New law doubles maximum penalty for fine fraud to $11,000

Wear the initial fine … The new legislation doubles the maximum fines – from $5500 to $11,000 – for vehicle owners who shirk a penalty for speed camera and other camera-detected traffic offences by falsely nominating another driver. Photo: Adam McLean A NSW Police patrol vehicle … “Anyone who deliberately tries to defraud the system by falsely nominating another person risks being prosecuted and ultimately earning themselves a criminal record,” says Commissioner of Fines Administration, Stephen Brady. Photo: Supplied
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Drivers who falsely claim someone else was behind the wheel at the time of an offence could be slapped with an $11,000 fine under harsh new penalties introduced in NSW parliament on Tuesday.

The new legislation doubles the maximum fines for vehicle owners who shirk a penalty for speed camera and other camera-detected traffic offences by falsely nominating another driver.

Under the amended Fines Act 1996 and the Roads Transport Act 2013 individuals now face a $11,000 fine, up from $5500.

The maximum penalty for corporations has also doubled from $11,000 to $22,000.

“While the vast majority of people do the right thing, any doubtful nominations are checked against all available evidence, for example photographs taken at the time of the offence,” said the Commissioner of Fines Administration, Stephen Brady.

Mr Brady said the NSW Office of State Revenue (OSR) checks all driver nominations against RMS records for license details and immigration records to confirm the nominated person in the country at the time of each offence.

“Anyone who deliberately tries to defraud the system by falsely nominating another person risks being prosecuted and ultimately earning themselves a criminal record,” Mr Brady said.

Under the new legislation, people will be able to submit their nomination online, removing the formal requirement for a statutory declaration.

The OSR has issued more than 1400 fines to people for false nomination offences and has prosecuted more than 200 people relating to false nominations over the last eight years.

In 2006, hundreds of thousands of statutory declarations signed by motorists fighting traffic fines were investigated as part of a major fraud crackdown by the NSW government.

Kylie and Dannii Minogue perform together on TV for the first time in 30 years

Kylie and Dannii Minogue reunite for Christmas track, 100 Degrees. Photo: Channel Seven Dannii and Kylie have both been judges on the rival reality TV shows.
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Kylie Minogue and sister Dannii Minogue on Young Talent Time.

Winner revealed for X-FactorKylie’s Christmas album is a real thingHave Kylie and Dannii Minogue made the cheesiest Christmas song ever?

Kylie and Dannii Minogue have thrown back to the 80s with a thoroughly modern performance during the finale of X-Factor .

Whilst often seen at events together, the pair have not performed on television since Young Talent Time in 1986 when they performed Sisters Are Doing It’ For Themselves.

Dannii, who is a judge on the musical reality competition X Factor shared duet with sister Kylie on the latter’s upcoming Christmas album entitled 100 Degrees.

The sisters donned matching leotards taped with sparkling strips in pink and blue respectively as they sang the disco-inspired Christmas anthem about a hot n Yule.

They were joined by 10 male dancers in silver lurex shorts and Santa-themed capes.

Kylie’s album, which has the highly searchable title Kylie Christmas, also features a duet with legendary rocker Iggy Pop.

Other collaborators include British comedian and talk-show host James Corden on Yazoo’s 1982 classic Only You while technical wizardry has also been employed to team Minogue with Frank Sinatra on a version of Santa Claus Is Coming to Town.

Kylie will also perform, presumably alone, at the ARIA awards to be held on Thursday night where she is due to help Tina Arena be a ushered in to the ARIA Hall of Fame.

Social media lapped the performance up, with many fans gushing over the reunion. OMG. Kylie & Danii look GREAT on #XFactor tonight! #XFGrandFinal#KylieandDannii— Migs Santillan (@migs_santi) November 24, 2015Kylie and Dannii had the best performance for tonight on #xfactorau#XFGrandFinal. Can we have an encore @thexfactor_au— Timothy Kandilis (@kandilistk) November 24, 2015

Returning Siddle plots Williamson’s downfall

Kane Williamson hits out during the first Test at the Gabba. Picture: Getty ImagesAUSTRALIA will try to bore New Zealand’s wonderchild Kane Williamson into submission in the day-night Test.
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New Zealand cricket icons Richard Hadlee and Martin Crowe believe Williamson will finish as the country’s greatest batsman.

Williamson, regarded by some pundits as the best batsman in the world, has certainly lived up to his reputation in the ongoing series.

