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need2know: ASX to open lower as oil slumps

Local shares are poised to fall at the open as iron ore continues to slide lower.
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What you need2know

SPI futures down 26 pts at 5083

AUD at 72.12 US cents

On Wall St, late, S&P 500 0-0.5%, Dow -0.7%, Nasdaq flat

In Europe, Stoxx 50 -1.9%, FTSE -1.4%, CAC -1.6%, DAX -2%

In London, BHP -5.5%, Rio -8.4%

Spot gold up $US2.57 or 0.2% to $US1073.91/oz at 2.43pm NYC

Brent crude down 2 US cents to $US40.71/bbl at 2.19pm NYC

What’s on today

consumer confidence, housing finance; China factory gate prices, consumer inflation; UK Bank of England Financial Policy Committee publishes the record of its November meeting

Stocks in focus

UBS has a “buy” recommendation on Integral Diagnostics and a price target of $2.30 a share.

Bell Potter raised Catapult Group to a “speculative buy” recommendation from “hold” and has a $2.10 price target on the stock, up from $1.80 previously.

Currencies

Oil’s rout led commodity currencies lower. Norway’s krone paced declines, tumbling to its weakest since April 2002 against the dollar, while Canada’s dollar slumped to a 11-year low. South Africa’s rand slid to a record.

The euro climbed with the yen on demand for haven assets. Europe’s 19-nation shared currency added 0.5 per cent to $US1.0896 and the yen strengthened 0.4 per cent to 122.90 per US dollar.

Bets the Federal Reserve will end the era of near-zero borrowing costs at its December 16 meeting have climbed to 78 per cent, with better-than-expected payrolls data from last Friday evidence the US economy is probably strong enough to withstand higher rates.

Commodities

Crude oil erased a decline in New York after sinking to a six-year low following the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ decision to all but abandon any limits on its production. Oil has slumped about 40 per cent since Saudi Arabia led OPEC’s decision a year ago to maintain output and defend market share by pressuring higher-cost producers.

The Bloomberg Industrial Metals Subindex has tumbled 29 per cent this year as economic expansion cools to the slowest pace in a generation in China, the world’s top consumer. Industrial metals declined as the exports in China, the world’s largest consumer of raw materials, fell for a fifth month.

Iron ore fell to a record low as producers press on with expansions to cut costs and defend market share. Benchmark 62-per cent grade iron ore for delivery to China’s Tianjin port fell 0.3 per cent to $US38.80 a tonne on Tuesday, according to The Steel Index (TSI), falling for an eighth straight day. It was the lowest on record by TSI since it began collecting data in 2008.

United States

Wall Street was lower in afternoon trade on Tuesday as oil prices steadied but remained close to a seven-year low and weak Chinese trade data reignited fears of a global economic slowdown. Caterpillar, Exxon and Boeing led the Dow lower.

Copper miner Freeport-McMoRan sank 6.4 per cent to its lowest level since November 2002, leading raw-material shares lower. Alcoa fell 5 per cent. The Bloomberg Commodity Index declined for a second day to a 16-year low.

Morgan Stanley will take a $US150 million severance charge in the fourth quarter related to a workforce reduction, a company spokesman said on Tuesday. The charge will cover the cost of cutting jobs of 1200 workers worldwide, including about 470 front-office employees in its fixed-income business, a source familiar with the matter said.

Europe

Tumbling resource-related companies led European stocks to their lowest level in almost seven weeks after worse-than-expected Chinese data cast further doubt on the health of the world’s second-biggest economy. A gauge of miners posted the worst performance of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, falling to its lowest level since 2009, as commodity prices slid. Anglo American plummeted 12 per cent after suspending dividends for the second half of 2015 and next year. BHP Billiton retreated 5.5 per cent and Rio Tinto Group lost 8.4 per cent. Seadrill dropped 9.5 per cent, leading energy-related stocks lower, after Canaccord Genuity slashed its price target by 97 per cent.

The Stoxx 600 fell 1.8 per cent to 365.75 at the close of trading. A slump in Asian shares set the tone today, after Chinese data showed exports fell in November more than forecast, while imports slumped for a record 13th straight month. Germany’s DAX Index slipped 2 per cent, with Volkswagen contributing most to the drop. Greece’s ASE Index fell the most among western-European markets, sliding 4.4 per cent as Piraeus Bank and National Bank of Greece lost at least 20 per cent.

