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April, 2019

Man, 29, stabbed in 14-hour crime spree across ACT and Queanbeyan

In a lethal rampage spanning 14 hours two teens have allegedly killed a man, stabbed another and brutally attacked a third with a tyre iron.
Nanjing Night Net

Police are investigating whether two boys, aged 15 and 16, stabbed Caltex service station attendant Zeeshan Akbar, 29, to death at Queanbeyan in an act of terrorism.

The pair were arrested in the ACT on Friday morning and it is expected they will be extradited to NSW on Saturday.

NSW Police Force Deputy Commissioner Catherine Burns said there was some evidence the spree could be terror-related or linked to drugs.

“We have two teenagers in custody and sufficient information to believe the actions of one of those teenagers may be related to terrorism,” she said.

“That information comes from physical evidence at the scene and other sources.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the circumstances of the stabbing warranted the involvement of the Joint Counter-Terrorism Team.

Friends paid tribute to Mr Akbar, a Muslim man who was hoping to get his Australian citizenship.

His friends had posted photos online of him celebrating New Year’s Eve at Sydney Harbour and sightseeing at the Blue Mountains and Collins Beach in Manly.

“This is really an unbearable loss for his family,” one friend posted.

It is believed the ordeal began about 8.10pm on Thursday with the alleged attempted robbery of the Vintage Cellars liquor store in Oaks Estate.

After fleeing the store empty handed the two teens allegedly embarked on a trail of destruction that included: Smashing a long neck beer bottle over the head of a man in Queanbeyan’s Apex Park between 8.30pm and 11.30pmBreaking into a home on Stornaway Road and bashing a man with a tyre iron between 8.30pm and 11.30pmStabbing an attendant to death at the Caltex Service station on Bungendore Road about 11.45pm???Stabbing another man in the stomach at the intersection of Southwell Place and Barracks Flat Drive about 6.20am on Friday

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the first victim allegedly approached by the two teenagers described the chilling signs of carnage to come.

The man had just finished a shift at the Oaks Estate liquor store on Thursday night when they approached him out of the darkness.

“One of them was holding something behind his back like they wanted me to think he had a gun,” he said.

“He said three times, ‘Give me the cash’.”

CCTV footage seen by Fairfax Media shows a brief scuffle, before the assailants flee empty handed.

“To think that a man was killed later that night. It’s too scary to even think about man.

“I could have been killed.”

Mr Akbar would not be so lucky when the pair allegedly entered a Caltex store on Bungendore Road just three hours later.

Police alleged the teenagers were let into the store by Mr Akbar, before they set upon him in a “horrific” stabbing.

He was found by a workmate about 11.55pm and died a short time later, Monaro police commander Superintendent Rod Smith said.

It is alleged the teens took the cash register before fleeing.

In the hours leading up to the fatal stabbing, police alleged the boys violently attacked a man in Queanbeyan’s Apex Park.

“They approached a man in the park and it is alleged they made some demands of him before hitting him over the head with a beer bottle.

“They caused him significant facial injuries.”

After that, they allegedly forced their way into a property on Stornaway Road and bludgeoned a man with a tyre iron.

Their final act came about 6.20am on Friday, when they allegedly stabbed a man in the stomach and stole his silver Ford Falcon.

A witness told The Canberra Times she peered out her window to see a man lying in the middle of the street surrounded by police cars on Southwell Place near Barracks Flat Drive.

It is understood the two boys fled the scene in the stolen car, evading police attempts to stop them as they travelled through Queanbeyan.

They were arrested a short while later by ACT police about 6.35am, on the Monaro Highway south of Isabella Plains.

NSW Police have begun extradition proceedings to bring the teenagers back across the border, with the pair expected to face court in the ACT on Saturday morning.

Prime Minister Turnbull said his thoughts were with all those affected by the violence.

“Our condolences go to the family of the victim,” he said.

“We send our prayers and best wishes to the two other victims of that evening.”

