Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: sea-bed hunt hits hurdle as Bluefin-21 resurfaces

The autonomous underwater vehicle Bluefin 21 is prepared for loading on to the Ocean Shield. Photo: Amanda HohAn autonomous underwater vehicle tasked with scouring the sea floor for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has hit a hurdle on its first mission and returned to the surface.
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The Bluefin-21 was deployed from Australian Defence Vessel Ocean Shield early last night to begin painting a picture of what is at the bottom of the Indian Ocean search zone, off the coast of Western Australia.

But it turned back six hours into its first 16-hour mission because it had reached its maximum operational depth of 4.5km, the Joint Agency Coordination Centre said in a statement on Tuesday.

“After completing around six hours of its mission, Bluefin-21 exceeded its operating depth limit of 4500 metres and its built-in safety feature returned it to the surface,” JACC stated.

“The six hours of data gathered by the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle is currently being extracted and analysed.”

On Monday, after almost a week had passed since a towed pinger locator on ADV Ocean Shield detected the last of four possible black box pings at sea, search authorities decided to deploy the Bluefin-21 and abandon the towed pinger locator search for black box signals.

The Bluefin-21 was meant to cover an area of 40 square kilometres on its first day underwater, using side sonar to create a 3D image of its surrounds.

It takes the vehicle two hours to reach the sea floor, it can then search for 16 hours, before using another two hours to return to the surface.

A team of about 10 US contractors aboard the ADV Ocean Shield would then analyse the monochromatic picture captured by the Bluefin-21, looking for anything that appeared “abnormal”.

The Bluefin-21 is expected to redeployed later on Tuesday, “when weather conditions permit,” JACC stated.

JACC chief Angus Houston said on Monday that a larger vessel with wreckage recovery capability would be needed if the water depths exceeded Bluefin-21’s capability.

Isolated thunderstorms, sea swells up to two metres, south-easterly winds and scattered showers have been forecast for the search area, the centre of which lies 2170 km north-west of Perth.

Nine military aircraft, two civilian planes and 14 ships are scheduled to search an overall area of about 62,063 square kilometres on Tuesday.

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Heartbreak: Storm defeat Dragons on the final siren

St George Illawarra suffered a heart-breaking 28-24 loss to Melbourne Storm on Monday night at AAMI Park.
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The Dragons Josh Dugan passes the ball while being tackled by the Storm’s Ryan Hinchcliffe during the round 6 NRL game in Melbourne Monday night. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images.

The Storm’s Will Chambers breaks through a tackle by Dragons Gareth Widdop. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Josh Dugan (left) and Gerard Beale of the Dragons react after their team’s defeat. Picture: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

The Dragons were leading 24-10 with 13 minutes to go when the Storm scored three tries, with the last in controversial circumstances on the final siren.

Dragons coach Steve Price said he would have to review the final play-the-ball when the siren sounded but the referees Matt Cecchin and Gavin Atkins allowed play to continue.

Storm winger Young Tonumaipea scored the winning try in the left-hand corner to give victory to the home side.

It was a bitter pill for the Dragons to swallow.

@theleadernews Good to see St Merge pull out the choke against the Storm, just like the good old days. They thought it was heritage round! ?

— Sir Iron of Sharkton (@IronShark67) April 15, 2014Dragons coach Steve Price has written to the NRL asking for a please explain

— Michael Carayannis (@MCarayannis) April 15, 2014This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

High-performance car stolen Wentworthville

Police are appealing for public assistance after a high-performance vehicle was stolen during a home invasion at Wentworthville.
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Shortly before 1am today, three men forced entry into a home on Stapleton Street, and confronted the three occupants, including a 73-year-old woman.

They took a set of car keys before fleeing in an occupant’s, Mitsubishi Evolution, which was parked in the driveway.

Police saw the vehicle a short time later on the Great Western Highway and initiated a police pursuit, which was terminated a short time later. It was last seen travelling south of Greystanes Road, Greystanes.

The first man is described as being of Caucasian appearance. He was wearing dark-coloured clothes and gloves.

