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On the brink of war: ‘They will be destroyed’

Written By kom limapulan on Rabu, 16 April 2014 | 13.56

A military jet circles the skies above Kramatorsk, north of Donetsk in Ukraine.

Ukraine has launched an 'anti-terrorist operation' against pro-Russian gunmen in the town of Slavyansk.

On the brink ... pro-Russia activists in front a so-called Donetsk Republic flag outside the regional police building in Slavyansk. Picture: Genya Savilov Source: AFP

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin has told the German chancellor in a phone call that Ukraine is on the verge of civil war, and blamed Kiev for the situation.

But both Mr Putin and Angela Merkel "emphasised the importance" of the planned four-way talks on Ukraine tomorrow between top diplomats of Russia, the European Union, the US and Ukraine.

The Kremlin has described the actions of the Ukrainian army in the country's east as anti-constitutional.

Mr Putin also told Ms Merkel about the importance of stabilising the Ukrainian economy and ensuring that supplies of Russian gas to Europe are not interrupted.

In this photo taken on Monday, April 14, 2014, Ukrainian soldiers sit on top of military vehicles parked in a field near the eastern Ukrainian town of Slovyansk. Source: AP

Kiev's leaders ordered troops and tanks towards a flashpoint eastern city to push back a separatist surge supported by Moscow.

The 20 tanks and armoured personnel carriers were the most forceful response yet by Kiev's Western-backed government to armed raids by pro-Kremlin militants and the occupation of state buildings in nearly 10 cities across Ukraine's rust belt.

Pro-Russia protester wearing gas masks storm a regional police building as one prepares a petrol bomb in the eastern Ukrainian city of Horlivka. Source: AFP

Ukrainian forces set up a cement road barrier and begun checking traffic leading to Slavyansk, an economically depressed industrial city of 100,000 that has been under effective control of separatist gunmen since Saturday.

Turmoil ... pro-Russian activists guard a barricade in Slavyansk. Picture: Genya Savilov Source: AFP

"They must be warned that if they do not lay down their arms, they will be destroyed," Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) General Vasyl Krutov told a group of reporters tracking the sudden tank movements.

A Pro-Russian activist stands during the mass storming of a police station in the eastern Ukrainian town of Horlivka. Source: AP

He insisted that the militants had been reinforced by several hundred soldiers from the Russian army's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU).

The Ukrainian government has launched an operation to uproot pro-Russia armed separatists who have seized government buildings in several cities in eastern Ukraine. Source: AP

Witnesses told AFP that at least two Ukrainian military helicopters landed in the nearby town of Kramatorsk with reinforcements for the offensive.

A pro-Russian activist makes barricades in front of the gate of an airport in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Source: AP

Kiev's response to the eastern insurgency prompted Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to warn that "Ukraine is on the brink of civil war - it's frightening".

Pro-Russian men throw stones during the mass storming of a police station in Horlivka, eastern Ukraine. Source: AP

He urged Ukraine's "de-facto" authorities - not recognised by Moscow - to avert "terrible turmoil".

Reinforcements .... Ukrainian army troops set up a position at an airport in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine. Picture: Sergei Grits Source: AP

The rapid turn of events on the ground were preceded by a telephone conversation late Monday between Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Barack Obama on Ukraine that was described as "frank and direct".

People sing the Ukrainian national anthem during a pro-Ukraine rally in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on April 15, 2014. Source: AFP

The call, though, appeared to break no new ground.

The Kremlin chief continued to reject any links to Russian-speaking gunmen who have proclaimed the creation of their own independent republic, and who have called on Putin to send in the estimated 40,000 Russian troops now stationed along the border with Ukraine.

Debastilising ... the road leading to the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk, where pro-Kremlin militias who have seized buildings. Picture: Anatoliy Stepanov Source: AFP

But the White House said Obama accused Moscow of supporting "armed pro-Russian separatists who threaten to undermine and destabilise the government of Ukraine".

A Ukrainian soldier carries a box with ammunition as Ukrainian army troops receive ammunition in a field on the outskirts of Izyum, Eastern Ukraine. Source: AP

The worst East-West confrontation since the Cold War was exacerbated on the weekend by a Russian warplane "buzzing" a US destroyer in the Black Sea, and a visit to Kiev by CIA chief John Brennan that was confirmed by the White House and slammed by Moscow.

A Ukrainian soldier holds a hand grenade as Ukrainian army troops receive ammunition in a field on the outskirts of Izyum, Eastern Ukraine. Source: AP

European foreign ministers meanwhile held back on unleashing punishing economic sanctions against Russia in hopes that EU-US mediated talks on Thursday in Geneva between Moscow and Kiev could help de-escalate the situation.

'Frightening' ... a Ukrainian air force Su-27 fighter jet in the sky over Slavyansk, 160 kilometres from the Russian border. Picture: Alexander Ermochenko Source: AP

SOUTHEAST 'ON FIRE'

Kiev's untested interim leaders have struggled to meet the high-stakes challenge presented by the coordinated series of raids that began in the industrial hubs of Donetsk and Lugansk and have since spread to nearby coal mining towns and villages.

A masked pro-Russian activist guards a barricade at the regional administration building that they had seized earlier in Donetsk, Ukraine. Source: AP

The breakaway move, backed by tough talk by Moscow, could potentially see their vast nation of 46 million break up along its historic Russian-Ukrainian cultural divide.