“China is moving more toward consumption and, in this transition, it is the miners that get hurt the most,” said Andreas Nigg, head of equity and commodity strategy at Vontobel Asset Management in Zurich. “As long as economic data disappoint you are going to have reactions like this.”

What happened yesterday

Led by a 6.35 per cent slide in the energy sector and a 3.4 per cent drop in materials, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index shed 0.9 per cent to 5108.6, and the broader All Ordinaries lost 0.9 per cent to 5158.0. Falls in other sectors were much more moderate and industrials, health care and telcos even posted small gains.

The X-Files: Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are back in thrilling new season trailer

FBI agents Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) are estranged in the new X-Files series. The series was the longest-running sci-fi show in television history.
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Mitch Pileggi returns as FBI assistant director Walter Skinner.

The X-Files makes a dazzling debut at CannesFirst look at The X Files remakeX-Files stars tease fans with set photos

X Files fans, the truth is still out there, and you’ll finally get a taste of it in this gripping new trailer.

More than 13 years after the original series concluded, FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully are back investigating paranormal activity, and the stakes appear higher than ever before.

The first 90-second trailer released by Ten on Tuesday shows the return of favourite characters, as well as all the drama and suspense which earned the show 62 Emmy nominations.

Fox has revived the series for a limited six-episode run, leaving fans surely wanting more.

In the new season, an older and estranged Mulder and Scully are dragged back into investigating the FBI’s secretive X-file cases which involve unexplained paranormal activity.

“Are you ready for this Scully?” Mulder asks his old partner in the clip.

“I don’t know there’s a choice,” she answers breathlessly.

The series, which stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, was the longest-running science fiction show in television history, inspiring two movies and a spin-off series.

The new trailer shows the return of Mitch Pileggi as Mulder and Scully’s long-suffering boss, FBI assistant director Walter Skinner, as well as primary villain, the Smoking Man.

Community star Joel McHale will also join the cast, playing Tad O’Malley, the anchor of a conservative television network.

It appears little has changed between Mulder and Scully, with the colleagues and one-time lovers still harbouring opposing views about extraterrestrial life.

“I have seen this before. You’re on fire, believing that you’re onto some truth, that you can save the world,” Scully chastises Mulder in the clip.

“This is my life,” he says. “This is everything I believe in.”

Those hoping for a love story of epic proportions may be disappointed however.tThe show’s creator’s Chris Carter told The Hollywood Reporter the pair will be broken up in the new series.

The X-Files series premieres January 24 on Fox.#mondaymotivation#TheXFilespic.twitter上海龙凤论坛m/rOjlef6qCc— The X-Files (@thexfiles) December 7, 2015

Katherine GP throws support behind NT Speaker’s push for RU486

OPTION NEEDED: Katherine GP Dr PJ Spafford says the suggestion that the availability of RU486 will lead to irresponsible use by Territory women is “bullshit”.A PROMINENT Katherine general practitioner says debate about providing Northern Territory women with access to so-called “abortion pill” RU486 should be based onmedical, not philosophical, arguments.
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Member for Goyder and parliamentary Speaker Kezia Purick introduced a private member’s bill calling for the drug, also known asmifepristone, to be made available in the NT during the final sitting of 2015 earlier this month via changes to theMedical Services Act.

The drug allows for a non-surgical termination during the early stages of the first trimesterand Ms Purick said it was about time the NT caught up with the rest of the country to provide a “basic human right” for women.

Abortion remains a divisiveissue both in parliament and the community, but Dr PJ Spafford, who runs Gorge Health, said he believed women “totally needed” access to RU486 in order to provide an alternative to a traditional termination.

“Currently, ladies here have to travel to Darwin to have a termination,” he said.

“I’m absolutely without a doubt that having [RU486] available would lead to better health outcomes, because they wouldn’t have to leave their support base or have invasive surgery.”

Dr PJ Spafford

About 1000 surgical terminations are carried out in NT public hospitals each year, according to Department of Health figures.

Critics of Ms Purick’s bill have suggested that access to RU486 would lead to misuse and some women seeing it as an easy solution to pregnancies, a claim slammed as “bullshit” by Dr Spafford.

“It’s not going to make any difference to the rate of conception,” he said.