The zen master has been calm and confident at the crease, waiting for the right ball to unleash a textbook cover drive.

Peter Siddle, set to be recalled for the third Test after being 12th man in Brisbane and Adelaide, preached the value of patience when asked about his plans for Williamson.

“That’s one thing he’s very good at and that’s one thing we can be slightly better at in our bowling – building pressure and getting them out that way,” Siddle said.

“You look at all the class players in world cricket, it’s worked hasn’t it?

“It worked against Sachin [Tendulkar]. It worked against KP [Kevin Pietersen].

“We’ve got to work hard here, put a lot of pressure on.”

Siddle dismissed Pietersen 10 times in his 104-Test career, more than any other bowler.

The former woodchopper did it more often than not by keeping things consistent, starving Pietersen of runs until he made an error.

Siddle has also trumped AB de Villiers six times in 12 Tests, wearing down the South African wizard with his work-rate and accuracy.

The 30-year-old is backing himself to achieve something similar with Williamson, who is less audacious than de Villiers but shares his incredible ability to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

“I’d like to hope so,” Siddle said. “I’ve had some good success against him in the past. I have troubled him and had some good battles with him.

“He’s been a class player these past 12, 18 months and he has been a handful this series . . . he’s got a lot smarter with how he plays.”

Siddle identified Ross Taylor as another crucial scalp after the former New Zealand skipper’s record-breaking knock of 290 at the WACA.

“They’re in good nick,” he said.

Siddle feared his international career was over before a call-up for the fifth Ashes Test.

The Victorian had six wickets and 17 maidens in that match, his strong showing a source of confidence after being overlooked in the first two home Tests of the summer.

“I know it isn’t that long since I came out and performed,” he said. “It gives myself a boost . . . [selectors] know that I can perform when called upon.”

● The SCG’s preparations for the January Test are back on track after Cricket deemed the ground’s playing surface fit to play.

Play will resume at the ground on Friday, when NSW take on Queensland in a Sheffield Shield clash. AAP

Elon Musk squares off with Jeff Bezos in space billionaires’ twitter spat

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, as he unveiled a Blue Origin rocket, at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida two months ago. Photo: Phelan M. EbenhackAmazon CEO Jeff Bezos sees ‘millions’ of people living, working in spaceTexas rocket launch puts Amazon boss Jeff Bezos’ spaceship closer to goal
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Jeff Bezos achieved two technological milestones in barely 24 hours.

His private venture Blue Origin sent a rocket to the edge of space and landed it safely back on Earth, a pioneering feat. Then the 51-year-old Amazon founder hailed the event with his first-ever tweet on Tuesday, dubbing the lightly scorched booster the “rarest of beasts, a used rocket.”

His Twitter debut quickly landed him in an online spat with another billionaire with space ambitions: Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk, whose Space Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, wants to bring back Falcon 9 rockets to upright touchdowns after hoisting commercial payloads to orbit. The rarest of beasts – a used rocket. Controlled landing not easy, but done right, can look easy. Check out video: https://t杭州龙凤论坛/9OypFoxZk3— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) November 24, [email protected] Not quite “rarest”. SpaceX Grasshopper rocket did 6 suborbital flights 3 years ago & is still around. pic.twitter杭州龙凤论坛m/6j9ERKCNZl— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2015

Jeff maybe unaware SpaceX suborbital VTOL flight began 2013. Orbital water landing 2014. Orbital land landing next. https://t杭州龙凤论坛/S6WMRnEFY5— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2015

The sniping highlights the stakes as space entrepreneurs create reusable rockets to cut the cost of lofting freight and astronauts. While Musk’s systems are more mature — SpaceX is now preparing to hoist military payloads, and Bezos’s venture is still running tests — the latest flight helped establish Blue Origin as a SpaceX competitor.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, as he unveiled a Blue Origin rocket, at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida two months ago. Photo: Phelan M. EbenhackCongrats to Jeff Bezos and the BO team for achieving VTOL on their booster— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2015  It is, however, important to clear up the difference between “space” and “orbit”, as described well by https://t杭州龙凤论坛/7PD42m37fZ— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 24, 2015  Photo: APJoining in

Marc Andreessen, a Silicon Valley investor and entrepreneur, joined in on the Twitter banter on Tuesday, though without taking sides. Area man joins Twitter. To show off his rocket. @JeffBezoshttps://t杭州龙凤论坛/Vsuo64Abbb— Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) November 24, 2015

