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The man who is going to run 52 marathons around the world in 52 weeks

MEET Australia’s very own marathon man. Tristan Miller aims to become the first person to run 52 marathons around the world in 52 weeks.The 32-year-old will visit at least 42 countries, clocking up more than 260,000 kilometres in the air.He will undertake the first 42-kilometre foot slog of his epic journey in Zurich, Switzerland, on January 1.Mr Miller’s travels will also take him to the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain, as well as races in such diverse countries, cultures and climates as Siberia, Dubai, South Africa, Slovakia, Northern Ireland, Cuba and the Cayman Islands.He plans to finish his journey in his home city of Melbourne with a marathon he plans to stage himself, hoping to have at least 100 fellow runners join him.The $150,000 trip will cost him his life savings â?? including the sale of his St Kilda apartment, his car and most of his possessions but he is hoping to attract sponsors and is determined to raise $100,000 for UNICEF through donations.Mr Miller, in Sydney to say goodbye to his father, brother and other family and friends, said people he had spoken to about the journey had the same reaction.”Everyone is like, ‘You’re just nuts. Why would you bother?’ ” he said. “I just want to do something different. I’ll start over again when I get back.”The IT specialist only began running five years ago, as a way of dealing with the breakdown of his marriage.He soon found that running long distances gave him a sense of achievement and the courage to try other things he never dreamed he could do, such as taking off on a whim to explore exotic locations.When he was made redundant from his job at Google in April, Mr Miller decided to combine his new pastimes and put his body to the ultimate challenge.He has only done five registered marathons, including the Canberra and Melbourne events twice each, and the 87-kilometre ultra marathon Comrades in Durban, South Africa.He will prepare all his own meals, with food poisoning not an option despite the temptation of exotic cuisines.He knows that injuries are a distinct possibility, with “runner’s knee” already proving to be a problem.”The patella is not tracking right,” he said. “It is quite curable, I have just got to do strengthening. It does not help me that I am running and grinding away on my kneecap.”Lisa Holmes, the editor of Runners World Australia and New Zealand magazine said that Mr Miller’s attempt was the first that she was aware of and certainly the first time an Australian had undertaken such a feat.”Hopefully he can do it â?? it will be a great achievement,” Ms Holmes said.”He has got different climates [to deal with].”That will be his challenge and I am sure he will be wearing lots of compression wear on flights.”
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O’Shea cruises home on ranked outsider

Modern Cruiser’s trainer-driver John O’Shea with Glenn Morrison from West Dubbo Bowling Club. Photo: AMY GRIFFITHSModern Cruiser caused the biggest upset of the night at Dubbo’s Carnival of Cups meeting with a win in the West Dubbo Bowling Club Cup Final (2120m).
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Trained and driven by John O’Shea at Bathurst, the four-year-old was unwanted by punters despite an unlucky second in the previous week’s heat.

On that occasion the Modern Art (USA) x Royale Risque gelding broke after the start and sat three wide before beaing beaten a neck by Ace Of Authority.

On Saturday night the gelding started a $32.60 chance was on its best behaviour as it ran down Sweet Carolina (Steve Turnbull, $22.60) in the shadows of the post.

Sheza Machstar (Amanda Turnbull, $1.40 fav) finished third.

After the race O’Shea said he was happy to see the gelding show its best after having high hopes in the heat.

“He has been going real good lately and things worked out well tonight,” O’Shea said.

“What he did last week was very uncharacteristic of him but he straightened himself up tonight and ran to his best so I’m very happy.

“I thought Amanda had the race halfway down the straight but my fella kept on coming and we were able to hold off Sweet Carolina as well.”

The win was the third of Modern Cruiser’s 18-start career and took its earnings past $14,000.

