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Toyota closure another hit for regional Australia

15/07/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Source: The Courier
Nanjing Night Net

THE impact of Toyota’s decision to stop producing cars in Australia from 2017 goes far wider than the Japanese company’s plant in Altona.

Ballarat’s once-vibrant car parts manufacturing industry has also taken yet another hit.

Australian Industry Group regional manager Kay Macauley described Toyota’s announcement on Monday as another “dark day” for Ballarat manufacturers with much broader ramifications for the community.

“A few years ago we had a very strong car parts manufacturing and components industry in Ballarat. We’ve probably got only two or three left,” she said.

“It’s not just those companies. They use the local cleaners, local caterers, accountants, lawyers, and bank services. A lot of these (manufacturing) companies outsourced these services so it will obviously affect those suppliers too.

“Manufacturing companies will need to look at how they can use their existing equipment to transition into other areas. In five years time they might be manufacturing parts for another type of industry.

“The government needs to have a role in working with industry to ensure the viability of the manufacturing sector.

“We know going forward, businesses that are going to be sustainable are those which look into new technologies. There will not be a lot of job creation but we will need apprentices but perhaps at a higher skill-level.

“We hear a lot about new industries and new jobs but we don’t know what those are.”

Kay Macauley, Australian Industry Group.The Courier was unable to contact OzPress but, in an interview on goauto南京夜网.au, director Mark Dwyer said the company would go on but would shift away from the automotive sector.

“We are confident of OzPress life post-Toyota,” Mr Dwyer said. “Will it be as big as today? Obviously not. What will be the size of it and what business it will actually be doing? We are not sure, but we are confident of survival.

“We are just beginning to produce some mining products, although most is happening in China because of the cost-base.

“We are building some tools for some mining products here and we just won a small contract with the defence industry so hopefully we can build that.”

Mr Dwyer said Australia had the highest wages in the world, making it one of the most expensive places to manufacture anything.

He also blamed free-trade agreements with other countries that were anything but free.

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Liddell, Bayswater on block for $1.5 billion

15/07/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

THE state government has agreed to sell Macquarie Generation to AGL Energy, raising about $700 million for infrastructure spending provided the national competition watchdog doesn’t block the deal.
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Treasurer Mike Baird said this morning the gross proceeds consisted of $1.505 billion from AGL Energy and cash of $220 million held by Macquarie Generation, which operates the Bayswater and Liddell power stations in the Hunter.

After its debts are settled, the sale would raise $1.165 billion, although further transaction-related costs and superannuation payments would leave about $700 million that the government would place in its Restart NSW infrastructure fund.

However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has raised concerns that AGL’s acquisition ‘‘is likely to result in a substantial lessening of competition in the market’’ for the retail supply of electricity in NSW, and for the wholesale supply of electricity in NSW, Victoria and South Australia.

It will give a decision on March 4.

Three bids were made for Macquarie Generation, but only AGL’s exceeded the government’s retention value for the generator, Mr Baird said.

He said the government would not proceed with a sale if the ACCC blocked the AGL bid.

‘‘There’s no doubt that would be a blow, but…we’ve heard from AGL through our advisers they remain confident that they can meet the concerns raised by the ACCC,’’ he said.

He rejected suggestions less competition could mean higher electricity prices.

‘‘I believe that having a robust competitor in the market adds to competition which puts downward pressure on prices.’’

If the sale is completed, the $700 million would be spent on infrastructure, with the government having promised about 30 per cent would be spent in regional areas.

It is understood the government has earmarked some of the cash to top up its Resources for Regions program for spending in mining-affected communities, such as Muswellbrook and Singleton.

However, Mr Baird declined to confirm that this morning, but said the sale was ‘‘good news’’ for infrastructure spending.

‘‘In terms of the Hunter Region that is a key consideration,’’ he said.

Four year job guarantees and transfer payments would apply for employees.

Bayswater power station.

Evolve: the natural next step after Left 4 Dead

15/07/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Guess who’s coming for dinner? Evolve pits a single giant monster against a team of four humans, with all five controlled by players.You know a game preview is going well when a bunch of video game journalists decline a trip to the pub so they can play one more round.
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Evolve is still at least eight months away from release, but it is already astonishingly well-balanced, tightly designed, and just plain fun. I have never before seen a room full of video game journalists turn down a trip to the pub so they could play one more game.