Joel Edgerton was told he wasn’t ‘pretty enough’ to star on Home and Away

Joel Edgerton plays corrupt FBI agent John Connolly to Johnny Depp’s gangster in Black Mass. Actor Joel Edgerton.
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Joel Edgerton (right), with Rebecca Hall and Jason Bateman and in The Gift. Photo: Roadshow

Joel Edgerton in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. Photo: Lucas Films

Joel Edgerton hits the Hollywood big timeHamish and Andy gift Joel Edgerton $47000 RolexJoel Edgerton on the perils of being his own boss

His career overseas may be going gangbusters, but Joel Edgerton wasn’t always so lucky.

The 41-year-old, who stars opposite Johnny Depp in true-crime gangster drama Black Mass, was once unable to land a role on soaps Home and Away and Neighbours because he wasn’t “pretty” enough.

“I just wasn’t that pretty, to be honest. They didn’t want me on a surfboard. And back then I was a little bit judgmental about the soapy stuff,” Edgerton told the UK’s Telegraph.

“I was working happily in the theatre, but I was losing the occasional really cool job to actors who’d been in those shows, because they sold tickets and I didn’t. I remember thinking, ‘F***, I’ve got to go out and get myself a profile’.

“So I cut that lifeline off, and then Secret Life of Us as well, and went off to do [Gregor Jordan’s] Ned Kelly.”

It didn’t matter in the end because Edgerton soon got a call from Star Wars creator George Lucas asking him to star in Attack of the Clones, making him one of the rare n actors who found overseas success without starting in a homegrown soap.

“Star Wars was the canoe that took me across the river, really. There was this 18-month period after I shot it, when no one knew that I was only in the movie for five minutes.”

“I wasn’t being deceptive, but it meant that people were interested enough to go, oh, you’re in Star Wars, show us your wares.”

Since then, Edgerton has gone on to star in Zero Dark Thirty, The Great Gatsby, Exodus: Gods and Kings, and now Black Mass opposite Depp and Benedict Cumberbatch.

He also wrote, directed and starred in this year’s psychological thriller The Gift, in which he plays a stalker opposite Arrested Development’s Jason Bateman.

In Black Mass, Edgerton stars as corrupt FBI agent John Connelly, who is on the payroll of childhood friend and notorious Boston underworld figure, Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp).

“There’s an obvious reason why it’s Johnny’s movie, because of the enigmatic, charismatic, dangerous boogeyman figure that Whitey Bulger is… But John Connelly is the guy whose journey is more relatable for an audience.”

So what does Edgerton think of working with high profile actors such as Benedict Cumberbatch, who he now counts as a friend?

“He needs to f***ing slow down!” he joked. “And he became a dad this same year too, and got married, and he’s played Richard III. I think he’s an overachiever.”

Aussie dollar climbs as RBA chief cools on rate cut

Dip your feet in a bowl of icy water to stay cool. Photo: istock $A is stronger.
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The n dollar jumped back towards one-month highs on Wednesday, shrugging off a new low in iron ore prices after the RBA governor told economists they should “chill out” on the prospects for another rate cut next week.

Reserve Bank of ‘s Glenn Stevens on Tuesday evening told a gathering of business economists that he “happened to agree with” the argument for holding the cash rate target steady at 2 per cent when the board next meets on December 1.

“I’m more than content to lower it if that actually helps, but is that the best thing to do at any particular time?” Stevens said in response to a question on the cash rate. “We’ve got Christmas. We should just chill out, come back and see what the data says.”

The local currency traded lower ahead of the governor’s speech, which painted a broadly downbeat picture of the long-term prospects for the n economy, but quickly recovered and lifted through the night and into Wednesday around a one-month high.

In late local trading on Wednesday, it was fetching US72.68¢, compared with US71.98¢ at the same time on Tuesday.

The Aussie’s strength was surprising given a further fall in the benchmark price of iron ore, which slumped 1.9 per cent to $US43.89 a tonne on Tuesday night, the lowest in daily data dating back to May 2009. The previous low of $US44.59 was set in July.

The local currency also proved resilient to Tuesday evening’s shooting down of a Russian fighter jet by Turkey, which spooked world financial markets and lifted the price of oil. Construction data

Nor did weaker than expected construction data for the third quarter manage to quell investor enthusiasm.

Some currency brokers ascribed the Aussie’s strength to trader and hedge fund shorting of the US dollar index on any dips in the greenback.

