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Brazilian grooves at the Grand

One of the best guitarists in the world will visit Wellington in May treating audiences to Latin and Brazilian style music.
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Lulo Reinhardt’s 2011 Australian tour starts at Wellington’s Grand Hotel in May.

Mr Reinhardt is the grand-nephew of the great Belgian Gypsy jazz king Django.

He will perform for two hours, backed by his four piece band, featuring Daniel Weltlinger – Violin, Sean Mackenzie – Piano, Thumb Piano, Berimbau and Harald Becher – Bass and Fernando Delgado – Drums.

Mr Reinhardt’s music explores a fusion of styles, including flamenco, Latin and Brazilian jazz and always with a nod to his Gypsy influences. Event organiser John Tognolini said Lulo’s name has achieved international acclaim.

“He’s one of the top 15 guitarists in the world, he’s like Keith Richards coming from a gypsy point of view,” Mr Tognolini said.

Mr Tognolini hopes to attract to Wellington three international gigs of Mr Reinhardt’s calibre each year. Tickets are $47.50 and can be purchased from the Grand Hotel on 6845 2487.

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Not guilty plea to charges of overshooting

A kangaroo shooter working in the Dubbo region has been charged with failing to comply with the restrictions of a commercial fauna harvesting licence.
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Kobie Evans, 30, of Gilgandra has pleaded not guilty to three charges laid by the Department of Environment Climate Change and Water.

A hearing will be held in Dubbo Local Court on June 10.

The department alleges Evans failed to submit return forms required under the National Parks and Wildlife Act.

According to a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Department, the charges relate to kangaroo shooting undertaken on Dubbo district properties in May, June and August last year.

The Department of Environment Climate Change and Water is involved in administering the conversation-based commercial harvest of kangaroos.

The harvest is limited by a quota set each calendar year based on estimates of the kangaroo population.

Products derived from kangaroos include meat for human consumption and skins for leather products. Some skin and meat is used domestically, with the remainder exported to more than 55 countries.

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McCarthy puts all on alert to flirt with record

Sydney-trained pacer Flirt Alert is the new track record holder for the 2120m journey at Dubbo after a sizzling victory in the Furney’s Town And Country Pacing Cup on Saturday night.
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Trained and driven by Luke McCarthy and owned by his wife Belinda, Flirt Alert ($11.50) was in an awkward position four back on the pegs for most of the journey.

Helped by a hectic speed, Flirt Alert’s time of 2:34.6 (mile rate 1:57.4) broke the previous track record, shared by Intoxicated and Quick Approval, by more than one second.

Up front Newcastle visitor Ohoka Utah (Michael Formosa, $4.20) was setting a cracking pace after wrestling the lead from Northern Frontier (Paul Morphett, $5.00).

The race was set up for the backmarkers by early quarters of 30.9s and 28.4s which split the field up and allowed something to run on from the back of the field.

That horse was Flirt Alert, which saw daylight approaching the home turn, rounded up the leaders and went on to win by eight-and-a-quarter metres.

Ohoka Utah held on for second place with locally-trained Rebelle ($50.00) running on along the pegs for third.

The run of the second horse should be noted, as it set the tempo yet was kicking on in the straight and beat all bar the winner.

The disappointing run of the race came from $3.60 favourite Slick Bromac, which had a charmed run but didn’t go on with it after looming up.

After the race Belinda McCarthy said she was the only person that had faith in the nine-year-old gelding, which hadn’t won from its previous eight starts.

“They’ve been joking about him saying he was the horse letting the stable down,” she said.

“He didn’t let anyone down tonight. He did a really good job and I’m proud of him.

“He keeps on banking enough cheques to pay for himself so as long as he does that he will keep going.”

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Coral gives up link to maritime saga

