Monthly Archives: May 2019

Did you know … 20 facts about David Bowie

Posted on 22/05/2019 by

This article was first published on July 3, 2015 as part of Fairfax Media’s coverage of the David Bowie Is exhibition at ACMI.

1. Born David Robert Jones, Bowie changed his name in 1965, to avoid confusion with Davy Jones from The Monkees.

2. First band was called Davie Jones and the King Bees (1964), then came the Manish Boys, the Lower Third and the Buzz.

3. Theories abound about Bowie’s eyes. Many say it was a playground fight at school that led to him having two different coloured eyes – his eye was scratchedwith a fingernail (or stabbed with a compass in some versions), which caused a paralysed pupil. Others say he has a condition known as heterochromia, which enlarges one of the pupils and causes the eye colours to look different.

4. His first LP,David Bowie, was released on the same day asSergeant Pepper’s, on June 1, 1967. In stark contrast to the Beatles’ album, Bowie’s was not a commercial success. Looking back, he sees that as a positive: “In a way, if anything had happened for me in the mid-60s, I mighty well have been cut off from an awful lot of influences.”

5. In 1967, Bowie thought of becoming a Buddhist monk. He stayed briefly in Scotland at the Buddhist retreat Eskdalemuir.

6. Retired for the first time as early as 1973, announced at a show at the Hammersmith Odeon in London. “This is the last show we’ll ever do…” he said. Turned out it was Ziggy Stardust retiring, not Bowie.

7. John Lennon co-wroteFamewith Bowie and Carlos Alomar.

8. David Bowie sees himself more as an actor than a musician.

9. The Elephant Manwith Bowie in the title role was a big hit on Broadway in 1980.

10. Married model Iman in Florence in 1992. They met on a blind date arranged by a mutual friend.

11.Bowie played his good mate Andy Warhol in the filmBasquiatin 1996.

12. Always ahead of the curve, he formed the first artist-created internet service provider, Bowienet, in 1998.

13. A heart attack put paid to Bowie’s plans to tour the world in 2004.

14. Managed to keep his first album release in a decade secret untilThe Stars Are Out Tonight(from albumThe Next Day) hit the internet, released via his own label.

15. His children are Duncan Jones – once Zowie, born 1971 – who is a filmmaker and whose first feature film was entitledMoon(2009) and won a BAFTA; and Alexandria “Lexi” Zahra Jones, who was born in 2000.

16. Recent filmBandslamfinishes with Bowie ringing up a kid he discovered on the internet and saying he wants to produce his music.

17. Michael C. Hall, ofDexterfame, will star inLazarus, a musical based onThe Man Who Fell To Earth, opening in New York in December. He’ll play Thomas Newton, the character played by Bowie in the 1976 film.

18. His chosen name references the bowie knife, named after Jim Bowie – an American frontiersman and adventurer.

19. He started playing sax as a teenager, at secondary school.

20. His 50th birthday party was widely televised; his son was one of the camera crew.

Industrial relations reforms: Crossbenchers step up pressure over secret report

Posted on 22/05/2019 by

Senator Glenn Lazarus said he would ask for a redacted version of the royal commission report. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Royal commissioner Dyson Heydon said a volume of his report neeed to be confidential to protect witnesses. Photo: Louise Kennerley

Crossbench senators key to the success of the Turnbull government’s industrial relations reforms are increasing the pressure to release a secret report produced by the trade union royal commission.

Senators Glenn Lazarus, Jacqui Lambie and Ricky Muir last year voted against bills to reinstate a Howard-era building watchdog and to impose stricter penalties on union officials who breach their duties, with Labor and the Greens. The Senate twice rejected the latter bill, leaving open a potential trigger for a double-dissolution election.

The Coalition will try again this year to pass both bills, following the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption hearings. The commission released a five-volume final report last month.

Commissioner Dyson Heydon found that union misconduct was “widespread” and “deep-seated”.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has invited Senator Lazarus, an independent, and n Motoring Enthusiast Party senator Ricky Muir to briefings on the reforms, according to their offices.

Senator Lazarus and Senator Lambie, also an independent, have vowed to continue opposing government bills on industrial relations until the sixth volume of the royal commission’s report to the government – the only one kept confidential – has been released.

