Trampoline gymnasts to represent Hunter on the world stage Bulgaria bound: Shaun Swadling, Brett Austine and Blake Rutherford watch Jessica Pickering in the air. Picture: Jonathan Carroll
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Bulgaria bound: Shaun Swadling, Brett Austine and Blake Rutherford watch Jessica Pickering in the air. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Bulgaria bound: Shaun Swadling, Brett Austine and Blake Rutherford watch Jessica Pickering in the air. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Bulgaria bound: Shaun Swadling, Brett Austine and Blake Rutherford watch Jessica Pickering in the air. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

TweetFacebook Up, up and away!HUNTER athletes are taking their dreams of success sky high, by preparing to soar up to eight metres into the air during the Trampoline Gymnastics WorldChampionshipsin Bulgaria.

National coach for Gymnastics Australia’s trampoline team and Belmont High physical education teacher Brett Austine left the country on Mondaywith Marks Point Public teacher Shaun Swadling and Blake Rutherford.

Mr Swadling and Mr Rutherford will participate in a four day training camp before competition begins on November 9.

Bulgaria bound: Shaun Swadling, Brett Austine and Blake Rutherford watch Jessica Pickering in the air. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

Belmont High year 10 student, Jessica Pickering, will leave next week to compete in the under 17’s section of the World Age Group Competition, also to be held in Bulgaria.

“I consider trampolining to be one of the toughest sports you could enter,” Mr Austine said.

“What you do once in diving you’ve got to do 10 times in a row without a break in trampolining.

“These athletes are training six days a week and are either full time students or working to chase their dreams and have an international career.”

Mr Swadling and Mr Rutherford will each perform two routines in the qualifying rounds, in the hope of making it through to the semi finals and the top eight for the final.

“They will be marked on time aflight, how accurately they keep to the middle of the trampoline, degree of difficulty and execution,” he said.

“They will have 60 seconds to start the first rotation and will then get 10 contacts with the mat and have to show 10 different skills.”

Jessica will also perform two routines in the qualifying round in the hoping of making it straight through to the final.

“All of her 10 moves are at least a double somersault with a half twist.”

Adelaide United are one of Melbourne Victory’s biggest rivals, but Victory boss Kevin Muscat will be forgiven this week for looking over the border at them for some inspiration.
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His side’s failure to beat Central Coast Mariners on Sunday night – Victory were lucky to escape from Gosford with a point – means last season’s grand finalists have made their worst start to an A-League campaign.

Muscat’s side is winless in four games and has drawn twice, giving it a miserly two points from a possible 12.

Already Victory are in danger of falling too far off pace-setting Melbourne City and defending champions Sydney.

City have 12 points, with four wins from four matches. Sydney have 10 points.

That’s where Adelaide United come in. In season 2015-16 Adelaide failed to win until December, nine rounds into the season. Yet by the end of that campaign the Reds had topped the table, hosted the grand final and wore their first champions crown.

Adelaide had taken three points out of a possible 24 and had a goal difference of minus 10 before they scraped a 1-0 win over Perth Glory on December 6, 2015.

After that they went on an extraordinary run where they lost only once more, won 13 other games and finished a point clear at the top ahead of Western Sydney.

That said, Muscat and the Victory faithful will be wanting something to happen quickly.

So far Victory have looked stodgy through the midfield and lacking in purpose going forward.

Had it not been for two inspirational actions from Dutch import Leroy George their season would have looked far worse.

His free kick to set up Besart Berisha’s opening header in Adelaide in a 2-2 draw was a perfect example of how to deliver a threatening set-piece, while his free kick from distance on Sunday night against the Mariners rescued a point for the visitors.

Muscat will point to the opening two games – home defeats by a single goal to Sydney and Melbourne City – and argue that his side was unlucky not to get something out of either fixture.

But things will get tougher for the Melbourne Cup eve fixture against Western Sydney, as Victory will be without some of their key players through suspension and international call-ups.

Kosta Barbarouses will be away with New Zealand for their World Cup play-off against Peru, while James Troisi will be absent with the Socceroos as they try to see off Honduras, their final obstacle to a place in Russia 2018.

Berisha is still suspended, having picked up a two-game ban for putting his hands on a match official in Adelaide.

The only silver lining is that Mark Milligan will be allowed to play in the November 6 match in Melbourne even though the Socceroos captain is suspended from the first leg of the tie against Honduras, which will be played in Central America on November 10.

Victory’s main problem, as Muscat identified in the wake of Sunday’s draw, is that that they are not imposing themselves on games enough.

The lack of continuity in the forward third, with Troisi, Milligan and Barbarouses on international duty, has meant Victory are not playing with the attacking cohesion they had in previous seasons.

“We started off very sloppy in possession of the ball, going backwards, taking the easy option instead of going forwards,” Muscat said after the Mariners draw.

“We have to be honest with ourselves. There are two reasons why you do that … you are not confident in yourself to pass the ball forward or the people in front of you are not moving.

“Our quality when it counted was just a little bit lacking, it was off.”

He is taking solace from the fact that Victory have at least picked up two points on the road in their last two games but knows that there should be a lot more to come from this squad.

It’s too early to talk of a crisis, as the Adelaide example of a few years ago shows. Poor starts can be overcome.

But Victory need to get their skates on if they want to be a significant player this season, or City and Sydney may well be too far ahead for Victory to entertain thoughts of a top two position.

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Beersheba: On the plains to the south-east of Be’er Sheba, a young boy’s donkey stands stubbornly in a field, as its rider whacks at its flanks.
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Behind him in a gully, a flock of camels wanders up the banks of a stream.

And in the distance, dust flies up in the wake of a horseman, galloping across the Negev desert, a tiny echo of a turning point in history.

One hundred years ago, this was the scene of an astonishing moment in the ANZAC story. It sits sandwiched between the coming-of-age tragedy of Gallipoli, and the grinding horror of the Western Front, and many only dimly remember the heroics of Beersheba, possibly the last great cavalry charge, probably Australia’s first great military victory.

Hamish Gibbons, lieutenant colonel in the New Zealand army, looks down at the plains and tries to picture how it was.

“The actual charge was quite an audacious plan,” he says. “It was not what the enemy would have thought anyone would have tried, not how the war had been fought.

“I can only imagine what would have been playing on the minds of the troops.”

The 800 light horsemen, 6km south-east of Beersheba, had ridden their Australian ‘Waler’ horses through the desert night to get into position for the charge. They would have been tired and dehydrated, and then faced a long wait for their do-or-die moment.

Their Anzac allies cleared the way, taking a Turkish machine gun emplacement on a hill that could have picked them off as they charged (this vital New Zealand contribution to Australia’s proud moment is often underplayed).

And then, mid-afternoon, they formed up and charged, first at a trot, then finally at a gallop as the Beersheba defenders woke too late to the threat, then melted away within hours in the face of the ferocious attack.

Through the machine gun fire and artillery to victory.

“It was very brave, very audacious, and ultimately successful,” says Lt-Col Gibbons. “Unlike the Western Front, they could fight the sort of battle that they wanted to fight.”

Historian Jonathan King is part of a recreation of that charge, a group of 100 men and women who wanted to honour the Anzacs by walking in their footsteps – or hoofprints.

“The whole point is to bring history to life,” said King, whose great-grandfather was among the soldiers in the original assault on the town.