The brainchild of Turtle Rock, the amateur team of Half-Life modders who turned professional on Counter-Strike, and then produced the seminal co-operative shooter in Left 4 Dead, Evolve feels like a hybrid of everything they have done previously, but turned up a notch.

Like Left 4 Dead, it features a team of four human players who have to work together to overcome a monstrous threat, but in Counter-Strike style these four are now distinct classes with extremely diverse skills. The enemy itself is something new: a human-controlled monster that grows and evolves over the course of the game, becoming larger and more dangerous with each new stage. This four-against-one gameplay is the core of Evolve, with all other game design fitting around it.

During the preview event I had the opportunity to speak to Michael J. Boccieri, Senior Producer at publisher 2K Games, who is overseeing the entire project. As we sat down to speak, I joked that there wasn’t much to say; we could just write “from the makers of Left 4 Dead” and millions of gamers would just start throwing money. Boccieri laughed and agreed. “Yeah, it’s an easy product to sell. We really just have to get people to play it, and it just sells itself from there.”

He wasn’t kidding. Rarely have I seen a room full of game journalists, a notoriously picky and hard-to-please bunch, completely engrossed in a game, complete with celebratory fist-pumps and anguished cries of “No!” Considering it won’t be released until late in the year, it already feels remarkably complete.

Evolve’s origins lie back in the days just before Left 4 Dead was released, when Turtle Rock was considering what they might like to do next. “They came up with the initial idea back in 2008, but they put it to bed while they finished off their DLC for Left 4 Dead 2,” Boccieri told me. “There’s been a lot added to it, a lot of polish, but at its core it’s still that same core idea: monster versus hunters.”

The idea would sit on the backburner for several years while Turtle Rock worked on other projects, but in late 2010 they had split amicably from Valve and become an independent studio and they decided that the time was right to make Evolve. At first it was set to be published by THQ, but after the publisher’s bankruptcy the title was picked up by 2K.

Boccieri explained where the core design came from. “They focused on the idea of four classes on the hunter side because of what they’d learned about co-operative play on Left 4 Dead,” he said. “Four is the magic number, the greatest number of allied players that a player can meaningfully keep in their head and still know what everyone is doing. Outside of that becomes a little more broad, and you end up just putting your head down and doing your own thing, like in Call of Duty or Battlefield, and that doesn’t lend itself to co-operative gameplay.”

“On the class side, that was Turtle Rock wanting to build a little more depth into co-operative play. In Left 4 Dead, even though there’s strong characterisation, the four character pretty much play the same,” he said. “In Evolve, we still have the deep characterisation, but each one has a completely different set of abilities.”

The classes seem familiar at a glance, but the longer you look, the more interesting they become. Take the medic, for example. Her core class ability is called the healing burst, a momentary aura that heals all allies within range as well as the medic herself. She also has a healing gun that can only be used on other players, not herself. So far so standard.

Things get odd when you look at her other abilities. Her offensive weapon is a slow-loading but powerful sniper rifle with a long-range zoom and the ability to punch holes in the monster’s armour that become weak points where her teammates can shoot for bonus damage. Her other weapon is a dart gun, which both tranquilises the monster, slowing it down, but also tags it for ten seconds or so, meaning the whole team can see where it is.

The other classes are equally quirky. The support class has a handheld shield gun that he can use to shield teammates from harm. As long as he keeps the beam on them, they cannot be hurt. However, he can also call down a devastating orbital strike that takes several seconds to warm up, so he needs his teammates to hold the monster in position. He can also cloak himself, an ability that also cloaks any teammates standing near him.

The trapper is stranger still, with a wonderfully diverse set of abilities. He can plant sound-detecting spikes in the ground to detect the monster’s movement, harpoon the creature with an electric tether that may hold it in place just long enough for the orbital strike to warm up, and can also drop what’s called the “mobile arena”, a glowing dome that traps the monster in a small area to be shot to pieces.

The most straightforward is the assault class, which Boccieri and I both referred to as the “bullet hose”. He has a powerful lightning gun that only works at short range, and a weaker machine gun for longer range. He can also drop mines all over the battlefield and enable a personal shield that stops him being hurt for a few seconds.

