Seven dead in Indonesian terror raids

THE death toll from the latest anti-terror raids in Indonesia has risen to seven after specialist police unit Densus 88 raided four locations on Wednesday.
Nanjing Night Net

Another 13 suspected terrorists were captured alive, according to the national police spokesman, Brigadier General Boy Rafli Amar.

It’s the biggest terror cell to have been exposed since 2010 when police shut down a training camp set up by Abu Bakar Bashir in the jungle in Aceh.

Mr Boy said the seven who died had been involved in fire-fights with police.

The raid in a village near Bandung, south-east of Jakarta, yielded four pipe bombs, 200 rounds of .38 calibre ammunition, 80 rounds of 9mm ammunition and about 6 million rupiah ($A600) in cash.

Mr Boy said police were working on mapping the terror network, and anticipated that there would be more raids. He did not comment on what, if any, attacks the group had planned.

The Indonesian police chief, General Timur Pradopo, had earlier defended the high death toll in the police operation, saying the heavily-armed officers had tried negotiating with the men in the Bandung house for 3 1/2 hours, but the reply was “explosions, gunfire and bombs”.

Security expert Johanes Sulaiman told Fairfax Media that the cell was responsible for an attempt last week to plant pipe bombs at the embassy of Myanmar in Jakarta.

Radical preachers including jailed extremist Abu Bakar Bashir have been calling for jihad against Buddhist-majority Myanmar because of the violence there against the Rohingya muslim majority in the country’s east.

Mr Sulaiman told Fairfax Media that the old terror network of the Bali bombings had been fractured by ruthless police work and decimated by arrests. However, their spiritual leader, Abu Bakar Bashir, was still influencing young people with his fiery speeches from the jail where he’s serving 15 years for terror-related offences.

Mr Sulaiman said a talented new jihadist preacher, Aman Abdurrahman, who was linked to Bashir, was inspiring a new and widely dispersed generation of young radicals who were “desperate to do jihad”.

“If you look at the strand (of ideology) most comes from Abu Bakar Bashir — but the new terrorists are not part of the old network,” he said.

“The young people got influenced and they figure they must do quick holy war.”

However, they had not so far developed the discipline, training or networks to mount large-scale attacks.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Airport’s world-first ‘sleeping pods’ allow private naps for passengers

Abu Dhabi International Airport has installed 20 ‘sleeping pods’ for passengers, with a futher 35 to be fitted later this year. The pods are available for use at $12 an hour and will eventually feature internet access and power sources for electronic devices.
Nanjing Night Net

Abu Dhabi International Airport has installed dozens of bizarre-looking “sleeping pods” that allow passengers to nap in privacy.

The Finnish-designed “GoSleep” chairs, a world-first unveiled on Sunday, feature a sliding door/roof designed to either partially or fully enclose passengers within the pod, shielding them from surrounding noise, light and crowds.

Ten pods now reside in Terminal 3, and 10 more in the Al Dhabi Lounge at Terminal 1, while a further 35 are to be fitted later this year. Once all are installed, the pods will be upgraded to provide internet access, storage space for luggage and other valuables, as well as a power source for laptops, mobiles and other electronic devices.

The pods are currently available at a cost of 45 Dirham ($A12) per hour, payable using a credit card.

They may look unusual, but are a step up from the Ostrich Pillow, which was launched last year. The portable device is placed over your head to “enable power naps anytime, anywhere”.

Design firm Kawamura-Ganjavian claims the device, which includes a mouth hole to allow easier breathing, is ideal for airport lounges, trains and aeroplanes.

Hotels offering compact, short-term accommodation have been popular in Japan for years. The Capsule Inn Osaka was one of the world’s first capsule hotels when it launched in 1979.

Capsule hotels have also reached British shores. The Yotel chain – the brainchild of the founder of the YO! Sushi – now has branches at two London airports – Gatwick and Heathrow. Its single and double cabins offer free wifi and are equipped with flat screen TVs, multiple power outlets, and showers. A Yotel can also be found at Amsterdam Schiphol and in New York City, two blocks from Times Square.

