Kings Cross cops brace for curfew

WITH up to 20,000 revellers expected to spill onto Kings Cross streets at the same time every Friday and Saturday night under proposed curfews, police are bracing for a surge in dealing with intoxicated partygoers.

The mandatory eight-year jail term for a one-punch attack resulting in death by an intoxicated person comes into effect this weekend.

Further measures, such as the 1.30am lock outs and 3am last drinks, are expected to be passed through parliament next month and in effect by April at the latest.

Kings Cross Superintendent Michael Fitzgerald expected the numbers of punters put into sobering-up centres to rise in the red light district once the curfews are in place.

“I would be very surprised if it did not increase just because of the issues with more people being on the streets between 3am and 3.30am,” he said.

He said police will have to adjust to dealing with larger crowds but officers are up to the job.

Kings Cross was the site of the two prominent fatal one-punch assaults that lead to the reforms by the state coalition government.

The peak trouble time for police in the nightclub district is between 4am and 6am, just after the planned shutting of doors at 3am.

The Yarraville Club on Friday 28/03 & Sydney 8-10/05 with The Queen of Multi-Cultural Comedy, A Date with Effie

A Date with Effie

Fri 28 Mar

Here’s your chance to go on a date with the megastar herself

Australia’s Greek goddess of comedy will be at the Yarraville Club during Melbourne’s International Comedy Festival. Mary Coustas’ Logie-winning character Effie is back with her new show that says it all, A Date with Effie: Looking for love…and child support!.


A Date with Effie details

Yarraville Club


135 Stephen St
Yarraville 3013

Price from $30.00 to $90.00

Date Fri 28 Mar

Open 7pm

A Date with Effie website

Yarraville Club details

Yarraville area guide


We are proud to annouce a night of multi-cutural laughs at The Yarraville Club on Friday 28 MARCH with The Queen of Multi-Cultural Comedy, EFFIE.

Actress Mary Coustas’ beloved character Effie has long been Australia’s most loveable boofhead. This ground-breaking national treasure has kept Australia entertained for two decades. From ‘Wogs out of Work’ and ‘Acropolis Now’ to ‘Greeks on the Roof’, this hair-gel-Goddess has succeeded in winning a Logie, made us think differently and kept us laughing – all at the same time. Have you ever fantasised about having a hot date with the Virgin Megastar herself? Who hasn’t? Here’s your chance to get up very close and personal to this cultural icon and have an unforgettable fun night. What have youse got to lose legends? Exactly!

With special guests + MC Matthew Hardy.

Ticketing Options
$35 Front Reserved Seating
$30 Raised Rear Seating
$90 VIP Dinner & Show Package*

*Call Rita Looke at The Yarraville Club (9689 6033) if you’re interested in the $90 Dinner & Show VIP Package.

Dinner Doors 7pm, Comedy Doors 8.30pm. Whole show finished by 11.15pm (latest). Followed by DJ Max Crawdaddy.

Ticket Options

Dinner & Show $90 (VIP) (Doors open at 7pm)
Reserved Seating $35 (Front Reserved Seating) (Doors open at 8:30pm)
General Admission $30 (Raised Rear Seating) (Doors open at 8:30pm)
On the Door $40 (if available)


In Melbourne: A Date with Effie, March 25, Yarraville Club, 135 Stephen St, Yarraville. Tickets: From $30, VIP $90 (dinner and show).
In Sydney: A Date with Effie, 8, 9, 10 May at 7.15 pm, The Factory Theatre, 105 Victoria Road, Marrickville. Tickets: $30

Chobani Can’t Be Marketed as ‘Greek Yogurt’ in the U.K.


Chobani Can't Be Marketed as 'Greek Yogurt' in the U.K.

A British court ruled that New York-headquartered Greek yogurt company Chobani cannot label its products “Greek yogurt” in the U.K. The reason? Its yogurt is made in the U.S.

While Italian dressing and French fries have long been accepted as worldwide commodities despite their names, Greek yogurt is new on the scene, and some companies would like to keep it in the country – at least in terms of production. Fage, a Greek company and one of Chobani’s competitors, argued in the case that the “Greek yogurt” label misled customers to believe the product had been made in Greece. The reality is that Greek yogurt differs from regular yogurt only in the number of times it is strained during the production process.

