One of the state’s worst rapists and paedophiles could be released from jail next week, nine years after he sexually abused a four-year-old girl at a Lake Macquarie caravan park.
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The State of NSW has lodged an 11th-hour application to have Kevin Howard, 62, subjected to strict supervision should he be released on parole on September 3.

Even if he is not released on parole next week, Howard’s sentence for filming himself performing a series of sex acts on the girl at Teralba in 2006 expires on October 7.

Howard has spent 17 years of his adult life behind bars, the Supreme Court heard on Monday.

His sex offences date back to 1977 when, as a 24-year-old, he groped and propositioned a woman for sex while he was drunk.

Five months later, he raped a woman at knifepoint in a car park and was jailed for nine years with a non-parole period of four years.

Four months after his release in 1982, Howard and a friend went to “find a woman” in suburban Sydney when they came across a teenage couple walking along a street.

They scared off the boy and kidnapped the 17-year-old partially blind girl before repeatedly raping her in an isolated area.

Howard was jailed for 10 years with a non-parole period of five years, but ended up serving less than four years.

In 1989, while on parole, he approached three girls aged four, five and six in a Newcastle playground.

He pulled down the underwear of two of them and tried to perform a sex act on one of the girls before inviting them to go for a drive with him.

The girls said no and Howard was reported. He received 18 months’ periodic detention.

Howard was then able to abstain from his offending for more than 15 years, until he ended up living in a caravan park at Teralba.

In 2006, he lent his mobile phone to a friend who found photos of a man having sex with a child.

Howard was charged with possessing child pornography before it was discovered that the photos were of him performing sex acts on a four-year-old girl.

He was later jailed for nine years with a non-parole period of eight years.

The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that Howard will be subjected to an interim supervision order regardless of when he is released before a hearing in November to determine whether he should be subjected to further supervision.

In the meantime, he will be assessed by two psychiatrists.

Howard has expressed a desire to live with family in Goulburn or Coffs Harbour, Justice Richard Button noted.

He has been a well-behaved prisoner and is a talented artist who has had little contact with the outside world, the court heard.

“Regrettably, the life history of the defendant demonstrates that he has an entrenched proclivity to commit very grave sexual offences against women and girls,” Justice Button said.

Newcastle Herald


Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Photo: Justin Bieber/Instagram Selena Gomez has opened up about her relationship with Justin Bieber, her friendship with Taylor Swift and her decision to take off her purity ring.
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“It’s difficult for people to separate us,” the 23-year-old singer told Britain’s Sunday Times about her relationship with Bieber. “The internet wants to freeze this moment in time and constantly repeat it.”

The pair began dating in 2010 when Gomez was 18 and Bieber was just 16. Their relationship ended last year under the intense scrutiny of the public eye.

“I didn’t think I was doing anything bad by falling in love,” she said. “There’s such an emphasis on people being the perfect thing and then destroying them because it’s good press. Throw in the fact that you’re a teenager­­­­ – it makes it more difficult.”

It was made even more difficult by the fact that, while dating Bieber she removed her purity ring, which symbolises the decision to remain a virgin until marriage.

The Heart Wants What it Wants singer asked her father for the ring when she was 13.

“I said, ‘Dad, I want a promise ring’,” she recalled. “He went to the church and got it blessed. He actually used me as an example for other kids. I’m going to keep my promise to myself, to my family and to God.”

As she grew up and then met Bieber, she changed her mind.

“I’m not embarrassed to say that,” Gomez said. “I’m also not embarrassed to say that the ring has come off. I got it when was I was 13 and I respect so much what it represented, but it isn’t for everyone.”

Although she was comfortable with her decision, she was not comfortable with the public backlash.

“Sometimes you have to lie to yourself to get through the criticism, and then you’re in your closet crying,” Gomez revealed. “It’s been like that for me a couple of times, but I only want to learn from those things.”

As she tried to navigate growing up in the public eye, the support of close friends, such as Taylor Swift, helped.

