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.

Short story: Coming Up Roses

Posted on 22/04/2019 by

SHE hears him outside the bedroom window -the sound of the spade like a hacking cough as he digs, slicing into soil.

He grunts as he leans into the job. She hears the crack of branches breaking, the thud as he throws them aside. He’s demolishing the rose garden.

There’s one remaining rose in a jar on the dresser; he promised not to dig up the bushes before this year’s bloom was over, and at least he’s kept his word.

She savours the deep burgundy of this lone survivor, its image reflected in the mirror behind it as though it would reproduce itself in defiance.

Worth 1000 words: Margaret Leggatt’s winning short story Coming Up Roses was inspired by Max Mason-Hubers’s photo of a man and his dog resting in the shade.

He’s right, of course, this time. Roses weren’t the best option for that bed, shaded as it was until mid-afternoon. It produced few blossoms, but the colour and fragrance when they appeared took her breath away.

She never picked them, but left them there, outside the bedroom window, so the aroma would drift in when the breeze was right, filling the room with sweetness.

Miriam rouses herself and moves the jar away from the mirror. Defiance never helps.

“Ah, you’re awake,” he calls, spotting her. “Enjoy your nap? Thought I’d get started before you changed your mind.”

She watches him from the window, his back and shoulders straining, his face glistening with sweat, red with exertion. He isn’t a young man anymore.

Miriam was drawn to Graeme when they met by the way he tilted his head to one side and hesitated, considering before he spoke; because of his seriousness. She was tired, at the time, of flatterers, of men too quick with the right thing to say. She’d been hurt of course, and recently, by such a one. His brooding quietness answered some need in Miriam. He had depths to plumb. She was intrigued.

They started out like most young families of their generation: a rented flat, three kids before they could really afford them, the slow haul up the ladder to a degree of security.

Miriam goes through to the back of the house, to the kitchen they’ve recently renovated. He comes in through the back door, wipes his face on his sleeve and moves beside her to pour a glass of water.

They’re cramped, there by the sink. “I knew we shouldn’t have put in so many cupboards, Miriam. I knew we’d have no space to move. I wish we’d thought about it longer. I should have known it wouldn’t work.”

Miriam smiles and nods. It is small, but she loves it. She loves having the room to store things, and the broad marble bench with space to spread out when she’s cooking. She knows not to disagree. No point.

Graeme sits at the table, takes a long drink and sighs. “That’s that, then. Those roses were wrong for that spot. I should have known. Thorny, unproductive things; a waste of space.”

Miriam smiles and joins him at the table.

This kitchen setting was their first purchase when they bought the house. Thirty years ago it was perfect – sturdy, and big enough for the five of them.

Now, of course, it dominates their diminished kitchen space. Miriam knows every dent and scratch in its surface. She remembers every set of birthday candles that have marked the years. She has pushed it against a wall and removed the extra chairs, but still, it leaves little room for movement. Graeme says nothing as she squeezes in across from him, but she reads his face.

It isn’t clear to Miriam exactly when discontent became the theme of their life together, when Graeme’s youthful introspection and self-analysis, the qualities that attracted her in the beginning,revealed their true colours, and Graeme became lost in regrets.

It isn’t clear when the effort of arguing for the positives became too hard.

“We could have put on an extension,” he says now. “I should never have settled for that second-rate job offer. I should have held out for more pay. I would have got it. If only I’d waited. We wouldn’t be here now, in a house that’s too small, and the boys never coming to stay because there’s no room. We’d have been on easy street.”

Miriam casts her eyes down and gathers her wits. What has made him remember that, at this moment?

The words are out before she can catch them, and she knows it’s too late. “You did what you thought best at the time. No-one can tell the future. You were a new graduate, and the company’s been good to us, really. We’ve been all right. The boys are just busy with their own lives, that’s all.”

“Easy for you to say,” he snaps. “You don’t know how hard it’s been, with my brothers all sailing through life, while I’m stuck in a dead-end job with a wife who always thinks everything’s rosy. Why can’t you face reality sometimes? We’re going nowhere. Every move we make is cursed.”

Miriam stands. She’s seen this coming for days now – Graeme’s burst of enthusiasm and energy, the rose-bush removal campaign, his exertion to dig them out today, to have them gone and replaced with something better. She’s been there before. She knows the signs. But it doesn’t get any easier.

She returns to the bedroom. There’s nothing she can say. He’ll finish his drink, go outside and brood for a time.

