Nigella Lawson causes a stir in Wellington


Nigella Lawson in Wellington today. Photo / APNZ

Nigella Lawson in Wellington today. Photo / APNZ

Glamorous celebrity chef Nigella Lawson is causing a stir at Wellington’s railway station.

Lawson is in the capital to film a Whittaker’s chocolate commercial.

Filming at the Wellington Railway Station has attracted a small contingent of fans, restricted by


to a small viewing section enclosed by cones.

“Oh, she looks lovely” one onlooker remarked.

The crowd of all ages were told they can’t takephotos of Lawson, who is wearing a maroon dress, while cameras for the advertisement were rolling.

Wellington resident Christina Saunderson caught a quick glimpse of Lawson this afternoon.

“I’m a big fan. I’ve watched all of her shows.”

“Her eye make up is always absolutely to die for.

“She’s just lovely. I didn’t actually see her eat anything but I’m sure she must be cooking or making something,” Ms Saunderson said.


Source : The New Zealand Herald

Commonwealth computers used in parking scam

May 6, 2014 – 10:57AM

Noel Towell

Reporter for The Canberra Times

Sprung: using work computers to flout time-limited parking in the city's centre.

Sprung: using work computers to flout time-limited parking in the city’s centre. Photo: Paul Johnston

A group of Canberra public servants has been busted using their government-issued computers to run a dodgy car-parking ring.

Bosses at the National Health and Medical Research Council have threatened to dob in their employees to the city’s parking authorities for systematically flouting two-hour parking in the centre of the capital.

Workers at the research council had developed a system of parking in two-hour spots outside their Gordon Street office with fellow bureaucrats keeping look-out from their desks overlooking the street.

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The NHMRC’s internal instant messaging system was then used to post warnings of the movements of the ACT Government parking inspectors, allowing the public servants to move their cars and avoid costly parking fines.

An all-day space at a legitimate Civic car park can cost up to $13.50 a day and with a new pay-parking regime looking for other areas of the city, where it has traditionally been free, parking is a hot issue in the public service right now.

But the NHMRC’s bosses were tipped off to the parking scam operating in their building and senior manager Sarah Byrne sprang into action in March, dashing off a no-nonsense memo to her workers making it clear this sort of thing would not be tolerated.

“First and foremost, this is an inappropriate use of both the IM system and office time, and anyone involved in this is directed to stop immediately,” Ms Byrne said.

“I will not have NHMRC resources used to flout the law.”

The executive director noted that the vast majority of her workers were doing the right thing, but said that she would not hesitate to use her law-enforcement contacts to crack down on the parking conspirators.

“As many of you know, my previous position was


 … legal and regulatory policy for the ACT Government,” Ms Byrne warned.

“So the law concerning parking is an issue not unfamiliar to me. And the people who issue the tickets are not unfamiliar to me either.”

Parking fines might be the least of parkers’ worries, with Ms Byrne warning that the public service’s disciplinary book might be thrown at members of the dodgy parking ring.

“If I hear of this happening again then I will make it a code of conduct issue, and I’ll also alert my good friends in the Office of Regulatory Services of where and whom to look for,” Ms Byrne wrote.

“I’m also raising this with the other (executive directors) who have staff involved for them to deal with in their own way.”

The manager also revealed the council’s instant messaging system had been placed under surveillance and that it was no longer a question of if but when miscreants would be caught.

“As we discussed at yesterday’s branch meeting, the IM system is monitored,” Ms Byrne wrote.

“I *will* know about this if it continues.

“So to those doing it, stop.”

Source :The Sydney Morning Herald

Maggots found at Calvary Hospital

May 6, 2014 – 11:48AM

Canberra Times Reporter

Maggots (file photo).

Six maggots were found in the corner of a busy post-procedure waiting room in the day surgery ward of Calvary Hospital on Thursday night.

The waiting room – in which people are observed after surgery – was taken out of use on Friday morning after the discovery and no patients were in the waiting room at the time the maggots were seen.

“That evening and on the following day a number of external experts attended the area to check facilities and equipment – this included air conditioning and filtration systems,” Calvary Hospital said in a statement.

It is understood air conditioning contractors had also been hired to determine whether an animal had made its way into the room.

The hospital’s inspection team reportedly carried out a complete audit of the waiting room and the kitchenette and staff meals area located nearby.

“None of the investigations revealed any cause or further evidence of the problem,” a hospital spokesman said.

Monitoring through the weekend and this morning found no recurrence.”

After remaining closed over the weekend, the waiting room was reopened for patient use around midday on Monday after a final inspection found it was clean.

The waiting room is now operating as usual and hospital staff still do not know how the maggots got there.

Source : The Canberra Times

ICAC to be suspended as Mike Gallacher investigated for ‘serious electoral funding irregularities’

May 6, 2014 – 11:51AM

Michaela Whitbourn, Kate McClymont

Out: Mike Gallacher leaves NSW Parliament House on Friday.