“I can count on one hand the people I could call and who would be there for me. Taylor is one of the greatest people,” Gomez said. “When I split with my first boyfriend [Nick Jonas] and I was really sad about it, she flew into town with homemade cookies and a bunch of junk food.”

Now, Gomez says she’s ready to love again and is coming to terms with that love being public.

“The next relationship will be something dear to me,” she said. “There is no way I will ever hide my life.”

Fairfax Media


Sylvia Jeffreys addresses her fashion crime. Photo: NineSylvia Jeffreys to replace Georgie GardnerKarl Stefanovic to appear in Independence Day
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Today host Sylvia Jeffreys has smacked down the Daily Mail live on air after a report the site published about an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction she suffered earlier this week.

The journalist’s white underwear was clearly visible underneath a sheer turtleneck as she posed for photos at an Ovarian Cancer Research Fund morning tea on Tuesday.

The Daily Mail wrote about the malfunction and went so far as to suggest the 29-year-old journalist was in on the act.

“She’s know [sic] for her elegant sense of style, but Sylvia Jeffreys went for more of an eye-popping look than she had perhaps planned when attending a high tea on Tuesday,” the article read.

“But the 29 year-old blonde appeared to take the minor wardrobe malfunction in her stride, shooting photographers a good-natured grin along with a look of surprise.”

Jeffreys defended herself on air on Wednesday morning with the support of her colleagues, saying she didn’t know she was flashing her underwear.

“I just want to clear up, in their report they said that I flashed a look of surprise when I realised what was going on – I had no idea what was going on. That’s just my weird resting face.”

Jeffreys’ shut down the report by pointing out she was a working woman who was clearly too busy to change.

“I was running between many commitments yesterday and didn’t have time obviously to change what was underneath every outfit.”

“It wasn’t visible to the naked eye, it was just under the photographers’ flash that that was visible, so apologies for any offence caused but I wont make the same mistake twice.”

“Thank you Daily Mail for pointing that out,” Jeffreys added sarcastically. Errrr whoops! Anything to draw attention to a good cause, I guess. Right @helenmccabe? #brafail#crazyeyes#10Hourspic.twitter上海夜网m/hfrrWd7fOn— Sylvia Jeffreys (@SylviaJeffreys) August 25, 2015Great to join @mccabehelen for the #10Hours High Tea today. Thank you @womensweeklymag and #Loreal for inviting me to join this important campaign for ovarian cancer research.A photo posted by sylviajeffreys (@sylviajeffreys) on Aug 24, 2015 at 11:25pm PDT


Furious investors have kidnapped the head of a Chinese exchange for minor metal trading from his hotel and handed him to police, the Financial Times (FT) has reported.
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The investors were angry that authorities had failed to find out why their funds had been frozen and believed by handing over Fanya Metals Exchange boss Shan Jiuliang to police they could spark an investigation.

The FT reported investors had been protesting for weeks about their funds being frozen at the exchange which is based in the southwestern city of Kunming and traded minor metals. It also offered high interest investment products from offices in Shanghai and Kunming.

The exchange, which had purchased minor metals for above market prices, has faltered as China’s economy slowed.

Investors travelled to Shanghai and besieged a luxury hotel where Shan was staying.

When he tried to check out they manhandled him into a car and delivered him to the nearest police station, according to the FT report published on August 23.

Police took Shan into custody promising to investigate what happened to investors money. Shan was later released without charge.

Fanya, which had started to experience liquidity problems months ago, had stockpiled metals as Indium and Bismuth that are used in high tech and military applications.

The FT said it interviewed investors who claimed they were attracted to invest in Fanya financial products because it was advertised on CCTV – the national broadcaster.

Shan had been holding regular meetings with exchange backers and was on the way to Guangzhou for a business trip when he was captured.

According to the FT, a report by the local regulator had identified the exchange as an investment risk but was redacted to remove the reference to Fanya last year.

