Archives for February2019

Learn to be safe at the beach

Free workshops which teach members of the public how to read surf conditions could prove vital for some this summer.
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Lake Macquarie beach lifeguard team leader Paul Stone said they had seen “record numbers” at the beach this season and advised community members to heed warnings, swim at patrolled beaches and stay between the flags.

There has been a horrific spate of drownings –19 people have lost their lives – and near-drownings throughout the state already this summer.

“All of the drownings that we’ve had, whether it is backyard pools, dams, rivers and on the beaches, have all happened because they’ve either been unsupervised or swum in areas that are just not suitable for swimming,” Mr Stone said. “The only drownings that we have had on the beaches have happened either outside of patrolled areas or at night.

“We’ve had hundreds of thousands of people swimming along our coastline through the day at patrolled locations without incident, so the stats speak for themselves.”

Two Be Safe At The Beach workshops are being held at Caves Beach Surf Club. The first was on January 9 and the second January 16.

“The lifeguard running it will talkabout rips and currents and waves and how different dynamics affect the beach,” Mr Stone said. “To most people the water always looks the same or very rarely looks any different but to a trained eye it is continually changing.

“He’ll just run through that with everyone and a bit of an understanding of why that happens and what you can do if you find yourself in difficulty.”

Numerous rescues have been made this season and with the weather expected to heat up again this week Mr Stone expects more.

“As soon as you get big numbers you tend to overflow into areas of the beach that aren’t patrolled and because of that we’ve had a few rescues as well,” he said.

More information at梧桐夜网eventbrite南京夜网419论坛/o/explore-our-great-outdoors-12280988333.

BUSY: Newcastle and Lake Macquarie beaches are expected to be busy again this week with the weather set to heat up. Picture: Simone De Peak

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US airport gunman identified as Esteban Santiago

US airport gunman Esteban Santiago.The man who opened fire at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport has been identified as New Jersey-born Esteban Santiago.
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Law enforcement sources said the 26-year-old acted alone when he opened fire in the baggage claim area of the airport, killing five people and injuring eight.

Federal sources told NBC News the shootings did not appear to be an act of terrorism, and both federal and family sources said Santiago had some mental health issues.

Santiago was carrying a military ID when he was arrested, uninjured, at the airport.

Esteban lived in Alaska, moving there two years ago for work, where he was employed in security, according to NBC. It is believed he lives there with a girlfriend and a young child.

He reportedly took Delta flight 1088 from Anchorage, Alaska, to Minneapolis on Thursday night, before taking Delta flight 2182 to Fort Lauderdale on Friday morning.

Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca said the shooter had carried the gun in his checked baggage.

“He claimed his bag and took the gun from baggage and went into the bathroom to load it. Came out shooting people in baggage claim,” La Marca wrote on Facebook.

Witnesses said he fired indiscriminately, throwing the gun down after he ran out of ammunition and then lying face down on the ground as he waited for officers to arrest him.

He is being questioned by a team of FBI agents and sheriff’s deputies. Authorities said it was too early to determine a motive.

Santiago’s brother, Bryan Santiago, spoke with NBC News over the phone from Puerto Rico Friday afternoon.

He said Esteban was born in New Jersey but moved to Penuela, Puerto Rico, where Bryan and their mother still live. Esteban served in the National Guard in Puerto Rico for six years, and went to Iraq for about a year, Bryan said.

“He was pro-America,” Bryan said.

Santiago’s aunt, Maria Ruiz, told reporters in New Jersey that Esteban had acted strangely after returning from Iraq and had been hospitalised for mental health issues after his tour.

“He lost his mind,” Ruiz told nj南京夜网, in Spanish.

However, she also said that her nephew had been “happy with the kid” after the birth of his baby boy last year and appeared to be doing well.

Her husband, Hernan Rivera, said he had “no idea” why Santiago might have opened fire in the Florida airport.

“Only thing I could tell you was when he came out of Iraq, he wasn’t feeling too good,” Rivera said.

A spokeswoman for the Alaska National Guard confirmed to NBC News that Esteban Santiago joined the Puerto Rico National Guard in December 2007, and deployed to Iraq from April 23, 2010 to February 19, 2011.

He was then in the Army Reserves before joining the Alaska Army National Guard on November 21, 2014. He received a general discharge from the Alaska Army National Guard on August 16, 2016, for unsatisfactory performance, the spokeswoman said.

