Daily Archives: December 4, 2015

Ryan v Messi: Socceroo set for Barca showdown


Socceroo ‘keeper Mat Ryan is likely to go head-to-head with superstar Barca Lionel Messi in La Liga this weekend.

Socceroo ‘keeper Mat Ryan is set for a daunting weekend in La Liga with his Valencia side set to take on Lionel Messi’s Barcelona.
In what will be a huge thrill – and great challenge – for the Aussie gloveman, Barca come to the Mestalla on Sunday morning (AEDT) with Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in devastating form.

Ryan has only just regained his spot in Valencia’s starting side after a lengthy injury lay-off and he’ll look to make up for lost time, especially with new boss Gary Neville in the stands.

Neville has been appointed the new Valencia boss and will be at the game, although he doesn’t officially take charge until Sunday.

Socceroo ‘keeper in Copa Del Rey win

So interim head coach Voro and Gary’s brother Phil Neville will hold the fort for the game against Luis Enrique’s side after guiding Los Che to a 3-1 Copa del Rey win over Barakaldo on Wednesday.

It will be a massive test for Valencia, who sit ninth after seeing previous coach Nuno Espirito Santo resign last week.

They face a Barca side sitting top of the pile, four points clear of Atletico Madrid and a further two ahead of rivals Real Madrid, who they defeated 4-0 last month as part of a run that has seen them win their last seven matches in all competitions.

Those games have seen last season’s treble winners score an astonishing 28 goals while conceding just two, form which does not bode well for a Valencia outfit who have only beaten their opponents once in their last 16 attempts in La Liga.

“We thought for this week it is best for me not to be on the bench against Barcelona,” Neville said.

“They [the players] needed to prepare for such an important game consistently with those who were already there. Out of respect for the players it is best for me to start against Lyon [in the UEFA Champions League on Dec 9].

“I had several meetings with players, coaches, doctors – but at this stage it is important not to give a message that can undermine their attention from the important match against Barcelona, so I will leave them to one side now.”
Barca star Suarez is the league’s second top goalscorer on 12 – behind only team-mate Neymar on 14 – and he is keen for his in-form side not to rest on their laurels despite having breathing space at the top of the table.

“There is enough quality in this squad to win new titles,” Suarez said this week.

“It would be very nice to repeat the treble, but we now have some very important games and then the Club World Cup, which we all want to win.

“It is great to get a six-point gap to Madrid, but Atletico are within four and they are very strong opponents.

“It is still too early to say who the candidates are to win the league. Last year we also had a bad time and then we went on to win the treble.”

Defender Jeremy Mathieu (thigh) is likely to be missing for the visitors after injuring his thigh in the Copa win over Villanovense.



Selling an American Dream: Australia’s Greek Cafe


A public lecture will be presented by documentary photographer Effy Alexakis and social historian Leonard Janiszewski

‘Selling an American Dream: Australia’s Greek Café’, will be supported by the Royal Australian Historical Society and the Australian Society for History, Engineering and Technology, is an opportunity to learn about Australia’s Greek cafés and milk bars as a significant global phenomenon in the modern era.

Greek-run cafés and milk bars populated Australian country towns and cities, merging local fare with new American food-catering ideas.

They subsequently contributed to a major change in not only eating habits, but cinema, music and architecture with the introduction of American sodas, ice cream sundaes, milkshakes, hamburgers, milk chocolate and hard sugar candies.

The two researchers will bring together 30 years of research from travels over four continents, and selected from more than 1,800 interviews and innumerable contemporary and historical photographs.

Cost of attendance is $10 per person.

Fore more information, visit http://www.rahs.org.au/evnt/rahsashet-lecture-selling-an-american-dreamaustrali… or contact Leonard Janiszewski on 0448 876 626 or (02) 9850 6886/7437.

When: Tuesday 8 December from 5.30 pm-7.00 pm

Where: History House, Royal Australian Historical Society, 133 Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW

source:Neos Kosmos

Greek Australian woman racially attacked


Caucasian man tells Australian-born Greek to ‘get out of Australia’

A Greek Australian woman was the subject of a racial attack on a Melbourne train this week.

