Clade by James Bradley.
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The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau.

Clade by James Bradley.

The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau.

Clade by James Bradley.

The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau.


No one plans it like this, but patterns leap out in any publishing season. Last year produced a disturbing number of Australian novels about domestic violence and child abuse, the best including Sofie Laguna’s Miles Franklin winner The Eye of the Sheep, and Sonya Hartnett’sGolden Boys, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin and many others. Helen Garner’sThis House of Grief, also tackles the theme as true crime and last week won the Ned Kelly crime-writing award for non-fiction. This year looks like a year of dystopian literary novels. At least two Australian novels are inspired by climate change, Clade by James Bradley and The World Without Us by Mireille Juchau, both with covers showing the bees we are losing. Two others examine the state of male-female relationships in grim but wildly creative fables – The Wonder Lover by Malcolm Knox and The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood, coming out in October. It’s early to make predictions about next year’s literary awards but you will hear more about the powerhouse novels by women including Juchau and Wood, A Guide to Berlin by Gail Jones, The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop, The Landing by Susan Johnson and – still to come – The Women’s Pages by Debra Adelaide, The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks and A Few Days in the Country, a short story collection by Elizabeth Harrower; plus debuts such as Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar and Rush Oh! by filmmaker Shirley Barrett.


Who has heard of Helen de Guerry Simpson, the Australian author of an acclaimed historical novel, Under Capricorn, that was filmed by Alfred Hitchcock? I’m sorry to say I hadn’t until I read the September fiction issue of Australian Book Review, in which 15 writers and critics name the “missing novels” they think should be better known. Debra Adelaide singles out Simpson’s 1932 novel Boomerang for its ironic voice and wry dramatisation of parochial life. Geraldine Brooks backs another book I don’t know – Thorskald​ by Tony Morphett, who is best known for television writing and young adult fiction. Brooks read his 1969 story of an Australian artist as a teenager but it is long out of print. Not only Australian books have faded: Rodney Hall wants to revive The House in Paris by British novelist Elizabeth Bowen; Andrea Goldsmith calls Of Human Bondage “perhaps the best novel of obsessive love ever written” though W. Somerset Maugham is out of fashion.


Something strange happened at the World Science Fiction Convention last weekend, when the prestigious Hugo Awards were announced and no award was given in five categories including best short story and best novella. Reports say the “Sad Puppies” and “Rabid Puppies”, groups of disaffected SF fans, had forced the Hugos to include on the voting ballot works that were popular with readers rather than just with “acceptable [left-wing] politics” or “the right publishing house”. Voters preferred to withhold awards. ​George R. R. Martin, creator of Game of Thrones, complained that rather than trying to take over the Hugos the Sad Puppies could start their own awardS “for Best Conservative SF, or Best Space Opera, or Best Military SF, or Best Old-Fashioned SF the Way It Used to Be”. Despite the schism, 12 awards were given and the best novel award went to Cixin Liu for The Three-Body Problem.

Studio 10 presenter Jessica Rowe. Photo: Damian Bennett Rowe hosts Studio 10 with Ita Buttrose, Sarah Harris and Joe Hildebrand. Photo: Facebook
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Former Nine presenter Jessica Rowe and former Nine CEO Eddie McGuire in happier times in 2006. Photo: Jon Reid

Jessica Rowe

Jessica Rowe slams Eddie McGuireSunday Life: Jessica Rowe won’t be kept down

Just weeks after accusing Eddie McGuire of making her life hell, Jessica Rowe has revealed the harrowing moment a drunken news director assaulted her at work.

The Studio 10 presenter described the alcohol-fuelled attack in her new memoir, Is This My Beautiful Life?, and revealed how she was discouraged by a television director from taking the matter further.

According to the excerpt published by The Daily Mail, the incident took place in an office corridor after the unnamed male colleague returned from a booze-fuelled lunch.

“He pressed his body against me but I managed to get away into one of the editing suites, where I rang one of the senior executives in tears,” the mother-of-two wrote.