While the British court agreed with Fage, Chobani remains unwilling to give up the fight. The company plans to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

Chobani launched in 2007 and has quickly become the top seller of Greek yogurt in the U.S. In 2012, the company launched their products in the U.K., where Fage has reigned as the leading Greek yogurt brand.

“We remain of the view that the population of the U.K. know and understand Greek yogurt to be a product description regardless of where it is made,” Chobani said in a statement. “We remain committed to the U.K. market and to breaking the monopoly on the use of the term Greek yogurt enjoyed by Fage.”

While Chobani played a huge role in Greek yogurt’s rise in the U.S., recent months have been hard on the chain. A redesign sparked controversy, as the company’s yogurt containers shrank to 5.3 ounces from 6 ounces, while remaining the same price. This past December, Whole Foods pulled Chobani from their shelves due in part to concern over genetically modified ingredients.

Book News: Two Poems By Greek Poet Sappho Discovered


An image of the ancient Greek poet Sappho.

An image of the ancient Greek poet Sappho.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • Parts of two previously unknown poems by the Greek lyric poet Sappho have been discovered on an ancient papyrus. An anonymous collector happened to show the papyrus to the Oxford University classicist Dirk Obbink, who realized its significance.

    Most of Sappho’s work has been lost, and only one of her poems has survived in its entirety. The first of the two new poems mentions “Charaxos” and “Larichos,” the names given to Sappho’s brothers in the ancient tradition, though never mentioned in any of the poet’s surviving work. The second, more fragmentary poem, seems to be a love poem.

    In a preliminary version of a paper to be published in the journal Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik, Obbink writes that the “metre, language and dialect” as well as the subject matter “point indubitably to a poem by Sappho.”

    In an email to NPR, Margaret Williamson, a classics expert at Dartmouth College and the author of Sappho’s Immortal Daughters, agreed: “I don’t see much room for doubt that these are fragments of Sappho poems. They certainly sound very like her: they’re in the right meter and the right dialect, and they are prayer-hymns of a kind she often wrote, addressed to Hera and Aphrodite, goddesses worshipped on Lesbos whom she appeals to in other poems.”

    Williamson added that the first poem, which mentions Sappho’s brothers, is especially remarkable. “It’s very exciting to have a new Sappho poem that isn’t about erotic love or beauty,” she writes. “Here, for a change, is a poem that seems to refer to other relationships. … We’ve had far fewer poems of this type up till now, and as a result it’s been too easy to interpret her poems as the lone cry of a woman in love, rather than looking at the cultural context these quite sophisticated poems grew out of.”

  • In the most dramatic Russian literary killing since last year, a man allegedly stabbed an acquaintance for preferring prose to poetry. RIA Novosti has this report: “A former teacher was detained in Russia’s Urals after being accused of stabbing an acquaintance to death in a dispute about literary genres, investigators said Wednesday. The 67-year-old victim insisted that ‘the only real literature is prose,’ the Sverdlovsk Region’s branch of the Investigative Committee said. The victim’s assertion outraged the 53-year-old suspect, who favored poetry, and the dispute ended with the ex-teacher stabbing his friend to death, investigators said.”
  • : “Writing is like childbirth: I can never remember writing a book after it’s written, and I think I’ll never do it again. I guess there is a certain propulsive quality to them, but it takes a lot to make them come off. I always write like I’m being chased, because I fucked up most of my life, and didn’t publish a book until I was forty — so I always had a sense of time. And plus, I had a disease and they kept telling me I was dying, for like twenty years. I always had that ticking clock sensation in my head when it came to writing.”

My Kitchen Rules 2014: Helena and Vikki, the “sassy twins” as they call themselves, ooze confidence

My Kitchen Rules: Group 1 contestants

Handle the heat: My Kitchen Rules 2014 entrants.

Manu Feildel, with Pete Evans, says the 2014 contestants are teaching the judges a trick or two.

Manu Feildel, with Pete Evans, says the 2014 contestants are teaching the judges a trick or two.

Does familiarity breed contempt or contentment? We might find out by the end of the fifth season of My Kitchen Rules, the one-time reality cooking show upstart that became a ratings powerhouse, crushing all before it last year. Based on the first three episodes – including a Monday-night debut that drew 1.67 million viewers nationally – the Seven Network hasn’t unduly tampered with the recipe for its hit series.

