• Chinan news headlines: April 29, 2017


    Need anational newssnapshot first thing?Well, we have you covered.
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    ​Regional news:► QUEENSLAND:THEY may be the largest irrigated cotton farm in the Southern Hemisphere but not even Cubbie Station were left unscathed by this season’s dry hot summer.

    ► DARWIN, NT:An n woman is fighting for life after becoming the first local victim of a global airbag recall crisis that has left drivers with gruesome injuries and affected millions of car owners.Read more.

    ►WAGGA WAGGA, NSW:A Wagga resident has called for large dog ownersto consider using a muzzlein the wake of avicious dog attack which left afamily forced to watch their cat die in their arms.Read more.

    ►BENDIGO:“Imagine what it is like to be told you can’t have this choice [to go out after 10pm] because you are disabled, and make no mistake this is what it says. This is our government forcing our disabled citizens to be out of sight, out of mind. This is discrimination.” Read more.

    Harry Styles is heading to for his first solo world tour. But just over 4000 fans will be able to see him perform here. Read more.

    Eye on the weatherWhat does it look like in your neck of the woods today?

    National news:► The head of the NSW Police Sex Crimes Squad recently warned a NSW Parliamentary inquiry into human trafficking that exploited overseas workers were slipping through the cracks because there was now no way to identify – or stop – underground brothels.Read more.

    ►Labor has referred Pauline Hanson’s One Nation to Queensland authorities amid claims the party has breached electoral rules. Read more.

    ►Multinational gas companies will soon sell an annual $50 billion worth of n liquefied natural gas to foreign markets, but the nation will have to wait more than a decade for any revenue boost and some projects will never pay a cent in tax for the resources they extract.​ Read more.

    World news:► North Korea unsuccessfully test-fired a ballistic missile on Saturday from a region north of its capital, Pyongyang, South Korea’s military said, defying intense pressure from the United States and the reclusive state’s main ally, China. Read more.

    ►Nairobi:Women are likely to be elected for the first time to some of Kenya’s powerful governor positions after making historic gains in party primaries this week, experts said, heralding a political breakthrough for the patriarchal society. Read more.

    ►About half of the 675 immigrants picked up in roundups across the United States in the days after President Donald Trump took office either had no criminal convictions or had committed traffic offences, mostly drunken driving, as their most serious crimes, according to data obtained byThe Washington Post.Read more.

    Faces of Jeff McCloy, the larger-than-life personality who dramatically won, and then lost, Newcastle’s lord mayoralty between 2012 and 2014, has remained a highly visible figure in the city’s political scene since he resigned in the heat ofthe Independent Commission Against Corruption’s inquiry into political donations made before the 2011 state election.

    From interventions about the controversial light rail route, to challenging the ICAC in the High Court of , Mr McCloy has lost none of his famously forthright nature.

    But since the conclusion of ICAC’sOperation Spicer investigation, which found Mr McCloy“acted with the intention”of evading laws about thedisclosure of political donations and the ban on donations from property developers, the question being asked in some circles is:would he ever run again? Read more.

    On this day …

    ►311Roman Emperor Galerius issues Edict of Toleration, ending persercution of Christians in the Roman Empire

    ►1789George Washingtonis inaugurated as the first President of the United States of America

    ► 1859 Charles Dickens'”A Tale Of Two Cities” is first published in literary periodical “All the Year Round” (weekly installments until Nov 26).

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  • NRL: Newcastle Knights beaten by Gold Coast Titans at Cbus Super Stadiumphotos


    Knights crash to seventh straight loss | photos TweetFacebook Knights v Titans on Gold CoastPictures by Getty ImagesThe Newcastle Knights suffered their seventh straight loss on Saturday afterthe Gold Coast Titans scored 32 unanswered pointsin the second half.
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    The visitors were beaten 38-8 in front of10,511 spectators at CbusSuperStadium after leading 8-6 at the break, but remaining scoreless on the run home.