Earlier this year, Moscow installed its first city centre capsule hotel, the Sleepbox Hotel Tverskaya, which features 50 windowless pods that can each accommodate up to three people. Each has internet access, and is soundproof and air conditioned.

Portable ‘modular bedrooms’ were also introduced by the Barcelona-based firm Dream and Fly, at Barcelona’s international airport. The compact ‘Bubbles’ are able to accommodate both individuals and families, and each comes with a bathroom.

The Telegraph, London

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Search and rescue operation underway for missing cruise ship passengers 

AN air and marine search and rescue operation is underway off the coast of Forster for two people missing from a cruise ship.
Nanjing Night Net

About 11.30am (Thursday 9 May 2013), staff from a cruise ship contacted police after they discovered two passengers – a 30-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman – missing after the ship had docked at the Sydney Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Police attended and conducted a thorough search of the ship, however the pair was not located.

Officers attached to Marine Area Command reviewed CCTV footage and determined the pair had gone overboard about 8.50pm on Wednesday (8 May 2013).

Police and Australian Search and Rescue (AusSAR) have determined a search area approximately 60Nm east of Forster and have deployed aircraft and marine vessels.

Officers are investigating the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the pair and, in these early stages, are focused on the search efforts.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Maxwell is back as Pies spring a surprise

Collingwood has sprung its second big selection surprise in as many weeks, rushing in captain Nick Maxwell for Saturday night’s showdown against Fremantle.

While there has been speculation all week about the possible comeback of Luke Ball, Maxwell has flown in from nowhere to lead the Pies in the pivotal clash at Patersons Stadium.

Maxwell has not played since badly injuring a wrist against Carlton in round two, and he was expected to be sidelined for up to two months after surgery.

However, the 29-year-old defender has completed a remarkable recovery, and did enough in several key sessions this week to prove his fitness and join elevated rookie Caolan Mooney as inclusions in the Pies team.

Mooney was impressive in the VFL last week with five goals and the Irishman’s stellar form over several weeks at the lower level has earned him an elevation to the main list, with youngsters Jackson Ramsay and Tim Broomhead out because of long-term injuries.

Tyson Goldsack has been ruled out with a hip injury and young ruckman Jarrod Witts has been dropped after making his debut last week.

In other big selection news on Thursday, Melbourne named highly touted recruit Chris Dawes to play his first game for the club. The former Collingwood forward has been forced to sit out the first six rounds with a hamstring strain but will make his debut against Gold Coast at the MCG on Sunday.

Dawes used a media opportunity on Thursday to reveal he had no regrets about leaving Collingwood – despite Melbourne’s plight – and to declare he was ready to make a difference to the struggling Demons.

”I won’t just be planning on getting through, I’ll be bringing a lot of effort and leadership to that forward line,” Dawes said.

”I’ll tie up one of their big-bodied defenders and hopefully have a bit of a physical presence myself.”

The Western Bulldogs have regained a clutch of experienced stars for their match with North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium on Saturday, with Daniel Giansiracusa, Bob Murphy and Ryan Griffen all named in the side.

The Roos will welcome back champion forward Brent Harvey.

Carlton has named ruckman Matthew Kreuzer in the starting 18 for Monday’s showpiece game against St Kilda. Kreuzer has not played since fracturing his thumb in round three.

Judd takes one year, huge pay cut

Committed and happy partners for the past six years, Chris Judd and Carlton have reached a turning point in their relationship. Contractually speaking at least.

From now on, both parties will reassess where they stand annually. Another profound change is that Judd, having previously enjoyed the status of being the AFL’s highest-paid footballer, has agreed to take a significant wage cut in 2014 – close to halving his annual earnings for playing, according to a source with first-hand knowledge of the new contract.

Judd had already told the club – and on Thursday told the public – he would make his decision on whether to play beyond 2014 based on his physical and mental freshness and how his abilities would serve his team.

The result, as it stands, is that the 29-year-old champion preparing for his 246th game has agreed to the first 12-month contract of his 12-year AFL career.

