Matt Le Nevez talks about life after Offspring

In demand: Matt Le Nevez is keeping busy in the wake of Offspring.
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In demand: Matt Le Nevez is keeping busy in the wake of Offspring.

In demand: Matt Le Nevez is keeping busy in the wake of Offspring.

So how has life been post Offspring?

I think I will always miss Offspring. It was such a pivotal show in my life, such an eclectic and amazing group of people to work with – I don’t know if I’ll ever experience that “lightning in a bottle” again, not only in the making of the series, but even the screening was quite extraordinary – but since my role ended I’ve been quite busy.


Well, I’m living in Los Angeles but I came back to Australia and shot [the drama] Parer’s War, then did a bit more Offspring [for Nina’s dreams of Patrick] , then I shot Love Child about a year ago and went on to Tasmania for [upcoming Foxtel BBC Worldwide drama] The Kettering Incident, then on to Canada to shoot a couple of episodes of  [Christina Ricci’s drama project] The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, I just finished shooting a pilot in Chicago … so yeah I’ve been quite busy.

That’s an understatement!

Yeah and I’m almost ready to come back to Australia to shoot more Love Child. It’s been a crazy year or two but really exciting. Now I just can’t wait for Love Child to come out because this was quite a different show to what I’d done before, so quite challenging.

Your character in Love Child is very different to Dr Patrick, was that important to you?

It was, it was. I was always nervous about coming in to play somebody else’s boyfriend or love interest and when I spoke with [the producers] they had very similar views about where they wanted my character to go and how much energy they wanted him to have – which was good because as I said, Offspring was special. To follow up with something that was not as good or a bit weak [meant]  I was very wary of my next project. Clearly Parer’s War was something very different and this is too. The [Love Child] producers had some very clear ideas about what they wanted to introduce into the show to shake it up. They wanted to bring in someone who would have a different energy from not only the actors on board but also the time in which the series is set. They were looking at some of the pivotal people in Australia at the time and some of the things that were going on in the late ’60s to early ’70s and wanted a character who would represent that, in particular the Green Bans that were happening and move the story in that direction. There were young pivotal people who stood up (to protect) parks and buildings and my character is loosely based around that idea. It was a great opportunity and to be involved in a show like Love Child where the scripts are beautiful and telling an epic dramatic journey. And to work with those actors who create that energy. I’m very lucky.

After this we’ll see you in The Kettering Incident, which is different again.

This is a series that hasn’t been done in Australia before. Something very much influenced by the scandi-noir dramas like The Killing or The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo films that resonated around the world, but done in an Australian way. I think what has been created is unique in the Australian landscape and I can’t wait for it to come out. The scripts are incredible, the landscape of Tasmania where we shot is a character stronger than any written on the page, it’s just… this is a beautiful, brave piece of television, an amazing project and I’m very grateful to be a part of it.

And you mentioned a new pilot?

Yeah I just shot a pilot in Chicago for a new series called Runner, a mystery, drama action story about a family that gets pulled into gun-running across the Mexcian/American border. Like every Australian actor that comes to the US to throw their hat in the ring you hope to get a gig out of an audition, then when you do you hope for it to be a good one, then when it is you hope for the pilot to get picked up… and I hope we get the chance to move to Chicago to continue filming in August!

Love Child, Nine, Tuesday, 8.40pm

Ageing population need not be a drain: thinktank

Australia’s demographic time-bomb in which an ever-growing proportion of older people rely on welfare in later life, is not inevitable and need not be the threat to prosperity widely predicted, according to a new study released on Thursday.
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The progressive policy think tank Per Capita has proposed a series of image-changing initiatives aimed at adding a fourth P of policy to the three Ps normally discussed in economy and budget deliberations about the future: population, participation, and productivity.

The body says declining taxation revenue as a result of population ageing is a constant feature of Australia’s economic debates which “feeds into the narrative presenting ageing as a threat and a burden on our society”.

Its report “Spaces for All Ages” aims to redress an ageist bias in discussion by focusing on policy development towards improved “economic participation by older Australians”.

Among its proposals are “a network of local jobs hubs” to place older Australians in jobs in their local community, to be called the SilverStart Employment Network.

“This is based on a model of jobs hubs rolled out in Japan over the last thirty years which has been successful in lifting mature-age labour force participation, with over 800,000 members across 1600 centres,”  Per Capita research fellow,  Emily Millane, said.

Also suggested is a public art prize focusing on ageing and participation, and an additional class in the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards specifically for ‘older adult fiction’ as a counter-balance to the existing category of  young adult fiction.

The move to make the economy and society more grey-friendly would even extend to urban planning and aesthetics with an emphasis on “regenerating green spaces to create urban environments conducive to social participation by older Australians”.

“Green spaces like parks and gardens are identified in the World Health Organisation’s Age-Friendly Cities as one of eight elements of an age-friendly city,” Ms Millane said.

The report aims to kickstart a more sophisticated policy debate about longer more productive and engaged lives which are better for individuals, communities, and the broader economy.

It comes as the government prepares to unveil its second budget after proposing last year that pensions be indexed at a lower rate from 2017 prompting a widespread backlash from voters.

Follow us on Twitter  Australian Politics – Fairfax

‘Chill’ Virgili left out in cold by home club restructure

JAMES Virgili thought he had done enough to earn an extra year at the Jets.
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Before breaking his ankle when changing direction in a training game on January 27, the 22-year-old had strung together four consecutive starting appearances, beginning with a starring effort in the 2-1 round-11 win over Adelaide.