    This result keeps the Knights (two points)anchored to the bottom of the NRL competition ladder, now four behind the Titans (6) and two arrears of the Penrith Panthers (4).

    Newcastle started the round nine fixturewith much promise,Knights skipper Sione Mata’utai produced a try-saving tackle over the lineknocking the ball free from the arms of Titans hooker Nathan Peats in the sixth minute.

    After being held up next to the posts and forcing a repeat set, Newcastlethen made the most ofextra possession with second-rower Sam Stone latching onto a short ball from hooker Danny Levi and swiveling past Jarryd Hayne to open the scoring in the 13th minute. Brock Lamb added the extras for a 6-0 lead.

    Lamb made it 8-0 with a penalty goal four minutes later, shortly after Knights prop Daniel Saifiti made a 50 metre break in midfield.

    The Titans reduced the margin to two in the 24thminute when Hayne, who received a penalty 10m out, took a quick tap and crashed over. Gold Coast halfback Ash Taylor converted to make it 8-6.

    The Knights managed to hold the Titans enterprising attack at bayjust before the break and took the same lead into half-time.

    Gold Coast crossed twice in the space of six minutes shortly after the main stoppage to first reachthe frontvia five-eighth Kane Elgey and then double their advantage to 16-8 courtesy of Hayne’s second for the afternoon.

    Just shy of the hour mark Titans centre Konrad Hurrell dived full stretch and caught a clever chip kick from Taylor to extend the home side’s advantage to 20-8.

    The Titans kept on coming and tries in the 68th,73rd and 77th minutes put the result beyond the Knights’ reach.

    Gold Coast replacement Jon Greenwood produced a one-on-one strip from Lamb just 10m out and nabbed a four-pointer, Hurrell crunched Knights halfback Jaelen Feeney in a tackle to force a turnover and then crashed over him for his double before Titans captain Ryan James was also addedto the score sheet.

    Meanwhile, in late team changes before kick-offJosh King made his first appearance for the Knights this season, the 13thof his career, starting at lock with Luke Yates shifting back to the bench. Anthony Tupou dropped out of the squad.

    For the Titans the main shufflesawHayne moving to the centres and Tyrone Roberts going to fullback. Elgey was elevated to No.6and Morgan Boyle became one of four interchange players.

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  • NSW Country rugby union: Newcastle beat Illawarra to lift Caldwell Cup


    Newcastle reclaim country rugby crown TweetFacebookAll weekend, both games, they were top-class.
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    Stu Pinkerton

    “There’s a few good stories,” Pinkerton said.

    “Josh Stewart’s played Country for different provinces for six or seven years but has never held the Caldwell Cup. He’s been captain of Country.

    “Ben Ham, in colts and seniors, has been here six times and never won.

    “Potentially Jay Strachan and Steve Lamont this was a last opportunity to play for Newcastle.

    “I think they’re thinking about not representing this year. It was great for them because they’ve been stalwarts in the team. It was great to see them with the trophy.

    “And then there’s 11 debutants in the team as well, so it’s great for the future to see so many young guys be part of the team that wins.”

    Newcastle’s only blemish in the final was an intercept try just on half-time.

    “We got out to 17-0. I thought we were the better side. We were comfortable,” Pinkerton said.

    “In the second half we kept them scoreless. Our defence really held them in check and when we had the opportunity to score our backs were really slick. All weekend, both games, they were top-class.”

    The coach also praised his physios and trainers for keeping the players fresh across the weekend.

    “Yesterday was really hot. We’ve only played two or three club games. It’s a high standard. It’s a hard thing to do. It’s the team that can manage that the best, too,” he said.

    “It was a great off-field effort as well.”

    Newcastle flyhalf and goal-kicker Dane Sherratt was named playerof the tournament.

    The Newcastle under-19s lost their final 14-8 against Central Coast, but halfback Gus Locke was namedplayer of the colts tournament.

    The Hunter’s women won their sevens semi-final over Mid North Coast 17-0 but lost the final 19-10 to Central West.