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The killers within: how our homes are making us sick

AUSTRALIAN homes are a hotbed of toxic chemicals, full of products and furnishings that have been linked to cancer, reproductive damage and learning disabilities.Experts have called for tighter regulations in the industry relating to chemicals that are allowed into homes and more transparency so consumers can become aware of the dangers.Environmental scientist and National Toxics Network co-ordinator Jo Immig said everything from our carpets to our computers contained toxic chemicals that could cause a raft of illnesses and behavioural disorders, particularly among children.Among the most harmful toxins she identified are: perfluorochemicals (found in stain resistant chemicals in carpets, upholstery and some clothing) that have been found to be potentially carcinogenic and risky for pregnant women; brominated flame retardants (found in electrical goods such as computers and televisions) that have been linked to cancer and reproductive damage; and lead (found in old paint in many homes and in some imported products, such as toys) that has been linked to learning disabilities and behavioural disorders.Then there is triclosan (found in products labelled ”antibacterial”, including wipes, shower curtains, even toothpaste) that has been linked to hormonal abnormalities and a weakening of the immune system; and formaldehyde (found in building materials such as chipboard) that is a known carcinogen.”We need to tighten up our national standard,” Ms Immig said. ”Currently, the regulator is a toothless tiger. It does not have the power to do anything. The Government is taking the approach where they are leaving it up to the market to self-regulate and we are the guinea pigs. It is outrageous that people need a PhD in chemistry before they can buy a product.”Ms Immig said children today had ”much higher” levels of such toxic chemicals in their systems compared with their grandparents.”In some instances, they are born with those chemicals in their bodies because their parents are living in a soup of those chemicals before they are even conceived,” she said.Organic Federation of Australia chairman Andre Leu called for an overhaul of the industry, saying that there should be the same level of scrutiny for household and personal care products as there was for food and drink.”Dermal absorption through the skin, in many cases, can be worse than actual swallowing or eating food,” Mr Leu said. ”The other route [of absorption] is breathing them in and that applies to a lot of cleaning products.”Malcolm Rands, a New Zealand farmer who founded organic brand Ecostore in 1993, said the average household used up to 30 different cleaning and personal care products containing harmful toxins.”It is the wild, wild west and the whole of humanity is being used as guinea pigs,” he said.A spokesman for the Government regulator for industrial chemicals, the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme, said the body must be notified of all new industrial chemicals, including ingredients in household products, prior to import or manufacture.He said regulatory action had been taken on three types of brominated flame retardant in 2001, while the use of perfluoros had been monitored since 2002 and a restriction on lead in industrial paints was made effective on January 1, this year.Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn said the consumer group would examine the issue of chemicals in homes and industry disclosure.Families at riskAn investigation into the home of the Hendersons was enough to make the family’s skin crawl.Eco-campaigner Malcolm Rands identified hundreds of potentially dangerous chemicals inside their Marrickville house.They included parabens (”mimics female hormones and linked to breast cancer”), optical whiteners (”upsets immune system and kills fish”) and sodium lauryl sulfate (”strips skin’s protective oils”).”It is a bit scary,” Grant Henderson, 35, said. ”There is no real conversation about this stuff. It is all about how many germs this thing will kill or what it cleans, not what it leaves behind.”He has suffered from psoriasis, while wife Harriet, 30, and children Isla, 2, and Olive, 7 months, have also had skin problems.
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3D screen premier at Reading

Reading Cinemas staff members Jerryn Biles and Holly Cronk help offer a sneak preview of the 3D experience patrons will be offered once a 3D movie screen is installed in May. Photo: BELINDA SOOLEReading Cinemas is outlaying more than $100,000 to bring the latest three-dimensional movie projecting technology to Dubbo.
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DOLBY Digital 3D equipment will be installed in cinema one on May 17 and 18.

Cinema manager Michael Wakelam is expecting capacity audiences to attend Dubbo’s first 3D movie experience when Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides is screened on May 19.

“Dubbo and the western region have waited a long time for this,’’ Mr Wakelam said.

“3D has enjoyed unprecedented success in Australia and there will be a great range of 3D movies released from May until the end of the year.’’

