Manus stand off halted as guards storm compound

The Manus Island detention centre on the weekend. Security staff entering Delta compound on Manus Island detention centre.
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Peter Dutton accuses asylum seekers of ‘aggressive behaviour’

A stand off between asylum seekers and security guards on Manus Island came to a dramatic halt as Wilson guards stormed one compound on Monday.

Delta compound, which had been barricaded by asylum seekers who were refusing to eat or allow security guards inside, was forced open by the Emergency Response Team from Wilson Security carrying riot equipment.

It is believed a number of asylum seekers and one guard were injured in the affray. Refugee advocates also claim up to 30 men were “arrested” by the security guards.

Refugee advocate Sally Thompson said armed guards stormed the Delta compound where they searched for the ring leaders on Monday afternoon.

“There are quite a lot of injuries among the asylum seekers,” she said. It is understood that the injuries were mainly cuts and bruises.

“The armed guards were searching for people with phones,” she said.

“I believe they came in to force feed the men and give medical attention.”

On Sunday night water bottles had allegedly been removed by guards from reach of the asylum seekers in the Delta compound.

For seven days asylum seekers have been refusing to eat, staging a protest at being resettled in the Papua New Guinea community. Every day the men have chanted “freedom” as they refused to eat.

It is unknown whether the other three compounds – Foxtrot, Mike and Oscar – have stopped their hunger strikes.

Earlier on Monday, protesting asylum seekers were labelled “irresponsible” by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, who had urged them to stop their hunger strike.

In a statement on Monday afternoon, Mr Dutton accused some asylum seekers of engaging in “aggressive behaviour”, rather than a peaceful protest.

“A number of transferees have regrettably engaged in aggressive behaviour over the weekend at the Manus Regional Processing Centre and that protest action is ongoing,” he said.

An asylum seeker in the Mike compound at the centre said that other asylum seekers had begun fighting with security guards at the weekend. He said the compound had become quieter on Monday afternoon as the protesting asylum seekers grew weaker without food or water, but remained resolute in their protest for freedom.

“We don’t need food or clothes, we need freedom,” the asylum seeker said.

Up to two-thirds of the population of the Manus Island centre had been refusing food as detainees grew desperate to avoid the Australian government’s plan to resettle them in PNG, which is expected to begin this week.

Mr Dutton also denied claims that the water in the centre had been “cut off”, but said protesters were preventing the delivery of food, water and medical services.

Refugee advocates had said that the water in the Delta compound had been completely cut off, forcing asylum seekers to drink from drains.

Fairfax Media has also confirmed some protesting asylum seekers were on the weekend taken to the centre’s Chauka compound – a smaller compound used to discipline those acting aggressively.

On Monday morning, PNG’s Immigration Minister, Rimbink Pato, said protesting asylum seekers on the island had sewn their lips together, swallowed razor blades and had begun swallowing washing powder.

with Tammy Mills

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Counter-terrorism target Omar Ammouche gets bail

Omar Ammouche is arrested by police. Photo: Supplied: NSW Police Media
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Omar Ammouche is arrested by police. Photo: Supplied: NSW Police Media

Omar Ammouche is arrested by police. Photo: Supplied: NSW Police Media

Omar Ammouche is arrested by police. Photo: Supplied: NSW Police Media

A counter-terrorism target has been released from custody after his lawyer argued a close friend was the owner of a bag filled with shotgun shells.

Omar Ammouche, 33, was granted bail on Monday despite police claiming he was an Islamic State supporter who had possession of a flag and clothing associated with the terrorist organisation.

His lawyer, Adam Houda, said his client was only charged with two minor ammunition offences and the police had unfairly tried to “poison” the mind of the magistrate by mentioning ISIS.

“[The prosecution] can talk about ISIS all he wants but at the end of the day these are ammunition charges,” Mr Houda said during his client’s bail application at Central Local Court.

“The raising of the flag was designed to do one thing and that is to poison the mind of the magistrate. [The police] want to give it a terrorist flavour,” Mr Houda said outside court.

Mr Ammouche, 33, a friend of wanted Australian terrorist Khaled Sharrouf, was charged with possessing ammunition after he was arrested at his Greenacre home on January 9 by counter-terrorism officers attached to Operation Duntulm.

The father-of-five was one of two men arrested during a series of raids across western Sydney.