The injury ended a promising 2015 season for the home-grown winger, who had been in and out of the Jets line-up since becoming the then-youngest A-League player at 16 years and 180 days in January 2009.

On Tuesday afternoon, Virgili was devastated to find out it was not enough.

The 57-game Jet joined Taylor Regan, Sam Gallagher and trainee goalkeeper John Solari as players not offered new deals at Newcastle.

Virgili said he ‘‘was definitely hopeful’’ the club would extend his stay given his form before the season-ending injury.

‘‘I had a nice little run there of four starts and I thought I was playing pretty good during that period, then unfortunately my injury came,’’ Virgili said.

‘‘When it came I was hopeful, even though I didn’t get to play much this year, that the times I did play this season, I’d done enough to earn an extra year.’’

The Herald was told a frustrated Virgili fronted Jets coach Phil Stubbinsthree times in the second half of the season to ask for clarity on his future, given he could do no more on the field to push his claims.

The Herald understands he was given no indication before Tuesday that there was nothing on the table for him.

‘‘The last few months I have been trying to find out where my future was, but the meetings weren’t handled too well,’’ Virgili said. ‘‘But there’s not much I could do about that. I’ve just got to look forward now and hopefully move on to good things.’’

The former Australian under-17 and under-20 representative hopes to complete his radiography degree at the University of Newcastle next year but said he was ‘‘still hungry’’ to further his A-League career.

Asian club champions Western Sydney Wanderers are believed to be one of the ‘‘few clubs’’ Virgili said had shown early interest in him.

‘‘There hasn’t been any offers as yet,’’ Virgili said.

‘‘I’m hopeful out of the places who have shown a bit of interest that something will eventuate. Who knows, sometimes a change can be the best thing for you.’’

The South Wallsend junior was ‘‘obviously pretty disappointed’’ when finally told he was not in the Jets’ plans.

‘‘It was always my dream to play for the Jets, and I’m grateful for that opportunity and always will be.

‘‘It’s obviously tough. You can’t really beat playing for your home town and being at home with your family and friends watching. It definitely makes it extra disappointing.’’

Virgili is yet to score an A-League goal but has started in just 22 of his 57 appearances for Newcastle.

He said he obviously would have liked to score goals for the Jets but added that he was otherwise ‘‘quite happy with how I’ve performed during my time at the club’’.

He believed he had more to offer at A-League level if given regular game time.

‘‘It definitely plays on your mind a bit when you’re in and out of the team for so long,’’ he said. ‘‘But the times I was in the squad for a more than a few weeks, I thought at those times was when I played my best football and I was most consistent.’’

Samuel Johnson opens up about former flame: ‘I kind of bailed on her and then she killed herself’

Samuel Johnson’s life has been shaped by suicide. Photo: Love Your Sister Facebook
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Samuel Johnson with his sister, Connie. Photo: Love Your Sister Facebook

Samuel Johnson’s life has been shaped by suicide. Photo: Love Your Sister Facebook

Samuel Johnson’s life has been shaped by suicide. Photo: Love Your Sister Facebook

In a heart-rending new interview, actor Samuel Johnson has opened up about his former girlfriend’s suicide.

“I met and fell in love with a beautiful young lady called Lainie. The most beautiful creature in the world,” the 36-year-old actor told Nova radio’s Meshel Laurie’s Nitty Gritty Committee podcast.

“She was a bit too amazing though, and I couldn’t quite handle it. I kind of bailed on her and then she killed herself, which was charming, so considerate.”

In 2006, Johnson’s 20-year-old girlfriend Lainie Woodlands took her own life, in her home at Victoria’s Hepburn Springs.

Johnson, who rose to fame as a 21-year-old playing Evan on the hit show The Secret Life of Us, was already too familiar with suicide. His mother took her life before he was a year old and a close female friend had taken her life shortly before Lainie.

“I was probably already not doing that well but when my girlfriend [killed] herself, the night that I left her, sh– got pretty heavy,” he revealed.

He took a year off acting and drowned his sorrows in alcohol and drugs.

“I’m not angry with her at all. I’m just really sad. There’s a big gaping hole in my life that she used to occupy … and I miss her a lot,” he said in a 2007 interview.

In a separate interview with Australian Story that same year, he opened up further.

“The three key women in my life have left me. It floored me. You know, I mean, it’s still floored me. It’s just ruined me emotionally and I’m very sad now.”

By his late 20s, he finally turned to his father for advice.

“My mum killed herself when my dad left her, so, you know, there was an interesting continuity there,” said Johnson, whose father raised him and his two older sisters on his own.

“So I was able to ask my dad about that and see how he coped when mum did that to dad.”

Now, the actor, who has set up a breast cancer charity and written a book with his sister Connie, who is dying from the disease, says he does not blame himself.

“I was happy to be the trigger boy but I knew I wasn’t the cause,” he said of Lainie’s death.

“I’m OK with being the straw that broke the camel’s back and that’s how I can choose not to feel guilty about it, because ultimately there are a lot of other things that went into that act that she committed to.

“I think if I caused that sh– it might have been hard to forgive yourself.”

Fairfax Media

Lifeline 13 11 14; MensLine 1300 789 978; Beyondblue 1300 224 636

What is a AAA credit rating and why does Australia need one?