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  • Darwin woman almost killed by faulty Takata airbag subjected to worldwide recall


    The Takata airbag in a RAV4 SUV responsible for injuring a 21-year-old Darwin woman on Monday. Photo: NT Police
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    An n woman is fighting for life after becoming the first local victim of a global airbag recall crisis that has left drivers with gruesome injuries and affected millions of car owners.

    The 21-year-old Darwin woman was struck in the head by metal shrapnel propelled from her faulty airbag during a low-speed crash on Monday.

    The Takata airbag in her Toyota RAV4 SUV was one of about 100 million worldwide, including 2.1 million in , to be recalled.

    It’s believed tens of thousands of ns may be driving death trap cars capable of decapitating passengers by sending shrapnel flying through their car during crashes that may only be minor.

    Takata airbags have been attributed to 16 deaths worldwide including the near decapitation of American manCarlos Solis, who had​a piece of metal fly into his neck when the airbag in his 2002 Honda Accord deployed after a minor bingle in Texas.

    Florida driver Corey Burdicklost an eye when he crashedhis 2001 Honda Civic into another car at just 24 km/hr.

    Takata, a Japanese auto parts company,was fined $1.3 billion in Februaryfor deliberately hiding evidence that its airbag inflaters could explode with too much force, sending shrapnel flying.

    It has led to the biggest recall in automotive history.

    However, many n owners who have received recallnotices have also reported that local dealerships are out ofreplacementparts, with somepredictionsthat it willtake five years to complete the global recall.

    On Friday, Northern Territory police issueda warning following the near-death of the 21-year-old woman.

    Police said shewas driving a Toyota RAV4 SUV when another car turned across her path on a suburban street, resulting in a low speed collision.

    It is understood the woman was not at fault.

    She received serious head injuries and remains in Royal Darwin Hospital.

    Sergeant Mark Casey, a crash investigator with NT emergency services, said in a statement that “this type of crash, in normal circumstances, would not have caused this level of injury”.

    “Investigations have revealed the vehicle was the subject of a worldwide recall for faulty airbag manufacture in 2015,” he said.

    “The recall involved approximately 100 million vehicles around the world, including 2.1 million vehicles in .”

    Police have urged people to check theRecalls websiteto see if their car is affected, and to make sure vehicles with the issue are rectified as soon as possible.

    Toyota and Honda lead the local recall count, which includes 13 manufacturers and models ranging from city hatchbacks to four-wheel-drives and top-end Ferraris.

    A spokesman for Toyota said this is the first Takata-related injury in , and that the manufacturer is “cooperating with Northern Territory Police in their investigation”.

    Ammonium nitrate airbag inflators supplied by Takata are susceptible to moisture damage that can make them explode in an uncontrolled fashion, turning dashboard trim into lethal shrapnel.

    Fiat Chrysler Automobilies has stopped using ammonium nitrate airbags in its cars.

    n drivers frustrated by lengthy delays to airbag repairs have previously contactedDriveto say it is “wrong for us to be expected to drive potentially dangerous cars” while waiting for replacement components.

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  • Wary owner calls for muzzle use after vicious dog attack


    MUZZLE UP: Elvis, a 14-week-old staghound-cross, and Cathy Southwell, who believes pet owners with large dogs should consider using muzzles. Picture: Les Smith A Wagga resident has called for large dog ownersto consider using a muzzlein the wake of a vicious dog attack which left afamily forced to watch their cat die in their arms.
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    Council’s manager of environment and city compliance Mark Gardiner revealed on Thursday there had been29 dog attacks in Wagga in the past three months, with an average of 150 dog attacks per year, ranging from small bites to full scale attacks.

    Owner of a 14-week-old staghound-cross, Cathy Southwell, said she intends on using a soft muzzle on her dog, having previously used one on her great dane.

    “You never know exactly what is going to trigger an animal to behave in a certain way,” Ms Southwell said.