Asked to forecast if he would play beyond that, the only thing Judd would pledge is that he would never again change colours after leaving West Coast at the end of 2007 to sign a $6 million, six-year playing deal with the Blues.

”I’ve changed clubs once before and it’s a pretty full-on thing to go through and certainly not something I’ll do again,” he said.

Judd described the one-season-at-a-time approach with his contract as mutually beneficial. Carlton would have done the deal earlier, but Judd wanted to test his body out in the opening rounds.

Reassured by how he has felt in the first six weeks, the contract proved an uncomplicated exercise that Judd hopes will afford Carlton freedom in its salary cap.

”You certainly can’t take your football for granted when you get to 30 and over,” Judd, a premiership player for West Coast in 2006, said on Carlton’s website. ”And it is, I guess, safer from the club’s perspective just to do things one year at a time. Both parties are happy with how it’s worked out.

”Obviously, there’s plenty of work still to go this year, but I’m really excited with the direction the club is heading.”

Darley puts up full house sign for rising star New Approach

Darley’s hot-shot stallion New Approach showed why he is in record demand with breeders in both hemispheres at Newmarket last Saturday when his unbeaten son Dawn Approach produced a five-length demolition in the English 2000 Guineas over a mile.

Dawn Approach was resuming after winning all of his six starts at two – the last two in group 1s – and he made it a top-line trifecta for breeder-trainer Jim Bolger.

New Approach is one of Galileo’s best sons – Frankel is obviously his best – and his popularity in Australia has been amazing as breeders queue up to get one of the 80 nominations available.

New Approach was responsible for another black-type winner at the Newmarket meeting last Sunday when Talent took out the listed Pretty Polly Stakes, run over 10 furlongs (2000 metres).

The weekend racing resulted in New Approach becoming the second-leading flat sire in Europe this year for progeny earnings. He has had seven individual winners and earnings of £274,433 ($416,500). Cape Cross is leading with 21 winners. Galileo is third with 25 winners.

Despite a hefty increase to $55,000 this year, New Approach was the first of Darley’s 23 sires to be fully booked. ”His demand is unbelievable and we have had to reject so many breeders. But our instruction is for only 80 broodmares to be available,” Darley’s Aaron Bott said.

”We’ve also closed our books on Exceed And Excel. He’s got 200 mares, which isn’t surprising considering the phenomenal year he is experiencing,” Bott added.

New Approach retired after his three-year-old season with a Timeform rating of 132. He won eight of his 11 starts, plus had two seconds and a third, and his progeny were immediate sale-ring hits, fetching big money in Europe and here. Peter Snowden has more than 30 two-year-olds by New Approach and has already produced one stakes-winner in Montsegur. Snowden loves the breed and racegoers can expect plenty from his progeny in the coming seasons.Kingdom on top

Arrowfield Stud’s Animal Kingdom, which heads to the Hunter Valley after contesting the group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, has been rated as the world’s best entire in the world thoroughbred rankings.

The runaway Dubai World Cup winner has been rated on 126 for the period dating from November 1 last year to April 28. The six-year-old gelding Game On Dude shares the same figure as Animal Kingdom.

Australia’s champion mare Black Caviar headed the ratings on 130 ahead of US sprinter Wise Dan on 129. The latter, which is a gelding, won at Louisville on Kentucky Derby day last Saturday.Master off to a flyer

Coolmore’s shuttle sire Mastercraftsman has had a great start to his career after his first three starters all won on debut in Europe. The latest winner was in Rome last Saturday when Pablosky romped home by six lengths. Mastercraftsman shuttled from Ireland the past two seasons to Windsor Park in New Zealand where he covered large books and consequently was the highest-represented stallion at this year’s Karaka yearling sales.New blood

Hats off to Inglis Bloodstock for its effort to introduce new owners to racing at its Newmarket complex last Sunday. Inglis held a syndication open day and 50 rising two-year-olds were paraded from 14 companies. More than 300 were on hand to learn the ins and outs of being able to afford racing a thoroughbred. Caroline Searcy hosted along with Jonathan Darcy and James Price. The consensus was most people there were interested buyers. The syndicators praised the Inglis concept and believe there is a place on the racing calendar for such a day. Champion, Darby, Dynamic, Proven, Star, Topline and Triple Crown all sold shares.