While there’s a zippy new energy to the editing of its direct rival, Nine’s The Block, My Kitchen Rules moves to the same rhythms, albeit with some spillover from its previous success. Judges Pete Evans and Manu Feildel are now greeted with reverence, except by feisty grandmother Deb, who has more tactile feelings for the dapper double act.

“I’d like to roll around in that hay with him,” she says, spying Evans and some hay bales.

Carving out the villain role ... Perth's Kelly Ramsay is only a mild take on last year's cast.Carving out the villain role … Perth’s Kelly Ramsay is only a mild take on last year’s cast.

Contestants for the show’s initial episodes, where they host revolving home dinners for the judges and each other, tend to utter reality cooking show platitudes like “food is my life”, but the truth is that it’s the social element that marshals our interest each year. These are amateurs – some ambitious, some skilled, some hopeless – and it’s the chance to venture into their private homes and personal menus that attracts the audience.

While it may feel like you’ve seen half the series already, thanks to extended promos during Seven’s Australian Open tennis coverage, there’s actually much to be determined. Most crucial is the question of using an archetypal villain, after it backfired last year when Jessie Khan and Biswa Kamila received death threats and racial abuse on social media for their entertainingly horrid tactics, before Ashlee Pham and Sophie Pau took over and riled a sizeable proportion of viewers with their dismissive insults.

Framing female teams with a South Asian and then Asian heritage as villains was worrying. Based on the first batch of six teams, there are rivalries, disdain and some preening arrogance, but no overt moustache-twisting villainy.

Perth friends Chloe and Kelly came the closest, mainly via their privileged sense of entitlement as opposed to overt aggression.

“Nothing but the best for us,” was their self-declared motto, and they reflect the ability of My Kitchen Rules to capture fault lines and divisions behind the myth of Australia egalitarianism. The two women both work in the boom state’s oil and gas industry, and Kelly judges other entrant’s food against versions of the dishes she has eaten overseas; the goat’s cheese croquettes from country NSW’s Annie and Jason didn’t compare to those she’d eaten in Spain.

“There’s not enough room in this competition for two young girl teams,” Chloe claimed, eyeing off Victorian twins Helena and Vikki (whose “two heads, one brain” equation might need refining). But no-one would ever expect to hear, “There’s not enough room in this competition for two young bloke teams”. Still, as of the first week there’s been some care taken in the editing to round out the profiles of the contestants.

Then again, My Kitchen Rules is a show that preys on self-doubt; a healthy ego and self-belief might be essential. Tuesday night, Canberra couple Andrew and Emilia were optimistic, with his wacky voices and her repeated use of “awesome”. They’d barely started cooking when the pair, who’d been together for all of three months, started cracking. The wacky voices were replaced by a staccato annoyance and exasperation took hold amid kitchen crises.

And I’d wager that of the three initial episodes, completed by Gold Coast friends Paul and Blair with their Bali-inspired cuisines, Andrew and Emilia’s failure generated the most feedback from horrified but rapt viewers.

It’s a fine line My Kitchen Rules has to tread, but for now they haven’t blundered. Jason’s dictum about medium-rare steak applies equally well to the show’s presentation of the participants: “It’s already been slaughtered once. It doesn’t need to be killed a second time around.”

THE Abbott government is seeking to remove an area of Tasmanian forest from a protected world heritage zone

Govt seeks to remove forest protections

THE Abbott government is seeking to remove an area of Tasmanian forest from a protected world heritage zone, arguing it has already been impacted by logging and devalues bordering wilderness areas.

The government wants to modify the boundary of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area to rescind UNESCO protection from a 74,000-hectare tranche of forest.

It will submit the proposal to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in time for it to make a decision at its annual meeting in June.

About 170,000 hectares of Tasmanian forest was added to the protected area in June 2013 as part of the historic agreement struck between green groups and the timber industry after decades of feuding.

If this latest proposal is approved, nearly half of the listed area will be stripped of its UNESCO protection.

Parliamentary secretary Richard Colbeck said the coalition was fulfilling an election promise by proposing a “minor” boundary change to remove a small part of that forest area.

It would exclude a section of forest containing pine and exotic eucalypt plantations, while still retaining high-value tall forests and giant trees in nearby areas.

“This minor boundary modification will restore value to the original wilderness world heritage area listing by removing areas that have been impacted by forestry operations and devalue the existing outstanding universal value,” Senator Colbeck said in a statement on Friday.