“I don’t believe anyone wants to make that decision to abort an unborn child but, sometimes, that hard decision needs to be made.

“Having this drug available will not make it any easier an option.”

Ms Purick echoed Dr Spafford’s sentiment and said there was an urgent need to “dispel the myths” surrounding the drug.

“There’s no way for it to be abused,” she said.“A woman has a right over her own body to use medically-approved options.”​

Katherine TImes

Cyclist killed in crash with car in Maroubra

Police at the scene of a fatal crash between a cyclist and a car in Fitzgerald Avenue, Maroubra. Photo: Dallas KilponenA cyclist has died in a crash with a car outside a high school in Sydney’s east, police say.
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The male cyclist was on an organised ride with the Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club when he was involved in a collision with a car on Fitzgerald Avenue in Maroubra just after 6.30am on Wednesday.

Paramedics tried to treat the critically injured rider, but he died at the scene.

The crash occurred near Fitzgerald Avenue’s intersection with Walsh Avenue, outside the Champagnat Catholic College Pagewood.

One man who was riding with the group at the time described it as a “terrible, terrible accident”.

“Devastated for the poor guy’s fiancee, friend and family,” he wrote online.

Douglas Kirkham, the president of the Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club, said club members were on their regular Wednesday morning ride to La Perouse when the crash occurred.

The group of riders had met in Marrickville at 6am and were riding east along Fitzgerald Avenue when the man, who is believed to have been a relatively new member of the club, was involved in the collision.

Other cyclists who saw the crash were “devastated”, Mr Kirkham said.

“Our thoughts are with the rider’s family and friends, and all involved in this terrible incident,” Mr Kirkham said.

“The other riders are devastated and it’s still quite raw.

“We pride ourselves on safety. Its something that’s very, very important to us and it’s something that we take really seriously.”

The Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club, which is one of the oldest cycling clubs in and has about 500 members, also released a statement saying it was “greatly saddened” by the rider’s death and would co-operate with the police investigation.

“As club members know, [the club] prides itself on safety and will of course review its practices in the wake of the incident. As more facts come to light, the club will provide more information,” the statement said.

“For now, our thoughts are with the deceased rider’s family. The club will offer whatever assistance possible at this terrible time.”

Police said the driver of the car was not injured and will undergo mandatory drug and urine testing.

No further details were available about the circumstances of the crash.

Officers from the Eastern Beaches Local Area Command closed off the area early on Wednesday and erected a tent in the middle of the road.

Anyone who saw the crash and has not already spoken to police has been urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. \n”,colour:”green”, title:””, maxWidth:200, open:0}] );}if (!window.gmapsLoaders) window.gmapsLoaders = [];window.gmapsLoaders.push(CreateGMapgmap201511975248);window.gmapsAutoload=true;/*]]>*/]]>

All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams ‘ignorant’ of refugee crisis before Lebanon visit

“I know no-one knows me over here, but there’s a few people that know me in Australasia and I just thought, people are naturally good people”: Sonny Bill Williams. Photo: TwitterAll Black Sonny Bill Williams says spending time at a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon has made him realise how “ignorant” of the refugee crisis he was.
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The sporting superstar is currently visiting a temporary settlement in Faida, Bekaa Valley, working with Unicef to bring awareness to the conditions Syrian children and families are living in after escaping their war-torn country.

After spending the first day of his whirlwind visit to the camp with refugee children and seeing the reality of their lives, the cross-code sportsman spoke about the life-changing experience.

“I came here and what I’ve heard, what I’ve seen, I’ve just been shocked and it’s just made me realise how ignorant I was,” he said.

“The thing that really touched me was, coming here, I didn’t really know what a refugee was.

“I mean, I knew what a refugee was but did I really know? No, not until I came here.

“It kind of hit home, how ignorant I was.”

Lebanon, which shares a border with Syria, has given shelter to more than 1.2 million refugees since the Syrian conflict began five years ago.

Williams met with some of the children affected by the crisis who had been forced to flee their homes amid the violence.

He spent the majority of his day with a 12-year-old girl named Fatima, learning about her life at the camp and visiting her school at the settlement which is a temporary structure made from tents. Sonny Bill Williams @[email protected]上海龙凤论坛m/VIfej8Hyfn— UNICEF New Zealand (@UNICEFNZ) December 8, 2015

Fatima escaped to Lebanon from Syria with her family two years ago.