Magistrate Les Mabbott granted bail after a close friend, Mohamed Faytrouni, told the court he was the owner of 50 shotgun shells found in Mr Ammouche’s kitchen.

He had a receipt which proved he bought the ammunition from a Bankstown gun store and said he accidentally left it at Mr Ammouche’s house.

“My client certainly did not know what was in the bag,” Mr Houda said.

Mr Faytrouni said he called Mr Ammouche before his arrest to explain he had left the bag of ammunition at his house and would  collect it.

But the prosecution said they had been monitoring the pair’s mobile phones and that no such phone call  took place.

The surveillance was part of Operation Duntulm which is targeting the distribution of financial assistance to Australian jihadists.

Police argued the offences should be treated more seriously because Mr Ammouche was a supporter of an organisation that has carried  out violent atrocities.

The court heard police had also found an ISIS flag in a car at Mr Ammouche’s house, but Mr Houda argued the vehicle was not registered in his client’s name.

“My client denies ownership of the flag,” he said.

Mr Ammouche is also charged with acquiring ammunition while subject to a firearm prohibition order.

The order was made after Mr Ammouche, who had a legitimate firearm licence at the time, was convicted of allowing an unauthorised person to possess a firearm.

That unauthorised person was Sharrouf, who was found with a rifle at a property near Lithgow in November 2013.

Mr Mabbott said the prosecution had a “weak case”.

“The nexus between the accused and the flag is a weak one,” he said.

Mr Houda said his client would plead not guilty to both offences when the matter returned to Bankstown Local Court on March 4.

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Nick Hall chooses Japanese rides at The Championships in quest for first Sydney major

Grey matter: Nick Hall takes out the 2013 Caulfield Cup on Fawkner. He will pilot the Japanese fancies during The Championships in April. Grey matter: Nick Hall takes out the 2013 Caulfield Cup on Fawkner. He will pilot the Japanese fancies during The Championships in April.
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Grey matter: Nick Hall takes out the 2013 Caulfield Cup on Fawkner. He will pilot the Japanese fancies during The Championships in April.

Grey matter: Nick Hall takes out the 2013 Caulfield Cup on Fawkner. He will pilot the Japanese fancies during The Championships in April.

Wizard of Odds: Live Odds, Form and Alerts for all Racing

A chance introduction to the connections of the Japanese raiders for The Championships has landed Nick Hall his best chance to break a group 1 duck in Sydney this autumn.

Hall has been booked to partner To The World in a BMW-Queen Elizabeth Stakes double as well as World Ace, which will target the George Ryder Stakes and Doncaster Mile, on the recommendation of owner Phil Sly.

“That’s where the connection is and I’ve ridden for Phil for years,” Hall said.

“I won on Politeness this spring. They were down here at the time and I went and had a meeting in Sydney with them. I spoke to them about the horses and had done my homework watching a lot of replays and they were happy for me to ride them.”

Perhaps no mounts were as sought after as those on the visiting Japanese, whose numbers will scale four after an international scouting mission on behalf of Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club.

To The World looks the pick of the quartet after running second to the great mare Gentildonna in her racetrack farewell – the group 1 Arima Kinen at Nakayama last month. He beat home five-time group 1 winner Gold Ship, dual Japan Cup victor Epiphaneia and Just A Way in the same race.

To The World is a $5 Queen Elizabeth Stakes favourite with Ladbrokes, topping Cox Plate winner Adelaide ($6.50) and Melbourne Cup hero Protectionist ($7.50).

And Hall will also be legged aboard another Katsumi Yoshida progeny in World Ace, a group 2 winner over 1600m in Japan which was fourth behind the world’s best miler, Able Friend, in the group 1 Hong Kong Mile at Sha Tin in December.

He is likely to trial in Sydney before attempting to emulate the feats of last year’s trailblazer, Irish star Gordon Lord Byron, which won the George Ryder Stakes. World Ace will then push on to the $3 million Doncaster on April 4, the opening day of The Championships.

“I had a look at a couple of videos and a quick look through his form,” Hall said. “It’s a long way off so I haven’t looked too much into him, but I think we’ll probably have one trial with World Ace to get a feel for him and I’ll try to come up once a week to gallop them.”

