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Cory Bernardi to be sent to United Nations

Off to New York: Senator Cory Bernardi at the joint partyroom meeting in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Alex EllinghausenControversial Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, who has called the United Nations an “unelected and unaccountable body”, will represent Australia during a three-month secondment with the global organisation.
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Senator Bernardi will be joined in the bipartisan annual delegation by Tasmanian Labor senator Lisa Singh. The trip usually commences in early September.

While in New York, the parliamentary delegates will work with the established Australian Mission to the United Nations, and attend meetings, speaking engagements and other official functions.

Senator Bernardi is a longstanding critic of the UN. In a 2010 speech to the Senate, he lamented that the then-Labor government’s climate change agenda was “outsourcing aspects of our national sovereignty to unaccountable foreign organisations like the United Nations”.

He also remarked that Labor’s policy “would have seen billions of dollars of Australian taxpayer funds disappear into that fiscal black hole of bureaucracy known as the United Nations.”

And as recently as 2014 he again reflected on Labor’s climate policy giving power to “unelected officials in the United Nations”.

It is understood Senator Bernardi was selected for the secondment by his Senate colleagues. Asked about the selection process, a representative from Chief Government Whip David Bushby’s office said: “Sorry, we don’t provide that information.”

Senator Bernardi said he was delighted to have been chosen for the delegation by his colleagues.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to assist in Australia’s representations to the United Nations and to learn more about the purpose, inner workings and effectiveness of the UN,” he said.

“Experiences such as this broaden the knowledge of any parliamentarian fortunate enough to participate.”

Director of the International and Parliamentary Relations Office, Russell Chafer, said the aim of the annual visit was to “maintain strong connections between the Australian Parliament and the United Nations”.

Last year, Nationals senator Barry O’Sullivan was joined on the plum posting by former Labor treasurer and deputy prime minister Wayne Swan. It was reported that the costs associated with the secondments, including airfares, accommodation and transport, exceeded $120,000.

In 2011, Trade Minister Steve Ciobo – then a Liberal backbencher – refused to pay an $8000 hotel bill while on the same secondment. The Department of Finance also declined to settle the tab, which was eventually picked up by Australian consular officials in New York amid a diplomatic fracas.

The outspoken Senator Bernardi, who last week was branded a “homophobe” by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, has been leading the push within the government against same-sex marriage and the Safe Schools program for LGBTI teenagers.

In 2012, he was forced to resign as Tony Abbott’s parliamentary secretary after comments suggesting same-sex marriage would pave the way to legalised bestiality.

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‘The responsible thing’: Malcolm Turnbull defends Safe Schools review

“We respect every member of this House”: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during question time on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares Tony Abbott during question time on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares
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Coalition MP George Christensen, a prominent critic of Safe Schools, on Tuesday Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Tony Abbott calls for abolition of Safe Schools program

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has defended his decision to order a review into the controversial Safe Schools anti-bullying program, saying it was the “responsible thing” to do and showed the government “standing up for children”.

Mr Turnbull was quizzed about the review during question time on Tuesday, when Greens MP Adam Bandt asked if he had given in to “bigots”.

“Is your commitment to socially progressive values so skin deep that you will put young people’s welfare at risk and throw a successful anti-bullying campaign under a bus, just because the bigots in the conservative brotherhood tell you to?”

Speaker Tony Smith ruled the last part of the question out of order.

Mr Turnbull responded that MPs on both sides of the Parliament had “raised concerns” about the content of the program, which is aimed at addressing the bullying of LGBTI students.

While acknowledging that claims about the program’s teachings are disputed, the Prime Minister said the MPs raising them deserve respect.

“We respect every member of this House because they represent … Australians. They represent a constituency.”

Mr Turnbull argued that asking Education Minister Simon Birmingham to organise a review “is the responsible thing that any Prime Minister, any government should do”.

Mr Turnbull called for a review of the $8 million federally-funded program last week, after a group of Coalition MPs raised concerns about the Safe Schools program in a meeting of government MPs.

South Australian senator Cory Bernardi said school children are “prematurely sexualised” by the program, while Queensland MP George Christensen later likened the program to “paedophile grooming” – claiming it recommended pornographic content, sex shops and sex clubs to school children.

On Tuesday, former prime minister Tony Abbott joined in the criticism, describing the program as “social engineering”, while calling for its remaining funds to be scrapped.

Labor strongly supports the Safe Schools program, but conservative Labor backbencher Joe Bullock has described it as “terrible”.

The independent review is headed up by University of Western Australian emeritus professor of education Bill Louden and is due to report back by March 11.

Mr Turnbull told Parliament on Tuesday it would be made public.

“We will be able to judge the merit of the criticisms and what, if any steps should be taken consequent [to] the review.

“That is taking children’s rights seriously, it’s taking bullying seriously.

“It’s standing up for children.”

The Safe Schools program was initiated by the previous Labor government but was not launched until 2014 under the Abbott government.

Labor frontbencher Penny Wong expressed surprise that it had become such a divisive political issue.

“I didn’t think people would have such an issue with their children being taught acceptance and tolerance.

“The extent to which the hard right will go to perpetuate their views and frankly their prejudices I think has been a sight to behold,” Senator Wong told ABC Radio on Tuesday.

“Can you imagine if you were a 15 year old boy who was struggling with who he is, how this debate would be playing?”

Last week, a spokeswoman for the Safe Schools Coalition said it “does not link to or recommend any pornographic web content, sex shops, adult online communities, or sex clubs on its website or in any of its materials”.

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PM Malcolm Turnbull disappoints East Timor on talks on maritime boundary

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says talks with East Timor should take place only within the context of the broader bilateral relationship and alongside ‘other issues’. Photo: Andrew MearesPrime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has offered to hold “frank and open” discussions with East Timor about the unresolved maritime boundary between the two countries but stopped short of the fledgling state’s request for formal and discrete talks to settle the impasse.
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​East Timor’s prime minister Rui Araujo wrote to Mr Turnbull on February 1 asking that the two leaders meet to discuss a permanent maritime boundary in the Timor Sea, rich in oil and gas.