Self defense volunteers line up outside the Parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Source: AP

Moscow last month annexed the largely Russified region of Crimea after deploying military forces there and backing a hasty local referendum calling for the Black Sea peninsula to be absorbed into the Russian Federation.

Discontent ... Ukrainian army troops receive ammunition on the outskirts of Izyum, Eastern Ukraine. Picture: Sergei Grits Source: AP

But a forceful military response by Kiev could prompt a devastating counterstrike by Russian troops who are waiting to act on Putin's vow to "protect" Russian-speakers in the neighbouring state.

People gather during a rally in the Independence Square in Kiev, Monday, April 14, 2014. Source: AP

Ukraine's acting President Oleksandr Turchynov told an agitated session of parliament that the country was facing an eastern enemy rather than domestic discontent.

"They want to set fire not only to the Donetsk region but to the entire south and east - from Kharkiv to the Odessa region," the acting president said.

Unrest ... Kiev's response to the eastern insurgency prompted Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to warn that "Ukraine is on the brink of civil war - it's frightening". Picture: Genya Savilov Source: AFP Source: AFP

'RUSSIAN COLONEL' IN RAID

Kiev's news programmes have spent much of the past day replaying footage from an attack by militants on a police station in the town of Gorlivka in which men in gas masks pelted the building with Molotov cocktails before smashing its windows with rocks and bats.

One clip showed a green-uniformed man who identified himself as a Russian colonel telling the local police force that it now must obey his orders and must wear orange-and-black ribbons symbolising Kremlin pride.

A deadline set by the Ukrainian government for pro-Russian gunmen to leave government buildings in eastern Ukraine and surrender weapons passed without incident early Monday, with no immediate sign of any action to liberate any seized buildings. Source: AP

The Kremlin set nerves in Kiev further on edge on Monday by announcing that Putin had received "a lot" of requests from eastern Ukraine "to help, to intervene in some form". Some in Kiev saw that as a new effort to create a pretext for an invasion.


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Disgraced Barry O’Farrell resigns

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell has resigned in the wake of controversy over his appearance at the ICAC.

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell attends ICAC Source: News Corp Australia

BARRY O'Farrell has resigned as NSW Premier following his appearance at the Independent Commission against Corruption yesterday.

Mr O'Farrell denied receiving a $3000 bottle of wine from Australian Water Holdings boss Nick Di Girolamo yesterday, but resigned today after it was revealed that he sent Mr Di Girolamo a card thanking him for the gift.

"I will be resigning the position and enabling a new Liberal leader to be elected, someone who will then become the Premier of New South Wales," Mr O'Farrell said in a press conference today.

He insisted he did not "wilfully mislead" the watchdog yesterday, but said he accepted the consequences.

He described the missing bottle of wine as a "significant memory fail on my part".

After being recalled to ICAC today to give further evidence, Mr O'Farrell confirmed that the handwriting on a thankyou note presented to the commission was his.

Barry O'Farrell enters ICAC today to answer further questions. Picture: Phil Blatch Source: News Corp Australia

He said that he gave his best recollection to ICAC yesterday but was "clearly mistaken". He said he had no idea what happened to the 1959 bottle of Grange.

Barry O'Farrell faces ICAC for second day

Seeing the note has also not sparked his memory about the wine. But Mr O'Farrell said dealings with Australian Water Holdings were done appropriately, and a contract signed with Sydney Water was completed at arm's length from the government.

Referring to the wine in his speech this morning, Mr O'Farrell said: "I can't explain the arrival of a gift that I have no recollection of, or its absence, which I still can't fathom.

"I accept the consequences in an orderly way."

During his testimony yesterday, he categorically denied ever receiving the wine.

"If I had received a bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange I would have known about it and, and I did not receive a bottle of Penfolds Grange," he told the hearing.

His resignation will be effective from next week, as soon as a committee of parliamentarians can meet to appoint a new leader.

Likely candidates for the top job include Treasurer Mike Baird, who has always been touted as a future premier and is the bookie's favourite, and Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian.

Who will take the crown? Treasurer Mike Baird with Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian in Mr Baird's electorate of Manly last year. Source: News Limited

A Facebook page "Gladys for Premier" has already been set up for Ms Berejiklian, whose electorate in Sydney's north shore, is next to Mr O'Farrell's. With 202 members it was leading the rival "Mike Baird for NSW Premier" page as of 4.30pm.

Opposition Leader John Robertson also held a press conference today after Mr O'Farrell's ICAC appearance and said the issue was "not about a bottle of wine".

"This is an insight into the way the Liberal Party operates in government in NSW," Mr Robertson said.

He called on the next premier to work with him on implementing a new regime of ethical standards to clean up NSW politics, which he has already introduced within the Labor Party.

"Today's events don't begin and end with Barry O'Farrell because we still have an investigation with ICAC to be undertaken," Mr Robertson said.

Mr O'Farrell's resignation comes after his thankyou note was presented at the ICAC hearing this morning.

The note said: "Dear Nick and Jodie, We wanted to thank you for your kind note and the wonderful wine. 1959 was a good year, even if it is getting even further away! Thanks for all your support". The note was signed by Mr O'Farrell on behalf of himself and his wife Rosemary.

