Nationals hit the campagn trail

NATIONAL Party member Ann Thompson’s rise has been rapid indeed.
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Ten days after joining the party which she says looks out for the interests of country people she was chosen to carry its colours in the March State election. The Lithgow city councillor, former deputy mayor, business owner and mother

could not say whether there were any other candidates in a pre-selection process which began in July.

But ever since she began considering running for Parliament last year, and stood aside in the mayoral elections, she faced a stark choice between standing as an independent or joining a party.

She wanted to send a message to the Sydney-based Labor Government which had failed to deliver quality jobs, better road access and two high profile industries to the Central Tablelands.

“My decision to join the Nationals was based mainly on where I could make the most difference and the answer was in a party.”

And so it was after some discussion with the chairman of the Nationals’ Bathurst electoral council, Peter Pilbeam, who in July mooted a high profile Bathurst businessman as the Nationals’ ideal candidate, that Mrs Thompson got the nod.

Currently a TAFE teacher with work, family and sporting connections in Bathurst she said she was far from unknown west of Lithgow.

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Matchmaker reform after wife’s murder

SEOUL: South Korea will set up a taskforce to reform the international matchmaking business following the fatal stabbing of a Vietnamese woman by her mentally ill husband, officials said.The taskforce will be staffed by officials from the ministries of justice, gender equality, culture and foreign affairs, the prime minister’s office said.It will discuss measures ranging from changing how international marriage brokerage businesses are run to helping foreign spouses settle in Korea.Thach Thi Hoang Ngoc, 20, was beaten and stabbed to death by her 47-year-old husband on July 8, eight days after she arrived in the southern port city of Busan.The man told police he had heard a ”ghost’s voice” urging him to kill her when they quarrelled. He had been treated 57 times for schizophrenia since July 2005.The Prime Minister, Chung Un-chan, called for tighter control over international marriage brokerages and a budget increase for facilities supporting multicultural families.Ms Ngoc’s family will receive 30 million won ($28,000) in compensation, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported.More than a third of South Korea’s fishermen and farmers who married last year chose foreign brides, some because they were unable to find local women happy to live a rural lifestyle.Official figures show that of 1987 marriages to farmers and fishermen in 2009, 35 per cent of the brides were immigrants: 47 per cent from Vietnam, 26 per cent from China and 10 per cent from Cambodia.Activists say some foreign brides, coaxed by false promises or deceptive advertising, end up with spouses who are poor, ill, alcoholic or just difficult.Agence France-Presse
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Editor’s response

BEFORE responding to Mr Perram’s comments, it is important to stress that the Western Advocate raised the questions in response to very serious claims made by neighbours of the woman believed to have been killed by a dog.
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The neighbours claimed that they had complained to Bathurst City Council because the dogs had attacked other pets and created a sense of fear in the neighbourhood.

The Western Advocate fully expected council officers to be sensitive to questioning because of the seriousness of the claims and the fact that Mr Perram was not in Bathurst

when the tragedy took place but, even allowing for this, there seemed to be a deliberate attempt not to directly answer questions.

When a reporter first contacted a council officer he was told the officer could not comment.

The reporter then went to this officer’s superior, Mr Sherley, who told the reporter he had instructed the first officer not to comment on the issue.

It is the right of council’s senior staff to implement whatever policies they deem appropriate in relation to their staff.

We simply reported the fact of the matter, that staff had been instructed not to talk to the media. I fail to see how this is misleading.

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Exhausted: Crown’s shaft intruder still in hospital

Paramedics take the rescued intruder to hospital. Photo: Channel 10An intruder rescued from an exhaust shaft deep inside the Crown entertainment complex yesterday is yet to speak to police about his ordeal.
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The 25-year-old was in a stable condition in The Alfred hospital this morning after his bizarre 11-hour ordeal ended when paramedics and firefighters pulled him, covered in grease and fat, from a duct that ventilates the complex’s restaurants.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman said South Melbourne detectives had taken over the investigation but were yet to speak to the man. No charges had been laid, she said.

The slippery character had climbed into a duct about 11pm on Wednesday and crawled deep into the building before coming to a sticky stop in, Metropolitan Fire Brigade Commander Wayne Garrard said.