“He counselled me and suggested that it wasn’t a big deal; I got the distinct impression I should keep my mouth shut if I wanted to stay working in that newsroom.

“I knew that working in the media could be tough and it wasn’t a career for the faint-hearted. I also understood how brutal it could be for women.

“Commercial television is still primarily run by men, and some of them have very outdated, sexist views.”

In her book Rowe did not mention in which newsroom the incident took place. Since starting her television career she has worked for Nine, Seven’s regional network Prime and Ten.

The revelation comes just weeks after the wife of Channel Nine newsreader Peter Overton accused former Nine CEO Eddie McGuire of making her life hell while she was a presenter at the network.

The Studio 10 panel were discussing controversy surrounding McGuire’s use of the word “mussie” to describe muslim Victorian sports minister John Eren, when Rowe launched into a scathing attack on the Collingwood president.

The mother-of-two was dumped as a co-host on the Today Show in 2006 when McGuire was reported to have wanted to “bone” the presenter.

“Eddie McGuire has form,” Rowe said, “and I can talk very much from personal experience.

“The way he allegedly used language against me in the past and the way he has used language to describe Adam Goodes… It’s highly, highly inappropriate, and then to try and explain it away as ‘oh, that was a brain snap or a brain freeze’ – no, that’s not on.

“I think you have to realise that when you are in a particular position and you use language like that, you think about the context of the language and I think it is racist, I think it is offensive,” Rowe continued.

“If he is not smart enough, and I don’t think he is, to moderate his language depending on the sort of forum he is in, he had to take the flak for it.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t have a lot of good to say about that man because he made my life hell.”

Michael Riley jnr: “The odds are not good”. Photo: Facebook Michael Riley jnr. Photo: Facebook
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A star junior athlete is in a critical condition in the US after a killer parasite is believed to have swum up his nose while he was playing in a lake with his teammates.

Three times junior Olympian Michael Riley jnr, 14, was due to start high school on Monday but instead is fighting for his life at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston with his family keeping vigil.

“Coming from a lake you wouldn’t think he’s going to the doctor’s office and they tell you he has a couple of days to live,” his father Mike Riley told KTRK-TV.

On August 19, a week after he jumped into a lake at the Sam Houston National Forest, he woke up with a headache and fever,  the family’s website said, but doctors at a local clinic could not identify the problem.

Two days later, he was disoriented with an unbearable headache and neck pain.

The rare naegleria fowleri amoeba is found naturally around the world in warm fresh water such as creeks, dams, rivers and hot springs but has also been identified in poorly maintained chlorinated swimming pools, industrial run-offs and water heaters.

Australia is considered a world leader in risk management for the brain-eating amoeba following multiple deaths in four states in the 1970s and 1980s.

Drinking the parasite does not cause infection, but, if it enters via water up the nose, it can travel to the brain and result in death within a day to two weeks.

Symptoms start one to nine days after infection including headache, fever, nausea and vomiting, progressing to a stiff neck, seizures, altered mental status and hallucinations.

The disease of the central nervous system it causes, called primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, is difficult to detect because it “progresses rapidly so that diagnosis is usually made after death” the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says.

“He is in critical condition and every hour is a waiting game to determine if he will pull through,” says the family’s “Miracle4Michael” Facebook page, which places faith in God and prayer while acknowledging that “the odds are not good” and inviting donations to help with medical expenses.

In the US only three people out of 133 infected in the past 50 years have survived.

The first PAM infections were identified in Australia in 1965 followed by multiple deaths over the next two decades.

The infections were linked to piping water long distances overland, which resulted in heated water with low disinfectant levels.

Water systems in Western Australia and South Australia continue to monitor for the parasite and there have been no infections in Australia since the 1980s, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says.

Hope for the boy is thought to rest on a drug called miltefosine, which has been used to treat parasitic infections in other countries  but is regarded as experimental in the US.