Fairfax Media


The business and first-class bar on Emirates A380 flights. Photo: Emirates Nicole Kidman lounging on the Residence’s double bed. Photo: Etihad
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THIS IS LUXURY: Emirates’ First Class Cabin. Photo: Emirates上海夜网m

The business and first-class bar on Emirates A380 flights. Photo: Emirates

The business and first-class bar on Emirates A380 flights. Photo: Emirates

The business and first-class bar on Emirates A380 flights. Photo: Emirates

Qantas is eliminating first-class service on most of its long-haul flights except for a few flagship routes to Los Angeles and London from Australia.

Qantas is eliminating first-class service on most of its long-haul flights except for a few flagship routes to Los Angeles and London from Australia.

Qantas is eliminating first-class service on most of its long-haul flights except for a few flagship routes to Los Angeles and London from Australia.

Sports cars are fun. Save some extra money and go for it, at least once. Photo: iStock

Five-star accommodation: Sure, it’s great and all, but imagine all of the other things you could do with that money. Photo: iStock

It doesn’t matter who you are – backpacker or big-budget traveller, rich person or poor – there are some travel experiences that almost everyone dreams of splashing out on.

These things aren’t cheap. In fact they’re often sell-all-your-furniture, remortgage-your-house expensive. But you’ve been told time and time again that they’re worth it. The theory, after all, is that the more you’re forced to pay for something, the better it will be.

But is it? Through my job I’ve been lucky enough to be able to sample some of those big-budget, bucket-list experiences that most travellers dream about. And I’ve found that they’re not all worth the money. Flying business class

The experience: There can’t be a person alive who hasn’t wandered past the fancy seats at the front of the plane and wanted to jump in one. You have to pay a lot, but think of the perks! You get lounge access, and sometimes a shower before theflight. You get personalised, professional service. You get meals presented on white linen and proper crockery. You get to lie down flat and sleep, or watch a huge TV screen, and then walk off the plane refreshed and ready on arrival.

The cost: Between five and 10 times what you’d pay for an economy seat.

The verdict: Are you paying for it yourself? Forget it. That money could be better spent in a million ways. This is, after all, just a seat on a plane that you’ll only get to enjoy for 24 hours at the most. But hang on: are you upgrading on points? Go for it. Especially if it’s with Emirates or Qantas. It’s a pretty amazing experience. The only downside is that economy will seem even worse for the rest of your life. (And it’s even worse if you manage to fly first class – take a look at the best first class seats in the gallery above.) Staying in a fancy hotel

The experience: Here’s what all that money gets you at a luxurious, five-star hotel. It gets you service from the moment your cab pulls up outside the door. It gets you a huge, comfortable room with a beautiful view. It gets you a “pillow menu”. It gets you a bathroom that’s probably bigger than your apartment back home. It gets you a day spa and a pool and all the other amenities. It gets you access to high-quality restaurants and bars that you don’t even have to leave the hotel to find.

The cost: As much as you want to pay.

The verdict: I wouldn’t. Unless it’s for a really special occasion, I wouldn’t splash out on high-end accommodation. Sure, it’s great and all, but imagine all of the other things you could do with that money. Imagine how much longer you could travel if you just stayed in a basic hotel, or a hostel. Imagine the great meals you could have, or the events you could go to, or the souvenirs you could buy. Unless you’re the sort of person who likes to spend the bulk of your holiday hanging around the hotel, I wouldn’t recommend it. Going to Antarctica

The experience: This is bucket-list stuff. You board a ship in the south of Argentina and set sail for the great southern continent, where you’ll get to see huge colonies of penguins; you’ll get to see orcas, and seals, and flocks of seabirds; you’ll get to spend time in an Antarctic research station; and you’ll get to watch and listen as huge glaciers groan and crack and tumble into the ocean. That’s pretty amazing.

The cost: From about $8000, and that’s not including flights.

The verdict: Do it. Save your money, and do it. All of those things you’re picturing – they will all be there. There’s nothing on Earth that can compare to a trip to Antarctica, to feeling like an explorer as you set off from Ushuaia, to the thrill of being isolated at the bottom of the globe in one of the most beautiful places you’ve ever seen. Going to Antarctica is expensive, but it’s undoubtedly worth it. Hiring a luxury car

The experience: Here’s the deal: you could hire any old regular sedan, and make your way around, say, the USA in economically sensible style. Or, you could accept the upgrade you’ll inevitably be offered, and spend your journey roaring around the countryside in a Mustang, or a Corvette, or some equally ridiculous sports car that guzzles more fuel that you thought possible, and makes everyone look at you like you’re a balding wannabe having a midlife crisis. Ahem.