Dr Araujo told Mr Turnbull that the current arrangement, where the two countries share oil and gas revenue in a joint development area, does not reflect East Timor’s entitlements under international law.

As a result, East Timor believes it has lost some $US5 billion in royalties and tax revenue since independence, enough to fund its entire budget for three years..

East Timor asserts the vast majority of the oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea – worth about $40 billion in royalties and tax alone – would lie in its territory if the sea borders in the Timor Sea reflected the norms of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), a contention Australia rejects.

In his response to Dr Araujo, Mr Turnbull highlighted the importance of the relationship and said there was a genuine need for “frank and open” discussions about the border.

However, he said those talks should take place only within the context of the broader bilateral relationship and alongside “other issues”.

The government’s position falls well short of the pledge last month by Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Tanya Plibersek that Labor would negotiate a new boundary in “good faith” and submit the dispute to the international adjudication if bilateral talks failed to produce a result.

Further deflating hopes in Dili, Mr Turnbull also said Australia’s long-held position was to support the treaty arrangements that underpin the current resource sharing in Timor Sea and were negotiated in “good faith” and “consistent with international law”.

East Timor takes a different view in light of the revelations that the Australian Secret Intelligence Service agents – operating undercover as aid workers – inserted listening devices into the wall cavity of East Timor’s government office during treaty negotiations in 2004.

East Timor has restarted international arbitration in the Hague to press its claim that  the eavesdropping should render the Timor Sea Treaty void on the grounds it wasn’t negotiated in good faith, as required under the Vienna Convention.

It is a development that Mr Turnbull is believed to have told Dr Araujo was a “disappointment”.

Even so, the voiding of the treaty would not require Australia to negotiate a new arrangement, let alone a permanent maritime boundary.

In 2002, just before East Timor became independent, Australia withdrew from the dispute-settling authority of UNCLOS, meaning East Timor can’t go to the UN for a determination on the boundary.

With Mr Turnbull calling on the various claimants in the South China Sea to settle their disputes according to international law and to ratify UNCLOS, Australia’s position on East Timor undercuts its wider diplomatic authority, critics argue.

The Philippines has taken China to a tribunal under UNCLOS over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea and Mr Turnbull has said he was “looking forward” to the outcome.

But China says it won’t recognise the tribunal’s verdict and its foreign minister Wang Yi noted the inconsistency of Australia’s position at a joint press conference with foreign minister Julie Bishop last month.

“We issued a declaration excluding China from being subjected to the compulsory [UNCLOS] settlement measures,” Mr Wang said.

“Let me also point out that China is not the only country that has issued such declarations. Altogether there are 30 to 40 countries around the world that have issued similar declarations and Australia is also one of them.”

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MP raises a stink on refinery

Disconnected: Truegain Pty Ltd, trading as Australian Waste Oil Refineries at Rutherford, should be the subject of a full environmental audit after contaminated water discharges to the Hunter Water sewer network, Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison has told the government. THE NSW Government must conduct a formal environmental audit of the waste oil refinery that has discharged contaminated sewage into the sewer network, and been the subject of penalties and fines for years, said Maitland MP Jenny Aitchison.
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She has written to Environment Minister Mark Speakman requesting the urgent audit of Australian Waste Oil Refineries at Rutherford after meeting with him last week following Hunter Water’s unprecedented step of disconnecting the refinery from its network.

This followed inspections and fines by the NSW Environment Protection Authority in early February and tests by Hunter Water of “suspicious” foam that confirmed waste with extremely high perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) levels was being discharged into the sewer network.

Inher letter requesting the environmental audit Ms Aitchison said the refinery, also known as Truegain Pty Ltd, had been the subject of 18 fines in the past, and “that’s 18 fines too many”.

“The government has the power to suspend the EPA licence under extreme circumstances, and I am sure the community would agree the high number of previous breaches, in conjunction with this latest extremely serious incident, are extreme circumstances,” Ms Aitchison wrote.

The government’s response to what has become known as the “Rutherford stink” –industrial smells that have dogged the area for years –had been inadequate, she said.

“If thegovernment had acted on the Rutherford stink then we mightn’t have had the sewer discharge.”

Weekend Planner

SATURDAYThe Reluctant Jillaroo – Book LaunchThe localqueen of teen booksKaz Delaney will celebrate the release of her new rural romance for teen readers,The Reluctant Jillaroo, with a launch at Cardiff Library from 2pm to 3pm.Bookings are essential on4954 8575.
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The Newcastle Regional Show is on again this weekend. On Saturday and Sunday from 9am, get along to Newcastle Showgrounds tocheck out traditions such as the competitions and displays, as well as the animals, amusements and showbags. Gates open 9am on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $18/$10/$12 at the gate. Parking costs $5.

Cyclone Winston AppealGood Day Bread for Life will distribute tinned food, clothes, water and stationery items to schools and other basic items to the cyclone-affected people in Fiji. Bringdonations to the Sunsupermaket, Garnett Road, East Maitland from 9.30am to 6pm.There will be a drop zone at 87 Radford Street, Heddon Greta for manchester, bedding, pillows and stationery.

Detonation 6Local Boxers fightfor World Boxing Association titles.Kyron “The Hitman” Dryden will be defending his title, Richard Smith will be fighting Scott Edwards in a local Grudge match, RockyJerkic and Tyson Lantrywill be involved in the event.Doors open at 6pm for a 7pm. Tickets are$50.

SUNDAYThe Triathlon FestivalThe Sparke Helmore NBN Triathlon and Newcastle Foreshore Triathlons, traditionally both staged in late summer around the harbour and beaches of Newcastle, have joined forces to bringall the events into the one weekend. The combined events are expected to attract more than 3000 competitors and 10,000 spectators and raise money for Hunter Medical Research Institute. Visitsparkenbntriathlon南京夜网419论坛for more information.