She remembers reading something about two dogs, a black one and a white one, fighting for dominance in each human soul. Graeme knows the black one well. He feeds it.

She imagines a large, gentle, pale dog, its tail wagging, watchful eyes turned towards Graeme. She imagines it leaning in so close that he could reach out and touch it, if only he would.

Outside her window the shadows lengthen, this last afternoon of summer. She lifts the rose from its water and drops it in the waste bin.

Fears of terrorist merger from ‘poison’ in south-east Asia

Posted on 22/04/2019 by

A video reportedly showing an Islamic State training camp in the Philippines. Photo: YouTube Videos posted online claim to show Philippines-based Islamic State militants training. Photo: YouTube

An Islamic State militant holds the group’s flag as he stands on a tank they captured from Syrian government forces in the town of Qaryatain, south-west of Palmyra, in August. Photo: via AP

Radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir is seen behind bars before his hearing verdict at the South Jakarta District Court in 2011. Photo: Dimas Ardian

Jakarta/Bangkok: A merger of terrorist groups pledging allegiance to Islamic State in the Philippines could signal a new threat to the region should radicals from Indonesia also join forces, according to an expert on violent extremism.

A new video from the strife-torn southern Philippines island of Mindanao suggests four Islamic terrorist groups in the long-running insurgency have joined to declare allegiance to IS.

The video purports to show militants carrying IS flags and the heavily armed commanders of the groups that had declared their allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said was “concerned about the growing influence” of Islamic State in the region and increased co-operation between security agencies was under way in response to the threat posed by these and other extremists.

The groups, including the brutal Abu Sayyaf​, have for years justified using violence for extreme Islamist causes, but analysts say they have presented an ideological facade to cover criminal acts, including lucrative kidnappings for ransom.

“This could set a precedent in the region of disparate groups coming together and declaring bayah (pledging allegiance),” said Professor Anne Azza Aly, an expert on violent extremism, from Edith Cowan University.

“I think the level of transnational co-ordination that could come out of that between a group in Indonesia and a group in the Philippines would signal a heightened threat for Indonesia as well as for the region.”

The southern Philippines groups are already known to have recruited several notorious Indonesian terrorists, including militants from Jemaah Islamiyah, the group responsible for the Bali bombings and other attacks in south-east Asia over a decade.

In late November Philippine soldiers said they had killed Indonesian Ibrahim Alih, also known as Abdul Fatah, who was linked to the bombing of the n embassy in Jakarta in 2004.

Former n Federal Police expert and counter terrorism specialist Mark Briskey said the Mindanao conflict “poisons the entire region”.

“We’ve seen connections from the region over to Malaysia and certainly to Indonesia. It’s been an ongoing sore,” Dr Briskey said.

Indonesian police reacted cautiously to the apparent merger in Mindanao and any regional implications.

Indonesian National Police spokesman Agus Rianto said the threat to Indonesia depended on whether extremist groups in the two countries “communicate and make a synergy”.

“Many in Indonesia have claimed they supported ISIS but so far, thank God, no big problems have occurred,” he said.

He said Indonesia was co-operating with neighbouring countries, including police in the Philippines.

Malaysia radicals believed to be in Philippines

Radicals from Malaysia are also believed to have fled to the Philippines to train and recruit IS fighters, and although the Filipino groups began displaying black flags symbolising support for al-Qaeda as early as 2011, the the latest video suggests they might have agreed to consolidate their forces.

The video was posted on January 4, according to the online news webite Rappler, and showed Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon​ marching with other extremist leaders who operate from bases on nearby islands. The video has since being removed.

Indonesia specialist Greg Fealy, from the n National University, said it was unclear whether the central leadership of ISIS in Syria and Iraq was  interested in spawning a formal organisation in south-east Asia.

Associate Professor Fealy said ISIS has been willing to accept recruits from the region as well as any funds raised, but despite its large Muslim population, fighters from south-east Asia only played a peripheral role.

Indonesia was on the highest possible alert for a terror attack over the holiday period, with 11 alleged terrorists – suspected to be planning an attack in December – arrested in the lead-up to Christmas.

21 Indonesia groups state IS support

Adhe Bhakti, a researcher at Centre for Radicalism and De-radicalisation Studies in Jakarta, said there were 21 groups in Indonesia that had stated they supported IS.

But he said these groups were fragmented.

“They are just small local groups like in Central Java or in South Sulawesi. Also, there is no emir or leader to unite them. Most importantly the government is monitoring their movement very closely,” he said.