ACT Police and Emergency Services Minister Mick Gentleman said police believed the incident was an isolated matter, and there was no ongoing threat to the community.

With Rachel Olding, Megan Levy

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

Bill Nighy goes from “laughably low expectations” to his Finest hour

There is one line people have been quoting at Bill Nighy??? for the past 14 years. He even heard it from a tough-guy customs officer as he entered the US.
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“Hiya kids,” it goes. “Don’t buy drugs. Become a pop star and they give you them for free.”

That’s Billy Mack talking, the ageing rocker from Love Actually. It’s the role that changed Nighy’s life; the first step to becoming a beloved British actor.

You can still see the impact as Nighy, a dapper 67-year-old in a sharp blue suit, arrives at a Sydney cinema for a screening of his latest film, the British drama Their Finest, which has him playing an actor making a World War II propaganda film.

Outside, a small posse of fans is queuing for photos and autographs. These particular admirers – young, male and dressed mostly in black – know him from playing the squid-like Davy Jones in The Pirates of the Caribbean movies and the Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour??? in the Harry Potter series. “I loved him in The Boat that Rocked too,” confides one.

When a woman gushes that her mother loves him, Nighy feigns a grimace. “It’s always the mothers,” he says. “Sometimes the grandmothers.”

As he enters the cinema for a Q&A session, women considerably younger than grandmothers call out “Bill, Bill” and wave hello as though he’s a real-life Billy Mack.

Taking to the stage, Nighy gives a rock-star shimmy then turns on the comic charm. “They were looking for someone to play a chronically self-absorbed, pompous actor in his declining years,” he says. “And they came to me.”

Since Love Actually became a worldwide hit in 2003, Nighy has never had to audition again. “No more sitting in outer offices at 9am and then having to pretend to be on horseback and fighting with an imaginary sword in the heat of battle in front of three or four not very interested people,” he says later.

His other films include three Underworld instalments, two Best Exotic Marigold Hotels, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Shaun of the Dead, Notes on a Scandal,Hot Fuzz, Valkyrie and Total Recall.

BLA – Before Love Actually – Nighy had a respectable life as an actor. “I was doing OK, I’m always desperate to tell people,” he says. “I had a familiar English career; I was on the TV and I was in the theatre. That had already exceeded my expectations. I suppose I had what you might call laughably low expectations.”

When it came to playing romantic roles, which he was often offered because he was tall, Nighy was chronically uncomfortable. “If I was ever required to suggest I was attractive to women, I used to go to pieces,” he says.

But Love Actually showed his talent for getting laughs.

Recently, Nighy enjoyed reuniting with writer-director Richard Curtis and the cast for a short Love Actually sequel that was released for a Red Nose Day fundraiser for British charity Comic Relief. “Richard has done a great job of what might have happened to those characters in the last 14 years,” he says. “And I still fit into the trousers.”

Nighy started acting at an all-boys Catholic school in London. “I was tall, which meant I didn’t have to play girls, which was a result!,” he says.

With his father a works manager for a motor-vehicle garage and his mother a psychiatric nurse, the young Nighy wanted to be a writer. But when he fell for a girl at 17, love actually made him try acting.

“She said, ‘You could be an actor’ and I completely over-reacted,” he says. “She could have said ‘astronaut’ and I would probably have given it a shot.

“Because she kissed me, I thought we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. I had names for our children.”

He studied at the Guildford School for Dance and Drama, which he knew as the School for Prance and Murmur. While that early romance didn’t last, the acting did. He found work in plays then, in 1976, was “third bankrobber on the left” in the police series Softly Softy. Impressed with that television appearance, his father encouraged him to stick with it.

“I was always retiring,” he says. “I was thinking, ‘In a minute, I’ll find out what I’m really going to do with my life’.”