Newcastle Fabric DestashThere will be loads of stalls selling fabric, scraps and crafting supplies atNew Lambton Community Centre from1.30pm to 4pm.

Clean Up Australia DayLake Macquarie City Council and Newcastle City Councilis encouraging the community, schools and local businesses to lend a hand to help keep our city looking picture perfect. Participants should wear a hat, sunscreen and a pair of gloves when cleaning up on the day. Visitcleanupaustraliaday.org419论坛to join a local clean up site.

Endless SummerCharlestown Swim Centre is hosting this event where visitors can come and relax on the lawn, enjoy live music and tackle the aquatic floats from 10am to 4pm. Free entry for the first 100 people aged 12-24 years. Otherwise, entry costs $3.50.

Still LifeTutor Susan Ryman hosts observational drawing classesusing soft pastels, charcoal and ink at Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery from 10.30am to 4pm.Costs $50. Bookings and enclosed shoes essential. BYO lunch and snacks. Book on49658260.

Walka Mini RailwayWalka Water Works, Maitland, hosts a miniature railway from 11am, weather permitting. Costs $3 per person. Covered footwear is required.

Richmond Vale RailwayMuseumStep back in time at the volunteer-run museum on Leggetts Drive. The first train leaves around 10.30am, the last train leaves at 3pm. Artefacts, maps and photos to view. Tickets $16 adults, $7.50 children five to 15, under-5s free;richmondvalerailwaymuseum.org.

Morpeth MotoramaThis is agathering for all motoring enthusiasts in the beautiful grounds of Closebourne House from 10am to 2pm. There will be trade stalls, food, coffee, entertainment and children’s activities, as well as the Show‘n’ Shine.

MARKETSMonthly Markets @ The WillowsSaturday, Warners Bay Uniting Church, 342 Hillsborough Road, Warners Bay, from 8am to 2pm.

Handmade in the Hunter MarketsSaturday, Kevin Sobels Wines, Pokolbin, 9am to 3pm.

Olive Tree MarketsSaturday, Civic Park, Newcastle, 9am to 3pm.

Maitland MarketsSunday,Maitland Showground,8am to2pm.

Newcastle City Farmers’ MarketSunday, Speers Point Park, 8am to 1pm.

MUSIC5 SawyersSaturday, DJ Sean Andrews. Sunday, DJ Perry Carter, AK Morris.

Anna Bay TavernSaturday, Duplexity. Sunday, Mick Jones.

Argyle HouseSaturday, Hayden James.

Australia Hotel CessnockSaturday, The Way.

Bar 121Saturday, The Years.

Bar PetiteSaturday, Junior & Luana. Sunday, Kylie Jane.

Bay HotelSaturday, Kristen Lane Duo. Sunday, Katrina Burgoyne.

Beach Hotel Sunday, The Cassettes.

Beachcomber HotelSaturday, Outerphase. Sunday, Alex Toole.

Bellbird Workers ClubSaturday, The Klassics.

Belmont 16 FootersSaturday, The Big Bang Quartet, Kellie Cain. Sunday, Rich & Famous.

Belmore HotelMaitlandSaturday, Formula.

Belmore Hotel SconeSaturday, Schmoo.

Beresfield Bowling ClubSaturday, Cruisers.

Bimbadgen WinerySaturday, A Day On The Green feat. Hoodoo Gurus, Violent Femmes, Sunnyboys, Died Pretty, Ratcat.

Blackbutt HotelSaturday, Angel Gear.

The BradfordSaturday, Shivoo. Sunday, Acoustic Mayhem.

Cardiff RSL ClubSaturday, Uptown.

Carrington PlaceSaturday, The Royal Key.

Catho PubSaturday, David J Bull. Sunday, Four To The Floor.

Central Charlestown Leagues ClubSaturday, Anyerin Drury.

Central HotelStroudSaturday,Darren Rolling Keys.

Cessnock Rugby League Supporters ClubSaturday, The Levymen.

Charlestown Bowling Club Saturday, Dr. Love.

Clarendon HotelSaturday,Pistol Pete.

Club AzzurriSunday, Latinova.

Club Lemon TreeSaturday,Kevin O’Hara.

Colliery InnSaturday, Pete Sneddon.

Commercial Hotel MorpethSaturday, The Royals.

Country Club Hotel Shoal Bay Saturday, Kim, Tres Hombres. Sunday, Frets With Benefits.

Criterion Hotel CarringtonSunday, Ben Travis.

Criterion Hotel SingletonSaturday, Defaced.

Criterion Hotel WestonSaturday, The Zillers.

Crown & Anchor HotelSaturday,Jackson Cassidy.

Customs House HotelSaturday, Matteo Verde. Sunday, Bel Enks.

D’Albora Marina Nelson BaySaturday, Chris Phillips. Sunday, Damien.

Delany HotelSaturday, Alias.

Duke Of WellingtonSaturday, Daniel Arvidson.

East Maitland Bowling ClubSaturday, Purple Rain. Sunday, John Hume.

Edgeworth TavernSunday, Emile.

Ellalong HotelSaturday, Rock Oz.

Exchange HotelSaturday, Hornet.

Foghorn BrewhouseSaturday, The Alchemists. Sunday, Gleny Rae Virus and the Bluegrass Playboys.

Gallipoli Legion ClubSaturday, Yes Commissioner, Pow Wow.

Gateshead TavernSunday, Leeroy’s Duo.

George Tavern GreenhillsSaturday, The Remedy.

Great Northern HotelSaturday, Aligned Vision feat. Hellquist, Fabio Leal.

Grain StoreSaturday, Tim Rossington. Sunday, JJ King.

Grand Junction HotelSaturday, Truckstop Honeymoon. Sunday, Blues Bombers.

Gunyah HotelSaturday,GenX. Sunday, Matt McLaren.

Harrigan’s PokolbinSaturday,Modern History.

Honeysuckle HotelSaturday, StateFX. Sunday, Aqwa, Crocq Duo.