The n Bureau of Statistics said on Wednesday the value of construction activity shrunk by 3.6 per cent in the third quarter, as investment in housing and office buildings failed to pick up the slack left by the decline in resources related engineering works.

The slump was driven by a 7.3 per cent fall in the value of engineering works, to $24.9 billion, reflecting mainly the mining investment downturn. It came after an improvement in the June quarter, ascribed to the importation of a liquid natural gas module to Western .

For the year, there was a decline of 11.7 per cent in engineering works.

The decline was worse than market forecasts, but the n dollar hardly missed a beat, dipping slightly before climbing throughout the afternoon.

Some of Wednesday’s data feeds into the national accounts, which will be published next week. Some economists are predicting a strong quarter, led by a big contribution from exports.

Thursday brings more inputs to third-quarter gross domestic product in the form of the ABS’s capital expenditure survey.

The release will not only include actual third-quarter business investment, but also the fourth estimate of capital expenditure to the end of the 2015-16 financial year.

“A pick-up in non‑mining capital expenditure has yet to materialise despite low interest rates and more recently a lower n dollar,” said Commonwealth Bank of senior economist Gareth Aird.

“Most forecasters of the economy, including the RBA, expect non‑mining investment to eventually rebound so Thursday’s figures will be closely scrutinised for any evidence that the worm may be turning.”

Cricket China to formally recognise World Series Cricket

Ian Chappell was a pioneer of World Series Cricket.Coinciding with the inaugural pink-ball Test match, Cricket is formally recognising the pioneers of the day-night game, World Series Cricket.
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CA will announce on Wednesday that the records of World Series players will be incorporated into their overall records, though in a separate column. The move ends nearly 40 years of official pretence that WSC did not happen, although most who played in it said it was the toughest cricket they ever played.

WSC was a rebel troupe formed by media mogul Kerry Packer in 1977, as a lucrative commercial interest for him and as a vehicle to higher pay for the leading players of the time. Almost all of them signed up. For two years, they played so-called Super Tests as well as one-day cricket under lights, with white balls, in coloured clothes, then all unprecedented. Some matches were played in traditional stadiums, some at irregular venues like Waverley Park in Melbourne and the Showgrounds in Sydney. It amounted to a revolution.

WSC was loathed by the establishment, but at length became popular with cricket followers. WSC and the establishment warred for two years, at stadiums and in court, before negotiating a truce in which Packer’s company became cricket’s official broadcaster. Effectively, it still is.

The cricket was of a high standard. Dennis Lillee was one of several who recalled it as the hardest cricket of his career. He took 79 wickets in 24 Super Tests, which now will sit beside his 355 Test wickets. There will also be 20 more entries of “c Marsh b Lillee” on the register.

Several South Africans, then banned from international cricket, played, among them Barry Richards, who averaged nearly 80 in WSC. It was the only international cricket he played outside his four Tests. “Sooo right!!” Richards wrote on Facebook of CA’s decision to formalise his WSC exploits. “Hardest I played! Encouraging all other boards to recognize.” But at this stage, only has moved.

The idea of embracing WSC was approved at a CA meeting last month. Among the first to learn of it, and to welcome it, were the Chappell brothers, Greg and Ian, leading lights of the time.

Immediately, a question arose about the status of a series of matches payed against the Rest of the World in 1971-72, hastily arranged to replace a planned South African tour that had to be aborted because of simmering unrest about apartheid. Those matches do not have official status in the players’ records.

But for now, CA is canvassing only the WSC years.

Domestic violence: Liberal MP Sarah Henderson breaks down describing friend’s murder

Liberal MP Sarah Henderson during question time in 2014. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen Monique Denahy, a 49-year-old mother of two, was murdered on Saturday. Photo: Facebook
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Liberal MP Sarah Henderson breaks down in Parliament.

Liberal MP Sarah Henderson during question time in 2014. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Malcolm Turnbull boosts domestic violence fundingShorten reveals domestic violence leave pledgeThe Pulse Live: Stephanie Peatling blogs from Parliament

Former n model and TV performer Monique Denahy – “beautiful, vivacious and kind, always laughing, always positive” – carried a terrible burden.

Trapped in a violent relationship on the other side of the world, the 49-year-old had decided to leave her abusive husband and return to .

It was a trip the mother of two, who grew up in Geelong, Victoria, would never make, as family friend and federal MP Sarah Henderson told Parliament late on Tuesday night, her voice shaking.