Treasurer Joe Hockey faces a squeeze. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen / FairfaxThere is much speculation just now about whether Australia is about to lose its AAA credit rating. It is another headache for Treasurer Joe Hockey as he crafts his second budget. But what exactly is this rating, where does it come from and does it matter? Jonathan Shapiro answers the AAA questions you always wanted answered. What is a AAA (“Triple-A”) rating?
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This is a way of rating an entity, usually a government or a company, that wants to borrow money. It gives lenders an easy way of seeing how likely they are to get repaid. Ratings have several grades with AAA being the highest down through to C. Anything below BB is deemed as junk. Australia is one of 12 governments with a AAA rating worldwide Why does it matter?

The higher your rating, the lower your borrowing costs. This is because with a higher rating you are seen as a smaller risk by someone lending you money. When a government or company borrows money, usually through issuing bonds, that debt is then assigned a value based partly on the credit rating. This is important for people who trade bonds. How does it get assessed?

Rating agencies such as Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s will look at your assets and liabilities, your income and your expenses and then decide how able you are to repay any new debt. Governments are usually bolstered by their power to raise new revenue through taxes. Rating agencies work closely with the entities they are rating. Is it an assessment of the health of the economy?

No. It is an assessment of the ability of a borrower to repay money. However, for a government in particular its ability to repay money is linked strongly to the performance of the economy. In a strong economy, income to the public purse is higher and expenses such as welfare are lower. So the rating can be a proxy measure of how strong a nation’s economy is travelling. The credit rating is also an important benchmark for politicians about how prudently they are managing the government’s finances. What would it cost Australia if it was downgraded?

The cost of a credit rating downgrade is hard to quantify, especially for a government. In theory, a lower credit rating should lead to borrowers demanding a higher return for the risk they’re taking. In the case of Australia however, since all its debt is denominated in Australian dollars which it is able to print, it can never technically default. This means Australia’s borrowing costs are determined by expectations of where the Reserve Bank will set the cash rate. Other governments that have lost their AAA ratings such as the US and Japan have actually seen their borrowing costs fall because investors have assumed their central banks would hold official interest rates lower.   What else would it impact?

The real impact of a credit downgrade would be borne by other borrowers that the rating agency has assessed to be tied to the health of the government, in particular state governments and banks.  This is because both are bolstered by an implicit guarantee from the Australian government. That could mean a downgrade of the federal government could push up costs for other parts of the economy. The banks source a large portion of their funding from international bond investors that would, all else being equal, demand higher rates. The higher the cost of borrowing for the banks, the more they may have to charge for mortgages, for example. Didn’t these rating agencies play a key role in GFC? Why should we listen to them?

The rating agencies were among the key culprits in the financial crisis. Since they are paid by the institutions that they rated, they were conflicted and turned out to be too liberal with their AAA ratings on complex bonds – allowing cautious investors to load up on what turned out to be risky debt.  Most of the rating agency failings related to complex structured securities. Their track record is less tainted (but far from perfect) when it comes to assessing company and government risk. Despite their role in the crisis, rating agencies have become more entrenched in the financial system because the volumes of bonds governments and companies have issued since the crisis.

Mourners farewell Dungog flood victim Brian Alexander Wilson

Mourners farewell Dungog flood victim Final farewell for Dungog Digger Brian Wilson at the Christ Church Anglican Church. Picture: Simone De Peak
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Final farewell for Dungog Digger Brian Wilson at the Christ Church Anglican Church. Picture: Simone De Peak

Final farewell for Dungog Digger Brian Wilson at the Christ Church Anglican Church. Picture: Simone De Peak

Final farewell for Dungog Digger Brian Wilson at the Christ Church Anglican Church. Picture: Simone De Peak

Final farewell for Dungog Digger Brian Wilson at the Christ Church Anglican Church. Picture: Simone De Peak

Final farewell for Dungog Digger Brian Wilson at the Christ Church Anglican Church. Picture: Simone De Peak

Final farewell for Dungog Digger Brian Wilson at the Christ Church Anglican Church. Picture: Simone De Peak

Final farewell for Dungog Digger Brian Wilson at the Christ Church Anglican Church. Picture: Simone De Peak

TweetFacebook●Three dead, four houses washed away in Dungog

● Dungog flood victims were veterans: RSL

A FULL house of about 200 mourners paid their last respects on Thursday to Brian Alexander Wilson, 72, one of three people to lose their lives in last week’s Dungog floods.

The service at Christ Church Anglican Church, Dungog, was conducted by Reverend Colvin Ford, with contributions by NSW Disaster Recovery Network chaplain Susan Phelan and Dungog RSL sub branch vice-president Jim Olsen.

In a poignant gesture late in the ceremony, more than 20 retired and active service personnel left their pews to put paper poppies on Mr Wilson’s coffin, symbolising the 339 days the Vietnam veteran spent in the army in 1968 and 1969.

Reverend Ford said Mr Wilson, a retired boilermaker who fixed and sold lawnmowers from a shed at the back of his Brown Street unit, was well-known in the town.

He said one of Mr Wilson’s children, Tamara Carsley, had become ‘‘the face of Dungog’’ after the storm.

He paid tribute to her for recovering her father’s medals and marching with them on Saturday at Anzac Day.

