I did not lie to protect officer, sergeant tells Salter inquiry

A police officer has rejected suggestions she lied to an inquiry to help justify a colleague’s actions in fatally shooting a mentally ill Sydney man.
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Sergeant Emily Metcalf today told the Police Integrity Commission she saw fellow officer Sheree Bissett shoot Adam Salter inside his family home in Lakemba in November 2009.

Police went to the home in response to a call that Mr Salter was attempting self harm and the commission has heard he was shot while stabbing himself in the throat with a knife.

His shooting, the subsequent police investigation and allegations of a police cover-up are now the subject of an inquiry by the commission.

Moments after the shooting, Sergeant Metcalf was recorded on police radio saying that Mr Salter had come at officers with a knife.

She said today that the radio report was inaccurate and that Mr Salter had not threatened officers.

In questioning today from counsel assisting the commissioner, Geoffrey Watson, SC, Sergeant Metcalf conceded that originally stating Mr Salter had threatened police had portrayed the officers involved in a “good light”.

However, Sergeant Metcalf said she did see Probationary Constable Aaron Abela with his arms around Mr Salter only seconds before the shooting took place.

Sergeant Bissett previously told the internal police inquiry into the shooting that she fired at the 36-year-old because she feared he would stab Constable Abela.

But three paramedics in the room at the time of the shooting have told the commission that no one was near Mr Salter when he was shot and he was only a danger to himself.

“I want to put it to you that your evidence is nothing more than a contrived lie to attempt to justify Bissett’s shooting of Adam Salter,” Mr Watson said to Sergeant Metcalf.

She replied: “That is incorrect.”

Sergeant Metcalf said her recollection of where Mr Salter and Constable Abela were standing at the time of the shooting differed from that of Sergeant Bissett.

The inquiry continues.

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Saving my Mac from Flash

It’s time to wrestle back control of my Mac.Adobe’s Flash is one of those technologies you either love or hate. Personally I think Flash still has its place for internet video and other rich content, even though HTML5 is slowly killing it. My main gripe with Flash is that it’s such a resource pig running on a Mac, especially an older Mac relying on Intel graphics rather than the new NVIDIA graphics.Chrome is my browser of choice on Mac and Windows, in part because it features its own task manager and runs each tab and plugin as a separate process. If you’re running Chrome, it’s worth checking your plugin list to see how many versions of Flash are listed (type chrome://plugins into the URL bar). Click “Details” on the right and your full list of plugins will expand. Scroll down to Flash. If you find more than one version installed, try disabling all but the most recent version. The 11.4 update has just been released. If you find more than one copy of the latest version, such as one stored in /Library and another in /Applications, try disabling one or the other to see if the situation improves.One of the problems with the Flash plugin is that it doesn’t always give resources back after it’s finished with them. So if you’ve been playing a Flash-intensive game like Farmville, even when you close Farmville your Mac can still be incredibly sluggish. The trick is to open up the Chrome task manager and manually kill the Shockwave Flash plugin. It’s an effective solution but not very elegant.Thankfully you’ll find an elegant option for killing the Shockwave Flash plugin in FlashFrozen, which is available from the Mac App store for 99 cents. It runs in the menu bar at the top of your screen, monitoring the resources used by Shockwave Flash. You can set it to turn red when the Flash plugin hits a certain CPU usage. The simply click on the icon to kill the plugin.FlashFrozen has an auto-kill function which automatically kills the Flash plugin whenever it launches, although that’s probably not very practical. If you really want to kill off Flash but need more granular control, take a look at FlashBlock in the Chrome store. It blocks Flash content in web pages by default, but you can still click on the ones you want to watch. You can also whitelist the sites on which you always want Flash to run, for example youtube南京夜网 is whitelisted by default.It’s still hard to get by without Flash on your Mac, but thankfully you can take back control and stop it crippling your computer. Do you have trouble with Flash or other plugins crippling your computer?
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Steak and peanut butter: the Liz Taylor diet

High fat diet … famously curvaceous Elizabeth Taylor stars in 1959 film Suddenly Last Summer.An effective diet entails a balanced intake and plenty of exercise, right?
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Not exactly, if you follow the dietary advice of Elizabeth Taylor.

We’ve heard our fair share of questionable dietary tips – not from least Karl Lagerfeld, who champions the highly dubious nutritional content of Diet Coke as key to slimming down from fashion heavyweight to fashion’s dahling.

He’s not alone. Who can forget the baby food diet (possibly not you, Jennifer Aniston), or those who are said to order water and Red Bull in place of a meal (we’re looking at you, Paris Hilton), or those who favour ADD drug Adderall (Britney Spears, that was once you, we hear)? There are those who have experimented with laxatives and, of course, those who resort to a surgeon’s scalpel to shift a few pounds.