The thankyou note that Mr O'Farrell wrote to Mr Di Girolamo. Source: Supplied

The Premier was called as a witness yesterday to the inquiry, which is investigating whether Australian Water Holdings is linked to the Obeid family and whether they stood to make up to $60 million from a proposed public private partnership.

Last year ICAC found former NSW Labor minister Eddie Obeid and his son Moses Obeid were corrupt, after an investigation into the granting of mining licences in the Bylong Valley.

ICAC grills Premier over missing bottle of Grange

Eddie Obeid calls ICAC a sham after inquiry finds him guilty of corrupt conduct

At a separate press conference this morning to discuss Sydney's proposed second airport, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Mr O'Farrell's decision to resign was "utterly honourable".

Premier NSW Barry O'Farrell (left) meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping with Prime Minister Tony Abbott (centre). Source: News Corp Australia

"I have enormous respect and admiration for Premier Barry O'Farrell," Mr Abbott said. "I've known Barry for two decades, he's been a friend of mine throughout that time."

Mr Abbott said his Liberal colleague had "innocently and inadvertently" misled the commission.

"We are seeing an act of integrity and honour, the likes of which we have rarely seen in Australian politics," Mr Abbott said of Mr O'Farrell's decision to step down.

"I admire him for this, although I deeply regret the necessity for it."

Too friendly? A photo of NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell with Nick Di Girolamo (right) and the Ipswich Mayor at a business dinner in 2011. Picture: Supplied Source: Supplied

In response to further questions, Mr Abbott said premiers and senior politicians and those in public life met a lot of people and often received gifts that may not always be "front of memory".

How Australia reacted to Barry O'Farrell's resignation

Mr Abbott said he learnt that his friend would be stepping down as premier via a text message and had spoken to him briefly prior to his resignation.

The Prime Minister told Mr O'Farrell he believed his actions were done with the highest honour and expressed how sorry he was to see him go.

He repeated that Mr O'Farrell was a "man of honour and of integrity", who had been a very capable premier who will be missed.

"I think it's important to show and acknowledge this act of integrity that has caused him to act in this way," he said. "It's been a long time in public life that someone has acted in this way."

O'Farrell: 'If I had received a bottle of 1959 Penfolds Grange I would have known about it.' Source: News Corp Australia


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How to climb your way to the top

Oh look at her. You can be her. Having the time of your life at 70. Source: ThinkStock

JENNI Ryall is on a journey from financial hell to financial freedom in 12 weeks. She shares her honest account of turning her ridiculous situation around.

So I went rock climbing on the weekend.

Not a groundbreaking moment for most but I can hear my friends' sniggers from here. Jenni and Exercise don't go in the same sentence, just like Jenni and Money.

But the boyfriend decided it would be a good idea to teach me some life lessons, so I agreed to don some cringe-worthy Lycra and give myself a camel toe all in the name of research.

Surprisingly, it taught me a lot about myself. As the partner in crime got out a protractor, pen and paper and drew up a graph in preparation for the upcoming challenge — "Yellow rock, right hand. Yellow rock, left hand, Yellow rock, right foot. Yellow rock, left foot" — I jumped on the wall with chalk splattered on my face and started hurtling myself towards the roof.

Planning is for pussies, I told myself as I held on by one weak arm and desperately struggled into my next move. Looking ahead is for losers, I told myself as I smashed my head on a green rock and fell impressively back, wailing. I'd lived my life never looking ahead, always flying by the seat of my pants, very rarely planning. Sometimes this spontaneous life causes more grief than good times — as is the case with climbing up rocks on a Saturday morning. I was in pain, with a new-found fear of chalk and a lost sense of purpose.

Oh yeah, I've got this. Hang on ... oh no. Picture: University of Michigan. Source: Supplied

This didn't fit with my meaning of life. I had travelled overseas many times by going on a flight website and just clicking "purchase". Once I'd bought it, there was no going back and the next thing I knew I was thrown alone on to the streets of Puerto Rico. I'd taught myself that you will always land on your feet.

This principle is great for having the time of your life NOW. But not so great for 10 years time when you decide you want to pop out a couple of kids while looking after your dying dog and cooking a turducken. It definitely isn't so great when your income dries up and you're a granny in a rocking chair relying on the superannuation you were meant to put away 40 years ago.

You can live like this ... or like a queen. Source: Supplied

Gulp. So here's to planning — just a little — to set you up for the future with Finder's 12 Week Financial Challenge.

Note: Rock climbing is way cheaper than heading to a local bar and buying ten plates of tapas and two bottles of wine.

WEEK 11 — Protect your future with super

Bank account: Undisclosed PAY DAY!!! Wait, don't get excited. pay day.

Savings account: $1203.44 — Added some cash to my savings and transferred payment to my new credit card to begin paying off balance.

Credit card: $3000.00 — Untouched.

Feeling: In order

You can buy all the flamingo attire you like — with planning. Source: ThinkStock

I read some scary stats this week by finance guru Noel Whittaker who has written the guide: Making Money Made Simple!

When 100 15-year-old teenagers turn 65, just 62 will be alive.

