Australia
China summons Australian ambassador amid meddling row
Vince falls on stroke of lunch to mar England's solid start
Mike Hussey concerned about Peter Handscomb mental state
England opener Mark Stoneman hit on helmet by bouncer before being dismissed
Parents of murdered teen girls Abigail Williams and Liberty German speak out about ongoing investigation
Football Confidential: Tony Popovic’s Turkish club in turmoil
Canberra Now: News in 90 seconds for December 15, 2017
2017-12-14 21:13:35 Good m. orning Canberra, It's Friday! Congratulations on making it through another working week. We're looking at a shift in weather today, with the mercury dipping to a top of 28 degrees, showers in the morning and a possible thunderstorm in the afternoon. Let's take a look at today's news. One-fifth of pokies contributions may not benefit the community In a week where my beloved island home is talking about banning the pokies, new analysis has revealed almost one-fifth of the $10   Read More ...
Donald Trump called Paul Ryan about report he plans to step down
2017-12-14 21:13:30 Washington: President Donald Trump called House Speaker Paul Ryan on Thursday to ask about a Politico report that the Wisconsin Republican will step down from his leadership position after 2018, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. Ryan told the president he's sticking around, a House leadership aide said. Ryan himself said at a news conference on Thursday that he's not planning to quit any time soon, and a spokeswoman, AshLee Strong, said the story "is pure speculation   Read More ...
US regulators ditch net neutrality rules, legal battles loom
2017-12-14 21:13:26 Washington: The US Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on Thursday to repeal landmark 2015 rules aimed at ensuring a free and open internet, setting up a court fight over a move that could recast the digital landscape. The approval of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal marked a victory for internet service providers like AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc and hands them power over what content consumers can access   Read More ...
Tertiary Entrance Guide 2017: Should I change my preferences?
2017-12-14 21:13:21 With the release of VCE results and ATAR, you now have the opportunity to reconsider your course preferences prior to the first round of tertiary offers. The change of preference period allows time for you to consider your options based on your results, as well as to consider your preferences based on feedback from interviews, folio presentations and auditions. Preferences can be changed as many times as you like, free of charge, up until the closing date   Read More ...
Tertiary Entrance Guide 2017: Ensuring fairness for all
2017-12-14 21:13:17 Completing the VCE takes a great deal of motivation, prolonged effort and commitment from many thousands of students – and their teachers – every year. VCE teachers spend hundreds of hours preparing classes, working with students in class and marking student work and providing feedback. VCE students themselves obviously spend countless hours studying. Organising the VCE examinations, arranging for the marking of papers and collating all the results to arrive at a score for each study undertaken by each student is also a massive undertaking   Read More ...
Tertiary Entrance Guide 2017: How does scaling work?
2017-12-14 21:13:14 VTAC adjusts the study scores for each study to take account of how strong the students were in the study and how difficult it was to achieve the middle ranking. The strength of competition in each study is measured by how well the students performed in all their other studies. In each study, the study scores are adjusted so that the overall level of scores in that study matches the scores obtained by the same group of students in all of their studies   Read More ...
Tertiary Entrance Guide 2017: I found out my ATAR, now what are my options?
2017-12-14 21:13:07 Now that results have been released, you may have questions about what your options are from here. First things first: don't panic. If you haven't received the ATAR you expected, there are other ways to get into the course you always wanted to do. Talk to your school careers counsellor They may be able to provide you with some ideas or suggestions that you haven't thought about   Read More ...
Tertiary Entrance Guide 2017: Why are VCE results scaled?
2017-12-14 21:13:04 Before students' study scores for different VCE studies can be used to calculate each ATAR, VTAC needs to scale them to take into account different levels of competition in different studies. VTAC's role is to provide a way of ranking students that is fair to students, across the different studies they have taken. When VTAC receives each study score from the VCAA, it is calculated from the total marks the student received for each graded assessment in that study   Read More ...
Tertiary Entrance Guide 2017: What counts towards your ATAR score?
2017-12-14 21:13:01 The ATAR is based on the results from up to six unit 3 and four VCE sequences. The results do not all have to be from the one year. The ATAR is calculated using: A student's best score in any one of the English studies. Plus the scores of their next best three permissible studies (which together with the English study make the "primary four")   Read More ...
Tertiary Entrance Guide 2017: How tertiary selection for school leavers works
2017-12-14 21:12:57 VTAC administers the course application, selection and offer processes, and provides applicant information (including VCE and VCAL results) to tertiary institution selection officers. When selecting students, selection officers largely use information about each applicant's VCE performance. The information used, and how it is used, varies between institutions and courses. First, an applicant must meet minimum tertiary entrance requirements. For higher education courses this is usually satisfactory completion of the VCE, which includes the completion of units 3 and 4 in one of the VCE English studies in the one year   Read More ...