Hall has entrenched himself as one of Victoria’s top riders after his Caulfield Cup success on Fawkner in 2013 as he searches for a group 1 win in Sydney to add to the resume.

But the Japanese invasion, which will also include triple group winner Real Impact and three-year-old Tosen Stardom, ensures Hall will head north on four consecutive weeks throughout the carnival starting with Golden Slipper day for the George Ryder.

“I do a lot of riding for John O’Shea and have had a lot of success with him over the years,” Hall said. “The only time previously I’ve been up there has been for Lloyd [Williams].

“I have to go up for those races and I haven’t really got that far whether I will try to secure more rides.

“I’ve got great connections down here and it sometimes it seems better to stay down here and try to get winners as it can be tough to go up there and get outside rides. We’ll work it out, but It should be good fun [during the carnival].”

Meanwhile, Chad Schofield has been cleared to return to riding at Moonee Valley’s Australia Stakes meeting on Saturday after recovering from injuries suffered in a Geelong fall in December.

The ultimate racing guide with the latest information on fields, form, tips, market fluctuations and odds, available on mobile, tablet and desktop.

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George Bailey ban would give new batsman a chance ahead of World Cup

The standby batsman for Michael Clarke for the World Cup will be unveiled this week after the International Cricket Council belatedly confirmed it had suspended stand-in Australian captain George Bailey for the team’s slow over-rate in Sunday’s win over India, clearing his slate for the marquee international tournament.
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Expectations Bailey, who was on the brink of suspension following an over-rate penalty in the first one-dayer of the summer in Perth against South Africa, would miss his home match in Hobart were confirmed on Monday night. It is likely Steve Smith will lead the one-day team for the first time in his absence, against England at Blundstone Arena.

While Australia finished their 50 overs at the MCG 23 minutes over deadline, match referee Andy Pycroft ruled they were only one over short. As a result he imposed a 20 per cent fine and a one-match ban on Bailey, and 10 per cent fines on the other Australian players. Bailey accepted the charge.

Australia’s coach Darren Lehmann hinted on Monday morning they had already been informed of Bailey’s penalty, as they had for David Warner being slugged 50 per cent of his match fee – for a combined total of 60 per cent – for the confrontation with India’s Rohit Sharma. He agreed Australia would be better off with Bailey banned now, because it will clear his slate ahead of the World Cup and mean he would need two subsequent breaches to be banned again.

“It is a bit advantageous I suppose. But the big thing for me is now bowling our overs [quickly enough] … we’ve got three and a half hours and it took us three hours, 56 [minutes] last night. We bowled too many wides and we were too slow in between overs. We’ve got to get better at that,” he said.

“I spoke to them [players] quite firmly last night. We don’t want that happening. We want to get our overs in and get an up-tempo game, and to make sure we’re entertaining the people who’ve come along to watch in the right time-frame.”

With all-rounder Mitch Marsh still unable to resume from a hamstring injury, Lehmann confirmed a batsman would be added to the squad in place of Bailey. He also confirmed whichever batsman was chosen would be the first choice to replace Clarke in the World Cup squad if the full-time captain did not recover from his hamstring injury by the February 21 deadline imposed by selectors.

“We’ll have to work out what happens [with the ICC] in the next two days, and make some decisions there going forward to Hobart,” Lehmann said. “The advantage is it gives us a look at the spare batters. We’d love to have everyone [in the World Cup squad] fit and available but we’ve got some niggles . . . and we’ve just got to make the best choices we can.”

The lead candidates to replace Bailey in the squad for Hobart are the Melbourne Stars’ Cameron White and Perth Scorchers duo Shaun Marsh and Adam Voges. Given the Stars and Scorchers play at the MCG on Wednesday night it is possible the chosen batsman could be withdrawn in favour of joining the squad early in Hobart.

Lehmann said he was encouraged by Clarke’s current rate of recovery from hamstring surgery.

“I saw him yesterday and spoke to the surgeon; he was [also] in yesterday. He’s ahead of schedule, which is pleasing for us. He’s had a couple of bats in the nets, which is a really good thing for us, so fingers crossed,” he said.

The coach said it was “still too early to tell” if Clarke will have improved enough to feature in any of Australia’s World Cup warm-up matches in the first half of February.

“The pleasing thing is he’s back in the nets batting, and he can ramp it up a little bit this week,” he said.