“Three days ago, Monique was murdered,” Ms Henderson told the House of Representatives in a speech urging greater action on domestic violence.

“She was murdered by her American partner in the US. It was a deliberate and calculated murder-suicide.

“Monique had decided to leave the relationship and return to , but she never made it home.”

US police told Fairfax media Daniel Millner, 55, shot his wife dead on Saturday in their home in Palm Beach County, Florida, then took his own life. The couple had been living in the gated community for about a month.

Fighting back tears, Ms Henderson said her own family was devastated for the Denahys, with whom they remained close.

“This is a crime that always happens to someone else but Monique’s death has shown me this is a crime that can touch every family.”

The member for the Victorian seat of Corangamite wore a white ribbon on her lapel as she implored others to do the same and take the White Ribbon pledge against family violence on the national awareness day.

“We have to break this cycle of violence, which in many cases has been fuelled by drugs, alcohol, rage, revenge and perverse attitudes by young men who think it’s okay to hurt a woman,” she said.

“Monique you were a beautiful and gentle soul. Rest in peace.”

In her Linkedin profile, Ms Denahy wrote she was born and raised in Geelong and Melbourne.

She says she modelled and worked in radio and television – working on the Channel 7 show Fast Forward – in the 1980s and early 1990s. She left in 1994 for Beijing and Shanghai before moving to New York, then Florida where she had lived for almost 20 years.

On her Facebook page, she said she attended Morongo Girls college in Geelong and studied public relations at Deakin University.

News of her death comes as the nation marks White Ribbon Day, the campaign against domestic violence.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced in September a $100 million package to help women and children at high risk of violence. Mr Turnbull called it “unn” to disrespect women and urged for a “big cultural shift”.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is set to announce on Wednesday that a Labor government would provide five days of domestic violence leave a year.

Mr Shorten said the leave would allow people to access more legal and medical help.

FAMILY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SUPPORT SERVICES:

1800 Respect national helpline: 1800 737 732

Women’s Crisis Line: 1800 811 811

Men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491

Lifeline (24 hour crisis line): 131 114

Relationships : 1300 364 277

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need2know: Wall Street recovers early losses

The S&P 500 is coming off its best week of 2015 and has rallied 12 per cent from its August low. Photo: Richard DrewLocal shares are set to open higher, lifted by a bounce in base metals and an afternoon recovery in New York but iron ore’s slide continued.
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What you need2know

SPI futures up 15 points at 5245

AUD at 72.44 US cents, 88.65 Japanese yen, 67.99 Euro cents and 48.01 British pence

On Wall St, late, S&P 500 +0.2%, Dow +0.3%, Nasdaq flat

In Europe, Stoxx 50 -1%, FTSE -0.5%, CAC -1.4%, DAX -1.4%

Spot gold up 0.6% to $US1075.52/oz

Brent crude adds 2.4% to $US45.90/bbl

Iron ore slides 1.9% to $US43.89/tonne

What’s on today

construction work done; Bank of Japan minutes; UK speech by RBA assistant governor Guy Debelle speech at the FX Week Europe in London; US durable goods, new home sales

Stocks in focus

Woodside Petroleum hosted a site tour of the Karratha and Pluto onshore gas plants and a meeting with senior management in Perth. On an integrated basis, these two assets alone underpin around 80 per cent of Macquarie’s risked enterprise valuation for WPL. Macquarie Wealth Management has a $32 a share price target on the stock and a “neutral” recommendation. “With WPL apparently not ready to call an end to its pursuit of Oil Search just yet and with a higher price required to engage the OSH board and/or shareholders, there is growing concern that WPL could depart from the capital discipline it has exhibited in the past.”

Bell Potter has initiated coverage of Huon Aquaculture with a “buy” recommendation and a price target of $4.55 a share. “HUO is a vertically integrated salmon producer in Tasmania with operations that span the entire supply chain across hatcheries, marine farms and harvesting & processing.”

Currencies

Easy Forex currency dealer Andreas Tjahja said the n dollar is consolidating after it lost some ground because of falls in metals prices. “There’s been some recovery in base metals from earlier losses, that’s why the currency is slightly higher.” Mr Tjahja said a key event for currency markets this week will be the release of September quarter official business investment figures on Thursday, also known as capital expenditure (capex). “The capex will be one definitely to look at, not so much for the mining but to see if there’s been any improvements in (other) business investment,” he said.