“This great cavalry charge at Beersheba 100 years ago turned the tide of the war in Palestine, but very few Australians know about it. This was one of the greatest moments in Australian history and it should be a celebrated cornerstone of our culture and national identity.”

The victory also created the conditions for the foundation of the modern state of Israel – which the locals have not forgotten, King said.

King and his comrades have donned the full World War One uniform – “which I might say is really hot”, right down to the slouch hats with the emu plumes, and found local horses to play the part of the old Australian ones. They have followed the whole three-day track of the original regiment, which patiently circled the town to attack from the less-defended south.

“It is different now – we are coming in from the desert, so there hasn’t been a lot of development in a century,” says King. “But there’s the huge city of Be’er Sheva in the background.

“You’ve got to close your eyes, and in your mind just try and visualise what it would have been like.”

“We ignore the buildings and think that we’re doing what they would have loved us to do, the troopers, especially the 31 killed.”

The re-creation hasn’t been smooth sailing. The Israeli horses are frisky, and their riders not exactly battle-hardened. The 3-day journey through the desert has taken a toll.

On Tuesday afternoon, their moment will come, as part of a day of commemoration attended by the prime ministers of Australia and Israel.

“We are like the WW1 troopers thirsty, covered in dust, saddle sore and tired,” says King.

“But the morale is very high, we are all conscious that we are bringing history to life and honouring the troopers who made history with that great charge

“To me personally it will be spine-chilling.”

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Jakarta: One of the daughters of Indonesia’s first president has called for the US to apologise after the release of a “top secret” document from 1975 that reveals the CIA considered assassinating Sukarno during the Cold War.
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The document – a summary of an investigation into CIA involvement in plans to assassinate foreign leaders – was among 2800 previously classified files related to the assassination of President John F Kennedy that were released last week.

It details CIA attempts to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro and says the CIA also considered killing Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba and Indonesian president Sukarno.

“America should not only apologise to Indonesia, America should apologise to all the countries they disturbed, if they will admit to it,” Sukarno’s daughter Sukmawati Sukarnoputri told Fairfax Media. “They never want to admit to it, especially the CIA.”

The newly declassified document reveals the degree to which the US was prepared to intervene in other nations’ affairs during the Cold War.

It said Richard Bissell, who was CIA Deputy Director of Plans at the time, testified there had been discussion within the CIA of the “possibility of an attempt on the life of President Sukarno of Indonesia”.

The plotting “progressed as far as the identification of an asset who it was felt might be recruited for this purpose”.

Bissell testified that the assassination plan “was never perfected to the point where it seemed feasible”.

He stressed the CIA had “absolutely nothing” to do with the death of Sukarno in 1970, when his health deteriorated after being put under house arrest.

Ms Sukmawati claimed the CIA had been responsible for riots, revolts and coups in Asia, Africa and Latin America because the US was opposed to the Non-Aligned Movement of nations, of which Sukarno was a founding member.

Ho Chi Minh, then president of North Vietnam, chats with Sukarno in Indonesia in 1959. Photo: AP

The founding members believed that developing countries should not help either the Western or Eastern blocs in the Cold War.

“Sukarno was warned by his friends before the (launch of the) Non-Aligned Movement: ‘Be careful, the US will launch a coup against any state leader who is not pro the US’,” Ms Sukmawati said.

She said her father’s foreign policy had not been “pro-US” because he was opposed to America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

PhD scholar Donald Greenlees said this was not the first time documents had been released relating to CIA plans to assassinate Sukarno.

“I would like to know the identity of the CIA ‘asset’. I assume that is buried in a file somewhere,” he said.

Mr Greenlees said there were assassination attempts against Sukarno. “Sukarno was a divisive figure. He had enemies at home. But it remains unclear whether the assassination attempts were simply coincidence, whether people cultivated by the CIA acted alone, or whether some in the CIA were entrepreneurial.”

University of Melbourne Associate Professor Kate McGregor said the US had been concerned at the time about Sukarno’s increasingly radical policies including his campaign against Malaysia, turn to China and support for the Indonesian Communist Party, the PKI.

She said the then president had increasing visibility and influence as an anti-imperialist icon across Asia and Africa who was not afraid to challenge ongoing economic and cultural imperialism.

At the time the West believed there was a real threat that Indonesia would fall to the communists.

Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and Sukarno in 1960. Photo: Fairfax Media

Professor of Asian history at the Australian National University, Robert Cribb, says the CIA and US State Department had been obsessed with Sukarno and the potential damage he could do to their interests in South-east Asia.

“What we are seeing is a little bit more evidence that the CIA was closer to planning an assassination,” Professor Cribb said. “There doesn’t seem to be evidence of a definite plot but there is serious discussion of an assassination.”

The JFK documents are the second batch of newly declassified documents that shed fascinating light on the Cold War period in Indonesia.

Earlier this month the National Security Archive in the US published newly declassified documents from the US Embassy in Jakarta from 1964 to 1968 that revealed the US government’s knowledge and support of a campaign of mass murder against the PKI.

One cable cites as its source a “reliable Australian journalist”, who is understood to be Frank Palmos.

It suggests US officials were well aware that alleged PKI supporters and members being arrested or killed in an army-led campaign of repression and mass murder had no role in – or even knowledge of – an abortive coup in which six army generals were murdered.

Another cable cites the observations of anthropologist James Fox – now a professor at the Australian National University – who was living on Rote island in East Nusa Tenggara at the time and reported the execution of “between 40 and 50 local Rote communists plus another 30 communists” from the neighbouring island of Sawu.

Professor Cribb said it is fascinating every time previously classified documents are released.

“Next year I will be teaching a course called ‘Lies, Conspiracy and Propaganda’ and this will be a very good bit of material for that course.”

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Brumbies second-rower Blake Enever was on a coffee run before an NRC match on Sunday when he missed a phone call from an unknown number.
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“I thought it was maybe one of the guys asking for a coffee,” Enever said. “I called him back, he missed it, but then straight away [he] called back and said: ‘It’s Michael Cheika, mate, do you want to come on the spring tour?'”

Enever, a 26-year-old, 200-centimetre forward with just three Super Rugby starts this year, went into shock.

And when he ran out onto T G Millner Field for the Canberra Vikings against the Greater Sydney Rams, he decided to keep the best news of his career a secret from teammates.

After the game, which the Vikings won 35-22, he passed on the good news and began telling those closest to him that he would be travelling to the UK for the first time.

“It’s awesome news and I was so stoked to hear that,” Enever said. “It’s an opportunity for myself.

“It was a bit of a surprise. I still had to try and stay focused as much as I could. In the back of my mind I was really excited to get into camp today [Monday]. I tried not to go into my shell. At the back of my mind I wanted to play well and try and flow into the camp as well as possible.

“I called my fiancee and she was pretty stoked and then tried to keep it a bit quiet until after the game. I had a few mates in the team that were stoked after the game. I didn’t want to tell them before, otherwise it could have rattled them a little bit. Everyone has been happy for me.”

Once he got the news, Enever had to spring into action, knowing the Wallabies were flying to Japan within 48 hours.

“I caught the bus back to Canberra on Sunday and I got home at 11.30pm, packed, [was] in bed by midnight,” he said. “Then I was up at 4.30am for a 6.10am flight. That was all fine. It was a big day today.”

Enever went on a schoolboy tour to Japan in 2008 and played for Australia at the 2011 Junior World Championship in Italy but has never been to Wales, England or Scotland where the Wallabies will play Tests in November.