The second man is described as being of Mediterranean/Middle Eastern appearance. He was wearing dark-coloured clothes and gloves.

The third man is described as being of Pacific Islander/Maori appearance. He was wearing dark-coloured clothes and gloves.

Anyone with information about the incident, or who may have seen the vehicle, NSW registration BW73CY, is urged to contact Merrylands Police or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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Josh Stretton and Emma Perrin ready to serve those in need

Josh Stretton and Emma Perrin will be travelling to outlying villages in Thailand to help build much needed infrastructure and well as visiting a mission in Nepal which helps thousands of orphans. The two young people want to make a difference in the lives of others in particularly those who find themselves in very difficult environments in terms of facilties and economic opportunities. They spoke about their aims to Declan Martin.
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MAKING a difference to someone else’s life is what Josh Stretton and Emma Perrin hope to achieve from their two month volunteering trip.

Josh Stretton and Emma Perrin ready to make a difference.

They will travel to the outlying villages of Thailand city Chiang Rai, to help build much needed infrastructure and will also visit a church mission in Nepal near Kathmandu which helps thousands of the country’s orphans.

“We really want to help even if it’s just our help to build a new rice terrace that serves into the future, we have it really good here in Australia so it’s important to give back,” Josh said.

It’s been an aspiration for the Singleton couple to do this journey and they can’t wait to complete it come September and October later this year.

They will spend a month in each country doing different work at each location, in Nepal there money will provide food and they will help organise activities for the orphans. In Thailand they take part in building new infrastructure and working in the rice paddies.

When they get there they will be housed by a host family and they said this would be a great way to become a part of the community there if only for a short time.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, I could have gone to volunteer in Cambodia after school but decided to save up to make it a longer trip,” Emma said.

Getting there is their biggest obstacle for them with the costs for each person around $6500 to take part in the program and they hope the community can get behind them and their fundraisers.

Josh said he has had a little bit of experience of volunteering when he accompanied his parents to the Philippines but he was too young to appreciate it or get more involved in the work.

“By being there on the ground overseas we can really make a difference in these countries that need a lot of help,” Josh said.

“Donations are great but because of corruption and inference that support doesn’t always go where it needs to go.

“We were shocked when we learnt that our child sponsor donations we were sending were being spent by the father of a family on alcohol, not on priorities for the child.”

The couple said they originally looked at Russia but it was too dangerous and felt that Asia would be a better location.

“I’m really looking forward to learning about how another culture works and I am sure it will be an amazing experience,” Emma said.

“We started talking about November/ December and got more serious in January.”

They are holding a trivia night to raise money towards their journey on May 11 at Club Singleton at 7pm. Tickets cost $20, which includes hot food, and can be purchased at Mikes Auto Parts.

There are some great prizes up for grabs and it will be a fun night.

Some of the other ways people can help them out is by purchasing a pie from their pie drive thanks to help from Singleton Heights Bakery. Contact Emma on 04 317 765 62 to organise an order.

McDonalds are also donating 10 per cent of the money passed over the counter between the hours of 6 and 7pm on April, 29.

You can also donate by visiting the website: www.gofundme南京夜网/6dd9pc

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Queensland government employees involved in drug syndicate: police

Police outside a Southport home which was raided as part of an investigation into an alleged drug syndicate. Photo: Nine News Police raid a Gold Coast home as part of their investigation into an alleged drug syndicate. Photo: Ten News
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Police raid a Southport home. Photo: Nine News

