Rape of woman in skinny jeans ‘not possible’

CAN a woman wearing skinny jeans be raped? Or are they so tight they can be taken off only with her consent?These are some of the questions a jury asked before acquitting a Sydney man of sexual assault.Nicholas Eugenio Gonzalez was accused of raping the 24-year-old as she consoled him about breaking up with one of her friends.The jury of six men and six women heard Mr Gonzalez, 23, had allegedly pushed the woman on to his bed, ripping off her size six skinny jeans and underpants before the attack.In his defence, Mr Gonzalez, a navy cook, said the sex was consensual.During the trial the jury sent a note to the judge asking for more information about ”how exactly Nick took off her jeans”.”I doubt those kind of jeans can be removed without any sort of collaboration,” the note read.Courts in Italy and Korea have also grappled with the skinny jeans issue.In 2008 a Seoul court overturned the seven-year sentence of a man convicted of raping a woman wearing skinny jeans.In the same year an Italian court upheld a rape conviction, ruling that “jeans cannot be compared to any type of chastity belt”.The woman had told the Sydney District Court she and Mr Gonzalez had met for drinks in April 2008 before going to his Surry Hills house to listen to music.She said they had gone upstairs to his room so he could play his drums. He had pushed her on to the bed, placing his torso on top of her.”I struggled to try to get up for a while and … then he undid my jeans and … he pulled them off,” she said. The woman alleged he then raped her.Under cross-examination from defence counsel Paul Hogan, the woman said she weighed 42 kilograms and did not find it hard to squeeze in and out of her jeans.”I’m suggesting it’s difficult for skinny jeans to be taken off by someone else unless the wearer’s assisting, collaborating, consenting,” Mr Hogan said. ”I would disagree,” she replied.The chairwoman of the National Association of Services Against Sexual Assault, Veronica Wensing, said a woman’s outfit should not be an issue in alleged rapes. ”Any piece of clothing can be removed with force.”
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Everyday heroes pay the ultimate price when the siren stops

THEY are there to rescue us in our hours of greatest need. Day after day, paramedics pull mangled bodies from car smashes, crawl under fallen buildings and fend off attacks by drunks. They witness unspeakable trauma, some for decades, but when they collapse emotionally the ambulance service too often fails them.One paramedic commits suicide each year in the state, on average, yet the ambulance service often refuses to accept battle fatigue is significant, in some cases blaming their personal lives instead.Their suicide rate – one in 3500 – is almost three times higher than the general community’s one in 10,000.Friends, family and former colleagues of nine paramedics who killed themselves between 1998 and 2008 have given disturbing accounts of how work pressure either contributed to or caused severe depression.As the final report of the 2008 parliamentary inquiry into the service was tabled yesterday, paramedics say the service is still failing to take responsibility for their mental health.The report shows the service has made considerable progress on paper but has far to go in creating a healthy work environment, the inquiry committee chairwoman, Robyn Parker, said.”It is concerning that 18 months after our initial report we are still made aware of a number of officers who are in a perilous mental health situation, clearly work related and clearly not resolved,” Ms Parker said.Coronial figures show that from July 2000 to January 2010, nine paramedics committed suicide. The Herald has identified two other suicides, in 1998 and 1999.”A variety of factors appear to have contributed to their decision to end their lives, including financial difficulties, relationship breakdowns, drug and other health issues,” an ambulance spokesman said.The service has no formal process for collecting data on suicides.The service’s chief executive, Greg Rochford, said the organisation has ”worked very hard to create an atmosphere that is caring” and strongly denied any suggestion it did not properly acknowledge workplace stress.”[But] we’re certainly not going to accept the claim that this is the cause or the main cause of a tragedy like suicide. It’s just too complex for that.”Mr Rochford said there had been significant reform in the past year to improve support for mental illness.Susie O’Brien, the partner of a Newcastle paramedic, Bernie Briggs, who killed himself in 2007, said his death was ”definitely work related” and his brother Dean Briggs said ”burnout” was a factor.Lifeline 131 114
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Backpackers to take over school tests