Cinema one will be converted to 3D by an expert team from Sydney.

The old projector and running gear will be removed before a new projector is craned into position.

The upgrade will include installation of new sound equipment.

Cinema patrons attending 3D sessions will be issued with special reusable glasses worth $50 a pair.

The glasses will be washed and dried by cinema staff at the end of each session.

Reading Cinemas has been operating at the Riverdale shopping centre for 12 years.

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Furore over flood victim assistance

Federal member for Parkes Mark Coulton has gone on the attack against “nitpicking bureaucrats” who are denying flood victims in Dubbo and western NSW urgently needed government assistance.
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Mr Coulton claims Centrelink staff processing disaster recovery payments are making decisions based on individual interpretation of government policy.

“Some of these bureaucrats clearly haven’t got a clue,’’ he said.

“Flood victims in Dubbo have been told they don’t meet criteria because the water that inundated homes and property didn’t come from Queensland.

“Applications for assistance from Goodooga and Weilmoringle have been denied on the basis that residents were not truly isolated even though both communities were cut off from major towns and required food drops.

“Similar stories have been reported right around the region and I have a growing pile of letters, emails and faxes from people who are angry and distressed.’’

Mr Coulton has been in contact with Attorney General Robert McClelland who confirmed the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) had been extended to the Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Cobar, Coonamble, Dubbo City, Gilgandra, Mid-Western, Narromine, Walgett, Warren, Warrumbungle and Wellington local government areas.

“The Attorney General’s office now realises something is not right,’’ Mr Coulton said.

“It’s farcical for the government to extend the flood assistance area and then knock back valid applications.

“I’m hopeful the problem is just a breakdown in communication between what the Attorney General wants and what Centrelink is delivering.

“The Attorney General has promised to review the situation and to get back to me with an urgent determination.’’

Centrelink spokesman Kevin Room said residents in mid-west and north-west NSW who had payment applications rejected would be automatically reassessed for flood assistance.

“There is no need for these customers to contact Centrelink to reapply for the payment.

“Customers who have not already applied for an AGDRP payment can do so online at www.centrelink.gov.au, in person at any Centrelink office or by contacting the Australian Government Emergency Line on 180 22 66.

“For information including eligibility criteria visit the Centrelink website.’’

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Mariners suffer rare home loss as Victory hit heights

Ladder leaders Melbourne exacted revenge for two home losses to the CentralCoast with a classy 3-0 away win over the Mariners in Gosford lastnight.Two well-worked second-half goals from Carlos Hernandezand Matthew Kemp and an own goal from Mariners defender Nigel Boogaardensured Melbourne quickly regained top spot from Sydney, who brieflyhit the lead following their away win over Wellington earlier yesterday.Itwas the first home loss and biggest defeat of the season for theMariners, who had previously conceded only three goals at BluetongueStadium.Melbourne controlled most of the game apart from the last 15 minutes before half-time.TheVictory had the game’s most influential players in Socceroos strikerArchie Thompson and the midfield duo of Kemp and Hernandez.Kempwas involved in all three goals. Thompson released Kemp down the rightin the 57th minute and his cross was swept home by Hernandez from nearthe spot.Kemp was involved again in the 77th minute, when hisright-wing cross deflected off Boogaard and past Mariners goalkeeperDanny Vukovic.Victory coach Ernie Merrick ratedthe win Melbourne’s best away performance of the season, and was fullof praise for Thompson, Kemp, Langerak, and fellow defenders KevinMuscat and Adrian Leijer.However, Merrick was far from happy with some of the offside calls against his team.”We were keen to play an interpassing game and keep creating chances and get our fullbacks forward and we did it well,” he said.”Oncewe scored one, we knew they would have to open up. I was justdisappointed by the continual offside decisions that go against us,because we might have been able to get them opened up even earlier.””I’mjust disappointed that they just can’t get it right and that affectsour scoring opportunities, it affects one-on-ones with the goalkeeperand it denies the crowd the opportunity to see attacking football.”Meanwhile,Sydney FC thumped Canberra 3-0 to advance through to their first W-League grand final at Toyota Stadium.TheSydneysiders overcame the dismissal of defender Alesha Clifford toclaim home ground advantage for the championship decider next weekendagainst the winner of Central Coast and Brisbane.
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The party’s over: police target drunk revellers