From this 62:

32 will be penniless

16 will still be slaving for the man

Seven will be retired with a decent income

One will be filthy rich

He says it is very obvious while the majority of us will be screwed. One of the main reasons is a lack of foresight in relation to where our living money will come from.

So how do you fix it?

How much you need to live after retirement & how much you need to contribute. Picture: MoneySmart Source: Supplied

You need to work out how much you need to live comfortably.

Then see if you need to top up your employer's 9.5 per cent (2014) contribution with your own money.

The graph above shows the comfortable cost of living in the first row, then the amount required to make your retirement income approximately 60-65 per cent of your pre-retirement income depending on your age bracket, as calculated by the December 2011 AMP Retirement Adequacy Index.

Free moneys! Source: Supplied

But the best way to work out if you are on track, is use the MoneySmart calculator to see where you are at, what fees you are going to pay and whether there is a better fund.

Using SuperSeeker, I instantly found all my lost accounts using just an old Notice of Assesment, rolled my accounts into one at the click of a button and saved myself a bunch of fees while finding out my overall balance is on track. Let's be honest — it's probably because I've been slaving away since I was 14 and nine months.

At 30, my super balance is impressive at $50k, so I'm looking at a comfortable nest egg of $695,109. Not bad, but I can always be more prepared.

A look into my future. Picture: MoneySmart Source: Supplied

Don't skimp on the phone calls. Get in contact with your super fund. If I can, you can. Ask for the fees — they are often hard to find on the website and only make sense when you ask the nice man on the other line to explain — and make sure they are not out of control. I was getting charged 81k in my employed life. Time to start looking around.

Also check management fees, membership fees and additional fees. If you use SuperSeeker it lets you know all your funds and membership numbers, making it super easy to get in touch and ask the hard questions. Everyone hates paper work, so use the technology to do it for you.

My realisation: Stop being a live-in-the-moment jerk and think about the future. Whether it is getting to the roof of a rock climbing centre or buying the ingredients to a cake at 90, it all needs an element of planning. Leave the spontaneity to travel or work or eating cheese for breakfast. You'll thank you past self. Big time.

Sometimes you just need a helping hand. Picture: Rocky Mountain Climbing Gear Source: Supplied

Follow Jenni's 12-week financial challenge on news.com.au every week.

CATCH UP: WEEK 1

CATCH UP: WEEK 2

CATCH UP: WEEK 3

CATCH UP: WEEK 4

CATCH UP: WEEK 5

CATCH UP: WEEK 6

CATCH UP: WEEK 7

CATCH UP: WEEK 8

CATCH UP: WEEK 9 & 10

Join the conversation on Twitter @jennijenni | @newscomauHQ


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Royals touch down in Australia

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and baby Prince George have arrived in Sydney this afternoon, ready to embark on their 10-day Australian tour.

William, his wife Kate and their son Prince George are on a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia. Picture: AFP PHOTO Source: AFP

THEY'RE here! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and baby Prince George have arrived in Sydney this afternoon, ready to embark on their 10-day Australian tour.

Kate looked very glam in a lemon-yellow dress by Serbian designer Roksanda Ilincic, which she is reported to have chosen 'to reflect the Australian sunshine'.

The stunning wattle-toned frock features white panelling, fashionable mid-length sleeves, a square-cut neck line and a fitted bodice (special thanks to the ladies of the news.com.au office for help with that description, which beat this writer's initial description of 'The dress is yellow. It is a yellow dress').

The Royals arrive in Sydney. We have cropped Prince William's hairline out of this picture in the hope that he makes us a Knight or a Dame. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

The Royals were greeted at Sydney Airport by Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, New South Wales Governor Marie Bashir and Prime Minister Tony Abbott. After a brief welcome, the family were whisked off to a reception at the Sydney Opera House.

Touching down after their flight from New Zealand. The dress: Canary? Wattle? Lemon? Whatever it is, we love it. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Something tells us this kid's gonna get a lot of attention over the next 10 days. Picture: AFP PHOTO Source: AFP

Kate greets the crowd at the Sydney Opera House. Picture: Bradley Hunter Source: News Corp Australia

The Royals have no official engagements tonight - but if they want to stay in with a bottle of wine, they'd better buy it before 10pm. Picture: Bradley Hunter Source: News Corp Australia

Now-former Premier Barry O'Farrell won't be a part of any of today's events, given his shock resignation this morning. Perhaps he'll stay home and crack open a nice bottle of wine instead? Don Harwin, the president of the New South Wales Legislative Council, is a last-minute replacement for O'Farrell as we scramble to work out who our Premier is (William, Kate — we're not usually like this. Honest).

Prime Minister Tony Abbott (C) and New South Wales Governor Marie Bashir (L) were among those on the tarmac to welcome the royal family. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Prince William might see another familiar face at the Opera House reception: his brother, Prince Harry. Well, almost: Harry lookalike Roddy Walker will be positioned on a yacht in the harbour, surrounded by a bevy of 20 scantily-clad models, in a stunt organised by Sportsbet. Shameless, Sportsbet (we love it).

Prince Harry lookalike Roddy Walker will be part of the unofficial welcome party for William and Kate. Think they'll be fooled? Yeah, neither do we. Source: News Limited

The couple and their young son have a busy itinerary during their Aussie jaunt: tomorrow they travel to the Blue Mountains, and in the coming days they'll visit Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and even Uluru. As we reported yesterday, some Victorians are feeling slighted by a perceived royal snub of their state.