THE Education Department is preparing to send in emergency strike breakers, including backpackers, after NSW teachers decided to ignore an Industrial Relations Commission order to lift their ban on supervising national literacy and numeracy tests.Schools in inner Sydney and the north shore will be hit the hardest, warned the NSW Director-General of Education, Michael Coutts-Trotter. One in five schools in those areas could be left without teaching cover.Principals or teachers who obstructed the tests faced disciplinary action, including the sack, he said.Recruitment agencies have put out a call to ”anyone”, including backpackers with working holiday visas, to supervise the NAPLAN tests for an hourly rate of $19.11 for about five hours a day.Applicants for the 2000 jobs would need to pass a police check which can take up to six days to process.Invitations to help supervise the tests have also been sent to 8000 School Certificate and Higher School Certificate markers.”The phone has been running hot,” Mr Coutts-Trotter said.The department said it had received 2500 positive responses to a text message sent to casual teachers asking them to also help supervise the tests on May 11, 12 and 13.Mr Coutts-Trotter told the Herald he was confident that 85 per cent of schools in the state would deliver the NAPLAN tests with either their own or outside staff.NSW has up to $1 billion in government funding tied to the national test data, which will be used to guide how money is distributed to the most disadvantaged schools. A reward payment of $94 million is at risk if the state government fails to deliver test results for all schools.Principals and teachers who actively tried to sabotage the tests would be subject to disciplinary action, including sacking in the most serious cases.Mr Coutts-Trotter said he would contact school principals to ensure they understood their professional responsibilities as public servants.”The question to school leaders is will you meet your responsibilities under the Teaching Services Act. It would be a very serious breach of professional and moral responsibility if you were to actively obstruct a child getting the assessment. Some people could react in a way that could trigger disciplinary action,” he said.”It is extremely unlikely [any teacher would be sacked] given what I know of their professionalism.”The department would next week identify alternative test sites for children from schools that refused to deliver them.Mr Coutts-Trotter said it was ”outrageous” that the NSW Teachers Federation had resorted to ”intimidation” on its website which urges casual teachers to reject the department’s offer to supervise the tests.”You should be aware that if you accept the [department’s] offer, you may quickly find yourself in a hostile environment,” the site says.The president of the Teachers Federation, Bob Lipscombe, said the federation ”remains committed to the national moratorium on NAPLAN 2010”, despite a contrary order by the Industrial Relations Commission yesterday. He described plans to recruit backpackers as ”disgraceful” and ”desperation on the part of the department”.The national teacher ban on NAPLAN tests is a protest against the use of results to rank schools on the federal government’s My School website. The site has been used to create league tables.”Teachers will only support NAPLAN when the government takes action to protect students from damaging league tables,” Mr Lipscombe said.The NSW Education Minister, Verity Firth, said: ”We are absolutely determined to do everything we can to make sure these tests proceed. It is not fair that only public schools will miss out.”
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Anguish starts after the sirens stop