“People assumed that as I had been named the director of the new Super Rugby side I would stay on”: Eddie Jones. Photo: Michele Mossop “People assumed that as I had been named the director of the new Super Rugby side I would stay on”: Eddie Jones. Photo: Michele Mossop
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“People assumed that as I had been named the director of the new Super Rugby side I would stay on”: Eddie Jones. Photo: Michele Mossop

“People assumed that as I had been named the director of the new Super Rugby side I would stay on”: Eddie Jones. Photo: Michele Mossop

 Super Rugby’s 2016 expansion is under threat because of Japan’s slow progress in recruiting players and a coach for a competitive team.

Japan are set to join an Argentina franchise and South African side the Southern Kings in making it an 18-team competition.

News Corp newspapers are reporting that contingency plans have been drawn up that involve running a 17-team format without Japan, or going to 16 teams with just the Argentinean side, which is progressing well in terms of recruitment and organisation. Another possibility raised was bringing in a late replacement for Japan to keep the 18-team structure.

The Japanese scenario unfolds as national coach, former Wallabies mentor Eddie Jones, confirmed he would be stepping away from the scene over there.

He had been indicated as a possible coach of the Super Rugby side, but now seems destined to take charge of the Stormers franchise in Cape Town.

“The [Japan Rugby Football] Union are going to announce this afternoon that I will not be continuing after 2015,” Japanese news agency Kyodo quoted him as saying.

“That was always the case as my contract was until the end of the year, so all they are doing is stating the obvious.

“People assumed that as I had been named the director of the new Super Rugby side I would stay on. But that was just an administrative role not a coaching role. All I was doing was help get it set up.”

Officials from Sanzar toured Japan earlier this month and raised concerns that suggested a delay in the Asian stronghold’s entry could be a possibility.

It seems a power struggle between the wealthy company-based Japanese clubs and the Super Rugby ambitions are at the base of Japans problems.


Why women’s sport is big right now
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Australians can finally cheer a national cricket team to Ashes victory, with the final match of the women’s series set to be broadcast on free-to-air TV.

The Southern Stars are well ahead of the English women, in contrast to the Australian men’s dismal showing in Britain that prompted the retirement of captain Michael Clarke and a national outcry.

The women’s Ashes is scored using a points system – four points are awarded for winning a Test match, two each for a one day or T20 victory.

The Australians lead the series 8-2, so England would need to win all three remaining T20 games to manage a draw.

The Nine Network’s free-to-air HD channel GEM will show the last match of the series on delay at 9pm on Monday, ahead of the men’s T20 match, which starts at midnight.

But that game may be just a victory lap for the Southern Stars if they come out on top on either early Thursday morning, Melbourne and Sydney time, or on Friday.

Nine Network’s head of sport Steve Crawley said captain Meg Lanning, allrounder Ellyse Perry and wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy were world-class athletes and great entertainers.

“It’s exciting for the Nine Network to bring the Southern Stars’ talents into Australian households, to cap off what’s been a fantastic women’s Ashes series,” he said.

The commentary team will include a mix of people from the Nine Network and British channel Sky, with the final lineup still being finalised.

It has been a good year for Australian sportswomen.

National soccer team the Matildas became the first national side to make the quarter-finals at a World Cup.

Channel Seven broadcast a women’s AFL match earlier this month, the first time the female version of the sport had made it to live, free-to-air television, and it proved a ratings success.

But big differences remain between the pay and recognition offered to male and female Australian athletes in most sports.

Cricket Australia figures show the number of five- to 12-year-old girls playing cricket had grown 18 per cent in the past financial year, with a substantial increase in participation also evident among teenagers and adult women.

There were 525 traditional 11-a-side female club teams, 91 more than the year before.

CA  chief executive James Sutherland said he wanted to make cricket the most popular sport in the country amongst girls and women. He said he was glad Australians would get the chance to watch the talented women’s team play.

“They recently became the first ever national cricket team, male or female, to be ranked No.1 in all three formats at the same time, and have repeatedly risen to the big occasion winning the last four ICC world titles,” he said.