Lehmann said he was hopeful all members of the World Cup squad, excluding Clarke, would be “100 per cent fit” in time for next Monday’s Australia Day one-dayer, suggesting Mitch Johnson and Mitch Marsh were on track to fully recover from their hamstring injuries.

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Robert Allenby says Hawaii kidnapping ‘felt like the film Taken’

Australian professional golfer Robert Allenby has described his kidnap ordeal in Hawaii as feeling “pretty much the same as” the plot in the action film Taken, starring Liam Neeson.
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Police are investigating after the 43-year-old golfer said he was abducted from the popular Amuse Wine Bar in the tourist hub of Waikiki on Friday night. He says he was bashed, robbed and put into the boot of a car and dumped on a street 10 kilometres away.

A bruised and battered Allenby told Sunrise on Monday that he had no memory of the bizarre and terrifying ordeal, but was told by a homeless woman that he was thrown from a car onto a side street, resulting in extensive grazing to his face.

Allenby, who had been in Hawaii for the Sony Open golf tournament, believes he may have been drugged at the wine bar, before he was knocked unconscious and “everything I had in my possession was taken”.

Police had told him that someone had tried to use his credit card in downtown Waikiki on Saturday night, Allenby said.

“We see a lot of things on movies and stuff. You know, I watched Taken quite a few times and it kind of felt pretty much the same as that. I just, very surreal, yeah,” he said.

In Taken, Neeson plays a retired CIA agent who saves his estranged daughter who has been kidnapped in Paris.

Allenby said he had been at the wine bar for about two hours, and had just paid the bill before the attack.

“My buddy got distracted and I went to the bathroom, and when I came out of the bathroom some people had said that my buddy had already left,” he said.

He is believed to have been captured on CCTV leaving the restaurant in the company of up to six people. Robert Allenby on kidnapping in Hawaii: ‘Thankful I’m alive’: http://t整形美容医院/HIMSdWny5spic.twitter整形美容医院m/4aS31TmojA — Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) January 18, 2015Sunrise.

“It was a homeless person that told me that, otherwise I would never have known.”

Allenby said when he was first thrown onto the street, two homeless men began kicking him, until a homeless woman came to his aid.

The woman had “pretty much saved my life”, he said. He described how they ran away from the men down the street, where they encountered a retired military officer who came to their aid.

“When this guy came from the military I just, I was like crying, and obviously beaten up, blood’s just going everywhere, and I just said to him ‘I just want to go back to my hotel and get the police and ambulances there, I just need to be somewhere safe’.”

The military man paid for a taxi back to Allenby’s hotel, he said.

Allenby had eaten at a restaurant adjoining the wine bar on Friday night with close friend Anthony Puntoriero and caddie Mick Middlemo immediately before the incident.

The restaurant was “upmarket” and “beautiful”, he said.

Allenby said, as a professional sportsman, he made a point of being extremely careful when he went out.

“I think if you’re a professional athlete or any type of celebrity status I think you always have to be careful,” he said.

“I always try to stay to really nice establishments. I don’t go out drinking and party and stuff, I don’t go to nightclubs. I try and stick to the … classy areas because I feel like you’ve always got to be careful.”

Asked whether he believed he was targeted because he was a golfer, Allenby said he was not sure.

“There was a lot of fuss when I was in the restaurant, in the bar area. You know, people saying ‘Oh, that’s Robert Allenby, he’s a famous golfer’, and blah blah blah, and that kind of maybe drew some attention for someone,” Allenby said.

“There [were] quite a few people in there so it’s very hard to pinpoint anyone, but we went back yesterday and had a look at the cameras because I just wanted to see who was there and what may have happened. I was trying to piece all of the puzzle together. But .. I was very fortunate. I mean, a homeless lady pretty much saved my life.”

Scans have cleared Allenby of any serious facial or head injuries and he is hopeful of being cleared to fly in the next day or two.

He doesn’t yet know when he will play golf again.

“The chances of me playing next week are very slim, but I’m just taking it one day at a time.”

He said he planned to thank the homeless woman and the retired military man who helped him.

“I will (contact the homeless woman), and I will thank her and I will give her something, and also the guy from the military that helped me as well. I’ll definitely make a call to him, he paid for the taxi to get out of there,” he said.