Arna Dionysopoulos, 26, was on her way home from work on Wednesday afternoon, when a man described to be Caucasian, noticed her nametag.

The Age reported that the man then proceeded to tell her that she should “get out of Australia”, adding that he would love to put a gun to her and her father’s heads and pull the trigger.

The IT consultant, who was born in Australia to a Greek father and German mother, says that she initially didn’t realise the abusive comments were directed at her, as she considers herself to be as Australian as anyone else.

“It’s quite shocking that that’s what some people believe,” she told The Age.

“If you live here, you’re Australian.”

Ms Dionysopoulos’ attempts to ignore the abusive comments by reading her book however, were unsuccessful.

The man, who she says could have possibly been under the influence of drugs, continued to hurl abuse, and upon being told to calm down by a fellow commuter, claimed to have four knives on him.

The 26-year-old then disembarked the train at Footscray station ahead of her destination. Thankfully another commuter accompanied her, as they soon discovered the abuser had followed them.

Shaken by the incident, Ms Dionysopoulos quickly contact the police and reported the matter.

*The man is believed to be between 173cm to 183cm tall with a thin build, and unshaven. If you have any information regarding the incident, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report via http://www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

source:Neos Kosmos

Migrant dies in Greek border clash; 2,000 rescued off Libya


IDOMENI, Greece : “We will all die here. We are not leaving.” Abdul points to the lifeless body of a fellow Moroccan who electrocuted himself to death on Thursday by grabbing high-voltage train cables on the Greek border with FYROM.

Police believe he did it intentionally, growing increasingly desperate after days trapped on the border. Holding the man’s body, a group of Moroccan men moved towards the border crossing with cries of “Allahu akbar” (“God is greatest”). Greek police fired tear gas to push them back.

Another Moroccan had been badly burned in a similar incident on Saturday. “We have been here for five days,” says Mohammed, also Moroccan. “We have no food and we are cold. Why won’t they let us through? Aren’t we human? We are not terrorists,” he told AFP. With FYROM authorities only letting through refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, migrants from other countries have been blocked on the border with Greece for days or even weeks.

Their anger boiled over early Thursday. Groups of migrants seized communal tents operated by humanitarian agencies and destroyed some prefab houses set up by the UN refugee agency.

Meanwhile, nearly 2,000 migrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast in 11 separate operations, the Italian navy said Thursday, after a break in bad weather sparked fresh attempts at the perilous Mediterranean crossing.

The migrants were plucked from eight dinghies and three boats by the Italian coastguard, the navy, a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) boat and two vessels taking part in the EU’s Operation Sophia, which patrols the sea for people smugglers.

The rescue followed a lull in arrivals caused by bad weather, during which only around 400 migrants were picked up in over 10 days – a startlingly low number compared to the summer months, when an average of 760 people a day were rescued.

The Italian coastguard said the rescues took place after the command centre in Rome received calls for help by satellite phone from the migrant vessels.
Four dinghies with a total of 458 migrants on board were intercepted by the coast guard, while another 300 migrants were picked up from three other dinghies by the Italian navy.

Spanish frigate Canarias and Britain’s Enterprise, both deployed in the Sophia operation, picked up 286 and 416 migrants respectively from two boats, while MSF’s Bourbon Argos saved 428 migrants from a boat and 96 from a dinghy.
MSF also said Thursday they had launched a joint operation with environmental group Greenpeace to rescue people risking their lives on the crossing between Turkey and Greece.

The operation will use three boats based on Greece’s Lesbos island, in cooperation with the Greek coastguard.

According to the United Nations, the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe fell by more than a third last month, due to bad weather and a Turkish crackdown on traffickers in the Aegean on the route into Greece.

The International Organization for Migration estimated in late November that nearly 860,000 migrants had landed in Europe so far this year, with more than 3,500 dying while crossing the Mediterranean in search of safety.

On Tuesday, the UN’s children’s agency warned that women and children make up an increasing proportion of the migrants and refugees on the move, and currently account for more than half, up from just 27 percent a few months ago.


