Firefighters go home for xmas

by admin on July 30th, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

But authorities warn it will be a long time before the flames are out.

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“Even with the change coming through and cooler conditions for

the next four or five days, these fires are going to continue way beyond that and local residents need to be prepared for the long haul,” CFA state duty officer Gary Weir said.

Between 5mm and 10mm of rain fell across much of the fire-ravaged region last night, reducing the immediate threat to the Mansfield and Ovens areas and around Mt Buller where a blaze raged earlier in the night.

Authorities at the individual fire fronts will decide this morning how many of the 3000 firefighters on patrol can go home for Christmas.

A crew of New Zealand firefighters will fly home to Auckland and Christchurch today.

All but one of the 47-strong crew will head home this morning, leaving behind a mate who is still receiving treatment for smoke inhalation and burns. He’s expected to go home on Wednesday.

A crew of 36 firefighter from the ACT will also go home today.

About one third to half of the remaining fire fighters will be flown or bussed home for Christmas, but they are expected to be recalled when the rain has stopped long enough to allow a planned back burn along the major fire’s southern front.

The back burn across a stretch of rugged, inaccessible bushland will join the major blaze with the smaller deliberately lit Coopers Creek fire in the northern Gippsland area, Mr Weir said.

The larger fire will be more easily managed.

This morning fire had burnt or was burning on 871,000ha of bushland, the largest stretching across Victorian’s northeast to the Gippsland region.

But as of 8am (AEDT) no populated area was under threat.

“The fire behaviour now is relatively gentle, this rainfall has reduced the level fo alert,” Mr Weir said.

Lebanon seizes ‘mercenaries’

by admin on July 30th, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

The girls are the daughters of Canadian Melissa Hawach and are alleged to have been taken from her estranged Australian husband north of Beirut.

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Police identified the captured Australian last night as Brian Desmond Corrigan, and the New Zealander as David Bruce Pemberton, an ex-special forces member alleged to be the team leader, The Weekend Australian reported.

The duo were hauled from a plane at Beirut’s international airport on Wednesday afternoon and could face up to 15 years’ jail on charges of kidnapping minors.

Another former Australian soldier, James Arak, and two more New Zealand mercenaries, Simon Dunn, 33, and Michael Douglas, 40, have fled the country.

Hawach and her two daughters, Hannah, five, and Cedar, three, are also believed to be on the run but still in Lebanon.

Lebanese police claim all five men are ex-commandos who had staked out the girls’ father, Joseph Hawach, for several days before launching the daring raid.

Police say Pemberton arrived in Lebanon after receiving an email asking him to find and seize the girls for a fee. Corrigan arrived on December 9.

He is believed to have checked in to the al-Rimal Hotel, in Jounieh, where Hawach was staying with his daughters.

The other four arrived in Lebanon last Friday and stayed at the nearby Protodad Hotel.

The alleged abduction took place on Wednesday. The girls were allegedly whisked away in a Chevrolet van.

Melissa Hawach had launched unprecedented legal action late last month against her in-laws and her ex-husband’s extended family in a bid to force them to reveal her children’s whereabouts.

Joseph Hawach, 31, has been charged with two counts of abduction under Canadian law, and international arrest and extradition warrants have been issued.

He is alleged to have fled to Lebanon with his daughters at the height of the Hezbollah-Israel war in July and August.

The couple separated two years ago after marrying in Sydney in 1999.

Melissa Hawach had since returned to Canada.

Four seasons for Aussie Xmas

by admin on July 30th, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

Residents in two bushfire-affected states awoke to a white Christmas, while Queenslanders sweltered in hot and humid conditions.

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Storms caused havoc in suburban Melbourne, while residents in an inland NSW city were celebrating record drought-breaking rain.

White Christmas down south

Snow fell in Victoria and Tasmania, which are still battling fires that have blackened thousands of hectares this month, and in alpine areas of NSW.

In Tasmania, the weather bureau reported five centimetres of snow had fallen at the summit of Mount Wellington in Hobart.

Snow was settling 800 to 900 metres above sea level on the mountain, Bureau of Meteorology duty senior forecaster Shane Wells said.

Cradle Mountain and Mount Read also were likely to have received a dusting, he said.

Snow capped Victoria’s Mt Buller and Lake Mountain, where the temperature plunged to minus two degrees celsius this morning.

In the capital, Melburnians endured their coldest day on record with the mercury peaking at just 14.5 degrees Celsius.

The previous lowest temperature recorded on December 25 since records began 150 years ago was 15.9 degrees, in 1935.

In NSW, four centimetres of snow fell at Thredbo, in the Snowy Mountains, late this morning.

Up to 20cm of snow was expected by early tomorrow at altitudes above 1,200 metres around Thredbo, Perisher and surrounding areas, the Bureau said.

Strong winds and heavy rain have caused Christmas Day havoc in suburban Melbourne, dislodging roof tiles and causing flooding.