Staff at Automatic restaurant at Crown arrived at work at 10am yesterday to hear noises and cries for help from the duct above their pizza oven, and called emergency services.

A paramedic in disposable overalls with a safety harness and rope attached was sent into the duct to check the man’s condition, before firefighters extracted him, more than 11 hours after he started his strange journey.

‘‘It looked like a cow had just given birth,’’ Commander Garrard said, describing the state of the extracted intruder.

‘‘He was covered in brown grease and fat. I guess because it was so slippery he couldn’t go anywhere.

”He’s a very, very lucky boy, I tell you. Where he ended up he was right on top of the pizza oven. It’s lucky that he regained consciousness and yelled out.’’

Commander Garrard said it appeared the man had illegally gained access to the duct from a stairwell near the roof, and crawled about 30 metres before he got into trouble in his metre-by-half metre prison.

Despite the ordeal, the man claimed he could not remember how he got inside.

‘‘I think he might have been under the influence of something. Whether it was a bit of a prank or something, I’m not sure,’’ Commander Garrard said.

‘‘When he came out he was conscious and breathing. He couldn’t remember how he got in there but he could give us give his name and address and that sort of thing.’’

Thumbs down to OJD rally

BATHURST sheep producers are set to turn their backs on a protest against Ovine Johne’s Disease policy due to be held in Forbes tomorrow., Bathurst Merino Association president Colin Ferguson said last week it was a shame sheep and wool producers in revolt further out west over Ovine Johne’s Disease zoning did not see the light years ago and push strongly for reform then., Mr Ferguson said large numbers of producers in the newly created NSW OJD Management Area are unlikely to become involved with Forbes and Eastern Riverina OJD Action Groups in the rally., “We’ve been there and done that,” Mr Ferguson said of the farmers in the newly constituted Management Area that takes in the Central Tablelands (Bathurst), Goulburn, Braidwood and Yass Rural Lands Protection Board areas., “If we go to Forbes it will only be to sticky beak,” Mr Ferguson said. , “I had something to say when the Management Area was announced., “I said then that the arguing should be over for us and that commonsense has prevailed.”, Mr Ferguson agreed with former BMA president John Seaman, of Perthville, who said he would only be interested in “a sticky beak” at the Forbes rally., Both Mr Seaman and Mr Ferguson spoke as one saying “Forbes and Eastern Riverina farmers would have been mighty handy to us when we were isolated by OJD”., Mr Ferguson believed prolonged drought and OJD zoning implemented in NSW from October 1, 2002, was making people emotional, based on what he had heard and read about the rally planned for Forbes., The organiser of the rally Peter Reilly had come out saying his action group dismisses the NSW Farmers’ Association as irrelevant., Mr Reilly had also said the frustration of dealing with OJD policy and drought will see civil disobedience by producers., Mr Ferguson said those statements raised the question of who would represent farmers if they dropped NSW Farmers’ and rejected the authority of NSW Agriculture and Rural Lands Protection Boards., The market discrimination that once drove Bathurst, Goulburn, Braidwood, Yass and Boorowa farmers to rally was suffered for 10 years by the farmers in the OJD Residual Zone who now form the Management Area, Mr Ferguson said., Mr Reilly has mailed 40,000 posters to farmers around NSW encouraging them to revolt over OJD at Forbes Midstate Saleyards from 11.30am tomorrow., One of the spokesmen for Eastern Riverina, Neville Bahr, said at least six busloads of protesters will be going to Forbes to support the call for deregulation of OJD in NSW, payment of compensation for producers with OJD and unlimited use of the vaccine Gudair., Mr Ferguson said he did not think the rally would change the mind of NSW Government which was locked into a National Ovine Johne’s Disease Control and Evaluation Program that included the zoning of NSW into Residual, Control and Protected Zones., “Thought has to be given as to what happens after the drought breaks,” Mr Ferguson said., “Sheep will go everywhere. It will be a tough time for authorities keeping track of sheep movements.”
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Words to the wise: Souths set sights on Dogs

