JUST as the man himself seems to get better by the week, so do the plaudits. On the same day the NRL released figures showing more people are watching the game than ever before, one of the key reasons for its popularity was elevated from superstardom to superherodom.Asked yesterday how his St George Illawarra side planned to stop Parramatta fullback Jarryd Hayne tomorrow night at Kogarah, Dragons winger Wendell Sailor replied: ”I have packed some kryptonite in my bag.”This on the same day that Eels coach Daniel Anderson said Hayne was playing the sort of football never before seen at Parramatta. Ever. And his teammate Nathan Hindmarsh said Hayne had the potential to be the game’s greatest player. Ever.”I can’t see why not,” Hindmarsh said. ”There’s always going to be great players coming through. We had Andrew Johns, Darren Lockyer is a great player. There are other great players but some of the things ‘Haynesy’ does is a bit different to others. He will do some stupid stuff. He’s blessed. He is blessed.”Sailor has played with Lockyer many times and with and against Johns sporadically. And like Hindmarsh, he thinks Hayne can take the ”best-ever” tag. But Sailor would not compare him to Lockyer – he went even further, placing Hayne in the Michael Jordan class.”Things that he’s doing now, they’re Jordan-like, they’re like Kobe Bryant,” Sailor said. ”You follow those players. What I loved about Andrew Johns and those sort of guys is they did it for a long period of time. If Jarryd can keep his head on he’s got all the mixes to be one of the greats. What he did in Origin was unbelievable. I was sitting there going, ‘You can’t do this’. He was putting in-and-aways on Billy Slater! I love watching him.”I’m a sports fan. I’ve seen some players in rugby league and union over the years … [but] I love watching him. I sit there watching him with my son. He’s got his life in order off the field and it’s no surprise he’s not wasting his talent.”Hindmarsh said Hayne, at least in one key area, surpassed Johns in that he had been so consistently good in the Eels’ seven-match winning streak.”You can’t go past Joey Johns,” Hindmarsh said, when asked about whether he had seen anyone playing at such a standard. ”[But] he’s probably not as consistent as he [Hayne] has been for the last seven or eight weeks, Origin as well. It’s been a while since I have seen someone like him.”Sailor said the best his team could hope for was to minimise the damage rather than stop him.A big compliment heard about Johns through his career was his ability to lift his teammates to another level and clearly Hayne has some of that magic dust, too.”He’s an unbelievable player,” Sailor said. ”I love the confidence he brings to Daniel Mortimer. Nathan Hindmarsh is doing half the work but it’s all quality. Eric Grothe is playing well. That’s what one player can do to a team. One player can’t win you a grand final but he can give you that confidence and belief across the park. That’s going to be our challenge – to make sure we look after him and the players around him.”So says Luke Burt, who could not be said to be riding on any coat-tails but has certainly scored some points in recent weeks due to the devastation Hayne has brought down on opponents. ”It’s a matter of jumping on the bandwagon with him and going along for the ride,” Burt said.It’s hard to imagine Hayne coming up with something more tomorrow night and beyond – even though he has made a habit of doing just that. But Anderson, facing the sternest test of his side’s run so far and having a ”suspicion” the Eels would play the same team on the opening weekend of the finals, expected improvement from his side as a whole.”I think we’ve got more to come,” Anderson said. ”We’ll have to find more.”
A Sydney-bound Qantas jumbo jet made an emergency landing in Perth yesterday after a fuel leak was detected four hours after it took off from Singapore.QF32, a Boeing 747-400 carrying 290 passengers, is the same aircraft that was diverted from Hong Kong to Manila in July last year after an oxygen cylinder blew holes in the fuselage and floor mid-flight.A Qantas spokeswoman said there “was absolutely no link” between the two incidents and there was no danger to passengers in the latest incident.”One of the plane’s engines was shut down as a precaution when the leak showed up on the controls,” the spokeswoman said.”It arrived safely in Perth at 3.20pm.”A spokeswoman said the problem with the plane was rectified within three hours and the passengers had arrived in Sydney about 11pm, four hours behind schedule.Air safety investigators who have been investigating the incident involving the exploding oxygen cylinder have warned that it could happen again.The cylinder – one of several in the cargo hold – blew a hole near the wing and shot up through the cabin floor, knocking the plane’s door from the close to the open position.It came through the floor where a jump seat for crew was located, but no one was seated there at the time.The cylinder also hit overhead panelling in the cabin, then dropped back into the hold and was sucked out of the aircraft through the ruptured fuselage.Investigators are yet to determine what caused the cylinder to rupture as the plane flew from Hong Kong to Melbourne on July 25 last year.The same plane was damaged by a ground collision with another plane while being towed at Avalon Airport in November last year.A spokesman for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said the organisation was waiting for further information from Qantas, but at this stage believed an investigation would not be required.Follow Traveller on Twitter.AAP
Matthew Swift on his Bebo page.Two British teenagers meticulously plotted “the greatest massacre ever”, inspired by the Columbine killings in the United States, a prosecutor said as their trial opened.