A former pub manager who had sex with a 14-year-old girl he came across living on the streets of Wodonga has been jailed for nine months.
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County Court Judge Frank Gucciardo said Shane Kaufmann, a former manager of the Edward’s Tavern in the city, had to be jailed after taking advantage of the vulnerable teenager under the guise of offering her shelter.

Judge Gucciardo said the victim and her girlfriend, aged 18, had been living an itinerant lifestyle when Kaufmann came across them sleeping in a bank ATM machine foyer in May 2013.

Kaufmann woke the two girls up, offered them food and told them they could stay at his home.

Kaufmann, who had a long criminal history, took the girls back to where they had occasionally stayed to collect their belongings and, while waiting for them, he stole a gas bottle.

Judge Gucciardo said Kaufmann gave alcohol to the girls, who also smoked cannabis and took valium and ice.

The judge said the 14-year-old girl later found herself naked in Kaufmann’s bedroom where he sexually assaulted her. The girl had earlier told him her age.

The next day Kaufmann put on a pornographic movie in his bedroom as he lay between the two girls.

Kaufmann began to assault the 14-year-old before her friend got up and walked out of the bedroom.

When Kaufmann left the house to go to a dentist’s appointment, the girls went to the police.

Kaufmann was arrested and pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual penetration of a child under 16 and one count of theft.

He initially told police he had had sex with the 18-year-old girl but not with the 14-year-old.

Judge Gucciardo said Kaufmann had taken advantage of the 14-year-old and abused her for his own sexual gratification, and the courts had to denounce such behaviour.

Kaufmann was jailed for nine months and, on his release, must complete a two-year community correction order and 200 hours of unpaid community work.

Kaufmann was also placed on the sex offenders’ register for 15 years.

The Border Mail

Herald photographer Jonathan Carroll shared this shot from Stroud.Trains: Good service on the Newcastle and Hunter lines.
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Traffic: Traffic lights are flashing yellow at Erina on the Central Coast Highway and the Pacific Highway at San Remo, near Goorama Avenue.

Weather: A shower or two in Newcastle (21 degrees), possible showers in Maitland (21 degrees) and cloudy in Scone (20 degrees).

Beachwatch: Tuesday turned out a lot better than expected and it should be another good day beachside on Wednesday. The wind will be north-west to south-west with theswell from the south-east around oneto 1.5 metres. Wave conditions will be nice and clean with the southern ends the picks.

Morning Shot: Herald photographer Jonathan Carroll shared this shot of storm clouds over Stroud.

Herald photographer Jonathan Carroll shared this shot of storm clouds over Stroud.

Bearded Cactus cut down by council:THE Bearded Cactus has become a landmark on the highway in East Maitland but it will soon be gone.

Roadmay close for Anzac Walk:NEWCASTLE council will spend $50,000 on the trial closure of a street near the Anzac memorial walk in a bid to monitor and reduce road and footpath congestion.

Studs dudded as mine wins favour:THE NSW Department of Planning has backed the controversial Drayton South coal mine despite conceding it could sound the death knell for the Hunter’s international reputation as a thoroughbred horse breeding region.

More bad news for Nathan Tinkler:A STRING of companies that formed part of Nathan Tinkler’s horse breeding and racing empire has been placed into voluntary administration, only a few weeks after a court was told a settlement was close to being struck with a creditor seeking to wind them up.

Bedsy wants to stay as coachPOLLKNIGHTS chief executive Matt Gidley has ruled out retaining caretaker coach Danny Buderus as head tactician next season, despite the Hall of Fame legend indicating he would consider a long-term appointment if it was offered.

Originals back to revive Jets: LABINOT Haliti remembers the fans filing into EnergyAustralia Stadium in gold, the buzz around the ground, coming off the bench on the right side of midfield and Adelaide United striker Carl Veart spoiling the party.

