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Australia Day gets the royal treatment

Posted by admin on 07/30/2019
Posted in 苏州半永久 

Barbecues, citizenship ceremonies, free outdoor concerts and thousands of people dressed up in the flag – all the regular bits of Australia Day were on hand with some added extras: a return to the republic debate and an English prince.


On the busiest day for barbecues around the nation, Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s surprising announcement of a knighthood for the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, provided a novel barbecue-stopper.

“We thought it was a hoax,” federal opposition leader Bill Shorten said, echoing the thoughts of many.

Mr Shorten said the knighthood should not be a distraction from the debate over whether Australia should become a republic – a debate he said was appropriate for Australia Day.

Mr Abbott didn’t buy into the republic debate and defended his honour for Prince Philip, dismissing ridicule of the move on social media as “electronic graffiti”.

The PM said Prince Philip was “eminently suitable” for the honour because of his “very long life of duty and service”.

The Australian Republican Movement criticised Mr Abbott’s resurrection of the titles Knight and Dame as “anachronistic and demeaning”.

ARM chairman Geoff Gallop said Australia’s honours system “should be honouring great Australians on merit, not birthright”.

In a less controversial choice, former head of Australia’s armed forces, retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, was also named as a Knight in the Order of Australia.

Anti-domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty was named Australian of the Year in a ceremony in Canberra on Sunday evening, where she pledged to continue her work in honour of her murdered 11-year-old son, Luke.

Mr Abbott presided over a citizenship ceremony for 25 people from 15 countries in Canberra on Monday as around the nation almost 16,000 people from 152 countries became Australian citizens at 333 such events.

“All of you have voted quite literally with your feet for Australia,” he said.

“Your lives will be the better for your decision and our lives and our country will be the better for your decision.”

In his Australia Day message, Mr Abbott said modern Australia had “an Aboriginal heritage, a British foundation and a multicultural character”.

“To be an Australian is to have won the lottery of life but we can’t rest on our laurels,” he said.

Australians marked the national day in time-honoured ways, such as a ferry race on Sydney Harbour and a parade in central Melbourne.

Melbourne’s parade was disrupted by hundreds of people marching in support of Aboriginal rights and criticising Australia Day as “Invasion Day”.

In some new additions to the festivities, Sydney Harbour also played host to the Royal Australian Navy’s new helicopter landing dock, HMAS Canberra, as revellers joined a mass singalong of the national anthem, while Hobart staged a Blundstone boot throwing contest.

Amid an umbrella-toting crowd on a rainy Sydney Harbour foreshore, Croatian-born Marie Pringle, dressed in blue complete with matching sparkly make-up, said Australia Day was more important to her than Christmas.

“I came here 44 years ago and it’s given me more opportunities than I could have ever had,” she told AAP.

Kyrgios can win the Open: Rosewall

Posted by admin on 07/30/2019
Posted in 苏州半永久 

Tennis legend Ken Rosewall, the youngest man in history to win the Australian Open, says Nick Kyrgios can pull off the unthinkable and hoist the trophy on Sunday night.


Rosewall, who claimed the first of his four Australian titles at 18 in 1953, believes 19-year-old Kyrgios not only has the tools to knock over Andy Murray in their quarter-final showstopper on Tuesday night, but also the talent to go all the way at Melbourne Park.

“I wouldn’t like to think it’s too early. There’s been plenty of other young fellas who have done well, particularly (Bjorn) Borg.

“Even I won some tournaments when I was young,” Rosewall told AAP on Monday.

“If he did win a grand slam event as a 19-year-old, it would certainly be a great start to his career.”

The first teenager since 17-times grand slam champion Roger Federer in 2001 to reach the last eight at multiple majors, Kyrgios also gained the ultimate nod of approval on Monday from Rod Laver, Australia’s greatest-ever player.

The only man in history to pull off two calendar-year grand slams, Laver was gushing in his praise of Kyrgios, saying “he really doesn’t have any weaknesses”.

“He’s playing his best tennis under pressure and that’s the mark of a champion in my mind,” Laver said.

“If he’s able to come back from two sets down like he did last night (against Andreas Seppi) and then pull it out … it tells me a lot that he’s prepared to go all the way.”