RSL sub-branches from across the Hunter Region sent representatives to the funeral, which included a reading from Psalm 23.

In this instance, ‘‘the valley of the shadow of death’’ was an appropriate description of the dip of land between Dowling Street and Lord Street, Dungog, that filled with water that Monday night and Tuesday morning, taking three lives in the process.

Reverend Ford said Dungog had ‘‘been through a lot these past few weeks’’.

‘‘As a town we’ve responded, too, and it’s been a wonderful thing to see,’’ Reverend Ford said. ‘‘We’re just small enough to be concerned for people, and big enough to pull together resources, and it’s great, it really is.’’

Mr Olsen said Mr Wilson rarely spoke of his time in the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, and even some of his own family may not have heard the details.

He said Mr Wilson had been a corporal in ‘‘that dreadful war in Vietnam’’, and it was ‘‘a terribly dangerous rank, because it was one of those that really did the fighting’’.

‘‘On this day, we know one thing, that Brian Wilson has left us, once and for all, answering a roll call we all must face,’’ Mr Olsen said.

The service ended with a guard of honour, followed by a burial at Dungog cemetery.

A funeral service for Mr Wilson’s neighbour, Colin John Webb, 79, is at Dungog Uniting Church on Friday at 11am. A memorial service for Robin Reid MacDonald, 68, will be held at Dungog Memorial RSL Club on Monday at 11am.

A FULL house of about 200 mourners paid their last respects onThursday morning to Brian Alexander Wilson who died on Tuesday lastweek in the floods at Dungog.

TheService at Christ Church Anglican Church, Dungog, was conducted byReverend Colvin Ford, with contributions by NSW Disaster RecoveryNetwork chaplain Susan Phelan and Dungog RSL sub branch vice presidentJim Olsen.

Service at Christ Church Anglican Church, Dungog for Brian Wilson. Picture: Simone De Peak

Toward the end of the ceremony more than 20 retired and active servicepersonnel rose from their pews to put paper poppies on Mr Wilson’scoffin, symbolising the 339 days the Vietnam veteran spent in the armyin 1968 and 1969.

Reverend Ford said Mr Wilson’s daughter Tamara Carsley, had become”the face of Dungog” after the storm.

He paid tribute to her for recovering her father’s medals and marchingwith them on Saturday at Anzac Day.

The service ended with a guard of honour from the church steps,followed by a burial at Dungog cemetery.

Brian Wilson: Died in last week’s storms and floods that devastated the Hunter region. Picture: Supplied

A funeral service for Mr Wilson’s neighbour, Colin Webb, is in Dungog onFriday with the memorial service for the third victim, Robin Macdonald,on Monday.

Sunday Night under fire for Hugh Sheridan’s Nepal rescue mission for brother

Hugh Sheridan with his younger brother Zachary Photo: Facebook
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Hugh Sheridan with his younger brother Zachary Photo: Facebook

Hugh Sheridan with his younger brother Zachary Photo: Facebook

Hugh Sheridan with his younger brother Zachary Photo: Facebook

The Seven Network’s flagship current affairs program Sunday Night has come under fire after it sent a film crew with actor Hugh Sheridan to document the star’s search for his younger brother Zachary in devastated Nepal.

The network also sent along its celebrity doctor Andrew Rochford, however Sheridan’s 20-year-old brother was located safe and well in a remote village. Thank you for all your messages, I apologize for not responding yet, the service here is virtually impossible. Just got good wifi for the first time and I’m overwhelmed by what I read. I have no update from Zach yet, I’ll let you all know as soon as I do. Put your prayers into the people still unaccounted for and for #nepal the damage here is unbelievable and they are a beautiful people. I’ve spent the day trying to be useful for the local people. Donate to organisations you know are legit and that your money will definitely reach the people. Love to you all and thank you. #nepal #earthquake #donate #speakloveA photo posted by Hugh Sheridan (@hugh_sheridan) on Apr 29, 2015 at 3:41am PDT

Many badly damaged villages in parts of Nepal unserviced by roads have received little or no assistance. Aid workers in Nepal say they are having trouble getting the resources they need to help victims in remote areas.

During Wednesday night’s Seven News bulletin the network ran a promo for the upcoming Sunday Night story immediately after its news report on the rising death toll and worsening conditions four days after the earthquake struck.

Titled “Moving Mountains”, the Sunday Night promo featured Dr Rochford, who first came to fame as a contestant on Channel Nine’s The Block, conducting a dramatic interview with Sheridan, who says: “I would have climbed Everest to find him.”SUNDAY: Follow Hugh Sheridan’s journey to find his brother and see how you can help victims of the #Nepal earthquake https://t/gIcRemuke1— sunday night (@sundaynighton7) April 30, 2015

Following the promo social media sites such as Twitter erupted with condemnation of the network’s handling of the story, amid claims it was “cashing in” and trivialising the situation by focussing on a celebrity while thousands of people in Nepal mourned.

When news of the earthquake first emerged last Saturday Sheridan wrote on his Twitter account: “Please. Anyone who is awake, please pray for my little brother Zachary who is on Mt Everest, I’d appreciate every prayer you have spare x”Please. Anyone who is awake, please pray for my little brother Zachary who is on Mt Everest, I’d appreciate every prayer you have spare x— Hugh Sheridan (@hugh_sheridan) April 25, 2015

A Seven spokeswoman confirmed Sunday Night’s recently installed executive producer Steve Taylor had approached Sheridan, who was in Los Angeles, on Sunday and invited him to join a news crew travelling to Nepal.