Cheika has liked a number of Enever’s traits and after a Super Rugby quarter-final, then-Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham told Enever he was made of the right stuff to one day become a Wallaby.

“It’s a dream to be able to be a part of the Wallabies squad,” Enever said. “I wasn’t expecting it but I’m really stoked to get the call.

“I’m sure I’m not going over there for a holiday but a day here and there would be good to get your mind off rugby for a bit.

“He [Cheika] has explained a few roles he wants me to take on in the lineout but moving forward hopefully he’ll drip-feed them into me because it’s been a pretty big day so far. He’ll have a few things I’ll need to work on and offer to the squad.

“There’s a fair bit of knowledge that I’ve got to try and knuckle down on in the first couple of days and from then on it’s just refining them and getting myself the best opportunity to be picked.”

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There is yet to be any interest in delisted former Western Bulldogs forward Stewart Crameri ahead of the first delisted free agency signing period, which opens on Wednesday.
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Crameri, 29, who moved to the Bulldogs from Essendon for the start of the 2014 season, has played 99 games since making his AFL debut in 2010.

The mobile yet strong marking forward has battled persistent hip injuries recently and spent 2016 on the sidelines thanks to a suspension received for his part in the Essendon supplements saga.

Fairfax Media understands no clubs have signalled their interest in Crameri at this stage.

He would likely have moved back to Essendon in the trade period had they not secured Jake Stringer from the Bulldogs.

Geelong had been interested in Crameri but don’t have a spot on their list for him. The Brisbane Lions and the Gold Coast Suns are also understood to not be in the running for Crameri.

He has been training throughout the off season and is willing to take any opportunity that might come his way, including as a rookie draft selection.

Meanwhile, delisted Hawthorn speedster Billy Hartung is more confident of finding a new home for 2018.

It is understood he has been contacted by clubs and, like Crameri, is happy to take his chance as a delisted free agency signing or as a rookie.

Hartung, 22, has played 63 game since making his debut in 2014. He has played 36 of those games in the past two seasons but coach Alastair Clarkson is understood to have finally run out of patience with the Dandenong Stingrays product.

Hartung was infamously dropped for Hawthorn’s 2015 grand final drubbing of West Coast after he played in the preliminary final and 19 other games for the season.

Taylor Hunt, who was delisted by Richmond last week (after being delisted by Geelong at the end of 2014) is understood not to be hopeful of his AFL career continuing into 2018.

Hunt studied to be a carpenter while he was at Richmond and will likely play VFL or local football in the immediate future.

Between November 1 and November 8, clubs can sign delisted free agents. They can do so again between November 10-17 and November 25-26. Final lists have to be lodged for the 2018 season on November 29.

If delisted free agents miss out on being signed in those periods they can also be picked up in the pre-season or rookie drafts, which take place on November 27.

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Steven Lowy’s bid to deliver a new Congress structure that is vehemently opposed by A-League clubs and the players union, the PFA, has been dealt a body blow by Victorian soccer officials.
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Local soccer chiefs have refused to bend under pressure from the embattled FFA chairman and will not support Lowy’s proposals at an emergency general meeting of the existing Congress, due to be held on Wednesday.

Lowy was understood to be planning to fly to Melbourne on Monday to lobby his case with Victorian officials, but hours before the scheduled meeting, FFV chairman Kimon Taliadoros sent Lowy a letter making it clear he would not be persuaded to side with FFA and seven other state federations.

In the letter obtained by AAP, he indicated the congress changes on the table fall “significantly short of satisfying” the wishes of stakeholders and FIFA’s mandate for more democratic governance.

Taliadoros subsequently urged Lowy to withdraw FFA’s notice for the EGM, notify FIFA and “immediately return to negotiations with the stakeholders” as time ticks down to the November 30 deadline.

One key Lowy antagonist, Adelaide United chairman Greg Griffin, had earlier described the decision to hold an emergency general meeting of the existing Congress – which elects the FFA board and determines how the game is run in this country – as “a final cynical act” that, he argues, will destroy the board’s credibility and mandate.

Lowy is understood to have the support of most of soccer’s state federation bosses save for NSW, which has sided with the A-League clubs, and now Victoria, which had looked to be the “swing seat” among the state representatives.

The FFA chairman needs at least eight of the 10 votes at Wednesday’s EGM in order to carry his proposals for the new Congress, which would then be made up of nine state votes, four for the clubs, one for Professional Footballers Australia and one for the women’s game.

The clubs and PFA want a 9-5-1-1 model featuring one extra vote for the clubs, a small but crucial difference that would ensure the nine states no longer have majority power to elect FFA’s board.

All this manoeuvring is going on with the shadow of FIFA intervention hanging over the local game.

The sport’s governing body has the power to take over the running of the game here if it believes changes to the Congress are not broad enough to reflect all interests in the game.

The legal and procedural dispute has been brewing for months and is coming to a head.

The A-League clubs have decided to shelve plans to sue the FFA, although they have warned Lowy repeatedly there could be severe consequences if they and the players do not get more say in the decision-making process.

Days before FFA called the EGM earlier this month, incensed clubs wrote to Lowy threatening to seek an injunction to have the meeting – described by Griffin as an “abuse of power” – ruled illegal.

But in another charged letter to Lowy on Saturday, Griffin indicated the clubs would leave the legalities in the hands of FIFA.

“Noting that the FFA is one of only a handful of FIFA member associations structured as a corporation, part of our considerations is the apparent current focus of the FFA board on the Australian Corporations Act over the obligations of the FFA as an association member of FIFA,” the letter read.

“Those obligations to FIFA are clearly manifested in the consistent instructions the FFA board has received from FIFA with regard to governance reform over the last year, and indeed in the seven years prior to that.

“We do not wish to act in any way that might undermine FIFA’s authority in this matter and therefore will not take legal action at this juncture.”

A “commensurate” response would follow should the FFA push through its preferred model, the A-League clubs have said.

Both the clubs and PFA have accused FFA of attempting to remain as the game’s “dominant” or “pre-eminent” stakeholder.

Even if pushed through, the ultimate decision lies with FIFA, which has made it clear reforms must be agreed to by all stakeholders – identified by the world governing body as the states, clubs and PFA.

A resolution must be struck by November 30 or FIFA will remove Lowy and his board and install a normalisation committee to run Australian soccer.

with AAP

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You’ve saved. Scrimped. Worked hard. Missed overseas trips, delicious and expensive breakfasts and music festivals … all in the pursuit of saving a deposit for your first home.
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After all that you’ve managed to save $20,000, $30,000 or even $50,000 – a huge effort! But, unfortunately, you’re still barely half way to where you want to be.

Despite house prices gains in major cities beginning to stall, the damage is done – a first home buyer is likely looking at laying out around $500,000 or more. If the full 20 per cent deposit is still the goal, that means coming up with $100,000.

How, then, can a hopeful first home buyer put their existing savings to work for them while they continue to save?

The methods outlined below focus on investing for income, rather than growth, so would theoretically boost an ongoing savings plan, rather than replace the task altogether.

It’s always best to speak with a financial adviser or planner before embarking on an investment strategy, and remember that, in all forms of investing, past performance is not a good indicator of the future.

That said, here are five ways young people could invest for income to put toward a first home deposit. 1. Term deposit

This is extremely popular territory for young savers. As far as risk goes, there’s pretty much zero. The bank will tell you in advance what your return will be, and you know exactly when you’ll be able to re-evaluate your investment.

