Daily Archives: December 27, 2015

Australia:Great Ocean Road fires expected to rage for weeks


THE most destructive blazes in Victoria since Black Saturday in 2009 are expected to rage for weeks.

They spread across five towns in the southwest and razed at least 116 homes.

The 2200ha Jamieson Track fire destroyed 98 homes in Wye River and 18 in Separation Creek as it swept through bushland and began to ­advance toward the town of Lorne on Christmas Day.

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said strong winds had made conditions worse.

“This fire doesn’t go away,” Mr Lapsley said.

“We move back into very hot weather, particularly in northern Victoria, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.”

The Christmas blazes saw:

FOUR coastal towns evacuated including Wye River, Separation Creek, Kennett River and Grey River;

THREE firefighters injured and 116 homes lost;

RESIDENTS finally able to return to their homes in Lorne Saturday morning;

THE Insurance Council of Australia declared the bushfires a catastrophe, estimating initial losses of $25 million.

EMERGENCY grants of up to $1300 were paid to evacuated households, with the State Government promising further assistance of up to $32,500 for those left homeless.

Premier Daniel Andrews praised the effort of emergency services who had been working around the clock to battle the blaze, as well as people who had opened up their homes to support those who had been evacuated or lost their homes.

“This is one of those times when the very worst of circumstances brings out the very best in our state,” Mr Andrews said.

The blaze originally started from lightning on the evening of December 19.

Now 500 firefighters, 60 tankers, 13 aircraft and 29 dozers were still fighting the fire last night.

Mr Andrews said authorities would communicate with people who had lost their homes over the next 24 hours.

The blaze was stopped by CFA crews about 500m short of Kennett River. Mr Andrews said more properties could have been lost.

He praised the work of emergency services personnel for avoiding any injuries or loss of life yesterday.

Fire authorities said hot weather was forecast for New Year’s Eve but the winds were not predicted to cause extreme conditions.

Locals were left to count the cost yesterday including a CFA volunteer who watched his Wye River home burn as he tried to protect the town.

Tony Maly made the “gut-wrenching” phone call from the fire front to his wife Lesley yesterday morning to tell her their home was destroyed.

Meanwhile, the CFA warned there were still a number of hazardous burnt trees that could be dangerous.

Septic systems may have been damaged and leakage from these systems could pose a health hazard.
Blazes still a threat

COMBATING the devastating Lorne bushfire could take “weeks and weeks”, with some residents still uncertain whether their homes had survived.
Incident controller Alistair Drayton told hundreds of concerned residents at Cumberland Lorne Resort they were still assessing the safety of the Wye River township.

“It’s going to take weeks and weeks to combat this one,” he said.

Mr Drayton said they had not secured a containment line to the west of the fire and was concerned conditions could worsen when the temperature rises in the coming days.

He said Wye River residents would not be let into the fire zone due to safety ­concerns.

“The power is off but (fallen) solar power live wires are a danger,” he said.

Asbestos from burned old homes and falling gum trees were also a concern.

Separation Creek residents were told they would be escorted by the Red Cross to view their homes last night.

They would be told prior if their home had burned down.

“We want to reassure tonight that we are here for you,” Mr Drayton said.

Many residents raised concerns about an influx of tourists to Lorne in the New Year.

One man said he was concerned that foreign tourists were unknowingly entering the fire ground because they could not understand the road signs in place.

Mr Drayton said the emergency management team had dropped off information booklets at Melbourne Airport hire car companies to alert tourists of the danger.

Others were concerned more people would visit Lorne for Falls Festival next week.

Event organisers announced last night the popular music event had been relocated to Torquay.

While Lorne was spared the fire storm, the town feared big tourism losses could add to the devastation for locals.

The fire had a dramatic effect on visitor numbers in town with the main street virtually deserted yesterday.

The foreshore caravan park, usually packed with holidaymakers, was deserted.

It was the same situation throughout the tourist town, usually teeming with visitors.


Australia:Holiday season road death toll hits 17


Australia’s holiday road toll has climbed to 17 after six people were killed on the country’s roads on Boxing Day.

Two people have died and three have been injured in a single-vehicle crash in the north west of NSW.

Police say two people died at the scene of the crash near Narrabri on Sunday morning, where it appears the vehicle crashed into a tree off the Newell Highway.

In Queensland a 26-year-old man died in a two-car crash on the Burnett Highway at Gayndah and a motorcyclist aged in his 30s died after losing control and being thrown from his bike at Mount Nebo.

In Richmond, western Sydney, a 78-year-old woman was killed while trying to cross the road on Saturday afternoon.