No teenager since Rafael Nadal a decade ago has won a grand slam crown, but Rosewall said the 193cm, 85kg Kyrgios has set himself apart from other young challengers with his explosive firepower.

“The players of today are much bigger – men and the women – with their training and diet and everything else,” said the eight-times grand slam champion.

“They’re much more stronger and powerful and I’m sure with Nick, as a strong, young 19-year-old, it’s certainly an advantage.

“Murray will be a good challenge again for him, but there’s no reason why he shouldn’t win. He’s playing well. I think he’s confident.

“As long as he serves decently, that’s going to be a big part of winning the match.”

Kyrgios will be making his first appearance on Rod Laver Arena since he won the 2013 junior crown at Melbourne Park.

The legend after which the stadium is named couldn’t be more impressed by the manner in which the precious youngster had earned his centre-court billing.

“The way he’s won his last four rounds have been terrific,” Laver said.

“It’s a bit different to the way we played under the Harry Hopman regime.

“But he’s a big, tall kid and he plays some great tennis and I think he’s got a huge future and hopefully he’ll continue to improve the way it’s been happening the past year.”

Laver’s only advice to Kyrgios was to be careful not to overplay his showmanship.

“He’s got a huge serve and sometimes … he doesn’t show off but he wants to really show how much power he’s got and I think sometimes that’s a mistake,” Laver said.

“If he can keep control of his game the whole way through, because he’s got good groundstrokes, a good serve as well, good volleys, he really doesn’t have any weaknesses except sometimes when he gets carried away.”

Top 10 Prince Philip gaffes

Posted by admin on 07/30/2019
Posted in 苏州半永久 

Tony Abbott mocked over Prince Philip knighthood

The 93-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II is notorious for putting his foot in it and has hit the headlines on countless occasions for remarks targeting women, deaf people and an unsuspecting car-park attendant who the prince branded a “bloody silly fool”.


We take a look back at some of his greatest hits.

“I would get arrested if I unzipped that dress” Speaking to 25-year-old Hannah Jackson, who was wearing a red dress with a zip down the front, during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tour in London in 2012.

“Do you still throw spears at each other?” To Aboriginal leader Ivan Brim on a visit to Australia in 2002.

“You look as if you’re ready for the bed.” Greeting the Nigerian secretary-general of the Commonwealth, who was wearing ceremonial robes for a state dinner.

“Are we going to need ear plugs?”  After being told Madonna was going to sing the “Die another Day” theme song in 2002.

“Do you work in a strip club?” To Navy sea cadet trainer Elizabeth Rendle in 2010.

“Well, you didn’t design your beard too well, did you?” To a Buckingham Palace guest who was sporting a goatee and said he worked as a designer (2009).

“It looks as if it was put in by an Indian.” Reaction to a fuse box he saw at a factory in Scotland in 1999.

“Deaf? If you are near there, no wonder you are deaf.” Speaking to a group of deaf children standing next to a steel drum band in Wales in 1999.

“If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed.” Speaking to British exchange students in Beijing in 1986.

“You can’t have been here long, you haven’t got a pot belly.” Speaking to a Briton living in Hungary in 1993.

Wawrinka dismisses notions of vengeance

Posted by admin on 07/30/2019
Posted in 苏州半永久 

Wawrinka avenged his early exit at last year’s French Open with a 7-6(2) 6-4 4-6 7-6(8) victory over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez on Monday to book his place in the last eight and now must face his U.


S. Open nemesis Kei Nishikori.

“It’s always tough to play against him. He’s a great shot maker. He’s always taking the ball really early and doesn’t give you a lot of time,” Wawrinka said about Nishikori, who followed him into the quarter-finals with a 6-3 6-3 6-3 win over David Ferrer. “He’s a tough, tough player.”

The fourth-seeded Wawrinka has adopted a low-key approach to his title defence at Melbourne Park, swatting away questions about how last year’s experience could help him with a polite, but standard response — that was last year.

The approach was evident again on Monday when asked if the five-set loss to Nishikori in the quarter-finals at Flushing Meadows would have any influence on Wednesday’s clash.

“(We) start (at) zero again. It’s a new year,” he said. “Different conditions if I have to play him.

“If I can play heavy, if I can play my game, it’s tough for him to always take the ball early.

“We’ll see how I’m going to deal with that.”