The cost of that peace of mind, however, is large. Thanks to a global plunge in official interest rates, one-year term deposit rates in Australia have dropped to a record low of 2.25 per cent on average. It’s an easy-to-understand and safe way to store your savings but, unless official interest rates start rising fast, will provide almost no income. After a year, your hard-earned $30,000 will only bring in an extra $675. If you roll it over for five years, you’ll have a total of $33,530.

“The yields on these investments will move over time and, since the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), the trend has been down,” according to AMP Capital chief economist and head of investment strategy Shane Oliver.

“There are lots of alternatives to bank deposits for income,” Dr Oliver said. 2. Shares (S&P/ASX 200)

Shares are inherently volatile. A 10 per cent drop in the value of an equity or sector is not that uncommon, according to market experts. That’s why a couple of things are widely agreed on – diversity is a good idea, short-term or leveraged trading comes with heightened risk, and emotions are best left out of it.

That said, the ASX 200 is heading for 6500 points by the end of next year, according to one market strategist – Credit Suisse’s Hasan Tevfik – which marks an almost 10 per cent gain from current levels and 15 per cent total return.

“We don’t think bull market is over,” Mr Tevfik told Domain.

“One of the attractions for the Aussie market is that it is the highest yielding market in the world, but it’s also the highest yielding asset in Australia at around 4 per cent, pre-franking.”

He’s talking about the whole index of 200 companies, which can offer a false sense of optimism for retail investors planning on picking a handful of stocks and hoping for the best.

That’s why equities ring alarm bells for so many – individual stocks can be heartbreakers, and, while volatility has dropped in recent years, a fall is often lurking in the shadows.

But, with a total yield of around 6 per cent (including franking credits) $30,000 would become $40,146 over five years.

A quick word on franking credits

This is where everybody’s eyes glaze over. Franking credits, or “dividend imputation”, is tricking you into ignoring it by having the world’s most boring name. It’s actually a brilliant feature of Australian stocks and can add to your income. Click here to find out more about franking credits, but, in a nutshell, Australian companies pass them onto the shareholders, who can then use them to reduce their tax burden. Paying less tax (or, if you’re on a low marginal tax rate, even scoring a refund) is as good as earning more. 3. Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

Rather than picking a handful of shares yourself and crossing your fingers, ETFs allow investors to track the performance of an entire index or asset class at once.

An ETF manager packages tradeable funds, which follow an index or commodity, or bundle stocks aimed at following a certain sector, like healthcare or even cyber security. And, as with all investing, the focus is usually slanted either towards growth or income.

“There’s always going to be a trade-off, you can’t have it both ways,” BetaShares spokesperson, Ilan Israelstam, told Domain.

But some of the ETFs group high-yield stocks together at the expense of overall capital growth. So, unlike a bank term deposit, you’ll receive more income during the investment but the overall value of it might not track any higher – in fact, it might drop.

“An example of that would be our Equity Yield Maximizer Fund – that owns the top 20 ASX stocks and uses an options strategy, basically, to give you a higher income,” Mr Israelstam said.

“It has been delivering about a 9 per cent yield. But, of course, the capital return is lower than what you’d expect from the market.”

Younger income-hungry investor might want think about bringing in some growth to their portfolio, according to the fund manager.

If a 9 per cent return is maintained for five years, and dividends are reinvested, then $30,000 could become $46,158. 4. Fractional property investing

For those hell-bent on using property as an investment, but lack the capital – meet fractional property investing. Funds like BrickX and DomaCom offer the opportunity to gain diversified exposure to the housing market while lowering the bar for entry.

DomaCom is a managed investment scheme which uses a crowdfunding campaign process to pool property investors together. The investors then contribute as much as they want towards the purchase of a property and receive “shares” in return. Investors can buy and sell their shares to other investors.

BrickX, similarly, buys a property in advance and then offers 10,000 shares, or “bricks”, in that property, which are sold individually to investors.

Both offer distribution to investors from rental income in line with their number of shares. 5. Superannuation

The proposed first home Super Scheme offers the chance to temporarily tack your savings onto your super and be taxed at a lower rate than usual.

Announced in the May budget but still to be fully legislated, individuals can make voluntary contributions of up to $15,000 per year and $30,000 in total, to their super account, according to the federal government plan. These contributions and earnings would then be taxed at 15 per cent and can be withdrawn only for a first-house deposit. Withdrawals will be taxed at marginal tax rates minus a 30 per cent offset.

The scheme was meant to come into effect on July 1 of this year but has been delayed.

Finally, why have we been talking about investing for income rather than growth? Because for many, buying a house remains a short-to-medium-term goal.

Plenty of analysts and asset managers will tell young investors to take advantage of their age and go for growth, which means taking riskier investment options. They can “weather the storms” better than older investors who’ll need their money sooner for retirement.

But if the goal remains buying a house, then young investors don’t have all that much time either.

It could be that all they want is to do better than the 2.25 per cent bank rate for a few years while they continue their savings plan. That’s why first home buyers should be looking around for options where their risk remains relatively low but their return is better than they would get with a bank.

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Shares enjoyed solid buying throughout Monday, largely boosted by investor appetite for most of the banks and energy stocks though Myer suffered some investor displeasure.
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The benchmark S&P/ASX200 lifted 0.3 per cent higher to 5919.2 points and the broader All Ordinaries Index bumped up 0.2 per cent to 5983.7 points.

The Australian dollar traded at US76.75 cents after falling below the US77 cent mark last week for the first time since July.

Robust growth figures out of the United States last week reaffirmed the global view that the major economies are enjoying a synchronised upswing.

“Good global growth is good for the economy and therefore good for banks, so we’re seeing that in the market direction,” said Romano Sala Tenna, portfolio manager at Katana Asset Management.

“We also had a few nasty days last week so Monday is seeing a bit of a rebound. The banks might have been a bit oversold on the back of the ANZ result last week.”

ANZ finished the day up 0.7 per cent, National Australia Bank was up 0.7 per cent and Westpac also closed 0.7 per cent higher. Commonwealth Bank was the only bank to finish the day in the red, down 0.3 per cent.

Myer ended the day 3.2 per cent lower after the retailer’s largest shareholder, Solomon Lew threatened legal action against the company over the department store chain’s alleged lack of disclosure.

A bump in the oil price above $US60 a barrel saw investors pour into the energy names, with the sector finishing up 1.5 per cent for the day.

Australia’s largest oil producer Woodside Petroleum enjoyed a 1.3 per cent lift and Caltex, the country’s biggest oil refiner, closed up 0.2 per cent.

On the downside, Telstra was one of the worst performers, trading down 0.6 per cent. Property sector plays were also weak, with Westfield shares losing 1.4 per cent, Scentre down 0.7 per cent and LendLease lower by 1.6 per cent.

Insurers were also dragging, with QBE down 1 per cent and Insurance Australia Group down 0.6 per cent.

Iron ore play Fortescue slipped 1 per cent in the mining sector and South32 lost 0.9 per cent.