Within 24 hours Sheridan revealed he was travelling to Nepal to search for his brother. Zachary Sheridan notified his loved ones that he was safe and well while his big brother and his entourage were in transit to Nepal.

“We know Hugh very well, we were reaching out and at that point no one knew if Zachary was alive,” the spokeswoman said, confirming that Rochford was dispatched from Sydney to LA to meet with Sheridan and the Sunday Night crew already there working on a separate story before flying on to Nepal.

“Our people there and Hugh are now committed to providing whatever help they can in the situation they have found themselves in, this is a legitimate story and all media outlets are covering it.

“Of course we are not going to muscle in and hire helicopters when they are needed to rescue people … that is not how we operate,” she said, denying that focusing on a celebrity was trivialising the plight of the thousands of others affected. “People need to look a little deeper.”   Thank you everyone for your messages and your kind words. I’m on my way to Nepal now and will head toward base camp to try and find Zachary. I will be with a small crew helping with a chopper, a dr and we will have a satellite phone available for any Australian there who needs to reach home and tell their loved ones they’re ok, I know so many of us are still waiting to hear but communication is down. Stay positive everyone, I feel optimistic that he is alive and stuck. I know that the news have been eager to talk to my mum but it would be respectful to leave her alone at this time. My heart goes out to every family who is still waiting to hear, I can’t imagine how they feel at Mt Everest. I’m looking forward to seeing my little brother and getting him out safely. This was the last picture he sent me, he sure captured her beauty. #family #nepal #australia #speakloveA photo posted by Hugh Sheridan (@hugh_sheridan) on Apr 26, 2015 at 7:10pm PDT

On Thursday morning News Corp reported that a Sunday Night production crew had approached local authorities in Nepal to help source a helicopter but there were none available as they are all being used to run ­important aid missions­ and to rescue the sick.

“It was apparent that others had more pressing needs, this is why the brothers have not yet been physically reunited,” a Channel Seven spokeswoman was quoted saying.

Hugh and his brother Tom were together with Sunday Night when they learned the news they’d been hoping for, that their younger brother Zach was safe. Until late yesterday he’d been unable to get a message out of the remote area he had been travelling in.

The program, along with Seven’s Health Editor and Australian Red Cross Ambassador Dr Andrew Rochford, is “continuing to assist Hugh and Tom to reach their brother and endeavouring to provide medical and communications assistance to others in Nepal affected by the earthquake.”

When Sheridan arrived at the international airport in Kathmandu his Seven “handlers” told rival media he was not able to comment despite his story becoming headline news in Australia.

The network has been promoting the “full story” to air on Sunday Night this weekend.

with Matt Wade in Nepal

China to build world’s largest airport terminal at Beijing International Airport

The six-pier radial concept will help improve the functionality at Beijing International Airport’s new Terminal 1. Photo: Methanoia/Zaha Hadid Architects The six-pier radial concept will help improve the functionality at Beijing International Airport’s new Terminal 1. Photo: Methanoia/Zaha Hadid Architects
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The new terminal will feature six wings with flowing rooflines and column-free spaces. Photo: Methanoia/Zaha Hadid Architects

The terminal will have a 4.8-kilometre curved facade. Photo: Methanoia/Zaha Hadid Architects

The six-pier radial concept will help improve the functionality at Beijing International Airport’s new Terminal 1. Photo: Methanoia/Zaha Hadid Architects

The six-pier radial concept will help improve the functionality at Beijing International Airport’s new Terminal 1. Photo: Methanoia/Zaha Hadid Architects

China – the world’s most populated country – will soon have the world’s largest airport terminal.

Beijing International Airport’s new Terminal 1 will cover a total floor space of 700,000 square metres and will serve 45 million passengers a year, or 125,000 passengers per day.

Designed by British-Iraqi firm Zaha Hadid Architects, the six-pier radial concept is said to help improve the functionality of the terminal, which will be the busiest section of Beijing International Airport, also known as Daxing Airport.

The terminal will feature six wings with flowing rooflines and column-free spaces to create more open and interconnected public spaces, and a central courtyard at the heart of the terminal. The radial, centralised plan is said to significantly reduce passenger transfer times between gates and also transfer distances between ground transportation to the plane.

The terminal, which is due to be completed in 2018, will have the potential for expansion to cater for up to 72 million passengers annually. It will have a 4.8-kilometre curved facade.

Zaha Hadid Architects is also the firm behind the design for Cambodia’s new genocide memorial in Phnom Penh, which is expected to be completed in 2018.

The building’s concept – inspired by the architecture and interlocking enclosures of the country’s Angkor Wat temple – will be between three and eight storeys high and feature five wooden towers that are separate at ground level but become interwoven as they rise.

Beijing International Airport, which is about 50 kilometres from the city centre, covers a total floor area of 1.3 million square metres. It was named the world’s largest airport when it was opened in 2008.

It is the second-busiest airport in the world. More than 86 million domestic and international passengers passed through the airport in 2014.

The world’s busiest airport, based on the total number of domestic and international passengers, is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. It served 96 million passengers last year.

However, Dubai International Airport is the world’s No.1 international travel hub, gaining the title of the busiest international airport in the world in January this year, overtaking London’s Heathrow.