Grapefruit diets – à la Kylie Minogue – may be less terrifying, but watching calories is nothing new. Nietzsche and Henry James were strict weightwatchers, while the Huffington Post reports that Greta Garbo and Gloria Swanson were ahead of their time in another way, choosing a vegetarian diet in days when meat was all but obligatory.

Reportedly a proponent if the distinctly unappealing steak-and-peanut butter sandwich, Taylor doled out some eyebrow-raising weight-loss tips, pushing a high saturated fat diet that has well and truly fallen by the wayside with current nutritionists (and anathema, surely, to those who criticise the Atkins diet).

What a difference 23 years makes – along with her take on steak, the Cleopatra actress mixed cottage cheese with sour cream and advised nothing but plain toast for breakfast in her 1987 diet book, Elizabeth Takes Off.

Not that the actress didn’t have a good innings – she died in 2011 at the age of 79.

We may be better off taking a leaf from Audrey Hepburn’s lifestyle. According to Pamela Keogh’s What Would Audrey Do?, she preferred organic produce and the odd plate of pasta, treating herself to a square of dark cooking chocolate in the afternoons. She drank wine, but was partial to the “occasional Scotch”, said the Daily Mail.

There seems however, a notable lack of protein on the Hepburn table – and the fashion icon never took exercise, instead staying active by way of her daily routines, walking wherever she could.

Lagerfeld may agree with her mores – he dodges exercise, fearing that it stimulates appetite and weight gain.

Protein was high in Marilyn Monroe’s diet. In 1952, she told Pageant magazine that she drinks a glass of warm milk with two raw eggs stirred into it for breakfast. As rich in some nutrients as it may be, the Huffington Post points out the meal has high cholesterol and at risk of contamination – but then, the star herself admitted that she had been told her eating habits were “absolutely bizarre”.

Less unorthodox, though certainly ahead of her time was the admission that the blonde bombshell exercised with weights, taking care of her very best assets.

Like Garbo, the star would undoubtedly have been influenced in some way by Hollywood diet maven Gayelord Hauser, who shared his dietary tips with stars of the silver screen after moving to Hollywood in 1927. Sanguine and down-to-earth, Hauser’s fruit, vegetable, broth and herb-heavy food tips make many a contemporary diet seem more faddish than ever.

For some stars of the 1950s, enviable figures went beyond food. According to the LA Times, Maria Callas, the troubled soprano, took an alarming route, injecting iodine into her lymph system to help her lose weight.

Spin the years back further and Lord Byron, as dashing and devilish as he may have been, had a “morbid propensity to fatten”. According to the BBC, the Don Juan writer subsisted on “biscuits and soda water or potatoes drenched in vinegar” while at Cambridge University, where he wore woollen layers to help shed pounds. He smoked cigars to supress appetite and was seen as a bad influence on the impressionable youths of circa 1818.

The poet, who died aged 36 in 1824, was in good company. One of the very first diet books was Brillat-Savarin’s Physiology of Taste, written in 1825 – making the odd jar of baby food ingested by a 2012 A-lister seem as old hat as it is plain unappetising.

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Lend Lease unit wins rail link contract

Infrastructure and construction group Lend Lease’s subsidiary Baulderstone has won the contract to manage the early works component of the North West Rail Link. The contract is estimated to be worth $70 million.
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The long-anticipated project is scheduled to deliver a new 36 kilometre long rapid transit rail link between Chatswood on Sydney’s north shore and the growing Hill’s district in the North West of Sydney.

Under the contract, Baulderstone will work on the relocation of services and utilities; site readiness and demolition works; and the provision of HV electrical supply for the main works.

In a statement today Baulderstone’s NSW general manager, Frank Lorenzetto, said completion of early works is due in mid-2014.

The win comes a day before Lend Lease reports its 2012 full year profit, which will be a welcome distraction from the recent asbestos concerns at its $6 billion Barangaroo South project.

Last week Lend Lease revealed that small pieces of fibro cement material containing bonded asbestos have been found at Port Kembla.

Andrew Wilson, the managing director of Barangaroo South said the group had correctly followed all agreed procedures to spot and remove fibro from the Barangaroo South excavated material, including the additional testing and air monitoring measures.

“There has been no air borne asbestos identified,” Mr Wilson said.

In the results tomorrow, analyts at JP Morgan are forecasting Lend Lease to report a net profit after tax of $487 million, up 27 per cent on the $383.6 million in the previous corresponding period.