Now Nighy is acting opposite Gemma Arterton??? in Their Finest. She plays a scriptwriter brought in to supply the “women’s dialogue” for a government film to keep spirits up during the Blitz. Nighy is both pompous actor Ambrose Hilliard and, in the propaganda film within the film, boozy Uncle Frank.

“Very fortunately I still get offered quite a lot of roles,” he says. “Since Exotic Marigold Hotel, the revelation for producers was that you could make a film about people of my age and make a lot of money.

“They discovered there were apparently all these people that were over 40 or 50 or even 60 who might want to go and see a film. So I get a lot of films about groups of people of a certain age who are still having fun or haven’t given up – ‘you’re not dead yet’ movies.”

For all his joviality, Nighy is thoughtful about his work. “I try and involve myself in films that generally speaking, not to be too grand about it, will be part of the solution, not part of the problem,” he says. “All my life I’ve been, broadly speaking, in opposition to whatever’s been going on.

“Now it’s an emergency. As evidenced in America, most of the people are in opposition to what’s going on.”

Nighy has never gone back to writing – not even to attempt a screenplay. “I’ve been cowardly,” he says. “I can procrastinate at an Olympic level. It’s a fetish not to write.

“It was the thing that I chose out of all the things one could do with life but I failed because I didn’t have the courage to sit there long enough, which means I’m not a writer. Since then I get a kind of an anti-kick out of not doing things. It’s a very bad habit.”

Then Nigh remembers that’s not entirely true.

“In the old days, when you were on TV and the dialogue was absolutely terrible, you’d be in the make-up chair and you’d think ‘I can’t say that on national television’,” he says. “Then you’d rewrite the line and you’d take it to the director and they’d say ‘yeah, alright, say that.’ But apart from that, no.”

So is he, as he seems, an introvert away from acting? Almost the polar opposite of loose cannon Billy Mack?

“I don’t get out much or anything,” Nighy says, thinking the question over. “I’m not a loner or anything but I do spend a great deal of time on my own.

“But then I always did and actors often do because you’re away from home, usually in hotels or on a train or a plane or a bus. You end up spending long periods away from people you know.

“But my tendency is to withdraw. If left to my own devices with no outside attractions or influences, I seem to end up in a room on my own with a book, with John Lee Hooker playing with Van Morrison on my Bluetooth speaker. That’s my reward for doing scary things.”

Nighy’s favourite writers include fellow Brits A.S. Byatt and Martin Amis, whose new novels he buys on the day they’re released, just like he once did with Beatles records???.

“If I’m in a hotel, I’ll get up early in order to be able to read,” he says. “And those times become the most precious and the most pleasurable part of your day.

“Well … I’ve had days when other things happen. But there’s that bit where you’re alone, particularly early morning and you’ve got a cup of tea and the music playing and there’s nothing else happening.

“You try and arrange it so that you’ve got maybe 25 minutes till the man comes to the door. Those 25 minutes become completely delicious.”

There are also pleasures in acting. “On occasion, and it’s not that frequently, you feel like you know what you’re doing,” Nighy says. “There’s a particular part and for some reason you can tune into it and you think you’re presenting something which is entirely yours.

“If you get laughs, particularly on stage because they’re happening while you’re there, that is addictive. Trying to get laughs, placing them in the air so that you get them louder, better, deeper each time, that’s an endlessly fascinating and pleasurable activity. To have a thousand people all laugh at the same time … that’s gorgeous.”

The actor’s life also has rewards, sometimes experienced in solitude.

“The best bit is afterwards when you think it’s come off and you think you’ve got away with it and you’re back in your hotel room and you just thank your lucky stars. I’m not very good at straight happiness but I’m really good at relief.”

But there was one transcendent moment when Nighy remembers being truly happy – just after opening his first play in New York. “For months, with the rehearsals then previews then you open, I remember just being in a general state of alarm for a very long time,” he says. “Then, the night after we opened, the producer came over and said, ‘It’s fine, we’re going to be OK.'”