It is one of the toughest jobs in the country – an adrenalin-charged ride through what is often the worst of human experiences. But the state’s ambulance service, after countless suicides and attempted suicides by staff, 11 parliamentary and internal inquiries over a decade and 96 complaints to the corruption watchdog, has yet to acknowledge the impact of years of neglect on its traumatised workforce.Paul* is haunted by the screams of distressed children. After 32 years in the ambulance service witnessing unspeakable sadness, the sobs of the young ones who lost their siblings in a house fire a few years ago jolt him from his slumber at night. The raw howling still rings in his ears.”When you hear it, it haunts you forever and you know that everything is futile,” he says. ”The shriek … that helpless plea, that last expiring of breath.”The nagging thought of whether more could have been done – another crew sent sooner, perhaps – tears at his psyche. ”No one ever offered me any counselling. We just went on to another job,” he says. ”I relive it every day that I see a house fire.”Paul does not wish to use his real name because, like so many of his former colleagues, he has been medically retired and is awaiting the outcome of a claim for post-traumatic stress disorder.A parliamentary inquiry in 2008, the 11th inquiry into the Ambulance Service of NSW since 2001, heard shocking evidence of distress among its officers.”There is a view that the level of suicide in the service is indicative of a highly dysfunctional working environment in which management fail to offer their employees adequate support,” the inquiry’s final report says.A review earlier this year of the service’s progress since says many officers are still ”teetering on the brink”.It received more than 10 submissions from people who admitted to having suicidal thoughts or had attempted suicide as a result of their experiences in the service. They suffered burnout, drug and alcohol abuse and family breakdown.During a three-month investigation, the Herald has contacted family, friends and former colleagues of nine officers who have committed suicide over the past 12 years and asked them whether they felt job stress was a contributing factor in their deaths. Almost all say it was.Yet the ambulance service is adamant the job is not to blame, shunting the responsibility onto the officers’ personal lives.Paul’s life on the road with the ambulance service brought him to countless tragic scenes, including the Savoy Hotel fire in Kings Cross on Christmas Day 1975, which killed 15 people. He recalls a woman trying to walk to an ambulance, ”but her feet were like cheese”.Some scenes were war-like, such as the rookie nurse who walked into a helicopter blade and lost half her face – she lived until she arrived at hospital. ”There was no mouth or nose or teeth or eyes … how do you put a resuscitation mask on when there’s no face?” he says. ”You’re on an adrenalin rush to get there and then you’re on another adrenalin rush to get them to hospital and then you finally get to bed and you start to have flashbacks.”But it was not the sickening accidents, 15-hour shifts or stress of working in one-man crews that finally broke him. It was the bureaucratic stonewalling when he and others raised serious concerns about patient care, bullying and harassment and favouritism.IT IS NOT only the Ambulance Service that comes in for criticism from among its ranks. The union that represents its workers is also under pressure.The Emergency Medical Service Protection Association is a breakaway group of about 750 paramedics that feels unsupported by the executive of the Health Services Union. It says the ambulance service has simply ”lost touch”.”To say that the issues and injuries that paramedics deal with on a day-to-day basis do not affect them is ludicrous,” the association says.”The fact that the ambulance service doesn’t monitor the mental health of their officers by keeping accurate statistics on suicides and attempts only highlights their inability to make such a statement.”Despite the serious concerns raised by his members, the secretary of the Health Services Union, Michael Williamson, did not want to discuss the issue. After several requests, his media adviser responded by email.”Stress levels among some paramedics is very high … some people who work in life and death situations daily like paramedics feel that it impacts on their mental health,” it said. “The NSW Ambulance Service could do a better job of assisting people who are having personal or work related problems.”The chief executive officer of the ambulance service, Greg Rochford, has been publicly criticised by the union for what it sees as a failure to improve the culture and its poor grievance handling processes, despite back-to-back inquiries by Parliament and the service itself.Adding to its woes, the service is under the control of NSW Health, an already troubled bureaucracy that has had six health ministers over the past decade, making it almost impossible for paramedics to keep their issue on the political agenda.The problem is so out of hand that paramedics, feeling unable to get any traction with the service, their union or the government, have turned to the Independent Commission Against Corruption in desperation. Of the 96 complaints about the ambulance service it received between 2001 and 2007, 53 related to the behaviour of supervisors and managers.Management is unsympathetic about job-related trauma, officers are reluctant to ask for help and when they are physically or mentally injured, they are cast aside, paramedics say.Jason Hodder, the husband of paramedic Christine Hodder, who hanged herself in 2005 after years of bullying at Cowra station, says the service has never apologised for ignoring her written pleas for help. He remains deeply concerned for others still in the service.”When these guys crash they need to be picked up and looked after and not just wiped away,” he says.A Health Services Union representative of 20 years, Peter Rumball, says he knows of several officers who have killed themselves or tried to.”In one word, it’s abysmal the way they deal with the officers who either attempted suicide or what happens when they do suicide,” he says.He says the service’s claim that suicides among its troops are not at all work-related is ”total garbage”.”You can’t have people like us doing the job that we do and seeing the things we see without it having some effect.”The figure of nine suicides in the past 10 years was an underestimate, Rumball says.”They would have no record of the people who have done it post retirement, resignation or being pensioned off with psychological injury,” he said.The NSW Police Force has been forced by courts over the past decade to shell out millions of dollars for psychological stress claims but to date there have been very few cases against the ambulance service.The Herald understands that in only one of the nine ambulance service cases – that of Bruce Nihill – did anyone sue for damages.Mr Nihill’s then wife, Yvonne, who was left behind with three children, says