Matthew Swift, 18, and Ross McKnight, 16, of Manchester, wrote up detailed plans for what they called “Project Rainbow”, plotting to bomb a shopping centre before killing teachers and students at their school on the 10th anniversary of the massacre, the prosecutor said.
Thirteen people were killed and 23 injured when teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold went on a bloody rampage through Columbine High School in Colorado on April 20, 1999.
“We will walk into school and at the end of it no one will walk out alive,” McKnight wrote in his diary, the jury at Manchester Crown Court heard.
It would, the teen wrote, be the “greatest massacre ever”.
The defence denies the charges but has not yet argued its case.
The jury was also told that a safe in Swift’s bedroom contained plans of the school and instructions on using acetone peroxide as a detonator.
The safe also contained a notebook with plans, jottings and an image of the two Columbine attackers taken from closed circuit camera footage filmed during the 1999 killings.
Underneath was written: “They say a picture paints a thousand words. This is my favourite picture in the whole world.”
Prosecutor Peter Wright said the two teens “planned to copy and emulate the actions of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold”, who killed 12 students and a teacher at Columbine High School before committing suicide.
“They had discussed, they had fantasised and eventually they had agreed to convert their fantasies into reality,” Mr Wright said.
They “set about planning to detonate a bomb, some form of improvised explosive device at a shopping centre in North Manchester, known as Crown Point North, and then travel to Audenshaw High School at which they had been or were indeed still pupils of, and embark upon a killing spree in which they would murder teachers and pupils alike before killing themselves”.
The jury was told that McKnight called a girl in March to tell her that he “couldn’t wait until April 20”.
The girl said McKnight was drunk as he revealed the plans.
The girl, who cannot be named, testified that she believed what he was saying, “just by the way he was saying it”.
The next day, she told her mother and they went to police.
McKnight and Swift were arrested.
In interviews with police, McKnight refused to comment, while Swift said he was “a confused teenager with a vivid imagination”.
With his former chief of staff, Arthur Sinodinos, asking the questions, it was never going to be one of John Howard’s toughest interviews. But it is a fair bet the former member for Bennelong was as unprepared as the rest of the audience for the unbridled enthusiasm his presence generated at a lunch hosted by the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday.The chamber’s CEO, Nicholas Care, opened by describing Howard as ”the best statesman and politician that this country has ever come up with”. But Care wasn’t done, proceeding to ponder how wonderful it was to have Sinodinos and Howard in the same room together. ”I can only say one thing, ladies and gentlemen. I think it’s Christmas. I think it’s an event that we will treasure and remember for ever and ever.”The assembled 250 guests were treated to 10 minutes of Howard’s musings on the global financial crisis before Sinodinos began a question-and-answer session with his former boss about the economy, the stimulus, China and the European Union. After a while he woke the audience with an unexpected question. ”Finally, do you think [Italian Prime Minister] Silvio Berlusconi is a sex addict?” Sinodinos asked Howard, prompting uproarious laughter. ”Well? You’ve met him!” With his eyebrows seemingly signalling for help, Howard stammered: ”I, I, I, I, â?¦ I know Silvio. We enjoyed a good relationship. I have absolutely no comment about his private life.”PICK A VERSIONPolitical reporters often describe part of their job as translating political spin into plain English. It’s a rare occurrence when a politician does the work for them, however. So all praise must go to the federal Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O’Connor, who did reporters the courtesy of leaving in all the deletions he made in Microsoft Word on an email press release as the message was massaged by various staff before its release. O’Connor’s announcement of $438,324 in funding for an Aboriginal artists’ community in Halls Creek, Western Australia, became somewhat less assured of the money’s impact. Thus, ”Art programs such as this are a useful prevention tool” became ”Art programs like this can be a useful prevention tool”. Are you completely convinced about that, Minister?MAYOR OUT ON A LIMIt seems there is rarely a quiet moment at Strathfield Council – whether it be bribes caught on camera, or mayoral elections decided by pulling names from a lolly jar. The fun continued at this week’s council meeting, reports our correspondent, Paul Bibby. After months of sniping – and occasionally outright war – between the Labor Mayor Keith Kwon and colourful councillor Danny Lim, matters came to a head on Tuesday night when Kwon theatrically