She had been left traumatised after seeing her best friend die in a bombing while they were walking together back in Syria.

Music has helped her overcome the horrific experience, and she has since created a support group with other girls in the community.

“We kind of clicked straight away,” Williams said of the girl.

“Half-way through the day, she told me she loved having me here and she really opened up about a few of the stories she had encountered. SBW talks with teenage boys at Beyond Association Lebanon about sport @[email protected]上海龙凤论坛m/2rE2WBuwfo— UNICEF New Zealand (@UNICEFNZ) December 8, 2015

“It would shock me if a normal 12-year-old back in New Zealand or would tell me these stories, but based on the situation that she’s in, it didn’t.”

Fatima took Williams to visit the temporary structure she calls home, where she lives with her parents and four brothers.

The camp is set up on private property and the family told Williams they have to pay $US250 ($347) in rent each month for their land and tent where the kitchen doubles as the toilet.

Williams also spoke with Fatima’s teenage brother, who labours long hours each day to earn money for the family as their father is too sick to work. See how children live. @SonnyBWilliams goes inside an informal settlement in this frank video diary: https://t上海龙凤论坛/RoMAOJHRMa#SBWforUNICEF— UNICEF New Zealand (@UNICEFNZ) December 8, 2015

The experience left Williams, father to one-year-old daughter Imaan, feeling emotional.

“It’s conditions you wouldn’t want your worst enemy living in,” he said.

But despite the family’s circumstances, what surprised Williams most was the resilience the family showed.

“The amazing thing through all of this, I could relate to the similarities, how they are as human beings and how we are,” he said.

“You can see how much the father and the mother love each other, and how much they love the kids and vice versa.

“You could see the kids just wanting to be kids, joking around, laughing, but you could see how much they miss their actual home.”

Williams said hearing the stories and seeing the camp up close had shown him how out of touch the rest of the world was with a crisis that had forced more than two million people to become refugees.

“We’re so lucky where we live, but we’re so out of touch,” he said. “Everyone’s mindset is made to feel that refugees are a problem, but it’s more than that.

“They’re human beings too. They were forced from their homes.

“Everyone is fighting over who has to take them on, it’s like everyone’s reluctant to do that.”

He hoped exposing the realities of life in a refugee camp with the following he has gained from his sporting success would help change the perceptions of refugees.

“I know no-one knows me over here, but there’s a few people that know me in Australasia and I just thought, people are naturally good people.

“People have goodness in their hearts … surely those people who see [the situation here] back home in and New Zealand, it would change a few of their mindsets, how they see refugees.” Please watch tv3 at 7pm to hear the story of these young men struggling with life as refugees @TheStoryNZpic.twitter上海龙凤论坛m/yuBZvsVbPC— Sonny Bill Williams (@SonnyBWilliams) December 8, 2015

To donate visit https://www.unicef上海龙凤论坛.nz/sbw.

Stuff上海龙凤论坛.nz

Organic produce isn’t the only ingredient in Bellamy’s appeal, says investor

Bellamy’s sold out of infant formula last month, sparking panic among parents. Photo: Janie BarrettSourcing enough organic milk powder isn’t Bellamy’s only challenge to make sure it doesn’t run out of infant formula again. Analysts say the Tasmanian company must correctly forecast demand for its product, with lead times for ingredient orders stretching up to nine months.
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Bellamy’s shares have surged more than sixfold this year to $12.43. Such is the demand for its infant formula that it sold out – along with a2 Platinum and Karicare’s products – across n supermarkets last month, following China’s biggest internet sale, Singles Day.

Morgans analyst Belinda Moore said Bellamy’s had moved to mitigate future shortages, signing a five-year manufacturing deal with the world’s biggest dairy exporter, Fonterra of New Zealand.

“The new contract with Fonterra will significantly increase Bellamy’s volumes,” Ms Moore said. “In our view, this new arrangement is a sign of strong trading, the company’s future prospects and the fact that it is sourcing additional organic ingredients.”

Bellamy’s has confirmed that it sources some ingredients, which it will deliver to Fonterra for processing, from overseas. But it declined to reveal a complete breakdown, saying it was part of their intellectual property.

n Organics chief executive Paul Stadhams said demand for organic products in outstripped supply on average by about 40 per cent, and for some products the supply gap was a high as 70 per cent.

