Category Archives: Story

Pokies critics hit the jackpot

Sara
Len Ainsworth quietly sips a cup of tea in the austere boardroom of Ainsworth Game Technology. The 92-year old pokies king has just engineered a near $500 million jackpot after selling his majority stake in the company he founded two decades ago to Austria's Novomatic. And he's clearly feeling pleased with himself. "It's not a bad result for an amateur," chuckles Ainsworth. Given Ainsworth's status as the world's oldest pokies magnate, there have been no shortage of suitors lining up over the years with offers to buy his stake. While Ainsworth steadfastly refused to budge, the privately-held Novomatic played a masterful long game. The Vienna-based gaming giant, the second largest poker machine maker globally, started its pursuit of Ainsworth in early 2013. Worried about the growing problem of gambling addiction, politicians in Austria and Germany had started to impose new regulations on pokie and casino operators forcing Novomatic to look offshore to keep growing its revenues.

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Perceptions of crime surveyed

Sara
The Department of Justice (DOJ) today published Research and Statistical Bulletin 1/2016 ‘Perceptions of Crime: Findings from the 2014/15 Northern Ireland Crime Survey’ (NICS). It is a National Statistics Publication. In addition to describing respondents’ perceptions of causes of crime, recent crime levels and the extent of problems of anti-social behaviour in the local area, this bulletin illustrates three commonly used measures of concern about crime: worry about crime and personal safety; perceptions of the likelihood of victimisation; and perceptions of the effect of ‘fear of crime’ on quality of life. Key Findings Drugs (73%), alcohol (62%) and a lack of discipline from parents (51%) were the three factors most commonly identified by NICS 2014/15 respondents as major causes of crime in Northern Ireland today. When asked which single factor they considered to be the main cause of crime, the most common responses, cited by 29% and 20% of respondents respectively, were drugs and a lack of discipline from parents.

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South Melbourne children pay price for schools shortage

Sara
Up to 220 new schools need to be built in Victoria in the next decade to cope with an explosion in student numbers, research has warned. But despite the alarming statistics, for the first time in 15 years, not a single new state school will open its doors to students when class returns next week. Victorian schools must absorb 190,000 extra students between 2016 and 2026, according to an analysis prepared for Fairfax Media by the Grattan Institute. This will mean 7200 extra classrooms and teachers, and between 140 to 220 new government and non-government schools. "To have no state schools opening this year is disgraceful," Australian Education Union Victorian branch president Meredith Peace said. Many state schools are already feeling the squeeze and have crammed portables into their playgrounds to accommodate extra students. Others are turning away families, running classes in halls and storerooms and staggering lunchtime so there's enough space for children to play.

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Werribee Open Range Zoo

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Port Phillip review local

Title: Port Phillip review local. Later Title: Bayside review local Weekly review (Bayside and Port Phillip) Former Title: Melbourne weekly Port Phillip Published: Docklands [Vic.] : Metro Media Publishing, 2012-2013. Physical Description: v. : col. ill. ; 32 cm. Subjects:  Port Phillip (Vic.) -- Newspapers. Australia Victoria Docklands Australia Victoria Melbourne Australia Victoria St Kilda Summary: Distributed in Melbourne suburbs in the City of Port Phillip (Albert Park, Balaclava, Elwood, Garden City,                    Melbourne, Middle Park, Port Melbourne, Ripponlea, South Melbourne, Southbank, St Kilda, St Kilda East,                  St Kilda West and Windsor) Notes: "Delivered with Melbourne's best lifestyle magazine, The weekly review" Merged with: Bayside review local; to form Weekly review (Bayside and Port Phillip) Journal Dates: July 25, 2012-Mar. 20, 2013. Related to: Weekly review (Stonnington and Boroondara) Frequency: Weekly Language: English Dewey Number: 079.9451 Libraries Australia ID: 50028639 Contributed by: Libraries Australia

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Behind the Scenes of the Australian Open

Sara
As I complete my 26th Australian Open (one year of my life has now been spent in this arena), I thought I would reflect on how AP covers this major sports event and how our coverage has evolved in the digital age since my first Open in 1989. It was a time of no computers, no Internet, no Wi-Fi, and we never dreamed of transmitting directly from the camera within seconds of capturing compelling moments with the quality we enjoy now. [caption id="attachment_310" align="aligncenter" width="770"] AP Photographer Rob Griffith sets up a remote control camera before the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_311" align="aligncenter" width="770"] Serena Williams of the U.S. poses the trophy after defeating Maria Sharapova of Russia in the women's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015.[/caption] The biggest change has been the camera, the move from the film camera’s four frames a second to the digital’s 14 frames a second.