offered to resign if his independent counterpart did likewise. It was apparently not the first time this offer had been made, but this time Lim took the bait. The pair shook hands, promising to meet last night to seal the deal. But it seems the pledge was little more than a dramatic gesture. Lim later admitted: ”I will resign, but only when I have finished what I came here to do.” It is understood the animosity between the pair has a long history, beginning with a Howard-Costello-style agreement about handing over the mayoralty.NILE HAVING NONE OF ITThe John Della Bosca affair has prompted much hand wringing about whether an extramarital liaison should be a sacking offence for politicians. Not among the hand-wringers, however, is the NSW Parliament’s moral compass in the upper house, Fred Nile, who took the opportunity to issue a warning to all MPs about the dangers of extramarital fornication. Nile revealed he was ”stunned” at the revelations. ”However his serious lapse is a warning to all MPs – ‘but for the grace of God that could be me’ – and to be conscious of the need to avoid all the opportunities for temptation as we pray in The Lord’s Prayer each day in Parliament: ‘Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil’.”GOT A TIP? Email [email protected]出售老域名.au or phone 9282 2179WITH THRILLER FINGERSAS ICONIC as the moonwalk, one of Michael Jackson’s white gloves is among this weekend’s collectables auction at Bonhams & Goodman in Melbourne.The spandex right-hand glove, covered with Swarovski crystals was consigned to the auction house by the mother of Bill Hibble, a collector of music and film memorabilia who died several years ago. By a stroke of luck, Hibble was given the glove by the late pop singer after sitting behind him at the Australian premiere for the movie Ghosts- which starred Jackson – at Sydney’s George Street Cinema on November 15, 1996. Jackson was in town for the HIStory World Tour and had married the nurse Debbie Rowe earlier that day.Jackson first started wearing a glove in the 1970s but it was not until the 1983 release of Thriller that it came to prominence and became one of the singer’s signature wardrobe quirks, along with his black fedora. The auction house is expecting the glove – believed to be the first of its kind auctioned in Australia – to fetch between $20,000 and $30,000.WITH COMEBACK TOURSHE SWORE in 2002 it would be ”the last time” but after enjoying a return to the spotlight courtesy of the duet of You’re the Voice with English supergroup Coldplay at the Sound Relief concert in March, John Farnham couldn’t help himself. Whispering Jack plays the first of 12 shows tonight at Star City’s Lyric Theatre, under the tagline ”back by popular demand.” While it is tempting to believe the tour was more likely by demand of his long-time manager Glenn Wheatley – spurred by the prospect of another greatest hits album due for release by Christmas – it appears there are also punters still keen to see the 60-year-old Farnham in the flesh with most of the shows on his 31-date Australian tour sold out. The latest tour does little, however, to dent his reputation as the singer who cried wolf. After embarking on his ”last time” tour in 2002- when he announced he would retire from full-scale national tours- he returned to the stage numerous times.One project that never got off the ground, however, was a series of concerts with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa in 2005. The opera singer, who pulled out of the concerts and sparked a lawsuit from the promoters which she eventually beat, will also perform in Sydney tonight, though at the Opera House.WITH EFFING CRITICISMAFTER sticking the knife into countless restaurants and chefs on his television shows, Gordon Ramsay received a taste of his own medicine this week when the British press reported how several Ramsay-owned restaurants had been savaged in the 2010 edition of Harden’s London Restaurants.Four Ramsay establishments made the list of the 10 most disappointing in Britain and three were among the 10 most overpriced. The respected guide, which is the result of a survey of more than 8000 diners, also criticised his flagship Chelsea eatery, which until recently had enjoyed a decade-long reputation as one of the best in London. The guide said approval ratings for the noshery had gone down ”faster than the stockmarket”.A BIG DAY FOR MUHAMMAD ALIMore than 500 well-wishers turned out to a festival honouring the three times world heavyweight champion in the Irish town of Ennis, County Clare. Ali’s great-grandfather, Abe Grady, was born in the town and migrated to America in 1860, marrying an emancipated slave. Among the tributes was an Ali exhibition at the local music centre and matinee and evening screenings of When We Were Kings, the documentary about the 1974 bout against George Foreman. Ali and his wife, Lonnie, accepted a framed photograph from a distant cousin, Imelda O’Grady, bearing the inscription: ”Cead Mile Failte [One Hundred Thousand Welcomes] from Imelda O’Grady and the O’Grady families.” with The Telegraph, London.