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Impressive Nadal sticks to his lines

Australian Open 2015: full coverageLive tennis scores
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It took less than two hours to convince his first-round opponent – and surely any who lie in his Australian Open path – that Rafael Nadal had been delving in a little Hamlet, whose mum, Queen Gertrude, thought the lady doth protest too much. But King Rafa wasn’t ready to alter his lines.

“What I say the other day is the real thing,” the 14-time grand slam champion said of a pre-tournament dismissal of his prospects of adding a 15th in the next fortnight. “I have one match … that’s better than two days ago but I need more to feel that I am ready for something very important here, no?”

Mikhail Youzhny, the vanquished Russian who has been around the block often enough to know a swan from a lame duck, wasn’t so tentative. “When you lost 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 … it’s another level. He has some problems maybe, but today … his level was pretty high. I think he will be really dangerous second week.”

Nadal settled for craving the improvement from match to match that Youzhny could see happening as routinely as any of the 37 winners Nadal whipped past him, the last of which the Spaniard celebrated like a man whose belief had been reawakened. He conceded only that he’d returned well, served “the right way” and generally made few mistakes.

His reticence betrays the scars of a year to forget, when even a record ninth French Open title couldn’t expunge the nagging of near-constant pain in his back, which at various times bobbed up in his wrist, knee and even his

appendix. The game’s great warhorse played only seven matches post-Wimbledon and lost to such tour obscurities as Borna Cilic and Martin Klizan.

Time away offered a chance to be with family, “to enjoy little bit of the beautiful island from where I am, Mallorca”. But every tournament missed, he knows, was opportunity lost.

His doubts were exacerbated by a first-round loss in Doha a fortnight ago to German Michael Berrer, a player ranked in the 120s. “I arrive here with doubts,” he reiterated after Monday’s win. They were mental as much as physical.

It’s hard to picture rust forming on a body bedecked in hot pink and fluoro lime and after watching Youzhny take the first game to love Nadal moved into his customary, line-hopping stride. The downbeat, head-bowed figure of two days earlier gave way to Rafa the competitor, who marked his first service break with a leaping, Uncle Toni-saluting pump of his bulging left arm.

He moved freely, swung hard and for the most part made sweet contact. His focus was similarly well-honed, especially through runs of 12 straight points in the second set and 11 in the third. That focus now shifts to American Tim Smyczek; no matter how exotic the name, he pledged “maximum

respect for everybody and knowing that anything can happen in every round against anyone”.

He had no truck with Youzhny’s prediction of potential second-week carnage. “Is not the right moment to talk about that. It’s the moment to give to this victory the right value.”

Pain had creased his warm face when last he stepped onto Rod Laver Arena, as he lost the 2014 final to Stan Wawrinka while fighting back pain that reduced him to tears, but not to a retirement he knew would devalue the Swiss’ grand slam breakthrough. He smiled on Monday to recall that his back issues had continued in Rio and Paris, “[but] then I didn’t have more because I didn’t play more”.

For now he feels strong and unrestricted, yet remains wary. “I know the back is a thing that you have to take care about. We are trying to do the right things to be safe with that but there is things you cannot control.”

The expectation of others can be added to that list. His own remain tempered in the extreme.

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Tomic heads day one Australian winners

Australian Open 2015: full coverageLive tennis scores
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A few happy endings, then. Or beginnings. Or restarts. Call them what you will. Bernard Tomic was tested, but successful in his first Australian Open match since being booed off the court as a non-finisher against Rafael Nadal a year ago, while James Duckworth rewrote the last chapter of his own dramatic medically inspired story from 2013 to join Tomic, duck-breakers Marinko Matosevic, Sam Groth and Jarmila Gajdosova as early local entries into the second round.

There were, of course, multiple casualties on a grand slam day that featured 13 Australians, among them wildcard losers Luke Saville, John Millman, Jordan Thompson, Arina Rodionova, Daria Gavrilova and Storm Sanders. But Tomic was the biggest name to survive it, a four-set winner over 95th-ranked German Tobias Kamke on Hisense Arena.

“It was a very emotional win for me after last year,” said the 22-year-old Queenslander, who was streaky at times but finished strongly and at least was cheered warmly off the court after an almost three hours. Twelve months ago, he was lambasted for a controversial injury retirement just a set into his opening round night match against Rafael Nadal; the ensuing send-off shown to have been even more uncharitable when Tomic’s next move was to book in for double hip surgery.