    “Someone looking at a dog and making them feel threatened could be enough and that someone could be a three-year-old child.”

    Ms Southwell said she “couldn’t live with herself” if her dog attackeda child, after her great dane uncharacteristically bit her partner.

    “We took our previous dog to trainers, dog school and had specialists working with her,” Ms Southwell said.

    “She was a beautiful dog but you just never know.”

    Dog trainer Brydie Charlesworth, who services the Wagga area, said muzzles were a good management technique for fixing dogs behaviour, but not as a stand alone treatment.

    “There is no possible way a dogcan bite through a muzzle so it does keep the public safe,” Ms Charlesworth said.

    “It can be a great tool but must be used in conjunction with behaviourmodification.”

    Ms Charlesworth saidthe use of muzzels was becoming more prominent among dog owners.

    “I’m seeing an increase in people being responsible and using muzzles,” Ms Charlesworth said.

    “I guess people are becoming aware of the damage dogs can do when they’re not trained appropriately.”

    Both Ms Southwell and Ms Charlesworth emphasised that using a muzzle on a dog was not cruel.

    “I think dog attacks in Wagga are getting worse with people letting their dogs roam,” Ms Southwell said.

    “People are getting bigger dogs that they can’t control andthey need to understand not everyone likes dogs or feels comfortable with them.”

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  • Wheelchair users ‘lost’ in taxi industry deregulation


    Empowering: Alex Reimers says she would be “lost” without Bendigo Taxis’ wheelchair accessible vehicles, which provide her with access to her community. Picture: NONI HYETT“Imagine if you were told you were not allowed out after 10pm on certain nights of the week.”
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    That is the situation facing Helen Reimers’ “engaging and wonderful”daughter, Alex, for whom she acts as unpaid carer, and whose freedom she says will be restricted by Bendigo Taxis decision to no longer offer its wheelchair accessible services after 10pm between Sunday and Thursday.

    But Ms Reimers does not believe the blame lies with the taxi operator, whose drivers she says provide “an amazing service”, without which she and Alex, who relies on an electric wheelchair for mobility, wouldbe“completely lost”.

    “There are so many Bendigo residents who rely on the Bendigo Taxi Association and their maxi-taxi service to enable them to have access to our community, the deregulation of the hire car industry is making it impossible for them to offer the necessary services for them to do so and it is only going to get worse,” she says.

    “Imagine what it is like to be told you can’t have this choice [to go out after 10pm] because you are disabled, and make no mistake this is what it says. This is our government forcing our disabled citizens to be out of sight, out of mind. This is discrimination.”

    Taxis Associated of Bendigo Co-Operative Limited manager Colin Wells agrees, saying deregulation has left the organisation with no choice but to reduce the hours the maxi-taxis operatein order to preserve the life of the aging fleet. He says the organisation can no longer afford to replacethree of itseight wheelchair-accessible taxis, now approaching the end of their life.

    “One of our vans hasblown a motor so that’s12,000odd dollars to repair it,” he says.

    “You wouldn’t bother putting anew motor in a vehiclethat’s got 750,000 kilometreson it when the gear box and everything else in it is exhausted. You’re better off putting thatmoney into a new van butwe don’thave the wherewithalto find the $80,000that we’d need to get another van on the road.”

    Mr Wells saysderegulation has meantrevenue from sedan taxis is no longer sufficient to subside the wheelchair fleet, putting in jeopardy the decades-old trade off industry players made between the profit-based sedan taxi services and the “essential service” of providing affordable transport for people with disabilities, which he says runsat a loss.

    “We want to providethe service, we just don’t have the capital funds to do so,” he says.

    “The whole crux of is it is we are being repeatedly and consistently told by the government that ours is not an essential service, we are merely commercial operators, that’sall we are, so they are saying ifa service is not viable then stop providing it.

    “I believe theyare 100 per centwrong, theycould not be more wrong,particularly withthe wheelchair fleet.”