In other equities news, Sigma Healthcare fell after the company’s trading update revealed pharmaceutical giant Astra Zeneca will exclusively distribute a portion of its products direct to pharmacies, eroding around 1 per cent of Sigma’s sales. The stock closed the day down 4.9 per cent. Market MoversStock Watch: Hydroponics Company

Shares in diversified cannabis company rocketed 42 per cent higher to 32?? on Monday. Hydroponics announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary Canndeo has been granted a medicinal cannabis licence by the Office of Drug Control. The licence will allow the firm to advance commercial cultivation of Cannabis sativa, and supports THC’s dual strategy for supplying medicinal cannabis products to support patients in Australia by local production and importation. This is the second of three licences that the company has sought, with its Manufacturing Licence application lodged and waiting for approval. Oil

The price of brent crude shot up over $US60 a barrel on Monday amid speculation that OPEC may look to extend its supply-restraint deal, a move that has seen global stockpiles shrink and has offset rising US drill numbers. Prices have surged to levels not seen since 2015 when Saudi Arabia backed further cuts. Global inventories are down to about 160 million barrels above the five-year average and prices are heading toward “fair” levels, Qatar Energy Minister Mohammed Al Sada said on Sunday. US drillers added one rig last week, according to data released Friday. Brent crude was fetching $US60.41 a barrel at market close on Monday while West Texas Intermediate was trading at $US53.90 a barrel. Chinese stocks

A pronounced bond selloff in mainland China has seen the Chinese sharemarket drop the most since early August, shattering the Communist Party Congress induced calm. The Shanghai Composite Index fell as much as 0.4 per cent on Monday. Investors punished small-cap shares the most as the 10-year yield climbed 4 basis points to 3.89 per cent, a three year high, amid concern Chinese authorities will intensify a deleveraging program. Iron ore

The price of iron ore slid 2.3 per cent on Monday to $US60.08 a tonne as new data showed iron ore holdings at China’s ports have surged to the highest level in two months, adding to signs that the nation’s widespread curbs on steelmakers’ output are starting to bite as policy makers clamp down to try to ensure clean air over winter. Stockpiles expanded 2.7 per cent to 135.75 million tons last week to post the biggest gain since February, according to data from Shanghai Steelhome E-Commerce on Monday. That caps the fourth weekly rise in five, and puts holdings back on a path toward the record 141.5 million tons hit in June. Petrol prices

The price of petrol has soared to a 2-year highs, according to the Australian Institute of Petroleum. The national average Australian price of unleaded petrol rose by 9.0 cents last week to 136.4 cents a litre, reflecting the ending of discounting cycles in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. It was the biggest weekly lift in the national petrol price in 13 years of records. “Petrol prices are coming down in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and motorists can expect relief at the bowser over the next 7-10 days,” says Craig James, chief economist at CommSec. “But so far the price declines are much more tepid than in recent price cycles.”

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

He threatened to spoil Winx’s Cox Plate party and now Darren Weir’s ironhorse Humidor will wade into spring carnival waters not tested in almost a decade by contesting all three of Melbourne’s spring carnival majors in the one year.
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Not since Master O’Reilly ran in the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup in 2008 has a horse contested three of Australian racing’s four grand slams in the space of 17 days, but Weir will wind back the clock for the $6 million race.

It is a program which has become almost obsolete in the modern-day, cotton wool caper of nursing horses to their major targets, yet Weir is adamant Humidor is thriving with repeat races.

Elvstroem is the only other horse to have tackled the big three in the same year in recent times, winning the 2004 Caulfield Cup before progressing to the Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup.

He ran fourth in the second of Makybe Diva’s three-peat, coincidentally the same place Master O’Reilly finished when chasing home the Blake Shinn-ridden Viewed.

Shinn was confirmed on Monday as Humidor’s rider for the Melbourne Cup after Godolphin surprisingly paid up for last year’s placegetter Hartnell, who was widely tipped to run in the Emirates Stakes on the final day of the Flemington carnival.

Damian Lane, who was admonished by Weir for his aggressive Caulfield Cup ride on Humidor, will partner Hartnell should James Cummings elect to start him.

Shinn was widely praised for his canny ride on Humidor, which almost crashed Winx’s bid to equal Kingston Town’s three Cox Plate wins, less than an hour after he racked up his fourth winner on one of Australian racing’s biggest days.

And he will now have the chance to add a second Melbourne Cup to his trophy cabinet after his success on Viewed in 2008.

“It’s as good a chance I will have to win a second Melbourne Cup,” Shinn said. “It’s exciting. It shows his toughness. Darren’s able to peak them after hard runs and I know I’ll be on a fit horse.”

Humidor remains a $7.50 second favourite with Sportsbet for the Melbourne Cup, shadowing Lloyd Williams’ Almandin ($6.50).

“He put it to the great mare on Saturday and he gave me an unbelievable feel,” Shinn said. “The blinkers definitely helped and knowing Darren is happy to run him again just gives me so much confidence.

“I’m thankful to the owners for making the decision to keep me on.”

Meanwhile, trainer Alain Couetil flew into Melbourne and had his first look at Tiberian as the French stayer attempts to emulate the feats of Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011) in winning Australia’s most famous race.

“I think he’ll run very well,” Couetil said. “The owner of Dunaden didn’t think he was capable of running [and winning a Melbourne Cup], but he’s said from the start this one is capable of running and adapting to the racing out here.

“Americain didn’t win a group 2 in France and came here [to win a Melbourne Cup]. On paper he’s probably better. I think for Tiberian, with 24 runners, the race is very difficult.

“[But] the horse is really well. I think he’ll run well. The horse is really intelligent and he adjusts to the ground he’s galloping on. A little bit of rain would be good. I think he’s got the speed to go with them.”

Tiberian is part-owned by Darren Dance’s Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock, which also brought Heartbreak City Down Under last year when the horse was a gripping second to Almandin.

One of Europe’s most prolific riders, Olivier Peslier, has been booked to ride Tiberian. Connections are hoping Peslier will familiarise himself with Flemington on his first Australian visit with rides on Derby Day.???

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

Virgin Australia is scrambling to accommodate thousands of passengers after the Samoan government blocked it from operating flights between the Pacific island and New Zealand.
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Samoa pulled the plug on Virgin Samoa, a joint venture with Australia’s number two airline, in May and is preparing to launch its own national carrier called Samoa Airways.

Virgin Australia had planned to fly its own services from Australia and New Zealand to the Samoan capital Apia from November 13, but on Monday said that permission for Auckland to Apia flights had not been granted.

“Virgin Australia is disappointed with the Samoan government’s decision to deny authorisation of our services,” a Virgin Australia spokeswoman said.

“We are working in conjunction with the Australian government to explore options to encourage the Samoan government to reconsider its decision.”

About 6000 passengers booked on the five weekly return Auckland – Apia services will be affected. Virgin said it would fly those passengers to Samoa via Australia or to other destinations, or give them refunds.

“We are working hard to re-accommodate affected passengers as a matter of priority and will be proactively communicating with them to discuss their options,” the spokeswoman said.

Virgin’s twice weekly return services from Sydney to Apia and weekly return service from Brisbane will go ahead as planned from November 13.

Virgin management is understood to view the decision as a move to protect Samoa’s fledgling national carrier, and is in breach of Australia and Samoa’s bilateral air services agreement.

The decision means Air New Zealand and Samoa Airways will be the only carriers servicing Auckland to Apia from November 13.

Virgin Australia and the Samoan government each owned 49 per cent of Virgin Samoa, which will cease flying on November 12; resort and hotel operator Grey Investment Group controls the remaining 2 per cent.

Virgin Samoa made a $4.2 million profit from $47.8 million in revenue last financial year, according to Virgin Australia’s 2017 annual report.