Here’s the kicker, though: in Turtle Rock’s opinion, these four aren’t diverse enough. “Within each class there’ll be different hunters, and while they’ll fit the description of what that class does, they will have completely different abilities from other hunters in the same class,” Boccieri told me. “They’ll be a variation on the idea of an assault class or a medic class. They really get right down to the core of what any one class is supposed to and really pushing the boundaries of how that role can be performed.”

So while every medic will have the healing burst and every trapper the portable arena, every other weapon and tool will be part of a larger pool that can be mixed and matched, completely changing how that class is played. Even the monster is variable, with Boccieri explaining that the development team considers it to be another class. In the time I played, it could choose between a leaping attack, throwing boulders, breathing fire, and a powerful charge, but I am told there will be even more to choose from in the final game.

On top of that there is an advancement scheme for each weapon and tool, with all of them gradually improving as they are used successfully in matches, and also unlockable perks that can be shared across all hunter classes. “We’re still tuning the final numbers, but there’ll probably be about twelve hours of play to completely max out one character, but then you’ll have all the other characters to try,” Boccieri said.

With all this customisation, then, is there any chance that Turtle Rock will be able to make sure the game remains balanced? “Absolutely,” Boccieri assured me. “The Turtle Rock team playtests every day, and in order for Evolve to balance between being co-operative and competitive, the win rates have to net out towards 50/50. That is the design team’s goal, over time. Any time they tune anything, it’s tuning toward that balance.”

“It’s kind of a bold goal, making the game as balanced as possible while also allowing this breadth of experience that allows players to come back to it again and again, but I think that the pedigree of this team , given their background with Counterstrike and left 4 Dead, means they could really pull it off. It helps that they’ve limited the scope in all cases to four versus one, which keeps it refined enough that the design decisions don’t broadly impact the game and throw things way out of kilter.”

There will also be a variety of game modes, though no others have so far been revealed. Even so, Boccieri explained that they will all share a common theme. “Every game mode is a variation of the four versus one gameplay, where the hunters will have to co-operate to win and the monster is always alone. Other than that, the other modes will be variations on that core structure. There’s also a whole lot of different maps, with a variety of different environments, different wildlife.”

Oh yes, the wildlife. The maps are populated with AI-controlled animals, most of which are benign, but some are aggressively territorial or just plain hungry. The monster can kill and eat these creatures to gain armour and work toward evolving to a new level, while the hunters will just have to defend against them. There will also be tougher elite monsters that will drop a temporary upgrade, like regenerating health or faster reload times, and both the monster and the hunters will want to pick those up.

There is little more I need to say other than, “It’s by the Left 4 Dead guys. Get excited.” It really is a great game on its own merits, though. The monster can be tricky to learn, but it’s exhilarating to play such an unusual character – loping through the dense jungle, eating other animals, clambering up cliffs, and then smashing those puny humans. The hunters are more straightforward, but are still a huge amount of fun to play.

Evolve will be launching during Spring 2014, so somewhere between September and October, on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC.

– James “DexX” Dominguez

Screen Play is on Twitter: @jamesjdominguez

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

Goodman Fielder foreshadows turnaround after $64.8 million loss

15/07/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Goodman Fielder chief executive officer Chris Delaney.One-off costs that continue to evaporate savings are ‘‘not good enough’’ Goodman Fielder chief executive Chris Delaney said, with profit expected to improve significantly from the $64.8 million loss in the first half.
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Record milk prices and rising Australian dollar-based wheat prices also heavily impacted the bottom-line in the first half of the 2014 financial year.

The company said further increases in the farmgate milk price in 2014, combined with aggressive competitor pricing, will impact second-half earnings by around $5 million.

In the six months to the end of 2013, farmgate milk prices increased more than 40 per cent, weighing on Goodman Fielder’s dairy arm, as pre-tax earnings fell 39 per cent from the previous corresponding period.

Goodman Fielder increased dairy sales volumes in the first half and Mr Delaney said he was confident that global dairy pricing would be more favourable in the next fiscal year, which would improve margins.

A continuing disparity between US wheat prices and Australian wheat prices in the first half also weighed on earnings. Mr Delaney said the company will be implementing a small price increase in bakeries to mitigate the cost of Australian wheat.

From profit to loss 

The loss entails $94.9 million in significant items after tax, including $15.5 million in restructuring costs and $97.3 million in asset impairments related its biscuits, meats and pizza businesses which have been sold. It will receive $35 million in proceeds from the sale of those assets in the second half.