Sorry Melburnians, it's too late for a last-minute visit now - the entire trip has been planned with military precision. Even the Duchess's wardrobe choices were locked in up to two months before the visit.

According to news.com.au style commentator Melissa Hoyer, Kate's choice of dress was totally refreshing, relevant and appropriate.

"The Duchess kept to a fairly sombre, heavier tone with her New Zealand wardrobe, so when she walked out of the plane in Sydney it was great to see some seriously bright colour,'' said Hoyer.

"The designer Roksanda Ilinncic is London-based, Serbian-born, and has dressed a roll call of diverse names including Michelle Obama, Kate Husdon, Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow.

"The same style dress, just with the colors reversed, is selling online at fashion retailer matches for around $1700, which puts it up there in the high-end designer category.''

Hoyer is sure the Duchess will 'mix it up' when it comes to choosing the rest of the designers she wears here, no doubt adding in a few Aussie names likes RM Williams and possibly Collette by Collette Dinnigan.

"Kate went from wearing Alexander Mc Queen and Jenny Packham one day to Zara and GAP the next, so she is clever at not wanting to seem or look too unattainable or out of reach.''

A modern take on the recycled classic Princess Kate wore on her last day in NZ

Crowds had been gathering at the Opera House through the afternoon to greet the Royal family:

Then you've got remarkably good hadwriting for a baby. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Prince George tests out his magical powers. George please, you'll only be able to shoot lasers from your hands when you're crowned King. Picture: Adam Taylor Source: News Corp Australia

Kate just NAILING that Royal Wave. Picture: James Morgan. Source: News Corp Australia

Prince George's nanny Maria Borrallo holds a kangaroo bag - we're guessing this is Prince George's and not her own, otherwise she could take a few tips from Kate on accessorising. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

Royal watchers, be sure to check back each day for news.com.au's Royal Diary — we'll have all the goss and the latest pics from their Australian visit, with a healthy dose of humour mixed in among the pomp and ceremony.

Elle Halliwell, Melissa Hoyer and Melissa Matheson discuss Kate's sartorial choices on her tour so far and discuss what Aussie designers would suit the Duchess of Cambridge.


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NRL admits Dragons were robbed

Written By kom limapulan on Selasa, 15 April 2014 | 13.56

Melbourne Storm produced a Monday night miracle to down St George 28-24, as Young Tonumaipea scored after the siren to seal an amazing comeback win.

Melbourne Storm celebrates a match winning try the NRL has admitted was a mistake. Source: News Corp Australia

IT'S official: the Dragons were robbed.

The NRL this afternoon released a statement admitting the "siren sounded to end the game less than a second before Melbourne played the ball".

'THAT'S NOT A TRY, THAT'S A MIRACLE'

FURIOUS PRICE DEMANDS NRL EXPLANATION

STORM SNATCH MIRACLE POST-SIREN WIN

The release added that the decision to allow Young Tonumaipea to play the ball – starting a sequence that resulted in the Storm scoring a match-winning try – was "technically a mistake by the referee – by the closest of margins".

Melbourne Storms Hail Mary try to win last nights game against the Dragons was easily the best finish to a game this season, but was it the best ever?

"The siren and the play the ball were all but simultaneous," said NRL referees elite performance manager Tony Archer. "But, technically, the siren sounded a split second before the Melbourne player 'heeled' the ball. So, in that sense, the referee's call was wrong and the final play should not have proceeded.

"We were only able to work this out by going through the final moments of the game frame by frame so you can appreciate how difficult it would be for a referee to make a call with that degree of accuracy out in the middle."

Touch and go. The moment the ball was played and the siren sounded. Source: FoxSports

Todd Greenberg, the NRL's head of football, said the league was looking at way to improve time keeping during matches.

That included the possibility of the video referee and timekeeper verbally counting down the final seconds into the on-field referees' ear pieces.

"This might help in some cases but I don't think you can ever guarantee that the correct call will be made when the siren goes at virtually the same time as the play the ball," Greenberg said.

Melbourne Storm winger Young Tonumaipea scored a remarkable try after the siren to secure his side a 28-24 win over St George.

The NRL arrived at the conclusion after using freeze frame technology to detect precisely when the siren sounded in relation to Tonumaipea's play-the-ball.

Dragons coach Steve Price said after the game he would ask the NRL to review the decision given that Fox Sports' on-screen clock indicated Tonumaipea played the ball after the 80th minute had elapsed.

Dragons star Josh Dugan reacts after the heartbreaking loss. Source: Getty Images

"We'll have to look at when the siren was blown, whether it was on the correct full-time in the review," Price said. "It's a tough one to take at the moment."

Even Craig Bellamy admitted in his post-match press conference he wasn't completely convinced Tonumaipea beat the siren, and said former referees boss Robert Finch didn't like it.

"I bumped into Robert Finch - he was coming out and I was going down," Bellamy said.

"I thought it was touch and go. (Finch) wasn't happy with something that happened in that last play, I don't know if that was it, but it was pretty close, you know."

Officials have long called for the official clock and the clock on television replays to be in sync.

Should the Dragons be awarded the two points for Monday night's game?