Gundagai highway patrol officer charged after allegedly issuing tickets to fictitious drivers so he could reach ‘quota’


CLAIMS have emerged a Gundagai highway patrol officer issued speeding tickets to fictitious foreign drivers so that he could reach an informal quota set by his bosses.

The 39-year-old officer was charged last week on 16 counts of modifying restricted data held on a police computer.

He claimed he had caught 16 drivers from different countries speeding in and around Wagga
The false tickets were allegedly issued to international drivers that didn’t actually exist.

The officer allegedly believed he would escape detection if the tickets were made out to foreigners because the State Debt Recovery Office would not pursue them once they’d returned overseas.
The officer is believed to be a senior constable attached to the highway patrol command. He will face court on January 6.


Newcastle:Defence says “too early” for compensation after Williamtown RAAF Base contamination


THE Department of Defence has told a Senate inquiry that it is “too early” to talk about compensation for people affected by the Williamtown RAAF Base contamination scandal.

Appearing at the inquiry’s first hearing in Canberra on Thursday, Defence deputy secretary Steve Grzeskowiak said consideration of compensation was “complex” and “needs to be taken as the full impact [of the contamination] emerges over time”.

Pressed by Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon on whether compensation was being discussed internally, Defence special counsel Michael Lysewycz said his office was “having discussions”, but said it was “too early” to talk about the issue in detail.

It’s a step back from September 30, when the commander of the Williamtown RAAF Base, Air Commodore Steve Roberton, told a public meting in Tomago that “Defence polluted here, Defence pays”.
“There’s a lot of good intent at the moment but actually to trigger compensation especially for those who really need it, we need to get the federal and the state level connected,” he said at the time.

“It’s actually getting the mechanism for the money to get it into the right groups.”

But at the hearing on Thursday, Mr Grzeskowiak backed away from those comments, saying he was not aware of them, and that it would “not be Defence’s position”.

The hearing went for just under three hours, and also covered the issue of when Defence knew about the contamination, and its response to the scandal so far.

Mr Grzeskowiak acknowledged “the legacy environmental contamination issue” at Williamtown and said Defence was “committed to undertaking ecological and human health risk assessments to understand current exposure scenarios and associated risks”.

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As well as Defence officials, the inquiry heard testimony from NSW Chief Scientist Mary O’Kane, and Peter Shannon and Rory Ross, two solicitors from law firm Shine Lawyers.

Shine represents a group of residents from Oakey in Queensland, a town close to an army aviation base that has also seen PFOS and PFOA contamination spread beyond the base into private water bores.

Mr Shannon said Defence would need to be “pushed” by the parliament to provide serious financial compensation.

“Defence is charged with protecting the public purse strings so it is not going to voluntarily cough up compensation, it has to be pushed,” he said.

“The only entity with the power to do that is Parliament.”

Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon asked whether the Commonwealth had already admitted liability for the contamination by paying financial compensation to businesses like fishing trawlers, but Mr Shannon said that was “not necessarily” the case.

“That can be done, and usually is, without an admission of liability,” he said.

Following the hearing, Newcastle MP Sharon Claydon said she “welcomed Defence’s commitment to resolving this complex issue”, but called on the government to “clarify” the compensation situation.

“What compensation is going to be provided to residents and local businesses who have suffered losses?” she said.

“Because they still haven’t committed to that.”

The hearing went for just under three hours, and covered the issue of when Defence knew about the contamination, the prospect of compensation, and Defence’s response so far.

The Newcastle Herald reported in September that Defence first knew about possible environmental impacts from firefighting foam containing PFOS in 2003, and Mr Grzeskowiak said Defence had tried to limit the release of the foam into the environment from then.

Despite that, the foam wasn’t phased out at the base until 2012, and is still used in trace amounts when fighting fires in “critical incidents”.

Mr Grzeskowiak did not respond directly to questions from the inquiry chair Alex Gallacher about what Defence did to stop PFOS leaking into groundwater and onto neighbouring land once it was aware the contaminant was on the base in December 2011.


