JUST MAGIC: Master illusionist Michael Boyd with dancer and assistant Elizabeth Kirby at Albury Entertainment Centre. Picture: DAVIS HARRIGANTHUNDEROUS applause rippled through the Albury Entertainment Centre on Wednesday thanks to master illusionist Michael Boyd.
Nanjing Night Net

The World Festival of Magic travelled to Albury to entertain about 1000 people over two shows.

Most of the dazzled onlookers wereprimary school children.

Thanks to tremendous support from Albury businesses and surrounding areas, The Lions Club of Albury was able to help deliver a spectacular stage and light show.

Lions Club member Ross Altass said the 12-month project of organising the showwas a great success.

“We hadthe assistance of businesshouses around Albury and a lot of schools,” he said.

“We’re able to get magicians to come through every year and put on a show which the children very much enjoy.”

Mr Altass said feedback and contact sent to the Lions Club after the show was always welcomed.

“The letters of appreciation and phone calls we get from the children after the show is over are very heart-warming,” he said.

“After our club has put so much work init’s a lot of satisfactionto see the end result.”

Michael Boyd wows the crowd with his entrance at the World Festival of MagicImportantly, the show’s sponsor, the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre Trust Fund, received a $10,000 donation as part of their relationship.

“Each year we select a charity to support, and in the past we have helped the Albury Border Rescue Squad and Angel Flight,” he said.

“A show like this cost about $80,000.”

Boyd wowed the crowd with his clever tricks but it was the crowd reaction that pleased him most.

“The reaction of the kids is absolutely amazing,” he said.

“The adults also turn into children and have the same sense of wonder and it’s nice to believe there is a bit of magic.”

Boyd said every audience he performed to was different.

“To be able to bring a little big of magic and an escape into their lives is really important,” he said.

“It’s probably their first theatre experience.”

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

  • Comments Off on No secrets, only tricks

ON THE GREEN: Rob Thomas comes to Sirromet on February 28 for a day on the green.Rob Thomas will exercise hislove affair with Australian audiences when he comes to Sirromet for a day on the green on Sunday, February 28.
Nanjing Night Net

Thomas was frontman, lead vocalist and key songwriter for Matchbox Twenty and is also a major solo artist.

He promises a mix of new and old favourites.

Featuring singles Trust Youand Hold on Forever, The Great Unknown (Warner Music Australia) is the third and latest solo offering. Thomas’solo debut Something To Be hit number oneon the Ariaalbum chart and earned sales of three-times platinum, adding singlesLonely No More, This Is How A Heart Breaksand Streetcorner Symphonyto the list of Thomas classics. His 2009 follow up, Cradlesong peaked at number three with double-platinum sales.

Matchbox Twenty released its debut album Yourself Or Someone Like You in 1996. Home to hits Pushand 3AM, the album amassed sales of 10-times platinum in Australia. The band’s most recent studio album, 2012’s North – fuelled by the hit singles She’s So Mean, Overjoyedand Our Songreaped a US number one debut and Billboard 200 chart-topperand an ARIA Album number one.

Thomas also holds the title of the second-most played track on Australian radio of the past 15 years with Smooth, his worldwide smash hit collaboration with Santana for which he collected three Grammy Awards.

Joining Thomas will be special guest Pete Murray and making his a day on the green debut, Darren Middleton from Powderfinger.

Murray’s quintessential debut album Feelerdominated 2003 selling six-times platinum (450,000 copies) and earning 12 Ariaaward nominations, spending more than two years in the Top 100. Murray has remained one of Australia’s hottest and most in-demand touring properties, repeatedly enjoying sold out tours across the country and aboard.

Darren Middleton, best known as Powderfinger’s lead guitarist and songwriter, will perform a number of iconic Powderfinger songs in addition to his solo material. Middleton released his new album Splintersearlier this month, a follow up to his 2013 full length debut Translations.