“I’m OK now – now I’m OK,” he said, having sealed the match with a 25th ace, to book a second round appointment with another, more senior German, 22nd seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, whom Tomic beat in straight sets in Sydney last week.  “After the first set I wasn’t so good, so hopefully I can recover well.”

After a horribly unwise, premature, return in Miami in March that lasted for less than the length of a standard sitcom episode and could have done with some canned laughter as an accompanying soundtrack, so ridiculous was what unfolded against Jarko Nieminen in record time. And this was not a 28-minute benchmark to be proud of.

“It was only at Wimbledon in July that Tomic found himself moving decisively forward again. Then, as the world No.124, he refloated the sinking ship with a second career title, at the Colombian Open in Bogota. January, more reliably, is where his best non-Wimbledon results have come, a pair of home quarter-finals already on board in 2015.

Thus, the trajectory is upwards again, with a 66 beside his name, and virtually no points to defend until mid-season.  This was a streaky effort, but a determined one. Tomic’s seventh consecutive Australian Open is his 21st grand slam main draw, and the standout result remains clearly the Wimbledon quarter-final of 2011.

But he has been productive, too, at Melbourne Park. Since early career losses to Gilles Muller and Marin Cilic in his mid-teen-prodigy years, it has taken either Nadal or Roger Federer to eliminate Tomic in his home major for the past four.

Kohlschreiber acknowledged he had learnt plenty from the most recent meeting. “For sure, he’s the home crowd favourite, it’s going to be a big match on a big court. But I also have good memories here in Melbourne on big courts so I hope for a great match.”

Amid much quack, quacking on court six, meanwhile, Duckworth avoided a repeat of his dramatic 2013 hard-luck story by reversing that dramatic result, one round earlier, against Blaz Kavcic. In the Melbourne Park sauna two years ago, Duckworth cramped in the four-hour-plus match played in 40-degree heat, and Kavcic collapsed nearby in the locker-room after it, carted off on a trolley by medical staff forced to administer an intravenous drip, a spent force before his next match even began.

Which was too late for Duckworth, obviously, but although still a wildcard recipient, he is a better, stronger player who turns 23 on Wednesday, and a handy cavalryman behind the Special Ks and others with higher rankings and profiles. He is also a solid citizen, with a good, attacking game, and when the Slovenian netted a last forehand, he fell to his knees and kissed the court, then punched the air, beaming. That one – 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (9-7), 3-6, 6-2 – felt good.

“It was big to get one back on him after he beat me in that thriller a couple of years ago,” said the Brisbane-based Sydneysider. “But it was moreso just being able to play a better style of play and then being able to give myself the best opportunity to play in the next round.”

Duckworth won 40 of his 68 net points over 15 minutes short of four hours, but prevailed despite 13 double-faults among 80 unforced errrors; to die wondering is clearly not his thing. So the world No.120 lives on, into the third round for the third time in four attempts, and into the path of 24th seed Richard Gasquet, who won a five-set encounter at Wimbledon last year.

What does he have to hurt the Frenchman? “I think I have an all right serve. I think my ability to come forward a bit, you know, make him pass me will trouble a lot of the top guys,” said Duckworth, whos mindset will be “just to play aggressive tennis and really just take it to him, make him beat me. Yeah, that’s the goal.”

Melbourne-based Groth celebrated his first Australian Open main draw win in three attempts, and second at grand slam level after last year’s US Open, with a  6-4, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 defeat against Serb Filip Krajinovic.

“During that second set I wasn’t probably making as many groundies as I wanted to, but thankfully my serve held true and I started to build some pressure,” said Groth, 27. “I had love-40 there, and I just decided I was coming to the net in that last game, and whatever happened, happened, and it worked out for me.”

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Homeless woman speaks on Robert Allenby’s kidnapping, bashing and robbery

Robert Allenby speaking of the attack in a television interview. A photo showing Robert Allenby’s injuries was aired on television. Photo: Twitter
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A homeless woman has come forward to present a version of events that conflicts with golfer Robert Allenby’s story of being kidnapped, bashed and robbed in Hawaii.