Dubai received 70.47 million international passengers in 2014 while Heathrow handled 68.1 million international passengers in 2014. The British hub still outclassed Dubai in overall numbers, handling 73.4 million passengers if travellers on domestic flights were included.

Bali nine executions: Australia may have to simply ride out the next four years under Joko Widodo

Domestic politics is dictating Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s decision-making. Photo: Bullit Marquez
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Domestic politics is dictating Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s decision-making. Photo: Bullit Marquez

Painting of Joko painted by Bali nine member Myuran Sukumaran. Photo: Zul Edoardo

Domestic politics is dictating Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s decision-making. Photo: Bullit Marquez

Domestic politics is dictating Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s decision-making. Photo: Bullit Marquez

AFP to face grilling over Bali nineBishop expected a call, it never cameAnalysis: Cold comfort in diplomatic deep freeze

Nobody thought Joko Widodo would be as easygoing towards Australia as his fondly remembered predecessor Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

But Joko’s behaviour – and that of his Attorney-General HM Prasetyo – over the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have in their obstinacy and seemingly calculated efforts to add insult to injury been a jolt to the Abbott government and close Indonesia observers.

It has senior people now asking just how the relationship is going to function under a leader who is so brazenly conducting his foreign relations through the narrow prism of domestic populism and whether Australia might even need to just wait out Joko as it was forced to wait out Malaysia’s former leader Mahathir Mohamad.

The normally mildly spoken Kevin Andrews emerged on Wednesday as the mouthpiece for the government’s frustrations, saying the fact the executions were announced on Anzac Day and the treatment of the two men and their families “reeks of a calculated snub at Australia” that would be a “very serious miscalculation on the behalf of the leadership of Indonesia”.

Much of the public discussion has centred around Australia’s immediate diplomatic response.

But quite apart from the short-term response, it is what we’ve learnt about Joko and his administration that bodes poorly for the medium term.

As Fairfax Media’s Peter Hartcher illustrated this week with his descriptions of the excruciating treatment of Joko at his own party’s national congress recently, the president is completely under the thumb of elder stateswoman Megawati Soekarnoputri.

Megawati has always had a prickly relationship with Australia and, in her own unremarkable term as president, saw more mileage in kicking her neighbour than working with it.

At this stage, the same appears to be true of Joko. And that is what is deeply concerning Australia’s foreign policy community.

Even seasoned, hard-headed officials, accustomed to looking beyond the vicissitudes of public opinion and pondering foreign relations in terms of decades, have privately described Indonesia’s conduct as “appalling” and “disgraceful”.

Being charitable, the excessive security during Chan and Sukumaran’s prison transfers may be seen as police overzealousness, while the chaos their families faced in reaching them on their final day was likely just a stuff-up. But the Anzac Day announcement and Jakarta’s studied dismissiveness, which included not even formally notifying the Australian government that two of its nationals were poised to be executed, cannot be seen as anything but deliberate slights.

There is also a widespread belief that Filipina Mary Jane Veloso was given a last-minute reprieve because her story as a migrant worker resonated with ordinary Indonesians. Once again domestic politics was dictating Joko’s decision-making.

All this happened despite the steady, behind-the-scenes reasonableness of the Vice President Jusuf Kalla and the quiet helpfulness of SBY throughout the Bali nine case.

In the wake of the executions, the possibility of simply having to wait Joko out for the next four-and-a-half years is a real one. The mere fact that it is being talked about in foreign policy circles at all signals the depth of the pessimism about the rest of Jokowi’s term.

Follow us on Twitter  Australian Politics – Fairfax

Bali 9 executions: Waleed Aly on the five ways Chan and Sukumaran were let down

Executed: Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.Journalist and academic Waleed Aly has delivered a passionate condemnation of the treatment of Bali nine duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, outlining the five ways he believes the pair were let down in the lead-up to their executions in Indonesia this week.
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While acknowledging that the former Sydney men were criminals and drug smugglers, Aly said Chan and Sukumaran had been failed by some of the very people meant to protect them.

Among those coming under fire in Aly’s powerful segment on The Project on Wednesday night was Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, whose comments about Australia’s aid contributions to Indonesia were seen as a threat in that country, and the Australian Federal Police, who had tipped off the Indonesians about the Bali nine’s arrival in 2005.

“Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran were guilty men. They were criminals, they were ringleaders of an operation to smuggle drugs into this country, but they were also let down time and again, right up to their final hours,” Aly said.

Below is Aly’s list of the five ways the Bali nine duo were let down:

1 – The Australian Federal Police tipped off the Indonesian authorities, after receiving information from the father of Bali nine member Scott Rush.

“Lee Rush was trying to protect his son. He did the first thing that many of us would have done; he went to the police. He trusted that the AFP would stop the Bali nine from leaving the country and stop this catastrophe in its tracks.

“Instead the AFP let them leave and told the Indonesians they were coming, knowing that this could end with a bullet put through Andrew and Myuran’s chests. And the AFP have never explained this.”

2 – Alleged corruption in the Indonesian court system

“The judges who would eventually convict them allegedly offered Andrew and Myuran the chance to pay $130,000 to take the death penalty off the table. They should have taken it, they probably would have taken it, but they were let down by an even higher level of corruption.”

That higher level of corruption, Aly said, was when Indonesia’s Attorney-General and Supreme Court allegedly demanded that the pair be put to death, robbing them of a fair trial.