The Samoan government reportedly withdrew from the venture amid dissatisfaction over high airfares and allegations that Virgin and Air New Zealand had been colluding on fares.

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

THE politicians are in Israel for the ceremony to mark the 100thanniversary of the Battle of Beersheba.
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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will take his place in thesolemn line-up, despite the chaos left behind after an historic High Court citizenship case that cost the Turnbull government dearly.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is in Israel, too. He wasted little time after landing in Jerusalem to take a swipe at the Prime Minister for the citizenship chaos. Veterans Affairs Minister Dan Tehan tried to settle the argument, but his comment that “This sort of thing happens all the time” probably didn’t help.

A search of Hansardfrom Federal Parliament in Australia’s earliest years as a nation shows political debate has not changed a great deal in 100 years. But Australia has changed, which is why it is interesting to consider our extraordinary fascination with warsand our involvement with them.

A majority of Australians had most likely not heard of the Battle of Beersheba before we embarked on a four-year, $600 million commemoration of World War I.

Gallipoli was the Turkish campaign that captured public attention and redefined Anzac Day, for many, as a symbol of Australian male courage under fire. For servicemen, though, it was the campaign that had them openly challenging the glorification of war.

It is a wonder why the Battle of Beersheba, with its dramatic charge by two Australian Light Horse units on a Turkish stronghold, was not better known or commemorated.

It was, after all, the battle that prompted British General Edmund Allenby to thank the Australians in a letter that ended: “Such a complete victory has seldom been known in all the history of war.”

In Israel, at Beersheba, there will be a re-enactment of that famous charge that started at 4.30pm and ended with the town of Beersheba falling. It is credited with changing the course of history because of subsequent events that were pivotal to establishment of the state of Israel.

Commemorations are political. The relationship between Australia and Israel is a cause of celebration for some, concern for others. But even in Israel the reality of what was at stake for those young men on that autumn afternoon will almost certainly hit home, despite the pageantry.

Back in Australia that reality finds proof in weathered graves now a century old –that young men died while fighting for others.

Issue: 38,636.

The Tax Office has fallen short of budget revenue targets by $4.2 billion, its 2017 annual report shows.
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The 20,435-strong organisation also reported it continued to cut deals with the top end of down, rather than heading to court.

Over the past financial year the ATO initially issued 36 large companies with tax bills amounting to $2.8 billion, but after wheeling and dealing it collected only half that amount – $1.4 billion.

Net tax collections in 2016-17 were $359.3 billion, up $16.7 billion (4.9 per cent) over the previous year, but $4.2 billion (1.2 per cent) below the amount expected at the time of the budget 2016-17. The shortfall was under the amount recorded a year earlier (2015-16) of $14.5 billion. Low wage growth

“Subdued wage growth” continued to have an impact on individual’s tax collections in 2016-17, the ATO’s annual report said, which were up $6.8 billion (3.6 per cent) over the previous year, but below budget expectations by $3.1 billion.

GST collections were $2.5 billion (4.3 per cent) higher than the previous year, but $0.9 billion (1.5 per cent) below the budget 2016-17 expectations, “reflecting softer consumption growth and lower consumer price inflation than anticipated”.

Company tax receipts were $5.8 billion (9.2 per cent) higher than the previous year. “This reflected higher commodity prices flowing on to stronger growth in company profits,” the ATO said.

Australians claim about $23 billion in tax deductions for work-related expenses each year. Photo: Erin Jonasson Tax refunds hit $42 billion

In 2016-17, the agency issued income tax refunds with a total value of $42.4 billion. It also issued activity statement refunds with a total value of $56.7 billion. Total refunds were $99.1 billion, up 2 per cent from 2015-16.

The ATO completed 3.1 million compliance activities across all taxpayer segments this year, raising $15.6 billion in total liabilities and collecting $10.2 billion in cash, although it said that some related to liabilities raised in previous years.

Work-related expenses accounted for about 76 per cent of deductions for individuals (about $23 billion), but individuals commonly over-claimed rental and work-related expenses, it said.

To deal with this, the agency undertook 762,000 compliance activities and raised tax liabilities of $893.8 million. Cutting deals with big bosses

The ATO recently came under criticism for cutting deals with big companies.

In 2016-17, there were about 650 settlements, with 89 per cent occurring in the pre-litigation stage. This compares with about 1350 settlements, or 96 per cent, occurring at the pre-litigation stage in 2015-16. Most of these matters related to the 2014 tax amnesty known as, Project DO IT, and the agency’s offshore voluntary disclosures.

While most settlements, in percentage terms occur with micro-businesses (50 per cent with 326 micro-businesses in 2016-17), the value of settlements in dollar terms is highest at the top-end of town (in 2015-16 it settled on $1.36 billion of revenue with 36 large companies)

In the high-weallth individuals market it also settled big – they got hit with $237 million worth of tax bills but in the end paid $95.5 million.

The ATO is changing the way it reports settlements in its annual reports. It now wants to measure settlements by “client groups”.

It reported that in the “public and multinational businesses” segment there were 61 taxpayers that initially got served tax bills of $3.7 billion but in the ATO got $2.3 billion (a variance of $1.4 billion).

The ATO said it was “settling cases earlier” with taxpayers and “continues to be aware of community concerns that we are settling the right cases in the right way”. That’s why it had engaged three retired Federal Court judges to conduct “independent assurance” of large settlements.

In the “public and multinational businesses” segment there were 61 taxpayers that initially got served tax bills of $3.7 billion but in the ATO got $2.3 billion Photo: Louie DouvisCollectible debt

Collectable tax debt was $20.9 billion, up from $19.2 billion in 2015-16. The majority was owed by small business. Small businesses owed nearly $13.9 billion in collectable tax debt, an increase of 7 per cent from last year.

The 12-month rolling average of the ratio of total collectable debt to net tax collections was 5.6 per cent, “not quite achieving the target of ‘below 5.5 per cent'”, the ATO said.

These were “reasonable results”, it said, given a year-on-year increase of $1.8 billion in audit-raised liabilities, including liabilities flowing from the Tax Avoidance Taskforce, the Serious Financial Crime Taskforce, Operation Elbrus and Operation Nosean.

???The decrease in debt collection activities was due to the lead-up to an ATO system upgrade in November 2016 and IT outages late last year and early this year. Complaints up

The ATO received 25,073 complaints – inclusive of 1274 complaints to the office of the Inspector-General of Taxation Ali Noroozi.

The ATO received 25,073 complaints – inclusive of 1274 complaints to the office of the Inspector-General of Taxation Ali Noroozi. Photo: Louie Douvis

Community complaints represent 0.1 per cent of the total tax returns lodged in 2016-17, and its complaint processing time was improving.

At the end of 2016-17, 88 per cent of liabilities had been paid on time, down 1.4 percentage points from last year, and 96 per cent of liabilities had been paid within 90 days of becoming due, consistent with 2015-16.

The ATO registered 190 and finalised 192 compensation claims, with 79 resulting in compensation being offered.

The total amount of compensation payments made in 2016-17 was $801,305. The median payment was $500 and the average was $8,435. Fraud investigations

Fraud prevention and internal investigations across the year – which in some cases included collaborating with the Australian Federal Police – resulted in 404 allegations or reports, of which: 122 were substantiated, 134 were unsubstantiated, 35 were not able to be determined and 113 remain open at the end of the year.