A day on the green is a fully licensed event with strictly no BYO alcohol. Food will be available on site or BYO picnic. Deck chairs and picnic rugs are recommended. For all event information, go to 梧桐夜网adayonthegreen南京夜网419论坛. Tickets: Platinum $199.90, gold $179.90,silver $139.90 plus booking fees. General admission is $105.90 plus booking fees Tickets are from Ticketmaster南京夜网419论坛 and136 100.

AND FRANKIE: Pete Murray and his dog Frankie.

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

  • Comments Off on Rob Thomas coming to Sirromet

Murray Bridge’s council has drafted two plans that will guide it through to 2032.Murray Bridge’s council has its eyes on the future.
Nanjing Night Net

After three months’consultation and 3500 comments, the council has drafted a community plan to guide it until 2032, and a strategic plan that breaks down actions needed within five years.

The community planenvisions greater riverfront access, more education options and jobs, and an invigorated business sector connected to national and international markets.

The strategic planprioritises improved town entrances such as Adelaide Road, enhanced parks and recreational spaces, tourism,and morecommunity involvement in decision-making.

“We think we have pinpointed our community needs, priorities and aspirations for the next 16 years,” Mr Lewis said.

At the council’s meeting last week, Councillor Airlie Keen commended the relatively few members of the public who took the time to attend meetings and contribute to the plans.

“There were only four to six people at some events, and while there was quality feedback we didn’t have the quantity,” she said.

“I’d encourage people to get involved through online forums.”

Read the plansat the Murray Bridge library, council office or 梧桐夜网murraybridge.sa.gov419论坛.To have your say, visit letstalk.murraybridge.sa.gov419论坛 or write to PO Box 241, Murray Bridge SA 5253 before 4.45pm on December 18.A public meeting will also be held at the council office at 5.30pm on December 7.This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

  • Comments Off on Draft plans guide rural city to 2032

Many rural areas across the western world are facing similar problems.
Nanjing Night Net

Looking at the state government’s ‘Fit for the Future’ framework for councils and shires across the state, many country councils have failed to meet the required criteria purely because demographers predict their populations will fall.

Part of this underlying problem lies with public policy settings and advice which abounded in the 1970s and that was telling farmers they had to get big or get out.

This meant many landholders borrowed huge amounts of money and many unlucky farmers then confronted droughts and exorbitant interest rates which drove them off the land.

So we had a complex set of circumstances which no-one in public life seemed to understand at the time – smaller farmers had been bought out, with many disappearing from districts which previously had plenty of people, and the blokes who went bigger, then went broke, also left the land.

This saw a decline in the populations which supported local schools, government services and local businesses, so those rural communities were not only diminished, they became less self-reliant because they were less able to support themselves.

Now we need some artificial stimulation from government to ensure the survival and self-reliance of many of our small communities into the future.

Let’s start with a pretty simple concept that could make a huge change for little federal and state outlays, but an idea which wouldn’t be popular with senior bureaucrats.

At the moment, ‘Our ABC’ is a city-centric ego-wrapped national public broadcaster and is looking at withdrawing some of the already scant services it offers the bush, with talk that one of the two live programs it runs in local areas across the country will be shut down among other cutbacks.

Instead it will concentrate on enhancing its multiple digital platforms and other pet projects of senior management.

I watched ‘The Killing Season’ which screened on the ABC at a cost of a few million taxpayer dollars and learnt not much that was really new and saw not much that was in the national interest – if we needed this series so badly, let the ‘market’ decide to make it.

But it stroked the feathers and egos of senior people at the ABC and that, it seems, is the ABC management’s priority these days – cry poor, cut essential country services, but keep the top end of town rolling along.

Here’s an idea for the ABC bosses to ponder on, one that could make a real difference for regional Australia – look at how much real value each Landline episode brings to the bush and further afield, that program makes such a positive difference.

Identify target towns and establish a two-person ‘multi-media crew’ in the area, let’s say Warren in the first instance.

This team would have a number of functions and it would vary depending on where they were stationed, but at the very least they could be feeding real local stories into the regional ABC newsrooms.

This crew would be tasked with a number of duties including working with local schools to upskill students and teachers across multi-media formats, showing them how to film, record, work on digital and social media platforms and how to build and maintain websites.

