Add your custom tagline here.

Island searches for boat survivors

BLITAR, East Java – Authorities in Indonesia are closer to finding the individuals behind a people-smuggling operation that ended in the deaths of scores of asylum seekers and netted the syndicate responsible more than $1 million.
Nanjing Night Net

Up to 200 people are still missing, feared drowned, after their boat suddenly capsized off East Java, 60 kilometres into its voyage to Christmas Island.

As the search for survivors entered its fourth day, there were fresh reports that another group of asylum seekers from the doomed vessel, which sank in rough seas on Saturday, may have made their way to an island off the East Java coast.

The development came after a group of 13 people, comprising 12 men and a woman, were found on Monday on the island of Nusa Barung, about 200 kilometres from the site where the vessel went down.

The discovery of the group of 13, as well as two crew who abandoned the sinking ship in a dinghy and who were found on Monday afternoon on the East Java mainland at Sindang Biru, puts the total number of survivors at 49.

Authorities have not been able to locate the group on the second island, news of which came to light after a family in Pakistan said they had received a call from one of the asylum seekers, who reported he was safe but injured.

The chief of the search and rescue effort, Sutrisno, said the number the man gave to his family was no longer active.

He said search teams would again scour islands in the vicinity of the site where the asylum seeker boat sank in the hope of locating the man, who reported he was with a large group of people.

“At the moment there is not other confirmation,” Sutrisno said, adding that the overall search area had been expanded and that the mission would continue until at least Saturday.

Indonesian anti-people smuggling taskforce officers, assisted by Australian Federal Police, have continued interviewing survivors as they look to gather evidence and establish who was responsible for the deadly people-smuggling venture.

With survivors having said they paid between $4000 and $6500 to board the vessel, it’s believed those responsible would have netted well in excess of $1 million.

Brigadier-General Ari Dono Sukmanto, who has overall responsibility for the anti-people smuggling taskforce, said that while no chief suspect had been established, authorities did have some leads.

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

Read More

Knights take gambling firm to court over promised funds

LEGAL ACTION: The Knights have initiated legal action in the Federal Court against sponsor Betezy.THE Newcastle Knights have initiated legal action in the Federal Court against sponsor Betezy, alleging the online gambling agency breached their contract by not paying promised income.
Nanjing Night Net

The Knights announced a three-year sponsorship with the racing and sports bookmaking company in February 2009, according to which the NRL club was to have received at least $100,000 a season and potentially as much as $1million annually.

The Newcastle Herald has been told Betezy has not paid any money for at least the past two years of the sponsorship agreement, prompting the Knights to pursue what they believe they are owed.

Knights chief executive Matt Gidley said yesterday that it was club policy not to comment about pending legal action.

Former Knights chief executive Steve Burraston, who was in charge of the club when the sponsorship deal was done, declined to comment when contacted by the Herald.

The Herald tried to contact Betezy management last night but a Northern Territory-based race betting operator who took the call directed inquiries to the company’s customer service number during business hours today.

On the Betezy internet website, the company’s postal address is listed as Surry Hills in Sydney.

When the Knights announced the partnership in 2009, it was reported that Betezy had similar arrangements with Cronulla, Gold Coast and South Sydney.

According to the deal with the Knights, the club stood to collect an up-front sponsorship worth at least $100,000 a year for 2009, 2010 and 2011, plus a percentage of every bet posted on their affiliated Betezy website, www.knightsbet南京夜网.au.

‘‘The Betezy people think it could be worth $1million a year to us, so I suppose we have to wait and see,’’ Burraston said in the Herald on February 20, 2009.

‘‘For me, it’s hard to imagine people gamble that much, but maybe they do.

‘‘It’s their game, not mine, so I’m not going to criticise that figure or argue the point.

‘‘We’d be delighted if it’s true.

‘‘The people from Betezy are talking some big numbers … hopefully it’s as big as they think it is.

‘‘We’re just happy with the up-front payment and to give it a go.’’

Read More

Dungog girl sneaks hug from US President

Dungog Public School “prime minister” Chelsea Gallagher with US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday.IT was that unforgettable moment when a prime minister meets the US President in Parliament House, Canberra.
Nanjing Night Net

But it was not the nation’s leader, Julia Gillard, who embraced Barack Obama.

To read the Herald’s opinion on the presidential visit, click here.

She had to settle for a kiss and back pat.

Instead it was Chelsea Gallagher, the 12-year-old ‘‘prime minister’’ of Dungog Public School, who wrapped her arms around the world’s most powerful man yesterday.

To see pictures of Barack Obama’s visit to Australia, click below.

‘‘I said ‘hello’ and then I asked him if I could have a hug and he gave me one,’’ said Chelsea, whose school voted her ‘‘prime minister’’ (rather than captain) this year.

‘‘We were just there at the right time.’’