Mr Heydon, a former High Court judge, said in his interim report last year that the confidential volume involved 29 threats to witnesses.

The volume needed to be confidential “to protect the physical wellbeing of those witnesses and their families,” he said. “This is unfortunate, because the confidential volume reveals grave threats to the power and authority of the n state.”

Senator Lazarus said on Monday that he would ask Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Mr Heydon for a redacted version of volume six, and was willing to sign a confidentiality agreement on its contents. He had previously opposed the bills because the commission had not yet concluded.

He said he would support the government’s IR changes if they protected workers’ rights to change unions in light of misconduct, and if he had access to the report “so I can make an informed decision when considering the upcoming bills”.

Mr Heydon last year refused Senator Lambie’s requests for access to the report, with witnesses’ names redacted, saying in a letter seen by Fairfax Media, that this would not give witnesses “effective protection”.

Senator Lambie has also said she will not support the n Building and Construction Commission bill until the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union has been deregistered.

Mr Turnbull vowed to make union reform an election issue if the Senate blocked new laws.

Ms Cash was not available for comment.

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Trans-Pacific Partnership will barely benefit China, says World Bank report

Posted on 22/05/2019 by

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Trade Minister Andrew Robb. Photo: Andrew Meares Signatories to the TPP include , Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Vietnam.

stands to gain almost nothing from the mega trade deal sealed with 11 other nations including United States, Japan, and Singapore, the first comprehensive economic analysis finds.

Prepared by staff from the World Bank, the study says the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership would boost ‘s economy by just 0.7 per cent by the year 2030.

The annual boost to growth would be less than one half of one 10th of 1 per cent.

Other members of the TPP stand to benefit much more, according to the analysis. Vietnam’s economy would be 10 per cent bigger by 2030, Malaysia’s 8 per cent bigger, New Zealand’s 3 per cent bigger, and Singapore’s 3 per cent bigger.

The study explains that highly developed nations such as are either relatively reliant on things other than trade for economic growth or are already fairly free of trade restrictions.

and the United States benefit the least from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The study says it would boost the US economy by only 0.4 per cent by 2030.

Non-members would suffer as members directed trade to other members. The biggest loser would be Thailand, whose exports are set to fall 2 per cent while Vietnam’s grow 30 per cent.

Since sealing the deal in October the n government has been reluctant to commission an economic analysis of its effects, turning down an offer from the Productivity Commission.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the deal as a “gigantic foundation stone”, saying it woulddeliver “more jobs, absolutely”.

It opens up trade between members but makes trade more difficult with non-members through a process known as “cumulative rules of origin” where members lose privileges if they source inputs from countries outside the TPP.

The Productivity Commission has been strongly critical of the provisions saying that they turn so-called free trade agreements into “preferential” agreements.

The Partnership also requires members to sign up to tough intellectual property provisions and to submit to investor-state dispute settlement procedures administered by outside tribunals.

World Trade Online says the negotiating parties are planning to sign the agreement in New Zealand on February 4. It says Chile has confirmed the date and some trade ministers have already made arrangements to travel to Auckland, but it says New Zealand has yet to issue formal invitations.

The deal will not come into place until it has been ratified by at least 6 of the 12 signatories representing 85 per cent of their combined gross domestic product.

President Obama is expected to use Tuesday’s State of the Union address to push for US ratification.

has to table the agreementin Parliament for 20 joint sitting days and consider a report from the joint standing committee on treaties before it can ratify the agreement.

Labor has yet to announce its position. It has said previously that it opposes investor-state dispute settlement procedures but has agreed to them in the Korea and China free trade agreements.

A spokeswoman for Trade Minister Andrew Robb said the agreement would deliver enormous benefits by driving integration in the fast-growing Asia-Pacific, and establishing one set of trading rules across 12 countries.

“The World Bank report demonstrates that all 12 member countries – representing around 40 per cent of global GDP – will experience economic growth and increased exports,” she said.

Peter Martin is economics editor of The Age.