she was paid a substantial sum in an out-of-court settlement.After years of bullying by colleagues, Mr Nihill shot himself dead in 2001 in northern NSW. He left this note: ”It’s all gone now. I’m wasting my life til I die. I sold my soul on the 27th March, 1995 [when it is believed that he started with the ambulance service] and now I’m paying for it.”Yvonne says: ”I believed they were the cause of my husband’s death.”THERE IS no national data on suicide by occupation, and research on the effects of post traumatic stress disorder on paramedics is limited.But internal surveys by the NSW ambulance service paint a bleak picture, with the most recent available, from 2007, showing 75 per cent of ambulance officers say they are overworked and four out of five believe the service does not deal adequately with stress.Internationally, the picture is just as bleak. In Britain, a Healthcare Commission annual staff survey in 2007 found that 34 per cent of ambulance workers had suffered work-related stress. And the Emergency Medicine Journal published a British study in 2004 that found 22 per cent had post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety and one in 10 had depression.Greg Chilvers, the director of the research and resource centre for the NSW Police Association, says there are about seven or eight police suicides each year – about one in every 2000 officers – a much higher rate than the ambulance service of one in 3500.The police force also had a long way to go in dealing with illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder and, as with the ambulance service, it had no mandatory or automatic counselling process, except for police officers working in high-risk areas such as homicide, he says.Retired district inspector Peter Chance says the situation does not appear to have improved much since he was the commander for the Strathfield Plaza massacre in 1991, in which Wade Frankum, armed with a knife and a rifle, killed seven people and himself. Chance says he was refused a debrief request and his officers were immediately sent on to another job.Chance, medically retired in 1994 after 25 years, saw a psychologist for two years for depression – an illness he mostly attributes to the unrelenting, traumatic nature of the job and feeling unappreciated by a ”callous” management.”You can’t expect people to do the job at 100 per cent efficiency if they’re tired, stressed out or emotionally depleted,” Chance says.”It’s like soldiers with battle fatigue. We hid in a bottle, or on the end of a needle for too long to get through each day.”ALMOST all of us will at one time call on the ambulance service for help, and we will no doubt be in our greatest hour of need. But where is the help for those risking their lives every day, driving at high speed on the wrong side of the road, crawling under trains to retrieve bodies and being assaulted by drug-affected patients?It is a ”social contract”, says Professor Sandy McFarlane, an expert in post-traumatic stress disorder.”If we want these people to risk their lives looking after us we need to accept responsibility for them, too,” says McFarlane, also the head of the University of Adelaide’s Centre for Military and Veterans Health. He believes it is unlikely that a paramedic would not be in some way affected by their job.”I think it’s intriguing why the ambulance service takes that perspective. One would presume that it’s a defensive position because of the potential legal liability.”McFarlane says paramedics are at a higher risk of getting post-traumatic stress disorder, which inevitably affect a person’s home life and relationships.Dr Carlo Caponecchia, a psychologist specialising in work-related stress and a lecturer in the School of Risk and Safety Sciences at the University of NSW says: ”Suicides and attempted suicides [are] an ongoing problem and still the ambulance service deals very poorly with helping people who have attempted suicides.”How do you know how bad the problem is if you don’t even collect the statistics? It’s a difficult one, isn’t it? To collect that kind of data is almost to say that it’s work-related.”Chaplain Glen Renton, who has been a volunteer counsellor with the ambulance service for the past eight years and gets called out at least once a week, says he has ”been involved with quite a number of staff that we’ve had to take up to hospital in regard to suicide and attempted suicide”.He says the problems are both personal and job-related. ”I actually find the situations that they’ve been in with their personal lives far outweigh what they’re dealing with in their work lives.””The instances that I’ve been involved in, the staff have been supportive of the paramedics. They have bent over backwards,” he says.However, while counselling is recommended for those attending a child death, a prolonged rescue, suicides and the death of a colleague, it is not mandatory.Meanwhile, paramedics spend years fighting the service for workers’ compensation for work-related stress. One paramedic who was with the service for nearly 20 years has spent the past year fighting to have her claim for post-traumatic stress disorder recognised – it eventually was – but she was without pay for half that time.She recalls the week that tipped her over the edge. It started with a young man who had crashed into a pole, ripping off half his head, and was followed the next morning by a motorbike accident that left the rider with his head between the back wheels of a semi-trailer.”It was right in front of a busload of kids and they were hysterical,” she says.”Then there was a man that I pulled out of a river who’d had been there for 24 hours and the crabs had been eating him. Then there was a seven-month-old baby that was hanging in its cot. I was a single officer response. It was a whole series of really bad jobs,” she says.A manager told her to ”toughen up”.”I still struggle every day. I’m fine all during the day but at night, I still have nightmares … I still wake up shivering or wake up in a sweat and that’s why it is so frustrating that they disputed my claim,” she says.Two of her former colleagues have committed suicide and several have attempted suicide, including an officer who took an overdose this year and spent several days in a psychiatric unit of a hospital.THE Ambulance Service of NSW says it does not keep data on how many workers’ compensation claims were made last financial year or their rate of success. According to its annual reports, 26 claims were made for ”mental stress” in 2007-08.Rochford told the Herald he had been working hard to build an ”open and supportive” organisation that encourages paramedics who are struggling to seek help.”I am the first to acknowledge we need to do more and there are areas we need to improve, and we are not going to give up on that.”His words will be cold comfort to the officers who struggle daily with the stress, and the families of those already lost.* Not his real [email protected]南京夜网.auLifeline 131 114
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Killer’s gold-plated farewell may end gangland war