Hotel JesmondSaturday, Overload Duo. Sunday, Michael Mills.

Iron Horse InnSaturday, The Jungle Kings.

Jewells TavernSaturday, Pete Gelzinnis. Sunday, Jackson Halliday.

The Junction HotelSaturday, Rogue Lane. Sunday, Sunday Republic.

Junction InnRaymond TerraceSunday, TK.

King Street HotelSaturday, Rave Radio, Yogi, Carson Dodd, DJ Lowblow, Dr Laverty, Fuel, Surian, Hayden Shepherd, Pureblonde. Sunday, Any Given Sunday.

Kotara Bowling ClubSaturday, Zane Penn Duo.

Kurri HotelSaturday, Siren.

Lakeside Village TavernSaturday, The V Dubs.

Lass O’GowrieSaturday, Le Pie, Chicanery, The Sufferjets.

Lizotte’s NewcastleSunday, Colin Hay.

Mark HotelSaturday, Loko. Sunday, Milestones.

Mary EllenSaturday, 4 Letter Word. Sunday, Zane Penn.

Mavericks On The BaySaturday,Bobby C.Sunday, Howard Shearman.

Merewether SurfhouseSunday, Jerome.

Murray’s BrewerySunday, Aaron Hood.

Nag’s Head HotelSaturday,Twinsanity.

Nelson Bay Diggers Saturday, Deuce. Sunday, Jake Folbigg.

Northern Star Hotel Saturday, Nicko.

Oaks Pacific Blue Resort Salamander BaySunday, Lauren Arms.

Olive Tree Market – Civic ParkSaturday, India, Holly & Campbell, James Bennett, The Bean Project, Shanteya & Jo, Byren.

Pippis At The Point Saturday,Dream Catchers. Sunday, Mike Horbacz.

The Pourhouse MaitlandSaturday, Lennie Live.

Premier HotelSaturday, James Paul. Sunday, Shivoo.

Prince Of Wales Saturday, Phonic Duo. Sunday, Mike Horbacz, DJ Surian.

Queens Wharf Hotel Saturday, Kylie Jane,Perry Carter. Sunday, Jerome,Matt Meler, AK Morris.

Racecourse Hotel Wallsend Saturday, Michael Mills.

Railway Hotel CessnockSaturday, Ben Woodham.

Rathmines Bowling ClubSunday, Mark Lee.

Royal Crown Hotel DudleySaturday, Jake Folbigg. Sunday, Big On Tangents.

Royal Federal Hotel Saturday, Counterpart.

Royal Hotel DenmanSaturday, Full Throttle.

Royal Hotel SingletonSunday, Brazillian Brothers Duo.

Royal Inn Waratah Saturday,Mick Jones.

Royal Motor Yacht Club Toronto Sunday, Kelly Hope.

Seabreeze Hotel Saturday, Kadence.

Seven Seas Hotel CarringtonSaturday, Wesley’s Edge.

The Small Ballroom Saturday, Saskwatch, Cub Sport.

Soldiers Point Bowling Club Saturday, Back Beat.

Stag & Hunter Hotel Saturday,The Fumes.

Star HotelSaturday, The Sue & Mikey Show.

Swansea HotelSaturday, Mardy Leith.

Swansea RSL ClubSaturday, Gibbo and Co.

Sydney Junction Hotel Saturday, Hummingbirds.

Tea Gardens Country ClubSaturday, The Bad and The Ugly.

Tea Gardens Hotel Motel Saturday, Karen O’Shea.

Teralba Bowling Club Saturday, Back Beat.

Tilligerry RSL Saturday, Tiali.

Wangi District Workers Club Sunday, Arley Black.

Wangi Hotel Sunday, Tiali.

Warners At The Bay Saturday, Overtone.

Warners Bay Hotel Saturday, Eye On You, Able DJs.

Westfield Kotara – The Rooftop Saturday, Jessica Cain. Sunday, Bobby C.

Wests Leagues Club New Lambton Marble Bar: Saturday, Talk of the Town.

Wickham Park Hotel Saturday, Ball and Biscuit Band, Phase III. Sunday, Rachel Rachel, Floyd Vincent and The Temple Dogs.

Windsor Castle HotelSaturday, Kaylah Anne.

MOVIES13 Hours – The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi(MA15+) An American Ambassador is killed during an attack at a U.S. compound in Libya as a security team struggles to make sense out of the chaos.

45 Years(M) As their 45th wedding anniversary approaches, a woman learns that her husband was once engaged to someone else.

Brooklyn(M) In 1950s Ireland and New York, young Ellis Lacey has to choose between two men and two countries.

Carol(M) Set in 1950s New York, a department-store clerk who dreams of a better life falls for an older, married woman.

Channo Kamli Yaar Di (M)Punjabi film directed by Pankaj Batra and starring Neeru Bajwa and Binnu Dhillon, the story follows theemotional journey of a very common Punjabi girl who goes toCanada to find her missing husband, Jeet. (Tower Cinemas).

Daddy’s Home(PG) Daddy’s Home follows a mild-mannered radio executive (Will Ferrell) who strives to become the best stepdad to his wife’s two children, but complications ensue when their freewheeling and freeloading real father (Mark Wahlberg) arrives, forcing him to compete for the affection of the kids.

Deadpool(MA15+) Deadpool tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool.

Gods of Egypt(M) A common thief joins a mythical god on a quest through Egypt.

Goosebumps(PG) A teenager teams up with the daughter of young adult horror author R.L. Stine after the writer’s imaginary demons are set free on the town of Greendale, Maryland.

Grimsby(MA15+)A new assignment forces a top spy to team up with his football hooligan brother.Stars Sacha Baron Cohen, Isla Fisher, Penélope Cruz and Rebel Wilson. (Advance screenings at Kotara and Glendale)

Hail, Caesar!(PG) In the Coen brothers’ latest big screen flick, a Hollywood fixer in the 1950’s works to keep the studio’s stars in line. Stars Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Josh Brolin, Jonah Hill and George Clooney.