“Unauthorised access continues to be the largest category of substantiated allegations, and is identified through proactive monitoring and integrity scanning,” the agency said, which “predominantly involves access to the employees own records or those of their family members or other people to whom they are connected”.

At Senate Estimates last week, Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan revealed that ATO staff that were the subject of Operation Elbrus investigations breached the agency’s code of conduct but are now back at work.

Former ATO deputy commissioner Michael Cranston stepped down from the agency in June. Photo: Peter Rae

Mr Jordan told estimates that while one of the ATO’s highest-ranking officers, Michael Cranston, stood down in June following allegations that he abused his position, other staff members involved in breaches of the code have returned to work with sanctions. Multinational focus

The ATO was performing one-on-one reviews of the largest 100 public and multinational groups.

Engagement with taxpayers under the Top 1,000 program resulted in 12 voluntary disclosures, with a tax impact of over $24 million.

At the end of June, the ATO had 98 audits under way covering 81 public and multinational businesses. There were 33 audits finalised at 30 June 2017, with total income tax liabilities raised in excess of $4 billion.

The agency in 2016-17 collected $1.7 billion in income tax from public and multinational businesses.

More was coming with 18 companies – such as Google and Facebook – restructuring under the federal government’s Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL), meaning $6.5 billion in sales was now being counted as part of the Australian tax base.

18 companies – such as Google and Facebook – are restructuring under the government’s Multinational Anti-Avoidance Law (MAAL) Photo: Phil Carrick

The Diverted Profits Tax (also informally known as the ‘Google Tax’) applying from July this would see more money (estimated at about $100 million) coming in. Move to lock in deals

More multinationals were coming to the ATO to lock-in deals ahead of time to avoid getting hit with big tax bills later. This in ATO-speak is known as “Advance Pricing Arrangements (APAs)”.

In 2016-17, the agency completed 16 APAs (6 bilateral and 10 unilateral). This was down compared to the 41 APAs it completed in 2015-16, when it processed a larger than average number of APAs on a project basis.

At 30 June 2017, there were 114 applications in place and another 106 in progress, including 31 in the early engagement stage.

Taxpayers continued to make voluntarily disclosures of underpaid or unpaid tax, which resulted in $776 million in liabilities (this included about $193 million in GST liabilities, with cash collections of $187 million as a result of voluntary disclosures from large businesses in 2016-17).

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

German trainer Andreas Wohler knows what it is like to win the Melbourne Cup, having enjoyed victory in 2014 when Protectionist romped to an easy triumph under English champion jockey Ryan Moore.
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Now the 55-year-old horseman is back in town and keen for a repeat effort next week courtesy of Red Cardinal, a horse who has gone under the radar somewhat as he has not had a preparatory run in this country.

Red Cardinal, a son of Coolmore stallion Montjeu, has not been seen in public since a disappointing fifth of eight in one of Europe’s key lead-up races, the Prix Kergorlay at Deauville.

That race was won by well-fancied Cup contender Marmelo, who ran an impressive Melbourne Cup trial when sixth in the Caulfield Cup.

But Wohler counsels punters against reading too much into that form, saying his galloper was not at his best that day.

“The Kergorlay is a good race but that day Red Cardinal was not himself, he didn’t like the ground [described as good] that day, and he also had a skin allergy,” Wohler told a Cup carnival launch crowd at Flemington racecourse on Tuesday.

And he is confident that he will not be far from the leaders next week, especially if Marmelo is in at the finish.

“I think where Marmelo is, we are at least,” he declared when asked about his horse’s prospects.

A cursory glance at Red Cardinal’s previous efforts suggests his trainer might not be far off the mark, even though Moore, who enjoyed such success with him three years ago, has changed his mind and will not now partner the horse as he cannot easily get to Australia from the Breeders Cup meeting in the US. Kerrin McEvoy, successful on Almandin 12 months ago, will now look for back-to-back wins aboard the German galloper.

Before his Deauville disappointment, Red Cardinal went to Belmont Park in America and saw off the useful English stayer St Michel in the Belmont Gold Cup.

And at the start before that he was too good for another very handy English horse, Nearly Caught, in a group 2 race at German track Hoppgarten in May. Both those races were over 3200 metres, the Cup distance.

Wohler was feted when he won at Flemington with Protectionist, famously being treated to a free breakfast the next morning at the cafe he had been patronising regularly while looking after his horse.

The memories of that success, and how big an event the Cup is, have made him determined to be involved on a regular basis.

“I have been racing all round the world but I have never experienced anything like the hype around the Cup.

“I think it is an open race this year. If everything goes right he can really be up in the mix. “

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

The Location
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Canberra’s Northbourne Avenue is a busy road that stretches right into the city centre. Straddled either side with deserted public housing buildings of a bygone era (namely, the 70s) which will eventually be demolished as part of the ‘urban renewal strategy’, turning the road into a “grand tree-lined boulevard”. A new light rail service will run down the avenue’s original nature strip, whipping guests from the Mantra into Civic in less than ten minutes, perhaps within the year. The Place

Right now, there’s not much on the block but construction, with more private suites being built, a car park underway, and public spaces yet to be landscaped. But it won’t be long before this is transformed into an urban village, proposed here for the intersection at MacArthur, with shops, transport stations, parks and cafes. The Space

The only hotel to open in the nation’s capital in 2017, a $19 million retrofit has converted the former drab 10 story office building into a bright modern hotel housing 136 hotel rooms and 40 suites. There’s secure underground parking on its way, but the hotel also features conference facilities, a gym with brand new equipment, 24 hour reception and a Greek-Mediterranean restaurant, Podilato. The Rooms

We were lucky to be in a two bedroom suite. The suites, behind one door, are two separate hotel suites with their own bathrooms that can be locked as such, or opened up for families. Huge windows allow for impressive natural light. The bigger suite has ample space even with a small dining table, two armchairs and a coffee table, a kitchenette with fridge, sink and microwave in place. The smaller suite resembles a larger room, minus the kitchenette and dining table. The bedding was extremely comfortable, and in the bathroom we loved the drainage that stretched right across the edge of the double shower which stopped the bathroom floor from getting flooded. The Food

The restaurant Podilato is Mediterranean, mostly Greek, and has a variety of dishes to suit those wanting to snack or settle in for a three course meal, with some good wine choices. The balcony attached to the restaurant will be good for a sundowner once the construction outside is complete. Breakfast is also served here in the morning with barista made coffee available, fruit salad, bircher muesli, chia puddings, toast and pastries, and there’s a hot food available to order (at an extra cost). Stepping out

There’s not much to do right now directly outside of the hotel, but not for long; that being said, Canberra is not a huge place with Civic a 20 minute walk or five minute Uber ride away. The light rail will make it even more convenient. The Verdict

Immaculate and spacious digs that don’t skimp on comfort close to the heart of the action. Highlight

Top marks for space, light, and shower drainage. Using the remainder of your clean towels to mop up the bathroom floor is never fun. Lowlight

Our street-facing room had noise from the cars in the mornings which can be bothersome. Ask for a room that doesn’t face the street. The Essentials

219 Northbourne Avenue Turner ACT, Canberra ACT 2601, Ph (02) 6112 9200, mantra南京夜网419论坛

The writer was a guest of Mantra

Battle of Beersheba: The charge that changed the Hunter Charge: An Australian War Memorial photo of the charge at Beersheba which is now believed to be a recreation held the following day.
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History: Bloomfield’s Guy Haydon and the mare, Midnight, at Beersheba.