THE legendary wreck of a British cargo ship that sank while sailing in convoy with Matthew Flinders 200 years ago has been discovered off the Australian coast.Maritime archaeologists have made the claim after last week discovering a ship’s cannon embedded in a reef in the Coral Sea off North Queensland.It is thought to belong to the Cato, which sank in the area after running aground in 1803 en route to India.Expedition leader Kieran Hosty, of the National Maritime Museum, said it was significant to Australia’s maritime history.”Very few colonial trading vessels have been found in Australian waters; this is just one of a handful,” he said.Five expeditions had visited the coral outcrop, known as Wreck Reef, in the past 45 years but failed to find where the Cato went down.For the first time, vital clues are expected to be unearthed near the small island of Porpoise Cay.The 450-tonne vessel and HMS Porpoise were wrecked after hitting an uncharted coral reef at midnight on August 17, 1803. The two were reported lost by a third ship.Three young sailors drowned, while the survivors, including Flinders, clambered on to Porpoise Cay. The shipwrecked sailors built a small open boat they named Hope from the timbers of the Porpoise.Nine days later Flinders and a crew of 13 sailed more than 1200 kilometres to Sydney.The stranded sailors, including Flinders’s brother, were picked up six weeks after the ordeal began.Kieran Hosty said conditions for the men would have been difficult.”The island is not even 100 metres long and less then 40 metres wide, so it must have been quite crammed for the 90 survivors,” he said.Although the discovery of the ship’s cannon has been a major find, Mr Hosty believes the final proof of identity will be made from the hinge of the ship’s rudder which was located nearby.”We didn’t want to damage the reef by lifting the heavily coral-encrusted cannon, so we were thrilled to retrieve the rudder’s hinge yesterday,” he said.”We may well find foundry marks and metal analysis would tell us even more about its origins. These investigations could give us the proof positive we need.”
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Men’s weighty effort earns great rewards

Terry Charleston and Malcolm White proudly holding the pants that could now hold two of them. Photo: Amy GriffithsTwo Dubbo men who have lost almost 40 kilos between them and dropped more than five shirt sizes say their drastic weight loss saved them from major health problems.
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Weighing 112 kg Malcolm White shed 25 kg- the weight of the average eight year old boy- in less than a year and now weighs 87 kg.

A rural property salesman for Landmark, Mr White who struggled to fit into size 117 trousers said just getting out of a chair was a “major” task.

“I was always out of breath and I could hardly walk anywhere without feeling exhausted,” Mr White said.

The 62 year old who has a new found “zest” for life now fits into size 92 trousers and has dropped three shirt sizes.

“I feel wonderful, I’m a new person, I’m lighter and happier,” said Mr White.

Wellington man Terry Charleston is another weight loss success story.

The retired teacher shed 14 kg in six months, dropped two shirt sizes, and recently competed in the Australian Running Festival in Canberra.

Mr Charleston, 63, who weighed 81 kg is now 67 kg and running in ten kilometre fun runs.

“I feel so much better all over, I have a new lease on life,” Mr Charleston said.

Both men have attributed their success to Weight Watchers a science based program that helps participants lose weight through a points based counting system.

Mentor and Dubbo Weight Watchers leader Kay Parker said the men’s stories are an example to other men who struggle to shift kilos.

“Men can feel apprehensive about joining a weight loss program that traditionally women dominate,” Mrs Parker said.

“I was so impressed with their commitment and motivation…in the 10 years I’ve worked with Weight Watchers these men would have to be one of the best success stories.”

Mrs Parker knows first hand what it’s like to struggle with weight.

Weighing 110 kg her “out of control” diet once consisted of no breakfast and loads of chocolate.

But it all changed when Mrs Parker suffered from a mini-stroke.

“After that I thought I’ve got to do something about this … I lost 36 kg in 18 months and I’m now 74.5 kg,” Mrs Parker said.

“Mr Cadbury was my best friend back then, I couldn’t walk past a shop without having to go in and buy a chocolate.

“My friend would buy me four cream buns every Tuesday because they were on special and by midnight I’d have eaten them all.”

Health problems can be turned around by eating and exercising properly, said Mr Charleston and Mr White.

“I had minor heart ailments six years ago and was told to lose weight but every kilo I lost I would put it back on,” Mr Charleston said.

“Weight Watchers and Kay helped me reach my goal and I feel better than ever.”

“A friend of mine and my daughter told me that if I didn’t get serious about losing weight I would have a heart attack … I can now do up my belt on my trouser by nine notches, “ Mr White said.