Commonwealth Bank’s New Zealand economics team changed their forecast for the low in the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s cash rate from 2.50 per cent to 2.00 per cent. “Our economics team now expect the RBNZ to cut the cash rate by 0.25 per cent on December 10, 2015, by 0.25 per cent on June 9, 2016, and by 0.25 per cent on August 11, 2016. By contrast, the OIS market currently suggests the low point in the cash rate will be only 2.40 per cent in August 2016,” writes Peter Dragicevich.

Commodities

Ore with 62 per cent content delivered to Qingdao fell 1.9 per cent to $US43.89 a dry metric ton, the lowest in daily data dating back to May 2009, according to Metal Bulletin Ltd. The commodity is headed for a third annual retreat, and Tuesday’s fall eclipsed the previous low of $US44.59 set in July. For “low-cost producers, it makes sense for them to continue to increase production”, Ivan Szpakowski, a commodities strategist at Citigroup, said in a Bloomberg TV interview on Tuesday, referring to the largest miners. “They’re still profitable.”

Copper and nickel led an industrial-metals rebound on speculation that the slump encouraged some traders to close out bearish bets and as oil prices surged. The 14-day relative-strength indexes for each of the six main contracts on the London Metal Exchange were near or below the level of 30 that indicates to some traders that prices may be poised to rebound. Crude oil helped spark a rally in commodities as tensions in the Mideast rose after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane.

Copper added 2.6 per cent in London. Aluminum, lead, tin and zinc also advanced. In New York, copper futures for delivery in March gained 2.3 per cent to $US2.069 a pound, the biggest increase since October 9.

The LME’s gauge of metals reached the lowest since April 2009 on Monday and has slumped 26 per cent this year as a slowdown in China, the top commodities user, cut demand and added to a glut of metal.

United States

The S&P 500 was higher in late trade, after falling as much as 0.8 per cent earlier. The index is coming off its best week of 2015 and has rallied 12 per cent from its August low, though gains have stalled about 2 per cent from the May record.

Energy producers surged 2.6 per cent as crude oil jumped as much as 4.1 per cent in New York. Transportation and airline stocks led declines, with the Bloomberg US Airlines Index plunging 2.9 per cent. The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence fell to the lowest since September 2014. The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index climbed 0.5 per cent.

US banks earned $US40.4 billion in profits for the third quarter, a 5.1 per cent increase from a year earlier, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp said Tuesday. Lower non-interest expenses were the main reason for the higher earnings in the three-month period that ended September 30, the FDIC said in its quarterly report on industry performance. Reductions in costs tied to litigation outweighed weaknesses in operating revenue at large banks, the agency said.

The Commerce Department on Tuesday said the nation’s gross domestic product grew at a 2.1 per cent annual pace, not the 1.5 per cent rate it reported last month, as businesses reduced an inventory bloat less aggressively than previously believed. The economy continues to move along at a good clip relative to its potential. With growth like this, the Fed has the data it needs to light the candle finally and lift off on December 16,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York.

Europe

European shares dropped to one-week lows as mounting geopolitical tensions following the downing of a Russian warplane near the Syrian border. Travel stocks were among the hardest hit following a US travel warning, while sentiment was also depressed by disappointing updates from companies such as Zodiac Aerospace.

Bearish sentiment is taking over after the Stoxx 600 pulled off a 13 per cent rebound from its low in September to a three-month high at the end of last week. Investors grew more optimistic on speculation the European Central Bank will add to its stimulus program and on speculation that higher US interest rates won’t hamper growth. Traders are placing a 74 per cent chance that the Federal Reserve will act next month. Yet the optimism didn’t last. The Stoxx 600 had its biggest slide in more than a week on Monday, amid declines in metals that dragged commodity producers lower. As of yesterday, the Stoxx 600 was more than 8 per cent below its record in April, paring its annual advance to 11 per cent.

In London, mining stocks rebounded along with commodities. Glencore added 3.9 per cent, BHP Billiton advanced 0.52pc. Rio Tinto slipped 0.26pc.

What happened yesterday

The n sharemarket snapped a five-day winning streak, with a broad-based sell-off intensified by the miners on more weakness in commodity prices. Taking a weak lead from Wall Street, the market slipped early and after managing to pare some losses got hit again late in the session to close at the day’s lows. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 fell 50 points, or 1 per cent, to 5226.4. The All Ordinaries fell 49 points or 0.9 per cent to 5277.2.