Stick with your big guns

Every season there are players who start in magnificent form, far exceeding their preseason expectations. There are also players who start slowly due to injury, changed roles or poor form.

A quiet start from a high-profile player brings unwanted scrutiny and even more pressure to perform.

The same is true for Ultimate Footy. At the beginning of each season, competitors participate in a draft where players are sequentially drafted to a fantasy team.

The early draft choices always see the best players taken, but these do not always turn out to be sound selections. The opening rounds of a fantasy draft are fraught with danger, as injury and a lack of form can leave people regretting selections.

Dayne Beams, Brett Deledio and Matthew Boyd are all gun midfielders and all featured heavily in the first two rounds of fantasy drafts. Each averaged over 110 fantasy points in 2012. But these three have played just nine games between them in 2013, with only three scores over 100 points from those nine starts.

Beams and Boyd picked up injuries on the eve of the season. Boyd’s three games have been quieter than normal, while Beams is yet to play a game. Deledio is a different beast entirely. He was close to his best in the Tigers’ three wins, but has gone missing in the last three rounds.

There’s not much worse for a fantasy coach than having your top player missing in action, or performing well below their capabilities. Fortunately, Deledio, Beams and Boyd are proven fantasy players. Back them in to overcome their slow starts and deliver at a premium level for the remainder of the season.

Patrick Dangerfield could have been lumped into the ”bust” category after three rounds, averaging just 80 points. But he has pumped out two scores over 100 since then, including a 149 last weekend. After six rounds he is now averaging 105. Those players who drafted Beams, Boyd and Deledio will be hoping things improve as quickly for them as they did for Dangerfield.

SIMON WALKER: Flights of not so fancy

NOT SUCH A GOOD PLAN(SIMON WALKER: Pet sitters are cat’s meow [4/5/13] here)

LIFE has an uncanny knack of derailing common sense, if you plan it right.

And seeing as my mate and I had agreed to catch up that Friday night, it had made common sense . . . to us.

I’d drawn the short straw, you see.

I’d had to work that Friday while the wife and kids got the ‘‘luxury’’ of driving up to Queensland for our school holiday break.

By mutual consent, I’d fly up the next day, proving once again the universe can be an unfair place.

Out of respect for those less fortunate than myself (those in the car, as I’d foolishly assumed), I’d decided to make the most of my Friday night freedom.

I had thought about jumping into the extensive job list left behind, but figured, after much heartache and anguish, that it could wait.

Took me about a minute.

The extensive job list had been one of the trade-offs in determining who’d fly and who’d drive, and gave an indication of how extensive the extensive job list was.

And so it proved to be next morning from the moment the cats woke me . . . at 5am.

(Why can’t cats sleep in too?)

Having savoured the football with moderate vigour, morning wasn’t the only thing that appeared to have broken.

Still, I knew the drill: you do the crime, you do the time – that had been factored into the common sense plan.

What hadn’t been factored in was an arctic hurricane, ensuring everything on the extensive job list, including numerous outdoor activities, would be done under the weather, metaphorically, meteorologically, and medically.

Leading one to ponder on numerous occasions that day ‘‘wwwhhyyyy!?’’

Still you soldier on because, remember, you’re trying to pass this off as common sense.

And it wouldn’t look very sensible if there was a new life form mutating in the fridge when you got back from holidays.

Difficult to rule out when you’re parallel processing online check-ins with cleaning, bleaching, remembering to pack underpants and getting pneumonia.

All the while undergoing a journey within a journey from near-death to a place nearer to death the longer the job list dragged on.

Eventually, though, it was all done and I started to anticipate the warmth, comfort and dryness of air travel.

There was only one question left to answer: what shoes to wear?

I’d wanted to look a little suave at ground level to disguise how ordinary I was feeling from the socks up.