Nighy and his driver Andrew had the habit of calling into the M&M store on the way back from the theatre – “I had an M&M problem at the time” – to buy two bags of all five colours for the actor to consume at home.

“I remember coming out of the M&M store and I opened the door of the car and Andrew had Barry White on, playing Never Never Gonna Give You Up,” he says. “Suddenly, somewhere between the M&M store and the car, I came out of this general state of alarm and I realised that we’d opened and it was OK.

“I got in the car and I said to Andrew, ‘Turn that f—er up … Let’s go to Brooklyn for dessert’.

“He put the wheel between his knees and he and I were waving our arms like [we were] in a football crowd. And I was absolutely, uncomplicatedly happy. There was absolutely nothing wrong.

“I knew that the minute I put my arms down, it was over but we just kept it going with Barry singing.”

So kids, don’t buy drugs. The secret to happiness, at least for one transcendent moment, is M&Ms and Barry White.

Their Finest opens on April 20.

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

Tech girls move up

Students across regional Australia are urged to sign up forthe 2017Tech Girls Movement.
Nanjing Night Net

TECH GIRLS: The 2016 Tech Girls are Superheroes winners Claire Lau, Sophia Gianotti, and Angelicia Talevi. Photo: Steven Siewert

The non-profit initiative promotescareer opportunities in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

As part of the campaign, national competition Search for the Next Tech Girl Superhero, challenges Australian female students to build an app prototype that will make their community a better place.

The winning team has the chance to fly to San Francisco to attend Silicon Valley’s global Technovation app pitch challenge.

Tech Girls Movement founder Dr Jenine Beekhuyzen said about 60 schools had signed up to the programand is expecting 2,500 girls to enter this year.

She said they were seeking more students fromregional Australia, to allow them to learn more about careers in STEM and gain the same skills as those programs offeredin metropolitan areas.

The teams are mentored for an hour a week over the 12-week competition by a woman who works in technology.

“They act as a role model and help create a professional network. They stay in touch after the competition is over,” Dr Beekhuyzen said.

The teams come up with a problem to solve and Tech Girls Movement helps them build a business plan, teaches them how to build their app, and how to finance the project.

“They look a pricing models, competitors, how to position it in the marketplace, and then pitch it in a YouTubevideo. It’s veryentrepreneurial.”

Fairfax Media is a key supporter of the initiative. Chief information offer Robyn Elliott, who grew up in the regional town of Kyogle in NSW, said from learning to program as a hobby at school, her interest in solving problems with technology led her to study and work all over the world.

“I want the initiative to reach girls in regional Australia, to provide them with a pathway forward to careers in technology,” she said.

Registrations for the program close on April 14.

To sign up, visit梧桐夜网techgirlsmovement.org

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

Trump orders US military strike on Syria

US President Donald Trump. Photo: Pete MarovichUS President Donald Trump has made a statement after the US military launched a missile strike in Syria.
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Below is a full transcript of his speech:

“My fellow Americans, on Tuesday Syrian dictatorBashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians.

Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children.

It was a slow and brutal death for so many. Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God shouldever suffer such horror.

Tonight Iordered a targeted military strike on theairfield in Syria from where the chemical attack was launched.

It is in this vital national security interest of the United Statesto prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.

There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons, violated its obligations under the chemicalweapons convention, and ignored the urging of the UN SecurityCouncil

Years of previous attempts at changing Assad’s behaviour have all failed and failed very dramatically.

As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilise, threatening the United Statesand its allies.

Tonight I call on all civilised nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria, and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types.

We ask for God’s wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world.

Wepray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who have passed, and we hope that as long as America stands for justice, then peace and harmony will in the end prevail

Good night and God bless America and the entire world.Thank you.”