3 – The election of Joko “Jokowi” Widodo as Indonesia’s President

“I’m talking here about hard-line politics, I’m talking about an obsession with being seen to be a tough guy in front of a domestic audience,” Aly said of Mr Joko.

“Jokowi cared more about his image than he did about the facts of the case, or Andrew and Myuran’s rehabilitation. He didn’t even know where the drugs were meant to end up.

Maybe once Jokowi was elected, there was nothing we could have done.”

4 – Tony Abbott’s comments about Australia’s aid to Indonesia

In February, Mr Abbott publicly stated: “Let’s not forget that a few years ago, when Indonesia was struck by the Indian Ocean tsunami, Australia sent a billion dollars worth of assistance.”

Aly said on The Project: “This is a moment that I’m sure Tony Abbott himself regrets. He was just desperately trying to come to Andrew and Myuran’s aid by reminding Indonesia what good friends Australians have been to them in the past. The reminder was taken as a threat by the Indonesians. Our generous aid came with strings attached, and one of those strings was an expectation that Indonesians would bow to political pressure from Australia and show clemency whenever we demanded it.”

5 – Chan and Sukumaran were denied chosen spiritual guides before execution

“The six others who were to be executed alongside them were not denied that right, only Andrew and Myuran were. It was so provocative, it was so pathetic, and so pointless. At the 11th hour, the Indonesians allowed Andrew and Myuran’s guides access to the pair, but by then a final message of disrespect had already been sent.”

Some praised Aly’s commentary, with one person saying it was “measured, hard hitting and unmissable”, while others claimed it was another example of his “anti-Abbott agenda”.

Waleed Aly’s comments hit the nail on the head. Systematic failures and political ego led to the deaths of Chan and Sukumaran #bali— Dave (@Tills086) April 29, 2015

Loving how Waleed Aly is bringing real edge to @theprojecttv : http://t/Lg6wxO9FV5 Measured, hard hitting and unmissable.— Monica Attard (@AttardMon) April 29, 2015

Waleed Aly is the truth dropping saviour our media landscape needs so badly, let’s be honest. #WaleedAly— Stephanie Jones (@stephaniejjones) April 29, 2015#bali9#waleedaly Why do you never praise the PM Walleed? They knew the risk. Your obvious anti Abbott agenda is turning many off theproject— KevinspiresTV (@kevinmcnamara88) April 29, 2015

Chan an Sukumaran let down by Australian Government because they did everything they could??!! Nonsensical diatribe. Get real #WaleedAly— Adam Watson (@aj8watson) April 29, 2015Waleed Aly will take any opportunity to take a cheap shot at Tony and co, the only people that the Bali 9 was let down by was themselves— chels (@chelsbieberxo) April 29, 2015

‘Outraged and offended’: bipartisanship breaks down on Bali nine executions

Justice Minister Michael Keenan has attacked Labor. Photo: Alex EllinghausenGovernment quietly scrapped death penalty directiveAnalysis: Australia may have to ‘ride out’JokoAly reveals five ways Bali pair were let downAFP to face grilling on Bali executions role
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The bipartisan response to the execution of the Bali nine drug smugglers has collapsed only a day after the men were killed, with the Abbott government accusing Labor of playing politics with “tragedy” by raising concerns about its approach to the death penalty.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has praised the government for its handling of the matter and supported the decision to withdraw Australia’s ambassador to Indonesia in response to the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

On Wednesday, opposition justice spokesman David Feeney wrote to Justice Minister Michael Keenan seeking an explanation to why the government changed its official directions to the Australian Federal Police last year.

In 2010, Labor’s then minister for home affairs, Brendan O’Connor, included Australia’s opposition to the death penalty in his official ministerial direction to the AFP. This was removed from a new ministerial direction issued last year by the Abbott government.

Mr Feeney said the omission “raises concerns that protecting Australians from the risk of being subject to the death penalty in a foreign jurisdiction is no longer to be considered a critical priority for the AFP”.

When asked why he removed the reference to the death penalty in his ministerial directive, Mr Keenan said: “I’m pretty outraged and offended that the Labor Party would use the tragedy of two Australians being executed to make what is an incredibly cheap and invalid point.

“I think they should take a long hard look at themselves if they think this is the sort of time to be politicking in a way that is completely inaccurate.”

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she was “very angry” Labor had questioned the government on the directive.

“To think that less than 24 hours after the executions have taken place, the Labor Party is seeking to take a cheap, political shot. Shame on them,” she said.

Mr Keenan said Labor was deliberately creating confusion because the AFP’s internal guidelines on dealing with the death penalty have not been changed since Labor’s time in office.

The AFP’s National Guideline on International Police-to-Police Assistance in Death Penalty Situations requires the AFP to consider “the degree of risk to the person in providing the information, including the likelihood the death penalty will be imposed” when co-operating with overseas agencies.

“The guidelines are the same as when they were in office and applied in the same way by this government,” Mr Keenan said.

Mr Keenan said that the ministerial directive is a “high-level strategic document” and was a “red herring”.

“This has no bearing on the way the AFP deals with cases potentially involving the death penalty,” he said.

Mr Feeney responded by saying: ‘We’re not playing politics; we’re asking questions. We’re not accusing the government of anything; we are seeking an explanation on an important issue.

“Why did Mr Keenan remove the requirement from the ministerial directive? We haven’t received a sufficient anwer.”