The loss in the first half of the current financial year is down 287.9 per cent from the period corresponding period, where Goodman Fielder reported a $34.5 million profit.

Goodman Fielder said full-year pre-tax earnings are expected to be broadly in line with the last financial year, around $185.6 million.

Shares in the food processor were down 7.4 per cent to 63 cents in early afternoon trade.

Mr Delaney said it was extremely frustrating to see one-off costs undoing all the hard work that Goodman Fielder has been doing in cost savings. Cost savings within the group remain on target to achieve $100 million by the 2015 financial year, and the company has identified a further $25 million in savings to be achieved by the end of fiscal 2016.

‘‘We understand we need to do more, sooner, better, and create our own luck and not just sit here are say they’re one-offs, that’s not good enough, we understand that,’’ Mr Delaney said.

‘‘I’m absolutely convinced what we’re doing is right for the long term. I’m incredibly disappointed to stand in front of you today with the outlook that I’ve just given. It is not what we wanted and we don’t think that’s what the shareholder deserves.’’

Savings to improve

Goodman Fielder is forecasting around $20 million in savings this year from improvements in distribution and manufacturing in its Australian baking arm, and supply chains savings in its New Zealand baking arm.

‘‘I think they’re going about improving the business the right way, it’s clearly happening at a pace that’s slower than we would have hoped for and certainly they would have indicated,’’ CLSA analyst David Thomas said.

‘‘The issue is you’ve got some relatively tired assets that they’re trying to regenerate, some brands that have been underinvested in and a distribution route to market that’s pretty challenging. Hiccups are coming through but unfortunately a bit bigger and a bit more frequently than we would have hoped.’’

Price increases helped lift pre-tax earnings in its bread business by 22 per cent from the previous year, despite lower volumes, however analysts had been expected better returns from the low base considering the new contracts signed with supermarket Coles to provide private label bread.

The grocery business struggled after failing to convince a major customer to stoke its new MeadowLea HeartPlus products. Volumes, revenue and pre-tax earnings all slipped by single digit percentage points.

Revenue in the first half of the 2014 financial year increased 5 per cent to $1.1 billion, boosted by the pricing in baking and dairy products, and currency benefits from the strong New Zealand dollar.

Goodman Fielder’s debt increased by $115 million to $549 million in the first half, impacted by timing on tax in Papua New Guinea, last year’s final dividend and a revaluation of $NZ debt relative to the Australian dollar.

Goodman will issue an interim dividend of 1¢ with the franked amount per security 30 per cent.

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

Farina defends position with blog post

15/07/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Embattled Sydney FC coach Frank Farina has responded to public criticism with a post on his blog, What I’m Thinking, entitled “Fans, Sydney FC, decisions and back to fans”.
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Matters game to a head for the Sky Blues during Saturday night’s 3-0 loss to Adelaide United, the club’s third straight home loss.

Coach Frank Farina bore the brunt of the criticism and even the contents of a beer cup from a disgruntled member of the crowd.

“I would have to be living on another planet not to be aware of the ‘noise’ in relation to Sydney FC, me and various incidents on the weekend,” writes Farina, who has come under pressure following Sydney FC’s disappointing run of form.

Members of The Cove held up two banners protesting the leadership of their club, however security moved quickly to confiscate them.

A leader of the fan group was then reportedly ejected, before other fans joined in a protest outside the venue that began while the game was still being played.

“I would have to be living on another planet not to be aware of the ‘noise’ in relation to Sydney FC, me and various incidents on the weekend,” writes Farina, whose position has come under harsh scrutiny.

Farina writes that managing a football club is “not a popularity contest,” and backed the fans’ right to voice their opinions.

“I also don’t have a problem with seeing the sign #FarinaOut” stated the Sydney FC manager.

He reacted to the revelation that the banner in Russian Cyrillic referred to Scott Barlow and Tony Pignata by strongly defending the pair.

“’I’ve worked in many clubs and environments in football, and Sydney FC is one of the more professional organisations I’ve experienced. “

Farina went on to endorse his own decisions at the club, calling notice to his achievements as both a player and coach during his career in the game.

“You might disagree with what I do, but one thing I’m not is “clueless” when it comes to football,” he maintained.

