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Labor demands Tony Abbott detail jobs plan after Toyota announcement

14/09/2018 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Labor’s industry spokesman Senator Kim Carr have criticised the Abbott government after Toyota announced it was ending manufacturing in Australia. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Photo: Andrew Meares
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Federal politics: full coverageMark Kenny: Explanations needed on Toyota’s demise

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has accused Tony Abbott of ”wilful neglect” in the wake of Toyota’s decision to quit manufacturing in Australia.

Labor has demanded the Prime Minister outline his government’s plans to create new jobs and support workers after the shock announcement, which Mr Shorten described as an ”economic tsunami”.

Mr Shorten, who was flanked at a press conference by industry spokesman Kim Carr, employment spokesman Brendan O’Connor and MPs representing electorates in Victoria that stand to lose thousands of jobs after Toyota’s decision, said Mr Abbott was sending jobs overseas that would never come back.

“What a disgraceful day yesterday,” Mr Shorten said on Tuesday.

”There is the Abbott government and their ministers cooking up political games and instead at the same time as they are playing political games, we see 2500 people being told by their employers that is it, your job no longer exists.

”The shockwaves of this economic tsunami are unprecedented in terms of employment.”

He added: “Even the Australian car industry could not survive the wilful neglect of the Abbott government.”

The world’s largest car maker announced on Monday evening that it will stop building cars in Australia by the end of 2017. Some 2500 of the 4000 workers employed by Toyota locally will lose their jobs, and hundreds more positions are expected to go in the components sector and other related supplies industries.

Mr O’Connor said it was not good enough for the Prime Minister to wait until 2017 to intervene on behalf of the Toyota workers.

“We call upon the government today to outline exactly what plans it has to provide opportunities for these workers to find new jobs,” Mr O’Connor said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Abbott said he couldn’t ”offer false hope” to workers who may use their jobs. He said he understood his words would be “of little comfort” to workers who have been hit with the devastating news, but he had been assured that Toyota’s management would look after its employees.

”Some consolation ought to be there in the fact that Toyota aren’t going tomorrow, they’re not closing down next week or next month or even next year,” Mr Abbott told ABC radio.

Mr Abbott, who is meeting with Victorian Premier Denis Napthine on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the issue, said he was confident Toyota’s workforce could move ”from good jobs to better jobs” in the long run.

”The job of government is not to offer false hope or miracle cures. The job of government is to sit down and carefully and methodically . . . sort out what is best done in difficult situations,” he said.

Mr Abbott cited the example of Newcastle, which lost its steel works in the 1990s, but was now a ”different and many would say somewhat better city today”.

Asked repeatedly what he would be offering the Victorian Premier by way of Commonwealth assistance to deal with the economic fallout of Toyota’s decision – which economists warn could tip Victoria and South Australia into recession – Mr Abbott refused to provide specific detail.

”I will be offering [Dr Napthine] a good hearing,” Mr Abbott said, adding that ”the best thing the government can do is get the fundamentals right”.

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

Julia Roberts’ sister dies of apparent drug overdose

14/09/2018 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Happier times: Julia Roberts with Nancy Motes and their mother, Betty Lou (L).Julia Roberts’ younger, half-sister Nancy Motes has died of an apparent drug overdose.
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The 37-year-old spoke last year of her struggle in growing up as the “fat little sister” of the actor who starred in Pretty Woman.

“When you’re in a family of very, very exceptionally beautiful people, it’s intimidating,” she said.

Motes, who dropped half her body weight after having gastric bypass surgery in 2010, also claimed that her star sister used to tease her over her weight.

“When I was in high school and she was an adult, she would just let me know that I was definitely overweight,” Motes told New York Daily News in August.

“She would make it quite clear to me and in a not-so-nice manner.

“It just makes me feel incredibly hurt and very sad.”

In spite of this, she said Roberts was a “good big sister who played with me a lot”.

But the relationship between the two was strained.

Motes, who worked as a production assistant on the TV show Glee – a job Roberts helped her secure – said depression led to her weight ballooning to nearly 140 kilograms.

She expressed hope that by losing weight and attempting to turn her life around she would start to repair her damaged relationship with Roberts.

“I think we’re both trying to change our opinions of each other,” Motes said.

“It’s a work in progress. It’s not going to be fixed overnight, nor do I think it’s going to be fixed at this point by me just getting skinny.”

Motes was set to marry her partner in May this year and, despite reports that Roberts was not planning to attend, she said: “My family, we love each other absolutely. I love Julia absolutely, and I have no doubt she loves me.”

Roberts, 46, has yet to make a comment on the death, but her family released the following statement: “It is with deep sadness that the family of Nancy Motes … confirms that she was found dead in Los Angeles yesterday of an apparent drug overdose. There is no official report from the Coroner’s office yet. The family is both shocked and devastated.”