Tertiary Entrance Guide 2017: How is the ATAR calculated?
2017-12-14 21:12:54 The following process is used to calculate each student's ATAR. All study scores are scaled to adjust for the fact that it is more difficult to obtain a high study score in some studies than others. This is NOT because some studies are inherently harder than others. This IS because some studies attract a more competitive cohort of students than others   Read More ...
Live: 2017 Victorian VCE and ATAR results
2017-12-14 21:12:47 Students are reacting to their ATAR on Twitter: Students have just started finding out their results. A total of 47,450 students will receive an ATAR, and the overwhelming majority will be accessing their ranking online this morning rather than waiting for the letter to arrive in the post. This list of the most popular subjects give you a good sense of just how many students completed VCE this year   Read More ...
'Only God knows the truth': lawmaker accused of molesting teen commits suicide
2017-12-14 20:16:48 Washington: Kentucky lawmaker Dan Johnson fatally shot himself on Wednesday, two days after allegations surfaced that he had molested a member of his church when she was 17 years old, officials said. Bullitt County Coroner Dave Billings said Johnson - a Republican state representative and self-proclaimed "Pope" of his Louisville church - died of "a penetrating gunshot wound to the head   Read More ...
In sign of protest, Gaza eatery offers North Koreans discounts
2017-12-14 20:16:42 Gaza City: A Gaza eatery is offering massive discounts to North Korean diners but there is just one problem - there are no North Koreans in Gaza. Ibrahim Raba, manager of a shawarma restaurant in Gaza's Jabaliya refugee camp, says he is offering the 80 per cent discounts to show his appreciation for North Korea's rejection of President Donald Trump's recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital   Read More ...
Train, school bus collide in France, killing children
2017-12-14 20:16:34 Paris: Four children were killed and seven seriously injured after a train smashed into a school bus, splitting it in two, outside the town of Perpignan in southwestern France on Thursday, the interior ministry said. Television images showed a long line of ambulance and emergency service vehicles near the crossing where the collision occurred, with the bus cut in half, highlighting the ferocity of the impact   Read More ...
Australia wary of Proteas netball team for Gold Coast
2017-12-14 20:15:15 JohannesburgSouth African netball has made great strides in the past few years and could challenge for a medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Australian Gold Cost next year. That's the view of Australian Diamonds head coach Liza Alexander, who said on Wednesday that the Proteas had blossomed under World Cup-winning coach Norma Plummer. "They have improved their physicality on the court and have also learned to assert themselves throughout all four quarters," said Alexander   Read More ...
Omarosa breaks her silence on leaving the White House and denies she was dragged out
2017-12-14 20:06:09 OUTGOING presidential aide Omarosa Manigault Newman said she saw things at the White House that “profoundly” disturbed her — as she shot down reports that she was fired and physically removed, insisting she resigned.   Read More ...
Lleyton Hewitt saldrá de su retiro para jugar en el Abierto de Australia
2017-12-14 20:02:55 El ex número uno del tenis mundial Lleyton Hewitt, a casi dos años de su retiro del circuito profesional, volverá a las competencias en el Abierto de Australia. El capitán del equipo australiano de Copa Davis, que ya jugó dobles en el torneo de la ensaladera de plata y en Wimbledon 2016, ahora regresará para disputar el cuadro de dobles en el Grand Slam de Melbourne   Read More ...
Former world no 1 Lleyton Hewitt to make comeback in Australian Open
2017-12-14 18:19:59 Former world no 1 Lleyton Hewitt said that he will play in next year’s Australian Open. Hewitt, who had retired from the sport after Wimbledon 2016, would be partnering compatriot Sam Groth, who himself declared that this would be his final tournament. Hewitt re-emerged from retirement in Davis Cup last year against the US, playing alongside Jordan Thompson and almost upsetting the Bob and Mike Bryan in an epic five-setter   Read More ...
Ashes 2017: The spell from Josh Hazelwood was as good as you would see, says Tim Paine
2017-12-14 18:19:35 The Australian seamers were relentless in their attack on the morning of the first day’s play in Perth on Thursday. The trio of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood hit the deck hard and made life difficult for the English batsmen. Mark Stoneman, in particular, faced a barrage of short-pitched deliveries, one of which, hit his head. But wicketkeeper Tim Paine complimented the trio and singled out Hazelwood’s spell deeming as one of the best he has ever seen   Read More ...