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MH370 search suffers setback

Authorities will deploy an unmanned submarine to conduct sonar searches for the missing MH370 plane.

Unknown territory ... the search area is "new to man", says Angus Houston. Source: Getty Images

THERE'S already been a setback in the underwater search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

The robotic vehicle Bluefin-21 returned to the surface after only completing six hours of its first mission last night, when it went further than its capable depth of 4,500 metres kicking in the built in safety feature.

MH370: 'Plane thrown around like fighter jet'

No problem: Houston 'big in Malaysia'

The data gathered by the remote underwater vehicle is being extracted and analysed, before it will be redeployed later today when weather conditions permit.

New phase... The Bluefin 21 autonomous sub on board Ocean Shield. Source: AP

Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms are predicted, with sea swells of up to two metres and visibility limited to five kilometres.

Up to 11 aircraft and 11 ships will be part of today's search, approximately 2,100 kilometres north-west of Perth.

Search co-ordinator Angus Houston announced yesterday that the Australian vessel Ocean Shield would stop seeking 'pings' and instead the Bluefin-21 would be deployed to search the ocean floor.

Deployment ... the Bluefin 21 sub can create a 3D sonar map of the area to chart any debris on the sea floor. Source: AFP

Crews were also going to investigate an oil slick close to the search area.

Retired defence chief Air Chief Marshal Houston told a media conference in Perth that the chances of any floating material from MH370 being recovered from the ocean has greatly diminished.

"We haven't had a single detection in six days — it's time to go under water," he said.

The Bluefin 21 autonomous sub can create a 3D sonar map of the area to chart any debris on the sea floor. The remote underwater vehicle will be deployed in the search area based on the last emissions from the locator beacons of the aircraft's black boxes.

The air chief said any hope of receiving further 'pings' from the black boxes is now highly unlikely due to battery exhaustion.

The search area has been narrowed down to patch of ocean floor less than 1000 square kilometres, which Air Chief Marshal Houston said "is new to man" and may have a lot of silt.

He said: "I would caution you against raising hopes that the deployment of the autonomous underwater vehicle will result in the detection of the aircraft wreckage. It may not."

Running out ... Angus Houston says the chance of finding floating debris has diminished. Picture: Richard Polden Source: Getty Images

He said Ocean Shield had also detected an oil slick downwind from the search area and a sample will be tested.

The Bluefin-21 will submerge to its near maximum depth of 4500 metres and conduct 20-hour long sweeps using powerful sonars.

If any wreckage is found the sonars will be switched to cameras and lights to record whatever lies on the bottom.

Flight MH370 was carrying 239 people — many of them Chinese — when it disappeared March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing.


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What you can achieve in 45 years

As man was stepping on moon for the first time, over in Australia we started talking about Badgerys Creek as a possible airport location. AP Photo/NASA Source: Supplied

IT IS the airport that has been talked about for almost half a century.

Badgerys Creek was first raised as a potential site for a second Sydney airport in 1969, at which point Prime Minister Tony Abbott was just 12 years old, Opposition leader Bill Shorten was two, US President Barack Obama eight, and Apple co-founder the late Steve Jobs 14.

Steve Jobs was a young kid with big dreams in 1969. Source: AP

The Commonwealth set up a committee in January 1969 to advise the Government on the airport needs of Sydney. The committee was asked to consider 11 sites, including Badgerys Creek.

The Hawke government announced in February 1986 that Badgerys Creek was to be the site for the second airport and started acquisition of land. Which of course led to nothing.

Finally! 45 years after first discussions, Badgerys Creek airport has been confirmed. Source: News Corp Australia

Until now. Mr Abbott has officially announced Badgerys Creek will finally get off the ground as Sydney's second airport, with construction tipped to begin in two years time.

The Beatles were finishing up in 1969. Source: Supplied

1969 was a long time ago — man walked on the moon on July 21, 1969, and it was the same year The Beatles had their final recording session.

These are the things that we've been able to achieve in the time it's taken governments to make a decision on the airport.

John Gorton was prime minister in 1969 when Badgerys Creek was first talked about. Source: News Limited

AUSTRALIA HAS HAD 10 PRIME MINISTERS

John Gorton was PM in 1969. He was followed by William McMahon, Gough Whitlam, Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, John Howard, Kevin Rudd, our first female Prime Minister Julia Gillard (then back to Rudd) and Tony Abbott.

Thank goodness upgrades to our travel didn't take as long as the airport. Source: Supplied

TRAVEL GOT A WHOLE LOT NICER

There was no such thing as business class, with Qantas claiming to have invented it in 1979.

The Concorde supersonic plane took to the skies for the first time in 1969, and in February of that same year the first flight of the Boeing 747 jumbo jet, which remains one of the world's most popular planes, took place.

Berliners sing and dance on top of the Berlin Wall to celebrate the opening of East-West German borders in 1989, prior to the fall of the wall. Picture: AP Source: AP

COUNTRIES WERE ESTABLISHED

The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 produced 15 new countries including Estonia, Ukraine and Russia.

Yugoslavia also dissolved into five independent countries in the 1990s and the Berlin Wall fell in that same year, reuniting East and West Germany into one country.

Closer to home, and more recently, East Timor joined the ranks of new countries founded when it was internationally recognised as an independent nation on May 20, 2002.