Defending his side’s tactics, Farina wrote: “I’m looking for in the seemingly defensive midfield position is a deep-lying playmaker who can use space and time on the ball to create moves in multiple ways, not just attacks on goals. Think Pirlo, Xavi, Paul Scholes. With Alessandro del Piero in the side as the club’s marquee player, we don’t need a second number 10.”

Farina ended the lengthy post thanking the fans, and insisting that they were “always appreciated and never under-valued.”

Sydney FC face Perth Glory at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.

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

Could watching a romcom together save your marriage?

15/06/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Love Actually.Having loved my husband for 20 years we have our fair share of memories. Mostly good. Some not so great. Like that time I convinced him to go and see My Best Friend’s Wedding by failing to tell him that it starred Julia Roberts, an actress he maintains a strange, somewhat unhinged pathological hatred for. Oh, and there was that other time we went to see Clueless. Which he did not get. At all. And don’t get me started on the grief he gives me for watching Drop Dead Diva.
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But now, ladies (and any gentlemen who do not happen to fit the romcom-loathing-male-stereotype), it’s our time to shine. A new study conducted by the respectable University of Rochester in New York suggests that couples who watch romcoms together are better at relationships and less likely to get divorced.

So there.

Authors of the study said that, ‘The results suggest that husbands and wives have a pretty good sense of what they might be doing right and wrong in their relationships. Thus, you might not need to teach them a whole lot of skills to cut the divorce rate. You might just need to get them to think about how they are currently behaving.’

Watching romantic comedies together, the study concludes, can be more effective than marriage counselling if couples discuss the film afterwards.

I like to think my husband and I are pretty good communicators. Yet even so, we are busy with two young kids and don’t get a huge amount of “us” time. Besides, there is always room for improvement, right? So naturally I decided to evaluate the credibility of the “romcom saved my marriage” premise.

While the study used a range of romantic comedies to test its theory, there were no guidelines dictating the kinds of romcoms you can and can’t choose. When I asked my husband for any suggestions he scoffed. “It’s very female-centric, isn’t it? I mean, why can’t we watch a military documentary?”

Hmmm…

In the end we went for Along Came Polly as a tribute to the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, who is kind of hilarious as Ben Stiller’s crass, yet loveable bestie. And even though Jennifer Anniston may not be the world’s greatest actress, she has the inoffensive and accessible girl-next-door charm of many a romcom leading lady.

“We’ve seen this before!” my husband said in the first 10 minutes. “It’s that one where he has all those pillows on the bed like you and she makes fun of him because there’s no point to it.”

We were already getting somewhere. Discussing my home decorating habits. Turns out my husband’s romantic comedy memory storage is better than mine. Who would have thought?

“And the uptight one cheats on him during their honeymoon and then he meets the messy, unstructured woman who teaches Ben Stiller to live a little. Remember?”

Ah yes. So I hadn’t chosen the most memorable film. But still, it would be close to impossible not to laugh out loud when Ben Stiller’s irritable bowel syndrome makes him get all sweaty while eating Moroccan food during his first date with Polly.

Sure it was hard to get a serious relationship discussion going based on the interactions between characters in a cheesy romcom. I was distracted by Jennifer Anniston’s frizz-free boho waves and we couldn’t stop speculating on what it was that drove Philip Seymour Hoffman to heroin abuse.

But sitting in bed on a week night watching a movie on our laptop was the kind of thing we might have done a decade ago, before the responsibility of parenthood took over. And it was really fun, much more fun than if the movie had have been all serious and worthy.

So can romcom viewing replace marriage counselling? Probably not. But if it means having a laugh and spending time with your loved one, go for it. And remember: military documentaries don’t count.

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

Simone Strobel murder: German police offer reward

15/06/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Killed on her dream holiday: Simone Strobel. Photo: Supplied Tobias Suckfuell: an inquest heard there was a “strong suspicion” Simone’s boyfriend was involved in her death. Photo: Anthony Johnson
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Nine years have passed since the body of German backpacker Simone Strobel was found, apparently suffocated and hidden on a sports ground near her campsite in northern NSW.

The 25-year-old’s parents in Germany remain haunted by so many unanswered questions about the night of her disappearance in Lismore, on February 11, 2005.

Who would want to kill their daughter, a kindergarten teacher who worked with children with a disability, and who was on a one-year holiday of a lifetime with her German boyfriend?