Sixty-five registered “giant trees” remain within the proposed minor boundary modification.

Senator Colbeck, from Tasmania, said the coalition would create a truly sustainable forest industry for the state and this proposed change would deliver economic and social benefits.

The state’s unique environmental assets would not be lost, he said.

“No one thinks Tasmania should plunder its natural resources in the pursuit of short-term gains,” he said.

Australian Greens leader Christine Milne said asking UNESCO to reverse its decision was ludicrous and risked international humiliation.

“Winding back world heritage protection will make us a global laughing stock,” Senator Milne said in a statement.

Senator Milne, also a Tasmanian, said there was no future for native forest logging in her home state, and pursuing it could set back the economy for decades.

Sydney’s electronic public transport ticket scheme has been rolled out to 55 more train stations

Opal rolled out to more train stations

An Opal electronic public transport ticket reader

Sydney’s electronic public transport ticket scheme has been rolled out to 55 more train stations. Source: AAP

SYDNEY’S electronic public transport ticket scheme has been rolled out across more train stations, making cheaper fares available to about half the city’s train users.

From Friday, the Opal ticket can be used at 55 more stations between Wyong, Strathfield and the city loop, on all ferries and two bus routes, transport minister Gladys Berejiklian told reporters at Redfern station.

“This will really change the way (people) catch public transport,” she said.

Fares on the Opal card have been discounted by between 13 and six per cent.

A single trip from Newtown or Lewisham is $3.80 with a paper ticket but this drops to $3.30 for an Opal peak fare and $2.31 for off-peak Opal users.

And after eight journeys in a week additional travel is free.

“At least 90 per cent of our customers have the potential to be better off,” Ms Berejiklian said.

About 56,000 Opal cards have been registered and more than two million trips have been made using them.

If Friday’s rollout “goes without a hitch” further expansions of the system could be brought forward, Ms Berejiklian said.

The Opal ticket system is expected to be in place across all networks by the end of the year.

Tides bring more damage for Qld resort

THREE buildings at a central Queensland island resort are expected to collapse at the next high tide after being battered by swells whipped up by ex-tropical cyclone Dylan.

Great Keppel Island Hideaway co-owner Sean Appleton says his staff have all but given up trying to save the three houses at the resort, off Rockhampton.

The 250-bed resort has already lost three decks since Dylan crossed the north Queensland coast early on Friday.

Mr Appleton says staff had used a tonne of sand to protect the property in recent days, but to no avail.

The swell was just too big, with one tide eroding up to 10 metres of beachfront, he said.

“It was no greater than we anticipated, but it was greater than we could stop,” he told AAP.

“We had no hope.”

Mr Appleton said the next major high tide, expected at about 10am (AEST) would signal the end for his three accommodation buildings.

“We’re in the middle of pulling down what we can now,” he said on Friday afternoon.

“The fronts are gone, they’re on a horrible lean and tomorrow morning, what we can’t get down, will go to the beach.”

Mr Appleton said the damage might have been avoided if an application made to Rockhampton Regional Council two years ago to have a rock wall erected to protect the resort hadn’t been rejected.

It would have saved about 150 metres of beachfront on Great Keppel Island, he said.

Mr Appleton said there was now a risk of saltwater spreading behind the resort and into freshwater areas on the island.

“That’ll just be a disaster for the whole place,” he said.

Mr Appleton estimated a current damage bill of $300,000, but said that would likely blow out further depending on how much damage further tides created.

Greater, the 83-year-old Adelaide Zoo flamingo, dies

ADELAIDE Zoo is in mourning today after the death of its 83-year-old Greater Flamingo.

Affectionately known as ‘Greater’, the bird was a favourite among zoo goers for generations. It was put to sleep this morning after its quality of life had deteriorated due to complications associated with old age.

Arriving at Adelaide Zoo in the 1930s, Greater was best known for being the world’s oldest flamingo and the last Greater Flamingo to have resided in Australia.

Zoos SA Chief Executive Elaine Bensted said last year it became apparent Greater was struggling to cope with the effects of arthritis. And despite responding well to the treatment, it took a turn this week.

The Adelaide Zoo flamingo pictured after recovering from a brutal attack in 2008. Picture: ROY VAN DER VEGT

The Adelaide Zoo flamingo pictured after recovering from a brutal attack in 2008. Picture: ROY VAN DER VEGT

“When Greater’s physical health started to deteriorate last year, our veterinary team began a course of anti-inflammatory pain medication to ensure Greater’s comfort,” she said.