AFTER the funeral and the burial the undignified work began. No one was there to see it. The ceremonies were over, the spotlight turned off.Carl Williams’s $30,000 bronze and 14-carat-gold coffin, imported from the United States, had been put in the ground. Cream roses had been thrown, his drawn former wife Roberta Williams peeling petals and fluttering them in one by one. The ashes of his mother and his brother were lowered in. Two white doves were released by his godson and daughter Dhakota and white balloons released. Holy water was scattered. Prayers said. ”Our brother, Carl, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, the Lord bless him.”There were perhaps 30 people at his graveside at 2pm yesterday at Melbourne’s Keilor Cemetery. The funeral had already been held in Essendon; Roberta, her children, Williams’s ailing father George and their security guards travelled between the two places by black stretch Hummer.”Do not count his deeds against him,” said priest Joe Caddy at the graveside. ”May he rest in peace.” The small crowd then filed away. There was no more to say, no more to see.The very end of Melbourne’s most notorious modern gangster – and perhaps with him the gangland war – had come. Williams, 37, was bashed to death in prison two weeks ago while serving 35 years for three murders.His funeral was held at St Theresa’s Catholic Church in Essendon where his mother, Barb, had been mourned, his daughter Dhakota was christened and two of his gangland rivals, both Morans, were laid to rest.Up to 150 people attended Williams’s funeral. It was estimated there were more onlookers and media outside the church than mourners inside.Police guarded the church yesterday in case of trouble. Their first patrol was at 5.50am, but trouble didn’t come, except for a brief sideshow involving a woman impersonating gangland matriarch Judy Moran carrying an urn towards the church. Police intervened.Inside, Father Bill Attard told the mourners ”Carl Williams matters”. Father Attard is a psychologist and Catholic theologian as well as a suburban priest and according to biblical parables, he said, Williams could be viewed as a lost sheep but also as a leper who could be embraced.Roberta Williams and her daughters ran the service. Her son Tye – in prison – was not allowed to attend. Dhakota, 9, read: ”I love my dad a lot and you know what? He loves me.”This was the theme of the funeral: a family man. A slideshow showed pictures of him cuddling the children. Songs played included Simply the Best by Tina Turner, and Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men’s One Sweet Day. No mention was made of drug empires and killings and weapons, nor were the words ”underworld”, ”gangland” nor ”war” uttered.Roberta Williams herself thanked him – ”Carlos” – for giving her confidence after an abusive childhood. ”You taught me to stand proud and never look down,” she said. ” ‘Lift your head, Bert’ you’d say, and ‘remember, no one’s better than you. Keep your eyes focused straight ahead, be proud, keep going.”’Williams’s eight pallbearers struggled under the weight of the coffin as they carried it from the church to the Mercedes hearse outside.With Jared Lynch
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Flight attendants forced to use toilet oxygen in emergency