The cost: From about $100 per day, plus fuel.

The verdict: This is not something I would ever have done, until a travelling buddy talked me into hiring a Mustang convertible to get around California for a week. To begin with it felt ridiculous, but once the sun was out and the top was down, I realised that my ‘Stang was just about the best investment I could have made. Sports cars are fun. Save some extra money and go for it, at least once. Doing a big-budget African safari

The experience: There seem to be only two ways to do a safari in southern or east Africa: the ultra-budget backpacker way, or the five-star high-end fancy way. The fancy way involves luxury accommodation in huge permanent tents with wooden floors and proper showers, or beautiful bungalows with plunge pools looking out over the savannah. You get private game drives with highly skilled trackers, who break from their wildlife spotting only to set up a table and pour a G&T for you while the sun sets. In short, it’s ridiculous, and awesome.

The cost: From about $600 per person night to upwards of $1800 per night.

The verdict: Do it once. Just for a few nights. Make it your honeymoon or something special like that. Book a place like Phinda in South Africa or Somalisa Camp in Zimbabwe. They’re amazing. And after that, go back to regular old budget safaris. I actually love the stripped-back version of the safari experience, sleeping in a tent and making your own fire in the morning for coffee. It feels more authentic, more adventurous, than the big-budget version. Dining at a three-Michelin-star restaurant

The experience: This is the best of the best. It’s like going to see Lionel Messi play football, or Tom Morello play guitar. When you go to a three-Michelin-star restaurant, you’re experiencing food at its finest and most inventive. It will probably be silver service, with ultra-professional waitstaff serving up tiny morsels of food that have undergone days of preparation and years of planning to make it to your table. For foodies, it’s the top rung.

The cost: From $150 to about $800 per person.

The verdict: You have to be into food. Really into food. If you’re not the sort of person who’s going to appreciate that this dish is a whimsical play on the chef’s childhood in Paris, or that this rare seaweed was foraged from a secluded coastline in northern Scotland, then going to a three-Michelin-star restaurant is going to be a waste of time. And even for those who really are into food, some of the best dining experiences when you’re travelling can come from the cheapest restaurants. But if you want to try the best of the best, this is your only option.

Which luxury experiences do you think are worth saving for? And which aren’t?

See also: Forget the house: Travel is the secret to happiness

See also: Visiting all the world’s iconic sights by private jet

Email: [email protected]上海夜网m.au

Instagram: instagram上海夜网m/bengroundwater


EnergyAustralia officials at the Iona gas plant’s opening in 2008. The plant has also drawn interest from other suitors including Australian pipeline owner APA Group and fund manager QIC. Photo: Damian WhiteJemena, the energy distributor controlled by State Grid Corporation of China, is weighing a final bid for EnergyAustralia’s Iona gas storage plant. Jemena is looking for opportunities to expand its business and is examining the Iona facility, as well as other options in the energy industry, spokeswoman Rebecca Harrison said in an emailed response to questions. It had not yet decided whether to make a final offer, Harrison said. The gas storage plant, which may fetch more than $US720 million ($1 billion), has also drawn interest from other suitors including Australian pipeline owner APA Group and fund manager QIC, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Final bids are due around the end of next month, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. EnergyAustralia’s owner, Hong Kong-based CLP Holdings, is selling assets and shifting attention to other markets after saying in February that it faced “extremely challenging” conditions in Australia. Lazard was advising it on the sale, the people said. Australia’s competition regulator has asked for comments on APA’s intention to buy Iona by August 26, and it is expected to decide by September 30 whether APA can proceed. Spokesmen for APA and QIC declined to comment. A spokeswoman for EnergyAustralia said the company is “pleased with the process to date”, declining to comment on specific bidders. The Iona plant in Victoria has storage capacity to supply up to 500 terajoules of gas a day, says EnergyAustralia’s website. The facility is used by energy companies to store gas during periods of low usage, which can then be distributed by pipeline to supply markets around Melbourne and Adelaide when demand is high. Jemena owns more than $9 billion of Australian gas, power and water distribution assets and supplies millions of homes and businesses, its website shows. State Grid, China’s largest power distributor, owns 60 per cent of the company and the rest is held by Singapore Power. The Chinese state-owned company is also weighing a joint bid with a Macquarie Group fund for NSW power transmission company TransGrid, people familiar with the matter said last month. Bloomberg
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Paddling through Forest Lagoon at the edge of Bathurst Harbour, with Mount Rugby behind. Photo: Andrew Bain Paddling through Forest Lagoon at the edge of Bathurst Harbour, with Mount Rugby behind. Photo: Andrew Bain
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Paddling through Forest Lagoon at the edge of Bathurst Harbour, with Mount Rugby behind. Photo: Andrew Bain