”THAT taxi driver just told me to piss off.”The man pleading with police has probably been drinking all afternoon but at 3am, when he wants to go home, no one will take him.Taxi drivers sick of drunk revellers defacing their cabs are taking a stand, but leaving them stranded is one of many factors contributing to the scourge of alcohol-fuelled violence that has infected the state, and Sydney’s nightclub districts are at the heart of it.As part of Operation Unite, a trans-Tasman police blitz involving 14,000 officers that is targeting alcohol-related violence this weekend, The Sun-Herald spent a few hours on the beat with some of our most hardened cops.According to preliminary figures, the officers on duty in NSW were also the country’s busiest – 333 people were charged with 516 offences.In Victoria, police reported a spike in arrests but said fewer people were on the streets. In Western Australia, police made 142 arrests. In the ACT, South Australia and Tasmania, most arrests were for drunk and disorderly behaviour and no serious assaults were reported.Kings Cross bakery worker Emma Pham said the increased police presence was welcome. ”To see police around you feel good. There are always junkies around and they behave when the police are here.”Police in Kings Cross made their first arrest at 10.30pm, when office Christmas party revellers were still in full flight.Later in the evening, most of the arrests were the ”regulars” – mainly drug users – many of whom are known to police.Kings Cross commander Superintendent Tony Crandell said some police had already implemented strategies to curb violence, such as banning offenders from entertainment districts for 12 months. ”The assault rate has fallen, but nevertheless, the number of assaults is still unacceptable,” he said.”Kings Cross is more dangerous than other Sydney area even though others have had horrific crimes.”I tell officers they have won the lottery when stationed at this LAC [local area command].”Every skill that a police officer learns at the academy will be tested at Kings Cross.”Despite the number of arrests, Superintendent Crandell said the weekend was quieter than the last.motorists were breath-tested on NSW roads on Friday. A similar number were tested last night. Police detected 176 drivers with a blood-alcohol level that was over the legal limit.’I find it hard to believe that … this many people could act so irresponsibly.’Police Assistant Commissioner Frank Mennillipolice were on the beat across Australia and New Zealand for Operation Unite, which targeted alcohol-related violence. Officers in Sydney say December is typically the most violent month.’About 70 per cent of our time is taken up by alcohol-related violence.’Kings Cross police commander Superintendent Tony Crandellpeople were charged with 516 offences in NSW on Friday night, ranging from assault and robbery to weapons and drug offences.’Most people got the message that police would not tolerate alcohol-related violence.’Assistant Police Commissioner Frank Mennillipeople were charged with drug offences, including a pregnant woman known to police who is accused of selling drugs she concealed in a pot plant outside a backpackers hostel.’She used drugs through her first pregnancy as well but fortunately the baby was born healthy.’ Arresting officerlicensing breaches were detected, leading to the closure of three karaoke bars in the CBD. Police also detected 300 security breaches.’Just another five minutes, mate …Motorist parked illegally in Paddington.I know the owner of the club.’knives were confiscated from people later charged with weapons offences. Two teenagers were charged after allegedly trying to hold up a Granville hotel with a knife and a replica firearm.’You can tell those guys are going to get into a fight.’Pedestrian in Darlinghurst.officers manning one drink-driving checkpoint in central Auckland. In the first few hours of the operation, they had booked about 40 drivers for alleged drink-driving. One woman, who had a 15-year-old in the car, said she had learnt her lesson.’Sometimes this job really puts you off drinking.’ Auckland acting Sergeant Keith Barkerassault charges were laid in NSW on Friday night, including one against a 38-year-old Carlingford man accused of assaulting an officer at Ryde Police Station. The officer suffered a broken nose and neck injuries.’This is exactly the type of incident which has made police so determined to crack down on drunken violence.’ Police officerextra police officers were deployed in NSW, focusing on Sydney’s three hot zones: Oxford Street, Kings Cross and George Street in the city.’Congestion has something to do with it – a bump into someone on the street can turn into a fight.’ Police officerper cent of customers at Imad Alsmadi’s convenience store stayed away from Kings Cross, possibly due to the strong police and sniffer dog presence.’When police come with dogs, people leave the area because they can’t find drugs.’Imad Alsmadi
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Businessman’s fears over Centrelink saga