BHP Billiton slipped back below the critical level of $20 a share, down 1.8 per cent to a new seven-year closing low of $19.77. “BHP is at risk of becoming comfortable under $20 with continued pressure on the iron ore price and fallout in the Brazil mine disaster,” FP Markets senior technical analyst Gary Burton said.

White Ribbon Day 2015: She lived under the house to avoid her abusive husband

ND who is a victim domestic violence – she hid under her house for 18 months. Picture: Ryan OslandA Hunter woman forced to hide underneath her home for 18 months to escape her abusive husband has called on the government to provide more refuges and affordable housing for vulnerable women.
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“ND” made the heartbreaking decision to leave her 15 month old baby with her mother in her house and venture into hiding, after enduring what seemed like endless verbal degradation and physical violence at the hands of her former husband.

‘‘I wanted to leave but I couldn’t find anywhere that would take all three of us,’’ ND said.

‘‘We didn’t have anywhere else to go and I couldn’t just leave my baby or my mother.

‘‘I tried private rentals but they were too dear, I couldn’t even afford the cheapest of the cheap.Plus, the home loan was in my name so I didn’t have many options.

‘‘I just disappeared one day and he had no idea, I was so, so quiet.’’

ND met her former husband through mutual friends when she was 18.

He was four years older and liked a drink, but was from a good family.

The couple dated for about 13 months before they married and moved into ND’s house.

They were only six months into their honeymoon phase when the verbal taunts began.

When he started drinking, the insults would lead to pushing, shoving, bashings and stabbings.

On one occasion he asked ND to pick him up from the pub, only to get behind the wheel of his own car and run over her feet.

Another time, he put a noose around her neck, tied it to his car’s bumper bar and dragged her along the ground.

ND was eight months pregnant with their only child when she was hospitalised with injuries so severe her shocked and angered father-in-law said he wanted to light his own son ‘‘on fire’’.

‘‘There was a lot of self doubt,’’ she said.‘‘I was thinking maybe I should be doing things differently, maybe my upbringing had been different.

‘‘Maybe he didn’t want to be a father and was taking it out on me.But I never really understood the reasons why he did what he did.’’

The last straw came after he knocked her unconscious and then locked himself inside their bedroom with their baby.

ND decided one day to simply vanish and start living and sleeping underneath the house.

ND‘‘I’m not a survivor or a victim, I’m a stronger me.’’

NDMore: END THE CYCLE

The Herald, Newcastle

Russian jet pilot, helicopter crew casualties: Russian military

Unconfirmed images of a deceased Russian pilot who was shot down by Turkish forces. Photo: Twitter: @NuceNews A pilot parachutes out of the warplane that went down in Syria. Photo: Anadolu Agency
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Radar image shows jet over SyriaNATO to convene emergency meetingPutin calls downing of jet ‘a stab in the back’

Russia’s military general staff says that one of the pilots of the Su-24 warplane that was shot down by Turkey was killed by ground fire as he parachuted from his crippled plane.

Russian news agencies reported the statement on Tuesday by general staff spokesman Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi, who also said that rebels in Syria fired on a Russian helicopter that was searching for the two pilots of the Su-24.

That shooting killed one crew member on the Mi-8 helicopter and forced it to land in neutral territory. The rest of the crew were evacuated, he said.

A second helicopter searching for the crew of the downed warplane in Syria was shot down by rebel fire and one serviceman was killed.​

General Rudskoi, was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying on Tuesday that the Mi-8 helicopter was one of two taking part in the search.

Syrian rebels and activists say they have targeted and destroyed a Russian-made helicopter operated by the Syrian army near the area where a Russian warplane was downed by Turkey.

A rebel spokesman, Zakaria al-Ahmad, says the helicopter was flying low over mountains in Latakia province, allegedly searching for the missing Russian pilots on Tuesday.

Mr Al-Ahmad says the rebels fired a Tao missile that destroyed the helicopter after it landed and its pilots had left the aircraft.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the helicopter made an emergency landing in the area and its pilots ejected before the aircraft was hit.

British online verification group Bellingcat said that an examination of a video and photographs released of one deceased warplane pilot indicated “the video is genuine”.

However, Russia’s claim was contradicted by Turkish authorities, who said they had information that two pilots are alive and Turkey is trying to recover them.