These students could then run ‘after-school’ classes, under the supervision of these experts, to teach the town’s elderly how to engage with the internet, an initiative which would not only help those seniors but also build community by engaging different generations in the experience.

If the crew was moulded on a sliding scale, that is, the senior person would leave after a two-year stint, that would ensure there was always one person who’d been in situ for a year, ensuring a continuity for the town.

Local students could try their hand at reporting stories for their local, regional station.

They could also set up cost-effective websites for local businesses, making some pocket money and guaranteeing towns like Warren a far greater web presence than could have been dreamed possible.

This would ensure local kids had real life jobs’ skills and also potential employers in the local area.

The ABC could identify the best and brightest and have scholarships. All sorts of state and federal departments could chip in a little bit each as nearly all of them would get some benefit – a very small amount from a lot of different bodies adds up to not much at all for each contributor.

Local kids could be ‘contracted’ by health agencies to run locally designed awareness raising programs etc, getting very cheap outcomes for the agencies and enormously powerful real world experience for the participating kids – it would also make the older people in the community proud of what their youth are achieving, thus building community spirit and morale.

ABC could run national regional/rural/remote awards for film/video etc projects and have a national awards’ night where the best and brightest get rewarded in various ways for their efforts.

The internet is not going away and is only going to get much bigger, thus this could see real sustainable skills being learnt that can lead to real and sustainable jobs, and it will be a whole-of-community, whole-of-nation thing, not ‘make-work’ or painting rocks white.

We need the federal Nationals to flex some of their current ‘balance of power’ leverage and get ABC fan Malcolm Turnbull to ensure the broadcaster focusses as much on what Australia needs as it does on what top management wants.

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

  • Comments Off on M2100: Small communities need government help

Nanjing Night Net

Ryan John Howes, 23, faced Southport Magistrates Court on Tuesday accused of fatally stabbing 16 year-old Michael Brack in Bundall on Saturday night.

Howes was arrested following a four-hour manhunt on Monday.

He spoke briefly to his father in the courtroom, who told him to “stay strong”, before the matter was adjourned until January 12.

Police tore apart the roof cavity of a Bundall home just before 2.30pm on Monday to arrest the man, who they believed had been hiding inside for several hours.

Police said they had approached a house on the same street earlier in the day but the alleged suspect ran off, sparking a foot chase. The man escaped.

The ABC reported Howes’ father urged his son to tell the truth as he appeared in court.

Howes’ lawyer Margaret Steen told reporters outside the court her client was struggling.

Ms Steen was also asked how the Howes family was coping.

“Hard – as you can imagine,” she said.

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

  • Comments Off on A FORMER Goondiwindi mancharged withmurder

STILL HOPE: Only a concerted ideological campaign against medieval Islamist ideology, like the one that discredited and contained communism, could turn the tide of recent IS attacks.The latestterrorist attacks in Parisserve as a grim reminder that the threat of global terrorism is unlikely to end until the resolution of the civil war of ideas between Muslim modernisers and those adhering to an outmoded theology of Islamic dominance.
Nanjing Night Net

Just as the post-9/11 war against al-Qaeda degraded Osama bin Laden’s group butgave rise to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant,extremist Islamist ideology will likely give birth to “Terrorism 3.0” once the world has fought, contained and eliminated Islamic State. Security will return only after the widespread embrace of pluralism by Muslims and the defeat and marginalisation of the idea that Muslims cannot move in an orbit set by another.

Theanti-Western ideology known today as “political Islam”is largely a response or reaction to the breakdown of the traditional Islamic order under the pressures of modernity. Unlike Europe and North America, Muslim territories did not get the opportunity to evolve into modern states over time.

The Muslim elite responded to this change of fortunes in one of two ways. The first response, adopted by some Muslim elites especially in the 19th and early 20th centuries, was to learn from and imitate the West. Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, told a peasant who asked him what westernisation meant: “It means being a better human being.” Others, however, recommended “revivalism” or a search for glory through rejection of new ways and ideas.

At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, there was considerable emphasis among Muslim scholars and leaders on modernising the Muslim world. By the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, however, those seeking the reverse – to Islamise the modern world – appeared to have gained greater momentum.