”Throughout their years of dominance over us they have shown no contrition, no mercy; indeed they have seemed to thrive on brutality, almost as if they are forever taking revenge on us for Bobby McCarthy and the 1967 grand final. Well they have had enough revenge for McCarthy, enough revenge for a lifetime. It is time we took some revenge of our own for the way in which they have treated us on the field for the last 25 years.”This is the excerpt from Russell Crowe’s Book of Feuds that South Sydney captain Roy Asotasi insists will ensure he and his team-mates are fired up for tonight’s match against Canterbury at ANZ Stadium.A Bulldogs premiership winning player, Asotasi admitted to knowing little about the Rabbitohs’ proud history before Crowe convinced him and fellow Kiwi stars David Kidwell and Nigel Vagana to join the club in 2007. Now he can’t see himself playing anywhere else.”I guess the biggest thing about Russell is that he is pretty passionate about this club and he brought in the Book of Feuds in 2007, and that is how all of us as players found out about the history of South Sydney and the rivalries with other clubs,” Asotasi said.”Every time we played a certain club we would read the history between both clubs and I guess that is where I first started to get in touch with the South Sydney history. It is quite exciting. We all got a book each and we all read it, and just checked it out before games.”Asotasi said the players don’t read the book, commissioned by Crowe and written by Mark Courtney, before each game any more but they did use the chapter on the Bulldogs as motivation before their 38-16 win in round four.”They always think they have the edge over South Sydney and we use that as motivation,” he said. ”We used that in the game we played against Canterbury earlier in the season. I read it [the book] before that game and every now and then I get it out and have a bit of a read, just for motivation depending on who we are playing.”Before Crowe lured him to Souths, Asotasi – considered the best prop in the game at the time – was intent on joining English Super League giants St Helens because he didn’t want to play against the Bulldogs.His decision to move to the Rabbitohs no doubt brought even greater satisfaction to the Rabbitohs co-owner because Asotasi spurned an offer from Souths’ greatest rivals, the Roosters, to do so.”You had all of your critics who were saying I’d never play finals football again and all that sort of stuff but I was excited about coming here because I knew that South Sydney had potential,” Asotasi said. ”It was between the Roosters and South Sydney and I decided to go with Souths for the reason that they had potential.”It has taken four seasons, but Asotasi believes the club’s potential is now close to being realised after a carefully planned recruitment program that has seen Souths strengthen their team each year – as Crowe and co-owner Peter Holmes a Court promised when he, Kidwell and Vagana signed.”It was like what they are doing with Israel Folau in AFL. They are hoping that by recruiting someone like him, others will follow and that is the same idea that Russell and Peter had,” Asotasi explained.”Fast forward four years and look where we are now. We’ve been able to get Sam Burgess and Dave Taylor, who are two of the top forwards in the game.”I guess just seeing the side that we had, I guess they were keen to be a part of it and that they were genuine players who wanted to go for the premiership.”Initially reluctant to take on the captaincy when former Souths coach Jason Taylor first approached him about the role, Asotasi now considers it an honour and says he tries to lead with actions rather than words.”This club is one of the foundation clubs and has won 20 premierships so it is an honour for myself to captain such an historic club and I am just hoping that in my time as captain we can get a premiership,” he said. ”That is the biggest thing us as players are looking forward to and South Sydney had its glory days in the 1960s and 1970s and we are hoping that we can bring that back now with the team we have got and create our own history.”
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Morgan ton puts England on top