Australia’s national anthem is clear about this: our home is girt by sea. We’re a country of coastline – about 35,000 kilometres of it – and while you can drive parts of it and walk others, seeing it from water level in a kayak is incomparable.

There are countless kayaking opportunities across the country, both along the coast and in the rivers that vein the land, running from mild to wild and everything in between. Here are 10 of the best kayak trips. Hinchinbrook Island, Queensland

Australia’s largest island national park is a double-edged sword for kayakers. Paddle the inside Hinchinbrook Channel and you’d be croc bait, but paddle the outside coast and you have one of the country’s most spectacular sea-kayak trips.

The island is best known to bushwalkers because of the presence of the spectacular Thorsborne Trail, but I’ve hiked the trail and I’ve kayaked the island’s length, and the paddling wins hands-down. The island’s steep peaks rise behind palm-lined beaches, while turtles and even the occasional dugong surface regularly from the sea. All the while, beaches and camps give easy access to many of the Thorsborne​ Trail’s signature sights, such as Nina Peak and Zoe Falls.

Once you reach Hinchinbrook’s northern tip, it’s an island hop north – Goold​, Hudson, Coombe, Bedarra​, Dunk Islands – into Mission Beach.

World Expeditions and Coral Sea Kayaking run kayaking trips along Hinchinbrook Island.

Hinchinbrook Island nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/hinchinbrook

World Expeditions worldexpeditions上海夜网m

Coral Sea Kayaking coralseakayaking上海夜网m  Ngaro Sea Trail, Queensland

Though curiously listed as one of Queensland’s “Great Walks”, the Ngaro Sea Trail is a kayaking circuit through the Whitsunday Islands, linking a handful of short walking tracks. The complete trail loops around Whitsunday Island, but in reality you can make up the route yourself, picking and choosing islands, beaches and campsites depending on wind and ocean conditions. Walking trails along the way lead to expansive viewpoints at the likes of Whitsunday Cairn and Spion Kop (South Molle Island), and an Aboriginal rock-art site on Hook Island.

If you want to skip the long open-water crossing of the Whitsunday Passage, Salty Dog Sea Kayaking’s water taxi service can deliver you and your kayaks to a variety of island campsites.

Ngaro Sea Trail nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/whitsunday-ngaro-sea-trail

Water taxi service saltydog上海夜网m.au  Ningaloo​ Reef, Western Australia

To many it might only be Australia’s other reef, but to a kayaker Ningaloo is Australia’s true great barrier reef. Along the shores of Cape Range National Park, this World Heritage-listed ribbon of coral runs close to land, creating lagoon-like conditions for paddling. Roll overboard into the azure sea and you can be snorkelling among coral bommies, reef sharks, loggerhead turtles and a marine rainbow of fish.

Capricorn Sea Kayaking runs a range of trips on the reef, from day paddles to five-day trips exploring a new section of reef each day.

Capricorn Sea Kayaking capricornseakayaking上海夜网m.au  Freycinet​ Peninsula, Tasmania

Let’s make this clear from the outset: you won’t see Wineglass Bay from a kayak when you paddle at Freycinet​. But once you’ve nosed around this peninsula’s other bays and beaches, you probably won’t care.