Indonesian terrorism analyst Noor Huda Ismail said links between Indonesia and the Philippines were nothing new.

“There is a network of Indonesians fighting in Mindanao now,” he said.

In 2012, an Indonesian counter-terrorism squad killed Farhan, a suspected militant who had returned from the south Philippines in 2010.

Farhan was the stepson of convicted terrorist Abu Omar and attended the school radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Bashir co-founded.

‘He did not know what ISIS was’

Meanwhile, Bashir will apply for a judicial review of his 15-year jail sentence in a court in Central Java on Tuesday.

Bashir was acquitted over charges relating to the Bali bombings but convicted in 2011 of supporting a terror training camp in Aceh.

He pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State in 2014 while behind bars in a prison on Nusakambangan, the penal island where ns Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan were executed last year.

But his lawyer, Achmad Michdan, said Bashir no longer supported IS.

“He did in the past because he did not know what ISIS was. Now after he knows what ISIS is he does not support it anymore. He only supports anyone or any organisation that supports the upholding of the Koran and Hadith.”

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Brumbies chase big names as Waratahs sign Wycliff Palu on a $50,000 bargain

Posted on 22/04/2019 by

Negotiations continue: The Brumbies hope to re-sign Christian Lealiifano. Photo: Jeffrey ChanBrumbies’ touching tribute to grieving teammate

The ACT Brumbies are being touted as championship contenders, but the NSW Waratahs fired a reminder of their rugby power when they landed one of the best bargain buys in Super Rugby history on Monday.

As the Brumbies target David Pocock and Christian Lealiifano as marquee re-signing targets, arch rivals the Waratahs managed to recruit 57-Test Wallaby Wycliff Palu on a $50,000 deal.

The significantly down-sized contract raised eyebrows in rugby circles just months after Palu was part of the Wallabies’ World Cup campaign.

The 33-year-old will be a force in Super Rugby this season if he can overcome the injury problems that have plagued his career, and he has set his sights on adding to his Test tally.

The Brumbies are putting together big-money offers for Lealiifano and Pocock as they compete with huge deals available abroad.

It is hoped Lealiifano is edging closer to a new deal in Canberra, while Pocock has started talks with the Brumbies after returning from his off-season break.

Palu has signed an extended player squad contract. EPS deals are usually reserved for players on the fringe, giving them a chance to train full-time on a minimum wage.

But after injury ruled Palu out of his season in Japan, he took an opportunity to rejoin the Waratahs.

“It’s not like I’m coming back to prove anything, I’m trying to be here to help out the side,” Palu said.

“I’m a big believer that everything happens for a reason. It’s not by bad luck or chance that I’m here again.”

The Brumbies have a squad full of international talent, including Wallabies skipper Stephen Moore, Pocock, Matt Toomua and Argentinian scrum-half Tomas Cubelli.

But lock Sam Carter said the Brumbies were refusing to look too far ahead and rely on a star-studded roster to get them wins.

“I know we’ve got a good squad on paper, but that doesn’t get the results. We have to tick all of the boxes and if we do that, we know results will fall our way,” Carter said.

Tennis stars line-up to praise Nick Kyrgios, but Andy Murray says top 15 is the goal

Posted on 22/04/2019 by

Andy Murray has challenged Nick Kyrgios to target the top 15 this year. Photo: Paul KaneWorld tennis stars are lining up to back Nick Kyrgios for a 2016 redemption mission, with Andy Murray challenging the Canberra junior to break into the top 15 by the end of the year.

Kyrgios is set to be seeded No. 29 for the first grand slam of the season when the n Open begins on Monday in Melbourne.

The two biggest n hopes have enjoyed strong starts to the year, with Bernard Tomic making the semi-finals at the Brisbane International and Kyrgios joining Daria Gavrilova to win the Hopman Cup.

But Murray, who was beaten by Kyrgios at the Hopman Cup, says hard work is the only secret to the 20-year-old rising to career-high rankings.

“He’s obliviously an incredibly talented guy and he’s very exciting to watch,” Murray said on Monday.

“He has a big game and can cause a lot of players a lot of problems.

“Thirty in the world last year – a good goal for him would be to halve his ranking again this year.

“He played very well in some of the major events. He just needs to improve his consistency through the year and if he does that, he’ll be right up at the top of the game.”