While the 29-year-old Swiss was keen to put the past behind him, at least his performance against Garcia-Lopez buried the memories of Roland Garros.

Wawrinka became the first Australian Open champion to lose in the first round at Roland Garros since Petr Korda in 1998 when Garcia-Lopez dumped him out last year and he did not have it easy against the 31-year-old this time around either.

Wawrinka had a two-set lead and a break in the third when he lost his focus and then had to overcome a 5-0 deficit in the fourth-set tiebreak before he saved five set points with some booming backhand drives.

Those lessons, he said, were something he would take into the next round.

“(This) level, it can change quickly. I made maybe two mistakes, then he started to play a little bit faster, a little bit more flat,” added Wawrinka. “I started to be defensive a little bit too much.

“I’m happy to get through.”

(Editing by Peter Rutherford/Sudipto Ganguly)

Guardiola led Bayern to the domestic league and Cup double in his first season in charge last year but any talk of a contract extension past his original three years will happen later in the year.


Despite their runaway lead in the Bundesliga again this season, any possible deal extension seems to largely hinge on Guardiola’s ability to land the Champions League title this season.

Last season’s semi-final exit at the hands of Real Madrid dashed the hopes of a dream first season for Guardiola and the Spaniard, who won more than a dozen titles in his four years at Barcelona, is eager to make amends.

“We still have time to talk about that (contract extension) after the end of the season in the summer. Football is today like that and completely different the next day,” Guardiola told Bayern fans during visits to fan clubs on the weekend.

“It was a big challenge for me (to work at Bayern). I have had a great time and it was a dream come true to be Bayern coach,” he said when asked specifically about a possible contract extension.

Questions about his future at the German record champions have swirled for months with club Chief Executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge saying Bayern were ready, at a any time, to sign a contract extension.

“I hope that he stays as long as possible at Bayern,” Rummenigge said in his most recent praise of the Spaniard. “Pep can stay as long as he wants to. He is not a person who seeks security. He does not need a five-year deal to know how much he earns at Bayern.”

Rummenigge also said he would respect Guardiola and not talk about a new deal before the second half of the year.

That would be after this year’s Champions League winner has been determined.

Few coaches have enjoyed as much backing as Guardiola has in Bayern and rightly so, with his team, who won the league in record time last season, undefeated in the league so far in this campaign, having conceded a record four goals in 17 games.

They have also advanced to the Champions League round of 16 where they will face Shakhtar Donetsk next month.

(Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

Indonesia ‘evaluating’ recent executions

Posted by admin on 06/30/2019
Posted in 苏州半永久 

Indonesia will not order the executions of Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran for at least another week.


Spokesman for Indonesia’s attorney-general, Tony Spontana, says the executions of six drug offenders held last week are still being evaluated.

“Evaluation on the first execution implementation is predicted to be finished this week,” he said on Monday.

“After the evaluation of the first executions is finished, then we will prepare for the second round.”

Chan, 31, and Sukumaran, 33, have had their pleas for presidential clemency rejected and are on track for the firing squad.

They were visited by family and friends on Monday.

Chan’s older brother Michael arrived, followed by Sukumaran’s mother Raji, wearing dark sunglasses.

Sukumaran’s younger brother Chintu went into the prison with his younger sister, Brintha, both looking upset after the visit.

Australia’s consul-general in Bali Majel Hind accompanied them.

None spoke to reporters.

The pair’s lawyers are preparing to file for another judicial review of their cases, but it’s uncertain the courts will hear a second extraordinary appeal.

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo argues executions of drug offenders are needed to shock the nation out of its drugs crisis.

But lawyers for the Australians, as well as Prime Minister Tony Abbott, argue the men are reformed, and deserving of mercy.

Kerobokan prison governor Sudjonggo told reporters he saw Sukumaran meeting his mother and siblings in the visitors’ hall, and Chan with his brother in another room, but didn’t join them.

“I don’t want to bother them, let them make the most of the visiting hours,” he said.

“They have asked for more relaxed visiting hours, and with that, maybe (Sukumaran and Chan) will be stronger.”

Chan also requested a visit from a local religious minister on Monday, who led him in a prayer for courage.

Minister Marjuly Dolok Saribu told reporters his friend’s spirits were still high, despite what faced him.

“His cheerfulness remains the same,” he said.