So many wars in so many years. Source: AFP

THERE WERE MANY WARS

Australian troops were involved in a number of wars including Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq.

President Barack Obama was eight when the idea of a second airport for Sydney was first raised. Source: AP

THERE WERE EIGHT US PRESIDENTS

Richard Nixon was President from 1969-74 and was followed by Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and the first African American in the top job Barack Obama.

TECHNOLOGY HAPPENED

Since 1969 technology has evolved at a breakneck pace with key industries being totally transformed.

The hefty beginnings of the mobile phone arrived in 1973 as Motorola demonstrated the first consumer phone (which weighed 1.1kg and took 10 hours to recharge).

Bill Gates started this a long time ago. Source: News Limited

The tech scene surged over the next few years as Microsoft was founded (1974), the world's first commercial laptop was released by IBM (1975) and a little-known company called Apple started up (1976).

As music changed its tune over the decades so did the technology that helped us enjoy it. In 1979 the Sony Walkman delivered proper portable audio and the CD first hit the labs. The first MP3 players followed in 1997 and the most famous music player of modern day, the Apple iPod, dazzling fans in 2001.

45 years is a long time when it comes to technology. Source: AFP

Remember the Sony Walkman? Neither do we. Source: News Limited

And possibly the greatest thing to arrive since 1969 is the World Wide Web. Coming from rudimentary roots as a communication tool for scientists at CERN in 1990, the first web page was recorded in 1991.

If only Samuel L. Jackson could have sorted it out. Source: Supplied

CELEBRITIES GOT BUSY

Samuel L. Jackson managed to star in 51 movies, which have grossed more than $9 billion worldwide. U2 won 22 Grammys, Rove took home 10 Logies, Meryl Streep was nominated for 18 Academy Awards and Sergeant Tom Croydon and his Blue Heelers crew managed to catch and lock up more than 400 criminals that swept through Mt. Thomas.

Marcia Hines could show the government how to get things done. Source: Supplied

Read more on Abbott's support of Badgerys Creek here.


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Is this the black ring of death?

Birds? Planes? Bees? Nah, probably just smoke from a transformer box blowing up. Source: Supplied

A WEIRD black ring has been spotted in the sky above a town in England.

Captured on video by a 16-year-old girl last Friday and posted on YouTube, the black ring which appeared over Warwickshire in England left people questioning whether it was the weather (play on words intended) which meteorologists soon dismissed.

The next theory suggested it was smoke but firefighters confirmed there were no fires in the area at the time it appeared. So now everyone's confused.

Georgina Heap, 16, told the UK Mirror, "It was just floating there like a cloud and then it disappeared. It wasn't birds either. There were about ten of us who stopped what we were doing and watched. It is the weirdest thing I have ever seen."

Our guess? It was a transformer blowing up. And no, not Optimus Prime, an electrical box transformer. A similar incident occured in Chicago last year and was the result of an electrical fault causing an electrical box to blow up and make the distinctive ring in the sky.


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Gordon Ramsay revisits his biggest nightmare

Written By kom limapulan on Senin, 14 April 2014 | 14.06

Gordon Ramsay tries his best with the rampant Amy of 'Amy's Baking Company' who believes the customer isn't always right. Vision courtesy: FOX

Amy's Baking Company is a husband and wife operation that believes the customer is rarely right. Source: YouTube

FOR the season premiere of Kitchen Nightmares, Gordon Ramsay has returned to the scene of the crime: Amy and Samy, the terrifying owners of Amy's Baking Company.

Last year Ramsay travelled to Scottsdale, Arizona to film an episode of his show with Amy and Samy Bouzaglo. Over the course of the show, Samy and Amy exploded again and again at customers, employees, and Ramsay. It was the first business in the history of Kitchen Nightmares that Ramsay walked out of, declaring the couple beyond help.

Now, the show has presented an update on Amy and Samy, who are just as angry as ever. The bulk of the episode is a recap of the media hell storm that erupted after the initial show aired, bundled with never-aired clips of Amy and Samy spouting nonsense and abusing employees, plus Ramsey confronting Amy with evidence of her serving crappy, pre-packaged food advertised as fresh.

The update comes at the end of the episode, when Amy and Samy consent to a follow-up interview with a local reporter. Unsurprisingly, the restaurant has turned into a tourist site, albeit a tourist site that still regularly kicks out customers. And the Bouzaglos are still as crazed as ever (CLICK HERE to watch the interview/confrontation in full).

Samy and Amy Bouzaglo are as angry as ever. Source: YouTube

At one point, Amy goes on a strange rant about her use of the word "pansy".

"The reason I said he was a pansy is because the same reason I call these Yelpers and these people that hide behind the computer screen the [bleeped] mafia. They are [bleeped], they are pansies, and they have no balls because if they had balls, they would come to my face, my husband's face and tell us exactly, all the stuff, the lies, the slanderous stuff that they say online instead of just hiding behind their computer screen. I have said a lot of offensive things. But when a person is completely under attack, I'm sorry, I would love to be nothing but a lady and control my language and not have a severe case of Tourette's Syndrome, but this is what's happened to me because of the pressure. I called that guy a pansy because he was a pale-faced pansy ass willow. That's exactly what I call him. Yes, I'm going to say things if someone attacks me. I'm not going to stop. Then I will be a pansy and I'm not a pansy."