Murray was joined by grand slam great Roger Federer in backing Kyrgios to make amends this season after a controversial year on the professional circuit in 2015.

Kyrgios played at the Fast4 event in Sydney on Monday night but will move to Melbourne for the Kooyong Classic to finalise his n Open preparations.

The former Daramalan College student’s previous n Open build ups have been hampered by injuries, forcing him to withdraw from the Brisbane International in 2014 and the Hopman Cup last year.

Murray beat Kyrgios in the quarter finals in Melbourne last year, but Kyrgios turned the tables to get his first win over the world No. 2.

The Scot was not keen to get out his crystal ball and forecast what Kyrgios’ future holds.

“It’s really impossible to say. I’m not with him on a daily basis. I don’t know what his work ethic is like.

“His game, he’s capable of beating almost all of the players.

“To get to number one you have to do it through the whole year, it’s no use doing it six or seven days through the year.

“Novak (Djokovic) last year made the final of every tournament he played except one and to get to number one you have to match that sort of consistency.”

Tomic jumped to No. 17 in the rankings on Monday after his efforts in Brisbane and is poised to earn a top-16 grand slam seeding for the first time when Tennis officials finalise the draw.

It means Tomic will avoid a clash with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic until at least the fourth round while Kyrgios, ranked No. 30, will face a tougher road through the earlier stages.

Kyron “The Hitman” Dryden found guilty of assaulting ex-girlfriend

Posted on 22/04/2019 by

GUILTY: Kyron Dryden was found guilty by a magistrate of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on Monday. He will be sentenced in March. NEWCASTLE World Champion boxer Kyron“The Hitman” Dryden has been found guilty of grabbing his ex-girlfriend by the throat, pushing her head into a mirror and slamming her onto the floor after he discoveredher at another man’s house in September.

The 22-year-old Mayfield boxer, who won theInternational Boxing Organisation world youth (under-26) welterweight title in Newcastle in November, faced a hearing in Newcastle Local Court on Monday into allegations ofassault occasioning actual bodily harm, common assault andentering a building with intent to commit an indictable offence.

The court was played a video, filmed byDrydenon the day of the assaultand posted to“Snapchat”, a messaging app that records short videos or pictures that are then deleted from the recipients phone.

The video, entitled“ex-missus”,shows Dryden outside a man’s house in Mayfield where he says he has discovered“my missusis cheating on me”.

“She’s been lying to me the whole time,” Dryden says on the 10-second video clip.

“Here is her car in front of his house.”

The video clip then cuts to Dryden inside the house after hehad found his ex-girlfriend.

#BREAKING Newcastle boxer Kyron Dryden found guilty of assaulting former girlfriend. @newcastleherald

— Sam Rigney (@SamRigney) January 11, 2016

She lies on the floor covering her face.

“Here’s my missus cheating on me in the bedroom,” the video continues.

Dryden gave evidence that he was headed to the gym when he spotted his former girlfriend’s car outside a friend’shouse in Mayfield.

He called his twin brother, Darkon, and the victim’s brother before filming the “Snapchat” video.

Dryden told the court the victim’s brother didn’t believe his sister could be cheating on him and wanted proof.

Dryden said he went into the house to confirm his suspicions and denied ever touching his ex-girlfriend.

“I train every day, if I had taken hold of her throat there would be a lot more damage,” Dryden said.

The victim and the man at the house told the court Dryden and his brother barged their way into the home and when Dryden found the victim hiding behind the door he grabbed her by the throat,pushed her head into a mirror and “choke-slammed” her onto the floor, leaving her bruised and concussed.

Magistrate Alan Railton found Dryden guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, citing the injuries suffered to the victim and the discharge report from the Mater Hospital.

The charge of entering a building with intent to commit an indictable offence was dismissed and the back-up charge of common assault was withdrawn.

After he was found guilty, Dryden pleaded guilty tofour counts of contravening an apprehended violence order, which related to contacting his ex-girlfriend in the months after the assault.

He will be sentenced in March.

Dryden took to Facebook on Monday to thankhis fans for their support and sayhe was “Unfazed and carefree about the situation so far”.

“Well it’s no secret what goes on in my life anymore,” the post read.

“When you start doing well or standing out, it becomes of (sic)purpose for all national & international media outlets or people to write or comment on anything brought to attention.

“I also would like to Thank everyone for the countless messages flooding in of support.

“I urge everyone not to worry about me as I am Unfazed and carefree about the situation so far, i have bigger things on my mind.”