“No fear shows in his face. Since we met at the Christmas church service, he has changed a lot, and it’s remarkable.

“He’s strong. God made him strong, if he was only using his own strength, all humans fear death.”


The 24th seed Muguruza, who stunned Williams in the second round at Roland Garros last year, threatened another upset as she tore through the first set with a barrage of sweetly-struck winners on a cool, windy day.


“Someone in the crowd said ‘come on Serena, use spin,'” Williams said in a courtside interview. “There’re coaches everywhere here.”

Williams later told reporters the advice had hit home.

“I was like, ‘you’re right. I’m trying to do that anyway, but I wasn’t doing it’.

“It’s been really great. I hear my name throughout the whole stadium like 360 (degrees). I don’t get that everywhere. It feels good.”

Williams has started slowly in all her matches at Melbourne Park before rallying and did so again against 21-year-old Muguruza, who showed she has the shots to trouble the world’s top players.

The American needed her ever-reliable serve to get her out of a number of jams and saved six break points in a fiercely contested second game of the decisive set.

The tough hold helped Williams zero in on the finish line and the American 18-times grand slam champion was bullet-proof from there on, though Muguruza scrapped hard until the final ball.

A fan may have woken Williams up, but her regular coach Patrick Mouratoglou was given most of the credit for keeping her at the top of the heap at the age of 33.

“I think Patrick has brought a lot more than one or two things,” said Williams.

“I think he’s brought a lot of consistency to my game, a lot of motivation, a lot of strategy. I go into a match knowing exactly what to expect, what to do.

“It makes my life a lot easier. The motivation is really unbelievable that he has. We’re a lot alike. He’s a perfectionist. I’m a perfectionist. So when I’m not where I need to be, he is there.

“He’s like, ‘you have to be better. There’s no other option but to be better’. If I want to continue to play, we’re working on new things.”

Williams was ecstatic with the win, having failed to get past the fourth round at any of the three slams apart from the U.S. Open last year.

She will play last year’s losing finalist Dominika Cibulkova for a place in the semi-finals, after the pint-sized Slovakian dumped out two-time champion Victoria Azarenka with an impressive display of clean hitting.


(Editing by John O’Brien/Sudipto Ganguly)

World failing Syria, Iraq refugees: Jolie

Posted by admin on 06/30/2019
Posted in 苏州半永久 

The international community is failing in its duty to protect civilians affected by the conflict in Iraq and Syria, US actress Angelina Jolie says.


In her capacity as special envoy for the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR), the Hollywood star visited Syrian refugees and displaced Iraqis near Dohuk in northern Iraq on Sunday.

“I’m shocked by what I’ve seen today. This is my fifth visit to Iraq since 2007 and the suffering is worse than anything I’ve seen in that time,” she told reporters at a camp in Khanke.

Jolie last visited Iraq in 2012, before the Islamic State jihadist group became a dominant force in large parts of Syria and launched a devastating offensive in Iraq last year.

More than two million people have been internally displaced in Iraq over the past year alone. Nearly half of them have found refuge in Kurdistan and the numbers continue to grow.

“UNHCR received only half of the funding it needed in 2014 for programs in Iraq and Syria and is extremely concerned at the slow pace of pledges for this year. Without more assistance, the situation is unsustainable,” Jolie added.

“We are being tested here as an international community and so far, for all the immense efforts and good intentions, the international community failed,” she said.

Neil Wright, the UNHCR representative in Iraq, deplored that world powers’ financial pledges did not reflect the scope of a crisis that has forced more than 13 million people from their homes in Syria and Iraq.

“It is time to question whether the governments, whether the donors need to recalibrate the billions they are spending on military solutions and the millions that they are spending on relieving suffering amongst the displaced and amongst the communities who are so generously hosting them,” he said.

According to the UNHCR, more than 3.8 million Syrians have fled to neighbouring Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and to Egypt.

Rain fails to dampen Obama’s parade cheer

Posted by admin on 06/30/2019
Posted in 苏州半永久 

Rain failed to dampen spirits at India’s Republic Day parade as Barack Obama became the first US president to attend the spectacular military and cultural display in a sign of the nations’ growing closeness.


Thousands of cheering spectators braved wet weather and heavy security on Monday to watch the parade, which marks the birth of modern India and includes everything from tanks and state-of-the-art weaponry to camels and traditional dancers.