Walt Disney to buy 21st Century Fox assets in $68b breakup of Murdoch empire
2017-12-14 18:16:01 Walt Disney has struck a deal to buy film, television and international businesses from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox for $US52.4 billion ($67.8 billion) in stock as the world's largest entertainment company seeks even greater scale to combat growing digital rivals Netflix and Amazon. Under the deal, Disney acquires significant assets from Fox, including the studios that produce the blockbuster Marvel superhero pictures (X-Men, Deadpool) and James Cameron's Avatar franchise, as well as hit TV shows such as The Simpsons   Read More ...
China summons Australian ambassador amid meddling row
2017-12-14 18:02:40 BEIJING (AFP) - China has summoned the Australian ambassador amid a growing row over allegations of Chinese meddling in politics in Australia. "Officials of our ministry had an important dialogue with the Australian ambassador," foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Thursday, without specifying when the meeting took place. "The Australian side is very clear with our position on bilateral relations and the relevant issue," Lu told a regular news briefing   Read More ...
Vince falls on stroke of lunch to mar England's solid start
2017-12-14 17:31:37 PERTH (AUSTRALIA) (AFP) - England made a solid start to reach 91 for two at lunch on the opening day of the crucial third Ashes Test in Perth on Thursday, but lost James Vince just before the interval. Alastair Cook, in his landmark 150th Test, again fell cheaply after Joe Root won the toss and elected to bat. Despite some lively bowling from the Australian quicks, opener Mark Stoneman was impressive and unbeaten on 48, with Root on one at the break   Read More ...
China summons Australian envoy amid meddling row
2017-12-14 17:18:31 China has summoned the Australian ambassador amid a growing row over allegations of Chinese meddling in politics in Australia. “Officials of our Ministry had an important dialogue with the Australian ambassador,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Thursday, without specifying when the meeting took place. “The Australian side is very clear with our position on bilateral relations and the relevant issue,” Mr   Read More ...
DNA breakthrough could bring back Tasmanian tiger
2017-12-14 17:10:45 His name was Benjamin and he was the very last of his kind. He died in early September 1936 at a zoo in Tasmania. Benjamin was the last known thylacine, more commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger. Now, scientists believe that thanks to DNA technology, Tasmanian tigers could be brought back from the dead, the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution reports   Read More ...
Peter Handscomb getting the axe is heartbreaking: Brad Hodge
2017-12-14 16:20:37 Former Australian player Brad Hodge is massively disappointed that middle-order batsman Peter Handscomb had to face the axe in the third Test at Perth. Deeming it as heartbreaking, Hodge maintained that Mitchell Marsh will likely play for the remainder of the series. Handscomb did not do himself any favours either as he could only manage 62 runs in three innings in the Ashes   Read More ...
Vladimir Putin takes aim at claims of US election meddling in marathon press conference
2017-12-14 16:18:10 Russian President Vladimir Putin said the United States was in the grip of a fabricated spymania whipped up by President Donald Trump's opponents but he thought battered US-Russia relations would recover one day. Key points: US warned not to use force against North Korea because the consequences will be "catastrophic" Rex Tillerson's statement about readiness for talks with Pyongyang hailed a "realistic" approach He says the Russian economy was set to grow by 1   Read More ...
University places could be capped from 2018 as Government goes back to drawing board on education
2017-12-14 16:18:07 The number of university student places is expected to be capped from next year as part of the Federal Government's latest plan for higher education. Key points: Massive proposal to introduce higher fees, make students pay back loans faster got knocked back by Senate in October With few options left, re-introducing cap on government-funded places could save up to $1   Read More ...
Australian universities accused of sharing military technology with China
2017-12-14 16:18:00 The Defence Department has been accused of turning a blind eye to universities illegally sharing military technology with China. Key points: Hundreds of research projects linking Australian scientists with senior Chinese military figures Defence Department relies on self-assessment from universities to police interactions with overseas academics Collaborations mean Australian technology could be used against it on the battlefield Former senior defence official Peter Jennings has told AM there was a "likelihood" universities were breaking strict export controls on technology that could be used for military purposes   Read More ...
Grenfell Tower fire: Royal family attend memorial service for victims
2017-12-14 16:17:57 Survivors of a fire that killed 71 people in the Grenfell Tower social housing block in west London have joined firefighters and members of the royal family at a national memorial service at St Paul's Cathedral. The blaze broke out in the middle of the night on June 14 and quickly gutted the 24-storey building, which was home to a close-knit, multi-ethnic community living in a poor area within one of London's richest boroughs, Kensington and Chelsea   Read More ...