Amy also employs a special kind of logic explaining why she and Samy routinely respond to Yelp and Facebook posts with bitter, often offensive diatribes.

"Every single post single post that was written [immediately after the episode aired] calling people [bleeped] and making fun of them for not making money did not come from us. We didn't say those things. Now we are. Because now you have lit the fire inside of us. Now, when we're calling people little trolls and telling them that they have no balls, yes that's us, because I think it takes a very special kind of person, it's called a eunuch, to be able to call someone and bully them over the phone or through the internet when you don't know who they are.

And the Bouzlagos finish with a message for Kitchen Nightmares: "Gordon Ramsay can go f**k himself."

Amy's Baking Company was the first business that Gordon Ramsay declared he couldn't help. Source: Supplied

This story was republished with permission from Gawker.


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Meet the Aussie porn star in Game of Thrones

Picture: naughtynerdy.com / Photography © Mark Anthony Boyle. Source: Supplied

AERYN Walker calls herself a "feminist" porn star.

As a young student who was fed up with the general awfulness of mainstream pornography, Ms Walker decided to create her own form of adult entertainment.

"Porn is all kind of made for dudes and the storylines are terrible," Ms Walker tells news.com.au.

"I do a lot of role-playing in my regular life. I thought, screw it, I'll just make it myself!"

Now, incredibly, that decision has scored the 25-year-old a role in Game of Thrones. How?

Picture: naughtynerdy.com / Photography © Mark Anthony Boyle Source: Supplied

"I knew one of the girls from the show. She used to live in Melbourne, and she moved overseas," Ms Walker says.

MORE: The porn stars in Game of Thrones

That woman's name is Maisie Dee. She's another porn star, who appeared in three Game of Thrones episodes during the show's second season.

"I went over to Sweden for a holiday, and happened to stop by Amsterdam for a week, working in porn. One day I bumped into her on the street," Ms Walker says.

She (half-jokingly) told Ms Dee about her desire to get a role in Game of Thrones, and the pair talked more at work that evening.

Picture: naughtynerdy.com / Photography © Mark Anthony Boyle. Source: Supplied

"After that I went to Sweden," she says. "Then, about a month later, I got an email from Maisie, saying they were casting for a few roles and I would be suitable for two of them."

Space wasn't exactly plentiful, so Ms Walker had to film her two-part demo reel in a friend's bathroom.

MORE: Game of Thrones recap, episode one

"I had to act out the first bit of the scene I'm in," she says. "The second part was a pretty long video of me crying. They described in pretty graphic detail how I should cry."

It was a shot in the dark. But in August of last year, "after jumping through a bunch of hoops," she was offered the job.

Picture: naughtynerdy.com / Photography © Mark Anthony Boyle. Source: Supplied

For obvious reasons, Ms Walker can't talk about her part in the show until her episode airs. She actually doesn't know when that will be.

"I know where in the timeline it fits," she says. "But not the exact episode."

However, she could tell us a little bit about her time on set in Ireland.

MORE: The hilarious 'honest trailer' for Game of Thrones

"They took really good care of us. The set was amazing. Watching some of the actors actually act was crazy."

She even got to meet Kit Harington, the rather popular young man who plays Jon Snow.

"It was really cool," Ms Walker says. "I was waiting to get my makeup done. Then he came out of his makeup trailer and asked if he could borrow my lighter.

"We just chatted about the books and stuff. It was just a regular, friendly chat. Genuinely nice guy."

That's right. She actually got to meet Kit Harington. Source: Supplied

Speaking of the books, Ms Walker wasn't familiar with George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, upon which Game of Thrones is based, until the TV show was about to air for the first time.

"I hadn't read any of the books until about two months before the TV show started. Then my boyfriend gave me the books," she says. "By the time the first season had ended, I had read five of them."

MORE: The real history behind Game of Thrones

She's certainly a fast reader. Ms Walker is about as enthusiastic a Game of Thrones fan as you'll find, even though she got started late.

Conversely, some of the show's biggest fans will already be familiar with Ms Walker's work when she appears on HBO. As an amateur porn star, she has a particular talent for cosplay, and frequently dresses up in costumes inspired by video games and other parts of geek culture.

MORE: Seven things you never knew about Game of Thrones

"I prefer amateur stuff, like actual, real amateur stuff," she says. "I really don't like the American, plastic fantastic model of doing things.

"To have that as a default is ridiculous. People don't look like that, and people don't have sex like that."

Picture: naughtynerdy.com / Photography © Mark Anthony Boyle. Source: Supplied

Ms Walker says mainstream pornography is "pretty racist and sexist," but it doesn't need to be.

"I think it's pretty scary for a lot of women to see them doing these crazy things. And that's sad," she says.

"Porn is a fantasy. It's not an educational tool. But I think there should be a basis in reality.

"I actually think that my stuff is ethical, and the majority of my fan base is female, which is kind of uncommon."

MORE: Behind the scenes of Game of Thrones

Despite her role in one of television's most popular shows, Ms Walker says she doesn't want to become a full-time actor.

"Probably not as a career, but I would really be interested in maybe some small roles," she says. "I would love to be in sci-fi shows. I really like science-fiction."

That wouldn't be the first fantasy Ms Walker has fulfilled.


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