Asked to explain the difference between the guidelines and the ministerial directive, Ms Bishop said: “Please. Twenty-four hours after the death of these two young men and the Labor Party is getting the media to quibble about the AFP guidelines that are the guidelines under which the AFP operate. They are precisely the same guidelines that Labor put in place. They are precisely the same guidelines that operate today. A ministerial directive is an entirely different document that does not dictate the operational activities of the AFP. I’m not going to answer another question on that.”

Speaking after the execution of Chan and Sukumaran on Wednesday, Ms Bishop said she believed the AFP’s guidelines relating to the death penalty were sufficient.

The AFP is set to break its silence on its role in delivering Chan and Sukumaran to Indonesian authorities in 2005 after previously declining to comment in detail because the mens’ case was being heard before the courts.

The AFP has said it will hold a press conference in coming days while independent senator Nick Xenophon has said he will pursue the matter with the AFP at upcoming Senate hearings.

Senator Xenophon said the removal of any mention of the death penalty from the ministerial directive was “disturbing”.

It – and the AFP’s role in Chan and Sukumaran’s arrests – should be examined urgently by the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, he said.

“There are legitimate questions to be asked about whether Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan would be alive if not for the actions of the AFP.” Follow us on TwitterAustralian Politics – Fairfax

Witness in Colleen Ayers murder trial lied to protect immunity, defence claims

Victim: Colleen Deborah Ayers. Photo: Police Media Police at the Lakesland property where the body of Colleen Ayers was found. Photo: Seven News
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The Lakesland property where the body of Colleen Deborah Ayers was found. Photo: Channel Seven

A young Sydney woman at the centre of a murder trial was lying to protect her immunity from prosecution, a defence barrister alleged on Wednesday.

Rachael Margaret Evans has pleaded guilty to strangling 33-year-old Colleen Ayers to death in 2012 but the trial before the NSW Supreme Court turns on who may have aided her.

The Crown alleges that Evans and Micheal John Duffy together killed Ms Ayers on her family’s Lakesland property, south of Sydney, after a drug binge.

Mr Duffy has pleaded not guilty. His barrister, James Trevallion, said Evans and the young woman were to blame.

The defence said the young woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, was lying about not being in the room at the time of the killing, a claim she denied. She has been granted immunity from prosecution over the crime.

The young woman testified on Wednesday that, on the night of the murder, she and Evans were sitting outside a room in which Mr Duffy and Ms Ayers were having sex.

She said Evans was talking to herself, saying: “I’m going to do it, I’m not going to do it, I should do it, I shouldn’t do it.”

The young woman told the jury that, before entering the room, Evans had muttered, “I’m going to become the first woman serial killer in 25 years’ time.”

The court heard previously that the young woman, Evans, Ms Ayers, Mr Duffy and another two men were drinking and taking drugs including methylamphetamine at Ms Ayers’ parent’s house that night.

The night before, the young woman had filmed Ms Ayers, Mr Duffy and Evans having a threesome in a hotel room at Picton.

The young woman said she was not in the room at the time of Ms Ayers’ death and that she entered only after hearing through the wall Ms Ayers’ pleas to “stop”.

The defence said the young woman was in the room, that she hit Ms Ayers over the head with a bottle or her fist, and assisted Evans in the killing.

“You’ve been telling lies about this since the first time you spoke to police so you could avoid being prosecuted for anything,” Mr Trevallion suggested.

The witness denied lying but said that Evans twice told her to “blame Duffy”.

Evans testified on Wednesday afternoon that she and Mr Duffy had planned, before they arrived at Ms Ayers’ parents’ property, to take guns from it to sell.

The trial before Justice David Davies continues.

Justin Bieber to join Zoolander 2, if Ben Stiller Instagram is to be beliebed

Ben Stiller and Justin Bieber face off in an image from Stiller’s Instagram account, suggesting the singer has joined the cast of Zoolander 2. Photo: Ben Stiller/InstagramMovie session timesFull movies coverage
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Justin Bieber has nailed his Blue Steel in what appears to be a sure sign he is joining the cast of Zoolander 2.

Ben Stiller, who is directing and starring in the belated sequel to the 2001 comedy, has posted a picture of himself and the Canadian pop star in full stare-off mode on Instagram and Twitter.

Though uncaptioned, apart from the tag #Zoolander2, it most likely indicates the 21-year-old has a role of some sort in the film.

In fact, Bieber has all but confirmed it. On April 28, he posted on his facebook page that he was “working on something big right now in Europe.”

He concluded the post with the words “he is so hot right now”, a line from the 2001 film.

Stiller – whose most recent movie is the comedy While We’re Young, in which he plays a documentary filmmaker suffering a mid-life crisis, is showing he is far from out of touch when it comes to drumming up interest in his forthcoming film by announcing much of the casting news via social media.   #Zoolander2 @justinbieberA photo posted by Ben Stiller (@benstiller) on Apr 29, 2015 at 12:24am PDT

The casting of Penelope Cruz, Fred Armisen and Billy Zane all cropped up first on Instagram, though none can compete with the exposure granted by the 63.1 million followers to whom the really-really-good-looking Bieber retweeted the photo from his own Twitter account.  

Working on something big right now in Europe. To learn more follow me on Fahlo. He is so hot right now :)Posted by Justin Bieber on Monday, April 27, 2015