Chelsea described the experience as ‘‘amazing’’.

‘‘He was really cool, and had the biggest smile on his face when he walked into the foyer and saw us all,’’ she told the Newcastle Herald.

US President Barack Obama tries his hand at Australian slang during a speech at a state dinner in Canberra. Click below.

Your browser does not support iFrames

Mr Obama spotted the children and said ‘‘Whoa. Hello everyone,’’ then exclaimed ‘‘G’day’’. He mingled with the children for a couple of minutes before telling them: ‘‘Fantastic. Well, wonderful to meet you guys. Thank you so much.’’

Chelsea said Mr Obama spotted the badges worn by herself and classmate Laura Inwood, and asked them questions about her PM role.

‘‘I wasn’t really sure what to say so I just told him I’m trying to help the school,’’ Chelsea said.

Chelsea revealed she had been corresponding by email with Ms Gillard for the past few months after learning year six would be visiting Parliament House.

‘‘I was looking on the internet and found a website where you could contact her by email so I did and she wrote back,’’ she said.

Chelsea shared a few emails with Ms Gillard, who sent a letter and signed photograph to Chelsea’s Dungog home.

When she realised her trip to the nation’s capital would coincide with Mr Obama’s visit she emailed Ms Gillard and asked if her school might meet him.

Chelsea and Laura led a group of 140 schoolchildren from Dungog and Darley Primary in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, who greeted the President. Although the school group had plenty more stops before returning home tomorrow, Chelsea said yesterday’s meeting would be hard to top.

But despite her lofty status at school and her interest in politics, Chelsea said she wanted to pursue a career as a singer.

‘‘It seems pretty hard, ruling the states or the country,’’ she laughed.

Read More

Send us your high school formal pictures

FRIENDS FOREVER: Hunter Valley Grammar year 10 students from left, Grace Broadfield, Larissa Moore, Llewellyn Thomas, Oliver Peck, Issy Phillips, Laura Gilligan and Erin McFadyen, all 16, enjoy a laugh at the University of Newcastle for their school formal last night. Picture by Simone De PeakBRIGHT dresses, sharp suits and dazzling smiles were on show last night to celebrate the end of another school year.
Nanjing Night Net

Share your high school formal pictures. Email them to [email protected]南京夜网.au Include your name, contact number and detailed caption.

Year 10 students from Hunter Valley Grammar arrived at the University of Newcastle in limousines for the traditional end of year dinner dance.

Issy Phillips, 16, was excited to finish year 10.

‘‘ [Year 11 is] going to be a lot more work, but tonight is just a celebration for exams being over,’’ she said.

This year will be the last time the School Certificate will run, and there has been suggestions that the traditional year 10 formal could also follow it out the door.

But Greg Robinson, head of senior school at Hunter Valley Grammar, expected the celebrations to stay: ‘‘We might be different to other schools but we haven’t discussed canning the idea.’’

Read More

Opposition Leader tours the Hunter

JOHN ROBERTSON. – Picture by Simon AleknaTHE Opposition Leader John Robertson is touring the Hunter and Central Coast today ahead of a community cabinet meeting tonight at Newcastle Panthers.
Nanjing Night Net

Here is where he will be, and when.


Wyong Council Chambers, Wyong

Meet with Mayor of Wyong, Bob Graham, to discuss the potential impacts of the Wallarah 2 mining proposal on local waterways.


Hunter Valley Financial Counselling Project Inc, Rutherford

Meet with the CEO of the NSW Financial Counsellors Association Michael Bailey and community workers to discuss the impacts of power bills under privatisation.


Newcastle District Ambulance Station, Hamilton

Join Shadow Health Minister Dr Andrew McDonald and local paramedics to discuss delays in ambulance response times.


Newcastle Panthers Club, Newcastle West

Members of the public invited to attend a community cabinet reception and meet the NSW Labor Cabinet.

Read More

Herald beer experts talk home brewing

Mark Galletly of Marks Home Brew. Picture by Anita JonesHOME brewing has come a long way in recent decades. Whether you use basic kits or mash with malted grain, the results are likely to be better, and cheaper, than average commercial beers. Home brewing doesn’t take up a lot of time, and the gear you buy should soon pay for itself. But be warned: having a lot of good beer at home can lead some people to imbibe a bit more than they should.
Nanjing Night Net

Jeff Corbett

WHEN I started brewing in 1980 it was in a big bucket using Saunder’s malt extract and sugar from the supermarket, hop essence from a health food shop and yeast that had been smuggled out of a brewery.

Against everyone’s expectations the beer was not only drinkable, it was good, and so my beer-loving father-in-law started brewing immediately. It was the smuggled yeast that made the difference, because at that time only baker’s yeast was available to brewers and the result varied between revolting and disgusting.