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Protesters demand climate for change

TENS of thousands of demonstrators marched on the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen yesterday urging world leaders to sign an ambitious agreement to tackle dangerous climate change.Archbishop Desmond Tutu, musician Angelique Kidjo and Bollywood actor Rahul Bose were some of the many speakers and celebrities taking part in the event.Eighteen giant ships sailed into Copenhagen harbour carrying climate messages before the marchers marched to the Bella Centre where politicians and officials from 192 nations are still divided over a deal.The demonstrations came midway through the UN conference and were designed to link up with protest action around the world. The marchers planned to hold a candlelight vigil inside the centre after delivering message sails from the ships to the UN’s chief climate official, Yvo de Boer.The mood inside the UN conference, the largest in history, was downbeat following the release of the first official draft proposal for a deal to come out of the main meetings. Australia’s Minister for Climate Change Penny Wong said: ”This is not a document which is capable of delivering the environmental outcome the world needs.”European negotiators also rejected it as too weak because it did not legally bind the big polluting nations, including the United States, China, India and Brazil, to curb greenhouse emissions.With less than a week to go to seal an ambitious political agreement on climate change, many are worried that time is running out. Political leaders including Prime Minister Kevin Rudd are due to arrive this week when the hard work of hammering out a deal will climax. US President Barack Obama, along with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, will be in Copenhagen for the final day of the conference on Friday.But serious questions remain about what sort of deal the leaders will be able to sign. So far, China, India and Brazil remain opposed to efforts by the US, Australia and the host Denmark to try to get an agreement that will lead to a legally binding treaty next year to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from developing countries.China and its allies also want to preserve the Kyoto Protocol, the treaty that imposes legally binding cuts in greenhouse gases on wealthy nations and to pressure them to increase their cuts. China, Sudan and Saudi Arabia welcomed the weak draft that has emerged.Despite the pessimism, chief US negotiator Todd Stern said he believed Copenhagen could deliver a positive outcome. ”I absolutely think there is a deal to be done here,” he told reporters, although he conceded, ”it’s not in the bag”.He said China and the US, the world’s two biggest polluters, were not that far apart on a deal.But environmental groups and European negotiators fear a weak outcome over emissions cuts.
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Ute beauty: Toyota, Ford race to reinvent a classic

AUSTRALIA invented the ute and now it’s perfecting it for the world.Australia’s three remaining car makers â?? Ford, Toyota and Holden â?? are playing roles in developing next-generation utes for the world.Toyota has revealed it will join Ford in developing a rugged ute to be sold around the world, exporting engineering and helping cement Australia as one of fewer than 20 countries that can design, engineer and produce cars.The next generation of Australia’s â?? and one of the world’s â?? most popular utes, the Toyota Hilux, will undergo extensive testing and development locally as part of a plan to set Australia up as a four-wheel-drive centre of expertise.A senior Toyota engineer recently in Australia said Australian engineers were being trained in Japan to develop the next Hilux ute that will arrive in about five years.”Australia is still the most diverse and harsh environment we know. It is the benchmark for model development,” said Toyota chief engineer Makato Arimoto, who is part of the product-planning department.Ford Australia â?? which invented the first car-based ute in 1934 in answer to a farmer’s desire for a car that could be driven to church on Sunday and take pigs to market on Monday â?? is leading the development of the next-generation Ranger.The longest-running name plate in Australia could switch to an imported car as part of the “one Ford” policy that aims to end cars for individual markets.Last year Holden was on the verge of exporting its Commodore ute to the US, a program that came undone when parent company General Motors slid towards bankruptcy. Some within Holden are still hopeful of reviving an export program for the ute that has created a new sports-ute segment.
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LOST SON OF GEURIE: Puzzle of our mystery Anzac finally solved

Lynne Palmer, a local history enthusiastWhen World War I ended and the dust settled on the fallen soldiers of Geurie, there was one family that was never able to properly put their son to rest.
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Of the 112 Geurie brothers, sons, uncles and fathers who fought in The Great War, one beloved soldier remained unaccounted for, making his demise a painful mystery for relatives and friends.

But 95 years later, in an age of DNA precision and global networking, the remaining family of Clarence Timbrell Collier can finally put their angst to bed.

The resting place of Clarence Collier has been located in France, thanks to the German Army’s meticulous records on soldiers’ distinguishing “dog tags”, and although his body hasn’t been formally identified yet, his great-nephew David Ward said it’s only a matter of time.

It has recently been discovered Clarence died during the Battle of Fromelles – the most infamous onslaught in Australian history – where more than 1900 Diggers were killed in one evening.

The Allies were no match for the German machine-gun brutality and, as a result, the 5th Australian Division suffered 5533 casualties overall, compared to the Germans’ 1000.

Keen amateur historian Lambis Englezos launched a search for the lost sons in 2002 and eight years later the excavation, which would later reveal 250 hastily buried Australians, began. They’ve since been exhumed, reburied in a military ceremony and given the remembrance honours they never previously achieved.