And what exactly happened to her in the hours after she and her boyfriend, Tobias Suckfuell, and two other companions returned to the Lismore Tourist Caravan Park after a night out drinking at a local pub?

“The answer to that would be extremely important for us,” Ms Strobel’s father Gustl Strobel told German newspaper Main Post in his home town of Wurzburg this week.

“Then we could finally say goodbye. Whether and how someone is punished for us is not so important – but we need to know what happened. “

On the ninth anniversary of her disappearance this week, police in Germany have offered a 10,000 euro ($15,090) reward for information leading to the resolution of the case.

They are hoping that someone in Australia or Germany has information that finally will lead to an arrest and conviction.

Detective Senior Sergeant Dave Mackie, from Casino police, said Ms Strobel and her boyfriend arrived in Australia on August 3, 2004.

The couple, who had been together for six years, planned to travel around the country on a one-year working visa, and had stopped in Lismore less than 24 hours before Ms Strobel vanished.

Mr Suckfuell’s sister Katrin and another friend, Jens Martin, had joined the couple a few weeks before they arrived in Lismore, and were with them at the pub on the night Ms Strobel disappeared.

“On February 11, 2005, they checked in at the tourist caravan park in Lismore, NSW and spent the evening together at a pub in downtown Lismore and afterwards returned with friends to the campsite,” Senior Sergeant Mackie said.

“From there Simone disappeared. Her body was found on a sports ground near the campsite on February 17, 2005.”

Ms Strobel’s body was badly decomposed, naked, and covered with palm fonds at the sports ground about 90 metres from their campsite.

While no definite cause of death could be established, a coroner in 2007 found it was most likely she died of suffocation or smothering asphyxia.

The inquest heard that the group had gone to the hotel, where Ms Strobel was reduced to tears after arguing with Mr Suckfuell. Another row followed at the campsite, witnesses said, after which Ms Strobel stormed off.

By June 2005 the Suckfuells had stopped cooperating with both Australian and German authorities, exercising their right to silence.

The inquest heard that the friend with them on the night, Jens Martin, became suspicious after Ms Strobel’s body was found, and began to question Mr Suckfuell’s insistence they maintain a uniform story about what happened that night.

Mr Martin accepted an invitation to attend the inquest, where he told Deputy NSW Coroner Paul MacMahon that Mr Suckfuell ordered him to lie to the police about the fact he and Ms Strobel had been arguing bitterly.

During that inquest, Mr MacMahon said he had a “very strong suspicion” that at least Tobias and perhaps Katrin Suckfuell were involved in the smothering or suffocation murder of Ms Strobel.

A piece of forensic material at the site where her body was found also supported the suggestion Mr Suckfuell had been present.

“Unfortunately at this stage current technology is not sufficiently advanced to confirm that suggestion,” the coroner said.

He found there was insufficient evidence to recommend charges.

NSW Police and the Prosecutor’s Office in Wurzburg, Germany both opened homicide cases into Ms Strobel’s death.

Senior Sergeant Mackie said the reward was payable to residents both in Germany and Australia.

“It might be a financial incentive for potential witnesses to provide the police with their knowledge not revealed so far,” he said.

Anyone with information has been urged to contact Wurzburg Criminal Police in Germany on 0931/457-1732, or any other police station in Germany or Australia.

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

CSL sees bright future for new drug

15/06/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

CSL chief executive Paul Perreault says strong sales growth of the biotechnology giant’s specialty products could see the division grow to be larger than the legacy haemophilia group, which has been hampered by increasing competition.
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The specialty division, which sells diagnostic products and drugs to control bleeding during surgical operations, was the standout performer in CSL’s interim financial results.

The company reported a 3 per cent rise in net profit to $US646 million ($715 million) in the first half of 2013-14. Underlying profit of $US685 million, which removes the effect of a $US39 million legal settlement, beat analyst expectations.

Revenue for the six months ended December 31 rose 5 per cent to $US2.7 billion. The specialty products division accounted for 15 per cent of CSL’s revenue and grew sales at 16 per cent on a constant currency basis to $US403 million.

Mr Perreault said although the specialty division had lower sales than CSL’s Immunoglobulin ($US1.1 billion) and haemophilia ($US550 million) divisions in the half, it had grown at double-digit rates “for the last number of years”.

