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Man dead after park brawl near Sydney

Written By kemala yuspita on Sabtu, 28 Februari 2015 | 21.31

A MAN has died in a park north-west of Sydney after an apparent brawl.

POLICE were called to Macquarie Park in Freemans Reach, near Windsor, shortly before 7pm following reports of a confrontation between two groups.

A 26-year-old was found with several injuries and died at the scene, despite the efforts of paramedics.Two men were arrested nearby and are assisting police with enquiries.Others are believed to have fled before police arrived.

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Shaolin Temple's big plans for NSW

CHINA'S Shaolin Temple, historically known for its martial arts traditions but which recently has gained a reputation for aggressive commercialisation, is planning to build a $US297 million ($A381.11 million) complex in Australia including a temple, a hotel, a kung fu academy and a golf course.

THE Shoalhaven City Council in NSW said earlier this month that Shaolin Temple Foundation Australia, the developer, had finalised a land purchase at Comberton Grange for what will be known as Shaolin Village.

Mayor Joanna Gash said on Saturday that the city council and the state government had both approved the concept plan for the project, which is to include a temple sanctuary with resident monks, a live-in kung fu academy, a 500-bed four-star hotel and a 27-hole golf course. Planning officials have rejected a residential component, but the developer hopes to restore it, according to media reports."We would like to see it happen as soon as possible," Gash said in a phone interview."Shaolin Temple is well regarded. It will be phenomenal for us. There's a lot of interest in it."It's more than a temple," she said."It's a spiritual thing. It's also tourism. And it's employment."The temple, built in the late fifth century and located in central China's Henan province, has rapidly commercialised itself under Abbot Shi Yongxin over the past decade. Shi has defended it as a means to preserve the temple and its Buddhist cultures.Shi made a personal trip to Shoalhaven earlier this month to present a cheque of more than $3 million to finalise the land acquisition, and the gesture was seen as a commitment to the project, according to a February 23 public notice by the city council.

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Petronas suffers $2.57 quarterly loss

MALAYSIAN state-owned energy firm Petronas has suffered a 7.27 billion ringgit ($2.57 billion) loss in the final quarter of 2014 due to lower oil prices, the company says.

MALAYSIA'S only Fortune 500 company - and the largest contributor to government revenue - said on Saturday the October to December performance was a reversal from the 12.76 billion ringgit profit it generated for the same period in 2013.

The showing pulled down the company's profit for the whole year to 47.6 billion ringgit from 65.6 billion ringgit in the previous year, it said.The company warned of more tough going as crude oil prices are expected to remain depressed."Based on the crude oil prices outlook whereby the average prices for 2015 are expected to be significantly lower than that of 2014, Petronas expects its 2015 performance to be impacted," it said.The company said it would take steps to reduce planned capital investments and operating expenditures in order to mitigate the potential adverse impact of low oil prices on its profitability.

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SA sellers ambushed after online deals

Two people have been attacked in apparent ambushes in SA after they arranged purchases online. Source: AAP

TWO people have been attacked in apparent ambushes in an Adelaide suburb after they arranged purchases online.

ONE man went to Plympton about 8am on Saturday morning after organising online to buy tickets to an event.

He was assaulted by man who tried to steal his wallet.The victim suffered minor injuries.In a separate incident in the same suburb, three hours later, a man was robbed in the car park of a hotel where he had gone to buy a mobile phone advertised online.When he was arrived he was confronted by a man who warned he had a weapon under his shirt.The suspect stole cash from the victim before driving off.Police say the suspect drives a white Holden sedan and is about 180cm tall, aged in his late 30s, Caucasian appearance, of medium build with short brown hair and tattoos on his neck and hands.Police say people should be particularly wary when buying concert tickets from anywhere other than licensed retailers.

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ALP wants overseas booths for NSW poll

Labor says the decision to close all overseas polling stations for the NSW election is undemocratic. Source: AAP

THE decision to close all overseas polling stations for the upcoming NSW election has been labelled "undemocratic" by Labor's international branch.

BUT London-based Australian Liberals Abroad says the ALP is simply playing politics with the issue and confusing voters.