I opted for my old faithful leather boots – the ones with the small character splits.

So I made it to the airport and I was starting to hum Here Comes the Sun because I’d had communications with the road warriors and apparently there wasn’t a cloud in the sky up north.

I’d noted their ‘‘ain’t karma a bitch’’ tone as I’d described the tempest down south.

But I’d comforted myself that in just over an hour I’d be joining their smug butts.

Yet a look out the departure lounge window revealed this dusty day of drama was far from over. It was sheeting down, in that way that causes flights to be cancelled, or planes to tragically disappear off radars.

In fact it wasn’t just sheeting, the weather gods had thrown in pillow cases, doonas and the whole bedroom suite.

All well and good when you’re queuing up to show your boarding pass.

A different story when you slip through the looking glass.

Williamtown’s quaint like that: no cover from the terminal to the plane.

They’re talking about upgrading it in future but that was cold comfort for those facing the daunting run to freedom that evening. Emphasis on the cold.

Some of us held back hoping for a break in the torrent – or a wetsuit. But it just wasn’t gonna play like that.

Airport staff handed out limited numbers of umbrellas to less deserving types like women with babies and what not.

The rest of us prepared to become fish.

And when I took my first step onto

the wide blue yonder that was the tarmac

I felt water leak straight into the character splits of my old faithful leather ankle

boots. That didn’t feel suave.

I wished I’d worn thongs. I swear I could hear the gurgle.

The flight was going to be dusty and musty.

As far as derailing common sense, everything about this day had gone to plan.

CA ponders one-day carnival

A plan to reinvent the domestic one-day competition as a stand-alone carnival in October, which would have implications for Australia’s Ashes preparation, is being considered by Cricket Australia.

The overarching idea is to minimise the hopping between formats imposed on players, but there is also a commercial motivation to convert the Ryobi Cup to a condensed format that appeals to the television network that wins the right to screen domestic matches.

While it would put the nation’s cricketers in limited-overs mode the month before the first Ashes Test, CA officials privately insist the concept would actually benefit Test preparations by carving the Ryobi Cup away from the Sheffield Shield.

Test aspirants and incumbents would still play three shield games before the Ashes begins in Brisbane on November 21, which is considered enough to press claims and prepare.

Should the plan be ratified, the Ryobi Cup carnival would be staged while the Australian team is in India in October for seven ODIs.

The concept raises a potential dilemma for Test specialist Peter Siddle, who opted out of one-dayers for Victoria last season to focus on building up his bowling for Tests, but would have no other cricket to play until the Shield season began.

CA declined to comment on the proposal, which still has to be approved by the players’ association and debated internally.

The idea of a domestic one-day carnival was first mooted in the 2011 Argus report.

Network Ten is favoured to win the rights to domestic cricket but there are no guarantees the successful bidder, which would naturally focus on the more lucrative Big Bash League, would also screen the Ryobi Cup and the Sheffield Shield final, as Fox Sports has done previously.

The hope is that the condensed structure would prove a better television product, while giving aspiring international players a taste of a tournament format more akin to World Cups.

The need to ”decouple” the one-day competition from the Sheffield Shield was highlighted last season by the plight of Tasmanian captain George Bailey, who made 18 changes of format across domestic and international cricket and admitted this took a toll on his long-form cricket.

”I think I struggled at different times, just with switching back through the formats,” he said this month.

”That’s not an excuse, because every modern cricketer has to make those changes pretty regularly, but I just didn’t adjust to it very well.

”It certainly felt like I was going into Shield games with a one-day or Twenty20 mentality. It was certainly not a conscious thing, [it was] just not having the awareness and ability to work out [the problem] and build your innings.”

AFL not a rival: new Storm man

Melbourne Storm’s chief executive in waiting Mark Evans says rugby league does not have to fight with the AFL in Victoria and instead all sport should be trying to attract people away from other leisure pursuits.

In his first interview since being selected by the club’s potential new owners to take over from chief executive Ron Gauci, the high-profile English rugby union administrator has outlined how he became involved, what stage takeover talks had reached and his initial impressions of the Australian sports scene.