Queensland government employees were involved in a Gold Coast drug syndicate that couriered millions of dollars worth of drugs through commercial airports, police allege.The syndicate, which was shut down on Tuesday morning, is the second organisation to exploit flaws in airport security and move cannabis from Victoria to Queensland.Detective Acting Superintendent Scott Knowles said at least 1.5 tonnes of cannabis had been transported in the last 12 months, with most of it flown into Brisbane Airport.He said the alleged offenders made more than 40 trips to Queensland from Victoria, packing up to 25 kilograms of drugs into suitcases that passed through the Brisbane, Gold Coast and Townsville airports.On Tuesday arrests were made in Queensland, Victoria and NSW, with 21 people charged on 42 offences. More arrests and further charges were expected to be laid, police said.Police from those states and the Crime and Misconduct Commission carried out the 12-month operation, codenamed Operation Kilo Zurich.“We’ve certainly closed down the Queensland chapter of this syndicate, without a doubt,” Acting Superintendent Knowles said.However, he declined to provide details about Queensland government employees allegedly involved in the syndicate.”That’s a matter that has been referred to the Crime and Misconduct Commission,” he said.As part of the joint operation, more than $1 million of drugs were seized during raids on 13 Queensland properties, two in Victoria and one in New South Wales.Luxury vehicles, customised motorcycles, eight new buses imported from China and a Queenslander house that had recently been moved onto a Gold Coast property were also among the haul.On March 10, police found more than $6 million of stolen items from a Guanaba property and seized another $6 million of properties, vehicles and assets allegedly obtained from criminal activity.Acting Superintendent Knowles said there were links to another syndicate which allegedly couriered drugs from Victoria, although they largely operated independently of each other.He alleged the syndicate that was shut down on Tuesday distributed drugs across Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Townsville.”They’d talk and discuss between themselves the price that they would sell it for so they weren’t undercutting each other but they operated as total, separate criminal organisations,” he said.Some of the people arrested on Tuesday will be charged under Queensland’s VLAD laws, which could result in an extra 15 or 25 years’ jail time added to their potential sentences.The charges include trafficking dangerous drugs, supply of dangerous drugs and possession of dangerous drugs and drug utensils.Two 38-year-old men arrested in the Victorian the suburb of Deer Park were also in custody and assisting detectives, Victoria Police said. The pair are expected to be extradited to Queensland later this week.On March 10, police found the $4 million haul of allegedly stolen opals at the Guanaba property in the Gold Coast hinterland.The opal collection is one of the largest in the world and belongs to Gold Coast developer John Fish, Inspector Dave Hutchinson said last month.Inspector Hutchinson said a further $2 million of seized items included an excavator, trucks, boats, cars, televisions, refrigerators and more.He described the haul as an “Aladdin’s cave”.A man who was living at the Guanaba site was charged with break and enter and property offences in March, and is due to re-appear in court in May.

with Cameron Houston

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A family’s farming success story

2014 marks the International Year of the Farming Family.
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Each day we have contact with a farmer, though we may not realise it.

Through the milk we enjoy on our breakfast, the meat we have for dinner, to the clothes we wear, a farmer has had something to do with our daily lives.

This year we honour our farming families across the Central West and Western NSW, bringing you their stories in the paper and online each week.

WORKING TOGETHER: Margie and John Lowe with son William and Wolfie the Australian Koolie

NESTLED in a valley surrounded by picturesque countryside is a success story that has been carried on generation after generation.

Lowther Park has been part of the Lowe’s family since the 1920s when it belonged to John Lowe’s grandfather – Eric Thompson.

But, this was not the beginning of farming in the Lowe family, it started many years before then.

“My family background has always been farming,” John said.

“Even in the 1830s when the first of my people arrived in Australia, they were farmers.

“It is something that has just carried on.”

John and his wife Margie were both born into farming families.

Margie spent her childhood and teen years growing up in the Forbes region.

John moved into Lowther Park with his parents and sister when he was 18-months- old and has lived and worked on the property ever since.

Today John, Margie, their two sons Charlie and William along with John’s mother Audrey all work together to run their property.

“We are fully stocked at the moment,” John said.

“We run cattle and sheep over the 2000 acres we have so generally have our hands full.

“There is a lot of variety working a property this size;something I like.

“Each day is different, each week is a game plan that can change in an instant and you have to be open to new ideas and flexible when making the tough decisions.

“One week you may be in full drought the next it could be flooding, you have to change your practice to suite the situation.

“Despite the challenges presented by climate and feral animals, we are still in the game.”

Margie has a hands-on role in the business operation and with a background in economics has combined both to help make it the success it is.

“The variety is what I like most as well,” Margie said.

“I could be in the paddocks one day or the yards drenching and tagging, office the next or doing something for the kidsorcommittee work.”