How To Be Single(M) New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking a match, and what Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love.

Queen A Night In Bohemia(CTC) Filmed live on Christmas Eve 1975 at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, and bringing to a climax the most eventful and exciting year so far in the band’s career, this ground-breaking concert was transmitted live on BBC Two’s Old Grey Whistle Test and captured the band firing on all cylinders as they performed breakthrough hits likeKiller Queen, Liar, Keep Yourself AliveandNow I’m Here, as well as the now monumental classicBohemian Rhapsody. (Kotara)

Ride Along 2(M) As his wedding day approaches, Ben heads to Miami with his soon-to-be brother-in-law James to bring down a drug dealer.

Risen(M) Follows the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer.

Room(M) A modern-day story about the boundless love between mother and child; young Jack knows nothing of the world except for the single room in which he was born and raised.

Spotlight(M) The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

Suffragette(M) In early 20th-century Britain, the growing suffragette movement forever changes the life of working wife and mother Maud Watts.

The Boy & The Beast(CTC) The latest feature film from award-winning Japanese director Mamoru Hosoda. (Avoca)

The Belier Family(M) In the Bélier family, everyone is deaf, except dutiful 16-year-old Paula. She acts as an indispensible interpreter for her parents and younger brother. (Avoca, Tower Cinemas)

The Commitments(M) A feel-good musical celebration made in 1991 about an Irish band whose goal is to bring 1960s soul music to working-class Dublin. (Regal)

The Danish Girl(M) Inspired by the true story of Danish artists Lili Elbe and her wife Gerda, this tender portrait of a marriage asks: what do you do when someone you love wants to change?

The Finest Hours(PG) In February of 1952, one of the worst storms to ever hit the East Coast struck New England, damaging an oil tanker off the coast of Cape Cod and literally ripping it in half. On a small lifeboat faced with frigid temperatures and 70-foot high waves, four members of the Coast Guard set out to rescue the more than 30 stranded sailors trapped aboard the rapidly-sinking vessel.

The Good Dinosaur(PG) After a traumatic event unsettles a lively Apatosaurus named Arlo, he sets out on a remarkable journey, gaining an unlikely companion along the way – a human boy.

The Lady in the Van(M) A man forms an unexpected bond with a transient woman living in her car that’s parked in his driveway. Stars Maggie Smith, Dominic Cooper and James Corden.

The Lion King(G) Embark on an extraordinary coming-of-age adventure as Simba, a lion cub who cannot wait to be king, searches for his destiny in the great Circle of Life.

The Met Opera: Les Pecheurs De Perles(E)Bizet’s gorgeous opera of lust and longing set in the Far East returns to the Met stage for the first time in 100 years. (Tower Cinemas)

​The Revenant(M) A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820’s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. Stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy.

Three Wise Cousins(PG) Adam is a 22 year old New Zealand born Samoan guy who falls in love with a girl called Mary. On a ‘chance’ encounter he learns that Mary only wants to go out with a ‘real island guy’ – not a plastic one. Adam seeks the advice and guidence of his two cousins to get rid of his ‘plastic’ ways and impress Mary, he’ll have to travel to Samoa and have his cousins teach him how to be a real island guy. (Kotara)

Triple 9(MA15+)A gang of criminals and corrupt cops plan the murder of a police officer in order to pull off their biggest heist yet across town. Stars Norman Reedus, Kate Winslet and Teresa Palmer.

Trumbo(M) The successful career of Hollywood screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, comes to an end when he’s blacklisted in the 1940s for being a Communist.

Zoolander 2(M) In 2001 Derek Zoolander was the world’s top male supermodel. Fifteen years later, Derek, Hansel and Mugatu are back. Stars Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson.

THEATREThe Addams FamilyMusical comedy that looks at members of the family from the popular TV series trying to keep secrets from each other. Gosford Musical Society, at Laycock Street Community Theatre, Gosford. Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, until March 19, plus Sunday, March 13, at 2pm, and Thursday, March 17, at 8pm. 4323 3233.

Hello, StrangerNewcastle’s Paper Cut Collective talked to people about their meetings with strangers and put the experiences into this amusing and sometimes scary show. Audience joins bus at Civic Station at 7.30pm to go to an undisclosed Newcastle CBD venue. Saturday (final show). 梧桐夜网papercutpresents南京夜网.

Punk RockSeven high-achieving students preparing for exams in a school library increasingly are involved in bullying and romance; comedy-drama by Simon Stephens. Stooged Theatre, at the Civic Playhouse. Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, then nightly from Wednesday until Saturday, March 12, at 8pm. 4929 1977.

Thunderbelly – The MusicalGangs and brothel keepers compete in the 1920s to be powerful in Sydney; tongue-in-cheek musical by Newcastle’s Maureen O’Brien based on real events. Maureen O’Brien Productions, at Merewether Uniting Church Hall. Saturday at 8pm, until March 19, plus Saturday matinees March 12 and 19 at 2.30pm; dinner option at Saturday evening shows. 梧桐夜网ticketebo南京夜网419论坛/thunderbelly.

MaynardaramaComedian Maynard looks this month at the Spice Girls; which was the best? The Royal Exchange, Newcastle. Saturday, at 8pm. 4929 4969.

Death and the MaidenA woman tortured by a doctor while a political prisoner believes she recognises his voice when a stranger visits her husband; tense drama by Ariel Dorfman.Newcastle Theatre Company, at the NTC Theatre, Lambton. Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm, then Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, until March 19, plus 2pm Saturday matinee March 12. 4952 4958.

Raise the Roof – The Young Champions of 2016Young musical performers show their skills in a lively concert. Lake Macquarie Music Society, at Charlestown Uniting Church. Sunday, at 2pm. 4948 9898.

EvitaMusical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice looking at the colourful life of Eva Peron, the popular wife of an Argentine president. The National Theatre Company, at the Civic Theatre, Newcastle. Opens Wednesday and plays nightly to Saturday, March 12, at 8pm, plus 2pm Saturday matinee. 4929 1977.