Earlier, another female pedestrian died after being struck by a car on the Newell Highway in the NSW Central Highlands.

Also in NSW, a 26-year-old woman was killed in a three-car crash near Yass in the state’s Southern Tablelands.

The woman died about noon after the small sedan she was driving crashed into two oncoming cars on Lachlan Valley Way, 5km west of the Hume Highway.

In country Victoria, a man in his 50s was killed after a van carrying six people slammed into a tree on the Hume Highway in Boho at 1.40pm.

The van’s male driver and another passenger are both fighting for their lives after being critically injured in the crash.

The Northern Territory is the only state or territory not to record any road deaths since the holiday toll started on Wednesday.

The national road toll period runs from 0001 December 23, 2015 until 2359 January 3, 2016, local times.


Η Λίβερπουλ «φρέναρε» τη Λέστερ, «Χ» η Τσέλσι, κατήφορο η Γιουνάιτεντ


Ο νόμος του «Ανφιλντ» μέτρησε για ακόμα μια φορά και η Λίβερπουλ νίκησε 1-0 τη Λέστερ, για τη 18η αγωνιστική της Premier League, γνωστή και ως «Boxing Day».

Η ομάδα του Γιούργκεν Κλοπ κυριάρχησε από το πρώτο λεπτό, εκμηδένισε το «φονικό δίδυμο» των φιλοξενούμενων (αλλαγή έγιναν οι Βάρντι, Μαχρέζ) και υποχρέωσε τη Λέστερ στην πρώτη της ήττα μετά από ακριβώς τρεις μήνες (26 Σεπτεμβρίου, 2-5 από την Αρσεναλ).

Ετσι, το βράδυ η Αρσεναλ θα έχει την ευκαιρία να κλείσει την ημέρα μόνη στην κορυφή της βαθμολογίας. Απαραίτητη προϋπόθεση, να περάσει από την δύσκολη έδρα της Σαουθάμπτον.

Κατά τα άλλα, η εκπληκτική Γουότφορντ έφυγε με θετικό αποτέλεσμα (2-2) από την έδρα της Τσέλσι, ενώ η… τραγωδία της Αστον Βίλα συνεχίζεται, καθώς μετά το 1-1 εναντίον της Γουέστ Χαμ οι «Χωριάτες» παραμένουν χωρίς νίκη από την πρεμιέρα (8 Αυγούστου) και ήδη βρίσκονται δέκα βαθμούς μακριά από την σωτηρία.

Νωρίτερα στον πρώτο αγώνα της ημέρας, μετά τις Μπόρνμουθ και Νόριτς η Μάντσεστερ Γιουνάιτεντ φρόντισε να «αναστήσει» αγωνιστικά και την Στόουκ Σίτι. Η ομάδα του Φαν Γκάαλ, η οποία έχει να γνωρίσει τη χαρά της νίκης στο πρωτάθλημα από τις 21 Νοεμβρίου, ηττήθηκε 2-0 και από την Στόουκ Σίτι στο «Μπριτάνια Στέντιουμ».

Τα τέρματα της αναμέτρησης, η οποία δεν αποκλείεται να αποτελέσει το «κύκνειο άσμα» του Ολλανδού τεχνικού στον πάγκο της Γιουνάιτεντ, σημείωσαν οι Μπόγιαν Κρκιτς στο 19ο λεπτό και Αρναούτοβιτς στο 26ο λεπτό με εκπληκτικό σουτ έξω από την περιοχή.

Με γκολ του Τόμας Κλέβερλι στον 3ο και τελευταίο λεπτό των καθυστερήσεων, η Εβερτον πέρασε με νίκη από το «St James’ Park» επικρατώντας 1-0 της Νιούκαστλ. Ετσι, κατάφερε να ανέβει στο πρώτο μισό του βαθμολογικού πίνακα και παράλληλα να αφήσει τους «ανθρακωρύχους» στη ζώνη του υποβιβασμού.

Αποτελέσματα, σκόρερ και βαθμολογία:

Στόουκ Σίτι-Μάντσεστερ Γ. 2-0
(19΄ Μπόγιαν Κρκιτς, 26΄ Αρναούτοβιτς)

Άστον Βίλα-Γουέστ Χαμ 1-1
(62΄πεν. Αγιού – 45+3΄ Κρέσγουελ)

Μπόρνμουθ-Κρίσταλ Πάλας 0-0

Τσέλσι-Γουότφορντ 2-2
(32΄,65΄ Ντιέγκο Κόστα – 42΄πεν. Ντίνι, 56΄ Ιγκάλο)

Λίβερπουλ-Λέστερ 1-0
(63΄ Μπεντέκε)