Contemporary jihadists have chosen to use modern means,including the internet and state-of-the-art weapons, to impose their medieval beliefs. But their ideology cannot be defeated by a purely military strategy. Islamist movements see the humiliation of fellow believers as an opportunity for the mobilisation and recruitment of dedicated followers.

Revenge, rather than willingness to compromise or submit to the victors, is the traditional response of Islamist Muslims to the defeat of Muslim armies. And for them, this battle has no front line and is not limited to a few years or even decades. They think in terms of conflict spread over generations.

The fundamentalist interpretation of Islam is not a common mode of thinking for most Muslims, especially in recent times. But it is clearly driving the political agenda in Muslim countries. Not all Muslim modernisers are willing to confront the anti-Western and anti-Semitic beliefs that feed the Islamist narrative. The Islamists are dominating the discourse within the Muslim world by murdering secularists and forcing many of them to leave their countries.

With more than1.4 billion Muslims around the globe, the swelling of the fundamentalist ranks poses serious problems. If only oneper cent of the world’s Muslims accepts this uncompromising theology, and 10 per cent of that oneper cent decide to commit themselves to a radical agenda, we are looking at a onemillion strong recruitment pool for groups such as al-Qaeda, IS and whatever comes next.Only a concerted ideological campaign against medieval Islamist ideology, like the one that discredited and contained communism, could turn the tide.

– Husain Haqqani is asenior fellow at Hudson Institute in Washington DCThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

  • Comments Off on Concerted campaign vital against ideology

Nanjing Night Net

Former Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath has become a carbon farmer after securing a contract from the Clean Energy Regulator to be paid for growing trees on his sheep and cattle property in north-west NSW.

As the regulator announced it had awarded $557 million to 131 projects with an average abatement price of $12.25 a tonne as part of the second auction from the $2.5 billion Emissions Reduction Fund, the cricketing legend said the contract would supplement income on his 32,400 hectare property, Wancobra,160 kilometres north-west of Bourke.

Mr McGrath bought the property in 1997 – well before he retired from Test cricket in 2007 – and it is now run by his brother and sister-in-law, Dale and Sandy.

“We are always looking for ways to get a different income stream into the property to make it a little more sustainable because it’s pretty tough at the moment. We’ve been in some pretty big droughts since we bought the property,” Mr McGrath said in an interview with The Australian Financial Review.

Mr McGrath and his brother will put aside some of his property to allow mulga trees to regenerate.

“I didn’t know about [carbon farming] until my brother called me about it. He’d heard from neighbours and friends. But we will set aside parts of the property to grow and those trees will take carbon out of the atmosphere and [we’ll] still be able to run our stock,” he said.

Land-use projects such as carbon farming or tree regeneration were the big winners from the second auction, along with savannah burning and coal mine waste, securing 80 per cent of all funding.

The average price of abatement was $12.25 a tonne – lower than the $13.95 achieved by the first auction, when 43 companies were awarded $660 million to eliminate 47 million tonnes of carbon.

While the farming sector has dominated the first two auctions, some of the bigger industry players have made a play at securing some of the taxpayer funding.

This includes Wesfarmers, which has secured funding to change its lighting to LED at its properties around the country. This will deliver a reduction in 104,927 tonnes of carbon.

Other big players include Consolidated Pastoral Company, which is attempting to eradicate 715,000 tonnes of carbon by doing early back-burning on its cattle properties in the Northern Territory, and AGL Energy, which has a string of landfill gas abatement facilities across the country.

Rail haulage company Pacific National will be paid to cut 362,500 tonnes of carbon via a fuel savings program.

The bulk of the abatement from the second auction will be delivered over the next seven to 10 years, with an average of 5 million tonnes to be delivered each year through to 2022.

Climate Friendly chief executive Freddy Sharpe, whose firm is helping develop 48 projects in the latest auction, said the Emissions Reduction Fund was helping “breathe life into marginal land” while also trying to protect the environment.

