BATTING ON: CAW on the attack to attract Sheffield Shield match

CRICKET Albury-Wodonga is refusing to give up hope of hosting a Sheffield Shield match early next year.
Nanjing Night Net

While Wangaratta’s Norm Minns Oval is believed to be the preferred option if it misses out on an AFL pre-season match, Cricket Victoria officials inspected Tallangatta’s Rowen Park facilities last week as a potential back-up plan.

Tallangatta’s pitch is widely regarded as being one of the best in country Victoria, with its facilities undergoing a $1.85 million upgrade earlier this year.

North Albury’s Bunton Park and Birallee Park in Wodonga have also been mooted as possible venues for a four-day match but appear longshots.

Cricket Albury-Wodonga chairman Michael Erdeljac said the competition hadn’t given up hope of bringing top-class cricket to the Border despite Albury Council’s recent decision to withdraw its interest in hosting a match at Lavington Oval because of a possible clash of dates with the AFL.

“I’m not going to go into the specifics of where a match could be played, but we are still looking at venues to host a Sheffield Shield match,” Erdeljac said.

“We haven’t given up.

“I’m a big believer in bringing top-class cricket to the region and no stone is being left unturned in doing that.

“We will keep chipping away.”

Five boxes must be ticked to host a match, with the top priority being a pitch capable of holding up for four days.

Geelong and Bendigo are also being considered as potential venues.

Victoria is yet to decide venues for its final three ­Sheffield Shield home matches against Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania, with the clash against the Bulls the most likely to be played on the

Border or North East.

The AFL will announce ­the winning bids for its NAB Challenge matches on August 15.

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

Gallery: Swan Lake rehearsals

Gallery: Swan Lake rehearsals The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs
Nanjing Night Net

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

The Australian Ballet The Dancers Company Swan Lake rehearsal, Princess Theatre. Photos: Phillip Biggs

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

need2know: Flat open ahead

A weak lead from overseas, where Wall Street ended mostly lower, and caution ahead of China growth statistics are expected to keep local shares in a narrow range to start the session.
Nanjing Night Net

What you need2know:

• SPI futures up 6 points to 5467• AUD at 93.72 US cents• On Wall St, S&P500 -0.2%, Dow +0.03%, Nasdaq -0.5%• In Europe, Euro Stoxx 50 -1%, FTSE -0.5%, CAC -1%, DAX -0.7%• Spot gold down $US12.56 to $US1294.59 an ounce• Brent oil down $US1.20 to $US105.78 per barrel

What’s on today

Australia: building activity;

China: economic data;

US:  industrial production, capital flows, import and export prices, Testimony by US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen to the House finance committee.

Stocks to watch

Rio Tinto will release its 2Q14 production report.

Fortescue Metals Group production and sales quarterly report.

Commonwealth Bank has an “underweight” recommendation on Fortescue Metals Group after it pre-released production and sales data ahead of its quarterly report on Wednesday.

Private equity giant KKR & Co has teamed up with Canada’s largest asset manager, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, on its $3.05 billion buyout offer for Treasury Wine Estates.

Deutsche Bank is maintaining a “buy” rating on rubber glove manufacturer Ansell, with a target price of $22.50.

Currencies

The US dollar climbed against most other leading currencies on Tuesday after Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen championed continuing loose US monetary policies to boost employment and stagnant wages.

The British pound jumped to a multi-year high against the greenback, meanwhile, as inflation data encouraged speculation Britain will raise interest rates sooner than other big economies.

The US dollar index, which weighs the greenback against six currencies, was up 0.24 per cent to 80.382 in late trading, versus a 0.02 per cent decline shortly before the US government reported a 0.2 per cent rise in retail sales in June.

Commodities

Stock depletion, mine closures and rising demand have driven the price of zinc close to three-year highs, making it the best performing base metal after nickel on the London Metal Exchange this year.

Indonesia could terminate Newmont Mining’s copper mine contract if the US-based firm does not withdraw a legal challenge to the country’s export taxes, a government official said.

Oil prices dropped, deepening their biggest slide this year as rising Libyan supplies and downbeat economic data sharpened concerns the global market was heading into a near-term glut.

United States

US stocks mostly pulled back on Tuesday after Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen and her fellow Fed policymakers raised concerns about “substantially stretched valuations” in some equity sectors.

JPMorgan shares gained after the biggest US bank, when ranked by assets, reported second-quarter results that were not as bad as investors had feared. Shares of Goldman Sachs rose after the company reported a 5 per cent increase in second-quarter profit.