Οι Αυστραλοί «ψάχνουν στο σωστό μέρος» για τη χαμένη πτήση MH370


Οι Αρχές της Αυστραλίας περιόρισαν το πεδίο έρευνας για τη χαμένη πτήση ΜΗ370 σε μία ζώνη δεκάδων τετραγωνικών χιλιομέτρων στον νότιο Ινδικό Ωκεανό και δηλώνουν πεπεισμένοι ότι το Boeing 777 της Malaysia Airlines, που παραμένει άφαντο από τις 8 Μαρτίου του 2014, έχει καταπέσει στο σημείο αυτό.

Η έρευνα για την πτήση ΜΗ370 εκτείνεται σε μία περιοχή 120.000 τετραγωνικών χιλιομέτρων και μέχρι τώρα δεν έχει αποδώσει κανένα αποτέλεσμα.

Το μόνο εύρημα από τη συντριβή του αεροσκάφους ήταν ένα κομμάτι από πηδάλιο της πτέρυγας (flaperon) που βρέθηκε στο νησί Ρεϊνιόν, στο δυτικό Ινδικό Ωκεανό, πολλές χιλιάδες χιλιόμετρα από το σημείο των ερευνών.

Από την παραπάνω έκταση, υψηλή προτεραιότητα δίνεται πλέον σε μία περιοχή 98.000 τετραγωνικών χιλιομέτρων, από την οποία έχουν ήδη ερευνηθεί τα 54.000 τετραγωνικά χιλιόμετρα. Το 7% της έκτασης αυτής πρέπει να ψαχτεί εκ νέου, λόγω ατελειών στην ηχοβολιστική έρευνα.

Κατά τους χειμερινούς μήνες στις έρευνες συμμετείχαν δύο πλοία εξοπλισμένα με σόναρ. Σε αυτά θα προστεθεί ένα τρίτο πλοίο, το οποίο έχει τη δυνατότητα να αναπτύξει ένα μη επανδρωμένο βαθυσκάφος με κάμερα.

Τα παραπάνω σκάφη θα συνδράμει από τον Ιανουάριο ένα κινεζικό πλοίο, το οποίο διαθέτει σόναρ τελευταίας τεχνολογίας και μέγιστης δυνατής ακρίβειας (Synthetic Aperture Sonar). Το πλοίο αυτό θα αναλάβει τον επανέλεγχο μία δύσκολης περιοχής, στην τάφρο που διαπερνά τη ζώνη των ερευνών.

Για τον περιορισμό της έκτασης στην τρέχουσα περιοχή υψηλής προτεραιότητας, χρησιμοποιήθηκε ένα νέο μαθηματικό μοντέλο, καθώς και δεδομένα από χιλιάδες πτήσεις. Το τελικό αποτέλεσμα δοκιμάστηκε σε πραγματικές πτήσεις και προέβλεψε με ακρίβεια το ίχνος τους.

«Διατηρούμε την ελπίδα μας, για την ακρίβεια είμαστε αισόδοξοι, ότι θα εντοπίσουμε το αεροσκάφος» δήλωσε ο αναπληρωτής πρωθυπουργός της Αυστραλίας, Ουόρεν Τρους. Όπως πρόσθεσε, η νέα ανάλυση είναι «πραγματικά ενθαρρυντική» για το ότι βρίσκονται στο σωστό δρόμο.


Russia warns Turkey will regret plane downing, receives condolences


Moscow announced a halt to talks on a major gas pipeline with NATO member Ankara as Putin fired another salvo in their war of words, while Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan shot back by claiming he had “proof” Russia was involved in illegal oil trading with the Islamic State group.

BELGRADE: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday (Dec 3) vowed that the Turkish leadership would be made to regret the downing of one of Moscow’s warplanes, as Ankara presented its condolences for the death of a Russian pilot in the incident.

Moscow announced a halt to talks on a major gas pipeline with NATO member Ankara as Putin fired another salvo in their war of words and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan shot back by claiming he had “proof” Russia was involved in illegal oil trading with the Islamic State group.

Following talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Belgrade in the highest bilateral level contact since the crisis began, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu presented his condolences for the death of a Russian pilot in the incident.