Motes is the daughter of Roberts’ mother Betty Lou and stepfather Michael Motes. She is also is the half-sister of actors Eric Roberts, 57 and Lisa Roberts Gillan, 49.

Fairfax Media

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

GrainCorp to invest $125m in oils and spreads

14/09/2018 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

East coast grains handler GrainCorp will tip $125 million into its Australian edible oils and spreads manufacturing operations in a bid to shore up the division’s competitiveness.
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GrainCorp Oils group general manager Sam Tainsh said the investment is a “vote of confidence in Australian food manufacturing operations at a time of uncertainty for many manufacturers in the country.”

The announcement comes less than 24 hours after Toyota said it would follow GM Holden and Ford pull out of Australia, sealing the demise of car manufacturing in the country.

The investment will create a “strategic hub” within Victoria that is closer to oilseed growing regions and the expansion and upgrade of GrainCorp’s operations in Numurkah and its food’s facility in West Footscray.

GrainCorp Food’s Murarrie site in Queensland will be phased out and is set to close in 2016, and around 130 staff will lose their jobs.

Mr Tainsh said that 44 new roles will be created at the expanded plants and the investment is expected to generate 400 new indirect jobs.

“The priority for us is giving our people in Murarrie as much certainty and ability to plan ahead as possible. That’s why we have informed our people over two years in advance,” Mr Tainsh said.

“Where possible, we will seek to redeploy our affected staff to other parts of our business. Where redeployment is not possible we will provide comprehensive training and assistance to find new employment.”

The upgrade comes as the nation’s biggest listed agribusiness licks its wounds in the wake of the failed $3 billion takeover approach from US giant Archer Daniels Midland, which was blocked by Treasurer Joe Hockey in a surprise late last year.

The move saw GrainCorp shares tank and the company is facing earnings pressure due to adverse weather and weaker harvests.

In the wake of Mr Hockey’s decision, highly regarded GrainCorp chief executive Alison Watkins announced her departure to take up the top job at Coca-Cola Amatil.

GrainCorp is now being led by its chairman Don Taylor as the company undertakes an executive search.

The upgrade forms part of GrainCorp’s strategic initiatives to deliver an additional $110 million per annum of incremental underlying earnings by the end of fiscal 2016.

The investment in the oils manufacturing segment is expected to contribute around $22 million per year of underlying earnings once commissioned.

GrainCorp’s capital expenditure will be funded with existing cash and debt facilities. The grains giant will incur a restructuring cost of $20 million, which is expected to be reported as a significant item in its 2014 earnings.

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

Dale Begg-Smith comes out of his shell after Olympic moguls exit

14/09/2018 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Torah Bright falls during final training runSnowboarders critical of Sochi Olympic halfpipeFull Winter Olympics coverage
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It’s usually easier to line-up an interview with Schapelle Corby than Dale Begg-Smith, regardless of whether you want to stump up $3 million.

As it turned out, the elusive Canadian-born moguls skier didn’t need financial enticement from a commercial TV network. He didn’t require prompting from team officials, who for years have shielded him from those who just want to know our most successful winter Olympian a little better.

All that was needed was an unceremonious and spectacular face-plant on the second run in qualifying, which brought an abrupt end to his Olympic career, to coax the 29-year-old out of his shell.

“That was like burying your head in the snow like an ostrich,” beamed the American announcer over the loud speaker after Begg-Smith crashed and burned on the final jump of his second run.

Nobody expected Begg-Smith to end his Olympic career like that, just as nobody had expected what came next _ that Begg-Smith wanted to talk about it.

“There wasn’t much I could do when I was on my face,” he joked of his gaffe. “I just wasn’t feeling it today.”

The reason, in part, was the snow. It hasn’t snowed in Sochi for weeks. In fact, it’s becoming so mild in the ski resort of Rosa Khutor that some people are wearing t-shirts, if only for a matter of minutes.

The snow is melting, and conditions and changing on the mountain.

“I got really soft,” Begg-Smith said. “I haven’t skied in the soft snow for four years. You have to train in Australia if you want to get some of that. I just wasn’t feeling it. I felt a little bit off. I couldn’t get centred. In a desperate move, I tried to change lines and move things around. The line I was in wasn’t working for me. It is what it is.”

When Begg-Smith speaks, it is usually engaging. It prompts the question: why didn’t he ever speak more?

He admitted a medal was always going to be a long shot after a three-year hiatus from serious competition.

“It was a desperate move coming back this year,” he said. “My body wasn’t there. If you don’t ski for three years, you are kind of hoping for a miraculous performance, and there were a few good ones along the way. It just didn’t work out here.”