Both John and Margie are on numerous committees between them and put any spare energy they have in trying to make a difference for future generations – community and agriculture.

Sons Charlie and William have their chores to do as well, which although, no where near the volume the adults put in, is still a large contribution to the family business.

Audrey Lowe plays just as important role in the family’s success as the rest of the family and you can find her on any given day poring over bookwork or lending her hand to stock work- even mustering.

Audrey’s wisdom and insights gained from her experience in this country and its’ seasons has often been extremely valuable to John and Margie.

There is no other place that Audrey would rather be after a full life in agriculture.

Lowther Park certainly holds a very special place in the Lowes’ hearts and with families such as them in the agricultural business, farming and grazing in the Lithgow regionshould have a bright future!


*BATHURST:Dan and Steve Owens

* DUBBO:Cherie and Matthew Coddington

* PARKES:Neil and Alison WestcottandCliff and Helen Westcott

* DUNEDOO:The Armstrong Family

* COWRA:Charlie and ChristineGalea

* ORANGE: Mick West

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Panthers on the prowl for points in Blayney as season gets underway

READY TO POUNCE: The Grenfell Panthers Rugby Union side.ON SATURDAY the Grenfell Panthers head to Blayney for their opening fixture of the 2014 GrainCorp Cup.
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The team has been training under coach Craig Bembrick to have themselves ready for the season.

Pre-season competitionsin Kiama, Harden, Cootamundra and Temora have seen consistent improvement,which is a positive sign for the season to come.

New recruits in the camp this year include Lachlan Gibson, Cole Pedrick, Sam Johnson and Damon Wildsoet.

Steven Dinham, Brandon Doig and Kyle Anderson are stepping up to first grade for their first full season after coming through the junior ranksat the club.

Matt Reid and Stephen Cooper have also made themselves available for the full season after having a break.

Grenfell and Blayney have always had a strong rivalry since Grenfell entered the competition four years ago, and Blayney will no doubt be out to make amends for their 2013 grand final loss to Molong.

Blayney have always had a powerful scrum, but, for the first time in many years, Grenfell has a front row which can be rotated more frequently to give the big guys up front a breather.

The front row of Matt Reid, Corey Clark and Stephen Cooper will be one of the youngest front rows that Grenfell has put on the paddock in many seasons.

The backs will also be able to make their mark, with the experience of Mark Hughes in the centres and the added bonus of Steve Dinham at fullback, both boasting plenty of speed.

Following this game, Grenfell will have a two-week break to enjoy Easter and Anzac Day and have their first home game on May 3 against Canowindra.

GRENFELL PANTHERS: Matt Reid,Corey Clark,Stephen Cooper,James McClelland,Chris Hodgess,Anthony Dixon,Lachlan Gibson,Stuart Hughes,Ben Kelly,Andrew Brown,Mark Hughes,Tom Dinham,Cole Pedrick,Sam Johnson,Steven Dinham,Clint Baker,Alan Leibick,Brandon Doig,Kyal Anderson,Alex Carney,Sean King,Hugh Matthews, Joshua Knight.

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White Dorpers win blue ribbons

GALAXY Ironbark and Galaxy Oakwood seemed singularly unimpressed by the flurry of attention around them in their paddock yesterday. With a camera standing ready, their breeders, Rod and Rosalie Smith, draped the six-month-old rams with evidence of their weekend triumph at the Sydney Royal Easter Show.
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YOUNG STARS: Rosalie Smith with Sydney Royal grand champion Galaxy Ironwood and Rod Smith with the Royal Reserve Champ Galaxy Oakwood.

Ironwood was crowned Grand Champion White Dorper Ram, any age and Oakwood snagged the Reserve Champion sash.

Despite the glory in the ring, Rod said the significant achievement for them was Ironbark’s first-place award in Objective Measurement class. The evaluation reflects the raw statistics about the meat-breeding quality in an animal.

“You know, judging in the ring is subjective, and the objective measurement is facts and figures.

“When that animal goes in, it is weighed, assessed for its weight against its age, and then it is scanned for fat thickness and eye muscle area and eye muscle depth.”