The invitation to the annual celebration is one of the biggest honours the country can bestow on a foreign leader and underscores the increasing warmth between Obama and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The leaders smiled and chatted as they watched from behind a bulletproof glass screen, Modi sporting a green and orange hat with a pink circular plume that rivalled the spectacular military headgear on display.

Obama gave a thumbs-up as stunt-riders on motorbikes formed their trademark human pyramid before the grand finale of the event, a fly-past by Indian fighter jets.

The display of military might came a day after Obama and Modi renewed a defence cooperation agreement, with the United States and India both seeking a counter-balance to a rising China.

The mounted Border Security Force on their brightly-decorated camels, a traditional highlight, drew loud cheers from spectators who were out in force.

“This day is all about patriotism and I’m lucky to be a part of it,” said 20-year-old college student Ajith Kumar, attending the central Delhi event with his parents and younger sister.

“The fact that we have a guest like Obama has made it all the more special.”

Obama’s presence as chief guest represents a remarkable turnaround in his relationship with India’s new leader, who only a year ago was persona non grata in Washington.

He began his visit Sunday with a bear hug from Modi, later saying their new “friendship” reflected a natural affinity between the two countries.

“I’m honoured to be the first American president to attend this celebration, as well as the first president to visit India twice,” said Obama.

The parade celebrates the adoption in 1950 of the Indian Constitution – the day that India became a republic – more than two years after gaining independence from Britain.

A float representing Modi’s home state of Gujarat featured a statue of Sardar Patel, a founding father of the republic and personal hero of the premier, who is building the world’s tallest statue in his honour.

Alongside the carnival floats and military hardware were reminders of India’s achievements, including a dance by schoolchildren representing the country’s Mars mission.

Roads were closed around the area, which has been declared a no-fly zone, and snipers were positioned on rooftops along the route, where 15,000 new CCTV cameras have been installed.

No cameras were allowed near the spectacle, with even the White House press pack forced to hand over their phones.

The growing camaraderie between Modi and Obama comes after a tense row involving the arrest and strip-search of an Indian diplomat in New York marred relations in late 2013.

Sydney celebrates Australia Day

Posted by admin on 06/30/2019
Posted in 苏州半永久 

Sydneysiders may have got a soaking as they turned out for Australia Day, but the wet weather didn’t seem to dampen spirits.


Thousands of people lined the harbourside to watch as the day was celebrated on the water where the annual ferry race and flotilla of flag-covered boats were the highlights.

The crowds also looked to the skies as RAAF jets and helicopters performed fly-pasts, while they joined in with a mass singalong of the national anthem.

Revellers draped themselves in large flags and wore patriotic T-shirts and baseball caps, while the wet weather meant brollies and ponchos were also in abundance.

Among those showing off their patriotic pride was Croatian-born Marie Pringle, who was dressed head to toe in blue complete with matching sparkly make up.

“I came here 44 years ago and it’s given me more opportunities than I could have ever had,” she told AAP. “Australia Day is more important to me than Christmas.

“It gave me the opportunity to have the beautiful life I’ve got here. I would never have the lifestyle that I do here.” Alan Riley, who described himself as “Sydney born and bred” was also dressed up for the occasion. “It’s all about celebrating the day,” he told AAP. “The rain doesn’t matter, we’ll soldier on.”

Mr Riley said he felt strongly about marking the day this year.

“It’s important to celebrate in light of recent events – things that have been happening in this country that just should not happen here,” he said.

“Days like today remind us of how fortunate we are to live in Australia.”

Tracy Cowie and her husband Les travelled down from Wollongong to celebrate in Sydney and got into the Aussie spirit by sitting out in the rain with a beer.

“It’s been on our bucket list,” she said of spending Australia Day in Sydney.

“We’re proud to be Aussie.

“It’s all about getting together and having fun.”

Earlier on Monday, the celebrations were kicked off with a 2.2km swim across the harbour while kids were kept entertained by a Wiggles’ performance.

But the unseasonable weather took its toll on some events, with the Big Thong Challenge at Bondi cancelled along with the scheduled fly-past of a Qantas jet over Sydney Harbour.

In true Aussie fashion, the day will be rounded off with a game of cricket with Australia playing India at the SCG.