Regard: Australian horses at Beersheba during World War I. Only one Australian horse returned.

Historic: Australian horses and men at Beersheba near the historic Ottoman Bridge outside the town. Picture held by the Australian War Memorial.

Custodian: Peter Haydon of Haydon Horse Stud at Bloomfield. The property has been in the family hands since the 1830s.

TweetFacebookThe battleWorld War I was fought on two fronts, the western one in France and Belgium, and the eastern onearound the Mediterranean Sea against the Turks.

The battle for Gaza was a disaster, described by some as a second Gallipoli, but after it, the English GeneralAllenby became Commander in Chief of the Egypt Expeditionary Force and Australia’s Lieutenant General Chauvel took control of the Desert Mounted Column.

From this, a new plan of attack was hatched. Read on.

Donald Cameron’s connection toBeershebaItwasn’t long before he died in 1950 that Upper Hunter man Donald Cameron talked to his son about the pivotal World War IBattle of Beersheba, where men and horses from the Hunter changed the course of history.

“My grandfather said to my father, ‘Some time people will remember what we did’,” Lieutenant Colonel Cameron’s grandson Dick Cameron said on Friday.

Regard: Australian horses at Beersheba during World War I. Only one Australian horse returned.

On Tuesday, 67 years after Mr Cameron’s death, people across Australiaand in Israelwill remember the heroic charge of 800 men from the 12thand 4thLight Horse brigades on the then Turkish town of Beersheba in the afternoon of October31, 1917.

People will gather at the tiny cemetery of Rouchel, near Scone, at the grave ofDonald Cameron; in Muswellbrook at the unveiling of a statue to commemorate the crucial role played by the Upper Hunter-bred waler horse at Beersheba;and in Murrurundi on Saturday where one of the most famous of the Hunter walers –the Bloomfield Homestead mare Midnight and her rider, Captain Guy Haydon –will be honoured. Read on.

The pilgrimageA group of Australians has made the journey to Israel to take part in the centenary commemoration of the Australian Light Horse’s Beersheba charge.

Fairfax Media journalist Sally Cripps, who is the descendant of General Sir Harry Chauvel,is taking part in the pilgrimage. Follow here story:

Battle of Beersheba outlined ahead of centenaryBeersheba charge remembered by Australian Light Horse descendants in Israel Wearing with pride: Austin Short at the grave of his grandfather, Howard Taylor, in Haifa, northern Israel. Picture: Sally Cripps.

Muswellbrook to unveil commemorative statueIsrael is a long way from Muswellbrook.

But, on Tuesday, October 31, the two locations will be joined by a defining moment in history – the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba. Read on.

The Battle of Beersheba reenactedIt was the scene of an astonishing moment in the ANZAC story 100 years ago that sits sandwiched between Gallipoli and the Western Front.

And now history enthusiasts and descendants of Australian Mounted Division and ANZACMounted Division soldiers prepare for reenactment of the Battle ofBeersheba. Read more.

Military hero Lieutenant-Colonel Donald CameronForGeoff Harrison, it’s been a labour of love.

What started as a personal project about his great uncle Donald Cameron has now turned into a couple of books, with the latest entitled Cameron of Beersheba.

The late Lieutenant-Colonel, of Rouchel in the Upper Hunter, was well-known from World War I, as the commander of the 12th Australian Light Horse Regiment, which together with the 4th Australian Light Horse Regiment, captured the town of Beersheba in Palestine. Read on.

PROUD: Author Geoff Harrison, from Soldiers Point, with a copy of his latest book, Cameron of Beersheba.

Battle of Beersheba by Ron Marshall THE CHARGE: Ron Marshall’s work, on display at Morpeth Gallery, commemorates 100 years since the last great horse charge in history. Picture: Ron Marshall

The assault on Berrsheba, a legendary battle in the First World War, was immortalised by Ron Marshall in his paintingThe Charge. Read on.

Cooper Cronk will be atthe Sydney Roosters next year –but will Mitchell Pearce?
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The Roostersconfirmed on Monday they had signed the 33-year-old Kangaroos and former Melbourne halfback to a two-season contract, a coup that casts doubt on the future of their incumbent No.7.

While Roosters chairman Nick Politis has insisted he wants Cronk and Pearce to play alongside each other in the same team, the latter is reportedly disappointed and disgruntled about his treatment after 11 seasons and 238 games for the tricolours.

And waiting in the wings, along with Manly and Cronulla, are the Newcastle Knights. Knights coach Nathan Brown told the Newcastle Herald last week: “If he [Pearce] was to become available, we’d be silly as a club not to at least entertain the thought of trying to sit downandhave a talk with him.”

It has since been reported that Brown has contacted Pearce’s father, former Balmain star Wayne Pearce, to express interest in the NSW Origin playmaker, and that there havebeen high-level conversations between Roosters and Knights officials.

Nonetheless, Roosters coach Trent Robinson was quoted on Monday saying he “absolutely” wanted to retain Pearce, even though the presence of livewire Luke Keary would suggest something has to give.

Pearce has two seasons to run on a deal estimated to be worth $800,000 per year. No clubwould appear in a better position to offer him top dollar than the Knights, who have a number of vacancies on their 2018 roster and considerable room to manoeuvre inside their salary cap.

If the Knights were successful in luring Pearce out of Sydney, it would instantly solve some of their problems while creating others.

Pearce’s former teammate, Connor Watson, has signed a three-year deal with Newcastle and been guaranteed first shot at five-eighth.

FormerNSW halfback Trent Hodkinson and up-and-comers Brock Lamb and Jack Cogger all have another year to run on their deals. Should Pearce sign for the Knights, it will surely be a matter of when, not if, Lamb and Cogger start talking to rival clubs.

ROOSTER BOOSTER: Test halfback Cooper Cronk, as expected, is heading to Bondi. Picture: AAP

As if cheaper prices are not enough, Qantas is now giving you an even bigger incentive to Uber to and from the airport.
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Qantas has partnered with Uber to allow Frequent Flyer members to earn points on Uber trips to the airport.

Passengers will be able to earn points travelling to and from some of Australia’s most popular airports.

To be eligible, you’ll have to download the latest version of the Qantas app, and book your Uber trip through that app to qualify.

The Uber icon will appear at the top right hand corner of the app, from which you will have to request the ride.

The higher the membership tier, the more points you will be able to earn from an Uber trip.

Bronze members will be able to earn one point per dollar spent, Silver will get two points, and Gold, Platinum and Platinum One members get three.

Those who are not yet signed up to Uber and book a ride through the Qantas app will earn themselves 2000 points for their first trip, which can be taken anywhere in Australia.

Uber passengers will be able to start earning points with Qantas from November 3.

In 2014, Virgin Australia cancelled a promotion with Uber following a backlash from the taxi industry and members of the public. At the time the ride-sharing service was still technically illegal. It has since been legalised in most Australian states, but remains illegal in the Northern Territory.

Several Australian airports, including Melbourne and Sydney international airports, now allow Uber drivers to pick up passengers from the terminal in designated zones. Airports eligible to earn Qantas points through Uber rides:AdelaideAvalonBrisbaneByron BayCairnsCanberraGold CoastHobartMaroochydoreMelbourneNewcastlePerthSydneyToowoombaTownsville

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