“We expect those [specialty] products to continue to grow,” he said.

Mr Perreault said the division’s “exceptional” performance was underpinned by the drug Kcentra, which was approved for use in the United States in 2013. Kcentra can reverse the effect of blood thinning agents such as warfarin within two hours, Mr Perreault said.

This action stops the risk of a patient on warfarin ‘bleeding out’ in surgery. “Typically for elective surgeries, the physician will titrate down the [blood thinning agent], but in emergency surgery there’s no time to titrate the dose,” Mr Perrault said. “That’s when patients can get into trouble.”

Mr Perreault said the approval of Kcentra was the United State’s “first change in transfusion medicine in 50 years.”

In a further boost to the demand, the US Food and Drug Administration granted Kcentra ‘orphan drug’ status in August, which prevents competitors from entering the space for seven years. The drug has been marketed in Europe for a number of years under the Beriplex.

UBS analyst Andrew Goodsall said the specialty division was “the one to watch” in the second half of 2014, because Kcentra presented an opportunity for significant revenue growth.

Haemophilia product sales fell 4 per cent on a constant currency basis in the half. Mr Perreault said there were “numerous competitors scrambling” to develop new treatments for the rare disease. This had lead to an increase in clinical trials, which meant many patients were discarding their current regime in favour for free medicines offered as part of trials.

“Haemophilia is a rare disease,” he said. “There aren’t that many patients.”

In addition, a large proportion of CSL’s haemophilia products are sold to healthcare providers on a tender basis, which meant growth tended to be uneven, Mr Perreault said.

However, Mr Perrault said he expected sales growth CSL’s recombinant drugs to treat the disease, so the jostling for size between the specialty and haemophilia divisions would be a “good race.” “It could be a neck and neck race over the next few years,” he said.

In the current half, CSL will embark on a phase two trial of its heart attack prevention drug CSL112, which Mr Perreault said presented “significant potential to transform our business.”

CSL hopes to show that its drug which removes cholesterol from plaques on artery walls will prevent the risk of heart attacks in patients who have already suffered an initial cardiac event. About 80,000 Australians have a heart attack each year and, of those, about 12 per cent suffer a subsequent attack, stroke or die.

Mr Perreault said CSL expects results from its clinical trial towards the end of 2015 or early 2016.

The company announced an interim unfranked dividend of US53¢, which was US3¢ higher than the previous corresponding period. The dividend will be paid on April 4.

CSL shares have gained 21 per cent over the past year. At 12:22pm AEDT, the stock was trading down 3.3 per cent to $67.59.

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

Best of Sochi: Day 4GALLERY

15/06/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

A competitor trains before the Biathlon Women’s 10km Pursuit during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES Jorge F. Birkner Ketelhohn of Argentina skis during training for the Men’s Alpine Skiing on day 4 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES
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Silvan Zurbriggen of Switzerland in action during training for the Men’s Alpine Skiing on day 4 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Sarah Reid of Canada makes a run during a Women’s Skeleton training session on Day 4 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center at on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Works spray down the halfpipe before competition begins in the Snowboard Men’s Halfpipe Qualification Heats on day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Teodor Peterson of Sweden competes in Qualification of the Men’s Sprint Free during day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Silvan Zurbriggen of Switzerland skis during training for the Men’s Alpine Skiing on day 4 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Yumie Funayama of Japan slides with the stone during the Curling Women’s Round Robin match between Japan and Republic of Korea during day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Ice Cube Curling Center on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Shelley Rudman of Great Britain makes a run during a Women’s Skeleton training session on Day 4 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center at on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Dara Howell of Canada competes in the Freestyle Skiing Women’s Ski Slopestyle Finals on day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Gregory Bretz of the United States competes in the Snowboard Men’s Halfpipe Qualification Heats on day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Nikita Avtaneev of Russia competes in the Snowboard Men’s Halfpipe Qualification Heats on day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Linnea Backman #17 of Sweden fights for the puck against Nina Kamenik #7 and Kerstin Spielberger #22 of Germany during the Women’s Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group B game on day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Image was created using a variable planed lens) A general view of the action in the men’s round robin session during day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Ice Cube Curling Center on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Danny Davis of the United States competes in the Snowboard Men’s Halfpipe Qualification Heats on day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Scotty James of Australia competes in the Snowboard Men’s Halfpipe Qualification Heats on day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Agnieszka Szymanczak of Poland competes in Qualification of the Ladies’ Sprint Fee during day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Skiers compete in the Finals of the Men’s Sprint Free during day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Lisa Zimmermann of Germany competes during the Freestyle Skiing Ladies’ Ski Slopestyle Qualification at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Anna Mirtova of Russia falls while competing in the Freestyle Skiing Women’s Ski Slopestyle Qualification on day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Devin Logan of the United States slides down the mountain at the end of her run in the Freestyle Skiing Women’s Ski Slopestyle Finals on day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Lizzy Yarnold of Great Britain makes a run during a Women’s Skeleton training session on Day 4 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the Sanki Sliding Center at on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Michelle Lowenhielm (1st L) #28 of Sweden celebrates scoring their third goal against of Germany with her teammates Josefine Holmgren #9, Johanna Olofsson, Cecilia Osterberg and Maria Lind #19 of Sweden in the third period during the Women’s Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group B game on day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Michelle Lowenhielm #28 of Sweden scores their third goal against Jennifer Harss #30 of Germany in the third period during the Women’s Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group B game on day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Marsha Hudey of Canada competes during the Women’s 500m Race 1 of 2 Speed Skating event during day 4 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Adler Arena Skating Center on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Maiken Caspersen Falla of Norway (L) and Ingvild Flugstad Oestberg of Norway celebrate winning first and second place in the Finals of the Ladies’ Sprint Free during day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Laura Cross-country Ski & Biathlon Center on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Shirley Temple, 1928-2014PHOTOS, VIDEO