Clarence’s remarkable story made its way back to Geurie in January, when his great nephew David Ward and his wife Brigitte stopped by the Geurie Cenotaph to pay tribute to their uncle. On the Cenotaph his name was marked with a small diamond to signify he was missing in action.

Mr and Mrs Ward recounted their astonishing story to Lynne Palmer, a local history enthusiast who has dedicated much time to sharing the small town’s past.

“Clarence’s story has haunted our family for almost 100 years,” Mr Ward, a Charles Sturt University lecturer from Cudal, said.

“My great grandparents (Clarence’s sister and brother-in-law) used to experience a jolt of hope every time they walked down the street and saw someone of similar height and stance… Sadly they went to their graves not knowing what had happened.”

Clarence Collier was born in Geurie in 1891 and spent the first few years of his life at Geurie Public School before he moved to Sydney in 1906 with his family, Mr Ward said.

His father, Thomas Timbrell Collier, was Geurie’s Stationmaster from 1890 to 1906 until he was appointed Stationmaster at Gordon Railway Station on Sydney’s North Shore.

A child prodigy, Clarence completed his education at Sydney’s Fort Street School and was Dux of his class when he finished.

At age 20, he completed his Bachelor of Law at the University of Sydney and became the youngest person to achieve such a degree.

But because of his age, Clarence was unable to practice as a lawyer and subsequently enlisted in the Australian Army at the start of World War I.

He was first shipped to New Guinea in early 1916 and then to France as Second Lieutenant.

On July 19-20 1916, The Battle of Fromelles claimed Clarence Collier’s life, however his family wouldn’t know about it for more than 90 years.

“Interestingly, my great uncle on my father’s side of the family also lost his life that night when he was trying to bring soldiers back,” Mr Ward said.

“So my grandparents may have lost a brother each a day apart.”

Mr Ward said Clarence died in No Man’s Land and was therefore taken by the Germans to a nearby grave site.

In 2007 – 91 years after Clarence’s death – Melbourne school teachers Lambis Engazoz and Tim Whitford made a discovery that would forever change the family’s history.

Eight large undisturbed pits were found in farmland at Pheasant Wood, just a few kilometres back from the German front line. Beneath them lay 250 Australian bodies with dog tags – one worn by Clarence Timbrell Collier.

Tracing Clarence’s relatives proved to be difficult at first, as Clarence had four sisters and no brothers, which meant the Collier name died the day he did.

However, Red Cross letters written by Mr Ward’s great aunt, Marrianne Dakin, allowed scientists to track the ancestral lines and make the crucial connection back to Sydney.

Mrs Dakin received a phone call a few years ago with the news and was reportedly “beside herself”.

Along with Mr Ward and his mother, she boarded a plane to France to attend a special memorial ceremony and give Clarence the burial he deserved. Close to 1000 relatives turned out for the military service, in which each of the previously missing soldiers were reburied.

“It was a privilege to attend,” Mr Ward said.

“I had never been able to visualise the impact these lost souls had on families until I stood there and saw them grieving in Fromelles.”

About 100 of the 250 bodies have now been formally identified, but Clarence isn’t one of them.

“For now, we’re just happy with the knowledge that he’s part of that group and within 3 or 4 years, we’ll be able to give him a named grave.” The tentative completion date for the DNA matching program is 2014.

For the Geurie community, Clarence’s recovery symbolises unification and peace – peace in the knowledge that all of the 112 men, with their extended families, have now been properly put to rest.

“This is something that all of us can and will celebrate, regardless of our relation to Clarence Timbrell Collier,” Mrs Palmer said.

“Anzac Day is always a solemn occasion, but it’s also a reminder of how close we are as a community and how much we look after each other.”

For Mr Ward, the discovery has more personal sentimental significance.

“It’s closure, it’s clarity and it’s pride,” he said.

“It’s like we’ve finally been able to complete the circle of our family story. When he’s identified, the circle will be closed.”

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Time for reflection on Anzac Day

G’day, you know what I reckon?
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At about 5.30am today all over this great wide land small and not so small groups gathered around memorials, cenotaphs, RSLs and the local memorial hall, for what is our most sacred of days.

Anzac Day is, for those of us that consider ourselves to be Australian, the commemoration of the day that we became a nation.