ARTArt Systems WickhamBeach To Barrington –works by Mark Kempton and Bridget Whitehead, ends Sunday.

Cooks Hill GalleriesMazgaon Musings by Ben Kenning, ends Sunday.

CstudiosRos Elkin –The Gift of Nature;Hunter Women Artists – Jenni Gander, Chris Finch andAnnie Palmer;Chris Byrnes Photography, opens Saturday and continues until March 27.

Curve GalleryFlight Path, until March 12.

Gallery139The Bounds of Photography, until March 12.

Lake Macquarie City Art GalleryImpressions of Paris: Lautrec, Degas, Daumier, until March 13; Paris/Hunter, until March 13.

The Lock UpNight Flowers by Damien Frost, until March 13.

Maitland Regional Art GalleryMangroves of Australia: Living on the Edge byDeirdre Bean, untilMay 29;Una Rey: The Reaming Room, untilApril 3;Stephen Bird: Bastard Son of Royal Doulton, untilApril 3;Extinct and Endangered – When Nature Calls University of Newcastle staff and students, untilMay 29;Highlights from the MRAG Collection 1957-2015, until May 29;Salvatore Zofrea – from the MRAG Collection, until May 29;Woven Worlds: 10 years of ‘en plein air’ tapestries byCresside Collette, until May 29;Shaun Tan’s the Lost Thing: From Book to Film, until April 24.

Nanshe Studio GalleryThe Birds, ends Saturday.

Newcastle Art GalleryJohn Peart: Homage, until May 1; Just Draw, until May 1; A Dirty Business:Devine, Styan and Tilley, until May 15.

Newcastle Art SpaceGallery1: Hidden – Works of a Recluse;Gallery2: No Distance Left to Run, until March 20.

Timeless Textiles GalleryThe Art of Imperfection, until March 12.

University GalleryFrom Earth ToSpirit, until March 26.

Watt Space GalleryGallery 1:The Expanded Print; Gallery2: Wildlife illustrations byApril Collison and Tallulah Cunningham; Gallery 3: Tiny People byAmy Hamilton; Digital photographs byMark Mason, untilMarch 20.

‘Unreal backstabbing’ splits Katherine CLP branch

UNDER FIRE: The political future of Member for Katherine Willem Westra van Holthe is under a cloud as members of his own branch engage in “unreal backstabbing” in a bid to strip him of his preselection, according to one Country Liberal Party source.INFIGHTING and“unrealbackstabbing” over the political future of Willem Westra van Holtheare creating heated divisionswithin the Katherinebranch of the Country Liberal Party.
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Followingemails and bank statements being leaked that showedhe planned to invest ina Vietnamese company with links to the Northern Territory government, Mr Westra van Holthe moved to the backbench on February 14 amid claims he had breached theministerial code of conduct.

While he continues to have the public support of Chief Minister Adam Giles and the party, theKatherine Timescan reveal at least four members of Mr Westra van Holthe’s own branch are lining up to replace him as the preselected candidate for August’selection.

Under the CLPconstitution, a branch can only make a recommendation to disendorse a candidate, so it would take eithera central council or management committee vote toformally strip Mr Westra van Holthe of the party’ssupport.

One source within the branch, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said deep rifts had formedas internal and external pressurecontinued to be applied tothe embattled Member for Katherine.

“It’s quite clear that the move to disendorse Willem by a small group in the branch is not about the good of the Country Liberals, but advancing personal agendas,” the source said.

“A number of individualson the branch executive have already indicated their interest in becoming the new Country Liberals candidate if Willem is disendorsed.”

The source added that internal opposition to Mr Westra van Holthe’s preselection represented a“clear conflict of interest” as potential replacements tested their political footing.

Chief Minister maintains public supportMr Giles maintained this week that his former deputychief minister“absolutely” hadhis support.

“I don’t get involved in the party side of things,” he said.

However, the Chief Minister did admit thathe stillbelieved Mr Westra van Holthe hadbreached the ministerial code of conduct by not advising him about the planned $630,000 investment.

“Look, I had a look at the ministerial code and looked at what it says, and had some concerns, as Willem did, and that’s why he stepped down,” he said.

“That alleviates that concern.

“If you’re thinking about doing it, you’ve got to let someone know.​”

MLA stands ground on preselection positionIn an exclusive interview with the Katherine Times on March 1, a defiant Mr Westra van Holthe said he would not yieldto branch pressure to stand aside, adding that the issue of a breach was“done and dusted”.

“Well, I am the preselected and endorsed candidate for Katherine,” he said.

“I still enjoy the support of the party, as a whole, so my full intentions at this moment in time are to move forward to the election as the CLPcandidate for Katherine.

“I’m not going to get into an argument with the Chief Minister over whether I did or didn’t breach the ministerial code of conduct.”​

When quizzed about speculation that a family member had invested in the CT Group on his behalf following his decision not to go through with a share offer, Mr Westra van Holthe rebuffedthe claim.

“I can absolutely say that neitherI nor my family members, my new partner, have any investments with any of my money,” he said.

“There is absolutely no link, financially or legally, between me and the CT Group through anybody.”

Another branch source, who also asked not to be named,said Mr Westra van Holthe’s assertion meant little.

“He’s got to go,” they said.

“The situation is a disgrace and gets murkier every time he opens his mouth.”

CLP presidentTory Mencshelyi confirmed that a special general meeting would be held within the next fortnight to discuss the“Katherine situation”.

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Women must find the time to see their doctor

Women are failing to see their doctorswhen they have potentially life-threatening symptoms – mainly because they’re too ‘busy’ or are worried they’re overreacting.
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According to a new study byOvarian Cancer Action,not enough women are going to see the GP when they need to. Aquarter of the 200 women polledsaid that work came first – while a third said it was more important for them to look after their family.

For others, the barrier to seeing a doctorwas to do with judgement.More a third of women said they found it difficult to speak to a doctor, with half saying they were embarrassed – especially aroundsexual health concerns. Others felt dismissed by their GPs and didn’t want to be seen as overreacting.