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Balaclava Walk’s end slows to a crawl

MAJOR parties involved in beautifying works on Carlisle Street were not told of proposed building demolitions as part of a master plan for the Balaclava Walk. The master plan aims to overhaul the area around Balaclava Station, starting next year, as part of other works that would prepare Balaclava for thousands more residents. The walk aims to increase pedestrian and transport access. But part of the master plan to build public spaces and expose historic bluestone on the south side of Carlisle Street at the train bridge needs support from the landowner, state government body VicTrack, to succeed. VicTrack owns two buildings at 205-207 and 209 Carlisle Street but says the master plan’s intentions for the space is news to them. “VicTrack has, to date, not received advice from any party as to any land requirements for the project,” spokesman Mac Henshall said. “Accordingly, we are unable to comment further.” VicTrack has not approached the buildings’ tenants, who have received documents outlining the proposal in a council letter.

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This week make sure you..

Sara
I meet Amy Schumer in a curious corner of Crown’s Club 23. Pushing through its black lace drapes feels a bit like consulting an Eastern mystic or, well, visiting a brothel. It’s clear the US comedian isn’t comfortable, but that might have more to do with her packed schedule than the location. Most of her Australian media appearances could be best characterised as “awkward”. At her stand-up gig later tonight, she’ll describe her current publicity junket as “physical pain”. I ask if her (apparently last-minute) decision to perform a stand-up gig in Melbourne was an attempt to escape the junket and connect with her sizeable Australian fan base. “It’s really not about me getting to know the audience,” she insists. “I just like doing stand-up.” Doesn’t she thrive on her connection with the audience, though? Part of Amy’s appeal is the audience feels they really know her – she’s one of us rather than some lofty Hollywood ideal.

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What the gossip mags say

Sara
"But then I told myself, 'This has nothing to do with your mental health. This is simply a hard situation. There's nothing wrong with you."' The depression had not been a problem and she did not think it ever would again, Billing said. "It's one of the many wonderful gifts this experience has given me." She is now looking forward to touring China and Japan with the Wellington Ukulele Orchestra, as well as auditioning for new television and film roles. Overseas, it looks like Coldplay frontman Chris Martin is rather pleased with himself at linking up with Hunger Games star Jennifer Lawrence, but Martin's estranged wife, Gwyneth Paltrow, may be far from thrilled. According to New Idea, 41-year-old Paltrow is "beside herself with rage". A longtime friend said: "Gwyn makes out that she's all chilled and zen, but when Chris told her he was dating Jen, she was completely shocked and jealous as hell." At the heart of the problem is age.

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Angry Birds Does Star Wars

Sara
Oh yes, it’s here! Are you ready for the next chapter in the intergalactically awesome saga that is Angry Birds Star Wars II? Get your lightsaber, blaster or whatever you need ready, ‘cos it’s time for the RISE OF THE CLONES! Just like last time, you get to battle either with the force, or against it. Is your dark side calling? Then perhaps it’s time to join the Pork Side… Mua-ha-ha-ha! Check out the gameplay trailer here. To celebrate this most epic of Angry Birds Star Wars updates, Vesa Lehtimäki (@TheAvanaut) has taken some incredible pics of our favorite Star Wars characters – using actual Telepods! Chewie after a rough weekend. This Tusken Raider’s gonna get sand in his undies if he’s not careful! It’s Yoda, yo! And that’s not all of them! You can download the whole set of Vesa’s hi-res pics here. PLUS: A not-so-galactic Giveaway! If you love those pics as much as we do, then let us know in the comments below.

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