Virgin Blue flight attendants had to use the oxygen masks in the rear toilets of a Boeing 737 during an emergency descent after they couldn’t tell if their crew oxygen masks were working, an investigation has revealed.
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In the rush to get oxygen flowing during a rapid depressurisation, one attendant yanked on the tubing, ripping it from its connection and rendering it useless.

The plane, which had departed Coolangatta for Melbourne with 145 passengers on board, experienced rapid cabin depressurisation after its two air supply systems failed.

The pilots, distracted by the unfolding emergency, didn’t immediately tell the cabin crew what was going on, the report said.

The pilots also forgot to turn on engine and wing de-icing systems, which could have created difficulties in flight control had ice formed, air safety investigators have found.

The investigators’ final report into the November 17, 2007 incident was released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau yesterday, cataloguing multiple technical and procedural failings.

A pressure valve fault triggered the shutdown of one of the two units pumping air into the cabin shortly after take-off. Then, cruising at 31,800 feet, the other air supply unit failed, triggering a rapid loss of cabin air pressure.

Investigators found:

The command pilot’s decision to continue the take-off after the first air supply unit failed was contrary to the airline’s procedures and increased the risk of in-flight technical problems;

Pilots trying to resolve the first air supply fault were distracted during the critical phase of take-off;

Pilots overlooked activating anti-ice systems in icy conditions on ascent and emergency descent;

Pilots were too busy to warn meal-serving crew about the nature of the emergency;

Crew had “inconsistent knowledge” of how emergency oxygen masks worked.

Pilots landed the plane safely at Brisbane Airport with no injuries to people on board.

In response to the report, the airline said: “Virgin Blue has rigorous operating procedures to which we expect all team members to adhere and we are also continuously reviewing and monitoring our operations.

“Ours is not a culture of blame but of continuous learning, training and improvement. As outlined in the ATSB report, Virgin Blue has implemented a range of actions as a result of this incident.”

Investigators say the lessons learned from the incident have been incorporated in Virgin Blue’s pilot, crew and technical training, manuals and procedures.

Fulham clinch dramatic Europa League final spot as Liverpool falls

Fulham completed their fairytale run to the Europa League final as the unfashionable English club defeated Hamburg 2-1 in the semi-final second leg on Thursday.Roy Hodgson’s side looked on the verge of elimination when they trailed to Mladen Petric’s first half free-kick with just 21 minutes left at Craven Cottage.But two goals in seven minutes from Simon Davies and Zoltan Gera sealed a dramatic 2-1 aggregate triumph and a place in the final against Spanish club Atletico Madrid – after they eliminated English giants Liverpool in a dramatic semi-final second leg at Anfield – on May 12.Hodgson’s team began their European adventure against Lithuania’s FK Vetra way back in July and had already exceeded all expectations in a magical run that included famous victories over holders Shakhtar Donetsk, Italian giants Juventus and German champions Wolfsburg.The Cottagers had even survived the draining effects of their enforced 18-hour bus journey to Germany in the first leg in Hamburg last week.Fulham have never won a major honour at home or abroad, but they will play in a first European final after the most significant result in the club’s 131-year history.With so much at stake, 19-goal leading scorer Bobby Zamora agreed to have a painkilling injection so he could start after missing Sunday’s defeat at Everton with an Achilles injury.Zamora had a chance to impress watching England coach Fabio Capello, but the former Tottenham forward never looked fit and was unable to convert a golden opportunity in the second minute.Gera’s flick sent Zamora through on goal yet, with just Frank Rost to beat, he shot straight at the Hamburg goalkeeper before his effort from the rebound was scrambled away for a corner.It proved a costly miss as Ricardo Moniz’s side gradually took control before going ahead in the 22nd minute.After Ze Roberto was fouled by Danny Murphy 35 yards from goal, Croatia forward Petric stepped up and unleashed a ferocious free-kick that caught Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer slightly flat-footed at it sped past him.Now Fulham needed to score twice as a draw would eliminate them on away goals.Hodgson’s side had recovered from a worse position to go through against Juventus, but the Germans, who had sacked boss Bruno Labbadia earlier in the week, were pushing for a killer second goal and Jonathan Pitropia was narrowly off-target with a powerful drive just before half-time.Zamora began limping heavily as the match wore on and it was no surprise when he was replaced by American forward Clint Dempsey in the 57th minute.Dempsey added more verve to the previously subdued Fulham forward line and Damien Duff went close with a first-time shot from Paul Konchesky’s low free-kick.Fulham were leaving more gaps at the back as they searched for an equaliser and David Jarolim forced Schwarzer to tip over after a quick Hamburg counter-attack.There was no sign of Fulham throwing in the towel though and Davies brought the hosts right back into the tie 69th minute.Murphy chipped a defence-splitting pass to Davies and the Welsh midfielder showed great skill to turn Guy Demel before firing past Rost.Suddenly, Fulham could sense another remarkable European victory and they piled forward.Their pressure was rewarded in the 76th minute when Davies’s corner ran through to Hungary forward Gera, who kept his composure to control and shoot past Rost as the Craven Cottage faithful went wild.AFP
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Hauritz hammered by teammates as whirlwind Warner strikes again