“It reflects our very busy lives,” explains Katherine Taylor, chief executive of the charity. “Women are typically on the frontline whether it’s working, caring for children, or for older relatives. We’re all very busy all the time so sometimes health issues can get overlooked. All of us feel that urge to put our families first but it’s really important we look after our own health as well.”

A lot of people may turn to Dr Google instead of their GP out of fear of wasting their time –but don’t turn to Google – it could give you the wrong information.

“What we’d say to women worried is it’s important to keep track of your symptoms,” says Taylor. “As women we know our bodies. We know when there’s something wrong. Don’t feel you can’t take that to the doctor. We shouldn’t feel embarrassed talking about our bodies – we should feel empowered.”

If you’re struggling to see your GP you need to make the time. Your health is important and employers should understand. If you still feel unable to take time off, try an out of hours appointment or a walk-in clinic. It might be an effort, but it’s worth it.It’s your body.

Radhika Sanhhani wrties for the Telegraph, London

RBA leaves official cash rate at 2 per cent

On hold: Markets weren’t expecting a rate cut on Tuesday. Photo: Nicholas RiderThe Reserve Bank of Australia has hinted it is slightly more inclined to cut the cash rate again – despite holding it at 2 per cent for the ninth board meeting in a row.
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In a statement which was almost a carbon copy of his February commentary, governor Glenn Stevens said benign inflation, moderating house price growth and Australia’s successful transition away from mining investment made the case for interest rates to remain low.

However, weak consumer price growth would also facilitate another cut if that were necessary, he said.

“Continued low inflation would provide scope for easier policy, should that be appropriate to lend support to demand,” governor Stevens said.

The board’s decision was universally expected, and the Australian dollar, which had been under pressure from weak fourth-quarter economic data earlier in the day, remained steady around US71.20¢ before later inching up.

In late local trade it was fetching US71.35¢, little changed from the same time on Monday. Jobs market focus

The jobs market will remain the central bank’s focus over the coming months, after a surprise jump in the unemployment rate, from 5.8 to 6 per cent, in January.

“Certainly the commentary around the labour market was more subdued,” said Westpac chief economist Bill Evans.

“In this statement, it noted that labour market conditions improved in 2015, whereas in February the board noted that ’employment growth picked up and the unemployment rate declined’.”

Global market upheaval, driven in part by growth fears, would also weigh on future decisions, the RBA said.

“Over the period ahead, new information should allow the board to judge whether the improvement in labour market conditions is continuing and whether the recent financial turbulence portends weaker global and domestic demand,” Mr Stevens said in the statement.

Economists remain divided on whether or not the central bank will be forced to cut the cash rate again this year, with some pointing to a subtle change in language in Tuesday’s statement –swapping “may” for “could” – to support predictions of further reductions.

Capital Economics’ chief economist for Australia Paul Dales described Mr Stevens’ language as “a bit more dovish”, which means more inclined to use low inflation to justify another rate cut.

“This is a very subtle change to the RBA’s implicit easing bias,” he said, “but it suggests that the RBA has become more convinced that underlying inflation will remain close to the bottom of the 2 per cent to 3 per cent target range for longer.

“We expect that the RBA will cut interest rates to 1.5 per cent this year, perhaps starting with a reduction in May,” said Mr Dales.

Economists, meanwhile, were also busy on Tuesday revising down their estimates for gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the December quarter after another set of weaker than expected figures. Surprise jump in imports

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday net exports’ contribution to GDP would be zero after the trade surplus came in smaller than forecast following a surprise jump in imports.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected a 0.3 percentage point contribution from Australia’s trade and foreign income position.

The fourth-quarter current account deficit also blew out further than expected, adding to downward pressure on the income measure of GDP, which includes company profits, wages and rental and interest income. Some economists began tweaking their GDP estimates after Monday’s surprisingly weak corporate profits and inventory results.

The worse-than-expected data, coupled with a sharp fall in building approvals in January, could also pile pressure on the RBA to cut the cash rate again.

“Building approvals were weaker than expected in January, supporting our view that the pipeline of planned housing construction is narrowing,” ANZ Bank economist David Cannington said.

“Tuesday’s data highlights the risk that the Australian economy is unlikely to be able to rely on building construction to support jobs growth and economic activity for much longer.”

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

Nuclear waste dump: Sleepless nights, tears and stress as communities fight Turnbull government plan

South Australians Kellie Hunt, Sue Woolford, Peter Woolford and Toni Scott have visited Parliament House to oppose a nearby nuclear waste dump. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Greens nuclear spokesman Scott Ludlam Photo: Andrew Sheargold
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When Peter Woolford’s son died in a motorbike accident 12 years ago, the rural community of Kimba united to help the farmer and his wife through their personal cataclysm.

But that was then. Now, old friends in the community no longer speak, and people on the streets of the South Australian town are afraid to talk about the issue that has driven a wedge between neighbours: a proposed nuclear waste dump.

Cortlinye, near Kimba, is one of six sites across Australia the federal government has shortlisted to host the nation’s first permanent nuclear dump for low-level and intermediate waste.

The others are at Sallys Flat near Hill End in NSW, Hale in the Northern Territory, Pinkawillinie and Barndioota in South Australia and Oman Ama in Queensland.

If sites are approved, landowners who volunteered their property would receive up to four times the value of their land, and the community would receive about $10 million for infrastructure or services.

But this fight is “not about money”, said Mr Woolford, who was in Canberra on Tuesday with waste dump opponents from the other five communities to voice their concern. They say Resources Minister Josh Frydenberg refused to meet them, however they met other senior officials.

“[My wife and I] have a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of tears and stress, feeling sick,” Mr Woolford said.

“The mental health issues that the process has created, the stress and the anger and the deep division in our community is real.”

He said after the death of his teenage son, the townspeople paid regular visits, brought food and helped with the family’s harvest.