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Canberra ATP Challenger: Chinan teenager Alex De Minaur goes down in three sets

Posted on 22/05/2019 by

n teenager Alex De Minaur won the first set before going down to American Noah Rubin 6-7, 6-2, 6-4 in the first round of the Canberra ATP Challenger at the Canberra Tennis Centre on Monday. Photo: Jay CronanIt was the moment that highlighted the immense potential in n teenager Alex De Minaur.

Down 15-30 and 4-5 in the first set, the 16-year-old ended a long rally with a crisp backhand winner across the face of his American opponent Noah Rubin to the applause of the small crowd on court five at the Canberra Tennis Centre.

Those are the sort of elegant shots that carried De Minaur to the semi-finals of last year’s boys singles at the US Open.

De Minaur blitzed through the first set tie-break, but wasn’t able to hold off his more experienced rival in a agonising three-set loss in the opening round of the $75,000 Canberra ATP Challenger on Monday.

The 7-6, 2-6, 4-6 defeat will be used as a valuable lesson in the youngster’s development in making the leap from the junior ranks to the seniors.

“His experience helped him win this match today,” De Minaur said.

“I think at big times I crumbled a bit and didn’t play the right shots.

“I thought I played a good match, but playing against the big guys you can’t have moments where you lose focus.

“You have to be on top of your game the whole match and one little lapse can cost you a set.”

After breezing through the tie-break 7-0, De Minaur had his serve broken early in the second set as Rubin levelled the match.

It could have gone either way until De Minaur made a crucial mistake early in the third set.

“I came into the net and I had a volley I should have put away and he hit a pretty decent lob out of it,” De Minaur said.

“All the credit to him, but I should have finished off that volley and if I had made a good first serve I would have held.

“There’s a lot of positives I can take out of this match and I know I’m not that far away from these guys.”

De Minaur will now travel to Melbourne to contest the boys singles at the n Open.

“Last year was a big year for me in juniors and I started believing in myself,” he said.

“I’ll play more Futures this year and that will help me develop confidence and not make the cheap error in a point.”

It was better news for Maverick Banes, who breezed past Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the second round.

Banes was the only n to prevail on the opening day, with Daniel Nolan, Steven De Waard and Blake Mott all losing their first round matches.

Nolan was no match for seventh seed Evgeny Donskoy, De Waard went down to Frank Moser while No.2 seed Marcel Granollers prevailed against Mott.

The tournament’s highest-ranked n, Matthew Ebden, begins his campaign on Tuesday when he takes on Spain’s Daniel Gimeno-Traver.

In other matches, top seed Paolo Lorenzi faces Stefano Napolitano in an all-Italian showdown, Santiago Giraldo goes up against Israel’s Dudi Sela and Croatia’s Ivan Dodig will be a tough opponent for local hope Dayne Kelly.

Canberra ATP Challenger: Round one: Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN) bt Jarryd Chaplin 3-6, 6-1, 6-4; Maverick Banes bt Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 6-3, 6-4; Xin Gao (CHN) bt Hiroyasu Ehara (JPN) 6-1, 6-2; 7-Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) bt Daniel Nolan 6-1, 6-1; Frank Moser (GER) bt Steven De Waard 6-4, 6-3; 3-Daniel Munoz De Lanava (ESP) bt Sergey Betov 6-4, 6-3; Noah Rubin (USA) bt Alex De Minaur 6-7, 6-2, 6-4. 4-Marcel Granollers (ESP) bt Blake Mott 7-6, 6-3

Tuesday: Centre court: 10am: Quentin Halys (FRA) v 8-Taro Daniel (JPN). Not before 11.30am: Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP) v Matthew Ebden. Followed by: 3-Sergey Betov (BLR)/Aliaksandr Bury (BLR) v Blake Ellis/Adam Walton. Not before 4pm: Dudi Sela (ISR) v 2-Santiago Giraldo (COL). Court 5: 10am: Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) v Andrew Whittington. Not before 11.30am: 1-Paolo Lorenzi (ITA) v Stefano Napolitano (ITA). Not before 2pm: 5-Ivan Dodig (CRO) v Dayne Kelly. Not before 4pm: Konstantinos Economidis (GRE)/Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) v Daniel Gimeno-Traver (ESP)/Daniel Munoz De La Nava (ESP). Court 7: 10am: Daniel Hobart v Max Purcell. Not before 11.30am: 6-Diego Schwartzman (ARG) v Alexei Popyrin. Not before 2pm: Daniel Hobart/Daniel Nolan v 4-Carsten Ball/Frank Moser (GER). Followed by: Hiroyasu Ehara (JPN)/Xin Gao (CHN) v Steven De Waard/Andrew Whittington.