For the first time in 100 years NSW voters won't be able to cast a ballot in person at Australia House in London - or any other high commission or embassy around the world - ahead of the March 28 poll.Instead they'll need to vote by post or online.ALP Abroad president Paul Smith believes Mike Baird's Liberal government was involved in the decision by the NSW Electoral Commission."It's un-Australian and undemocratic, and not how a proud democracy like Australia that invented the secret ballot conducts elections," he said.London-based Mr Smith told AAP the more options people had the more likely they were to vote."The option of internet voting is of course a good idea but you shouldn't take away the option of people to vote in person," he said ahead of a planned protest outside Australia House on Sunday."If this was such a great idea they would be doing it in Mike Baird's electorate of Manly."Mr Smith fears older travellers will be most affected because they might not be tech-savvy enough to get online.Some 4000 NSW voters cast a ballot in person at Australia House at the last federal election.The electoral commission has explained that in the past only 15,000 people from overseas and interstate voted in NSW elections.But when internet voting was introduced for the first time at the 2011 poll that figure jumped to 40,000, the commission's Ian Brightwell told the ABC last week.Australian Liberals Abroad president Jason Groves says internet voting gives more people the chance to vote - especially those in the UK living out of London."Mr Smith is trying to play politics with this and all he'll do is confuse people," Mr Groves told AAP."A lot more people have been enfranchised by this (internet voting)."Mr Groves also criticised ALP Abroad for suggesting the NSW Electoral Commission could have been swayed by the coalition state government."This is an apolitical decision by an independent body," he said."For Paul Smith to try and politicise that is wrong."Labor campaigns especially hard for expats to vote in elections because it believes they favour the ALP over the coalition 2-1.ALP Abroad will rally outside Australia's high commission in London on Sunday demanding the polling place be opened ahead of the March 28 poll.Mr Smith remains hopeful it will be."If the premier directly intervened in this matter I'm sure it would happen."People can enrol to vote by post or online at www.votensw.info

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Abbott's forestry call shamed Aust: Greens

The Greens claim Tony Abbott's decision over a Tasmania forestry proposal humiliates Australia. Source: AAP

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott made a "captain's call" over Tasmanian forestry policy which globally humiliated Australia, the Greens and a conservation group claim.

THE Wilderness Society (TWS) says Freedom of Information documents reveal Mr Abbott pushed forward with election commitments in the sector despite departmental caution.

One pledge included de-listing 74,000 hectares of Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, an application swiftly rejected by the United Nations' World Heritage Committee in June last year.The government argued the tranche of forest had already been impacted by logging and devalued bordering wilderness areas.TWS says FOI documents, released on Saturday, show Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce wrote to Mr Abbott immediately after the election and asked for time to review the government's forestry package."In light of the complexity of the issues surrounding Tasmanian forestry, we have come to the view that it would be appropriate to have a six-month review of the Tasmanian forestry package that would enable us to consult more broadly with a wide range of stakeholders on our election commitments," a section of the letter to Mr Abbott reads.TWS says the proposed review was clearly ignored because further documentation reveals Mr Abbott wrote to now-Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman a couple of months after the election to confirm the government's stance.Greens leader Christine Milne says the revelation is another example of a "captain's call" by Mr Abbott."It's clear to everybody that it was a stupid policy from the Liberals to try to remove important forest from the World Heritage Area, but the Liberals in Tasmania wanted them logged," she said."Tony Abbott went with them against the best advice of the departments, humiliating Australia on the global stage."Tasmania's resources minister Paul Harriss said it was "totally bizarre" that Mr Abbott was being criticised for sticking to key election commitments."Prior to the last federal election, Mr Abbott made it clear that in government he would seek to reverse the damage done by federal and state Labor to the Tasmanian forestry industry, damage that resulted in the loss of thousands of local jobs," he said.

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GrainCorp expects profit to halve

Written By kemala yuspita on Jumat, 27 Februari 2015 | 21.31

GrainCorp has warned its full year profit could drop more than 50 per cent due to smaller crops. Source: AAP

GRAINCORP has warned its full year profit could dive more than 50 per cent due to smaller crops and weaker exports.

THE company is now forecasting an underlying profit of between $45 million and $60 million, down from $95 million in 2014.

It expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to be between $240 million and $270 million, down from $293 million.Chief executive Mark Palmquist blamed the weaker outlook on a smaller winter crop and reduced exports."We continue to make pleasing progress on our strategic initiatives, with some good cost savings embedded into the business," he said."However, the smaller winter crop on top of low levels of carry means the exportable surplus is almost two million tonnes below average, reducing anticipated port elevations."He said the agribusiness expects to export between 2.5 million and three million tonnes from eastern Australia this year, down from 4.4 million tonnes last year.GrainCorp shares dropped 20 cents, or 1.99 per cent, to $9.87.

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Abuser Glitter faces 16 years jail in UK

FORMER glam rock singer Gary Glitter faces dying behind bars after being jailed for 16 years for sexually abusing three schoolgirls.

THE 70-year-old, real name Paul Gadd, was sentenced after being found guilty of one count of attempted rape, one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a girl under 13 and four counts of indecent assault.

Glitter, dressed in a black velvet coat, showed no reaction as he was led from the dock after he was sentenced at London's Southwark Crown Court.There was standing room only in court as loyal fans of the singer gathered in the public gallery to see him learn his fate.Before the hearing they had huddled together, poring over a Glitter annual, sharing tales of their fandom.Sentencing the singer Judge Alistair McCreath said: "I have read the victim impact statements of all three victims. It is clear, in their different ways, they were all profoundly effected by your abuse of them."You did all of them real and lasting damage and you did so for no other reason than to obtain sexual gratification for yourself of a wholly improper kind."Glitter, from Marylebone, central London, denied the allegations against him.He was cleared at trial of one count of plying a girl under 13 with alcohol in order to facilitate sexual intercourse, and two further counts of indecent assault.

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Fiji govt kicks off search for a new flag

Fijians are being asked to design a new flag as the country prepares to ditch the Union Jack. Source: AAP

FIJIANS will get the opportunity to design a new flag as the country prepares to ditch the Union Jack.

FIJI Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said on Friday the Pacific island was launching a two-month competition starting on Monday to find the best replacement flag.

He said a panel of citizens will choose the best designs, with the final decision going to MPs.He said the winning designer will get to hoist the new flag on October 10, the 45th anniversary of the country's independence.Fiji's current flag features the Union Flag, or Union Jack, in the top left corner.Bainimarama said it is a symbol of the country's colonial past.Bainimarama was elected leader in September when Fiji returned to democracy, eight years after he seized power in a military coup.

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'No plan B' to power sale: Baird

Premier Mike Baird (R) says there's "no plan B" if privatising NSW's electricity is stalled. Source: AAP

PREMIER Mike Baird admits there's "no plan B" if his centrepiece election promise to privatise the NSW electricity network is stalled in the upper house.

MR Baird made the comments on Friday during his first televised debate with his Labor rival, Luke Foley, marking the unofficial start of the state election campaign.

The debate was at times heated but lacked any knock-out blows, and no clear winner appeared to emerge from the contest.Mr Foley sought to link Mr Baird to unpopular Prime Minister Tony Abbott, repeatedly referring to the two as "mates" and "friends".Mr Baird said the March 28 election presented a clear choice between his $20 billion infrastructure package to "transform" NSW and Labor's plan to condemn the state to more congestion and crowded trains.But when asked what he would do if his proposed 49 per cent electricity lease plan was stalled in the upper house of parliament, Mr Baird replied: "Well, there's no plan B."Mr Foley was quick to seize on that apparent slip-up."If he can't sell the electricity network and if he can't raise $20 billion, all of his promises mean nothing," Mr Foley said."In December he couldn't sell a power station. What makes you think he can guarantee his promises at this election?"The Labor leader, who was speaking before a largely unsympathetic pro-privatisation crowd at the NSW Business Chamber event, said selling the electricity network would cause power prices to rise while starving the state of $1 billion of revenue a year.Mr Baird said Mr Foley was taking his orders from union bosses who were opposed to privatisation."It is old Labor that is coming back and trying to get back into government," the premier said.While Mr Baird insisted his plan would leave the state with 51 per cent ownership, he would not go into what future coalition governments might do."There are future governments in future years - I'm not going to make promises in 10, 15 years time," he said.The Baird-led coalition is tipped to be returned in next month's election although Labor is expected to regain ground following their disastrous 2011 result.

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