An aerial shot of Lucas Heights, in Sydney’s south west. Photo: Quentin JonesSecurity upgrades at Australia’s oldest nuclear reactor were not triggered by the arrest of five men caught loitering outside the site last year, according to officials.
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The men were arrested and questioned in September after parking their vehicles within 100 metres of the security gates to the Lucas Heights reactor in southern Sydney.

The group were eventually released without charge but their actions led police to question why they had strayed onto restricted Commonwealth land.

In response to a question on notice, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation chief executive Dr Adrian Paterson said security upgrades in October were not prompted by the scare.

“Control room operations were outsourced to one of Australia’s largest security firms with significant expertise and experience in control room monitoring,” an ANSTO spokesman said.

“ANSTO’s first responder safety function was also outsourced to a private company.”

The spokesman said both changes were made after a detailed review of security arrangements and after consultation with the Australian Federal Police.

“The changes have been successfully implemented and are delivering improved operational outcomes as well as cost savings,” he said.

“The AFP continues to be responsible for the 24-hour-a-day physical protection of the ANSTO site as well as armed first response.”

Dr Paterson said ANSTO received regular briefings from the intelligence community and their security posture could be strengthened quickly in response to specific threats.

During the Senate estimates hearing in June, he stressed the five men had not entered the Lucas Heights site and there was no suggestion they intended to do so.

In 2001, Greenpeace activists gained entry to the Lucas Heights complex and unveiled banners claiming nuclear power was “never safe”.

The Lucas Heights nuclear reactor is set to become a world leader in the production of nuclear medicine with plans to produce more than 25 per cent of the world’s nuclear medicine needs. The site currently produces 10,000 nuclear medicine doses each week which are then sent to more than 250 hospitals and medical practices around Australia. The Lucas Heights site will also receive a shipment of radioactive waste returned to Sydney from France this year, after being sent to Europe for processing in the 1990s.

According to legal requirements, the waste must be returned from France by December with more waste set to be returned from Britain in 2017.

In response to a Senate estimates question on notice, an ANSTO spokesman said the department had consulted with the community and information had been available to the public since 2012.

ANSTO marketing material states the returning waste is equivalent to one third of a shipping container.

The cost of transferring waste from Britain is expected to cost nearly $27 million over four years, while the return of waste from France has been funded in budgets since 2010.

ANSTO has emphasised Lucas Heights should only be an interim solution until the permanent national store is built.

Billu’s Restaurant was shot at by an unknown gunman on Tuesday night. Photo: Peter RaeUp to 40 people inside a busy Indian restaurant in Sydney’s west were “extremely lucky” not to be injured when a gunman fired a shot through the front window, police say.
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The gunman, dressed in a blue tracksuit, was seen running from Billu’s Indian Eatery on Wigram Street in Harris Park after the shooting, which occurred just before 9pm on Tuesday.

The fleeing gunman is believed to have nearly knocked over a woman at a pedestrian crossing on Wigram Street, and police now hope to speak to her, hoping she may be able to help identify the offender.

Police said between 30 and 40 customers and staff were inside the restaurant when the shot was fired. Remarkably, the bullet missed everyone inside and hit a shelf, police said.

Some diners did not realise immediately that a shot had been fired, and thought a car had backfired.

“It was extremely lucky that no one was injured,” a NSW Police spokeswoman said.

Detectives are understood to be investigating if the shooting was a targeted attack, and are interviewing staff and customers who were in the restaurant. A lot of Police cars in Harris Park right now. Wigram Street closed. Not sure why pic.twitter上海夜网m/FG9q4HPxpw— Yadu Singh (@dryadusingh) August 25, 2015

It is the second time this year a gunman on foot has fired shots in the vicinity of the restaurant.

In April, police closed Wigram Street when a man fired up to nine shots into the air on a Saturday afternoon, before fleeing.

A witness to that shooting, Fairfax Media employee Ramakrishna Gudipudi, said at the time that he was eating lunch when the shooting occurred.