    Mr Wells saysthe government’s changes have also meant the value of the association’staxi fleet as an asset hasbeen reduced, leaving it unable to borrow against it to pay for repairs to the wheelchair-accessiblevans.

    “If you can imagine we had $900,000worth of licences to run our wheelchair fleet, we’re going to get a $200,000payment for that, so therefore,when we go to the bank, the bank willseewe madea $700,000loss last year with the right down of the asset value so of course no one, in that situation, in their right mind is going to lend for that,” he said.

    “They’ve taken away our ability to borrow,they’vetaken away our ability to cross-subsidise, sothere’s nothing left but to shut services down and go off the road.”

    MsReimers believes the service provided by Bendigo Taxis is an essential one as “the only safe, accessible transport service”for wheelchair users in Bendigo which, for Alex, means the difference between playing an active role in her community and social isolation.

    “Living with significant disability presents her with economic and social barriers that already make social inclusion and achieving a reasonable quality of life more challenging than it is for the average [person],” she says.

    “If her only means of transport in and around Bendigo is taken away, then socially she will be completely exiled from her own community, from our community.”

    Mr Wells says the “unambiguous message” coming from the government is that taxi operators are not providers of “essential services” and should be moving towards an entirely commercial model –but he believes thatwill inevitably lead to higher prices.

    “The government has been warnedsinceAugust, 2015 if they got the deregulation incorrect it would have a massive impact on the wheelchair fleet,” he said.

    “Theykeeptelling me that commercial forces will dictate that someone will come in and replace us. Well they won’t – or theonly only way they will isifthey double the price.”

    For her part, Alex Reimers says the freedom afforded to her by the taxi service means “the world” and its loss would cost her her cherished independence and adversely impact her mental health.

    “I find it really empowering to be able to have choice in what I do and when. To be able to go out and about without my mother always having to be by my side has built my confidence. I couldn’t do this without the maxi-taxi service,” she says.

    “The maxi-taxis provide me with access to the community, events, education, appointments, shopping and socialising. I’d belost without them.”

    Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan saidthe government wasoffering the biggest industry assistance package in and helping wheelchair taxi operatorsby increasing the lifting fee and providing up to $40,000 for each new piece of equipment purchased.

    “Ultimately, these reforms will improve services to people with disabilities, by reducing the cost of operating a wheelchair taxi and encouraging new operators to offer accessible services,” she said.

    But Mr Wells says while five of the association’s eight maxi-taxis still have years of life left in them, if nothing changes it will only be a matter of time before the wheelchair accessible service disappears entirely.

    “We need help and we need help now and all I’m doing is recommendingthat all of our passengers who are impacted by this contact their local member and say ‘Hey listen, if they’re not an essential service, what essential services is the government providing to ensure that I can be transported around?’,” he says.

    “Idon’t think that’s an unreasonable question because in my mind we are an essential service.”

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  • Two crunch A-League semi-finals to be played this weekend


    Grand final spots on the line Alex Brosque (left) and Bobo of Sydney FC pose ahead of their semi final match against the Perth Glory. Photo by Matt King/Getty Images
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    Sydney FC are presented with the A-League Premier’s Plate after the round 27 A-League match between Sydney FC and the Newcastle Jets on April 15. Photo by Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images

    Rhyan Grant of Sydney FC crosses the ball during the round 27 A-League match between Sydney FC and the Newcastle Jets at Allianz Stadium. Photo by Zak Kaczmarek/Getty Images

    Joshua Risdon of the Glory greets fans after Perth’s A-League elimination final win over Melbourne City FC last week AAMI Park. Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

    Osama Malik of Melbourne City and Andy Keogh of Perth Glory contest the ball during the A-League elimination final last week. Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

    Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas dives to make a save during a training session at Gosch’s Paddock on Thursday. Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images

    James Troisi and James Donachie pose with the Hyundai A-League Championship yrophy during a Melbourne Victory A-League media opportunity at AAMI Park. Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images