Μάντσεστερ Σίτι-Σάντερλαντ 4-1
(13΄ Στέρλινγκ, 17΄ Τουρέ, 22΄ Μπονί, 54΄ Ντε Μπράιν – 59΄ Μπορίνι)

Σουόνσι-Γουέστ Μπρομ 1-0
(9΄ Κι)

Τότεναμ-Νόριτς 3-0
(26΄πεν.,42΄ Κέιν, 80΄ Κάρολ)

Νιούκαστλ-Εβερτον (19:30)
Σαουθάμπτον-Αρσεναλ (21:45)

ΒΑΘΜΟΛΟΓΙΑ (σε 18 αγώνες)
Λέστερ 38
Άρσεναλ 36 -17αγ.
Μάντσεστερ Σίτι 35
Τότεναμ 32
Κρίσταλ Πάλας 30
Μάντσεστερ Γιουν. 29
Γουότφορντ 29
Λίβερπουλ 27
Στόουκ Σίτι 26
Γουέστ Χαμ 26
Έβερτον 23 -17αγ.
Σαουθάμπτον 21 -17αγ.
Γουέστ Μπρομ 20
Μπόρνμουθ 20
Τσέλσι 19
Σουόνσι 18
Νόριτς 17
Νιουκάστλ 17 -17αγ.
Σάντερλαντ 12
Άστον Βίλα 8


World’s most obese man dies two months after weight-loss surgery


A Mexican man who had weighed as much as 450kg died in an ambulance after a heart attack on Christmas Day.

A Mexican man once regarded as the world’s most obese has died of heart failure at the age of 38, two months after bariatric surgery to lose weight.

Andres Moreno Sepulveda, who had weighed as much as 450 kilograms, died en route to hospital in the northwestern state of Sonora on Christmas Day, a friend told DPA.

“He was doing well, but he had had two previous heart attacks. He became short of breath, and died in the ambulance,” said Carmen Palacios, who had been helping him during his rehabilitation process over the past year.

Moreno Sepulveda had slimmed down to 320kg before undergoing gastric bypass surgery to reduce his stomach.

His doctor said following the procedure that they hoped to get him down to about 85kg eventually.


Manchester Utd lose again, 0-2 to Stoke!


A stirring first-half display helped Stoke City hand Manchester United a third consecutive defeat in the Barclays Premier League, as Mark Hughes’ side downed the visitors 2-0 at the Britannia Stadium on Boxing Day.

United came to Stoke on the back of six matches without a win in all competitions and four in the league, and first-half goals by Bojan Krkic and Marko Arnautovic ensured another miserable day for Louis van Gaal.

The United manager opted to drop captain Wayne Rooney to the bench for tactical reasons. However, that decision did not pay dividends, with United struggling in attack before Bojan put Stoke ahead with a simple 19th-minute finish.

The Spaniard capitalised on a defensive error from Memphis Depay to open the scoring but there was nothing fortunate about Stoke’s second, which came in the 26th minute courtesy of a stunning long-range strike from Arnautovic.

Rooney was brought on for Memphis at half-time but, although United improved in the second half, they were unable to produce a comeback and have lost four matches in a row in the same season for the first time since 1961.

Arnautovic curled an early free-kick wide but it was a poor piece of defending that allowed Bojan to tap Stoke into the lead. Depay’s attempt at a defensive diving header presented the ball to Glen Johnson, who pulled the ball back for Bojan to prod in with David De Gea stranded.

Just six minutes later Arnautovic doubled the buoyant hosts’ advantage in magnificent fashion.

The Austrian unleashed a fierce swerving right-footed effort that flew beyond De Gea after Bojan’s free-kick had struck the wall.

Depay forced Butland into a low save with a 30-yard free-kick but the match would have been beyond United had Arnautovic not curled wide when one-on-one with De Gea having been put through by Bojan.

United dominated possession following Rooney’s introduction and were denied a route back into the game as Butland produced an excellent point-blank save to thwart Marouane Fellaini after the Belgian had met the United captain’s low cross.

De Gea did well to prevent Ashley Young from turning a cross into his own net and make it 3-0 and it was Stoke who finished the stronger.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal: “My thoughts are that we didn’t dare to play football in the first half and then we gave a very bad goal away. That was too much. They scored from a free-kick and then it was half-time.

“We have spoken with each other and I have to say the second half was much better, we created one or two chances and you have to score. Then the belief is coming back and we played better in the second half, but the problem is we didn’t dare to play. That is my analysis.”

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes: “It was another tremendous performance from us, and at key times a very professional one I would suggest. On another day we could have scored another goal or two so that is the only slight disappointment from today.