A year or two later the beer kits appeared, and they produced a beer that rivalled the amber fluid sold by pubs and, when Coopers produced its range, a fluid that could be significantly better. I used these kits for years, later adding hops, crystal malt and powdered malt to produce beer with oomph.

A decade ago I began mashing grain to make beer and I did that, to my wife’s horror, in the kitchen using a variety of pots and strainers and Eskies. The beer was magnificent.

A couple of years ago I moved to a new way of mash brewing usually referred to as ‘‘brew in a bag’’. A bag made of a synthetic material holds the malted grain in a 40-litre urn containing water at a certain temperature, and when the mashing – the conversion of the grain’s starch to sugar – is complete, the bag containing the grain is removed.

The liquid in the urn is then boiled with hops, which are added at different times for different effects, for an hour or so; then the hot wort is run through the urn’s tap into a plastic container to cool before being tipped into a fermenter with yeast to become beer. I use a glass fermenter, and my beer is brewed in a temperature-controlled fridge.

Apart from mashing, I believe that controlling the temperature of the fermentation is the biggest improvement a home brewer can make to the result.

My beer is better than magnificent, breathtakingly so, and I would say my best beer is a tastier, fuller version of Little Creatures Pale Ale. If it wasn’t in such high demand I’d be delighted to share a bottle with you.

Simon Walker

I’M an all-grain, brew-in-a-bag home brewer.

I use a 40-litre yabby pot to boil my beer in.

It has an insert which I put the grain bag in and which can be easily removed during the process when required.

I use about 6kg of crushed grain and generally about 100g of hops per brew.

I follow clone recipes which I get out of magazines or off the web.

I usually aim to make three cartons per brew.

My process, dictated by my rustic equipment, is pretty basic.

I pour about 30litres of hot water into my pot.

That water is about 72degrees out of the tap, and cools to the required range of about 66degrees once I dip the grain bag in.

Once all the grain is submerged, and mixed up, I put the lid on, wrap it in my insulated barbecue cover and leave it for an hour to mash. Then I hang the grain bag above the pot to drain.

I’ll sparge about six litres of boiling water through it to get any more goodness out of the grain. Then I’ll bring the pot to the boil, add my hops and boil for an hour.

Depending on the sugar extraction from the mash, I may add a bit of dextrose to up the alcohol level.

Once boiling is done, I cool the mash by resting my pot in my swimming pool.

Once cooled I transfer the wort to my fermenter, take an original specific-gravity reading, add yeast and ferment for however many days it takes, usually seven to 10.

I know it’s done when the bubbling stops, and/or the final specific gravity hits a prescribed level.

Then I transfer the wort to a second fermenter, which I’ve primed with sugar in preparation for bottling.

To bottle about three cartons I find about 500g of sugar works for mass priming of 27litres.

By moving it to the second fermenter I aim to avoid all the crud that rests on the bottom of the first fermenter. Then I bottle, cap and store.

Best results start to emerge after about a month of maturing.

But curiosity dictates I’m often in there earlier monitoring the journey of the brew.

Sean Melehan

BREWING your own beer is the ultimate in blokey, hunter-gathering concepts.

How much more self-sufficient can a man be than to pump out 60bottles a batch of his own, lovingly nurtured amber ale?

The whole process is fun. It’s a cross between cooking and a science experiment, and you end up with consumable alcohol – hopefully – at the end. And it’s cheap.

My brother-in-law got me into it.

I’m a partial extract brewer, which means I use both tins of malt extract as well as boil grains and hops. It’s the best of both worlds and you can achieve really good results.

My favourite concoction is a dunkelweizen – that’s German for dark wheat beer – that was inspired by a trip to the famous Munich beer hall. I’ve knocked out Belgian beers, IPAs, chocolate porters, honey wheat beers and kolsch-style beers as well.

Most people find after a while they’ve got a few personal favourites that they know they can more or less reproduce, but the thing with home brewing is you rarely reproduce exactly the same taste twice. There’s just so many variables.

When it comes to what you can make, the sky’s the limit.

If you taste a commercial beer you like, you get in and clone it – experimentation can get you everywhere.

And patiently waiting for things to mature in the bottle is the key.

I just produced a ‘‘Left-Over Ale’’ that pretty much cleared the drawers of lurking grains, hops and dextrose.

After a taste on the way from the fermenter into the bottles I’m wondering if it will be renamed ‘‘Legless Ale’’ down the track.

Ask for a beer at my place this summer at you own peril.

?Mark’s Home Brew at Islington (ubrew南京夜网.au) supplies basic kits through to “beer-in-a-bag” mash equipment. Owner Mark Galletly is a Newcastle icon in craft-brewing circles.

?Check if there is a home brew club in your area.

?To take the guesswork out of making your own beer, and the cost of buying equipment, the franchise Brew-By-U at Cardiff is an option (brewbyu南京夜网.au).