Chinan Open 2016: Tomic earns a top-16 seeding, and joined by Stosur and Kyrgios in the top 32

Posted on 22/05/2019 by

Bernard Tomic has earned a top-16 grand slam seeding for the first time, the absence of world No. 9 Richard Gasquet ensuring the Queenslander will avoid an n Open meeting with the top eight – including five-time defending champion Novak Djokovic – until at least the fourth round.

Tomic’s semi-final appearance at last week’s Brisbane International delivered a career-high No. 17 on Monday’s ATP rankings list on which the Melbourne Park seedings will be based. Nick Kyrgios, who remains at No.30 after starting his season at the non-points-bearing Hopman Cup exhibition, will be the other seeded n man.

The confirmed no-shows of Lucie Safarova (illness) and US Open champion Flavia Pennetta (retired) will elevate Sam Stosur from 27 to at least 25, although her position could improve should any of the host of top women battling health issues – a worryingly lengthy roll-call headed by top seed and titleholder Serena Williams – translate into further withdrawals.

If so, that would also assist Hopman Cup co-winner Daria Gavrilova, currently 36th gain a maiden slam seeding among the protected 32. Russian-born Gavrilova will be contesting her second Open as an n passport-holder, having been granted citizenship in November, while permanent resident Ajla Tomljanovic (No.65) can also represent her adopted country at the majors.

Djokovic, meanwhile, has arrived in Melbourne as an overwhelming favourite to claim an Open-era record-extending Norman Brookes Challenge Cup following his 6-1, 6-2 obliteration of world No.5 Rafael Nadal in the Qatar Open final.

Third-ranked Roger Federer was planning a brief rest from the practice court to help overcome the last lingering effects of the flu that flattened him in Brisbane, and left the 17-time major winner feeling leg-weary and “one step too slow” during Sunday night’s 6-4, 6-4 finals loss to Canadian Milos Raonic.

“Considering the week I’ve had, I’m actually quite happy,” said Federer, after the world No.3  failed to clinch his 88th career title on Pat Rafter Arena. “That’s why I’m not down or anything or disappointed. If I would’ve known I would’ve made the finals five days ago I would’ve been unbelievably happy.

“I’ve still got a cough and the throat is a bit weird. Definitely got to make sure I get over it as quickly as possible. As long as I keep on playing and doing all that stuff it’s not going to go away faster. So I am going to rest up tomorrow. Also have to see, but then probably hit the practice courts again. Practice you can manage how hard you’re going to do it. Obviously health is No. 1.”



1. Novak Djokovic (SRB)

2. Andy Murray (GBR)

3. Roger Federer (SUI)

4. Stan Wawrinka (SUI)

5. Rafael Nadal (ESP)

6. Tomas Berdych (CZE)

7. Kei Nishikori (JPN)

8. David Ferrer (ESP)

9. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)

10. John Isner (USA)

11. Kevin Anderson (RSA)

12. Marin Cilic (CRO)

13. Milos Raonic (CAN)

14. Giles Simon (FRA)

15. David Goffin (BEL)

16. Bernard Tomic (AUS)

Other: 29. Nick Kyrgios


1. Serena Williams (USA)

2. Simona Halep (ROU)

3. Garbine Muguruza (ESP)

4. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)

5. Maria Sharapova (RUS)

6. Petra Kvitova (CZE)

7. Angelique Kerber (GER)

8. Venus Williams (USA)

9. Karolina Pliskova (CZE)

10. Carla Suarez Navarro (ESP)

11. Timea Bacsinszky (SUI)

12. Belinda Bencic (SUI)

13. Roberta Vinci (ITA)

14. Victoria Azarenka (BLR)

15. Madison Keys (USA)

16. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)

Other: 25. Sam Stosur (AUS)

* Based on WTA and ATP Tour rankings as at 11/1/16. Subject to withdrawals.