Andrew Mitchell, the founder of Ophir Asset Management and a Bellamy’s investor, said he understood the company sourced most of its milk powder from Europe, which had a bigger organic market than .

Therefore, he said sourcing organic produce shouldn’t be a problem for Bellamy’s.

“Their challenge is in the forecasting so they get the right amount,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Obviously, that’s been the issue because of the unprecedented demand.

“In Europe, there is lots of supply out there. But it’s about getting the right size of the order because you have to order well in advance, about six to nine months in advance.”

Mr Mitchell, whose boutique firm has delivered investors a 305 per cent return since it was launched in August 2012, has sent staff to China to better understand the infant formula market.

He found that the key ingredient in Bellamy’s appeal in China wasn’t its organic label.

“The Chinese don’t care as much about organic as the n consumer does,” Mr Mitchell said.

“They just care about what the n consumer is doing. It’s not like ‘it’s organic, I’m going to buy it’. They’re buying it because the ns are buying it and it’s organic.”

Still, Mr Mitchell was concerned the soaring demand for infant formula in China could create a “third tier” of opportunistic infant formula manufacturers, which could compromise ‘s reputation.

“If there is a health scandal here, the n brand in this burgeoning export market into China can be destroyed overnight.

“With infant formula and these types of things, depending on how bad it is, might never recover. We want to make sure the regulators are completely over this and slow down new entrants at least to make sure that the quality of their product is first rate.”

Jan Carey, the chief executive of the Infant Nutrition Council, which represents infant formula manufacturers in and New Zealand, said the quality of locally produced products must be assured before it lands in China.

Beijing authorities clamped down on opportunistic companies last year when it slashed the number of imported brands from more than 800 to about 94. Infant formula brands had flooded the Chinese market following the country’s melamine infant formula scandal in 2008, which killed six babies and put another 54,000 in hospital.

“Their standards are pretty tough because food safety is very important,” Ms Carey said.

Malaysian Airport KLIA search for owners of two abandoned Boeing 747 planes

Airport authorities have placed an ad in a newspaper seeking the unknown owner of three Boeing 747 planes left abandoned on the tarmac of Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)
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The planes could be sold or destroyed if they fail to be claimed within 14 days, Malaysia Airports, the company managing the country’s airports, warned in an ad placed in The Star and Sin Chew Daily newspapers.

The unclaimed Boeing 747-200Fs could be sold to recover the charges owed by the owner, which includes parking and landing fees among other charges, under the country’s Civil Aviation Act of 1969, the company said in a statement today.

The owner could also be subject to charges by Malaysia Airports, according to the notice, though no exact amount is specified, according to The Star.

The “off-white” coloured aircraft with a registration code of TF-ARM, and two white planes with the codes TF-ARN and TF-ARH, respectively, belong to Air Atlanta Icelandic, according to their codes. But they were sold by the Icelandic firm in 2008 and have remained at KLIA for more than a year, Zainol Mohd Isa, the general manager for Malayasia Airports, told CNN.

The airport has made previous attempts to contact the last known owners, who were described to be “international” and not Malayasian, of the two passenger aircraft and one cargo plane, according to the manager.

“I don’t know why they are not responding. There could be many reasons. Sometimes it could be because they have no money to continue operations,” he said.   View image | gettyimages上海龙凤论坛m

As unusual as the latest attempt to find the owners might seem, “this step is a common process undertaken by airport operators all over the world when faced with such a situation,” according to the company.

“The giving of such notice by way of advertisement is a common and reasonable step in the process of debt recovery especially in cases where the company concerned has ceased operations and is a foreign entity whereby exhaustive steps undertaken to find a contact person have not been successful,” the company said in its statement.

This is also not the first instance of unclaimed aircraft at KLIA. The airport has seen several other abandoned planes, mostly smaller aircraft, in the last 10 years, including one in the Nineties which was eventually made into a restaurant in a suburb of Kuala Lumpur, the manager said.

KLIA is the airport from where the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 took off before it went missing in March 2014.

The Telegraph, London

See also: Plane’s spectacular landing at Frankfurt Airport

See also: The ten best ways to get a cheap flight

Tony Abbott: Societies can’t ‘remain in denial about the massive problem within Islam’

Former prime minister Tony Abbott may be on the backbench but he’s not staying silent. Photo: Andrew MearesI would have won the next election: Tony AbbottShirtfronted: the story of the Abbott government
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Former prime minister Tony Abbott has said Islam must change and called for a “hearts and minds campaign against the versions of Islam that make excuses for terrorists”.