Eoin Morgan’s maiden Test hundred was key to England’s revival against Pakistan as they made four for 331 by stumps on the first day of their series opener at Trent Bridge on Thursday.Former Ireland left-hander Morgan was 125 not out, having never even made a fifty in his previous two innings at this level, both against Bangladesh earlier in the English season.Together with Paul Collingwood (81 not out), he shared an England record fifth wicket stand against Pakistan of 213 unbroken, surpassing the 192 put on by Trevor Bailey and Denis Compton at Trent Bridge back in 1954.Middlesex middle-order batsman Morgan reached his hundred in style with a straight driven six against off-spinner Shoaib Malik as he completed a 151-ball century, also featuring 16 fours, in just over three hours at the crease.However, Morgan had modern technology to thank for avoiding being dismissed on five and then 78 on the first day of a four-Test series.The 23-year-old was in single figures when wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal appealed for a catch off left-arm fast bowler Mohammad Aamer.But even before the third umpire ruled in Morgan’s favour, boos rang around Trent Bridge as replays on the giant screen showed the ball had bounced into the keeper’s gloves.Morgan was in sight of a century when the Umpire Decision Review System (DRS), being used in England for the first time, came to his rescue.He got an lbw decision given by Sri Lanka’s Asoka de Silva off the bowling of leg-spinner Danish Kaneria overturned after replays showed the ball sliding past leg stump.England were four for 118, shortly after lunch, when Morgan came in.They’d lost two wickets for two runs in five balls – including star batsman Kevin Pietersen who was out for just nine in his first match since suffering a thigh injury against Australia in a one-day international at Lord’s on July 3.England fought back although Collingwood should have been out for 48 when Kamran Akmal, who had a poor first day, missed a routine stumping chance off leg-spinner Kaneria.Collingwood went on to complete a 114-ball fifty with six fours.Pakistan wasted both their two permitted unsuccessful DRS challenges on appeals in successive Mohammad Asif overs for lbw and caught behind against Pietersen. But Asif then bowled Pietersen off the inside edge.England’s other South Africa-born batsman, Jonathan Trott, had added just three to his lunchtime score of 35 when he padded up to an inswinger from Aamer.But, having succeeded with an earlier referral, Trott saw replays confirm New Zealand umpire Tony Hill’s lbw verdict.England’s fifth-wicket pair cashed in against Pakistan’s slow bowlers and Morgan made it six boundaries in 12 deliveries with a trademark reverse sweep off Kaneria.Before lunch the 18-year-old Aamer, who took seven wickets in Pakistan’s dramatic three-wicket second Test win over Australia at Headingley last week, had Alastair Cook caught at first slip and saw Strauss, who had been dropped by Kamran Akmal on 15, caught behind for 45.Trott then became the first batsman to use DRS in England when, on 13, he was given out, lbw to Kaneria, by de Silva only for replays to show he’d got an inside edge.Pakistan players wore black armbands in memory of the 152 people killed after an airplane crashed near the capital city of Islamabad on Wednesday.AFP
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Tendulkar bags double-ton

Star batsman Sachin Tendulkar hit 203 and debutant Suresh Raina made 120 as India bettered Sri Lanka’s run-spree in the high-scoring second cricket Test on Thursday.India, kept on the field for the first two days during Sri Lanka’s massive 4-642 declared, responded by piling up 9-669 by stumps on the fourth day at the Sinhalese Sports Club.With just 13 wickets having fallen on the placid wicket in four days, the batsman-dominated Test is heading for a draw with Sri Lanka enjoying a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.Tendulkar and Raina, who came together on the third afternoon with India on 4-241 and struggling to avoid their second successive follow-on, put on 256 runs for the fifth wicket.Tendulkar compiled his fifth double-century, adding another feather to a glorious 168-Test career marked by more runs (13,742) and hundreds (48) than any other batsman in history.The 37-year-old braved the stifling hot and humid weather in the Sri Lankan capital for more than eight hours to play a marathon innings studded with 23 boundaries and a six.Tendulkar reached the 200-mark, his first in six years, with a flick off Ajantha Mendis for two runs, earning warm applause from team-mates and spectators alike.Left-hander Raina became the ninth Indian to score a century in his first Test innings, before holing out to short mid-wicket off Mendis shortly after lunch.Raina, just 23 and already a veteran of 98 one-day internationals, was awarded his Test cap only after Yuvraj Singh reported sick on the opening day of the match.He hit two sixes and 12 boundaries, reaching his century with a fluent off-drive against seamer Dammika Prasad that raced to the fence.Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (76) joined in the run feast after Raina’s departure, adding 95 for the sixth wicket with Tendulkar and 51 for the eighth with Abhimanyu Mithun (41).It was left to part-time spinner Tillakaratne Dilshan to get rid of Tendulkar soon after tea as wicket-keeper Prasanna Jayawardene held a bat-pad catch moving swiftly to the silly point area.Dilshan also dismissed Harbhajan Singh in the same over and later took a return catch off Dhoni to finish with three wickets.Sri Lanka missed the wicket-taking abilities of the retired Muttiah Muralitharan and injured fast bowler Lasith Malinga as the young crop of bowlers failed to contain the Indians.Mendis finished with 4-157 from his 54 overs, while off-spinner Suraj Randiv failed to add to his two wickets on the third day and returned with 2-212 in 64 overs.AFP
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Rumours abound for Chelsea Clinton’s wedding