And where to now for the Australian/Canadian/Cayman Islands international man of mystery?

“We’ll have to see,” he laughed. “I’m an international man of mystery, right? I have to keep you guys guessing.”

And those words, you sense, were the last we’ll ever hear from Dale Begg-Smith.

We will certainly be hearing more from Matt Graham, though, and it is the influence on him and other mogul competitors that will be Begg-Smith’s legacy.

After Sam Hall also bombed out in qualifying, and Brodie Summers went out in the first round of the finals, Graham almost made the final six _ the “super final” _ only to narrowly miss out.

It had come down to the last run, with Russian Alexandr Smyshlyaev squeezing him out.

Like many moguls events, the judging seemingly favours those with reputation. Canadian favourite Alex Bilodeau won the gold.

“I was happy with my runs,” Graham said. “But to miss the Super Final by 0.01 is heartbreaking.”

Begg-Smith had stayed there until the end, trying to give Graham as much of his “energy” as he could.

“It was fun coming and I’m glad I went out on my own terms,” he said.

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

Exotic squad named for T20 World Cup

14/09/2018 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

When Australia and New Zealand played the first ever Twenty20 international in 2005, players wore body-hugging kits and terry-towelling hats in keeping with a retro theme that captured the novelty of it all.
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Nine years on, there is a distinct retro flavour about Australia’s squad for next month’s World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, but nothing gimmicky about the inclusion of the three Brads – Hogg, Hodge and Haddin. At the grand old ages of 43, 39 and 36, their inclusion dispels the notion that Twenty20 is a young man’s game.

Hogg could become the oldest man to play a Twenty20 international in Bangladesh and although he has the boundless energy of a younger man, he is ancient compared with the other specialist spinner, 20-year-old Victorian leggie James Muirhead.

Kenya’s Steve Tikolo, who was 42 when he played against Canada in November, is the oldest player in a Twenty20 international. ”It was good to see there will be someone older than me in the side so I won’t be referred to as grandpa,” said Hodge as his selection in the pivotal finishing role was confirmed.

Hodge’s recall has made him wonder how much cricket he might have played for Australia if Darren Lehmann and John Inverarity had been picking the teams during his lost years.

”Everyone thinks that [it’s a game for young players], but the brain takes over. It’s a special and important tool in T20 cricket,” said Hodge, who has played 222 Twenty20 games for a multitude of teams in India, England, Australia, New Zealand and Bangladesh and is the format’s highest run-scorer.

”It’s a staggering amount, if I haven’t learnt something in that period of time there’s something wrong. Youngsters have to work it out. You ride on your skill and then all of a sudden a few demons enter your head, you’ve got to work it out.”

Hodge felt ”like a 20-year-old” when he broke a six-year international drought at the MCG a fortnight ago. ”When you look back, it hurts a little bit. You think, how can one regime look at it one way and another in a different manner? Runs are runs, performances are performances. But that was the path that was presented. You can’t wind back the clock.”

Hogg was Australia’s oldest player when it was blasted out of the World Twenty20 by Chris Gayle in the 2012 semi-final, and few thought he would be back. But as he turned in a virtuoso performance for Perth Scorchers with 2-17 in the BBL final, Mark Waugh declared he was still the best spinner in Australia.

Nor has the excitable spinner lost any of his cheek.

When Inverarity called, Hogg couldn’t help but tease about a Test comeback. ”I must admit I was a little bit cheeky with it,” Hogg said. ”Shaun’s [Shaun Marsh] obviously gone over there [to South Africa] with Watto [Shane Watson] injured, and I said: ‘So John, has [Nathan] Lyon gone down? You need another spinner for the Test team do you?’

”He said: ‘Don’t get too far ahead of yourself, settle down mate.”’

The selectors completed a hat-trick of golden oldies by picking Brad Haddin ahead of Matthew Wade. There was no room for finger-spinner Xavier Doherty, or for batsmen Chris Lynn, who performed well against England. All-rounder James Faulkner, out of the Test tour of South Africa because of knee surgery, is expected to be fit for the tournament.

The 15-player ICC World Twenty20 squad is:

George Bailey (Capt, Hobart Hurricanes)Dan Christian (Brisbane Heat)Nathan Coulter-Nile (Perth Scorchers)James Faulkner (Melbourne Stars)Aaron Finch (Melbourne Renegades)Brad Haddin (Sydney Sixers)Brad Hodge (Melbourne Stars)Brad Hogg (Perth Scorchers)Glenn Maxwell (Melbourne Stars)James Muirhead (Melbourne Stars)Mitchell Johnson (Brisbane Heat)Mitchell Starc (Sydney Sixers)David Warner (Sydney Thunder)Shane Watson (Brisbane Heat)Cameron White (Melbourne Stars)

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