“To win the game 2-0 given the determination United would have had coming here today is hugely satisfying and I don’t think anybody can have any complaints at the outcome of the game.”


Liverpool stop Leicester 1-0


Liverpool ended a run of four matches without a win as Christian Benteke’s second-half strike handed Barclays Premier League leaders Leicester City a 1-0 defeat, their first away from home in the league this season.

Claudio Ranieri’s side struggled to make an impact against their Merseyside rivals at Anfield on Boxing Day and failed to score for the first time in the Barclays Premier League this season.

Divock Origi came close twice in the first half before he was forced off with a hamstring injury, but his replacement Benteke fired in Roberto Firmino’s cross with 63 minutes played to clinch a much-needed victory for Jurgen Klopp and condemn Leicester to just a second league defeat of the season.

Manchester City recovered from their defeat by Arsenal with a ruthless 4-1 victory over Sunderland, but there were concerns as captain Vincent Kompany limped off on his comeback from injury.

Manuel Pellegrini’s side turned on the style at the Etihad Stadium with the recalled Raheem Sterling and Wilfried Bony part of an excellent attacking unit alongside Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva.

Sterling opened the scoring with a header and Yaya Toure quickly doubled the lead in superb fashion from long range.

Bony headed in his fourth goal in his last six appearances, De Bruyne got on the scoresheet with his 10th goal in all competitions this season and, after Fabio Borini scored a consolation for Sunderland, Bony blazed a penalty over the crossbar.

It mattered little and City are three points adrift of Leicester, while Sunderland remain in 19th.

Harry Kane scored twice in the first half as Tottenham Hotspur boosted their hopes of a top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League with a 3-0 win over Norwich City.

Kane broke the deadlock from the penalty spot after 26 minutes before doubling both his and Spurs’ tally just before the interval with a low drive from a tight angle. Substitute Tom Carroll added a third in the 80th minute, his first league goal with a well-struck shot from outside the area.

The result means Mauricio Pochettino’s side sit two points clear of Crystal Palace in fourth place. Norwich remain 17th, a place above Newcastle United on goal difference ahead of the Magpies’ evening match with Everton.

Oscar missed a late penalty to deny Guus Hiddink a winning start to his second spell in charge of Chelsea as Watford claimed a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge.

The defending Barclays Premier League champions beat Sunderland 3-1 last weekend and looked set to maintain that momentum when Diego Costa put them ahead.

However, Quique Sanchez Flores’ side drew level before the break when Troy Deeney converted a penalty following a handball from Nemanja Matic.

Watford continued to look dangerous after the interval and moved ahead in the 56th minute, Odion Ighalo setting a club record by scoring in his fifth successive BPL match.

But they were denied a historic away win when Costa equalised.

Oscar missed the chance to secure three points and successive league wins for the first time this season when he sent his spot-kick over the bar with 10 minutes remaining after Eden Hazard was fouled.

Chelsea were handed a further blow when Costa was shown a fifth yellow card, ruling him out of their next match against Manchester United.

Ki Sung-yueng’s early goal earned Swansea City an important 1-0 victory at home to West Bromwich Albion, their first victory in eight matches.

The Swans came into the match winless since 24 October, with their poor run of form leaving them in relegation trouble and prompting the exit of Garry Monk, the manager.

The win for caretaker manager Alan Curtis guided his team out of the bottom three to 18th place, two points below West Brom.

The goal came after Angel Rangel’s shot hit a post and ricocheted off Boaz Myhill, who could not gather, allowing Ki to race in and stab the ball over the line from close range.

Jordan Ayew continued his impressive form to earn Aston Villa a 1-1 draw at home to West Ham United.

The Aston Villa forward converted a spot-kick for his fifth goal of the season after Angelo Ogbonna had brought down Rudy Gestede. This cancelled out a goal from Aaron Cresswell, who had opened the scoring seconds before the half-time whistle.

Despite the point for Villa that closes to four the gap on Sunderland at the bottom, Remi Garde, the manager, remains without a win since replacing Tim Sherwood, while West Ham have not tasted victory in eight matches, drawing their last five.

AFC Bournemouth were denied a fourth consecutive victory as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Crystal Palace at the Vitality Stadium.
Some of the best chances fell to AFC Bournemouth’s former Palace striker Glenn Murray, but he failed to score as both sides felt the absence of key players who might have made the difference.

Without Connor Wickham in attack, Palace laboured in front of goal and AFC Bournemouth became the first team to keep a clean sheet at home against Alan Pardew’s men since Leicester City two months earlier.

The draw took AFC Bournemouth to 20 points before the halfway point in the season. Palace, meanwhile, sit fifth, two points shy of the top four.