It is a micro-brewery where you choose from about 160 beer clones and do most of the work yourself. The only thing you have to supply is your own bottles (you can buy them there). You have to make a minimum of 50litres a brew and it works out at about $20 to $28 a carton. I’ve tasted the results and they are excellent.

Read More

Inspired by strong emotive events

*(1/3) (2/3)
Nanjing Night Net


GOTYE and his 10-piece- band are hitting Hobart this Sunday for a sold-out show in the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. X-static’s ISABEL BIRD chats to the man behind Gotye – Wally De Backer.

WALLY De Backer describes himself as “someone who tinkers with things for a long period”.

This is hardly surprising.

His album Making Mirrors came five years after his previous one, Like Drawing Blood, and contains a mixture of popping sounds, drawn out floating beats, bubble noises, synth and lyrics affected by a broad musical influence that comes from sampling a lot of different sounds and records.

De Backer said he was working on his third album on and off for two years.

“I stick things together over a long period of time and refine them,” De Backer said.

“For the last six months to a year I had more focus time to be working on the record (but) that kind of free time didn’t necessarily correlate with greater creative output.

“The ideas that flowered and turned into songs still happened at fairly random times.

“Bronte is a good example. I already had a lot of the elements of the music, but I didn’t have a lyric or direction to turn those scraps of musical ideas into a song.

“It was when my family friends let go of their family dog, finally put it down after it had been old and sick for a very long time, and I felt quite arrested by their approach.

“It really resonated with me, perhaps because I lost a pet of my own in the few months beforehand.

“It takes something very strong to shake me and prompt me (to write music) as opposed to being a regular magpie just looking for something to pounce upon and turn into a song idea.”

De Backer said Making Mirrors was at times influenced by exotica artists from the 1940s to 1960s, including Les Baxter and Leo Addeo, who produce music with a tropical, Caribbean feel.

“I’m a bit of a sucker for music from the mid 20th century up to the ’80s, synthesize and novelty organ music.

“There are lots of fairly dorky references there. Stuff like Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel filter through to songs like Eyes Wide Open.”

It is not the first time De Backer has played in Tasmania, having toured with his three-piece “raw, energetic” rock and roll band The Basics, and played at MSfest as Gotye.

He received messages from The Basics fans asking him not to leave Tassie off his national Making Mirrors tour.

After talking to his managers, the Hobart concert was put on the list.

“Playing in the botanical gardens will be pretty special, at that time of night, with a really huge crowd.”

*You can catch Gotye at The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, Hobart, on Sunday.

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

Read More

Dhoni not drawn on Singh omission

Harbhajan SinghSYDNEY _ Indian captain MS Dhoni has refused to be drawn on whether India erred in not including controversial spinner Harbhajan Singh in their squad for the Australian tour.
Nanjing Night Net

Harbhajan has struggled in Australia, taking nine wickets at 73.22 in four Tests, well short of his overall average of 29.35 against the Australians.

But with an ability to get under the skin of opposition players Harbhajan’s aggression and nagging personality could have been useful in shaking up Australia’s inconsistent batsmen in Melbourne.

“The reality is he’s not part of the side and (Ravichandran) Ashwin has done really well for us in the last few games and the series we just played (against the West Indies),” Dhoni said.

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

Read More

Proposal seeks to recognise Aborigines

GIBBERGUNYAH Aboriginal Association (GAA) has received a grant from YouMeUnity to raise awareness and stimulate community debate about Constitu-tional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the Australian Constitution.
Nanjing Night Net

GAA’s Aunty Sandra Brooks said the opportunity to work closely with the community in the Shire through the planned activities with the Wingecarribee Reconciliation Group would be a ‘Deadly’ start to a long and successful journey together.

“For the GAA, commencing and engaging in the dialogue is welcomed as a valuable community building outcome and all feedback is appreciated,” she said.

In partnership with the Wingecarribee Reconciliation Group, GAA will be conducting a street stall to disseminate information and garner support for the change.

A recent Auspoll found that 61 per cent of people were not even aware that there was a proposal to recognise Aboriginal Australians in the Constitution.

Constitutional recognition of the first peoples will strengthen the relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and other Australians.

Wingecarribee Reconciliation Group chairman Kim Leevers said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians made an extraordinary contribution every day to the nation.

“Recognition gives us all a great opportunity to acknowledge this, to build on and strengthen our relationships and provide a solid foundation from which we can jointly face the challenges of the future together as a reconciled nation,” he said.

“We want better futures for all of our young people.”

“The people of the Southern Highlands have previously demonstrated their support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples with the launch of the first Sorry Book in Bowral. “

Peter Lee will be coordinating a street stall which will run from November 8. Any people interested in volunteering to be a part of this can contact Peter on 4889 8305.

For more information about constitutional recognition go to www.youmeunity南京夜网.au.

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

Read More