The dress, the guests, the music, even the bathroom arrangements: the world now knows everything about Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. Or does it?The Clinton family information war rolled on Thursday, keeping Chelsea’s marriage to Wall Street banker Marc Mezvinsky under a lid even WikiLeaks, of Afghan war files fame, would have a hard time cracking.Officially, almost all that’s known is that Chelsea, 30, is to wed Mezvinsky, 32, the man she first met as a teenager, on Saturday. That’s it.The location, type of ceremony, guest list and colour of the bride’s dress remain unconfirmed.But with barely a day to go, pinhole openings in the information barrier have opened and here is a summary of what else Chelsea watchers know – or think they do.LOCATIONAll signals point to Rhinebeck, a quaint town in upstate New York. Paparazzi have snapped pictures of a huge white tent going up in the secluded grounds of Astor Courts estate.Local store owners testify to the presence of well-heeled out-of-towners and men talking into mobile phones about security.Another big clue: the Federal Aviation Authority on Thursday ordered airspace shut over the location during Saturday afternoon. The reason was “VIP (Very Important Person) Movement.”Chelsea might regret such extreme measures: gossip website www.gawker南京夜网 laments the no-fly zone means they won’t be able to send a plane pulling a congratulations banner over the party.GUESTSOther than Chelsea’s father, former president Bill Clinton, and mother, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, there are no confirmed celebrities. But gossip news hounds persistently mention Hollywood and Washington high-fliers.The Hudson Valley News, a humble local weekly, that claims to have an inside angle on preparations, predicts Clinton friends as varied as Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and, perhaps surprisingly, the former British prime minister John Major will attend.One fact: President Barack Obama won’t be there. “I am not going and I have to say, it would be tough enough having one president at a wedding, you don’t want two presidents at a wedding,” he told ABC’s lightweight talk show, The View, on Thursday.THE DRESSIt’s Vera Wang! Well, maybe not, but Womens Wear Daily (WWD), the fashion industry journal, snapped Chelsea and her mother visiting the hip designer in New York on Tuesday.That would have solved one parlour game riddle. The problem, concedes WWD, is that Hillary Clinton also dropped into rival designer Oscar de la Renta’s Manhattan showroom the same day.THE TUNESThis is not one you’d want to place bets on, perhaps, but celebrity gossip site TMZ claims to know what the live band will play. That includes Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean, Cat Stevens’ Wild World, and ABBA’s Dancing Queen.BATHROOMSA vital TMZ scoop: guests won’t have to duck into the idyllic forests around Astor Courts to answer the call of nature. They’ll be treated to $US15,000 ($16,835) worth of luxury porta-potty trailers.”The portable latrines have actual porcelain toilets that flush, stereo music and hot running water – oh yeah, and they’re HUGE,” TMZ gushes.No source is cited. Call it another leak.AFP
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Clinton wedding preparations rocked by revelations father-in-law is convicted fraudster

Chelsea Clinton’s own father is no stranger to controversy, but now it has been revealed that her future father-in-law is a convicted fraudster.Ed Mezvinsky – whose son Marc is set to marry Ms Clinton – served five years in jail over a $9 million scam in which a judge described his actions as a “one-man crime wave”, Britain’s Daily Mail reported.The former congressman has since expressed remorse for his actions, which included him taking his own mother-in-law’s money by funding Nigerian-style internet scams.Mr Mezinsky, 73, eventually lost everything and still owes millions of dollars in compensation to his victims – several of whom will be at the wedding.But the revelations are doing little to dampen the excitement about the marriage, with the event capturing the attention of the US.The battle now for the Clinton and Mezvinsky families is keeping details of the wedding a secret.Officially, almost all that is known is that Ms Clinton, 30, is to marry Mr Mezvinsky, 32, an investment banker, on Saturday. The location, type of ceremony, guest list and colour of the bride’s dress remain unconfirmed.All signals point to the wedding taking place at Rhinebeck, a quaint town in upstate New York. Paparazzi have snapped pictures of a huge white tent going up in the secluded grounds of Astor Courts estate.Local shopkeepers testify to the presence of well-heeled out-of-towners and men talking into mobile phones about security.The Federal Aviation Authority has since ordered airspace shut over the location during Saturday afternoon, citing a “VIP Movement”.The guest list has also been the centre of debate, with gossip news hounds persistently mentioning Hollywood and Washington high-flyers.Clinton friends including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and, perhaps surprisingly, former British prime minister John Major are expected to attend.US President Barack Obama says he did not make the guest list.In an interview on ABC’s televisions talk show The View, Mr Obama said he was not invited because former president Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wanted the event to be about their daughter and her future husband.Mr Obama said that was probably for the best, joking that it would be tough enough to have one president at the wedding.The couple met when Ms Clinton was a teenager.smh南京夜网.au and agencies
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Mother confesses to baby murders