“Lend Lease continues to offers good risk adjusted value and leverage into a robust medium term earnings outlook with a number of near term positive catalysts, such as the Valemus business and the mixed use development pipeline),” the brokers say.

The chief executive of Lend Lease, Steve McCann has consistently said that the group will focus on expanding its global infrastructure and development business in the future. That will see it in partnerships with public and private groups.

The results will also include an update on the future of the athlete’s village that was the focus of the recent London 2012 Olympic Games, which will be converted into one of the largest mixed use residential and retail areas in Britain.

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Ben, don’t do it, step away from QE3

As regularly as swallows return to Capistrano and hurricanes hit the Gulf coast, post-GFC markets get all a-flutter or at least windy about any suggestion of the US Federal Reserve chairman cranking up the printing presses again.
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And that’s allegedly an excuse for markets nervously doing little ahead of a central bankers’ gabfest in Wyoming on Friday night.

Despite all the wind and flutters, here’s trusting that Ben Bernanke doesn’t feed the habit: Ben, step away from QE3, you know it wouldn’t help.

Odds are that Bernanke’s increasingly-awaited speech at Jackson Hole will be more of the recent same: a promise of being ready to act if action is required, but nothing concrete, leaving the possibility of another round of quantitative easing blowing in the breeze.

The short-term danger of that is a knee-jerk reaction of disappointment that will irrationally ripple through the world’s markets. (“The Fed failed to trash the greenback – quick, sell Telstra and Woolworths.”)

In the medium term, failing to be blunt with the American public about the diminishing returns from QE leaves markets with their sugar addiction intact and American politicians continuing to hide from their looming crisis in the belief that the Fed will somehow muddle through and make it all right. The great force of American democracy can get back to focussing on the big issues: the Romneys buying 100-roll packs of Costco toilet paper and Obama hiding his past as a member of the Mujahedeen.

Gold speculators

Some stronger language from the Bernanke, pointing out that (a) QE3 wouldn’t do much to help anyone right now except gold speculators and (b) the US doesn’t really need QE3 anyway, might just help turn attention back to the political paralysis that continues to loom as the biggest problem for the world’s biggest economy.

Sure, the central bank can always apply more stimulation, but at present US levels, it’s just pushing harder on the piece of string. To the extent that the Fed has some ammunition left, best to wait in case it’s really needed, when it’s not just the whites of the enemy’s eyes but the pulsing blood vessels therein that can be distinguished.

With distractions ranging from encircling China to hurricanes to loopy Senators imagining “genuine” rape, the one that Washington doesn’t seem to be concentrating on is how to avoid crashing over the planned fiscal cliff that will send the country into recession next year.

It is such an extraordinary situation that it engenders disbelief. Surely it’s more likely that Romney is African American and Obama a Mormon than the Republicans and Democrats have combined to program another recession. ‘Fraid not.

They need to be told, Ben. When you deliver your much anticipated speech this Friday in an out-of-season ski resort in the middle of American nowhere, please set them straight. Put the responsibility for America’s recovery back where it belongs: in the hands of the (unfortunately motley) crew that must intelligently ditch tax lurks and surgically cut structurally unsustainable spending. Continuing to debase the American dollar won’t really help.

Michael Pascoe is a BusinessDay contributing editor

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Abbott brushes off Rudd’s ‘entirely beatable’ gibe

Kevin Rudd said Tony Abbott had neither the temperament nor the policies to be PM.Kevin Rudd says Tony Abbott is “entirely beatable” at the next federal election, but the Opposition Leader has dismissed the former prime minister’s assessment, saying Mr Rudd is only having a “look-at-me moment”.
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Yesterday, Mr Rudd took the opportunity to attack Mr Abbott’s credentials while launching a biography of Gough Whitlam.

Mr Rudd said Mr Abbott was “entirely beatable at the next election because, increasingly, the Australian people see what it may mean to take a conservative leader such as him on trust”.

The member for Griffith also said Mr Abbott was “the most extreme right-wing leader in his party’s history”, with neither the temperament nor the policies to be prime minister.

According to the latest Fairfax/Nielsen poll, the Coalition stands to win the next election in a landslide, with a two-party-preferred lead of 54 per cent to 46 per cent.

Today in Toowoomba, Mr Abbott brushed away Mr Rudd’s barbs.

“Look, Kevin Rudd’s just having a ‘look at me’ moment,” Mr Abbott said.

He said Mr Rudd was worried Prime Minister Julia Gillard might try to go to the polls early (thereby denying Mr Rudd another chance to challenge for the Labor leadership).

“I think Kevin Rudd appreciates that Julia Gillard is trying to clear the decks,” Mr Abbott said. “She’s trying to clear up all the messes that she’s got on her plate – not succeeding, I hasten to add.”