Asked if he was ready to roll up his sleeves and battle AFL, Evans said: “No, I don’t think so. I think it’s about doing a good job yourself as a sport and competition. If you do that, nine times out of 10 people will come and watch.

“When I was in Australia recently, I noticed some cultural differences. In the UK, sport sees itself as a competitor with other leisure activities, like going to the cinema or whatever.

“In most markets, rugby league and rugby union are not really competitors. Australia might be a bit different in that regard.

“Melbourne is different in that there are nine AFL clubs, rugby league, rugby union and two soccer clubs. But you just have to do your own job well and if you do that hopefully enough people will do what you want them to.”

Evans declined to comment on the identity of the London-based consortium that approached him to run the Storm but said he had initially conducted an informal, in-person assessment of the NRL premiers for the group before agreeing to be CEO.

He added the sale of the club remained imminent – although his return to London last week was a sign that it would not be a matter of days away.

On the field, coach Craig Bellamy is convinced defensive frailties exposed by Canberra last week have been resolved for Sunday’s trip to Penrith. “We have to make sure we make teams work hard to score tries and not give them a saloon passage through,” Bellamy said on Thursday.

“We individualised what we thought we needed to individualise. Some of that came from the rest of the team, some of it came one-on-one.

“We’re certainly not going to over-react and start jumping at shadows.”

New signing Dayne Weston was not named in the side to play his former club Penrith.

Quinlan set for call-up at injury-hit Dragons

While St George Illawarra await the impending arrival of Josh Dugan, coach Steve Price is set to hand under-20s graduate Adam Quinlan his first-grade debut as the Dragons deal with a bulging back-line casualty ward.

Quinlan, 20, is in line to play fullback against Gold Coast on Sunday, with Jason Nightingale shifting back to his preferred wing position as cover for the injured Brett Morris.

Morris will miss up to a month of football with a knee injury, while veteran centre Matt Cooper is battling to be fit with a toe injury. Nathan Green should again replace Cooper, while the Dragons could be boosted by the early return of Cameron King from a knee injury after the hooker trained in Wollongong on Thursday. Gold Coast are expected to be unchanged.

NSW Origin skipper Paul Gallen (knee) won’t play in Cronulla’s match against an injury-depleted Wests Tigers with both teams to be 1-17.

Jeff Lima could start on the interchange bench for South Sydney, while North Queensland’s Scott Moore and Scott Bolton are likely to be omitted from an oversized bench.

Canterbury took an 18-man squad to New Zealand on Thursday, with Tim Browne staying in Sydney, for the clash against a Warriors line-up that has shifted Glen Fisiiahi to fullback to replace an injured Kevin Locke.

Brisbane duo Josh McGuire and David Stagg are in line to return from injuries, with Jarrod Wallace and David Hala the two men likely to drop off the interchange bench. Parramatta are expected to be 1-17.

A knee injury will keep Newcastle pivot Jarrod Mullen out for at least a week with Kurt Gidley moving to five-eighth to face an unchanged Canberra.

After playing his first NRL game since August 2010 in Melbourne’s first loss of the season last week, Brett Finch is expected to drop off an extended Storm bench to play Penrith.

Manly coach Geoff Toovey is still deciding on Brett Stewart’s replacement after the fullback was ruled out for at least a month with a chipped bone in his back. Jorge Taufua is set to switch from the wing to fullback with either Peta Hiku or Esi Tonga to play on the flank against the Roosters.

TOPICS, VIDEO: North Stars take to surf

Please enable Javascript to watch this videoIT was like a reverse Cool Runnings: take a group of athletes who are used to the ice, and throw them into a sport more suited to the tropics.

Despite being fish out of water, Newcastle North Stars ice hockey players won praise during a surf lesson yesterday at Blacksmiths Beach.

‘‘They actually all did really well,’’ said their teacher Miles Niddrie, from Learn To Surf Newcastle.

‘‘They all stood up.’’

Goal tender Olivier Martin showed particular promise, along with Detroit-born Dominic Osman.