Intel forecast third-quarter revenue above Wall Street’s expectations, signaling that a shrinking personal computer industry may be stabilising. The chipmaker’s shares rose 3.9 per cent in extended trading. 

Europe

Investment sentiment in Germany fell to the lowest level for 19 months in July amid signs of a dent in activity in Europe’s top economy, a survey showed.

In Lisbon, shares in Portugal’s largest listed lender Banco Espirito Santo slumped for the seventh day on concerns that one of the bank’s holding companies is at risk of default.

Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg was elected Tuesday to lead the most powerful agency of the European Union after overcoming fierce opposition from Britain and some lawmakers at the European Parliament. 

What happened yesterday

Early gains on the sharemarket on Tuesday were erased after bank stocks suffered a late morning decline as the interim report from the financial system inquiry spooked bank shareholders.

The S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.1 point to 5511.3.

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

Gerard Baden-Clay: Threat of appeal looms over Allison’s family

Gerard Baden-Clay has 28 days to lodge an appeal for against his conviction and sentence for the murder of his wife Allison.
Nanjing Night Net

Baden-Clay was found guilty of murdering his wife at their home in the western Brisbane suburb of Brookfield on April 19, 2012, and dumping her body on the muddy banks of Kholo Creek at Anstead, about 14 kilometres away.

The 43-year-old, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence, began shaking violently at the jury delivered its verdict about midday on Tuesday.Full coverage

He was sentenced to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum of 15 years without parole.

However, the threat of an appeal looms over Mrs Baden-Clay’s family and friends and the homicide detectives who dedicated countless hours to gathering evidence against the former prestige real estate agent.

Baden-Clay’s defence solicitor Peter Shields would give no indication of a possible appeal when questioned by media outside the Supreme Court shortly after the verdict was announced.

“It would not be appropriate to comment on an appeal at this stage,” he said.

Justice John Byrne was scathing in his sentencing remarks about Baden-Clay and warned future prison parole boards not to be duped by the 43-year-old’s ability to lie.

“You are given to lies and public deception so much so that whatever you may say on any application for parole, 15 years or more hence, will need to be assessed with considerable scepticism,” he told the murderer.

Unlike during the trial of Brett Peter Cowan, who was convicted earlier this year of murdering Sunshine Coast schoolboy Daniel Morcombe, Baden-Clay’s defence team made no applications for mistrial.

Cowan’s lawyers made two applications for mistrial due to alleged ‘‘prejudicial publicity’’ about their client in the media on which they have since based an appeal.

Baden-Clay has no such application on which to rest an appeal.

The cases of Raymond Carroll and Graham Stafford are among the most high-profile, successful murder appeals in Queensland’s recent history.

Mr Carroll was convicted of murdering Ipswich toddler Deidre Kennedy and throwing her body on the roof of a toilet block 500 metres from her family’s home in 1973.

The critical evidence in the case came from eminent odontologists, who said it was Carroll who had made the bite marks on Deidre’s body.

However, Carroll was later acquitted, with the Court of Criminal Appeal putting considerable weight on what it regarded as discrepancies in the dental experts’ testimonies.

Mr Carroll was convicted of perjury in 2000 for lying on the stand at his trial when he claimed he had not killed the toddler.

But he was acquitted again, with the case progressing all the way to the High Court, meaning Mr Carroll could never be tried again.

Graham Stafford, a former sheet metal worker from Goodna, was convicted of murdering his girlfriend’s sister Leanne Holland with a hammer and dumping her body in Redbank Plains in 1991.

Mr Stafford appealed his conviction on three occasions, also claiming his innocence in the High Court.

His conviction was overturned in 2009, after the Court of Appeal found Leanne may have died the day after police alleged Mr Stafford killed her.

Under Queensland law, an appeal against conviction may involve a complaint regarding the way in which the trial was conducted.

The most common grounds for appeal against a conviction include: the verdict was “unsafe and unsatisfactory”, there was an error of law, or there has been a miscarriage of justice.

For its part, the Queensland government extended the non-parole period for murder from 15 to 20 years in August 2012, but the legislation was not made retrospective and therefore does not apply to Baden-Clay.

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

Police suspected Gerard Baden-Clay immediately

Gerard Baden-Clay Allison Baden-Clay. Photo: Queensland Times
Nanjing Night Net

Police were immediately suspicious of the scratches on Baden-Clay’s face. Photo: Supplied

Full coverage

One of the first police officers to attend the home of Gerard Baden-Clay on the morning he reported his wife missing two years ago immediately sensed something was not right.