How to avoid retiring with insufficient super

Last year, after reading more advice on how individual women could overcome the gap in retirement savings, the Australia Institute’s chief economist Dr Richard Denniss decided to write some advice of his own.
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To avoid the pitfall of retiring with insufficient superannuation, he recommends women follow these four rules:

1. Don’t go into caring professions. Do not be a nurse, or work in childcare, or do a job where you help other people, because we will pay you low wages.

2. Don’t take time out of work while you are young. Do you not understand the way compound interest works? If you do take time out of work while you are young, it will have a catastrophic effect on your retirement income.

3. Don’t take time out of work to care for your parents, or your partner’s parents, in your 50s. These are your peak earning years, so you need to work as long as you can and put as much into super as possible.

4. Do not be a woman. Because we will pay you roughly 17 per cent less than a man for similar work.

It is starkly divergent from the proliferous advice women receive about their financial security: that if they were more financially literate or made better decisions or picked a better super account, they could minimise the retirement gap.

“If you read some of the advice aimed at women, you could be forgiven for thinking retirement income is like a nice pair of shoes and it’s your job to hunt down a bargain,” Denniss says.

The reality, he says, is that no information campaign, decision-making tool or new website can assist women overcome the structural flaws in our superannuation system.

The gap between what men and women retire with in Australia is incontrovertible.

A report by the Senate’s economic committee last year found that one in three Australian women retire with nothing at all, and that on average men end their working lives with superannuation balances twice as large as women’s.

According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, the average Australian man retires with $197,054 while the average woman retires with just $104,734. This represents a 46.6 per cent gap.

It is exacerbated by the superannuation tax concessions, which the Senate report concludes are poorly targeted. Men, in aggregate, receive double the superannuation tax concessions as women.

“The existence of super tax concessions is heavily stacked against women,” Denniss says. “It’s inequitable, and because women are more likely to be poor it’s particularly inequitable for women.”

As it stands, low-income earners pay more tax on their retirement savings than they do on their ordinary income. By contrast, high-income earners pay far less tax on their superannuation contributions than on their salaries.

Poorer people effectively pay a penalty tax on their super while the wealthiest 5 per cent of the population reaps more than $10 billion a year in tax concessions.

Women, who comprise the majority of the 3.6 million Australians who earn less than $37,000 a year, bear the brunt of this double whammy.

It makes the emphasis on women’s financial skills a little galling to Felicity Reynolds, the chief executive of the Mercy Foundation.

“It is a generalisation, but I would suggest that there are many women who are very, very good at managing a very small amount of money, and I think that gets lost,” Reynolds says.

Increasingly, she sees women being offered educational programs rather than solutions for affordable housing and structural inequities.

“These women could teach courses on saving money,” Reynolds says. “It’s less about a lack of financial literacy and more about a lack of finances due to structural inequity.”

Denniss agrees. “The focus on education is the perfect political strategy if you want to maintain the status quo,” he says. “Not only do the campaigns further confuse people, they are effective in making individuals blame themselves for the situation rather than question the whole system. We need to fundamentally change super and retirement income in Australia.”

Tax concessions cost $29.6 billion a year and the vast majority of those flow to high-income earners. Treasury estimates suggest that tax concessions given to the wealthiest 1 per cent of income earners is far more expensive than simply paying them the age pension.

As a case in point, Denniss cites the Tax Office’s revelation that there is a self-managed super fund with a balance of $100 million.

“If the account holder is over 65, they would be able to draw down $10 million a year and pay zero tax on it. Zero,” Denniss says.

How providing a tax break to a person who would never have been eligible for the age pension is supposed to “save money” is unclear. Regardless, a woman who spends her life earning the minimum wage is unable to access a similar tax break.

So if you are a woman looking to prepare for retirement, it’s wise to examine the fees your super manager charges and look to making additional contributions. But don’t be fooled into believing that through smart choices you can overcome the retirement gap between men and women.

For that, you’ll either need to follow Denniss’ advice or lobby for reform.

Georgina Dent is a journalist, editor and TV commentator with a keen focus on women’s empowerment and gender equality.

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