As Health Minister Tanya Plibersek announced a $4 billion dental scheme this morning, Mr Abbott also said the government had given up on delivering a surplus.

Listing immigration cost blowouts and the Gonski recommendations on school funding as well as the dental reforms, he said Labor was spending like a “proverbial drunken sailor.”

With Phillip Coorey

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Tinkler spends big on Maui pad

Land title records show the assessed value of the property is $US8.6 million.If all else fails for coal baron Nathan Tinkler, at least there will be the pad in Maui.
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As revealed by BusinessDay, one of Mr Tinkler’s private companies has bought a $US15 million mansion in the exclusive Makena district on the Hawaiian island.

The purchase was made by Queen St Property Holdings last November, just weeks after a major refinancing by Mr Tinkler consolidated most of his personal debts with Singapore-based Noonday, an arm of long-term backers Farallon Capital.

On a hill looking out over the Pacific ocean, the 641 square metre stucco home on 12,500 square metres of land has six bedrooms, six bathrooms and a pool and is in the gated “Keauhou” subdivision of Makena, which local real estate agent Peter Gelsey described as the most expensive area on Maui.

While there there are approximately 50 homes right on the ocean at Makena, sometimes with sandy beachfront, that can sell as high as $US27 million, Mr Gelsey said the Keauhou subdivision was “across street from ocean”.

But Mr Gelsey, who specialises in the Wailea-Makena district, said that historical sales in the Keauhou subdivision have been typically in the $US6-8 million range.

“It appears Mr Tinkler paid more than double the typical rate for comparable properties in this luxury neighbourhood.”

Mr Gelsey said it was odd that such a huge premium was paid in what is still a tenuous recovery from the 2007-2009 downturn, which “decimated property values throughout the Hawaii region”.

Land title records show the assessed value of the property is $US8.6 million and loan documents show Queen St borrowed against the property in March, taking out a $US7 million mortgage from New York-based Wolters Kluwer Financial Services.

Built in 2004, Mr Gelsey said the home was “basically in brand-new condition with beautiful finishes and stonework throughout the house”.

Last week Mr Tinkler failed in an audacious $5.3 billion bid to privatise Whitehaven Coal, which merged with his unlisted Boardwalk Resources and listed Aston Resources only three months ago. There has been speculation Mr Tinkler, who is believed to have maximum liabilities of up to $638 million, is under financial pressure over the falling value of his 21 per cent stake in Whitehaven, whose shares have fallen about 40 per cent since the merger.

Earlier this month, BusinessDay reported Mr Tinkler had tried and failed to sell his Patinack Farm horseracing stud and faced allegations of unpaid super from employees.

A spokesman, who said Mr Tinkler did not face a margin call, has confirmed the Maui purchase but did not comment on Mr Tinkler’s plans for the property this morning.

In June, BusinessDay revealed Mr Tinkler and his family were relocating to Singapore, and there has since been speculation he may have bought into the exclusive Sentosa Cove condominium project.

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Sweetened Clearview bid a winner for Weiss

It’s been a long time between drinks for veteran corporate raider Gary Weiss but the champagne corks no doubt will be popping tonight.
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Later today Weiss is expected to be crowned chairman of financial services and wealth management group Clearview after a revised offer from the private equity-led consortium Crescent.

The new offer is expected to deliver 20 per cent more than the initial 50 cents a share offer last July, with an increased cash component and extra dividends that will lift the bid to around 59 cents.

Weiss is understood to have been shopping the deal around for about a year, ever since he parted ways with GPG, the Ron Brierley-led corporate investment firm he ran for two decades.

GPG has been in wind-down mode ever since, with a program to sell all its assets including its stake in Clearview.Weiss’s other interest, property group Ariadne, also has an interest in Clearview.

Crescent is an Australian-based private equity firm run by Michael Alscher and the consortium includes Investec, which is providing debt and equity, along with some Macquarie Group funds.

Last year, Weiss unsuccessfully attempted to put together a similar consortium to take out Perpetual as investor unease over the funds management group saw its share price slide following the departure of long standing stock picker John Sevior.

GPG meanwhile has hit further turbulence. Its biggest investment, thread maker Coats, has suffered from the global economic slowdown  and was hit with a substantial fine that pushed GPG into the red for the six months to June 30.

This morning it reported a net loss of $NZ70 million ($54.3 million), compared with a previous corresponding net profit of $NZ25 million.

