to be guilty of a crime who goes to the electric chair to execution. He’s talking in his head about an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. We’re doing it in a big rock and roll form, epic.’’

Blackman said the song had heavily influenced Mercy Killer, a song from her forthcoming record.

‘‘It is about the inward moral battles you do with the different sides of your conscience on each shoulder when situations arise, what is right and what is wrong and what is the line between that,’’ she said.

On a wider scale, Blackman said Cave’s songwriting had influenced the album, which she has been working on with film composer and music producer Francois Tétaz (Gotye, Architecture in Helsinki).

‘‘Nick Cave has been quite prevalent in my inspiration with his storytelling and the way he labours over his words. I would like people to read the lyrics to each song like you would read a page of a book or a poem. The music is the backdrop.’’

Blackman said the album featured ‘‘tales from the lost world’’ based around moments from her childhood. The theme was liberating, allowing her to write in the third person or write in the first person to tell a timeless story.

‘‘It’s been a retrospective, introspective journey going back and getting to the crux of the things you remember as a child.’’

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Enduring and unwavering

IT is a sign of the times that the reigning monarch of what was, 100 years ago, the most powerful country on Earth, came and went to and from Australia this year with relatively little fuss.
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In the 21st century the president of the United States of America is the more important visitor.

The visit of President Barack Obama has come at a crucial time, when the familiar economic order appears shaky and new powers are staking their claims.

For a variety of reasons, Australia matters more to America now than it has for decades.

An immense source of minerals and energy on the doorsteps of the rising new Asia-Pacific nations of India and China, Australia’s strategic importance is impossible to overlook.

Since World War II Australia has made no secret of its strong desire to shelter under America’s defence umbrella and it has repeatedly shown its willingness to be a dependable ally to the United States in matters both military and mercantile.

It is significant that, at a time when China is visibly increasing its military capacity, Australia has chosen to invite America to boost its own already marked military presence on Australian soil. Australia will host greater numbers of US troops and will permit them greater autonomy in training here than at any time since the war.

More US aircraft, ships and submarines will be permitted to use Australia as a staging point for patrols and operations in the Pacific and Indian oceans.

This military expression of solidarity is mirrored in proposed new trade arrangements across the Pacific region.

The China message

And while the rhetoric is carefully designed to skirt the suggestion that this is all about containing and influencing China, there is no doubt that most observers – China especially – will get that message.

Mr Obama made it clear at the recent meeting in Hawaii of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-operation forum that the United States is increasingly impatient with China’s insistence on keeping its currency pegged below the US dollar.

Chinese President Hu Jintao made it equally clear that China expected the US to recognise his country’s legitimate interests in the Asia Pacific region – a wish that Mr Obama readily conceded.

Meanwhile, the global game of strategy continues. Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard surprised many this week when she announced her support for dropping the ban on selling uranium to India.

India is not only hungry for energy, it is also seen by the United States as a natural counterweight to China, and America has for some years been carefully cultivating its Indian alliance. Australian uranium sales to India would please the US almost as much as they would please India itself.

In the speech he made on arriving in Australia, President Obama spoke of America’s “enduring and unwavering commitment” to its Pacific ally.

By its actions Australia has demonstrated that its commitment in return is every bit as durable and steady.

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New Zealand race could boost numbers

SYDNEY _ Sydney to Hobart officials are hoping a major ocean race planned for New Zealand will help entice more top quality boats to their own event.
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The fleet for this year’s race starting on Boxing Day stands at 88, one more than headed south in 2010.

The costs of building a new supermaxi and bringing any size of boat to Australia has limited the contingent of overseas entrants this year to seven.

Cruising Yacht club of Australia commodore Garry Linacre believes the race for New Zealand, scheduled to start in 2013, could help attract more overseas entrants, by giving them two major events to shoot for.

“We are working with the Kiwis at the moment, who are looking at bringing in an iconic race that is timely to involve yachts coming from the northern hemisphere to our race,” Linacre said.

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

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Contractors to spend holidays in uncertainty

ALMOST 100 forest contractors will have to live with uncertainty over their future until the new year.
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Contractors had been expecting to find out this week if their application for a share of a $45 million voluntary exit grants package, a key part of the forest peace deal, had been successful.

The federal government, which is administering the voluntary exit grants, confirmed yesterday it had been aiming to give contractors an answer before Christmas but was now aiming to finalise assessments early in January.

The Tasmanian Forest Contractors Association had stressed the importance of contractors finding out this week.

“It’s really unfair for contractors to go into Christmas not knowing their future, good or bad,” chief executive officer Ed Vincent said. “People can make plans to deal with bad news but they can’t deal with uncertainty.”

Applications closed November 24.

Mr Vincent said he had been told the delay was because three quarters of the 97 applications were incomplete.

A spokeswoman for Forestry Minister Joe Ludwig said the assessment panel met to assess applications on Monday and Tuesday this week.

“In order to complete its assessment of applications and make recommendations on the offer of grants under the program, the panel has requested further information and verification of information,” she said. “The panel is working to finalise assessment early in the new year.”

The Commonwealth department of forestry was expected to update its website with details of the revised timeline last night.

Eligible businesses could apply for up to $3 million with the grants designed to help them adjust to the industry downturn.

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

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Music in the city’s heart

A BIG thank-you to the teachers, students and staff of the Newcastle Conservatorium for its open day on Sunday. This is the third year my husband and I have attended. The enthusiasm of the teachers and students is infectious and we left the Conservatorium wanting to learn all of the instruments available.
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There were master classes, workshops, rehearsals and introductions to various instruments. It was easy to fill the day drifting from one activity to another. All this culminated at the end of the day with a student concert. This year, as well as the two string orchestras, it was pleasing to hear the pipe organ being played by a group of students, and we were captivated by a nine-year-old violinist who calmly and confidently played a lengthy musical composition, accompanied by a student orchestra.

Some may not be aware that the Conservatorium holds monthly free lunchtime concerts, where you can hear some of the amazing musical talents of the students. A large banner is displayed outside the building on the day of the concert. Well worth attending.

Carol Davis, Wallsend

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