The Australian golfer said he was abducted from the popular Amuse Wine Bar in the tourist hub of Waikiki on Friday night, bashed by a group of men, thrown in the boot of a car and dumped on a street 10 kilometres away.

Allenby said he did not remember any of the events, except waking up on the street, but says he was told by a homeless woman who came to his aid that he had been thrown from the boot of a car.

Now, a homeless woman, Charade Keane, has told two media outlets that she found the golfer just metres from the wine bar from where he claims he was abducted.

Ms Keane, who reportedly lives in Ala Moana Beach Park in Honolulu, told the Honolulu Star Advertiser that she was riding her bicycle when she saw Allenby sitting on the corner of Kapiolani Boulevard and Pii­koi Street with a bloodied face about 1.30am on Saturday.

That intersection is less than 50 metres from Amuse Wine Bar, from where Allenby claims he was abducted.

Ms Keane told Channel Nine that Allenby was arguing with two people at the time, and was offering to use his last remaining credit card to withdraw $500 in exchange for getting his wallet back.

“He said that he had been robbed and somebody did this to him, and they took his money and his wallet and his phone,” Ms Keane told Channel Nine.

“There was two people there also that started arguing with him, so I asked him to come with me. I said ‘This guy needs help’. I didn’t want them fighting … and he trusted me and we walked across the street and we came this way towards to pancake house.” Homeless woman claims she was the one who helped Robert Allenby after he was allegedly bashed and robbed. #9Newspic.twitter整形美容医院m/jVHpWPULmp — Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) January 19, 2015Sunrise on Monday morning.

“It was a homeless person that told me that, otherwise I would never have known.” Robert Allenby on kidnapping in Hawaii: ‘Thankful I’m alive’: http://t整形美容医院/HIMSdWny5spic.twitter整形美容医院m/4aS31TmojA — Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) January 18, 2015

Further questions were raised when the FBI were forced to deny Allenby’s claim that they were investigating.

The incident did not cross any state borders so it was being investigated by local police as a second-degree robbery, an FBI spokesman said on Monday.

Allenby’s family admonished people questioning the chain of events, saying there were a “lot of haters and sceptics on social media”.

Allenby also told Channel Nine that he was abducted in a carpark, not a street corner, and had taken an elevator down to the carpark with the group of unknown men because they told Allenby his two friends from the bar were down there.

He said he believed it was a targeted attack by people “jealous” of his fame.

Allenby had been in Hawaii for the Sony Open golf tournament but missed the cut and was due to fly home on Saturday.

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Short story competition: Any other name

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“LISTEN to this!” she cried.

Cathy had long had the habit, in turns infuriating and endearing, of assuming he was ripe for interruption whenever she had the urge to share a newspaper snippet that she’d found.

She was sitting propped in the window seat, a cushion at her back, a coffee in one hand, and the cat nestled on her legs. There were plenty more snippets sure to follow as she was only on page four of the paper.

“Hmm…” Burl replied. He was deep in his own portion of the newspaper, very much focussed on the business pages.

“Listen. The headline is, ‘Shirls just want to have fun’.”

Burl raised an eyebrow. If he had been a cat, an ear may have flicked in Cathy’s direction.

“Next weekend, Newcastle will play host, it says, to hundreds of Shirleys from across Australia. The annual convention of the Shirley Group will kick off with a ‘meet and greet’ on Saturday, followed by a gala dinner and variety concert. Shirley van Rense, international bestselling author, will offer her witty observations about what it means to be a modern day Shirley.”

The other ear flicked. She had his attention now.

“Well?” Cathy went on.

“Good timing or what?”

She had a point. It sounded like this Shirley-fest in his own city was happening for a reason. Perhaps, it was time to come clean. He’d spent 40 years hiding from the burden his father had bequeathed him. His mother recalled, years later, that for the first couple of days after Burl was born she was too shocked, too exhausted, to raise an objection. She hadn’t had any strength to be the voice of reason.

So, before she knew it, the decision had been made. Burl’s father had issued the ultimate challenge.

Here you are, little one. Take this and do something with it.

Take what I bequeath and rise above it.

For the first five years it was no burden but, predictably, school became a nightmare. Other kids had plenty of fun at his expense – even some adults were downright cruel. What had his father been thinking to condemn him to this?

You can do it. Be strong. I know my gift will be good for you.