Minion messes up with Australian man’s lawn, taunts him on Facebook
2017-12-14 16:15:26 For one Australian man, it was a “despicable” thing to do. Local media WAtoday reported on Wednesday that Brad Nicklin from Kalgoorlie, located in the southwestern part of Australia, got a surprise when someone showed up on his lawn one Sunday morning. As he enjoyed his cup of coffee, Nicklin noticed that a portion of grass was missing from his lawn   Read More ...
Putin praises 'Donald' and says US is gripped by fabricated spymania
2017-12-14 16:13:56 Moscow: Russian President Vladimir Putin said the United States was in the grip of a fabricated spymania whipped up by President Donald Trump's opponents but he thought battered US-Russia relations would recover one day. Putin, who revealed he was on first name terms with Trump, also praised the US president for what he said were his achievements. "I'm not the one to evaluate the president's work   Read More ...
China summons Australian ambassador over allegations of political meddling by Beijing
2017-12-14 16:12:03 SYDNEY – China summoned Australia’s ambassador to lodge a complaint over Canberra’s allegation that Beijing had sought to interfere in Australian politics, a source familiar with the diplomatic action said Thursday. Relations between Australia and China became strained in recent weeks after Canberra said it would ban foreign political donations as part of a crackdown aimed at preventing external influence in domestic politics, sharpening the focus on China’s influence overseas   Read More ...
Lleyton Hewitt to make Australian Open comeback in men's doubles
2017-12-14 16:03:45 Former World No 1 Lleyton Hewitt plans to come out of retirement and double up with Sam Groth at next month's Australian Open. Australia's 36-year-old Davis Cup captain officially retired from tennis after his home grand slam in 2016, but returned to the court twice more last year in Davis Cup and at Wimbledon. And he says he is looking to get back into action at Melbourne Park and "give it a real crack" with fellow Aussie Groth in the men's doubles   Read More ...
BP plan to buy Australian petrol pump network blocked
2017-12-14 15:31:08 SYDNEY (AFP) - Energy giant BP's plan to buy a network of Australian petrol stations from supermarket chain Woolworths was blocked Thursday by the competition watchdog over fears it will lead to higher fuel prices. The British firm announced a year ago it had agreed to pay US$1.3 billion to buy, rebrand and operate Woolworths' existing 531 fuel and convenience stores, plus 12 sites under construction   Read More ...
Penalty rate cut fails to stimulate jobs, survey shows
2017-12-14 15:11:34 Cutting penalty rates across the country has failed to create any extra jobs or give workers more hours, new research has found. In a blow to the Turnbull government's backing of the Fair Work Commission's decision to reduce penalty rates, a survey of 1351 workers by the University of Wollongong and Macquarie University found there has been no short-term increase in average weekly hours worked by employees   Read More ...
Rego rebate for Sydney motorists to cost taxpayers $550m over next decade
2017-12-14 15:11:25 The Berejiklian government's carrot to regular Sydney toll road users of free vehicle registration is to cost taxpayers more than $550 million over the next decade. Weeks after the scheme was announced, the half-yearly budget review released on Thursday shows the so-called rego rebate is forecast to cost $162 million over the next four years. Using the government's forecast of it rising by $5 million a year, the cost to the state over the next 10 years will surpass $550 million if the scheme remains in place as expected   Read More ...
How News Corp could win as Murdoch enters Disney's magic kingdom
2017-12-14 15:11:21 A deal that will reshape the global media landscape has (finally) been formally announced. Rupert Murdoch's entertainment conglomerate 21st Century Fox Group will sell key assets to storied film and theme parks giant Disney. On Thursday, the drumbeats got deafeningly loud as specific details of the deal, which has been in the works for weeks, started to leak out. The Murdoch owned that Disney would pay $US29 per share for Fox's film studios, cable TV stations and international operations, in a deal that would value the entire company at $US75 billion ($100 billion)   Read More ...
Rebel Wilson is not Bauer Media's biggest problem
2017-12-14 15:11:18 Rebel Wilson is not the biggest headache facing German publishing billionaire, Yvonne Bauer, as her local publishing group Bauer Media prepares a legal challenge to the multi-million dollar defamation payout awarded to the Aussie actor. The woes of Australia's magazine publishers don't bare thinking about, and Wilson's $4.5 million win is just a drop in a bucket of trouble for Bauer as its local financial accounts reveal   Read More ...
ATAR advice: 'Plan B' paths to uni
2017-12-14 15:11:13 If your ATAR is lower than expected, there are plenty of stepping stones to degree study. Macquarie University alone has 11 admission paths, of which 10 assess a student's suitability on more than an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR). The University of Notre Dame at Sydney's Broadway has non-ATAR entry. Students apply direct to Notre Dame, are interviewed and admission staff look at academic record and potential   Read More ...