Melbourne-based consultancy RepuTex director Hugh Grossman said industry was starting to become involved in the auctions, but expected a bigger play in future auctions next year. He said: “It’s a really good outcome and the fund can purchase a good level of abatement. But while the Emissions Reduction Fund is doing well, there is still a net growth in [Australia’s overall] emissions,” he said.

Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the federal government has secured 92.8 million tonnes of emissions reduction through the fund, which he claimed was 1 per cent of the cost of abatement under the carbon tax.

Clean Energy Regulator chief executive Chloe Munro said the latest auction showed the maturing carbon market in Australia.

“The goal is lowest-price abatement, but we are also balancing that with maximising volume. So it is about getting the most volume we can with the funds available,” Ms Munroe told the Financial Review.

Australian Financial Review

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

  • Comments Off on Cashing in on carbon farming

FIGHTERS: Lara Wilson-Kuschert and Annika Drewe both claimed medals in their first competition jiu jitsu fights. Picture: Geoff JonesThere were a few butterflies in their stomachs, but the members of Gracie Barra Hawkesbury passed their first competition fights with flying colours.
Nanjing Night Net

Five students from the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school competed at the New South Wales Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation Summer Cup at the weekend, and four came back with medals.

Jake Knight,Lara Wilson-Kuschert,Annika Drewe andKye Parsonson all received medals, while Peter Jenson fought admirably.

It was the first time all of them had stepped into the ring against someone who was not a sparring opponent, and their instructor, David Jenkinson, could not have been prouder.

“It was their first fight so I think they did very well for their first competition experience,” he said.

“the hardest thing is just getting out there and doing it. Thisis a one on one sport so you can’t hide behind people if things don’t go well.

“They didn’t really say anything afterwards, they were a bit emotional but also quite happy afterwards.

“I think they will improve and get better everytime they do it.They just need to gain confidence and they will get that from competing more often.”

Eleven-year-old Lara Wilson-Kuschert said she could not wait for her next fight.

“I was a bit nervous at first but once I was fighting I was calm and I was sad I could only do one fight,” she said.

“I had a bit of adrenaline and I was keen to keep.

“The next one is some time next year soI am going to train hard a few days a week and just try my hardest.”

Lara said she had been training at Gracie Barra for six months and loved it.

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

  • Comments Off on Medals for first time fighters

STILL HOPE: Only a concerted ideological campaign against medieval Islamist ideology, like the one that discredited and contained communism, could turn the tide of recent IS attacks.The latestterrorist attacks in Parisserve as a grim reminder that the threat of global terrorism is unlikely to end until the resolution of the civil war of ideas between Muslim modernisers and those adhering to an outmoded theology of Islamic dominance.
Nanjing Night Net

Just as the post-9/11 war against al-Qaeda degraded Osama bin Laden’s group butgave rise to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant,extremist Islamist ideology will likely give birth to “Terrorism 3.0” once the world has fought, contained and eliminated Islamic State. Security will return only after the widespread embrace of pluralism by Muslims and the defeat and marginalisation of the idea that Muslims cannot move in an orbit set by another.

Theanti-Western ideology known today as “political Islam”is largely a response or reaction to the breakdown of the traditional Islamic order under the pressures of modernity. Unlike Europe and North America, Muslim territories did not get the opportunity to evolve into modern states over time.

The Muslim elite responded to this change of fortunes in one of two ways. The first response, adopted by some Muslim elites especially in the 19th and early 20th centuries, was to learn from and imitate the West. Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, told a peasant who asked him what westernisation meant: “It means being a better human being.” Others, however, recommended “revivalism” or a search for glory through rejection of new ways and ideas.

At the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, there was considerable emphasis among Muslim scholars and leaders on modernising the Muslim world. By the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, however, those seeking the reverse – to Islamise the modern world – appeared to have gained greater momentum.

Contemporary jihadists have chosen to use modern means,including the internet and state-of-the-art weapons, to impose their medieval beliefs. But their ideology cannot be defeated by a purely military strategy. Islamist movements see the humiliation of fellow believers as an opportunity for the mobilisation and recruitment of dedicated followers.