You can take the leisurely paddling path and join a three-hour kayak tour around Coles Bay, cutting across the foot of the Hazards mountains, or come for a night and kayak to a camp on Hazards Beach – from here you can walk across the isthmus to Wineglass Bay, after all. You might even want to settle in for a few days with an expedition trip to little-visited Schouten Island to camp among penguins and explore sea caves in your kayak.

Trips are operated by Freycinet​ Adventures.

Freycinet​ Adventures freycinetadventures上海夜网m.au   Katherine Gorge, Northern Territory

Paddle into a classic slice of outback scenery. The centrepiece of Nitmiluk​ National Park, Katherine Gorge is a series of 13 gorges chipped into the Arnhem Land escarpment, and is a place best seen from a canoe.

Nitmiluk​ Tours hires out canoes for half-day, full-day and overnight paddles into the gorge. A half-day of paddling will only get you into the first gorge, while a day in a canoe can take you into the second gorge, considered by many to be the most spectacular.

Paddlers prepared to camp can push through as far as the ninth gorge, though there are a series of portages – carrying your canoe over rock barriers between gorges – to negotiate.

The Parks and Wildlife Commission publishes a canoeing guide.

Nitmiluk​ Tours nitmiluktours上海夜网m.au

Canoeing guide parksandwildlife.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/122411/Nitmiluk-canoe-info-12.pdf  Sydney Harbour, New South Wales

Few would dispute that Sydney is blessed with one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world, and while the multitude of water traffic on Port Jackson might be intimidating in a kayak, Middle Harbour is a paddling dream.

The waters in this harbour are more protected, making for typically gentle morning conditions. Sydney Harbour Kayaks runs four-hour “eco tours” that head under the Spit Bridge and through the narrowing harbour to the shores of Garigal​ National Park – luxury homes yielding to luxuriant bush – where tours glide ashore for morning tea before paddling back through Middle Harbour to Mosman.

Sydney Harbour Kayaks: sydneyharbourkayaks上海夜网m.au  Noosa River, Queensland

If glass-smooth waters are your thing, the Noosa River is your place. Begin in shallow Lake Cootharaba​, making the short crossing to the mouth of the river and then into Fig Tree Lake. If you’re lucky, the lilies here will be in bloom, providing a spectacular avenue of purple flowers.

From here the river contracts into the Narrows, where paperbark trees hang over the water and, at times, the river can be so still you feel as though you’re sitting on a mirror.

The river is lined with almost a dozen campsites, reaching almost to the headwaters (about 40 kilometres from Lake Cootharaba​), so paddle as near or far as you like. Kanu Kapers​ runs guided and self-guided trips.

Kanu Kapers kanukapersaustralia上海夜网m  South West Tasmania

Draw a circle 100 kilometres around any capital city and you don’t expect a place like Bathurst Harbour and Port Davey. As you launch your kayaks from beside the remote Melaleuca airstrip, deep inside Tasmania’s South West Wilderness, it’s like paddling off the grid, with a week of unknown water and coastline ahead.

Roaring 40s Kayaking runs expedition trips through Bathurst Harbour and out into Port Davey, camping on and exploring little-visited beaches. You might wander into the largest Aboriginal midden in Tasmania, paddle through the gorge once known as Hell’s Gates, or climb low peaks for a perspective on the waterways you’ve paddled.

If you fancy something a little shorter and more introductory there’s a three-day exploration trip into Bathurst Harbour, staying at a permanent camp.

Roaring 40s Kayaking roaring40skayaking上海夜网m.au  Port River, South Australia

Marine encounters are one of the true pleasures of kayaking. I’ve paddled beside reef sharks at Ningaloo, dugongs around Hinchinbrook Island and orcas​ in Canada, but in Adelaide’s Port River it’s all about the dolphins.