GALLERY: Adelaide Zoo’s iconic flamingo

“Greater responded well to treatment and remarkably survived the cold winter. This week Greater took a turn for the worse and the difficult decision was made to humanely put Greater to sleep after Greater was no longer responding to treatment and Greater’s quality of life had significantly deteriorated.

Ms Bensted said that despite the zoo’s best efforts it was time to let Greater go.

“Although this is an extremely sad loss for us all, it was the right thing to do,” she said.

“There was no additional medical treatment that would have improved Greater’s quality of life. “We always knew our time with this beautiful Adelaide icon was nearing its end.

“Greater will be sorely missed by our zoo family, and no doubt the wider South Australian community.”

Greater remained strong to the end, even surviving a vicious attack by three teenagers in 2008 which shocked animal lovers around the world.

Discussions are currently underway to explore options to erect a memorial to Greater near the heritage listed flamingo pond.

LEGEND has it that this was once a playground for the giants the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe

The breathtaking ruins of Great Zimbabwe

The ruined city that was once the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe. Picture: Flickr David Holt London

The ruined city that was once the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe. Picture: Flickr David Holt London Source: NewsComAu

LEGEND has it that this was once a playground for the giants – and for visitors gazing over this steep hill in southern Zimbabwe it’s easy to understand why.

Spread around in every direction, great jumbled blocks of granite rise from the ground to create spectacular rock formations, their fantastical shapes fashioned by centuries of wind and rain, of heat and cold. Stacked upon one another, such boulders are scattered haphazardly across the southern African country – Zimbabwe is indeed home to one of Africa’s most breathtaking landscapes.

Jumbled rocks offer an insight into the once-was city. Picture: Flickr rosshuggett

Jumbled rocks offer an insight into the once-was city. Picture: Flickr rosshuggett Source: NewsComAu

Living here among the boulders, in the hills of Masvingo province, the Zimbabwean people are largely Shona. Sometimes known as Bantu, they form three quarters of the country’s population.

Shona people first settled in the region more than 1,000 years ago and for centuries flourished in the region’s lush green savanna plains. Central to their prosperity was the ancient town of Great Zimbabwe, the capital of a booming trading empire that flourished between the 11th and 15th centuries, extending over the gold-rich plateau in southern Africa.

Located some 30 kilometres from the modern Zimbabwean town of Masvingo, the stone ruins of Great Zimbabwe are today one of the continent’s most impressive monuments, linking the present with the past.

A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1986, the archaeological remains contain the largest ancient structure in sub-Saharan Africa.

Archaeological remains. Picture: Flickr damien-fa...

Archaeological remains. Picture: Flickr damien—farrell Source: NewsComAu

According to UNESCO, the method of construction in Great Zimbabwe is unique in the continent’s architecture and although there are cases of similar work elsewhere, none are as exceptional and imposing as here.

The first thing that draws the visitor’s eye is the high level of craftsmanship that went into the construction of the site. Skilful stonemasons built massive dry-stone walls, incorporating large natural boulders into some of the structures. Walls extend between rocky outcrops and massive rocks, forming a maze of narrow passageways and the enclosures.

The site extends over about 800 hectares and it can be divided into three main architectural zones. The Hill Complex is generally considered a royal site, and the Valley Ruins are a series of living spaces. But most impressive is the Great Enclosure, a spectacular circular monument made of cut granite blocks that was entirely built in curves. Its outer wall extends some 250 meters and it has a maximum height of 11 meters, making it the largest single pre-colonial structure in Africa south of the Sahara.

Parts of the outer wall still remain. Picture: Flickr rosshuggett

Parts of the outer wall still remain. Picture: Flickr rosshuggett Source: NewsComAu

While trade kept the community prosperous, religious life was also rich at Great Zimbabwe, which had an estimated population of about 18,000 people in its heyday.

Although the stone city was largely abandoned around the 1450s, its cultural and historical significance didn’t wane with the passing of centuries.

In fact, Great Zimbabwe became such an important part of the national identity that the country itself was named for this ancient city — “Zimbabwe” derives from the Shona name for the historic town – meaning “big houses of stone.”

This article first appeared on CNN.

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