Dubbo businessman David Nugent feared he could be caught in the middle of a development stoush.The Dubbo lessee of the former Freedom furniture building has lashed out at a “noisy minority” who could stop a $9 million Centrelink development from going ahead and be the demise of his two Dubbo businesses.
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Dubbo businessman David Nugent feared he could be caught in the middle of a development stoush about the Wingewarra Street location, and the “unfair” refusal of Centrelink could bust his two businesses that provide jobs for Dubbo people.

Mr Nugent advocated for the proposed purpose-built building for the government agency, saying it would be good for the city, as objectors to the opposed Centrelink continued their campaign against the development application (DA).

Victorian-based developer The Stirloch Group this month resubmitted a DA to Dubbo City Council for the use of 64-70 Wingewarra Street as a Centrelink office.

Councillors against staff advice refused the first DA in February, citing the DA’s failure to adequately address “detrimental social impacts” on the adjoining church and school and other reasons.

Dubbo Public School parent representatives, Dubbo Uniting Church members and business people emphasised extreme traffic congestion if the development near them and a bus interchange went ahead.

With a decision due at this week’s council meeting and further criticisms submitted to the council, Mr Nugent yesterday spoke in favour of the DA and outlined a dull future for city investment if it did not.

Mr Nugent has a 10-year lease with well-known Dubbo family the Orbells for the Wingewarra Street site, until last year occupied by Freedom, of which wife Chris Nugent is the franchisee.

With a sale in the wings between the Orbells and the Stirloch Group last year, the Nugents signed a 10-year lease for a Hawthorn Street site and relocated Freedom, with the provision that the cost of the relocation would be reimbursed by the proceeds of the sale.

He judged the deal would result in benefits for Freedom, the clients and staff of Centrelink, the Orbell family and the city of Dubbo, he said.

“I was thinking I was doing a win-win-win (arrangement),” he said.

Community criticism disabused him that it would be straight forward, but he was frustrated and disbelieving the deal may be in jeopardy.

“I never thought there’d be a local issue with moving a government department 300 metres from one block to the next with better facilities,” he said.

Mr Nugent was facing the possible outcomes including subletting if the DA was refused again and the sale did not go ahead.

Mr and Mrs Nugent would still be liable for the rent of the Wingewarra Street site and would not be reimbursed the relocation costs if the sale did not go ahead. That would put pressure on the couple’s two businesses, Freedom and the Latex Bedding Company, which together employ 24 people, the majority of which are Dubbo jobs.

“It’s not just an outside developer who would walk away, if this is stopped I would potentially go broke,” he said.

He questioned how any developer would take on the site if Stirloch did not meet success after following Dubbo’s development process to the letter.

“Another developer would be reluctant to invest time and money (if) a noisy minority could influence enough (councillors),” he said.

Site owners Ken and Peter Orbell who had always been “thorough gentlemen” to Mr Nugent were now “very worried”.

“They either have to enforce the lease against me, which they don’t want to do or they are left with an empty building with more than $40,000 in rates, and one really good potential development on the site, which on an ad hoc basis could be knocked over,” Mr Nugent said.

“What do they do then?”