YOU have to wear protective paper booties to see the booroolong frogs. You cannot see Martha the Tasmanian devil because everyone hopes she is pregnant. Not even the keepers can see the long-nosed echidnas from Papua New Guinea, they are hiding in their tunnel system and are checked by infra-red camera.A lot happens behind the scenes at Taronga Zoo. Beyond those gates marked Staff Only and No Entry is a place where animals are ”off exhibit”. Sometimes it is just to change the exhibits, sometimes to breed the animals, sometimes because the animal is sick. Some animals, usually wild ones brought in injured, are never shown, just patched up and sent home.Michael McFadden, the amphibian keeper, is in a nondescript brick building out the back, where there are chameleons in cages being rotated on off, and an anaconda wrapped around herself, calmly waiting for her cage to be refurbished.McFadden is breeding booroolong frogs for release into the wild and insists on paper booties to prevent infection. He changes his boots at the door of the booroolong room. The frogs, native to streams on the western side of the NSW part of the Great Dividing Range, are critically endangered but McFadden’s bunch are doing their best to reverse this.”You can’t stop them breeding,” he says happily. ”The corroboree frog, which we are also trying to breed, is very difficult, but not the booroolongs. They only live for about two years so we were worried about taking them from the wild if they didn’t breed, but they do.”Last year, after the first stage of the plan (which started with 34 frogs), 600 little brown booroolongs from Taronga were given new homes in their native area.Meanwhile, in the mammal section, Lisa Cavanagh is hoping she is an expectant aunt. Martha, a Tasmanian devil caught in the wild, produced four offspring last year (now all at the Western Plains Zoo for breeding) and Cavanagh hopes Martha will oblige again this year, doing her bit to replenish the devil stocks laid waste in the wild by Facial Tumour Disease.Until the disease was first noted, in 1996, no one had thought about breeding devils because the animals were doing the job perfectly well for themselves. Now, zoos and wildlife parks around Australia are trying to build up disease-free stocks for reintroduction.”Devils are naturally solitary,” Cavanagh says. ”Our biggest job is to make sure the female is going to be receptive to the male, otherwise she’ll just chase him off.”We have to watch for signs, like her neck getting bigger with fat stores. She’ll go off her food too, but it’s not an easy thing to get right. The boys are always ready to do it, though.”Most of the Taronga animals are on ”stud books” to keep an eye on breeding. The Tasmanian devil book is kept in Victoria and once a year animals are moved around the country if necessary to make suitable genetic matches.Martha will not be disturbed until she shows her babies, or is obviously not expecting. Tex, perhaps the father, is back in the nocturnal house until the breeding season starts again in January.The mammal section also cares for the long-beak echidnas, native to Papua New Guinea and about four times the size of their Australian cousins. Taronga believes it is the only zoo in the world keeping specimens. They are shy, nocturnal animals and burrow deep to avoid being seen. Until the recent installation of cameras, the keepers could only tell the animals were still there because their food kept disappearing.The good news is that, through the cameras, the male has been seen following the female, which could be a sign that they are ready to mate.Along with the regulars, Taronga takes in all sorts of injured wildlife, about 1000 animals in an average year, and animals caught by Customs. Animals from outside are kept separate from the regulars, for quarantine, and assessed.The best result is releasing them back into the wild. A couple of young leatherhead turtles, at the zoo after being dumped with a vet, will be released near Lord Howe Island because that is where leatherheads will be hanging out when they are ready to go.Near the turtles, in the sea bird rooms, which have soft floors, walls and ceilings to prevent further injury, Pavarotti, so called because he sings all day, is a Little (Fairy) Penguin recovering from an attack by a sea eagle at Stockton Beach near Newcastle. He was rescued by a fisherman but has lost most of the use of his left front flipper so he would not survive in the wild.”The penguin keepers have already asked me if they can keep him,” says Libby Hall, manager of the Veterinarian and Quarantine Centre. She will apply to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service for a licence to add him to the collection.Duffy, however, another Little Penguin, brought from Bondi Beach with a lung infection, is being treated and will be released when she is ready.Every day there is something new happening out of sight at the zoo. The Zoo Friends hold tours for members: www.zoofriends.org.au or 9968 2822.