But he stopped short of issuing the apology that Moscow has demanded and admitted that there had been no breakthrough in the 40-minute talks on the sidelines of a security conference.

Russia and Turkey have been plunged into their worst crisis since the Cold War over Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet on its border with Syria on Nov 24 – sparking fury and economic sanctions from the Kremlin.

Russia has accused Erdogan and his family of personally profiting from the oil trade with IS, which controls a large chunk of Syrian territory including many oil fields.

“We will not forget this complicity with terrorists. We always considered and will always consider treachery to be the ultimate and lowest act,” Putin told lawmakers in his annual state of the nation speech.

“We know for example who in Turkey fills their pockets and allows terrorists to make money from the stolen oil in Syria.”

Erdogan has furiously denied the accusations against him and his family and said Turkey had proof that Russia was, in fact, involved in trading oil with IS.

“We have the proof in our hands. We will reveal it to the world,” the Turkish leader said in a televised speech in Ankara.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu accused Moscow of running a “Soviet propaganda machine” along the lines of the Communist Party mouthpiece daily Pravda.

Putin, whose administration has already announced sanctions against Ankara including a ban on the import of some Turkish foods, and reintroduced visas for Turkish visitors, insisted Turkey would be made to regret its actions.

“We will not rattle our sabres. But if someone thinks that after committing heinous war crimes, the murder of our people, it will end with (an embargo on) tomatoes and limitations in construction and other fields then they are deeply mistaken,” Putin said.

“We will not stop reminding them of what they did and they will not stop regretting their actions.”

Both Russian pilots ejected from the Su-24 plane after being shot down by two Turkish F-16s.

One was killed while parachuting to the ground – in circumstances yet to be fully explained – while a second was rescued by Russian and Syrian forces from the Syrian side of the border. Another Russian serviceman was killed in the rescue operation.

“We expressed our sadness and expressed our condolences for the Russian pilot who lost his life,” Cavusoglu said after meeting Lavrov in the Serbian capital. But he added: “It would not be realistic to say that the problems have been overcome in a first meeting.”

The meeting was the first such high-level encounter since the shooting down, after Putin on Monday snubbed Erdogan at the UN climate summit in Paris.

In comments broadcast on Russian television, Lavrov also confirmed that there had been no breakthrough. “We did not hear anything new. The Turkish minister confirmed the positions which they have already voiced,” he said.


Immediately after Putin’s speech Russia’s energy minister Alexander Novak announced the suspension of talks between Ankara and Moscow over the major TurkStream pipeline project.

Negotiations over the project to pipe Russian gas to Turkey under the Black Sea have been floundering since Moscow launched air strikes in Syria in late September in support of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, which Ankara fiercely opposes.

But the official announcement of the break-off in the talks dealt another blow to Russian-Turkish ties, as Putin lamented the damage to a relationship that he has spent years nurturing.

“Only Allah, most likely, knows why they did this. And evidently Allah decided to punish the ruling clique in Turkey by depriving them of their intelligence and reason,” he said.


Newcastle:That’s not a lizard, THIS is a lizard!


ERIC Holland was just killing time in his shed when he came across a mature lace monitor in his backyard earlier this week.

“I was just doing a repair job in my shed when I opened the door and I saw this huge thing run across the ground and out of sight,” Mr Holland said.

“I went inside after I saw it in the backyard and heard a banging noise coming from the side of the house.

“When I went outside I saw him on the side of the house with his tail hitting the drain pipe,” Mr Holland said.

Mr Holland was quick enough to snap a photo of the estimated five foot goanna scaled on the side of his Thurgoona home.

Mr Holland has lived in the area for 18 years said he has never seen anything quite like it in his backyard.

“It was a big surprise really. I something get blue tongues and lizards in the backyard but never anything quite like this.”

The goanna quickly shuffled off Mr Holland’s property. Mr Holland has not sighted the reptile since.

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage said it would not be unusual for a lace monitor to be found in the area around Albury.

Lace Monitors can grow to around two metres in length and weight up to 20 kilograms.