“My wife and I were eating at Billu’s Indian restaurant when this gunman appeared out of the middle of nowhere and fired away,” Mr Gudipudi said.

“After he fled we walked over and saw eight bullets scattered all over the ground.

“You don’t expect to be eating lunch and have bullets fired around you.”

It was not clear whether the two shootings were linked.

Niti Sheh, who lives on Wigram Street, said on Wednesday morning that the latest shooting was “really scary”.

“In four months, it’s happening twice. A couple of days ago there was a fire in the shop nearby. I don’t know what’s going on, you know?” she said.

“It’s really scary. I’m scared that I come out and I’m walking here and anything can happen.”

Ms Sheh said she was a former employee at Billu’s Indian Eatery, and was working on the day in April when the shots were fired outside the restaurant.

Ms Sheh said she saw the gunman in April stand outside the restaurant for up to 40 minutes before firing into the air.

“Me and my colleague were standing outside for half an hour and the fellow shot after some time,” she said.

She said he had fired into the air, and did not appear to be trying to hit anyone.

Ejaz Khan, the vice-president of the Harris Park Chamber of Commerce, said he believed the shootings were gang related.

Mr Khan said he ate at Billu’s on Tuesday night, but left about 30 minutes before the shooting.

“I can’t believe this. This is the third incident in the last couple of months in Harris Park, and I believe strongly that there are criminal gangs working in this area,” he said.

He said there were about 25 restaurants, many Indian, operating within a 2½-kilometre radius in Harris Park, and they needed to know they could operate safely.

“We are a very happy, peaceful community in this area,” he said.

On Tuesday night, detectives closed a section Wigram Street as they searched for the gunman, while forensic police examined the restaurant.

Police are appealing for anyone who saw the offender to come forward, in particular the woman who was nearly knocked to the ground at the pedestrian crossing.

Police described her as being Indian or subcontinental in appearance, aged between 25 and 30, and she was wearing a pink top.

Anyone with information has been urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit the Crime Stoppers online reporting page. */]]>

Police plan to crack down on dangerous motorcyclists on Hunter roads after a spate of fatal crashes. Picture: Phil HearneA NEW operation is underway to crack down on motorcycle safety on roads through the Hunter Valley, Lake Macquarie and Central Hunter police commands.
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Operation Silverstone, which is launched at Maitland on Wednesday, is focused on keeping drivers alive after a rash of fatalities on the region’s roads.

Northern Region Traffic Tactician for the Traffic & Highway Patrol CommandChief Inspector Trent Le-Merton said the operation would use marked and unmarked cars and aircrafts to find drivers and riders putting themselves and others at risk.

“Unlike the legendary Silverstone racing circuit, our roads should not be used as racetracks, as some drivers and riders have, which is costing lives,” Chief Inspector Le-Merton said.

“The operation will involve a range of police resources including both marked and unmarked Highway Patrol cars, police motorcycles and aircraft for aerial surveillance, all focused on detecting those drivers and riders putting themselves, and other road users at great risk.

There have been 41 motorcycle fatalities this year in NSW including two this month on the Putty Rd, which is a recognised motorcycle riding route.

This is four more than this time last year.

“Sadly, 29 fatalities have been recorded on Hunter roads in 2015 after a spate of multiple fatalities, which is 13 more than 2014,” Chief Inspector LeMerton said.

“Many speed-related motorcycle crashes happen in good conditions with no other vehicles involved.

“There seems to be an over-representation of mature-aged riders on powerful machines who are coming ‘unstuck’ on curves striking road side objects.

Highly visibile police will be on the region’s roads throughout the operation, which will also employ other tactics.

“Police activities will be promoted through social media and directly through vehicle enthusiast websites to heighten public awareness of this road safety strategy,” Chief Inspector LeMerton said.

“Even experienced riders need time to react to changing situations on the road and as we get older reaction times slow.

“It takes three-quarters of a second to make a decision to act once you see a hazard, and the same time again for the action to be effective.”