Revenge, rather than willingness to compromise or submit to the victors, is the traditional response of Islamist Muslims to the defeat of Muslim armies. And for them, this battle has no front line and is not limited to a few years or even decades. They think in terms of conflict spread over generations.

The fundamentalist interpretation of Islam is not a common mode of thinking for most Muslims, especially in recent times. But it is clearly driving the political agenda in Muslim countries. Not all Muslim modernisers are willing to confront the anti-Western and anti-Semitic beliefs that feed the Islamist narrative. The Islamists are dominating the discourse within the Muslim world by murdering secularists and forcing many of them to leave their countries.

With more than1.4 billion Muslims around the globe, the swelling of the fundamentalist ranks poses serious problems. If only oneper cent of the world’s Muslims accepts this uncompromising theology, and 10 per cent of that oneper cent decide to commit themselves to a radical agenda, we are looking at a onemillion strong recruitment pool for groups such as al-Qaeda, IS and whatever comes next.Only a concerted ideological campaign against medieval Islamist ideology, like the one that discredited and contained communism, could turn the tide.

– Husain Haqqani is asenior fellow at Hudson Institute in Washington DCThis story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

  • Comments Off on Concerted campaign vital against ideology

Resilient: The Aussie is unexpectedly holding up. Photo: Virginia Star
Nanjing Night Net

The Australian dollar has confounded traders by holding steady despite further commodities weakness and a strong chance that the US Federal Reserve will next month lift interest rates for the first time in almost a decade.

In late local trade, the Aussie was buying US70.98¢, compared with US70.88¢ at the same time on Tuesday.

The currency had earlier shrugged off a further 4.5 per cent drop in the price of iron ore, climbing overnight against the greenback to about US71.40¢ before easing to US71.15¢ in early local trade.

National Australia Bank global co-head of strategy Ray Attrill ascribed the unexpected resilience to a range of factors, including renewed faith the Reserve Bank of Australia will leave the cash rate at 2 per cent despite its concerns about the pace of China’s slowdown and sluggish household wage and spending growth at home.

Market pricing of another RBA rate cut fell further after the minutes of the central bank’s November board meeting were published on Tuesday, predicting a 68 per cent chance of more cuts by July, according to Citi. Early this month, almost two full cuts had been priced in.

Mr Attrill also pointed to investors hedging against short bets (bets that the currency will weaken further).

“It is a bit odd coming in to see hard commodity prices under the pump, but the Australian dollar at the top of the G10 foreign exchange leader board,” he said.

“We can, I suppose, point to a further recovery in global equity prices off the knee-jerk moves lower on Monday morning, and a related fall-back in market volatility levels – [but] that doesn’t really cut it.

“The price action does speak to a market that is very short the Australian dollar and has a lot of bad news baked into the current price,” he said. Lower for longer?

But Capital Economics chief markets economist John Higgins said in a research note on Wednesday that the broader weakness resulting from years of declining commodity revenues, coupled with interest rate divergence, will hold down commodity currencies such as the Aussie and the New Zealand and Canadian dollars well after export prices have begun to recover.

“We think these [commodities export] prices are likely to recover a little next year, if not before,” he said.

“However, we do not expect this to fuel a rally in these countries’ currencies against the US dollar, given the outlook for monetary policy at home and in the US.”

Higgins says the eventual shake-out of high-cost resource producers will go some way to addressing the imbalance arising from China’s softening demand, although he says this will take longer in the case of iron ore and coal, Australia’s principal goods exports to the world’s second-biggest economy.

Nonetheless, broader economic weakness in Australia because of declining national income will force the Reserve Bank to cut the cash rate twice more, to 1.5 per cent, by the end of next year, he says.

This will force further depreciation in the local currency.

“We are not convinced that a turnaround in commodity prices will drive these major commodity currencies higher over the next year or so,” Mr Higgins says.

“The reason is that we think the previous falls in the prices of these countries’ commodity exports will act as a major drag on their economies, with the result that the stance of monetary policy will be looser than generally expected, unlike in the US.”

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

  • Comments Off on Aussie dollar resists commodities rout – for now