Nathan Hauritz’s chances of playing in Australia’s opening World Twenty20 match have dimmed significantly after the spinner again failed to take a wicket in the final practice match today.Hauritz played for the Windward Islands side against his Australian teammates, in order to give him a greater bowling challenge, but could not break through and finished with 0-34 from three overs.Having also failed to take a wicket against Zimbabwe on Tuesday, Hauritz is likely to be left out of the side for Sunday’s match against Pakistan despite the slowness of the pitch, and Australia would rely on Steve Smith along with part-time spinners David Hussey and Michael Clarke, who all picked up wickets.Australia cruised to victory over the Windward side that also featured Australians Dan Christian and Tim Paine, scoring 8-189 before dismissing the locals for 88 at Beausejour Cricket Ground.David Warner scored his second successive half-century and looks primed to be among the leading run-scorers for the tournament.Paceman Shaun Tait, who picked up two wickets, was happy for the hit-out after joining the team from the Indian Premier League on Sunday.”It was good to get a game in before the start of the tournament and it worked pretty well today,” Tait said.SCORECARDAustralia InningsD WARNER c Christian b Mathews 51S WATSON c James b Mathews 17M CLARKE b Cottoy 30D HUSSEY c Charles b Christian 49C WHITE c & b Kottoy 24B HADDIN c Paine b Mathews 1M HUSSEY run out 1S SMITH run out 5M JOHNSON not out 0D NANNES not out 1Sundries (4lb 5w 1nb) 108 wickets for 189Fall: 1-57, 2-80, 3-119, 4-172, 5-181, 6-182, 7-187, 8-187.Overs: 20.Bowling: Williams 2-0-30-0, Hauritz 3-0-34-0, Mathews 4-0-34-3, Cottoy 3.4-0-37-2, Christian 4-0-29-1, Mathurin 3.2-0-21-0.Windward Islands InningsT PAINE b Nannes 4J CHARLES c D Hussey b Tait 7 K LESPORIS b Watson 11C EMMANUEL c Haddin b Johnson 4D CHRISTIAN c White b Clarke 20D HECTOR c D Hussey b Smith 9N HAURITZ lbw b Clarke 4L JAMES not out 20M MATHEWS c & b Smith 3K COTTOY c & b D Hussey 3K WILLIAMS c Haddin b Tait 1Sundries (1w) 1Total 88Fall: 1-4, 2-16, 3-26, 4-44, 5-47, 6-57, 7-60, 8-65, 9-75, 10-87.Overs: 20Bowling: Nannes 4-0-21-1, Tait 4-0-19-2, Watson 2-0-10-1, Johnson 3-0-12-1, Smith 3-0-15-2, Clarke 2-0-6-2, D Hussey 2-0-5-1.Result: Australia won by 101 runs.
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Housing bubble to burst? History says ‘yes’

Australia’s housing bubble would defy worldwide trends and all historical evidence if it did not burst, a US investment fund has said.
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Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of Boston-based GMO, said Australian home prices continued to rise because the Reserve Bank’s rapid interest rate cuts during the financial crisis “protected” the nation’s housing bubble.

“But if they (home prices in Australia and the UK) don’t go back to … the old trend line multiple of family income, which should drive house prices, it will be the first time in history that such a bubble is not broken,” Mr Grantham said in a recent interview with the Financial Times.