Esteban Santiago was a combat engineer and his rank was private first class when he was discharged.

His brother also confirmed that Esteban owned a handgun.

Fairfax Media

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Two Tests in Sydney ‘makes sense’, argues Cricket NSW chief Andrew Jones

The scheduling of two Sydney Tests in a summer “makes sense mathematically”, says Cricket NSW chief Andrew Jones, who believes it is feasible for the SCG to host a pink-ball match as well as retaining the new year Test.
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Sydney’s ambition for a second Test is not new, nor is the agitation it provokes in other states, particularly Tasmania which would face losing a match in Hobart in a six-Test summer under such a fixture.

Jones, however, believes the sheer size of Sydney makes staging matches at either end of the home Test calendar a proposal that should be seriously considered.

“I think Sydney is the biggest city in Australia; 25 per cent of Australians live in Sydney so giving them 25 per cent of the content makes sense mathematically,” Jones told ABC Grandstand on Saturday.

“It’s not something you’d do every year, but I think that’s something that would be fair and reasonable given the size and importance of the city and also the size (population) of NSW, which is a third of Australia.”

The Cricket NSW position would no doubt be challenged by those who believe the SCG should not be handed another Test when the ground is not close to capacity on any day of the five-day clash it already hosts.

The crowd for the third Test between Australia and Pakistan was 112,029 for the five days: 30,305 on day one, 25,755 on day two, 23,409 on day three, 14,977 on day four and 17,583 on the last day.

The rain that interrupted the match, most significantly on Thursday and Friday, did the attendance numbers no favours, though, and Sydney is also the victim of its otherwise desirable place on the schedule.

While its Test is staged in the heart of the summer holiday period, the fact it is the last match of the Test season means it has often lately been a dead rubber, Australia having already wrapped up the series. The last “live” Sydney Test was in 2011-12 when the SCG hosted the second match of the four-match series against India.

Officials in Sydney do not want to lose the match in the first week of January but are excited by the prospect of a day-night Test at another point of the summer.

“I can imagine a day-night Test here at the SCG,” Jones said. “My preference would be that would be a second Test or a first Test earlier in the season and keep the new year’s Test as a day Test.

“I think it suits the fans and that is demonstrated by the crowd numbers and also there is a lot of Big Bash on at this time of year. I don’t think there is a need to push it late to allow viewers who can’t come during the day to see some cricket. They can do that via Big Bash.

“I think you’d need a six-Test summer and you’d need a team that can draw earlier in the season, for example, a season like this one where you’ve got South Africa coming out early and Pakistan coming out later. You could easily think of a first day-night Test in Sydney and a sixth day Test in Sydney against the second team.”

Hobart is already set to be left without a Test in 2018-19 – the next six-match season – with officials in Canberra having successfully campaigned to hold a first Test at Manuka Oval against Sri Lanka.

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Test cricket reigns supreme over the Big Bash League in battle for TV ratings

To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumours of Test cricket’s death have been greatly exaggerated.
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There has been a lot of talk about the demise of the traditional form of the game and the Big Bash League taking the mantle as the premium product for cricketing fans.

That is not entirely the case, however.

Even in a summer where there have been two spectacular Australian Test collapses, rain-affected days in Melbourne and Sydney, and a disappointing showing by Pakistan, television viewers are tuning in in far greater numbers than those watching the Big Bash.

“People are barking up the wrong tree to suggest that the BBL is cannibalising Test cricket and are probably getting a bit carried away with the hype,” said Ben Amarfio, executive general manager media, communications and marketing at Cricket Australia.

“That’s not to say BBL isn’t fantastic. It is fantastic … But to talk about the death of international cricket is a bit premature.”

The most-watched Big Bash match of the summer does not compare to a thrilling session of Test cricket in terms of TV ratings.

On day four of the day-night Test against South Africa in Adelaide, an average of 1.8 million people watched the final session. In comparison, the top-rating Big Bash session – the second-innings chase led by Chris Lynn’s power-hitting for the Brisbane Heat against the Perth Scorchers – attracted a peak of 1.7 million viewers.

Aside from the peaks of Lynnsanity against the Scorchers, the highest average audience has been 1.3 million in the Big Bash during the Adelaide Strikers and Heat match.

Even when Australia haven’t been batting, a Test-loving public has tuned in. Amarfio said that across the first day of the Boxing Day Test, the average audiences showed that Test cricket is still the ultimate for fans of the game.