Baden-Clay appeared calm and composed and was dressed in business attire.

But he had three scratches on his right cheek.

If not for the intuition of first-response police officer Constable Kieron Ash the investigation into the disappearance of Allison Baden-Clay might have taken a very different direction.

Constable Ash phoned his supervisors back at Indooroopilly Police Station soon after arriving at the Brookfield property to tell them of his suspicions.

“At that point, being a police officer and a first response police officer, I thought it possible that perhaps domestic violence had taken place,” Constable Ash told Brisbane’s Supreme Court last month.

The next officers to arrive at the house, Senior Sergeant Narelle Curtis and Sergeant Andrew Jackson, were also concerned by the scratches on Baden-Clays’ face.

“Gerard, I have to ask this question – those two marks on your face could be consistent with being scratched,” Sergeant Curtis said.

Baden-Clay dismissed the injuries as shaving cuts, but Sergeant Curtis was dubious of his claims.

She phoned the Indooroopilly Criminal Investigation Branch, flagging the case as a possible homicide investigation within three hours of Allison being reported missing.

On Tuesday, a Supreme Court jury found Baden-Clay guilty of murdering his wife at their home in the affluent western Brisbane suburb of Brookfield on April 19, 2012, and dumping her body on the muddy banks of Kholo Creek at Anstead, about 14 kilometres away.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment, to serve a minimum of 15 years behind bars without parole.

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said the investigators used some “unique ideas” to gather evidence when he was asked if officers had bugged flowers at Mrs Baden-Clay’s funeral in hopes of eliciting a confesssion from her husband.

Detective Superintendent Mark Ainsworth, who oversaw the lengthy police investigation, praised the efforts of the team of police who worked tirelessly to bring justice to Allison, her three young daughters and her family.

He emerged from the Supreme Court flanked by the investigators involved in the case to praise the work of the first-response, uniformed officers.

“The work that they demonstrated was nothing short of outstanding,” he said.

“They formed a suspicion very early in the piece, contacted their supervisors, who again performed some outstanding work notifying the Criminal Investigation Branch at an early stage.

“The detectives from Indooroopilly CIB that responded and ramped up this investigation up to a high level at a very early stage are to be commended in relation to their activities.”

Superintendent Ainsworth said he never seen such dedication from police during the 10 day search for Allison.

“Police officers giving up days off, public holidays, police recruits doing the same, working hand in hand with the State Emergency Service, the Queensland Fire Service, the Brisbane City Council … everyone determined to find Allison,” he said.

“One disappointment out of this investigation, if anything, was the time it took us to find Allison.”

The mother-of-three was found dead on the banks of Kholo Creek on April 30, 2012 – 10 days after her husband reported her missing.

Superintendent Ainsworth said the investigation into Allison’s death never wavered, with detectives from Homicide, Indooroopilly CIB, State Crime Operations Command and Metropolitan North and Metropolitan South joining forces.

“Initial stages had in excess of 60 detectives,” he said.

“It’s the team behind me that need to be thanked for their untiring efforts and the work they put in behind the scenes. I’ve never seen [such] a committed bunch.”

Police had more than 1500 lines of inquiry during their investigation, before compiling a brief of evidence comprising more than 2000 pages.

Superintendent Ainsworth also thanked the members of Allison’s family.

“Throughout the whole duration of that search the Dickie family were present, not only the immediate family, but the long-extended family of the Dickies. The support that family gave us under the circumstances, I’ve never, ever seen before,” he said.

“It was overwhelming and encouraged the police to conduct their search in the manner we did.”

He also thanked the members of the public, particularly the Brookfield community.

“The support that we had from the public out there – the Brookfield community – again was overwhelming,” Superintendent Ainsworth said.

“We had young children drawing photos and coming to the forward command post and asking for photos to be hung up, encouraging the police.

“We had people bringing food to the police and words of encouragement. It was absolutely sensational.”

Finally, he spoke of Allison.

“We never got to meet Allison, but dealing with the Dickie family and extended family, after this lengthy investigation, I’m sure I not only speak for myself but the other investigators, I feel we know her,” he said.

“We should all agree that Allison was nothing short of a wonderful person, a wonderful mother, friend and daughter.

“It’s now up to the Dickies to look after these three wonderful children. And I’m sure none of us would like our children to go through what they’re going through at the present time.”

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