“Now we have to see what happens when interest rates rise.”

The RBA, after cutting rates to a 50-year low as it moved to spur economic demand, began lifting the official cash rates in October, its most recent move coming earlier this month when the cash rate went to 4.25 per cent.

A consensus of economists is tipping another 25-basis-point rate increase next week, according to Bloomberg. Credit markets are pricing in a 50-50 probability of such a move when the RBA board meets on Tuesday.

Australian home-price growth has shown signs of flagging in the most recent quarterly price data. The national median house price rose 3.1 per cent to a record $542,800 in the March quarter, after a 4.8 per cent increase in last three months of 2009, according to figures from Australian Property Monitors that were released yesterday.

The average income-to-loan-size ratio was 3.5 times in 1998 but is now almost six times, based on mortgages today, according Fujitsu consulting data.

The nation’s home home prices have been supported by a growing population, a strong economy, a low unemployment rate and a chronic shortage of affordable housing, estimated by the government to be about 200,000 units this year.

In the interview, Mr Grantham also pointed to a bubble in the UK housing market.

House prices there, after dropping by almost 18 per cent in the year to February 2009, are now up 10.5 per cent in the year to April 2010, according to the Nationwide Housing Price Index.

Of the 34 bubbles GMO researched, including the US housing bubble and the dotcom stock bubble, 32 have returned to the trend that existed before the emergence of the bubble, Mr Grantham said.

GMO, a privately held global investment management firm, has $US107 billion under management.

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Six appeal: Blues sizing up Carney for halves spot

TODD CARNEY has emerged as the leading candidate for the NSW five-eighth jersey this year, with Country Origin officials poised to choose him at No.6 alongside Brett Kimmorley for next Friday’s selection trial at Port Macquarie.The Blues’ halves are expected to come from Country’s deep ranks, which include Carney, Kimmorley, Greg Bird, Trent Barrett, Brett Finch, Jarrod Mullen and Terry Campese, while likely Australian utility Luke Lewis is another option.Carney, who has played fullback for the Sydney Roosters this season, moves to halfback for their match against Wests Tigers at Campbelltown on Sunday to cover for the injured Mitchell Pearce.It is in the halves that Blues coach Craig Bellamy and Country coach Laurie Daley – also a NSW selector – want Carney tested against City, with Kimmorley firming as favourite to retain his Blues spot by playing alongside him.”That would be the favourite [combination] at this stage,” Country chairman of selectors Jock Colley said. ”Originally, a couple of weeks ago we were looking to play Carney at five-eighth after consultation with Laurie and Craig.”A few things have changed since then but it’s likely he’ll be there. We want to see how he goes this weekend at halfback. He was outstanding at five-eighth for us at Wollongong two years ago but he hasn’t played in the halves in the NRL for two years.”Cronulla captain Barrett is running second to Carney among the five-eighth hopes but Finch, Campese and Mullen are expected to be overlooked by Country selectors. Bird, who has impressed at five-eighth for Gold Coast this season, will be chosen at lock for Country.”We’ve got about 15 halfbacks to chose from,” Colley said. ”We’ll consult with the State of Origin selectors again. You’ve still got to look at Kimmorley because he could well be the State of Origin halfback. We want to win but ultimately for the survival of the game it’s an Origin trial.”City’s halves options are comparatively very thin. With Pearce and Brisbane halfback Peter Wallace sidelined with injuries Manly rookie Trent Hodkinson and Parramatta’s Kris Keating are in line to partner Rabbitoh John Sutton in the halves, although moving Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah from hooker to No.7 is also an option.”With Mitch and Wal going down it does leave City a bit short,” Farah said. ”There’s a couple of young guys they could throw in, they could throw me in there. I haven’t thought about it and haven’t been asked anything about it.”Much of the City-Country selection decisions will depend on who Australian selectors opt for on Sunday for the Test against New Zealand in Melbourne on the same night.Country are likely to grant a representative debut to exciting Canberra fullback Josh Dugan if Kurt Gidley is chosen on the bench for Australia, displacing long-time bush servant Luke Patten. Raiders prop Dane Tilse could be another bolter with fellow Country props Michael Weyman and Josh Perry set to be in action against the Kiwis.
Nanjing Night Net