“Day one, the whole day, so eight hours of play, was up on last year and averaged 1.3 million,” he said. “Day five, that amazing day when Australia won the Test when everyone was saying it would be a boring draw, session three, that last two hours, averaged 1.6 million.

“They’re extraordinary numbers.”

But while Test cricket remains the premium product, there is no doubt the Big Bash is creeping up. With 40 per cent of people who watch the BBL being women, Amarfio is pleased the shorter format is bringing in the new audience it was created to appeal to.

Now that calls are being made to extend the competition from six weeks to include more games, Amarfio said it was a delicate balance to not overlap with international cricket, while still reaching the primary market of families on school holidays.

New audience: The BBL has brought a new demographic of fans to cricket. Photo: Getty Images

“From a competition integrity point of view, you would probably want to play a complete home-and-away series, but that would be 24 more games,” he said. “At the moment, we’re only playing 35 [games], plus finals. So that is a lot of extra content that you have to get away, and we’re already cramped, and already overlapping and bumping into ourselves.

“I think you might see us slowly putting our toe in the water and slowly adding a few extra BBL games to the schedule; games, not teams, in the short term.”

The timing is crucial as well. The Big Bash takes place in a six-week window during the summer holidays, which makes extending the tournament in either direction problematic.

“We like that period because it’s when the kids are off school,” Amarfio said. “But that’s also a limiting factor, because you’d have to extend at the front and back end, which would create a whole heap of problems with the international schedule, Sheffield Shield and all the rest of it.”

But despite the success of the BBL, there is no secret behind Cricket Australia’s plans to grow Test cricket in future years.

“When you look at the numbers from the day-night Test from last year against New Zealand, we averaged around 3 million on that Sunday night,” Amarfio said.

“Day-night cricket, if we schedule it at the right time of the year and against the right opponent and the right venue, day-night cricket and Test cricket will be much bigger than BBL. And the ODIs and international T20s still are bigger than the BBL as well.”

And the final piece of the puzzle that will ensure Test cricket remains the most-watched cricketing product in the country? That remains firmly in Steve Smith’s hands.

“Australians love watching Australians win, even if they’re dead rubbers or one-sided affairs,” Amarfio said. “Winning is good for business.”

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Fire guts Toowoomba hotel with police treating as suspicious

Glennon House motel was extensively damaged by fire on Friday night?and only the outside frame was left standing. Photo: Caitlin Crowley – WIN News ToowoombaPolice are treating a fire that extensively damaged a Toowoomba hotel on Friday night as suspicious. It is one of three Queensland fires on Friday under investigation.
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A 20-year-old man was taken into custody at the scene of the Toowoomba fire and is assisting police with their enquiries.

About 11pm police saw smoke rising from Glennon House motel on Ruthven Street and the building was quickly engulfed by the flames.

It is understood the motel offered low budget accommodation and had recently closed down.

One local among those who saw the drama unfold said the heat from the blaze was “very strong”. Suspicious fire at Toowoomba’s accommodation for rural patients. It announced last year it had to close. @ABCNewsBrisbane pic: Alisha Smith pic.twitter南京夜网/3snENNQlw2— Isobel Roe (@isobelroe) January 6, 2017

Meanwhile, a fire at a southern Brisbane house on Friday evening is also being treated as suspicious.

The Karawatha home on Wembley Road was fully engulfed in flames about 6.15pm and witnesses have described seeing several people leaving the residence shortly before the fire started.

The scene was guarded overnight before investigations continued on Saturday and police are urging anyone who may have seen a person or vehicle outside the house at the time of the fire to contact them. Fire investigators arrive on the scene of suspicious house fire at Karawatha @9NewsBrisbane#9newspic.twitter南京夜网/r3SrcezIQz— Zara James (@Zara_James9) January 6, 2017

On Friday morning three businesses were destroyed in a blaze on Brisbane’s southside.

There were also two further fires on Friday evening, but neither required fire investigators to attend.

The first blaze broke out at a Mount Sylvia Road home in Mount Sylvia about 8.30pm.

Crews arrived to find the house well-involved and didn’t have the fire under control until just after midnight.

Another house fire broke out on the Gold Coast about 9.30pm with smoke and flames rising from the building by the time fire crews arrived.

It took firefighters under an hour to bring the flames under control on Bal Harbour at Broadbeach Waters.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.