CNN-Turk television said Syrian Turkmen forces fighting the Damascus regime captured one of the pilots, while Syrian opposition sources suggested one had been killed by rebels and the second was missing.

Footage from private Turkish broadcaster Haberturk TV showed the warplane going down in flames, a long plume of smoke trailing behind it as it crashed in a wooded part of an area the broadcaster said was known by Turks as “Turkmen Mountain”.

Separate footage from Turkey’s Anadolu Agency showed the two pilots parachuting out of the jet before it crashed.

A deputy commander of rebel Turkmen forces in Syria said his men shot both pilots dead as they came down.

A video sent to Reuters earlier appeared to show one of the pilots immobile and badly wounded on the ground.

Yet another video emerged showing what appears to be anti-Assad rebels blowing up a downed helicopter with a missile.

Throughout the conflict in Syria, as well as in Ukraine, edited videos have been released by opposing sides to advance a competing, often contradictory account of events on the ground.

AAP, Reuters and Fairfax Media

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Taxi driver charged with indecently assaulting female passenger in inner Sydney

A taxi driver has been charged with indecently assaulting a female passenger during a short ride in inner Sydney this week.
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Police will allege in court that the 61-year-old male driver grabbed the 26-year-old woman’s hand and made inappropriate comments towards her during the late-night taxi ride on Sunday.

The woman, Emma, claimed that the driver grabbed her arm, attempted to kiss her and said: “You’re like honey – I’m trying to taste the honey.”

Emma, who did not want her surname used, told Fairfax Media she was returning from an interstate trip, and had caught the train from Sydney Airport to Central Railway Station about 11pm on Sunday. She then hailed a taxi at Central, and asked the driver to take her to her home in Glebe.

However, police said the taxi driver allegedly made inappropriate advances towards her during the ride.

Emma claimed the driver kept saying: ‘You’re very sweet. I love you. The girls are very sweet. Like honey. The men like the girls.”

Emma said that, as they neared her home, the driver reached over, grabbed her arm and attempted to kiss her, to which she responded: “No.”

She was so concerned by the driver’s behaviour that she told the driver to stop and exited the taxi, police said.

Emma reported the incident to police the following morning.

About 11.15pm on Tuesday, detectives from the Leichhardt Local Area Command stopped a taxi on Bondi Road in Bondi and arrested a 61-year-old man.

He was taken to Newtown police station and charged with indecent assault and common assault.

He was released on strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Downing Centre Local Court on December 18.

Herald Breakfast – November 25 2015

Morning Shot: Herald photographer Darren Pateman caught this shot of motorcyclist Shaun Hollis at Frying Pan Creek, near Chichester.Traffic: A water main burst on Sandgate Road near Wallsend Road about 5.20am, hindering eastbound traffic. Drivers have been advised to exercise caution through the area.
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Trains: Good service on the Newcastle and Hunter lines.

Beachwatch:It’s going to be hot and sunny today, a fabulous day for the beach but it will be best during the morning.The wind will start out light from the north to north-west but will head north-east and get quite gustyduring the afternoon. The swell is from the south-east around 1 to 1.5 metres.Wave conditions will be a touch uneven with the better waves being found early.

Morning Shot:Herald photographer Darren Pateman caught this shot of motorcyclist Shaun Hollis at Frying Pan Creek, near Chichester.

Morning Shot: Herald photographer Darren Pateman caught this shot of motorcyclist Shaun Hollis at Frying Pan Creek, near Chichester.

Wednesday’s headlinesStamp out domestic violence by being vocalWHITE RIBBON DAYIT’S a simple question: is everything all right at home?

‘I’m not a racist’:VIDEO Nathan Paterson became the unofficial face of Cessnock’s Reclaim rally. Now he tells his story.

The plan for Hunter City:POLLMAJOR housing and jobs growth would be concentrated into a combined regional centre dubbed ‘‘Hunter City’’, under new long-term blueprints for the area that the state government will officially unveil.

Anonymous perks submission refused: THE mystery ratepayer who wanted to shower Newcastle’s lord mayor and councillors with the likes of business class flights and free dry cleaning has not been granted his wish.

Digital licences in NSW next year:The NSW state government isfollowing up its 2015 election promise to deliver digital licences, with the first downloadable batch coming out mid 2016.

Birighitti earns rave reviews:One minute Mark Birighitti was collecting the Jets player-of-the year award, the next the keeper had boarded a plane with the Socceroos bound for Brazil and a World Cup training camp.Then came the letdown.