15/06/2019 | 南京夜网 | Permalink

Actress and political activist Shirley Temple has died in her California home at age 85, media outlets have reported.
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Temple started acting at age three and soon became one of the most recognisable child actors in the world.

She appeared in more than 50 films, including Poor Little Rich Girl,The Littlest Rebel(1936),Heidi (1937), Little Miss Broadway (1938),The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer(1946), Fort Apache (1948)and The Story of Seabiscuit(1949).

Shirley Temple, 1936. Picture: Getty Images

Shirley Temple wears a grass skirt and plays a ukulele in a promotional portrait for the musical ‘Captain January’ in 1936. Picture: Getty Images

Shirley Temple, 1935. Picture: Getty Images

Shirley Temple, circa 1944. Picture: Getty Images

Shirley Temple reading some of her fanmail in 1943. Picture: Getty Images

In 1944, Shirley Temple, 17, married Sgt John Agar Jnr, an army aviation engineer, in a Wiltshire Methodist church. Picture: Getty Images

Shirley Temple accepts the Life Achievement Award from presenter Jamie Lee Curtis onstage during the 12th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2006. Picture: Getty Images

Shirley Temple speaks in front of a poster of Richard Nixon at a Republican Party election press conference at the Cafe Royal in London in September 1968. Picture: Getty Images

Shirley Temple in Rome in 1968. Picture: Getty Images

Shirley Temple sitting by her Christmas tree with presents from 20th Century Fox and a decorated Christmas tree in 1936. Picture: Getty Images

Shirley Temple wears a fairy godmother costume in a promotional portrait for her television series of dramatized fairy tales, ‘Shirley Temple’s Storybook’. Picture: Getty Images

Shirley Temple and her first husband John Agar play with their infant daughter, Linda Susan, in the living room of their home in 1948. Picture: Getty Images

Shirley Temple on set circa 1936. Picture: Getty Images

The trademark curls of Shirley Temple. Picture: Getty Images

Shirley Temple at home in Atherton, California, with her daughter Lori in 1957. Picture: Getty Images

Shirley Temple at home in Atherton, California, with her son Charles in 1957. Picture: Getty Images

Shirley Temple and her second husband, Charles Black, pose together at the premiere of ‘Roman Holiday’ in 1953. Picture: Getty Images

Then-President Bill Clinton and wife Hilary applaud Shirley Temple, a recipient of one of the Kennedy Center Honors in 1998. Picture: Getty Images

A Christmas card or promotional portrait of child actress Shirley Temple in the 1930s. Picture: Getty Images

Shirley Temple was presented with a Life Achievement Award at the 12th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2006. Picture: Getty Images

Shirley Temple was presented with a Life Achievement Award at the 12th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2006. Picture: Getty Images