In an opinion piece for News Corp, Mr Abbott writes that societies “can’t remain in denial about the massive problem within Islam” after terrorist attacks in Paris and the Middle East, the deaths of Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson in the Martin Place siege last year and Curtis Cheng outside Parramatta police station in October.

“Dealing with terrorism and the Islamist fanaticism that inspires it is the great challenge of our time,” he writes.

And ns should stop apologising for the Western values that “have made our country as free, fair and prosperous as any on Earth.”

Mr Abbott said security responses and the work of military forces targeting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria were necessary, but at best were “containing the death cult – but not destroying it”.

He said succeeding would require a “religious revolution” within Islam.

Mr Abbott said surveys of British and French Muslims “typically show up to 30 per cent sympathising with the aims if not the methods of Islamic State.”

Although most Muslims utterly reject terrorism, some are all too ready to justify “death to the infidel,” he wrote.

“Demonising Islam generally or all Muslims could bring on the ‘clash of civilisations’ that academic Samuel Huntington feared two decades back and make ‘Islam’s bloody borders’ even more dangerous. But we can’t remain in denial about the massive problem within Islam.

“Islam never had its own version of the Reformation and the Enlightenment or a consequent acceptance of pluralism and the separation of church and state.

“Fortunately there are numerous Muslim leaders who think their faith needs to modernise from the kill-or-be-killed milieu of the Prophet Mohammed.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Mr Abbott was being counterproductive and it was time for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to intervene.

“It is time for Malcolm Turnbull to step up and pull Tony Abbott into line,” Mr Shorten said.

“Making assertions about cultural and religious superiority is entirely counterproductive.

“Inflammatory language undermines efforts to build social cohesion, mutual respect and has the potential to harm the efforts of national security agencies to keep ns safe.”

The Labor leader said ‘s Muslim community had been working with police and security agencies to counter violent extremism.

“This is crucial work,” Mr Shorten said.

“Defeating terrorism is unquestionably the common interest of all people of every faith – and we must make it our shared mission.”

During an interview with Sky News on Tuesday night, Mr Abbott said the West should continue to work with what he called “live-and-let-live” Muslims, as he issued an implicit criticism of political leaders appeasing Islam by suggesting there was a crisis of confidence and a lack of self-belief in Western societies and governments.

“If there is a problem today it is not just a problem within Islam, which is very serious, but it’s also a lack of cultural self-belief within the West and ,” he said in comments markedly different in tone to the conciliatory words of Mr Turnbull in the wake of the Paris attacks.

“There’s got to be a very strong security response home and abroad,” Mr Abbott said.

“We need a strong hearts-and-mind approach. We need to work closely with ‘live and let live’ Muslims. There needs to be a revolution within Islam. We can’t do it; Muslims need to do it for themselves. The other thing needed is a restoration of cultural self-confidence in those who are supporters of Western cultural civilisation.”

Greens leader Richard Di Natale told Sky News on Wednesday Mr Abbott was “fanning the flames of division”.

“Tony Abbott should pull his head in, should go and find himself a nice hobby, maybe fishing or a game of golf,” he said.

“Tony Abbott is a very divisive force. This notion that he speaks to most ns is nonsense. What he does is he talks to a very, very small group within the n community who have views that aren’t consistent with a pluralist, modern, twenty-first century, multicultural nation.”

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Herald Breakfast – December 9 2015

Morning Shot: Instagram’s @cheyne333 shared this photo. Weather: Showers and developing storms in Newcastle (27 degrees), Maitland (33degrees) and Scone (32 degrees).
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Traffic: Heavy traffic is slowing progress in the eastbound lanes of Newcastle Link Road after a car and truck collided. Police said two women were taken to hospital but their injuries were not life-threatening. One of three lanes is closed at Woodford Street.

Beachwatch: It’ll be warm and cloudy and although there’s a good chance of a shower it’s still going to be a pretty good day beachside.We should see a bit of north-west in the wind for some of the day but it will be mainly north-east.The swell is from the east around half to one metre but there is the chance of a few bigger sets at some of themore open stretches.

Trains: Good service on the Newcastle and Hunter lines.