A nursing assistant has admitted killing eight of her newborn babies and stashing their tiny remains in plastic bags in a small village in northern France, officials said.Douai town prosecutor Eric Vaillant said 45-year-old Dominique Cottrez had been charged with the murders after telling police “she did not want any more children and did not want to see a doctor to get contraception”.Cottrez’s husband Pierre-Marie Cottrez, also 45, was freed after he denied any knowledge of the killings, which came to light after police found skeletal remains wrapped in plastic at two village addresses.His wife, whose heavy build appears to have concealed the pregnancies from acquaintances, now faces trial and life imprisonment.In past cases in France some defendants have said they were in denial about their pregnancies and not fully responsible for their actions, but Vaillant said Cottrez had admitted to being “perfectly aware” of her condition.Stunned residents of the pair’s quiet village of Villers-au-Tertre in northern France put flowers and candles outside the two houses where police had found the infants’ bodies over the previous few days.Prosecutors described it as the worst case of infanticide in recent French history, following a string of similar cases in which isolated and troubled mothers disposed of their newborns.The suspects were brought before a magistrate in the nearby town of Douai to hear the charges. They were remanded in custody and prosecutors promised to hold a news conference to explain the charges.Pierre-Marie Cottrez worked as a carpenter and was a respected member of the council in Villers-au-Tertre, a 620-strong community.”He’s on his third term in office. He used to volunteer in the community. He’s a respectable man,” local mayor Patrick Mercier told reporters.Mercier said the councillor’s wife was a more withdrawn person who rarely took part in village life. He said she had a weight problem which might be the reason why any pregnancies had passed unnoticed.”No one was aware of anything at all,” said the shocked mayor.The pair were arrested on Tuesday and questioned all day on Wednesday while police used sniffer dogs to search two addresses after the new owners of a home found the bones of two infants while digging in their garden.The house previously belonged to the parents of the arrested woman.Search teams then headed on to the couple’s current home in another part of the village, where six more sets of remains were found, a local councillor told reporters.Gendarmes were deployed outside one of the houses where the bodies were found, and sealed off the entrance to the macabre scene with plastic sheeting.”I’m very upset. I baptise five children every Sunday in the 17 villages of the parish. You don’t just throw children out like that in a big bag. It’s incomprehensible,” said local priest Father Robert Meignotte.The couple had lived in the village for 15 years and had two grown-up daughters who have children themselves, local residents said.The incident follows a string of similar cases in France.Earlier this year a mother was convicted of killing six of her newborn children and hiding them in the cellar of her house in northwestern France.Another notorious recent case was Veronique Courjault, who in June 2009 was jailed for smothering two baby boys born in secret at her expatriate home in South Korea, and a third child born in France, and hidden them in a freezer.AFP
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From red to blue and back again