Out: Mike Gallacher leaves NSW Parliament House on Friday. Photo: Dean Sewell

In a stunning development, the corruption inquiry into alleged Liberal Party slush funds will be “suspended” next week while


 examine new evidence implicating former Police Minister Mike Gallacher in potential “serious electoral funding irregularities”.

Counsel assisting the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Geoffrey Watson, SC, applied on Tuesday for a suspension of Operation Spicer “to allow the investigative staff at the commission time to investigate more material which has come to hand in recent times”.

“In light of speculation on the subject, it does seem an appropriate moment to say that these activities implicate the former minister Michael Gallacher,” Mr Watson said.

Under pressure from Mr Gallacher’s barrister, Arthur Moses, SC, to reveal the evidence, Mr Watson said the commission had “sworn testimony from a reliable person implicating Michael Gallacher”.

The ICAC started public hearings last week into allegations that former energy minister Chris Hartcher, fellow Central Coast MPs Chris Spence and Darren Webber and Hartcher staffers Tim Koelma and Ray Carter funnelled illegal donations from property developers and other sources into a secret Liberal Party slush fund.

Mr Watson made clear that “the suspension will not operate immediately” and the inquiry into the slush fund, a “sham company” called Eightbyfive, would be completed first.

Witnesses will give evidence this week as scheduled. The inquiry will also hear evidence next week from coal mogul Nathan Tinkler, whose property development group Buildev allegedly donated $66,000 to Eightbyfive.

Mr Hartcher and his associates – Messrs Spence, Webber, Koelma and Carter – are also expected to give evidence next week.

Mr Gallacher resigned on Friday following shocking allegations he was involved in a “corrupt scheme” with Mr Tinkler’s associate, Buildev co-founder Darren Williams, for the company to channel illegal donations into Eighbyfive.

“Now that the allegation has been made, we want the evidence,” said Mr Gallacher’s barrister.

He added that the evidence would not support the allegations made against his client but “now the genie has been let out of the bottle…there have been serious consequences to the minister”.

Mr Watson said he would not withdraw the allegations and the claims made against him by Mr Gallacher’s barrister were “very serious” and should not have been made.

“At its heart, the commission is an investigative body and the public inquiry is simply one of its tools in conducting an investigation,” Mr Watson said.

“Material has come to the commission which has led to further investigations. Those investigations have only reached a rudimentary phase but already they have established a strong prima facie case of serious electoral funding irregularities.

“I’m not going to say more about those because the investigations are ongoing and to reveal too much could compromise or jeopardise the operational aspects of the investigation.”

Mr Watson said Mr Gallacher would not be called to give evidence next week because of his alleged involvement in other matters under investigation.

“It will probably also be necessary to recall some other witnesses as well,” he said.

Commissioner Megan Latham said that after the suspension, which would start sometime next week, the inquiry would resume on August 4 and conclude within the month.

Mr Hartcher’s barrister, Alister Henskens, SC, objected to the adjournment along with a raft of others.

He said Mr Hartcher had been subject to “personal abuse” from members of the public and any delay in the hearings would be unwelcome. He noted it would also be an unwanted distraction from the 2015 election campaign.

Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos’s barrister also objected to the adjournment application.

Robert Newlinds, SC, said that the senator wanted this resolved as soon as possible as a “serious allegation of criminal conduct” has been made in the hearing “and we are very concerned it is hanging over his head”.

Mr Newlinds said he did not want Senator Sinodinos’s good name and reputation hanging in the balance over the coming months.

“This is an allegation of specific criminal conduct,” said Mr Newlinds in his submission opposing the adjournment.

In his opening address Mr Watson said that Senator Sinodinos had been involved in the Free Enterprise Foundation which Mr Watson said was used as a “means of washing and re-channelling donations made by prohibited donors.”

“He is anxious for the inquiry to continue so that he can get on with his life.”

Commissioner Latham rejected the submissions opposing the adjournment.

She said that reputational damage was an “unfortunate by-product” of the commission’s work and political considerations, such as the effect of the inquiry on the 2015 state election, could not be taken into account.

To allow the commission to be influenced by political considerations would “fundamentally compromise it”, the commissioner said.

She added that it was “fundamental to the work of the commission…that we allow the media access to all of the information”.

Source : The Sydney Morning Herald


James Akel comenta primeira pesquisa de intenção de votos para presidente da República


A pesquisa Sensus publicada nesta madrugada pela Revista Isto É mostra que Dilma e Aécio vão ao segundo turno das eleições.

Nos números mostrados Dilma tem 35% contra Aécio 23,7%.

O índice de rejeição de Dilma é de 42%.

Ninguém se reelege com este índice.

Numa disputa entre os dois Dilma teria 38,6% e Aécio 31,9%.

Jamais antes este número foi tão próximo mesmo porque é a primeira vez que uma pesquisa mostra tal disputa.