The river is part of the Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary, and is home to about 40 bottlenose dolphins. From Garden Island, Adventure Kayaking SA operates three-hour tours (and has kayak hire), paddling among beautiful old-growth mangroves, observing dolphins and exploring Australia’s largest ship graveyard, which contains the hulks of around 40 vessels. All within 30 minutes’ drive of Adelaide’s CBD.

Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary naturalresources.sa.gov.au/adelaidemtloftyranges/coast-and-marine/dolphin-sanctuary

Adventure Kayaking SA adventurekayak上海夜网m.au  Lawn Hill Gorge, Queensland

Far north Queensland’s Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park is laced with walking trails leading to the waters of Lawn Hill Gorge, but when it’s this hot, wouldn’t you rather paddle there? Hire kayaks are available near the ranger station, from where it’s just a few minutes of paddling into the entrance of the upper gorge.

Cabbage palms line the banks, and turtles and freshwater crocodiles might be seen basking along the base of the cliffs. About a kilometre into the gorge, a barrier of rock blocks the creek, creating Injarri​ Falls. Here you can portage around the falls to continue through the gorge, but most will be content to tie up to the pier and swim a while before paddling back to the ranger station.

Boodjamulla​ (Lawn Hill) National Park nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/boodjamulla-lawn-hill/index.html


Westfield Corp runs the international business, which includes Westfield London.Westfield Corp, the international retail business run by Steven and Peter Lowy has reported a first-half profit of of $US465.9 million ($652 million), which was in line with the forecasts made when the group restructured and created Scentre Group last year.
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Under the restructure, Westfield Corp runs the international business which owns Westfield London and Stratford City, in the UK, the newly-develped World Trade Centre in New York and Century City in Los Angeles, among others across North America. It is also developing a mall in Milan.

Funds From Operations (FFO) came in at $US380 million while the distribution for the six months ended 30 June 2015 was 12.55 cents per security, also in-line with forecast.

Westfield’s Peter Lowy and Steven Lowy said the benefits of restructure can be seen in the progress being made on the $US11.4 billion development program.

“This year we expect to commence $US2.5 billion of projects, having already commenced $US1.6 billion of redevelopments to-date in 2015 including Century City in Los Angeles and UTC in San Diego, with the expansion at Westfield London expected to commence later this year.,” the co chief executives said.

“Our investment in the development program, which also comprises Westfield World Trade Centre in New York and Valley Fair in Silicon Valley, is expected to create significant long term value for securityholders.”

“The $US1.4 billion Westfield World Trade Centre is now fully leased and committed. This will be a spectacular shopping, dining, event and entertainment destination integrated into the World Trade Centre Transportation Hub in Lower Manhattan.”

The project will showcase a diverse mix of over 100 domestic and international fashion, dining, beauty, entertainment and technology retailers as well as a “world class” food offering, led by Eataly​, an Italian group dining. The project is now expected to open in the first half of 2016.

The distribution for the six months to June 30 was 12.55¢ per security, also in-line with forecast.

The group reconfirms its FFO forecast for the 2015 year of 37.7¢ per security, including the impact of the $US925 million O’Connor joint venture in the US completed in February 2015, being growth of 4 per cent.

The distribution forecast for the 2015 year is also reconfirmed at 25.1¢ per security.

more to come


Local shares are poised to extend losses as a wave of late selling in the US drove the Dow and S&P 500 lower.
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What you need2know

SPI futures down 47pts to 5080

AUD at 71.28 US cents, 84.79 Japanese yen, 62.09 Euro cents and 45.45 British pence

On Wall St, S&P 500 -1.3%, Dow -1.4%, Nasdaq -0.4%

In Europe, Stoxx 50 +4.7%, FTSE +3.1%, CAC +4.1%, DAX +5%

Spot gold down $US14.23 or 1.2% to $US1140.88 an ounce

Brent crude up 16 US cents or 0.4% to $US42.85 a barrel

Iron ore adds 0.3% to $US53.45 per tonne

What’s on today

Australia construction work done, Remarks by Glenn Stevens, Reserve Bank of Australia governor, at the National Reform Summit, Sydney; US durable goods

Stocks in focus

Citi analysts continued to make more downgrades than upgrades to earnings in the past week of reporting. Resources have been impacted by lower commodity price forecasts as well, but downgrades have also continued to be prevalent for Industrials.