It was supposedly all about character building. But his parents had divorced when he was six and his sister just a baby, and thus his father had conveniently disappeared from their lives. If Burl’s character had been strengthened, his father wasn’t around to see it. And now Cathy was challenging him to confront his burden.

The next Saturday dawned grey and threatening. Sure enough, soon after breakfast the rain set in, heavy-dropped and persistent. Burl stood at the window seat staring at the dribbling pane dispiritedly.

“Don’t even think about it,” Cathy said as she came up behind him. “You’re going.”

He was tempted to invent back pain or even apathy, but Cathy was no flincher. She was on a mission and there was no getting around her when she was in this frame of mind.

Later that morning he found a car space near enough to the convention in the east end of town. He took his time, dragging the umbrella from under the back seat. This was going to be hard.

He made his way along the street to the venue, sheltering under his umbrella and dodging rain gushing over gutters. As expected, when he walked into the large room filled with middle-aged and elderly women, all eyes turned rapidly in his direction. What on earth was he doing here?

It was too late to turn around and he could feel Cathy’s presence prodding him in the back. Mustering every scrap of determination, he strode across to the registration desk.

The words had been going around in his head all week.

“I need to register,” he said. “My name’s Shirley. Shirley Redpath.”

Several sets of eyes blinked, before the efficiency of the event set in. The momentum of social introductions and questions carried him along from there. He ended up explaining himself several times, until it almost seemed the most natural thing in the world.

Despite his father’s determination to strengthen his son’s character with the challenge of Shirleydom, Burl had decided to call himself something else. One day when he was in grade four, a television program starring the old-style American actor Burl Ives had inspired him. “Burl” would be his name. A name redolent of Shirl and yet just about as masculine as a nine-year-old boy could imagine.

“What’s the collective noun for multiple Shirleys, do you think?” he asked Cathy when at last he made it home.

Cathy smiled up at him from her book. “A temple of Shirleys?”

“That’d be right. A temple of Shirleys. My spiritual home.”

Entrants were asked to write a short story inspired by one of four photos. Short-listed stories will be published every day in theNewcastle Heralduntil Friday, January 23.

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Industrial heritage buildings on BHP site to be demolished

The Medical Centre, or Ambulance Station, is one of the heritage buildings to be demolished on the old BHP site. THEY’VE been part of Newcastle’s industrial heritage for almost 100 years, but they will soon be bulldozed to allow for the decontamination of the old BHP steelworks site at Mayfield.
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

Almost 12 months since the Newcastle Herald revealed their likely fate, and despite a campaign to save them, the old medical centre, patterns store and master mechanic’s building on the BHP site will come down.

The Newcastle Industrial Heritage Association, led by a group of former BHP workers, was successful in getting an interim heritage order over the old buildings last year.

But state Heritage Minister Rob Stokes has backed the Heritage Council which determined the buildings had no state significance.

The minister has now revoked the interim order and the privately-run Port of Newcastle is clear to demolish the buildings.

The Master Mechanics Office is also set to be removed.

Association president Bob Cook was overseas yesterday and unavailable for comment, but the group’s vice president Aub Brooks said the decision was disappointing.

‘‘It’s just a bloody shame,’’ Mr Brooks said.

‘‘My view is a personal one and I don’t want to sound morbid, but people lost a lot of good mates in that medical centre and a lot of people were treated there, so there’s a big emotional attachment to it as well.

‘‘The old buildings are in pretty good shape so I just don’t understand why they can’t be re-used in some way.’’

The old patterns store lacks any great architectural merit, but its historic value is in the materials used to build it in 1917.

The art deco medical centre and the ornate mechanics office both remain in good condition.

The old patterns store lacks any great architectural merit, but its historic value is in the materials used to build it in 1917. The sandstone came out of Duckenfield House at Morpeth – a residential mansion built in the early 1800s.

Port of Newcastle said the sandstone will be kept and preserved, but the buildings will be removed to allow for complete remediation of the site.

Mr Brooks is currently leading the charge for a permanent memorial to be built on the Mayfield site to honour those workers who were killed while working for BHP. The memorial itself is being constructed off-site and Mr Brooks is hopeful that it might be installed before June 2 this year when BHP marks 100 years of operations in Newcastle.

It is possible that some of the sandstone from the patterns house will be incorporated into the memorial.

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