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Spring’s almost sprung but a cold blast awaits

Don’t be fooled … It might be nice now, but there is a blast from the past coming.Flowers are blossoming, birds are chirping, spring is in the air. Or is it?
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Just about, says Phil King, senior meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology. “The last couple of weeks we’ve really been seeing spring-type weather with temperatures getting up towards 20 degrees,” he said.

Today is a case in point, exceeding the expected top of 18 and peaking at 20.9 degrees, nearly five degrees above the August average.

It won’t stick around for long, though, with a front expected to move across the state overnight and tomorrow morning, bringing scattered showers, hail and thunder. Snow is a possibility in the Dandenongs and the Grampians.

The temperature is expected to plunge to just 13 degrees tomorrow, with more wild weather predicted for Friday, with a top of 15 degrees. Showers will ease on Saturday, with the temperature expected to peak at about 16 degrees.

A similar pattern is predicted for next week. By Sunday, the skies will clear, with an expected top of 19, and a sunny top of 21 is predicted for Monday. Showers will signal a return to cooler weather on Tuesday. “By next Wednesday or Thursday we’re expecting another series of cold fronts to move across the state and move back into wintry conditions,” says King.

This kind of to-ing and fro-ing is typical for this time of year, Mr King said. “We’re really settling back into a springtime pattern now, with two or three nice days with mild temperatures and one or two wintry days and a quick transition back to those better days,” he says.

The outlook is good on the snowfields this weekend too. “Buller has fantastic cover and they’re going to get fresh snow for Thursday and Friday,” Mr King said. Falls Creek, in the state’s north-east, has over two metres of snow on some of its slopes. A rapid clearance and sunshine on Saturday and Sunday spells near perfect conditions in alpine areas this weekend, a pattern that will likely be repeated in time for next weekend. “In spring it’s usually a significant rain event that spells the end of the Alps for the season and at this stage we’re not forecasting that,” Mr King said.

For many of us, spring can’t come soon enough, after enduring what has seemed like a bitterly cold winter. It actually wasn’t too bad, Mr King said. “The temperatures were close to average … But when we get an average winter temperature, it feels pretty cold.” Rainfall, which has been above average, probably hasn’t helped.

The good news is that spring is well and truly here. “The flowers are coming out and you can hear the birds,” he said. “Nature tells you when spring arrives, and it’s arrived.”

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Skinned labrador’s death baffles investigators

The owner of a labrador that was skinned and mutilated in a Mornington Peninsula backyard this week says he is considering moving home after his pet’s horrific death.
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Mystery still surrounds the exact circumstances of the animal’s death in the backyard of a home in Salmon Street, Hastings on Sunday night.

Michael said his pet labrador Pepper, who was 17 years old, was still wearing a winter dog coat it had earlier been dressed in when his wife discovered its lifeless body in the backyard about 7.30pm on Sunday.

However on closer inspection they discovered a large rectangular section of skin was missing from the dog’s back, and the dog’s ears had been cut off.

The missing skin was located beneath the velcro-fastened coat, and Michael said a veterinarian who conducted an autopsy on the dog said a sharp object had been used to cut off the skin.

“There were not puncture marks or tearing that you’d expect with an animal and she had a winter coat because she’s very old, and it was under the coat and the coat was in perfect condition,” Michael told radio station 3AW, saying he believed someone had removed the coat and skinned the animal before putting the coat back on again.

However police are not convinced that a crime was committed.

Leading Senior Constable Nick Sweetman said another vet who examined the dog said it was possible another animal had ripped off the skin.

“We’ve thrown lots of theories around the office and we’re unable to establish at this stage that a crime has actually been committed,” he told the radio station.

“It’s certainly bizarre circumstances, but we have differing opinions by two vets as to how the skin may have been removed.

“They certainly concur that the skin was removed post-mortem, so the dog was already dead, as was one of the ears and damage to another ear. We’re at a quandary as to why or how that skin has been removed.”

Michael said his wife had let their three dogs into the backyard about 6pm on Sunday, before setting out the animals’ food at 7.30pm. When Pepper, a rescue dog, did not turn up for her food she went to investigate and discovered the body near the fence. One of the other dogs also suffered a small cut, but it was unclear if this was connected.

Michael believed Pepper’s skin was too perfectly cut to have been removed by another animal.

“It’s two straight lines, a rectangle. Both ears are cut at about the same height. Dogs don’t do that,” he said.

Michael said his family had never received threats before, however his neighbours in Hastings had, and their adjoining fence had been burnt about a week ago.

He said he was now considering moving from the area.

“For such an old dog you expect it to die, but you don’t expect it to die like that,” Michael said.

Police have urged anyone with information about the dog’s death, or anyone with reports of similar animal cruelty in the area, to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppers南京夜网.au.

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