In the dying days of Kevin Rudd’s leadership, internal polling in Greenway showed Labor’s two-party-preferred vote in the north-western Sydney seat wallowing at 45 per cent.Things were just as bad in the southern seat of Hughes. Rudd, Labor’s powerbrokers concluded, had to go.Greenway, once a Labor stronghold, then safely Liberal, now nominally Labor, has become one of the most topsy-turvy seats, thanks not to fickle voters but the wise heads at the Australian Electoral Commission.The Liberal Party holds Greenway at present with a margin of 4.5 per cent, but since the last election half the constituents have been redistributed to other electorates, radically altering the seat’s political complexion.Affluent Liberal-voting areas around the Hawkesbury have been excised and replaced by working-class suburbs such as Toongabbie, Seven Hills and Pendle Hill. The seat is now notionally Labor at 5.7 per cent.Yet it remains a favourite for pollsters trying to take the temperature of middle Australia. While it now includes some older suburbs, it also takes in the newer suburbs in Sydney’s north-west, home to the aspirational voters of the former Labor leader Mark Latham.The Liberal Louise Markus has held Greenway since 2004, but is shifting to the safer neighbouring seat of Macquarie – which has resulted in her being branded a ”seat-shopper” in Labor leaflets posted around the area.Her replacement is the lawyer Jaymes Diaz, 34, who is aiming to become the first Filipino-Australian elected to federal Parliament.Mr Diaz is the son of Jess Diaz, a prominent Blacktown community figure and Australia’s first councillor of Filipino descent.”The reason I got interested in politics was because I saw my father come here as a migrant and work hard to provide for my mother, my brothers and myself,” he said.Having joined the Liberal Party only five years ago, Mr Diaz is a relative newcomer to politics and does not have a high profile in the area.His preselection was not decided until the day the election was called.By contrast, Labor’s candidate Michelle Rowland is a former Blacktown City Council deputy mayor and has been campaigning full-time since taking leave without pay from her job at Gilbert + Tobin lawyers in April.When the Herald spent time with Ms Rowland on the hustings, most voters she approached already knew who she was.”Some people I’ve door-knocked two or three times,” she said.Local branch members have criticised her for being parachuted into the seat by the ALP’s national office, but Ms Rowland said her local credentials were sound.”I was born in Blacktown Hospital; I went to school in Lalor Park,” she said. ”I worked as a checkout operator while studying law. I live in Glenwood.”Linda Swan, a mother of two who works in the Lalor Park shopping centre, said she was unaware who the Liberal Party’s candidate for Greenway was. ”I work at IGA every day and I haven’t seen anyone else but Michelle,” she said. ”She’s here at least once a week [campaigning].”Ms Swan said community safety and health were big issues in Lalor Park, a suburb with a high number of aged pensioners and public housing residents.”We need more doctors around – especially for after-hours,” she said.Despite the Labor-friendly boundary changes, Ms Rowland said she was not taking victory for granted.”The Greenway you see today is not the Greenway you’ve ever seen in the past. I’m not looking at the margin and I’m certainly not looking at the polling.”
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A nation of immigrants tops out at one in four

Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott talk about restraining immigration and being ” fair dinkum” but each is more representative of the changing nature of Australia than they would have us believe.Whichever wins, they will be the first foreign-born Australian elected prime minister since at least John Gorton – and there is doubt about whether he was born in Melbourne or in Wellington, New Zealand.But when Gorton became prime minister in the late 1960s only one in five Australians was born overseas.New figures released yesterday show steady increases in migration since then have pushed up the total to an astonishing one in four. By mid last year an extraordinary 26.5 per cent of the population had been born overseas – the highest proportion since Federation.Bureau of Statistics figures show Australia at its most Australian in modern times was in 1947, when 90 per cent of Australians were born here. The actual proportion was doubtless higher given that at the time Aboriginals were not automatically included in the census.Mr Abbott and Ms Gillard are also representative of the record 5.8 million Australians born overseas in another way. Each was born in Britain, which remains the biggest single foreign birthplace for Australians, supplying 5.4 per cent of our present population, followed by New Zealand, with 2.4 per cent.In the past decade, China (1.6 per cent) and India (1.4 per cent) have displaced Italy and Vietnam in third and fourth place.The most recent crop of migrants is about the most useful we could want.According to the Bureau of Statistics, two-thirds of recent migrants are aged between 15 and 34, compared with less than one third of the population. This means most are unlikely to need support in either nursing homes because they are old or in schools because they are young, and are likely to be in a position to provide support to an increasingly aged Australia.These are the sorts of questions Mr Abbott has pledged to ask a renamed Productivity and Sustainability Commission if he wins office.The figures show migrants overwhelmingly chose to settle in NSW and Victoria.But as a proportion of its population, Western Australia is by far the most affected; 4.4 per cent of its population turnover is migration, compared with 3.5 per cent in eastern Australia. About 30 per cent of West Australians were born overseas compared with 26 per cent in NSW and Victoria.
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