My mother’s father, Leo, was one who went ashore on that fateful day; Private, later Corporal, Leo Anthony Ellis, Pioneer Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 1st Division Australian Imperial Force.

He was the 1353 Australian serviceman to enlist in this conflict.

He spent very little time on Gallipoli as he was wounded and became very ill and was moved to the islands nearby to recuperate, only to be shipped off to France with the 60th Battalion, and then back to the 3rd where he saw out his active service until wounded for the third time, was sent to England and then back to Australia in early 1918.

I was very young when he died and knew very little about him. He didn’t talk about the war to me as a child, and not very much to my mother and her family.

It wasn’t until I was much older when I met a bloke from his old Battalion at an ANZAC day march in Sydney and he told me some stories.

He was no great hero, except to me, my parents and his family and friends, he didn’t get medals, mentions, awards, he did get promoted, but he was just your average digger. Not that much different than the men and women that are today serving in a dozen conflicts or peace keeping operations around the world.

These young and some not so young put their lives on the line every day to protect us and our way of life

On Anzac Day we remember not only the original Anzacs who died on April 25 1915, but every one of our service men and women who have served and died in all wars, conflicts, peacekeeping, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance missions

Anzac Day is a time to reflect on the contribution made by all of our past and present service men and women who have displayed great courage, discipline and self-sacrifice in choosing a life of service to their country.

More than 3000 ADF members are currently deployed on operations, continuing the Anzac spirit while serving Australia’s national interests at home and in many countries around the world.

Our service men and women are doing an exceptional job contributing to the international coalition against terrorism in Afghanistan, contributing to various UN missions, and assisting and enhancing security and stability in our region, including border protection duties in Australia’s maritime domain.

The Anzac spirit lives on in the hearts and minds of all Australians as we acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of those who have contributed so much in shaping the identity of this proud nation.

At the War Memorial in Canberra there is an inscription:

“Here is their spirit, in the heart of the land they loved; and here we guard the record which they themselves made.” Charles Bean, 1948

Lest we Forget

What do you think,

‘cause that’s what I reckon


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Iran using Taiwan as nuclear conduit, says intelligence

NEW YORK: United Nations officials are investigating claims that Iran has established a new smuggling network using companies in Taiwan to acquire equipment that it could use to make nuclear weapons.Tehran is reported to have intensified its efforts to import the technology in response to mounting international pressure for it to freeze its uranium enrichment program, which many Western governments believe is aimed at building nuclear weapons.Intelligence reports allege Iranian defence officials have met officials of companies in Taiwan to buy pressure transducers, which can be used to produce weapons-grade uranium.Iran has been trying to buy the equipment for more than a year, but European and US companies have refused to sell it material that might be used for its nuclear program.Even China, which in the past has been prepared to sell technology to Iran, is proving reluctant to do business after Beijing supported a censure motion passed by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna last month. It followed the disclosure that Tehran was building a second uranium enrichment facility at Qom.Western intelligence officials say Iran has responded by concentrating its efforts on Taiwan and has acquired 100 transducers. They were made in Europe and sold to a company in Taiwan, which sold them on to the Iranian Defence Ministry.The UN is investigating whether the European companies are undertaking proper checks of end-user certificates for their equipment. According to to the intelligence reports, Iran is trying to negotiate further shipments of the equipment.The Nuclear Suppliers Group, a body set up to reduce nuclear proliferation by controlling the export of materials, has banned Iran from buying it on the open market.”This is a serious loophole, as it enables Iran to acquire sophisticated equipment that can help it develop its nuclear program,” a UN source said. ”Pressure needs to be applied to the companies involved to stop doing business with Tehran while it is still refusing to co-operate with the UN.”This year a Canadian of Iranian descent was arrested for trying to illegally ship pressure transducers to Iran that he had bought in the US.The Iranian Government, which denies it is trying to develop nuclear weapons, intends to build 10 more uranium enrichment plants and to start work on further enriching its uranium stockpile.The five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, Russia, China, France and Britain – plus Germany are preparing to meet, probably next Friday, to consider new sanctions against Iran, and UN diplomats expect protracted negotiations over the severity of possible measures.On Thursday the Security Council assessed Iran’s compliance with previous resolutions and heard a report on the seizure of two shipments of Iranian arms that had been bound for Syria. The shipments violated the UN arms embargo on Iran.Telegraph, London;The Washington Post; Bloomberg
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