Escrito por às 04h34  no dia 05/05/2014

James Akel comenta porque Lula poderia desejar a derrota de Dilma em outubro


Quando dois Lulas estão em jogo fica mais difícil entender qual dos dois joga de verdade o jogo e qual dos dois blefa.

Na coluna de Mônica Bérgamo na Folha do dia 30 de abril deste ano, a coluna conta que no começo do ano Lula falava mal de Dilma – nos bastidores – e que depois de uma conversa com a presidente passou a defender sua pupila, mas, e sempre tem um mas, teria voltado a criticar a postura de Dilma nos tempos de agora.

Também em recente com grande nomes do empresariado brasileiro teria sido constatado que o empresariado prefere Aécio e Campos a Dilma.

Brados de políticos da base de Dilma passaram a ser ouvidos contra Dilma e a favor de Lula.

Até Gilberto Kassab, que tempos atrás jurava fidelidade plena a Dilma, foi jantar com Aécio, além de ter liberado suas bases estaduais para apoiarem quem bem desejem.

Pior ainda para Dilma é ver seu principal aliado, o PMDB, obrigando de fato o presidente do Senado Renan Calheiros a abrir a CPI da Petrobras e tocar o barco sabe-se lá para onde.

Neste cenário encontramos ainda o tal movimento secreto de petistas e aliados para o “Volta Lula”.

E num movimento errado e acusando ter recebido o golpe, Dilma vem a público declarar que Lula é fiel a ela.

Lula sabe perfeitamente de tudo de errado que Dilma fez e poderá fazer no próximo mandato.

Sim, pois num futuro mandato ela vai ter a tendência de se desligar definitivamente de Lula para demonstrar que somente ela manda no governo.

E a economia ruim pode ficar pior e destruir um “Volta Lula” em 2018.

Por outro lado Lula também tem conhecimento de que o próximo presidente vai ter que ser cruel nos números contra a população para poder cobrir os erros financeiros cometidos pela atual administração de Dilma.

E não parece que Lula tenha vocação para ser aparentemente o carrasco do povo.

Talvez para o Lula racional seja muito mais interessante uma vitória de Aécio ou Campos que ao realizarem os trabalhos necessários para recondução da economia, passem eles, Aécio ou Campos, a terem a fama de carrascos e não Lula que gosta de ser acolhido com afeto nos braços do povo.

Talvez, apenas talvez, Lula saiba lá no fundo do seu ser que um adversário do PT vencendo a eleição agora pode ser o grande caminho para seu retorno nos braços do povo em 2018.

Neste período de governo de adversários, alguém pode pensar no que fazer com milhares de petistas colocados em postos públicos.

Bem, se até Dirceu e Genoíno estão se sacrificando condenados pelo STF, os outros que se virem até a volta de Lula.

Escrito por às 01h44  no dia 05/05/2014

James Akel comenta sucessivos erros de Carlos Henrique Schroder


O atual chefão da TV Globo, Carlos Henrique Schroder, é o mesmo que comandou o departamento de jornalismo da emissora que perdeu metade do ibope nos últimos 10 anos que ficou ali.Ganhou de prêmio toda emissora pra comandar com sua fórmula autoritária em que ele mesmo acredita ser criativo decidindo tudo em parcos minutos e dando no que está dando.

Transformou o maior programa da emissora, Fantástico, em algo péssimo e sem futuro.

Permitiu que num programa anterior, Esquenta, a emissora tivesse postura estranha a uma grande emissora frente a morte do bailarino DG.

Se tivessem feito apenas 10% da homenagem que fizeram a DG ao comandante assassinado da UPP, a imagem que estranhamente querem passar da polícia seria outra.

Seja quem for, até um padre, estar às 2 da manhã no meio de uma gang, nada tem de normal a uma pessoa de bons costumes.

Entende-se a revolta da mãe mas a postura de Regina Casé foi algo acima do normal e fora de editorial correto.

Ser popular ligada à comunidade não significa compactuar.

Não deveria ser.

A atitude de Regina Casé foi algo de quem desconsidera as investigações e similares.

Isto é inaceitável na maior emissora de TV que deveria dar exemplo de jornalismo.

Enfim, tudo isto acontece sob comando de Carlos Henrique Schroder, chefão da TV Globo e que demonstra nada de preparo ao comando desta empreitada.

Escrito por às 01h49  no dia 05/05/2014

James Akel comenta que o Domingo Show não tem base para se manter competitivo


Eu já tinha escrito aqui antes que o Domingo Show precisava de plataformas de base de disputa.

Nem Flávio Cavalcanti e nem Chacrinha eram suficientes sozinhos pra ganhar liderança de ibope.

Apenas Silvio Santos tem este poder de manter o programa sozinho sem necessidade de plataformas de base.

Domingo Show está parado em ibope que não poderia estar pra ser um bom programa de domingo e disputar ibope.

Mas infelizmente a emissora nada entendeu sobre o assunto.

Continua cometendo o erro.

Escrito por às 01h50 no dia 05/05/2014