“We’re looking for muscle, structural soundness and muscling to produce meat,” Rod said.

“This is really why we went to Sydney, because we wanted validation of what we’ve been doing as far as our breeding aims are concerned.”

Rosalie said they had been warned competition could be thin in the Dorpers, but upon arrival in Sydney, it seemed they had been misinformed.

“When we got there, we had a quick look around, and we thought, we very much had competition! In fact the little girl in the next pen belonging to another group, I just wanted to steal her. I thought she was quite beautiful,” she said and laughed.

The win took a bit of time to settle in for Rosalie.

“I was kind of stunned at the time. I really didn’t kind of register anything for a little while. I was pleased but it was more, ‘Goodness we did it!’”

Receiving the reserve with Oakwood didn’t click for her until the next morning, but she was still waving the sash around for the Objective Measurement Class when they got home.

“That really was the icing on the cake,” she said.

South African Dorper inspector Philip Van Schalkwyk judged the Sydney Royal class. Rod explained Mr Van Schalkwyk’s reputation precedes him.

“He is particularly known for being very strict on structural soundness and conformation. He described Ironbark as a high-quality ram with excellent muscling.”

The Smiths have been breeding White Dorpers on their property outside Inverell since 1999. They are impressed with the breed’s mothering ability, and breed for masculinity in their rams and femininity in their ewes. Rosalie added they also keep in mind the focus of commercial breeders to make their flock quality market-viable.

The couple are especially fond of working with White Dorpers. The breed is genetically apart from the black-headed Dorper after a cross-breeding program with foundation fat-tailed Van Rooy rams.

They counted good flocking ability and easy temperament for managing as excellent qualities.

“We never have a problem with the fences. We have kangaroos that go through the fences, apart from over it, but these are very territorial,” Roaslie said.

“We have never had a problem with all the years of our breeding with their temperament, which is a huge thing, I mean, I’m in my mid-70s and half crippled, so I don’t need an animal that’s going to be unpleasant,” Rosalie chuckled.

Rod said recent tour of shows in Guyra, Glen Innes and Bundarra had given them considerable success.

“In fact, at Bundarra, we had the supreme White Dorper Exhibit, who was a little ewe that we took. So we’re getting feedback that indicated that our breeding objectives are being realised,” Rod said.

Ironbark is out of a ram called Terra Weena 9042, from a Galaxy bred-ewe. Rod said in two weeks, the winning young ram will start his working life with some selected stud ewes.

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Chunk of man’s ear bitten off during Broome assault

A 40-year-old man has been charged after a man was allegedly headbutted and had part of his ear bitten off during an assault in Broome.
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The 42-year-old victim was on a grassed area near the corner of Carnarvon Street and Napier Terrace in Broome between 8pm and 9pm on Monday evening when he became involved in an altercation with another man, police spokeswoman Ros Weatherall said.

He was allegedly headbutted during the altercation and also had part of his ear bitten off.

He went to Broome Police Station with his injuries and was taken to Broome Hospital for treatment and will undergo surgery in Perth.

On Tuesday afternoon Broome Police charged a 40-year-old man with grievous bodily harm in relation to the incident, and he will appear in Broome Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Anyone with information on the incident should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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Westpac tests fingerprint access to mobile banking

Have smartphone will pay, but cashless society still two years away
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Some smartphone owners should soon be able to log on to Westpac’s internet banking service using only their fingerprint.

Westpac New Zealand has been experimenting with using the fingerprint scanning feature built into Samsung’s Galaxy S5 smartphone and said it would soon become the “first bank in the world” to use that to let customers log on to internet banking .

The bank has been using NZ as a test bed for new technologies before introducing them to Australia. The fingerprinting trial comes as it continues to test Google Glass.

A YouTube video released by the bank indicates there will be a one-off registration process when customers would enter their bank username and password and then register their fingerprint. After that only their fingerprint would be needed to access internet banking.


Fingerprint scanning is expected to be incorporated into a wider range of high-end smartphones over time.

Westpac spokeswoman Chris Mirams said he expected the service would be available later this year.

Fairfax New Zealand

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