Earnings results are expected from companies including: BC Iron, Worley Parsons, APA Group, Westfield, Drillsearch, Seven Group Holdings

Currencies

Commonwealth Bank’s Richard Grace forecasts that the AUD/USD exchange rate will remain more sensitive to commodity export prices than commodity export volumes. “The RBA have demonstrated they also remain more sensitive to changes in Australia’s real gross domestic income growth, than changes in Australia’s real GDP growth. The RBA have reduced interest rates to 2.0 per cent in response to the changes in these relative growth rates and the relationship between RBA movements and these relative growth rates is strong. The risk is further RBA interest rate cuts, with the market fully pricing a 25bpt rate cut by February 2016. Adding to easier financial conditions, the AUD/USD exchange rate has depreciated 35 per cent since mid 2011. We anticipate a further depreciation below 0.7000 in AUD/USD is coming.”

Commodities

Copper for delivery in three months gained 2.3 per cent to $US5065 a metric ton ($US2.30 a pound) at 5.50pm on the London Metal Exchange. On Monday, prices touched $US4855, the lowest since July 2009. Copper for immediate delivery is trading at a $US33 premium to the metal for delivery in three months, the biggest spread since January 30.

A measure of oil-price fluctuations climbed Monday to the highest level since April. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Crude Oil Volatility Index closed at 50.11 Monday, signalling the largest price fluctuations since April 1. The gauge of hedging costs on the US Oil Fund, the biggest exchange-traded fund tracking WTI, is down 5 per cent Tuesday.

United States

A rebound that took the Dow Jones Industrial Average up more than 440 points disappeared as traders said trepidation over what will happen in China’s market made holding on to stocks too risky for most investors.

The 30-stock index slid 1.3 per cent to 15,665.77 at 4pm in New York, down 4 per cent from its highest point. The peak-to-trough retreat matched Monday’s selloff, when concern about global growth ignited the worst selloff in four years. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index went from up 2.9 per cent to down 1.4 per cent, with most of the selling concentrated in the final two hours of trading.

“We just saw a crazy evaporation of gains after being up the majority of the day,” said Stephen Carl, principal and head equity trader at Williams Capital Group LP. “People are nervous about the potential volatility that could erupt or resurface in the market. They’re not sure what’s going to happen overseas, and that uncertainty is winning out.”

Europe

European shares rose more than 4 per cent on Tuesday, their best one-day gain since late 2011, as a rate cut in China fuelled a recovery from a bruising 48-hour sell-off. Battered mining and technology stocks were among the big winners when China moved to support its stuttering economy and a plunging stock market that had sent shockwaves around the globe.

In London, Britain’s top share index rebounded after dropping to its lowest level since 2012 in the previous session. It had fallen for 10 straight days as concerns about China’s economy mounted.

The FTSE 350 mining sector was up 4 per cent from its lowest levels since 2009. Base metals rose modestly. Antofagasta was up 8.7 per cent, the top FTSE 100 riser. It said it was targeting savings of about $US160 million this year, and rebounded from its lowest levels in over six years. Glencore rallied as much as 8 per cent from all-time lows hit on Monday, and last traded 4.6 per cent higher. Matthew Tillett, senior UK equity fund manager at Allianz, said that the falls in mining stocks made them good sources of value, despite their exposure to volatility in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer. “(There is) more clear value out there than there was two or three months ago,” Tillett said.

What happened yesterday

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index reached a nadir of 4928.3 shortly after opening but then performed, at its peak, an impressive 223 point turnaround – equivalent to a 4.5 per cent intraday rally. The index ended the day up 136 points at 5137.3 or 2.7 per cent, while the broader All Ordinaries index closed 130 points, or 2.6 per cent, higher at 5143.8.


Clade by James Bradley.
Shanghai night field

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.

LITERARY TRENDS

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.

BRING BACK THESE BOOKS

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.

THE DISAPPEARING SCIENCE-FICTION AWARDS

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.