Chance in million

OCCASIONALLY, Herald photographer Darren Pateman gets it right. He’s fluked the odd Walkely-winner, for instance, and this week it happened with a name.

Pateman was taking photos at Belmont High School, and asked a young chap in one of them ‘‘what’s your name, buddy?’’

‘‘Yeah,’’ said the boy.

His name, it turned out, was Buddy. In one of those Who’s On First exchanges, hilarity ensued.

‘‘I don’t even call people buddy,’’ Pateman tells Topics.

‘‘It was just this once.’’

Pateman was reminded of another job he shot at a property in rural Port Stephens. He was greeted at the gate by a rather stern, barking dog.

‘‘I said ‘hey there, Rex’,’’ says Pateman.

‘‘Straight away, the dog wagged his tail and seemed at ease.’’

The owners later told him their dog’s name was Wrecks.

Keating killer insulter

THE wit of Gai Waterhouse (‘‘a trumped up little jockey, a brothel owner and a football player’’) was rebuffed this week by the jockey’s lawyer (‘‘Gai is a failed actress who married a perjurer’’).

Cracking quotes, no? Topics cheered from the sidelines with popcorn and one of those big foam hands, and called for more examples of killer public insults.

Bruce Brown, of Marks Point, tells us he was no fan of Paul Keating the politician, but acknowledges him as master of the art.

‘‘The best of his that I will never forget was his description of Malcolm Fraser as ‘an Easter Island statue with a cactus up his arse’,’’ recalls Mr Brown.

‘‘Crude, but apt, and very Australian.’’

Tin Miss missed

THE toffee penny, the green noisette triangle, the hazelnut eclairs – actually, they stopped making those. People must have had allergies.

If you’re a mum, you might get Quality Street chocolates for Mother’s Day.

Which, as a gift, are not what they used to be. Sure, the chocolates themselves might be as good, or better. But Stella from Charlestown reminds us it’s been 12 years since the demise of the Quality Street tin.

In 2002, owners Nestle retired the faces of Quality Street, the Major and Miss. They had graced the lid for 70 years.

They ditched the natty couple, 1930s hat and bonnet and all, in favour of a boring pastiche of modern graphics. Sigh.

The Major and Miss’s real names were Phoebe Throssel and Valentine Brown, after the main actors in the Quality Street play by Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie.

Do people still give their mums Quality Street?

NIFTY: Jeff Martens of the Newcastle North Stars ice hockey team learning to surf. Pictures: Jonathan Carroll

POLL: Help pick new Jets away colours

FOR the first time Newcastle Jets members will choose which kit the team take on the road in the next A-League season.

Jets members will receive an email from the club today at 9am with three designs to choose from for the team’s away kit. The club gave the Herald an early peek at the three shirts yesterday.

Voting is open to members only and closes at noon on May17.

The choice is between taking the Jets back to Newcastle’s football roots in the city’s traditional colours of emerald green and cinnamon brown; a white design with panels of red and blue; or a bold charcoal kit inspired by the mining industry.

The new design will replace the black and white striped away shirt, which was inspired by the traditional colours of Northern NSW Football representative teams. The red and blue striped home kit will stay for next season.

‘‘It’s fair to have the three there and not have us make the decision, but to let the fans make the decision,’’ Jets CEO Robbie Middleby told the Herald.

Hunter Sports Group copped criticism from some quarters when it announced in February 2011 that it was abandoning the Jets’ gold colours of the Con Constantine era in favour of the red and blue of the Knights, who are also owned by Nathan Tinkler.

Middleby said lessons had been from that experience.

‘‘We always want input from the fans, and we’re happy to have it,’’ he said. ‘‘This sort of thing is great for the fans and the members to have an input.’’

Asked if the gold worn by the Jets in their 2007-08 championship season was considered, Middleby said: ‘‘We mentioned it, but we thought of some colours we haven’t had.

‘‘Potentially we might look at that in the future, but at the moment we thought to have three options and they were the three options we thought of.’’

WHITE, GREY, GREEN: Which one should the Jets wear for their away strip next season?