The State Emergency Service (SES) said volunteers responded to 50 calls for help after a storm passed through the Frankston and Seaford areas, south-west of Melbourne yesterday morning.

At least one home lost its roof in the storm, and dozens other suffered water damage.

Queensland swelters

Meanwhile, Queenslanders in many regions sweltered through high temperatures and humid conditions.

Brisbane recorded a muggy 32 degrees, with temperatures in far north Queensland reaching as high as 37 in areas like Weipa on the Cape York Peninsula and Normanton on the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Cunnamulla received some welcome rain over Christmas, recording 25mm in the past 24 hours, with Quilpie in the state’s west also receiving a light drizzle.

Residents in the drought-stricken NSW city of Goulburn celebrated their Christmas gift of rain, with a record 27.8mm falling on the southern highlands area yesterday morning.

It was a much needed present for the city’s residents, as Goulburn’s main Pejar dam was only 1.5 per cent full on December

17.

The town’s two smaller dams, which together are two-thirds the size of Pejar, were less than half-full.

Goulburn’s total usable water supply stood at 9.5 per cent of capacity at the end of last week.

More rain fell yesterday than in the past three months combined.

Top-level water restrictions have been in place in Goulburn since October 2004.

Packer launches cricket fund

by admin on July 30th, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

The PBL executive chairman said the Kerry Packer Foundation would help former Australian international players who had fallen on hard times, as well new cricketers in this country who needed financial assistance.

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Packer added the guidelines would not be too strict, with veteran first-class players also eligible.

A minute’s silence was held on day one of the Boxing Day Test last year to honour Kerry Packer, one of the most influential figures in cricket’s history.

“My father loved cricket and he actually loved the people associated with the game, particularly the players,” James said.

“I am satisfied that this, in a small way, is something in which his love for the game can linger and provide some useful support for its participants and administrators.”

James made the announcement at an official MCG lunch on day one of the fourth Ashes Test at the MCG.

He said today was a momentous one for himself and his family, with the Packers grateful for how the game paid tribute to Kerry a year ago.

“Today is an emotional day for me,” he said.

“A year ago today, my father died and our families were greatly honoured by the manner with which this ground and cricket in general honoured him by way of a minute’s silence.

“It was a moving ceremony for all of us at home and this is the best opportunity I have to publicly express my family’s gratitude.

“For some time, we have given some thought and been seeking some advice on how best to commemorate his name throughout cricket.

“My family and I have decided to create the Kerry Packer Foundation with a $10 million fund.”

Packer said himself, current Cricket Australia chairman Creagh O’Connor and former chairman Denis Rogers would be directors of the foundation, with Rogers the chairman.

“The intention of the fund is provide assistance for former Australian Test and one-day international players who have fallen on hard terms and may need some help,” James said.

“I am not precluding long-standing first-class players in Australia who have served their states faithfully.

“It is also our intention for this fund to be used to assist promising young men and women who may be precluded from pursuing a career in cricket because of financial constraints.”

Packer said he also wanted to help ensure young cricketers could pursue their studies while trying to develop their sporting careers.

He does not intend for the recipients to be made public and said the foundation would be self-funding.

In responding to the announcement, O’Connor said the foundation was a gesture “which reflects your father’s love of our great game and will keep alive the continuing contribution your family makes to cricket”.

Mystery over woman’s murder

by admin on July 30th, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

The body of the 80-year-old woman was discovered by neighbours inside the bin in the block on Bellevue Road, Bellevue Hill at about 7.

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30pm (AEDT) yesterday.

State Crime Command Detective Inspector Russell Oxford said the woman’s neighbours became concerned about her whereabouts when no-one had reported seeing her since Christmas Day.

During a search, one of the neighbours discovered her body in a bin that had been separated from others in the unit block’s garbage area.

The woman, who lived alone, is not thought to have any family members in Australia and the last reported sighting of her was

December 22.

She is believed to be of eastern European descent, possibly Hungarian.

Det Insp Oxford said it was hoped a post mortem, due to be conducted later today, would determine when the woman died.

He revealed police were still trying to piece together the woman’s final movements.

“We really don’t know much about her,” he said.

“Living by herself it’s always very difficult to work out if anything’s been stolen and simply just to work out a motive.

“I’m struggling to find a motive for such a callous act.

He said the circumstances of the woman’s death were bizarre.

“The difficulty we’ve got is because she’s elderly, and there are a number of elderly women living within the units there, and living by herself, it is difficult to work out her movements and difficult to work out, I suppose, a motive,” he said.

“It’s so callous and bizarre that a woman in her 80s is strangled to death and dumped in a garbage bin within her block of units.

“Obviously we’ve spoken to a lot of people within the units there as to when they have seen her, but we are looking for anybody else who might have called into the units to see her.

“It’s only five days but certainly over the Christmas period, surely someone must have seen her during that time.”