Morning Shot: Instagram’s @cheyne333 shared this photo.

Wednesday’s headlinesSplash leads to drug stash:PHOTOS:A MAN allegedly found with 1700 MDMA tablets in a runabout on Lake Macquarie came to the attention of police after he fellinto the water.

Premier ‘missing the bus’ in Newcastle:STATE government plans to privatise the city’spublic transport services have come under heavy fire from Newcastle council which has voted to oppose any such move.

Christmas lights destroyed:THEY were designed to bring a bit of festivespirit to his new home but Michael Rankin’s Christmas lights instead attracted a grinch.

Council forges ahead withshow holiday push:NEWCASTLE council will push ahead with its plans for a Newcastle Show public holiday next year despite show organisers withdrawing support for the bid.

Eland’s double duty to continue:DAVID Eland will continue to run theNewcastle Jets and Northern NSW Football at least until the end of the A-League season.

Kitto aims to follow in Leo’s footsteps:RYAN Kitto is not Leonardo.But 21-year-old Jets attacker is doing everything he can toadd bits of the Brazilian’s game to his own.

Goulburn prison officers fear leaked lists circulating jail

Photos: Darryl Fernance, Goulburn Post.A UNION is calling on Corrective Services to fully investigate how a list of prison officers’ names found its way into Goulburn Jail’s Super Max unit.
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Chair of the PSA’s Prison Officers Vocational Branch Steve McMahon said his union has placed full pressure on management to investigate and act.

“It is of major concern to us and the Department has responded by investigating. We are trying to find out how that came to be in the High Risk Management Unit.”

Mr McMahon did not have the full details on what the list contained, besides names, but he feared inmates could easily capitalise.

“Some prisoners have quite a lot of resources available to them to seek and get any further information they’re looking for,” he said.

“We deal with them every day. They are among the most dangerous criminals in NSW and it is not beyond their capacity to get the private details of prison officers … They have money behind them.”

Mr McMahon said the Public Service Association was doing everything it could to ensure officers were protected and that it didn’t happen again.

On Saturday, Assistant Commissioner for Custodial Corrections, Kevin Corcoran said he understood the list was prepared to go to the Ombudsman’s office.

“Presumably an inmate intends to lodge some sort of complaint about staff,” he said.

Mr Corcoran denied claims a staff roster had also been found in the High Risk Management Unit, or that the list included officers’ home addresses.

But on Monday a Corrective Services spokeswoman said an inmate allegedly had access to a roster sheet containing staff names only.

“It was inadvertently given to him with other documentation. The staff affected have been notified and assured of their safety,” she said.

Meantime, Mr McMahon said the Department had freed up more resources to ensure officers could fully respond to inmates’ “bad behaviour.”

On Monday the jail was back to normal operations, in contrast to the weekend lockdowns.

He confirmed Sunday’s lockdown, which lasted until 9am Monday, was sparked by “a demonstration of the very worst behaviour”.

“Gas was used to safely remove two inmates from their cell when they lit a fire inside,” the Corrective Services spokeswoman said.

“This was after one of the inmates was found in possession of a SIM card and drugs during a strip search.

“In a separate incident two inmates became violent and assaulted staff during the removal of a television from their cell. Force was used to subdue the men with no injuries to staff or inmates.”

Mr McMahon said the same inmates who had refused to muster on Friday, prompting Saturday’s lockdown, were involved.

They also flooded several cells by leaving taps on and blocking drains, he claimed.

“(They did it because) we dared to tell them that enough was enough and that they had to follow the rules,” he said.

“It’s exactly the type of recalcitrant, bad behaviour we see from these people, the very same ones that assault police on the outside. When they come into custody they refuse to follow the rules.”

Four inmates were placed in segregation as a result and another two under review. No visitors were allowed into the jail.

Hume Local Area Commander Chad Gillies said police were investigating, but no charges had yet been laid.

They had received allegations of malicious damage by fire, assault of a prison officer and possession of a prohibited drug in a cell.

On Monday talks between the union and local management resumed about added interim and long-term security measures at the jail.

Mr McMahon said while the Department had provided many additional resources, within existing capacity, officers didn’t need the added headache of alleged Super Max security breaches over the Christmas period.

Originally published as Goulburn prison officers fear private lists circulate cellsby Goulburn Post.