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Call for donors as Christmas blood supply drops

THE Red Cross Blood Service is calling for more volunteers to help boost seasonally depleted stocks of a vital blood ingredient.Because of the closure of donor centres on public holidays and registered donors going away on holiday over the Christmas period, staff are concerned about supplies of the precious cells, called platelets, which last only five days.â??We often do have challenges at Christmas,” said the service’s executive director, Pip Hetzel. “Platelets will always be the issue. Normally our red cell stocks are reasonably good. Any time there are lots of holidays it presents challenges.”It can take the donation of red blood cells from up to four people to make one collection of life-saving platelets. The proportion of donors in Australia who regularly give blood is 1 per cent less than in other developed nations, where about 3 per cent donate. Despite this there has been an increase of more than 130,000 donations this year â?? the year of the blood donor â?? to add to the 570,000 present donors.About 60 per cent of platelets go to patients with bone marrow problems such as leukaemia and who have had treatments such as chemotherapy.Drew Lawther, 10, of Lake Munmorah on the Central Coast, has benefited from platelet transfusions. More than 100 donors contributed to his treatment after he was diagnosed with leukaemia a day after his ninth birthday in November last year.His mother, Donna Lawther, said: “The treatment basically wiped out his bone marrow system so he was not producing any haemoglobin or any platelets. Without the platelets and the blood he wouldn’t be here today.”After a bone marrow transplant in August Drew is free of leukaemic cells. “He’s lucky that the technology, expertise and blood donors were there to give him that second chance,” Mrs Lawther said.Drew said his three brothers helped him through the recovery, and he is looking forward to starting year 5 and playing soccer next year.”I want to meet my friends . . . At home I’ve only got the dog,” he said. “I just hope I can encourage a lot of people to donate blood.”Only one in 30 Australians give blood, but one in three will need blood in their lifetime.The Blood Service expects demand to double in the next 10 years due to medical science developments and the ageing population.
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Frustrated clubs want some answers at historic meeting

IT’S the gathering described as ”one of the most significant meetings in the game’s recent history”.NRL club powerbrokers will meet at the Sheraton on the Park at 10am on January 18. If all goes to plan, they will be celebrating the formation of an independent commission – or at least getting close to nutting out the final details. There is likely to be some heated debate – and radical ideas – if the frustrating wait for a new governing body is no closer to becoming a reality.The Sun-Herald has obtained the invitation that Titans boss Michael Searle sent to all 16 clubs, urging them to be represented by their CEOs, coach, chairman and captain. However, there will be no sign of NRL officials, due to the their ”ethical conflict” in the process.”Clearly the push for an Independent Commission has been driven by the Committee planning and holding negotiations with News Limited and the ARL, which has been active for some two years come May 2010 and it is important that we ensure that procrastination [is] not veiled as ‘diligently perusing the cause for an independent commission’,” Searle wrote.”Naturally the Committee cannot overstate the importance of having a full compliment [sic] of Club Representatives at the meeting which may be one of the most significant meetings in the game’s recent history.”Searle yesterday denied that a breakaway competition – a potential last resort should the ARL and News Ltd not relinquish control of the game – was on the agenda.However, clubs will want answers as they become increasingly frustrated that the parties haven’t signed off on an agreement. There are also concerns about some of the names being touted as potential commissioners. Colin Love, who holds positions on the ARL, IRL and NSWRL, has been mooted as the commission chairman. Other names floated as potential powerbrokers include Roosters pair Mark Bouris and Nick Politis.”Everybody agrees that the game needs an independent commission and that it should be genuinely independent,” Cronulla chairman Damian Irvine said.”So there is some frustration and exasperation that some of the people mentioned or installed as favourites for the position are so aligned.”We certainly wouldn’t want anyone from the Sharks on the commission – as much as I wouldn’t want any other club or aligned person on there.”It needs to be truly independent.”There is a feeling that people are being given roles out there as a pay-off for letting this happen.”
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