“My wife and I wouldn’t be here today if it hadn’t been [for] the community support of Kimba … to see what’s happening to our community now, it’s so distressing,” he said.

Mr Woolford supplies grain to export markets. He fears that a nuclear waste dump near his home would damage the reputation of crops from his rural region on the Eyre Peninsula.

The government says Australians benefit from nuclear technology and each week, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation research reactor at Lucas Heights, NSW, delivers 10,000 doses of potentially lifesaving nuclear medicines to over 250 hospitals and medical practices across Australia and overseas.

Australia has accumulated the equivalent of more than two Olympic sized swimming pools of low-level radioactive waste from research, medical and industrial use. It has also accumulated intermediate level waste, such as from the production of radiopharmaceuticals.

In a statement, Mr Frydenberg said the government was “committed to safely and responsibly managing the by-products from these processes by establishing a permanent, national radioactive waste management facility”.

More than 100 sites across the country, such as hospitals and universities, are licensed to store such waste on an interim basis.

Mr Frydenberg said a 120-day consultation period, which ends on March 11, was engaging the six affected communities and had so far been “constructive”.

“While I respect the views of those who may want to truncate this process, and appreciate their feedback, all members of the community should be given the continued opportunity to provide their views, including those who have shown their support for a proposed site, and those who seek further information,” he said.

Mr Frydenberg said feedback from the initial consultation process will help inform the government’s next steps, which would involve further community consultation, technical assessment and a shortlist of two to three sites.

“Ultimately we are looking for a site which has broad based community support,” he said.

A final site is expected to be identified by the end of this year.

Aboriginal woman Regina Mackenzie said the proposed Barndioota site in the Flinders Ranges threatened important cultural heritage sites.

“There was no consultation whatsoever … we just feel it’s an attack on our belief system,” she said.

Hill End spokeswoman Robyn Rayner owns and runs a merino stud with her husband, and said the proposed site was across the road from their home.

“We are here today as a united group. We are from all different walks of Australia but we all share the same [concern], we are totally against this,” she said.

“We want the government to listen. No means no.”

Greens nuclear spokesman senator Scott Ludlam said communities were told the dump would not be built if locals largely objected.

“There’s strong opposition in all six communities [and] the government needs to abandon this idea,” he said.

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Davis Cup 2016: It’s ‘just a virus’ for Nick Kyrgios, says Lleyton Hewitt

Lleyton Hewitt has revealed that a virus, rather than ongoing back issues, has led to Nick Kyrgios’ quarantining from his Davis Cup teammates, while declaring both the “under the weather” Kyrgios and late-arriving Bernard Tomic should be fit to play against the US on Friday.
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Hewitt said Kyrgios would probably join the rest of the Australian squad on Wednesday morning, having earlier been confirmed as a no-show at the team dinner that night.

“He’s just had a bit of a virus, so at the moment he’s just taking it easy and just trying to get over that 100 per cent and then he’ll be right to go,” Hewitt said. “Obviously I didn’t want him around the other boys right at the moment if he’s a bit infectious as well. It’s kind of precautionary more than anything, He’ll be ready to go.

“The back and hip don’t seem to be a problem, which is really good news, but he did have a virus over in Dubai and sort of just trying to get over that, more than anything. He’s played a lot of matches, for he and Bernie they’re confident coming in with their ball-striking, and it’s about these guys just doing the small things to feel comfortable on the grasscourt, but come match day I’m backing both of those boys.”

In the absence of his singles partner, the encouraging news was that Tomic practised on the match court with Hewitt during the heat of the afternoon and showed no ill-effects from either the fatigue of a 9am arrival from Mexico or the wrist injury that required pain-killers during last week’s run to the Acapulco Open final.

“It was tough because I finished the final and I think I had to fly (out) five six hours after that, and it was busy with the flights, couldn’t get connections, so it was very tough to get here,” Tomic said.

“I’m happy I’m here and the hit today it was good to get on the court and it’s now on grass so I have to try and get ready as much as I can today, tomorrow, the next day, which I think I’ll be ready.”

The wrist had been bothering him since his Australian open loss to Andy Murray, Tomic said. “I just had some sort of pain. But it’s OK. I mean, I’ve been playing matches, I haven’t pulled out anywhere, I ‘m pretty confident, it’s just maybe a few matches where I felt pain ast week but I pushed through it and was on painkillers.

The last four five days has been OK. I had to strap it on the final when I played and it didn’t bother me to much, but I’m just happy I got here now on time because it was a tough tough schedule to get from Mexico to here in Melbourne. it was like all over the world, so I’m happy I’m here.

“It’s tough to say if I will be 100 per cent, but there’s not gonna be a lot of rallies if we play. It’s gonna be a lot of quick points, and I’m serving really good and playing very confidently.  “I’m very happy the way I’m playing and I think I’ll be very ready for sure on Friday.”

Earlier, US captain Jim Courier said he had limited “intel” on the health of both Kyrgios and Australian singles No.1 Bernard Tomic, who has a wrist injury, but was working on the assumption that both would be fit to play.

“The only thing that we’ve heard from the ITF is that Nick is not going to be here for press today and not going to be at the dinner. That’s the only news that we have as far as that goes,” Courier said, flanked by team members John Isner, Jack Sock and the Bryan brothers.

“But until Thursday in these things you can’t really count on anything. You can change two players off the team, so we’ll find out Thursday at the draw who we have, but … we have to prepare for what’s been presented to us.

“We’re not blind. The practice courts are right next to each other, we can see what they’re doing, they can see what we’re doing, we know who’s practising on their side and who hasn’t been practising, but a lot can change in these things come Thursday and we’ll really hunker down at that point.”

Courier also said he was pleased with the custom-built grass court laid over Kooyong’s regulation Plexicushion. “I haven’t hit a ball on it yet, so it plays great for me,” he quipped. “The centre court’s different than the practice courts; it’s a little slower, I would say. It’s pretty firm, though. It’s a pretty good court for a temporary grasscourt.”

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