    Roar fans cheer during the A-League elimination final match between the Brisbane Roar and the Western Sydney Wanderers at Suncorp Stadium. Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images

    TweetFacebookGAME DAY | It’s @ALeague semi-final day!!! Be at @AllianzStadium and back your Premiers! KO 7:50pm… #SydneyIsSkyBlue#SYDvPER#ALFinalspic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/FYkPp1JDSq

    — Sydney FC (@SydneyFC) April 28, [email protected] are undefeated at home this season and Alex Brosque has credited much of that success to their fans. 🎫: https://t苏州夜场招聘/Te7nA1950Rpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/JbDQHqX5gD

    — Hyundai A-League (@ALeague) April 25, 2017We face the @ALeague Premiers this Saturday night.We go again. 💪💪#GloryIsOurspic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/5y18xy8j7C

    — Perth Glory FC (@PerthGloryFC) April 23, 2017Tomorrow at @AAMIPark! An #ALeagueGF berth is up for grabs when we host @brisbaneroar. Preview: https://t苏州夜场招聘/DfWFxprGzl#MVCvBRIpic.twitter苏州夜总会招聘/fYD9zqVdTY

    — Melbourne Victory (@gomvfc) April 29, 2017

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  • Harry Styles heading to China


    Harry Styles performs at the American Music Awards. Photo: MATT SAYLESHarry Styles is heading to for his first solo world tour. But just over 4000 fans will be able to see him perform here.
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    The singer, and former One Direction member, announced the 30-date global tour on hisTwitter pageovernight, citing concerts in Sydney at the relatively small Enmore Theatre andthe Forum Theatre in Melbourne on November 26 and 30 respectively.

    The tour, which begins in San Francisco in September and also includesCanada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Japan, has ignited social media in two ways.

    Fans are thrilled, with many a swooning meme uploaded to social media, butire is highin countries the singer is not visiting.

    Styles’ devoteesin Poland, Brazil, Russia, South America,the Middle East and Africa posted images of flags and maps of their home countriesin response.

    His surprise choice of smaller venues in continues a trendfor big name actsperforming at “intimate” theatres.

    The Enmore Theatre has a capacity of2200 in concert mode in contrast to stadium venue Qudos Bank Arena at Homebush which has a total capacity of 21,000.

    In 2014Coldplayplayed a one-off show at theEnmore andBobDylanplayedthe 800-seat Tivoli Theatre in Brisbane. In2003the Rolling Stones also picked the Enmore Theatre for a performance.

    Styles, whoreleases his debut solo album on May 12, also makes his big screen debut in upcomingfilmDunkirk, which recreates the historic evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk in France.

    Directed by Christopher Nolan, the film features Styles as Alex, asoldier, alongside actors such as Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy and James D’Arcy.

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  • Footage shows moment NSW mother drives into oncoming freight train near Taree


    Mother drives into Taree freight train Footage played in the Newcastle District Court showed the car trying to brake before it was hit by the train. Photo: Channel Seven
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    The scene of the accident near Taree in April 2016. Photo: Scott Calvin

    TweetFacebookA mother has sobbed in court as footage was played showing the terrifying moment she drove into the path of an oncoming freight train with her three children in the car.

    The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, failed to stop as the train passed over a small country road at Moorland, near Taree,in April 2016.

    Footage taken from the train showed the woman’s car slamming on the brakes and skidding onto the tracks.

    The train driver blows a horn shortly before impact, and debris can be seen flying into the air as the train’s brakes screech.

    It took 50 seconds for the train, loaded with thousands of tonnes of steel, to stop and its driver feared the people he hit were dead.

    On Friday, a judge in the Newcastle District Court showed the mother mercy by sparing her from a jail term so she can continue to care for her children, one of whom was left brain damaged by the crash.

    “[The children are]victims of this offence, to send their mother into jail at this moment will make them victims of this sentence,” Judge Roy Ellis said.

    Two of the three girls- who were aged two, five and seven at the time – suffered critical injuries, with one needing CPR to be revived at the scene by a passing police officer.

    One daughter still requires 24-hour care due to a brain injury suffered in the accident and her motherbarely manages to communicate with her through a series of hand squeezes.

    The mother had pleaded guilty to two counts of dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm.

    On Friday, shereceived15 months and 18 months in jail for each child that was critically injured, but the sentence was suspended given her need to care for them.

    The scene of the accident near Taree in April 2016. Photo: Scott Calvin

    “There are some cases that call for mercy,”Judge Ellis said.

    “This offender has punished herself immensely every day since the accident.”

    Outside court, the mother said: “A split second can just change your life.”

    As video of the incident was played in court, she covered her eyes and ears,sobbing through the ordeal.

    The impact sent the car rolling down an embankment, the court heard.

    Judge Ellis described the crossing where the accident occurred as “rather dangerous”.

    He said there were no boom gates, no lights and grass two to three metres in height along the side of the road.

    “It is a tragic situation without a shadow of a doubt,” he said.

    Footage played in the Newcastle District Court showed the car trying to brake before it was hit by the train. Photo: Channel Seven

    The woman, who was 30 at the time of the accident, was also suspended from driving for five years.


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  • North Korea test-fires ballistic missile, news agency reports


    North Korean tanks took part in a live-fire drill on Wednesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via APNorth Korea unsuccessfully test-fired a ballistic missile on Saturday from a region north of its capital, Pyongyang, South Korea’s military said, defying intense pressure from the United States and the reclusive state’s main ally, China.
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    The test came as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned the United Nations Security Council that failure to curb North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs could lead to ‘catastrophic consequences’.

    USand South Korean officials said the test appeared to have failed, in what would be a fourth successive unsuccessful missile test since March.

    USofficials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the missile was probably a medium-range missile known as a KN-17 and appears to have broken up within minutes of taking off.

    Tension had spiked on the Korean peninsula over concerns the North may conduct the test-launch of a long-range missile or its sixth nuclear test around the time of the April 15 anniversary of its state founder’s birth or the day marking the founding of its military earlier this week.

    The timing of the latest launch suggests it was calculated to send a certain message as Pyongyang remains under intense attention of world powers, said Kim Dong-yub, an expert at Kyungnam University’s Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Seoul.

    “It was planned at a complicated timing around the end of the South Korea-U.S. joint military drills, the United States talking about military options and the announcement of North Korea policies and the Security Council meeting,” Kim said.

    South Korean and USforces have been conducting annual military drills since the start of March that conclude at the end of April.

    In a show of force, the United States is sending the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group to waters off the Korean peninsula, where it will join the USS Michigan, a nuclear submarine that docked in South Korea on Tuesday.

    USPresident Donald Trump told Reuters in an interview on Thursday a “major, major conflict” with North Korea was possible over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

    Trump praised Chinese leader Xi Jinping for “trying very hard” to rein in Pyongyang.

    But both China and Russia rebuked Washington’s threat of military force at a meeting of the UNSecurity Council on the matter on Friday.

    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the 15-member council it was not only up to China to solve the North Korean problem.

    “The key to solving the nuclear issue on the peninsula does not lie in the hands of the Chinese side,” Wang told the council in blunt remarks that Tillerson later rebuffed.

    The UN Security Council is likely to start discussing a statement to condemn the missile launch, said diplomats, adding that it was unlikely to be issued on Friday.

    The Security Council traditionally condemns all missile launches by Pyongyang.

    “It could have happened today exactly because we had the meeting,” Italian UN Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, chair of the Security Council’s North Korean sanctions committee, told reporters when hearing of the test.

    “It’s illegal, it should not be done, it’s another provocative action by North Korea.”

    Neighbouring Japan said the “unacceptable” launch clearly violated UNresolutions and said it had lodged a strong protest with North Korea.


    The story, North Korea test-fires ballistic missile, news agency reports, first appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald.

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